Candy Drop Turns Fatal for Idaho Pilot
Paul Davis, 55, was killed a week ago Sunday, in a
sad crash of his Aviat A-1A Husky. He and friend Dan McNall, 22,
were overflying a Sandpoint (ID) High School graduation party for a
handful of students, adding to the festivities, dropping candy.
What went wrong has not been precisely determined. Davis was
dead at the scene; McNall got a broken nose and possibly a broken
wrist; he was out of Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane
(WA) on Monday, but had to return for further surgery.
The NTSB investigator on the case, Kurt Anderson, told ANN, "At
the time of the accident, he [Davis] was not making a candy drop;
he had already made about four passes over a pond where candy was
dropped (by the passenger, not the pilot); and he headed to a field
just south of there, and made a left descending turn. There was a
pickup truck just outside the eastern boundary of the field,
heading toward the north (toward the pond).
"The truck, it was reported, had the girlfriend of
the passenger in it, and the aircraft passed the pickup very
slowly, at about 40-50 feet above the ground, and it continued
until it approached a tree line; he then made a shallow left bank,
the nose came up steeply, the aircraft rolled right, and impacted
the terrain." Anderson continued, "We know essentially what
happened; we need to know why it happened, and how it happened. We
have done a significant amount of inspection of the aircraft and
airframe, already; we have more to do."
A routine toxicology report was ordered on the pilot.
well-known at the airport as a frequent flier, was also
locally-known as a firefighter, an outdoorsman, and an amateur
radio operator. The local paper said, "He volunteered for Bonner
County Search and Rescue, in addition to Northside Fire District
and the Sandpoint Fire Department." He was also a volunteer on the
Bonner County Airport Advisory Board.
As a Marine pilot in Vietnam, Davis received more than one
Purple Heart, and the Navy Flying Cross. In one combat accident,
Davis was a passenger, the only survivor of a Huey crash.
** Report created 6/18/2003 Record
Make/Model: HUSK Description: A-1
Date: 06/08/2003 Time: 2230
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: SANDPOINT State: ID Country:
ACFT STALLED IN A TURN AT LOW ALTITUDE AND CRASHED UNDER
UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, TWO PERSONS ON BOARD, ONE WAS FATALLY
INJURIED AND ONE SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, 10 MILES NORTH OF
INJURY DATA Total Fatal:
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 1 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: METAR KCOE 2235Z AUTO 23009G14KT 10SM FEW080 28/AA
Activity: Pleasure Phase:
Unknown Operation: General
Dep Date: 06/08/2003 Dep. Time:
Flt Plan: NONE Wx
Last Radio Cont: UNK
Last Clearance: UNK
FAA FSDO: BOISE, ID
Entry date: 06/09/2003 #