SPARKS, Nev. — A small plane that crashed into a northern Nevada recreational vehicle park, killing both people on board, plunged nose-first close to occupied RVs — and no one on the ground was hurt, authorities said Wednesday.
The single-engine Beechcraft A36 crashed in the city of Sparks, about a half-mile from a runway at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
The crash caused a fire that damaged several RVs and vehicles, said Sparks police Lt. Pete Krall. But people in nearby RVs escaped uninjured.
“There was a potential for a really catastrophic event,” Krall said. “The fact it wasn’t worse was really very lucky.”
Firefighters evacuated the 164-space trailer park following the 6:15 p.m. Tuesday crash because of smoke from the fire. Authorities said later that everyone on the ground had been accounted for.
The crash was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Preliminary findings will be made public in about 10 days, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.
The identities of the victims were not made public Wednesday by the Washoe County coroner’s office.
The 1981 Beechcraft was registered to Venture Aviation Services in Reno, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.
Calls to people listed in state records as connected to the company went to an apparent fax line and to a disconnected number.
The Rivers Edge RV park hugs the Truckee River just north of the airport and is owned by Storz Management Co. in Orangeville, California. Andy Carey, the company’s president, declined to comment.
Online reviews about the RV park warn first-time visitors about low-flying commercial aircraft. The airport is served by seven airlines and several air cargo companies.