Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lancair Evolution, N571JM: Fatal accident occurred July 17, 2017 near Falcon Field Airport (KFFZ), Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


NTSB Identification: WPR17FA155 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 17, 2017 in Mesa, AZ
Aircraft: Evolution 19 Lancair Evolution, registration: N571JM
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 17, 2017, at about 1650 mountain standard time, a single-engine experimental Lancair Evolution, N571JM, impacted terrain following a loss of control while on approach to Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The cross-country business flight departed from Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Arizona about 1555 with a planned destination of John Wayne-Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed and activated.

Phoenix Approach and Falcon Field Air Traffic Control (ATC) controllers were in contact with the pilot. The pilot transmitted that he needed to divert to Falcon Field airport about 1617 "just in case, my system is not charging" explaining that he had an incident "the other day" where his primary and multifunction displays "just died on me and I don't think its going to happen before we get to Falcon, but if you could keep me on a direct heading to Falcon that would be great." The pilot was cleared to land runway 22L and he transmitted to the controllers that "an electrical failure is probably imminent here," and then requested to cross mid-field to enter the downwind. He then explained that he was "still having an electrical issue," and that he "had one on Friday" and his electrical system was about to go dead.

Numerous witnesses that were located in the vicinity of the accident site reported seeing the airplane maneuvering very low and making a steep left turn. They stated that the airplane then went into a nose-low, near-vertical decent. The airplane impacted a golf course and erupted in flames.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site for further examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Emergency responders have released blurred body camera video and the 911 calls that were made after a plane crash on a golf course in Mesa during the summer. 

One man called dispatchers and said he was when he saw it crash onto the fairway of the 10th hole at Longbow Golf Club, which is located near McDowell Road between Recker and Higley roads, around 5 p.m. on July 17, 2017.

A woman called who was on the driving range and saw the plane go down.

"We were playing golf on Longbow and a plane went down," said another man to a 911 dispatcher.

He was within a few hundred feet from the crash and saw another man tried to help the two people in the crash.

"There's fire everywhere," he said.

He went closer to the scene where he first saw passenger.

"There's a girl laying outside the plane," he said.

"Is she breathing?" the dispatcher replied.

"No, no," he said.

She was later identified as 22-year-old Krista Buchanan. The body of the pilot, identified as Alan Ram, 53, was also seen outside of the plane.

According to the FAA, Ram said he had mechanical trouble and the plane wouldn't reach Falcon Field. The plane went down about a half mile from Runway 22, said Allen Kenitzer in the agency's communications office.

"He turned like he was going to try to land at Falcon Field and then he nose-dived into the field," said another 911 caller.

No one on the ground was hurt.

Falcon Field is a regional airport that pilots use to fly smaller and often older planes. 

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.azfamily.com

Krista Evers Buchanan

Krista Evers Buchanan graduated from Liberty University last year. 
Krista got married last July.

Alan E. Ram

Alan Ram was well-known in the automotive industry and the Scottsdale consulting firm he founded helped train scores of employees, managers and executives at dealerships and other businesses in the U.S. Canada.

Krista Evers Buchanan graduated from Liberty University last year. She got married last July.

Alan Ram, 53, and Krista Evers Buchanan, 22, died Monday in a plane crash in Mesa near Falcon Field. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal plane crash.

Ram was the pilot of the small plane that crashed on Longbow Golf Course near the Mesa airfield that is home to Boeing Co. and other businesses.

The Scottsdale CEO and former Marine was well-known in the automotive industry. He was the founder of Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions.

The CBT Automotive News where Ram was a frequent contributor talked about the business executives contributions and impact.

Liberty Champion — a newspaper at the Christian university — announced Buchanan’s death to the community there.

Evers Buchanan received her degree in advertising and public relations.

“Krista was a beautiful soul with a bright future. While at Liberty, she served our digital media honor society faithfully, initiating and managing social media pages for the group. In the classroom, Krista was a diligent worker who pushed herself to growth,” Liberty University professor Amy Bonebright told the Liberty Champion.

Buchanan received student of the year honors in 2016 from the Liberty communications school.

The last post by Ram on his Facebook page was picture of a small airplane.

Buchanan's last Facebook cover photo was from her wedding.


Ram, Alan E.

Alan E. Ram, 53, of Scottsdale, Arizona, died unexpectedly on Monday, July 17th, 2017, in Mesa, Arizona. Alan is survived by his Fiancée Melissa Brown; his parents Edna and Michael Ram; sisters Shelley Ram-Saban and Dorrit Ram; brothers-in-law Avi Saban and Amit Levy; niece and nephews Mia, Liam, Evyatar and Idan; and Jagger, his F1 Savannah. Raised in Buffalo NY, Alan enjoyed playing competitive tennis, watching the Buffalo Bills and eating wings. He then went on to serve the country in the United States Marine Corps when he was honorably discharged. He stayed in San Diego where he entered into the automotive industry. Alan was a hard worker who seized opportunities to build a successful business that grew to become one of the most successful in the automotive industry. He never took his success for granted and was a generous donor, supporting charities for veterans and under privileged children. He formed the Janeen Barber Foundation in honor of Janeen Barber, who was like a mother to Alan and instrumental in helping him reach his potential. Most of all, Alan was a loyal and dedicated friend with a great sense of humor and a presence that filled the room. He was passionate about flying, football, and travel and will be greatly missed. The memorial services will be held at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary & Cemetery at 3PM on Friday, July 20.

MESA, Ariz.- The Mesa Police Department have identified the two victims who died Monday when a plane crashed onto a golf course near Falcon Field Airport.

The aircraft that crashed was a Lancair Evolution carrying the pilot, Alan Ram, 53, and passenger Krista Buchanan, 22, who died on scene, according to police.

Ram was a successful businessman here in the Valley who owned Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions. His business focused on increasing individual and dealership productivity in the automotive industry.  

Ram served as a Marine early in his life and was about to get married to the love of his life.

A few of his friends talked with 12 News today about how incredible he was.

"Alan was a very special friend to me. Someone that watched over me, always had my back, would have anybody's back," Sara Jocelyn Borrillo  said. "He really cared about people and would do anything for anybody. I've flown with him dozens of times and he was a great pilot."

"I just found out about this tragic news and I still can't believe it," Eric Meza said. "Alan was a man's man. He had a big heart and he cared for you." 

Ram owned many planes, including the Lancair Evolution that went down Monday afternoon.

Mesa police and fire crews were dispatched to Longbow Golf Course near Highway 202 and Recker Road just before 5 p.m. Monday when the plane crashed on the 10th hole fairway.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration's Allen Kenitzer, the plane reported mechanical trouble and couldn't reach the airport.

Ram was communicating with the Falcon Field Airport Tower moments before the crash. Audio of that conversation indicates Ram was experiencing electrical issues.

The conversation went as follows:

Ram: And Falcon Tower, Evolution 571JM.

Tower: 571JM Falcon Tower, you're number two...just a two mile final, Runway 22 Left, clear to land.

Ram: Runway 22 Left. And I'm still quite a bit to the west of you. Is it okay if I cross midfield and drop in to a left downwind for 22 Left?

Tower: 10-4, that's fine.

Ram: Alright sir, I'm having, still having an electrical issue. I had one on Friday and I'm... I'm about to go dead. So I'm just going to cross over and make left- Lost of audio.

This investigation is ongoing and has been turned over to officials from the FAA.


A 53-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were identified as the two people who died in a plane crash near Mesa Falcon Field Airport Monday afternoon.

The pilot, Alan Ram, 53, and passenger, Krista Buchanan, 22, were found dead at the scene, according to Detective Nik Rasheta, a Mesa police spokesman.

The Lancair Evolution crashed on the fairway of the 10th hole at Longbow Golf Course shortly before 5 p.m., and the aircraft went up in flames, witnesses said.

MORE: 2 killed in plane crash at golf course near Mesa Falcon Field Airport

An investigation was being conducted by Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials.

Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said that the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the crash.

The golf course is at the northeast corner of Higley and McDowell roads in Mesa. The airport is southwest of the intersection.


Two people were confirmed dead in a fiery airplane crash at a northeast Mesa golf course late Monday afternoon, with one official describing the scene as "a ball of fire.''

The Lancair Evolution crashed at 4:52 p.m. about a half-mile east of Falcon Field Airport, according to Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said that the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the crash.

The Evolution is a single-engine light plane.

Mesa fire officials were notified of the aircraft down at Longbow Golf Club by the Falcon Field Airport tower, Mesa Deputy Fire Chief Forrest Smith said.

The golf course is at the northeast corner of Higley and McDowell roads in Mesa. The airport is southwest of the intersection.

Smith said crews arrived to find the aircraft had crashed and burned on a fairway at the course.

"It was a pretty horrific scene,'' Smith said. "When crews first arrived, they were met with a ball of fire on the course itself.''

Smith said officials confirmed two people aboard the aircraft were killed. 

No one else was injured in the crash.

Smith said it took firefighters 20 minutes to extinguish the fire, noting firefighters worked to preserve as much of the scene as possible for investigators.

"I just saw this huge plume of black smoke," said Frank Marshall, 72, who saw the smoke as he was heading home from work. "Oh my goodness it got really high. ... It was 500 or 600 feet in the air of smoke."

Marshall, a Mesa resident who lives near Falcon Field, said he had played at the course before and it appeared the crash occurred near the 10th hole.

Officials at Longbow Golf Club declined comment.

The FAA and NTSB were leading the investigation into the crash.


MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -  Federal investigators are trying to piece together the moments before a small plane crashed on a golf course near Falcon Field Monday evening, killing two people on board.

The Lancair Evolution crashed onto the fairway of the 10th hole at Longbow Golf Club around 5 p.m. Planes heading west to Falcon Field often fly low over the golf course, which is located near McDowell Road between Recker and Higley roads.

According to the FAA, the pilot reported mechanical trouble and said the plane was unable to reach the airport. The plane went down about a half mile from Runway 22, said Allen Kenitzer in the agency's communications office.

Aerials from the news helicopter showed the plane was destroyed. The FAA and the NTSB are investigating.

A handful of people were on the golf course at the time, but no one was playing the 10th hole when the crash happened, according to employees of the course. No one on the ground was hurt.

Witnesses described the crash as a loud "boom." Cell phone photos show thick smoke and flames erupting from the wreckage. 

There were no skid marks on the golf course. The airport remained open.

According to FlightAware, a Lancair Evolution flying from Phoenix Deer Valley Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California was diverted to Falcon Field at 4:52 p.m.  

Falcon Field is a regional airport that pilots use to fly smaller and often older planes. 

This is not the first deadly crash at Longbow Golf Club. Two people were killed in September 2004 when a small plane crashed onto the 15th fairway.


Anonymous said...

The greatest tribute we can give to an aviator who has flown west in a tragic accident such as this is to learn from them. May God's grace and peace hold the family close during this trying time, and may His promises through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ bring hope of a glorious reunion.

Anonymous said...

Get to the ground in control! That'll give you a chance to live another day.

Anonymous said...

The man was the brother of a colleague of mine. Clearly, he was a good soul - as was the young lady passenger.

God be with their families in their horrific grief!

Such a sad thing to ponder. My heart aches for them all.

Anonymous said...

I seriously think there should be some sort of rules around taking passengers in experimental aircraft. This young woman had her entire life ahead of her I'm sure she had no idea the risk she was taking flying in an home built / non professional maintained aircraft. I'm not against home-built aircraft passengers need to know what they are getting into.