A twin-engine private airplane crashed shortly after attempting to take off from Grand Canyon National Park Airport Wednesday afternoon. The pilot and three passengers on board the plane all survived.
Sheriff’s deputy Aaron Dick takes a look inside the cockpit window during an investigation of the accident scene while Jim Coffey looks on.
The plane, an Aero Commander 500-B, came to rest about one mile beyond the south end of the airport’s runway 21. It was registered to an owner from California.
The four people on board were taken to Flagstaff Medical Center, three via helicopter and one by ground ambulance. The National Park Service reported all four adults were "alert and oriented" upon emergency personnel’s arrival.
Jim Coffey of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said the airplane crashed at approximately 5:20 p.m., in the Rain Tank area of Kaibab National Forest. The site of the accident was not far from where an airport emergency plane crash drill was staged this past fall.
Based on the crash scene, it appeared the plane hit the ground, skidded several feet and spun around as the nose and tail ended up opposite each other.
Airport firefighters were quickly on scene and they doused the plane with a chemical foam as a precautionary measure. The plane did not catch fire.
National Park Service search-and-rescue personnel were also on the scene and coordinated the air ambulance operation. Kaibab National Forest, Tusayan Fire Department and Department of Public Safety personnel also took part in the effort.
As is the case in all plane crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash.