Bud Feldkamp lost several members of his family on Friday when a small plane crashed near Butte Montana, killing all 14 passengers. Feldkamp, who owns the plane, was driving with his wife and one of his daughters to meet the plane’s occupants for a ski trip at the time.
“We were at the entrance to the Yellowstone Club when I got a cell
phone call” said Feldkamp. “[My nephew] saw it on CNN. He said, ‘Nobody
survived.’ And we knew it was our plane.”
Feldkamp had just come from Malcolm Smith’s CPSIA protest the day before, where he purchased a child’s ATV. He described the Montana trip as, “a vacation with all the grandkids.”
There’s some speculation that the plane crashed because it was
overloaded — the Pilatus PC-12 can carry up to 10 people or 3,000lbs,
but had 14 occupants — although it’s odd that such a problem would only
manifest itself at the end of a flight, when a plane is at its lightest
after consuming the majority of its fuel.
A spokesman for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association said, “For
an accident to take place at the end of a flight, in general, would
seem to be indicative that the plane was not over gross and the weight
and center of gravity were within tolerances.”
Thanks for the tip, Steve.