Monday, January 27, 2020

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N3672K: Fatal accident occurred January 24, 2020 in Payson, Gila County, Arizona

Blaine Mathews (age 59) died at the scene.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Date: 24-JAN-20
Time: 00:10:00Z
Regis#: N3672K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No

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 

Spencer Berns (age 29) survived the accident.

Office of Sheriff of Gila County
Updated Press Release
January 24, 2020

"Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd would like to release the following updated information on a plane crash located southwest of Payson, Arizona in the Mazatzal Mountains.

On January 24, 2020 at approximately 3:12 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from an individual reporting their plane had crashed in the Mazatzal Mountains. Three individuals were reported on board at the time of crash. Deputies responded as well as the Arizona Department of Public Safety Helicopter Ranger.

Once the aircraft was located, three individuals were found, two were recovered and airlifted to hospitals in the valley and one was pronounced deceased. The two survivors have been identified as Colten Egbert, age 21, of Mesa and Spencer Berns, age 29, of Mesa. The deceased individual has been identified as Blaine Mathews, age 59, of Mesa.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been contacted and will be conducting an investigation. This is an ongoing investigation and more information may be released as it becomes available.

Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd would like to thank the Department of Public Safety, Native Air, PHI and Life Line Ambulance for their coordinating response.

Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd would like to extend condolences to the families affected by this tragic loss."

Gila County Sheriff's Office

NEAR PAYSON, Arizona - Officials with the Gila County Sheriff's Office say a person is dead, and two people were taken to Valley hospitals following a small plane crash that happened Friday afternoon.

According to a statement released on the department's Facebook page, deputies received a 911 call at around 3:12 p.m. from a person reporting that a plane had crashed in the Mazatzal Mountains area. Deputies, with help from the Helicopter Ranger with DPS, searched for the crash site.

Three people were on board at the time of the crash, and officials with GCSO identified the man who died as 59-year-old Blaine Mathews of Mesa. The survivors were identified as 29-year-old Spencer Berns and 21-year-old Colten Egbert, both of Mesa.

Mathews leaves behind his wife, children and grandchildren. He is remembered as a big family man who would help others in need.

FOX 10 learned from Federal Aviation Administration officials that the plane involved in the crash is a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee. There will be an investigation by Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Crash survivor, Spencer Berns' wife says he has broken bones and an injured spine but is healing up in the hospital.

Shelly Berns says she got a text from Spencer just before 9 a.m. Friday as the group fueled the plane up in Payson. Later that night, she saw video of the accident site on the news.

She says Colten, the pilot, called 911 and Spencer used his Garmin inReach watch to help give dispatch their coordinates via GPS. That's when Gila County Sheriff's deputies and the DPS helicopter ranger helped find the men - airlifting the two to hospitals.

"I'm just kind of numb right now. I don't think it's really hit me yet. My emotions when I got the call that his plane went down, I was a wreck. I'm ready for him to be home out of the hospital and start recovering so we can move past this," she said.

Spencer and Mathews enjoyed spending time together, they'd even go hunting. "There's nothing that you'd ask him that he would ever say no to. He would bend over backward to help anybody," Berns said of Mathews.

Story and video ➤

NEAR PAYSON, Arizona (3TV/CBS 5) - One man is dead and two others are seriously hurt after a plane went down near Payson on Friday.

Federal investigators say around 3 p.m., a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee went down "under unknown circumstances" in the Mazatzal Mountains, 8 to 10 miles southwest of Payson.

The Gila County Sheriff's Office said 59-year-old Blaine Mathews died at the scene. Colten Egbert, 21, and Spencer Burns, 29, were flown from the wreckage to hospitals in the Phoenix-area. All three men are from Mesa.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Story and video ➤

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