Officials release Beechcraft aircraft crash report|
8/2/2004 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- An accident investigation board report released July 30 indicates “sudden cardiac death” caused an Air Force Beechcraft KA 1900 pilot to crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range on March 16, killing all five people aboard.
The crash happened in an unpopulated area as the aircraft was taking contract employees from the range, located approximately 125 miles northwest of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to the Tonopah Test Range airstrip. The range workers were supporting F/A-22 Raptor testing on the range. Air transportation is the only efficient way to move range workers from point to point on this range.
Killed were David D. Palay Sr., civilian pilot and U.S. Air Force employee, and passengers Derrick L. Butler, Michael A. Izold, Daniel M. Smalley and Roy A. Van Voorhis.
The mission of the aircraft and pilot, supporting the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., included moving people and equipment between test sites and test ranges, emergency medical evacuation and aerial observation flights. Center workers conduct and support research, development, test and evaluation of both manned and unmanned aerospace systems.
According to the Air Force Materiel Command Accident Investigation Board report, the pilot became incapacitated during his approach to land.
Additionally, the report indicated the pilot, violating federal policy and directives, willfully deceived flight medical examiners, suppressed significant medical information and ingested inappropriate medications for a deteriorating and dangerous health condition. The pilot had high blood pressure and failed to report it, and denied taking medications to his Federal Aviation Administration flight physical examiners. An autopsy indicated that he suffered sudden cardiac death before impact.
Investigation officials discovered he had 90 to 95 percent obstruction and marked fibrosis of the myocardium, and the autopsy revealed no traumatic injury to his body caused by the impact. These findings are consistent with sudden cardiac death before impact, according to medical experts.
The value of aircraft and equipment lost totaled about $2 million. There were no other damages. (Courtesy of AFMC News Service)