The survivor of an airplane crash that killed another man Wednesday night on Promontory Point peninsula in the Great Salt Lake suffered minor injuries.
Lynn R. Bell, 27, Layton, was transported to McKay-Dee Hospital by military helicopter from the crash site and later released. The pilot Lee Fairbourn, Layton, was pronounced dead at the scene.The two men were aboard a single-engine Piper Warrior aircraft belonging to the Hill Aero Club at Hill Air Force Base. Fairbourn was teaching Bell to fly. The airplane left Hill about 6 p.m. and was due back at 9:30 p.m. The airplane disappeared from radar screens about 9 p.m.
A member of the rescue team who asked not to be identified said the men were apparently flying blind, practicing instrument flying when the accident occurred.
Bell told the rescuer that a drape had been placed across the windshield and the men believed they were over the open expanse of the Great Salt Lake when the batteries in their headsets began to fade. When Fairbourn bent over to reach for a new set of batteries, the plane apparently nosed down and moments later Bell felt the plane hit the ground.
The rescuer said Bell apparently never lost consciousness during the overnight ordeal but that Fairbourn apparently died on impact from severe head injuries.
Civil Air Patrol searchers were called out about 3 a.m., said Ron Lillie, CAP director of search and rescue.
They found the two men about 7:30 when aircraft wreckage was spotted at about the 6,500 foot level on the west side of the mountain.
Steep terrain and drifted snow made access to the crash site difficult. A helicopter was used to get rescuers to the crash site. Bell was air lifted out about 10 a.m.