ST. GEORGE, Utah, Aug. 11, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George man died Saturday morning when the ultralight experimental plane he was piloting crashed just after takeoff from the St. George Regional Airport.
The victim, identified as 69-year-old Sterling Palmer, of St. George, had just taken off at about 9 a.m. when the single-engine plane lost altitude. He was alone in the two-seat craft.
Officials believe Palmer died on impact.
“He was still above the runway when he went down and crashed just off the runway, in the dirt,” St. George city spokesman Marc Mortensen told Gephardt Daily.
“The airport runway was closed due to the proximity of the crash,” he said. One commercial flight, a SkyWest flight from Phoenix, was delayed for about 15 minutes due to the closure.
A statement from the city says the following:
“The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were immediately notified and will be conducting the investigation as to the cause of the crash with assistance from St. George Police Investigations.”
The release of FAA investigative findings after crashes often takes as long as a year.
St. George Mayor Jon Pike commented this morning after hearing of the crash:
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Mr. Palmer’s family at this time.”