NTSB report: No anomalies noted behind January plane crash near Silt
Investigators reported “no anomalies” found in the cylinders of a small, single-engine plane carrying a child and its mother that crashed near Silt in late January, according to a preliminary report.
The Cessna 172 is owned by Frankie Russell of Silt but was being flown at the time by Rifle pawnshop owner Edward Wilks, according to a Facebook post made by a family member. The aircraft took off from the Rifle Garfield County Airport around 2 p.m. Jan. 31. About 20 minutes later, the plane crashed and the wreckage was found about 3 miles east of the Rifle airport, the report states.
“According to a family member, the purpose of the flight was to take some friends’ children flying in the local area,” the report states. “During the accident flight, a minor child was in the right front seat and the mother was in the left rear seat. The family member stated that while expecting the airplane to return for landing, he received a call from the mother stating that they had crashed.”
The crash site, located in difficult terrain, was accessed by members of the Colorado Rescue Fire Service on foot. After damage and patient assessments, the three passengers were taken by CareFlight of the Rockies and Classic Air Medical to area hospitals.
All three passengers survived. The Citizen Telegram has reached out to the pilot’s family, but did not hear back as of press time.
The first debris was located about 25 feet past a set of high tension transmission wires, the report states. The wires are estimated to be 100 feet tall and extend 670 feet along a 160-degree heading.
“About 75 (feet) past the initial piece of debris, the upper 2 (feet) of vertical stabilizer and rudder was located,” the report states. “The initial ground scar was located about 475 (feet) beyond the transmission wires and consisted of a damaged tree and sheet metal consistent with the color of the airplane. The main wreckage came to rest inverted about 600 (feet) from the transmission wires.”
The wings separated from the fuselage at the lower lift strut attach points, the report states.
A video recording device and a global positioning system were located on-scene and are being examined for additional evidence.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Independence Pass opened just before 2 p.m. Friday after closing earlier this week because of a series of snowstorms, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Friday.