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2 men survive plane crash on Layton golf course

(KSL TV)


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LAYTON — Out of all the places to be on a beautiful Saturday morning, Dustin Volk wishes he wasn't inside.

Volk is the golf pro at Valley View Golf Course, 2501 E. Gentile Street. Being inside handling operations and paperwork is part of his normal, everyday job. But at about 10:30 a.m., "normal" stopped.

"Customers just came running in and said a plane crashed on the practice green," Volk said.

He went outside, saw a small airplane upside down near a sand bunker on the practice chipping green, and ran to see if those inside were OK.

"The one guy we helped get out, the passenger, he seemed to be pretty OK. The pilot was a little bit more in pain and kind of pinned," Volk said. "He had blood coming from his head. We got him unbuckled and waited for the ambulance."

Emergency crews with the Layton Fire Department took the passenger to the hospital in fair condition. The pilot was treated at the scene, released, and explained to emergency crews what happened.

"They left the Woods Cross airport this morning and flew to Logan. They had breakfast there and then started flying back," said Doug Bitton, with the Layton Fire Department. "Around 5,000 feet, they experienced difficulty."

For some reason, the engine stopped working. A witness hiking near Weber Canyon told crews he heard the plane sputtering.

Witnesses at the golf course said they didn't hear anything until the plane clipped trees near the driving range and crashed.

"So far, what we can tell is that it wasn't a mechanical problem. Our airplanes are sound, They're fine. It was most likely pilot error," said Jason Clark, who owns Bountiful Flight — the company that owns the single engine Cessna plane that crashed.

Clark said he rented the plane to the pilot, did a pre-check on it, and wants people to know the crash had nothing to do with his flight school or his flight instructors.

"We've never had an accident in the past. We never had an incident of any kind. We do more inspections on these airplanes than are even required for the FAA. We go over and above what we need to do to make sure these airplanes are safe," Clark said.

He thinks the plane ran out of gas, but he's waiting for the investigation to know for sure.

No matter what happened, though, it's amazing nobody was seriously hurt; those inside the plane and outside.

"It could have been really bad. One customer said just 5 minutes earlier, he was in the bunker hitting shots out to the chipping green," Volk said.

The FAA and the NTSB were handling the investigation Saturday.

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Alex Cabrero

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