BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – A single-engine plane crashed at Rocky Mountain Airport near Broomfield Sunday afternoon.
The plane came to a rest upside-down and suffered heavy damage, but the pilot and his student survived and were able to walk away from the crash. It’s not clear if they suffered any injuries.
North Metro Fire and Rescue responded to the crash of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk.
The pilot and student were reportedly practicing a maneuver called touch-and-goes, which is meant to practice takeoffs and landings. They apparently landed approximately 100 yards short of the east runway.
“I saw the cloud of dust that came up after the impact,” witness Nigel Birkbeck said.
Officials believe weather was a factor in the crash.
“The plane apparently encountered strong down-draft winds, which made it impossible for the airplane to maintain its altitude,” Cpt. Ross Riley with North Metro Fire and Rescue said. “Unfortunately it crash landed about 100 yards short of that runway.”
Riley, who also is a pilot and flew similar planes in Alaska, said encountering such a down-draft is nearly impossible to overcome.
“The strong down-force winds just literally push the airplane down on the ground,” he said.
Riley said the two men who survived are incredibly lucky.