Photo by John F. Russell
Investigators and firefighters work near the wreckage of a small plane that ran off the runway at Steamboat Springs Airport shortly after 11 a.m. this morning. Airport Manager Mel Baker, who was at the scene, said there were no injuries to the pilot or his two passengers.
Updated July 3, 2009 at midnight
Steamboat Springs A small, fixed-wing airplane crashed after an aborted landing Thursday morning at Steamboat Springs Airport, but neither the pilot nor the two passengers were injured.
Anne Small, risk manager for the city of Steamboat Springs, confirmed the pilot was with two children on the plane.
The pilot and children were checked by paramedics on scene but were not transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center, Small said.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Capts. Bob DelValle and Joel Rae identified the pilot as Wayne Lemley, who has a Steamboat Springs address. Contacted by phone Thursday, Lemley declined to talk about the crash.
Responders initially were dispatched to the airport shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday. Airport Manager Mel Baker said the aircraft was coming in for a landing, but the pilot attempted to do a "go around" - whereby the landing is aborted so the pilot can circle around and try again. Baker said he wasn't sure why the pilot attempted to abort the landing.
The airplane then crashed into a small gully on the western side of the airport.
Small said the airport was temporarily closed after the crash but reopened by 12:15 p.m. Thursday because the airplane was not blocking any runways.
The plane, a Mooney M20M single-engine plane, has registration pending to an unnamed individual with a Steamboat Springs address, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site. Small confirmed that the airplane is based in Steamboat.
The nose and tail of the small plane were damaged in the crash, but its cabin appeared to remain intact. Small said the plane likely was totaled in the crash.
Small said Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue responders plugged several holes where the aircraft was leaking fuel. She said hazardous materials teams determined they did not need to respond, and there was no fire visible in the wreckage.
The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct the crash investigation. Small said NTSB investigatos will arrive in Steamboat today.