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Pinedale Online > News > November 2010 > No survivors in plane crash

Missing plane found. Photo by Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Missing plane found
Photo taken just west of the crash site along Indian Pass in the Wind River Mountains of NW Wyoming. Visible in the photo is the trail made by the team of mountaineers who spotted the wreckage as they made their way down the mountainside. Photo courtesy Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Missing plane found
Wreckage found at 11,100 feet near Indian Pass
by Fremont County Sheriff's Department
November 2, 2010

LANDER – Fremont County Sheriff Skip Hornecker confirmed the wreckage of a single-engine fixed-wing aircraft was found late Monday in the primary search area east of the Continental Divide. Searchers on the scene reported there were no survivors. The crash site was found approximately one mile east of the aircraft’s last known location near Indian Pass at an elevation of about 11,100 feet early this evening, Nov. 1, 2010.

Four members of a Minnesota family were on board.

Searchers found the aircraft exactly seven days after it disappeared from radar Monday, October 25, on a flight from Jackson Hole to Riverton, en route to Minneapolis. The aircraft left Jackson’s airport in a snowstorm. The crash site is in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area of the Shoshone National Forest.

The wreckage was found in a small steep drainage on the side of a mountain in a boulder field. A ground search team comprised of two women and one man, all technical mountaineers was traversing down the side of the mountain when they spotted the wreckage from above. The wreckage was partially covered with snow. The discovery of the missing aircraft followed an exhaustive effort by both ground and air searchers from multiple agencies in northwest Wyoming.

During the seven day-long search, a total of nine aircraft and 13 ground teams were involved. Searchers logged a total of about 1,500 man-hours while committed aircraft time was 60 hours. The command and logistics team coordinating the search logged about 2,000 man-hours.

The Fremont County Coroner’s office now assumes management of the recovery operation. Coroner Ed McAuslan said recovery of the crash victims would begin this morning. Once recovered the crash victims will be taken to the Fremont County Morgue in Lander, pending autopsy. Once released, the crash victim’s bodies will be moved to Hudson’s Funeral Home in Lander where arrangements will be made in accordance with the wishes of the family.

Further information will be released after the recovery operation.

The lead agencies that directed the search effort were the Fremont County Search and Rescue Team and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department. Searchers came from across Fremont County and multiple other agencies and organizations were involved, including the National Outdoor Leadership School, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Wyoming State Forestry Division, Bureau of Land Management, Civil Air Patrol, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming Army National Guard, Sublette County’s Tip Top Search and Rescue Team, Park County Search and Rescue Team, U.S. Forest Service, City of Lander, Fremont Counseling Service, Wyoming, Inc, the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security and the office of Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal.

"We want to express our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and we thank the many dozens of volunteers and agencies who assisted in this effort," said Incident Commander Chip Williams of Lander.

The search was the 49th search and rescue operation mounted in Fremont County this year.

Related Links:
Air, ground searches still unable to locate missing plane Monday, November 1, 2010
Still no sign of missing plane – search continues Sunday, October 31, 2010
Afternoon update in search for missing plane - Saturday, October 30, 2010
Search for missing aircraft enters 5th day - Saturday, October 30, 2010
Missing aircraft still lost in Wind River Mountains - Friday, October 29, 2010

Pinedale Online > News > November 2010 > No survivors in plane crash

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