May 26, 2015
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz.- On May 20th, a private boating trip reported the wreckage of an airplane to park rangers at Diamond Creek. The boaters informed the rangers that during a hike near Emerald Canyon at Colorado River Mile 104 they found the plane with human remains inside.
Inclement weather prevented rangers from responding to the scene via helicopter until Sunday, May 24th. Rangers first recovered the remains, which await identification from the Coconino County Medical Examiner, then packaged the plane in a sling load and recovered it using a long-line.
The wreckage matches the description of an airplane that went missing in 2011. That plane, a red RV6 homebuilt experimental aircraft, was last seen at Grand Canyon Airport around 8:30 am on Friday, March 11, 2011. The NPS used both a fixed-wing airplane and a helicopter in search efforts at that time, covering 2,000 air miles over a 600-square-mile search area. Civil Air Patrol's Nevada Wing, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assisted in that search. Search activities continued on a limited basis after April 1, 2011.
No further information is available at this time, as the Coconino County Medical Examiner works to identify the remains and the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the incident.