Three pilots identified after mid-air plane crash near Niwot in Boulder County
Updated Monday, September 19 at 11:05 a.m.
The Boulder County Coroner's Office identified the crash victims Monday morning. They are Daniel Wilmoth, 22; Samuel Fisher, 23, and Henry Butler, 69.
Updated Sunday, September 18 at 11:08 a.m.
In a press conference Saturday evening, National Transportation Safety Board lead investigator Mike Folkerts revealed more details about the fatal midair collision that occurred just before 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Folkerts confirmed the three people killed in a midair collision were the only passengers onboard when the planes crashed. The names of the victims have not been released. However, Folkerts confirmed all three dead were pilots. The victims in the Cessna 172 were a flight instructor and student pilot, while the victim in the Sonex Xenos was the pilot.
The Cessna departed from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield Saturday morning for a training flight. The Sonex aircraft departed from the Platte Valley Airpark in Fort Lupton.
Neither aircraft was equipped with a collision-avoidance system. Folkerts said neither of the planes were required to install that system.
A preliminary report of the collision will be released within two weeks of the incident. Final reports could take up to 18 months before they’re released. The NTSB is looking for witnesses to assist in the investigation. Folkerts said the agency will focus on reviewing the flight paths of each plane and look into the backgrounds of each deceased pilot.
Updated Saturday, September 17th
Correction: an earlier version of this story misstated the number of people killed in the crash. Three people died.
Three people are dead after two planes crashed in mid-air over Boulder County Saturday morning.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it received several calls about the aircrafts at 8:54 a.m. near the unincorporated town of Niwot, just south of Longmont. The collision happened between N. 95th St. and U.S. 287.
“We had a report from a witness that heard a loud bang,” Boulder County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Joshua Bonafede. “She looked up and saw two airplanes crashing.”
Multiple rescue crews arrived in the 10000 block of Niwot Road to find the two planes in two separate crash sites.
One aircraft was found on the southside of the area. The second aircraft was found in the 9700 block of Niwot Road, north of the initial response area.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in statement that a single-engine Cessna 172 carrying two passengers collided with a second aircraft near Vance Brand Airport in Longmont. The National Transportation Safety Board later confirmed that the second aircraft was a Sonex Xenos, though the agency didn't specify how many passengers were in it.
According to Sonex's product specifications, the Xenos model can carry a maximum of two passengers.
“This is going to become an FAA and NTSB investigation,” Bonafede said. “So, our detectives are on scene along with searchers.”
Mountain View Fire Rescue said roads in the area have been closed and officials are asking the public to avoid the area as officials continue to inspect the scene.
The identities of those killed in the crash have not been made available. The NTSB and FAA will be investigating the collision.
This story is developing.
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