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NTSB, aviation experts detail what investigation into Arvada plane crash will look like

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Posted at 9:52 PM, Jun 07, 2024

ARVADA, Colo. — Hours after four people were seriously injured in a plane crash in an Arvada neighborhood, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said its investigation is only just beginning.

"He was having some sort of engine issues and he was going to try to make Rocky Mountain Airport. As you can see, he didn't make Rocky Mountain Airport," said Alex Lemishko, an investigator with the NTSB.

The government agency removed all plane debris from the roadway and the backyard of an Arvada home Friday, taking it to a secure location in Greeley, where the investigation will begin.

"They're going to take the engine from the crash site, and they're going to put it at a secured location and go into it in much more depth to see exactly what caused, potentially what caused this mechanical failure in the aircraft," said Chad Kendall, an aviation professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Kendall told Denver7 the NTSB will look at a few primary factors during its investigation.

"They look at the aircraft itself. They're going to look at the maintenance history of the aircraft. They're going to look at the mechanical records of the airplane. They look at the operation of the aircraft, that includes the pilot, that includes the weather," he said.

In a statement, the NTSB said it will look at "flight track data, recordings of any air traffic control communications, weather forecasts and actual weather and lightning conditions around the time of the accident." It will also look into the "pilot's license, ratings, and recency of flight experience." That will include a 72-hour background check of the pilot to determine if there were any issues that could have impacted the pilot's ability to safely operate the flight.

The agency will also take witness statements and look at electronic devices that could contain information relevant to the investigation.

"It's very complex in nature with this incident because you're in a very busy suburban area with houses with power lines, and so you're trying to find a field or a road to safely set the airplane down into," Kendall said.

'The motor was off, you just heard it hovering': Full eyewitness account of Arvada plane crash

Arvada police first reported the injured as two adults and two juveniles. An NTSB spokesman later said two adults were involved and that investigators were "trying to confirm" the ages of the other two involved.

Meantime, neighbors in the area told Denver7 they were still shaken by the crash.

"A little bit out of body. You wouldn't expect to have something like that happen right next to your house, right up the street from where you live," said Chase Brasher.

The NTSB said it will have a preliminary report on the crash in 30 days. A determination as to what exactly caused the plane crash could take between 12 and 24 months.


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