Steamboat has suffered rash of incidents |

Steamboat has suffered rash of incidents

Ten plane crashes in little more than 6 years

Scott Stanford

— Steamboat Springs has been affected by a rash of plane crashes in recent years.

Since 1999, there have been 10 incidents involving aircraft based in Steamboat or flying to or from Steamboat Springs Airport-Bob Adams Field. Fourteen people have died in those incidents.

Three crashes, including one Saturday, involved small planes that went down near Walton Peak, a 10,500-foot mountain southwest of Rabbit Ears Pass in the Routt National Forest.

Below is a chronological recap of the incidents since 1999:

July 5, 1999 — Pilot Richard Yeager and passenger Cindy Hines died when their single engine biplane went into a spin and crashed near the Lafarge gravel pit on Colorado Highway 131.

Sept. 3, 2000 — Pilot Joseph Gunnels and passenger David White were killed when the SNJ-5 they were flying crashed near what is now the Celebrity Resorts vacation suites above McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 40. The plane was participating in a flyover to kick off a professional bull-riding event at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

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May 5, 2001 — Pilot Kim Kirkman of Casper, Wyo., crashed a FedEx single-engine plane into the south side of Emerald Mountain. Kirkman died in the crash.

Dec. 29, 2002 — A Piper Cherokee Saratoga crashed near Walton Peak southwest of Rabbit Ears Pass. The pilot, Lloyd Moreau, and two passengers, Neil Marsh and Steve Palmer, survived. Passenger Henrietta Palmer died. The four were flying from Steamboat back to their homes near Colorado Springs.

March 19, 2003 — The Yampa Valley Air Ambulance crashed on a bluff near Kremmling. The pilot and medical crew walked away from the crash with minor injuries but the plane — a twin-engine King Air E90 — was damaged beyond repair. The air ambulance was en route to Kremmling to pick up and transport an injured skier.

July 19, 2003 — A Windsor couple and a Fort Collins pilot died in a single-engine plane crash about a mile south of Walton Peak. The three were flying from the Steamboat Springs Airport to Fort Collins.

July 23, 2004 — 56-year-old Terry Plonta flipped his homemade replica of an F4U Corsair while testing the plane’s brakes at the Steamboat Springs Airport. Plonta was not hurt in the incident.

Dec. 18, 2004 — Steamboat businessman Rod Schrage was flying his 1985 Arctic Tern when the engine quit. He was able to land the plane at the Winter Driving School near Routt County Road 33. The plane flipped but Schrage was not injured.

Jan. 11, 2005 — The Yampa Valley Air Ambulance crashed near Rawlins, Wyo., killing pilot Tim Benway and nurses Dave Linner and Jennifer Wells. Emergency Medical Technician Tim Baldwin survived the crash, and using a cell hone, directed rescue workers to the scene. The air ambulance was en route to Rawlins to pick up and transport a patient injured in a car wreck. Linner also had been on the air ambulance when it crashed near Kremmling.

Oct. 22, 2005 — A single-engine plane crashes near Walton Peak killing two Steamboat Springs men returning to Steamboat from a trip to Iowa.