LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Larimer County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against a pilot after the small plane he was allegedly flying crashed near Horsetooth Reservoir in September of last year.
Two brothers in a Cessna 172M suffered minor injuries after the plane crashed in the area of Sawmill Trail around 7 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2022. They were both taken to the hospital for treatment, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.
About two weeks after the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators did not find anything wrong with the small plane’s controls, which the pilot claimed to be the cause of the crash.
The Sheriff’s Office alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the NTSB and Federal Aviation Authority did not find any malfunction and “the statements provided by the pilot were inconsistent with the recovered flight data,” a release from LCSO said. The FBI “determined that the pilot’s actions did not meet the criteria for federal charges.”
LCSO investigators presented the case to the district attorney’s office and five counts of menacing and six counts of reckless endangerment against Ahmed El-Kaddah, 35, were filed.
A warrant for El-Kaddah’s arrest has been issued but it is believed he left the country shortly after the crash and has not returned, according to information received by investigators.
“The fact that someone would show such reckless disregard for the lives of others is concerning, but it’s even more disturbing on a date that holds so much pain and significance for our country,” Larimer County Sheriff John Feyen said. “The lack of legal accountability is frustrating to say the least, but in this and every case, we’ll continue to support victims and hold suspects accountable within the confines of the law.”
Anyone with information about El-Kaddah’s location is asked to contact Investigator Tyler Thomas at (970) 498-5167. Anyone who wants to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at (970) 221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.
Plane buzzes close to boats on Horsetooth Reservoir
According to the NTSB report released on Sept. 27, 2022, the pilot and flight instructor brothers were flying over the Horsetooth Reservoir when they said they encountered an engine issue. The pilot said in the report he didn’t clear the terrain and that the plane’s left wing was damaged after hitting a tree.
Witness photographs included in the report showed the plane “low over the water as it approached one of only three visible boats.” The plane appeared headed toward the shore at first, but then it took a left and ended up flying low over one boat, climbed, took a right turn and flew low and close to another boat before flying toward a valley, the report said.
No one else was injured in the incident.