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Family member reflects after wrecked plane found in Idaho

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-11 19:08:12-05

VALLEY COUNTY, Idaho -- After weeks of searching, officials have located the plane and five passengers that went down in the Idaho mountains December 1. There were no survivors.

It was the loss of a whole family and a couple ready to start their own. The single engine plane was being flown by Dale Smith, on board were Smith's son and wife as well as Smith's daughter Amber and her fiancé Jonathon Norton.

Jon’s grandfather, Davis G. Norton, spoke to FOX 13 News after the crash site was found, and he said he has found  a new sense of peace.

“He had a good mind,” he said of Jonathon. “He loved intellectualizing with his grandpa.”

Norton describes his grandson Jon as dedicated and determined. The BYU Idaho student and his fiancé were on track to graduate from college this spring. Norton said the plane crash cut those goals short.

“At that stage one, obviously has hope there would be survival,” he said of the days following the crash.

Dale Smith, Amber’s father, was flying the plane and Norton describes him as a seasoned pilot.

“So everyone had confidence that if it could be brought down safe he’d do it,” Norton said.

After weeks of searching, the plan was to quit the search Friday because weather and snow made it too difficult and dangerous, but someone had been looking over satellite images of the area and was able to find what looked like the crash site.

“They were able to zoom in and actually see enough of the numbers that they were confident it was it,” Norton said.

Norton said news that the plane had finally been located brought peace to his family because it finally answered the lingering question.

“The search party indicated that it happened very quickly,” he said. “That there were no survivors and no suffering, so that brought a peace to the family.”

The sheriff in Valley County, Idaho said the weather was too stormy Friday night, so it will be a few days before they can recover the bodies.

The couple planned to be married in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ temple in Oakland on January 4.