Friday, May 17, 2019

Beechcraft 60 Duke, registered to Majeste Air LLC and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a ferry flight, N60RK: Fatal accident occurred May 15, 2019 near Fort Collins-Loveland Airport (KFNL), Larimer County, Colorado

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Lycoming Engines; Milliken, Colorado
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Loveland, CO
Accident Number: CEN19FA143
Date & Time: 05/15/2019, 1248 MDT
Registration: N60RK
Aircraft: Beech 60
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry 

On May 16, 2019, about 1248 mountain daylight time, a Beech 60, N60RK, collided with terrain while making an emergency descent to Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL), Loveland, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to Majeste Air LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a ferry flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the accident site and at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado, about 1230.

Preliminary information indicates the pilot announced over the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that he was on the downwind leg for landing on runway 15. A pilot following N60RK in the traffic pattern announced that the airplane was on fire. N60RK turned towards the runway but impacted the ground next to the airport's perimeter fence. There were several ground witnesses, one of which said the airplane's right wing was on fire.

Examination of the wreckage revealed control continuity and landing gear extension. Flap position could not be determined. The right propeller was in the feathered position, and the fuel selector valve was on the main tanks.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N60RK
Model/Series: 60 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Majeste Air LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FNL, 5016 ft msl
Observation Time: 1256 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Broomfield, CO (BJC)
Destination: Loveland, CO (FNL) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight and On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.464722, -105.085556

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 

The single occupant of the Beechcraft 60 Duke that crashed in Loveland on Wednesday has been identified as Thomas Lawson, 69, of Golden, according to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

Deputy Coroner Debbie Reisdorff said Monday morning that Lawson died of blunt force and thermal injuries, and the manner of his death has been deemed accidental.

The Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on Lawson on Thursday morning but could not positively confirm his identity until tracking down his dental records.

Lawson was piloting the twin-engine plane, which was built in 1969 with the tail number “N60RK.” The Federal Aviation Administration shows it registered to Majeste Air LLC in Las Vegas.

According to, a website that archived transmissions between air traffic control and N60RK Wednesday, Lawson reported “we have an engine out with smoke in the cockpit” just after noon. Seconds later, traffic control replied “we do see a fire on you, runway’s clear.” Lawson then radios, “I’ve got a fire, I’m going to land it pretty darn quick.”

Traffic control then notifies airport fire crews of the emergency landing and a possible fire on the runway. Seconds later, another person reported “…be advised, the Duke has lost control; it has crashed.”

About 1 minute, 18 seconds passed between Lawson’s report of smoke and the report that he had crashed.

Lawson’s Duke crashed just south of County Road 30, about a quarter-mile northwest of the Larimer Humane Society. A witness reported that the plane “nose-dived” into a dry retention pond and was “immediately on fire.”

The National Transportation Safety Board began investigating the crash and the crash site around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Original article can be found here ➤

The Larimer County Coroner’s Office has completed an autopsy of the pilot who died in Wednesday’s plane crash near Loveland but will need dental records to officially identify the victim, which it will release with the cause and manner of death, according to Deputy Coroner Debbie Reisdorff.

While coroners continue to investigate the identity of the single occupant of the plane that crashed just south of County Road 30 near the Larimer Humane Society, National Transportation Safety Board investigators are piecing together a timeline of the crash using witness accounts and the plane wreckage.

Crash witness Todd Annand told the Reporter-Herald that he was eating lunch in his truck Wednesday before the crash. He was parked on the side of County Road 30 just south of Nelson Reservoir, where he did excavation work Wednesday and Thursday.

“First I saw the shadow pass over me,” Annand said, recalling the seconds before the crash. “Then it nose-dived into the pond; it was about 100-150 feet from my truck.”

He said the plane was “immediately on fire” upon impact. He got out of his truck, called 911 and attempted to approach the wreckage.

“But with those flames, there was nothing I could do,” Annand said, adding that the plane must have passed very close to him and his truck. “Someone was looking out for me yesterday.”

Annand said he then devoted his time to getting work vehicles and construction equipment away from the site to make way for emergency apparatus and personnel. He remained on scene to answer investigators’ questions until about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

At the crash site Thursday morning, investigators inspected and pulled apart the wreckage and placed it on a flatbed truck. Arnold Scott, senior air safety investigator for the NTSB, said investigators would then take the plane to Beegle’s Aircraft Services in Greeley, where they would continue to study the wreckage.

Scott said the plane was headed southbound when it crashed, and witnesses reported flames coming from the right wing of the airplane. He confirmed that the plane had two engines and propellers, and that as of Thursday morning, he was “very suspicious about that right engine.”

He added that people from Textron Aviation and Lycoming Engines also investigated the crash site Thursday morning. Textron Aviation owns Beechcraft, which manufactured the plane and equipped it with two Lycoming engines. The plane is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration as a Beech 60 “Duke” manufactured in 1969. The plane belongs to Majeste Air LLC in Las Vegas, Nev.

According to the Flight Safety Foundation, the plane left Broomfield-Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport on Wednesday. Northern Colorado Regional Airport Director Jason Licon said Thursday that according to flight data, the plane intended to land at the NCRA. He added that most flight arrivals and departures are coordinated through Denver TRACON, and most are not scheduled through the airport officials.

Licon added that he was not familiar with the history of the Beech 60 that crashed, and that due to the off-site crash, the NCRA would not be conducting an investigation.

Scott said the pilot radioed that there was smoke in the cockpit shortly before the crash, which happened just before 12:49 p.m. The pilot radioed again to report further smoke and a possible engine fire. A different person called 911 shortly after that to report they had seen a plane with a wing on fire.

He said his next step would be to compile radar data to determine a flight timeline for the Beech 60.

Scott said that upon first glance, engine failure seemed evident due to the mechanical position of the propeller blades at the crash site. He explained that when an engine fails, pilots are taught to “feather the prop” of a failed engine, or turn the propeller blades so the “fins” point straight backwards for minimum air resistance.

“The props are in that position now,” Scott said, “but they may have turned that way on impact. We’ll have to take them apart to be sure. You never trust what you see; always pull it apart.”

Scott said he’s been an investigator for 37 years, and fiery crashes can be difficult to investigate.

“The plane is ashes,” he said. “I hate fire.”

Original article  ➤

One person died after a small plane crash Wednesday afternoon just north of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

Emergency crews responded to the report of a plane crash just north of the airport off Larimer County Road 30 in Loveland. Authorities confirmed around 6:23 p.m. that the lone occupant of the plane died, but did not confirm that was the pilot.

Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Battalion Chief Carie Dann said the National Transportation Safety Board would release any further information on the crash, and the Larimer County Coroner’s Office would be responsible for releasing the identity of the person who died, as well as his or her cause and manner of death.

An investigator on scene Wednesday evening said the NTSB would resume its  investigation around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Loveland Fire Rescue was summoned at 12:49 p.m. to an in-flight emergency, with smoke in the cabin, according to Dann.

Crash witness Michael Stahl said he saw what looked to be “a fireball dropping straight down” as he was driving north on Interstate 25 just south of U.S. 34.

“My first thought was that it looked like a meteor dropping from the sky but it was going way too slow,” Stahl said in a Wednesday email. “It dropped below the horizon and that is when the dark black smoke cloud raised.”

At 12:54, crews arrived to find plane wreckage just south of County Road 30, across the road from Nelson Reservoir. They upgraded the call to an official plane crash response and put out a fire at the site. Smoke was visible throughout the area.

Federal investigators reached the scene just after 3 p.m. to conduct an investigation on the crash.

The debris from the plane was in a relatively small area, Dann said, in a dry detention pond about a quarter-mile northwest of the Larimer Humane Society, 3501 E. 71st St.

Crews remained on scene until after 3:30 p.m. to try to mitigate the impact of the fuel spilled from the plane. Dann said the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment was notified of the incident.

Though not confirmed by federal investigators, she said she believed a single-engine plane had crashed. Only one propeller and engine could be seen in the wreckage Wednesday.

About 40 personnel from Fort Collins-based Poudre Fire Authority, Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue, Loveland Police Department and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the response.

The crash didn’t affect operations at the Loveland airport, according to a tweet from the airport shortly after the crash. County Road 30 was closed about two hours between Frontage Road to the east and County Road 9 to the west.

Original article can be found here ➤

Investigators suspect issues with the right engine could have caused the fatal plane crash near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

The Larimer County Coroner's Office has not been able to positively identify the pilot and plans to use dental records to make the identification, office spokesperson Debbie Reisdorff wrote in an email.

The crash occurred just after 1 p.m. Wednesday about half-mile north of the airport in Loveland after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and an engine on fire, according to emergency radio transmissions. 

Northern Colorado Regional Airport general manager Jason Licon said the plane intended to land at the airport, traveling from the Broomfield-Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, about 45 miles away.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane involved was a Beechcraft 60 Duke, manufactured in 1969 and registered to Majeste Air, LLC in Las Vegas, NV. 

Investigators have focused their investigation on the right engine, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board Arnold Scott said. The wreckage has been transported to Beegle’s Aircraft Services in Greeley, where officials will continue to investigate the right engine. 

"I suspect it was the engine," Scott said.

Several witnesses told investigators they saw the plane on fire while still in the air, and Scott said the next objective for investigators is to figure out what caused the fire.

Witnesses told the Coloradoan they saw the plane catch fire in the air, and then spin or flip before crashing, causing a ground fire and a plume of black smoke. 

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Wow third Duke going down this month.

  2. Holy crap ............. time to give the B-60 wide berth on the ramp

  3. in the first picture the prop looks to be feathered; one blade not damaged.

  4. The engine with the cowling is heavily sooted and its propellers are feathered.

  5. Another duke bites the dust...

    Seriously though the rudder force needed in case the pilot is graced by single engine operations is the maximum allowed by the FAA. So it seems to me this plane is on the capricious side if an engine fails.

    Looks gorgeous but apparently a pain in the ass to maintain to boot.


  6. Only plane I ever had engine failure cruising at 22,000 in VFR weather 80 NM SE of Tucson fully loaded. No problems, follow POH and training, add rudder trim for operating 375 HP Lycoming and fly the plane to landing.....

  7. A plane catching fire is a difficult emergency to overcome.

  8. Failed engine, fire, smoke in cockpit, single pilot......very tiny probability of a positive outcome regardless of how good you are. You can only do so much.

  9. Hate to say it but a 3k personal parachute would be a good investment as would be hinges on the door for a quick release and when operating it solo. Better outcome chance when a plane catches fire in cruise.