Reports of plane crash false |

Reports of plane crash false

FRISCO – A report that a plane had crashed into Dillon Reservoir Thursday afternoon sent a wave of panic through local rescue responders, but the report turned out to be false.

Officials from the Lake Dillon and Red, White and Blue fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, Dive Rescue, Summit County Ambulance and Frisco Police Department quickly arrived at the Frisco Marina and prepared a hovercraft to search for the plane.

About 15 minutes later, 911 dispatchers radioed rescuers to let them know a red, single-engine plane had just landed at the Kremmling airport, and the pilot said he had been flying at the south end of Dillon Reservoir.

“If people report (incidents like) these, they need to stop and stay in the area so we can talk to them,” said public information officer Dave Williams. “We need to see what they saw, and they can point us in the right direction. It saves a lot of time.”

Doug Young, owner of Alpine Wings, which operates the airport in Kremmling, said the pilot was from Summit County, but he declined to say who it was.

Jeff Berino, assistant fire chief with Lake Dillon Fire Department, said he wasn’t very happy about the pilot’s apparent antics.

“He came over the town of Silverthorne very, very low – so low we ran out of the building to look to see why someone was flying so low,” he said. “We saw the plane hop over the dam, and two minutes later the call came down.”

He said it had occurred to him that the pilot or passengers could be terrorists, but he and others dismissed that idea when they saw the plane.

“We’ve got better things to be doing,” he said. “With half the interstate closed, this guy initiated two fire departments, ambulance, Frisco Police Department, Dive Rescue, Search and Rescue – that’s a lot of inconvenience for someone who was just having fun. We don’t see it as very amusing. If it was a joke, it was in poor taste, and if it was an innocent fly-by, they were too low.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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