3 Arizonans identified as Telluride crash victims

The victims of a plane crash Sunday west of Telluride have been identified as Sherry Anderson, 57, and Sherman Anderson, 64, both of Phoenix and 48-year-old Eric Durban of Mesa, Ariz.

The Andersons and Durban were the sole occupants of a private Beechcraft Bonanza model aircraft that crashed into a cliff band one mile west of Telluride Regional Airport.

The plane took off from the airport bound for Cortez at 11:20 a.m. Sunday in light snow and calm winds. Air traffic controllers in Telluride and Denver lost contact with the pilot after take-off and a four-hour search began for the missing plane. San Miguel County sheriff’s deputies in a contracted helicopter spotted the downed plane at 5:17 p.m. Sunday.

All three occupants were trained pilots, according to a news release from the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office. The release does not say who was piloting the plane Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Nearly a dozen personnel, aided by a contracted helicopter, began recovery efforts at the crash site at 7 a.m. Monday. 

“It’s a technical process, and given the precarious position of the aircraft, it will take some time,” San Miguel Sheriff Bill Masters said in the news release.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the Andersons have one daughter and were both commercial airline pilots. Durban was a former military pilot who leaves behind a wife and two children.


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