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2 Killed In Vintage Plane Crash In Durango Identified

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John Earley and the plane that crashed (credit; CBS)

John Earley and the plane that crashed (credit; CBS)

DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – Two people killed when their plane crashed near the Durango-La Plata County Airport this morning have been identified.

The small private plane, a P-51, crashed on takeoff at 9:29 a.m. just north of the runway at the airport.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The plane got about 1/4 mile up in the air before crashing nose first.

The victims have been identified as the plane’s owner, John Earley, and his flight instructor, Mike Schlarb. Schlarb was a retired engineer with the Durango Fire Department. Both men were in their 50s.

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II.

County Road 309A has been closed because of the crash investigation and cleanup.

The NTSB is expected to arrive in a few hours to begin their investigation.

The airport remains open with takeoffs and landings continuing as scheduled.

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