1 Dead In Plane Crash South Of Denver

Credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

He was just trying to make a quick flight to visit his girlfriend during the Easter holiday.

So when the pilot failed to show up Saturday night after what should have been a short trip between New Mexico and Colorado, the girlfriend contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to report him missing.

Sadly, the wreckage of the plane was located late Sunday morning on a ranch in Franktown. Authorities say a ranch-hand was checking on cows when he saw the plane. The pilot, whose name has not been released pending family notification, did not survive.

Investigators are still working to determine what caused the crash, but say they are considering human, mechanical and environmental factors.

The plane last showed up on radar at 8:40 p.m. Saturday.

The plane was a 1973 vintage Cherokee Piper, fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says all of the pilot's certificates were up-to-date.

The NTSB will release an accident report within the next 7-10 days.