In response to a Colorado Open Records Act request from Aspen Journalism, the Aspen/Pitkin County airport has released video of the fatal jet crash that occurred on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014.
The video was captured by five different cameras normally used by airport officials to monitor activity on the ramps, or aprons, outside the general aviation and commercial aviation terminals.
Together the video feeds from the five infrared cameras show the jet's engines firing just before touching down, as if the pilot was trying to abort the landing at the last second. Then the plane bounces hard off the runway, leaps in the air and comes in hard nose-first before bursting into flames. It also shows a rescue vehicle responding to the crash.
Of the three pilots on board N115WF, one was killed and two were injured.
Aspen/Pitkin County Airport Director Jim Elwood conceded the video "is a matter or record," but was reluctant to see it made widely available.
"The unfortunate part of this video is that it does recognize a fatality," Elwood said. "That's always sad and we need to respect life. Unfortunately, a very sad thing happened at that point in time."
Elwood said it also may be difficult for people to understand what they are seeing in the video.
"The infrared is not the typical way that people see video and understand it," he said. "Everything looks very different and it takes a certain amount of visualization of what you are seeing to understand it. But, it is what it is."