Agency: Pilot Lost Control Before Fatal Crash

DENVER (AP) — Federal investigators say the pilot of a small plane had lost control in moderate to severe weather when the aircraft crashed in the southwest Colorado mountains, killing both people aboard.

A National Transportation Safety Board report released this month says the pilot’s loss of control caused the Jan. 9 crash in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The pilot was 66-year-old Michael O. Welton, a doctor from Waterloo, Iowa. The passenger was 70-year-old Roswitha Marold, also from Waterloo. They were flying from the Phoenix area to Pueblo, Colo.

The NTSB says weather conditions could have produced moderate to severe turbulence along with updrafts and downdrafts in excess of 750 feet per minute.

Investigators say tree damage at the crash site indicated the plane was in a near-vertical descent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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