A small prop plane registered in Colorado crashed near Reno-Stead Airport Monday evening, injuring three people, one of them seriously. According to reports, the plane was either picking people up to head to Burning Man, or was returning from a quick flight to the playa.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the aircraft, a Mooney M20C fixed-wing, single-engine plane, came to rest on its belly near a chain-link fence by the side of a road. Brian Kulpin with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority tells News 4-Fox 11 that he believed the plane was coming from Burning Man, and had crashed at 4:55 p.m. It remains unclear if the plane was landing or taking off at the time of the crash.
Per Fox 11, the FAA is currently investigating.
The crash follows on a fatal vehicle accident on Sunday that occurred along Highway 34 in Washoe County, the main road in and out of the Black Rock Desert. As the Gazette-Journal reports, the afternoon crash involved an overturned RV, and one adult male died. The crash and the subsequent investigation led to a lengthy traffic backup on the biggest day of arrivals for Burning Man, with residual traffic that extended into the evening.
This video from early Monday showed a reported 700 to 800 Burners who became stranded at Reno-Stead Airport due to the traffic from the earlier crash, with some having to unexpectedly spend the night at a hotel nearby.
TEMPORARILY STRANDED: Airport says 700-800 burners were temporarily stranded due to the fatal crash that blocked roads to the playa. Burners loading on buses this morning. Some stayed in hotels last night, others slept at the @RenoAirport @KOLO8 pic.twitter.com/yahc8bwuvQ— Elizabeth Rodil (@RodilElizabeth) August 26, 2019