Wit 3 a secretary for the tahoe fbo service said she

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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. Page 6 of 6 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 didn’t actually see it, “knew the right engine had flames.” The WIT was sitting on the east side of the 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. 1.8B Company Interviews WIT-8: A Zonk Air staff member, the part-time bookkeeper, indicated the owner told the pilot several times that this (mishap flight) was a last minute, urgent “hot flight with good money making potential so do it up right and give them a good show.” WIT-9: Another company pilot stated he had called in sick and so the “new guy” was to take the flight. He said, the “new guy” was a good kid, but seemed tired all the time. He said this was a last minute deal and didn’t leave the “new guy” with much time to get to the airport and take the flight.
WIT-10-12: Numerous employees for the company said the new pilot was seen many times sleeping in the crew lounge before flights. He was, they said, going through a break-up with a girlfriend and didn’t want to go “home.” WIT-13: The owner/operator said he knew the pilot was a “bit tired”, but wanted to work. He thought the pilot had passed a 135-check ride, but couldn’t find the records or recall giving him a flight test. The owner told the pilot, “This was a pretty straightforward” gig however, “Don’t take any chances.” The owner also stated the new pilot, to his knowledge, had never flown to Lake Tahoe before, but did think the pilot had some mountain experience from previous jobs. There were no records to indicate that

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