A private jet crashed in Truckee, California on Monday afternoon. The plane, a Bombardier CL 600, was making its final approach at Truckee Tahoe Airport at approximately 1:18 p.m. when it crashed in a nearby forest along Reynolds Way. All four of the people inside the aircraft were killed.
An airport spokesperson said that the origin of the flight had yet to be determined as of Monday night. Additionally, the coroner has not released the identities of the deceased. According to officials, the plane made radio contact with the tower before it went down. While the cause of the accident remains unknown, some have speculated that smoke and haze could have triggered it.
When the plane crashed into the brush, a nearby strike team from Stanislaus County responded to the scene to help fight the resulting blaze. The strike team happened to be in the area as it was traveling to battle the Dixie Fire and was able to battle the flames and prevent the fire from spreading.
“There’s not much intact at the crash site,” Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon said during a press conference.
The Second Airplane Crash at Truckee Tahoe Airport Since June
On June 15, a smaller plane crashed at the Truckee Tahoe Airport only moments after it had taken off. Though the aircraft’s parachute deployed, only one of the two people on board survived the incident—both were pilots.
Nelson Resendes of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said that crashes happen too frequently at the airport.
“It seems to be an annual event—for small planes to go down in that area. The Truckee airport specifically,” Resendes said to reporters. “That airport…the dynamics of the landscape, the lack of air density, and the wind patterns are very difficult to fly in,” he continued.
Pilot Steven Thompson mentioned that landing at the Truckee Tahoe Airport is difficult. He also added that the Bombardier Challenger 600 is a plane that’s “built for speed” and that has "very very small wings.” Since landings at the airport often happen at 170 mph, they can be dangerous during bad conditions.
“Sometimes it can seem perfectly ok until the last minute. Even a very experienced pilot can find themselves in that situation,” Thompson said.
Our California aviation accident lawyers will follow this story as the FAA carries out its investigation into the cause of the crash.