On Sunday, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said one fatality was confirmed but more were possible.
FlightAware, an airplane tracking program, shows that the plane took off from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport and was in the air for just 10 minutes.
BCSO spokesperson Carrie Haverfield said recovery efforts for the victims were taking place Monday afternoon. The recovery efforts for the remains concluded at 3 p.m. on Monday.
Due to the significant damage the plane received, Haverfield said it has taken some time for investigators to locate and recover the remains of each victim. Additionally, she mentioned that detectives need to use utility terrain vehicles to access the area due to the rugged terrain which has played a role in the length of the investigation.
NTSB Spokesperson Peter Knudson said they arrived on the scene Monday to investigate the crash.
NTSB’s flight track data indicates that the airplane made a descending left turn which continued to the site of the accident. NTSB also said the significant fire post-crash consumed quite a bit of the wreckage.
Officials said it was too hot to complete the full investigation on Sunday due to the fire.
Boulder County Coroner’s Office has not confirmed the identity of those killed. The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA will investigate the cause of the crash.
What we know about the plane
BCSO originally believed the plane was a single-engine aircraft, but according to the FAA, the plane was a Cessna P337 which is a dual-engine aircraft.
FOX31 chased down the plane’s history and learned at some point the plane was used by BlueBird Aviation, a company that offers scenic air tours.
FlightAware shows the plane was in the air for just 10 minutes before it went down and the same plane flew roughly the same loop at least eight other times this month and dozens of times this year.
A TripAdvisor website said the air tours fly over Denver, Boulder, and the Mountains. Mountain Tours are $275 per person and date night tours with complimentary champagne and video are $310.
BlueBird Aviation has not returned our request for comment but it remains unclear if the three passengers on board were part of a paid tour or not.
Woman who has cabin in the area weighs in
Wendy Maier lives full-time in Larkspur but her husband’s family built the cabin in a remote part of Boulder County in the 60s.
“That’s the thing that we have always dealt with up there is the communication,” said Wendy Maier. “We do go there to get away from everything.”
She mentioned that because it is such a wooded area, wildfires are always a concern, on Sunday when they received a notification about a wildfire near Maier family’s cabin it reminded them of the fires that came 1300 feet from their property line last summer.
“We got a phone call. And it was the reverse 911 call saying you need to prepare to evacuate. It was from Boulder County,” Maier said. “We literally said a couple of choice words. And then we said Oh, no, not again.”
What she learned later, was the fire was caused by a plane crash.
“Oh, it was it was really saddening to hear that it was a plane crash because that just multiplies the concerns. You know, you’re concerned about the people in the crash. Did it hit anybody that had any homes?” Maier said. “It’s just really scary.”