MONTROSE COUNTY, Colo. — A pilot miraculously walked away after his aircraft went down in Montrose County, the sheriff's office announced Monday.
Sometime Sunday morning, the Montrose County Sheriff's Office received information that a pilot in a private aircraft declared an emergency over the radio. The pilot said his aircraft was going down west of Montrose.
Another private aircraft heard the radio communication and flew over the area in hopes of finding the downed aircraft, according to the sheriff's office. The pilot was able to locate the downed aircraft, a 2010 Zenith CH 750, upside down in the snow on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Contact was made with the pilot, who was the sole occupant, and rough coordinates were identified, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities responded to the area, as Care Flight of the Rockies launched to help locate the downed aircraft from the air.
Care Flight was able to locate the aircraft and dropped snowshoes to the pilot, who was later identified as 63-year-old Randy Boykin. Care Flight then landed nearby.
Boykin did not sustain any life-threatening injuries, according to the sheriff's office, and was able to walkout to Care Flight. He was 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.”
According to the sheriff's office, Boykin later said his aircraft suffered a mechanical issue, which caused him to crash after losing power.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are conducting a crash investigation, per protocol.