A single-engine airplane that crashed onto the ice of Hungry Horse Reservoir left a debris field approximately 240 feet long, said Flathead County Sheriff’s Deputy Jordan White.
Wednesday’s crash about 35 miles southeast of Hungry Horse Dam killed Whitefish veterinarian Hugh Rogers on his 50th birthday.
White said it appears the plane descended onto the ice before skidding.
“The fuselage was crushed, the wings were both badly damaged,” said Jordan, Flathead County Search and Rescue coordinator. “The tail section was the only portion still intact.”
White said the plane stayed upright and did not burn. The wreckage was found early Thursday, about eight hours after a satellite picked up an emergency locator beacon near the reservoir.
Rogers’ body was removed from the crash site Thursday afternoon and taken to the state crime lab in Missoula for an autopsy, said Undersheriff Pete Wingert.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Memorial services for Rogers are scheduled at 1 p.m. on April 11 at Christ Lutheran Church in Whitefish.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.