Aspen Airport

Valley Roundup - January 17th, 2014

Jan 17, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the week’s top news stories in Aspen and beyond.

The NTSB released its initial report on the plane crash at Aspen’s airport earlier this month.  There are no conclusions as to what caused the crash but it includes new details and corrects some earlier speculation about wind speeds at the time of the wreck.  We’ll have a summary.

Also today, three Aspen journalists join us to discuss the news this week. Carolyn Sackariason, Andy Stone and Michael Miracle are here to talk about a noise trail this week and what it means for Aspen’s messy vitality. 

Aspen’s mayor embraces the high end of the community’s population.

And; working dogs or pampered pets?  The Krabloonik sledding operation faces off with public opinion and criminal charges of animal cruelty.

Its all just ahead on this week’s Valley Roundup.

Roger Adams - Aspen Public Radio

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the Sunday January 5th, 2014 crash of a private jet at the Aspen Airport that killed one crew member and injured two others onboard.

The report dated Thursday January 16th, 2014 reviews aspects of the weather, communications and other information.

In the report lays no blame on the cause of the crash – be it nature, man or machine.

Valley Roundup - January 10th, 2014

Jan 10, 2014

Curtis Wackerle and Andy Stone join us to talk about the news this week in Aspen.  It was a week that began in tragedy with the crash of a private jet onto the runway at Aspen’s airport.

Also this week, Aspen gave the go ahead for the first retail marijuana shop in town.  Carbondale got the jump on Aspen, though. Its first pot shop will open very soon.

Also today, Aspen prepares for the X Games.

And on the Download with Rob St. Mary we’ll deconstruct how the internet and social media – especially Twitter – played a big role in the international news coverage of the plane crash here.

Governor Hickenlooper says Colorado dealt with a lot in 2013 including massive fires and biblical floods. He delivered his State of the State address today.

Aspen saw its first plane crash in more than 20 years earlier this week. One died, two were injured and there were a lot of witnesses.

We talk with an expert who explains which pilots get extra training for flying into Aspen’s tricky airport.

We get the latest on efforts to grow and sell recreational pot in the Upper Valley.

Aspen is trying to alert residents and businesses about two big X Games concerts later this month.

And, we’ll hear just how easy it is to break the city’s noise ordinance.

Finally, there’s sobering news about what happens when big mountain skiing and snowboarding go terribly wrong. Our latest Road to Sochi looks at the documentary The Crash Reel.

Roger Adams

Aspen can be a particularly difficult airport to fly in and out of, especially in bad weather... and pilots get the final say about whether or not to land. Some pilots get extra training for a tricky airport like Aspen, but it's not clear whether the pilots in the crash did.  To learn more about how pilots are trained, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with Aleks Udris. He’s co-partner in a pilot training business in Boulder called Boldmethod, and recently wrote about Aspen's airport.

Planes, Buses to Get Travelers to Destinations

Jan 7, 2014
Rob St. Mary

With the clearing of the crash wreckage from the runway last night, the Aspen Airport saw travelers arriving by car and bus to find the best ways out of the town this morning.

By 6am several dozen travelers had arrived at the United Airlines counter to get tickets re-routed following a 36 hour closure of the airport. Travelers were offered various solutions including flights out of Aspen or bus service to Denver to meet connecting flights.

Wreckage Removed, Aspen Airport to Reopen

Jan 6, 2014
Roger Adams - Aspen Public Radio

As of 10:30pm this evening, Monday, the wreckage of a private jet that crashed at the Aspen Airport yesterday afternoon has been removed from the runway.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo made the announcement via press release.

Rob St. Mary

3:53pm - Courtney Liedler of the NTSB says as of 3pm her team has not been able to get onto the aircraft to start the interior investigation. But, the Federal officials say man, machine and mother nature are the key aspects they will be investigating related to the crash. She says the final report will take 12-18 months to complete, but a preliminary report should be released about 5-7 days after the NTSB team leaves Aspen.

Roger Adams - Aspen Public Radio

“911 call came in…”

Roger Adams

Wind has been cited as a possible factor in the plane crash. The Aspen airport can be a particularly challenging place for pilots. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with some seasoned pilots from the area and eyewitnesses to the crash.

Several people inside the terminal witnessed the crash. Comedian Kevin Nealon tweeted the plane “exploded into flames as it was landing.” Aspen resident Randy Placeres saw the soot-covered plane as the emergency vehicles were just pulling up.