LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — The pilot killed over the weekend in a plane crash in Jefferson County was 66-year-old Lakewood resident Lelone Lewis. He had just purchased the aircraft and it wasn’t the first time he’d crashed.
FOX31 acquired new video of the type of plane that crashed 20 miles south of Conifer on Saturday night. Lewis had just purchased the Magnus Fusion 212 two weeks ago.
FOX31 was told Lewis loved the aircraft and he instantly nicknamed it “The Beast.”
“He was just so excited to get his Fusion and start his new life chapter and fly around the mountains and fly in and out of Denver,” said U.S. Magnus Aircraft Operations Manager Doma Andreka.
It was not the first time Lewis had crashed an airplane. Back in May of 2019, he walked away after making a crash landing of another light sport aircraft southwest of the Salida Airport.
The Fusion 212 is a light sport aircraft. The Magnus company calls the Fusion, “Captain America” because of its red, white, and blue color scheme.
The aircraft can fly at a speed of 120 knots or nearly 140 mph. It also has a parachute that can be activated in case of an emergency.
“If you are 1,000 feet above the ground and you activate it, it basically saves your lives, but you have to be at or more than 1,000 feet above the ground,” said Andreka.
Lewis, we are told, had already flown more than 300 hours when bought the plane last month.
It’s a two-seater, made of carbon fiber and has the newest technology equipment on board.
“He said ‘wow this is a powerful airplane,’ so he was just super excited,” said Andreka as he gave us a tour of the plane during a pit stop in North Carolina.
Lewis’ last stop before the crash was at the airport in Watkins.
Now begins the quest in trying to determine what caused this weekend’s crash in the foothills west of Denver.
The Magnus company is now seeking to get the Fusion 212 certified for use in aerobatics.
It’s not clear how long it will take the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to complete the investigation.