SHELL, Wyo. (AP)
Three members of Wyoming's Civil Air Patrol, out searching for a missing teen, were killed when their plane crashed in the Bighorn National Forest, authorities said Tuesday. The plane went down Monday evening as the crew searched for a teen who disappeared the day before while fishing. On Tuesday, rescuers reached the remote crash site and recovered the bodies of the crew members, said Jeanne Stone- Hunter, spokeswoman for Civil Air Patrol's Wyoming Wing. The pilot of the Cessna 182R was identified Tuesday night as Lt. Col. James Henderson, 59, of Cowley. The two passengers were Senior Member James Meyer, 53, of Sheridan; and Capt. Patricia Larson, 52, of Sheridan, Stone-Hunter said. Henderson last made radio contact with another pilot in the area at about 4 p.m. Monday, she said. The missing teen, Keith Bellack, 16, of Gillette, was found alive about an hour later, although his condition was not immediately known. The Civil Air Patrol plane left the Sheridan airport about 1:30 p.m. Monday for a two-hour search mission. When it failed to return, the Civil Air Patrol alerted the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and a search for the plane began, Stone-Hunter said. About 7:30 p.m. Monday, a U. S. Forest Service helicopter responding to reports of a wildfire spotted the wreckage. "The aircraft was destroyed by fire," said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating. FAA records show the plane was built in 1980 and registered to the Alabama Civil Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol's national headquarters is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.