“The question is … who did it and how did it happen? We know it was jet fuel, we just need to learn the sequence of events and where the fail-safe systems actually failed,” Slack & Davis aviation attorney Mark Pierce told KXLY News in Spokane. His comments came after the February 22 crash of a Piper Malibu in Spokane. The Federal Aviation Administration determined that the airplane’s gas tank had been filled with the wrong fuel. Story below. NEW: KXLY Reporter Jeff Humphrey filed a follow-up story on March 11, 2015, after the NTSB released its preliminary report about the crash. He interviewed Mark Pierce for this article too.
Which Safeguards Failed in Fatal Plane Crash?
byJeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter
Spokane Valley, Washington – Safeguards should be in place to insure aircraft get the right type of fuel when they tank up at Felts Field, but those safeguards may not have been in place when the wrong fuel may have filled the tank of a Canadian pilot’s plane prior to his crash shortly after takeoff last month.
On February 22, a Piper Malibu that had just taken off from Felts Field, lost power and went down just east of the Hamilton Street overpass. Michael Clements, the Canadian pilot aboard, later died of his injuries and an FAA inspector at the scene said the plane had been gassed up with the wrong fuel.
At Felts Field Western Aviation sells both jet fuel and aviation gas from its self serve pumps and fuel trucks and investigators want to know how jet fuel ended up in plane that can’t burn jet fuel and if that caused the plane to crash.
“It’s doubtful the pilot would put the wrong fuel into his airplane, being well aware of that risk, so we’re probably going to learn in the very near future as to whether if it was the Phillips 66 fuel provider that dispensed the fuel,” aviation attorney Mark Pierce said…