10/29/02 11:12:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
I am a former pilot and CAP member and have organized and/or done searches for down and missing aircraft here in Alaska. While not necessarily an expert like those at NTSB, I'd like to offer the following:
In the section of info on the Wellman crash you have a hilighted file labeled photos. About half way along the hash marks which indicate the different pics is a photo of the crash site showing the remnants of the tail section and a bit of smoke rising from other wreckage. (I have copied and attached the photo). The thing I noticed was that all the trees surrounding the crash site seem to be intact and are fairly dense around the site. This would seem to indicate that the airplane went in almost vertically. That is not typical of an accident caused by bad weather on a landing approach. If, for instance, the altimeter was incorrectly set, or the aircraft was heavily iced up, etc. and flew into the trees on the approach, there would be a line of broken tree tops and then whole trees marking the line of impact into the woods. That does not appear to be the case here. I wish there was access to photos taken from a bit higher altitude to verify this conclusion, but from what you can see in the photo that does seem to be the case. If that is true, what would cause the airplane, presumably in the hands of two competent pilots, to go straight in?