Pilot’s body found in snow-covered terrain
An autopsy to identify and determine the cause of death of Gardnerville resident Robert Henderson “Budge” Brown Sr., 78, is scheduled for Monday, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office said Friday night.
Amador County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team members found Brown’s Lancair aircraft south of Bear River Reservoir, west of Cole Creek in rugged snow-covered terrain at about 3:45 p.m. Friday.
The aircraft was found outside the initial search area, with wreckage spread over a 300-square-yard area. The aircraft’s tail number was located among the wreckage, as were personal effects belonging to Brown, including his passport.
According to the Amador County Sheriff’s Office, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified and will conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident.
Brown’s aircraft was found two days after he took off from Minden-Tahoe Airport on a flight to Tracy, Calif. He planned to pick up a friend for a fishing trip to Mexico.
His plane was last detected over Amador County at about 3:47 p.m. Wednesday. Searchers began looking for him that evening.
Douglas County Commission Chairman Mike Olson offered his condolences to Brown’s family.
“On behalf of Douglas County, our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to Budge’s family and friends. We lost a great man who contributed so much to our community through his philanthropic efforts. We will miss him, but we will not forget him.”
Brown was a longtime contributor to Douglas County’s Relay for Life effort in honor of his wife Arlene, who died in 2005 of breast cancer.
He established the Cleavage Creek wine label which dedicated 10 percent of its proceeds to cancer research.