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Deputies identify pilot killed in Antelope Island plane crash

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ANTELOPE ISLAND STATE PARK -- The Davis County Sheriff's Office has identified the man killed in an Antelope Island plane crash as 37-year-old Kirk Babbitt of Stansbury Park.

Investigators say the plane took off Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. from Tooele. Babbitt was on its way to Skypark Airport in Woods Cross and was supposed to e-mail his wife once he got in the air. When she hadn't heard from him by 9:30 a.m., she reported him as missing.

Search and rescue crews set out looking, hoping for the best. Emergency vehicles were on hand to tend to the injured, but not long after the discovery of the small aircraft, investigators found Babbitt's body.

The plane went down on the west side of Antelope Island in the rugged and steep terrain near Frary Peak. "Right now we have search and rescue teams that are being ferried in. They have to go to a landing zone, and then there's about 100-yard hike down to the crash site," Davis County sheriff's Lt. Brad Wilcox explained early Tuesday evening.

The aircraft was a Zodiac homemade plane. Investigators say it was still in one piece when it was found, and they believe the pilot had the capability to call for help.

"I would imagine it has radios, two-way radios, so that they can communicate with air traffic control. But whether or not they did, I don't know," Wilcox said.

There was little information Tuesday night on what may have caused the plane to go down, but investigators believe Babbitt was killed on impact.



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Whit Johnson


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