John Denver's Last Flight
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Touchstone
N 36° 38.377 W 121° 55.776
10S E 595689 N 4055428
Quick Description: On October 12, 1997 popular singer/songwriter, John Denver crashed his Experimental Aircraft (an FAA Classification) into the Pacific Ocean just off Point Pinos near Pacific Grove, California.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/10/2005 5:30:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM193
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member mtn-man
Views: 410

Long Description:

John Denver

December 31, 1943-October 12, 1997

John Denver, best known for his popular 1970's hits, such as, "Rocky Mountain High", "Take Me Home, Country Road", and "Sunshine On My Shoulders", was flying his relatively new Long E-Z Experimental Aircraft near the Monterey Airport, when the plane he was piloting seemed to loose power and plunge into the Pacific Ocean just West of Pacific Grove, Ca resulting in his death.

At approximately 5:30 in the afternoon, several eyewitnesses described seeing Mr. Denver's plane heading West over Point Pinos and making a "popping sound", and a "reduction of noise", before it made a steep descent into the Pacific Ocean, about 150 yards offshore.

A five member NTSB team was assembled to investigate and salvage the aircraft. They reached the conclusion that the crash was caused by a faulty placement of a switch used to change over the two gas tanks in the aircraft, and when Mr. Denver attempted to reach the switch (located behind the pilots seat), he lost control of the aircraft.

Impromptu mourning vigils were held at the adjacent parking area in the next few days, and Memorials to Mr. Denver could be seen along the beach for several weeks afterwards.  A Beach Clean-Up Day, followed by a candlelight vigil has been observed every year on the anniversary of the crash by fans and local residents near the crash site since that fatal day.

Web Address for Related Web Sites: [Web Link]

Date of Crash: 10/12/1997

Aircraft Model: Adrian Davis Long E-Z Homebuilt Experimental Aircraft

Military or Civilian: Civilian

Tail Number: N555JD

Cause of Crash:
Quote from the NTSB Report: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's diversion of attention from the operation of the airplane and his inadvertent application of right rudder that resulted in the loss of airplane control while attempting to manipulate the fuel selector handle. Also, the Board determines that the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparations, specifically his failure to refuel the airplane, was causal. The Board determines that the builder's decision to locate the unmarked fuel selector handle in a hard-to-access position, unmarked fuel quantity sight gauges, inadequate transition training by the pilot, and his lack of total experience in this type of airplane were factors in this accident."

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