Mont. plane crash claims Ogden man / Weber commissioner's son a victim of bad weather?

Aug 30 2010 - 11:17pm

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(Contributed photo) Jarrod Dearden, 34, of Ogden, leaves behind a wife and four children.
(ERIK PETERSEN/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle) Emergency crews gather at the site of a Monday morning plane crash near Bozeman, Mont.  The pilot, Jarrod Dearden, 34, of Ogden, is the son of Weber County Commissioner Craig Dearden and was the only person aboard the single-engine Cessna 182.
(Contributed photo) Jarrod Dearden, 34, of Ogden, leaves behind a wife and four children.
(ERIK PETERSEN/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle) Emergency crews gather at the site of a Monday morning plane crash near Bozeman, Mont.  The pilot, Jarrod Dearden, 34, of Ogden, is the son of Weber County Commissioner Craig Dearden and was the only person aboard the single-engine Cessna 182.

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- An Ogden pilot died in a Monday morning airplane crash near Bozeman, Mont.

Jarrod Dearden, 34, was piloting a Cessna 182 on the way to Bozeman.

Heavy rain was moving into the area when the plane went down, about 8:10 a.m., just 10 miles from Bozeman's Gallatin Field Airport, which was Dearden's destination, said Gallatin County sheriff's officials.

No one else was on board the single-engine plane.

Dearden is the son of Weber County Commissioner Craig Dearden, Commissioner Ken Bischoff confirmed.

Bischoff said he and Craig Dearden are good friends and he has a lot of respect for the Dearden family.

Everyone is in shock at the news of Jarrod's death, he said.

"It's pretty quiet down there right now," Bischoff said of the county offices. "There's not much you can say when something like this hits you. I know our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Jarrod Dearden and his wife, Lynette, are the parents of four children.

Dearden had borrowed the plane from his employer and was headed to Bozeman to work on a friend's aircraft, said Sean Reid, the Salt Lake City-based owner of the Cessna.

Reid said Dearden was a friend and the director of maintenance of Reid's helicopter company for the past three years.

Dearden was a very thorough mechanic who also worked on the plane that crashed. He was an experienced pilot, Reid said.

"We have no idea what happened to the plane," Reid said in a telephone interview. Dearden "was very safety conscious. That's why I can't figure out what happened."

The plane passed its annual inspection last month, Reid said.

Just before 8 a.m., visibility was 10 miles and the wind was blowing at 5 knots at the Bozeman airport, said meteorologist Michael Mercer, of the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

But within a half-hour, heavy rain was reported and visibility had shrunk to a mile, Mercer said.

An FAA investigator arrived Monday afternoon. An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board also was headed to Bozeman from California.

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