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Pilot In Fatal Plane Crash Was Lyons Business Owner

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Chuck Cullum in a photo from his Facebook page (credit: Facebook.com)

Chuck Cullum in a photo from his Facebook page (credit: Facebook.com)

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The coroner in Larimer County on Tuesday afternoon identified the victim in a plane crash near Carter Lake.

Charles Cullum, 50, of Lyons, was piloting the single-engine Cessna when it crashed Monday afternoon.

The pilot’s ex-wife Beth Cullum told CBS4 that they had been married for 25 years and only got divorced last month. She said she and Cullum’s three grown sons are devastated.

Charles, known by many as “Chuck,” owned a heating and air conditioning business in Lyons and loved to fly his Cessna 210.

Beth Cullum said when she saw the report about the plane crash on the news she had a bad feeling because she said Chuck loved to fly his plane around the Carter Lake area west of Loveland.

The crash happened in the rugged foothills just west of the lake. Investigators say that at about 2:45 p.m. an air traffic controller got a “Mayday” call from Cullum’s plane and then lost contact with him.

When the plane crashed it sparked a blaze that grew to about 2 acres. Firefighters were out monitoring hotspots there on Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it doesn’t appear a flight plan was filed. They said investigators will be on scene all day trying to determine what caused the crash. Beth Cullum said Chuck had recently had his plane taken in for an annual maintenance check and this was the first time he had flown it since then.

Cullum was a devoted Christian who spent two summers in the Ukraine working at Orphan camps.

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