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Licensed Single Engine Pilot Crashes Cessna 310 Pleads Guilty In Daughters Death
By Mike Mitchell

December 11, 2012 - 58 year old Steven Fay of Hillsboro, New Hampshire pleaded guilty today in Franklin Superior Court to involuntary manslaughter of his 35 year old daughter Jessica Malin.

Fay who had piloted the Cessna 310 crashed while attempting to land that resulted in the blunt force trauma to his daughter which caused her death.

Fay at the time did not hold the proper airmen’s licensing requirements for a twin engine aircraft nor did he properly formularize himself with the airport he had landing at.

On January 01, 2011 Steven Fay and his daughter Jessica Malin were on a pleasure flight in a multi-engine airplane, the Cessna 310F (N6725X) that Fay owned and was piloting.


Fay and his daughter had departed Dillant Hopkins Airport (EEN), Keene, New Hampshire and flew over Franklin County where the pilot is originally from. Fay then flew to Orange Municipal Airport (ORE), Orange, Massachusetts to do some “touch and go” landings. Fay at the time held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He did not hold a multiengine rating, which prevented him from flying the Cessna 310F unless there was a properly licensed instructor onboard and seated in the right seat.  

He was issued a 3rd class medical certificate with limitations that he must wear correcting lenses for distant and possess glasses for near vision. A review of Fay’s pilot flight logbook by FAA showed the pilot had a total of 500 hours of which he had 50 hours of multi-engine instructional time and there was no multi-engine solo endorsement. The last entry for night time flight was in 2000.

Fay indicated he became a pilot in 1989. For a period of 6 to 7 years he stopped flying and resumed about a year prior to the accident with an instructor. He purchased the Cessna 310F around May or June of 2010.

During his landing to Orange Municipal Airport, on a short final leg for a visual approach to runway 19, Fay recalled seeing white and red lights on the left side of the runway and believed these were visual approach slope indicator lights.



Fay was uncertain of what light color arrangement indicated a proper glide path to the runway. As the airplane approached the runway, the lights started to flicker, at which time the pilot applied full engine power, but the airplane immediately collided with trees. The Fay stated that there was less ambient light than he had anticipated and that he was flying in haze in the air. Fay further stated he was not aware of the trees at the approach end of the runway. The airport was not tower controlled and none of the 4 runways were equipped with visual approach slope indicator lights.

The intended landing runway has a published displaced threshold that is 850 feet from the runway’s original threshold. Published information cautions about trees at the approach end of that runway. Fay did not review any publication for the intended airport before the flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable causes for this accident were the failure of the pilot to maintain separation from trees during landing, inadequate preflight planning, lack of recent night flight experience, did not have the training nor hold the proper airmen licensing.

"Fay ... was neither licensed nor qualified to fly that twin engine plane without an instructor on board" said Assistant District Attorney Steve Gagne. Fay who could have faced up to 20 years in prison was placed on proportion until Dec. 31, 2013 by the court and he is prohibited from operating an aircraft or seeking reinstatement of his license during that time.
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