ASPEN — Two men from New York were found dead in a small plane that crashed near Aspen, authorities said Sunday.

The bodies of Ruben Cohen and David Zara were found in a Beechcraft Bonanza in the Midway Pass area after a search, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The search was launched Sunday after a friend of one the men on board reported that their plane had taken off from Aspen the day before but never arrived in Des Moines, Iowa as planned.

After the search area was identified near Midway Pass, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) east of Aspen, volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen looked for the plane on the ground with help from a helicopter from the Colorado Army National Guard High-Altitude ARNG Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, the sheriff’s office said. The wreckage was spotted around 5:30 p.m. The helicopter was able to land at the crash site and the bodies were recovered, the sheriff’s office said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the crash.