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February 12, 2006

Plane Crash In Roseville

A plane crashed into a house in Roseville, northeast of Sacramento today. From the video, it looks like a missile strike. The house is toast. Four people are feared dead, including possibly two inside the house.

The aircraft was a Glasair II, low-wing experimental kit plane. As a law clerk, I worked peripherally on a case involving the crash of a kit plane very similar to the Glasair II. Due to client confidentiality, I can't get into the specifics of the case. But suffice to say, you'd never catch me getting into one of them kit planes.

I don't know what possesses pilots to build their own plane when there are plenty of reliable manufacturers out there. Especially a low-wing plane with it's inherent fuel feed problems. Today's crash occurred after witnesses say the pilot was doing some aerobatics. Not smart over a populated area like Roseville.

Posted by annika, Feb. 12, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Science & Technology


I'm a high-wing guy myself, but of course there are lots of production airplanes out there with low wings and safety records comparable to the high wings. One advantage of low-wing is supposed to be better crosswind handling.

Posted by: David Foster on Feb. 12, 2006

I monitor a blog called Roseville Conservative (it's on my blogroll), but so far it hasn't said anything about the incident.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor on Feb. 12, 2006

That's right, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should.

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 12, 2006

This is funny. Lawyers pretty much killed general aviation in the US in the late 70's to early 80's - driving the price of a new Cessna 152 from about 15K to probably close to 100K due to "product liability" lawsuits against the airplane manufacturers because, horrors, airplanes sometimes crash...

There are really very few manufacturers left.

And we've all got to go somehow. So I can't get too worked up about somebody doing himself in in a kit plane. But the acrobatics over a populated area is wrong.

Posted by: MarkD on Feb. 13, 2006

Some pretty poor judgment was used by the pilot - it would appear at least four FARs (regulations) were violated. As a pilot and sometime aircraft builder, I am saddened by the apparent recklessness and awful outcome. It doesn't appear that the aircraft was at fault, and I believe the NTSB will fully validate this.

I wonder if you'll blog on the NTSB report when it comes out. It seems to me that it would be equally poor judgment if someone let you into their airplane.

Somehow the majority of aircraft in the world, being low-wing aircraft, seem to have solved the fuel feed problem? Perhaps it's just a problem for attorneys and law clerks?

Posted by: avboy on Feb. 14, 2006

First off, Dont jump to conclusions that the plane is to blame. Most experimental Aircraft are built with materiails that superceed most all production aircraft.
Just because a plane has a low wing, doesn't have anything to do with inherent fuel feed problems.
The blame here should be the careless act as a pilot in command, not becaue the plane is registered "experimental".

Posted by: Guy Foreman on Feb. 14, 2006

I know the owner of the plane and he didn't build it himself. The plane was purchased in Nov 05 from someone in TX. It is still has not comfirmed if he was actually piloting the plan when it crashed.

Posted by: San Clemente on Feb. 14, 2006

You know...the pilot and owner of the plane was my uncle, and none of you have the right until something like this happens in your family to bad talk a person you don't know, nor does anyone but him and his brother in law know what really happened in that plane. Several witnesses said that the plane stalled and the plane could not recover. Yeah he was violating the regulations distance rules, and such...but it doesn't mean that he deserved to die! My uncle was a veteran from the first Desert Storm, he served his country for all of you! He is a hero, and loved to have fun. They were doing stunts in that area because his brother in law wanted to put on a show for his son...and the really sad thing is, that his wife, mother, and son were watching when the plane went down. I feel horrible for the family who lost their son in the crash also...but lets remember that there are other victims here, and their memory deserves to live on in a good light! My uncles wife, son...all of us are devistated! You think nothing like this will happen to you, then you get a call like the one I got that morning. I love my uncle and he will forever live on in my heart and memories!

Posted by: Brandy Storer on Feb. 17, 2006

This accident happened in my neighborhood, about 200 yards away from me. The plane was performing numerous manuevers, but way too low to the ground [at least 200 ft]. It was quite reckless, but no one deserved to die for it. With that said, that plane could've easily come down on my house & my whole family, plus 2 children from the neighborhood, would've been killed. I have compassion for those who lost loved ones, but the decision to fly illegally in my neighborhood, cannot be excused.

Posted by: SC on Feb. 21, 2006

This is a very tragic accident and nobody should have died in this accident. Agreeing with what MarkD had to say about the lawers, the Glasair 2 and any Glasair for that matter have a great track record as far as safety. From what I know there has never been one come apart in the air.(Meaning from overstressing the structure of the plane) This accident from the evidence presented so far was due to pilot error. I have a Glasair 2 EXPERMENTAL and feel safer in it than I do in most aircraft.

Posted by: Brandon on Feb. 28, 2006