Two planes collide with 3 confirmed deaths in Boulder County

One plane was found in a field in the 95th and Niwot areas. A second plane was found north of his Niwot Road.

BOLDER COUNTY, Colorado — Three people were killed in a mid-air plane crash in Boulder County Saturday morning.

according to Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) said the crash was first reported at 8:54 a.m. Saturday. The accident killed three people, according to the sheriff’s office.

One was found in a field at block 10,000 of Niwot Road and another was found in a cluster of trees near block 9700 of Niwot Road.

according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the aircraft types involved were Cessna 172s and Sonex Xenos. The Sonex Xenos is a lightweight, aluminum, low-wing, two-seat aircraft.

According to the NTSB, there were two people on board the Cessna, an instructor and a student. Sonex had one.

Neither aircraft was in contact with air traffic control at the time of the crash, according to NTSB lead investigator Mike Volkerts.

A preliminary evaluation of the aircraft showed that neither aircraft was equipped with a collision avoidance system or a display in the cockpit to warn the pilot against other aircraft in the area. Volkerts explained that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) didn’t need to have these capabilities.

It is not uncommon for locals to see and hear planes flying over along Niwot Road.

> Video above: Sky9 footage of the first crashed plane.

“It’s not unusual to see a lot of small planes, especially on weekend mornings,” said Carrie Hayes, who heard a plane crash Saturday morning. There is traffic.”

“I’m not used to that pop,” Hayes said. “It was a little unusual.”

He was sitting in his living room around 9am on Saturday when he heard the plane crash.

“On a sunny day like today, it’s hard to believe they’re going to collide, but they do happen,” Hayes said.

Neighbors from the area gathered outside to see what had happened.

Cindy Wolcott said, “I had never heard of a plane crash, but we said to each other, ‘That was a plane crash.’ ‘I just don’t know. But I instinctively felt that way.”

She was also inside when she heard the crash.

“We went outside and started looking for smoke,” Walcott said. “I didn’t see any smoke from either plane.”

She said she passed by the plane wreckage twice without noticing it because it was hidden in a tree directly across from her house.

“We never thought we’d be this close,” Walcott said.

Chief Dave Bebe and Mountain View Fire Rescue He said three people were killed and there was no fire that could be extinguished.

“We came here and found one of the wreckage relatively quickly,” he said. “Other debris was in some trees and other vegetation, so it took a little longer.”

Bebee said it was searching extensively in relatively rural areas.

“We brought in a medical helicopter and did a flyover,” he said. “We do drone flyovers just to make sure we don’t miss anything.”

There are now more questions than answers.

“It’s stunningly beautiful and clear,” Walcott said. “How can mid-air collisions happen when it’s so clear?”

However, these residents are happy with each other after such a tragedy.

“We are all united in times like these, and I really appreciate the small community here,” Hayes said.

> Video above: Sky9 footage showing the second plane to crash.

9NEWS Aviation Safety Analyst Greg Faith says that whenever a mid-air collision occurs, a multi-pronged investigation is conducted.

“First and foremost, each aircraft should be re-examined for any kind of mechanical malfunction, failure or anomaly that could have caused or contributed to the accident,” he said, adding that other factors include the avionics of each aircraft. including the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which he added would be included to look into.

“It uses transponder information, and the transponder basically pings the signal from the plane. It’s detected by air traffic control radar, so planes are identified by number, altitude and ground speed. But this technology It also allows planes to communicate with each other.. So now the same ping is sent point-to-point or from one plane to another,” Feith explained.

In addition to that system, Feith believes this is a “see and avoid” type of accident.

“On a great day like this, each pilot flying in the airspace has a duty to visually clear the area to prevent something like this from happening,” he said.

Feith adds that the airspace where the crash may have occurred is known to have heavy air traffic, especially as it is known as the ‘training box’.

“So a lot of planes are operating in a band of airspace or a box of airspace. And if you have a pilot in training but you have a temporary aircraft passing through that area, of course you’re creating a lot of radio It is the duty of every pilot to do so so that other pilots who may be nearby can know where you are, what you are doing and at what altitude you are operating. , call in the blinds.

The exact cause of the crash is still unknown, but Feith said the recent shortage of pilots has led to a general increase in the number of people attending flight schools.

“Currently, pilot training is escalating tenfold due to airline pilot shortages,” he said.

In any case, Feith says environmental factors also need to be considered.

“So they’re trying to find out the angle of the sun. If the pilot was flying, he couldn’t really see in a direction that could have given the sun glare. ‘ he said.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash. The NTSB said a preliminary report will be released in about 15 days. However, a full investigation may take a year or more.

Niwot Road between Highway 287 and 95th Street was closed while the Mountain View Fire Department and BCSO investigated the incident. Members of the public were asked to stay away from the area.

No fatalities have been identified. Witnesses are asked to call Detective Galloway and leave him a voicemail at 303-441-4763 or email

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