PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — Two men from New York died after their small plane went down Saturday in remote, mountainous terrain east of Aspen.
Ruben Cohen, 46, and David Zara, 58, both from New York, were identified as the victims of the fatal crash by the Pitkin County Coroner's Office.
Dispatchers received a call just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday from someone reporting that her friend had left the Aspen Pitkin County airport on Saturday afternoon and had not arrived in Des Moines, Iowa, as scheduled, according to a release from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office (PCSO).
The caller said she had been able to track the flight path of her friend's plane and saw that the path ended about 30 miles east of Aspen, according to the release.
The Sheriff's Office said a deputy investigated the report with help from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and a plane from the state's Division of Fire Prevention Control, which led to the identification of a search area near Midway Pass. That's about nine miles east of Aspen, near the Continental Divide.
PCSO said volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen began a field search and, with help from a Colorado Army National Guard helicopter, found the wreckage of a downed aircraft just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
The National Guard helicopter landed near the wreckage, and rescuers recovered the remains of two people, according to the release.
The crash was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Investigators are currently determining the best way to get to the crash scene, and from there they'll work to determine what caused the plane to go down.
NTSB investigations involving fatalities usually take between 12 to 24 months to finish. A preliminary report is expected to come in about 15 days.
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