Two people died Thanksgiving afternoon when their plane crashed just east of Telluride Regional Airport.

Friday evening, the San Miguel County coroner identified the pilot as Bryan L. Kill, 48, of Telluride. The identity of his female passenger was not released Friday.

At about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a single-engine plane was on approach to the airport when eyewitnesses saw it come down. San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said people on the ground reported the plane, rated as an experimental aircraft, was spinning and nosed straight down, crashing about 30 yards from a house. A witness later found the crash site. Kill and his female passenger were found deceased.

The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, San Miguel County Search and Rescue, Telluride Fire Department and the coroner’s office worked several hours to recover the bodies and investigate the scene.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been notified and are expected to take over the investigation.

Thursday’s crash was the second fatal plane crash in the Telluride region since October, when a newlywed couple’s aircraft went down in Ingram Basin, killing them both.

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