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 Post subject: Video captures fatal crash of SeaRay N169GW into lake . . .
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:02 pm 
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robbreid - FlightAware user avatar

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Video aircraft flies over head at 2:40 into video.

NTSB Identification: ERA09LA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 06, 2009 in Knoxville, TN
Aircraft: SMITH BRET B SEAREY, registration: N169GW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On June 6, 2009, about 1744 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Searey, N169GW, was substantially damaged when it impacted Melton Lake, near Knoxville, Tennessee. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary information provided by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot was providing rides to passengers attending a celebration on Melton Lake. Following a previous uneventful local flight with another passenger, the pilot returned, landed, and the accident passenger boarded.

The final moments of the accident flight were captured on video by pleasure boaters on Melton Lake. The video depicted the accident airplane flying, about 200 to 400 feet above the boat, before it proceeded away. The airplane then entered a steep bank, descended steeply, and impacted the water. A copy of the video was retained by NTSB for further examination.

An examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and sea. The pilot's most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 4, 2009, and the pilot reported 450 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The 1753 weather observation at Mc Ghee Tyson Airport, located 15 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, included winds from 010 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 4,800 feet, temperature 26 degrees C, dewpoint 14 degrees C, and altimeter setting of 29.96 inches of mercury.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:24 pm 
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FYI: Video NSFW for language.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Sad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Sad...

And in spite of the comments on the web page, the audio needs to remain.

Doing stupid acts in a plane will draw the negative commentary from the videographer in the video and should be a stark reminder to those that even think about buzzing or other dumb things to consider what effect they have on those on the ground.

Unfortunately, the person wishing a bad outcome got his wish....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:20 pm 
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in a seaplane you need to "buzz" boaters to let them know that you plan on landing, BUT the confined area turn he tried to preform (advanced seaplane training) was (obviously) not well executed. The idea is to give up a small amount of Altitude as you preform the steep turn so that you don't load the wing up, and over stress the aircraft. At a slow(er) airspeed and a steep bank angle your instinct is to pull back on the stick which would only exaggerate a stall and the end result is... well you seen it on the video. I can go on for hours about this.

I can't tell if he was "hot dogging" or if he was trying to clear the area for landing.
It's sad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:03 pm 
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I watched this video at my office today with the sound off. I just noticed the comments about the narration on the video, so I rewatched it with the sound on. It's a totally different video. wow. I can't imagine the complacency that those people displayed - filming that the whole time. I'm speechless.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:41 am 
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The part with the wallet got me. Then think about what was happening below the water at the same time. :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:14 am 
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wazzu90 wrote:
The part with the wallet got me. Then think about what was happening below the water at the same time. :cry:


Yep, same here. I think watching the lady, she had the same reaction for as gingerly she handled it.

This and how everything "went silent" after the plane completely disappear without a noteworthy debris field. The shock how quickly the waters went calm after impact was another thing that got me like nothing ever happened.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:41 am 
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wazzu90 wrote:
The part with the wallet got me. Then think about what was happening below the water at the same time. :cry:


I think I would've been in the water pulling them out- dead or alive


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:00 am 
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Me too flyboy. You don't know if there under there trapped, but still alive, holding their breath or something...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:36 am 
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That's what I was saying with the complacency. They "aww - they're gone. Let's see who they were. Maybe there's some money in there they won't need. Oh look, there's part of the plane. It's probably too late. Surely they're dead by now." If that was a friend or family member of mine that was in that crash, I think I'd have found the guy filming that and have had a conversation with him by now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:16 am 
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WiserTime07 wrote:
If that was a friend or family member of mine that was in that crash, I think I'd have found the guy filming that and have had a conversation with him by now.


I think it would be hard to be "judgemental" on actions of the videographer after witnessing an emergency. Everybody reacts in different ways when crap hits the fan. Good example of what I am talking about would be that video where plane nearly flew into a mountain top and then afterwards people were "laughing" most likely out of nervousness. Comment from that person videoing said he laughs when he is most nervous or upset yet it sounded like they were having a ball after that flight.

Some of his comments were tough to listen to, but it's reality of impressions one leaves when we do circus acts (I can't say whether this was done in the video, but that's the impression the witnesses had by their comments)

I seriously doubt that I would have dove below the surface of the water myself based on what I saw in that video. I may have jumped in if the plane was still floating and I didn't have to excessively jeopardize my own life extracting people. Having swam from my own car from a flash flood, one doesn't realize the power of water currents until you are up against it.

Does anybody know the depth of that water? The plane didn't appear to be floating based on what I observed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:29 am 
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Also take into account the age of the "kids" on that boat, they seemed to be early 20 somethings. Maybe factor in some adult beverages and some male bravado to impress the chicks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:34 am 
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lieberma wrote:
WiserTime07 wrote:
If that was a friend or family member of mine that was in that crash, I think I'd have found the guy filming that and have had a conversation with him by now.


I think it would be hard to be "judgemental" on actions of the videographer after witnessing an emergency. Everybody reacts in different ways when crap hits the fan. Good example of what I am talking about would be that video where plane nearly flew into a mountain top and then afterwards people were "laughing" most likely out of nervousness. Comment from that person videoing said he laughs when he is most nervous or upset yet it sounded like they were having a ball after that flight.

Some of his comments were tough to listen to, but it's reality of impressions one leaves when we do circus acts (I can't say whether this was done in the video, but that's the impression the witnesses had by their comments)

I seriously doubt that I would have dove below the surface of the water myself based on what I saw in that video. I may have jumped in if the plane was still floating and I didn't have to excessively jeopardize my own life extracting people. Having swam from my own car from a flash flood, one doesn't realize the power of water currents until you are up against it.

Does anybody know the depth of that water? The plane didn't appear to be floating based on what I observed.


I agree that we don't know what we'd do, until we're in that situation. I've never witnessed a plane crash, so you're right, I don't know what I'd do. I have however witnessed several terrible car accidents - one in particular that stands out, in which a very old woman (80+ years) was trapped underneath a ford taurus. A friend and I spent 10 minutes after the accident jacking up the car (we were working on my car in a shop right next to where the accident happened, so we had jacks under the car within a minute) and trying to extricate her. Both my friend and I were burned from the exhaust system and coolant, but we didn't give up until EMS arrived with airbags and lifted the vehicle off of her. I didn't think about the burns and my welfare until several hours after the accident. The old woman ended up dying from her injuries, so in the long run my injuries were very minor in comparison. Both of us did everything we could that day and I never regretted helping (even though it didn't really matter). I always thought that people would do anything to help out in that kind of situation - I guess I'm wrong and sometimes they don't. Could they have saved the lives of the people in that plane? Who knows - but it surely couldn't have hurt to try.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:43 am 
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Allen-

it's a lake, not much in the way of current, you need to be concerned about getting caught in the wreckage. You need to be careful BUT, I'd know that the occupants of the airplane were knocked out on impact and were drowning, there for a rescue is in order. that is if they survived the impact.

My mentor, one of the greatest teachers in aviation and a very good friend died in a crash similar to that when the wing brace on his t-craft gave way on a turn. They crashed in the Willamette river in Oregon City, just above the falls. That wate moves to fast for someone to jump in.

The kids commenting on the video were drunk, I mean come on, Knoxville in the summer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:24 am 
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WiserTime07 wrote:
I have however witnessed several terrible car accidents - one in particular that stands out, in which a very old woman (80+ years) was trapped underneath a ford taurus. A friend and I spent 10 minutes after the accident jacking up the car (we were working on my car in a shop right next to where the accident happened, so we had jacks under the car within a minute) and trying to extricate her. Both my friend and I were burned from the exhaust system and coolant, but we didn't give up until EMS arrived with airbags and lifted the vehicle off of her. I didn't think about the burns and my welfare until several hours after the accident.


Speaking of course for myself, I would have done the same in the situation . Add in the word fire, and realistically, it would have to be the "adrenaline" factor for me to step up to the plate as decision with the word fire require split second decisions. I could unfortunately see myself standing on the side saying "what should I do".

Same for this particular tragedy, it would be adrenaline for me to even consider going into the water. I am a reasonably good swimmer, but going down deep in the murky waters, not so sure I would have the strength without the adrenaline factor kicked in.

Flyboy, I absolutely agree the current in a lake may be negligeable, but things are not exactly weightless under water, so not only are you trying to open a potentially jammed airplane door, but the resistance of the water may work against you in trying to extract a potential survivor. If they were wearing seatbelts, the clarity of the water may not be optimal for finding them and cutting them out in time to prevent a drowning After all it took some valuable minutes just for the boat to get to the scene.

Doesn't do any good for the untrained hero to be a statistic trying to save a statistic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:39 am 
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lieberma wrote:
Add in the word fire, and realistically, it would have to be the "adrenaline" factor for me to step up to the plate as decision with the word fire require split second decisions. I could unfortunately see myself standing on the side saying "what should I do".

Same for this particular tragedy, it would be adrenaline for me to even consider going into the water. I am a reasonably good swimmer, but going down deep in the murky waters, not so sure I would have the strength without the adrenaline factor kicked in.

Doesn't do any good for the untrained hero to be a statistic trying to save a statistic.


I agree that it doesn't help and that I could wind up being a statistic. For some reason, I don't think about that stuff when it's happening - it honestly might get me killed some day. Speaking of fire, this past summer my grill caught fire in my backyard - and I'm talking FIRE. Immediately, I was afraid of the propane tank exploding, so I ran around to the back of the grill and cut the gas - burning off the skin on all of my fingertips. Again, I didn't realize the gravity of the situation until well after the fact. Had that grill burst when I was back there shutting off the gas, I wouldn't be here typing this right now. I guess what I was trying to say is that I always thought the adrenaline would cancel out the rational thought process that usually takes place - at least it does for me. That could (and very well may) end up being my downfall one day.

sorry for the hijack guys, I'll try and get back on subject.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:40 am 
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Being a Hero has nothing to do with taking calculated risks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:05 pm 
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flyboy97222 wrote:
Being a Hero has nothing to do with taking calculated risks.


Are you talking from experience?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:09 pm 
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deef1999 wrote:
flyboy97222 wrote:
Being a Hero has nothing to do with taking calculated risks.


Are you talking from experience?


If I have to tell you how cool I am then I'm not that cool


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:19 pm 
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flyboy97222 wrote:
Being a Hero has nothing to do with taking calculated risks.

Well said!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:22 am 
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I won't chime in on the should they or shouldn't they scenario, but they've got this nice boat, they've got this nice video camera...where were their Iphones calling 911?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:29 am 
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At least someone else called 911...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:02 am 
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pfp217 wrote:
I won't chime in on the should they or shouldn't they scenario, but they've got this nice boat, they've got this nice video camera...where were their Iphones calling 911?


They were too busy scrounging around, looking for money in the pilot's wallet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:42 am 
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lieberma wrote:
Doing stupid acts in a plane will draw the negative commentary from the videographer in the video and should be a stark reminder to those that even think about buzzing or other dumb things to consider what effect they have on those on the ground.



Honestly, I don't believe this pilot was hot-dogging it in any way. You really consider that altitude over a lake to be "buzzing"? To me it was more of a fly-by. (Judging his flight in this video, but I don't know how he was flying before the video was shot.)I've seen pilots fly much more carelessly at a much lower altitude than him. I think everything was normal until he attempted to execute the CAT. Also, judging by the number of flight hours he had, he didn't seem too experienced at this maneuver which, unfortunately, cost him and his passenger their lives.


>> Hayden


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