Officials: 2 dead in cargo plane crash at Yeager Airport in W.Va.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - The Kanawha County Commission said two people -- a pilot and a co-pilot operating out of West Virginia -- were killed in a cargo plane crash at Yeager Airport in Charleston.
County officials said the crash was reported about 7 a.m. Friday.
The plane that crashed was a Short 330 twin-engine turbo plane, operated by Air Cargo Carrier, a contractor for UPS.
Mike Plante, the spokesman for Yeager, said the two people who were killed were the pilot and co-pilot, and they were the only ones on board.
Last year, a flight instructor and a student were on board when a small Cessna crashed at the airport. The flight instructor was killed.
Plante said Friday's crash is a tragedy for everyone concerned.
“I’ve had calls now this morning from Atlanta and from Washington, D.C., from reporters who cover not only aviation but cover UPS. This was not a UPS aircraft, it was an aircraft operated by a contractor serving UPS, but that’s a small, tight-knit community as well. This is a tragic event not only for us at the airport, but for air cargo carriers, the company that owned it, and I’m sure the UPS family as well,” Plante said.
Kanawha County officials have declared a countywide state of emergency. Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said the airport will be closed at least until Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet investigators are expected to arrive at the airport at 5 p.m. Friday. Officials are monitoring diesel fuel that leaked from the plane to make sure it doesn't leak into a tributary of the Elk River.
Officials reported initially there was heavy entrapment in the crash. The aircraft struck the runway very hard. A wing is detached and near the runway. The aircraft is 150 feet over the hill.
Airport Road in Charleston is open to emergency officials, but it is still closed to the public. Metro 911 said Barlow and Keystone drives are closed.
The aircraft left Louisville, Kentucky at 5:41 a.m. Friday, according to FlightAware.com. Mark White, a corporate pilot who has been flying in and out of Yeager for 40 years, said the plane was making a landing on runway 23 when the crash happened.
The plane had been in service since 1979 and is owned by ACC Integrated Services of Milwaukee, Wis., according to Flightware.com.