EAGLETON, Ark. (AP) _ Airborne searchers spotted part of a twin-engine airplane in the rugged mountains of western Arkansas on Tuesday but the terrain was too rough for rescue crews to reach the site via ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration didn't know the status of the three people aboard the Beechcraft 1900-C, which was traveling Monday from Wichita, Kan., to Mena when it disappeared from radar.
``It's been located,'' FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said Tuesday. He said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board would begin an investigation.
Rain and fog had prevented an aerial search Monday. The Scott County Sheriff's Office said a state police helicopter flew on a search mission Tuesday, but it wasn't immediately known how the missing airplane was found. Searchers on foot also scoured the rugged terrain near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, sheriff's dispatcher Shane Davis said.
Polk County Sheriff Mike Oglesby said officials were contacted by the Mena Airport on Monday night when the airport lost track of the plane on radar.
Oglesby said he had been in contact with some of the pilot's family members, but has not determined the fate of the pilot or two passengers because no one had reached the wreckage.
Eagleton is in far northwestern Polk County, near the Queen Wilhelmina State Park, about 7 miles northwest of Mena.
No flight plan was filed.
Herwig identified the plane as a Beechcraft 1900-C. Raytheon Aircraft Co. makes Beechcraft airplanes, and the craft that was missing belonged to Raytheon Aircraft Credit Corp., Herwig said.
Raytheon Aircraft Co.'s Web site said the Beechcraft 1900, which it produces, can carry 19 passengers, travel up to 1,462 nautical miles and fly at 327 mph.