1 dead after jet crashes at Aspen airport
(CNN) — At least one person died when a small plane crashed while trying to land at the Aspen, Colorado, airport Sunday, said Alex Burchetta with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Two other people were transported to the hospital with “moderate to severe injuries,” he said.
The pilot of the twin-engine jet earlier reported high winds during a previous attempt to land, according to a recording of the air traffic control radio transmission obtained by CNN through Flightaware, a flight-tracking website.
“Missed approach, N115WF. 33 knots of tail wind,” the pilot is heard saying a few minutes before the crash.
Photos posted on Twitter showed the plane upside down on the tarmac, its fuselage charred.
Two celebrities, who were at the small airport in the Aspen ski resort area, posted Twitter messages saying they witnessed the crash.
“So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport,” singer LeAnn Rimes tweeted.
Comedian Kevin Nealon tweeted: “Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet. Fire truck and ambulances were on the scene within minutes.”
Burchetta, the sheriff’s spokesman, declined to identify those on board. He said the cause of the crash was under investigation.
“Right now, we have no indication that there was anything wrong prior to landing. However, we do have investigators on scene,” Burchetta said.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the Bombardier Challenger 600 that was coming from Tucson, Arizona.
The Aspen airport is known as a challenging place for pilots to land because of the mountains that surround the runway. The airport tarmac is often filled with private planes owned or chartered by the wealthy and famous who own vacation homes in the mountain resort community.
“Airport is closed now,” Nealon tweeted. “I think I’ll drive back to LA after seeing that.”
CNN’s Aaron Cooper, AnneClaire Stapleton, Janet DiGiacomo and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.