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Preliminary report on November plane crash, killing pilot battling Kruger Rock Fire

Single-engine plane reportedly crashes near Kruger Rock Fire (Mark Sallinger, KUSA)
9News
Single-engine plane reportedly crashes near Kruger Rock Fire (Mark Sallinger, KUSA)

ESTES PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its aviation preliminary report on the fatal airplane crash that killed a pilot fighting the Kruger Rock Fire.

Nov. 16, Pilot Marc "Thor" Olson took off in a single engine-air tanker using night-vision goggles to embark on nighttime fire suppression efforts. Unfortunately, shortly after taking off, Olson's plane crashed.

According to the NTSB, video of the airplane showed the airplane wings rocking as it approached the intended drop location for the aerial firefighting. The report says two witnesses saw the plane roll upside down but did not see the actual crash.

One witness, who was in radio communication with Olson, stated he did not hear the pilot transmit any problems with the airplane or make any distress calls prior to the accident.

Based on the wreckage, investigators believe the aircraft made a low-speed, nose-down impact with sloping and wooded terrain. There was no ground scarring that preceded the wreckage.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. The full crash report from the NTSB could take several months to complete.

On Nov. 22, a procession was held for Olson. Several Colorado law agencies escorted the pilot's body from the Larimer County Coroner's Office in Fort Collins to Heer Mortuary in Fort Morgan.

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Shelby Filangi

Shelby is a digital content producer for KRDO.com. You can learn more about Shelby here.

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