With snow falling and bad weather expected for at least a few more days, the aerial search in Idaho for a missing San Jose high-tech executive and his family was suspended Friday.

A limited number of searchers continued to comb a wilderness area in central Idaho for Dale Smith and four members of his family. Smith was piloting a single-engine Beech Bonanza that disappeared Sunday after reporting engine trouble.

Because snow is expected to fall for the next several days, it's unknown when the aerial search might resume.

"It will be unsafe to put people out there in those conditions," said Rob Feeley, spokesman for the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. "We've put every available asset towards this search effort. We don't have any new information to go off of."

In addition to Dale Smith, a father of five who lives in South San Jose and cofounded the Silicon Valley data-storage firm SerialTek, aboard the plane were his son Daniel Smith and his wife Sheree Smith, as well as daughter Amber Smith and her fiancé Jonathan Norton.

Amber Smith and Norton, who are scheduled to graduate next year from BYU-Idaho, are to be married Jan. 4.

In a statement issued Friday the Valley County Sheriff's Office asked any pilots "flying in the area to keep an eye out for any signs of the missing aircraft."

"Forecasts call for snowfall throughout the weekend and into next week," said Incident Commander Lt. Dan Smith. "Even though we want to locate this plane, the one thing we cannot do is put people in harm's way."


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The five people on board the plane had been in Baker City, Ore., where Dale Smith's father lives, celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. On Sunday, they were traveling in the six-seat plane built in 1983 to Butte, Mont., to drop off Daniel and Sheree Smith.

Dale Smith reported engine trouble and asked Salt Lake City air traffic controllers for coordinates to the Johnson Creek landing strip near the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area -- located about 100 miles east of Baker City.

Then the plane lost radar and cell tower contact.