Sep 15, 2012 1:05 PM by Associated Press
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - The Civil Air Patrol says a plane missing from a flight school in Mesa since Thursday has apparently been found crashed in a box canyon northwest of Payson.
Civil Air Patrol incident commander Paul Rehman says aircraft wreckage was spotted by a Department of Public Safety helicopter crew at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The site is rugged and the helicopter could not land to verify it was the missing plane.
A Gila County sheriff's search and rescue team is headed to the site.
Rehman the chances any of the three people on board survived appear slim.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane apparently crashed into a cliff wall.
The single-engine Piper operated by CAE Global Academy left Mesa's Falcon Field Thursday afternoon headed for Winslow.