Plane Crash Kills Four Near Cody On Saturday
Authorities continue to investigate a plane crash that killed four people on Saturday, according to a press release from the Park County Sheriff's office.
Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said there were two females and two males, and no survivors, according to the press release.
The small twin-engine Cessna 310 aircraft went down 1.5 miles west of the Mooncrest Ranch, which is north of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
The aircraft left the Sheridan County Airport Saturday morning, sometime after 11:00 a.m. bound for Billings, Mont.
Shortly after takeoff, the plane deviated from its scheduled flight path and headed to Yellowstone National Park, according to Salt Lake City air traffic control.
After circling the park, the pilot radioed Salt Lake City and requested a new Instrument Flight Rules heading to Billings. Salt Lake City approved the new flight plan and advised the pilot to climb to 14,800 feet.
The pilot responded correctly to the instructions given, however shortly afterward the plane suddenly turned due east towards Cody and immediately went into a steep descent. No further voice contact was made as the plane dropped below radar at 11:56 a.m.
Salt Lake City then contacted the Park County 911 Communications Center and told it about the approximate location of the aircraft.
The Park County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit spent all day Sunday at the crash scene. The unit was assisted by members of the Shoshone National Forest fire team.
The scene looked like a bomb had exploded, Steward said.
The National Traffic Safety Board has taken over responsibility for the investigation.
Sky Aviation in Worland airlifted the victims from the site Sunday afternoon, and were turned over to Park County Coroner Tim Power who will perform scheduled autopsies today.
The identities of the victims are being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.
Steward praised the search and rescue unit and the Shoshone National Forest fire team for their professional conduct. He also thanked the owners of the Mooncrest Ranch for their help in getting rescuers to the site of the crash and Sky Aviation for their assistance in evacuating the bodies.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.