ASPEN, Colo. (KDVR) — A fiery plane crash at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport killed one person and injured two others Sunday afternoon, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The pilot of the twin-engine jet earlier reported high winds during a previous attempt to land, according to a recording of the air traffic control radio transmission.The crash occurred about 12:23 p.m. as they came in for another try.
“Missed approach, N115WF. 33 knots oftail wind,” the pilot is heard saying a few minutes before the crash.
The aircraft flipped over on impact and became fully engulfed in flames, police said.
PCSO identified the dead man as co-pilot Sergio Emilio Carranza Brabata, 54. Brabata was a native of Mexico.
The three victims, all pilots, were the only people on board. The two survivors, whose names were not released, suffered “moderate to severe” traumatic injuries. The injuries were not thought to be related to fire, PCSO said.
The airport was closed until further notice.
According to the flight tracking website flightaware, the craft was a 1994 Canadair Challenger twin-engine business jet on a flight from Tucson, Ariz.
“Right now, we have no indication that there was anything wrong prior to landing. However, we do have investigators onscene,” PCSO spokesman Alex Burchetta said.
The National Transportation Safety Board “Go Team” was expected in Aspen to investigate the crash.
Multiple witnesses tweeted about seeing the accident. Celebrities Kevin Nealon and LeAnn Rimes Cibrian were both apparently in the area.
Many pilots consider the airport a challenging destination due to the surrounding mountains. A private jet crash at the airport in 2001 killed all 18 people aboard.