OKLAHOMA CITY – Federal investigators are scheduled to arrive Tuesday to begin sifting through crash site wreckage at a northwest side airport, after a jet crashed Monday afternoon killing two people.
Emergency crews were called to Sundance Airport, 13000 Sara Rd., shortly after 3:30 p.m. after a medium-sized corporate jet crashed while landing at the airport, officials said. Two people were on board.
An Oklahoma City Fire Department official said a man was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman, who was also on board, was transported to the hospital in critical condition, but later died from her injuries. The names of the victims have not been released.
“Obviously, this is a tremendously somber day at Sundance Airport. It is truly difficult to find the words to express the sadness that this group is feeling. Everybody here at Sundance is truly a family. They are a very very close community,” said Deborah Floyd, Sundance Airport spokesperson. “We do ask for thoughts and prayers for all of those involved here. we are working with all the agencies necessary, to provide any information they may need to work through the scene.”
According to online flight records and the FAA, the aircraft took off from Northwest Beaches International Airport in Panama City, Florida shortly after 1:30 p.m. Central time. The twin-engine jet crashed while attempting to land at Sundance, officials said. The plane did not catch fire.
“We did have a post-crash jet fuel leak, which our hazmat team responded to here for and has since contained that,” said Oklahoma City Fire Capt. David Macy. “Did send a rescue crew in to search the aircraft to make 100 percent sure we only had two victims on board.”
The 1978 IAI-1124 Westwind is owned by the airport, according FAA registration records. The twin-engine turbofan, medium-sized corporate jet seats seven to ten passengers and has a crew of two. When reached by phone Monday, Sundance Airport owner Jerry Hunter told News 4 he knows those killed in the crash and said he would “gladly trade places with either.”
Hunter, who owns Edmond-based U.S. Fleet Tracking, purchased the Canadian County airport in 2013. More than 200 fixed-wing aircraft, including eight jets, are based at the single runway airport, according to federal data.
It’s unclear what may have caused the crash. Winds were light out of the south and aircraft could have landed in either direction on the north-south runway. It’s also unknown if the pilot radioed a mayday distress call before the crash.
“At this time we don’t know of anything,” said airport general manager Justin Skaggs.
Aerial video of the crash site showed dirt skid marks and debris field starting about 75 feet east of the runway, and extending about 200 feet to the southeast where the jet came to a rest, upside down. The forward section of the fuselage nearly separated from the rest of the plane.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson for the mid-states division said investigators are on their way to the crash site and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which will be in charge of the investigation, has been notified.
“It’s just a tragic day and we’re terribly sorry,” said Floyd, the airport spokesperson. “Right now, being that it is an active scenario. People are still being notified. But it is someone that we all know.”
Floyd said the names of the victims will likely be released Tuesday.
Reporter Brent Skarky and News 4 Pilot Mason Dunn contributed to this report