Staff report

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January 7, 2014
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Aspen airport reopens to commercial, private flights

The wreckage from Sunday’s private-jet crash at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport was cleared Monday night and the airport opened for business on Tuesday as normal.

The 12:23 p.m. Sunday crash killed one of three men who were on the plane. Two are injured and receiving medical attention at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. All three men are pilots from Mexico.

According to a statement from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office late Monday evening, the wreckage from the 22-seat Bombardier Challenger 600 aircraft crash has been removed. The National Transportation Safety Board will continue its investigation of the incident.

A full investigation by the NTSB began Monday, authorities said. The investigators also waited on assistance from representatives of the aircraft manufacturer, who were scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon.

NTSB investigators arrived in Aspen around 9:30 p.m. Sunday but were unable to investigate the interior of the wreckage until late Monday afternoon. During the day Monday, airport operations personnel repaired damaged runway lights and signs and carefully swept the runway of all remaining debris. There was no significant damage to the runway surface, the statement said.

Jet-fuel containment efforts were conducted by a hazardous-materials crew, with assistance from fire personnel, before investigators were able to board the wreckage, the Sheriff’s Office said. Haz-mat crews will continue cleanup efforts to mitigate environmental impacts, the statement said.

When the wreckage was stabilized and deemed safe, NTSB officials boarded the plane and recovered the cockpit voice recorder, commonly referred to as the “black box,” and deactivated the emergency-locator transmitter.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 7, 2014 09:06PM Published Jan 9, 2014 06:50AM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.