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One dead in plane crash near Alcova

Alcova Reservoir on 12/26/22, largely iced over and not erupting, despite a TikTok user's claims (NCSO)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office said one person is confirmed dead after a private plane crash southeast of Alcova Reservoir on Tuesday.

A multi-agency recovery operation is now underway in the remote, mountainous terrain where the craft was located. 

The pilot was the only one aboard, NCSO Public Information Officer Kiera Grogan confirmed in a statement.

Around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, a private aircraft company alerted the Casper Public Safety Communication Center that it had lost contact with the aircraft and provided the last known coordinates, the NCSO release said.

A search and rescue operation was immediately launched using both air and ground resources. 

Fire and EMS personnel responded to an immediate staging area on Bolton Creek Road, an area near the general SAR operation.

Private search planes located an aircraft matching the description of the missing aircraft at around 7:30 p.m.

As night fell, a Wyoming Army National Guard Blackhawk Helicopter arrived to continue the search with specialized equipment. 

A command post location was then established on Kortes Road, where Fire and EMS personnel were staged.

The Blackhawk confirmed the location of a downed aircraft and transported two NCSO personnel to traverse into the heavily wooded and remote terrain. 

They arrived at the crashed aircraft, reporting one confirmed deceased individual on board.

Due to the conditions, location of the aircraft, and terrain factors, additional personnel and specialty equipment were needed for a safe recovery operation.

“Presently, recovery efforts are underway,” the NCSO said. “If you utilize Kortes Road for daily travel, you may experience short delays near Cardwell Ranch Road. If possible, please seek an alternate travel route.”

Natrona County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Natrona County Emergency Management personnel, the Natrona County Fire Protection District, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Bureau of Land Management law enforcement are all assisting.

More information will be provided in this article as it becomes available.