Search for missing airplane extends to Great Salt Lake

Posted at 2:10 PM, Dec 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-31 17:41:17-05

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — A boat patrol joined the search effort Sunday for a missing airplane that departed Ogden Friday with two men on board.

Missing are 71-year-old pilot Denny Mansell and his passenger, 74-year-old Peter Ellis. Both men are from Ogden.

The missing plane is a red and white Cessna 172.

According to the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, a parks and recreation boat patrol is now checking Great Salt Lake as ground and air resources continue to search the Promontory area.

The two men took off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport Friday at 3:30 p.m. and were expected back at 4:30 p.m. Family members say the two friends planned to fly over the trains on display at Golden Spike Historical Site during the Winter Steam Festival.

Family of the two men are asking anyone who was at the Steam Festival and who saw the plane or took any photos that show the plane to email them at The plane would have likely been in the area between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday.

Authorities say that if they are able to establish that the plane was near the Golden Spike Site, that will help them narrow their search area.

The pair was reported missing Friday night when they did not return. Search efforts assisted by the Civil Air Patrol and a Department of Public Safety helicopter have been underway since Friday night.

Authorities say several tips have come in and have been investigated, but so far no definitive leads have developed.