ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three people in a small passenger plane en route to Nevada were found dead after the plane they were in crashed near the Sandia Crest Monday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for the New Mexico State Police.
Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo said State Police found the plane north of Tijeras near the Sandia Crest ski area shortly before noon Tuesday but it was several hours before they were able to verify the three victims were inside. She said their bodies were still being brought off the mountain Tuesday evening.
The plane, a Cessna, was last heard from east-northeast of Albuquerque in near the mountains a little after 1 p.m. Monday, according to Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Family and friends identified the passengers as Sherry and Tim Couch and the pilot as Brian Moore, all from Wichita Falls, Texas. Gary Walker said Moore was his airplane mechanic, and the two were close friends. He traveled to Albuquerque along with Moore’s father when he heard the news.