Pilot Indicted On
Plane Crash That Killed His Daughter
By Mike Mitchell
January 30, 2012 - Massachusetts Franklin County grand
jury has indicted Steven Fay, 57, of Hillsborough, N.H a
pilot who crashed his plane killing his daughter Jessica
Malin, 35, also of Hillsborough last year.
The grand jury handed down a one count indictment of
involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Jan. 1,
2011, plane crash Fay, who was piloting the Cessna 310
is accused of "unintentionally and unlawfully" causing
death of his daughter by means of "wanton or reckless
Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne said "Fay was neither licensed nor qualified to fly that twin-engine plane without an instructor on board, and he was repeatedly warned as such, yet he nevertheless chose to fly the plane at night with a passenger on board without his instructor's knowledge or approval."
Gagne further sated "his conduct unfortunately resulted in the tragic death of his own daughter, but it also endangered anyone who happened to be in his flight path, particularly those who live in the residential neighborhoods adjacent to the Orange Airport."
1, 2011, about 6 PM a Cessna 310F, N6725X, registered to and
operated by Steven Fay crashed in a wooded area adjacent to the
Orange Municipal Airport (ORE), Orange, Massachusetts, during a
visual approach to runway 19. The aircraft incurred substantial
damage. The Fay received minor injuries and his passenger,
Jessica Malin was killed. The flight departed from Dillant-Hopkins
Airport (EEN), Keene, New Hampshire, earlier that day, about
Massachusetts State Police representative (MSPR) stated that
there were no eye witnesses to the accident. Residents near the
airport, along the approach path to runway 19, reported hearing
the airplane and noted from its sound that it was flying low
compared to what they were accustom to. Moments later they heard
the crash. One witness ran toward the area where a person (the
pilot) was yelling the passenger’s name, the pilot instructed
the witness to call 911.
The Fay stated to
the MSPR that he became a pilot in 1989 and has about five hundred hours
of flight experience. For a period of 6 to 7 years he stopped flying and
resumed about a year ago with an instructor. Fay purchased the Cessna
310 around May of 2010. About 4:30 PM he and his daughter departed from
EEN and flew over Franklin County where Fay is originally from. He had
decided to practice a “touch and go” landing at ORE before returning to
EEN; Fay mentioned he had flown to ORE previously.
approached the airport there was less ambient light than he’d
anticipated and there was a “haze” in the air; he also found the
airplane to lose altitude faster than his previous airplane. He recalled
seeing white and red lights off to the left near the runway, believing
there were a visual slope indicator. Fay was uncertain of what
arrangements indicate a proper glide path onto the runway. As the
airplane approached the runway, the lights started to flicker, at which
time he applied full engine power. Fay was unaware of the tree until
after the crash and he was on the ground. Fay reported no mechanical
issues with the airplane prior to the accident.
The Fay, at the
time held a private pilot certificate with rating for airplane single
engine land. He did not hold a multiengine rating. He was issued a
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate on
September 10, 2010, with limitations that he must wear correcting lenses
for distant and possess glasses for near vision.
Fay had documented 500 total hours at that time. A review of the pilot’s flight logbook by FAA showed that Fay had about 50 hours of multi-engine instructional time. There was no multi-engine solo endorsement. The last entry for night time flight was in 2000. The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Fay’s single-engine pilot’s license in March 2011.
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