• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Moose-Wilson Road Closure

    The Moose-Wilson Road between Death Canyon Junction north to the intersection with the Murie Center Road is temporarily closed to motor vehicles, bicycles, skating, skateboards and similar devices. For current road conditions call 307-739-3682. More »

  • Multi-use Pathway Closures

    Intermittent closures of the park Multi-use Pathway System will occur through mid-October during asphalt sealing and safety improvement work. Pathway sections will reopen as work is completed. Follow the link for a map and more information. More »

Initial Findings from Investigation into Aircraft Crash of September 11

NTSB & RV7 aircraft_#2
NTSB Air Safety Investigator Zoë Keliher from Boise, Idaho inspects wreckage of the RV7 aircraft that crashed in Grand Teton National Park on September 11.
Grand Teton National Park

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: September 13, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has provided some initial findings into its investigation of light aircraft crash in Grand Teton National Park on Wednesday, September 11. The NTSB is the lead investigator and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Grand Teton National Park are both assisting with the crash investigation.  

NTSB Air Safety Investigator Zoë Keliher determined that the crash occurred at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday. The time was established from a 911 call made by an eyewitness who was driving north on North Spring Gulch Road when the plane went down. Keliher also learned that the occupants of the RV7 aircraft, Russell and Carol Kamtz, had flown from Montana to the Jackson Hole Airport where they refueled, spending just 15 minutes on the ground. The Kamtzes then took off to the north of runway 010 and climbed to about 400 feet before turning south. At that time, they made a call to the airport control tower that they were having a problem with their aircraft and were returning to the airport.

According to eyewitnesses, one of the aircraft's wings dipped as it was turning to the west. Witnesses also reported that the nose of the plane dove toward the ground and the aircraft descended in a near vertical position before impact. Witnesses described seeing neither flames nor fire when the aircraft crashed into the open sagebrush flats about 3/4 mile south of the Jackson Hole Airport. 

Russell Kamtz was a certified pilot; however, Carol was not certified to fly. They were aboard their RV7 aircraft—a two-seat, single engine, low-wing, experimental airplane. These aircraft are generally homebuilt from a kit. Keliher had not yet determined whether the Kamtzes had assembled the plane they were flying. 

Keliher and two assistants are working to capture all evidence associated with the crash site and wreckage. NTSB will examine the engine, air frame and other mechanical evidence, and review the "crash signature" on the ground to determine how the plane hit and what crash patterns it may show. Keliher explained that NTSB looks at three broad areas—man, machine and the environment—during any crash investigation. She will also look at weather (wind and wind speed) and other environmental factors that may have influenced this crash. Keliher's team is reassembling the RV7 aircraft to review mechanical evidence. Further details will be made public as the NTSB investigation concludes. 

Although some witness accounts were already taken, NTSB Air Safety Officer Keliher requests that anyone with information about this crash incident, to call her at 208.352.0235.

Did You Know?

Tetons from Hurricane Pass, KF

Did you know that Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950? The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor.