Mid air in Alaska

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by ScottM, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Two planes collide midair, killing 5


    Monday, April 24, 2006; Posted: 9:28 a.m. EDT (13:28 GMT)

    [​IMG]
    Investigators inspect the wing of one of the planes involved in a midair collision in Wasilla, Alaska, Sunday.​




    WASILLA, Alaska (AP) -- Two small planes collided midair Sunday about 20 miles north of Anchorage, killing all five people aboard, officials said.
    A man and his three children in a Cessna 170B and the pilot of a Cessna 172 were killed in the wreck just after noon, according to National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson. Both were single-engine fixed wing aircraft manufactured in 1955, state troopers said.
    The planes were flying at altitudes between 500 and 800 feet when they collided above the Palmer Hay Flats in a remote area about 10 miles south of Wasilla.
    "It appears that the westbound aircraft apparently saw the other aircraft at the last moment, tried to avoid the collision, but unfortunately that didn't work," said Johnson, who did not identify which plane that was.
    Don Grant, who lives near the crash site, said he was outside when he heard a thud. He looked up to see the planes come plummeting down.
    "I only recall hearing one sound when they hit the ground, so I'm pretty sure they hit at the same time," he said.
    Killed were David Beauregard, 45, of Wasilla, and his three children: Ryan, 16, Conner, 13, and Remi, 9, troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said. The second pilot, William Smoke, 55, of Chugiak, was also killed, he said.
    Rescuers found the planes about 500 feet from each other. Getting to the crash required using all-terrain vehicles, said fire chief Jack Krill.
    Johnson said arrangements were being made to retrieve the wreckage and continue an investigation into what caused the crash.
    Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
     
  2. JasonCT

    JasonCT Pattern Altitude

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    Prayers for their families!

    ~Jay
     
  3. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    Absolutely unbelievable.

    Pilots in collision were accomplished aviators
    One flew for airline, other for federal government


    By JOSEPH DITZLER and ANNE AURAND
    Anchorage Daily News

    (Published: April 24, 2006)
    WASILLA -- The two pilots involved in a midair collision Sunday of two small planes that killed all aboard, including three children, were accomplished aviators, according to their friends, employers and public records.

    David Beauregard, 45, of Wasilla captained 737-400s for Alaska Airlines, said airline spokeswoman Amanda Tobin of Seattle. Beauregard, who flew for the Army and then the Coast Guard before taking early retirement in 1996, worked for Alaska Airlines for 10 years, according to Tobin and others who knew him.
    He held ratings for all manner of aircraft, including gliders, helicopters and single- and multiengine fixed-wing aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration online registry. He was also an instructor.
    William Smoke, 55, was chief pilot for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a flight instructor and a commercial pilot, according to records and those who knew him.
    "So between the two of them, both these guys had thousands and thousands of hours," said Clint Johnson, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator.
    Smoke's 1955 Cessna 172 and Beauregard's 1955 Cessna 170B collided at noon over the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge a mile south of Hayfield Road in Wasilla, according to Alaska State Troopers.
    Beauregard's widow, Diane, was en route home Monday from a trip Outside, said a family friend. Three of the couple's children perished with their father in the crash -- sons Ryan, 16, and Conner, 13, and daughter Remi, 9. The couple has two older surviving sons.
    A former Army and Coast Guard colleague described Beauregard as the consummate aviator, a dedicated family man and a likable guy.
    "I think we all strive to be someone like Dave," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Bob Philips of Kodiak. "I never heard him say a harsh word or terse word about anybody."
    Smoke, an experienced pilot and longtime Alaskan, leaves behind a wife and four children.
    Janis Smoke, his wife of 20 years, said through her tears that her husband was "first and foremost a family man." He also loved his job and loved piloting.
    "He loved the whole Alaska lifestyle thing," she said. "We've got one of every toy in our yard."
    He is survived by his four children: Alex, 16, and Lindy, 18, both Alaska residents, and Michael and Becky, ages 25 and 27.
    Smoke was the regional aviation manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He had been a pilot with the service for 13 years but moved to Chugiak three years ago for the Anchorage job.
    Originally from Arlington, Wash., he had also lived and flown planes in Juneau, King Salmon and Tok.
    He was out doing a test flight, flying for fun, when the crash occurred, Janis Smoke said.
    Both pilots were members of the Birchwood squadron of the Alaska Civil Air Patrol, said Civil Air Patrol spokesman Mike Dryden.
    "Normally we're on the other end of the search. For two squadron members to be out flying (on a nonmission) and have a midair collision, the odds are astronomical," he said Monday.
    Beauregard was active in the tightknit group, especially in the glider program, which teaches young aviators, Dryden said.
    Smoke's membership lapsed in January, Dryden said.
    He said the two men undoubtedly knew one another.
     
  4. tdager

    tdager En-Route

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    How...that is all I can say. Hell Alaska is HUGE, they area is remote...was it near an airport?

    Wow...just wow.
     
  5. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    Well, maybe to a newspaper reporter that area was remote. But it was more like rural...Wisconsin (to use an example) than remote Alaska.

    The area south of Palmer/Wasilla is a bottleneck for small planes coming and going to the parts of the state north and northeast of Anchorage. Several GA airports are in the general area too. I was test flying a plane in that exact area a couple months ago and I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, saw and avoided several other light planes. And that was during a cold snap in the middle of winter.

    (Google Earth people can click on the placemark attached, make sure you have your airports layer selected - see what I mean?!?)

    I will be flying right through there going back and forth to Anchorage when I get my plane up here. Pulse lights, wingtip strobes, and a head on a swivel are all in the works (wish I could afford some sort of collision avoidance, maybe once Capstone is expanded state-wide...)
     

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  6. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    It's the kind of area where you can look down out the window and see many tiny private airstrips (each with a cabin or a house) scattered all over the landscape.

    --Kath
     
  7. glpilot

    glpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Prayers for these families.

    TCAS stock just went up :dunno: