Skip to comments.Tesla: 3 employees killed in Calif plane crash
Posted on 02/17/2010 12:52:50 PM PST by SmithL
EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) -- The three people killed on board a small plane that went down in a Northern California neighborhood were all employees of Tesla Motors Inc.
The twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed in a residential area of East Palo Alto on Wednesday morning after hitting some power lines. It had just taken off from Palo Alto Airport in heavy fog.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
I know, inappropriate.
Tesla motors is in deep trouble with their planned production. Losing some top execs certainly won’t help. RIP
Sounds like a VFR pilot operating in IFR conditions. That’s never a good idea.
It was a twin too, though an old one. Will be interesting to hear about the cause. Sad story, RIP.
Tesla tragedy ping
They found a mode of transport even less safe than those tiny foot-tall (3’ 8”) cars (which are very cool looking but not much safer than a motorcycle, I’d imagine).
I wonder if there'll be anything left of the crash to investigate. What's the salvage price of aluminum theses days?
More telling is the report of heavy fog. I'm surprised they aircraft was cleared for takeoff under those conditions. As a VFR pilot, I recall the minimum acceptable being around 3,000 ft AGL. "Scud running" i.e. dodging clouds was considered poor practice. The FAA regularly sent a newsletter detailing accidents and their causes.
I thought global warming had reduced the fog in California.
That is a bit strong for a slightly offensive comment.
It could have been a rented plane. Not uncommon in California.
I have a long time friend who has a pilot’s license, and he rents planes. He doesn’t ever expect to have the funds to own his own aircraft.
If you aren’t instrument rated and don’t know the area you are most likely going to die getting out of Paly airport on a foggy morn. Today was pea soup thick
In fog, and a multi-engine plane? Not likely.
Assuming that the registered owner was operating the plane, Douglas Bourn has a commerical pilot certificate, with single-engine airplane, multi-engine airplane, instrument airplane, and rotorcraft ratings. He also has flight instructor certificates for single and multi-engine airplane, as well as advanced ground instruction.
It's more likely that he had some sort of problem, like an engine failure. Single-engine rate of climb in that plane is only 370 feet per minute, and any obstructions near the runway would be difficult to clear.
Cause will be pilot error (aka stupidity)
The minimums for takeoff are much lower than for landing. Basically all you have to do is track straight and liftoff. They probably would have been out of the fog very quickly after take-off. I suspect maybe one engine went out, or the pilot got disoriented.
I have an IFR rating. Even after all that training I still didn’t want to do actual IFR by myself. With foggles or a hood you can always cheat a little, you can’t when its the real thing. None of my training took me into actual IFR.
No no no. The increased ownership of the Pious has greatly increased the levels of smug.
He hit the power lines coming out of Paly. They are well known to locals but if you don’t spend much time out by the Bay and the dump you won’t know they are there. Not the first time some yahoo has flown into them won’t be the last
Unfortunate. It would be nice to see the Tesla cars become mainstream and more affordable.
Twin engine Cessna 310
But it should give FReepers an idea, at least.
I think the pilot knew they were there. He just wasn't able to clear them.
I found the location of the crash from another article and pulled it up on Google Maps. It's about 2000 feet southwest of the runway centerline.
Either he took off to the northwest and was trying circle back around to land, or he took off to the southeast and was turning the base leg to land.
The NTSB will be able to tell if both engines were generating thrust at the time of impact. I suspect they will discover that one engine had failed. But, maybe not: an experienced pilot wouldn't have been turning if he lost an engine -- it reduces your climb rate even further.
Perhaps he had an instrument failure (i.e. the directional gyro or artificial horizon) and didn't realize it was giving him inaccurate information until it was too late.
A buddy of mine just got laid off from Tesla after they got a $$$ infusion from the “Stimulus Package”.
Guess he didn’t donate any $$$ to Pelosi.
BTW, you can see the power lines (and the shadows cast by the tower) if you zoom in far enough.
“I know, inappropriate.”
Well, yeah, but impractical, too....where do you get a mid air recharge?
Yeah, they probably won't be ID'ing them from their wallets either....Excellent point. And you know they have credit cards too...It'll be party time in East Palo Alto tonight.
To simply take off the pilot had to be on an IFR flight plan. From the time the throttles were advanced to impact there could have been any number,or combination of problems, that caused the crash. All I can say is doing a zero-zero take off is always a bit un-nerving.
The few hours I had in a 310 were with a friend who used to fly medical supplies from Pa to several places in the mid-west. One night, at around 3am, we were given clearnce to decend. A quick glance at the instruments told us something was very wrong. Turned out that the ATC guy was in training and he had confused us with another plane. We maintained altitude and soon another, qualified, person come on and actually appologized.
Insurance fraud. They insured their top employees and eliminated them when they figured out the global warming scam./s
Hey, if we can refuel mid air, why not recharge! Giant flying batteries!
A buddy of mine just got laid off from Tesla after they got a $$$ infusion from the Stimulus Package.Or they decided to buy a plane instead.
Guess he didnt donate any $$$ to Pelosi.
Well, yeah, but impractical, too....where do you get a mid air recharge?
“Hey, if we can refuel mid air, why not recharge! Giant flying batteries!”
True...if you can overlook the irony of them crashing into power lines, this really is pretty awful. RIP. Hope they went quickly.
Could I get a link to that from reliable source? Thanks
I owned a C 310Q for many years.
Without looking in my log books, I suppose I had around 4,000 hours in it.
A 310 is a fantastic airplane, but like all airplanes there are things to be considered.
First, I have made many many takeoffs in what could best be described as zero zero conditions and if the aircraft had good instrumentation an experienced 310 pilot would have no problems.
I googled the airport. It has a tower, so no takeoff would be allowed unless it was an IFR takeoff. Not if it was really a fog.
However, although I operated off several strips shorter than 2,400 ft., I considered that to be as short as I considered comfortable.
I did operate a few times from a 2,000 ft. strip, light and that is really too short.
So what I would suspect.
Two passengers. A full fuel load? How much baggage? How big were the passengers?
I quit 10 years ago, so I don’t remember all of the numbers and my weight and balance calculator is in a different computer, but generally speaking 140 gallons plus three 170 lbs passengers plus 150 lbs or so of luggage would put them at or near gross.
With 2,400 ft. of runway and power lines, he would probably lift off and immediately rotate to a steep angle of climb. Not max rate, but probably at 120 knots.
If he lost an engine at 120K with that load, not yet on top of the fog, he would have to do everything exactly right the first time to keep from losing it.
Again, it has been 10 years and the numbers are hazy but as I recall he has to nail everything, clean up gear, feather the bad engine and do it all before speed sinks to 106K.
106K is not VMC, but below 106K you don’t climb, you just mush along.
That is, if my memory is correct.
I flew a Meyers 20D, a fast mother if you know them. I had 3 key employees on board and took off from Chasey NY on a full IFR flight plan. Made 3 approaches to my small private airport, missed all three IFR VOR. Called ABE approach and was cleared for the approach. Lots of icing on the approach and went around. I made the second by the skin of my butt.
The three plus me were the entire management chain of the company. I had a 5th passenger who I later found out was God. The three employees had no idea of the danger I put them in. To this day they still don’t. Put my plane on the market and never did fly again. God recommended that. I understand the guy who took off. “Gotta get there disease” Death is the only sure cure/So sorry for the families.
Wyatt Earp writes with news that a recent SEC filing from Tesla Motors revealed the company plans to stop production on its electric Roadster (and the Roadster Sport as well) in 2011. This will leave the automaker without any cars to sell until the launch of its Model S sedan (financed in part by $465 million in DoE loans) in 2012. Tesla plans to resume production of Roadster models “at least a year” after the Model S arrives. From Wired’s Autopia blog:
“’As a result, we anticipate that we may generate limited, if any, revenue from selling electric vehicles after 2011 until the launch of the planned model S,’ the company says in the SEC filing. That may not be a problem if S production starts on plan and goes off without a hitch, but if Tesla hits any snags, things could get ugly fast a point it concedes in the filing.
Why are three missed approaches a reason to tell war stories?
As for the ice, I know what a M 200D is. I have not seen one with deicing equipment.
You made the comment: Tesla motors is in deep trouble.
Lets see it. That should be pretty easy for you.
He referenced an SEC filing. Look it up for yourself.
Uh huh....Ya ought to watch what comments ya make...Somebody might just ask you to back it up. Like in this case.
I gave you 2 references. They both say the same thing. The article references an SEC filing. That’s good enough for me but apparently jackasses want it handed to them on a silver platter. Like I said, get off your ass and do your own research.
LOL....You can always tell when ya got someone backed into a corner.
I'm glad you pointed that out because I was going to say that the landing gear on that craft wouldn't hold up a cream puff let alone a twin engine airplane. In fact my first thought was, "That has to be a RC model!".
According to Silicon Alley Insider, the aircraft was owned by one of the company’s engineers. Both the CEO and CTO of Tesla are confirmed to be safe.
Doesn’t look like insurance fraud.