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Investigators may not be able to determine which pilot was in control

Probe into Thursday’s crash continues

Posted: July 9, 2012 7:26 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2012 7:26 p.m.
 

 

Federal investigators probing Thursday’s plane crash near Piru that killed two are expected to have a tough time determining which man was at the controls, a medical examiner assigned to the case said Monday.

“The plane had dual controls and both persons in the plane were pilots, so we do not know who was in control of the plane when it crashed,” said Craig L. Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner for Ventura County.

Killed in the crash were Harry Bell, 89, of Newhall and Michael Boolen, 59, of Pacoima. Bell was 2011’s Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year.

The men died Thursday when the aircraft crashed just off Highway 126 between Castaic Junction and Fillmore after leaving Whiteman Airport in Pacoima.

Whiteman Airport aircraft mechanic Carl Florine is, like Boolen, a certified flight instructor.

He said Monday he’s familiar with both men and with the machine they were flying. He knew and respected both pilots, he said.

“Both of them were experienced pilots.”

He described their “Lite Sport” aircraft as “a dual-control plane, and that means the (piloting) controls for both pilots are hooked into each other.

“So if you move one set of controls, the other set of controls will move the same way,” he said.

jholt@the-signal.com
661-287-5527

 

 

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