ACCIDENTS & INJURIES

Utah man dies in small-airplane crash in rural Wyoming

Mar 23, 2023, 10:45 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 2:45 pm

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FILE photo (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Cache County man has been identified as the person killed in a plane crash that happened outside of Casper, Wyoming, earlier this week.

The Natrona County (Wyoming) Sheriff’s Office on Thursday identified the man killed as Brett Dean Smith, 49, of Hyrum.

On Tuesday about 4:45 p.m., multiple agencies responded to reports of a crashed private airplane near Kortes Road in rural Natrona County. Casper Public Safety Communication Center also received a request to help locate a small aircraft that had lost contact with its private aircraft company, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The company gave emergency responders the last known coordinates of the aircraft and a search and rescue operation was launched.

Crews searched the mountain terrain southeast of Alcova Reservoir. A team of private search planes provided by the company located the downed aircraft about 7:30 p.m. A Wyoming Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter was then brought in to confirm the location and take emergency personnel there. The sheriff’s office said one deceased person was found in the wreckage.

“Due to the conditions, location of the aircraft, and terrain factors, additional personnel and specialty equipment were needed for a safe recovery operation,” the release said. The recovery operation lasted through Wednesday afternoon.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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Utah man dies in small-airplane crash in rural Wyoming