Second pilot attempted landing before Roy neighborhood crash

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ROY -- Sunday night's plane crash into a Roy neighborhood came shortly after another aircraft tried unsuccessfully to land at Ogden-Hinckley Airport -- twice -- before diverting to Utah County.

Contract commercial pilot Steve Lindquist was flying a 10-seat Cessna from Oakland to Ogden. While making his initial approach, he says the sky above the Ogden-Hinckley was clear, but that changed.


"There was just a very heavy layer of low-lying fog," he said.

Lindquist said the problem was poor visibility. He and his co-pilot decided that, even though they had the necessary training and high-tech equipment to make a landing into Ogden-Hinckley Airport, it wasn't worth the risk.

"We just had some bad weather, and fog just really changes quickly," said airport manager Ed Rich.

Just before Clayton Roop crashed a Cessna 210 in the neighborhood near 2000 West and 4300 South in Roy Sunday evening, a pair of other planes also tried to land but decided to try other airports.

Lindquist was the co-pilot of one of those planes, a Cessna Citation SII.

"We did not have visual contact with the airport, so we executed the missed approach procedure," he said.

That means because they couldn't see the runway, with visibility at three-quarters of a mile and 200 feet altitude, they turned off and tried again.

"It's heads-up flying," Lindquist said. "And it's precise, and it can wear on you after a couple of them."

After a second unsuccessful try, he and his co-pilot flew to a clear-skied Provo.

"As Clint Eastwood used to say, a man's got to know his limitations. Mine's two," Lindquist said.

Though he does not want to speculate on what happened on the plane that crashed, Lindquist says there are minimum visibility requirements for instrument landing procedures, and visibility had been going up and down.

"It was still above minimums when we started our first approach, but had gone down during the approach," he said.

Pilots who use Ogden-Hinckley Airport say it has a good reputation.

"Very well organized airport, very safety conscious as well," said helicopter pilot Landon Bennion.

Rich says considering the number of planes that fly there, the airport has a solid safety record compared with other airports over the last 20 years -- despite four crashes into a nearby neighborhood.

"I would say it's at least average and maybe above average," he said. "We have about 100,000 takeoffs and landings a year, so over that period we've had a couple million takeoffs and landings, so it's not too bad."

Several pilots say many if not most airports they use were once surrounded mostly by farmland, but sprawl, homes and business have moved in nearby. They say flying directly over development is just a modern reality.


Story compiled with contributions from John Daley and Paul Nelson.

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