PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – The man who was killed in a small plane crash at the Provo Municipal Airport on Monday, Jan. 2, was identified by Provo Airport officials on Tuesday.
Nathan Ricks, 62, of Alpine, was reportedly killed instantly in the crash. Three passengers were on board with Ricks when the plane crashed, including his wife, 56-year-old Joyce Ricks, as well as 36-year-old Dane Margetts of Holliday and 51-year-old Brent Beardall of Sammamish, Washington.
Ricks’ family described him as a believer in new beginnings and said he saw more in people than they saw in themselves.
“We lost a beloved husband, father, mentor, friend, and leader,” his family said in a statement. “He loved life to the fullest, especially the wonderful people around the world that touched his life, and he theirs through his business pursuits. He loved Utah and was all-in on making it a better place to live, work, and play for his grandkids and Utahns alike.”
According to Provo Airport Director Brian Torgersen, Nathan Ricks was the owner, operator, and pilot of the plane at the time of the crash. Beardall, who was seated in the cockpit next to Ricks was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries but is expected to recover. Joyce Ricks and Margetts reportedly came away from the accident with minor injuries.
Torgersen said the crash occurred on Provo’s main runway, causing minor scrapes to the runway surface with most of the runway damage occurring east of the runway within the safety area.
The National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and representatives from the plane’s manufacturer are reportedly at the Provo Airport investigating the crash.
Tuesday’s plane crash shut down all air traffic to and from the Provo Airport, which was originally expected to remain closed until noon on Tuesday. In a statement, Torgensen said it is anticipated the clearance to open the airport will come no sooner than Thursday morning.
Following the investigation, Torgenson said the crash site will be cleaned and the wreckage will be appropriately documented and preserved for further investigation by a specialized aircraft recovery team.