Investigation into Truckee airplane crash could take months
December 15, 2009
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation into Sunday’s small airplane crash that left the craft’s pilot and passenger unharmed.
The single-engine turbo prop TBM 850 was on approach to land at about 5 p.m. Sunday at Truckee Tahoe Airport when the pilot encountered problems handling the aircraft, and went down in the Joerger Ranch property south of the Highway 267 overpass in several feet of snow, according to the Truckee Police Department.
The pilot and passenger, Charles Simmons, of Los Altos Hills , Calif., and David Burow, of Woodside, Calif., walked away from the crash without injury.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Josh Cawthra said the group has spoken to the pilot and continues to investigate the cause.
Cawthra said Simmons circled the airport once breaking through the clouds to reduce speed; he then heard a warning horn, at which point he lowered the nose and landed in the snow field.
Cawthra said the airplane hit at least one tree before coming to rest upright.
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The investigation, which could take six months to a year, will look at the airplane and the weather conditions, among other things, Cawthra said.
Kevin Bumen, director of aviation and public relations at the airport, said the runways were open and plowed, but visibility was limited.
and#8220;Once we get the facilities plowed and open, it’s up to the pilot,and#8221; Bumen said.