The pilot killed in an airplane crash Saturday on Mount Nebo has been identified by the state medical examiner's office.
Juab County deputy sheriff William Thompkins said the pilot of the single-engine fixed-wing aircraft that crashed and burned at 3 p.m. on Saturday was Earl Hugh Moore, 49, 4636 Woodduck Lane, Holladay, Utah.Moore was the owner of Mercury Aviation, Tooele.
The passenger in the craft has not yet been identified, Thompkins said. That identification is expected from the state medical examiner's office on either Wednesday or Thursday.
The two bodies were taken to the medical examiner's office Saturday evening.
Witnesses reported they had seen the aircraft flying in a canyon and then saw black smoke and assumed the plane had crashed, Thompkins said.
The bodies were retrieved from a canyon near the Reece's Flat area of Mount Nebo, Thompkins said. Several members of the Juab County Search and Rescue team worked through the night at the scene, he said. One member flew an aircraft to help rescuers pinpoint the crash site so they could reach the area.
The FFA conducted an investigation at the site, Thompkins said.
Moore had been flying over the power lines of Utah Power and Light in the Richfield area earlier, Thompkins said. "We can only assume he was flying the lines for Utah Power and Light in the area on his way back to Tooele," he said.
Juab County Sheriff Dave Carter said he did not think Moore had hit a power line as was earlier reported. "One section of insulator on one of those huge power poles was broken," Carter said. "There is no way we will ever know what happened for certain, but this man did this sort of thing for a living."
The insulator was made of tougher material than the plane, Carter said. He said Moore and his passenger may have noticed the shattered insulator and attempted to turn to take another look when the aircraft hit a strong down draft. The plane was flying low, Carter said.
"It is all just speculation," he said, "but I have a hard time believing the plane struck a power line."