BOWIE — A Maricopa County man perished in the crash of a single engine plane Oct. 19, north of Bowie.
Michael Peterson, 68, of Aguila, was reportedly en route to an event in Texas when the crash occurred, said Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
The National Transportation Safety Board had a recovery crew remove the wreckage at about 4 p.m. Friday. Both the NTSB and FAA will continue the investigation, Capas said. Cause of the crash has not yet been released.
The Flight Safety Foundation website, www.flightsafety.org., described the plane Peterson was flying as an “experimental Peterson-built Legacy 2000.” The plane "experienced an apparent stall/spin and subsequent impact with desert terrain,” and sustained “substantial damage,” the website stated, also reporting that its sole occupant — the pilot — had been fatally injured.
Louise Walden, with Walden Aviation, who manages the Cochise County Airport in Willcox, told the Range News the plane had been flying from California to Texas when it crashed. It had taken off from the Gila Bend Airport that morning.
The Sheriff's Office received the call at 9:23 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, about the crash north of I-10, near milepost 355. The caller reported seeing the plane one minute; the next, it was gone.
Using the Sheriff’s Office’s Geronimo helicopter, deputies located the downed aircraft in a remote part of Bowie, inaccessible by anything other than a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
It’s the second fatal plane crash in southeastern Arizona in the past two months. On Sept. 5, an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet crashed near Fort Thomas, killing its pilot.
The pilot was a member of the Iraqi Air Force, training with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing in Tucson.
A similar training exercise became fatal in 2015, when an Iraqi pilot, also training with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, crashed near Douglas.
David Bell contributed to this story.