Plane wreckage on Rabbit Ears airlifted from crash site
Steamboat Springs — A helicopter working with the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday afternoon successfully recovered the wreckage of the single-engine Piper Arrow that crashed Saturday on Rabbit Ears Pass, killing two people.
The recovery of the plane followed an inspection of the crash site by investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board.
A preliminary investigation report from the NTSB is expected to be released in the coming days.
At about noon, a chopper lifted the fuselage of the single-engine Piper Arrow and airlifted it from the crash site to a trailer off of Forest Service Road 302.
The plane’s wings were detached and the front of the fuselage of the plane was significantly damaged.
NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said the plane was being transported to a secure facility for further examination.
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said Tuesday morning that the recovery of the aircraft would involve clearing some trees in the area.
He said the recovery could have been more complicated had the plane crashed in the nearby Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area, potentially preventing the use of heavy machinery in the effort.