The Oct. 15 crash of an airplane participating in a Young Eagles rally in Everett, Wash., was not the first fatal accident tied to the program.
According to information obtained from the National Transportation Safety Board, a Grumman American AA-1B crashed in September 1998 during a Young Eagles event in Yoder, Colo., killing the pilot and one passenger.
According to the NTSB report, the 9 a.m. accident happened during the second flight made by the pilot, who was participating in the Young Eagles rally. The accident was discovered when another rally participant flew over the scene an hour or so later and spotted the wreckage.
EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski says the NTSB report on the 1998 accident is in error as the accident flight did not involve a Young Eagle.
“There has been some confusion regarding that accident,” he said. “That flight and tragic accident was with a young man who had taken his Young Eagles flight some time prior to that date. He was working as a volunteer at the Young Eagles rally that day, so it was more or less a volunteer appreciation flight, not a Young Eagles flight.”
The cause of the 1998 accident was attributed to fuel exhaustion and the pilot’s loss of control during a forced landing in a field. It was also noted that the pilot had taken several over-the-counter medications that contributed to drowsiness and slow reaction time.
The cause of the 2005 accident that killed the pilot and two teenage girls is still under investigation.