Volunteer doctor killed in single-engine plane crash

by lmallernee | August 6th, 2012

August 6, 2012

A 66-year-old doctor was killed Thursday when his Piper Comanche 250 plane went down shortly after takeoff from Truckee Tahoe Airport in Northern California, reports the Sierra Sun.

He and two others were preparing for a trip to Mexico, where they would join other volunteers for a weekend medical and dental humanitarian mission.

Minutes prior to the fatal takeoff, the doctor and his fellow volunteers–a registered nurse, and an EMT and translator–had attempted a takeoff but had returned to the airport terminal, where the two other volunteers de-planed.

“In a selfless action, he then, alone, attempted a second takeoff to verify the flight-worthiness of the aircraft,” a colleague of his said.

The doctor had more than 6,000 hours as a pilot in command. “He was a very experienced pilot flying since his youth,” his colleague added.

“Our entire organization shares with family and friends the devastation over this horrible fatal accident,” he said. “We are at the same time relieved that [the doctor’s] two passengers are alive because of his selfless concern for their safely.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident, with NTSB taking the lead. Typically, investigations take months before probable causes are determined.

The aviation accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy extend our condolences to the family and friends of the man who died in this tragic aviation accident.