One of Jim's charter pilots, Bill Larson, called me to say he was having computer problems so he asked me to post the following message for him:
First of all, fuel was never a problem. Granted the C-206 is more stable than the Debonair but in this case I don't believe it had any bearing. Jim did not have instrument experience enough to handle any type of airplane in that kind of weather. Even under VFR, Jim would not keep a stable airspeed or altitude because he was not cross-checking his instruments. Both [charter pilot] Glenn Kemp and I allowed him to fly the Aztec from the right seat, and we both had problems. At one point, he almost stalled the aircraft before Glenn took it away from him. I could never allow him to go that far because we were usually IFR on tours. As mentioned in Larry's book, Jim was low to slow, trying to keep an eye on Franklin Road when he turned away from the lightning flash and lost ground contact. The airplane stalled with right wing down and Jim did not level the wings prior to pulling back on the yoke. Therefore he simply tightened the spiral. All of this is in Larry's book. Ironically, Jim told me just before he left Nashville he was going to take instrument training later that fall.
The Cessna 206 belonged to Bill Colbert, Colemill Flying Service. How long Bill kept that plane before selling it, I have no idea.
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