Date & Time: Mar 16, 2004 at 0401 LT
Type of aircraft:
Landing (descent or approach)
Groom Lake - Tonopah
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
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, wilfully 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 became incapacitated during his approach to land due to sudden cardiac death.