Air Searchers In W.V. Can't Find Missing Plane

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The search for a plane that went missing along the Virginia-West Virginia border has expanded to a third county, but authorities say there's still no sign of it.

West Virginia Civil Air Patrol spokesman Jeff Schrock says efforts are focused on Grant, Hardy and Pendleton counties. But the plane that was headed for Johnstown, Pa., could also be in Maryland or Virginia.

Three people were on board when it dropped out of radar contact 12 miles south of the Grant County Airport in Petersburg.

Helicopters and eight fixed-wing aircraft from three states are searching for the Piper PA-32 Saratoga today, but thick foliage is hindering their view.

Pilots flying at treetop level reported they couldn't see the ground.

If the plane isn't found today, the air patrol will ask the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to issue a call to rescue teams across the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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