Pilot Walks Away From 'Horrific' Crash
A BE95 Travel Air (file photo below) crashed Thursday just
east of Safford Regional Airport in AZ due to apparent fuel
exhaustion. Miraculously, the pilot was uninjured.
Forty-eight-year old Jerald Pate of Muskogee, OK was hauling
equipment for a crew working a mine in near Safford, AZ. He told
authorities he'd refueled at Austin, TX before departing for
Safford. He said his fuel gages were reading improperly and he ran
out of fuel.
According to the Arizona Courier, Pate said after his engines
quit he tried "turning on an auxiliary tank," as the aircraft
descended from 6000 ft, but he was unable to restart the engines.
Following the crash, he walked the mile-and-a-half he lacked to
make a landing at the airport.
The BE95 Travel Air holds 80 gallons and sports two Lycoming
IO-360 engines. With full tanks -- depending on winds -- the 632 nm
flight from Austin to Safford would be within the aircraft's
performance capability. Weather was VFR with haze, but no wind
information was available as of this writing.
Authorities first at the crash scene, a ravine just east of the
airport, described it as "horrific."
Safford Airport Manager Doug Benson told the Courier, "I really
can't conceive how anyone could have walked away from (the crash).
How he went through all that sheet metal and Plexiglas without
getting torn up is incredible."
Local medical personnel looked Pate over, but aside from bumps
and bruises -- and a little dust -- he was unharmed. He refused to
go to the hospital.
Sheriff's deputies drove to the crash scene to turned off the
transmitting ELT. They described the wreck saying the fuselage was
broken in half behind the front seats.
Deputies said they helped Pate remove the "mostly intact"
construction equipment from the wreckage so he complete his
Let's be careful out there folks...
** Report created 9/29/2006
Make/Model: BE95 Description: 95
Date: 09/28/2006 Time: 0000
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
None Mid Air: N Missing:
City: SAFFORD State: AZ Country:
CRASHED 1.5 MILES EAST OF SAFFORD, AZ DUE TO FUEL
EXHAUSTION, SAFFORD, AZ
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: CLEAR SKY WITH HAZE
Activity: Pleasure Phase:
Cruise Operation: OTHER
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Entry date: 09/29/2006