Probable cause determined in May ’08 plane crash that killed Carbondale pilot
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Loss of engine power due to icing was the likely cause of a May 2008 small plane crash near Black Hawk that killed Carbondale pilot Barry Maggert, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report issued last month.
“A contributing factor was the pilot’s decision to continue flight in conditions favorable for structural and induction-system icing,” concludes the probable cause report issued by the NTSB on Dec. 8. A final report is expected to be issued at a later time.
Maggert’s Cessna 182H went down in the mountains outside Black Hawk around 3:45 p.m. on May 8, 2008.
Maggert, 47, owned a structural engineering business in Carbondale and wrote a Libertarian political column for The Valley Journal newspaper. Earlier that spring, he ran unsuccessfully for a Carbondale town council seat.
He and a passenger, Jonathan Holton, 23, of Carbondale, who survived the crash, were on their way to Boulder to attend a graduation ceremony for Maggert’s son, Lee Maggert, from the University of Colorado. The pair had taken off from the Glenwood Springs Airport about a half hour before the crash.
“The airplane entered clouds and snow showers while en route on an instrument flight plan,” according to the December NTSB report. “Temperatures compounded with relative humidity, placed the airplane in conditions favorable for structural and induction system icing.”
Based on an NTSB investigator’s interviews with Holton, “During the flight, the engine lost partial power and the pilot could not maintain level flight,” the report stated. “During the descent, the engine was observed to lose and regain power. The pilot continued to maneuver the airplane until it collided with terrain.”
No problems were found with the plane’s engine or physical structure that would have contributed to the crash, the report said.
According to a Gilpin County Coroner’s report, Maggert died as a result of closed head injuries sustained in the crash. Holton sustained a broken ankle and was airlifted out of the area several hours after calling 911 on his cell phone to report the crash. The rescue was hampered by poor weather conditions.
In a newspaper interview afterward, Holton said he attempted CPR on Maggert, who never regained consciousness, and stayed with the body at the crash site until help arrived.
Contact John Stroud: 384-9160
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