It’s home of some of the most raucous scenes in golf with the 16th hole providing a rowdy spectacle every year. But Monday night, it was the site of tragedy.
At 9 p.m. on Monday, police and fire rescue personnel in Scottsdale, Ariz., responded to calls that a small private plane had crashed at the TPC Scottsdale, home of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. All six people aboard perished in the crash, Scottsdale police confirmed.
The aircraft, a Piper Comanche PA-24, caught fire and burned on the Champions Course at the resort, according to multiple news reports.
“We do know the flight originated at Scottsdale Airport and it appears it went down shortly after takeoff,’’ Scottsdale Police spokesman Kevin Watts said.
It will likely be months before National Transportation Safety Board investigators issue any findings regarding the cause of the crash. However, private pilots in distress often try to land on golf courses, as fairways are often long and wide enough and power-line free.
Eyewitness Versace King, who was loading a truck near the airport, saw the Piper take off and then heard it stall, he told The Arizona Republic. He then heard the crash and explosion. A plane so close to takeoff is almost always full of fuel.
“I was like, ‘What the heck?’ ” King said. “So I drove over to the golf course and I saw the plane was engulfed in flames.”