Skip to comments.Mother Loses Three Children in Fiery Crash in Arizona Mountains
Posted on 11/24/2011 9:26:16 AM PST by rabscuttle385
An Arizona sheriff said he tried today to comfort the mother of a family that perished when a small plane crashed into Superstition Mountain, a crash the sheriff said that no one could have survived.
The twin-engine aircraft, which carried three adults and three children, was en route to Safford, Ariz., when it crashed Wednesday night in the jagged terrain of the Superstition Mountains.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Lord, what a tragedy. No weather, so it was either pilot error, intentional (God forbid) or equipment malfunction (probably not enough left to test). Prayers for this mom who lost all of her babies.
Didn't she also lose a husband or wasn't there a father that lost those three children as well?
Pilot must not have known where he was because he flew into the side of the mountain under control.
Rest in Peace
I know I would not want to live under that condition. Prayers up for her. I don’t think there is any comfort on this world for her but may Gd heal the agony in her.
The divorced father was one of the pilots in the plane and he had just picked up his three children from his ex. What a horrible tragedy.
A video of the crash?? How did that happen?
That poor woman...prayers for her.
Just a guess but I suspect the pilot had never flown with that much weight before and didn’t perform a Weight & Balance sheet to determine his performance figures. The airplane didn’t climb like he expected and had control/stall issues, which is why he didn’t turn away. That type of accident happens a bit more than people know.
I guess if I'd've just clicked on the link I would've learned all that for myself. I just don't like clicking to links like ABCNews, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
The headline sounded weird. I knew there were six people on board but of course they are going to focus on the loss of the children. As if dead adults are no big deal.
Sorry for politicizing this tragedy. Sometimes I say things without thinking.
Prayers for the mother as well as the family members of the other victims.
May this mother be comforted by the Holy Spirit. I cannot even imagine.
The father was the pilot.
According to my weather clock, it’s a new moon. Flying over terrain with few or no lights on the ground, and no moon means it must have been very dark, with few or no visual references to the ground. Under those conditions, it’s almost like not being able to see at all. Pilot may have had no idea what he was flying towards.
I am guessing a pilot, the divorced dad, the three kids and a girlfriend.............
Ahh. That makes sense then. I didn’t see the word surveillance in the article and it just struck me as strange.
The crash sounds very similar to Patsy Cline’s crash years ago..flew directly into the Mountainside, although I think there was some fog/weather involved in that crash.
The superstition mtns range juts out of the ground and go straight up several thousand feet. the whole phoenix metro area is relatively flat and is surrounded by mtns. the plane took of in mesa,AZ and the superstitions are pretty close by, and with no lights from the moon, its not suprising this happend
Wonder if any downdrafts from wind or mountainous turbulence was a factor? Anyway how do you comfort a mother losing all her children? Heartbreaking.
Reba Mcentire lost her band in a nearly identical accident. Controlled flight into rising terrain. Unexcusable nowadays because there are so many cheap aviation GPS’s that alert you to terrain and obstructions.
Very possible if the pilot wasn’t familiar with the area and was trying to do a visual only night flight through that area where the terrain rises quickly. It’s happened before. Our mountains here in Colorado are littered with pilots not from this area bouncing into the mountain sides.
I wasn't going to say anything but that's just not right. It's extremely surprising that it happened because the Superstition front is WELL KNOWN. You damn near have to try to fly into them out of Falcon Field, since there's so much flat, clear space around the airport...except to the East.
Second guessing what happened to this guy is a waste of time. He was a professional pilot working for Ponderosa Aviation and probably had all the ratings you need to stay safe. How he could not have known about the mountains and be flying around in a Twin Commander is beyond me.
So I would have to say maybe something happened to the aircraft: lost an engine and got busy/couldn't climb, lost avionics leading to dark cockpit (witnesses did mention him turning a couple of times), etc.
Is there a name on the family yet? I have an old friend with big family in this area who I haven’t spoken to in years who are associated with both of those towns.
I think it is called CFIT.
I took flying lessons years ago. I decided it wasn't for me because I had the damndest time with weight/load ratios. I never could wrap my math impaired brain around it, and my instructor was adamant that it was the second most important thing you had to master if you were a private pilot.
It is and many pilots don’t do the WB because they did once and know the basic limits so they forget, take a chance, and blow it sometimes. Looking at the video it just didn’t seem like that airplane was climbing much at all.
I know the limits of my airplanes but if I fly with an extra passenger or two or loaded up on fuel on a really hot day I stop and do the WB just to make sure. It is easy to get complacent and many pilot do.
Was the pilot fighting a downdraft (found coming off of mountains) that prevented him from gaining altitude to clear the mountain?
I would assume that most driving happens within five miles of home. Errands, driving kids to school, etc.
Anybody thought of the unthinkable? The possibility this father hated his wife so much, it overrode his love for his children and he crashed the plane on purpose? May not be the case at all, but it came to my mind.
The Aero Commander 690 is a twin engine turboprop corporate plane. Somewhere around 1600hp, 3400 useful load, 31000’ ceiling, 3000fpm initial climb rate and 300mph cruise. The speculation of overloading and downdrafts is silly.
My take off roll was astonishingly long.
I read this morning that several relatives are out of the country at present, so it might take a bit longer for the "notifications".
Off topic, but as a desert dweller and lover of same, the Superstitions are stunningly beautiful to me.
“I figured it doubled your chances of something happening to half...”
Nope. Odds don’t work that way. Still, the idea itself is a good one.
Practically the view from my front yard.
The Superstitions are indeed lovely, but deceptively dangerous. Many a foolish unprepared hiker has has been lost or killed there. If the hot or cold don’t get you, the rattlers, old mines or a precipice might. It is also the alleged location of the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine.
Year before last, we got a hoot out of Goldfield....bought some desert/southwest oriented yard doo-dads at fairly decent prices.
My cousin’s patio looks right out toward the crash site. We were there for Thanksgiving dinner today. Helicopters up and back all day. Staging area must have been near the Goldfield Mining village. Large burn area at the highest peak. Heartbreaking.
I pray for His grace to be upon her in this terrible time of loss.
During June-August it is not uncommon to have a DA of over 10,000 on most days. Even for us used to flying at this altitude it is noticable. On a cool winter’s day we can see a DA of 6,500 and that makes everything seem high performance.