Searchers still have not determined if the airplane wreckage found last week in the Great Salt Lake matches an aircraft that went missing almost two weeks ago in Box Elder County. The Cessna 172 was carrying two occupants, the pilot 71-year-old Denny Mansell, and a passenger 74-year-old Peter Ellis.
The plane took off from the Ogden Hinckley Airport on the afternoon of December 29 and never returned. The men had told family members, they planned to fly to the Promontory area and view the trains at the Golden Spike Historical Site from the air.
Box Elder County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dale Ward said, bad weather has kept scuba divers from searching the crash site that was found last weekend under approximately 14-feet of water. He is hoping the forecast Saturday or Sunday will cooperate for searchers to dive to the wreckage.
Searchers found the crash site in the north part of the lake, after analyzing radar data from the aircraft prior to its loss of signal and following up on tips from the public. They used sonar equipment, to determine that the object was an airplane.
Ward said searchers are confident that the located object is a plane, the general size and description of the missing Cessna 172. The aircraft is red and white in color, with a registration number of N4395R.
Deputies, along with search and rescue teams have been assisted by the Utah Department of Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol, Box Elder Communications Center, Utah Division of Natural Resources, and the Weber County Scuba/Search and Rescue.
Ward said the family appreciates the public’s help and respecting their privacy during this difficult time.
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