A weekend plane crash in Montana took the lives of two men, one of them a Green Valley resident, and sent another to the hospital with major injuries.
Charles E. Wolff, 67, of Green Valley, and Wayne D. Cahoon, 59, of Seeley Lake, Montana, died when a Cessna 172 aircraft they were in crashed in a heavily wooded area north of Seeley Lake Airport, according to Sergeant Robert Parcell with Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.
Wolff piloted the plane and was traveling with Cahoon and his son, Christian Cahoon, who are family friends.
Two local residents heard a plane in the area, one of them heard it sputter and both heard it crash, according to Parcell.
The Florida Air Force Rescue Coordination Center picked up a downed plane signal at about 9:50 p.m. Saturday that gave a rough location and the plane was located after a ground search at 12:52 a.m. Sunday by Missoula County deputies and Seeley-Swan Search and Rescue.
Search and Rescue was unable to use helicopters in the search due to heavy wildfire smoke in the area and because it was dark. They were able ping the cell phone of the man who survived the crash which helped in locating the wreckage.
The U.S. Forest Service assisted in the search and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration's Helena office were investigating at the scene.
Parcel expects it will be up to a year before the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board determine what caused the crash and had no theories to offer.