Hours separate deadly Arizona plane crashes

AP News
Posted: Jul 21, 2014 10:14 PM
Hours separate deadly Arizona plane crashes

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) — Two teenage brothers from Utah were among six people who died in two fiery, small plane crashes in northern Arizona over the weekend, authorities said.

Daulton Whatcott, 19, was flying the single-engine Cessna that crashed just south of Interstate 15 near the Arizona-Utah border Sunday evening. He and his brother, Jaxon, of Clinton, were headed to a basketball tournament in Nevada, a family spokeswoman said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and another one farther south in Arizona that happened just hours earlier.

The first plane crashed around 3 p.m. Sunday in a remote canyon near Sedona. The bodies of four people were airlifted out Monday, Yavapai County sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said. Their identities haven't been released.

Hikers reported seeing a low-flying plane go over a ridge and disappear, followed by the sound of a crash and smoke rising from the canyon, D'Evelyn said.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is unsure of the flight plan for the single-engine Cessna. Firefighters were working Monday to extinguish the 25-acre fire sparked by the crash.

The Whatcotts' plane crashed about 6:30 p.m. local time, coming to rest on ledge south of the Virgin River Gorge. No one else was on board. Family spokeswoman Taunie Reynolds said Daulton was a newly licensed pilot and was taking Jaxon to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

Both brothers played on the basketball team at Syracuse High School, where Jaxon would have started his junior year this fall. Daulton graduated last year and was attending Utah State University.

Memorials were planned Monday and Tuesday in Davis County, Utah.