This week, another unfortunate crash happened on Sunday when a single-engine Piper Cherokee crashed under currently unknown circumstances a half-mile south of Ogden-Hinckley Airport after departure, shutting down lanes of Interstate 15 traffic as first responders cleared the scene.
The two occupants of the crash have been in critical condition at local hospitals, while one bystander was also treated after trying to assist the plane occupants.
This Nov. 17 crash comes on the heels of the same plane making an emergency landing on I-15 on May 23, 2018, under the Riverdale Road overpass; no one was injured in that incident.
Sadly, the history of recent plane crashes in Northern Utah doesn’t end there.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released final findings this month of a July 2017 crash on I-15 that killed Perry and Sarah Huffaker, as well as Layne and Diana Clarke, who were local residents. The NTSB essentially ruled it could not determine a cause for this particular crash beyond supposed pilot issues.
Another crash in December 2017 took place in Northern Utah, though not on or around 1-15 like the others, when two men crashed and died and were found in the Great Salt Lake.
All of this is to say, it hardly seems normal for an area of our size to have so many repeated, high-profile fatal airplane crashes.
According to the NTSB in a Nov. 14 report, civil aviation deaths increased in 2018 according to early statistics, with a total 381 killed.
In a press release, NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt states, “Aviators in both the general aviation and Part 135 communities need to renew their emphasis on building and sustaining a safety culture, and recipients of our safety recommendations in this area need to implement those life-saving recommendations.”
We’re no flight experts, and it’s very likely there are a myriad of reasons why our area of Utah has seen so many high-profile plane crashes in recent years. Can safety always be more stringently checked and followed? Possibly. But it definitely begs the question of those who are experts, why are there so many critical plane crashes in Northern Utah?