RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- The crash that killed four young men isn't the first deadly plane crash at the Cuyahoga County Airport. And it comes at a time when the county is planning major improvements there.
According to the master plan, the airport's RSA's (runway safety areas) do not meet current FAA standards. Those areas, according to the county, enhance the safety of aircraft that undershoot, overrun, or veer off the runway, and provide greater accessibility for fire fighting and rescue efforts.
Now, the runway is too short and in need of repair. With the help of millions of federal dollars, the county plans to extend the runway 500 feet and replace or re-surface it. In addition, the plan calls for upgrades to lighting, pavement markings and signage described as confusing.
Monday night's crash wasn't the first deadly accident at the airport. In 2009, a pilot and one passenger were killed in a crash shortly after take-off. In 2004, an experienced pilot, flying a Cessna 310, was killed when he crashed, also soon after take-off.
According to National Transportation Safety records, a total of 6 accidents at the airport since 2000. The FAA reports 15 incidents in the same time period. All were minor except for one.
The students killed were flying in a Cessna 172. It's not only a very popular aircraft, it has an excellent safety record.
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