Sad news WH
On Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 11:05:55 AM UTC-4, Paul Remde wrote:
On Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8:00:05 AM UTC-5, Scott Calvert wrote:
Yesterday we lost WH. RIP Bill!
I should probably know, but who is WH? The SSA contest number database shows someone that is not named Bill.
William (Bill) Hanson. Relatively new to soaring, but a wonderful guy and roommate at several contests over the last several years.
The facts are as follow. We launched on a planned Out and Return ridge mission from Blairstown Airport along with several other ACA members Friday morning. It was a beautiful Fall ridge day - relatively robust winds at the beginning but not even a top 20 strong day. Thermals marked by Cu allowed reasonable progress. Pilots were out enjoying the ridges from MASA/Fairfield and Ridge Soaring as well.
We were in radio contact all day with position reports at various recognized landmarks. I was about 50 miles ahead by the end of the day, but the conditions were still solid, though winds and thermals were clearly weakening.
Based on preliminary data, Bill made his last reasonable climb near Pottsville, PA. When I checked in, he reported a "weak thermal". My response was "hang in there, you're almost home." That's the last we heard from him.
The wreckage is on the side of a hill. Fortunately, a bystander withnessed the crash and dialed 911. PA State Police immediately mobilized a helicopter and numerous ground assets. The response was all that we could hope for and more, but the result was not.
FAA and NTSB investigators supported by ACA club members are obtaining available loggers and other electronics.
Right now, the main thing we need is support for his family. Nancy (his wife) has asked all pilots who spent time with Bill to send her memories or anecdotes. Feel free to reply to me directly and we will collect and collate.