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Boulder County, Colorado Plane Crash Kills Four

cessna plane

On July 17, 2022, a Cessna 336 twin-engine plane, operated by Bluebird Aviation, crashed outside Boulder, Colorado killing 48-year-old Sandra Kirby and her two children, 17-year-old Ian Kirby, and 13-year-old Amanda Kirby. The pilot, who has not yet been identified, also died in the crash.

Authorities say the passengers aboard the Cessna plane were on a sightseeing trip overlooking Leftfield Canyon when something went wrong. A witness called to report the small plane crash at approximately 9:41 a.m. local time. The small plane crash sparked a wildfire, which led the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to issue an evacuation warning for the nearby towns of Ward and Gold Hill.

Cause of Colorado Plane Crash That Killed Mother and Two Children

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent an official to Colorado to investigate the cause of the fatal sightseeing crash in Leftfield Canyon. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said the Cessna 336 twin-engine propeller plane was operated by Bluebird Aviation, a Broomfield, Colorado company that offered sightseeing trips out of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport to the mountains and around Boulder. Records from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) show that the plane’s operating status as “Expired” as of April 30, 2022. Bluebird Aviation, which began operations in 2016, pulled down its website and social media channels after the fatal Colorado plane crash.

According to data from FlightAware, the Cessna plane flew over Boulder and was heading in the direction of Longs Peak when air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft less than 10 minutes after it had taken off.

According to aviation attorney Timothy A. Loranger, who has litigated numerous cases involving Cessna aircraft, the Colorado investigation will focus on several key issues, including aircraft airworthiness, maintenance records, the actions of the pilot prior to the crash, and weather conditions in the area, among other things. At this stage, however, Loranger says it is premature to speculate on the cause of the crash.

“There are so many things we still don’t know,” says attorney Loranger. “It’s going to take some time for investigators to analyze the wreckage and review maintenance and flight records. We may not know what exactly caused this crash for some time. What we do know is that the Kirby family and the family of the pilot deserve clear answers as to why this happened.”

Victims of Colorado Plane Crash Identified: LSU Employee Sandra Kirby and Her Two Kids, Ian and Amanda

The victims of the Boulder County plane crash were a family from Port Allen, Louisiana who were in Colorado as part of a three-week summer vacation:

Sandra Kirby, 48: Sandra worked at Louisiana State University (LSU) for nearly 25 years. Over the past six years, Kirby had worked in the Biological Sciences department. Dr. Evanna Gleason, LSU Department of Biological Sciences Professor and Chair, said her colleague Sandra Kirby was “a warm-hearted person and had a welcoming face for students who came to our Graduate Studies office for help. A quick glance at her desk or a short talk with Sandra and you would understand how devoted she was to her children. Our hearts go out to those who like us, mourn the passing of these three special people.”

Ian Kirby, 17: Ian was about to embark on his senior year at Port Allen High School, where he was an integral member of the school band.

Amanda Kirby, 13: Amanda was about to start eighth grade at Port Allen Middle School. She hoped to follow in her brother’s footsteps and play in the high school band.

Authorities have not yet identified the pilot who perished in the sightseeing plane crash.

Cessna Plane Crash Lawyers with Proven Track Record

Aviation accident lawyers from the award-winning law firm of Wisner Baum have a proven track record in cases involving Cessna aircraft. Since 1990, our firm has worked on the following Cessna aviation accident cases:

  • Cessna 177 accident in Torrance, California (2019)
  • Cessna 401B accident in Salters, South Carolina (2017)
  • Cessna 421C Golden Eagle accident in Huntsville, Texas (2017)
  • Cessna 206 accident in Donnelly, Idaho (2013)
  • Cessna 421C accident in Shaver Lake, California (2012)
  • Cessna 180J Seaplane accident in Davant, Louisiana (2010)
  • Cessna 310P vs. Cessna 172N accident in Long Beach, California (2009)
  • Cessna 172 vs. Cessna 150 accident in Corona, California (2008)
  • Cessna 310 accident in Compton, California (2008)
  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk accident in Indiantown, Florida (2008)
  • Cessna 150M crash in Holly Springs, Mississippi (2000)
  • Cessna 414 accident in Monarch, Montana (2000)
  • Cessna T210M accident in Marcola, Oregon (1999)
  • Cessna 404 accident in Arusha, Tanzania (1999)
  • Cessna T210N accident in Hillsboro, Oregon (1998)
  • Cessna 172E Skyhawk accident in Topeka, Kansas (1997)
  • Cessna 402B accident in Tampa, Florida (1997)
  • Cessna 172 accident in Eagle River, Alaska (1996)
  • Cessna Super Skywagon 206C accident in Hartwood, Virginia (1996)
  • Cessna 182R vs. Cessna 170A accident in Proctor, Arkansas (1996)
  • Cessna 152 accident in Long Beach, California (1995)
  • Cessna 172M accident in Portland, Maine (1995)
  • Cessna 140 accident in Blue Mountain, Pennsylvania (1995)
  • Cessna Cardinal 177RG accident in South Lake Tahoe, California (1994)
  • Cessna 172N accident in Prescott, Arizona (1994)
  • Cessna 421B accident in Valley Park, Missouri (1993)
  • Cessna 172N accident in Lompoc, California (1993)
  • Cessna 182A accident in Long Island, New York (1993)
  • Cessna 172 accident in Towanda, Pennsylvania (1993)
  • Cessna 402 accident in Grand Canyon, Arizona (1992)
  • Cessna 310 accident in Everett, Washington (1992)
  • Cessna 172 accident in Tricorner Knob, Tennessee (1992)
  • Cessna 182 accident in McKinleyville, California (1992)
  • Cessna 172 Skyhawk II accident in Accokeek, Maryland (1992)
  • Cessna 150 accident in Upper Kalskag, Alaska (1992)
  • Cessna 172N accident in Columbus, Montana (1991)
  • Cessna 172M accident in Bellingham, Washington (1991)
  • Cessna 402B accident in Belize (1991)
  • Cessna 150J accident in New Bern, North Carolina (1991)
  • Cessna 150J accident in Kure Beach, North Carolina (1991)
  • Cessna C-172 accident in Oregon City, Oregon (1991)
  • Cessna 210 accident in Manassas, Virginia (1990)
  • Cessna 172 accident in Ferry County, Washington (1990)
  • Cessna P210 accident in La Verne, California (1990)
  • Cessna 152 accident in San Luis Obispo, California (1990)

Our small plane crash lawyers understand what it takes to gather evidence and determine whether maintenance issues, air traffic controller negligence, pilot error, weather, defective parts, manufacturing issues, or other factors were involved in an aviation accident. We have a proven track record of success vigorously pursuing claims on behalf of victims and their families to maximize compensation and hold all negligent parties accountable for failing to keep air travelers safe.

If you would like more information about pursuing a plane crash lawsuit, contact us or call (855) 948-5098. Our legal team offers free and confidential case evaluations.


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