BREAKING NEWS: Missing plane found on Mt. Guyot
August 17, 2008
SUMMIT COUNTY ” A hiker near Georgia Pass on Sunday discovered the wreckage of a small airplane that had been missing from Steamboat Springs since Friday.
All four members of the Texas family aboard were killed in the crash high on Mount Guyot.
The hiker directed searchers to the site at about 12,000 feet, where authorities confirmed the tail number on the plane matched that of a rented four-seat 2004 Cessna 182T piloted by Thomas Paul Jacomini, Jr.
Jacomini, 45, a Houston energy executive, was traveling with his wife, Susie, 38, and their children Thomas, 8, and Vivi, 5.
Summit County coroner Joanne Richardson said that although the case had been handed over to Park County authorities, she was able to confirm that no passengers survived the crash and that the Park County coroner is presuming that the four passengers are the members of the Jacomini family.
The family members were flying back to their ranch in Brenham, Texas, after vacationing in Steamboat Springs, relatives told authorities.
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Crews from the Summit County Rescue group hiked for 3-1/2 hours to get to the crash site and used a rope system to rappel down a jagged 1,000-foot cliff face to get to the plane’s location.
“It is becoming a very dangerous recovery mission,” Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Paulette Horr said early Sunday evening.
A Flight-for-Life helicopter transported the bodies off the mountain sometime after 5 p.m., according to Horr.
Mt. Guyot is less than a mile from Georgia Pass, and the 13,370-ft. mountain lies directly on the Continental Divide.
Winter-like weather conditions existed on the mountain late Friday afternoon, according to reports from the National Weather Service, but authorities have not yet determined if weather was the cause of the crash.
Jacomini reportedly was an experienced pilot who had flown in the mountains previously.
“He’s highly trained. I’ve flown with him myself,” family friend Charles Wickman told the Houston Chronicle. “He was very aware of the special circumstances that involve flying up there at that altitude.”
The Summit County Communication Center received a call on Saturday morning from Routt County after the small plane went off the radar just south of the Green Mountain Reservoir. Although it is sometimes typical for aircrafts to go off the radar, authorities reported the plane missing when it failed to reappear on the other side of the Continental Divide.
Rescuers were deployed Saturday on various mountain passes and valleys in all areas of Summit County seeking radio signals from the aircraft’s emergency-location transmitter.
Rescue teams suspended their search when they were unable to detect the aircraft by Saturday night, and the search resumed early Sunday morning with seven teams fanned out from Keystone Mountain to Georgia Pass on foot and on all-terrain vehicles.
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center also deployed aircrafts to assist in Sunday morning’s search.
Ashley Dickson can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at email@example.com.