GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The community of small-plane pilots on the Western Slope is a tight one and many of them have come together after the accident to mourn the loss of their friends.
But they say they take a calculated risk every time they hit the skies and go through a significant amount of training before they ever do so.
And for many, they say the innate risk is well worth the reward.
Planes, even small ones, are made to last and regular maintenance checks ensure they're always flight-ready. But sometimes, accidents do happen.
"There's always going to be accidents with everything," says pilot-in-training, Matthew Wood. "There could be somebody sitting at home in their recliner and they could have an accident pulling up their foot rest."
Wood is working towards getting his pilot's license.
"Just trying something different, I like learning new things and so anything that I can learn to help improve myself," he says.
And he says whenever he gets in the cabin, he has total confidence in his safety.
"They're less risky than getting in your car and driving to work in the morning, especially with weather like this."