Sheriff has 'high hopes' of finding airplane

MEEKER, Colo. (AP) Authorities have received reports of a sighting of a plane that went missing last week near Meeker, and search crews planned to depart on horseback for the spot later Tuesday, officials said.

Rio Blanco County Sheriff Phil Stubblefield said authorities had ''high hopes'' about the possible sighting of the single-engine Piper Cherokee, which disappeared last week after leaving from Reno, Nev., and stopping for fuel with four men aboard.

Stubblefield said the tip came from people about 30 miles southeast of Meeker and crews on horseback would need about four hours to reach the spot. He refused to give any other details about the report.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft had been searching 15 miles away from Meeker after witnesses reported seeing a low-flying plane around the time the Cherokee went missing.

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