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Weather aids fourth day of search for Santa Rosa couple’s missing plane

Favorable weather Friday allowed planes to resume their search for a Santa Rosa couple that went missing Monday night shortly after they flew their single engine aircraft out of Truckee-Tahoe Airport bound for Petaluma.

Five Civil Air Patrol search planes launched Friday morning and scoured a section of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in search of Mark and Brenda Richard’s Socata TB-20.

Officials estimate it disappeared five minutes after leaving the 5,900-foot elevation airport in Truckee at about ?4 p.m. Monday.

The Civil Air Patrol planes, hampered by bad weather Thursday, conducted both visual an photographic searches for the couple’s aircraft in an area 18 miles northwest of Truckee.

Aircraft from both the CHP and state Air National Guard joined in the search, while numerous other agencies conducted ground searches.

“The improvement in the weather today is allowing us to visually search areas of interest identified from the more than 3,000 images collected in prior days,” said Maj. Jim Anthony, the Civil Air Patrol’s incident commander.

The Civil Air Patrol said it would continue its search possibly through the weekend.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter ?@renofish.

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