Plane crash in Sandias kills pilot, couple from Texas - Albuquerque Journal

Plane crash in Sandias kills pilot, couple from Texas

(Marla Brose/Journal)
A United States Air Force helicopter assisted with the search for a missing plane Tuesday morning. (Marla Brose/Journal)

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.

“He’s been doing my maintenance for four or five years,” Walker said. “He’s a good young man with three small children. He’s almost like a son to me. He really put some effort into working on my airplanes.”

Diane McMillan, Sherry Couch’s cousin, said the couple were on a trip to Las Vegas, Nev., when the crash occurred.

“We don’t know what happened,” she said. “My cousins went there to identify Sherry and her husband.”

Armijo said the plane was found about a mile from the Sulphur Canyon picnic area. Although a helicopter spotted the wreckage around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the recovery mission was prolonged due to poor weather conditions and steep elevation.

“There was between 6 inches to a foot of snow, it was super windy and cold,” Armijo said. “The area where the plane was found was straight up the side of a hill and covered by dense trees.”

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will determine the cause of the crash, she said.

The Cessna is registered to Moore Aviation LLC, Moore’s maintenance shop where he worked on big and small planes, Walker said.

“It’s just like anytime you lose a good friend, you just have that hole in your heart,” Walker said. “Especially for a young man like that with a family.”

-Digital Editor Robert Browman contributed to this report.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Plane crash in Sandias kills pilot, couple from Texas


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Boom! How to help your pets on July 4
ABQnews Seeker
Shelter from the bombardment is essential, ... Shelter from the bombardment is essential, as is a compelling, canine-specific activity
2
NM Supreme Court upholds 2021 release of alleged serial ...
ABQnews Seeker
DA's office laments state's 'broken revolving-door ... DA's office laments state's 'broken revolving-door system' for crime
3
Getting down to basics for needy children
ABQnews Seeker
Undies for Everyone helps supply underserved ... Undies for Everyone helps supply underserved children in APQ and across the country
4
Man charged in ABQ rape while awaiting trial in ...
ABQnews Seeker
All three cases against him stem ... All three cases against him stem from a six-month period in 2021
5
Española's Anna C. Martinez named Albuquerque's sixth Poet Laureate
ABQnews Seeker
She will serve a two-year term ... She will serve a two-year term beginning July 1 and will lead a community outreach project
6
APD hopes to expand its Digital Intelligence Team
ABQnews Seeker
The team of three uses social ... The team of three uses social media, phone data and more to help solve crimes
7
Fish and Wildlife changes wolf management
ABQnews Seeker
US agency restricts permits to relocate, ... US agency restricts permits to relocate, kill Mexican wolves
8
Petition to NM high court seeks probe of Trump ...
ABQnews Seeker
Request to Supreme Court asks for ... Request to Supreme Court asks for action in fake electors case
9
Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions
ABQnews Seeker
Decision could complicate government efforts to ... Decision could complicate government efforts to combat climate change