Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cessna A188A AGwagon, N4401Q, Rooster Aviation LLC: Accident occurred October 24, 2015 in Elberta, Utah County, Utah

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA027
Accident occurred Saturday, October 24, 2015 in Eureka, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA A188A, registration: N4401Q

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Date: 24-OCT-15
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N4401Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: A188
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Activity: Aerial Application
Flight Phase: POSTIMPACT (PIM)
Operation: 137
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07
State: Utah



ELBERTA, Utah County — A single engine plane crashed Saturday, but the pilot was able to escape with only minor injuries.

Witnesses in the Elberta area called the Utah County Sheriff's Office just before 10:30 a.m. after they saw the crash and clouds of smoke.

Rick Edward Strong, 45, of Payson, had been traveling about 75 mph performing a re-seeding operation for a company when he received a "stall warning and was unable to correct the problem," said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. Strong, a pilot of 20 years with around 1,500 hours of fight time, lost control only a couple hundred feet into the air and crashed in "relatively rugged terrain," he said.

In what Cannon described as a "horrific crash," the plane hit the ground and spun around backwards to face the opposite direction of its flight.

Strong had little difficulty getting out of the plane and was treated on site by medical personnel, the sergeant said.

"All it would have taken is say a buckle jammed or a lock on the canopy jammed for 30 seconds or a minute and we might be having to talk about a very different outcome," Cannon said. "With what that plane did … to walk away is nothing short of a miracle."

Although Strong made it out of the crash unscathed, his plane did not. The plane took a beating from the impact but was destroyed by the flames, Cannon said.

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A 45-year-old Payson man survived a small plane crash in southwest Utah County Saturday morning, but the plane he was flying was almost completely destroyed.  

According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, the small plane crashed at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Witnesses called 911 when they saw the plane go down near Elberta. 

The pilot, Rick Edward Strong, from Payson, was flying the single-engine, single-seat airplane as part of a a reseeding project, dropping seed from the plane when he heard a stall warning. 

Strong told officials that he was only flying a few hundred feet above the ground when the warning sounded. He said that he took emergency measures, including an effort to fly underneath a power line, but was unable to recover. 

The plane hit the ground, where it spun 180 degrees and stopped facing the opposite direction Strong had been flying.

"The plane itself caught fire and was almost completely destroyed," Cannon said. 

Strong was able to get out of the plane and sustained only minor injuries. 

"He was in pretty good shape given the condition of the plane," Cannon said. 

Crews from Santaquin, Eureka and Goshen, as well as the Utah County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were alerted about the crash. They spoke to officers on the scene and to the pilot and, according to Cannon, were satisfied with the explanations of the circumstances surrounding the crash and did not respond to the scene. 

- Story and photo gallery:

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