Update: Small Passenger Plane Crashes After Leaving Bartlesville Airport
A small passenger plane crashed Saturday afternoon after leaving a Bartlesville airport, according to an FAA spokesperson.
The single-engine Socata TBM700 reportedly crashed into a reservoir at Ridgway State Park south of Montrose, Colorado around 2:50 p.m. Saturday.
Search and rescue divers have called off searches for Sunday night and will resume efforts Monday morning.
No bodies have been recovered as of the time the search was called off.
Sunday's efforts were focused on getting an accurate location of the plane and evaluating the its recovery and that of the victims.
A press release from the Ouray County Emergency Operations Center indicates that sonar technology was used to locate the submerged fuselage, which appears to be intact and with wings attached.
It is believed that those on board were all residents of Gadsen, Ala. and were on their way to Colorado for a ski trip according to a report by affiliate ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Ala..
They are thought to include the owner of the plane, Jimmy Hill as well as Katrina Barksdale and her children, Kobe and Xander, and her nephew Seth McDuffie.
A vigil was held Sunday night at Kobe and Xander's school, Mitchell Elementary in Gadsen.
The plane was reportedly on its way to Montrose, Colo. and was registered to an Alabama corporation, according to Gregor.
The search began after a local sheriff's deputy reported seeing debris.
The FAA has not released the tail number of the plane. However KTUL was able to obtain it from an airport official at Northeast Alabama Regional Airport in Gadsen, Ala. where the flight left before stopping at Bartlesville.
The web site flightaware.com shows a map that the flight may have gone off course before turning around to regain course to Montrose.
The FAA lists the owner of the plane as Gadsen Aviation, LLC in Rainbow City, Ala. and shows that the plane was certified just nine days ago.
According to John Tomik, Airport Supervisor at the originating airport, it was the personal plane of the owner of Gadsen Aviation, an aircraft maintenance company.
The owner had recently been getting certified for flying the plane solo so Tomik is not sure is he was at the controls.
Tomik confirmed to KTUL that the plane's owner was on board the flight but did not release the name of that person. Tomik said there were five people aboard the flight.
The NTSB is leading the investigation on this crash and usually posts a preliminary report within a couple weeks of such incidents. The final determination of the cause and circumstances of the crash may take much longer.