CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Investigation of fatal accident at Provo airport includes witness statements

Jan 25, 2023, 7:00 PM
Photo from the National Transportation Safety Board investigation into a fatal crash at the Provo airport. (Photo credit: National Transportation Safety Board)
(Photo credit: National Transportation Safety Board)

PROVO, Utah — A report released today on a crash that killed one man at the Provo airport describes the series of events that lead to the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in its report that the fatal accident occurred on Jan. 2, 2023, around 11:35 a.m.  At the time the pilot sustained fatal injuries. two passengers suffered serious injuries, and another passenger sustained minor injuries. 

According to a witness removing snow from the ramp area at the airport, the aircraft remained hangered until 10:55 a.m. Then, a witness fueling the plane recalls it moving to the ramp. 

Once on the ramp, the fueler repositioned his truck and began to refuel the airplane with 350 gallons of Jet-A. The witness accounts the pilot mentioning wanting to leave before poor weather. 

Before the plane positioned for take-off, the fueler completed a once-over of the aircraft.

During the once-over, he noticed unfrozen water droplets on the wings. Afterwards, the plane began to taxi past the fuelers location, and the witness watched the aircraft begin to take-off. 

He told investigators the aircraft appeared to “pull up steep,” roll to the left, and the left wing impacted the ground. Medium to light snow and a misty rain came down at the time of the crash the witness added. 

Additional witnesses said the airplane ascended 20 to 30 feet above the ground and the wings wobbled left and right as the left wing struck the ground. 

“Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the runway surface about 2,626 ft from the approach end of runway 13 and about 20 ft left of the runway centerline,” read the report. 

Related reading: Provo airport will remain closed after fatal crash

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Investigation of fatal accident at Provo airport includes witness statements