Brumleve memorial service scheduled

Weather delays NTSB investigation of Monday's fatal plane crash

— A memorial service has been scheduled for Joe and Suzette Brumleve, a Steamboat Springs couple killed in a Monday afternoon plane crash in Moffat County.

A service will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 9 at Christian Heritage School. Pastor Kevin King, of Anchor Way Baptist Church, and Father Ernest Bayer, of Holy Name Catholic Church, will lead the service.

The Brumleves, both 67, died Monday when their single-engine plane crashed about 10 miles west of the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden. Weather conditions continue to delay a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the wreckage that is expected to reveal the cause of the crash.

"We haven't gone to the site yet because of weather conditions. When the conditions improve where we can examine the airplane in better detail, we'll be up there," said Arnold Scott, a senior air safety investigator with the NTSB. "Hopefully we'll be up there either this weekend or the first part of next week."

"With the storm and everything, it doesn't surprise me that I haven't heard from" the NTSB, Moffat County Sheriff's Office Investigator K.C. Hume said Friday.

The Moffat County Sheriff's Office is responsible for the crash site in the interim, but Hume said the Sheriff's Office isn't doing any of its own investigation and has no new information to report. Among details still unknown is whether Joe or Suzette Brumleve was piloting the aircraft; both were licensed pilots.

On Tuesday, an FAA spokesman said that all in-flight communications between the plane and air traffic control have been turned over to the NTSB, but he would not comment about what those communications revealed.

Routt County Search and Rescue personnel discovered the plane, a 1986 Piper PA-46 Malibu, at about 4:45 p.m. Monday on farmland about 2.5 miles northwest of Elkhead Reservoir. The wreckage was close to Moffat County Road 178.

The fixed-wing, six-passenger plane was inbound from Hutchinson, Kan., and overdue at YVRA. Joe Brumleve radioed in shortly before noon Monday to say he was having trouble with the plane's landing gear, but he quickly reported that everything was OK, Routt County Search and Rescue Incident Commander Dawn Alperti said Monday.

The Brumleves are survived by three daughters and two grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Joe and Suzette Brumleve Memorial Fund at Mountain Valley Bank, P.O. Box 774776, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Proceeds will be split evenly between the Yampa Valley Autism Program and Christian Heritage School.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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