NORTH ELBA, N.Y. – A small plane crashed Saturday while attempting to land at an airport near Lake Placid, killing all three people on board.
State police said the plane, a single-engine Mooney M20 registered to West Virginia, burst into flames on impact around 10:40 a.m. Saturday.
Lake Placid Municipal Airport manager Steve Short said preliminary information showed the plane crashed after its first attempt at landing was thwarted by a plane approaching from the opposite direction.
Per protocol, both planes turned away from each other to circle and attempt the landing again, Short said.
He said the pilot of the Mooney deployed the plane’s flaps but never retracted them before making the second approach, inhibiting its ability to fully circle and attempt another landing.
The plane lost power and crashed on a farm about two-thirds of a mile from the runway, he said.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the site. A coroner was also on scene. The identities of the victims were not released.
Short said that since the plane was flying under 18,000 feet, the pilot was not required to submit a flight plan. He said the winds were calm and it was unlikely weather played a role in the accident.
Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains that was the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
The M20, a favourite of recreational and professional pilots, has been involved in more than 2,700 accidents and incidents since the model was introduced in the 1950s, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Of those, more than 600 have been fatal — including four crashes this year that killed eight people and seven crashes in 2013 that killed 14 people.