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Airplane crashes in Superstition Mountains, official says

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Bosonic Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:22 PM
Original message
Airplane crashes in Superstition Mountains, official says
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 08:26 PM by Bosonic
Source: The Arizona Republic

Pinal County authorities Wednesday evening reported that a plane had gone down in the Superstition Mountains.

The county sheriff's office said a fire had broken out as a result, and that emergency crews were on the way.

The size of the plane or how many passengers were aboard are not known at this time.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/pinal/articles/2011/...



live tv stream: http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2011/11/2...
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Someone looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine?
O8)
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Probably more like a family going to grandma's house for Thanksgiving
3 adults and 3 kids.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well there's an awkward title
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. Arizona plane crash in Superstition Mountains; several fatalities
Source: Arizona Republic

A small plane crashed in the Superstition Mountains east of Apache Junction on Wednesday evening, killing several people, including at least one child, Pinal County authorities reported.

Emergency crews had to struggle through rugged terrain to reach the crash site, which appeared be in the peaks' Flat Iron area.

At a press briefing about 9:45 p.m., Sheriff Paul Babeu said it was believed that three adults and three children were on board the plane. The children reportedly ranged in age from 5 to 9.

"From what we understand, that plane flew from Safford to Mesa to pick up children and return to Safford," he said, adding that the adults appeared to be the pilot, a mechanic and a third person.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/pinal/articles/2011/...
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I have been in that area and it is indeed a very rugged area.
I rode horses throught the area years ago and still remember how inhostpitable the terrain was. There were cacti that could easily kill you if you fell on them. RIP to all that may have died there.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Jumping cholla



I've been in that area as well and hiked it some about this time of year, so the temperature wasn't to bad. I wouldn't even try in the Summer.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. Here's a picture of the aircraft before the crash
From the accident narrative, it sounds like the aircraft took off right after sunset and possibly strayed off course to the north where the mountain was. Very sad.



http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=140030
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Aero Commander
It's a very well built aircraft and probably one of the most survivable.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I think the investigation will find the accident was caused by CFIT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_flight_into_ter...

The flight was conducted under VFR rules, so the pilot was on his own for altitude assignment and terrain avoidance. I suspect if the pilot had been IFR the accident would never have happened.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. True.
Something must have distracted the pilot. I think there may be more to this story.
If I had a choice of a twin, that would be the plane I pick. I used to fly out of Wiley Post. They used to do a demo every year with a Commander. That plane with a good pilot is amazing.

It was just a short hop for that aircraft, why file an IFR flight plan when you can just jump in and go.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Here's what I believe happened
This is just pure speculation, but I think since he was going VFR, he probably had planned on staying at 4,500' since the Class B airspace starts at 5,000. He probably didn't worry about the mountain too much because it was slightly north of his direct route. For whatever reason he got off course a bit to the north, and the mountain was right there. The new moon is tonight, so there was virtually no moon last night. He wouldn't have seen it in time, if at all. With kids in the plane, it would be easy to get distracted. He may have even had one up front with him.

I fly IFR for almost all my cross country trips. I do this for two main reasons. One it forces me to actually methodically plan my trip and not just jump in the plane haphazardly and fly off in the general direction I'm traveling. Two it gives me an extra element of safety in that I have someone else watching out for me. There's a lot of traffic around the DFW area, and I like being separated from the other IFR traffic and having the VFR traffic called out.

I'll be flying to OKC next month. I have a business trip in Oklahoma City for a week, so I'll be taking my trusty Skylane. I'll be landing at OKC instead of Wiley Post, although I have flown into PWA a time or two.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. DFW is busy
I was almost run over by a commercial jet one night over DFW. I pulled up and he went right under me. I could see him coming a long way off but I was VFR over the controlled airspace. I could see he was constant bearing, decreasing range and figured he knew I was there, until his landing light suddenly got very bright, very quickly. He was descending from the West, so I did a serious climb. Also saw a meteor hit the ground over the Arbuckles that same night. it's really dark out there, so it was spectacular. I loved flying at Night out there when it was crystal clear.
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Major Nikon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Around here you become aware which way DFW is landing
The big iron climb steeper than they descend, so I always want to know which direction they are landing. On that side I always keep at least 1,000' below the class B when I am VFR. Otherwise you risk a close encounter of the MD80 kind. Lots of folks around here have had close calls. That's why I prefer to be talking and squawking.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. My encounter was with a 727
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 06:48 PM by formercia
Long ago and far away.

Can't afford it now.
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