September 26, 2013 - Last year in the early
morning hours, after consuming alcohol a group
of friends met at St. George Municipal Airport,
Utah to boarded a Cessna 172S (N953SP) aircraft
with the intent to fly to Mesquite, Nevada.
The commercial pilot Tanner Holt age 23 and his
friends Alex Metzger, 22 of St. George, Colby
Hafen, 28, and
Christopher Jordan Chapman,
20, both of Santa Clara had departed St. George
Municipal Airport on May 26, 2012 about 1:20 AM.
Under normal nighttime weather conditions,
airport security cameras footage showed the
aircraft departed runway 19 and maneuver at a
low altitude for the length of the runway while
increasing its airspeed. Near the end of the
runway, the airplane began a rapid ascent and
continued out of the view of the camera.
After about 7 seconds, the single engine four
place airplane which was owned and operated by
Diamond Flying LLC, reappeared in a rapid
descent in which it nosed crashed about 300 feet
from the airport runway with the aircraft
resting in an inverted attitude killing all
Toxicology reports indicated that in the late
evening of May 25, and early morning hours of
May 26, the pilot, Tanner Holt, along with his
friends had been consuming alcohol at a friend’s
house. However, Christopher Chapman toxicology
indicated he had not consumed alcohol.
On Wednesday, Terry Lee Chapman, the mother of
Christopher Chapman filed a
lawsuit in Salt Lake City’s district court
alleging that the pilots father Bradford Holt
and Diamond Flying were negligent in allowing
the pilot to takeoff while impaired and under
the influence of alcohol, in that they provided
him unrestricted access to the aircraft and
allowed him to operate the aircraft outside of
the aircrafts weight and balance limitations.