Third Victim Was Returning From Cancer Treatment
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 07.18.08 1500
EDT: Authorities have identified the third victim in the
Wednesday afternoon downing of a Beech Bonanza on takeoff from a
Tampa, FL airport.
Patricia Snyder, 49, was being flown back home to Stuart
following what was scheduled to be her last treatment at the H. Lee
Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa.
Family members tell the Palm Beach Post she had asked a friend
of her family, 15-year-old
Tyler McLellan, to accompany her on the Angel Flight charity trip,
flown by WWII veteran pilot Harlan Northcott.
All three were killed when the Bonanza crashed on takeoff from
Vandenburg Airport (VDF) at approximately 3:30 pm EDT Wednesday. A
preliminary cause of the accident has not been officially
determined, but it appears likely the Bonanza struck a glideslope
antenna 100 feet from the runway.
0001 EDT: A Beechcraft A36 crashed on
takeoff from Vandenburg Airport (VDF) near Tampa, FL Thursday
afternoon, killing the three persons onboard.
Captain Bruce Delk of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue told
WOFL-35 the aircraft crashed at 1530 EDT, about six minutes after
the pilot called for clearance to depart the field. The aircraft
came to rest on airport property about 100 feet off the runway, and
caught fire on impact.
The aircraft (type shown below) may have struck a glideslope
antenna on takeoff, said Tampa International Airport spokeswoman
Brenda Geoghagan. An antenna or radio tower is reported down near
the crash site, though it's not yet known whether that is causal to
The Tampa Tribune identifies the victims as pilot Harlan
Northcott, 81; Tyler McLellan, 15; and an unidentified 49-year-old
woman. Northcott was reportedly flying an Angel Flight mission to
return the woman, who was receiving medical care in Tampa, back
home to Stuart, FL.
A thunderstorm cell had just blown through the area, though only
light rain was reported at the time of the accident.
Runway 5/23 was closed most of the afternoon as firefighters
extinguished the flames, and investigators began their preliminary
Glenn Northcott told the Tribune his father had been a pilot for
32 years. "Eighty percent of the time he was doing volunteer work,"
Northcott said. "Twenty percent of the time, he was just flying to
see people he loved."