DENVER (AP) – An investigator says a single-engine plane that crashed in Colorado in January plummeted 7,000 feet in one minute before slamming into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, killing both people aboard.

The pilot was 66-year-old Dr. Michael O. Welton and his passenger was 70-year-old Roswitha Marold. Both were from Waterloo, Iowa. They were flying from Arizona to Pueblo, Colo.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jason Aguilera said Tuesday the plane’s fall was more likely caused by the pilot losing control than by turbulence or wind currents.

The NTSB says conditions were conducive to icing and other pilots reported moderate icing. Investigators couldn’t determine whether Welton’s plane had iced up.

The NTSB says the plane dropped from 19,200 to 12,200 feet, where radar contact was lost. The wreckage was at 9,700 feet.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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