Two-Time Olympian Patrick Porter and Two Others Killed in Arizona Plane Crash
The accident happened at around 8:30 a.m. local time when the small twin-engine Beech B-60 aircraft (N880LY) was attempting to take off from Runway 3 at the local airport in Sedona, a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in Arizona.
“The aircraft, departing Runway 3, went off the end of the runway [and] down a tree-covered slopping hill. The aircraft caught fire,” said Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Allen Kenitzer. Three people were on board the aircraft and all were killed, local authorities said.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but Kenitzer said both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the crash. “NTSB is the lead investigative agency,” he said, adding that it typically takes months before the agency comes up with a probable cause.
Federal records show the 1979-built aircraft was registered to Patrick R. Porter of Albuquerque, New Mexico. CNN said Porter is a two-time Olympian and an eight-time U.S. cross country champion, finishing 15th in the 10,000 meters at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and participating in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.
Authorities have not released the names of the victims, and it was not immediately possible to confirm whether Porter was on board the aircraft when it crashed on Thursday. His wife, Trish, was also an Olympian in 1988, CNN reported.