Jerry Don Greene, 49, of Hermleigh, and Tracy Martinez, 30, of San Angelo were killed in the crash. Greene's dog was also killed.
"He wasn't a risk taker. Just an excellent, real safe pilot," said Randy Owen, who owns the hangar next to Greene's at Winston Field.
Greene, who ran his own business in Snyder, was killed when his Cessna 182 crashed in the northeast corner of the Mescalero Apache Reservation between Ruidoso and Roswell.
"He left here going to Ruidoso and he never did arrive there," said Rodger Sullenger, the manager at Winston Field.
Sullenger said Greene took off from the airport Saturday.
"They found his aircraft on the side of a mountain about ten o'clock this morning," he said.
A family member said Greene was informed of windy and snowy conditions and told the Ruidoso airport control tower he'd be turning around.
"I think out in Ruidoso if you get into a real cloudy or foggy situation, it's just easy to get messed up," Sullenger said.
No flight plan had been filed, so a search for Greene didn't start until a family member reported him missing Tuesday.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.