A Colorado plane crash happened at Rabbit Ears Pass after a small aircraft went missing Saturday afternoon. The plane left Steamboat Springs bound for Boulder, the Denver Post reports. Search teams were out Saturday night and found the plane in the Harrison drainage, which is southwest of Walton Peak, a 10,544-foot mountain.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, Allen Kenitzer, says the downed plane was a Piper PA-28 with two people on-board.
There have been three plane crashes in the Rabbit Ears area in the past 10 years because pilots don’t realize they must have more altitude before going up the drainage and they wind up there, according to Jim Linville, incident commander for Routt County Search and Rescue.
Linville says that the Civil Air Patrol plane picked up a signal from the plane that crashed.
“The Civil Air Patrol plane did that. They got the signal from the plane and then they were able to spot the fuselage,” continues Linville.
Just prior to the plane being found Sunday, Linville explained how challenging of an area it is to reach.
“But in all probability the plane that is missing and the plane they have seen is the same plane. It is on Rabbit Ears Pass and we are sending three teams into the field right now. It is a very difficult area to get to.”
Steamboat Today reports in an update that Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch reveals rescue workers discovered plane wreckage early Sunday near Steamboat Springs. The identities of the two people aboard the plane haven’t been released.
The Colorado plane was reported overdue Saturday afternoon then crashed that night.
On October 22, 2005, two people died when their Lancair Columbia 350 turboprop plane crashed into the north side of Walton Peak, by Rabbit Ears Pass. According to The Denver Channel, hunters recalled spotting the aircraft flying about 300 feet above ground with the engine making noise. Witnesses add that they heard three loud pops after that. Luis Marina, 32, and Greg Kyprios, 41, died from the plane crash. They were returning to Steamboat Springs from Burlington, Iowa. It was difficult to tell if the plane ran out of gas because both fuselages were destroyed in the wreckage.
The Inquisitr has reported on several small planes that have gone down. Many are in rural as well as urban areas. Typically those aboard the aircraft don’t survive the accidents. News stories often confirm that whomever was flying the aircraft was an experienced aviation operator.
[Image via Luxorion]