Fire grounds private plane at St. George Airport

Aftermath of an airplane fire at the St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A man and woman got a hot start to Valentine’s Day weekend Friday night when their airplane caught fire at the St. George Municipal Airport in St. George.

At about 8:30 p.m., the St. George Communications Center received a report of an airplane fire at the airport. When responders arrived at the scene, they found an RV-6 airplane on fire. A man and woman had been inside the plane when the fire started but were able to exit the aircraft unharmed.

“They were taxiing out Taxiway Alpha, and they were just proceeding onto the runway and he blew a right brake line,” Brad Kitchen, airport operations supervisor/aircraft rescue firefighter said.

After the brake line blew, brake fluid sprayed over the brake, causing a fire to ignite in the landing gear, Kitchen said. There were about 60 gallons of fuel in the plane, and the right wing was becoming very hot, so responders were concerned about the fuel tank igniting, he said. However, responders were able to extinguish the fire with a handline before that happened.

Aftermath of an airplane fire at the St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, St. George News
Aftermath of an airplane fire at the St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Feb. 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, St. George News

“The fire was coming up underneath the wing and the wing was very hot. We’re quite lucky we didn’t have a wing fire,” Kitchen said.

If that had happened, he said, the plane would have been a total loss. But responders were able to put the fire out and get the wing cooled down, and the aircraft was then towed away.

The plane sustained about $2,000 in damages, Kitchen said. The man and woman who had been in the plane had to stay the night in a hotel. Kitchen said he’s not sure where they were from or where they were headed when the fire broke out.

Responders from the St. George Municipal Airport, the St. George Fire Department and the St. George Police Department attended to the scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: cjim@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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