Engine failure is suspected in the plane crash that took the life of Payson pilot and businessman Shane Owens Sunday, May 25.
At about noon May 25 authorities of the Navajo Tribal Police Department contacted the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to advise that a private airplane had crashed on the Navajo Reservation. The officers advised the crash site was within the jurisdictional boundaries of Coconino County and involved the death of a non-native victim.
Two Coconino County Sheriff's Detectives responded to an area north of Bird Springs and west of Tolani Lake where the airplane was located one mile inside the eastern border of Coconino County. Investigation revealed the wreckage was discovered and reported by an area rancher. Kermeth Shane Owens, 40, of Payson was the pilot and sole occupant of the homemade, single engine, two-seat airplane.
Detectives learned that Owens departed the Payson Airport early on Sunday morning with an intended destination of Blanding, Utah. When he did not arrive as expected, his friends in Blanding called the Payson Airport to determine departure time and the aircraft's status. Owens' friends, who owned a private airplane, conducted an unofficial air search between Blanding and Payson.
Owens was pronounced dead at the scene resulting from injuries he sustained during the crash.
Friends of Owens told the Roundup they were advised engine failure is the suspected cause of the crash