• Original Reporting
  • Sources Cited
Original Reporting This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents.
Sources Cited As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution.
Wreckage of a Cessna 337, a twin-engine propeller plane, that crashed July 17, 2022, in Lefthand Canyon west of Boulder. Four people died in the crash, which started a wildland fire in the area. (Handout)

The four people killed Sunday when a plane crashed in western Boulder County were on a sightseeing flight operated by a company based at the airport in Broomfield, according to federal air crash investigators.

The plane was flying for Bluebird Aviation, according to Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board. 

Bluebird Aviation, whose website and social media pages have been taken down, advertised hourlong trips from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield into the mountains and around Boulder. 

“It was on a local air tour flight,” Knudson said. 

Messages from The Colorado Sun to Bluebird Aviation haven’t been returned. The Sun first reported Monday that the plane that crashed was associated with Bluebird Aviation, which formed in 2016. 

The Cessna 336, a twin-engine propeller plane, crashed in Lefthand Canyon at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, roughly 10 minutes after it took off from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

Authorities have not identified the four people — a pilot and three passengers — killed in the crash, which ignited a small wildfire. 

Public flight radar records captured by show the plane traveled northwest over Boulder and toward Longs Peak before the crash.

The same plane had made a number of trips into the same area earlier this month, always turning south toward Red Rocks Amphitheatre and landing back at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. Each of the plane’s recent flights lasted about 40 minutes. 

The Cessna 336 was manufactured in 1972. 

It can take a year or more for the NTSB to release a final report on a plane crash.