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.

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.

No apparent injuries in small plane crash


— 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.


Kevin Nerney 7 years, 10 months ago

Thank God no one was killed or injured in this plane crash. However, what happens a few years from now when the 700 club has a couple hundred houses added to the ones in Silver Spur and a plane comes crashing down, is this going to be a repeat of the crash in Buffalo N.Y.?


aichempty 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow. This one is going to be interesting to read about.

I saw a guy in a Cessna take off a few years back during the local airshow, raise his flaps, and almost settle back onto the runway. He flew a LONG way up the valley, trying to gain enough altitude to make a turn, and finally came back on the downwind leg and wasn't seen again.

I learned about high-altitude performance in light planes going from Needles, AZ to Winslow, AZ, where I managed to get up to 10,000 feet as Mormon Lake passed below me at an elevation of around 8,000 feet. Scary. I told my passenger that if we had to make an emergency landing, I was going to make sure I totaled the plane to collect the insurance money, because I was sure I'd never be able to take off again.

These folks are lucky. Glad everyone got out okay. The airplane is totaled, by the way. They might as well cut it up with a chainsaw to make it easier to recover.


aichempty 7 years, 10 months ago

We should also consider the threat of Taliban terrorists hijacking a B-2 Spirit Bomber and crashing it into Ski Time Square.

Much more likely is the eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano, with resulting magma three feet deep flowing down Lincoln Avenue.

We can prevent this by requiring the fuel tanks of small airplanes to be filled with a mixture of concrete and expended uranium fuel pellets so they'll be too heavy to take off.

The possibilities are endless.

I already have five smoke detectors, wired into the A/C supply of the house, within 15 to 20 feet of each other, plus another one on the lower level, and a carbon monoxide detector just in case somebody leaves a pot of boiling oil on the stove when they pass out from booze and drugs.

What else can we do? Ain't the sky still falling? I keep looking up for the pieces and now my neck is hurting. Maybe I should call the fire department to sit outside with the pumper idling every time I turn on the bathroom heater.

The building inspector made me install fire blocks in every crack of my house to prevent the spread of flames, but then, what's the first thing the fire deparment does when they show up? Why, they chop a hole in the roof to let the smoke out.

Honestly, I think that if we weigh the risks based on past experience, I've got a much higher chance of being fondled in a bar than being injured by a light plane making an emergency landing on my house.

Hey, what ever happened to Gary Wall? Is he doing such a good job that nobody has anything to complain about? Who'd have thought that would happen?

A reasonable risk assessment (probability of occurrence, severity and exposure) would reveal that the Bob Adams airport poses a much greater threat to the area between Lincoln Ave and the end of the runway than to the surrounding area. Closing this airport would be a good idea, because there's a nice long runway just a few minutes away in Hayden.

People used to retort that some very important and influential people use Bob Adams field. Well, one of them did something incredibly stupid at an airport in the East and crashed a jet shortly after takeoff. The only reason to have Bob Adams open is to avoid TSA screening of activities at Hayden. This airport is the way most cocaine gets into town.

So, is everybody willing to give up cocaine in return for the reduction of risk from a plane crash? That's the real issue.


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