ROY -- As heavy rains fell Monday morning, Darrel Gamble sat in his daughter's living room, warm, dry and most of all appreciative after having cheated death, following the fiery crash near his home of an errant airplane.
"I'm most grateful that my family wasn't hurt," Gamble, who lives at 2080 W. 4350 South in Roy, said quietly. "You realize how wonderful people, police and firemen are."
Just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Gamble, his wife, Marie, and a dozen family members were finishing dinner at his home when a Cessna 210 piloted by Clayton Roop, 46, of West Haven, clipped a power pole and a blue spruce tree while attempting to land in dense fog at Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
The impact sent flaming pine needles onto Gamble's roof and sparked a massive fireball that incinerated a neighbor's yard and garage.
No one on the ground was hurt, but Roop suffered serious burns. He was listed Monday in critical but stable condition at University of Utah Hospital's Burn Trauma Center. Phone calls from the Standard-Examiner to Roop's home were unanswered.
Roop's plane departed the Hurricane airport at about 4:50 p.m. Sunday and was carrying about two hours worth of fuel when it crashed, Kurt Anderson, an air safety inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board in Seattle said Monday.
Roop filed an instrument flight plan while in the air over Tooele, he said. At the time of Roop's approach into Ogden-Hinckley Airport, maximum visibility was less than three-fourths of a mile and visibility above the runway was less than 200 feet, which would have prohibited landing under Federal Aviation Administration rules, said Ed Rich, manager of the airport.
Rich said the airport's instrument landing system was functioning properly at the time of the crash.
Two Citation jets, just before Roop's approach, attempted to land at Ogden-Hinckley Airport but couldn't because of poor visibility, said Rich. Both planes were rerouted and landed at Provo Airport.
A preliminary determination regarding the cause of the crash hasn't been made because investigators have yet to interview Roop, inspect his plane or review radar, weather and flight data, said Anderson.
"It's way too early (to determine what prompted the crash)," he said.
Fire from the crash left massive holes in the ceiling of Gamble's bedroom, bathroom and a sunroom where, as a master gardener, he kept several plants, including a prized orchid.
Oddly, while most of the sunroom was in shambles, several items, including a porcelain doll and decorative plates from Denmark, remained on a shelf, unscathed.
Meanwhile, debris falling from the plane hit the garage of Gamble's neighbors, Pat and Ned Newman, 2079 W. 4300 South, causing several propane tanks to explode and producing a massive wall of flames, said Kenneth Hodges, who is Gamble's son-in-law.
The Newmans and their grandaughter were at home at the time but were not injured. They could not be reached for comment.
The area where the Newmans' garage once stood appeared Monday morning as if it had been hit by a bomb.
The remains of a splayed tree with blackened, broken branches stood next to a charred trailer and twisted metal.
The Cessna's engine rested against another tree as FFA investigators clad in yellow Rain Ponchos combed through strewn plane parts looking for clues to the crash.
It wasn't far from the engine that Marne and Randy Bowden found Roop lying in the road in front of their home.
Roop was conscious, but his face was badly burned, flesh was hanging from his hand and he was complaining of side pain, Marne Bowden said.
Randy Bowden described Roop as a "lucky guy" and said it's remarkable he survived the ferocious crash.
Marne Bowden said she's angry because the accident marks the second time in about five years that a plane has plunged into a home on her street.
The flight approach pattern should be changed so that planes attempting to land at Ogden-Hinckley Airport travel northerly over open fields and industrial areas instead of homes, she said.
In August 2005, a small plane slammed into a home on 4300 South just two doors away from the Newmans' house. The pilot and co-pilot were uninjured and no one on the ground was hurt.
Kay Walker, who lives at 2087 W. 4300 South between the Newmans' home and the house that was struck in 2005, said Sunday's crash is too close for comfort.
"Some people are (eventually) going to die from this," said Walker, who fears there could be more mishaps in her neighborhood unless flight approach patterns for Ogden-Hinckley Airport are changed.
However, crashes are relatively rare considering about 100,000 planes depart and land at Ogden-Hinckley airport each year, said Rich.
"It's a great little airport that's a jewel," he said.