On This Day, Someone Famous Died While Flying...

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by lesofprimus, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Celebrities and dignitaries who died in airplane crashes, a dailey runabout... I'll post up the beginning of the month....

    April 1, 1993: Winston Cup champion and NASCAR driver Alan Kulwicki (38) as well as three others were killed when the Hooters corporate Fairchild SA227-TT jet went down near Tri-City Airport at Bristol, Tennessee. Kulwicki had been enroute from a PR appearance in Knoxville to his next race in Bristol. The crash was caused by the pilot's failure to follow appropriate procedures when dealing with icing conditions. Kulwicki had been the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion.

    April 2, 1999: New Zealand boxer Michael Bell (33) died in a helicopter crash near Tuatapere, New Zealand.

    April 3, 1961: Green Cross, a first-division Chilean soccer team, died in the crash of a Douglas DC-3 aircraft in the Las Lastimas Mountains near Llico, Chile. All 24 people aboard the plane were killed.

    April 3, 1994: Walt Disney president Frank Wells (62), documentary filmmaker Beverly Johnson (46), and pilot Dave Walton (46) were killed when their helicopter crashed during a ski trip to the remote Ruby Mountains in Nevada. Another passenger, Paul Scannell, died nine days later from massive head injuries. Johnson's husband and partner Michael Hoover (50) was seriously injured but survived. Approximately 40 people have been killed in heli-skiing accidents since helicopter skiing caught on in 1975.

    April 3, 1996: Commerce Secretary Ron Brown (55) and 32 others died when their Air Force Boeing 737-T43 passenger jet crashed into a hillside during bad weather while trying to land at Dubrovnik, Croatia. The crew had attempted to land using an unapproved approach procedure.

    April 4, 1934: Captain Joaquin Garcia Morato, the best hunting pilot during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), died in a careless airplane accident a few days after finishing the war.

    April 4, 1991: Senator H. John Heinz III (53) of Pennsylvania and six others were killed when a Bell 412 SP helicopter collided with Heinz's Piper Aerostar plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania. All aboard the two aircraft plus two children playing outside the school were killed in the crash. The helicopter had been dispatched to check out a problem Heinz's plane was having with its landing gear. While moving for a closer look, the helicopter's blades hit the bottom of the plane, causing both aircraft to spin out of control and crash.

    April 4, 1998: A single-engine Cessna 172 and a Cessna 525 Citation jet collided over Roswell, Georgia. Five people were killed in the collision, the pilot of the Cessna and a pilot and three passengers of the jet. The Cessna fell on a house but the residents were spared. The jet crashed about a mile away in a rural area. The Cessna 172 was piloted by a man who was inspecting power lines for Georgia Power Company. The Citation jet carried four lawyers from a top Atlanta law firm.

    April 4, 2001: Colonel Ibrahim Shamsul-Din, the deputy defense minister of Sudan, and thirteen other high-ranking officers (a general, seven lieutenant generals, three brigadiers, a lieutenant colonel, a colonel, and a corporal) were killed when their plane crashed on taking off from an airport in the war-torn south. Sixteen people survived the crash, which was caused by bad weather.

    April 5, 1991: While on business for NASA, astronaut Manley Carter Jr. was killed in the crash of an Atlantic Southeast Airlines Embraer EMB-120RT jet near Brunswick, Georgia. Also on board the plane was golfer Davis Love Sr. and John Tower (66), former Senator from Texas and head of the Tower Commission that studied the National Security Council's actions during the Iran-Contra Affair. Tower's daughter, Marian, and his entourage were also killed. 23 people were killed in the crash, which occurred when the plane's left propeller control unit malfunctioned.

    April 6, 1994: A plane carrying Cyprien Ntaryamira and Juvenal Habyarimana, the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda respectively, was shot down as it neared the Rwandan capital of Kigali. This tragedy sparked months of killing as the Hutu and Tutsi tribes tried to kill each other off. Ironically, the presidents were just returning from a conference in Tanzania to discuss ways to dissolve the ethnic rivalries.

    April 7, 1958: Nuclear research scientist Mark Muir Mills (40), deputy director of the Livermore Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, was killed in the crash of an H19 helicopter at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. The helicopter went down in shallow water, turned on its side with the main cabin door under water. Everyone escaped out the windows on the other side but someone opened a 20-man life raft in the main cabin. Mark was trapped inside and drowned. Attempts were made to find him in the dark cabin but no one could with all the different sections of the raft inflated. The helicopter went down in a down draft under full power. No problem was found with the helicopter. Awarded a special Presidential citation for his work, Mills had published two well-known papers, “Physics of Rockets” and “The Safety of Nuclear Reactors.”
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Interesting stuff Dan - I remember the Ron Brown situation. A T-43 (737) making a non approved NDB approach.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yeap I remember that one as well. I remember seeing the crash site later as well.
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Remember when Heinz went in. Happened a couple miles from my office. Helicopter collided with the straightwing Heinze was in. The wreckage from both planes landed all around a public school for little kids. A short time earlier, a ton more kids had been outside. That there were only 2 killed on the ground was a miracle.
     
  5. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    April 9, 1970: United Auto Workers leader Walter Reuther (63), his wife, and four others were killed when their Gates Learjet plane broke through clouds, hit trees, and burst into flames while attempting to land at Pellston, Michigan.
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Always said April was the worst month of the year for catastrophies.:(
     
  7. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    April 11, 1996: Jessica Dubroff, a 7-year-old pilot attempting to set a record for youngest to pilot a plane across the United States, died when her plane stalled (due to too much weight) and crashed shortly after taking off from the Cheyenne, Wyoming airport. Her father and the pilot-in-command were also killed. They had been flying into a thunderstorm at the time of the crash. Earlier in the week, in a London Times interview, she said, “This started off as a father-daughter adventure, and it's gotten wonderfully out of hand...I'm going to fly till I die.”

    April 12, 1944: Polo player and aviator Tommy Hitchcock (44) died as he tested a fully fueled, bomb-laden P-51 fighter plane near Salisbury, England, during World War II. As he took the plane into a nose dive, he couldn't pull it out again and thus crashed. For more than 20 years, Hitchcock maintained polo's top rating of 10 goals. One of the first inductees of the Polo Hall of Fame, he was the Michael Jordan of polo at a time when polo was as popular as football or basketball. At 16, he had won both the U.S. Junior and Senior Polo Championships.

    April 12, 1962: Ron Flockhart, Scottish race car driver, died in a plane crash near Melbourne, Australia, when his borrowed Mustang P-51 propeller-driven aircraft spun out of a cloud into the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. The crash was blamed on Flockhart's lack of experience with instrument flying as well as his little working knowledge of the borrowed plane.

    April 12, 1997: Frank Pocher, CFO of ImmunoGen died in a plane crash.

    April 12, 1998: Balloonist Alex Ritchie (52) died in a skydiving accident.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    That was a debacle of ignorance mixed with stupidity and imbecilism. The media made it up like this kid was the PIC and the FAA was scrambling to regulate who could manipulate the controls of an aircraft.

    Where I used to live in CA we had a 13 year old who was supposed to be the top ace at one of those simulated air-to-air combat schools. Her dad owned the local mortuary and was fairly wealthy. Her dad also paid for her to go over to Russia and fly in a Mig-29 (back seat of course). She was going around to airshows touting herself as being the "Fastest kid alive."

    A friend of mine wrote some pointed comments about this girl right after the Dubroff crash in the local newspaper that got her parents in an uproar as he compared the two and showed the similarities. To defuse the situation my friend got this girl a tour of NASA, the space shuttle, and a ride in an aeroclub C-152 (He was a CFI). It turned out this girl really didn't know how to fly (She didn't understand how to taxi this 152 nor could she keep the aircraft on course and stable while airborne) and her exploits at the air-to-air combat school was accomplished with someone really helping her along....

    This girl ducked out of the lime light for a few years but did manage to get into the USAFA where she graduated this year. She kept her past very quiet while at the USAFA and is now on her way to flight training (good for her). Although her USAFA appointment might have had some help from "daddy" her accomplishments at the academy were finally earned on her own accords.

    Perhaps it was the Dubroff crash that made this girl backpedal; perhaps her parents got the hint after this tragic incident. Bottom line, just because mommy or daddy throws a bunch of money at an activity to elevate their kid, they better understand the limitations and the possible consequences of their actions.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good post Flyboy.
     
  10. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    April 15, 1957: One of Mexico's most popular singers and actors, Pedro Infante, died in a plane crash in Merida Yucatan as he was returning to Mexico City in a carrier plane of a company where he was a stockholder. Since all commercial flights were sold out, he convinced the carrier crew to take him to Mexico City. On take off, one of the two engines on the plane failed, causing the plane to spiral down killing a family on the ground as well as the occupants of the plane.
     
  11. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    April 16, 1978: On his way home from scouting movie locations up north, movie stunt pilot Frank Tallman III died when his Piper Aztec crashed near the top of Trabuco Canyon in a violent rainstorm in the Santa Ana Mountains. He had been en route from Santa Monica, California to Phoenix, Arizona at the time of the crash.

    April 16, 2000: The flying missionary, Bishop Thomas Lobsinger (72) of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, was killed as he flew his Cessna 172 to Dawson City to celebrate Mass. The cause of the accident was not determined.

    April 18, 1943: Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the navy's commander-in-chief and architect of the invasion of Pearl Harbor, was killed when his Mitsubishi G4M1 was shot down by US Air Force P-38s over Bougainville in the Pacific Ocean. The plane landed in a flaming wreck after being hit by machine-gun fire and crashing through jungle trees.

    April 18, 1996: Nebraska backup quarterback Brook Berringer (22) and a friend were killed when his small plane crashed into an alfalfa field near Raymond, Nebraska. Berringer helped Nebraska win the 1994 and 1995 national titles and had expected to be selected in the NFL draft (which was to occur two days later). During 1994, he replaced injured starter Tommie Frazier for most of the regular season.

    April 19, 1993: South Dakota Governor George Mickelson (52) and seven others were killed when the propeller hub of their Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 private plane fractured resulting in the loss of a propeller blade and damage to the engine, wing, and fuselage. Unable to maintain altitude, the pilot attempted to land but crashed into a silo near Zwingle, Iowa.

    April 20, 1949: U.S. representative Robert Coffey (31) of Pennsylvania was killed in the crash of a private plane near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    April 21, 1918: The WWI flying ace Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen, was killed in action during World War I. His Fokker Triplane was said to be shot down by Roy Brown of Canada near Morlancourt Ridge. In actuality, he was shot from the ground by an Australian trooper. The Red Baron had been responsible for 80 kills (destruction of enemy airplanes) in less than two years.

    April 21, 1951: Hockey player Bill Barilko of the Toronto Maple Leafs was killed in a plane crash during a fishing trip shortly after scoring the winning goal for the Stanley Cup. His body was not found until 11 years later in 1962. The Tragically Hip wrote a song, “50 Mission Cup,” about the incident.
     
  12. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    April 28, 1968: Six members of the Lamar Tech track team, died in a plane crash near Beaumont, Texas.

    April 28, 1993: The entire Zambian national soccer team, officials, a journalist, and the plane's crew died when their Zambian Air Force plane crashed off the coast of Libreville, Gabon.

    April 28, 2002: Alexander Lebed (52), a Russian general who played a key role in foiling the 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev and ran for president against Boris Yeltsin five years later, died when his helicopter hit a high-voltage line and crashed in light fog. Seven of the 19 people aboard the helicopter died in the crash; the rest suffered broken spines, bones, or ruptured organs.

    April 29, 1959: Joaquin Blume, Spain's European gymnastics champion, died in a plane crash near Madrid, Spain.

    May 1, 1928: U.S. representative Thaddeus Sweet of New York was killed in a private plane crash near Whitney Point, New York.

    May 4, 1949: 18 members of the Torino soccer team, 6 trainers, 3 journalists, and 3 crew members were killed when their Avio Linee Italiane Fiat G212CP plane hit a wall surrounding the sanctuary of Superga's Basilica and crashed into a mountain near Turin, Italy. The team had been returning from a game in Lisbona when the visibility was reduced because of heavy thunderstorms. Considered one of the strongest soccer teams in the world, the Torino F.C. team had won the Italian championships in 1946, 1947, and 1948.

    May 11, 1996: San Diego Chargers running back Rodney Culver and his wife Jane and singer-songwriter Walter Hyatt (46) were killed in the crash of a ValuJet DC-9 in the Florida Everglades. All 110 people on board were killed in the crash caused by a fire generated from oxygen generators lacking safety caps, which were being illegally transported aboard the plane. The pilot, Captain Candi Kubek, was the first woman commercial jetliner captain to die in a U.S. plane crash.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I was working for a "heavy iron" repair station at this time. My boss was supposed to meet with the CEO of Value Jet to discuss a contract for us to do their B and C checks - that meeting never happened.

    Because of it's logo, Value Jet's call sign was "Critter."

    A sick joke - after the crash they were known as "Crispy Critter."
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I missed this one...

    During this time I worked for a company called Aviation Warehouse, part time while going to A&P school. We did aircraft salvage. I helped retrieve his wreckage.
     
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