Grand and Emery County Sheriff’s Office Press Releases
A helicopter that was reported missing Sunday has been located in the Range Creek area of Emery County. Both occupants were deceased. Recovery operations are in progress.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety began searching for a helicopter and its two occupants that were reported overdue on Sunday.
The helicopter and occupants left the area of Green River on April 6 at approximately 11:15 a.m. to search for elk antler sheds. The helicopter was reported overdue at approximately 8 p.m. that evening.
The Utah Department of Public Safety was contacted at that time and immediately began using their helicopter to assist in the search. The public safety helicopter flew that evening, using a forward looking infrared system (FLIR) to aid in the search. Officials searched until approximately midnight and resumed again Monday morning.
Surrounding counties were contacted and airports checked in those counties to determine if the aircraft may have landed within those jurisdictions. Negative contact was reported by those agencies.
The pinging of occupants cell phones had also been unproductive.
According to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office, the search resumed Monday morning with helicopter crews from DPS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Emery County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with flying the area searching for the missing helicopter Monday morning, covering the west side of the Green River and the Range Creek area.
The search for the two men ended at about 2:30 p.m. when the DPS helicopter located the crash site on the west side of Desolation Canyon in Emery County, approximately 40 river miles north of Green River. It appeared there were no survivors.
The public safety helicopter flew investigators from the Emery County Sheriff’s Office to the scene. Investigators confirmed that there were no survivors. The bodies were then recovered and transported by DPS helicopter to an Emery County off-road ambulance at 6:45 p.m.
Robin Francis Venuti, 38 of Washington, Utah was the pilot of the recovered aircraft. Passenger Albert Munoz Rubio, 36 of Beaver also perished in the crash.
The Federal Aviaiton Administration (FAA) will handle the crash investigation.