Aspen airport temporarily closed following private jet crash

A private jet crashed and burst into flames while trying to land at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Aspen, Colorado, US, killing one person and resulting in the temporary closure of the airport.


The 54-year-old co-pilot, Sergio Carranza Brabata, was pronounced dead at the scene.The two other pilots were sent to Aspen Valley Hospital.


According to the hospital, one was in a critical condition, while the other was fair. They were both subsequently transferred elsewhere.

 

The 22-set Bombardier Challenger 600 started its journey in Toluca, Mexico, about 40 miles west of Mexico City. It was coming from Tucson, Arizona, and crashed at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on 2 January.


The aircraft was on its second landing attempt due to high winds encountered during the previous attempt.


The jet crashed and went off the right side of the runway, flipped over and burst into flames. The airport crew took quick action to extinguish the flames.


The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating to determine the cause of the crash, and investigators are also waiting for assistance from representatives of the aircraft manufacturer.


According to the Sheriff's office, the airport will remain closed until NTSB gives the go-ahead to clear the wreckage and debris from the runway.


A statement said: "The local incident management team will be working with NTSB to ensure safety at the crash site."


"Every effort is being made by airport officials to reopen the airport as soon as possible but safety is of prime concern."


Aspen is a popular skiing destination, and the airport is known to be challenging place to land due to the mountains surrounding the runway and the steep descent.


The closure comes at a busy time of the airport, and has affected the travel schedule of thousands of commercial airline passengers.