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For the week of Nov. 3, 1999 through Nov. 9, 1999

Stanley pilot, three hunters killed in backcountry plane crash

Express Staff Writer

A Stanley pilot and three hunters from Maryland were killed Sunday when their small plane crashed in the mountains near Challis.

According to a press release from the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office in Salmon, the Cessna 206, owned by Stanley Air Taxi, went down while attempting to land at the Triple Creek Ranch on Snowshoe Creek. The ranch is located in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness about 25 miles northwest of Challis.

The pilot was identified as Eric Stenerson, 25, of Stanley, a former resident of Portland, Ore.

A memorial service for Stenerson is planned at 11 a.m. today in Stanley at the Sawtooth Mediation Chapel.

The hunters were identified as Wilmer D. Elliott, 53, Coulbourn N. Dykes, 52, and William T. Pryor, 53, all of Salisbury, Md.

The press release said ranch owner Frank Giles reported that he saw the plane approach about 9:30 a.m., turn into a canyon and vanish. It said the plane was located by an emergency locator transmitter.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office in Challis reported that it was notified of the incident about 10 a.m. Custer County Sheriff Micky Roskelley and a Challis Volunteer Ambulance EMT were flown to the crash site by a Forest Service helicopter shortly thereafter, according to a Custer County Sheriff’s Office press release. They found the plane still burning and determined that all occupants of the plane were dead, the release said.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were at the crash scene yesterday to begin an investigation of the accident. They were scheduled to be back at their regional office in Seattle last night.

A spokesman for the NTSB said the agency investigates all non-military plane crashes. He said investigations usually take six to eight months.


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