Sgt. Jay Lessley, 40, of Mapleton, was killed in a plane crash Friday morning. Lessley was testing an experimental plane owned by Skycraft out of Spanish Fork. He was off duty at the time of the crash.
Responders searched for more than a half of an hour when a farmer found the wreckage of the plane in his field. The plane went down northwest of the Spanish Fork airport.
Lessley was the only person on board and authorities said he did not call for help.
Lessley was an experienced pilot and often worked search and rescue operations for the Utah County Sheriff's office. He was also a flight instructor.
"Jay is known as a very experienced and a very meticulous pilot," Sheriff Jim Tracy said. "He has flown us for several years."
Tracy said Lessley joined the department in 2004 and was promoted to Sergeant in 2011.
Over the years he built close relationships with his co-workers.
"He was well like and he had a great sense of humor," Tracy said. "He was an individual who made a difference."
Lessley is being honored by the Heroes Memorial Foundation. His Facebook page showed a picture of a badge with a mourning band across it.
Lessley leaves behind a wife and teenage daughter.