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SkyHigh 07-12-2006 06:06 AM

Last Monday at about the time I was getting home from my construction job a Piper Navajo passed over my house on its way to Seattle. A short time later the plane was seen struggling to reach an emergency forest service strip in the mountains and crashed short killing the pilot. The plane belonged to a cargo outfit and flies the same routes day and night. This is the second crash they have had this year. Last weekend my brother discovered that one of his high school buddies was killed in another cargo plane crash last month at a different company. Whenever there is an accident of small plane it brings back memories of all the friends who I have lost over the years. In the modern RJ age it is easy to forget that this is a dangerous business.


C175 07-12-2006 07:30 AM

That sucks. a piper navajo has no buisness operating over the mountains. I drove one around the rockies for a year and twice REALLY thought to myself "this is it". Great airplane to fly, but not in a mountaineous area. I am lucky to have survived and a couple of my colleagues nearly bought the farm too.

WhiteH2O 07-12-2006 08:13 AM

That airplane was a Cheiftain operated by AirPac. I have a friend who used to be my flight instructor that is now a pilot for that airline. I had a scare when I heard the news because they wouldn't release a name right away. It wasn't him, but I had the same scare a few months ago when the same airline had another plane go down.

The strange thing about this story, is that the pilot reported having troubles maintaining altitude. He never said anything about a failed engine, so we should be able to assume that he had both engines. He had a light load on the plane, and that airplane would have no problems going over the mountains with that load even on one engine. Perhaps he had induction ice or a bad fuel flow problem? I was just in to the airport that he was trying to go into last week, and it is no place for a multi engine airplane. It is short, grass, and fairly bumpy. When you go onto FlightAware, the path of the plane goes well past the emergency airport in Easton, and goes almost to Seattle when the plane's path turns around and comes back to Easton. I am not 100% sure that those routes are completely accurate, but it seems a little strange.

I was somewhat thinking of flying for that airline in the future, but these incidents may have changed my mind.

SkyHigh 07-12-2006 03:23 PM

Piston Twins
Most of the planes flown by cargo outfits are old worn out junk. No matter who you fly for it is a dangerous business.


WhiteH2O 07-12-2006 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by SkyHigh
No matter who you fly for it is a dangerous business.

Yep, single pilot IFR over the mountains doesn't help much either.

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