A private plane apparently trying to land on an entrance road of the Grand Canyon crashed Saturday, killing all four people on board.
The pilot of the single-engine Cessna 172 radioed Grand Canyon National Park Airport shortly before it went down."The pilot did report that he had a problem gaining altitude," said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Diana Joubert.
The aircraft burst into flames upon impact, charring brush next to the road. A two-mile stretch was shut down for eight hours as firefighters battled flames and investigators inspected the site.
The four victims were from Europe, and their identities were not immediately available, said park spokeswoman Mallory Smith.
The rented plane, which had flown to the canyon from Phoenix, was bound for Page, Ariz., where an air show was being held Saturday.
It was the second fatal crash this year near the canyon. A pilot was killed Aug. 2 when his plane plunged into a canyon wall. He was the only person on board.
Last year, a sightseeing plane crashed after engine failure, killing eight people. The worst crash in the canyon's history was in 1956, when two commercial planes collided over the canyon, killing 128 people.