Two walk away from plane crash at Cortez airport
No serious injuries reported; one person goes to hospital as ‘precaution’
Two people involved in a small airplane crash at the Cortez Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon walked away from the wreckage virtually unscathed.
“There were no serious injuries,” said Montezuma County Undersheriff Linda Carter.
However, one of the two aboard was transported to the hospital, “as a precautionary measure,” Carter said.
According to Carter, both people involved in the crash were pilots, and one was undergoing a recertification process and practicing “touch-and-go” landings at the time of the crash.
“Something went wrong,” she said.
The airplane, a 1999 Piper Malibu, sat on the runway Wednesday surrounded by airport and county officials.
Carter said there was a small fuel spill, and the scene would be secured until investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived. The NTSB investigates all airplane crashes.
Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek said emergency fire crews were quick to respond to the scene, adding that they performed their duties professionally.
“Both passengers walked away with only minor injuries,” said Sheek. “That’s what’s important.”
Wednesday’s 4 p.m. Great Lakes Airlines flight into Cortez from Denver was canceled, but City Manager Shane Hale said commercial operations had resumed by 7 p.m. Wednesday.
On scene just after noon on Wednesday, Hale speculated high winds may have played a role in downing the lightweight aircraft.
“It was really windy,” said Hale.
Hale didn’t have an exact number, but said the crash was not the first to occur on the city’s airfield.