By Arnold M. Knightly, Boulder City Review
A preliminary report released late Wednesday night by the National Transportation Safety Board on the May 18 plane crash says the pilot called “mayday” three times and said “canopy” before the plane went down killing both the pilot and passenger.
No definitive cause of accident was given in the report, which came largely from witness testimony from the passenger in a second jet.
Pilot Douglas E. Gillis, 65, of Solano Beach, Calif., and Richard W. Winslow, 65, of Palm Desert, Calif., died after their plane went down nearly a mile-and-a-half northwest of the Boulder City Airport.
The military-style Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros jet was a two-seat jet was manufactured in 1981 in the then Soviet-bloc country of Czechoslovakia as a high-performance military trainer.
The debris field from point of impact to the wreckage was 480 feet, according to the report. Investigators noted a four-foot deep by 20-feet wide crater just behind the plane.
The preliminary report can be read here: http://1.usa.gov/NP6rig