Two men were killed Wednesday morning in a plane crash in the Oquirrh Mountains southwest of Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake County sheriff's office search and rescue crews reached the wreckage about 9 a.m. They found the bodies of the pilot, H. Max Green, 50, of Bountiful, and his passenger, Kari Christensen, 36, of Salt Lake City, inside the fuselage.The twin-engine Cessna 421, which holds up to eight people, crashed at 9,700 feet on the west face of 10,589-foot Lowe Peak.
The plane was bound for Salt Lake International Airport from St. George.
Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Jerry Wellman said the Salt Lake tower lost radio and radar contact with the plane about 1:10 a.m. During the pilot's last conversation with the tower, the pilot requested landing information. The plane was flying at 10,500 feet.
A short time later, a satellite picked up the plane's emergency locator transmitter.
Don McGurk, area supervisor of the Cedar City Flight Service Station, said Green filed a flight plan from Salt Lake City to St. George but did not file a plan for the return flight.
The pilot requested a weather briefing from the service station at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, said McGurk. "But we don't know what time he left St. George."
Mitch Barker, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the private plane requested radar tracking from the FAA near Milford, Beaver County.
"The aircraft was handed off to the Salt Lake Approach Control, about 30 miles from Salt Lake City," Barker said. "Salt Lake Approach Control lost radar and radio contact seven miles northwest of Provo."
Six aircraft, under the direction of the Civil Air Patrol, searched the area for about six hours before spotting the wreckage at 7:58 a.m., Wellman said. The plane crashed at about 9,700 feet, which was 200 feet above the cloud level.
"We got an indication that the wings were torn off the fuselage," Wellman said.
National Weather Service spokesman William J. Alder said there were snow showers on the Oquirrh Mountains at the time of the crash. Winds were out of the northwest about 10 to 15 mph.