Victims of airplane crash stable
May 31, 2006
Pilot William Krens and his passenger Donald Brawley are in stable condition at Washoe Medical Center following an accident in their single-engine plane at Minden-Tahoe Airport Tuesday.
Washoe Medical Center officials would release no more information concerning their patients’ injuries or condition at press time. Both are in the intensive care unit.
An experimental model, the single-engine plane nosed into the sagebrush just west of Bliss Road, spreading debris for yards in the brush.
According to eyewitness reports, the plane had problems taking off.
It turned back toward the airport and was banking to the left when it hit the ground at a 60-degree angle, separating the cockpit from the remainder of the fuselage.
The plane was recently purchased from Ralph Belden, CEO of Appropriate Energy Inc. in Gardnerville. He said Krens and Brawley are from Philadelphia, Pa.
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“I owned the plane for a couple of years and had no problems with it,” Belden said. “The aircraft recovery team has picked up all the pieces. They’re in a hangar now, until the National Transportation and Safety Board can look at them and determine the cause of the crash.”
Minden-Tahoe Airport officials will not be conducting an investigation because the incident did not occur on airport land, according to Airport Manager Jim Braswell.
Belden said he owns three other planes he uses in flights to Montana.
This is the third accident this spring for aircraft departing from Minden-Tahoe Airport.
A Carson Valley pilot died Feb. 7 when his helicopter crashed shortly before 8 a.m. in a cow pasture on the Jubilee Ranch, just east of Foothill Road and south of Muller Lane.
On April 29 about 12:15 p.m., a glider hit a ridge after experiencing a loss of lift near Minden. Soar Minden Inc. was operating the glider and the pilot, the sole occupant, broke both legs in the crash.
He called for help by cell phone and rescue personnel located the wreckage about two hours later.
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