Skip to comments.Virginia Plane Crash: 'Air Force General' Dies
Posted on 04/20/2013 10:19:11 AM PDT by Fennie
A pilot who died when his light aircraft crashed just a few metres away from a house was reportedly a US Air Force general.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.sky.com ...
I’m guessing he wasn’t gay....
With Stalin, it was a one-way ticket to the Lubyanka....guess we’re a little more creative.
AMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - A single-engine Cessna plane crashed in the Williamsburg Landing subdivision in James City County, killing two people Friday afternoon.
Assistant Fire Chief Bob Ryalls said the plane went down on Boatright Court near the Williamsburg/Jamestown Airport shortly before 5 p.m. There was no fire when it crashed.
State Police have confirmed the pilot, 54-year-old Joseph D. Brown, IV and a female passenger were killed, as was a family pet.
Well, one thing seems for sure. He was out of fuel.
Stall/spin during approach to landing it appears.
He was a classmate (Brother Rat) of mine a VMI.
Condolences to Genl. Brown’s family.
(BTW, Are we once again getting news from the Brits?)
God save the Queen!
Was he an Air Force General or did he just pretend to be one?
former BUFF and B1 Commander...RIP General and Mrs. Brown....from a former ‘blue suiter”
My guess also.
Probably out of fuel and the old story of trying to stretch his glide.
But you would expect anyone with his hours and intensive training to have kept a cool head.
On the other hand, I suspect that the military does not spend any time teaching fighter jocks the basics of dead stick landing.
More like blow and go.
Probably his title is in quotes because when the story was written there’d been no confirmation of his ID. The military does try to notify family before publicizing the death, although it seems Mrs. Brown was the other passenger. There may also be older children the USAF would have preferred to notify.
I’m betting the owners of that house are feeling pretty fortunate right now.
What class? I was there for one year in ‘70-71 - I can’t recall all my classmates by name, but his is not familiar.
The 210 has very long wings. The fuel is in the wings. It is essential that the plane be level when fueling or you can end up short a few gallons. I never planned the last 5 gallons!
The general logged a lot of hours on big aircraft, so he was not inexperienced.
Is it possible he could have been that negligent about his fuel, especially with the wife aboard?
Who worked on that plane last?
Seven Days in May????
He graduated with me in 1980.
I doubt that he ran out of fuel. The article says he was landing at the airport in Williamsburg. Even experienced pilots can be distracted in the traffic pattern, get too slow, stall and spin without sufficient altitude to recover.
Gotcha. I always ask questions that I hope others can answer...
We are overlooking something very important.
Yesterday was a very interesting weather day.
To think about this rationally, we need to know what the weather was in that immediate area at that time.
We also need to know where the flight originated. That would give a hint as to how much weather deviation was involved, winds aloft along the route, whether the route was a fuel stretch, etc.
I suspect more aircraft run out of fuel on a three mile final than anywhere else.
Wonder what orders he was less than enthusiastic about? Gay indoctrination? Firing on American citizens? Taking orders from the U.N.? For starters...
Stall/spin is what makes airplanes fall out of the sky. That Cessna was not flying when it crashed. It was plummeting.
Alternatively, he may have run low on "essence".
B-1 and B-52 pilot.
Thinking that little Cessna has a pretty good glide ratio.
Why assume he ran out of fuel. isn't it as likely, if not more so, that he suffered a heart attack, spasm at the controls, at the plane went in..an autopsy will tell.
One of the most common mistakes made when power is lost is to try to stretch the glide.
Trying to make a field just a little bit past that tree line or village or whatever.
That always ends in a stall spin close to the ground.
One must maintain the proper speed and take whatever comes because a crash under control beats a loss of control crash every time.
We don’t know what happened. The check I just made on the weather conditions at 5:00PM yesterday showed winds gusting to 35. It could have been something as simple as loss of control in turbulence.
That was exactly my guess, about 5 seconds before reading your post.
I think he had a medical emergency.
Also a non-pilot.
I expect every airplane that I'm flying will try to kill me at some point. The plane may be forgiving, but the hard earth is unyielding.
Medical incapacitation of pilots is pretty rare. Much more common is fuel exhaustion. Perhaps he did run out of fuel, tried to stretch the glide, then stalled and spun it. That photo shows an aircraft that was out of control when it crashed. Fuel exhaustion does not render an aircraft out of control.
No aircraft is forgiving in 35 MPH winds.
The weather I read was in MPH, not knots.
Never flew a 210, but I suspect that is is not a great ride close to the ground in that kind of wind combined with frontal passage or a squall line.
I don’t fly any more. Too old and can’t pass a medical and so longer watch aviation weather, but I do watch commercial weather closely.
My F350 has the Ford nav system on it and one of the nice features is the radar display.
I checked it at about that time and it showed a squall line out ahead of the front along the east coast. I would say very close to the Richmond / Williamsburg area.
Thanks for the information..One more question...lets assume that he ran out of gas, and tried to stretch the glide..could the loss of control at the last minute be due to a sudden attempt to avoid crashing into a house..IOW, he thought he could make a dead-stick landing..which as I understand it, the pilot is mentally doing the calculations..air-speed, rate of descent...to see if he can make it to whatever possible landing area he’s picked out..at the last second, he realizes he’s misjudged it..there’s a house directly ahead, so he attempts to evade..to avoid killing anyone inside the house and also because he has a much better chance to survive an impact with a grass lawn than with a brick house..
“Dead stick” is not possible. Flame out and you have no hydraulics and you are toast. If you have altitude and time and the engines are windmilling, then you can attempt a re-start.
So, NO, you don’t get dead stick training because you CAN’T dead stick the jet. Same with other jets.
Was in the Omaha World Hearld newspaper this morning. Family lived in Nebraska. Must have had ties to Offutt AFB.
Or had a white stripe around his head.
Or bird strike.
I flew a light plane until I read that doing so eventually ends in death by crash for one in 250. (or something like that)
Then I thought of the life insurance forms where they ALWAYS inquire: “Do you pilot your own airplane?”
Sorry for your loss. I know how strong the bonds can be sometimes for a fellow Rat.
[I didn’t notice his age before I posted, but once I did I realized you and he were after my time.]
*****So, NO, you dont get dead stick training because you CANT dead stick the jet. Same with other jets.*****
I met a former F-104 pilot who assured me that he personally knew a fellow pilot who dead sticked a starfighter.
I can only imagine the pilot dove at 60 degrees or so, building up max IAS, and then managed to flair out at the last second.
I was always told that they glide like a brick...
No one was flying that airplane when it crashed. It was out of control.
Controlled flight into the woods, even after loss of engine power, would have destroyed the airplane while likely leaving passengers unharmed. That happens all the time.
The worse thing a pilot can do is to try to save the airplane. That's when they try to stretch the glide or do something else that's not possible.
That airplane stopped flying somewhere way up in the air and not just before crashing.
There is some crucial information that we just don't have. None of the news reports say whether the flight originated at Williamsburg or whether that was the destination. Makes guessing about fuel exhaustion vs. mechanical problems difficult to assess. Engine failure immediately after takeoff vs. after a 5 hour flight suggests different potential causes. There is nothing in any of the articles that says anything about fuel exhaustion. Even in the presence of fuel post-crash fires are not inevitable. It will be months before the NTSB releases a final report. When preliminary information becomes available look for comments about the presence or absence of fuel smell, amount of fuel drained from tanks, etc.