Yup. Cherokee crashed on takeoff. I stopped by the field on the way home. Here's the info.
A Cherokee (based at FFZ) was taking off. Apparently shortly after rotation the engine cowl came loose and obstructed the pilots view. He then attempted to make a turn back to the runway at which point according to one of the guys who saw it said he heard the power come back. He was in a fairly steep turn. The combo of power back and a turn ended with a stall and he crashed off the right side of the arrival end of runway 4R. There's a depressed area about half the size of a football feild to the south of the runway and west of the ramp/run-up area that he ended up in.
It was a father and son in the aircraft. Both were air lifted to a hospital. Their injuries are serious but not life threatening.
The aircraft is all of 1,000+/- feet west our covered tie down.
The news coppers were all "vultching" out over FFZ.
To make matters more complicated 4R/22L is closed for repaving/work so the only available runway is 4L/22R (3,800ft) and earlier in the day a 210 apparently overran the runway while landing!
A busy day at what is otherwise a very sleepy airport (for out here).
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Phoenix paramedic, son hurt in Mesa plane crash
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 21, 2003 12:00 AM
A small plane crashed while attempting to land at Falcon Field on Monday afternoon in Mesa, injuring a father and son.
Witnesses said it looked as if the plane stalled in the air shortly after taking off, according to Capt. Ivard Brimley of the Mesa Fire Department.
The plane, headed to Chandler Airpark to pick up airplane parts, called in an emergency and turned to return to Falcon Field.
After the crash, the passengers had to be removed from the craft by firefighters. Scott Crosby, 50, and Connor Crosby, 31, were flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital with severe face and back injuries.
Scott is a Mesa resident and is a Phoenix Fire Department captain/paramedic with more than 20 years of service.
"At this point, none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening," Brimley said Monday evening. "Their injuries are such that they will probably be there (in the trauma center) for a while."
The plane was identified as a 1968 Piper Cherokee, according to 12 News.
It crashed into a retention basin, an area for water runoff, near the landing strip around 4 p.m. There was no water in the basin.
Falcon Field is owned and operated by Mesa. It is seven miles northeast of the city's downtown.
The airport is the home base for more than 900 aircraft.
Through the first nine months of the year, 198,697 flights have taken off and landed at Falcon Field.
This is the first serious crash at the field in recent memory, said Vicki Kerr, a Falcon Field management assistant.
"We have incidents periodically where an aircraft blows a tire. This is certainly a higher magnitude than we're used to," Kerr said.
A Mesa Police Department reconstruction team was working Monday night to understand how the crash occurred.