News Plane Crashes — 19 May 2017

The bodies of Brenda and Mark Richard, the Santa Rosa couple whose single-engine airplane went missing in the Sierra Nevada mountains, have been found, Sierra County Undersheriff Robert Yegge said Friday.

Yegge said the couple’s plane was reported found on May 16 and that a search crew confirmed the find at 2:30 a.m. on May 17.

“I was able to identify the plane as that of Mark and Brenda Richard,” Yegge said, adding that investigators then set out to look for the Richards, who were subsequently found.

Yegge said positive identification of the bodies was made Thursday night and an autopsy to determine cause of death is underway. He said the couple’s family has been notified of their investigation.

The couple flew out of the more than mile-high Truckee Tahoe Airport April 17 headed for Petaluma. At the time of their takeoff around 4 p.m., the temperature was 41 degrees with overcast skies and wind gusts exceeding 20 mph.

Brenda and Mark Richard

Brenda and Mark Richard

No details were immediately available about where the plane was located.

The couple were flying a white-and-blue single-engine Socata TB-20 Trinidad and were thought to have crashed in 400-square-mile stretch of backcountry in Sierra County, 18 miles northwest of Truckee. The rough location of the plane was determined by radar and cellphone data.

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