Biplane lifts off from Cottonwood, crashes, pilot killed

STONEMAN LAKE -- A bright yellow vintage biplane that took off from the Cottonwood Airport Tuesday crashed near Stoneman Lake just after 3 p.m. that afternoon. The crash killed the pilot, but his son survived to call for help.

Edward Remiro, 32, told 911 operators that he and his father, 72-year-old Robert Remiro, had crashed and they were severely injured. The injured man described his surroundings, but was unable to identify the location of the wreck.

At 3:42 p.m., a DPS Ranger helicopter found the crash site southwest of Stoneman Lake, near the Oak Grove Tank, off Forest Road 229.

Mike Van Dyke, chief of the Montezuma-Rimrock Fire District reported that they used a four-wheel drive Suburban to reach the site, which lies within the district's jurisdiction and spotted the wreckage of the bright yellow biplane.

When they arrived, a Guardian medical helicopter had already lifted off with the younger survivor and the older man was pronounced deceased. Crews also arrived from Mormon Lake and Pinewood FD.

Van Dyke said he spoke with a witness who said he saw the plane fly overhead, sputtering badly. The biplane passed over a ridgeline and went down.

The aircraft was described as a 1943 Boeing Model E-75 fixed wing single engine aircraft. The men were flying to Holbrook from Cottonwood.

Sgt. Gerry Blair of the Coconino Sheriff's Office said both men were residents of Many Farms on the Navajo Reservation, but had been living in San Diego. It is unknown if there was any connection at all to the Cottonwood area.

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