Accelerated Flight Crew Crash in AZ

azpilot

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I believe this was a plane from Accelerated Flight Crew Training located a Stellar Airpark in Chandler. Word to the wise. There have been many posts about this school and its maintenance practices.


My condolences go out to the families involved.

- AzPilot

Examiner: Plane in fatal crash was unsafe
By Arek Sarkissian II

ARIZONA DAILY STAR
A flight examiner refused to fly in a small plane that crashed shortly after taking off from the airport in Nogales, Ariz., the man said on Sunday.
All three aboard the twin-engine plane were killed in the fiery crash on Saturday near Rio Rico.

Kristen Lass, a flight instructor from Colorado Springs, Colo., was killed along with Michael Kelly of Honolulu and Shawn Reidy of Scottsdale minutes after leaving Nogales International Airport.

The three flew in from Chandler because Kelly was to take a scheduled examination with an FAA official in Nogales.
The flight with examiner Larry Tiffin was canceled because of the condition of the plane, said Richard Lass, Kristen's father.
"That instructor told those kids not to fly in that plane," said Lass in an interview from his home in Woodland Park, Colo.
Tiffin said on Sunday that he refused to fly with Kelly for his instructor's certification in the plane the three had arrived in.
Tiffin said he could not go into details about the condition of the plane, only that he refused to get on board. "For myself, it was in my best interest not to fly in that plane," he said.

Kristen Lass had a long conversation with a mechanic at the airport, but Tiffin said he still didn't feel safe flying in the plane.
After the exam was canceled, the three took off from the airport with Reidy at the controls, Tiffin said.
Minutes later, the plane crashed and burst into flames in a dirt cul-de-sac about 100 feet from an unoccupied home.
Reidy apparently tagged along to help out with some of the flying to and from Chandler.
"It's just to help out with some of the financial burden. The one student doesn't have to pay for all of those hours," Tiffin said.
Lass said his daughter was well on her way to fulfilling her dream of becoming a commercial pilot. "She was real close, too, and then this happens," he said.

The crash is under investigation. Federal officials could not be reached for comment Sunday. Relatives of Kelly and Reidy could not be located for comment Sunday.

Another related link:
http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=813217&nav=14RS8HQv9VFT
 

WileE

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I know Larry

I got my ATP from Larry. He is a true professional and if he didn't feel safe about the condition of the plane, I trust his judgement completely. Also the Nogales Airport isn't the most forgiving place to fly out of, lots of cumulous granite to run into and very high temps and elevation to start with. Sounds like these people should never have tried flying down there in the first place.
 

FlyinBrian

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That's sad.

It does sound like Accelerated. I don't know anywhere else in Chandler where three people would rent a poorly maintained light twin to go take a ride from Larry Tiffin in Nogales. I can't confirm that it's acclereated's plane, but it sure seems the likely scenario.

My heartfelt sympathy to the families.
 

banned username 2

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My Sympathy's go out to the families....

I flew with Larry Tiffin back in 1990, I got my CFI-I from him and did my CFI-I and CFI-ME at his Flight School (Arizona Flight School)... I was wondering where he disappeared to... He offered me a job as a CFI back then but I turned it down... Shortly after I was kicking myself when I got back to the midwest and there were no jobs, but in the long run I think things worked out much better!
 

Wiggums

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It was Accelerated. Apparently the flight instructor was in the back seat.
 

clrwman

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Accelerated Flight

If it is them, I'm not surprised, I left that school back in Feb because I didnt feel safe. Kept expecting to hear about them on the news and unfortunately now I have.
 

bobbysamd

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It's sad

My condolences, too.

Larry Tiffin used to be an examiner in Prescott, Arizona, at least during the late '80s-early '90s. As well as I can remember, he always played it straight and gave people a fair shake. I'd suspect he knew what he was talking about.
 

azpilot

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Wiggums said:
It was Accelerated. Apparently the flight instructor was in the back seat.
They are always in the back seat there. Maybe this will be the end of the school. I hate to see people get killed because of shoddy maintenance if that is the case. I am sure it will take a long while to find out the full details. I know one of the pilots got his private lic. in the Apache there. Instuctors are there for an important reason and they can't do a **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** thing from the back seat!
 

ipilot

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Is larry working with the local FSDO over there? If yes, then how can he let an unairworthy airplane fly infront of him.
Here in FL the school I went to had too many problems with getting the airplane o.k to fly with the FAA initial CFI checkrdies. So many times they had to fix a problem in Orlando with a local mechanic or had to get a ferry permit to fly it back.
Very sorry for the people who were involved in the crash but that tells you the conditions of planes we've in most of the schools.


________________________
Check that its three greens.....
 

Goffer

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WileE said:
I got my ATP from Larry. He is a true professional and if he didn't feel safe about the condition of the plane, I trust his judgement completely.
I recently received my instrument rating and commercial from Mr. Tiffin these past couple months. I'm sure he strongly discouraged the flight of the A/C back to Chandler. We morn the loss of fellow pilots, but poor judgement is not an excuse. Advice from a man of his knowledge should not be taken lightly.
 

Timebuilder

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Ultimate responsibility?

I can't help to wonder why three people who had made it to this point in their careers (commercial and instructor ratings on board) would choose to take off in a plane that an experienced examiner had just refused to use for a flight test? HELLO??????

Perhaps this is one of those "ultimate" examples of poor PIC decision making.

Let's all take a lesson from this, particularly those of you who are still working to complete your training.

A sad, sad affair.
 

FlyinBrian

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Is larry working with the local FSDO over there? If yes, then how can he let an unairworthy airplane fly infront of him.
Larry is a DE, and not an FAA inspector. He has neither the responsibility nor the authority to ground a plane.

Wiggums, How do you know it was accelerated's plane. Nothing I could find would even say what type it was. I hope that some of the time-whores out there understand why some of us are so outsspoken against provinding instruction from the back seat. This is a sad way to learn a lesson.
 

Wiggums

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FlyinBrian, here is the first report with the tail number...


[IDENTIFICATION]
Regis#: 4302P Make/Model: PA23 Description: PA-23-150/160 Apache
Date: 06/08/2002 Time: 2105

Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
City: NOGALES State: AZ Country: US

DESCRIPTION
ACFT CRASHED SHORTLY AFTER TAKE-OFF INTO A RESIDENTIAL AREA 5 MILES
NORTH-NORTHWEST OF THE ARPT AND WAS DESTROYED, THE 3 POB SUFFERED FATAL
INJURIES, OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES ARE UNKNOWN, NOGALES, AZ.

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 3
# Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 2 Fat: 2 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: KOLS 082054Z AUTO 21010G15KT 10SM CLR A2989

OTHER DATA
Activity: Unknown Phase: Take-off Operation: General Aviation

Departed: NOGALES, AZ Dep Date: 06/08/2002 Dep. Time: 2100
Destination: CHANDLER, AZ Flt Plan: NONE Wx Briefing: U
Last Radio Cont: UNKN
Last Clearance: UNKN

FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ (WP07) Entry date: 06/10/2002
 

azpilot

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I know it was Accelerated because I fly of Stellar. I know some people who know 2 of those involved as well. I didn't know them. I heard today that Mr. Tiffen may have actually flown for a bit and then came back after a problem. The 3 then decided to return to Stellar. This is complete hearsay though. I have heard lots of stories about people who flew there. I know the planes are pieces of junk. Most sounds like crap during run up and when they return to the ramp for engine shutdown. I know why people go to schools like this, to save money. Well sadly their potential careers and life are over with all for trying to save some cash. I hope Stew feels like crap knowing that his shoddy maintenance could have just killed 3 people and I hope his operation gets shut down. Let him takes all of his planes to Malaysia as I have heard he wants to do. The FAA was out at the airport yesterday and I hope they find lots of stuff to write up. He carries no insurance on his aircraft so if the familes were to sue I am sure it would put him out of business.

Peace,
AZPilot
 

FlyinBrian

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I've noticed the folks who typically defend Stew's Acclerated pilot-whore training bordello are noticably absent from this conversation. I guess it's hard to defend the shady operation when it kills three people. I don't mean to use three deaths to stir up an old pot, but it makes me angry. I hope that some folks understand things a little better now.
 

Wiggums

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azpilot: Even worse is this situation. I always warned students and instructors about going there because of the lack of insurance. Now that it looks like the instructor was negligent the families also have the option of suing the instructor's estate.

Something to think about if you have money or family...
 

EAP

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Hmmm. I did my initial CFI checkride with Larry Tiffin back in '92 after my CFI training! Sorry to hear about the fatalities. Small world.
 

azpilot

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Update:

From talking to folks at the airport they said they saw the plane leave on Saturday and it sounded terrible. I also heard the instructor started with zero time or near zero time and got all of her ratings in the Apache. She had only been an instructor for a few weeks. The pilot in the left seat got his private pilot rating in the Apaches and had little is any single engine time. I don't have any info on the person who was supposed to take his CFI exam. Witnesses said the plane was really skimming the tree tops and homes for a long time. It sounds like they were trying to land on a local freeway and never made it.

In another unrelated crash that happened the same weekend and father and daughter were killed in an experimental bi-plane. This very plane made a off airport landing near Stellar a few months earlier, I am sure this was never reported to the NTSB. The engine failed. It sounds like the top wing came off during this crash.

Folks DON'T CUT CORNERS! It can get you killed.

As many have said regarding the Apache accident. The instructor should not sit and in the back. With these planes especially the instructor better have lots of experience with engine failures. It is my guess that AFCT is done. I think the FAA will find enough issues that they will not want to spend the money to get them resolved.

- AZPilot
 

Timebuilder

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I hadn't realized that we were talking about in Apache in this instance.

Without the Geronimo conversion (more powerful engines) this plane has a really pronounced rate of descent on one engine. Add a high density altitude to the equation, and you can expect to land SOON in an engine out emergency.

I used to tell my students to pay a great deal of attention to accidents. We don't have the time or the multiple "lives" required to make all, or even some of these mistakes ourselves. We need to analyze the mistakes of others in order to benefit from their experience, especially if that experience was their LAST one.
 

RJPilot

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FlyinBrian
I've noticed the folks who typically defend Stew's Acclerated pilot-whore training bordello are noticably absent from this conversation. I guess it's hard to defend the shady operation when it kills three people. I don't mean to use three deaths to stir up an old pot, but it makes me angry. I hope that some folks understand things a little better now.

RJPilot
I am still around. Funny without an NTSB report this is all speculation on your part based on a newpaper and not facts. I know the full story and will defend this school based on the knowledge I have about this crash. Let's hope Brian that none of your students violate the standards and proceedures you taught them during training.
 
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