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View Full Version : BREAKING: FAA: Children among 17 dead in Montana plane crash


CrossCourt~Rally
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:27 AM
BUTTE, Mont. A small plane possibly carrying children on a ski trip crashed Sunday as it approached the Butte airport, killing 14 to 17 people aboard, a federal official said. The single engine turboprop nose-dived into a cemetery 500 feet from its destination.

The aircraft crashed and burned while attempting to land, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus. The plane crashed in Holy Cross Cemetery.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board offered few details at a press conference in Butte Sunday night. No cause of the crash was given.

"We are just beginning our investigation," said Kristi Dunks. "We don't have a lot of information at this time.

"Certain family members were contacted," she said. "At this point, I don't have an exact number."

The aircraft had departed from Oroville, Calif., and the pilot had filed a flight plan showing a destination of Bozeman, about 85 miles southeast of Butte. But the pilot canceled his flight plan at some point and headed for Butte, Fergus said.

Preliminary reports indicate the dead include numerous children, he said. There were no known fatalities on the ground, he added.

"We think that it was probably a ski trip for the kids," Fergus said.

Martha and Steve Guidoni, who were at a gas station across from the cemetery, told the Standard that the plane "just nose-dived into the ground."

"My husband went over there to see if he could do anything," Martha Guidoni said.

Fergus said the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft was manufactured in 2001. Such planes are certified to carry 12 people.

The plane was registered to Eagle Cap Leasing Inc. in Enterprise, Ore., Fergus said. He didn't know who was operating the plane.

I. Felkamp is listed in Oregon corporate records as Eagle Cap's president. Attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful.

The flight originated at Brown Field Municipal airport in San Diego on Saturday evening and flew to Redlands, Calif., where it left Sunday morning for Vacaville, Calif., according to Flight Aware, a Web site that tracks air traffic. From there it flew to Oroville, Calif., and then to Butte. The NTSB could not confirm that information.

"We are still gathering the information of the aircraft, it's purpose, what they were doing and where they were going," Dunks said.

In California, Tom Hagler said he saw a group of about a dozen children and four adults Sunday morning at the Oroville Municipal Airport, about 70 miles north of Sacramento.

Hagler, owner of Table Mountain Aviation, described the children as ranging from about 6- to 10 year olds. He let the children into his building to use the restroom.

"There were a lot of kids in the group," he said. "A lot of really cute kids."

Hagler said he showed the pilot where he could fuel his plane, and the pilot said he expected his flight to take two-and-a-half hours. The pilot didn't file a flight plan at the Oroville airport.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said its investigators were expected to arrive in Butte late Sunday or early Monday.

The crash is the fourth major plane accident in the U.S. in slightly more than three months.

On Dec. 20, Continental Airlines plane veered off a runway and slid into a snowy field at Denver International Airport, injuring 37 people. No one was killed. In January, a US Airways jetliner landed in New York's Hudson River after a flock of geese disabled both its engines. All 155 people onboard survived. Last month, commuter plane fell on a house in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., killing all 49 passengers and a man in the home.

Before the Buffalo crash there hadn't been an accident involving a commercial airliner in the U.S. in which there were fatalities in more than two years.

comfortably.numb
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:33 AM
The amount of crashes recently is freaking scary. Especially for someone who travels a lot.

Wiggly
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:36 AM
A tragedy.
There's a plane crash every week in the US. :eek:

fufuqifuqishahah
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:44 AM
plane crash every month ._.

Pasta-Na
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:55 AM
:sad: :hug:

Ellery
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:55 AM
:sad:

Lin Lin
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:07 AM
Today,a plane crash killed at least 2 in Japan too:sad:

Williamsser
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:27 AM
That is horrible. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. :sad:

mckyle.
Mar 23rd, 2009, 05:00 AM
That's like half the population of Montana :sad:

charmedRic
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:48 AM
ugh. I'm flying again 3 weekends in a row in April. :-(

mckyle.
Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:51 AM
It seems like a lot of the plane crashes in the news recently have been small planes, so don't fly in those flimsy little things and get on a commercial airliner!

Scotso
Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:47 AM
The amount of crashes recently is freaking scary. Especially for someone who travels a lot.

Indeed. Most of them could probably have been avoided.

This case (and many [most?] others) all share one thing in common... the idiots put more people in the plane than it can handle. I remember it was the same situation when Aaliyah died. :(

CrossCourt~Rally
Mar 24th, 2009, 12:50 AM
3 families among victims of Montana plane crash


BUTTE, Mont. (AP) Three California families headed to a retreat for the ultrarich were among the 14 victims of a plane crash in Montana.

Seven children, all 9 or younger, were among those killed Sunday in Butte as their families were traveling to the Yellowstone Club near Yellowstone National Park for a skiing vacation.

Family members said the victims were Erin and Amy Jacobson of St. Helena, Calif., and their children, 4-year-old Taylor; 3-year-old Ava, and 1-year-old Jude; Michael and Vanessa Pullen of Lodi, Calif., and their children, 9-year-old Sydney and 7-year-old Christopher; Brent and Kristen Ching of Durham, Calif., and their children, 5-year-old Heyley and 4-year-old Caleb; and the pilot, Buddy Summerfield.

Bud Feldkamp, who leased the airplane, says Amy Jacobson and Vanessa Pullen were his daughters, and that Brent Ching was the son of club member Bob Ching.

CrossCourt~Rally
Mar 24th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Montana Crash Probe Looks at Possible Overloading

VIDEO: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123780073094712761.html#articleTabs%3Dvideo


BUTTE, Mont. -- Investigators will examine whether a single-engine turboprop plane was overloaded when it nose-dived into a cemetery and killed 14 people onboard who were heading to a ski trip, a federal official said Monday.

The plane was likely designed to carry a total of 11 people, including two pilots, Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference. Officials said seven adults and seven children were killed in the crash.

"It will take us a while to understand," Mr. Rosenker said. "We have to get the weights of all the passengers, we have to get the weight of the fuel, all of the luggage."

Mr. Rosenker said he didn't know the ages of the children, and it was possible that a very small child would be on the lap of an adult, he said.

"We are going to have to try to understand how and why there were an additional three people [over the assumed configuration] on the aircraft," Mr. Rosenker said. Some luggage was retrievable for weight and measurement analysis, he said.

Also, federal aviation officials said the plane didn't have a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder that investigators use to help determine the cause of an accident, and the craft wasn't certified to carry commercial passengers.

The turboprop plane left Oroville, Calif., headed for Bozeman, Mont., but changed course to Butte, where it crashed on final approach Sunday. The pilot gave no indication to air-traffic controllers that the aircraft was experiencing difficulty when the pilot asked to divert to an airport in Butte, Mr. Rosenker said in an email earlier in the day.

Mr. Rosenker said there was "no indication of any trouble when the diversion was requested" to air-traffic control.

The plane crashed Sunday afternoon just short of the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte. Like thousands of small airports across the country, the Butte airport doesn't have radar control.

It was the worst plane crash in America since a commuter plane last month fell on a house in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., killing all 49 passengers and a man in the home. Before the Buffalo crash there hadn't been an accident involving a commercial airliner in the U.S. in which there were fatalities in more than two years.

Mr. Rosenker confirmed that people aboard the plane were planning to meet others in Bozeman to ski.

A witness said the plane jerked to the left before nose-diving into a cemetery.

Kenny Gulick, 14 years old, told CBS's "The Early Show" on Monday that he thought he was watching a stunt plane because the pilot was making so many turns.

"He jerked the plane to the left too quickly and lost control of it, but that's just my guess," the witness said. "And all of a sudden it went into a nosedive. I noticed the pilot trying to pull up but he was extremely low to the ground and he didn't pull up in time."

Monday, snow fell gently as investigators gathered before dawn at the scene of the crash in Holy Cross Cemetery, 500 feet short of Bert Mooney Airport.

A California newspaper, the Napa Valley Register, reported on its Web site late Sunday that a family of five from St. Helena, Calif., including three preschoolers, was among the victims.

With no radar at the Butte airport, a pilot approaching would normally switch to a radio frequency used by aircraft coming in and out of Butte to find out if there were any other aircraft in the area. Then the pilot would use visual flight rules and follow the procedures for landing at that airport.

The plane was registered to Eagle Cap Leasing Inc. in Enterprise, Ore., said FAA spokesman Mike Fergus. He didn't know who was operating the plane.

Eagle Cap's president is Irving M. Feldkamp of Redlands, Calif., corporate records show. FAA records show that he has been a pilot since 1994 and is certified for instrument flight.

Mr. Feldkamp also is listed as president of Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California. There was no response Monday to phone messages left at the raceway seeking comment. A number in Redlands in Mr. Feldkamp's name was disconnected.

The plane was a Pilatus PC-12. In Switzerland, Markus Kaelin, executive assistant to the chairman of Pilatus Aircraft, said the company had no comment.

Steve Guidoni, of Butte, was driving by with his wife when he saw the crash. "It just went straight into the ground. I went over there to try to help. I thought maybe I would pull someone out of the fire."

Mr. Guidoni said he saw luggage and seat cushions lying around, but no bodies. He said the biggest piece of the plane was the size of a kitchen table. "You wouldn't even know a plane was there," he said.

Nick Dipasquale, 19, was working at a gas station across the street. "I heard a loud bang," he said. "It sounded like someone ran into the building."

The plane took off from Brown Field Municipal airport in San Diego on Saturday evening and flew to Redlands, about 100 miles north, said Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for the city of San Diego.

It then left Sunday morning for Vacaville, Calif., according to Flight Aware, a Web-based service that tracks air traffic. From there it flew to Oroville, Calif., and on to Butte.

Rocketta
Mar 24th, 2009, 12:59 AM
wow, very sad. :awww:

Craig.
Mar 24th, 2009, 01:08 AM
:sad:

Why the fuck is everyone dying all of a sudden? :o

Shuji Shuriken
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:22 AM
:sobbing: What a tragedy :sobbing:

Direwolf
Mar 24th, 2009, 04:33 AM
"The single engine turboprop nose-dived into a cemetery"

now that is scary!!

I think we have like 3-5 plane crash this month
quite high