WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A plane leaving West Jordan’s South Valley Regional Airport crashed less than a mile after take off, killing the pilot and two passengers while critically injuring two other passengers.
The plane, which crashed into a home in West Jordan, also killed the homeowner. On Monday, police announced 72-year-old Mary Quintana died from injuries connected to the crash.
“This is a very sad thing. To lose anybody on an airplane, a child especially — and to lose someone just sitting in their house,” said John J. Nance, a veteran airline captain and aviation analyst.
“But, when you look at the statistical realities, a very rare situation. It’s like a truck leaving a highway and crashing through a house and killing somebody. It happens very very seldom,” added Nance.
ABC4 went through NTSB data to find 12 crashes in Utah so far this year:
- January 15 – Roy
- March 4 – Moab
- March 28 – Hurricane
- April 22 – Logan
- April 25- Bountiful
- May 6 – Hanksville
- May 8 – Heber City
- May 31 – Heber City
- June 24 – Liberty
- June 25 – Centerville
- July 3- Alpine
- July 25 – West Jordan
On Saturday, the Piper Cherokee 6 — which, according to Nance, is a very well-known and reliable single-engine plane — had 6 people on board, which is the plane’s capacity. He says it’s possible that, with luggage and fuel, a plane at capacity could have issues with balance or weight. Because the crash happened so close to the airport, he says, it appears the plane had issues with take off.
“One of the things that investigators look at in a situation like this is — was the airplane somehow flown outside its operating envelope? Was it too hot, was it too loaded — was there a problem with the engine, which there very seldom is,” said Nance.
Federal agencies NTSB and FAA are investigating what caused the crash.