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Top Nu Skin distributor killed in plane crash at Provo Airport

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Investigators continue looking over the scene in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, after pilot Nathan Ricks was killed instantly during a takeoff at Provo airport.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Friends have identified the victim of a fatal plane crash on Monday at Provo Airport as Nathan Ricks, a Utah entrepreneur, businessman, and the largest distributor in the history of Nu Skin Enterprises.

Ricks was identified by friends in several social media posts Tuesday. Diana Zisselman said her family knew Ricks for 12 years. She said he supported the family through health struggles and he was all about family and serving others.

"He was a force to be reckoned with," Zisselman said. "Nathan was a powerhouse in every way. I think if I hear one quote from him over and over: 'The truth is always good enough.' He said it over and over and you didn't always like the truth, but it was always good enough."

Ricks joined Nu Skin in 1989, and has since founded One Team Global, a sales organization with more than 500,000 distributors that is responsible for nearly $1 billion in Nu Skin products each year.

Zisselman said Ricks owned his own jet and was an accomplished pilot. She said he was flying his wife and two friends to attend the Rose Bowl game on Monday morning.

The crash occurred about 11:35 a.m. when a small aircraft carrying four passengers crashed about 1,500 feet down the runway immediately after taking off. Provo Airport Director Brian Torgesen initially said the crash did not seem to be weather-related.

Ricks was killed in the crash, while another person was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The other two passengers suffered "what appears to be minor bumps and bruises," according to a statement on Provo’s Facebook page.

Torgensen said the Provo Airport will remain closed through at least Wednesday while authorities investigate, including the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Flights are canceled during an investigation in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, after pilot Nathan Ricks was killed instantly during a takeoff at Provo airport.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“We recognize the significant impact this creates for our airline customers, as well as the general aviation and corporate aviation community,” Torgersen said. “Our priority is to resume normal operations as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the investigation process may take several days to complete. We are optimistic that, if all goes well, we will be able to open the airport to normal operations by Wednesday evening.”

Hundreds of passengers were forced to find other options as about 10 inbound and 10 outbound flights were canceled Monday. Another 12 flights were canceled Tuesday, according to Allegiant Air.

"We are reaching out directly to passengers whose flights have been affected and offering the opportunity to receive a refund or reaccommodate with no fee to the next available flight. We are closely monitoring this situation and will make additional adjustments to the schedule as necessary," said Andrew Porrello with Allegiant's media relations.

No update on the patient in critical condition has been provided.

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Investigators continue looking over the scene in Provo on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, after pilot Nathan Ricks was killed instantly during a takeoff at Provo airport.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News