Glen Helen Raceway owner loses family in Montana plane crash

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Bud_feldkamp.jpgBud 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.
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“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.”

via Mercury News and The Christain Science Monitor

Thanks for the tip, Steve.

  • jimbo

    Nightmare.

  • thomashenny

    Did you also see that footage from Japan?

  • David

    Likely, the crash will be the result of icing.

    The observers said the plane suddenly dropped the nose 90 degrees — that’s what often happens when the wing stalls. One news article reported that the plane was in potential icing conditions for the last 3500 feet of descent. When the plane drops its flaps, as had happened just before the crash, the lift over the wing increases dramatically. Lift is the result of pressure differential: low pressure on the top of the wing, high pressure under. The ideal gas law is PV = nRT, so as the pressure drops, the temperature drops. If it was possible icing before the flaps were extended, it may have been serious icing after the flaps were dropped. To make matters worse, the wing is a high lift section with high aspect ratio. This is great for efficiency, but enables the rapid buildup of a ridge of ice on the top of the wing that much more likely.