HONOLULU, DEC. 25 -- Searchers in military and civilian aircraft spent a third day looking for a commuter plane with eight people aboard that was missing in the ocean southeast of here.

An extensive aerial and sea search had failed to uncover clues to the fate of Panorama Air Tours Flight 21, which disappeared Wednesday near the island of Molokai, 50 miles southeast of Honolulu.

The Piper Chieftain twin-engine airplane disappeared from Honolulu airport radar when it was 3 1/2 miles off the west coast of Molokai. It was bound for Molokai Airport on a 22-minute flight.

Panorama Air President Paul Risher identified the passengers as Land Kramer and Patricia Parker, of Hartford, Conn.; Adrian Kramer, David Crohn and Michael Crohn, all of Sherman Oaks, Calif. Two other passengers were from Italy, he said, and their names were withheld pending notification of relatives.

A Coast Guard plane and helicopter, two Air Force observation planes and four Civil Air Patrol airplanes took part in today's search, according to Petty Officer Mason Cornish of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center.

Cornish said searchers plan to continue scanning the rugged coast of Molokai, in case the airplane landed.

"The reason we've got so many aircraft out is the possibility that he {pilot Steve Baayoun} turned and went inland," Cornish said. "What we're trying to do is saturate the area and make sure we get thorough coverage."

Baayoun, 27, joined Panorama Air six months ago, the airline's chief pilot, John Callahan, said.

Panorama Air planes have been involved in three fatal crashes that killed 19 people since the inter-island carrier began service in March 1971.

It also has had a number of non-fatal mishaps. On Nov. 21 another Panorama Air Piper Chieftain crash landed in a Honolulu park.

Risher said the company's planes are subjected to routine inspection and he said Baayoun was highly trained.

"Our planes are inspected every night, when they return {to Honolulu}, and they go through a major phase maintenance program every 10 or 12 days," Risher said. "I don't know how long this one's been from its major phase, but certainly no more than 12 days."