Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH

Aircraft Model: 1900C

Engine Manufacturer: AMA/EXPR

Engine Model: UNKNOWN ENG

Aircraft Year: 1985


Owner Address: PO BOX 1504, LAYTON, UT, 84041-6504

Type of Owner: Government

Registration Date: 28-Jul-1988

Airworthiness Certificate Type: Standard

Approved Operations: Normal

Service History

This plane no longer exists. It crashed seven miles southeast of the Tonopah Test Range on March 16, 2004. One pilot and four passengers were killed when the pilot suffered a heart attack enroute from Groom Lake to the Tonopah Test Range. The accident report lists the departure airport as a question mark. The narrative of the crash report is as follows:

"The Air Force Materiel Command Beech 1900 crashed while on a routine
support mission from a remote classified airstrip on the Nellis range
to the Tonopah Test Range.  It departed at 03:43 for Tonopah.  After
reporting the runway lights in sight, the pilot configured the
airplane for the approach and initiated a circling maneuver to the
right for a visual straight-in approach to runway 32.  During the turn
the pilot suffered a sudden cardiac death.  Half way through the turn
the airplane began a gradual descent until it impacted the ground.
The airplane broke up and burst into flames.  Investigation revealed
that the pilot had violated federal policy and directives, willfully
deceived flight medical examiners, suppressed significant medical
information and ingested inappropriate medications for a deteriorating
and dangerous health condition.  The pilot had high blood pressure and
failed to report it, and denied taking medications to his Federal
Aviation Administration flight physical examiners."

The pilot’s name was David D. Palay, and the passengers were Derrick L. Butler, Michael A. Izold, Daniel M. Smalley, and Roy A. Van Voorhis. All of the passengers were contractors working for JT3 LLC, a range-support firm run collaboratively between EG&G and Raytheon.