Investigative Update: Mid-Air Collision Near Denver

WASHINGTON – National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators continued to gather information following a mid-air collision May 12, 2021 involving a Cirrus SR-22 and a Swearingen Metroliner near Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado.

No one was injured when the Metroliner, operated by Key Lime Air, and a Cirrus SR-22, rented from Independence Aviation, collided as the planes were landing at Centennial Airport.

Photos released showed a significant portion of the top mid to rear fuselage of the Metroliner missing. The parachute on the Cirrus was deployed.

The NTSB Investigator-in-Charge for this accident interviewed both pilots, and an NTSB air traffic control specialist has listened to recordings from air traffic control. Interviews of the controllers working with the Cirrus and Metroliner pilots are planned.

An NTSB investigator examined the wrecked Cirrus on the day of the accident and examined the Metroliner the following day. The insurer of the Cirrus arranged for removal and transport of the aircraft to Centennial Airport and the Metroliner is at a Key Lime Air facility at the airport.

Both aircraft were operating under Part 91 general aviation rules. The Cirrus was on a local flight from Centennial, and the Metroliner was repositioning from Salida, Colorado.

NTSB’s investigation of the mid-air collision will, in general terms, look at the people involved in the accident, the airplanes involved in the accident, and the environment in which the accident occurred.

“We are working to understand how and why these planes collided,” said John Brannen, a Senior Air Safety Investigator from NTSB’s Central Region office and the Investigator-in-Charge of the accident investigation. “It is so fortunate that no one was injured in this collision.”

A preliminary report will be publish in the next 14 days and the investigation is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to complete.

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