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Twin Engine Rockwell Turbo Commander 690A Plane Crashes, Burns Near Apache Junction Arizona — Superstition Mountain, East of Phoenix

Wed November 23 2011 8:58 pm
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A twin-engine plane with three adults and three children on board crashed into the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix on Wednesday, and there was no sign of survivors, authorities said.

Apache Junction Fire Department and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office responded to the wreckage of a twin engine Rockwell Turbo Commander 690A plane that crashed into the Superstition Mountains east of the Valley.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a plane with six on board, including three children, crashed in the mountain range and caused a fire.

Reports of the crash and flames came in about 6:40 p.m. The time zone is one hour behind CST (Chicago time).

There are reports of multiple areas of fires burning.

No commercial aircraft had been reported missing immediately after the news of the crash.

The plane reportedly crashed near the top of the mountain at a height of approximately 4,500 feet.

VIDEO: A webcam aimed out a window captured the crash (0:50).

The Superstition Mountains, popularly referred to as “The Superstitions”, are a range of mountains in Arizona that are anchored by Superstition Mountain — a large mountain that is a popular recreation destination for residents of the Phoenix, Arizona area. There’s absolutely no artificial light in the area, and the terrain has rugged cliffs. The fuselage is reported to be wedged in some crevices in the rugged terrain.

The FAA N-Number is reported to be N690SM (FAA N690SM). The aircraft is reported to be a fixed wing multi-engine (turbo-prop) owned by Ponderosa Aviation of Safford, Arizona.

Ponderosa Aviation provides Type I Air Tactical platforms to the United States Forestry Service (USFS) and Department of the Interior (DOI), and superior aircraft for firefighting surveillance, according to the official website for Ponderosa Aviation ( The fixed wings are attached at the top of the fuselage.

Aircraft form of NOAA’s newer AC-695A Jet Prop Commander — similar to form of Rockwell Turbo Commander 690A.

More info on Twin Commander Model 690A Aircraft

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Satellite view of rugged mountains east of Apache Junction, Arizona.

View Larger Map
Map of Apache Junction in Arizona and southwest United States.

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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  • Current Conditions : 44.8F, Overcast - 1:22 AM CST Nov. 18
    Temperature: 44.8°F | Humidity: 99% | Pressure: 29.56in ( Falling) | Conditions: Overcast | Wind Direction: West | Wind Speed: 1.3mph
  • Saturday as of Nov. 17 9:30 PM CST
    Saturday - Windy. Patchy fog in the morning. Rain in the morning, then light rain and a slight chance of light snow in the afternoon. No snow accumulation. Highs in the mid 40s. North winds 10 to 20 mph in the morning increasing to 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Inland, gusts up to […]
  • Rest of Tonight as of Nov. 17 9:30 PM CST
    Rest of Tonight - Light rain and areas of drizzle. Patchy fog late in the evening, then areas of fog after midnight. Temperatures nearly steady in the mid 40s. South winds 10 to 20 mph late in the evening becoming southwest and decreasing to 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Near the lake, gusts up […]
  • Saturday Night as of Nov. 17 9:30 PM CST
    Saturday Night - Windy. Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Northwest winds 20 to 30 mph in the evening decreasing to 10 to 20 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 35 mph.


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