Skip to comments.Micron CEO Dies In Plane Crash
Posted on 02/03/2012 11:37:56 AM PST by illiacEdited on 02/03/2012 11:47:29 AM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Steve Appleton, the chief operating officer and chairman of Micron, has died in a small plane crash in Boise. He was 51.
Micron spokesman Dan Francisco confirmed Appleton's death Friday. Trading in Micron stocks has been halted.
(Excerpt) Read more at khq.com ...
Don't think John Denver ever flew a Hunter jet. Not sure yet which of his planes Steve was flying though. He's a regular staple at air shows in Idaho and the surrounding area.
John Denver ran out of gas...
Here’s a more complete article on the crash
“”I’d like to turn back in... and land. Coming back in,” Appleton said to air traffic controllers.
In the background of the audio from the control tower, a woman’s voice can be heard saying, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.””
I heard this this morning.
I used to work for Micron as a Director and had gotten the opportunity to talk to the man when I first started there, though I was with a Micron Tech owned company (Micron Electronics) and many level distant from him.
He was a good man. He was open to suggestion. He will be missed here in Idaho.
He loved to fly and get out into the outdoors.
RIP, Steve, may God in Heaven rest your soul in the Hands of our Savior, and may God’s peace and comfort be given to your family and loved ones.
And on the anniversary of another small plane crash that took 4 lives - including 3 early rock stars...
Sounds like engine failure on takeoff and he tried to turn back.
“John Denver ran out of gas...”
I heard he was trying to switch tanks, the control for which was over one shoulder, and accidentally gave too much rudder.
...back about 1974.
Didn't know this Jeff (or never put it together) but you and I worked at the same division. I started in sales when it was Edge Technologies in that little building across the street and left from IT when it was Micron Electronics.
Could be. A lot of crashes happen that way, even though flight students have been told to land on the softest, cheapest thing in front of them in case of engine failure. They are told not to turn back and that's been the advice for decades.
I’ve got an old Micron Millennia RS 3000 (Y2K) PC that still has some life in it!
When Steve Appleton started at Micron, you could buy 64 KB DRAM memory for $100. Nowadays, you can get 250,000 times more memory (16 GB) for that price. He was really at the forefront of the computer revolution, and all you bloggers need to toast him tonight.
“The Day the Music Died” - Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, The “Big Bopper.” February 3, 1959; Clear Lake, Iowa.
Wonder what is off the end of the runway? Perhaps he was trying to minimize damage on the ground.
Yet pilots continue to kill themselves that way.
Something happens to the decision process when it's your airplane that's failed and you want to get it back.
Good friend of mine, CFII and all that, pounded it into his students and then what did he do when his personal aircraft had an engine failure on takeoff?
Tried to turn back with less than the magical 700 feet AGL number in the bank, stalled, spun in and killed himself.
We all think "I'll never be that dumb" but I guess you don't know until it happens to you.
Boise has long runways and there are stll some, not too many, empty fields south of I-84.
Yep and the young pilot who didn’t have night certification - Roger Peterson.
A sad tragedy that could have easily been prevented.
Depends on the direction he was going.
Going East there's some warehouse businesses, a Shopko distribution center, outlet mall.
Going West there's a lot of empty land intermixed with residential ranch houses with acreage.
Those are the runway directions. North of airport is town, South is all high mountain desert.
They're commemorating it and honoring them - with activities since Wednesday that will continue through the weekend...Local paper coverage
I had an engine failure in a Bonanza I had just bought, 600 feet AGL out of Goodland Kansas, ended up in a corn field just some belly damage. 75% of folks lose an engine below 1000 feet stall and go stright in.
NTSB Press conference at this link:
This is a real shame.
I’m trying to recall exactly, but I’m pretty sure I met him some time back, probably 98 or 99. It was in one of the bars at the SFO airport, where I was a regular commuter for a while.
He was a really nice guy. Very bright and unpretentious. I was in IT management so we had a lot to talk about. He even invited me to come out to Idaho and see what they were up to. Sadly I never collected on that invitation.
When people are in a panic situation, in a building fire for example, they usually try to exit the same way they came in. Maybe the same kind of situation exists for many pilots; to try and turn around to the runway rather than a possibly safer ‘straight ahead’ approach.
I’m trying to convince my husband to take me next year, especially if they have a premier of the new movie then.
In this picture you can see the airplane in its "parked" position with the nose gear folded. My understanding from a friend that flies one is that you start the airplane on a little primer tank when the nose is down and then when you lift the nose and unfold the nose wheel you are supposed to switch tanks. It is quite common for pilots to forget this step. What killed Denver was that the previous owner had moved the valve to a place you couldn't easily access when flying. Not to the design spec.
The price you pay for this is a very high stall speed and an astronomical engine out sink rate of over 2000 feet per minute.
At 800 ft AGl on take off this gives less than 20 seconds to make a decision on a course of action, respond and then land the aircraft after an engine out on take off.
If you have an engine out in one on take off, it's probably better to land straight ahead and take your chances. Almost every attempt to turn back to runway to land after an engine out on take off that I am aware of has resulted in a stall-spin crash with subsequent post crash fatal fire.
Cruise speed of 300kts plus is cool but I am not a big fan of the Lancair IV given it's high stall speed and power off sink rates.
But your story made me think of something...
My youngest girl and her BF, and I went skydiving a couple three years ago.
We went up in this small single engine plane...Had a blast, and all were safe.
About 4 weeks later....the same pilot, and one of the dive instructors that we had..took off with some students...and had engine failure at around 6-7 hundred ft. He turned to the left, and landed in a small open area with a few buildings around..and of course telephone and power lines. Everyone survived.
Point being...he didn't try to go back to the landing strip. Smart guy...Lucky too.
Looks like the one in the front is PT-6 powered, unless Williams or Garrett makes a reverse-flow version also.
Having a turbine engine quit on you during takeoff or climb-out is much rarer than with a piston engine, isn’t it?
Was Appleton’s Lancair turbine powered?
Correct. But, he ran out of gas because he didn't stick the tanks before take-off --pilot error.
Another little-known tidbit is that he had been convicted of drunk-driving the year before and as is usually the case, had been ordered by the FAA to surrender his medical certificate. (one half of a pilot's license, the other being the airman's certificate)
This means that at the time of his fatal accident he had been grounded and was flying illegally.
The accident report is online if you're interested in reading the details. (See: Close-Up: The John Denver Crash)
Based on the news photo of the crash and the Google Maps view, it looks like he was taking off on 10L or 10R and just stalled and dropped near the end of the runway. I’m going by sun angle and background, although I wasn’t able to match the background exactly. In particular I couldn’t find that dome.
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