The 7-year-old was getting by on little sleep and could be excused for feeling a bit disoriented by all the media coverage of her ballyhooed bid to be the youngest person ever to fly across the country. Later he recalled his father's last words to him: "I'll talk to you again. But even if the media exercise a bit more caution the next time, the Lisa Hathaways and Lloyd Dubroffs of the world will still take risks to project their own dreams through their children. ", See the article in its original context from. At the crash site, her sister, Jasmine Dubroff, 3, picked up a balsa-wood model airplane left by a mourner and began playing with it. "[2](p28), Nevertheless, Dubroff became an instant media celebrity. His commercial flight, with 19 passengers aboard, was scheduled to leave the Cheyenne, Wyo., airport a few minutes later. The Mayor said Jessica had told him she drew up the flight plans herself, picking Cheyenne as the first stop after calculating how far a tank of gas would take her from her home in California. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. "I cared deeply for this little girl," he said. According to witnesses, the plane lifted off and climbed slowly, with its nose high and its wings wobbling. "Over the Sierra it was just perfect, until we got over to the Rockies and they were bumpy, kind of bumpy," she told radio station KGO in San Francisco on Wednesday. [2](p35)[3], The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the accident and published a detailed final report eleven months later on March 11, 1997. Rescue workers found no sentimental teddy bears amid the wreckage -- Jessica's parents didn't give her toys, preferring power tools so she could "learn by doing." Joe Reid? With any luck, Jessica's senseless death may turn out to be the publicity stunt to end all publicity stunts -- at least those involving children in potential peril. The consequences have been disastrous before. That caused some anxiety. Even the Guinness Book of World Records now shies away from citing exploits (including rapid eating) that may endanger lives. "I beg people to let children fly if they want to fly," a teary-eyed Ms. Hathaway told The Associated Press before flying from Boston to Wyoming to claim her daughter's body. She had flown ahead to Massachusetts to await the arrival of Jessica and her ex-husband. ABC News gave Lloyd a video camera and blank cassettes to tape the flight; once the journey began, it was vigorously followed by supporters, media outlets, and others who monitored its progress, reporting each time Dubroff landed or took off. "But obviously the FAA is now going to have to do some regulating. In general, when an airport is officially IFR (normally because of reduced visibility or low cloud ceiling), only IFR or Special VFR operations are allowed. The statute prohibits anyone who does not hold at least a private pilot certificate and a current medical certificate from manipulating the controls of an aircraft, if that individual "is attempting to set a record or engage in an aeronautical competition or aeronautical feat. The brown-haired, 4 feet 2 Jessica Dubroff had flown out of Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Wednesday and executed a flawless landing in high winds that evening here in … As the aircraft began taxiing to the departure runway, the rain intensified and visibility at the airport fell below the three mile minimum required for VFR flight. [2](p58) While the coast-to-coast flight was promoted as a "record" attempt because of Dubroff's young age, there was no known body recognizing record flights by underage "pilots" at the time of her flight (The Guinness Book of Records had officially discontinued its "youngest pilot" categories seven years earlier, because of the risk of accidents). Time magazine featured Dubroff's portrait on its front cover, in which she is seen wearing a gray cap with the inscription, "Women Fly". From now on, press releases touting child exploits that might be dangerous should be tossed where they belong -- into the circular file. Ms. Hathaway spoke via cellular telephone to Jessica moments before the take-off here. To maintain control through the climbing right turn, he would have had to turn his head to the left to see the flight instruments (most critically the attitude and airspeed indicators) and to the right to see the ground through the side window. The Mayor of Cheyenne, Leo Pando, broke down at a news conference here this morning, saying that Jessica had reminded him of his own daughter, who died in a flood 11 years ago at the age of 16. It held no clues. They were welcomed in Wyoming's capital city by Mayor Leo Pando. [2](p4), At 8:24 a.m. MDT, Reid's aircraft began its takeoff from Runway 30 to the northwest, in rain, strong gusty crosswinds and turbulence. The plane had dual sets of controls, meaning that the flight instructor was legally considered in charge and had the ability to take control instantly, though the plans called for Mr. Reid to take over only in an emergency. "[13][14], On December 18, 1997, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Judith Kozloski ruled that the $3 million insurance benefits should be equally split between the two women; the other claims were dismissed. A more serious problem might have been that Cheyenne's airport is at an elevation of 6,150 feet, among the highest in the United States. Jessica, who was a fan of biographies of the aviator Amelia Earhart, drew up the flight plans herself, arranging to visit grandparents in Massachusetts and Florida and to stopover on her return trip in Washington, where she had even hoped to entice President Clinton to fly with her aboard the Cessna. Jessica carried a wallet with an ace of spades in it for luck while she flew. Nevertheless, local, national, and international news media picked up and publicized Dubroff's story, and closely followed her attempt until its tragic ending. Even before the crash, the exploits of the spunky, freckle-faced Jessica with her "Women Fly" baseball cap commanded news coverage from coast to coast. Since Dubroff was not certified to fly the plane, a rated pilot (normally her flight instructor Reid) had to be at the controls during all flight operations. Jess did what she enjoyed: she had a full, wonderful, wonderful, exquisite life.". Jessica was breaking no aviation rules when she flew. Koppel ended by asking "whether we in the media...by our ravenous attention contribute to this phenomenon", and answered: "We did."[3]. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Headlines touting aviation exploits extend back to the early part of the century. A similar decision was made by the National Aeronautic Association, which keeps American aviation records. "Do you hear the rain?". In a minute's time, the single-engine Cessna 177B, flying over the weight limit, ascended just 400 feet, went into what Cheyenne airport manager Jerry Olson called a "classic stall" and plunged into a nose dive. Mourners converged on the crash site, where the police had quickly placed a heavy tarpolin over the wreckage, leaving flowers, stuffed animals and written scraps of Bible verse. Since the aircraft was flying in moderate to heavy rain, the NTSB calculated that the water flowing on the wings would have further increased the stall speed by about 1.5%. But within hours of the crash, Federal authorities announced that they would re-examine existing regulations on underage pilots. "I don't think we should look at it from the view of whether a 7-year-old should be encouraged to fly airplanes," said David Boone, an Atlanta lawyer who is a specialist in aviation issues and a pilot of 24 years. A 7-year-old California girl on a quest to become the youngest cross-country pilot was killed today when her single-engine plane crashed shortly after take-off in thunder and driving sleet. Her father and a flight instructor were also killed. So why did the media? On day two of her quest, the Cessna 177B Cardinal single-engine aircraft, piloted by her flight instructor, Joe Reid, crashed during a rainstorm immediately after takeoff from Cheyenne Regional Airport in Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing Dubroff, her 57-year-old father, and Reid. Several experienced pilots who were at Cheyenne Regional Airport at the time of the accident testified that they considered the weather at that time unsuitable for flight, as a thunderstorm seemed to be forming or moving over the airfield. According to witnesses, the plane lifted off and climbed slowly,[2](p35) with its nose high and its wings wobbling. Several witnesses also said the plane never appeared to have got higher than a few hundred feet. Her father, Lloyd, lived with his second wife in San Mateo, also in the Bay Area. I had two hours of sleep last night. When rain began to fall at Cheyenne Regional Airport and the weather seemed to be deteriorating, the director invited her to stay in Cheyenne, but Dubroff's father declined, explaining that they wanted to "beat the storm" that was approaching.[2](p2). At the time of her trip, there was no record-keeping body that recognized any feats by underage pilots. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. At a public meeting in Washington, D.C., the NTSB determined the accident's probable cause was the improper decision by the flight instructor, who was the pilot in command, to takeoff into … After a telephone discussion with a Casper weather briefer, Reid decided to take off despite the worsening conditions at the airport, and to try to escape the poor weather by turning immediately eastward. JESSICA DUBROFF NEEDED A BOOSTER SEAT TO SEE through the windshield to the driving rain outside. If he hadn't adjusted it, Reid's sea-level fuel mixture may have been too "lean" to power out of the stall, especially with the plane overweight. You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles. The commercial pilot decided to delay. Although Jessica was clearly at the controls as the four-seat, Cessna 177B took off, the authorities could not say this evening whether or not the veteran flight instructor, Joe Reid, 52, had taken command of the craft in the final moments before, eyewitnesses said, it plunged, almost straight down, hit a residential street nose first. "Do you hear the rain?" The NTSB further determined that "contributing to the pilot in command's decision to take off was a desire to adhere to an overly ambitious itinerary, in part, because of media commitments. At 8:24 a.m. MDT, Reid's aircraft began its takeoff from Runway 30 to the northwest, in rain, strong gusty crosswinds and turbulence. Two of the policies named Hathaway as beneficiary and two named Hurst, so that each was to receive $1.5 million in the event of his death, ensuring adequate child support for his underage children living with the two women. [2][page needed]. Like most flight instructors giving dual instruction, Reid was seated on the right side, while the aircraft's primary flight instruments were mounted on the left, in front of Dubroff in this case. [3], The flight would be made in Reid's Cessna 177B Cardinal, a four-seat single-engine propeller aircraft manufactured in 1975, registered N35207, which like most aircraft had dual flight controls in the front. "The plane was struggling and dipping.". In 1990, he separated from Hathaway, and in 1991 he was 52 years old when he married 19-year-old Melinda Anne Hurst, with whom he had a child the following year.

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