Plane Fire Extinguished at North Las Vegas Airport - 8 News NOW

Plane Fire Extinguished at North Las Vegas Airport

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LAS VEGAS -- Firefighters extinguished a fire that destroyed a small twin-engine aircraft that broke out in flames after a hard landing at North Las Vegas Airport.

Fire crews were seen about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday attempting to put out the flames, using a purple fire retardant.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the Piper Aerostar aircraft skidded off a runway after landing about 4:15 p.m. The plane came to rest and caught fire. 

The two people aboard were able to get away before flames engulfed the cabin, Las Vegas Fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

The owner of 702 Helicopters Brian Lorenz said accidents like these is actually rare.

"If you look at the amount of flights that are done, especially in and out of this airport and all the other airports in Clark County the accident rate is very low," Lorenz said. "Many times it's pilot error, it can be mechanical error and things like that as well, but they are few and far between."

Lorenz also administers safety courses and said many times accidents on the runway are preventable where pilots undergo a slew of tests to ensure private planes are a safe means for travel.

"Aviation is much safer, it's safer than driving your car," Lorenz said.

In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked North Las Vegas Airport as the most dangerous in the country and pointed to 63 runway incursions that resulted in six deaths during a 6-year span.

By Wednesday evening, the aircraft had been removed but the runway was expected to remain closed for the night, McCarran Airport spokesperson Chris Jones said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash landing, Gregor said. The NTSB is not expected to have a probable cause of what caused the wreck for months, he said. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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