The Kane County Sheriff’s Office on Friday identified the four men killed when their single-engine aircraft crashed during a sightseeing flight near southwestern Utah’s Zion National Park earlier this week.
All four of the victims in the Tuesday afternoon crash were from Las Vegas. They included pilot Joshua Stubblefield, 31, and passengers Chris Spircu, 44, Paul Andrews, 32, and Todd Stuntzner, 45.
The men’s identities were released Friday morning after results of Thursday autopsies and forensics testing by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office were provided to the sheriff’s office.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the four were aboard a Cirrus SR20 registered to Hunt Aviation, of Las Vegas; the plane was being rented through I Fly Elite, also of Las Vegas. I Fly Elite characterized Stubblefield as “very experienced” and the trip that day as “a non-training pleasure flight.”
The aircraft had taken off from North Las Vegas Airport for Bryce Canyon shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday. The plane’s emergency transmitter beacon activated about 12:20 p.m., providing a location for an apparent crash. Kane County sheriff’s deputies, initially frustrated in attempts to locate the plane with a ground and air search, located the wreckage and victims’ remains Wednesday morning.
FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators have visited the crash sight, but it could be months before they release their findings.