Fourth Crash In Eight Months At Centennial

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The fourth fatal plane crash in eight months at Denver's Centennial Airport is prompting calls for an investigation into the safety of the field and has spurred politicians to address the safety of the MU-2 (involved in two of the four accidents). But while politicians and aviation officials concede that the facility has had a run of bad luck, they insist there is nothing inherently unsafe. "Nothing we have indicates it is a dangerous airfield," said NTSB investigator Aaron Sauer. "It is a busy airfield with a lot of aircraft coming in and out." Sauer was at Centennial to investigate the crash of a Cessna 425 that was on an instrument approach when it went down last Saturday, killing all four aboard. The pilot, Stephan Gavit, was described by friends as an expert pilot who was very familiar with the airport. He was returning from a fishing trip in Idaho. The crash came barely a week after an MU-2 cargo plane went down, killing the pilot. Another MU-2 crashed last Dec. 10 and a Cessna 421 was lost on Dec. 17. "It does seem like we're having a spate of crashes," said Lone Tree Mayor Jack O'Boyle. He's asked for more information on the crashes to see if there's a pattern to them. The plane in Saturday's crash came down in a field that will soon be the site of a major housing development.