HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration say it could take weeks and maybe even months before they know what caused a deadly plane crash in Highlands Ranch.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The pilot who died Saturday has not been identified.

Witnesses believe the man flying the experimental plane acted heroically to manage to avoid homes and businesses near Lucent Boulevard.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

A spokesperson with Centennial Airport said the pilot made contact with their tower just minutes before the crash of the experimental plane.

The experimental plane that crashed was a Sonerai II LT. Aviation safety consultant Steve Cowell said most experimental planes are safe.

“All an experimentally built plane means is it’s not built by a major manufacturer, such as Beachcraft, Piper, Cessna,”: Cowell said. “It’s built by an individual … this isn’t a model airplane put together with glue.”

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Cowell said the construction of those types of planes is carefully supervised and has to be approved by engineers, mechanics or the FAA.

“Various things such as the welds are checked, how the screws are put in, how the parts are meshing together,” Cowell said. “It’s very thoroughly examined before that airplane is allowed to go to the next step in the build.”

Cowell said pilots of experimental planes are trained with hours of instruction and ongoing training.


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