Re: Chapter 49 of Hit List book
Posted by Larry Jordan on May 17, 2013, 6:10 pm, in reply to "Re: Chapter 49 of Hit List book"
One of the official investigators, who was an expert in aircraft design and maintenance, (Max Wolke), told pilots around town (whom I interviewed), that he thought one of the wings was coming off on the way down. |
However, Reeves was at a low altitude and indeed one of the wings did partially detach when the aircraft made its initial contact with the trees, according to the forensic evidence I detail in my book.
The inference that some pilots I interviewed drew from Wolke's remarks was that the wing detached while it was in the air (not contacting the trees), but there are several possible reasons that could happen, including a wing spar failure. Beechcraft issued a "service advisory" to Beech owners after the Reeves crash warning them of possible wing spar failures in a standard rate turn reversal in rain (sound familiar?), and to this day, when this particular model aircraft is offered for sale, the sellers always assure potential buyers that proper inspection and repair of the spars has been done.
The corporations that have owned Beech (and I have dealt with two of them in the course of my book research), do not inspire confidence, after first assuring me they had copies of all relevant documents and then claiming (1) the only computer file they had on them was corrupted and they had no back-up copy; (2) that yes, they had copies but they were in file cabinets behind a chain link fence that had a padlock and the guy in charge (with whom I personally spoke) couldn't remember where he put the key!
I even wrote the president of the company complaining about the obvious evasions, but he failed to respond.
So one cannot discount the possibility of an aircraft failure as contributing to the crash. But that does not obviate the fact that Reeves declined the offer of the ATC to vector him around the rain cell, or that he turned in the wrong direction and actually flew further into the rain, or that he failed to execute the appropriate control responses in the last minutes of the flight.
But there are too many weird and disturbing aspects to this crash for it to be a cut-and-dried matter. Disappearing and destroyed files. Misdirected search efforts. The woman who last dealt with Reeves (and could have observed anyone around the aircraft as it was parked at the small Batesville airport) dying suspiciously shortly after Reeves when her car was run off the road. The FBI interviewing Dean Manuel's widow to ask about an organized crime link, Reeves files still locked up with JFK assassination records and containing an Arkansas link, Jim commenting that he recognized Lee Harvey Oswald as having attended his shows and could never forget his face (with Reeves and the band playing Dallas the night before Kennedy was killed and Jim himself being in the city at the moment the President was assassinated). And let's not forget that Dewey Groom's club (which Jim had just played), had been owned by Jack Ruby, who supposedly had no connection to Oswald -- but whom Jim had seen there.
For people who have not yet read my book, "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," I have two chapters devoted to this subject.
You should check it out by clicking the link below.