by: Craig Proffer
HEBER CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — The pilot of a gyrocopter has died after a crash in Heber on Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say the aircraft crashed near of US 189 and 1200 South close to the Heber Valley airport.
The Wasatch County Fire Department confirmed the details in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Police said the pilot was a 76-year-old man from the Park City area who was considered to be an “experienced pilot”.
According to Lt. Randall Richey of the Utah Highway Patrol, the red gyrocopter took of from the Heber City Airport when “for an unknown reason”, the aircraft veered to the right and crashed in a drainage culvert alone Highway 189.
“We’re very fortunate that there was only one person involved, and that it did miss other traffic on the roadway,” Lt. Richey added
Heber Valley airport is located 1 mile south of Heber City.
According to its website, the city acquired the land to build the airport in the fall of 1946, but the project came to a standstill in 1947 due to a lack of funding.
That changed when 6 men came together to form Heber Valley Flying Service Inc., which acquired a $100,000 loan to begin the construction of the airport.
Local farmer’s fences that surrounded the site of the future airport were removed, requiring the property to fenced again entirely by hand, according to the airport website.
This crash comes just 6 days after a pilot was injured in a plane crash near the Ogden-Hinckley airport in Ogden on Dec. 10