Plane wreckage found in Grand Canyon, may be missing plane from 2011

stock image, St. George News

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Boaters on a private boating trip in Grand Canyon National Park discovered wreckage of an airplane on May 20, which they reported to park rangers at Diamond Creek. The boaters told park rangers that found the plane with human remains inside during a hike near Emerald Canyon at Colorado River Mile 104.

Inclement weather prevented rangers from responding to the scene via helicopter until May 24. Rangers first recovered the remains, which await identification from the Coconino County Medical Examiner, then packaged the plane in a sling load and recovered it using a long-line.

The wreckage matches the description of an airplane that went missing in 2011. That plane, a red RV6 homebuilt experimental aircraft, was last seen at Grand Canyon Airport around 8:30 a.m. on March 11, 2011.

Read more: Authorities Search for Missing Pilot – March 2011

The National Park Service used both a fixed-wing airplane and a helicopter in search efforts at that time, covering 2,000 air miles over a 600 square-mile search area.  Civil Air Patrol’s Nevada Wing, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assisted in that search. Search activities continued on a limited basis after April 1, 2011.

No further information is available at this time, as the Coconino County Medical Examiner works to identify the remains and the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the incident.

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