A small airplane’s crash into the Cascade Mountains last July was caused by the pilot’s decision to fly during bad weather despite knowing that he was not trained to fly in the clouds, investigators say.
SEATTLE — Federal investigators say a small airplane’s crash into the Cascade Mountains last July was caused by the pilot’s decision to fly during bad weather despite knowing he was not trained to fly in the clouds.
Pilot Leland Bowman and his wife, Sharon, of Marion, Mont., died when the Beechcraft airplane clipped trees and slammed into the mountains near Mazama on July 11. But their teenage step-granddaughter, also on the flight, survived the crash and found her way out of rugged terrain. She reached a highway and was brought to safety.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s probable-cause report, released Monday, said Bowman had received a weather report that warned against flying in high terrain if it was obscured by clouds. Bowman acknowledged that he could not fly using only the plane’s instruments.
Two hours later, the Bowmans and 16-year-old Autumn Veatch boarded the plane in Montana and headed toward Bellingham. They crashed about an hour and a half later.
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