Great Sand Dunes Plane Crash: Small Plane Disappears Near National Park

01/09/2011 08:57 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WESTCLIFFE, Colo. — Rescuers are searching the mountains of southern Colorado for a small plane that disappeared Sunday on a flight from Phoenix to Pueblo.

The Colorado Civil Air Patrol said people were searching an area in the Sangre de Cristo range near Westcliffe on Monday morning. Leaders hope to launch at least one search aircraft once snow stops falling.

Air traffic controllers lost radio and radar contact with the plane after it sent a distress signal.

At the time, the plane was about eight miles south-southwest of Westcliffe, roughly 50 miles west of the Pueblo airport.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were aboard.