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Weber County Officials Look To Form Committee Studying Plane Crashes

ROY, Utah – Weber County officials are looking to form a special committee to study a string of five plane crashes that have occurred near the Ogden-Hinkley Airport over the last two-and-a-half years.

Airport officials and city leaders were facing public concerns after a plane crashed into a Roy home on Wednesday and Roy City Mayor Robert Dandoy said he proposed creating the committee, composed of Weber County mayors, airport officials and aviation experts from groups like the Federal Aviation Administration, to look into the crash reports of the five plane accidents in search of a root cause.

“We can’t fix what happened in the past but we can learn from that and the key is what is it teaching us?” Dandoy said. “If the answer to the question is there are some threads that tie this together, then can we do to fix these threads.”

According to airport officials, there were zero crashes between 2009 and 2017 but five between the middle of 2017 and Jan. 2020.

This week’s deadly plane crash near the Ogden City airport was the latest in a string of five similar incidents and elevated residents’ concerns, according to Roy City Mayor Robert Dandoy.

“The fact of the matter is that I think some of them [residents] walked away and said not even our home is a safe place. That’s really the problem,” Dandoy said of the shock community members expressed over the plane crashing into a home.

Dandoy said he’s wanting to look into several aspects from the planes, flight paths, the runway and city growth around the airport to wind patterns and environmental factors.

“As a city, maybe we can change some zoning or do something to help provide some protection,” Dandoy said. “Let’s explore these things.”

Dandoy said he has asked airport manager Bryant Garrett to spearhead the committee.

“I believe I can speak for the city of Ogden and say obviously we’ll do anything if the outcome is that we make anything safer,” Garrett said.

Garrett also addressed differences expressed between Ogden officials and Roy Police Chief Carl Merino’s concerns over the plane crashes saying, “I just want to shoot down any innuendo that there is anything unsafe occurring at this airport.”

Garrett said the airport is well within the norm of general aviation airports around the country.

“This is a highly regulated industry and the only thing I would say to people who have some criticism is don’t you believe that if there is some low hanging fruit, some simple fix, we would’ve done it years ago?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Dandoy said he stands by the concerns expressed by his police chief but also understands the airport’s perspective.

“I’ve never questioned their safety record that’s not the issue here, but let me be blunt – our people don’t need statistics,” Dandoy said.

Dandoy also said it’s important to note the crashes weren’t caused by failures or shortcomings on behalf of the airport. Garrett corroborated his statement.

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