FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Plane Crash Near Telluride Kills Two including pilot “Glider Bob”
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
August 24, 2016 – (Telluride, CO) – Two people are dead following a fixed-wing, motorized-glider crash in the Telluride Ski area Wednesday afternoon.
Well-known Telluride local “Glider Bob” (Robert B. Saunders), 64, was piloting the aircraft when it went down for an unknown reason in Prospect Basin in the Telluride Ski area around 2pm Wednesday. The other victim, a Colorado man, was the only passenger in the aircraft.
San Miguel Sheriff’s Office Dispatch was contacted at 2:11pm with reports of a possible aircraft crash. Sheriff’s Deputies and Telluride Fire Protection District EMS were dispatched. Telluride Ski and Golf (Telski) employees, who were working in the area and had seen the aircraft earlier, responded when they heard what they thought sounded like crash, and confirmed the event to Deputies.
First responders reached the two victims, who were both found pulseless and attempted life-saving measures, but they were unsuccessful.
Sheriff Bill Masters said, “This is a terrible tragedy and an enormous loss for the families as well as the entire Telluride community. Telluride has lost another great one.”
Sheriff’s Deputies and the San Miguel County Coroner secured the scene and along with Search and Rescue personnel and Telski employees, removed the victims.
Deputy Chris White said, “It was a tragic scene and one that because of the location and terrain, was difficult to access and secure.”
“Glider Bob” was the owner and operator of “Glide Telluride” offering year-round glider rides soaring 14-15,000 feet around the region out of the Telluride Regional Airport. According to his website, he has been flying Stemme Motorgliders since 1997.
Sheriff’s Deputies and the San Miguel County Coroner are investigating the scene. The NTSB has been notified of the incident. The USFS has also been notified as the crash occurred on USFS land.
Deputies ask that people stay away from the scene to protect it for investigative purposes.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.