National Transportation Safety Board investigators will begin investigating on Saturday morning a plane crash that killed a Salt Lake man and Centerville man.
Eric R. Johnson, 25, Salt Lake City, and David A. Beers, 24, Centerville, were found dead in the wreckage of a single-engine Cessna 152. The plane was located about five miles southeast of Snowbird Ski Resort in Wasatch County by search crews Friday afternoon, Salt Lake Sheriff's Lt. Mike Wilkinson said.Johnson, an instructor, and his student pilot, Beers, left from Salt Lake International Airport about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Reconstruction of radar readings showed that the pair had flown up Emigration Canyon and were either leaving or approaching the Heber City area before returning to Salt Lake City, Wilkinson said.
"The plane was severely damaged. A wing was dislodged," said Wilkinson. "The victims sustained traumatic injuries."
The wreckage was found near the Pole Line Pass area on the border of Wasatch Mountain State Park and Wasatch National Forest between 8,500 and 9,000 feet elevation, officials said.
The Civil Air Patrol was alerted at 2 a.m. Friday that the plane had gone down. CAP airplanes and search crews from Salt Lake, Wasatch and Utah counties searched for the wreckage. The plane was spotted from the air about 10:55 a.m. and reached by ground crews at 12:15 p.m., Wilkinson said.
There was no evidence of fire or explosion, Wilkinson said. The victims were flown to University Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.