November 23, 2017
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Comments for: Truck driver involved in deadly plane crash unsure what happened, investigator told

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  • Rocky4

    “Turner told the NTSB investigator that he announced over the common traffic advisory frequency for aircraft that he planned to cross the runway.”

    I just don’t believe it.

    • agreed

    • Anonymous

      It’s not something you’d give a lot of weight to without corroboration.

  • Anonymous

    Thats what i say when i break something at home, i say i am not sure how it happen. Or i blame one of the pets.

  • Anonymous

    The reason such crashes are rare is that the FAA has made it an absolute priority to avoid “runway incursions”, which is why it is more than puzzling that a vehicle without a flashing beacon would ever be allowed to cross an active runway, after dark, at an airport with regular commercial passenger traffic. Better safety procedures would likely have prevented this tragic accident.

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding me ?!?! Let’s see….. I’m driving along an AIRPORT RUNWAY and I come in contact with ‘something grayish in color’ an over sized seagull perhaps??? …..hmmmmm whatever could it have been ?? SERIOUSLY? Try again Mr. Turner.

    • Anonymous

      Where does it say the driver came into contact with something “grayish in color”?

      • Captain Kangaroo

        really?

  • Downeasta

    Its called “shock” the result of trauma. You dont necessarily get trauma from an impact but also by witnessing something horrific. My sympathies to the families and Mr. Turner.

    • Anonymous

      But he didn’t know what happened he said. And yet you think he received trauma from not seeing/feeling anything. Straws,grasping….

  • Captain Kangaroo

    The cover up begins.

  • Anonymous

    Here is what happened. You drove across a runway where a plane had already started to take off. You didn’t bother to look before you entered the runway.
    You killed three people.
    Got it?

    • Anonymous

      And you are the NTSB investigator so you got all the answers! Why are so many who are not even remotely involved ready to hang this man? I am sure you don’t even know him. is this how you get your kicks? I read this afternoon that vehicles crossing the runway was an every day occurrence. Do you know for sure the plane had it’s lights on?

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, and Lance Armstrong competed clean…..

      • Anonymous

        That’s sort of like asking if the 3 people killed in the crosswalk had bright colored clothes on. No matter what the circumstances are, it’s still 100% the responsibility of the crossing vehicle to see and give way to all aircraft. Once you internalize that fact, it will become clear where the fault for this tragedy lies

        • Anonymous

          I haven’t heard anyone mention landing lights. Obviously the plane didn’t have them on.

          • KGL

            Quote from the article above: “The lights for the runway were on, according to Northgraves, and witnesses reported seeing the plane’s lights on.”

          • Anonymous

            A Cessna 172 has a taxiing light, a landing light, a rotating beacon, a red light and a green light, and some have flashing strobe lights on the wingtips. Why do you say “obviously” the plane didn’t have the landing lights on? Just as car drivers have their headlights on at night SO THEY CAN SEE, a pilot will have the light on SO HE CAN SEE! Why do so many non-aviators make such ludicrous statements and assumptions? Every pilot who reads about this tragedy knows without question the cause–A TRUCK WAS ON THE RUNWAY, AND SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN THERE. There is no other way to slice it. And since the truck driver is a pilot and an instructor he especially should have known better. Agreed–he will have to live with this the rest of his life, but at least he HAS a “rest of his life”. The NTSB may take a year to make its official report, but make note–that will be the conclusion.

          • Anonymous

            Exactly right!

          • Anonymous

            Correct me if I’m wrong, and I am sure you will. I have seen nothing that said the plane had his lights on. If he did, the truck would have seen it in time to clear the runway. As far as the truck being on the runway in the first place, I have read that it was common practice to cross the runway after radio announcement of intentions. Sounds like you may be a pilot who flies on assumptions.

          • Anonymous

            “The lights for the runway were on, according to Northgraves, and witnesses reported seeing the plane’s lights on.”

            You should read the entire story before making ridiculous statements like this.

          • Anonymous

            Well it is pretty obvious that the truck was on the runway, but we simply don’t know enough details to make a call on where the breakdowns were in the system. Was the driver 100% at fault, or is the cause shared by the pilot and truck because of some combination of events? Based on the published info so far, there is no way of know and any claims to the contrary are conjecture at best.

            We may well learn that the truck was the sole cause of this accident, but let the facts be revealed before making that call. I have no idea what happened because I wasn’t there, but I can think of variables that make the blame less clear. For example, did the aircraft announce departure on the wrong runway. Did the aircraft report his departure much too early and the truck missed the call for some reason? Did the aircraft have an operative landing light and was it in use? Nav and anti-collision lights have a way of getting drowned out on the ground against other surface lights, and I have seen plenty of aircraft operate without a landing or taxi light.I am not claiming that was the case here, but we don’t know those details yet beyond some fuzzy quotes from the newspaper.

            Either way, this was a tragic accident. I think it is safe to say that the driver did not intend for this to happen, and the best course of action is to step back, wait for the NTSB to do its job, and then learn from the incident.

          • Anonymous

            If he followed protocol for the airport why would that be the end of it? If he actually stopped, radioed, looked, didn’t see anything, nobody radioed back that they were taking off, how is that the end of it?

          • Anonymous

            Really?? Try reading the story!!

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know for sure if the plane’s light’s were on any more than I know for sure if the truck driver radioed his intention to cross the runway or even looked before he crossed it.

        • Anonymous

          The three boys are gone. I feel sorry for the ones left behind. Mr. Turner is still very much alive. Why persecute him without all the facts? I am sure he feels bad enough.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not persecuting him to state the obvious facts, he failed to yield the right of way to the aircraft as he is required to do in a vehicle on a taxiway or runway. Certainly other details will come out during the investigation, but none of them will change who has the right of way when an aircraft and truck are on any runway. I have no doubt that Mr Turner thought the runway was clear so he could proceed across, but he was obviously wrong just this one time. I really feel bad for him because I know that as a pilot he fully understands that he made an awful mistake that was the sole cause of the accident that took 3 lives and I’m sure that he’s devastated by that knowledge. After you gradually get in the habit of taking a quick(er) look and then crossing the runway, with never an airplane anywhere in sight, it’s easy to get a bit too casual about really looking down the runway for a possible conflict because you just KNOW that it’s all clear and many of us might fall into that same trap. An unintentional runway incursion, whether in another airplane or a pickup truck, is something all pilots dread doing, and there but for the grace of God go I, but as much as I can empathize with Mr. Turner and the situation he finds himself in, it does nobody any good to pretend that blame lies anywhere else, especially with the deceased victims of this tragedy.

          • Anonymous

            For every action there is a reaction, its called accountability. Mr Turners life will never be his own after this tragic mistake. He will have many to answer to after this. In a fraction of a second a person can loose all. No matter what the reason this is going to be life altering for Mr. Turner.

  • Anonymous

    From an aviation stand point, Things got really f—–g sloppy out there, and it killed three young men, I am sorry for the parents, truly.

  • I would love for them to post a detailed picture showing the damage to the pickup truck, something none of us have seen.

  • Anonymous

    It goes without saying that this was very tragic happening. Three good young men lost their lives way too early. By all accounts, it sounds like Mr. Turner is a nice guy, with a fair amount of experience in aviation and the workings of this airport. It seems apparent that he was to some degree responsible for what happened, but this was an accident, and I feel bad for Mr. Turner. He has to live with this. When I was a kid, my cousin was run over and killed by a town worker driving a garbage truck. This too was an accident. This man’s life was hell for the next 30 years until he died. I see a number of comments that are lacking some compassion for what Mr. Turner will have to endure for the rest of his life. I’d suggest to those people that they might try to put themselves in his, and his family’s position.

    • At this time we do not know if it was an accident or not. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered and until they are I will withhold judgement.

    • Anonymous

      Accidents are unavoidable and unforeseen. Your cousin was involved in a crash, not an accident. This story deals with a plane crash, not an accident.
      To classify such incidents a “accidents” is to deny they were avoidable and pretend nobody was responsible.

      • Anonymous

        STFU with the semantics crap. The guy didn’t go out and do it intentionally. Did you know what I meant? If you want to act like a kindergartener about word definitions, don’t bother commenting back to me. My point is about forgiving somebody with a very heavy load to carry.

        • Probably 90% of his posts are trying to define “accident.” There are 3 definitions of accidents and only one of them has the “unavoidable and unforeseen” phrase. I’ve tried to explain to him before that as long as there was no intent to cause harm, it’s still an accident, but he doesn’t want to hear it. I knew what you meant.

      • Anonymous

        Accident:
        1. an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.
        2. Law. such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.
        3. any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.
        4. chance; fortune; luck: I was there by accident.
        5. a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.
        the above is from dictionary.com. i believe both incidents fit definition #1. your definition of an accident is both narrow and incorrect. both incidents were in fact, accidents. to say that accidents are unavoidable is simply false. they are usually unforeseen and occasionally unavoidable, but as others have stated, this is all bs semantics and i really don’t know why you would even bring it up, other than to imply intent. no one seems to be trying to shirk responsibility, and to deny this is anything but an accident is to imply intent, and i very much doubt this man (or the garbage man) intended harm to anyone.

        • Anonymous

          Merriam-Webster is more reliable than dictionary.com.
          These incidents were, indeed, crashes. “Crash” is a neutral term, unlike “accident,” which implies there is no responsibility. “Crash” is actually the term investigators use because it more accurately describes the circumstances.
          When we use the word “accident” loosely, we fool ourselves into believing there was nothing we could have done or could do. The truth of the matter is, the investigation into this crash will help us understand what went wrong, how it went wrong, and why it went wrong, and how we can take steps to prevent something similar from happening again.

          • Anonymous

            it is true that crash is a neutral term that is used, but the term accident does not imply lack of responsibility, it implies lack of intent. very different.

          • Anonymous

            RR, have to disagree. Just because a crash occurred, it doesn’t mean it was not an accident. First of all, it sounds like the bottom of the plane clipped the truck. It didn’t collide with it. So I don’t see that that incident will be considered a “crash.” The plane did crash afterwards, probably as a result of clipping the truck.

            We often hear of both aviation and highway tragedies caused by “pilot error,” or “driver error.” Unless there was intent to crash, the incidents are still accidents first, and then “crashes.” The issue of whether or not these incidents were avoidable is a moot point, because they happened. Now that is not to suggest that the evidence and the investigation will not point to some form of liability through negligence…but it was still a terrible accident which claimed three lives.

      • Anonymous

        Naive is all I can say, as someone who has gone on many helicopter flights with the guard the pilots have to fill out accident avoidance forms that talk about the dangers they may encounter during their flight to assign a risk factor. They are not called crash avoidance forms, although the intent is to avoid crashing into the ground or some other object in the air.

        We also do safety stand down days to avoid accidents, we talk about how to mitigate circumstances that could bring about an accident.

    • Anonymous

      I too feel sorry for Mr. Turner if this was indeed his fault. He will have to live w/the memories. But as is stated by ryanrobbins below, this tragedy does not really fit the definition of an accident, and it sounds like Turner is trying to avoid accountability. I’m pretty certain that if he is being pegged as a nice guy by some who know him, he did not set out to deliberately be involved in this loss of lives in any way. But does that exempt one from wrongdoing if clouded judgment was used that day? Personally I would respect him and any grieving he is going through if he would just man up and not keep coming out w/things that sound like he had no awareness of the plane hitting his truck etc.. I am by no means an aviation expert but I agree w/those who state using common sense that one would know if a plane hit them.

  • Daniel L Silliman

    Tis amazing! One young relatively inexperienced new pilot. taking two other young individuals on a flight at dusk, a very dangerous time, for driving, let alone flying!

  • Anonymous

    It sure doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes when I drive by an airport I will pull over if I notice an airplane taking off to watch it. If you are right on the runway you should really notice a plane taking off. I have never heard a quiet one yet. I usually complain that they are all too loud.

    • Anonymous

      I worked for the army guard at a busy airport a few summers and after a few weeks you never even noticed the air guards jets taking off, let alone small cesna planes.

  • Anonymous

    So, two pieces of the plane were knocked off and left laying in the runway, the headlight of the truck is broken, the grill is broken, with those pieces left laying in the runway, and all Mr Turner noticed was something “grayish in color” until he stopped and got out of the truck when “he observed an airplane attempting to climb”? I would love to see a photo of the truck. I’m sure that he knows his goose is cooked and that the rest of his life will be difficult. I hope he deals with it the best he can. We all make mistakes, his just happened to have disastrous consequences. A heart-breaking accident all around.

  • Rocky4

    I would think that “crossing the runway” would be allowed only at or very
    near either END. That alone would have prevented this mess. Reports indicate
    that the plane had travelled or used about 1000 feet of the 5000 foot runway.
    Assuming that is true the truck was crossing at the 1/5 “point” on the
    runway. GO TO EITHER END TO CROSS!!
    And Turner, don’t tell me you radioed your intentions or even stopped,
    looked or listened. Trying to sway the “court of public opinion” since day
    one has not worked and repeating the lies will only drag this out, NOT change
    the facts.

    • Anonymous

      And you know the facts how exactly?

      • Rocky4

        I know as much or as little as anyone else posting an “OPINION”.

  • Anonymous

    This is a horrible tragedy that might have been avoided in so many ways.

    One way that has not been discussed yet is why the young inexperienced pilot continued to take off after feeling an impact. He was only 1000 feet into the runway and had 4000 feet to stop but continued on. I’m not a pilot but would think the young man could have stopped soon after feeling and hearing something hit his airplane.

    • Anonymous

      Apparently he was at approximately rotate speed when the impact occurred and who knows what it sounded/felt like from his perspective. He may well have never seen the truck and thought he hit a big bird or a large crack in the runway surface or possibly he was already barely airborne and the impact caused a pitch up that momentarily took ALL his attention to control. For anything that happens right at rotate speed, unless you immediately perceive that it makes the airplane unflyable, it’s usually safer to continue the takeoff rather than to initiate a high speed abort. In this case it seems like with 20/20 hindsight, we’d all obviously abort the takeoff and risk the consequences, but when he had to make his snap decision, unfortunately he didn’t have the benefit of all the information we all now have at our disposal.

  • Anonymous

    Turner appears to be saying that he didn’t know he had been hit by an airplane. The plane lost it’s stabilizer, and he didn’t realize it hit him? What?

  • Anonymous

    An airplane takes out a headlight and part of the grill and Mr Turner doesn’t know what happened?! And he expects that to pass the straight-face test?

  • Jamie Rathbart

    When people say they “don’t know” they mean “I don’t want to say”. I feel sad for the grief this man will experience for the rest of his life but I also think for everyone concerned the best thing to do is be completely forthright.

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