CEDAR CITY – Two flight instructors with Southern Utah University’s aviation program are confirmed dead following a plane crash near Cedar City Monday afternoon.
Just after 1 p.m., in the Quichipa Lake area six miles west of Cedar off state Route 56, authorities were alerted that a plane had crashed on a lake bed.
The plane, identified as a Cessna 152 two-seater aircraft, was occupied by two flight instructors with SUU’s aviation program, as part of Upper Limit Aviation, according to a press release from SUU.
The instructors did not survive the crash, and their names are being withheld pending notification of family.
The cause of the crash is unknown and under investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified and will take the lead of the investigation into the circumstance surrounding the incident, according to the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are grieving today with the loss of two flight instructors who passed away this afternoon in a plane crash,” officials posted on Southern Utah University’s Facebook page.
Responding to the incident were the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Iron County Search and Rescue, Utah Highway Patrol, Cedar City Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance.
While tending to the scene, weather turned poor as a rainstorm rolled in and lightning began to hit the surrounding area, causing personnel to temporarily disperse.
Southern Utah University and Upper Limit Aviation have a public-private relationship and have been located on SUU’s campus since May 2013.
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones,” SUU Provost Bradley J. Cook said. “A tragedy of this nature penetrates all of us deeply.”
As this report is published, a call into Upper Limit Aviation had yet to be returned. However, ULA posted on its Facebook page that everyone at Upper Limit Aviation are deeply saddened by the unfortunate events that have taken place.
St. George News Assistant Editor Kimberly Scott and Reporter Cody Blowers contributed to this story.
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