Crash investigation not yet started

Airport manager says icy patches on runway were normal


— An investigation into what led an airplane to skid off the runway at Steamboat Springs Airport on Sunday morning is yet to begin.

Senior Air Safety Investigator Arnold Scott, who is in charge of the investigation for the National Transportation Safety Board, said he doesn't plan to travel to Steamboat to look into the accident and has not yet contacted the pilot.

The airplane, a single-engine Cirrus SR22 registered to Vector Resources LLC, of Denver, skidded off the end of the runway, hit a snow bank and overturned Sunday morning.

Four people were aboard the plane, one of whom suffered minor injuries.

The accident occurred after the plane skidded while landing, attempted to do an emergency takeoff, and instead went off the end of the runway, Steamboat Springs police said Sunday.

A preliminary accident report will be available within five days, Scott said.

Airport manager Mel Baker said there were some icy patches on the runway, but conditions were not unusual for the area.

"There are icy patches everywhere in Steamboat. The runway is a groove runway. We plow the runway, and sometimes there are icy patches, just like on other roads," he said.

Baker said the airport has no immediate plans to change how the runway is cleared.

"The NTSB will look at everything, and if there's anything we can do to make the airport any safer, we'll do that," he said. "We've been doing it the same for a number of years. There are aircraft that land and take off on a continuous basis."

Scott said he has several investigations to complete before he looks into the Steamboat crash.

Scott said he was not yet able to release the name of the pilot. Messages left for the registered owner of Vector Resources were not immediately returned Monday afternoon.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail


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