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A longtime Utah State University professor and former Logan resident was one of two men aboard a light plane that went missing Friday after taking off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

Former USU economics professor Peter Ellis, 74, was the passenger in an airplane piloted by 71-year-old Denny Mansell. The two men, both currently living in Ogden, were reportedly headed to Promontory to fly over the trains on display at Golden Spike Historical Site during the Winter Steam Festival.

A search for the missing plane was launched Friday night and continued through much of the holiday weekend. It included a boat patrol in the Great Salt Lake along with ground and air resources.

Late Sunday, the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office announced it was scaling back the search. At that time, a Department of Public Safety helicopter, as well as the Civil Air Patrol, were dismissed from the search.

The missing plane is a red and white Cessna 172 and was believed to have taken off around 3:30 p.m. Friday. Searchers have requested anyone who might have seen the plane matching this description to email The information could help crews narrow their search area.

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