CO: After Latest Incident, FAA Ponders New Safety Measures at Aspen Airport

July 2, 2018

A disoriented pilot, a uniquely stressful approach path that requires a split-second landing decision, and a lack of lighting were among the factors discussed by Federal Aviation Administration staff investigating how a private jet landed in snow and grass adjacent to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport runway in January, according to agency emails obtained by the Aspen Daily News.

No one was hurt, and the Falcon 2000 plane was undamaged, in the Jan. 7 incident, but it was the sixth crash since 1992 at Sardy Field, Sean Kerrick, an airport certification safety inspector with the FAA, told colleagues. The agency provided emails and other documents after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed in February.

But the public should be aware that Sardy Field is a safe airport, stressed Mike Boyd, an Evergreen-based aviation consultant, noting that six incidents in 26 years is a solid track record of safety. Like every airport, the local one has issues that pilots must be trained for, he said.

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