3 Die in Crash at Scottsdale Airport
Nov. 22, 1996
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ A single-engine plane coming in for a landing clipped a plane on the tarmac, lost control and veered into an empty corporate jet, killing all three aboard.
``There was so much twisted wreckage it was hard to see what's going on,'' said Colin Williams, a spokesman for Rural-Metro Fire Department.
The four-seat Mooney made contact with the runway Thursday night, then went airborne again and veered left, clipping about eight inches off the tail of a Cessna anchored to the tarmac, airport director John Kinney said. The plane then flew an additional 75 yards before slamming into the parked corporate jet.
The nose of the Mooney tore the cowling off the engine as it crunched into the side of the jet. The impact peeled most of the Mooney's roof off, although much of the tail appeared to be intact.
``It did not lose control until it was actually over the runway and it appears that the plane basically flew right into the corporate jet,'' said Steve Springborne, another Rural-Metro spokesman. ``There were no skid marks on the runway anywhere.''
Williams said later, however, that the control tower confirmed the Mooney had touched down on the runway ``for a very short time.''
Williams said the Mooney had taken off from Casa Grande, 42 miles southeast of Phoenix. The airport control tower received no report of an emergency. Weather was not a factor.
Mike Matteson was standing about 400 feet away when the plane crashed.
``It sounded fine, it looked fine,'' he said. ``It would have been nice if you were a god or something and could have picked it up and given it a little extra air.''
The bodies of the men aboard the Mooney, all from Scottsdale, were removed early today. Both the Cessna and the corporate jet, a 10-seat Canadair owned by Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp., were empty.
The most serious accident at Scottsdale Airport before Thursday's crash involved a single-engine plane that crashed and burned on takeoff during the late 1980s, Springborne said. All five passengers managed to walk away from that crash before their plane burst into flames.
Scottsdale Airport is the busiest one-runway facility in the country, according to the city's Chamber of Commerce. It is home to several charter operations and flight schools.
It was the second deadly crash at a small airport this week. On Tuesday, 14 people were killed at the Quincy, Ill., airport when a United Express commuter plane that was landing collided with a private plane that was taking off from an intersecting runway.