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Plane Owned By Denver Crashes In Pacific

A pilot was killed Sunday in the crash of a single-engine plane owned by singer John Denver, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The identity of the pilot, recovered by a lifeguard in the Monterey Bay, was not immediately known. Denver, 53, is a licensed pilot.

Jeanie Tomlinson, managing director of Wind Star, the environmental group co-founded by Denver, said the singer hadn’t returned her phone calls Sunday night.

Tomlinson also said Denver also owns a home in the Monterey-Carmel area.

“We wait and see and we keep the most good thoughts we possibly can that he’s okay,” she said.

Messages left at Denver’s Aspen, Colo., home by The Associated Press were not immediately returned Sunday night.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Aitkins said identifying the victim would be difficult. The Coast Guard completed its search for debris for the night.

“We’ll search tomorrow for more clues,” Aitkins said. “But at this point it’s almost like a John Doe case. We have a body but it’s unrecognizable. We won’t know right away unless someone comes forward and says they know who was on that plane.”

Officials said the body was unrecognizable because of the fatal injuries caused by the crash.

The pilot’s flight pattern and the make of the plane also was not available, Aitkins said.

Aitkins said the ground crew at the Monterey Airport confirmed that Denver owns the plane.

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