Investigators release preliminary findings into fatal Provo jet crash

Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

PROVO, Utah, Jan. 26, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its preliminary report on the fatal Jan. 2 plane crash at the Provo Municipal Airport.

Pilot Nathan Ricks, 62, of Alpine, died in the crash near the end of the airport’s main runway. Three passengers were injured, one critically.

The wings of the Embrae EMB 505 aircraft in an aborted takeoff both “wobbled” at one point, according to the report issued Wednesday. An employee at the airport who fueled the plane just before the 11:45 a.m. crash said he observed “unfrozen water droplets” on the wings, according to the report.

He and other witnesses said the plane was 20 to 30 feet in the air when it rolled to the left, and the left wing impacted the runway. The report documents a 91-foot scrape mark on the runway 20 feet left of, and parallel to, the center-line.

Some 300 further on the runway another smaller scrape arcs left, leading off the runway to a swatch of disturbed earth and snow about 100 feet to a large impact crater, the report said.

Debris was scattered all along the path and the plane’s battered fuselage ended up 597 feet beyond the crater, the NTSB said. Temperature listed at the time of the crash was 1 degree celsius, equivalent to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The report included no conclusions or causes, each of the report’s three pages including the phrase at the bottom of the page: “This information is preliminary and subject to change.”


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