Thursday, July 13, 2017

Aviat A-1B Husky, N211AM, SWGB Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred July 13, 2017 in Herriman, Salt Lake County, Utah

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Lycoming; Milliken, Colorado 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

SWGB Aviation LLC:

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA149
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 13, 2017 in Herriman, UT
Aircraft: AVIAT AIRCRAFT INC A, registration: N211AM
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 13, 2017, about 0940 mountain daylight time, an Aviat Aircraft A1-B, N211AM, impacted terrain while maneuvering near Herriman, Utah. The airline transport pilot and student pilot sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local instructional flight departed South Valley Regional Airport (U42), West Jordan, Utah, at 0927. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

All major structural components of the airframe and powerplant were accounted for and located with the main wreckage. The airplane impacted an area of down-sloping heavily wooded terrain about 12 miles southwest of the South Valley Regional Airport. The wreckage was oriented on a 060° magnetic heading. A postimpact fire ensued, and the airplane was thermally destroyed.

A state trooper witnessed the accident airplane and reported that he observed it flying low up the canyon. He momentarily lost sight of the airplane; when it reappeared, the airplane was in a nose-low steep right turn. Shortly thereafter he observed smoke in the area where he last observed the accident airplane.

The wreckage was transported to a secure facility for further examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Capt. Nicholas Thomas

HERRIMAN — The Utah National Guard confirmed Friday that one of the two people killed in a plane crash in Butterfield Canyon was one of its own.

Utah Army Guard Capt. Nicholas Thomas, 34, and Jake McGoldrick, 37, died in the crash Thursday morning, Unified Police Department reported Friday. The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office had positively identified the victims

"(Thomas's) tragic death weighs heavy on our organization, and our hearts go out to the Thomas family in their time of loss," according to the statement prepared by Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn, spokesman for the Utah National Guard.

McGoldrick lived in South Carolina with his fiancée, the UPD said via Twitter. His immediate family, including his mom, were in Australia.

Just before 10 a.m. Thursday, a small, two-seat aircraft crashed in a heavily wooded area near the top of Butterfield Canyon. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper saw the plane go down.

The crash happened about 5 miles up the canyon near a Girl Scout camp, but no one on the ground was injured.

On social media, word of Thomas's death was already spreading among friends.

"He lived life large and enjoyed things to their fullest," one man wrote on Facebook, while also noting that Thomas had "already left his mark on the Apache battalion 'Air Pirates' and his Bravo Company 'Buccaneers.'"

"A true friend. One who always set the standard in everything he did," wrote another.

Another man posted on Facebook: "I remember Nick fondly from our 2012 deployment. He was an outstanding and dedicated officer." Another added, "Nick was an outstanding aviator, military and civilian both. He will be missed by all who knew him."

HERRIMAN — Two people died after the small aircraft they were in flying crashed in Butterfield Canyon Thursday morning, police said.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a small aircraft crash shortly before 10 a.m., according to Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke. He said the initial call came in from Utah Highway Patrol.

A crash site was located by a Department of Public Safety helicopter about 6 miles up the canyon, Lohrke said. He added the crash was near a Girl Scout camp in the area.

Two people were found dead at the scene. No information was given about the two people who were killed.

The crash ignited a small fire that was extinguished quickly by Unified fire officials, Lohrke added.

He said the plane was a small two-seater aircraft. FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer added the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Kenitzer said he did not know the registration of the aircraft or the circumstances that led to the crash.

Lohrke said crews were trying to protect the scene for investigators while also making sure the crash didn't spark a wildfire.

"We want to preserve as much evidence as we can," he said. "That's something with the fire extinguishing that we have to be cautious of. Of course, we don't want everything around it caught on fire."

Butterfield Canyon was closed as a result of the accident, Lohrke said.

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, July 13, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Two people are confirmed dead after a small plane crashed and burned Thursday morning in Butterfield Canyon.

Unified Police Department Lt. Brian Lohrke said officials got word from the Utah Highway Patrol about a small aircraft going down in the area at approximately 10 a.m.

“We were able to get patrol officers up there immediately and also do a search and rescue call out and got search and rescue personnel up there,” Lohrke said. “We were able to locate the crash site which is at the top of Butterfield Canyon right near the border of Salt Lake County and Tooele County. There’s also a Girl Scout Camp up there that has an enclosed fence area and I believe the crash site was pretty close to that camp. The terrain and the fencing around the area there slowed down our progress of getting to the crash site but we were able to get there and we have everything we need up there right now.”

No other details have been provided about the deceased.

The crash also has caused a small brush fire in the area.

“Our first initial rescuers gave us that information that there was a fire and the plane was on fire, and because of the brush around the area they were very concerned about that,” Lohrke added.

Unified Fire Authority responded to the scene and extinguished the blaze.

Lohrke said officials are slowing down their response and preparing for the investigative stage, in which the UPD will work jointly with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Officials have not yet said where the plane took off from or what its destination was.

Butterfield Canyon, which is just west of the city of Herriman, is closed.

Butterfield Canyon • Two people were killed when a small plane crashed in Butterfield Canyon west of Herriman late Thursday morning, Unified Police reported.

UPD Lt. Brian Lohrke said the fatalities were confirmed by a Department of Public Safety helicopter dispatched to the scene of the crash.

The plane is a two-seater, so no other victims were expected.

No information was immediately released on the identities of the deceased, or where the flight had originated.

Lohrke said that a Utah Highway Patrol trooper saw the plane go down and reported it at 9:54 a.m.

The crash site was described as being about 6 miles up the canyon, which put it fairly high up on the mountain. Lohrke said a girl scout camp was located nearby.

The plane was on fire at one point, but the flames were quickly put out, Lohrke said.

Butterfield Canyon was closed at the mouth of the canyon while the crash was being investigated by UPD and the Federal Aviation AdminIstration.

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