Monday, December 10, 2012

Weather hampers search for possible downed aircraft south of Dubois, Wyomin

(Riverton, Wyo.) – Fremont County Sheriff’s Department Captain Ryan Lee reported Tuesday morning that there is no update concerning a possible downed aircraft south of Dubois. Eyewitness reports Monday indicated a small aircraft trailing smoke appeared to have crashed south of Dubois, followed by a plume of smoke. The smoke was reported by several others.

“Severe weather in the area has hampered any type of search effort both by air and ground,” Lee said. “Search crews attempted to get to high ground in the immediate area yesterday to glass the area, but were unsuccessful due to blizzard conditions.”

Lee also said the Civil air Patrol has been unable to launch a mission to the area due to the weather. Search crews have not reported hearing any emergency locator beacon signals.  Given the nature of the report, Lee said the Sheriff’s Office will continue their attempts to reach the area and search for a downed aircraft.

‘The report is concerning enough that we have to take a look regardless if there are no reported missing aircraft, we have been down that road before,” Lee said.

 (Dubois, Wyo.) – Fremont County Sheriff’s Capt. Ryan Lee issued the following statement Monday morning about a possible crashed aircraft.

“The Fremont County Sheriff is investigating the possibility that an aircraft may have crashed south of Dubois late Sunday evening. A caller observed what appeared to be a small plane having difficulty; she further indicated it appeared the aircraft was leaving a ‘smoke trail.’ The caller reported the aircraft disappeared behind terrain and a short time later black smoke could be seen rising near that area. Several other witnesses reported also seeing ‘two distinct plumes of black smoke’ several miles south of Dubois.

“At this time we have no reports of any overdue or missing aircraft in Fremont County; we have alerted the FAA and the Civil Air Patrol regarding the observation, they are conducting their own investigation. As of this morning they have not been informed of any overdue or missing aircraft around the State.

“We have found crashed aircraft in this county in the past that were never listed as missing or overdue. In December of 2010 a crashed plane was located atop of Atlantic Peak near Christina Lake after overflying aircraft had heard an Emergency Locator Signal in that general area. Fremont County Search and Rescue found the aircraft on December 24th, three days after it had departed Texas; all three persons aboard the aircraft were killed. That particular aircraft was never listed as overdue or missing.

“We will be working with the Civil Air Patrol in an attempt to search for any type of wreckage in the next couple of days. As soon as the weather gives us an opportunity CAP will be overflying the area and attempting to listen for an Emergency Locator Signal. We will also be mobilizing the Dubois Search and Rescue Division, a hasty team was dispatched to high ground this morning in an attempt glass the area for downed aircraft.

“The weather at this time is hampering further search options for any type of wreckage. Ground crews will be utilizing snow machines due to the snow depths. High winds are also a factor on the ground and in the air.”

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