A single-engine airplane crashed at Salem Municipal Airport Saturday afternoon, killing two people, according to the Salem Police Department.
“Initial witness statements indicated the plane had been attempting to land when the crash occurred,” the agency said in a news release.
Those in the aircraft haven’t been identified.
The airplane crashed about 3 p.m. on Runway 34, one of two main runways at the airport, near what is called Taxiway A, which leads to businesses and hangars.
Salem police and firefighters responded, but the investigation will be handled by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB is responsible for investigating the cause of such a crash and says on its website that “the cause may not be determined for 12 to 18 months after the accident.”
A spokesman for the FAA said in an email to Salem Reporter Saturday evening that the aircraft was departing McNary Field and two people were on board. She identified the plane as a Beechcraft B35.
“The Federal Aviation Administration will release the tail number of the aircraft after investigators verify it at the accident site,” according to the agency statement.
The Bonanza B35 can hold six people and has a range of 750 miles and a maximum cruise speed of 173 mph. The plane was in production in 1950.
The airport primarily serves private and corporate airplanes. The secondary runway where the crash occurred remains closed to air traffic but the airport’s primary runway remains open, officials said.
The crash occurred within view of the Flight Deck Restaurant and Lounge, according to social media posts from witnesses.
The National Weather Service at the time of the crash reported clear and 49 degrees with 10 miles of visibility and wind of 3 mph.
Police and firefighters investigate a crash at McNary Field, Salem’s airport, on Saturday afternoon. (Photo via Marion Polk Yamhill Crime, Traffic and Severe Weather Alerts Facebook group)