2 planes collide mid-air over Cherry Creek State Park; no reported injuries

Posted at 10:58 AM, May 12, 2021

DENVER – There were no injuries reported after two airplanes collided mid-air over Cherry Creek State Park, leading one of them to crash in a field and another to land safely at a nearby airport, officials said Wednesday.

The crash was reported around 10:25 a.m. Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Deputy John Bartmann said the crash involved a single-engine Cirrus SR-22 carrying two people and a cargo metroliner plane carrying just the pilot.

It is unclear which plane caused the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. The Federal Aviation Administration is also at the scene of the crash and will handle the investigation along with the NTSB, an FAA spokesperson said.

The NTSB tweeted that initial reports indicate the crash happened as the planes were landing.

Bartmann said the metroliner plane landed at the Centennial Airport without issues or injuries to the pilot. The metroliner plane is a Swearingen SA226-TC Metro III, according to FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer.

Key Lime Air said in a statement that they operate the metroliner plane. The company said its plane was “struck by another aircraft.”

The company said the plane sustained substantial damage to its empennage and tail section but said the pilot was able to land it safely.

The company said its policy is not to release the names or personal information of the pilot involved.

“We are participating in an active investigation of the incident with the FAA and NTSB. As information comes to light, if authorities deem it appropriate to share with the public, we will do so,” the company said. “We cannot express the gratitude we have, company-wide that no one was injured. We thank all those who have reached out with concern for our company and its people.”

The Cirrus SR22 plane, registered to BB CO LLC out of Parker, deployed a parachute and crashed in a field in Cherry Creek State Park. The two occupants walked away from the crash without injuries, Bartmann said. Debris from the crash was spread across Belleview Ave. into the park. He said the plane was "significantly damaged."

The sheriff's office is using drones to look for debris in the area of the crash site and is asking people not to touch any plane components they find, but to instead call the sheriff's office at 303-795-4711.

Bartmann said the scene would likely be active for several hours while the investigation continues.

This is a developing news story and will be updated.