ROY — A number of city officials in Roy are calling for an “extensive investigation” as to why planes keep crashing in Roy and near the Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon — less than 24 hours after an airplane crashed into a Roy neighborhood and killing the pilot — Roy Police Chief Carl Merino said he will be looking to work with local and federal authorities and investigate the safety concerns surrounding the plane crashes in Roy.
Since 2016, five planes have crashed in Roy, Merino wrote, resulting in five deaths.
“While this number is very concerning in itself, I, Police Chief Carl Merino, and all the members of the Roy City government are very thankful there have not been more casualties or injuries,” Merino wrote.
What is more concerning, he wrote, was the fact that there are four schools in the flight paths of the Ogden airport, including a high school, junior high and two elementary schools.
Merino called the recent spat of plane crashes connected in some way to the Ogden airport, “very disturbing.”
“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. “I now regret making those statements, as it has become quite clear there is a safety problem for these aircraft!”
The police chief said he will be working with city officials — including Roy Mayor Robert Dandoy, Roy City Manager Matthew Andrews and Ogden City officials — as well as federal investigators from the FAA and NTSB to find out why these crashes keep occurring in and near their city.
Merino wrote that he wants to find a common denominator that can be fixed in order to remove this danger from Roy citizens.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said discussions with Roy have already taken place and Ogden is committed to making the airport as safe as possible, but there’s likely no magic bullet to stop plane crashes.
“We try our best to make the airport as safe as possible,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of control once the plane is in the air. Right now, I don’t know that there is anything specific we could do (to improve safety).”
The 720-acre airport provides private and business general aviation service, commercial air service and air ambulance service. It also serves as a reliever airport for the Salt Lake International Airport and for aircraft flying in and out of Hill Air Force Base. Several aerospace businesses also operate there, making the facility a key cog in Utah’s aerospace industry.
Ogden City has operated a municipal airport since 1928. The original facility sat on 200 acres in southeast Ogden and had just three gravel runways. The current airport was built in 1941, then known as Robert H. Hinckley Field, named after the Ogden native who was serving as Assistant Secretary of Commerce at the time.
“The airport has been there for more than 70 years,” Johnson said. “And development has happened around it.”
On Wednesday afternoon, police were notified that an airplane had clipped a home and crashed in a residential neighborhood in Roy around 3:15 p.m. The plane crashed and burst into flames, killing the lone occupant, according to police.
The twin-engine Cessna crashed in a residential neighborhood around 1800 W. 5025 South in Roy while on its way to the Ogden-Hinckley Airport.
The Roy Police Department later identified the man killed as 64-year-old David Goode, founder and president of Goode Ski Technologies.
Goode’s death is the fifth airplane-crash fatality connected to the Ogden airport since 2017.
On July 26, 2017, a plane crash claimed the lives of Perry and Sarah Huffaker, along with Layne and Diana Clarke; all four were Weber County residents. The four were departing the Ogden-Hinckley Airport and on their way to West Yellowstone, Montana, when the aircraft crashed in the northbound lanes of I-15.
As of Thursday afternoon, the NTSB was still investigating the Wednesday plane crash.
Standard-Examiner reporter Mitch Shaw contributed to this story.