Forest Service officials discuss possible removal plans for downed plane on Mount Hood
The cause of the Jan. 29 aircraft crash that preceded the death of Battle Ground man George Regis, 63. on Mount Hood is still being investigated.
With the help of Hood River County Sheriff, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Mt. Hood National Forest officials are discussing how best to remove the debris of the downed plane, which remains near Eliot Glacier, on the north side of Mount Hood.
Regis was last seen leaving the Grove Field Airport in Camus, Wash. on Jan. 25, and was reported as missing by his wife on Jan. 28. He was later pronounced deceased by Hood River Sheriff's Office officials on Jan. 29, after a pilot from the Civil Air Patrol pilot flew over the scene and confirmed the plane belonged to Regis from the tail number.
The safety board and FAA continue to assess aviation safety issues through their investigation.
The plane landed in a high-altitude area of steep snow-covered terrain, which could complicate extraction of the aircraft. Because of the remote nature of the site, the operation would likely be dangerous and require the enlisting of both Forest Service professionals and contracted experts.
"Our first priority is the health and safety of those involved in the removal operation; the risks to personnel outweigh the benefits for aircraft removal during the winter season and the hazardous weather that accompanies it," the Forest Service said in a statement.
"The Mt. Hood National Forest will form a team in the spring to assess the situation and develop options for the retrieval of the aircraft. At that time, Forest Service leadership will consider the recommendations and then issue a decision on how best to move forward. The employees of the Mt. Hood National Forest extend their condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Regis."