READER COMMENTS ON
"VIDEO: Raw Eye-Witness Footage of Burning Wreckage at Connell Crash"
(44 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:03 am PT...
I think the guy said: "That was awful." Not 'awesome.'
Raw Story keeps coming up with more:
A reporter for a Cleveland television station said Sunday that Connell had been warned his plane might be sabotaged.
"Connell...was apparently told by a close friend not to fly his plane because his plane might be sabotaged," 19 Action News reporter Blake Renault said. "And twice in the last two months, Connell, who is an experienced pilot, canceled two flights because of suspicious problems with his plane."
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:16 am PT...
Major breaking news; because of who was involved and the court case that was pending. This is no accident. But can you hear the crickets coming from the corporate news outlets? Jezus H; tell them to report the damn news. Give it at least as much time as say; Jon Benet; or O.J.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:45 am PT...
how did the plane erupt up in flames if the cause of the wreck was running out of gas?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 12:03 pm PT...
I did a search on CNN's web site and guess what came up ..NOTHING AND HERE blitzer speculates all day about Palin , Kennedy, missing girls, fabricates controversies between Biden and Cheney , claiming its news, yet Rove's internet guru mysteriously goes down in plane , just before testifying and there's a virtual black out .
The pattern of complicity continues ...............
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 12:37 pm PT...
I don't believe the cause was running out of fuel. That was an early report, which has since been retracted. At this time, there is no cause known for the crash, to my knowledge.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 2:15 pm PT...
i also think the man says the sound was "awful" not "awesome"...
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 2:32 pm PT...
Not being a pilot or aviation expert, I have a theory after watching and listening to the video. Witnesses say they "heard" the plane going down = engine running. This, coupled with the flaming trail of debris suggests the plane did not run out of fuel. The near-freezing temperature could have caused icing on the wings, and that could bring down a plane. It is a plausible explanation. I don't doubt elections in America have been rigged for years and computerized elections are a curse on democracy, but sometimes an accident is just an accident.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 2:35 pm PT...
the guy was on an instrument approach to runway 23 and crashed 3 miles away from the runway, which on a normal ILS glideslope would have him somewhere around 600 feet above ground. ILS approaches usually have a 4 percent slope.
He had flown 2 1/2 hours from college park maryland. He had an onboard GPS navigation unit which gives him almost perfect situational awareness. I highly doubt he was lost or confused about his position.
2 1/2 hours in a piper saratoga is nowhere near any range limitation. The only rational explanation for fuel exhaustion would be if one of his tanks became unusable or he had a fuel leak. Fuel leaks are exceedingly rare, very noticable, and rarely lead to mishaps. As for other types of sabotage, if his plane were sabotaged, why would it take 2 1/2 hours for the mishap to occur? And why would it finally take effect coincidentally during the most dangerous phase of flight, landing? Much more likely sabotage would take effect on takeoff.
Turns out it was broken to overcast 500 feet, with freezing rain reported in the area. So he's in the clouds at night in icing conditions. Far more likely in this case is a much more tragically routine accident pattern - in a hurry to get home on a friday night to his family (4 kids) and pushed his luck. He departed later than he wanted by about 20 minutes. He tried to sneak through marginal weather and iced up, got disoriented in the clouds, or induction icing on the engine.
This kind of thing happens far too often. There is almost nothing in this accident scenario that seems off-kilter to me, except for why such a smart guy is flying that plane at that point in time.
Approach-to-land at night in bad weather is the most dangerous flying there is, not that it is really that dangerous, just relatively speaking. The only way that situation could have been worse is if he were over water or over mountains.
My information comes from news reports, the FAA accident synposis, and flight plan information on his a/c available at www.flightplan.com
I am an instrument rated pilot and an owner of a different type of plane (which hardly makes me an expert) This aircraft had dual garmin 530/430 and on board weather detection, which in this case would help him detect lightning (not ice).
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 3:00 pm PT...
Look the MSM pick up on the story
"Neighbors told The Canton Repository that they heard what sounded like an engine sputtering before the crash and that the noise sounded like it was coming from a plane."
easy to clear up now ,,,,,,,, lets hear the tapes from the tower , this airport handle passenger traffic .. folk it a bigger airport then first you were let on to believe
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 5:55 pm PT...
It is interesting that it is quiet in the mainstream press about this. They want to have all the charges "disappeared"; shall we just 'look forward' anyone? He went to College Park to meet with . . . ? This type of thing normally happens to Democrats. However it could certainly happen to a Republican who was about to tell the truth.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 6:32 pm PT...
According to Connell's former GovTech President Randy Cole, Connell had flown this route scores of times and had sophisticated anti icing equipment on the plane. He said that Connell was an overly cautious pilot who could handle almost any situation.
The crash occurred at 5:54, when the visibility was 9-10 miles and no other plane reported any problems. Connell was cleared for approach, told to go to 3000 feet and then told to center his plane when approach showed him to the left of centerline. He did not respond and then declared an emergency.
The State Police said that there was no remarkable weather at the time of the crash and no precipitation, as the footage verifies.
In another YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFIWwjkSV4E, at 3:36-:38, taken at the crash site, you can see the airport rotating beacon when the cameraman pans toward the airport, again showing that the visibility was very good --- 3.3 miles to the airport according to the State Police.
These reports of low visibility and deteriorating weather are disinformation to keep people from asking tough questions. Same thing about those accusing the blogs of being conspiratorialists.
Remember, Connell told Spoonamore to make arrangements for him to meet with John Conyers so he could tell all because he was "afraid that Bush and Cheney would throw [him] under the bus." After Spoon made those arrangements, Conyers' staff dropped the ball and failed to ever talk to Connell.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 7:31 pm PT...
Early reports had the first responders locating a receipt in Connell's wallet that said he had breakfast in DC on Friday morning.
Yet after that inferno, how was anyone going to find an intact wallet or body?
Seeing the receipt would go a long way to understanding WHERE and WITH WHOM Connell had breakfast that Friday morning before his death. And if it was in an exceedingly public place or hotel someone might remember....
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 8:35 pm PT...
an Happy Prosecuting
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
james aka ADAP2K
said on 12/23/2008 @ 8:58 pm PT...
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 9:05 pm PT...
Stop talking about "out of gas".
No credible person EVER said anything about being out of gas. Hopefully this video will clear that up.
He never ran out of gas. He was not out of gas. The only person who started this lie about being out of gas is Larissa from Raw Story and this gas nonsense is still repeated days and days later.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 9:40 pm PT...
Induction icing does seem to be the ticket being that witnesses heard both sputtering and high rpms from the plane at the same time.
One pilot said it all, if you turn on the induction intake heater too late and it's already iced, it will suck a big chunks of ice and clog the intake partially or totally, or too much water into the intake all at once reducing the air fuel mixture, a predicament that he would not want to find himself in.
BUT, he said most experienced pilots would have that heater on if the air temp. was around freezing as precaution...Whatever
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 9:53 pm PT...
"Connell, as the pilot of the small single engine plane, was the only passenger on board."
So...was he a pilot or a passenger? Hopefully SOMEBODY was flying the airplane.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 10:00 pm PT...
He was the pilot. At least he was a pilot....
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 10:10 pm PT...
It crashes, explodes and burns for a full 10 minutes, yet we are to believe they found his wallet with a receipt for breakfast that morning as well as two suitcases, that he was dressed in a blue suit and that he was autopsied. Also, these people commented they heard the plane "accelerate" before they heard the explosion. Other "eyewitness" accounts first put out were that the neighbors heard "sputtering" like the plane was running of gas. It can't be both. If it ran out of gas why the explosion? How could it be both sputtering AND accelerating? This is a homicide.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 10:13 pm PT...
@ JD Arons
I would expect that his wife knew who he was meeting.
Does anyone know what kind, if any, investigation is being done? If the answer is in the Peter Collins extracts above I'll find out. I haven't listened to them yet.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:39 pm PT...
Hey, can we call it naked boy prosecution...or is that too unsavy (after waterboarding)? These people arestupid!
I just mean the people responsible for this should be on notice!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:44 pm PT...
The rest of us (THE WORLD THAT IS) differ.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2008 @ 11:50 pm PT...
JD Aron--thanks. I read the article at the thesuburbanite, which is out of Akron, Ohio.
It raises some question:
This article states:
1. The plane crashed in the front yard of an unoccupied home and slid coming to rest near some pines, and that debris from the crash was scattered over 100 yards. Only the garage of the empty house caught fire.
All other reports I've read say the plane hit the house engulfing both in flames. But we read here that the plane crashed in the front yard not the house, and that only the garage caught fire. The video above confirms that there were what appears to be smaller fires inside the garage portion of the house, but the main burn was the plane--and it was a burning inferno located several yards from the house. Witnesses said they first heard an explosion and then (presumably saw) a burst of flames.
2. The coroner stated that Connell was wearing a business suit and that investigators had found receipts in Connell's wallet indicating he had breakfast that morning in Washington DC.
Questions: After watching the above video, how could they have found Connell's wallet intact, much less determined what he was wearing? And other than the so-called wallet, what did they do to positively identify the body as that of Connell? Are they planning to do a DNA test to positively determine the identity of the crash victim? If not, why not?
3. Another article stated that a law enforcement official on the scene immediately identified Connell as the victim and lone occupant of the plane. I wondered how the officer could have made that determination so quickly considering the body had probably been burned beyond recognition in the crash. The above video would tend to confirm this. But now we hear about this wallet being found AND that they were able to determmine that Connell was wearing a suit.
Was his body found IN the plane or somewhere else non the scene?
4. According to the director of communications at the Akron Canton Airport, the crash occurred while Connell was en route to runway 23.
Since Connell had been in radio contact with the airport, why would he not radio the airport immediately when he found himself in trouble? Or did he? And if he did, why is that information not being released?
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 2:05 am PT...
Those are all excellent questions Yvonne. I'm sure they'll put inspector Clousseau on the case.
I am anxious to find out if there were any de-icing mechanisms on that plane. I'm also curious to know how many times he's made that trip in similar weather.
So many questions....
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 3:24 am PT...
Someone should also look a little more closely at the College Park, MD airport.
College Park is known as one of the "DC Three" general aviation airports whose operations were severaly curtailed after 9/11. College Park is within the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) Washington, a zone where pilots must be background screened, and pre-cleared to fly in. Pilots also must file flight plans in advance with the TSA and stick to them (I believe Lockheed Martin runs that program).
College Park has suffered severe hardship as the result of the Federal Government's heavy handedness on security, and as such, only about 50 pilots now operate out of that field. "Transient" aircraft operations (pilots who do not home-base their aircraft at College Park) are also rare.
Point of all this --- if Mike Connell was one of only 50 users of that airport, and he was a frequent visitor, then someone at College Park might have something to say.
Bonus - here's a video of the airfield operator lamenting the flight ops restrictions at his field:
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 6:38 am PT...
If there was ever any doubt Americans are fully subjected to corporate media, not news media, this case, this incident, conclusively proves the case.
I am astounded there have been no "friends and family" statements. Not one of Connell's contacts prior to his flight home have appeared. Why not?
At this point, it becomes important to bring in the editors of our corporate media to explain why they chose to silence this incident. Maybe the plaintiff attorneys will find useful information as to who dictated the news censorship on this matter.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 7:13 am PT...
This case clearly requires some serious investigative reporting. It, in a word, stinks! Fortunately, this site is hosted by one of the leading investigative reporters of our time, and I can't speak for the rest of us, but I have a fine new, shiny, tinfoil hat (with three corners yet) fashioned for the occasion. Time to pop some corn and enjoy the show. Go get 'em, Brad!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 8:00 am PT...
The local Ohio newspaper has one of the usual online guest books for family/friend condolences for Mike Connell's family.
One recent commenter is the operations manager of the College Park, MD Airport, Lee Schiek. Lee writes:
We enjoyed his visits with us - he will be missed.
Someone might want to check in with Lee, and see what he might be able to share about Connell's visits.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 8:27 am PT...
Great work on this investigation and reporting, Brad. But I wonder if you noted any similarities between this case and the Nov. 4th crash of Juan Mouriño in Mexico City?
Small private planes, fiery crashes on approach, no warning from pilots, both involved with conservative ruling parties and scandals.
And BOTH Black Boxes are going to be evaluated by the same U.S. agency.
Please read this article and let me what you think.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 8:35 am PT...
Also from that ONLINE obituary memories book, two politicos and a mystery woman send their condolences...
Ann Herberger writes that Mike will be missed by those in "Jebworld." Herberger is the largest GOP fundraiser in the State of Florida and very close with the Bush administration (google her!). Herberger had to distance herself from Jeb's reputation in 2000 when she accepted a campaign cotribution for Jeb from a convicted felon.
Michael Krull writes in. Krull works for Gordon James Public Relations, whose owner has worked for both Bushes - and ran several facilities in Baghdad for the CPA.
and a mysterious "Mrs. Harragall" in DC. Wondering if that's Karl? There's no voter, property or phone records for anyone named Harrigall in the DC metro region.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 8:36 am PT...
Please watch out for the changes in the online stories . it seem that they are adding part and minus-ing other part
I started watching (reading) Plane crash in ohio right from the start and no mention of spuddering noises. this what was first said " State Highway Patrol Lt. Eric Sheppard said Mr. Connell's plane was in communication with the airport control tower just before the crash, but he could not detail whether the radio transmissions were calls for help. "
''We have no reason to believe at this point it was anything other than an unfortunate crash,'' Sheppard said.
Charles Starkey, a former Navy pilot and director of safety for a Cleveland-area private jet company, said Friday night's cloud cover and misty, cold conditions presented challenges for even the most experienced pilots.
In a 30-minute time frame around the crash, the weather deteriorated quickly as visibility around the airport diminished from nine miles to a little over one mile with a low ceiling.
In such cases, pilots typically are forced to rely on the plane's instruments rather than their own vision, which can contribute to crashes, Starkey said.
''It's easy to get disoriented, especially if you're not very experienced at it,'' he said. ''You've got to ignore the various things your body can be telling you and rely on your instruments. It's very challenging.''
But NO ONE in any of the reports. Said spudder!
(my thuoght) The web is agreat thing ,BUT unlike a printed newspaper to make a correction you must print it the nexted day . The web can be changed with a click and its gone
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 10:17 am PT...
The person definitely says "AWFUL" not awesome. It's very plain to a non American ear and also, by the way, when the audio track is analyzed. The speech pattern has all the sounds of AWFUL not awesome. The sibilant 's' is entirely absent.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 11:14 am PT...
Brad, what was the relationship between Connell and the owner of the plane, Sierra-November Aviation?
Here I thought Connell owned the plane, due to previous statements that he canceled two previous flights...suspecting something was wrong with the aircraft.
So, he rented or leased this plane? How could he have an intimate knowledge of it?
I Googled "Sierra-November Aviation", and there isn't much of anything about it, anywhere. Even mom-and-pops have a web presence nowadays.
So many questions. So few answers.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 12:27 pm PT...
Investigaters found a receipt in his wallet? Are those the same investigaters that found Mohammed Atta's passport in prestine condition on the ground after the twin towers collapsed?
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 12:38 pm PT...
Linda ~ That same thought crossed my mind too . . .
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2008 @ 10:11 pm PT...
I heard that a simple refrigerator magnet stuck under the dashboard of a plane could affect the instrumentation enough to either cause it to crash, either directly or indirectly, by giving false information to the pilot. I believe I heard that on Mike Malloy's show but I'm not sure.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2008 @ 12:56 pm PT...
Check this out. Just raises more questions.
"Troopers with the Highway Patrol’s Canton post said the plane made a forced landing, hit a flagpole and rolled several times."
"So far the investigation shows that the plane had no issues with flight control and there was no icing, Serchak said. The plane’s propeller had damage that indicates the engine was operating when the crash occurred."
"Indications are Connell died from massive traumatic injuries. Although the wreckage burned following the crash, Connell’s body wasn’t burned, the spokeswoman said."
It's dinnertime. Merry Christmas!!
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2008 @ 5:29 pm PT...
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
Paul Magill Smith
said on 12/25/2008 @ 7:34 pm PT...
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
... scott creighton said on 12/24/2008 @ 8:27 am PT...
"And BOTH Black Boxes are going to be evaluated by the same U.S. agency."
And I wonder if this is the same agency who 'evaluated' the black boxes found (then reported NOT found) at the WTC on 911.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2008 @ 10:47 pm PT...
Wilburrr... ~ The fact the the gop, (Greedy Obstructionist perverts)the Konservative Kontrolled M$M and the bush regime has just about ignored this story speaks volumes of their Korruption . . .
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2008 @ 6:06 am PT...
Conspiracy theories are fun, but the only thing that makes this even newsworthy or even discussion worthy is it was a political operative...
As someone familiar with flying small aircraft, this is pretty much the stereotypical set of circumstances for a small plane crash (all the ingredients compound the situation so when something does go wrong, the odds go way up for a crash)...
Single engine, flying at night under IFR, icing conditions and crash on approach.
I don't think the ear witnesses can be considered credible until they are qualified. I mean honestly, to a lot of people a prop plane losing altitude sounds like sputtering when it is not.
If it were engine out you can still land, though I would hate to have to glide that in under IFR.
Oh, and yea, what is so hard to believe about intact wallet? Don't cook much, or use fire much? Sheesh, it would take a lot more than 10 minutes for a wallet (leather?) in a pocket, likely between a seat cushion and moist flesh to burn.
Gas fires burns from the surface down. Everything in the plane would be ash if it burnt long and hot enough to destroy a wallet tucked in under the butt.
So far there is nothing suspicious about the event if you replaced the person in question with any other person. Until there is something suspicious, this is just hyperbole, rumors and unqualified speculation.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2008 @ 7:10 am PT...
OK GUYS, LETS GET THE FACTS RIGHT. THE PLANE WAS A PIPER SARATOGA, NOT EQUIPPED TO FLY IN ICING CONDITIONS. OUR cHIEF PILOT ARRIVED INTO AKRON CANTON AN HOUR EARLIER AND SAID THERE WAS SUBSTANTIAL ICE ON APPROACH AND IT GOT WORSE FROM THAT TIME ON.
THE PLANE DID NOT RUN OUT OF GAS, HENCE THE POST IMPACT FIRE. I SAW THE HOUSE (WHICH HE DID NOT IN FACT HIT) AND THE SIDING WAS MELTED FROM THE FIRE.
HE WAS NOT A HIGH TIME INSTRUMENT PILOT.
IT WAS PROBABLY A COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. FLIGHT INTO ICEING CONDITIONS
2. SPATIAL DISORENTATION
4. LOW TIME INSTRUMENT EXPERIENSE.
ALSO AS STATED IN AN EARLIER POST, " THE ENGINE MAY NOT HAVE PROVIDED ENOUGH THRUST OVER THE WINGS.
THE WINGS WILL FLY WITH OR WITHOUT ENGINE THRUST, OTHERWISE A PLANE WILL NOT GLIDE.
AS FOR THE FIRE BURNING THE VICTIM, I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WORKS FOR THE SHERRIFS DEPT WHO WAS THERE AND SAID HE WAS THROWN FROM THE PLANE AT IMPACT.
THE PLANE BROKE INTO MANY PIECES AT IMPACT.
CONSIPRACY THEORISTS SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR CONSPIRACIES. I THINK THIS WAS JUST AN UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT.
FYI, MY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. LIVE NEAR ACCIDENT SCENE
2. LICENSED PILOT
3. LICENSED AIRCRAFT MECHANIC WITH INSPECTION AUTHORIZATION
4. LICENSED FLIGHT ENGINEER
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2008 @ 7:35 pm PT...
I think it remarkable how restrained the comments have been. Very little in the realm of whacky conspiracy theories here and so I really hesitate to suggest anything like the following...but I will anyway. I'm sure you pilots all remember the incidents at LAX and maybe other airports 10-15 years ago when pilots complained of being blinded by laser lights. The pilot looking out his windshield is a sitting duck on the long approach. I seem to recollect that the FAA took it quite seriously and that reports came out claiming that juveniles were playing with laser pointers.
Well today we know that our technical ability and weaponry has advanced well beyond a professor's laser pointer. I remember seeing a gadget on TV that the police can use to cause a car to stall by creating electrical shorts. At one point, quite active in street protests, I remember learning about the new "crowd control" weapon that can beam intense microwaves into a crowd, causing extremely high body temperatures, disorientation and painful discomfort over a broad area. I imagine a focused beam could do quite a bit of damage.
Of course, just as with election fraud, any such technologies used in a crime would only be used occasionally so as not to arouse suspicion, but would be saved for special cases, such as a real threat to those in power, and they would leave little forensic evidence.
I hate to bring any suspicion onto those in power but did anyone in the vicinity of the airport notice any brief static on their radios? If I am way off base fine, but it seems to me clear that the enemy is within and the sooner we rout it out the better.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 1/3/2009 @ 7:42 pm PT...
One of the most cherished items our family owns is a blackened, singed leather wallet belonging to my brother that was retrieved from the ashes of his airplane crash. I do not wish to discuss the details here, but he died in very similar circumstances as Mr. Connell. He too, was an accomplished pilot. All the pictures, cards, and notes in my brother's wallet survived, while little remained of the wrecked single-engine plane.