On Saturday, August 13, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office was notified about an airplane that crashed into Lake Powell, near Face Canyon.
Witnesses started calling National Park Service Dispatch to report the crash at about 5:20 p.m. The tour plane out of Page, Ariz., was carrying the pilot and six French national tourists. The pilot reported an engine issue before the plane went down in the lake.
The pilot and witnesses were able to get four of the passengers out of the plane and into boats. They were then transported to a nearby shore where helicopters from Classic Aviation were able to pick them up and transport three with serious injuries to St. George Regional Hospital.
The other two were transported by boat to Antelope Marina and then to Page Hospital. Unfortunately, two of the passengers could not escape from the submerged plane and were pronounced deceased.
Numerous agencies responded to the incident. The National Park Service was able to locate the airplane in about 120 feet of water. The Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation used an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to take pictures of the plane and establish a line for the divers from The Utah Department of Public Safety to recover the bodies of the two deceased individuals. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will handle the investigation on the plane crash. Kane County Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for the retrieval of the bodies and the death investigation.
This case is still under investigation, and it will be some time before the case is resolved. Incidents like this are very difficult due to the circumstances and terrain. Many thanks to the witnesses who responded quickly to help the survivors and provided information to help locate the submerged plane.
Our condolences go out to the families of those killed in the plane crash.