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TELLURIDE — Two people died when a small airplane crashed as it was approaching the airport near the Colorado resort town of Telluride on Thursday, authorities said.

The Telluride Regional Airport lost contact with the single-engine plane at about 1:30 p.m. and several witnesses reported seeing it go down, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said. The office said the crash site was found about an hour later and both people on board were dead.

Authorities identified the pilot on Friday as Bryan Lee Kill, 48, of Huachuca City, Arizona. His female passenger, whose name has not been released, also died in the crash.

The airport’s single runway is located on a top of a mesa at 9,078 feet surrounded by high mountain peaks, making it a challenging airport to use.

The Thanksgiving crash comes over a month after two newlyweds from Florida died when their single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport.

EARLIER: Small plane crashes near Telluride, killing newlyweds from Florida

Thirty-year-old Costas John Sivyllis and 33-year-old Lindsey Vogelaar of Port Orange, Florida, died in the Oct. 5. crash in Ingram Basin, east of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains.

Colorado Sun staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

The Associated Press