Sardy Field closed for five hours
Sardy Field was closed for a portion of Wednesday night after a private jet with three people on board skidded and then spun off the runway upon landing earlier in the evening. No one was injured.
The incident and response from local emergency personnel had closed the runway to all commercial and private aircraft for about five hours so crews could remove the aircraft from the runway area. The National Transportation Safety Board gave the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport permission to move the wreckage on Wednesday evening. Airport operations officials were towing the aircraft off the runway as of 8:30 p.m. and they expected to have the runway reopened by 9 p.m., according to a press release issued by Pitkin County.
The landing occurred at about 4:45 p.m. There was “minor damage” to a few runway lights and a sign, according to Pitkin County spokesperson Pat Bingham. The plane spun off about three quarters of the way down the runway, going toward Aspen.
“All efforts are being made to return the airport to normal operations as soon as possible,” Bingham said.
Damage to the jet, a Galaxy G200, was minor and there was no fuel leak, according to a Pitkin County press release. Two of the three on board were pilots.
According to the website flightaware.com, the plane took off around 3 p.m. mountain time from Dallas Love Field. Its registered owner is NetJets Inc. of Oklahoma City, the website says.
The NTSB is expected to begin its investigation into the cause of the crash today.
Wednesday’s incident was reminiscent of, although much less serious than, a Jan. 5 crash at the Aspen airport involving a private jet. That jet cartwheeled on landing, killing one of three passengers, all of whom were pilots.
Responding agencies included Airport Rescue Firefighters, Aspen Fire, Aspen Ambulance, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Police Department, Snowmass Fire and Airport Operations.
Travelers with questions about commercial flight delays should call their airlines for the most up-to-date information. A total of six inbound commercial flights on Wednesday evening, plus many other private flights were either canceled or diverted, along with four outbound commercial flights, as well as two this morning that also have been canceled as a result of the incident, according to Bill Tomcich, the local liaison to the airline industry.
The 9 p.m. reopening on Wednesday was to allow United Airlines’ last inbound flight of the evening to operate.