Durango plane crash injures 2

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$A single engine experimental aircraft lies off the runway at the La Plata County Airport.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$ Enlargephoto

ISAIAH BRANCH-BOYLE/Durango Herald

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$A single engine experimental aircraft lies off the runway at the La Plata County Airport.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

A fixed-wing, single-engine experimental aircraft crashed Sunday morning at the Durango-La Plata County Airport.

Two men on board were transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center by ambulances from the Los Pinos Fire Protection District and Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, said Don Brockus, a spokesman for the Durango-La Plata County Airport.

Those aboard the plane were Bruce Snyder, 56, and William Counley, 55, said Sam Eggleston of the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

Snyder and Counley were in fair condition Sunday evening, Mercy Regional Medical Center Spokesman David Bruzzese said.

The crash occurred around 9:10 a.m., and the runway was closed for about 1½ hours, Brockus said. The plane went down on the east side of the runway.

While Brockus said there was some uncertainty among witnesses, he believed the plane crashed shortly after taking off from the airport. This was the first operation of the day for the plane, he said. All remaining debris from the crash was removed by Sunday afternoon, and the airport did not expect there would be further disturbances or delays related to the crash, Brockus said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration registry, the plane is registered to Doppelt Ventures LLC out of Missoula, Mont.

Brockus was unsure Sunday afternoon whether the Federal Aviation Administration’s General Aviation Safety Council or the National Transportation Safety Board would head up an investigation into the crash, but some type of federal investigation will be conducted, he said.