Pilot ‘recklessly’ flew at boats in reservoir before crashing, Colorado sheriff says

Larimer County Sheriff's Department

A pilot accused of buzzing boaters on a Colorado reservoir before crashing now faces charges in the 2022 incident, sheriff’s officials reported.

The 35-year-old man is accused of menacing and reckless endangerment, a Jan. 30 news release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s department said.

Boaters on Horsetooth Reservoir reported being repeatedly buzzed by a private plane flying “recklessly,” which then crashed, about 7 p.m. Sept. 11, 2022 near Horsetooth Mountain, the sheriff’s office said.

The pilot and a passenger were rescued with minor injuries, the release said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority found the plane crash did not involve mechanical problems, and statements by the pilot did not match the evidence, the release said.

But the FBI said no federal laws had been violated, sheriff’s officials said.

After an investigation that included photos and videos of the plane flying dangerously low past boaters, local officials filed charges of menacing and reckless endangerment against the pilot.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest, but sheriff’s officials say they were told he had left the United States shortly after the incident and has not returned.

“The fact that someone would show such reckless disregard for the lives of others is concerning, but it’s even more disturbing on a date that holds so much pain and significance for our country,” Sheriff John Feyen said in the release.

The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information to call 970-498-5167.

Horsetooth Reservoir is near Fort Collins, about 60 miles north of Denver.

Pilot notices laser aiming into police helicopter — then bullets fly, Michigan cops say