A single engine plane crashed in the Ridgeway Reservoir in Ouray County, Colorado last Saturday afternoon and all occupants are presumed dead. Authorities believed that this Socata TBM700 planes’ point of origin was Northeast Alabama Regional Airport in Gadsden, Alabama at 8:30am. It made a brief stop over in Bartlesville, Oklahoma before continuing toward its final destination of Montrose, Colorado.
The accident occurred around 2 p.m. on Saturday. Reports late Saturday night revealed no signs of the occupants, leading authorities to believe that they are deceased. Recovery teams were able to salvage a part of the plane’s tail. However, temperature and the visibility of the water were both contributing factors that limited the outcome of the search. The accident occurred 90 feet from the shoreline of 60-90 feet deep water, so a detailed search for the remaining parts of the plane and its occupants will take some time to complete.
Searches are expected to resume Sunday as investigators are trying to reconstruct the accident with the limited information and resources that are available to them. At the same time, the Ouray county sheriff department is expected to deploy dive teams to assist in the recovery operations and to clean up fuel and debris. The public have since been notified that the Colorado State Parks will be closed and remain that way pending completion of the recovery efforts.
The aircraft is a fixed-wing, single-engine 1996 model which is registered to the Gadsden Aviation in Rainbow City, Alabama.