A deadly plane crash near Northern Colorado Regional Airport last year was likely caused by an engine fire, the National Transportation Safety Board has found.
The agency said in a probable cause crash report that the blaze started because of a loose fuel hose on the twin-engine, propeller Beech 60 being flown by Thomas Lawson, a 69-year-old Golden man.
Lawson, the only one aboard the plane, died in the May 15, 2019, crash.
A graphic video of the crash captured by a surveillance camera showed flames shooting from the plane as it approached Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield. The video shows the plane bank sharply to its right and spin at least two times before slamming into the ground near the runway.
A large, black plume of smoke then rises from the crash site.
“I’ve got a fire. I’m gonna land it pretty darn quick. Please have the trucks come on out,” Lawson radioed just before the crash.
The flight was the plane’s first after undergoing maintenance, the NTSB says, during which an oil hose and longer fuel line were installed on the right engine — the same one that caught fire.
“Watching the event was a terrible experience,” one witness said in a letter to federal air crash investigators.
Lawson was the only person killed last year in a Colorado plane crash. Between 2014 and December 2018 more than 70 people died in Colorado plane crashes.