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Victims identified in fatal Billings plane crash

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Stephens family photo
Posted at 9:49 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 22:08:15-04

BILLINGS - Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder confirmed Monday that two people were killed and a third person was injured in a plane crash Sunday evening. Rob and Pam Stephens have been identified as the persons killed. Their son, Riley, was injured.

A statement sent to Q2 late Monday from a member of the family says Riley suffered burns on 70% of his body. He was immediately transported to a burn unit at a hospital in Salt Lake City. Monday he underwent the first of what could be many surgeries. The statement asks for prayers for the entire family.

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

Linder said the crash near Jellison and Stratton roads happened shortly after 7 p.m.

Linder said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. The NTSB and FAA have staff on scene.

Linder released this statement late Monday morning:

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.

No other information is available at this time.