NTSB releases first report on fatal Douglas County plane crash

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LONE TREE, Colo. — Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have released the first official report about a plane crash that killed one man in Douglas County on May 11.

Dr. Robert D. Marquis, a veterinarian from the Grand Junction area, was the only person aboard the small Cirrus SR22 when it crashed.

No flight plan had been filed for the flight, which was en route from Centennial Airport in southeast metro Denver to Grand Junction Regional Airport.

According to the report, the airplane was cleared for departure at approximately 8:11 p.m. on May 11. The air traffic controller gave Marquis instructions in order to avoid inbound traffic.

When the airplane flew too close to the center line for the approach corridor, the controller asked Marquis his intentions. Marquis asked to return to the airport.

Radar data showed the airplane was westbound and at an altitude of 7,500 feet above mean sea level. Radar contact and voice communication was lost at 8:19 p.m., the report said.

Marquis’ plane crashed into an open field about 2.5 miles south of Centennial Airport.

“Witness marks at the time of the initial impact point are consistent with a right wing low, nose-level altitude at the time of impact. The airplane was fragmented and debris was scattered for 1,219 feet. The engine of the airplane came to rest in the wall of a residential home,” the report said.

Visibility during the crash was about seven miles. Broken cloud cover was reported at 1,500 feet. Another airplane landing at Centennial reported breaking out of the clouds at 6,800 feet above mean sea level.

The report only shows the preliminary findings from the NTSB; a more detailed study is expected in 12 to 18 months.

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