Not sure why, but earlier posts on this by others were deleted.
Duluth-based small plane crashes on New Mexico mountain
Published May 29, 2002
ANGEL FIRE, N.M.Â—A single-engine airplane registered in Duluth, Minn., crashed and burned on a northern New Mexico mountain shortly after taking off from the airport at this ski resort, killing the pilot, authorities said.
Angel Fire police were withholding the name of the pilot, the only person aboard the Cirrus SR20, which crashed about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday east of Angel Fire.
The four-seat airplane, made last year in Duluth, Minn., was registered to Flying Club Ltd., in care of John E. Swanstrom Jr. of Duluth, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. It was not known whether Swanstrom was aboard.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash, said John Clabes, the FAAÂ’s southwestern region spokesman.
Â“WeÂ’re all kind of reeling at this point because we all knew this guy,Â” Bill King, Cirrus Design Corp. vice president for business administration in Duluth, said of the pilot. Â“He was a very good friend of us.Â”
King said the NTSB would not allow him to confirm the pilotÂ’s name.
The airplane crashed in a heavily wooded area about 75 to 100 yards from the peak of a mountain, said Jack Coppy, an area resident.
Coppy, 47, was at the crash scene Tuesday evening.
Â“It was a plane completely burned up,Â” he said.
The airplane crashed approximately 2 miles east of the airport and about 5 miles south of Eagle Nest Lake, Coppy said. The airplane was Â“completely mangled,Â” Yasmin Hahn, a Sangre de Cristo Chronicle reporter, told the Associated Press.
Â“The tail of the plane was up in a pine tree,Â” she said.
Coppy and Hahn said the fire burned a small circle before it was contained by area firefighters.
The Cirrus SR20 is equipped with an airframe parachute deployed by a solid-fuel rocket fired from the rear of the airplane. The parachute is designed to position itself over the airplaneÂ’s center of gravity, lowering the craft at almost 27 feet per second.
King said he did not have any information on whether the parachute was deployed.
Â“ItÂ’s your last line of defense in the event of some catastrophic failure or some situation in which the aircraft is not controllable,Â” he said.
King said his company was participating in the investigation.