HAYDEN, Colo. – The NTSB is now investigating what caused a deadly plane crash at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Sunday.
The Cessna 414A crashed about 40 yards short of the runway. The Humpal family from Texas was on board, heading to Steamboat Springs for a ski vacation. The mother, Gaby Humpal, was killed along with the pilot, Hans Vandervlugt.
But Scott Humpal and his three children survived.
“It is always sad to see something like that happen. Thankfully there were survivors,” said David Ruppel, the airport manager. He says bands of heavy snow were coming and going, and one moved in just as the Cessna was trying to land.
Visibility was less than quarter of a mile, but with an instrument landing, it is not uncommon for pilots to continue on.
“They attempted to make a couple of approaches and on the last attempt missed the runway,” Ruppel said.
Longtime pilot and aviation safety consultant Steve Cowell says the pilot is the person who decides whether or not to land. “You need a plan B, an alternate airport to go to,” Cowell said.
Here is what Scott Humpal posted on his Facebook page Monday:
“We r all in the steamboat hospital…..the boys and I r in a lot of pain ……pain meds help some…….dillon has a lumbar compression fracture ..and some cervical instability….he has been in a cervical collar since the wreck….had scan this morning………tad has neck and back pain and ankle pain……..I have back ..neck..rib pain, a sprained ankle and a broken ankle….
Sara had surgery to fix the 2 fractures in her leg……her circulation is good! …she had 2 collapsed lungs that have reinflated and draining with 2 chest tubes…..she is on a ventilator….she has a subdural hemotoma of head, a lacerated kidney and liver….a broken collar bone…and an unstable fracture of T6……she will be transported to denver childrens hosp today and havesurgery on her back…..we will have to stay in steamboat until we are able to travel….please pray for sara’s recovery and Gaby’ s soul…….thank you all for your concern and messeges…………. scott”