ALAMOSA, Colo. --
A pilot, flight nurse and paramedic heading to Alamosa were killed after their medical plane crashed in the rugged South San Juan Wilderness Area in southern Colorado Thursday night.
The fuselage of the twin-engine airplane was spotted at about 1 p.m. Friday by the crew of a C-130 military aircraft that was helping in the search for the crew.
A Blackhawk helicopter was flown in and one of its crew members was lowered to the wreckage to check on the status of the plane's crew members.
The three on board the flight were confirmed to be dead. Their identities have not been disclosed.
The plane was found in an area about 20 miles southwest of Alamosa, where an emergency locator beacon was picked up.
The plane, owned by Eagle Air Medical Ambulance, disappeared on a flight from Chinle, Ariz., to Alamosa, Colo. The plane was headed to Alamosa to pick up a patient for transport to Colorado Springs, a HealthOne spokeswoman said.
The twin-engine Beech King Air C-90A disappeared from radar at about 11:23 p.m. Thursday at an altitude of 11,700 feet. That was the last radar contact the FAA had with the plane.
"The fact that they lost radar and radio signal at the same time indicates that something bad happened," said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in Seattle.
Searchers on horseback headed into the area Friday morning and search planes from Cortez, Durango and Montrose were also called in to help. High winds and fog in the area delayed the air search Friday morning.
The search area was concentrated around Green Lake and Charlies Peak. Searchers from Rio Grande County area were also participating.
The patient the plane was to pick up in Alamosa was transported by ground ambulance to Walsenburg and then flown to Colorado Springs.
Eagle Air Med is based in Blanding, Utah. A spokesman for the company said, "We are not giving out any information at this time."
The company ordered an immediate stand-down of all its aircraft, according to the company Web site.
The company supplies air ambulance service to the Four Corners area of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, according to its Web site.
The Gallup Independent newspaper reported in May 2004 that Eagle Air Med has had a troubled past.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations withdrew Eagle Air's accreditation in December 2002, based on accidents and incidents that the company failed to report as part of its accreditation application, the newspaper reported.
The commission has withdrawn and suspended Eagle Air's accreditation at least three times since 2002, according to the newspaper.
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