• Advertisement

    UPDATED – Officials: 2 dead in cargo plane crash at Yeager Airport in Charleston, Airport closed until Saturday

    953
    Advertisement

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (BY: TREVOR JOHN ANDERSON, KYLE GIBSON and JEFF MORRIS, WCHS/WVAH) –

    The Kanawha County Commission said two people — a pilot and a co-pilot operating out of West Virginia — were killed in a cargo plane crash at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

    County officials said the crash was reported about 7 a.m. Friday.

    The plane that crashed was a 330 twin-engine turbo plane, operated by Air Cargo Carrier, a contractor for UPS.

    Mike Plante, the spokesman for Yeager, said the two people who were killed were the pilot and co-pilot, and they were the only ones on board.

    Last year, a flight instructor and a student were on board when a small Cessna crashed at the airport. The flight instructor was killed.

    Plante said Friday’s crash is a tragedy for everyone concerned.

    “I’ve had calls now this morning from Atlanta and from Washington, D.C., from reporters who cover not only aviation but cover UPS. This was not a UPS aircraft, it was an aircraft operated by a contractor serving UPS, but that’s a small, tight-knit community as well. This is a tragic event not only for us at the airport, but for air cargo carriers, the company that owned it, and I’m sure the UPS family as well,” Plante said.

    Kanawha County officials have declared a countywide state of emergency. Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said the airport will be closed at least until Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet investigators are expected to arrive at the airport at 5 p.m. Friday. Officials are monitoring diesel fuel that leaked from the plane to make sure it doesn’t leak into a tributary of the Elk River.

    Officials reported initially there was heavy entrapment in the crash. The aircraft struck the runway very hard. A wing is detached and near the runway. The aircraft is 150 feet over the hill.

    Airport Road in Charleston is open to emergency officials, but it is still closed to the public. Metro 911 said Barlow and Keystone drives are closed.

    The aircraft left Louisville, Kentucky at 5:41 a.m. Friday, according to FlightAware.com. Mike White, a corporate pilot who has been flying in and out of Yeager for 40 years, said the plane was making a landing on runway 23 when the crash happened.

    The plane had been in service since 1979 and is owned by ACC Integrated Services of Milwaukee, Wis., according to Flightware.com.

    Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said the airport will be closed at least until Saturday following a double fatal crash.

    Sayre said the National Transportation Safety Board will be at the airport Saturday morning and a determination will be made after that time about the airport’s status. Airport managers have notified various gates at Yeager and the owners of aircraft to stop booking flights for now.

    The airport’s closure follows a crash about 7 a.m. Friday of a 360 Shorts airplane owned by Air Cargo Carriers, a contractor for UPS. The pilot and co-pilot, both from West Virginia, were killed in the crash. Both had Yeager Airport badges and were familiar with the airport and visited it frequently.

    “It appears it hit the runway and then the wing sheared off, and it ended up over the hill at the airport,” Sayre said.

    Sayre said it appears there are a few gouges in the runway and that the plane “landed a little awkwardly and caused some damage.” Crash debris spread out about 1,000 feet.

    The airport director said the plane apparently landed sideways instead of level when it crashed. Sayre said the winds were calm at the time of the crash, and there was about 10 miles of visibility. There was no communication with the tower of the pilots encountering any problems.

    Sayre said the bodies have been recovered and transported to the medical examiner’s office. He said the pilot and co-pilot killed in the crash were based locally, and officials would wait until their families have been notified before releasing the names.

    Meanwhile, Sayre said there was a diesel fuel leak from the plane that is being contained. He said the water company and environmental officials have been notified as a precaution.

    Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said airport officials are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to examine the debris on the runway where a double fatal crash occurred so officials can make repairs and have the airport open in the next couple of hours.

    “Once that is complete (debris examination), we plan to make repairs and open the airport here in the next couple of hours,” Sayre said during a news conference about 10 a.m. Friday.

    Two people, a pilot and a co-pilot from West Virginia, were killed after a plane owned by a company that contracts for UPS crashed at Yeager about 7 a.m. Friday.

    “It appears it hit the runway and then the wing sheared off, and it ended up over the hill at the airport,” Sayre said.

    Sayre said it appears there are a few gouges in the runway and that the plane “landed a little awkwardly and caused some damage.”

    The airport director said the plane apparently landed sideways instead of level when it crashed. Sayre said the winds were calm at the time of the crash, and there was about 10 miles of visibility.

    Sayre said the bodies have been recovered and transported to the medical examiner’s office. He said the pilot and co-pilot killed in the crash were based locally, and officials would wait until their families have been notified before releasing the names.

    The Kanawha County Commission said two people were killed in a cargo plane crash at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

    County officials said the crash was reported about 7 a.m. Friday.

    Mike Plante, spokesman for Yeager Airport, said the name of the company that owns the plane is Air Cargo Carriers. A corporate pilot said the company contracts for UPS.

    Plante said the two people who were killed were the pilot and co-pilot, and they were the only ones onboard.

    The runway remains closed and will be until the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be conducting an investigation. He said Yeager officials will update the airport’s status after that time on social media.

    “If you have a flight in or out today before coming to the airport,” he said.

    Last year, a flight instructor and student died in a small Cessna at the airport, Plante said.

    Kanawha County officials have declared a countywide state of emergency.

    Officials reported initially there was heavy entrapment in the crash. The aircraft struck the runway very hard. A wing is detached and near the runway. The aircraft is 150 feet over the hill.

    Airport Road in Charleston is open to emergency officials, but it is still closed to the public. Metro 911 said Barlow and Keystone drives are closed.

    The aircraft left Louisville, Kentucky at 5:41 a.m. Friday, according to FlightAware.com. Mike White, a corporate pilot who has been flying in and out of Yeager for 40 years, said the plane was making a landing on runway 23 when the crash happened.

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on a UPS-contracted cargo plane that went off the runway at a West Virginia airport (all times local):

    9:25 a.m.

    An airport official says two people were killed when a cargo plane contracted by UPS went off the runway and over a hillside at a West Virginia airport.

    Yeager Airport spokesman Mike Plante says the pilot and co-pilot died in Friday morning’s crash.

    Plante says the Air Cargo Carriers plane departed from Louisville, Kentucky, and was trying to land when it went off the runway and down a steep, wooded hillside.

    The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

    ___

    8:25 a.m.

    An airport official says a cargo plane contracted by UPS has gone off the runway and over a hillside at a West Virginia airport.

    Yeager Airport spokesman Mike Plante said the plane went off the runway Friday morning.

    New outlets report emergencies crews are at the scene. It wasn’t immediately clear whether injuries have been reported.

    Plante says the plane flew from Louisville, Kentucky, and was trying to land when it went off the runway.

    Charleston airport officials have proposed spending $290 million to rebuild and extend the runway after a landslide in 2015 took out a church and an unoccupied house. The proposal calls for lengthening the runway from about 6,800 feet to 8,000 feet.

    Comments

    comments