Small plane crash that killed family north of Glenwood Springs blamed on pilot’s decision-making, weather | PostIndependent.com

Small plane crash that killed family north of Glenwood Springs blamed on pilot’s decision-making, weather

Jesse Paul
The Colorado Sun
The Makepeace family of Fort Collins, Jeff, Jennifer and their children, Addison and Benjamin, died in September 2017 when their plane crashed in the White River National Forest north of Glenwood Springs.
Courtesy photo

The 2017 crash of a single-engine airplane near Glenwood Springs, killing a Fort Collins family of four, was caused by the pilot’s decision to fly into weather conditions he was not rated to handle and his lack of pre-takeoff planning, federal investigators said this week.

Those are the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the Sept. 15, 2017, wreck that killed 47-year-old Jeff Makepeace, his wife, 45-year-old Jennifer, and their 10-year-old twins, Addison and Benjamin. The family’s dog was also killed.

The family was heading from Fort Collins to Moab on a night flight when the Cirrus SR22 they were riding in went down in the mountains amid bad weather.

“Nothing in the report changes the fact that we lost the four of them and they are not coming back,” Makepeace relatives said in a statement Wednesday morning to The Colorado Sun. “While the report cites pilot error, everyone in the (family) has the firm belief that Jeff did not intentionally put himself, Jennifer, Addison and Benjamin in harm’s way. This is not the Jeff we know or how we will remember him. Quite the contrary. He was a conscientious, detail-oriented pilot who was a stickler for safety.”

The NTSB said Jeff Makepeace, the pilot, likely entered weather conditions requiring the use of his airplane’s instruments — which reveal heading, pitch and speed — and became disoriented, leading him to lose control. He was not rated to fly in instrument conditions.

Read the full story via The Colorado Sun.

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