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Montana couple dies in plane crash; son seriously injured

Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 00:33:16-04

BILLINGS — Rob and Pam Stephens have been identified as the two people who died; their son Riley was seriously injured.

A statement sent to MTN by a family member on Monday says Riley suffered burns on 70% of his body. He was taken to a burn unit at a hospital in Salt Lake City, and on Monday underwent the first of what could be many surgeries.

Rob and Pam Stephens were owners of Billings-based Mission Aviation. The company's website says Rob was a pilot for a major airline for 30 years.

Rob (second from left) and Pam (second from right) died in a crash of a small plane near Billings on September 26, 2021. Their son Riley (far right) was seriously injured.
Rob (second from left) and Pam (second from right) died in a crash of a small plane near Billings on September 26, 2021. Their son Riley (far right) was seriously injured.

Riley is a certified flight instructor for the company, like his father. Riley graduated from Texas A&M University in 2018, but returned to continue his aviation career.



(1st REPORT, 10:06 a.m.) Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder confirmed Monday that two people died and a third person was injured in a plane crash on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

It happened near Jellison and Stratton roads shortly after 7 p.m.

Sheriff Linder said in a news release:

On Sunday, 9-26-21 at approximately 7:25 PM, emergency personnel were dispatched to the area of the Blain Airstrip south of Billings for a reported plane crash. Responders found the single-engine plane, on fire in a wooded area. It was confirmed that two individuals died at the scene and one person was transported to a local hospital for medical attention. The condition of that individual is not known at the time of this release. Sheriff’s Deputies have secured the scene until the FAA and NTSB take over the investigation.

The initial crash report from the Federal Aviation Administration states: "AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES AND CAUGHT ON FIRE"

According to the FAA, the plane was a 1964 Beech S35.

No other information has been released at this point, including the names of the people who died.

We will update you if we get more details.

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