CRASH UPDATE (6:31 a.m., Jan. 7): Wreckage cleared, airport expected to open today |

CRASH UPDATE (6:31 a.m., Jan. 7): Wreckage cleared, airport expected to open today

Staff report
Andre Salvail The Aspen Times

Aspen-Piktin County Airport reopened the morning of Jan. 7 after authorities cleared its runway from the wreckage of a private jet that crashed there Jan. 5, killing one of the aircraft’s pilots.

“The wreckage has been removed from the runway, the Aspen Pitkin County Airport is expected to reopen at 0700 Tuesday AM, and things are expected to quickly return to normal,” wrote Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations firm, in an email at 1:11 the morning of Jan. 7 to local business officials.

The wreckage was cleared as of 10 p.m. Jan. 6, according to a statement issued by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

“There was no significant damage to the runway surface,” the statement said. “Jet fuel containment efforts were conducted by a hazmat crew, with assistance from fire personnel, before investigators were able to board the wreckage. Hazmat crews will continue cleanup efforts to mitigate environmental impacts.”

National Transportation Safety Board officials boarded the plane and recovered the cockpit voice recorder, the statement said.

It will take 12 to 18 months to determine the cause of the crash, the statement said.

After the plane crashed, at approximately 12:23 p.m. Jan. 5, co-pilot Emilio Carranza Brabata, 54, of Mexico, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The other two men — identified as Miguel Angel Henriquez and Moises Carranza Brabata, also of Mexico — were injured. They initially were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital before being transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Authorities said they did not know who actually was flying the plane when it crashed.