ROY — A witness to a fatal plane crash in Roy last month told federal investigators he heard the plane making “popping” noises before the aircraft’s wing dropped to the left and the plane nosedived into a Roy neighborhood.
According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released Tuesday, multiple witnesses reported seeing the airplane’s left wing drop before the aircraft fell out of the sky.
The airplane, which crashed into a Roy neighborhood on Jan. 15, had only one man on board — 64-year-old David Goode, who was declared dead at the scene. Goode was the founder of Goode Ski Technologies, an Ogden-based ski equipment company.
Shortly before 3:11 p.m., an air traffic controller at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport heard from Goode, who was flying his plane from Bountiful to Ogden. After the air traffic controller cleared the airspace from Hill Air Force Base, he radioed to Goode and cleared him for landing. At that point, Goode was two miles from the airport.
The traffic controller then used his binoculars to watch the plane and see if the landing gear was down. While watching, the traffic controller told the NTSB he saw the plane “initiate a steep left banking turn, followed by a steep bank to the right while losing altitude,” the report indicated.
The traffic controller then lost sight of the plane and could no longer reach the pilot.
Several witnesses told the NTSB they saw an airplane coming in for a landing at the Ogden airport and noticed “how slow it seemed to be when it was flying.” One witness told investigators he heard a “popping” sound coming from the plane, and he thought one of the engines was trying to be restarted.
The same witness said the plane was about 150 to 200 feet above the ground when it passed over Interstate 15, and he also noticed that the landing gear and flaps were out, the report said. He later told investigators that the plane’s left wing dipped down, as the plane seemed to be “struggling to stay airborne.”
The plane’s left wing dropped before the plane momentarily stabilized, but the wing dropped again. The witness told investigators the plane crossed the interstate before the nose of the plane dropped completely, and the plane fell out of the man’s sight.
Doorbell surveillance footage showed the airplane in a “nose-down, left wing down attitude, about 50 ft above the ground prior to the accident sequence,” the report says.
The aircraft then hit the southwest corner roof of a townhome complex before crashing into the street, setting the plane on fire.
Investigators say the debris field was roughly 135 feet long, and the plane’s left wing tip tank was embedded in the roof of the home. They also added in the report that much of the cabin area of the plane had been consumed by fire.
The preliminary report does not include a definitive reason why the plane might have gone down, but the information supplied in the report suggests engine failure might have been a reason for the crash.
Residents of Roy, as well as a handful of city officials, have expressed their concerns over the crash, many saying that the amount of plane crashes in past years are cause for alarm.
In the past 10 years, the city of Roy has been the site of several plane crashes, both fatal and non-fatal. NTSB 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.