Searchers found the smashed remnants of a small plane Friday that vanished two days ago in a densely wooded area of southwestern Colorado. None of the nine people aboard survived.
“It did not appear to have touched any tree on its way down and gives the appearance it went into the ground at about an 80-degree angle,” Montrose County Sheriff Gene Hill said. “The plane is destroyed.”
The Cessna 208 disappeared from radar shortly after it took off Wednesday morning for a 90-minute flight to Arizona. On board were eight federal Bureau of Reclamation employees traveling to Page, Ariz.
The bureau oversees federal dams and other water projects; the employees were on their way to a meeting at Glen Canyon dam.
The pilot, Robert Armstrong, also was killed. Armstrong, a 63-year-old Phoenix resident, had been flying with Scenic Airline for 10 years, according to airline spokeswoman Irit Langness.
The plane was found about 17 miles southwest of the Montrose Regional Airport, on the rugged Uncompahgre Plateau.
“Total devastation would be the proper word to use for that aircraft,” Hill said.
By late afternoon, the remains of all nine victims had been recovered from the crash site, said Robert MacIntosh of the National Transportation Safety Board.
More than a dozen NTSB investigators searched the wreckage for clues to the cause of the crash.
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