FAA- Pilot signaled loss of power

Saturday, July 27, 2002

FATAL CRASH

By Bob Miller ~ Southeast Missourian

A pilot killed in a Bollinger County plane crash had sent a distress signal and indicated that his 1967 Piper Twin Commanche lost engine power, says a Federal Aviation Administration report released Friday.

The preliminary report also said Dr. Anthony Bruce Junkin was trying to land the airplane Thursday as it plunged into the grassy field at the intersection of Route M and County Road 330, 10 miles north of Marble Hill and six miles west of Scopus.

The report confirms witnesses' accounts that they heard the engine sputter and then stop running before the crash.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board hauled the airplane pieces off to the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport for further investigation late Friday morning.

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport manager Bruce Loy said the NTSB was declining interviews Friday afternoon.

However, Patton Volunteer Fire District chief Bill VanDeVen -- whose unit responded to the accident -- said the airplane had plenty of fuel. He said FAA officials opened the tanks Thursday night.

"There were two 15-gallon tanks on each wing, so that's 30 gallons per wing," he said. "There was a minimum of 30 gallons left."

Mitchell Gallo, an NTSB air safety investigator from West Chicago, Ill., said the final investigation report will be released from Washington, D.C., in about a year. Gallo said the FAA, the plane manufacturer and the engine manufacturer will assist in the investigation.

Loy said the airplane wreckage probably will remain at the airport for about a week.

Junkin was alone, flying to his home in Newport, Ark., from an experimental aircraft show in Oshkosh, Wis. His son, Joe Junkin of Three Falls, Mont., said he was there with his father for four days but took a commercial flight back to Montana as the elder Junkin returned to Arkansas.

Banner Press editor Mark Young contributed to this report.

bmiller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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