The pilot who died when his small, single-engine propeller plane crashed last year near Conifer was flying too low for the mountain terrain he was in, according to federal air crash investigators.
The National Transportation Safety Board last week issued a final report on the April 3, 2021, crash in the mountains southwest of Denver that killed Lelone Lewis, a 66-year-old from Lakewood who, according to his obituary, worked as a technical writer for the Bureau of Reclamation.
The NTSB also found that the Magnus Aircraft Fusion 121, a light sport plane, Lewis was flying stalled and that he subsequently lost control and crashed.
The airplane was equipped with a parachute, but it wasn’t deployed. Investigators found nothing mechanically wrong with the plane.
Lewis had taken off from the Colorado Air and Space Port in Adams County the day of the crash.
The NTSB says Lewis had started flying less than four years before the crash and had been involved in two prior accidents — one involving a plane he was flying running out of fuel and another in which he lost control during a landing.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Lewis also had four pilot deviations, or situations in which he failed to follow air-traffic control instructions.