Ordinarily, a pilot would be tested by one of the FAA guys who was headquartered in Nashville, but Jim Reeves avoided that. Months later, when Bill Larson and Glen Kemp both flew with Reeves (individually), they noted his lack of flying skills. Glen even had to take over controls of the airplane because Jim stalled it and the buzzer went off!
Jim should not have been flying the Beechcraft, a more advanced aircraft, which required a minimum of 200 hours (WHICH HE DID NOT HAVE and Fred Bunyan and others from Southeast Beech, who rented him the plane, KNEW that). But they were friends with FAA guys so when the accident report was written up they "estimated" he had 200 hours, which was b.s. There was no reason to estimate anything; every time a pilot rents a plane there are records kept. They could and should have pinned down EXACTLY how many hours Reeves had flown. But to do so would have implicated Southeast and their insurance company very likely would have refused to pay their claim for the lost aircraft.
So there obviously was some collusion between those writing up the accident report and Southeast. Another word that comes to mind is corruption. There was a whitewash in the Reeves plane crash investigation.
Read my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story" for more details, so significant, that an entire chapter of a book called "Hit List" by Richard Belzer and David Wayne, was devoted to Jim's accident -- all based on my book and investigative reporting.
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