NTSB releases findings from 2020 plane crash that killed 4 in West Jordan

NTSB releases findings from 2020 plane crash that killed 4 in West Jordan

Police officers investigate a plane crash near Old Bingham Highway in West Jordan on July 25, 2020. National Transportation Safety Board officials on Friday released the results of an investigation of a 2020 plane crash in West Jordan that left four dead and injured two others. (Yukai Peng, KSL)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WEST JORDAN — National Transportation Safety Board officials on Friday released the results of an investigation of a 2020 plane crash in West Jordan that left four dead and injured two others.

The plane, a Piper PA-32, took off from South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan on July 25, 2020, with the intention to fly to Page, Arizona. It crashed less than 2 miles southeast of the airport’s runway in a residential backyard located at 3847 Piccadilly Circle (8710 South).

In their final report, NTSB investigators said the airplane was close to its “maximum gross weight” when it took off and that high temperature at high altitude may have affected the aircraft’s performance ability. The airplane should have been able to climb at a rate of 500 feet per minute, the report says, but video evidence showed that the plane had difficulty establishing climb performance.

“It is likely that, after losing ground effect and while experiencing degraded climb performance due to the high-density altitude, the pilot responded by repeatedly pitching the nose down to gain airspeed and then pitching the nose up to climb,” the report says. “The engine data showed that the pilot apparently manipulated the mixture lever to gain power; however, soon afterward, the airplane’s critical angle of attack was likely exceeded, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall, a loss of control, and an impact with structures and terrain.”

During a post-accident interview, a passenger on the plane said that the pilot “was aware of the high-temperature and high altitude and that he assured her that ‘it’s all good,'” the report said.

Lee Wyckoff, 43, who was the pilot of the plane; his 9-month-old daughter, Coral Wyckoff; and passenger Milda Shibonis, 36, were all pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Their deaths were followed by the death of Mary Quintana, 72, who died from injuries suffered when the plane crashed into the backyard of her home.

Three other passengers from the plane – an adult and two children – survived the crash.

The full NTSB report can be found here.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and military news.

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