The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information concerning the fatal plane crash that occurred late Friday morning.
Two died when the plane, a Bonanza Beechcraft, crashed south of Pagosa Springs shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 25.
The ACSO confirmed that there were two occupants in the aircraft, with both being from out of state. A female occupant has been positively identified, but her identity will not be released until the identification of a male occupant is confirmed at an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday.
According to an ACSO statement released Sunday afternoon, “It is believed that the pilot was having mechanical problems, which he radioed to a fellow pilot who was flying in his own plane about eight to nine miles south (in front) of the deceased.”
The statement further notes that witnesses on the ground reported that there was white smoke coming from the airplane just prior to the crash and that the pilot was banking hard to the left to turn around, possibly in an attempt to land on a nearby gravel road.
The initial investigation was completed by the ACSO, and the department transferred the case to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for further investigation on Sept. 26. The wreckage was removed from the site and transported to a facility for further review and investigation.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27, the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the scene of the accident back to local law enforcement. The public is reminded that the crash site is on private property and should not be visited.
The ACSO, Pagosa Fire Protection District, Emergency Medical Services and the coroner responded and provided assistance on scene immediately following the crash.
Any significant developments will be posted to www.PagosaSUN.com as they become available, and a story will appear in next Thursday’s issue of The SUN.