Authorities say the search for a single-engine Cessna that was reported missing on a Tuesday afternoon flight between Bozeman and Helena will resume Thursday. The Cessna 180F, registered to Mountain Flying LLC of Helena, took off from Bozeman around 2:11 p.m. and dropped off the radar about 18 miles northwest of Bozeman, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. He said the search was called off at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday and will resume Thursday morning. Mountain Flying LLC is owned by mountain flight instructor Sparky Imeson, who Dutton said was piloting the plane. "The Bozeman tower did talk to him," the sheriff said. "We got a flight path from a radar hit out of Bozeman that tracked him 18 miles out," Dutton said. "His point of last report on radar was about 18 miles northwest of Bozeman," at 2:23 p.m. There were snowstorms in the area at the time, Dutton said. Search crews with the Montana Department of Transportation's aeronautics division spent Wednesday morning searching the east slope of the Elkhorn Mountains, where a cellular tower picked up a signal from Imeson's phone shortly after the plane dropped off Bozeman radar. "For the phone to receive that call, he'd have to be in that general locaTion," said Mike Rogan, aviation support officer for MDT. "It was the closest tower. Someone tried to call him, but no one answered." Snow in the mountains would make it difficult to spot the white plane with a blue stripe, Dutton said. The state Department of Transportation had an airplane in the search, U.S. Customs and Border Protection had an airplane and a helicopter and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls also sent a helicopter. Volunteer searchers were also looking for the plane. Jim Grill, Airports/Airways bureau chief for the Department of Transportation, said an air search Tuesday evening did not locate the airplane or an emergency locator signal. In June 2007, Imeson and another pilot survived a plane crash in the Elkhart Mountains outside Helena. The men walked out of the mountains. "The hope is the same, is that we will find him and that he will be alive," Dutton said. Imeson wrote the "Mountain Flying Bible and Fl ight Operations Handbook," which was published in paperback in 2001 and was the latest of several revisions of Imeson's "Mountain Flying," first published in 1975.