JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A male pilot was found dead at the scene of a plane crash just west of Deckers on Sunday morning, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, the Air Force received an emergency signal from the single-engine Magnus Fusion 212’s beacon, according to Alpine Search and Rescue.
JCSO was notified and Civil Air Patrol conducted a ground search but was unable to get a plane in the air throughout the night Saturday after receiving the alert.
“We came down to this area and immediately got our feet on the ground and started hiking into the pinpoint location,” said Wilson.
Sunday morning, flight crews began to search the Lost Creek Wilderness area in Jefferson County.
The plane was located approximately 20 miles south of Conifer in the area of Wigwam Creek Trail by Civil Air Patrol at 10:30 a.m.
“The plane was in the middle of nowhere, it was very difficult to locate,” said Dawn Wilson, a volunteer for Alpine Rescue.
Lelon Lewis was identified as the pilot Monday morning. His body was recovered by Alpine Search and Rescue several hours later due to the location of the crash.
“It was pretty dense trees, there would be a clearing now and then and we would keep cresting huge hills and rocks and thinking it would be on the other side, and we had to keep going,” said Wilson.
It was a scene that rescuers may see once or twice a decade. It’s the third plane crash for Alpine Rescue in 15 years.
“It’s not something you see every day and as rescues that’s one thing we do pay attention to for the next couple days, we are going to check on each other,” said Wilson.
Officials have not reported the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board reported the plane departed Colorado Air and Space Port in Watkins.
The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates when available.