Alaska couple committed suicide by plane, investigators say

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by KaiGywer, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

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  2. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Sad story. Understandable....
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  3. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    The story doesn't really present much supporting evidence. In view of some of the other questionable probable causes from the NTSB in recent yesrs, I wonder whether this might be another case of their latching onto a merely plausible (but unprovable) explanation on the basis of circumstantial evidence, when a more reasonable conclusion would have been "cause of accident unknown".
     
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  4. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    There was plenty of evidence. It just isn't anyone's business to put it into print.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    The pilot was incapable of preparing his own meals, but that didn't effect his ability to fly. Had to be intentional.

    Ridiculous conjecture.
     
  6. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    This is the joke of an NTSB report: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/R...ID=20161216X23127&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA

    I am really starting to dislike the NKOTB at the NTSB office. Their desire to close unclear cases with unknown circumstances and no possible conclusions is so high that they just make up any BS they feel is plausible and present it as facts and evidence. If this MO ever makes it to criminal courts, god help us, we all will end up in jail for no apparent reason.
     
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  7. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    In the AK accident the son knew what to look for and where to look as soon as somebody recognized the plane was gone. Nobody needed the NTSB to determine anything.
     
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In the NTSB report:

    "The wreckage was located on the southwest side of Marvel Dome at an


    elevation about 2,000 feet above ground level (agl)."


    ????


    Still a sad story.
     
  9. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Both ? Or just the pilot? Note?
     
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  10. 1600vw

    1600vw Pattern Altitude

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    Whatever happened...R.I.P.
     
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  11. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    My mom was joking (I hope) that if she or dad ever got really sick they would "fly the Cirrus to Hawaii"
    I could see kicking the AP on, setting it to a gentle climb and heading out to sea and falling asleep once the O2 gets low.
     
  12. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    According to the report I don't see any evidence that he killed himself.

    There's more dignity for the NTSB and all involved in calling it inconclusive than falling to conjecture.
     
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  13. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You'd really wear a seatbelt if you planned to die this way?
     
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  14. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    I'm guessing @Stewartb knows something more, that the NTSB didn't publish, which would make it evident that it was a suicide. Not sure why people don't want to believe it. We are strangely reticent to face suicide in our culture. I have recently become suspicious any time someone dies and people don't want to mention a cause since I've known a number of people who have died this way in the past few years.
     
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  15. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I have no problem accepting it as suicide, but there should be evidence before the NTSB attributes a probable cause, and in recent years there have been a number of conclusions that come across as speculative in the extreme. Based only on what is in their report, this seems like it could be another one, and that's the only reason I posted what I did.

    It does sound, though, as if @Stewartb has some inside knowledge of this case that goes beyond what the NTSB published in their report. I can accept that if it's true.
     
  16. MassPilot

    MassPilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have read about a few incidents of suicide by airplane that were clear cut because the pilot made comments to ATC just prior that made it obvious the crash was intentional. Most of them involved a pilot with a terminal illness. Very sad but I can't blame them for preferring to leave this world flying rather then wasting away in a hospital or hospice.
     
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  17. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    The ME and Troopers concluded it was a suicide. Those conclusions factored into the NTSB's probable cause analysis, just as if the ME had concluded that the pilot died from a heart attack. The ME's conclusion was likely based on evidence that had nothing to do with the condition of the aircraft or the pilot at the crash site, so you wouldn't expect to find it in the NTSB report. But the ME's conclusion is evidence, and it is in the report.
     
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  18. orange

    orange Line Up and Wait

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    "The report notes private pilot Mark Matter was at the controls of his 1949 Piper PA-11 airplane when it crashed on Marvel Dome, 40 miles south of their home in Aniak, not far from its intended destination near the couple's gold mine, on Dec. 15, 2016."

    They had a gold mine?
     
  19. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm willing to give them a pass on this one, as they are citing the medical examiner who determined it was suicide; I don't think they are claiming to have come to an independent conclusion.

    "Following a death investigation, the State Medical Examiner classified the manner of death as a suicide."

    But I agree, I have read some recent reports that seemed to be poorly substantiated.

    EDIT: Lindberg beat me to it.
     
  20. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you actually READ the report.

    It was the State Police and Medical Examiner and not the NTSB that made the actual assessment of suicide. They (the NTSB) just adopted that as the cause being unable to find any evidence to the contrary.

    Like Stewart said, there was likely more evidence that the State Police had access to that was not publicly available.
     
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  21. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    NTSB determination of CFIT + ME determination of suicide = intentional CFIT
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure.... didn't you know that everyone in Alaska has a gold mine..?? Just like everyone in Texas has an oil well...:lol::lol::lol:
     
  23. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why not ?

    There are plenty of small scale individually owned gold mines across AK, many of them seasonal. Most of them small placer mines where you run creek-bed gravel through a wash plant to concentrate the gold.
     
  24. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    That too caught my attention! All my life I've heard of people that had "a gold mine" but never once was is literal.
     
  25. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I would expect to find what led them to state a conclusion on that report, otherwise what's the point of a report. All I saw was blunt force trauma, and based on that most every crash is suicide


    I don't care about a cop shops opinion of evidence, not when it's to do with aviation.

    The NTSB isn't funded to just ask the local cop shop what happened, they can state what the PD tells them, sure, but unless they come to that conclusion based on their own examination of whatever evidence, they need to stick to evidence they have and their own conclusions.

    I didn't see anything on that report that even hinted to evidence, if it's top secret, than maybe they shouldn't even list their findings.
     
  26. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    The family of the couple are friends of friends. The NTSB report states what everyone close to the family already knew, and has known since the day of the crash. Time to move on.
     
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  27. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    James - I'm not sure why you are persisting. It is probably as simple as the police found a suicide note at the couple's house, based on that the ME ruled it as a suicide and the NTSB is in agreement but the note is really not in their purview so they don't mention it. Believe it or not, there might even be a little bit of respect for the family left behind in not shining a megawatt spotlight on a sad story that is a pretty simple cut and dried case.
     
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  28. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There was a CAP dude who crashed his 172 into the building his wife worked at in downtown anchorage a couple years ago.
     
  29. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Why? Does an NTSB report usually include all of the evidence that a pilot had a medical event, or does it just rely on a medical examiner's conclusion? The NTSB doesn't investigate causes of death, it investigates causes of crashes. Here, the NTSB ruled out any mechanical issue or cause, so it's CFIT. Why? Well, the ME determined manner of death was suicide, so....
     
  30. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I persist because if the NTSB isn't just about the facts, 100%, we might as well not have them, infact misinformation is worse than no information, if you're going to report a crash, report it all, that's why the NTSB exists.

    If there was a note list it, if a family member said something quote it.

    The NTSB isnt there to make a family feel better, they are there to state facts, they are funded by us, this type of report delegitimizes the whole board. It sweet y'all are giving them the benifit of the doubt in light of a tragic event, however it's misguided.


    Sure they do, "based on toxicology report the pilot had XYZ in his system, contributing factor to the crash was XYZ use" etc
     
  31. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is absurd. Someone on this board connected to the family tells us that the troopers have it right and you have to go on and on and on and on.
     
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  32. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    What good is an NTSB report, if it doesn't include the actual facts leading to the conclusion? Why not just publish the conclusion and nothing more? "CFIT, intentional suicide", done. Not very useful, but why pretend it's anything more if you don't want the facts to be presented?
     
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  33. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The NTSB does what the law governing their operation requires them to do. They perform safety investigations, not criminal investigations. If you want the facts from the criminal file on this incident, you'll have to get hold of the full report from the alaska troopers. This investigation had two aspects: A death investigation into the death of the pilot and a homicide investigation into the death of his wife. You may be able to get a copy of the homicide side of the investigation by filing a FOIA request with the Alaska DPS. To get a police report on the death investigation you would typically have to be an 'interested person', e.g. the estate administrator or an immediate relative. The NTSB wouldn't publish these things as it isn't their job to release information from someone elses investigation.



    Investigations Involving Criminal Activity
    In cases of suspected criminal activity, other agencies may participate in the investigation. The Safety Board does not investigate criminal activity; in the past, once it has been established that a transportation tragedy is, in fact, a criminal act, the FBI becomes the lead federal investigative body, with the NTSB providing any requested support.

    One example would be the crash of a Pacific Southwest Airlines flight in San Luis Obispo, California on December 7, 1987. All 43 persons aboard died in the crash of the Bae-146. Because of information conveyed over the radio by the flight crew shortly before the crash, the FBI instituted its own investigation, parallel to the Safety Board's investigation, to determine if a crime had been committed. Within days, it was learned that a former employee of the airline had boarded the plane with a gun and, while the plane was in cruise flight, had shot the flight crew, causing the aircraft to crash. When that was made evident, the FBI assumed control of the investigation.

    More recently, on September 11, 2001, the crashes of all four airliners were obviously the result of criminal actions and the Justice Department assumed control of the investigations. The NTSB provided requested technical support.

    As the result of recent legislation, the NTSB will surrender lead status on a transportation accident only if the Attorney General, in consultation with the Chairman of the Safety Board, notifies the Board that circumstances reasonably indicate that the accident may have been caused by an intentional criminal act.
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    You obviously don't live out west. :)
     
  35. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Well if some random username on some internet board said they have proof, who am I to say anything.... Ba ha ha ha ha!

    Heck maybe we could save a couple bucks and just get rid of the NTSB all together, well just take polls on POA and let that stand as the official cause of aircraft crashes.
     
  36. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    ...said some random username on some internet board.
     
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  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Normally we all get chastised around here for conjecture about accidents before the NTSB final is out a year or more later.

    This reverse NTSB not being allowed conjecture thing is kinda refreshing. LOL.

    Something completely new to argue about for no reason. Just like the other thing.
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The report says, "Following a death investigation, the State Medical Examiner classified the manner of death as a suicide." That sentence is a statement of the fact that the medical examiner made that determination. I don't see the logic in demanding that the NTSB ignore that fact in their determination of probable cause. The key word is "probable," and medical examiners presumably have training and expertise relevant to making such determinations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  39. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    That some guys will go on and on about something they clearly know nothing about certainly makes me wonder about their comments on other topics. Well, not really. The FOS guys are easy to spot. But hey, go to the zoo and you can predict that if you watch for long enough the zoo monkeys will fling crap, but some people still watch. This thread has at least one zoo monkey. I don't have much use for monkees.
     
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  40. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The ME's report was noted as blunt force trauma, but there was nothing stating why this wasn't a CFIT, a botched stall practice, or... it said blunt force trauma, which is the cause of death in like most every aircraft crash.




    EXACTLY!!!

    Which is the whole point of the NTSB going through all the facts and coming to a INDEPENDENT conclusion based on said facts, I mean why bother even sending the NTSB, coulda saved some tax payer money if they just copy pasted the ME's report.