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Woman who died after Arvada plane crash identified by family

Three other people were injured in the crash, which happened Friday morning.
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Posted at 1:59 PM, Jun 10, 2024

ARVADA, Colo. — One of the four people in a small plane that crashed in Arvada on Friday morning has died, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. She was identified as Melissa Brinkmann by her family who said she passed away on Saturday.

Brinkmann's family released the following statement on Monday:

"Melissa Brinkmann was involved in the plane crash in Arvada, CO, on June 7, 2024.  On Saturday, June 8th, we said goodbye to our beloved Melissa, our daughter, our big sister, our mom, our best friend, our partner, our hero.  We ask for space and privacy to grieve this tremendous loss on our own terms. Melissa was bold, brave, loving, and a fierce champion of those she loved – and she loved boundlessly. To know Melissa was to be inspired by her.  She elevated others and made this world a better place. We have been awe-struck and comforted by the countless messages, memories, and stories shared by the legions of people Melissa has impacted. We will be forever grateful to the first responders, bystanders, and medical staff who came to her aid, fought for her, and eased her passage from this life."   

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the crash happened just after 9:30 a.m. on Friday around Oberon Road and Carr Street. Four people aboard were transported to a hospital for treatment. Arvada police first reported that two adults and two juveniles were injured, though a NTSB spokesman later said two adults were involved and that investigators were "trying to confirm" the ages of the other two involved.

The pilot, who had taken off from Centennial Airport, had reported an issue with the single-engine Beechcraft V35A Bonanza aircraft and tried to make it to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport to land, NTSB spokesman Alex Lemishko said Friday. The plane went down about seven miles south of the airport.

Watch the full NTSB update from Friday here:

Pilot reported engine issue before Arvada plane crash: Full NTSB update

Randy Hamrick said he was watching TV when he heard an explosion outside his home, and realized the plane had crashed in his front yard.

"I opened that door, and the plane was fully engulfed in flames," he said.

Hear about the experience from Hamrick below.

'We heard like an explosion': Arvada homeowner opens front door to fiery plane crash

All of the pieces of the crash were removed on Friday and brought to a secure location for the investigation.

"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, aviation professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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

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Arvada

NTSB details what investigation into Arvada plane crash will look like

Veronica Acosta
9:52 PM, Jun 07, 2024

"They look at the aircraft itself," he said. "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."

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.

Authorities will publish a preliminary report within 30 days, which will contain facts from the initial phase of the investigation. The full report may take beyond a year.

The NTSB has asked anybody who witnessed the crash or has surveillance video to contact witness@ntsb.gov.


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