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Small Plane Crash at Grand Canyon Airport Kills 4 Californians Aboard

November 16, 1987|United Press International

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — A single-engine plane crashed Sunday as its pilot attempted an emergency landing at Grand Canyon Airport, killing all four people aboard, all of them from California, authorities said.

Detective Gil Moreno of the Coconino County sheriff's office said the names of the four victims were being withheld pending notification of relatives. Moreno said the two men and two women apparently were close friends and business partners and attended the same church in a small town, which he would not identify.

"The pilot radioed to the tower that he was having engine problems and he crashed on approach," Moreno said.

The single-engine Mooney went down less than half a mile south of the runway, clipping a small tree and coming to rest in a ravine, he said.

"Everything was pretty much contained," Moreno said. "All four occupants were still in the plane. It did not catch on fire."

Northern Arizona had weathered a winter storm during the last few days, but skies were clear at the Grand Canyon on Sunday and Moreno said airport officials told him that visibility was "very good."

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