One Day, Two Crashes, 15 Killed
The NTSB is in the preliminary stages of its investigation into two separate business aircraft accidents on October 24 that killed 15 people. At about 12:30 p.m., a King Air 200 owned and operated by Hendrick Motorsports crashed near Martinsville, Va., while en route to a Nascar race that afternoon, killing all 10 aboard. Initial reports indicated that the aircraft was making its second approach to Blue Ridge Airport when it hit Bull Mountain about seven miles northwest of the field. Weather at the time was reported as cloudy with mist and fog. Just nine hours earlier, at about 12:30 a.m. PDT, a Learjet 35 owned and operated by Med Flight Air Ambulance hit mountainous terrain seconds after taking off from Brown Field near San Diego, killing its two pilots and three medical staff aboard. The jet was returning to its home base in Albuquerque, N.M., after moving a patient from Mexico to San Diego.