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Passenger Jet Narrowly Missed Truckee Homes When It Crashed

TRUCKEE (CBS13) - A jet plane went down right outside the Truckee-Tahoe Airport while attempting to land, killing everyone on board.

The plane crash-landed on the Ponderosa Golf Course in Truckee. Officials say everyone on the ground is lucky to be alive.

Investigators are heading to the scene, while neighbors deal with the shock of what they saw

"It was something out of a nightmare," said Truckee resident Jesse Quay.

The plane crashed through trees into the Ponderosa Golf Course and then exploded outside Quay's front door. It was all caught on a surveillance camera.

"We started hearing the plane coming in and I said that's too low there's something obviously wrong," said Quay. "It clipped a tree and blew up."

The incident was understandably a shock to neighbors – many of whom saw the plane crash with their own eyes.

"The fireball was 60-70 feet," said Quay. "That 70-foot ponderosa pine went up like a match stick."

Officials tell us no one on the ground was hurt.

"It is a miracle it didn't' hit a house," said Truckee resident Rob Glaser

Neighbors feared the crash would ignite a wildfire.

"All I could see was black smoke, billowing black smoke," said Glaser. "The fire started moving this way."

Within minutes, a strike team that was on their way home from the nearby Tamarack Fire had the blaze under control.

At the time of the crash, the weather was fairly calm, but the air was smoky.

Laura: There are several wildfires burning in the area. You can see smoke filling up the sky. Did that play a role in this crash?

"It's undetermined at this time. There were no restrictions to visibility. The aircraft could see the airport and they were talking to our control tower," said Hardy Bullock, Dir. Of Aviation & Community Services at Truckee-Tahoe Airport

Local officials say us the plane circled the airport before crashing. A cause for the accident has not yet been determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of this investigation. As of this Monday night, the agency still had not arrived on the scene.

This investigation will be in a bit of a holding pattern in terms of understanding why this plane went down, how many people died, and who they were.

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