Report gives a glimpse of pilot’s actions before crash
December 23, 2011
DURANGO, Colo. – A preliminary report from federal investigators is offering a glimpse of a pilot’s last communications before his single-engine plane crashed in the mountains north of Silverton.
The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t determined yet what caused the crash Dec. 3 that killed pilot Steve Osborne, his wife, Jan, and two of her co-workers at Alpine Bank. They were headed to Aspen.
But according to a preliminary NTSB report, Osborne had asked shortly before the crash for contact with an air traffic controller who could issue traffic advisories and follow him on radar, the Durango Herald reported Thursday.
Osborne, who wasn’t rated for instrument flying, said he couldn’t descend and maintain visual flight rules.
Moments later, the plane disappeared from radar, and contact with Osborne was lost.
Witnesses said it was snowing and visibility was poor at the time of the crash. Several reported hearing the plane but not seeing it. Two said it sounded like the plane was doing aerobatics, changing elevation rapidly.