Another Rare Plane Crash Strikes Rural Area

Two Plane Crashes Occur Locally in a One-Month Period

Trevor Phipps

The facts show that it is a rare occurrence for a plane to plummet from the sky in a rural county that contains zero airports.

But bad luck recently struck the passengers of two airplanes that unfortunately crash landed within Teller County’s borders only 23 days apart.

In fact, authorities say that before the first tragic aircraft incident in the county that occurred on May 6, the last time a plane had taken a destructive dive from the air locally was in 1962. The latest crash occurred on Memorial Day in an open field in Divide’s Grandview Estates just northwest of the intersection of Hwy. 24 and Hwy. 67 South.

Authorities were alerted last Memorial Day at around 1 p.m. when a small airplane unexpectedly crashed to the ground. According to KKTV 11 News, residents in the area heard a strange sputtering sound before seeing the aircraft fly very low over the area.

Residents in the vicinity told the news station that their windows rattled when the plane flew just over some homes in the subdivision. They said that the plane crashed “nose first” into the ground in an open field and then flipped upside down.

The witness accounts said that the pilot and one passenger were miraculously able to walk away from the wreckage. But the two unnamed passengers were transported to a hospital in Colorado Springs with injuries that were not said to be life threatening.

The owner of the property told KKTV that he was at Territory Days 30 miles away when he received a phone call from his neighbors saying that a plane had crashed on his property behind his house. “It really shocked me. I’ve lived up here for many years. I’ve been at this house for 26 years. We’ve never had an incident like this,” Bob Burton told the news station.

Authorities reported that the plane was a Cessna 172. Reports have said that the pilot indicated that he was having mechanical issues just before the wreck, which may have forced him to find an open field and make a crash landing.

The plane had flown a few times in the last two weeks and was owned by a Colorado Springs resident. According to flight records, the plane took off from the Meadow Lake Airport in Peyton, east of Colorado Springs at around 11 a.m. last Monday and was last seen at 12:43 p.m. before going down at 12:48 p.m.

According to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) took over the investigation shortly after the wreck occurred. The NTSB is expected to release a report with more details on what exactly happened in the coming weeks.

Four victims of a previous plane crash in Teller County in early May, who were well known community figures in Florence, weren’t so lucky.  Several weeks ago, a small aircraft left the Fremont County Airport, bound for Centennial Airport near Denver, but never made it. The plane was reportedly spotted near Phantom Canyon Road by another aircraft at about 8:30 a.m. The aircraft, reportedly a single-engine Pool-Cessna T-41B2, crashed into the mountains southeast of Victor and caught on fire.

This incident attracted much attention, since it was the first fatal plane crash in Teller in years. Memorial celebrations were held for the accident victims in a ceremonies that garnered considerable media coverage.