The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the plane crash that killed two pilots in Broomfield on Sunday.
North Metro Fire Rescue and Broomfield police both responded to the incident to find both pilots, the only occupants of the single-engine plane, dead in the Anthem Ranch neighborhood near Anthem Ranch Road and Las Brisas Drive, police said.
No one else was hurt and no homes were damaged, despite the crash happening in a populated neighborhood in northern Broomfield.
The Piper PA-32 plane took off around 11:45 a.m. from Erie Municipal Airport on a shallow climb before impacting shortly thereafter. A pilot appeared to take a left turn before the plane’s left wing dipped and the plane crashed into a tree near a sidewalk about 100 feet from the nearest house, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Mike Folkerts said.
The total flight time of the plane was likely less than a minute, Folkerts said.
North Metro Fire spokeswoman Sara Farris said the two victims died before first responders arrived, and that there was no “active fire” around the plane but that fire crews sprayed down the area as a precaution.
“This is unfortunately the second fatal plane crash we’ve had in Broomfield in the last two weeks,” Farris said. “It’s just a real loss for our community.”
The National Transportation Safety Board will look at all possible factors in the crash, including propeller strikes the plane made on the road as it crashed and looking at the engine. No one witnessed the crash, but an experienced pilot witnessed the departure and noted two “carburetor coughs” that could signal a possible engine problem, Folkerts said.
The investigators plan to return a preliminary report on the crash within 10 days, Folkerts said. From there, the National Transportation Safety Board will continue to investigate and make recommendations for the industry.
“Generally, aviation is a safe industry,” Folkerts said. “We’re trying to improve that safety.”
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