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Published: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 10:50 p.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 10:50 p.m. MDT

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

"The airplane made a left turn following the highway, and suddenly rolled inverted and impacted the canyon wall," the report states. "The motorist said the conditions in the canyon were very windy."

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...and Cruising altitude should have been almost 8,000 ABOVE the canyon.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Wrong interpretation of "visual meteorological conditions prevailed."

"Visual flight rules (VFR) are a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. Specifically, the weather must be better than basic VFR weather minima, i.e. in visual meteorological conditions (VMC), as specified in the rules of the relevant aviation authority. The pilot must be able to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground, and by visually avoiding obstructions and other aircraft.
If the weather is below VMC, pilots are required to use instrument flight rules, and operation of the aircraft will primarily be through referencing the instruments rather than visual reference."

Although high temperatures and wind may have been factors, a crash in VFR conditions usually indicate that pilot error was the major factor.

K
Mchenry, IL

Why do people need to fly to a sports game? Don't you need to then drive to the event from the airport? Didn't they have to travel by car to get to the airport they took off from?

davidroy
Flagstaff, AZ

There are no specifics on altitude but it sounds like the pilot was flying through the gorge at the time of the accident. That is dicey at best but with high winds and updrafts and a relatively inexperienced pilot, it's an accident waiting to happen.

environmental idiot
Sanpete, UT

The investigation shows they were flying within the rules of the FAA that day and it appears that a gust of wind that was not expected took the craft down. It was a terrible tragedy for the family and I find it very demeaning and disrespective when people with no knowledge of what they are taking about try to pin blame on these boys.

Ethel
Home Town USA, UT

What does weather have to do if a plane/pilot is flying too low? And inverted? A human error factor. Reports from eye witnesses allege that the small aircraft was much lower than safe altitude just before impact My heart just sinks to know these young men are gone. The loss is doubled for their parents, family and friends. Maybe that is a comfort to them to still be together.

one old man
Ogden, UT

This is the kind of reporting that drives pilots to want to rip the wires out of some reporter's computer.

If there were no mechanical problems with the aircraft, there was no reason for it to have been flying so low. To this old pilot, it sounds simply as if a youngster gave in to temptation and tried to pretend that he was flying an F-16 on a low level training exercise.

That, coupled with treacherous winds resulting from the canyon's topography, and from the lack of available lift and engine power caused by something called Density Altitude on a very hot day -- thin air, in other words, that robs an aircraft of much of its performance parameters.

An immature, low-time, inexperienced pilot trying to give his little brother a thrill. Perhaps we need to adopt the same kinds of rules for young pilots that we now have for youthful automobile drivers --- no passengers your own age until you have more time at the controls.

This was a tragedy and my sympathies are with their family and friends. But that won't change the circumstances of the crash. I hope future young pilots might learn from it.

camman
Pleasant Grove, UT

Author misunderstood report. Visual Meteorological Conditions means that the weather is generally good. Very sad story however weather was not a factor. Poor decision making and Very, Very dangerously low flying through the canyon is the primary cause of this very sad accident.

sammyg
Springville, UT

Environmental Idiot

The pilot had just got his private flying license in May. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) were in effect. No mechanical problems were noted in the investigation.

Had the pilot just flown to his destination, avoiding the risks of low altitude flight in the canyon and the KNOWN turbulence that often comes from flying in such an environment, I beg to say they would have made their destination.

Call it what you want but this was an unfortunate accident and probably could have been avoided.

Chalk it up to youthful inexperience. The inability to understand and avoid unnecessary risks.

Nothing demeaning or disrespectful. These kids were on an expensive joy ride, kind of like giving the keys to your nice car to your teenager on homecoming or prom. Lots of accidents happen on those nights.

I had a kid slam his dad's nice Monterro straight into the back of my parked Suburban. He simply was overjoyed with his new found freedom and could not negotiate a left turn on to my street in broad daylight, went wide, too fast and bam it was totaled.

At a higher altitude they might have avoided this and lived.

Mrs TAP
Bountiful, UT

Sounds like they were flying FTH (following the highway) because of the limited vision.

Hank Jr
Draper, UT

I'm saddened by this incident, but I also believe they were too young to be piloting aircraft.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Hank, there are hundreds of us who obtained our licenses at age 17. We soloed at 16, went through vigorous ground schools, passed a four-hour FAA written test, and met all the qualifications necessary to become pilots. A young person may solo a glider at age 14 and become a licensed glider pilot at 15.

I firmly believe that it's a tragedy that flying has become so prohibitively expensive that few young folks today have the chance to enter into an activity that will help them become more responsible citizens.

Because that's one of the things learning to fly will do for a teenager. It's an accomplishment to be proud of. But it also, unfortunately, does not completely immunize them against immaturity and occasional lapses in judgement. Then again, I know many people much older who could use a little booster shot now and then. (Including me.)

The final NTSB accident report will almost certainly state that "Pilot Error" was the primary cause of this crash.

Mrs. TAP, the weather that day had unlimited visibility.

Winds in a canyon like that are not part of the overall weather picture. Winds in a narrow canyon with steep gradient are always severe.

airnaut
Everett, 00

environmental idiot
Sanpete, UT
The investigation shows they were flying within the rules of the FAA that day and it appears that a gust of wind that was not expected took the craft down. It was a terrible tragedy for the family and I find it very demeaning and disrespective when people with no knowledge of what they are taking about try to pin blame on these boys.

10:23 a.m. Aug. 10, 2014

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If you want to think that a Pilot of 42 years, USAF veteran, Airframe and Power Plant mechanic of 40 years, retired Boeing engineer and Hill AFB Engineer has no knowledge of what I am talking about...over a 19 year old with a license of barely 3 months -- then that is your poragative.

Tradgic accident,
but that is what flight training is suppose to teach you -- SAFETY.

FYI --
If you flew a plane intentionally into the ground or twin towers,
you could still be technically "flying within the rules of the FAA that day".

Sad case of pilot error.

I'll continue to pray for their friends and family...

K
Mchenry, IL

19 is too young, outside of the military, to fly. Yes a car can cause a fatality, the fatality of passengers and those outside the vehicle. A small plane can cause far greater damage to more people and property than a car. 19 is too young. And more of a headache to clean up after an accident. Doesn't really matter whose fault it is at this point.

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