An investigation into the Jan. 9 plane crash on the Warm Springs Reservation has revealed that only one person perished – not two occupants as originally reported.
"Although the original flight plan indicated two persons on board, the pilot, who was identified as Richard Boehlke, 72, was the only person in the aircraft," said Warm Springs Police Lt. Ron Gregory. "This was confirmed through video at the originating airport and later through DNA testing on the remains."
The Portland pilot had departed from Troutdale en route to Boise, Idaho, when the Cessna Citation 560 passenger jet, which was capable of transporting up to 11 passengers, went down. The crash occurred in the Mutton Mountains area just inside the Wasco County border.
The official cause of the crash has not been released.
"FAA did confirm that during his last transmissions, it sounded like Boehlke was slurring his words, possibly indicating some sort of medical issue, but nothing beyond that has been confirmed," Gregory said.
Warm Springs Tribal Police Department was involved in the recovery of the remains, and the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board took over the main investigation. Gregory said the FAA recovered the cockpit, voice recorder and data recorders. NTSB recovered the airplane parts.
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