Three pilots from Arizona were killed over the weekend when their single-engine plane crashed minutes after taking off from the Colorado ski town of Telluride.
Killed were Sherry Anderson, 57, and Sherman Anderson, 64, of Phoenix, and Eric Durban, 48, of Mesa, Ariz., the San Miguel County sheriff's office said in a statement on Monday.
The Andersons were both commercial pilots, while Durban is described as an accomplished former military pilot, according to the sheriff's office.
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Their bodies were recovered from the wreckage Monday, according to The Associated Press
The private Beechcraft Bonanza took off from Telluride Regional Airport at 11:20 a.m. Sunday on its way to Cortez, a city in southwest Colorado about 75 miles away, San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said in a statement. The wreckage was found in a cliff band about a mile west of the airport six hours later after an intense search by deputies and the Civil Air Patrol.
A photo of the wreckage tweeted by Masters on Monday shows the charred fuselage of the plane with the wings largely intact. Deputies had previously confirmed there were no survivors.
"This is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for. It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," Masters said.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. There was light snow, with visibility of one mile and light winds during takeoff, Masters said.
The last communication with the pilot was from the Telluride runway during takeoff, he said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident, Gregor said.
Telluride is in southwest Colorado, about 300 miles from Denver.
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