NTSB Identification: GAA16CA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 01, 2016 in Bountiful, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N52071
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that during an "introductory flight" for two passengers, he departed the airport and flew into a canyon where the airplane encountered an "unforeseen immense downdraft". He further reported that he immediately initiated a right turn to exit the canyon but it became clear that a turn was not possible due to the mountainous terrain. Subsequently, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing on a mountain road. After touchdown the airplane skidded off the dirt road and down an embankment. A post-crash fire resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.
The pilot reported that there were no pre impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
As a safety recommendation the pilot reported that he should have given himself more altitude before entering the canyon.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to fly into a canyon without sufficient room to reverse course if necessary, which resulted in an emergency landing, loss of directional control, collision with terrain, and a post-crash fire.
FARMINGTON — Police say it was fortunate nobody was killed when a plane made an emergency crash landing Friday in Farmington Canyon.
Around 2 p.m., a passerby reported a small plane had crash-landed on a roadway near Sunset Campground, said Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. DeeAnn Servey. Two females and a male were "almost unscathed" in the crash, she said.
The two passengers were transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. The pilot stayed on scene. Servey didn't immediately know the identity of the pilot or where the plane took off from Friday.
Farmington Canyon was expected to remain closed through the evening.
"We’re holding it as a crime scene to make sure that we can see exactly what happened. … We treat all of these incidents initially as something we can investigate further and see if there was any wrongdoing that took place," she said.
Putting the plane down on the road instead of the rugged mountain terrain "probably saved their lives," Servey said of the plane's occupants.
"When we get the initial report that there’s been a plane crash up Farmington Canyon, no one expects that there’s going to be three survivors," she said. "So it’s just a relief for all of us that … these three individuals are doing well and able to talk and communicate and help us with the investigation."
The Federal Aviation Administration, Davis County sheriff's crime lab and U.S. Forest Service were all investigating. Servey didn't immediately know what caused the crash.
The crashed plane's fuselage was smouldering and caused a small fire, which crews from the Farmington Fire Department quickly extinguished, Servey said.
FARMINGTON CANYON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Three people walked away from a small plane crash in Farmington Canyon Friday afternoon.
Davis County Sheriff's Office, Farmington Fire Department and Forest Service officials responded to the crash five to seven miles up Farmington Canyon.
The plane reportedly went down one mile east of the Sunset Campground. The crash started a small fire, but it was quickly extinguished.
All injuries were reported to be minor. The FAA is investigating the crash. Farmington Canyon is closed to traffic due to the investigation.
Officials say the canyon should reopen Saturday.
Story and video: http://www.good4utah.com
A light aircraft lost power during flight, and the pilot was able to land the plane on Farmington Canyon Road. The plane slid off the road and into the brush, where a small fire broke out.
"The plane was still, it had some fire, and it was causing a little bit of fire damage, so the fire department quickly responded and put that out... and now we're holding it as a crime scene in order to make sure that we can see exactly what happened," said Sgt. DeAnn Servey of the Davis County Sheriff's Office.
Servey said there were three occupants in the plane who suffered minor injuries, and two of them were taken to a hospital to be checked out.
Firefighters said the pilot did an excellent job landing the aircraft in a way that minimized the risk of injury.
Farmington Canyon Road was closed to traffic as the investigation continued, but it reopened later Friday night.