Sunday, July 20 was a difficult day for general aviation in Arizona. Six people were killed in two separate accidents that occurred within about three hours of one another.
The first crash, which occurred in the Bear Mountain area of Sedona around 3 p.m., involved what is thought to be a Cessna 182. Authorities received several calls about a low-flying aircraft and subsequent fire, but did not discover that the two incidents were intertwined until the United States Forest Service discovered the wreckage a few hours later. The aircraft had gone down in Fay Canyon, and ignited what is now known as the Fay Fire. As of Sunday evening, the fire had burned about 25 acres and was zero percent contained. The fire is not expected to spread beyond the canyon, but several different crews are currently working to further contain the blaze.
The Fay Canyon crash killed four people, who have yet to be identified. The victims were airlifted away from the crash site, a remote area away from any trails or roads. The National Transportation Safety Board planned to send an investigator to hike to the scene this morning. Nothing is known of the aircraft’s intended destination or the official cause of the crash.
The second crash, which killed two people, involved a Cessna 172 in Mohave County near the Arizona and Utah state border. The crash occurred just south of Interstate 15, near the Virgin River Gorge. The wreckage was on a ledge, and crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames and verify that there were two victims inside the aircraft.
The Arizona aviation accident attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten extend their sincere condolences to the families of the crash victims.