KSL Investigates: 71 plane crashes in Utah since 2017

KSL Investigates: 71 plane crashes in Utah since 2017


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ODGEN — Following the fatal plane crash in a Roy townhouse community, KSL Investigators looked through data to determine which airport in Utah has seen the most crashes from January 2017 to November 2019.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Utah had 71 plane crashes between January 2017 and November 2019.

The types of crashes varied from hard landings to fatal crashes.

The KSL Investigates team analyzed the data to look at the origin airports of these crashes. Spanish Fork Airport had the most with eight crashes. Only one was fatal, where a man intentionally flew his plane into his own home and died in the crash.

Ogden-Hinckley Airport was next, with seven crashes. In the last three years, six people have died in crashes originating from the Ogden airport, including an incident where a plane carrying four people crashed onto Interstate-15 in 2017.

Another fatal crash happened in January 2018, when two men crashed into the Great Salt Lake. Their plane and bodies were missing for more than two weeks.

J. Randy McKnight Nephi Municipal Airport showed five crashes, including one fatal crash from July 2019. In that incident, an experimental glider plane crashed near Ephraim in Sanpete County, killing both men on board.

Salt Lake City, Hurricane, and Moab all had four crashes in that time period.

A resident and member of the Roy townhome’s homeowner’s association, Rob Simpson, said after recent plane crashes nearby, his neighbors feared something like Wednesday’s crash could happen closer to them. He has pushed for more protection for his community.

”There needs to be more checks and balances, because you are talking about lives here,” he said.

Aviation expert Michael Mower said Ogden, like many cities in Utah, has homes and businesses very close to its airport.

“The city has grown up around that airport, and now people are saying, ‘Well, there are airplanes flying over my house,'” he said. “Well, the airport was there before your house was.”

He thinks one solution could be to cut back on development in the area around airports.

“In areas where aircraft are flying low (and) landing, they are taking off, and that’s where I think lawmakers could really help out,” Mower said.

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Brittany Glas
Cindy St. Clair
Ashley Moser
Ashley Moser joined KSL in January 2016. She co-anchors KSL 5 Live at 5 with Mike Headrick and reports for the KSL 5 News at 10.


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