The Boulder County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the three people killed Saturday when two small airplanes collided midair near Longmont and then crashed.

Those killed were:

  • Daniel Wilmoth, 22
  • Samuel Fisher, 23
  • Henry Butler, 69

The collision happened just before 9 a.m. between a single-engine Cessna 172, carrying a student pilot and a flight instructor, and a Sonex Xenos, a motorized glider carrying one person.

The Sonex Xenos was registered to Butler. The Cessna was registered to the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, which has a campus at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield.

The Cessna had departed from the airport in Broomfield while the Sonex Xenos had taken off from Platte Valley Airpark in Hudson.

Mountain View Fire Rescue initially said the planes crashed off of Niwot Road between North 95th Street and U.S. 287.

Neither plane had a midair-collision warning system, according to the NTSB, and neither was required to have one. The pilots, who were flying under visual flight conditions rules, were also not in contact with air traffic control, which they weren’t required to be.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. It can take more than a year for the agency to release a final report.

Midair collisions between aircraft are rare. The last one in Colorado happened in May 2021, when a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner operated by Key Lime Air collided with a Cirrus SR-22 while both aircraft were preparing to land at Centennial Airport.

The Cirrus, which was equipped with a parachute that deployed after the collision, crashed, but the two people aboard the plane were uninjured. The Metroliner landed safely but was heavily damaged.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 1:44 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, to correct a source’s error. Daniel Wilmoth was killed in the crash.

The Colorado Sun

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