Already on the scene as part of around-the-clock emergency relief and aid efforts in Puerto Rico, the FAA is now investigating an incident that has Isla Grande Airport closed today. At approximately 11 a.m. local time, a Cessna 182D crashed, resulting in “serious injuries” to the pilot and co-pilot, who were the only people in the airplane. Their identity is currently unknown, but the plane is registered to an owner in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
An airport employee told local media that a gust of wind, or “blast,” caused the plane to flip as it was landing. A person who shared a video of the crash scene on Facebook said military helicopters caused the gust, adding that the two men suffered chest and head trauma.
The aircraft reportedly crashed near the hangar of the National Guard, and after receiving treatment from the air rescue unit, the pilot and co-pilot were transferred to a medical center by helicopter. There was reportedly no cargo.
The director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority told reporters that the airport will reopen when the FAA has completed its investigation. (UPDATE: The airport resumed operations several hours later.)
Like Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, people have gathered at Isla Grande Airport, looking to escape Maria's devastation. Isla Grande has also been crucial in offering access to GA pilots running relief missions.