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The Death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN)


Guest James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Logic and Evidence in the Death of Paul Wellstone

Jim Fetzer (READER WEEKLY 23 October 2003, pp.13-14)

Scientific reasoning is a pattern of thinking

things through that proceeds through stages of

puzzlement, speculation, and adaptation, ending

with (tentative and fallible) explanation. It

should be applied in every context complicated

and serious enough to require it, including the

recent death of US Senator Paul Wellstone. When

we apply scientific reasoning, we discover that

the truth may not be what the papers print or

what our government tells us about this event.

It appears to have been another assassination.

Here is an overview of what I have discovered.

PUZZLEMENT: What brought this plane down?

Something caused this crash and it was not the plane,

the pilots, or the weather. That means we have to

consider other, less pleasant alternatives, such as

small bombs, gas canisters, or EMP (RF or HERF gun)

weapons. But if we are overlooking some alternative,

then even when we have eliminated the others, we may

not have isolated the correct explanation. This is

basic to scientific reasoning about this or any other

puzzling situation. This is the stage of speculation.

What bothers me about the position of many critics is

they do not have a reasonable answer to the question,

"What brought this plane down?" They may not like my

answer, but it certainly appears to be more reasonable

than any alternatives I have heard from them, such as

speculation about the weather or the pilots that has

been shown to be unjustified by the evidence. And the

claim that "something unexpected happened" is obvious.

That, of course, is precisely what we want to explain!

If I am wrong about all of this, I would like to know.

I am interested in what caused the death of Wellstone

and the other occupants of the plane. If that means I

was wrong, fine, because I want to know what is right.

I care more about what is right than that I be right!

The stages of scientific inquiry include puzzlement,

speculation, adaptation, and explanation. I will out-

line the logical structure of my argument for further

discussion. To a first approximation, the full range

of possible alternative explanations would seem to be:

SPECULATION:

(h1) mechanical problems with the plane;

(h2) difficult weather caused the crash;

(h3) the pilots made mistakes in flying;

(h4) something unexpected happened like:

(h4a) a prop came off and hit the plane;

(h4b) the plane hit some gaggle of geese;

(h4c) some unspecified alternative . . .;

(h5) something unexpected happened like:

(h5a) a small bomb exploded in the plane;

(h5b) some gas canister induced a stupor;

(h5c) a ground-based weapon was employed:

(h5ci) an EMP type weapon was employed;

(h5cii) an RF type weapon was employed,

including (h5ciii) a HERF gun; or else,

(h5civ) some other type of weapon was

used . . . ;

where the distinction between (H4) and (H5)

corresponds to that between non-political

(unintentional, etc.) modes of causation

and political (intentional) modes of caus-

ation. Only at the level of (H5) are we

confronted with death by assassination.

ADAPTATION:

The evidence that leads me to take (H5)

and its alternatives seriously includes

such considerations as the following:

(h1) the plane had an excellent maintain-

ence history; no serious problems; even

the NTSB has cleared the plane of fault.

Infer: not-(h1)

(h2) the weather was not ideal but far

from serious; planes were landing there

earlier; the airport manager took off

immediately when the plane did not land;

photographs taked in the immediate area

show no signs of serious weather; a driver

in the area saw no signs of serious wea-

ther; early reports that the time were

being corrected by local reporters who

knew there was no "freezing rain", for

example, and who were pilots themselves.

That weather was a probem is improbable.

Infer: not-(h2)

(h3) there were two qualified pilots;

the primary had 5,200 hours of flight

time and the highest possible certifi-

cation; he has passed his flight check

just two days before the fatal flight;

those with the most experience flying

with him describe him as the most care-

ful pilot they had ever flown with; he

displayed prudence about flying on 25

October until the weather had cleared;

Wellstone, who did not like to fly, was

comfortable with him (implying that he

was, indeed, a very cautious pilot); if

something had happened to him, the co-

pilot could have taken over; and so on.

Infer: not-(h3)

DISCUSSION: There is much additional

evidence that supports the elimination

of (h1), (h2), and (h3), including the

NTSB's own simulations, which involved

pilots from Charter Aviation and which

involved simulations at much reduced

speeds. None of them was able to take

down the plane. It is impossible to

replicate exactly the pilot variables,

but there is no good reason to suppose

these simulations--which appear to be

consistent with the other evidence on

(h1), (h2), and (h3)--are not reliable.

This means that, unless we introduce

truly far-fetched alternatives, such

as that both pilots wanted to commit

suicide, were under the influence of

LSD which had been put in the water,

or some such, which are possible but

very improbable, we accept the probable

inference that neither the plane nor

the weather nor the pilots appear to

have been involved. That moves us to:

(h4) something unexpected happened like:

(h4a) a prop came off and hit the plane,

except there is no evidence of that and

the NTSB investigation has cleared this;

Infer: not-(h4a)

(h4b) the plane hit some gaggle of geese,

except that there was not remnant of any

gaggle of geese, feathers, goose parts,

or things like that present at the scene;

Infer: not-(h4b)

(h4c) some unspecified alternative . . .,

which reamains open-ended until some such

alternative is specified for consideration;

Infer: leave (h4c) in suspense (neither

accept (h4c) nor reject (h4c).

Apart from supposing that something was

the cause but we don't know what it was

(an enigma wrapped in mystery shrouded

in mist), to the extent to which we are

rational in the formation of our beliefs,

we are logically forced by all the above

to consider other, more sinister, alter-

natives, which imply an assassination:

(h5) something unexpected happened like:

(h5a) a small bomb exploded in the plane,

where, to be best of my knowledge, there

have been no reports of shrapnel wounds

to the bodies of the pilots, especially,

since the passengers were badly burned;

Infer: not-(h5a)

(h5b) some gas canister induced a stupor,

the alternative that I initially proposed,

which should have left gas residues in the

bodies, where no residues have been found;

Infer: not-(h5b)

(h5c) a ground-based weapon was employed,

which appears to me to have been the case

for reasons that I have explained below.

The possible alternatives include these:

(h5ci) an EMP type weapon was employed;

(h5cii) an RF type weapon was employed;

including (h5ciii) a HERF gun; or else,

(h5ciii) some other type of weapon was

used . . . (which could have been simply

a lucky shot with a rifle).

The tenability for (h5c), of course, is

the current locus of debate. Just notice

the chain of argument that led us to this

point. I am certainly no expert on EMP,

RF, or HERF gun technology; and I freely

admit that I could be wrong about this;

but what other alternative explains the

other available evidence, which includes:

(e1) the anomalous cell-phone experience

of John Ongaro (which has been elaborated

in "Once More, With Feeling");

(e2) the FBI's early arrival on the scene,

(which has been elaborated in "More Ques-

tions, Fewer Answers");

(e3) the exchange of roles between the FBI

and the NTSB (also elaborated in "More Ques-

tions, Fewer Answers");

(e4) the insider's report to Michael Ruppert

that this had been a hit and that others

were likely to follow (in several columns);

not to mention the general political context,

(e5) that Wellstone had been targeted for

political elimination by the White House;

(e6) that the control of the Senate was at

stake (and observe what a difference that

has made--this was a critical issue); and,

(e7) previous attempts on Wellstone's life

(elaborated in "Why Take Him Out?")

plus considerations peculiar to this case:

(e8) the non-availability of FAA information

about planes landing at Duluth International

Airport on 25 October 2002 I had requested;

(e9) the cancellation of hearings the NTSB

ordinarily conducts to receive public input;

(e10) a flurry of reports that have "spun"

responsibility toward the pilots, when that

appears to be unjustifiable on the evidence?

So the question becomes, if I am wrong about

(h5c) (in one or another of its variations),

then what explains why this plane came down?

EXPLANATION:

Infer: This was no accident; the motives

were almost certainly political;

and the White House may have been

involved;

where this inference is both tentative (it

is subject to revision with the acquisition

of further relevant evidence) and fallible

(even though it may be the most rational of

the alternatives, it might still be false).

We are dealing with inductive reasoning in

the accumlation of evidence and in apprais-

ing its logical force. While the overall

structure of the argument is an argument by

elimination (which is deductive in form),

the principles of inference--in enumerating

the possible alternatives, for example--are

inductive, and the reasoning is probabilis-

tic, as is characteristic of scientific rea-

soning in general. Let me be more specific.

Everyone should understand that my argument

goes as far as (h5c), where I am open-minded

about precisely what kind of weapon may have

been used. I have speculated that it might

have been an EMP weapon but I am open minded

about a HERF gun. There are special consider-

ations that lead me in this direction, which

must also be taken into account on pain of

violating the reqirement of total evidence

in searching for the truth about this event:

(e11) there was an abrupt cessation of communi-

cation commensurate with loss of control;

(e12) whatever caused the loss of control was

almost certainly responsible for the cessation

of communication; and,

(e13) the most likely time for this plane to

have been hit is between 10:18 and 10:19.

Those who have been attacking me by disputing

(e11) though (e13) are not being responsive to

the evidence, especially as I have presented

it in detail in "Once More, With Feeling". An

alternative explanation will not be reasonable

if it does not explain (e11), (e12), and (e13).

This is based on the stregnth of the evidence

that I have presented there. Those who want

to deny these points are practicing unscien-

tific reasoning by ignoring relevant evidence.

A reasonable alternative has to explain them.

Other considerations that deserve further in-

vestigation include the prolonged burning of

the plane and the extensive damage to the pas-

sengers. There were also initial reports of

hearing a sound that could have been that of

a rifle shot and the like. There are other

possible sources of evidence, no doubt, that

I have been unable to pursue. Even here, in

summarizing the structure of my argument, I

may have inadvertently omitted other points,

but those may be found in my READER columns.

I would be glad to hear from anyone who has

a serious interst in contribute to debate. It

may be especially approprite to relate it to

the evidence and the logical structure of the

argument that has led me to the conclusion that

this was no accident, that it appears to have

been an assassination, and that the White House

may have been involved. And, in particular, if

I'm wrong, then what caused this plane to crash?

______________

Jim Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at UMD,

offers courses in logic, critical thinking,

and scientific reasoning, among others. His

columns on the death of Paul Wellstone are

archived at ReaderWeekly.org and at his own

web site, www.assassinationscience.com.

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Do you think that sort of like Dorothy being able to return to Kansas from Oz by saying "there's no place like home" over and over again repeatedly repeating the same BS will make it true?

The problem with these explanations is that communications between the pilots and the control tower were abruptly terminated as well when the plane went out of control.

There was no termination of radio contact abrupt or otherwise Guess signed off from the Duluth tower which did not expect any further communication till after the plane landed. Shortly after one of the pilots called EVM and told them they be landing in a few minutes and no further communication was expected. The runway light we activated by radio. You a layman with no aviation experience or expertise thought there should have been a radio call by I have repeatedly pointed out crashes with 2 - 4 crew which didn't have any either. They were only 700 feet of the ground and in the few seconds between the stall and impact would have better used their time trying to recover.

Richard Conry, the pilot in command (PIC), had some 5,200 flying hours, primarily with small, private planes

BS he had at most 3000 hours before he stopped flying for 11 years in 1990 due to going to prison and bad eyesight but no one knows for sure since he falsified log book entries. He logged on 598 hours in the 13 months he worked for the charter company but let his co-pilots fly the vast majority of the time. His co-pilots reported he made many errors when at the controls. To make things worse his best friend, a pilot who had know him since they were 5 said Conry told him he had difficulty flying King Airs. So the truth is he had flown very little in the 12 years before the crash, flew poorly when he did and did not like flying the type of plane he crashed in.

Oh and since I mentioned his eyesight he almost certainly was not wearing corrective lenses as mandated by the FAA.

The reporters on the story, Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy, are focusing on one of the pilot's lack of sleep the night before. This, of course, cannot explain why the co-pilot, who was also exceptionally well-qualified, would not have taken over,

Your should have mentioned this in more depth. His co-pilot 3 days before the crash said he seemed exhausted, he had been waken at around 2AM the day before for a surprise flight and looked so sick people from the Red Cross were afraid to go near him. His wife claimed took a nap in the afternoon but he only went to bed around 10 PM and then got up 6 - 7 am the morning of the crash.

Guess "exceptionally well-qualified" thats a joke, he was about as well qualified as Hani Hanjour a commercial license and 5 - 600 flight hours. Guess had been fired from both of his previous piloting jobs for incompetence.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

The plane was exceptional, the weather was fine, and the pilots were well-qualified. Not only did Conry have 5,200 hours of experience (which you contest), he also had an Air Transport Pilot's certification and had passed his FAA flight check two days before the fatal fight. According to the FAA, he was well-qualified to fly the plane. Guess was not as highly rated but was a competent pilot. The King Air A-100 did not require two pilots, and the idea that they would both lose track of their airspeed, altitude, and azimuth has an extremely small probability. The NTSB simulated the flight path and weather in a simulator with a weaker engine and, even though they had it fly at abnormally slow speeds, they could not make it stall. I really don't understand the point of people like you and Lamson reiterating points that have long since been refuted. I know you have nothing better to do with your copious free time, however. And have you studied "The NTSB Failed Wellstone"? Logic and evidence do not appear to be your strong suit.

Do you think that sort of like Dorothy being able to return to Kansas from Oz by saying "there's no place like home" over and over again repeatedly repeating the same BS will make it true?

The problem with these explanations is that communications between the pilots and the control tower were abruptly terminated as well when the plane went out of control.

There was no termination of radio contact abrupt or otherwise Guess signed off from the Duluth tower which did not expect any further communication till after the plane landed. Shortly after one of the pilots called EVM and told them they be landing in a few minutes and no further communication was expected. The runway light we activated by radio. You a layman with no aviation experience or expertise thought there should have been a radio call by I have repeatedly pointed out crashes with 2 - 4 crew which didn't have any either. They were only 700 feet of the ground and in the few seconds between the stall and impact would have better used their time trying to recover.

Richard Conry, the pilot in command (PIC), had some 5,200 flying hours, primarily with small, private planes

BS he had at most 3000 hours before he stopped flying for 11 years in 1990 due to going to prison and bad eyesight but no one knows for sure since he falsified log book entries. He logged on 598 hours in the 13 months he worked for the charter company but let his co-pilots fly the vast majority of the time. His co-pilots reported he made many errors when at the controls. To make things worse his best friend, a pilot who had know him since they were 5 said Conry told him he had difficulty flying King Airs. So the truth is he had flown very little in the 12 years before the crash, flew poorly when he did and did not like flying the type of plane he crashed in.

Oh and since I mentioned his eyesight he almost certainly was not wearing corrective lenses as mandated by the FAA.

The reporters on the story, Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy, are focusing on one of the pilot's lack of sleep the night before. This, of course, cannot explain why the co-pilot, who was also exceptionally well-qualified, would not have taken over,

Your should have mentioned this in more depth. His co-pilot 3 days before the crash said he seemed exhausted, he had been waken at around 2AM the day before for a surprise flight and looked so sick people from the Red Cross were afraid to go near him. His wife claimed took a nap in the afternoon but he only went to bed around 10 PM and then got up 6 - 7 am the morning of the crash.

Guess "exceptionally well-qualified" thats a joke, he was about as well qualified as Hani Hanjour a commercial license and 5 - 600 flight hours. Guess had been fired from both of his previous piloting jobs for incompetence.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Michael Ruppert, CROSSING THE RUBICON (2004), arrived at the same conclusions--that it was a hit and that an EMP is the most likely (or best) explanation. He published our article in the hardcopy and electronic versions of "From the Wilderness" (6 July 2005).

[The Senate was divided 50 to 49 with the Democrats in a majority of one. That one was the most progressive Senator in the government. We all know how the murder of a great man or woman in public life tends to fix itself in memory when the news arrives. Where were we? We were packing a bag for Washington, DC, to march against the impending war in Iraq. My sign said, “Senator Wellstone Was Murdered.” People nodded in pained agreement and rightly went back to the task at hand – which was to show that public pressure could not stop the war, and that all talk of democracy – literally, the kratos (power) of the demos (people) – was fake. Instead the “President” let it be known that American democracy is really just demo-doxia, the right of the people to their own impotent “opinions.”

As William Rivers Pitt of truthout would report a few days later, Jesse Jackson said some words of respect and remembrance to the crowd: “In Democracy's Wake - The Anti-War Protest in Washington DC.”

Even without the Downing Street memo, the mass murders of 9/11 were enough to show us that the war on Iraq was already inevitable – indeed, as we’ve just learned this week, the war was already underway while we stood on the grass in the millions trying to prevent it.

I’ll end with Shakespeare, because lately, as the world seems to be losing its future, that particular author has been deeply reassuring. Here’s a morsel from Romeo and Juliet (III, ii). The first part will remind you of the Democratic National Convention of 1964, when one eventual victim of the murder state paid homage to another one. The rest is for those of you – or that part of each of us – that believes Peak Oil will bring not only brutality and loss but also cooperation and solidarity – and a break in the power of the Big Lie. These days the dread as well as the hope for renewal are building higher than at any time since 1968, when Paul Wellstone heard Bobby Kennedy say this:

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun.

O, I have bought the mansion of a love,

But not possess'd it, and, though I am sold,

Not yet enjoy'd: so tedious is this day

As is the night before some festival

To an impatient child that hath new robes

And may not wear them.

-- JAH]

BACKGROUND BOOK: FOUR ARROWS AND JIM FETZER,

AMERICAN ASSASSINATION: THE STRANGE DEATH OF SENATOR PAUL WELLSTONE.

SEE REVIEWS AT http://www.assassinationscience.com/American_Assassination.html

"Target Wellstone" by Russ Wellen

"No Accident" by Bradley E. Ayers

"Abundant and Compelling Evidence" by David Ray Griffin

"Town Talk Review" by Andrew Griffin

THE NTSB FAILED WELLSTONE:

IGNORED EVIDENCE AND SUPPRESSED INVESTIGATIONS

By Jim Fetzer and John Costella

Special to From The Wilderness

© Copyright 2005, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact admin@copvcia.com. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.

When Senator Paul Wellstone’s plane crashed near Eveleth, Minnesota on Friday, October 25, 2002, killing him, his wife, his daughter, three aides, the pilot, and the co-pilot, a casual observer might have forecast a simple investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The mass media widely reported bad weather in the area—freezing rain, snow, icing, and fog, with poor visibility—and implied that the weather had caused the crash.

For more: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/070605_wellstone.shtml

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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The NTSB simulated the flight path and weather in a simulator with a weaker engine and, even though they had it fly at abnormally slow speeds, they could not make it stall.

No, Jim, that is not true. You are taking something that was said and rephrasing it to what you THINK it meant - not what it said. The report said that with no icing, the stall warning went off between 81 - 84 KCAS and they were able to fly out of the stall. With light to moderate icing, significantly greater engine power settings were required to fly out of the stall along with occasional use of the de-icer boots. With heavy icing, power requirements were in excess of the specified limits. That is NOT the same as "... flying at abnormally low speeds..." and being unable to "...make it stall...".

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There are further omissions or inaccuracies with your claim Jim.

You say there was no problem with the weather, yet the pilots expressed concern about the weather conditions. They were warned about icing conditions. Even before the flight, upon hearing the conditions, the pilot said that he didn't think he was going to conduct the flight1. He was obviously concerned about the reported and forecast weather. He even went so far as to try to call the company Chief Pilot, and when unable to do so, called the company charter director. He told her he was getting conflicting messages from the Senator's campaign staff and didn't feel comfortable about deciding if the flight should proceed or not2. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that he felt pressured into making the flight.

When talking about the possibility that the accident was due to a loss of spatial awareness (SA), you have ignored the multitude of similar incidents I have provided where experienced and qualified crew have been responsible for perfectly serviceable aircraft flying into the ground. You ignored the NTSB tests that put similarly a qualified and experienced crew in the simulator and ran them through a variety of scenarios, including the fatal flight. The flying pilot reported that on that approach in those conditions there was a "...noticeably higher workload..." and that he felt that he was "...behind the airplane..." (i.e. he was trying to catch up with events, not anticipating them and reacting in a timely manner)3. It should be also noted that in the incident profile, a gradual significant pitch-up was required4. That is EXACTLY the condition that can lead to a stall.

References

1. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.1, page 2.

2. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.1, page 3.

3. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.16, page 30.

4. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.16, page 30.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

But, of course, "the plausibility of [your] contention depends upon

the state of the weather, where Steve Filipovitch, who was in the area

at the time but on the ground rather than in the air, has sent me two

photos of the area along with the following important information:

{For photo, open article in the menu bar at assassinationscience.com]

"I was approximately 10 +/- miles from the Eveleth airport at the time

of Senator Wellstone's demise. I was inspecting and taking pictures of

some real estate in the area. I was outside for a good 15 to 20 minutes

around that time. I am a pilot and have landed at Eveleth.

5

[For photo, open file in the menu bar at assassinationscience.com]

"I know the possibility of icing when descending. The temperature on

the ground was pleasant with my estimation of visibility was 3 miles

with a 500 to 1000 (foot) ceiling. There was no ground wind. Experienced

pilot(s) could handle these conditions very easily."

Go to http://www.assassinationscience.com/plotthickens.pdf and open the file and you can

see the two photos that Steve sent to me. The weather was not a problem,

so you can stop pretending as though it had been. My suspicions about the

case were elevated by the exaggerated reports about the weather that were

appearing in the national media. Wolf Blitzer, for example, would make

some very exaggerated report about the weather ("ice", "snow", "freezing

rain") and the local news anchor, Denny Anderson, who is also a pilot,

would correct them. There were no problems with the plane, the weather,

or the pilots. And the NTSB own conclusions were contradicted by the

NTSB's own simulator evidence. Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs, by the way, is

a pilot as well as an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. It's possible we were wrong, but

neither you nor anyone else has offered any good reasons for thinking so.

The NTSB simulated the flight path and weather in a simulator with a weaker engine and, even though they had it fly at abnormally slow speeds, they could not make it stall.

No, Jim, that is not true. You are taking something that was said and rephrasing it to what you THINK it meant - not what it said. The report said that with no icing, the stall warning went off between 81 - 84 KCAS and they were able to fly out of the stall. With light to moderate icing, significantly greater engine power settings were required to fly out of the stall along with occasional use of the de-icer boots. With heavy icing, power requirements were in excess of the specified limits. That is NOT the same as "... flying at abnormally low speeds..." and being unable to "...make it stall...".

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No, I am making sure people know what the report said, not what you said it said. You have inaccurately conveyed its meaning.

Edited to add:

Just so people can read what it said, here is a link to the NTSB Accident Report.

Edited by Evan Burton
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Guest James H. Fetzer

None of the crashes you report were with an Air King A-100, which had two experienced pilots, one of whom held an Air Transport Pilot certification and had passed his FAA "flight check" just two days earlier. The fact that Conry (assuming it was Conry) was hesitant to fly UNTIL THE WEATHER IMPROVED further strengthens the case for his competence and caution as a pilot. "Loss of spatial awareness" sounds pretty flimsy to me. Remember, there were two pilots and the airport is "user friendly". What are the odds of a single pilot losing track of his airspeed, his altitude, and his azimuth AND NOW his "spatial awareness"? If we assume each of these occurs, say, 1 time in 100, then for four of them to occur at the same time would equal 1/100,000,000. And that's for a single pilot. Since there were two, the probability that they would BOTH fail in these four respects AT THE SAME TIME is equal to 1/100,000,000 times itself, or 1/10,000,000,000,000,000, which is a very small number. These kinds of events have to be fantastically infrequent or we would have planes crashing all the time! I think this is one more example where you are grasping after straws, advancing remote possibilities and then treating them as though they were probable or even certain! I am sorry, Evan, but the pattern you have displayed other other threads speaks volumes about your style of reasoning, which accents rhetoric far beyond logic.

There are further omissions or inaccuracies with your claim Jim.

You say there was no problem with the weather, yet the pilots expressed concern about the weather conditions. They were warned about icing conditions. Even before the flight, upon hearing the conditions, the pilot said that he didn't think he was going to conduct the flight1. He was obviously concerned about the reported and forecast weather. He even went so far as to try to call the company Chief Pilot, and when unable to do so, called the company charter director. He told her he was getting conflicting messages from the Senator's campaign staff and didn't feel comfortable about deciding if the flight should proceed or not2. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that he felt pressured into making the flight.

When talking about the possibility that the accident was due to a loss of spatial awareness (SA), you have ignored the multitude of similar incidents I have provided where experienced and qualified crew have been responsible for perfectly serviceable aircraft flying into the ground. You ignored the NTSB tests that put similarly a qualified and experienced crew in the simulator and ran them through a variety of scenarios, including the fatal flight. The flying pilot reported that on that approach in those conditions there was a "...noticeably higher workload..." and that he felt that he was "...behind the airplane..." (i.e. he was trying to catch up with events, not anticipating them and reacting in a timely manner)3. It should be also noted that in the incident profile, a gradual significant pitch-up was required4. That is EXACTLY the condition that can lead to a stall.

References

1. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.1, page 2.

2. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.1, page 3.

3. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.16, page 30.

4. NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.16, page 30.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

No, Evan, You are disregarding the weather at the time, which was very modest and could be handled by any competent pilot.

So you are manipulating the significance of the report. There was no need for the use of the icing boots and no problems

with regard to the weather. Read again what Steve Filipovitch told us. Since you are trying to bury it, here it is again:

"I was approximately 10 +/- miles from the Eveleth airport at the time

of Senator Wellstone's demise. I was inspecting and taking pictures of

some real estate in the area. I was outside for a good 15 to 20 minutes

around that time. I am a pilot and have landed at Eveleth.

[For photo, open file in the menu bar at assassinationscience.com]

"I know the possibility of icing when descending. The temperature on

the ground was pleasant with my estimation of visibility was 3 miles

with a 500 to 1000 (foot) ceiling. There was no ground wind. Experienced

pilot(s) could handle these conditions very easily."

Now the only advantage Steve Filipovitch has over you, Evan Burton, is that he was there and you were not. He also has no axe to grind, while you are embarked upon a mission to attack me and attempt to undermine my credibility at the least opportunity. I am sorry to have to say it, Evan, but you are not being straight with me. You are again abusing your position for political purposes.

No, I am making sure people know what the report said, not what you said it said. You have inaccurately conveyed its meaning.

Edited to add:

Just so people can read what it said, here is a link to the NTSB Accident Report.

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So what was the weather at the time?

NWS surface analysis chart station models showed that at 1000 the sky was overcast, dew point depressions were less than or equal to 2° Celsius ©, surface winds ranged from calm to about 5 knots throughout most of the State of Minnesota, and surface temperatures were below freezing over most of northern Minnesota.

A TAF33 prepared by the Duluth Forecast Office for Hibbing, Minnesota (the closest TAF location to the accident site), which was valid starting at 0900 and transmitted at 0917, stated, in part, the following: Wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 3 statute miles with mist, overcast 500 feet; Temporary conditions from 1400Z to 1800Z, visibility 2 statute miles, mist, overcast 200 feet.

An area forecast (FA)35 covering northern Minnesota was issued about 0945 by the NWS Aviation Weather Center (AWC), Kansas City, Missouri, and was valid at the time of the accident. The FA stated, in part, the following:

"Northern Minnesota ... AGL... scattered at 2,000 feet, scattered to broken at 4,000 feet, tops at 6,000 feet. 1200Z ...AGL... scattered to broken at 1,500 feet, ceiling broken at 4,000 feet, broken at 7,000 feet and tops at 12,000 feet. Occasional visibility from 3 to 5 [statute] miles with mist. 1600Z ceiling broken at 1,500 to 2,500 feet, overcast at 4,000 feet. Occasional light snow."

An AIRMET prepared by the NWS AWC was issued about 0745 and covered the area surrounding the airplanes flightpath and the accident site. The AIRMET, which was valid at the times the pilot received the two preflight weather briefings, warned of occasional moderate rime or mixed icing in clouds and precipitation above freezing level to 20,000 feet. The AIRMET warned that the freezing level was from the surface to 7,000 feet over northern portions of the area and sloping to between 8,000 to 10,000 feet over southern portions of the area. According to the meteorologist responsible for issuing the next scheduled AIRMET at 0845, shortly after he issued it, he received a pilot report (PIREP) of moderate icing at 10,000 feet. He stated that, about 0905, he issued an updated AIRMET, which was valid at the time of the accident, warning of occasional moderate

rime to mixed icing in clouds and precipitation below 10,000 feet.

The 0700 upper air sounding (that is, a vertical profile of atmospheric conditions) from Chanhassen, Minnesota (160 miles south-southeast of the accident site), showed a saturated boundary layer, with a surface temperature of 3° C and an easterly wind of about 3 knots. Freezing level was approximately 2,700 feet. The 1300 upper air sounding from International Falls, Minnesota (79 miles north-northwest of the accident site), did not show a completely saturated near-surface environment. The sounding showed a surface temperature of -2° C and south-southeasterly surface winds of about 5 knots. The sounding also showed a saturated layer from about 3,400 to 7,000 feet, with southwesterly winds in this layer ranging from 10 to 23 knots. The NWS also provided Safety Board investigators with the Eta model 1000 forecasted profile for Hibbing, Minnesota, which was consistent with the upper air sounding profiles. Specifically, the profile confirmed the existence of below-freezing temperatures and verified that saturated conditions existed between about 3,000 and 7,000 feet.

Airport Weather Information

Weather observations at EVM are made by an AWOS, which is located about 2 miles northwest of the accident site at an elevation of about 1,380 feet. Observations from this station are reported every 20 minutes. At 1014 on the day of the accident, the AWOS reported that the visibility was 3 statute miles in light snow and that the sky condition was scattered clouds at 400 feet and overcast at 700 feet. At 1034, the AWOS reported that the visibility was 4 statute miles in mist and that the sky condition was overcast at 400 feet. Both AWOS reports indicated calm winds and temperatures of 1° C.

The Hibbing, Minnesota, ASOS, which is located about 16 miles west of the accident site at an elevation of 1,351 feet, provides high-resolution data that is recorded every 5 minutes. At 1005 on the day of the accident, the ASOS reported that the visibility was about 3 statute miles in mist and that the sky condition was overcast at 500 feet. At 1025, the ASOS reported that the visibility was 4 statute miles in mist and that the sky condition was overcast at 300 feet. Both ASOS reports indicated temperatures of 1° C.

Source:

NTSB Aircraft Accident Report (AAR-03/03), section 1.7

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The plane was exceptional, the weather was fine, and the pilots were well-qualified. Not only did Conry have 5,200 hours of experience (which you contest)

There's nothing to contest his own log books (which he falsely claimed to have lost) and FAA medical records indicated he had a little over 3000 hours up to 1991 but he swore in an affidavit the total was 4,518. Even the total in the log books was questionable because he kept duplicate books and forged signatures in one. He did not fly 1990 - 2001 and only logged 598 with the charter company, most of which he was not actually flying the plane

he also had an Air Transport Pilot's certification

As numerous crash pilots

and had passed his FAA flight check two days before the fatal fight.

During which he responded slowly to simulated engine failure.

According to the FAA, he was well-qualified to fly the plane.

No simply qualified but that was based in large part on his lies. He was not wearing corrective lenes as mandated by the FAA.

Guess was not as highly rated but was a competent pilot.

Since he was fired from both of his previous piloting jobs for incompetence and Conry's widow said he told the other pilots thought he was incompetent your statement is obviously false.

The King Air A-100 did not require two pilots, and the idea that they would both lose track of their airspeed, altitude, and azimuth has an extremely small probability.

There have been several crashes including JAL 02 and Eastern 401 both with 4 men crews were there were similarly inexplicable failures to monitor the flight properly.

The odds in this case were heightened because

1) both pilots were incompetent and had a tendencies to become distracted

2) they probably were having difficulty finding the airport, visibility was poor, the terrain was relatively featureless, Conry was not using his contacts, the turned on the runway lights, the beacon was defective.

The NTSB simulated the flight path and weather in a simulator with a weaker engine and, even though they had it fly at abnormally slow speeds, they could not make it stall.

They used a simulator for a smaller related model the C90, I don't know why you think a weaker engine would increase the stall speed. They seem not to have flown below the rated stall speed of 77KCAS, the lowest speed the NTSB mentioned was 81 KCAS.

http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2003/AAR0303.pdf

Edited by Len Colby
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I am sorry to have to say it, Evan, but you are not being straight with me. You are again abusing your position for political purposes.

No, you are not sorry. You - as normal - resort to attacking people when your position is threatened. I am posting facts with sources, which anyone can check for themselves. My "position" here has nothing to do with it. Perhaps you refer to my aviation experience, which far exceeds yours? If so, then you best find people who are neophytes in aviation and give them more credence than others.

There is nothing "political" about what I say except to correct your numerous inaccuracies. Perhaps if you bothered to read what I have said, you would know I do NOT say that it was not an assassination or similar, but simply that the facts of the incident themselves do not give weight to that notion; as I have continually said: there have been similar accidents in the past and there are sure to be similar accidents in the future.

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