Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 1900C
Engine Manufacturer: AMA/EXPR
Engine Model: UNKNOWN ENG
Aircraft Year: 1985
Owner Name: DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
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
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.