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Bombs still missing as crews recover downed A-10

crash site July 9, 1997
Web posted at: 7:34 p.m. EDT (2334 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Air Force says recovery crews have located a major piece of wreckage from the A-10 attack jet that crashed on a Colorado mountainside last April, but the plane's 500-pound training bombs are still missing.

An Air Force spokesman said crews have found the plane's nose gun -- a 30mm Gatling gun that fires armor-piercing bullets. Since the recovery operation resumed Monday, Air Force crews have found some remains believed to be from Capt. Craig Button, the pilot of the plane.

Other remnants from the plane washed down the steep peak and collected in a pool of water about 600 feet below the impact point. The recovery operations are centered near the summit of Gold Dust Peak, a rugged remote mountain about 15 miles southeast of Vail, Colorado.

Air Force officials say they are no closer to determining why Button veered some 800 miles off course from a routine training mission and crashed into the snowy peak three months ago.

 
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