Pilots body found at crash site | VailDaily.com

Pilots body found at crash site

Dustin Racioppidracioppi@vaildaily.comEagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY The body of a Utah man was found Wednesday at the site of a single-engine airplane crash in the wilderness near Mount of the Holy Cross.Rescuers recovered the body of Michael Loveless, 51, of Price, Utah, the pilot of the plane, according to the Colorado Civil Air Patrol. There were no passengers on board.A National Guard helicopter found the wreckage of the downed Cessna 182 around noon Wednesday about one-tenth of a mile from Josephine Lake in the Fryingpan Valley. The discovery was nearly 12 hours after a search began early Wednesday morning and a day after the plane was last detected on radar.

The National Guard deemed the crash unsurvivable, yet crews spent much of the day searching the snow-covered area of the crash for the pilot.Eagle County Sheriffs Office spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly said Loveless left Rocky Mountain Airport in Jefferson County around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. The last time the aircraft was detected on radar was about 45 minutes later near Josephine Lake. Cordingly said the plane was bound for Aspen, but Civil Air Patrol spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Tricia Sargent said the plane was headed for Utah.Vail Mountain Rescue Group and West Eagle Search and Rescue set out on the ground around 3 a.m. Wednesday to begin the search for the pilot and the plane, said Scott Thompson, Basalts fire chief and member of the west Eagle search team. At about 11 oclock, we suspended the ground team operations, Thompson said, and aircraft searches by the National Guard and Civil Air Patrol continued.The helicopter was able to get within four miles of the landing zone and 1,000 feet of the crash site but were unable to safely land, Cordingly said, which led to a suspension of the rescue mission Wednesday.Sargent said crews worked through the night and teams that included staff from area sheriffs departments searched by ground in steep terrain covered by about 18 inches of snow Wednesday morning.Loveless was an well-known inventor and entrepreneur who started a business, Loveless Ash, with his wife, Colleen, in 1988, according to the Carbon County Sun Advocate newspaper.The company began by manufacturing a vacuum that removed ash from fireplaces, and grew into a multi-product business that is one of the shining spots in eastern Utahs home grown economy,according to the newspaper.The Associated Press and the Aspen Times contributed to this report.Dustin Racioppi can be reached at (970)748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.

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