Investigators combed the scene of the single-engine plane crash below Francis Peak in Farmington Canyon Tuesday, looking for clues as to why the aircraft crashed.

Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are looking into the crash. The five persons aboard the six-passenger Piper Lance walked away from the crash with minor injuries.The airplane, piloted by Patrick Merkle, 36, Washington, D.C., took off from Sky Park Airport in Woods Cross shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday, crashing in the canyon below the Skyline Drive intersection a few minutes later.

Aboard the plane were Merkle; his 31-year-old wife; two children, 3 and 2; and another passenger, identified as the family's nanny.

Contacted Tuesday night, Mrs. Merkle said the family doesn't wish to talk about the incident.

"I've got a lot of thank-you notes to write," she said, referring to the paramedics and rescue crew members who responded to the plane crash.

The family had stayed in the Salt Lake area for four days on vacation and were en route to Fort Bridger, Wyo., when the plane went down. The Merkles suffered minor injuries and were treated at Lakeview Hospital and released.

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Garret Winn, a pilot and employee at Sky Park, refueled the airplane Monday. It is the first time he's gotten a close look at the six-passenger Piper Lance, Winn said.

"I don't think the airplane was overloaded. It has a pilot and co-pilot seat up front and four passenger seats. They had fewer people than that and some luggage, but I wouldn't say the plane was overloaded.

"They took off without any problem," said Winn. "The other pilots here believe they may have gone into the canyon at too low of an altitude and then couldn't gain enough to clear it," said Winn.

"I've flown up that canyon. Pilots around here circle above Bountiful Peak to gain some altitude and then fly up the canyon. I've flown it at 9,500 feet and cleared it just fine," said Winn.

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