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Sun, Aug 07, 2005

Tri-Pacer Missing Since April Found

Two Onboard Perished

The small plane carrying two elderly flyers was discovered Friday by hikers near Kremmling, Colorado, not far from where it had departed after refueling. The plane, and the remains of Claiborne Courtright, 81, and William Duffy, 77, were found in Gore Canyon, about four miles southwest of Kremmling.

The men, both from Pueblo, had taken off form Fremont County Airport in Canon City, and had refueled in Kremmling April 7th before going missing. The 1954 red and tan colored tri-pacer was found on a ridgeline by hikers with the Denver Salt Lake Railway Historical Society.

Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson hiked up to the wreckage and said the fuselage was intact and hanging upside down in trees with parts of the plane scattered about. One wing was broken completely off.

"It looked like they were about 10 feet of making the point (in the ridgeline), but it looks like they hit some trees or something and that flipped it into the ground," Johnson said.

Skeletal human remains were also found at the scene.

Johnson said he couldn't immediately determine if the men survived the impact. The men, who took off from Fremont County Airport in Canon City, were last heard from after refueling in Kremmling April 7.

A recovery team and National Transpiration Safety Board investigators were expected to hike to the site on Saturday.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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