Body of Aspen-bound pilot found near Idaho Springs

Naomi Havlen

The wreckage of a small plane bound for Aspen and the body of its pilot were found in Clear Creek County on Thursday afternoon.Brian Robinson, 29, of Denver had left Centennial Airport for Aspen to pick up another plane, said his fiancee, Nicole Vette. He was an experienced pilot who had flown corporate jets and regularly flew over the Colorado mountains, she said. Robinson was the only person onboard.The Cessna 182 was in steep terrain between Idaho Springs and Central City, according to Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger.Maj. Stephen Blucher, a spokesman for the Civil Air Patrol, said eight planes were dedicated to the search effort on Thursday, flying over Robinson’s likely route in hopes of spotting the wreckage. About 20 people were also at the air patrol’s mission headquarters, keeping track of the search planes and manning the phones for leads.”If an airplane goes down in the mountains in the trees, it can be extremely difficult to find,” Blucher said. “What you’re actually looking for is broken trees, or something glinting in the sun that shouldn’t be.”The planes searched a number of locations before the Cessna 182 was found. Blucher said search teams looked in the area around Conifer, because it’s within the direct line of Robinson’s typical route to Aspen. But because there was inclement weather in that area on Wednesday, search teams also looked along the I-70 corridor between Golden and Idaho Springs.”It’s way north of his normal route, but sometimes pilots will move over if the weather is questionable,” he said. “He may have wanted to fly over a canyon with an express way in it.”In addition, a friend of Robinson’s in the Aspen area attempted to search east of town in a helicopter, but found that the weather was too windy and had to land, Blucher said.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is The Associated Press contributed to this report.