The plane landed upside-down in the snow, the pilot walked away uninjured.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) – Sunday morning, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a small aircraft going down west of Montrose.
The pilot, 63-year-old Randy Boykin, was flying a private aircraft and was the only occupant onboard. Boykin declared an emergency over the radio, saying his aircraft was going down, he was overhead by another private aircraft flying nearby. The second pilot was able to locate the downed aircraft, a 2010 Zenith CH 750, which had landed upside-down in the snow on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
The second pilot was able to contact Boykin and provided rough coordinates to the downed aircraft to authorities before disengaging and flying to the Montrose Regional Airport.
The MCSO, Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse members, and members of the Montrose Fire Protection District all responded to the area of the downed aircraft via snowmobiles and a side-by-side outfitted with snow tracks.
Care Flight of the Rockies also flew out to the crash site to help locate the downed aircraft due to the remoteness of its location and the delay land crews would have in reaching Boykin.
Care Flight was successful in locating the downed aircraft and dropped snowshoes down to Boykin. Care Flight was then able to land nearby and Boykin walked out to meet them uninjured. He was later transported to his home-base airport east of Delta.
“It is incredible that the pilot only sustained minor injuries and we are extremely grateful for this outcome, as it could have been much worse,” said Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Commander Ty Cox. “Mr. Boykin did an outstanding job attempting to land the aircraft in an area free of any trees or other hazards. We are very grateful to our partners and the private pilot who overheard the initial call of distress in the successful rescue of Mr. Boykin.”
Boykin reports his aircraft had a mechanical issue causing him to crash after losing power.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration is leading the investigation into the crash.