Friday, August 30, 2019

Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair, N9529Y: Fatal accident occurred August 29, 2019 near St. Ignatius Airport (52S), Lake County, Montana

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: St. Ignatius, MT
Accident Number: WPR19FA246
Date & Time: 08/29/2019, 1600 MDT
Registration: N9529Y
Aircraft: Beech 33
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 29, 2019, about 1600 mountain daylight time, a Beech BE-35 airplane, N9529Y, impacted terrain on a private ranch, near St. Ignatius, Montana. The private pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed around the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Miller Field airport (VTN) in Valentine, Nebraska and was destined for St. Ignatius airport (52S) in St. Ignatius, Montana.

According to a witness, the pilot routinely flew low over a ranch to alert the ranch hands that he would be landing at 52S and required a ride back to the ranch. On this occasion he was observed flying lower than normal. Multiple witnesses reported that they heard the airplane approaching then saw sparks erupting as the airplane flew passed wires located about 50 ft above the ground. All the witnesses reported seeing the airplane descend to the ground where it tumbled for about 400 ft.

The airplane was found inverted in a level hay field on a heading of about 095°. An area of flattened hay and grass was observed extending back from the airplane 400 ft on a bearing of 255°. Numerous components of the airplane were found strewn along the ground scar. A downed power transmission line was observed about 830 ft to the west of the wreckage. Some airplane components were found in the vicinity of the downed powerline. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N9529Y
Model/Series: 33 35B33
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMSO, 3205 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 11000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 47.275833, -114.124167

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

Grant Owen Weythman

Evansville, Indiana - Grant Owen Weythman, 49 of Evansville, passed away as the result of a plane crash on Thursday, August 29, 2019 in St. Ignatius, Montana while on a mission trip.

Grant was born April 24, 1970 in Baker, Oregon. He spent his high school years in Papua New Guinea where his parents were missionaries. Grant was a veteran of the United States Army where he served in the Gulf War as a tank mechanic and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He worked for Safran Helicopter Engines; as well as owning and operating Hepler Airport and Weythman Aviation and was a member of the AOPA. He called himself a helicopter mechanic, but could master anything aviation related. He also enjoyed woodworking. metal working, fishing, hunting and traveling. Although he was transplanted in Indiana, his love for the mountains never stopped.

Surviving Grant are his wife of 18 years, Sabrina Weythman; daughter Piper Weythman; and three step children; Nik (Katie) Boren, Zane Boren, and Bryn (Brett) Dant; his parents, Gary and Geraldine (Blomgren), two brothers, Kirby (Katie) Weythman and Thane Weythman; two sisters; Joanne ( Brian Blank) Butler,and Peggy Weythman Doyle; six grandchildren; Chandler, Brigham, Bryten, Charlotte, Max and Bryer, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Friends my visit with the family from 2:00 until 8:00 PM on Friday, September 6, at Pierre Funeral Home, 2301 W. Franklin Street. There will be a graveside service held at 10:00 AM Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Locust Hill Cemetery, Pastor Jerry Clark officiating. The Vanderburgh County Retired Veterans Memorial Club will conduct military rites.

There will be a celebration of Grant's life held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at First Christian Church, 2845 Beaumont Drive, Evansville, IN 47725. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 PM until the time of the service Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pinehaven Children's Ranch, PO Box 240 St Ignatius, Mt. 59865.

Condolences may be made online at

Timothy R. “Tim” Arnold

Timothy R. “Tim” Arnold, 59, of Evansville, passed away Thursday, August 29, 2019 as the result of a plane crash in St. Ignatius, Montana.

Tim was born March 6, 1960 in Evansville to the late Joseph and Elvera (Will) Arnold. He was the owner and operator of ProSource Wholesale. Tim was a member of First Christian Church in Evansville, where he served as an Elder and ran the sound board for the worship team. He served many years as a youth sponsor where he is remembered for his infectious laugh and huge hugs. Tim was a passionate, loving man. He completed all tasks in his life with delight and vigor, whether it was making breakfast every morning with his wife, or cleaning the bathroom at work, Tim always poured 100% of his heart into the work. He loved his work family and greeted every customer, member, installer, sales rep, and delivery man with a smile and genuine love. Tim loved his friends and always greeted them with a giant hug, a kiss or simple I love you. Tim was crazy about his family. His profound love for his grandbabies was demonstrated through every trip to the farm to see the cows, every lap he skied on the lake while holding them, and every sleeping baby he packed to the car.

Surviving Tim are his wife of 27 years, Tammy Arnold; children, Jessica (Brian) Deardurff, Nick (Jenjer) Arnold, Crystal (Andrew) Roberson and Jessica (Brandon) VanMeter; sisters, Anna Marie Arnold, Barbara Baumholser, Christine (Tony) Becker, Rose Ann Weidner Murphy, Doris Thornton and Edna Wilson; brothers, Jim (Sherry) Arnold, William (Doris) Arnold and Anthony (Sandy) Arnold, as well as grandchildren, Giada, Ari, Tyler, Branson, Brady, Finley, LibbyKate, Beckett, Cadwyn, Addyson and Rylan.

In addition to his parents, Tim was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Arnold and by grandchildren, Keira, Cormac and Billy.

There will be a celebration of Tim’s life held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at First Christian Church, 2845 Beaumont Drive, Evansville, IN 47725.

Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 until 8:00 PM on Friday, September 6, 2019 at Pierre Funeral Home, 2601 W. Franklin Street and from 2:00 PM until the service time on Saturday at First Christian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church.

Condolences may be made online at

Allen Kurtis Eicher

Evansville, Indiana - Allen Kurtis Eicher left this world to be with the Lord August 29, 2019 as a result of a plane crash in Lake County Montana near St. Ignatius.

Allen was born September 28, 1953 in Battle Creek, Michigan to Virgil Charles Eicher and Doris Lida (Eshbaugh) Eicher.

He graduated from Reitz High School in 1971 and then from ISUE in 1978 with degrees in Biology and Life Sciences. Allen retired from Peabody Energy in December, 2015 after 35 years as an Environmental Engineer/Reclamation. Allen was a member of First Christian Church in Evansville where he served as a church Elder.

Allen was an avid wood worker creating many specialty pieces including furniture, turned wooden bowls and many other unique artistic pieces. He enjoyed fishing, caring for his home and property, and was a trained falconer. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was passionate about mission work at Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch. Allen volunteered often at the Evansville Rescue Mission.

He was loved by all and is survived by his wife of 41 years, Kathryn (Weinert) Eicher; daughter Leah Eicher; in-laws include Pete and Carolyn Weinert-Newburgh, Bill and Patty Weinert-Evansville, Garry and Patti Pratt-Greenwood IN, Rick and Vicki Yunker-Gainesville FL, Steve Anderson-CO; nieces and nephews: Matthew Clagett, Thomas Clagett, Heather Perry, Rebecca Luccitti, Jamie Winklevoss, Rich Anderson, Katie Phelps, Sara Durbin, Lesley McDonnell, Emily Yunker, Tom Yunker.

Allen was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Ellen (Eicher) Anderson.

Visitation will be at Alexander West Chapel, 2100 W. Illinois on Thursday, September 5, 2019, from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a prayer service at 7:30. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at First Christian Church, 2845 Beaumont Drive, Evansville, Indiana, 47725.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to First Christian Church or Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch and School, PO Box 940, St. Ignatius, MT, 59865. Condolences may be offered at

"Montana here we come."
August 29, 2019

The three men who died Thursday afternoon when their plane went down in a field near St. Ignatius were from Evansville, Indiana, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. 

A statement released Friday morning on social media said the plane crashed near Pinehaven Lane at approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday. 

Those killed were identified as Tim Arnold, 59, Grant O. Weythman, 49, and Allen K. Eicher, 65. 

As the Federal Aviation Administration takes over the investigation in conjunction with the Lake County Sheriff's Office this morning, early reports from Lake County authorities said they believed the single-engine plane crashed after colliding with a power line. 

Authorities were able to turn the wrecked plane over with assistance from the property owner's backhoe, according to the release.

All three men were declared dead at the scene, Bell said Thursday. Their bodies have been transported to the Montana State Crime Lab, according to Friday's release.

Bell was not immediately available for comment Friday morning. 

The Evansville Courier & Press identified Arnold as the owner of a home interior store there, ProSource Wholesale. A post on Arnold's Facebook feed includes a photo posted early Thursday of three men in a plane, captioned "Montana here we come."

The comment section below the post begins with messages such as "be safe," and descends into mourning. 

The First Christian Church of Evansville wrote on Facebook that the trio was headed to Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch before the fatal crash. A message left for Pinehaven seeking further comment Friday were not returned.

Original article can be found here:

ST. IGNATIUS —  Lake County Sheriff Don Bell has released the names of the three men who died when a small plane crashed on Thursday near St. Ignatius.

The men, all from Evansville, Indiana, have been identified as Timothy R. Arnold (59 years old), Allen K. Eicher (65), and Grant O. Weythman (49).

The men were flying into the area to visit friends, according to Sheriff Bell.

Sheriff Bell says that it appears the Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair hit a power line, and then crashed upside-down in a hay field. 

The property owner's backhoe was used to tip the plane in order to allow emergency personnel to recover the bodies.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are continuing to investigate the crash.

(August 29, 2019)

Three people died in a plane crash in Lake County Thursday afternoon.

According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, authorities received a report of a plane crash near St. Ignatius at around 4 p.m.

The incident occurred near Pistol Creek Road.

The crash is under investigation, however, Bell said they believe the plane hit a power line.

The occupants, who were not from Montana, were flying into the area to visit friends, according to Bell. Their names have not yet been released.

Responding agencies included, among others, the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Mission Valley Ambulance.

(1st Report, 4:51 p.m.) 

A plane crash has been reported near Ronan in Lake County.

According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, emergency personnel are still arriving at the scene.

Bell told MTN News the aircraft needs to be flipped in order for authorities to determine the number and safety of the occupants.

The scene is located near Pistol Creek Road. The public is asked to avoid the area.

Original article can be found here:

MISSOULA, Montana — Montana authorities say three people are dead as a result of a single-engine airplane crash.

The Missoulian reports the three people were declared dead at the scene near St. Ignatius Thursday.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the victims.

Emergency services were alerted to the plane crash in a field around 4 p.m.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell says the plane is believed to have struck a large power line, which caused mechanical problems.

Bell did not release information regarding the origin of the flight, but said it did not come from a local airport.

Bell says Federal Aviation Administration officials were expected to arrive in the area Friday to take over the crash investigation.

Lake County authorities also alerted the National Transportation Safety Board.

Original article can be found here:

EVANSVILLE — Smiling for the camera in the tiny cabin of their plane, Tim Arnold, Grant Weythman and Allen Eicher bespoke the hope and promise of men soaring through the clouds to do God's work.

“Montana here we come,” declared the photo Arnold posted on his Facebook page just after 5 a.m. Thursday.

A succession of comments, equally jaunty and laden with exclamation points, wished the men well. For hours the comments came, one after another. “Praying for safe travels, good fishing, and lots of chores to be accomplished!” one said. “Have fun but why does it look like you are in the world’s smallest car??” said another. “Prayers for a great trip!”

The next comment came after hours of silence, unaccompanied by any explanation but full of understanding.

"God only you know why these things happen,” it said. “These three are with you now. RIP”

Weythman, Arnold and Eicher — 49, 59 and 65 years old, respectively – lost their lives in a plane crash Thursday afternoon south of St. Ignatius, Montana. Authorities there confirmed that their Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair struck a power line and crashed upside down in a hayfield.

The particulars await a preliminary report of the Federal Aviation Administration in about two weeks — but it likely won’t say anything about the spirit of service that moved the men to climb into that plane.

They were on their way to Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch in St. Ignatius to repair broken machinery as members of a volunteer mission team from Evansville’s First Christian Church. Weythman and Eicher were elders and frequent volunteers at the North Side church. Arnold was a former elder and a longtime volunteer leader.

"They were very much what we call shepherds – trying to make sure everybody is taken care of and needs are met," said Matt Silen, discipleship and outreach minister at First Christian. "At almost any event that we had, they had some part in either helping set up or helping execute it."

Michael Lookebill, executive and worship minister at First Christian, said Weythman, Arnold and Eicher had flown to Pinehaven on several occasions as a trio and as part of larger groups. First Christian is among the churches nationwide with whom Pinehaven, which serves troubled youths, has partnerships.

A Pinehaven official with whom First Christian liaisons did not return a telephone message. But Lookebill said Pinehaven is very much a working ranch — and was very much in need of Weythman, Arnold and Eicher's skills.

“(Pinehaven) would often call on (Weythman), specifically, because he was a mechanic and (Eicher) was an engineer, to come out and fix things that may need fixing and just assist around the ranch," Lookebill said. "That was the purpose of the trip. They wanted to help, just as always."

Weythman, a licensed pilot and co-owner of the plane that crashed, is listed as operator of Weythman Aviation, a privately held company in Evansville. Vince Frazier, manager of Frazier Aviation, said on Facebook that Weythman owned Hepler Airport, where Frazier has based his planes for two decades.

"Grant was a great pilot, whom I'd fly with anywhere, anytime," Frazier wrote.

Allison Sutton Grabert told the Courier & Press she'll never forget the kindness Weythman showed to her 12-year-old son a few years ago.

"He took Lane, my son, for his first airplane ride and made Lane feel like a king," Grabert said by Facebook. "I think it will be a part of Lane's highlight reel for the rest of his life. Grant was a kind man and obviously wanted to share his passion for flying with youngsters."

Arnold owned ProSource Wholesale, a local business that sells home interior products.

Todd Miller, a Boonville-based independent flooring contractor who often receives referrals from ProSource, met Arnold through his father when he was 14.

Miller can't bring himself — not yet, anyway — to speak of Arnold in the past tense.

"This is one of those things that I've talked to a couple of people about over the past 24 hours — he just has a personality that is extremely positive," Miller said. "People really — he's got the personality that you just gravitate toward. You leave his presence feeling better than you did when you went in."

It was some four years ago that Miller, 44, lost his own father.

"After that, we (Miller and Arnold) developed a really personal relationship," he said. "There were a lot of times when I needed good counsel. He was my go-to for good, sound advice. He's got a lot of integrity. He applies his faith to everything he does in his business and everything he does on a personal level."

Lookebill said Eicher, a retired engineer, was an unforgettable character — a skilled woodworking craftsman and outdoorsman, a joker with a dry wit, an inveterate coffee drinker and an early riser. Like real early.

"We would go on trips, to conferences together and things, and he'd always be the first one up in the morning," Lookebill said. "4 o'clock in the morning, and he's up taking a walk. It was his time to get up and go. Not my cup of tea, but that was his thing."

Eicher, a former chairman of the church's elders, led Bible studies and other small groups.

"That's not really a whole lot around here that Allen hasn't had his hand in," Lookebill said. 

The deaths of Weythman, Arnold and Eicher are a crushing blow to First Christian. Lookebill and Silen made that clear. But it is not one without hope.

Original article can be found here:

Tim Arnold

The First Christian Church Evansville family is grieving the loss of Tim Arnold, Allen Eicher, and Grant Weythman in an airplane crash at Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch in St. Ignatius, Montana. These men served as leaders in many capacities within our church family, but more importantly, they were loving husbands, fathers, grandfathers and more. These men were passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that was reflected in their personal life as well as their ministry. They were called home doing what they loved most, serving the Kingdom and being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.

Our church community is surrounding their families during this time of grief. Our prayer is that their wives, children and extended families will experience the love and comfort of Christ. Tim, Allen and Grant would want everyone to know that Christ is Lord, that God is sovereign and that our only hope is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. While we experience the pain of loss, we do not grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We covet the prayers of the community in the coming days. -First Christian Church


  1. So sad to hear this again...... R.I.P. My prayers to the families.

  2. I know no one wants to die, family members hate to see a love one pass away, so on and on. But, as a 62 year old guy who lost my best friend last year, I can't think of a better way to pass on than being with my friends. I know these guys have family members who are hurting this morning and I'm sorry for your lost, but these guys are ok, they went out of this world to start a new life in another one, and they went together. You just can't beat that! They will always be in route to Montana, having the time of their life. I miss my old friend so much it's killing me this morning. We always watched Ala football together. Tonight is the first game and I have no one to watch it with. It hurts to get old, to see old friends pass away. At least these guys were together when it all ended. Roll Tide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. It seems to me after studying this a little that they crashed on the front lawn of the Christian ranch they'd flown in to visit. Probably decided to make a couple of very low passes before landing at the airport. Probably also forgot about the power lines. Very much a pity if their friends on the ground saw it happen. Oh, he was pulling a 1000fpm descent once he arrived in the valley, and he came very close to Vne on the way down.

  4. ^^^ sad to hear. I wondered if they'd lost engine and were trying to land in a field and hit an unseen powerline in the stress of the moment. I certainly hope they weren't letting their enthusiasm get away with them and hotdogging. Terrible for them and witnesses.

    And for the above mentioned Alabama fan, I hope the start of the football season helps him feel better. He sounds terribly lonely, depressed, and should talk to someone.

  5. Looks like there was a GoPro camera in the airplane, so maybe it will shed some light on what really happened.

  6. Why is the N-number blurred? I've been in journalism 25 years and have never seen an N-number pixelated.

  7. There are plenty of N-numbers blurred in initial reports here. The authors of those reports, are likely law enforcement provided to the media to mask the identity of the owners before next of kin are notified. In the end Kathryn does the due diligence to find all of the available information necessary, including the N-number when publishing. She does a good job with the information available.

  8. Based on the place they were headed (Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch) and where they crashed, infamous "buzzing" will be taken into consideration for sure, as Pistol Creek Rd is just ENE of the ranch ......

    Unfortunately "arrival enthusiasm" may have been a factor ... we shall see.

  9. Anonymous said...

    "There are plenty of N-numbers blurred in initial reports here. The authors of those reports, are likely law enforcement provided to the media to mask the identity of the owners before next of kin are notified."

    Law enforcement shouldn't be providing fatal plane crash photos to the media, especially before notification of relatives. Nobody blurs automobile license plates, identity of trains/planes/buses, etc. involved in fatal crashes. My initial point (above) is that someone pixelated a public registration number and it doesn't make sense. I don't think it was this website because the N-number is provided (as usual) in the report. Sometimes, a volunteer firefighter or stupid teen volunteer will take photos of accident scenes and pass them on to their buddy at the local newspaper/TV station. Very unethical, but I've seen it done hundreds of times. No reason to blur a photo released to the public.

  10. All that praying and they were killed anyway.

  11. "God only you know why these things happen,”

    WRONG! Probably pilot error.

  12. We're praying for the family. Good that you're around to scold people in how they go about dealing with their grief. Unbelievable.

  13. "We're praying for the family."

    If the prayers didn't prevent the fatal crash, what makes you think it will help the family?

    The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right.
    — Christopher Hitchens, Mortality

  14. I hope the moderator will clean this trash up.

  15. "I hope the moderator will clean this trash up."

    You mean censor that with which you disagree.

    But to be fair, if it is "cleaned-up" as you want, then all comments about praying should be deleted, as they are irrelevant to the topic.

  16. I’m just curious where they stoped for fuel and how much fuel they loaded. No fire or mention of fuel makes me wonder. Was hitting the powerlines a result of fuel starvation or reckless flying?

  17. My guess is that the crash site is about 197* magnetic and 3.4 nm from the airport. Terrain Elevation roughly 3600 ft.
    “Eternal rest grant unto these men oh Lord and may perpetual light shine upon them.”

  18. Praying that the family members all find peace and closure.

    May those lost RIP.

  19. You fail to understand that if prayer actually works, it nullifies your god being omniscient.

  20. ^^^^^ I do understand.

    You have made yourself God in your own mind.

    I am going to pray for YOU and that you receive many blessings.

    I hope your day improves.

  21. Sorry to hear of this tragedy. Praying for the family members.

  22. God knows why this accident happened. Exactly why, in fact.

    "He hit a power line. Not much even I can do about that" says God.

  23. ^^^^^ Thank you.

    This validates the previous comment I made about you.

    I hope your day improves.

  24. "I am going to pray for YOU and that you receive many blessings."

    “More often than not, I’ve seen this phrase used by people who have ZERO intent to go home and use their hotline to God to save my soul. If you want to sound condescending and self-righteous, however, it’s perfect.” – David G. McAfee

    Meanwhile, your god ignores all the prayers about suffering and misery in the world that he actually imposes. If you expect for your god to listen to your prayer about me, then your faith, by any imaginable definition, is obscene. Your failure to see that is willful, intellectual dishonesty.

  25. "This validates the previous comment I made about you."

    About whom? God?

  26. "He hit a power line. Not much even I can do about that"

    Then praying to you is pointless.

    "says God."

    Which god?

  27. So much hate in our society. Sad.

    Those that have no tolerance for differing views and opinions and beliefs.

    Wishing all of you a blessed day.

    Ego rite celebrata

  28. Well sir... one thing is for certain is that we can only be certain there are things we don't understand. I think Eric Hoffer said that. I always have faith when I see someone doubt God and the power of prayer because in my heart I believe that this person is truly concerned about whether God exists or not. Faith is a mystery and one to be explored by each in their own way. Some would call me weak to put my faith in God, I call it submission to a higher authority. Tragedy will happen by design (it's in the book). Some will gain strength from tragedy and others will turn away and rebel. Free will.

    I do agree with you on one thing, when someone says I pray for you it does sound a bit condescending. I pray to be mindful of that and also pray for comfort for the family of these 3 aviators.

  29. "Faith is a mystery"

    No, it isn't.

    FAITH - The WILLFUL belief in ideas that, BUT FOR "FAITH", would be dismissed as nonsense.

  30. "Tragedy will happen by design"

    Then all of these prayers for a safe flight were pointless.

    The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right.
    — Christopher Hitchens, Mortality

  31. "So much hate in our society. Sad."

    Laughing at superstitious rituals isn't "sad."

    But supporting them is.

  32. Please get back on topic! Discuss the accident. The back-and-forth off topic between people is serving no purpose. Hopefully we are all here to discuss Aircraft accidents.

  33. These men were men of faith and if belief in a deity gives their friends and family any solace, then I'm not one to deny them that small comfort. I do find that those who dismiss the errors that lead to such tragedy as somehow ordained by a deity as somewhat less than faithful. Assigning pilot error, or any error, to a deity serves to dismiss negligence. To dismiss the enormity of the error that needlessly killed three people with a "now they have realized their faith to be with the deity" is scary and reminds me of the suicidal faithful we see so much of in the news. Several airliners have been crashed by suicidal pilots. That is probably not what is meant, but to minimize the loss with such phrases is unsettling. Given a choice, I'm pretty sure the departed would rather be here with the living.

    The FAA requires pilots to be qualified to pilot and requires pilots to operate safely. No where in FAA regulations does belief in deities appear as a factor in being qualified to practice airmanship. Belief in deities does not excuse poor airmanship. So let's keep the focus on the facts and not beliefs one way or the other.

    I notice in the photos that one wing is missing, consistent with the preliminary reports indicating collision with a high-power line. The aircraft landed in a field. Regardless of the particular factor that led to clipping the power line, it seems that it was avoidable if the pilot had used proper skill. RIP

  34. "The FAA requires pilots to be qualified to pilot and requires pilots to operate safely. No where in FAA regulations does belief in deities appear as a factor in being qualified to practice airmanship. Belief in deities does not excuse poor airmanship. So let's keep the focus on the facts and not beliefs one way or the other."

    Indeed, a very good point.

  35. FACT: acft clip a power line.
    FACT: power line can be seen in the background of several photos.
    FACT: The standard utility pole in the United States is about 40 ft (12 m) long and is buried about 6 ft (2 m) in the ground. However, poles can reach heights of 120 ft (37 m) or more to satisfy clearance requirements.
    FACT: (c)Over other than congested areas – An altitude of 500 feet above the surface except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In that case, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

  36. Preliminary report is out.

    The PPL ASEL routinely buzzed the ranch so that the ranch could send a car to pick them up.

  37. This better explains the accident. But doesn't excuse it.

    Buzzing to say "Hey I'm here. Send a car to the airport." This can be done at 500 feet AGL. Is NOT necessary to be 25 feet AGL or anything close to that.

    A Bonanza flying only 500 feet AGL creates A LOT of noise. Is VERY loud. Perhaps circle two or three times. Everyone on the ground get the message. Guaranteed.

    This accident is very unfortunate and should've never happened. Is a real shame.

  38. "According to a witness, the pilot routinely flew low over a ranch to alert the ranch hands that he would be landing at 52S and required a ride back to the ranch. On this occasion he was observed flying lower than normal. Multiple witnesses reported that they heard the airplane approaching then saw sparks erupting as the airplane flew passed wires located about 50 ft above the ground. All the witnesses reported seeing the airplane descend to the ground where it tumbled for about 400 ft."

    WPR19FA246. N9529Y