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Thread: Pilot loses license after fatal jet crash in Tehachapi, Calif.

  1. #1
    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Pilot loses license after fatal jet crash in Tehachapi, Calif.

    The former Air Force captain received a revocation order after a Fourth of July aerial display ended with two deaths.

    Pilot loses license after fatal jet crash in Tehachapi, Calif. -- latimes.com

    By Dan Weikel



    October 7, 2009

    Federal authorities have revoked the pilot's license of a veteran aviator who flew in a July 4 aerial display in Tehachapi, Calif., that ended with the fatal crash of a vintage Soviet military jet with two people aboard.

    The Federal Aviation Administration canceled the airline transport pilot and ground instruction certificates of Douglas E. Gilliss of Solana Beach, a former U.S. Air Force captain and Vietnam War veteran with decades of aviation experience.

    The FAA sent Gilliss a revocation order Sept. 28, a copy of which was obtained by The Times on Tuesday under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

    Gilliss was one of several pilots who participated in a formation flyover of three Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfins, once the standard jet trainer of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations during the Cold War. Gilliss flies with the Thunder Delfins, a group of L-29 enthusiasts.

    During the flyover, one Delfin fell out of formation and slammed into Old Town Road, killing David Zweigle, 42, the city's airport director, and Robert Chamberlain, 63, of Morrison, Colo., a retired airline pilot and former Air Force test pilot. The aircraft, which was owned and flown by Zweigle, passed over a park and missed several houses before impact.

    FAA officials say that Gilliss violated federal regulations by flying over densely populated areas at less than 1,000 feet. They also assert that Gilliss improperly carried a passenger and falsely claimed in a pilot's log that he had checked out Zweigle in the L-29 before the crash.

    Zweigle was required to demonstrate his ability to fly the L-29 to an FAA-designated flight examiner before he could act as the pilot in command of the aircraft. FAA officials say Gilliss was a flight examiner at the time.

    "You have demonstrated that you lack the required care, judgment and responsibility to hold any airman certificate," the FAA stated in the revocation order.

    Gilliss declined to comment, except to say that he would appeal the decision.

    In an earlier statement, he said the L-29s avoided populated areas and flew between 1,200 and 1,500 feet, well above the minimum required altitude.

    He said the planes did not present a hazard to the public because they proceeded along the area's railroad tracks and not directly over the city of about 35,000.

    dan.weikel@latimes.com

    Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

  2. #2
    Senior Member vikingBerserker's Avatar
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    Wow, I did not hear about this crash.



  3. #3
    Senior Member GrauGeist's Avatar
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    Pretty sure you would have, VB...it's the one that happened over the 4th.

    Bob Chamberlain was a member of FLYBOYJ's family.

    "Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future."
    - Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome


    > I Support Doug Gilliss <

  4. #4
    "Shooter" evangilder's Avatar
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    What a load of crap. I am sure that Joe has plenty of thoughts on this, but I will say that the FAA pulled a witch hunt on this and I think it really sucks.


    > I Support Doug Gilliss <

    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. Leonardo Da Vinci

  5. #5
    Senior Member GrauGeist's Avatar
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    My thoughts exactly.

    It seems more and more that the investigations are nothing more than justification for thier existance. Just look at what they did about that mosquito abatement crash where the pilot admitted he clipped the tower guy-wires...and they went after the maintenance records...
    Last edited by GrauGeist; 10-08-2009 at 12:49 AM.

    "Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future."
    - Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome


    > I Support Doug Gilliss <

  6. #6
    Senior Member lesofprimus's Avatar
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    Ill be very interested to see what Joe has to say on this one......



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    IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO FLYBOYJ's Avatar
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    Hi Guys;

    I was waiting for this to hit and all i could say is "no comment." This is more for Doug's defense team than anything else but as soon as this is over I could go into detail about this. IMO the feds are looking for a scapegoat.

  8. #8
    Der Crew Chief DerAdlerIstGelandet's Avatar
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    Wow this sucks! Can't wait to see what comes out of this.


    fly boy:"isnt that the first jet bomber becasue i have flown one in a flight sim before and i know how it handles"

  9. #9
    Senior Member RabidAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLYBOYJ View Post
    Hi Guys;

    I was waiting for this to hit and all i could say is "no comment." This is more for Doug's defense team than anything else but as soon as this is over I could go into detail about this. IMO the feds are looking for a scapegoat.
    No surprises there. Why claim responsibility, or admit that really crappy things just tend to happen at times? Gotta blame SOMEONE!!!

    ETA: Sorry that your family is still going through this crap, Joe.


    Pillage, then burn.

    Argue not with dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well on toast.

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    Senior Member Vassili Zaitzev's Avatar
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    I'll have to wait and see. Once again, I'm sorry that this had to happen to you and your family FBJ.
    "Never was so much owed by so many to so few"- Winston Churchill.

  11. #11
    "Shooter" evangilder's Avatar
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    I am going to show my support with a new siggy. Feel free to use it guys to show your support.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -gillissupport-jpg  


    > I Support Doug Gilliss <

    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. Leonardo Da Vinci

  12. #12
    Der Crew Chief DerAdlerIstGelandet's Avatar
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    I will add the siggy when I get home.


    fly boy:"isnt that the first jet bomber becasue i have flown one in a flight sim before and i know how it handles"

  13. #13
    Senior Member GrauGeist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangilder View Post
    I am going to show my support with a new siggy. Feel free to use it guys to show your support.
    Got mine!

    "Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future."
    - Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome


    > I Support Doug Gilliss <

  14. #14
    Senior Member Maestro's Avatar
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    What the hell ?

    A plane crashed killing two men and they blame the flight leader ? Excuse me, but I think that in a plane accident, only two persons can be blamed... The pilot (who died, in this case) and the ground crew (if it is due to a malfunction). And even though, the accident could still be the result of "dumb luck"... or bad luck, depending on your point of view. Which means no one can be blamed.

    And they're going after the guy who wasn't even in the friggin plane ? Or responsible for the maintenance of the plane ? Am I the only one to think it is stupid ?

  15. #15
    Senior Member beaupower32's Avatar
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    Showing my support.


    By the way, God does have a place for all of his creatures. Right next to the potatoes and gravy.

    "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup"

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