Monday, December 27, 2021

Cessna 172E Skyhawk, N5798T: Fatal accident occurred December 26, 2021 near Sharp County Regional Airport (KCVK), Arkansas

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Location: Hardy, Arkansas
Accident Number: CEN22FA082
Date and Time: December 26, 2021, 17:29 Local
Registration: N5798T
Aircraft: Cessna 172E
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 26, 2021, about 1729 central standard time, a Cessna 172E airplane, N5798T, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Hardy, Arkansas. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A preliminary review of track data indicated that the airplane had already been airborne before it was visible on radar. The airplane first appeared about 13 nm north of the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (ARG), Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, at 1627, at an altitude of about 2,500 ft. The airplane flew generally south toward ARG until track data was lost at about 1643, 3.5 nm north of ARG.

At 1653, about 3 nm north of ARG, the airplane reappeared in track data, climbing out of about 2,800 ft. The airplane flew left and right several times in a back and forth “s-type" movement and then straightened out, flew west-north-west, and climbed to an altitude of about 4,500 ft, then descended lower in the latter part of the flight.

At 1722, the airplane crossed over the Sharp County Regional Airport (CVK), Ash Flat, Arkansas, from east to west at an altitude of about 4,000 ft. When the airplane was almost 2.5 nm west-north-west of CVK, the airplane turned right, descended slowly, and flew a track consistent with an attempt to make an approach to CVK, then the airplane entered a tight left turn and traveled to the north. During this time there were abrupt changes in ground speed, altitude, and the direction of flight. The airplane executed at least one sharp counterclockwise loop and flew generally north-north-east bound until track data was lost about 1728.

The Fulton County (Arkansas) Sheriff’s Office was provided copies of text messages the pilot sent to a family member while in flight. One text message stated, “ran into weather can’t see anything” and another text message later stated, “out of gas in air.”

The wreckage, which was located on heavily wooded private property, was destroyed by the impact sequence. The accident site is in the Ozark Mountains. The wreckage was recovered from the accident site for a future examination. 

A witness, who lives about 1 mile north of the accident site, reported that he observed “heavy fog” in the area at the time and he estimated the visibility to be about 500 ft. Astronomical conditions indicated the accident occurred right after the conclusion of civil twilight, which occurred at 1726. Sunset occurred at 1657.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the pilot did not hold an instrument rating.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N5798T
Model/Series: 172E 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KARG,273 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 33 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 120°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 200 ft AGL 
Visibility: 0.5 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.346112,-91.542252

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Christine Price
1969 - 2021

WALNUT RIDGE - Christine Ann Bailey Price, 52, of Walnut Ridge passed from this life Sunday, December 26, 2021, along with her boyfriend, Brad Dunham, due to injuries sustained from an airplane accident.

She was born August 7, 1969, in Cahokia, Illinois, to Harold Lloyd and Mary Parsons Bailey.

Christine was a dedicated nurse, working in home health and for several doctors for over 20 years.

She was of the Christian belief.

Christine was preceded in death by her mom, Donna Bailey, her grandparents and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She is survived by her father, Harold Bailey of Hoxie; mother, Mary Taylor of Bradley; one son, Randall Parker of Hoxie; siblings, Sharon Beardsley (David) and James Bailey (Jennifer), both of Jonesboro, Rachael Jones (Terry) of Piggott, John Bailey (Tracy) and Latisha Bailey, both of Hoxie; and several special nieces and nephews.

A celebration memorial of Christine's life will be held from 3 until 5 p.m. today, December 30, in Cox Funeral Home Chapel at Walnut Ridge.

Spring River Chronicle

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene this morning of the single engine plane crash that occurred on December 26 near the Nine Mile Ridge Fire Department. 

The names of the couple who were killed in the crash were released earlier today. 57 year-old Bradley Dunham of Bono was the pilot and his girlfriend, Christine Ann Price, 52, of Walnut Ridge was the other victim of the crash. 

Fulton and Sharp County Sheriff’s Department, Sharp County Search and Rescue and numerous are residents began searching for what they believed to be a downed aircraft in the area of Fulton and Sharp County line near Nine Mile Ridge and Slick Rock Road around 6 p.m. December 26.  A heavy fog developed just before nightfall and the search was called off until morning. 

Hardy Mayor Ernie Rose located the plane’s remains near the Nine Mile Ridge Fire Department the next morning around 9 a.m. This news agency has a story of these events in tomorrow’s paper, as we went to press  around 11 a.m. on Monday before more details were revealed. 

Since, we have obtained flight information recordings and will follow up next week (January 4) with a second article about what we have learned about the flight path, issues and other things that happened just before the tragic flight went down. 

Prayers go out to the families of Price and Dunham.

FULTON COUNTY, Arkansas - The Fulton County Sheriff has identified two people killed in a plane crash Sunday night in Fulton County near the Sharp County line.

According to Sheriff Al Roork, Bradley Dunham, 57, from Bono was piloting the plane when it crashed. Dunham, and a passenger, Christine Ann Price, 52, of Walnut Ridge were both killed in the crash.

The wreckage was found Monday morning. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were called in to investigate the crash. Officials are expected to arrive at the site on Tuesday.

Crews from Fulton and Sharp Counties were called in around 5:30 Sunday night after witnesses reported hearing and seeing a plane go down. Dense fog and nightfall made finding the plane difficult.

A cause of the crash is unknown, but Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts said there was heavy fog throughout the area.


In the waning minutes of the flight of a doomed small plane over Fulton County last month, the pilot texted family members that he ran into weather and was unable to see and, finally before crashing, was "out of gas in air," according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pilot Bradley Dunham of Bono and passenger Christine Price of Walnut Ridge, the only two occupants of the single-engine Cessna 172, died when the plane crashed Dec. 26 in a remote area of the county northwest of Hardy.

Dunham also was the owner of the aircraft, a Cessna 172E, manufactured in 1964, according to the Federal Aviation Administration online database of aircraft registrations.

The aircraft appeared to be trying to land at Sharp County Regional Airport in Cherokee Village, which straddles the border of Sharp and Fulton counties, but the weather wasn't cooperating, with a witness on the ground saying the area was covered in a heavy fog that limited visibility to an estimated 500 feet.

Dunham was only qualified, according to the FAA, to fly under visual flight rules in which the pilot can fly in good weather with good visibility, which appeared not to be the case on the afternoon of Dec. 26.

Additional training allows pilots to obtain an instrument rating, which allows them to fly using only their flight instruments and not rely on visual cues outside the cockpit.

The crash also occurred right after the "conclusion of civil twilight," or 30 minutes after sunset, which requires stricter limits under which pilots can fly under visual flight rules.

Preliminary review of radar tracking data found that the aircraft first showed up on radar shortly before 4:30 p.m. about 13 miles north of the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport at an altitude of 2,500 feet. The track showed that the aircraft generally flew south toward the airport but briefly disappeared from radar at 4:43 p.m. and 3.5 miles north of the Walnut Ridge airport.

Ten minutes later, the Cessna reappeared on the track data, which showed it climbing out of about 2,800 feet. "The airplane flew left and right several times in a back and forth 's-type' movement and then straightened out, flew west-north-west, and climbed to an altitude of about 4,500 ft, then descended lower in the latter part of the flight," according to the report.

At 5:22 p.m., the aircraft crossed over Sharp County Regional Airport, which is referred to by airport code as KCVK or CVK, from east to west at an altitude of 4,000 feet.

"When the airplane was almost 2.5 nm west-north-west of CVK, the airplane turned right, descended slowly, and flew a track consistent with an attempt to make an approach to CVK, then the airplane entered a tight left turn and traveled to the north," the report said. "The airplane executed at least one sharp counterclockwise loop and flew generally north-north-east bound until track data was lost about [5:28 p.m.]."

The Fulton County sheriff's office provided the National Transportation Safety Board with "copies of text messages the pilot sent to a family member while in flight," the report said. "One text message stated, "ran into weather can't see anything" and another text message later stated, "out of gas in air."

The crash site was 33 miles from the Sharp County airport, where a weather observation taken at shortly before 5 p.m. said the lowest ceiling was overcast and just 200 feet above ground, according to the report. Visibility was a half mile.

It will take up to a year before the NTSB releases a final report on the crash.


  1. Flightaware captured some of the ADSB UAT data while east of Ash Fork, with a 5:08 PM CST/23:08Z time useful for METAR reference.
    No METAR at KCVK, looking at KARG 32 miles east of KCVK:

    KARG 262319Z AUTO 12006KT 1/2SM FG OVC002 14/ A2986 RMK AO2 RVRNO
    KARG 262312Z AUTO 12005KT 1/4SM FG OVC002 14/ A2987 RMK AO2 RVRNO
    KARG 262256Z AUTO 12006KT 1/2SM FG OVC002 14/14 A2987
    RMK AO2 SLP116 T01390139 RVRNO

    KBVX, 33 miles south of KCVK:
    KBVX 262311Z AUTO 10006KT 1SM -RA BR OVC002 15/15 A2984
    RMK AO2 RAB03 P0000 RVRNO
    KBVX 262256Z AUTO 11007KT 1/2SM FG OVC002 15/14 A2985
    RMK AO2 RAE44 SLP108 P0000 T01500144 RVRNO

    1. Flight aware data and other ADSB ends much earlier than where we have him at his last known point which also coincides with the time of exhausting his fuel at 2328z. That data has been passed to AFRCC and Sheriff counts by the CAP National Radar Analysis Team.

    2. Any idea why flight aware shows 3 sporadic flights yesterday spaced fairly far apart, two of which are only around 10 minutes long and one is around 40 mins long? Also seems the last flight speed and altitude were very stable but the 40 minute flights speed and altitude appeared to vary somewhat which is expected for this type of aircraft assuming no autopilot

    3. The three pieces reflect gaps in coverage. This aircraft was equipped to transmit ADS-B as 978MHz UAT instead of 1090MHz ES, and Flightaware's coverage for receiving 978 UAT can be less supported.

      On the speed/altitude variations: You'll notice that Flightaware data can include predictive continuation of position when no actual data is being received (see example below). That behavior of their algorithm probably helps manage short gaps, but is a reminder that all of what you see in data reflects how it is processed. What you see may or may not be fully representative of what was transmitted from the aircraft.

      Example Flightaware position plot continuation after landing:

  2. In just over 52 years of flying I guess I've seen or read about hundreds and hundreds of low-time, non-instrument rated Private pilots who have in effect signed their own death warrants like this guy did when he left the ground. And it never gets any easier to see. I wonder how many more I will hear about before I finally quit flying?

    1. I’m honestly tired of this being blamed on low time. Low-time pilots learn that you don’t takeoff in IMC without an instrument rating, but there are some people who don’t listen and this site is their gathering point.

    2. It's mostly high time pilots who push their luck and crash they have lost their fear of crashing. Reminds me of John Denver flying a plane with a few gallons of gas in each wing thinks he has enough to jump to another airport.

  3. Even though the pilot was a complete idiot, the controller struggled mightily to help him. Toward the end of the ATC recording, the controller was trying to relay information to 98T via another aircraft since 98T was too low for coverage. The last reported contact with 98T was relayed by the pilot of the other aircraft, who had established communications: "I think he said he was out of fuel."

    The pilot of 98T took off in solid IFR conditions. Other pilots in the area, in response to ATC's requests for any info about possible breaks in the overcast, confirmed that the overcast was solid as far as the eye could see.

    The 98T pilot didn't seem to be familiar with ATC procedures and fumbled a lot of radio calls. He described to ATC, in a slow, utterly unprofessional drawl, how he was going to use ForeFlight to try to "line up with a runway." What on earth was he thinking?? I have to agree with the comment above: It never gets easier to see these reports of non-instrument-rated pilots who sign their own death warrants.

    1. Once he ran out of fuel he was flying a glider. He could have reduced speed to just above a stall and held it there and descended straight ahead into the wind hoping for the best. From the photos it looks like the airplane came straight down, absolutely vertical at very high speed. All the wreckage is compacted into a very small area. It was a sad end for two people.

  4. You have to give him credit, he exhausted every option available. The biggest blunder in my opinion is leaving the ground with little fuel. Taking off at night in garbage weather shows a lack of training and its seriousness also foreflight is awesome but when the chips are down and there's nothing around but scrub trees you are at the mercy of fate. To bad and just a bad decision.

  5. Question, while he had fuel why did he not seek and attempt to land along his 180.0° ATS-B flight track.
    ATS-_B return @ "Pos.: 38.386°, -91.115°, Groundspeed: 79 kt, Baro. Altitude: 1700 ft, Geom. Altitude: 1575 ft" crossed over Interstate 44 near SULLIVAN, MO. and its Sullivan Reg. Airport, KUUV 38.2334722,-91.1642778E.
    Their local mid-afternoon surface weather reported 48.2 °F 43.9 °F 85 % East 7.4 mph 15.6 mph 29.82 in.

    1. What is ATS-B? Some new sort of tracking system to replace ADS-B?

  6. As another comment said, those of us who have been in this business for decades have seen scores of pilots take themselves - and all too often passengers who made the mistake of trusting these pilots - out of the gene pool with this horrific lapse in judgement.

    The top two killers of GA pilots are CFIT and continued flight by a VFR pilot or airplane into IFR conditions. This statistic - in terms of it being #1 on the "you're gonna die" list - has been constant for many years.

    If you are not instrument rated, in an appropriately equipped airplane, AND instrument current AND PROFICIENT - DO NOT LAUNCH INTO THIS TYPE OF WEATHER. Yes, you might miss a meeting / date / family event / aviation event. You know what else you will miss? Your funeral.

    I see this all the time at my home airport - people from various backgrounds who believe they know better / the statistics don't apply to them / their success in the non aviation components of their lives will miraculously morph into instrument proficiency / the need to "get there" outweighs their skill deficit or lack of capability of their airplane / the autopilot and advanced avionics will save the day. Darwin has this remarkable tendency to catch up with all of them.

    But how sad for their families and friends.

    1. Barring icing, thunderstorms and being out of electricity, won't an autopilot and advanced avionics save the day if engaged properly and timely?
      AP are IFR certified, current and proficient if properly setup.
      I often wonder if at least as a wingsleveler, engaging the AP would have allowed to fly out of the weather instead of spiraling down.
      I mean, if I were to fly a fancy aircraft I would want to know, learn, understand/comprehend and try/use every bell and whistle it has, especially if those make my life easier and safer. But perhaps not everyone is curious enough and just wants to get behind the wheel and go for s joyride.
      I understand that this AP stuff may not apply to this crash here, just commenting to the above poster, who I agree with.
      Tailwinds and condolences.

    2. Yeah, but don't forget something like 30 PERCENT of crashes where there was unintentional flight into IMC weather is by IFR pilots. Everyone can get complacent. Regardless of training, ratings, etc.

    3. Not much respect in these comments. Easy to be harsh when you're anonymous.

      Note the rules for this forum.

    4. Unlike a ship or a car, a plane needs to land when fuel or thermals are exhausted. Adults with a pilot's license ought to understand that before take off and have a plan; sorry, jumping in for a thoughtless joyride doesn't really work in planes. Acting knowingly irresponsibly and as the unavoidable consequences end up (yes: it's really the END) harming not only themselves but others.
      Respect for that? How else would you talk sense into that? Condolences.
      KR and the comments are full of this and it doesn't stop.

    5. ^^You think he was jumping in for a thoughtless joyride?

      Look at the flight history. The aircraft traveled to Missouri on 22 December and was returning from there on the accident day, a Sunday, 26 December.

      The pilot certainly made a mistake by trying to fully complete the return trip in those WX conditions, but smearing the man with the "thoughtless joyride" remark is extra mistreatment of a pilot you never met in a way that he does not deserve.

    6. You are absolutely correct!

  7. Ok, not a joyride, but taking off, leaving terra firma, not seriously enough with plans A, B and on how to safely return to it, in one piece and with your passengers in the same shape they took off in (the campsite rule!) - how do you call it?
    Yes, it's a mistake, sure, but KR and the NTSB are full of exactly the same stuff. Not taking this seriously, learning from it and pretending this was simply unfortunate is childish. Harsh? Maybe. Mistreating the pilot? He did that all to himself and his passenger. This was real life and now is real death.
    All these similar accidents here weren't a last moment mistake but stem from a cavalier attitude. I know, often saying "No", especially to one self, is the hardest thing to do, but what goes up must come down and we, only we, are responsible for that. Our passengers may not be able to fly the plane.

    1. Just another set of crash site photos filled with sunny blue skies the next day. When will the carnage end???? Pilots please respect the lives of your passengers..

    2. The revised take is "he had a cavalier attitude".

      Got caught not bothering to read the Flightaware history before declaring a return from an over-Christmas trip to be a joyride.

      Now it's mind reading. Of a pilot you never met...

    3. Look, i don't like to be harsh or whatever you think I am and like not here on KR we haven't met the ones we read about. What does that matter? Flying an aircraft and decision making is somewhat cut and dried, that's why the professionals have SOPs.
      But sugarcoating thing is not going to help.
      All the previous flights don't count (they hopefully matter, though, as one has learned from them and tweaked one's technique etc.).
      Taking off into solid IMC without a way out is - besides a mistake, of course - what exactly?
      Sorry for your loss. On every level.

    4. Pointing out your characterizations of "thoughtless joyride" and "cavalier attitude" is not sugarcoating.

      Crashes where someone circles a house and loses control while renting a plane for a day can be called a thoughtless joyride, and when you know an individual's behaviors from personal interactions and can "testify" to a cavalier attitude, have at it.

      If you lack a reference point for deciding how far out on a limb to go with personal characterizations, ask yourself this:

      Would you post comments stating that a family that crashed while driving on icy roads on the way back home from an out of state Christmas trip were on a thoughtless joyride and had a cavalier attitude?

      Adding unsupported characterizations to a crash doesn't contribute anything of value to the discussion. That's the takeaway you need to comprehend.

    5. "Adding unsupported characterizations to a crash..." this guy was reckless, full stop. Took someone else with him and his abysmal aeronautical decision making. Why are you white-knighting so hard for him?

    6. I think he means to say stop being a jerk. The pilot's family likely sees these comments.

    7. Clearly was not a joyride - you got called out for that.
      Can't say what a person's attitude was if you never met him - you got called out for that, too.

      Then you mis-characterize being reminded that you make unsupported statements as "sugarcoating" and "white knighting".

      You didn't enlighten the forum by answering the question of how you would characterize a family that crashed while driving on icy roads on the way back home from an out of state Christmas trip.

      No need. Gotcha all figured out now.

    8. Anonymous, on Jan. 8, 2022, at 8:14 am, I'll answer your question--if a family crashed while driving on icy roads on the way home from an out of state Christmas trip, I'd say whoever made the decision to make the drive was ignorant and reckless.

      You don't seem to be familiar with the concept of "get-home-itis" which is a silly name for something pilots are warned against from very early in their flight training. The desire to get home, for whatever reason, makes a pilot begin a flight regardless of conditions. Your scenario of a family dying because they drove on icy roads actually highlights the mistake the accident pilot made--disregarded the information related to the trip or did not check the weather or conditions before setting out, and did not assess the conditions during the trip, which resulted in a loss of life.

      You seem to think these fatal mistakes should be excused or at least respected because the people involved needed to complete a trip or get home. Your scenario suggests they had no choice but to leave--as pilots, from the beginning of our flight training, we are told that the choice to NOT FLY is ALWAYS ours to make, and it is OUR responsibility to not put anyone in more danger than necessary during a flight.

      Your semantic arguments with the other Anonymous poster make it seem like you cannot accept that this accident pilot was reckless, at least in his final flight. Maybe he was an extremely conscientious and responsible man over the majority of time and throughout his life, but that is usually not the case in these situations. Regardless, the result of his last flight indicates extreme recklessness and a frightening lack of insight (or cavalier attitude) regarding the conditions he faced during a cross-country flight. That is not smearing his reputation, that is calling a spade a spade.

    9. Get-home-itis is real and certainly was a factor here and in the car on icy road crash example. That example was provided specifically to guide you to that realization. You could have made that your original comment instead of the "thoughtless joyride" smear, which is not debatable as a frivolous mischaracterization.

      Your cognitive disconnect is the continuing assumptions and mind reading. You can't know the mind of pilots or commenters you have never met & so might want to do less of that.

    10. How's this for mind reading and making assumptions -- I wrote the response today about get-home-itis and that was the first time I have ever posted to this forum. I am NOT the Anonymous party you were previously engaging with, yet you made the ASSUMPTION that I was even though I indicated in the post that I was not.

      You might want to do less of that.

      So, do you identify with this accident pilot, or did you know them? I sure don't want to make assumptions about you, and I would really like to know why you keep making these responses, so I'll just ask--why do you keep taking up for this accident pilot?

    11. Responses made to call out mischaracterizations don't require explanation. Most people can reach the captain obvious understanding of how get-there-itis plays a role in these types of accident circumstances without having to embellish with disparagement.

    12. The constant "be careful with what you say, the families might be reading this" comments seem a bit gratuitous. Yes, every human being has a family, so does that mean that we must tread on eggshells when discussing every single fatality, no matter the cause or circumstances and in any possible forum? If so, then how are any of us going to learn from others mistakes and not make them?

      All I know is that if, God forbid, I ever make a major mistake while flying and it gets written up in KR, I hope you all discuss it and learn from it, so at least something good comes out of it.

    13. The issue is not whether a family member would see it.

      Discussion comments can be educational, as you claim you want them to be. Start by determining and then commenting on what the pilot would have known from available information about the weather when he made his decision to get airborne from the final leg's departure airport.

      After you determine where that departure airport was (it isn't yet known, apparently), criticize him for bad ADM based on what he could have known at the time, fuel quantity on board, and failing to turn back while it was still do-able as a non-instrument pilot.

      Or make a determination based on the forecast available from the earliest credible time of his apparent start in Missouri that weather was already a no-go for the day and comment to that.

      Nobody has suggested that circumstances and bad decisions should not be discussed. The "eggshells" bit is just a straw man deflection attempt because someone got called out for mischaracterizations.

    14. Discuss intelligently all you want--The issue is that snarky, disparaging personal comments are completely unnecessary. Grow up.

    15. I am the joyride and cavalier poster, didn't post anything after Jan 3rd, 2:05 until now.
      Thanks to others weighing in.

      Joyride was a general description that one cannot just jump into a plane without any preparation and go flying unlike a car or bike and was worded as such. You misunderstood that.
      I don't read FlightAware histories, now what?
      I am sure he did some planning, otherwise he would have never made it to the departure airport, and hopefully did a preflight check, so the joyride comparison doesn't apply at all, but until flight preparations are comprehensive and complete, it's still not, well, a sound preparation.
      This is precisely what KR is full of: disregard for "pilot in command" and "all available information" (CFR 91.103)
      Cavalier it was and in adults I have neither understandig not respect for that. I'll enjoy that attitude only movies.

      Our passengers can't fly the plane.

      Again, I am sorry for all your losses, on every level.
      Tailwinds and be safe up there.

    16. The Monday, January 17, 2022 at 1:37:00 PM EST comment applies.

  8. on the FAAs website about this crash they still say 1 fatal how crazy is that

  9. I'm familiar with several fatal weather related private pilot accidents in Arkansas because 3 of them involved high performance airplanes and pilots from Oklahoma, where I live. Non-instrument rated, low time private pilots, in IFR conditions don't seem to fare well, and statistics agree. In those 3 cases the airplanes were very capable IFR aircraft: Piper Turbo Saratoga SP, Cirrus SR-22, and Piper Malibu. In those 3 Arkansas accidents, like this 172, the non-instrument rated private pilot flew into IMC conditions that exceeded their ability. All of them killed at least one family member and in the SR-22 and Malibu they killed 4 each. Flying at night in a Cessna 172(single alternator, single vacuum pump) for a private pilot adds a significant level of risk, but when low IFR conditions and night combine, that becomes risky for just about everyone, including 32,000 hour professional pilot's, like me.

  10. I was the last pilot on frequency listening to him and the controller. I suggested "fuel check" and then before being handed off, said "Good luck." I had a strong expectation he would not survive. I went east, landed at an alternate with 1300 ceiling and thanked the aviation gods that all was ok. Anyone who can link to the (NOT YOUTUBE version) full liveatc I would appreciate it, as I've tried and can't find it.

    1. Here is a link to the Live ATC audio file ( The relevant conversation begins around the 29-minute mark. It's clear the pilot had a lot of people trying to help/save him.

  11. From his picture he looks like a nice guy

  12. The "shut up" at 29:58 is priceless. Sigh....

    1. You could hear how upset his girlfriend was with the situation. That probably didn't help with decision making.

    2. The YouTube video I listened to deleted the girlfriend/"shut up" portion--the whole audio is brutal. Tragic.

  13. The poor girlfriend's screams had no impact on his "decision making". Afraid he had already sealed their fate by that time.

  14. Just a reminder to all, there are two families who are heartbroken and trying to cope with the pain of losing loved ones, prayers instead of options would be greatly appreciated.
    Sister of the passenger and friend of the pilot.

    1. Please note: This is an aviation blog. This is a place where pilots learn what not to do next time. This is not a place of prayer. Thank you!

    2. Thank you for the rational and precise answer.