Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Fuel Exhaustion: Piper PA-22-160, N9227D; fatal accident occurred January 13, 2019 in Kingman, Mohave County, Arizona

Heidi Sue Dowland 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Kingman, Arizona 
Accident Number: WPR19LA063
Date & Time: January 13, 2019, 10:45 Local
Registration: N9227D
Aircraft: Piper PA22 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion 
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The student pilot was conducting a cross-country flight with one passenger onboard. According to the passenger’s sister, at 1001, her sister sent her a text, which stated that she and the pilot had taken off and were heading to an airport about 50 miles to the south to obtain fuel. The investigation was unable to determine whether the pilot obtained fuel at this airport. At 1038, while at the second airport, the passenger telephoned a relative and stated that they would take off shortly for the destination airport. Although the actual departure time from the second airport could not be determined, the sister stated that she expected the airplane to arrive at the destination airport about 1130. By 1215, the sister called the local Sheriff’s Office and search and rescue to locate the airplane because it was overdue. First responders found the airplane, which had impacted trees and came to rest inverted in a ravine in a park about 10 miles south of the second airport. The pilot was seriously injured, and the passenger was fatally injured. The pilot reported to the first responders that the airplane experienced an electrical failure and he tried to turn around, however the engine lost power.

Almost all the airplane components remained attached to the wreckage. The propeller damage signatures were consistent with a complete lack of engine power at impact. Examination of the airframe, engine, and propeller revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

First responders did not note the presence of any fuel on scene. The airplane was equipped with two separate fuel tanks, one in each wing. Each tank had a dedicated filler neck with a removable cap. Neither fuel cap was found at the accident site or in the recovered wreckage. There was no evidence of the caps being installed at impact.

The wreckage evidence was consistent with a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. The absence of the fuel caps likely resulted in the fuel being siphoned overboard during flight. Aside from the absence of fuel caps and fuel, no evidence was found of any other preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that, when the pilot stopped at the second airport to obtain fuel, he did not put the fuel caps back on the airplane; whether he actually obtained fuel or not could not be determined because it was likely all siphoned out during the flight.

The pilot was hospitalized for several days, and a review the pilot’s postaccident hospital records revealed that he had diabetes and used an insulin pump, which was corroborated by a review of his previous medical records. However, insufficient evidence was found to determine whether the pilot was impaired due to diabetic complications at the time of the accident. Thus, whether the pilot's diabetes or some other medical factor contributed to the accident could not be determined. Several attempts were made to obtain a statement from the pilot however he refused to provide any information to the investigation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's failure to secure the fuel caps, which led to the fuel being siphoned overboard, fuel exhaustion, and the total loss of engine power.


Aircraft Fuel - Fluid level
Personnel issues Forgotten action/omission - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Student/instructed pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft servicing event
Enroute Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Unknown Off-field or emergency landing

On January 13, 2019, about 1100 mountain standard time, a Piper PA22-160 airplane, N9227D, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hualapai, Arizona. The pilot sustained serious injuries, and the passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

On the morning of the accident, the airplane departed Pearce Ferry Airport (L25), Meadview, Arizona, and at 1001, the passenger sent her sister a text stating that they were airborne. The sister reported that, at 1038, the passenger telephoned a relative while on the ground at Kingman Airport (IGM), Kingman, Arizona and told him that they either got fuel or attempted to get fuel and planned to depart IGM and fly to Glendale Municipal Airport (GEU) Glendale, Arizona, about 132 miles southeast of IGM. The actual time that the flight departed IGM could not be determined, but the sister expected the airplane to arrive at GEU about 1130. About 1215, the sister called the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and search and rescue to report the airplane was overdue.

According to a first responders' report, the pilot had crawled from the wreckage location to the road, and then flagged down a passerby, who in turn called 911. The pilot reported to the first responders that the airplane experienced an electrical failure and that he tried to turn around, however the engine lost power. The airplane subsequently impacted the bottom of a ravine about 10 miles south-southeast of IGM. Several attempts were made to obtain a statement from the pilot however he refused to provide any information to the investigation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 43, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 8, 2014
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 2 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Certificate: Age:
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s):
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot was issued a combined medical and student pilot certificate in January 2014. FAA regulations prohibit student pilots from carrying passengers. The pilot provided no training or flight experience information to investigators.

The pilot reported no medical conditions or use of medications on his third-class medical certificate application. However, a review of his medical records noted that he had diabetes and used fast-acting insulin and an insulin pump. A family member of the passenger corroborated these findings.

According to 14 CFR 67.313(a), diabetes is disqualifying for a third-class medical certificate if it requires treatment with insulin or other blood-glucose-lowering medication and that a person may not act as pilot-in-command while that person knows or has any reason to know of a disqualifying medical condition or is taking a disqualifying medication. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N9227D
Model/Series: PA22 160 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal Serial Number: 22-6287
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner:
Rated Power:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

On October 30, 2018, the passenger purchased the airplane. An FAA "deregistration" letter dated December 31, 2018, that was addressed to the passenger stated that the registration was suspended because it had not been renewed following the October 2018 transfer/sale to her.

Each fuel tank had a total capacity of 18 gallons and was equipped with a dedicated filler port with a removable cap. Each cap installed into its respective filler neck by aligning the two cap tabs with the two slots in the filler neck, and then pushing down and rotating the cap to lock it in place.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 3448 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 10:51 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 342°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 10° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Kingman, AZ (IGM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Glendale, AZ (GEU) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 35.101943,-113.886108(est)

The airplane came to rest inverted at the bottom of a ravine in Hualapai Mountain Park, Hualapai, Arizona. The accident site was about 9.8 nautical miles from IGM on a true bearing of 165°. The site elevation was about 6,500 ft mean sea level.

Almost all of airplane components remained attached to the wreckage. The right wing and empennage were severely crushed and deformed. The fuselage and left wing were moderately crushed or deformed.

The engine remained attached to the airframe, and the propeller remained attached to the engine. No fuel was recovered from the airplane.

Flight control continuity was confirmed for the ailerons, flaps, elevator, elevator trim, and rudder.

However, proper routing could not be confirmed due to impact and recovery damage. The flaps were found in the fully retracted position.

The instrument panel was partially deformed, but all avionics and instruments remained mounted in the panel. The cockpit throttle control was set to idle, and the mixture was set to full rich; both were immobilized by impact damage. The primer knob was in and locked. The carburetor heat knob was set to off. The magneto switch was set to both. The fuel selector valve assembly was found in its normal location in the left lower forward cabin wall. The handle was found positioned near the detent for the left tank. The valve was removed and tested for blockage; no blockage was noted in either the left or right tank detent. Some impedance was noted when the selector was positioned to the as-found setting, and an examination of the valve port revealed that the port was about 40% occluded at this setting. The valve handle was difficult to move. The fuel lines were found securely attached to the valve. No fuel was noted in the fuel selector or adjacent lines, and no evidence of any fuel leaks was found.

Neither fuel tank cap was found. When a donor fuel cap was installed on the two filler necks, it rotated smoothly and locked into place.

The engine remained attached to the airframe by the engine mount and had been pushed aft, deforming the firewall. The engine sustained impact damage at the forward bottom area, which separated the airbox and carburetor bowl from the carburetor.

All the spark plugs displayed normal operating signatures. The crankshaft rotated easily by hand. The complete valve train operated in proper sequence, no mechanical malfunctions were observed, and "thumb" compressions were obtained in proper sequence on all cylinders. Clean, uncontaminated oil was observed at all four rocker box areas, and mechanical continuity was established throughout the rotating group, valve train, and accessory section during hand rotation of the crankshaft.

Both magneto drives were intact and undamaged. During hand rotation, both magnetos produced sparks at their spark plug leads. Borescope inspection of the combustion chambers and valves revealed that they were mechanically undamaged with no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The combustion signatures observed at the spark plugs, combustion chambers, and exhaust system components displayed coloration consistent with normal operation with no oil residue was observed.

The exhaust system and mufflers were found unobstructed.

The propeller remained mounted to the crankshaft. The spinner remained attached to the propeller backing plate and was crushed aft, with no circumferential scoring. The backing plate/engine mounting flange was fractured. One propeller blade was straight, with no chordwise scraping or leading-edge damage. The other propeller blade was bent slightly aft, displayed no obvious leading-edge damage, and showed a series of spanwise scrapes.

Examination revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Medical and Pathological Information

A review of the pilot's hospital records revealed that his initial postaccident laboratory testing detected blood glucose levels that were greater than twice the normal maximum and that he used an insulin pump. The hospital records indicated that a blood test was negative for ethanol; this result was published about 2.5 hours after the accident and did not indicate the time that the sample was collected. A urine drug screen was negative for all other screened drugs.

Christopher Adam Anderson and Heidi Sue Dowland 


  1. Student license expires after 24 months, so this guy did not have the right to fly even by himself.

    1. Under 40. Good for 60 months. Still he personified anti-authority behavior. Student pilots are not allowed to take pax. Heck his partner who purchased the plane should have done her homework. He was indebted to the gov for 1.5 mil. She was beautiful and successful and was killed by this guy. Tragic.

    2. This guy was a criminal from the get go. He knew it was Illegal for him to fly an aircraft, and lied on his medical application, and to make it worse, took unsuspecting passengers along as Guinea pigs to his elicit activities.

      Directly from the FAR's.

      Student pilot and medical certificates are no longer the same document, therefore, refer to 14 CFR 61.23 for complete information on duration of a medical certificate.

      After April 1, 2016, Student pilot certificates do not expire; the certificate will be surrendered and superseded upon successful completion of the higher certification. Student pilot certificates issued prior to April 1, 2016, will expire according to their expiration date, either 24 or 60 months from the date of issuance.

      The pilot reported no medical conditions or use of medications on his third-class medical certificate application. However, a review of his medical records noted that he had diabetes and used fast-acting insulin and an insulin pump. A family member of the passenger corroborated these findings.
      According to 14 CFR 67.313(a), diabetes is disqualifying for a third-class medical certificate if it requires treatment with insulin or other blood-glucose-lowering medication and that a person may not act as pilot-in-command while that person knows or has any reason to know of a disqualifying medical condition or is taking a disqualifying medication.

    3. What does being beautiful have to do with anything? She had to know he didn't have a medical nor a license - she bought the airplane in her name for his use. She knew the risks and gambled and lost. Game over.

    4. Yep - this right here. When the sister of the deceased reports they both 'said yes and chuckled' when asked straight out if he was licensed, that seems to be a clear indicator that Heidi knew exactly what was up. Wonder what she was thinking when the engine quit and she looked over at her man in the pilot's seat ? That her clock was rapidly counting down or that Christopher would make it all work out fine ?

  2. Replies
    1. I think that the technical term is "manslaughter", but, heck yeah.

    2. Actually no, you can be charged with second degree murder under Arizona law for homicide resulting from reckless behavior.

  3. Hero will have a lot on his conscience for the rest of his life.

  4. This guy has no conscience. Nothing will happen. He should be arrested and charged with murder. But, he will be free in a matter of hours. The life insurance policy says it all.

  5. https://law.justia.com/cases/arizona/court-of-appeals-division-two-unpublished/2019/2-ca-cr-2018-0290-pr.html

    1. Can't tell what the case is. Maybe a firearm violation?

    2. He pled guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 5 years in Prison. He had another conviction prior to the aggravated assault but the details of that conviction weren’t mentioned.

      He was basically complaining that the court let his prior conviction influence the 5 year sentence and also complained of ineffective council because his attorney should have used self defense in trying to defend him. Court told him to “shove it”.

  6. In one word - sickening. There is so much wrong here where does one even begin ? Forget about his medical being good for 60 months when he clearly lied about his type 1 diabetes in the first place to obtain the student certificate he had. Where is the justice when this person survives and his partner with the large life insurance policies is killed - for all we know she survived the crash and he finished the job at the crash site. This fellow should be in the crowbar motel where he belongs - either that, or six feet under. If this was my sister he'd killed he'd do well to sleep with one eye open for the rest of his life lest he receive a surprise visit from unfriendly company in the middle of the night. Unbelieveable.

    1. Don't worry his type 1 diabetes and negligent attitude will finish him off soon enough.

  7. so often big ego and can't fix stupid go hand in hand and hurt innocent people

  8. Some women make very bad choices when it comes to men. They seem incapable of recognizing a lowlife dirtbag loser when they see one.

    1. Yes. Sometimes it's difficult to tell. With this guy the only red flag would have been that he was sent to prison for 5 years in 2016 for aggravated assault.

    2. That ugly beard and even uglier tattoos were major red flags to me. he had Dirt Bag written all over him.
      I was a Border Patrol Agent for 20 years and met a lot of lowlife dirtbags. He is a rat.

    3. Heidi Had tattoos that were just as ugly. By your logic she is also a dirt bag

    4. That is correct. Heidi was also a dirt bag for hanging out, and in reality, enabling Mr. Super Dirt Bag. Luckily he didn't kill any more family members or innocent bystanders on the ground.

  9. Surely some readers will recall that the great Lt. Columbo solved a case very similar to this.....

    1. I do! Isn't that the episode with Johnny Cash as the pilot?

    2. I don't remember that episode having been but a wee 9 year old at the time and probably not allowed to watch crime dramas so of course I had to look it up - good call Muyoko and Anonymous - the show aired March 3 1974 - Season 3 Episode 7 entitled "Swan Song".
      The old "I'll make it look like an accident" trick, I guess...

  10. I hope that the family files a wrongful death lawsuit against the pilot. I also hope that the state's attorney files a negligent homicide suit at least. If he indeed owes back taxes the government could possibly put a lien on the life insurance benefit. There might be ways of allowing karma to work within the limits of the law.

    1. Yes, is there no aviation equivalent to 'dangerous driving causing death' or some such similar criminal code offense ? I can't see the life insurance being paid out for accidental death in a plane crash when the individual at the controls is not a licensed pilot - and when this same individual is the one who stands to benefit from the death of the passenger - does anyone know if this is indeed the case ?

    2. It's called reckless and careless operation of an aircraft but wouldn't apply in this case as he wasn't doing acrobatics or anything besides a simple flight.

      On the other hand the FAA and hopefully the DOJ will get involved too and he will be charged with violations of:

      49 USC 46317(a) (proper certification, violation of student pilot limitations in not carrying pax)

      Will probably be similar to this:


      Also a 5-10k civil fine for every illegal flight identified by the FAA with pax. Which will of course add to his 1.5 million IRS debt.

      14 CFR § 91.103 (proper preflight action i.e weather not obtained and failed to make sure the aircraft AROW was in order including registration, follow the checklist and secure fuel caps)

      Mostly a civil fine.

      Since 49 USC 46317(a) occurred with a pax dying I hope the FAA referred this to the DOJ for enhancements too including manslaughter.

      For now this scum has disappeared. No social media presence, hardly anything that can be pulled from any sources. I wouldn't be surprised if he changes his name and appearance (like his friends from the biker gang poseurs probably told him to do lol), and that it would take the serious work of several marshalls to catch him assuming he is still in the US.

      His sociopathic traits are confirmed in how he casually hid the keys of the truck in the hanger (maybe drugs/firearms in it?) after going there following the crash and forcing the door open and lying about not having them to the pax's sister in the report.

      This is the kind of individual that has 0 conscience and as soon as he was out of the hospital his only goal was self preservation. I doubt he even shed any tears for his dead partner that he used all along and was now of no interest to him besides the huge life insurance. I wonder if that was collected or attempts were made within hours of him released of the hospital for that matter.

      If he roams free other people will fell prey to this intra species predator. He is a menace to society and was sophisticated enough to learn to fly more or less without much instruction so this isn't your common criminal but rather a Ted Bundy or Dahmler in his cunning and intelligence.

    3. Doubt they would be paying out on those policies anytime soon. Too many red flags.

    4. He's got a Facebook presence and has even started posting again. Lots of photos from his girlfriend's "Party of Her Life" celebration - https://www.facebook.com/christopher.anderson.338

  11. Even if he is the beneficiary of the life insurance he will never see one penny of the money. Too much criminal wrongdoing for that.

    1. The insurance payment is regardless of civil/criminal action unless there are charges pending for manslaughter. This is technically an accident and he obviously screwed up as "student" because he didn't follow the rules written in blood for training and proper ADM.

      Given this is most likely a sociopath/psychopath psychologist could take a look at such mental diagnosis also barring one from obtaining a license.

      Seems he was convicted of a violent assault in 2015. One of my students (I am a CFI) got a DUI charge and within a couple of weeks the FAA drugs enforcement sent them a letter asking for clarification on the matter.

      Why don't they also do the same for violent crimes? This was even raised by the NTSB who noted that one can be a convicted felon that did a bank hold up, major bodily harm, or rape and still become up to a commercial pilot. Only ATPs have the duty to stay with a good moral reputation.

      I think cannot become even a student pilot if the criminal record, expunged or not, shows a sex crime or a crime of serious violence inflicting bodily harm and warranting a prison sentence. The majority of sex/violent inmates have personalities disorders ranging from borderline to psychopathy and narcissism... I rest my case.

    2. I agree with the sociopathy. This screams of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Women end up with guys like this because they are so manipulative.

  12. ...but his beard is slick, and he has nice tats!

  13. I'm amazed people would get into a piper tri-pacer with no back seat and sit in a beach chair with no seatbelt. Clearly the idiot flying it is to blame, but wow. At some point, it's ok to say "no thanks, I choose life."

    1. Said she was sitting on a folding lawn chair LOL.

    2. Most passengers with no background in aviation simply 'trust' the pilot. Clearly those who are pilots or are studying for one will have a much more discerning eyes for small squawks. but cant expect normal non aviation people to know that.

    3. She might as well have been sitting on a bar stool.

  14. He could be charged with manslaughter if the family pressed the country attorney to bring charges. He lied on his medical he knew he was a diabetic, and he knew that he was not even a pilot. I'm guessing he had her buy it because his credit was shot or she had the cash. I'm sure there was no insurance at all not surprised he didn't get killed lot like drunk driver who kills their passengers. I wonder if he even has any bit of remorse or found another girl to shack up with.

    1. Most likely attorneys will have a field day. I can see the airport/city and even the FAA sued for lax enforcement of basic rules that would have prevented this tragedy. And as always in the case of a DUI or reckless driving, the perp survives and the passenger(s) die.
      There was basic negligence on the part of the city or whatever authority owned the airport to fail to identify the most basic things like which hanger hold which plane.
      Failure to protect the public which is why agencies and the FAA exist to begin with... it was!

    2. You can own and operate an airplane without a license just like a car. No way to stop someone from doing that. The Airport doesn't control what your doing as long as you pay to store the aircraft there. I know someone who won a Cessna Twin engine airplane in a divorce settlement she was required to maintain liability insurance. The insurance stipulated only a qualified pilot with so many hours in type could operate it. You can own a plane and even keep it at the airport not have any Pilots license at all.

  15. Should've stuck to Harleys - duh!

  16. Bad things happen to bad people, unfortunately in this case there was collateral damage. She was obviously aware however that he was not operating the plane legally, hence the lack of insurance.

  17. I make it a point once airborne to look around outside and inside for any anomalies - eg wisps of smoke, streaming fuel, what have you . Was passenger the day we took off unknowingly without a fuel cap on starboard side, looked over my shoulder and saw the not very prominent trail of avgas behind the wing. Pilot hadn't noticed, didn't show yet on the fuel gauge - lost about 20 gallons in 10 minutes.

  18. Can anyone find charges or a current case pending against him?

    1. There are lots of Andersons... Keep in mind that the justia case listing in the earlier comment with no middle name included and no address is simply the first search result that comes back. It can't be confirmed as being this guy based on what's there.

      People watch too much tv crime drama if they think he crashed the plane on purpose. So much effort was put into making him out as a plotting killer that nobody gave a thought to why the OEM back seat was removed. Same breathless speculation could be applied to build some imaginative stories of what was intended to be flown as cargo.

    2. Is there a database on pending cases criminal or civil, including closed, filed by the FAA itself?

  19. Another anti-authoritarian works on a ticket late in life and figures the rules aren't for him. So, the student pilot kills his girlfriend by disobeying the rules about carrying passengers.

    I knew someone who lied about having an IFR ticket and told everyone he did. He was of the same anti-authoritarian mindset as this guy. He's now a bunch of ashes sitting on someone's bookshelf.

  20. All kinds of Stupid sh-t and stupid people out there horrible out come but she was a big girl..just another black eye for GA

  21. I read these accidents and it says "Student Pilot with Passenger Aboard." I am a CFI, still have my certificate renewed ever 2 years, but I am not actively teaching. Am I missing something. STUDENTS CAN NOT TAKE PASSENGERS.... If the passenger is a PVT pilot or better who is current and qualified fine, but then they are PIC and can not teach and let the student fly, sole manipulator of controls (unless they are a CFI). Fuel starvation? TIME IN YOUR TANKS... Job #1 how much fuel do I have (time) and how long are you going to fly (TIME). time-TIME=>60 minutes (Legal is 30 minutes VFR, 45 minutes IFR with all alternate if requires by weather, but that is not much fuel and lots of air in tanks.) Not hard math or difficult to check. Who taught this student? Was this flight planning approved by CFI. EVERY SOLO FLIGHT MY STUDENTS TOOK (BY FAR) I KNEW EVERY DETAIL AND SIGNED OFF. I pretended to be cool, but I always worried a little like a Papa Bird with a fledgling learning to fly. I knew they would be fine but I did not leave it to chance and luck. All T's crossed and i's dotted.

    1. Go back and read it thoroughly and you will see that the accident occurred years beyond whatever student time he got or any CFI oversight. No comparison to people you instructed who trained, solo'd and completed the process.

    2. The fuel was sucked out of the tanks because the fuel caps were not installed after fueling.

  22. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine (OAM) is the single federal law enforcement agency conducting pilot certificate inspections, and is listed last and likely non-existent beyond our border regions. Their mission statement, "The vast majority of GA community members, to include pilots, aircraft owners, fixed base operators and flight school instructors are law-abiding citizens who stand with CBP in protecting our national airspace and our communities from GA aircraft being used to commit serious crimes, such as drug and weapons trafficking and terrorism. Detecting, investigating and interdicting GA aircraft that are being used in the commission of crimes is an important part of OAM’s mission. OAM has a responsibility to conduct its mission judiciously; this review enabled OAM to examine policies and practices as they relate to interaction with the GA community, to include pilot certificate inspections."

  23. Most people get through life with either their beauty, or brains.
    She clearly had one and not the other....Sad

    1. Stockholm syndrome, manipulation. She was also a mother to 3 kids.
      Deviance of normality also applies here... when you date someone who is a sociopath they will normalize behavior that you never thought you would accept, and make you accept it. Like the frog boiled in a pan where you gradually raise the temperature.
      Criminals, cons, sociopath and psychopath have a talent, as intra species predator, to find the right prey and use it as an object. Therein lies the objectification.

    2. That is an excellent analysis MarcPilot.

  24. She was no more a victim than the get away driver who sits out in the car is! She was a willing participant in an ongoing fraud. Sadly, her poor judgement and bad decisions cost her her young life!

  25. 2 to the head is the only thing this “rules aren’t for me” tough guy deserves!

  26. Tragic accident, stupid dishonest pilot, lady didn't appear to consider the risks that went with trusting this meat head. But to those who think the $12/hr. FBO employees are enforcers of FAR's, or have any liability...you folks are scarier to me than a dumbass who takes risks in a motor vehicle.

  27. how does anyone survive this crash? just look at the cockpit. what were his injuries?, I'm sure he's paying the piper for his crimes & misdemeanors via his permanent injuries (which I'm assuming he has).

    1. Hopefully, if there is a God! He will be found guilty of at least one felony from this accident and earn his “3rd” strike and spend the rest of his adult life where he belongs, behind bars!

  28. In regards to the life insurance, most policies exclude deaths that occur in non-commercial aircraft. It's quite possible that the insurance companies will not pay out.

    Oh, and MarcPilot... Get a life!!

  29. This dude was just doing what he does. What's shit for brains Heidi's excuse? Love addiction can be deadly.

  30. Standard life insurance won't pay for non-commercial aircraft passenger related death, as has been pointed out.

  31. This is a real sh*t for brains bunch, contenders for a Darwin Award.

  32. Weird. I've done self service fueling countless times. Never come down the ladder without putting the cap right back on. And then also to read, these two never used the shoulder harness? She might have survived.

  33. Unbelievable! This Guy is a Walking Dead Man!!

  34. Fully agree with poster about victim blaming. This woman clearly allowed her aircraft to be operated by a non licensed and non fit person. poster pilot also goes off on people about assumptions while making all types of assumptions. All sorts of genius types involve themselves with aviation.

  35. So many incorrect posts here.
    The pilot could be found in violation of FAR 91.13 Careless or Reckless operation by the fact that he did not have a valid medical or license and as such it was not a safe operation. This FAR is used a lot to violate someone who doesn't exactly fit into any other regulation.
    A medical is issued for a duration, but only in conjunction with the pilot having met all other conditions of the medical. For instance, if you received the medical yesterday, and passed out today, your medical is no longer valid until you clear it with the FAA.
    Life Insurance: Generally the exclusion is for a policy holder who is a crewmember, not a passenger. I had my carrier remove the exclusion.

  36. He gives GA another black eye.

  37. Even if those life insurance policies were paid out I doubt he would get them because the IRS has a 1.5 million claim against him . All his assets have most likely been seized already ..... that is why he bought trucks , planes , and motorcycles in his girlfriends name.

    With the IRS about all he would be able to keep from any income would be just enough to keep him fed and housed. Mind you his income could have been coming from criminal activity for all we know .... it would tend to fit his profile.

  38. Being a pilot is a whole lot more than knowing how to manipulate the controls or get an aircraft on or off the ground. Things like what causes lift and how that might affect the fuel tanks if you leave the gas caps off (low pressure area on the top of the wings vacuums all of the gas out of the tanks quickly) might be a good thing to know. Obviously, this dude could never be a pilot! He has “you can’t tell me what to do” anti-authority written all over him. In aviation, the rules are there to protect all of us that use the system… no room for mavericks. That only exists in movies. I was angered as soon as I read he was a “Student Pilot” and his passenger…. Her unfortunate decision which was punishable by death was trusting the fool. Sad.