Wed, Nov 10, 2004
Calls Pilot Negligent
When Montana Governor
Judy Martz awards pilot Jim Long and two other people the Montana
Medal of Honor in Helena Wednesday, Brian Bryant won't be there.
Long, Bryant's wife Davita and Ken Good were all killed when their Cessna 206 impacted a mountain near the
Glacier National Park in September. Bryant says Long
doesn't deserve the honor.
"His negligence, recklessness and carelessness on that day
— and disregard for the weather and flying in the mountains
— had disregard for the people on board," Bryant told The
Associated Press. "It's pretty callous of the governor's office to
just say this guy is a hero without looking into the whole
situation. That plane should never have left the ground."
But Governor Martz will go ahead with the medal ceremony in
spite of Bryant's objections. Besides Long, the two passengers who
miraculously survived the fiery crash, then walked down from the
mountain when authorities were certain no one could have lived
through the ordeal will also be honored.
The Montana Medal of Honor is awarded to those who show
"extraordinary courage in a situation threatening the lives of one
or more people." Investigators found that Long survived the fire
and was able to pull Good from the wreckage of the C-206 before it
was engulfed in flames. Passengers Jodee Hogg and Matthew Ramige
were able to free themselves and walk down from the mountain.
"There are three people here who did their best to save the
lives of others after an accident happened," said gubernatorial
spokesman Chuck Butler.
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