BOULDER, Colo. — The Executive Director of the National Gay Pilots Association was killed Monday when the single-engine plane he was flying crashed and burst into flames after taking off from Boulder Municipal Airport.
Steven Moore, 35, was killed in the crash, according to a statement by the pilots group. He was flying the plane, a Mooney M-20C, to nearby Broomfield for maintenance.
The preliminary investigation indicates the plane hit the ground propeller-first just after 7:30 a.m., said Cmdr. Jeff Hendry of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
Scott Shatzer, chairman of the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA), a global community of LGBT aviators, confirmed to The Associated Press that Moore was killed in the crash.
On their Facebook page, the NGPA said, “It is with greatest sadness that we must announce the loss of a treasured member of our NGPA family.”
“Our Executive Director, and valiant crusader for the NGPA cause, Steven Moore, passed away this morning while flying his beloved Mooney in Colorado. Steven, we love you, we will miss you, and we will be forever indebted to you for all of the passion you put into your work with NGPA.”
Jeff Slater, who was working on gas lines near the airport’s runway, told the Daily Camera the plane “didn’t sound right” when it took off.
“It was choking and sputtering pretty bad,” he said. “It sounded horrible.”
The crash is being investigated by the sheriff’s office and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Moore was employed as a First Officer for ExpressJet, a regional airline that operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.
He is survived by his fiancé, Nathan Samek.