ROY — A recent fatal plane crash in Roy wasn’t the first that damaged Roy homes and closed roads.
In the past 10 years, the city of Roy has been the site of several plane crashes, both fatal and non-fatal, according to reports from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Records show that since 2010, four plane crashes — including the one that occurred on Jan. 15 — have taken place in Roy that have damaged homes, cars and personal property.
Another occurred just outside Roy’s boundary on Interstate 15 in Riverdale, a crash that killed four Weber County residents in 2017. In other instances, planes taking off from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport have landed on or crashed near I-15, causing significant backups on the freeway.
The issue of plane crashes in Roy has been a particularly hot topic in the city since an airplane crashed near 1800 W. 5025 South, hitting a home before falling to the ground and bursting into flames. The crash killed 64-year-old David Goode, the founder of the Ogden-based company Goode Ski Technologies.
Roy’s top public safety official, Police Chief Carl Merino, said in a statement that a string of recent crashes caused him a great deal of concern. Merino said that in the flight path of the Ogden airport are four schools.
“Personally, I have spoken with Roy City citizens in the recent past and felt I could assure them of their safety from the dangers of flights associated with the Ogden Airport,” Merino wrote in a statement. “I now regret making those statements, as it has become quite clear there is a safety problem for these aircraft!”
The safety concerns prompted Roy officials to hold a public meeting last week for the community to voice those concerns. Of the many that attended, two who spoke were directly involved in two of the crashes in preceding years that damaged homes and property in Roy.
Past crashes in Roy
On December 5, 2010, a West Haven man began his descent toward the Ogden-Hinckley Airport shortly before 6 p.m. He radioed the air traffic controller, asking about ground conditions. The pilot was told that the weather conditions were deteriorating, as thick fog was collecting down below, according to the NTSB’s final report published in 2012.
The pilot was told that visibility was getting worse and that he should climb or find another place to land. However, he kept going.
As the pilot kept moving toward the runway, an air traffic controller said he was a half-mile below the approach minimum, or the distance off the ground a plane should be before figuring out if it’s safe to land. Even still, the pilot continued to descend toward the runway.
Moments later, the plane hit a power pole, then hit several homes before crashing to the ground in the backyard of a home. According to an impact map from the NTSB made public in 2012, the plane hit a power pole near Sand Ridge Park before flying over several homes and crashing to the ground near what would become North Park Elementary School.
The pilot suffered serious injuries in the crash, including severe burns to roughly a third of his body.
About a week after the December 2010 crash, citizens from Ogden and Roy expressed their concerns to the Ogden City Council, according to previous Standard-Examiner reporting. The residents were worried that a recent runway expansion had prompted planes to land at lower altitudes, bringing planes closer to their roofs.
Flashing forward to the community meeting held Thursday, Marné Bowden recalled the 2010 crash, which occurred near her Roy home. Standard-Examiner archives show Bowden wrote two Letters to the Editor following the crash, arguing that extending the Ogden-Hinckley runway was a danger to Roy homes.
“Do not wait until it is a larger jet or commercial airliner crashing into our neighborhoods before you realize that this is a problem,” Bowden said Thursday. “Do not wait until the innocent lives of the residents of Roy are taken before you act.”
Years after the 2010 incident, another plane damaged property in Roy. This time, it was a car on a busy street.
On Sept. 12, 2017, a single-engine plane crashed to the ground on 1900 West in Roy. In the process, the plane also hit a car driving on the road. Both the pilot and the driver of the car suffered injuries, but survived the ordeal.
According to a final report from the NTSB released in November 2019, the plane in the 2017 crash had just been serviced, and the pilot was flying the plane for the first time since the maintenance.
The pilot was practicing run-ups before taking off to practice touch-and-go landings. However, when the pilot hit 200 feet on one pass, the aircraft stopped gaining altitude and his speed began to decrease.
He tried to turn on a fuel boost, which gave out some extra power for a moment, but he continued to lose altitude and his airspeed continued to drop. The pilot then decided to make an emergency landing on 1900 West, hitting a car before crashing to the ground, the plane bursting into flames.
In the report, the NTSB ruled the crash was caused by “the airplane’s inability to maintain an initial takeoff climb for reasons that could not be determined based on available information.”
The driver of the car hit by the plane, Samantha Sandoval, was in attendance during the Thursday meeting in Roy.
“I deserve justice and I want to prevent this from altering the lives of others,” Sandoval said.
In the months preceding January’s fatal crash, two people were injured on Nov. 17 when a plane carrying a commercial pilot and a student hit a billboard along I-15 right after takeoff. When the aircraft crashed to the ground, the two suffered serious injuries and they were taken to the hospital. One of the people inside reportedly suffered bruises to his lungs and heart, and a broken foot and sternum, according to family members.
It was also revealed that the same aircraft made an emergency landing on I-15 in 2018.
Reporter Tim Vandenack contributed to this article.