Aviation officials calling Bear Lake plane crash report a hoax

The Federal Aviation Administration says a report of a downed single-engine aircraft in Utah or Wyoming was an apparent hoax. Sheriff’s deputies in Unita County, Wyo., say they’re not ready to call it that. But they can’t find a downed plane and have called off a search. Sheriff’s Lt. Tom Saprony says a man who said he was a pilot flying to Evanston, Wyo., told authorities Wednesday afternoon he crashed into a waterway – possibly Utah’s Bear Lake. No plane was found there or at any other lake that authorities checked in Utah or Wyoming. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus says there is no radar, emergency beacon signal or confirmation from another person about a plane going down in the region. Fergus calls the report an apparent hoax. Search and Rescue Operations were called off Wednesday evening. Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry says based upon reports from the FAA there was no plane in that area unaccounted for. Lee says crews from Rich County and Lincoln County, Wyoming combined efforts in the search. The call originally came into the Lincoln County dispatch center from the supposed pilot reporting his plane went down in a frozen body of water. Lee says all bodies of water around the area were searched and produced nothing. He says until the investigation is complete they will focus on the source of the phone call.

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