Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Cessna 172 Skyhawk, N6413B: Fatal accident occurred May 03, 2022 near Calhoun County Airport (F95), Blountstown, Florida

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; Birmingham, Alabama
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas


Location: Altha, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22FA218
Date and Time: May 3, 2022, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N6413B
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 3, 2022, about 1700 central daylight time, a Cessna 172, N6413B, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Altha, Florida. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and two passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the airport manager, the flight departed from runway 36 at Calhoun County Airport (F95), Altha, Florida with full fuel tanks. The windsock indicated wind out of the west, about 10 knots. The pilot was in the left cockpit seat and was local to the area. The airplane owner was in the right cockpit seat; he did not hold a pilot certificate.

According to airport surveillance video and witness statements, the airplane lifted off and immediately attained a high angle of attack at slow speed. The airplane then proceeded past the departure end of runway 36, where a left 270° turn commenced at a low altitude, without climbing. The airplane proceeded eastbound and across the departure end of runway 36, then descended out of sight behind a
hangar, impacted the ground and a post-crash fire ensued. Witnesses immediately responded to the accident site to assist.

The wreckage came to rest near the airport’s perimeter fence. A post-accident fire consumed the fuselage, empennage, and left wing. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The engine remained attached to the firewall and the propeller remained attached to the engine. A portable electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and a portable GPS were found separated and away from the fire zone. They were sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for possible download of data.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N6413B
Model/Series: 172
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMAI,108 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Altha, FL
Destination: Altha, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 30.49138,-85.11182 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on takeoff. 

Date: 03-MAY-22
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N6413B
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 1 fatal and 2 serious injuries
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: DESTROYED
City: BLOUNTSTOWN
State: FLORIDA

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


Greyson McCroan


We are starting this fundraiser for my best friend Greyson McCroan. Greyson is from Blountstown, Florida, and just recently graduated from FAMU this Spring. On May 3rd, 2022 Greyson was in a 4 person plane crash that left him with burns on 30% of his body.  2 of the 4 people on the plane passed away including Greysons father, Randy McCroan and Steve Mears Jr. 

Greyson is currently at Shands with his first surgery set for Friday, May 6th at 3:00 p.m. to remove the burned skin.

Please keep Devin Ferrell in your thoughts for a smooth recovery. It is a miracle that Greyson and Devin are still with us. 

We love you Randy rest easy ❤️
 
My condolences to the Mears family
Rest In Peace Steve Mears Jr

The community is raising as much money as we can to help reduce the financial burden of medical expenses during this tragic time. 

Anything is appreciated and definitely will help. Thank you





BLOUNTSTOWN, Florida (WMBB) — A fundraiser for one of the plane crash victims took place Tuesday night.

A few dozen community members met at a Train Depot in Blountstown to raise money for Devin Ferrell.

Farrell is a part of a local running club called “A Case of the Runs.”

Every Monday and Thursday the group meets but they said this Monday was extra special.

Nearly $1,100 was raised at this “Cash and dash.”

Blountstown Fire Chief Ben Hall is part of this running club and helped set this event up.

“We just got out here tonight, threw that money in the bucket, and took off for a great run,” Hall said. “Most of us ran four miles, some ran a little bit more, some ran a little bit less, you know, just keeping it at a good run. We’re thinking about Devin, we’re praying for him, and we’re hoping he recovers well.”

Hall said they are also thinking of and praying for the other plane crash survivor Greyson McCroan.

Hall said they’re working on putting a fundraiser together for Grayson and his family soon too.




ALTHA, Florida (WMBB) — Usually, ShandsCair crews respond to a situation after it’s been controlled.

But on Tuesday, May 3rd, they were some of the first to the scene of a fatal plane crash at Calhoun Liberty Airport.

“One of our pilots witnessed the crash,” Andy Donaldson, UF ShandsCair Chief Flight Nurse of the Western Division said. “He notified my medical crew. They of course gathered everything they could along with fire extinguishers because there was an active fire at the time.”

Donaldson said at that point, those fire extinguishers were the only means to put the flames out.

“Our pilot, Davey Shackelford, started passing the extinguishers over the fence to what I believe were some Department of Forestry contractors that were there,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson also said he doesn’t want to know what would have happened if his crew wouldn’t have been so close by and so brave.

Authorities release more information about fatal Calhoun Co. plane crash
“Everybody worked in concert and I believe if anyone piece would have been missed or just slightly out of whack a little bit, the people were not there that, you know, to include the Department of Forestry, quick response by EMS, and my guys, there would have been four fatalities we’d been mourning,” Donaldson said.

Two people were saved from the burning plane.

Donaldson said one of the victims is at Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

“I can’t release medical information, but I feel very confident that both will do very well so they did an excellent job.”

Donaldson said he feels lucky his crew was on the scene and he’s very grateful for all the first responders who helped save the lives of the two plane crash survivors.




CALHOUN COUNTY, Florida (WJHG/WECP) - In a small community, where everyone knows everyone, when one person grieves, many others grieve, too. That’s what is happening as news of the death of Randy McCroan, 56, and Steve Mears, 48, spreads across Calhoun County. The two men were killed in a plane crash Tuesday evening at the Calhoun County Airport.

“You feel that closeness and what not, with all the people in the county,” Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel said. “If you’re not related, you’re friends with them.”

Randy McCroan and Mears were two of four people in the personal plane when it crashed as it was taking off at the airport. The two other men on the plane, Greyson McCroan, 24, and Devin Ferrell, 28, are fighting for their lives. Now Calhoun County residents are coming together to honor and remember McCroan and Mears. McCroan was a Sheriff’s Lieutenant and a School Resource Deputy.

“Fun-loving, had your back, was just somebody you could count on, loved people, loved kids,” Superintendent of Schools Darryl Taylor said of McCroan.

“So yesterday was actually his last work day,” Kimbrel said. “When asked what are you going to do now that you’re retiring, [McCroan said] ‘I’m going to go and enjoy life.’”

Mears was a local business owner.

“He was so ready to do anything and everything for anyone,” Kimbrel said. “He never said no.”

“He’s been a tremendous asset to Altha School over the years,” Taylor said.

Both Mears and McCroan will be remembered for their dedication to local kids and Altha Public School, and a memorial has been set up outside the school to remember the duo.

Another memorial is set up at the Calhoun County Airport, where the flag is also flying at half-staff.

“I still think ultimately, people, we will all be thankful to have known them, and had the opportunity to work and be around them,” Taylor said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. We will continue to share those details as they become available.




CALHOUN COUNTY, Florida (WJHG/WECP) - Two people were killed and two more were injured in a plane crash in Calhoun County Tuesday evening.

Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel told NewsChannel 7 it was a Cessna 172 Skyhawk plane and it was taking off when it crashed.

Onboard the plane were William “Randy” McCroan, Steve Mears, Jr., Devin Ferrell, and Greyson McCroan. Sheriff Kimbrel says Randy McCroan and Mears were killed in the crash and Ferrell and Greyson McCroan were critically injured.

Randy McCroan was a deputy with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office and a school resource officer. Tuesday was his last day as a SRO. Mears owned Affordable Towing, a local business.

Wednesday the FAA was investigating the crash site. Flowers were placed near the area by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. Also seen at the airport, a Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and an Affordable Towing tow truck, in memory of the two men killed in the crash.





Calhoun County Sheriff's Office -

We, at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Calhoun County community, are grieving the loss of two of our brothers.

Lt. Randy McCroan and Steve Mears, Jr. were killed in an airplane crash yesterday evening at the Calhoun County Airport.  Two other individuals in the plane were severely injured in the crash.

Lt. Randy McCroan, age 56, began his career on November 1, 1991 with Sheriff Buddy Smith.  In his 30+ years here at the Sheriff’s Office, he served under Sheriff David Tatum and Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel in the positions of deputy sheriff, helicopter pilot, and school resource officer, most of which was served at Altha Public School.  He spent the last year as an SRO at Carr School.  He was looking forward to retirement and served his last day as SRO on Tuesday, May 3.  He was killed the same evening, doing what he loved – flying.

Steve Mears, Jr. was a veteran of the United States Army.  He worked at the Calhoun Correctional Institution in 1994-1997 and then began his law enforcement career at the Blountstown Police Department, where he served until 2001.  He has been on the CCSO, BPD, and Altha PD reserve.  Steve most recently had been a local businessman – owner of Affordable Towing.  Steve has been a friend to the Sheriff’s Office, Altha School, and anyone else who needed a helping hand.

We, at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, will miss both Randy and Steve.  Our hearts are heavy and our prayers are with their families and the speedy recovery of the two other young men, who are hospitalized today.

A memorial has been established at the airport in memory of Randy and Steve.

53 comments:

  1. 4 adults in a 172. Crash on takeoff. It doesn't take much imagination to make an educated guess about possible cause... Sad

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    1. Not 4 adults, no one said adults....

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    2. All adult white males on board - two fatal and two critical.

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    3. 4 big and tall adult men.

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  2. The pax who perished looks (based on FB photos) to be 200+ lbs, and the pilot is probably somewhere north of 175 lbs. Not sure who the other occupants were, but 4 pax in a 172 in Florida heat makes you cringe.

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    1. " a helicopter pilot with the Calhoun County " ided as one fatality.

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    2. One of the two survivors is a name match to a Blountstown High School athlete listed as 170 lbs when playing, graduated 2016. Makes it three adults + one undetermined weight fourth person.

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    3. Greyson McCroan, 24, and Devin Ferrell, 28, are fighting for their lives.

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    4. Prayers for the families and for the two survivors to pull through.

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    5. High angle of attack was reported. Couple that with 4 big guys and high DA and the result is what happened.

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  3. 145HP Skyhawk with 4 adults on an 85* Florida afternoon, we've heard this story too many times.

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    1. 1956 CESSNA 172 N6413B, new registration recorded 30-Aug-2021.
      no recent adsbexchange data, last flightaware data was "Twin Falls, ID, 04-Jun-2020."

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    2. 1956... Until recently I flew a 1961 model C172B out of an airport at 5,600' field elevation. DA is always a consideration but even on colder mornings 2 people really taxed the ability of the aircraft to climb

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    3. Some rough W&B math here:
      Basic 172L empty weight: 1265 lbs
      172L max gross weight: 2200 lbs
      Min 20g fuel for short flight: 120lbs

      That leaves 815lbs for passengers IF they only had 20g fuel and each passenger better weigh less than 203 lbs on average. From the photos, the average weight looks well over 200 lbs, one passenger is at least pushing 240lbs, and the others aren't too far behind. Also, if some of the bigger guys were in back and the front passenger had the seat slid back, you could easily be aft of the allowable CG which is an even bigger issue that being over max gross weight.

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  4. First thing i did when I got my license was take my friends flying. Never thought the extra weight would be so drastic on performance at 5000DA. I thought something was wrong with the plane.

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    1. I flew 4 in a skyhawk a couple times. The difference is we had 1/2 fuel, 2 females who were 110ish and 2 males who were 150. Not the average American weights.

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    2. ^^This.

      After I got my PPL in the late 1980s, I took three grade school friends (then college friends) up in a 160hp 172P at half tanks (~25gal usable). We were taking off from a sea level Florida coastal community in an early autumn cool morning so DA was not an issue but I was right at MTOW and it was not exactly leaping into the air. Keep in mind that was our slinky 1980s late teens/early 20s 140-170lb weight back then. I cannot imagine what the performance would have been with an older 172 here with 15 less HP and a lot heavier adults.

      RIP to the two who perished, prayers to the recovery of the survivors.

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  5. 4 adults in a 4 place S/E plane, I guess the Pilot was not aware of the Utah DA-40 crash, might have made him think of doing a W/B......A lot of Cop types getting killed with others in recent months.

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  6. WILLIAM RANDALL MCCROAN
    FL 32424-4411
    County: CALHOUN
    Country: USA
    Medical Information:
    Medical Class: Second Medical Date: 1/2021
    BasicMed Course Date: None BasicMed CMEC Date: None
    Certificates
    PRIVATE PILOT
    Certificates Description
    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 2/24/2005
    Ratings:
    PRIVATE PILOT
    AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND
    ROTORCRAFT-HELICOPTER

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  7. Anyone know if this old plane had shoulder harnesses?

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    1. If it did they were retrofitted. If the first photo is recent and from the same aircraft I doubt if it had a shoulder harness.

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  8. Not to repeat the obvious pointed by all the commenters above regarding W&B and DA but I would also add a common sense issue of always briefing the takeoff and if certain parameters are not met abort said takeoff immediately, say by not reaching 70% of the rotation speed by 1/2 the runway. That would be the last safeguard for an unpleasant situation but how many actually do this?

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    1. Yes!! Briefing the point at which you will abort if not at 70% rotation speed is critical for *every* takeoff and should be a verbal callout (either "abort speed" when you reach it or "abort point -- aborting" if you reach the point without the required speed) during *every* takeoff roll. Actual aborted takeoffs should be practiced regularly. You should also be checking all engine parameters including RPM to make sure they are in the appropriate ranges.

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    2. I always verbally state an abort point- "if not at rotation speed by" whether there is someone in the aircraft or not. I say airspeed alive out loud. I say the rotation speed out loud followed by "rotate". I also verbally state " positive rate, engine instruments in the green, gear up" when I fly the C172RG. They didn't teach verbalizing when I learned to fly but I adopted it when I got back into flying.

      When I turn downwind to base and base to finally I say and verify airspeed. I've been to a stall spin on base to final accident site the ay after it happened (to see if there was damage to our pipeline). That was 20 years ago and it's still on my mind...

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    3. Anyone who has the where with all to do that would probably know enough not to stack 4 adults in a weak old 172 on a hot Florida afternoon...And there is also the loss of performance when you climb out of ground effect....Many recent accidents are with fairly recently purchased aircraft as well, this may have been one of them..

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  9. Closest recorded METAR is KMAI (25 miles north of the field):
    KMAI 032153Z AUTO 26009KT 10SM CLR 31/16 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP156 T03060161

    The altimeter setting of 30.00 and temperature of 31C yields a density altitude at the 121' field elevation of 1970 feet.

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    1. I20 years-ago I learned to fly at a mountain airport with a field elevation of 5,160 ft. and a 5,300 foot runway. Summer temps would hit 110 degrees.

      I flew my CFI's C182 with a hopped up Continental 540. Mid-way thru the instruction period I was looking to buy an older C172 with 145 HP. A pilot friend said no, no. but Hell no, as there would be a good chance I'd kill myself due to DA issues, additionally my instructor would refuse to fly with me. He recommended I buy a C150/150 (150 HP IO-320) which I did.

      That airplane chewed up DA takeoffs, and the day I soloed it leaped off the ground like a homesick angel so quickly it scared me. I was 155 lbs. then. That aircraft would be off the runway in less 500 feet on a hot summer day and climb at 1,000 FPM.

      So, I now read about these poor souls in Florida (4 big guys) in an overloaded 1956 C172 w/145 HP taking off with an air Temp of 87 F. What, oh what was this pilot thinking when he crammed these clueless non-pilot buddies into that slug of an airplane? Why do so many pilots not understand DA?

      RIP men.

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  10. I fly a 1957 172 out of a 1100ft elevation field, albeit with 6000ft of runway. I have 900lbs useful, that's 660 lbs with full fuel, 780 lbs at half fuel. An early C172 with 4 adult males will certainly be over gross, and with too far aft CG. I've flown at gross in the winter, and that experience wasn't encouraging (but very educational). The likelihood of over-rotate, followed by stall or mush seems very high. This happens all too often.

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    1. I could never quite understand why Cessna made the earlier models of the under-powered four-seated 172 aircraft. Yet many a student pilot trained in them. Any comments?

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    2. I trained in C150's and C152's. The C172 was a "step up" back in the 80's. Back then I flew newer C172's and didn't experience the lower power C172B until recently. I learned a lot about flying from flying a C17B out of an airport on top of a mesa at 5,600' that often sees DA of 9,000' or more in the summer. It requires attention to rudder and airspeed to get any sore of climb rate and maintain it. I loved the 40 degrees of flaps (johnson bar not electric) for slow and steep approaches and was not a fan of go arounds.

      I think the C172 was thought of as a transition aircraft because it was a but heavier. I followed the C172 with a mountain checkout in a C182. Recently I've been flying a C172RG. I really like the C182 and C17RG. Every step "up" has been a "landing lesson. The heavier aircraft has different characteristics at landing. The C172RG is each to set up for a 500 fpm descent but it'll make you work when you transition to landing.

      The Piper that I flew during instrument training was a good platform. I prefer high wing but I'll fly either and do so with a smile on my face.

      This is just my opinion based on my experiences with the listed aircraft of over the years. I am neither high time or highly experienced. But if I'm flying I'm happy...

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  11. Google earth shows that airport is/was a mess with all kinds of storm damage to the larger buildings, Flyin and FBO Grand opening next weekend....crash will be a mood killer..

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  12. One of the passengers in the back was over 300lbs. The two in the front were both 250-ish.

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    1. That's insane for multiple reasons. Those weights would put them about 200-300 lbs over and CG way too far aft. The heaviest passengers always need to sit in front even if you are under max gross weight to have any hope of proper CG in a 172. I once gave a ride to a friend and his girlfriend and had to make her sit in front because she weighed 50 lbs more than him. I had to be very delicate in explaining why, claiming he should be nice and let her have the better view from the front seat. ;)

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    2. That’s wrong both rear passenger where under 170

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  13. I would think it would be impossible to get 2 adults in the back seat if one was 300 lbs..So I question that and how could a Pilot not be aware of the W/B issues with that..Also it is becoming very obvious that people who are not pilots have zero knowledge or sense of what flying is all about, like maybe questioning the safety of impending flight/pilot..I have 24,000 hours and can maybe count on one hand how many times I got in a plane with someone who was not a professionally employed Pilot...Maybe 2 or 3 times..

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    1. 300 lb person in the back. Yeah probably not but people are creative.

      Not be aware of wt/balance. I agree, that seems odd. The takeoff roll and feel should have been different.

      "people that aren't pilots have zero knowledge or sense of what flying is all about". Ya think?

      In 24,000 hours (no decimal point?) you've only flown with professional pilots, except for maybe those two times when you were ??? doing what? You should be more careful... Non-professional pilots could be dangerous, I'm sure we couldn't find any instances in any accident reports where a professional pilot did anything wrong :/

      So you just popped out with all your ratings, flew perfectly with professional pilots, never made a mistake, and know everything there is to know about every aircraft and the people that fly them? That's really awesome and stuff.

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    2. Yes it is awesome stuff...Tired of seeing all these non aviation victims crawling in an airplane with someone who is supposedly a great person and pilot and end up in a ball of fire...Some of this information needs to get out in the real world so people can get educated as to the dangers of G/A flying....And it's not the airplane 80% of the time...Yes I've had a couple of close calls in small planes decades ago...Everyone has.

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    3. My very first flight after receiving my Private Pilot license in a Cessna 150 was taking a SR-71 Pilot to another airport. Yes I was intimidated, I was a 2 striper in the Air Force.

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    4. "Tired of seeing all these non aviation victims crawling in an airplane with someone who is supposedly a great person and pilot and end up in a ball of fire...Some of this information needs to get out in the real world so people can get educated as to the dangers of G/A flying....And it's not the airplane 80% of the time."

      No argument with that. I misunderstood your comment. I've said as much in the past. I got back into flying almost 4 years ago and I've been pretty active. I've had 3 flights with a passenger and she was a student pilot. If someone is in the right seat it's an instructor checking me out in a new to me aircraft or complex aircraft, giving me a BFR, or getting me some hood time. I don't like flying with pax anymore.

      It didn't dawn on me that you might've started flying in the military. Long ago I was talking to the chief pilot for the company I worked for. He flew a Lear 25. A VP had told him that I was a pilot and he mentioned it. I must've asked if he started his training in a Cessna or Piper. I don't recall the exact conversation but I remember him saying he had never flown a piston aircraft. All of his time was in turbines flying in the military.

      They demonstrated max takeoff performance on the flight and he let me sit in the right seat once we were at cruise.

      Anyway, apologies. I misunderstood you. I fully agree, it's not fair to the pax that don't know the dangers and it's the pilots responsibility to keep them alive.

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    5. All my flying is G/A and Airline flying, I was referring to being a passenger 2 or 3 times in a plane where the pilot flying was not a Professional Pilot...I feel it is important for people who work at airports or those that are Pilots and see something that appears to be dangerous to inform all involved of the potential danger ie. weather, winds, W/B issues ect..

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    6. Over the years I've had several fellow GA pilots invite me along on a flight, only to be met with indignation or insults when I ask questions simply in the interest of my own safety. I learned to fly with several different instructors because the flight school was near Baltimore and there was just a revolving door of CFI's building time to get to the regionals. Sometimes it was frustrating but overall, it was a great way to learn: some taught power on landings, some were power off, one instructor was a retired RAF navigator so I gained tons of tips and tricks that helped me nail the airport diversion time/fuel burn calculations during my PPL check ride. Not all student pilots were as fortunate as I was in the quality of training they received - some of them actively sought out DPE's who had reputations as "being easy" - my DPE had the reputation of failing folks during the taxi from the hangar to the run-up area. My point is there are some pilots out there with their ticket that I simply WILL NEVER get in a plane with. They're great people but they're really poor pilots, with marginal airmanship and even worse decision-making skills. If asking a pilot basic questions about the condition of his plane, his flight planning, his cockpit management process or his emergency procedures portrays me as rude, insulting and lacking trust, all I can say is at least I'll still be alive and walking around the hangar to hear what all the gossip is about.

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  14. I knew the people I'm a Calhoun county local they were possibly over weight or out of cg limits no one knows right now it's a small town we're all in shock still

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  15. There is no mention of the pilot's total time as fixed-wing PIC. Report does state that he had a rating for helicopter. Report is too vague.

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    1. Randy McCroan was flying helicopter pot patch surveillance way back in 2011, so you would expect his helicopter experience to have sensitized him to weight and balance.

      The original pax plan may have gotten one or two added at the time people arrived to get on and he just got talked into the over-max loading.

      2011 news report of pot patch flyover:
      https://thecountyrecord.net/pot-patch-spotted-in-flyover-man-jailed/

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  16. The W&B of a O-300 powered Cessna limits front seat load to 400lb to begin with. If those people were good sized americans from today's times not the 1960s indeed the fact 4 of them were onboard such a small plane is borderline violation of 91.13, Luckily we have 2 survivors who may shed light on it, or not, depending on what their counsel might advise. Since both pax in the back died the civil legal actions are not far behind which might impede a clear understanding of what happened.

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    1. The two passengers in the back were the survivors.

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  17. It is clearly obvious as to what the probable cause is and the most unfortunate thing is that this type of accident will happen again and again , and the only thing that will change will be the names of people killed. .

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  18. Those shoulder-to-shoulder guys in the front seat are at least 3 bills apiece. Do the math.

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  19. 4 big boys on a 172. Need we say more. Two with a full load of fuel can get heavy given Density alt. and runway length. I've done 4 on board with the 172 and its always very light fuel and conditions seriously taken into the equation.

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  20. NTSB prelim came out. Apparently they took on full fuel (42gal) before takeoff. 42gal weighs 252 lbs, add that to the 172L stock empty weight and that leaves 683 lbs before you exceed the 2200 lbs max takeoff weight. The four of them would have to weigh no more than an average of 170 lbs fully clothed to not illegally exceed max gross weight. Not going to say anything other than look at the photos of the people onboard the aircraft and decide if they weighed less than 170 lbs on average....

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