Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cessna 320E Executive Skynight, N777GY, Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys; fatal accident occurred June 15, 2016 near Mineral County Memorial Airport ( C24), Creede, Colorado -Kathryn's Report


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA224
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 15, 2016 in Creede, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA 320E, registration: N777GY
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 14, 2016 about 1405 central standard time (CST), a Cessna 320E, N777GY, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Creede, Colorado. The airplane departed from Central Colorado Regional Airport (KAEJ), Buena Vista, to conduct aerial photography under contract with the United States Forest Service. The commercial pilot and two passengers on board were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Left Hand Financial, Inc and operated by Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial observation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no instrument flight plan had been filed.

According to witnesses, the airplane was flying what appeared to be a left base turn for approach to runway 25 at Mineral County Airport. The airplane was approximately 1,000 feet above-ground level when "suddenly" the airplane nose dropped and entered a steep left-hand descending turn. The airplane returned to a wings level position and continued to descend until impacting the ground. Witness stated the landing gear was up and the propellers were turning during this sequence, however, two witnesses said they did not hear the sound of an engine.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

David Louwers

Mykhayl Sutton

The Longmont teen killed in a small-plane crash in southwestern Colorado this week was a warrior on the field, one of his football coaches said Friday.

David Louwers, 17, brought strength, humility and positive energy to Niwot High School's varsity football team, according to Scott Thomas, football coach and high school health and physical education teacher.

"As a player, he was the kind of kid that coaches get into coaching for," Thomas said. "He was just an awesome player that would really fill your tank as a coach."

A candlelight vigil is planned for 8:30 p.m. Friday at Niwot High School's practice football field, 8989 Niwot Road, Niwot, where people who knew him can share memories and photographs, he said.

Thomas said Louwers was easily excited by success and teachable in times of defeat. He said Louwers was one of the team's leading linemen and the coaches planned to have him anchor the offensive line next season during his senior year.

"When you'd just see him... his eyes were a little bit of a twinkle. He was always an extremely positive kid," Thomas said. "It didn't take but more than a couple seconds and he'd flash that giant smile that he had... and as soon as that smile came, he'd kind of give a little laugh."

Thomas said he first met Louwers when he transferred from Twin Peaks Charter Academy to Niwot High School. Everyone was aware his other passion aside from football was aviation, Thomas said.

On Wednesday, Louwers was a passenger in a Cessna 320 twin-engine aircraft that crashed under unknown circumstances around 2:40 p.m. in Mineral County near Colorado 149 and Rio Grande National Forest Road 801.

Following the news Thursday, J.B. Hall, Boulder County representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said he spoke to Niwot High School FCA players that knew Louwers through his involvement with the organization. He said not only did Louwers have great values, he impacted lives and was loved by his teammates and community.

"He's going to be missed," Hall said. "As we walk this journey and this life, which is short we just want to remember to never forget those who have impacted our lives.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

Jere Ferrill, 51, the plane's pilot, and Mykhayl Sutton, 28, of Longmont, the only other passenger, also were killed in the crash, Mineral County coroner Charles Downing said previously.

He said the plane, owned by Rocky Mountain Aerial Survey, based at the Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, was being used to take aerial photographs.

The company specializing in airborne imagery acquisition is co-owned by Christina and Robert Louwers. They are David Louwers' parents, according to the high school's player profile.

Sutton had been the company's data acquisition manager responsible for film and digital mission planning for one year, according to the company's website.

Facebook posts about the crash came from the victims' family and friends, including Shelton Fisher, whose profile said he lives in Littleton.

"Mykhayl Sutton and I spent many hours working together in various planes when he and his brother worked for us," Fisher wrote. "He was a great guy, a friend, and a professional to work with. I have received sad news like this more than a handful of times during my aviation career and it's always a shocking and numbing experience. God rest their souls."

Michael Raaber, an employee with Rocky Mountain Aerial Survey, said Thursday that employees were not yet ready to talk about the incident.


MINERAL COUNTY - Authorities say three people were onboard a plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon near Creede.

Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Communications says a Cessna 320E Executive Skynight aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances at Mineral County Highway 149 and Forest Road 801.

The pilot, 51-year-old Jere Ferrill of Castle Rock was killed in the crash. Two passengers were killed also. They were 17-year-old David Louwers of Longmont and Mykhayl Sutton. Sutton's age and hometown are unknown at this time, but he did work for Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys which is based in Longmont.

The crash was reported at about 2:40 p.m.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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