- Sen. Paul Wellstone, a fiery fist-shaking liberal fighting
for a third term, was killed Friday morning along with his wife, daughter,
three aides and two pilots when his twin-engine campaign plane crashed
into a peat bog in light snow and fog while landing at Eveleth in northern
- The Beech King Air A-100 broke into several parts and
two major sections erupted in flames, said Gary Ulman, manager of the Eveleth-Virginia
Municipal Airport. All eight people aboard the aircraft died.
- Ulman said there was no distress call or any indication
of trouble before the plane went down about 10:20 a.m. The pilot had notified
the airport that he was going to land and had clicked his microphone to
turn on the landing lights.
- Ulman said he went up in a private plane himself to look
for the Wellstone plane after it failed to land on the runway.
- "I looked to the south and saw smoke plumes,"
- He flew over the area, thick with pine and spruce trees,
and saw the plane's tail had broken off.
- "It was engulfed in flames," he said.
- Aborted landing"
- The path of the wreckage, about two miles southeast of
the airport, suggested the pilot may have aborted the landing, Ulman said.
He said the weather was overcast with light snow and a temperature of 31
but was well within the landing limits at the airport.
- Crews had to use all-terrain vehicles to slog through
the bog to the crash site, said St. Louis County Sheriff Rick Wahlberg.
He said the tail and both wings had broken off, and the fire was still
burning five hours after the crash.
- As always, Wellstone was with his wife, Sheila, who was
at his side every step of his political career. His daughter, Marcia, also
died in the crash.
- The others killed in the crash were Wellstone aides Will
McLaughlin, Tom Lapic and Mary McEvoy and pilots Richard Conry and Michael
- The Wellstone plane crash was the most deadly in Minnesota
since Dec. 1, 1993, when 18 people were killed in Hibbing when a Northwest
Airlink flight crashed three miles from the runway during a night landing.
- The NTSB on Friday dispatched a "go-team" of
about a dozen investigators to Eveleth. The team, which arrived about 8:15
p.m., was to begin investigating at first light today.
- Wellstone was en route to the 11 a.m. funeral in Virginia
of Martin Rukavina, father of Minnesota Sen. Tom Rukavina, D- Virginia.
- NTSB records indicate there have been 26 aviation accidents
in Eveleth since 1965, including three in which people died.
- From Mike Robinson
- Dear Jeff,
- I am prompted to write in response to the comment by
'Moses' in the article 'Wellstone's plane gave no indication of trouble'.
Mr Moses appears to have no knowledge of aviation whatsoever, and his comments
are fankly nonsense. None of what I am about to say precludes the possibility
that Wellstone was assasinated, but lets get the facts right, at least.
- First of all, the weather at the time of the crash. Weather
is given in the form of a METAR and the METAR at that time was as follows:
- 251514Z AUTO 00000KT 3SM -SN SCT004 OVC007 01/00 A3006
- In plain English:
- At 10:14 CDT, the wind was calm and the visibility was
three statute miles in light snow. There were scattered clouds at four
hundred feet, and overcast at seven hundred feet. The temperature was 1
degree Celsius, or 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dew point was zero degrees
Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit The altimeter was at 30.06 inches of mercury.
- This was not a bright and sunny day! Cloud base was down
to 400 feet, with solid clag above 700 feet.
- The METARs all through that day show that barometric
pressure was falling. The altimeter in an aircraft works by measuring barometric
pressure... the higher the aircraft is, the lower the air pressure outside,
and so this can be displayed on a guage to show your approximate height.
The trouble is that air pressure changes over time, so the altimeter is
only as accurate as the last time it was set with the current barometric
pressure. I'm not going to go into detail here, but with barometric pressure
falling at the airport, the altimeter reading would be inaccurate, and
the aircraft would appear to the pilots to be higher than it actually was.
Remember, with cloud base at 400 feet, they couldn't see the ground!
- The temperature at ground level was 1 degree celcius.
Temperature drops with height. The size of this drop is based on the 'lapse
rate'. The 'lapse rate' for unsaturated air is 3 degrees per 1000 feet
or so. Here we can see that the dew point is zero degrees. This means that
the air was pretty well saturated. Although this reduces the lapse rate,
maybe to as little as 1 degree per 1000 feet, the aircraft was undoubtedly
experiencing icing conditions. This is borne out by the fact it was snowing!
- To quote a contributor to the Professional Pilots Rumour
Network (pprune.org), a pilot who has experience of these aircraft:
- "It seems to me with the conditions being poor weather
and icing involved there was a good set up for a classic "Tail"
stall situation. The stab on the BE 10 is low (unlike its BE20 cousin).
The King Airs perfom well in moderate levels of ice but great care must
be taken when getting into the approach phase. Flap selections (especially
below the approach setting) must be made with great dilligence. Boots [which
break up any ice formation] must be working well. Any disruption of airflow
(AOA changes etc) over the tail in icing conditions can lead to disaster
very quickly. The proper procedure for recovery of a tail stall is check
back and reduce power. Something we are not taught in flight school. If
this was the case the crew would have only seconds to react successfully."
- This seems to me to be a very sad accident. The aircraft
was off track, with falling barometric pressure they were quite possibly
low and had less time to react to emergencies, they were oin the 'approach
phase' and were in icing conditions. Like I say, none of this precludes
sabotage, but comments like "A major blast must have torn the plane
to pieces, the pilot did not have any chance to say ANYTHING" and
"In normal crashes, the tail stays attached to the body of the plane"
display total ignorance of aviation and air crashes, and simply strengthen
the hand of the people that would bury any possible evidence of foul play.
- Kind regards,
- Mike Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
- From Moses
- How Sen. Wellstone Was Assassinated
- 1. Weather For Landing: 3 mile visibility, daylight.
2. Plane gave NO indication of trouble. 3. Plane fell in a remote forest
area, 'ideal' in preventing ANY eyewitnesses. 4. Pilot was in constant
communications with tower. All he had to do to talk to tower was push his
mic button but apparently had NO TIME. 5. A major blast must have torn
the plane to pieces, the pilot did not have any chance to say ANYTHING.
6. In normal crashes, the tail stays attached to the body of the plane.
7. The NWO website attacking Wellstone was removed from the internet, as
soon as I found it on Google, it was removed from Google too. 8. Based
on previous NWO activities we can safely speculate that the assassin was
standing with the remote control in the forest about 2km from the airport.
9. The NTSB already started the cover-up, EVEN BEFORE they arrived at the
crash location. They informed us that plane crashes are very common at
- Grand Forks Herald http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/4372594.htm