TELLURIDE - Three experienced pilots from Arizona died Sunday in a plane crash in Telluride, officials have confirmed.
The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza took off from Telluride Regional Airport at 11:20 a.m. Sunday with Eric Durbin, 48, of Mesa, Arizona, and Ahwatukee, Arizona residents Sherry Anderson, 57, and Sherman Anderson, 64, aboard.
The plane was en route to Cortez, but crashed into a cliff about a mile west of the Telluride runway. Deputies located the plane at 5:17 p.m. Sunday and confirmed there were no survivors.
San Miguel County Sheriff's Deputies began a search for the airplane at 12:40 p.m. after air-traffic control in Telluride and Denver lost contact with the plane, according to a statement. Last contact with the plane was made at Telluride Regional Airport during takeoff.
The local sheriff's office began recovery operations at 7 a.m. Monday morning and are expected to complete operations in the afternoon.
Sherry and Sherman Anderson were both commercial pilots, according to the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office. Durbin was a former military pilot.
A spokesman for the Anderson family declined to comment but released a statement:
"The family and many friends of Sherman and Sherry Anderson mourn the loss of two wonderful people, parents, and friends. Sherman and Sherry shared a deep love for aviation. It was what brought them together, was their vocation, and shared passion. They lived life to the fullest and brought joy, lots of laughter, and tremendous love to all they came in contact with. Sherman and Sherry will be missed dearly."
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