TELLURIDE, Colo. — A United Airlines pilot and his new wife were killed four days after their wedding when their private plane crashed Monday in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
The bodies of Costas John Sivyllis, 30, and Lindsey Vogelaar, 33, of Port Orange, Florida, were recovered Tuesday from the crash site in Ingram Basin, east of Telluride, the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“The two had eloped to Telluride for a small wedding, held Oct. 1, and (an) adventure-filled honeymoon that they were documenting online for their friends and families to follow,” San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said. “Both worked in the airline industry; he was a United Airlines pilot and a flight instructor.”
Upon learning of the crash Monday evening, deputies and rescue crews began high-altitude, low-level helicopter operations. The operation soon turned to one of recovery after it was determined that both Sivyllis and Vogelaar had been killed.
Masters said the Beechcraft Bonanza plane Sivyllis and Vogelaar were piloting left Telluride Airport at 12:45 p.m. Monday. It crashed 10 to 15 minutes into the flight.
The couple was headed back to Florida, with one stop planned in Oklahoma to refuel.
The National Transportation Safety Board is heading the investigation into the crash.
“Sheriff Masters extends his personal condolences, and those of the entire rescue team, to the victims' families,” the statement said.
Family members and friends mourned the couple on social media, where photos showed the gorgeous mountain views that served as a backdrop for Sivyllis' and Vogelaar’s nuptials. In one image, Sivyllis appears to be putting a banner saying “Just Married” in a window of the plane the couple was traveling in.
“As many of you know, my beautiful sister, best friend, and the most gorgeous bride passed away yesterday with her handsome, most cheerful husband in a plane crash,” Vogelaar’s sister, Courtney Vogelaar, wrote on Facebook. “They were married for four days, and they loved each other with all of their heart and soul.”
Vogelaar wrote that she had planned to live with her own husband near her sister and brother-in-law in Florida so they could “raise (their) babies together and grow old by each other.”
“Our hearts are aching more than I can ever explain,” she wrote.
Steven Lloyd, a friend of the couple, wrote that Lindsey Vogelaar met her future husband on a layover in Birmingham, England. That meeting was life-changing, he said.
“Costas was the best kind of guy you’d ever want to meet,” Lloyd wrote. “He possessed all the talent and swagger imaginable to become one of the best captains ever. He loved his job as a first officer on the 757 so much.”
Vogelaar, who Lloyd once roomed with in Newark, described her as “incredibly intelligent, multilingual, cute as hell and so much fun to have a drink with.”
“For such a tragedy to happen to such a perfect couple is hard to understand,” Lloyd wrote. “But I accept it. I bless it. I express my gratitude for the gift of being part of their journey, and (them) mine.”
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