News Live: Missing aircraft found, pilot killed in crash

Image is generic, it does not depict or purport to replicate the plane involved in the attached report

SAN JUAN COUNTY – At approximately 1 p.m. Thursday, San Juan County Sheriff’s search teams, including Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Civil Air Patrol, located a missing aircraft in the La Sal Mountains in San Juan County.

According to a press release from San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the 1958 fixed wing, single engine 175 Cessna plane,  piloted by Miles Reece, 62, of Bayfield, Colorado, crashed into the mountainside. The pilot was killed on impact.

No other passengers were on board and the plane was only carrying camping gear.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted and will investigation to find what caused the crash.

Family has been contacted and Reece’s body will be flown to the Spanish Valley area by a Department of Public Safety helicopter and then transported by ground to the medical examiner’s office in Salt Lake City.

According to the press release, Reece left the Durango, Colorado, airport at approximately 6:30 a.m. He was accompanied by another plane piloted by his friend Douglas Berry, who departed from New Mexico. Both planes where headed for Johnson Creek, Idaho, for a camping trip.

The two pilots were in radio contact but not visual. As they entered the La Sal Mountain Range, the planes disappeared from Grand Junction, Colorado, radar. After passing the mountain range, only Berry’s plane appeared back on radar.

According to the press release, Berry turned around and flew back to where he last had radio contact with Reece but was unable to locate him.

Hoping that Reece was only having radio issues, Berry headed north to Brigham City, which was a rendezvous point where they had planned to meet.

After several hours of waiting in Brigham City with no contact from Reece, Berry contacted authorities to report a missing plane.

The plane had four different devices for location on board but none of them had been turned on. These devices included a “Find Me Spot locator” and an “Orange Box Emergency Locator.”

Searchers were able to visually spot the downed plane while searching.

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1 Comment

  • Lt Col Steven Solomon, CAP National PAO June 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 71 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 72 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit or for more information.

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