By Mark Davis
Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange 

Plane crash kills couple


July 21, 2022

POWELL — A plane went down in the Bighorn Mountains Thursday afternoon, reportedly killing a Georgia couple traveling through the West and igniting a fire in a hard-to-access area of the Bighorn National Forest.

The small plane left Powell around noon on July 14, scheduled to land in Buffalo. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received a call from air traffic control in Salt Lake City, Utah, reporting the missing aircraft. Upon receiving the call, sheriff’s office dispatch called the local airport and verified that the plane did not reach its destination.

Later that evening, the sheriff’s office received a report from the U.S. Forest Service that their firefighters had been called to a fire and located the wreckage near the Middle Fork of Rock Creek in a remote area of the forest.

The fire was detected approximately 2.5 miles southeast of Willow Park Reservoir on the Powder River Ranger District, according to forest officials. The fire was about 1 acre in size in the headwaters of Middle Rock Creek. District employees hiked into the fire with suppression efforts aided by a “load of smokejumpers” out of West Yellowstone and a Wyoming State Helicopter, forest officials reported.

The plane crash was cited as the cause of that fire.

Sheriff’s office officials, Johnson County Search and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, and the Johnson County Coroner’s Office met the following day with Forest Service firefighters to gather details about the wreckage.

“Witnesses from the Forest Service stated that there were no survivors and remains were unidentifiable,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release Saturday. “Because of the time, remote location, an active fire in that area, hazardous conditions and access to the area would most likely be on foot, it was decided that a team would be sent early the following morning,” the report said.

Saturday a team left Buffalo at 5:30 a.m. to the crash site. The team arrived on foot at the crash site at approximately 9:30 a.m. They reported that there were no identifiable markings on the aircraft and there were no survivors.

The remains of the victims were transported from the crash site to the Johnson County Coroner’s Office for possible identification.

The flight was not listed in online flight planning applications, but the death of a well-known northeast Georgia couple in the plane crash of a Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion in the Bighorn National Forest, was announced by the Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, Georgia Saturday.

Charles “Charly” Schell and Kelli Taylor Schell owned the club.

“It is with profound sadness and heavy heart that we announce the untimely passing of Charly and Kelli Schell. The love Charly and Kelli shared for Hartwell and its community inspired the purchase of Cateechee in 2017. Cateechee has provided special memories for many of us, and we will continue the legacy that Charly and Kelli paved; and the business model that embraces the community,” the club said in the announcement.

Charles Schell was the Chief Executive Officer of Bison Advisors, an investment advisers firm based in Hartwell. He founded Bison and Armis Advisers after leaving Forge Consulting, which he co-founded in 2003, according to LinkedIn.

The two were known for “extensive work with charities and contributions to the community,” according to the announcement.

The couple founded Toughest Kids, Inc., a charity to help Goldstar children finding themselves in less than ideal circumstances, the Apache Warrior Foundation announced on Facebook Sunday.

“I cannot think of another couple who touched more lives or gave of themselves without end like these two did,” said friend of the family, Allison Didier.

The sheriff said the investigation is ongoing and additional details will be released as they became available.

This story was published on July 19, 2022.


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