Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N12213: Incident occurred March 17, 2017 at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport (U77), Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah

SPANISH FORK – A car involved in a race crashed into a parked plane with a pilot inside at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport Friday night.

“All of a sudden there was a crash, and after a few seconds of being stunned I knew immediately what had happened,” said Preston Johnson, a 17-year-old pilot in training.

Johnson was getting in some night hours with his instructor on Friday in Spanish Fork. His plane was parked, and his instructor was out checking the plane's lights when the crash occurred.

“A Corvette hit me at pretty decent speeds, I hear," Johnson said. "I don't know cause I didn't see it."

Police say two middle-aged men attending a party at a nearby hangar took their sports cars out for a drag race on the taxiway.

“Mostly the sound is what caught me off guard," Johnson recalls. "Gear got taken out, the slant of it, and then [I] was completely surprised that just happened."

The Corvette came just close enough to the plane to clip the wheel. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

“If he had hit me straight on and hit my engine on it would have been a different story,” Johnson said.

The two drivers, one in a Corvette and the other in a Porsche, were cited for reckless driving.

“They were not kids, they were old enough that they really know better, and they exhibited very poor judgment and they are very remorseful today and there's going to be significant consequences,” said Cris Child, Spanish Fork Springville Airport Manager.

“A citation, [and] a mandatory court date usually with that, where they need to appear to court to explain what they were doing, essentially, to a judge,” said Sgt. Courtney Jones with Spanish Fork PD.

Cris Child says the party host who let them through the gate is not off the hook either. Police say he was talking with the drivers via a radio, telling them the taxiway was all clear.

“He'll probably be facing pretty considerable penalties up to and including losing his lease on the hangar,” Child said.

The airport says they will be implementing more security and will do everything in their power to make sure nothing even close to this happens ever again.

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A Corvette driver participating in a drag race with another car crashed into a small airplane stopped on the taxiway at Spanish Fork-Springville Airport on Friday evening.

Sgt. Cade Harding with Spanish Fork Public Safety said the drivers were invited into the security area of the airport by an individual with a hangar at the facility. He said those additional individuals didn’t have authorization to be at the airport.

The Corvette and a Porsche were reportedly drag racing on the taxiway. During one of the races at about 8:30 p.m., a single-engine plane preparing to depart stopped on the taxiway and stopped its engine to investigate a mechanical issue.

While the plane was stopped, the Corvette struck the plane causing damage to the plane’s wheel and possibly part of its tail, Harding said.

There was also damage to the passenger side of the Corvette.

No one was injured in the incident, including the plane’s flight instructor and student pilot.

Harding said the two car drivers would likely be charged with reckless driving. He indicated that drag racing isn’t necessarily a sanctioned activity at the airport, particularly when there were flight operations. The airport does accommodate flights after sunset.

The National Transportation Safety Board was contacted about the incident and Harding said airport personnel were going to address matters on their end.


SPANISH FORK, Utah, March 18, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Police responded to the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport on Friday night, after a car that was drag racing hit a small plane.

Spanish Fork Police Sgt. Cade Harding said the incident happened at 8:30 p.m., when a Corvette drove into a small plane that had stopped to check on a mechanical issue. It was dark, and visibility was limited.

A student and an instructor were in the plane, preparing for a flight, Harding said, when they realized they had a problem with a landing light. They had taxied out and then shut down to check on the light.

“A couple of vehicles were drag racing, and one vehicle hit the plane,” Harding told Gephardt Daily. “Fortunately, no one was injured. We got lucky on this one.”

Harding didn’t know who owns the plane, but he said both the Corvette and the plane had some damage.

The driver of the Corvette and the driver of the other car, a Porsche, were both cited for reckless driving.


SPANISH FORK, Utah -- Police responded to the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport Friday night after a car involved in a drag race crashed into an airplane stopped on the taxiway.

There were no injuries reported in connection with the crash, and Fox 13 News first heard report of the incident around 9 p.m.

Spanish Fork Police say a man who has access to a hangar at the airport invited several friends into a restricted area, and some of those individuals began drag racing on the taxiway.

A 17-year-old boy and a flight instructor were in a small aircraft working on the teen's nighttime certification. As the plane moved down the taxiway, the pair noticed an issue with a light and shut the aircraft down to check out the problem.

A Corvette and Porsche were racing down the taxiway, and the Corvette struck the stopped airplane, which sustained damage to its landing gear.

There were no injuries reported. Police say the drivers of the cars were issued citations for reckless driving.

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