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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 30, 2016

5/12/2013 10:35:00 AM
Pilot charged in flawed crash landing

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- The Oklahoma pilot who crash-landed a small airplane on Airport Road adjacent to the Cottonwood Airport Monday has now been charged with the accident.

Cottonwood Police Department, in a joint investigation with the FAA, has charged pilot Kelly Thompson in connection with the May 6 crash.

Thompson, 65, has been charged with operating an airplane without a proper license, operating a not-airworthy aircraft, and reckless aircraft operations. Thompson was cited and released on his promise to appear at the Cottonwood Municipal Court.

Thompson initially told investigators that the runway lights were not operational. Investigation into the runway lighting system revealed that it was operating correctly and it is believed that pilot error was a contributing factor into the runway lights not operating.

Though the pilot was walking around after the plane crashed into the perimeter fence and roadway, he suffered two broken vertebra and was treated at Flagstaff Medical Center.

Police were called by a neighbor at Cottonwood Ranch when he heard a low flying airplane and then a crashing sound.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Article comment by: On a lighter note

A 'flawed crash landing," it wasn't.

Mr. Thompson walked away.

This ex-USAF jock would call it a perfect crash landing.

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: James Gray

I wonder about the lighting. I have flown twice into the Cottonwood Airport when the lighting failed to operate. I reported it to the Airport office both times. Failed lighting is a serious problem and should not be addressed lightly, and that they seemed to treat it when I reported the problem.

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: sd Morningstar

Could he be a descendant of Wrongway Feldman from Gilligans Island?

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