Some additional stories of rescue attempts are starting to come out. An off duty FF and an off duty Battalion Chief got there prior to the first due engine and entered the house without any gear trying to find the missing 1 and 13 year old kids. The fuel fed fire drove them out. A FF from the arriving Rescue Company entered through a rear first floor window of an involved room and was able to make the second floor looking for the baby. As he did the fire cut off the stairs behind him and trapped him in a second floor bedroom. Another FF and a police officer threw a ladder to that window and he bailed out the window as the fire burned through the door into that room.
Tough day for all.
Weather around that time was south winds gusting to 19, 9 miles visibility and a variable ceiling between 6 and 1100.
With his son, looking at colleges on the east coast. I'm wondering if he was letting the kid fly. Sounds like they missed the first approach and by the look of the layout, crashed on short final on the second approach.
I just read something from the NTSB (not Debra, sorry, no picts!) that said they hit nearly inverted. Makes you wonder if they got slow turning final while circling, stalled it, or...?
I spent my first 4 years of "Professional Aviation" and 4,000 hours flying cancelled checks at night in a Turbo Commander (N9166N) four nights a week, every week, no vacations, and I started there at age 19 as a copilot, at 21 I moved to the left seat.
That airplane was a lot better than I was, thank God! Lots of power (when empty, as these two were) and it handled great, very easy to fly.
But don't belive me, ask Bob Hoover. Bob's personal ride was the piston powered Shrike, but in the summer of 1974, at the Reading (PA) Airshow, I was 14 and watching him fly the (then) new Turbo Commander, doing the same routine as he always did in the Shrike. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be flying that Turbo Commode, 5 years later.
And yes, I did an aileron roll in it, and no, my copilot did not spill a drop out of his topless coffee cup. But his eyes did get really big!
Tried to post some pictures, wouldn't let me. From the pictures it does appear the tail section is inverted, but it is hard to tell if it hit that way, though I would guess it did. The remainder of the fuselage is in the house. Unfortunately, the rooms that took the direct hit in the rear is where the 13 year old and the baby were. The mother was at the front of the house, and along with neighbors and off duty firefighters who lived nearby made multiple attempts to get to the kids.
Accounts from friends and colleagues who were working, including one who was on the first due engine, is that the scene was unimaginably horrific, complete with having to forcibly remove the mother who was screaming for her kids. Several veteran guys described it as one of the worst runs of their careers.
The metars at the time weren't all that bad at first glance, but there was a vigorous weather system in the area. As others have said, that's a challenging approach on a good day.....
I wonder how much time this guy had logged in the airplane, total, and recently, and how much IFR time, total and recently. Seems a lot of guys buy too much airplane and then try to fly it into too much weather, with little or no IFR recency.