Agency: Pilot didn’t contact airport before crash

DENVER — A small plane that crashed in the Colorado mountains, killing both people aboard, was preparing to land at a small airport but didn’t make voice contact with the tower, federal investigators said.

The twin-engine Beech B-60 crashed Dec. 15 about 80 miles west of Denver.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released this week did not list the cause or identify the victims. The plane was registered to Bighawk Corp. of Brownwood, Texas.

The Eagle County coroner didn’t immediate return a call today.

The plane had taken off from Pueblo, Colo., and had been cleared by the Denver air traffic control center to land at Eagle County Regional Airport, the NTSB said.

The Denver center instructed the pilot to contact the airport tower, but no contact was made, the report said.

The plane was descending and at 11,200 feet above sea level when it disappeared from radar. Instrument flight rules were in effect, meaning visibility was limited and pilots had to rely on instruments.

The wreckage was found in rugged, snow-covered terrain at 10,600 feet. A fire broke out after the crash, the NTSB said.

The victims were the 18th and 19th people to die in plane crashes in Colorado this year, according to NTSB reports.

In the preceding five years, the number of airplane fatalities in Colorado ranged from seven to 38, with an average of 18.4 a year.


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