KUSA - A small plane crashed in Highlands Ranch on Saturday afternoon, killing the pilot, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has confirmed.
The crash occurred near Lucent Blvd. and C-470 at approximately 3 p.m., about eight miles southwest of Centennial Airport, Allen Kenitzer with the FAA told 9NEWS. Kenitzer said the plane was a SONERAI II LT Experimental.
The plane went down in a field across from a Target shopping center and next to a car wash.
Workers at the car wash said it appeared the pilot was having problems with the plane and made an effort to steer it to the field, away from the road and shops. Two workers told 9News they ran to help after the plane nose-dived, but the aircraft was engulfed in flames.
Sean Cavan, a pilot and flight instructor at Aspen Flying Club, came to the scene concerned he might know the pilot.
"As soon as we heard about it, we were just panicking, checking the schedule and seeing if it was one of us," said Cavan.
He said he believes he saw the pilot who crashed take off from the Centennial Airport around 2 p.m. as he was returning from a flight. He said the plane he saw had very short wings and was no bigger than a car.
"It's just strange, strange that there's been three accidents in how many weeks?" Cavan said. "It's crazy, but it's part of the game. You build your own airplane, you got to make sure you build it right."
He said pilots typically build their own experimental planes.
The circumstances of the crash are unknown. Both the FAA and NTSB are now investigating.
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