Montrose man ID’d in fatal plane crash

Montrose businessman Jason Cook, 36, was identified Monday as the man who died when his single-engine Cessna 182 Skylane crashed about 2 1/2 miles northeast of Delta’s Blake Field Airport on Friday.

Cook’s plane was located by airport manager Mark Husmann after Cook failed to return to the airfield when expected, said Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee.

“When he was reported overdue, the manager of Blake Airfield went up in an airplane looking for him,” McKee said.

McKee said Husmann located Cook’s aircraft in some adobe hills, and emergency crews were called out about 5 p.m. Friday.

McKee said he didn’t know the reason for the crash, but an initial investigation showed the aircraft had fuel and its flaps were operational. Weather on Friday was cloudy and foggy, McKee said.

Cook was the plane’s sole occupant.

Cook is president of One Track Communications, a technology company that employs 20 people, according to a business-based website.

Cook had worked for nearly three years at Montrose School District as the director of technology and communications. Cook also was working with the town of Ridgway to provide a faster Internet connection to residents there.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, but a preliminary report had not been posted to its website by Monday.

Two pilots of small airplanes have crashed and died in as many weeks in the area.

Cedaredge residents were shaken up when another pilot died in a fiery plane crash within 50 yards of a rural Cedaredge home the night of Nov. 19.

The pilot of that Cessna T210M reported that the plane had lost its autopilot functions and the aircraft made a rapid descent after it attempted to turn, according to a preliminary report posted by the safety board.

The pilot departed from Torrance, Calif., and was destined for the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, the report said. His name was not released.


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