Corporate pilot Duane Youd committed suicide early yesterday by flying the Cessna CitationJet he flew for a construction company into his home in Payson, Utah, approximately seven hours after his arrest and booking on domestic assault charges. The 1995 CitationJet (N526CP) was registered to VanCon Holdings, a Springville-based company where authorities said the 47-year-old pilot worked.
Youd took off solo from Spanish Fork Airport Springville-Woodhouse Field (SPK) and deliberately flew the twinjet into his house at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time Monday. KSL-5 reported Youd was out on bail, and police had escorted him to retrieve personal items from the home shortly before he headed to the airport, 8.5 miles to the southwest, to take the airplane.
Images from the scene show the aircraft broke apart on impact, scattering debris and engulfing the home in flames but imparting little apparent collision damage to the structure. Youd’s wife and young son were reportedly inside the home and both escaped the fire uninjured.
FAA records show he held an ATP rating and was single-pilot typed in the CitationJet. According to his Facebook profile, Youd previously worked as a pilot for regional operator Endeavor Air and as a medevac pilot in Alaska.
Monday’s crash was the second apparent suicide-by-airplane incident in the U.S. in four days. Richard Russell, a ramp worker for Horizon Airlines, stole a Bombardier Q400 regional turboprop from a maintenance ramp at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) Friday evening and flew the plane over Puget Sound before crashing on Ketron Island.