Contact: San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters 970-729-2025
or Pubic Information Officer Susan Lilly 970-729-2028
December 23, 2015 -- (Telluride, CO) – A small twin-engine aircraft carrying seven people crashed as it landed and struck a snowplow on a closed runway at Telluride Airport Wednesday afternoon. There were no reported injuries but the incident triggered a multi-agency response including multiple San Miguel Sheriff’s Office Deputies and more than a dozen Telluride Fire Protection District Fire, EMS and HAZMAT personnel.
The Hawker Beechjet 400, registered out of Mexico, originated out of El Paso, Texas with five passengers and two crewmembers on board when it landed at 2:15pm (MT), struck a snowplow, and slid off the runway.
Airport officials told Sheriff Deputies the runway was closed for snow removal maintenance at the time of the landing, and airport FBO (Fixed Base Operator) reportedly did not receive any radio communication from the pilot prior to the aircraft’s landing.
An airport employee told Sheriff’s Deputies he was driving the snowplow when it was struck from behind and said he never saw the plane coming. He estimated the speed of the aircraft to be around 100mph at the time of impact. He too was uninjured.
Broken snow showers were in the area at the time of the crash, but visibility was at least 7 miles, and wind was not believed to be a factor.
San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said, “We had rapid response from multiple agencies to ensure scene safety and initiate any appropriate interventions needed. We were pleased all occupants walked away uninjured.”
Telluride Fire Protection District Chief John Bennett said, “This is what we all train for, and we were glad we didn’t have a more critical situation two days before Christmas.”
The National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSB) will be investigating the incident.