The controller advised the pilot to report clear but

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The controller advised the pilot to report clear, but never received a reply. About 10-15 minutes later the controller was advised by local law enforcement of a possible aircraft down south of theairport. Aircraft Accident Report Project1.8 Witness Interviews and Company InterviewsAccident Case Number ERAU-330RL
ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 11WIT-2: The “Tahoe FBO Service” fuel attendant/line tech had, one hour prior to the departure, “topped off the tanks” and asked the pilot where he was going. The pilot stated it was a local flight of about 45 minutes, but wanted “extra gas” in case the clients wanted to go home to Burbank. The pilot seemed “rushed” and was getting “anxious” about the fast changing weather. The fuel truck driver also helped the pilot load four or five large, “like metal sea trunks marked photo gear” into the back passenger compartment of the plane. The fuel attendant asked where the tie down straps or netting was and the pilot stated he would secure the stuff later. The fuel attendant estimated the trunks had to be near 100 pounds each and were stacked on top of one another. WIT-3: A secretary for the Tahoe FBO Service said she greeted the passengers of the mishap flight and directed them to the ramp. She heard one the passengers jokingly tell the pilot to hurry-up or they would leave without him. The pilot approached the counter and paid the fuel bill with a company credit card. WIT-4: A geologist standing at the departure end of the runway looked up as the plane crossed over and noted, “lots of yellow sparks or flame coming from the right engine, then the plane disappeared into the mist. He thought he heard a “boom” a short time later but couldn’t be sure. WIT-5: A retired LAPD police helicopter pilot working as a bartender at the airport café saw the plane depart and wondered if the “guy was going IFR” as the weather was quickly going down at the airport. He said he saw some smoke coming off the right engine and though he Aircraft Accident Report Project1.8 Witness Interviews and Company InterviewsAccident Case Number ERAU-330RL
ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 12didn’t actually see it, “knew the right engine had flames.” The WIT was sitting on the east side ofthe field with a view perspective of only the left side of the aircraft as it rolled by. WIT-6: A vacationing ERAU professor was standing in the parking lot mid-field and commented to her husband “about how fast the weather was changing and then noted the mishap aircraft rotating off the runway with a smoking right engine. She thought she saw some flames coming from the right engine, but, “it went by pretty quick” so she couldn’t be sure. She was standing on the south side/west of the field and could see the right side of the aircraft. WIT-7: A forest ranger was on the roadway, about 5 miles from the airport when he saw an airplane “just come out of the mist”, strike the tip of the tower and crash. He immediately called 911 and attempted to reach the crash site, but was blocked by rough terrain and mud.

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