Ultralight crashes in Craig, two injured
Two local men were injured Wednesday morning after their ultralight glider crashed just after taking off from Craig Municipal Airport.
The dual-seat glider, a training model with “to be used for instruction” written in gold letters across its black-barred undercarriage, slammed into the ground at about 11:20 a.m., just a few feet away from a dried-up sewer lagoon on the western edge of the airport.
Craig Bricker, 39, and Rick Fadeley, 42, both of Craig, were treated for injuries on the scene. Bricker sustained two broken forearms, was rushed to surgery at The Memorial Hospital and was later flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, for observation by a vascular specialist. He is listed in stable condition.
Fadeley, who suffered a dislocated ankle, is listed in fair condition at TMH.
Authorities said Wednesday they had not had a chance to interview either individual and didn’t know which of the two was flying the glider.
Lee Williamson said he heard the crash while outside working on his property at 2806 State Highway 394, southwest of the airport.
“It was a pretty loud bang,” said Williamson, a 64-year-old maintenance worker at the airport. “It hit that bank (a dirt mound near lagoon) coming east.”
The impact severed the glider’s wing from the protective bar-framed section, which cradles passengers and holds the engine.
Williamson said he watched as the snapped glider’s wing wavered vertically on one tip, before slumping to the ground in a plume of dust.
Williamson’s wife called 911, while he said he ran to the scene.
“The pilot said it just wouldn’t fly,” Williamson said, adding he saw the pair flying earlier that day at about 9 a.m.
Moffat County Sheriff’s detectives will handle the investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) won’t be involved because the glider was not registered, according to Clyde Anderson, the sheriff department’s emergency manager.
Officials Wednesday afternoon said little more was known about the crash since arriving on the scene. Jeremy Ashton, detective with the sheriff’s department, said the pilot was training to earn his pilot’s registration.
“No criminal activity is suspected,” said Sergeant K.C. Hume, chief investigator with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.
Hume said his department is in the process of responding to queries from the FAA in Salt Lake City.
“They were interested because there were two people involved and the type of aircraft,” he said.
Meanwhile, Williamson said he’s having second thoughts about plans to take to the air on similar glider.
“I was thinking about getting one (glider) too myself,” he said. “Not now.”
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