Plane crash leaves one dead, one in critical condition
July 8, 2003
Richard Marlow, 70, was killed and his wife Beverly, 65, critically injured in a plane crash at the Truckee Tahoe Airport Friday. Their pet dog survived the crash, was treated at a veterinarian and released to the Marlows’ son, Bruce.
Beverly’s condition was listed as critical as of last weekend, but according to Washoe Medical Center Public Relations Coordinator Judy Davis, “There is no information about this person in the directory.” She said that could mean Beverly’s family took her out of the hospital directory, or she was never taken there at all. She could not comment any further, she said.
However, Airport Manager Dave Gotschall said he heard from the Care Flight nurses that she looks like she is “OK.” “The nurses say, ‘yeah, she looks like she’s going to recover’,” Gotschall said. The nurses were the first responders on the scene, he said.
According to Federal Aviation Administration Spokesman Donn Walker, the Marlows’ Globe Swift GC1, a 1940s single-engine two-seat plane, crashed on takeoff at 11:15 a.m. leaving the airplane destroyed. He added, “The weather was good enough to allow for visual flying.”
According to an Associated Press report, witnesses said Richard, the pilot, “made a steep right turn at between 100 and 300 feet shortly after departure, which caused the plane to lose uplift.”
Carl Brun, an airport radio operator, did not hear a distress call from Marlow, the Associated Press report said.
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Truckee Tahoe Airport General Manager David Gotschall said he wasn’t sure what caused the crash, but “The aircraft, for an unknown reason made a right turn.” He added that the plane seemed to be well maintained, and wondered if the accident could have occurred because of a medical condition. “[The plane] was a totally restored classic,” he said.
Gotschall said Bruce was in a different plane just behind them with his two children. The family had taken a glider lesson that day and was heading home to Nevada City.
According to Nevada County Airfest Chairman Tim O’Brien, Marlow was a retired nuclear power plant inspector with a love for aviation. “He was an aviator at heart,” O’Brien said. “He was genuinely loved by everyone at the airport up here (the Nevada County Airport at Grass Valley). It’s a big loss to everybody here.”
The FAA and the National Transportation Security Board are both currently investigating the accident.
The Truckee Tahoe Airport’s last fatal crash was in 1997, in which five people were killed.