Report: Carbondale pilot experienced engine trouble before fatal crash
Aspen, CO Colorado
BLACK HAWK, Colo. ” Pilot Barry Maggert said his Cessna 182 was having a fuel mixture problem before it crashed about four miles west of Black Hawk, according to a safety board report.
Maggert, 47, of Carbondale, died in the May 8 crash, but passenger Jonathan Holton, 23, was rescued by helicopter and transported to a hospital that night and released the following day.
Maggert’s body was recovered May 9.
The single-engine airplane took off from Glenwood Springs just after 3 p.m. and crashed around 3:45 p.m. into a wooded area at 10,400 feet. Maggert and Holton were on their way to Boulder for Maggert’s son’s graduation from the University of Colorado. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the crash Wednesday.
Holton told the board that at 16,000 feet, the airplane entered clouds with light snow after passing the Eagle County Airport. Holton said the airplane had difficulty maintaining altitude and the engine began to sputter. Maggert told Holton they were experiencing a mixture problem and he began adjusting the air/fuel mixture control. The plane began descending and would “nose over” as Maggert attempted to correct the problem, according to the NTSB report.
The airplane was flying on an instrument flight plan, often used during bad weather.
Holton escaped from the crashed airplane, freed Maggert and treated Maggert’s injuries as best he could. He called 911 on his cell phone. A news helicopter discovered the crash site first. Ground rescue teams were delayed by deep snow and rugged terrain.
The wrecked airplane was found upright but had crashed into several trees.
All the major components of the plane were there. Both wings and the horizontal stabilizer were crushed in multiple locations. A fuel tank was breached but fuel remained in both tanks. The fuselage was crushed on the pilot’s side. The engine was partially buried in snow and soil, according to the report.
At the time of the accident, a weather station 22 miles east of the crash site reported five-knot winds, 30-mile visibility and cumulonimbus clouds scattered in the area.
Maggert co-owned the Cessna with Carroll Winkler of Glenwood Springs.
Maggert was an engineer, a former Carbondale Town Board candidate, and a columnist for the Carbondale Valley Journal. It could take up to a year or more before the cause of the crash is officially announced.
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