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Young Pescadero pilot Jessica Dubroff died in

Young Pescadero pilot Jessica Dubroff died in national spotlight


Jessica Dubroff and her father, Lloyd, at the Half Moon Bay Airport before they and the http://www.cheapermichaelkorsoutlet.us.com/ 7 year old's flight instructor take off on the first leg of her trip across the continent. (Lacy Atkins / AP)


From the Mercury News, April 12, 1996:


CHEYENNE, Wyo. As federal investigators continued to comb the wreckage of a small plane crash that ended a 7 year old pilot's dream and short life, questions arose about everything from parental responsibility to the wisdom of chasing world records in risky pursuits.


Although Jessica was in the pilot's seat with Reid as her co pilot, it is unclear who was in control of the single engine Cessna when it slammed into a residential street about a mile from the municipal airport.


While the cause of the crash is not yet known, others have questioned whether the plane should have taken off in driving rain, hail and gusting winds.


Many also wonder whether youngsters should fly planes at all. Jessica, who had to use a booster seat and extensions on the pedals to operate the plane, was on the second day of a trip that would have made her the youngest pilot to fly cross country. "Clearly I would want all my children to die in a state of joy. I mean, what more could I ask for? I would prefer it was not at age 7 but, God, she went with her joy and her passion, and her life was in her hands."


Hathaway arrived in Cheyenne late Thursday but did not speak to reporters. Jessica Dubroff, the week before her last flight. Late Thursday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Steve McCreary gave reporters little information on how or why the plane crashed. He could not say who was piloting the plane when it crashed, but said the plane had dual controls.


He said small planes, such as the one Jessica was flying in, don't have a "black box" that records speed, altitude and cockpit communication. But he said he'd be looking for a rumored video camera that Jessica and her father brought on board. local time.


Moments before, Hathaway was on the telephone with her daughter www.replicachristianlouboutin.com as the Cessna 177B's engine was revving for takeoff. Cheap Wholesale Sunglasses Nothing seemed amiss.


"Do you hear the rain? Do you hear the rain?" Hathaway said her daughter asked from the cockpit.


Within minutes of takeoff, something went wrong.


"I kept thinking, 'Please! Please get some altitude!' " said Tom Johnson, a 15 year pilot who saw the plane fall. "It just went right into the ground. I knew no one survived. It would have been impossible."


Johnson, whose insurance office is about a half block from the crash site, said he spotted the plane shortly after takeoff and it appeared the pilot was trying to return to the airport. He said the plane never got higher than 400 feet.


"It stalled over my building, winged over and went straight into the ground like a dart, " he said.


Jeannie Kornegay had just sent her 9 year old son out the door for school when she heard a horrific sound outside her house.


"It went boom. The ground shook, " said Kornegay, whose house missed being hit by about 20 feet. "I came downstairs and saw the plane. I saw glass on the ground and a pair of shoes."


Cheyenne Police Chief John Powell, who lives two blocks from the crash site and was driving his son to school, was among the first on the scene. When he arrived, the plane blue and white with burgundy markings was sitting upright, crumpled, but with the wings and tail intact.


Family and friends carry Jessica Dubroff's casket to the hillside cemetery. (Mercury News)


There was no fire, no voices, just silence.


"It was a little eerie. The plane was just sitting in the middle of the street with nothing around it, " Powell said. "We ran up and climbed up on the plane to check for survivors. There were none."


Aviation fuel was trickling down the street. Some of the plane's contents had fallen onto the street from a crack in the fuselage: cookies, some clothing, some shoes and baseball caps with Jessica's name emblazoned across them. She had planned to hand them out as souvenirs on her journey.


The news devastated Cheyenne, where some, including the mayor and students from McCormick Middle School, welcomed Jessica when she arrived from Half Moon Bay on Wednesday night. By Thursday evening, residents had laid a collection of flowers, teddy bears and a toy airplane on a spot next to the crash site.


Cheyenne Mayor Leo Pando, who talked with Jessica for an hour Wednesday night, broke down in tears Thursday.

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