NTSB: Pilot error likely caused fatal Colorado crash
April 8, 2011
DENVER (AP) – Investigators say pilot error was the probable cause of a single-engine plane crash in western Colorado last year that killed the pilot, who was from Missouri. Two passengers from Arizona were also injured.
A National Transportation Safety Board report issued Thursday says 39-year-old William Michael Fritts of Osceola, Mo., miscalculated the capabilities of the Beech G35 at high altitude when attempting to land at an airstrip outside Marble on June 6.
The report says Fritts’ inexperience in mountain flying and poor visibility caused by the rising sun contributed to the crash.
The NTSB says Fritts had an unknown medical condition and it’s unclear whether it affected his abilities. The NTSB says he wasn’t impaired by medications he took for it.
Kelly and Jerly Schaver of Tucson, Ariz., were injured in the crash.