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Research Thread...Mike Connell and his aircraft...

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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 05:14 PM
Original message
Research Thread...Mike Connell and his aircraft...
Since rumors are flying (no pun intended) as to how he died, I,m asking fellow DUer's to post any info they can get regarding the aircraft in which he died and what licences he held and how skilled he was as a pilot...

I'll start with a tenative ID of the aircraft. After googling I found a reference to the serial of the aircraft being Piper serial #3257018. The aircraft was also indentified as a Piper Lance Saratoga. My search revealed the following link:

http://www.pilotmarket.com/aircrafts/Aircraft_For_Sale/...

The aircraft shown carries Registration # N9299N and appears to have full IFR avionics plus pressurized cabin and autopilot...IE: not a "beginners" airplane. I saw no reference to deicing boots or equipment though they may be standard on this model. The color scheme matches the wreckage and the registration # matches what is available on the crash debris.

So here's what kind of stuff needs to be looked into:First, I'd like one of our aviation guys to backcheck me on the aircraft ID. For any with ties to or knowledge of Mr. Connell, What pilot type licence did he have and any info on logged hours. Thirdly Info on the originating and destination of the flight-distance, start time, time of incident and in route weather conditions.

Essentially, the media have posited multiple "innocent" causes for the crash and it may have been just an accident-but today's meme was that the wether was deteriorating and light plane pilots are easily disoriented...but if his skill matched the plane's capabilities this is doubtful...

So please post any facts you can find (and only facts please,not suspicions) surrounding the event to help clarify whether this was an accident or something else. Thanks,Cat.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. From the description of the plane it sounds like he was IFR rated, but we need to know for sure.
If he was, he should have been able to land in that wimpy slightly cloudy weather.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Another question. Would the tank hold enough gas to more than complete his journey?
Recall that the feds tried to claim he ran out of gas---until video showed up with a fireball obviously fueled by gas. If he were low on gas, he might have tried a landing at the wrong time, but if he had plenty in the tank, he would have kept circling, waiting for the clouds to break. If the weather was getting worse, was there some other airport he could have reached in his plane with his gas supply where the weather was better? That would be the usual thing to do.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Ok, here is his flight plan and info on how far the plane can fly.
Says he flew from College Park Airport in Maryland---why is the press being told Pennsylvania? A journey of 2 hours.

Here it says the plane can carry four people 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Oops! Looks like the first lie was not a very good one. That is why they decided to change it to the weather.

http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-7828080/Piper-S...
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. What I most want....copy of his interaction with the tower on the ground.
What did he say? What did they say? How soon can we get it? Will we ever get it? Do they have any kind of radar on him?
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. be patient
;)
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Naw. I'm writing up what I have been able to gather so far in a thread.
Give people something to think about. Rove may be yanking our chain. The guy may have iced his wings and Rove may know it from the talk with the control tower and the feds are suppressing the info to scare the other witnesses.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. um... that is very complicated
i think there are better answers than that and they are coming... promise :)
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here is info about the airport. I assumed that this was some rinky-dink place.
This is a major airport. Multiple runways with lights. Beacons. Be good to know if he had flown into this one before. Also were other planes being told to stay in the air or were they being allowed to take off and land?

http://www.akroncantonairport.com/akroncantonairportnav...
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Where in Pennsylvania was he flying back from? What airport?
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The Telegraph says he flew out of College Park, Maryland, not Pennsylvannia
as so many US sources say. Was he originally flying out of College Park Airport (link here)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_Park_Airport

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/...

And did he stop to refuel in Pennsylvania?

The press should be all over this if they are taking the issue of tampering seriously. According to wiki, the feds have taken over the College Park Airport because of its proximity to the capital.
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luaptifer Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Flight from DC passed over the Southwest corner of PA
I suspect that's the original explanation for that statement and repeating it imprecisely has changed the original statement beyond recognition.
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-23-08 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Not PA, DC
by way of College Park in MD... I have the flight info and such. not sure why people are saying PA
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