ROY — The small plane crash that killed a pilot and damaged two homes in Roy Wednesday is the fifth in the area in the last four years — a “disturbing” record that poses “a very real danger” to those who live in the city, Roy’s police chief said Thursday.
In the past, Chief Carl Merino has assured families they are safe from potential flight problems near the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, where he said a flight path traces over two Roy elementary schools, a junior high and a high school.
“I now regret making those statements, as it has become quite clear there is a safety problem for these aircraft!” Merino said in a news release.
Federal investigators Thursday were combing through wreckage as colleagues mourned the death of David Goode, the 64-year-old president of the Utah winter sports company Goode Ski Technologies. A cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports his twin-engine Cessna went down at 3:11 p.m. Wednesday toward the end of an 11 minute flight from Bountiful to Ogden. He had been cleared for landing on the runway and repeated the clearance aloud, with no further transmission after that. The agency previously said Goode told controllers “he was going down,” but its investigators later determined he had not in fact said that, spokesman Peter Knudson said.
Witnesses reported the plane looked odd just before it crashed, traveling low and slowly over northbound I-15.
Goode perished Wednesday “while taking part in one of his many passions,” his company wrote on its website.
Merino offered condolences to those close to Goode. While city leaders are thankful there have not been more deaths or injuries, “we are all beside ourselves with concern,” he said.
Wednesday’s crash was the fifth time Merino’s officers responded to a private plane plunging in the area since March 2016. All were leaving or approaching Ogden-Hinckley Airport, he said. And Goode’s was the fifth life claimed.
In 2017, a Beech A36 Bonanza crashed onto I-15 in neighboring Riverdale shortly after taking off, killing two couples on board.
Merino said he and Roy Mayor Robert Dandoy find the trend “very disturbing.”
City leaders plan to work with federal transportation officials to investigate the crashes and “find a common denominator which can be corrected to remove this danger to our citizens,” Merino said.
Bryant Garrett, the airport’s manager, called the spate of crashes “troubling but not out of the norm.” He has previously overseen runways at the Salt Lake City International Airport, and in Florida and California.
“If there was any low-hanging fruit, an easy change, we would have done it years ago,” he said. “I could promise you that the city of Ogden and myself would be willing to do whatever is needed to make things safer, but there is no easy answer.”
Garrett does not see any commonality among the crashes, except that they were coming or going from his airport. He said it hosts as many as 10,000 operations a month — either takeoffs or landings — compared to a handful of crashes.
“But it doesn’t lessen the impact when it’s your loved one,” Garrett said, noting that Goode was an “accomplished” pilot.
In November, a Piper single-engine aircraft hit a billboard along I-15 and crashed about a half-mile southwest of Ogden-Hinckley Airport shortly after taking off, critically injuring two on board. The tail number on the plane matched that of an emergency landing on I-15 near Ogden in May 2018.
Federal investigators are asking anyone who saw or documented the crash to email them at email@example.com.
Contributing: Felicia Martinez