A Mother's Worse
Nightmare, Children Killed In Plane Crash At Superstition Mountains
By Mike Mitchell
November 26, 2011 - On Wednesday a twin-engine Rockwell
690A twin turboprop aircraft, tail number N690SM, had
its fuel tanks topped off at its home base Safford
Regional Airport (SAD), Safford Arizona. The aircraft
departed with its pilot Shawn Perry, 39, copilot Russell
Hardy, 31, who is the owner of the aircraft and
Ponderosa Aviation, and the company’s mechanic Joseph
The aircraft landed at Falcon Field, Arizona where Perry
who is divorced picked up his three kids Morgan Perry,
9, Logan Perry, 8, and Luke Perry, 6, to have a
Thanksgiving weekend together. The aircraft departed
Falcon Field at 6:15 PM to return back to its home base.
or about 6:31 PM the twin-engine Rockwell crashed into
the side of Superstition Mountains at Flat Iron, the
southwestern portion of the mountain chain which is 40
miles east of Phoenix. It is believed that the
twin-engine airplane was traveling at 200 mph when it
slammed into the mountain ridge. The Superstition
Mountains, highest point 5,057 MSL, is a popular
recreation destination for residents of Phoenix.
The aircraft exploded into a ball of fire that was
visible for miles. The twin-engine aircraft split apart
and burning debris scattered for some distance. All
onboard died in the crash. "No one could have survived
that crash," said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
Hardwick was planning to get married on December 16th.
Late Wednesday the mother of the deceased children was
notified of the accident and the death of her children.
Sheriff Babeu said, "This is their entire family it's
terrible. Our hearts go out to the mom and the
(families) of all the crash victims. We've had so many
people that are working this day, and we just want to
support them and embrace them and try to bring closure
to this tragedy."
By a twist of
fate, a search and rescue team was in the mountains searching for three
missing teenagers Wednesday evening and saw the explosion, Sheriff Babeu
reported. The searchers located the teens and then went up the mountain
to the crash site. At
this time there is no clear answer as to the cause of the crash. However
Sheriff Babeu said there was no indication the plane was in distress or
that the pilot had radioed controllers about any problem. The Federal
Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board
arrived at the crash site on Thursday.
At this time there is no clear answer as to the cause of the crash. However Sheriff Babeu said there was no indication the plane was in distress or that the pilot had radioed controllers about any problem. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash site on Thursday.
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