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No Survivors in Colo. Plane Crash

October 10, 1997

MONTROSE, Colo. (AP) _ Searchers Friday found the smashed remnants of a small plane that vanished two days ago in a densely wooded area of southwestern Colorado. None of the nine people aboard survived.

``It did not appear to have touched any tree on its way down and gives the appearance it went into the ground at about an 80-degree angle,″ Montrose County Sheriff Gene Hill said. ``The plane is destroyed.″

The Cessna 208 disappeared from radar shortly after it took off Wednesday morning for a 90-minute flight to Arizona. On board were eight federal Bureau of Reclamation employees traveling to Page, Ariz..

The bureau oversees federal dams and other water projects; the employees were on their way to a meeting at Glen Canyon dam.

The pilot, Robert Armstrong, was also killed. Armstrong, a 63-year-old Phoenix resident, had been flying with Scenic Airline for 10 years, according to airline spokeswoman Irit Langness.

The plane was found about 17 miles southwest of the Montrose Regional Airport, on the rugged Uncompahgre Plateau.

``Total devastation would be the proper word to use for that aircraft,″ Hill said.

Marjorie Cheney of the Civil Air Patrol said earlier that she has flown the same flight path the Scenic Airways plane had taken and called the route ``tricky″ because pilots are forced to gain altitude quickly as they track up the plateau.

Richard Crosman, director of the Montrose airport, said the planes take off from Montrose at 5,750 feet and fly over ground that rises to 10,200 feet at the plateau’s highest point.

Possible witnesses to the crash told officials of hearing ``some cutting out of an airplane engine″ on Wednesday afternoon near where the plane was flying.

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