N27RA crash

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posted on May, 30 2013 @ 03:08 AM
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Alright amateur, and not so amateur investigators I have a little challenge for everyone. I have been contacted recently by a source asking some questions about the crash of N27RA in March of 2004. Apparently there is some question as to the actual cause of the accident, and they were curious what I could find out.

According to the official report, on March 16, 2004, Beechcraft N27RA departed McCarren International with 19 passengers on board. They made the first stop, where 15 passengers deplaned. The aircraft with 4 passengers and pilot remaining onboard departed at 0343L for the Tonopah Test Range airport. The pilot radioed ahead to have the runway lights turned on during his approach. At just before 0400L he reported runway lights in sight and began a right turn to perform an overhead approach, and line up for a straight in approach to the runway. During this turn, the pilot appears to have suffered from sudden cardiac death, which allowed the aircraft to go into a descent, and impact the ground. Killed in the crash were pilot David D. Palay Sr, Derrick L. Butler, Michael L. Izold, Daniel M. Smalley, and Roy A. Van Voorhis. The aircraft impacted 7 miles short of the runway, which seems an awfully long way away from the runway for a standard overhead approach.

According to the AIB report summary, the pilot willfully ingested inappropriate medications, suppressed significant medical information, and deceived flight medical examiners in the face of a deteriorating and dangerous medical condition.

Now at this point, everything seems pretty straightforward. You have a simple case of a pilot suffering a massive and sudden coronary event after hiding a heart condition for who knows how long, from the flight surgeons. But then the information I received took a bit of a left turn.

According to my source (who prefers to remain anonymous, as so many of my sources lately do, which I have no problem with), due to the time of the crash, the wreckage was not found for several hours after the crash. The reason given was that no one was expecting the aircraft to arrive at that time. Now this seems pretty inconsistent with the fact that the pilot had to call ahead and have the runway lights turned on for his arrival. If they have to turn the lights on, you would think that they would be expecting a plane wouldn't you? And if it didn't show up, wouldn't they get a little suspicious that something had happened?

Another point brought up was that the SAR unit for that area was out on an exercise that day, and wasn't available to look for them until much later. Now this isn't uncommon as training happens, but unless it was an overnight exercise, 0400 seems awfully early for them to be out in the field already.

The third thing brought up is that there was a passenger (former EG&G JT3 employee's daughter) who was supposed to be one of the passengers on the flight. She apparently missed the flight that day, or called in sick, but for whatever reason, wasn't on the plane.

The last point was that the autopsy supposedly found drugs in his system, and the Air Force had his office searched with drug sniffing dogs, without finding a hint of anything. He may have just been very careful, but it may also be that there was nothing to find.

Our mission, which I have chosen to task you with helping (since I'm going to do my best to do it anyway because I love this sort of thing), is to dig into this crash as best we can with the resources that we have, and try to discover or determine any oddities to the crash. Let's see if we can figure out if this is what really happened, or if something more nefarious, or just something that they wanted covered up happened. Something is rotten in Denmark, and I want to try to find out just what it is.

usaf.aib.law.af.mil...
edit on 5/30/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-5-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 30 2013 @ 03:51 AM
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Something to get our teeth into, thanks Zaphod for an interesting conspiracy.

Playing devils advocate, is 7 miles that far away?

It is only a couple of minutes away from touchdown?

That raises a question in my mind, height, would not the plane have been only 100's of feet above ground level at that point, so any crash ought to be more of a skid then a dive to earth.

Or am I totally wrong? Probably as I am basing those thoughts on air displays and watching the aircraft coming into land at Heathrow from my 2nd floor office in east London, maybe 30 miles from the runway.
edit on 30-5-2013 by dowot because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-5-2013 by dowot because: Thanks to ? Oh Zaphod.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by dowot
 


Seven miles he would have been pretty low, but what stands out to me is if he had just circled over the runway why was he seven miles down range. He shouldn't have been more than two our three at the most, unless he went missed approach and reset, which none of the crash reports mention.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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In my opinion most of the mentioned circumstances are completely irrelevant.

What is relevant, has not been mentioned so far:

- Flight Data Recorder
- Cockpit Voice Recorder

What about theses ? Both, FDR and CVR should prove beyond doubt what happened to this flight.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by H1ght3chHippie
 


That's because the Air Force hasn't said anything about either of them in any of the reports that I've found. Not all Air Force aircraft carried them, although most Beech aircraft seem to have been built with them.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 03:52 PM
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... questions about the crash of N27RA in March of 1994. Apparently there is some question as to the actual cause of the accident, and they were curious what I could find out.


According to the official report, on March 16, 2004, Beechcraft N27RA departed McCarren International with 19 passengers on board. They made the first stop...


Okay... did it crash in '94 or 2004? www.lazygranch.com... has photos of N27RA purportedly taken April / May 2002. Scroll approximately 1/2 way down. Maybe just a typo in the OP?

edit on 5/30/2013 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 04:01 PM
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Also, here's a link to the ATS thread started 7/2006-
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 04:11 PM
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This is starting to stink even more, the more that I learn about it.

I was sent an image of an article that I can no longer find online. There are a couple of interesting things that make even less sense about this accident. The first is that it says "Investigators speculated that the passengers may have been asleep when Palay became incapacitated behind the closed cockpit door." The problem here is that the Beech 1900C that he was flying doesn't have a cockpit door. They're too small to mount one. You just about have to turn sideways to get into the cockpit as it is.

This is the forward fuselage of a similar aircraft, for comparison. There's absolutely no room for any kind of door if you're going to fit 19 passengers on it.



It also says that instead of being examined by Air Force doctors, Mr. Palay received an FAA class 2 Medical Certificate. This makes things even smellier.

The cardiac workup requirements for any class of FAA certificate include:


Most pilots get the majority of their required work up from a cardiologist or internist. This physician may or may not be your AME (it usually is not). Regardless of who orders, performs or interprets the test, the work up must ultimately be routed to the FAA through an AME. (Find an AME). The FAA requires that a pilot's current cardiovascular evaluation must include the following:

An assessment of personal and family medical history
Clinical cardiac and general physical examination
An assessment and statement regarding the applicant’s medications, functional capacity, modifiable cardiovascular risk factors
Motivation for any necessary change
Prognosis for incapacitation
Blood chemistries (fasting blood sugar, current blood lipid profile to include total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) performed within the last 90 days

flightphysical.com...

For blood pressure it includes:


Examining Options
An applicant whose pressures are within the above limits, who has not used antihypertensives for 30 days, and who is otherwise qualified should be issued a medical certificate by the AME.
An applicant whose blood pressure is slightly elevated beyond the FAA specified limits, may, at the AME's discretion, have a series of 3 daily readings over a 7-day period. If the indication of hypertension remains, even if it is mild or intermittent, the AME should defer certification and transmit the application to the AMCD with a note of explanation.

The AME must defer issuance of a medical certificate to any applicant whose hypertension has not been evaluated, who uses unacceptable medications, whose medical status is unclear, whose hypertension is uncontrolled, who manifests significant adverse effects of medication, or whose certification has previously been specifically reserved to the FAA.

flightphysical.com...

The AME also has the power to order a stress test on anyone requesting a pilot certificate of any type.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by abecedarian
 


It was 2004, for some reason my brain stuck on 1994 and I typed that in the initial portion of the post. I've asked a moderator to correct that. That was my mistake. The crash date in the accident report portion of it is correct.

As for the 2006 thread, I felt that this deserved a separate thread, instead of resurrecting my previous thread on it, as there was a lot of new information that made this much more interesting than I originally thought in that thread. All the information in that previous thread was found online, and I had no idea that there was this much more buried, and making this crash stink the way it does.
edit on 5/30/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
The reason given was that no one was expecting the aircraft to arrive at that time. Now this seems pretty inconsistent with the fact that the pilot had to call ahead and have the runway lights turned on for his arrival. If they have to turn the lights on, you would think that they would be expecting a plane wouldn't you? And if it didn't show up, wouldn't they get a little suspicious that something had happened?


But they might not have ben on a full operational basis if they were not expecting a flight then - ie with rescue fire fully alert and het tower (if any) fully manned - it might just have been a "skeleton" crew.

alternatively your source may be mistaken as to there being a delay in the search.

There some interesting info on the deceased pilot in this listing of B1900C's in the Janet fleet.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


That's one reason I'm looking for folks to help me dig into this. I know a lot of people have better access to sources than I do in some areas around here, so I'm trying to find out how true this information is. But a lot of it is making the back of my neck itch as to the cause of this accident.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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That airfield at Tonopah which the ICAO is KTNX, does have pilot controlled lighting. So while the pilot radioed ahead for lighting to come on. No one had to answer.
From an airport information site

Activate runway 14/32 HIRL, key 3 times for lo intensity, 5 times for medium intensity, 7 times for hi intensity, PAPI runway 14 and PAPI runway 33, ALSF-1 runway 14 and ALSF-1 runway 32 - frequency 257.95. ALSF-1 runway 14 and ALSF-1 runway 32 oper hi intensity only.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by Benzer
 


Good point - was it installed in 2004?



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 09:15 PM
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duh, but I thought the runway lights at TTR were on a mike key. You know, you get close, pick the approach freq for the airport and key the mike seven times?

eta - missed it by that much...yes I am pretty sure you could key the lights on in 2004, although it's not one of those things I pay strict attention to.
edit on 30-5-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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You tried to FOIA a coroner's report yet? Also, hit USAF and DIA for any material. Not that they won't magic marker it to death, but you might get some leads.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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Its common for truck drivers to cheat on blood pressure by taking nitroglycerin tabs just before there physical.
they are easy to get and very common.

Does the FAA approved doctors check for nitroglycerin in the labs.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


That's going to be the next step. Because while some things make sense, especially now, like the lights, the position of the crash, and the lack of any type of drugs found are odd and give me that itchy feeling.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


I believe that is checked for with the labs during the physical portion, but I'm not 100% certain. I know they take blood and do a blood workup.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 11:45 PM
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This comment was posted in relation to one of the stories about the crash.

(Mods, I have the quote only in a PDF, no source or I'd link it)


Message posted by jdcardiac on July 09, 2007 at 23:09:27 PST:
Conspiracy vs. coverup; or is it the same? My 26-year background in the cardiac field may give a
little to this thread. Certainly, one can have a fatal coronary/cardiac episode when one does not
have a clue that they have a problem. Usually, these are people who have significant risk factors
such as family history, smoking, and high chlorestoral; and don't see a doctor on a regular basis
for physicals, blood work, etc. In upwards of 200,000 cardiac deaths each year in the U.S. can fit
into this category.
That being said, one would think it would be common for a pilot of this stature to be checked out
on a yearly basis and at the very least have a 12-lead ECG and probably a treadmill or nuclear
stress test done. The exam should include blood work for lipid profile (chlorestoral)and liver
funtion due to medication that the patient would take. I personally have been involved with many
pilots, private and commercial, who have had or are threatened to have their licenses yanked due
to findings on a physical and have made their way into my cardiac cath lab. One, in fact, was a
former shuttle pilot from the mid-80's!
The statement that the pilot withheld info is the crock part of this story. Any decent MD
associated with flight surgeon-type exams would perform these routine exams on a pilot with this
type assignment, I would think. This is probably where a coverup comes into play. The MD was
in on it or his findings were surpressed.



posted on May, 30 2013 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Benzer
 


Except, and here's the kicker that throws this whole thing right out the window, in this particular case, Mr Palay tried to activate the lights and was unable to. He called another control tower, since the TTR tower was unmanned at the time, and they called the fire department at the TTR field, and they turned the lights on for him. So they knew there was a flight coming in. So if they knew there was a flight coming in, why did it take so long for them to find the wreckage?

It actually took two hours to find the wreckage. The statement was that since it was dark they had to wait until the sun came up to find it. But as one person said, they may have not even been looking until someone saw smoke after the sun came up. As small as the airport is, you would think that they would have noticed that no plane landed after turning the lights on for one. And that three people that normally worked there hadn't shown up when they normally did.
edit on 5/30/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)





 
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