By Jamie Leary

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A small plane crashed in a rugged area northwest of Deckers on Saturday and members of a rescue operation that reached the crash site on Sunday determined the pilot died. The plane was first reported missing on Saturday. Eventually, the downed plane’s location was discovered from aircraft overhead on Sunday.

(credit: CBS)

With assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, search and rescue personnel with the Alpine Rescue team hiked into the site in the Lost Creek Wilderness and found the single occupant of the plane dead.

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“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the single occupant, an adult male, of the crashed plane was found deceased on scene. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends,” the sheriff’s office in Jefferson County wrote in a tweet.

A Civil Air Patrol plane searches the area west of Deckers on Sunday morning. (credit: CBS)

It’s unclear what caused the crash but the plane, a single-engine Magnus Fusion 212, was a Hungarian-made sport plane engineered for aerobatics.

Emergency responders received an alert from the Civil Air Patrol just after 8 p.m. Saturday- crews rushed to the scene but were unable to locate the wreckage in the dark.

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“It’s really extremely rough terrain as you can probably see and as we moved forward, we had to wait until daylight and in daylight, we were able to use the Civil Air Patrol to find the downed aircraft, and at this point were waiting on recovery efforts of the plane,” said Sergeant Randall Owens with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

With the body of the pilot recovered, those remaining on scene Sunday will determine how feasible it is to remove the wreckage.
“…and that’s part of our discussion again with the NTSB, FAA- all those parties are involved so its multi-jurisdictional that’s kind of where were at now,” said Owens.

An investigation into the crash will be handled by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

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According to radio traffic originating at the scene, a flight plan was not made for this plane’s most recent flight.

Jamie Leary