NTSB reports shed light on recent plane crashes

The burned wreckage of a Cessna just off Colorado 65, on Oct. 4. The couple on board survived, but with severe injury. More information has since become available for this crash, as well as a doubly fatal plane crash the next day near Telluride. 

The woman who died in a small plane crash in Telluride Thanksgiving has been identified.

Mana Mohtasham, 37, died alongside pilot Bryan L. Kill, 48, most recently of Telluride.

The plane was on approach to Telluride Regional Airport the afternoon of Nov. 26 when eyewitnesses saw it spinning and come straight down, mere yards from a home.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration continue investigating and have not yet released a preliminary report on the crash, which was the second double-fatal aircraft accident in San Miguel County within two months.

On Oct. 5, just four days after eloping for a private wedding ceremony in Telluride, Costas John Sivyllis, 30, and Lindsey Vogelaar, 33, who both worked in the airline industry and who were from Florida, died when their Beechcraft Bonanza came down in rugged terrain.

The plane had taken off from Telluride Regional and its fuel tanks were full, according to the NTSB’s preliminary report. The plane was about 300 pounds under its maximum gross takeoff weight. Data showed a normal take off and climb to the west, followed by a turn to the east. No known radio distress calls were heard after takeoff.

Visibility was determined to have been 10 miles in a sky clear of clouds, with wind speeds of 10 knots.

The downed plane was discovered about 8 miles east of the airport at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet. The NTSB report says the wreckage showed “nearly vertical impact,” crushed fuselage at the forward section and heavy wing damage.

The NTSB has not determined the likely causes of the crash; it can take up to two years for such a finding.

The NTSB also continues its investigation of another plane crash in the region, just one day before Sivyllis and Vogelaar died.

This crash, on Oct. 4, near Cedaredge, severely injured Tyler Beyer, 35, and Jessica Beyer, 33.

The Wyoming couple was flying home from a family birthday party in the area when their Cessna twin-seat went down just off Colorado 65, near Ward Lake.

Tyler Beyer, the pilot, told NTSB investigators they had departed Blake Field in Delta, bound for Casper, Wyoming, with 60 gallons of fuel, per a preliminary crash report.

He climbed along the valley parallel to the Grand Mesa and was at least 1,000 feet over the mountains when he noticed a “gradual reduction” in the rotations per minute of his aircraft's engine.

Beyer switched fuel tanks, turned on a boost pump and hit the throttle, but the engine didn’t respond. Instead, the RPMs kept decreasing and he could not keep the craft in the air.

Beyer spotted a clearing near the highway and prepared to crash land.

The Cessna hit the ground hard and bounced before catching fire.

Passersby on the highway, who included a physician, rushed to help the Beyerses and got them away from the craft as flames destroyed the cockpit, fuselage and inboard sections of both wings.

The Beyerses sustained broken bones and burns; Jessica was flown from the scene for medical care and Tyler was taken by ambulance. Both ultimately were taken to a Denver hospital.

Friends from the local ranching community later established an account at Home Loan State Bank of Montrose to benefit the couple. People can make contributions at the bank, 340 S. Townsend Ave., under the name Robert Beyer (Tyler’s father), attention Tish Saunders. For more information, call 970-497-4280.

A Go Fund Me account reportedly raised about $52,000 for the couple. It can be found by visiting gofundme.com and searching “Tyler and Jess’s Medical Expenses.”

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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