BOULDER, CO — A fatal plane crash here Sunday was a deliberate death mission by a terminally ill Atlanta man who overpowered the pilot, police said they believe.

"The erratic flying may have been a struggle for control of the plane," police spokesman David Grimm said.

Hood planned to overpower the pilot and crash the plane. He left six five million dollar insurance policies for six friends. "Perhaps Boulder just happened to be the end point of the struggle." Both men were killed.

Police believe passenger Gordon Larry Hood, 45, of Atlanta overpowered pilot James Wilford "Bill" Layne, 57, and crashed the twin-engine Cessna 421C into a Boulder neighborhood.

Hood may have been planning his fiery death since Christmas, Ruth Loftus of Indianapolis said. Boulder police are now investigating the case as a homicide-suicide and have taken control of the crime scene from the National Transportation Safety Board, Grimm said.

Loftus told the Daily Camera, the Boulder newspaper, that Hood told her he had an inoperable brain tumor and wanted to die in a plane crash. She said she tried to warn the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police in Atlanta and Denver that he planned to hit the pilot over the head and crash the plane into the Colorado mountains, but no one took her seriously.

Loftus said Hood believed the crash would make it impossible for anyone to determine that he had a brain tumor. Hood's plot included leaving $5 million insurance policies for each of his six friends, including Loftus.

Loftus said Hood wanted her to have the money because she has a defective heart valve. She said she met him at a lounge in November or December and saw him three times. The last time, right before Christmas, he told her of the plot to commit suicide.