One of my favourite means of advertising when I had my sign and graphics business was to apply a unique skin to the cover of my Mac G4 iBook; I would come up with some outrageous concoction that I imagined would draw attention and perhaps the odd inquiry as to my services; more often than not, they would be aviation themed.
So was the case for what I had in mind to replace the current one; can’t recall exactly what that was other than it was getting “tired”; my idea was to use a photo of an Aztec instrument panel, as large as possible, and then put my ad copy on that; well as sad as this may sound, I did not then, nor do now, have in my possession, any photos of C-FWZZ’s panel; how bad is that! that’s where Google comes in handy; let me have a look; hmm, close but no cigar; hey I know … let me punch in the US registration that WZZ had inherited when it was sold by the estate of the person who had purchased it from us; you never know, the company in Tampa, FL that I last knew it was registered to may have it for sale and if so, there is bound to be a panel photo.
So in was entered “N444DA” and be damned, if the first few entries were NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) accident reports; what the heck; checked out the first one, a synopsis, as the FAA did not have jurisdiction for the accident location (but was the country of manufacture); I couldn’t believe what I was reading! crashed shortly after take-off, at night, in the Turks & Caicos; December 26, 2005; all 4 aboard perished! OMG! I then began a more thorough search and was able to pull up the local media reports from the Caribbean; found the name of the pilot and passengers; not much was there surrounding the events or any idea of the cause, other than it hit the water at high speed shortly after that night time departure; you can imagine that this really rattled me; hell, made me shiver! I had always daydreamed that if I ever won the lottery, I would track down old WZZ and get her back; guess that’s not ever going to happen now;
A bit more research lead me to a memorial page for the pilot, Carson Garland, of Turks & Caicos; I made a couple of entries expressing my sadness and offering my condolences; but what I read there rattled me even further; he was 33 years old at the time of the accident but what really hit me was his birth date; 24 June; that was the EXACT date that I came across the initial NTSB synopsis!; couple that with the fact that Carson and the passengers died on the same date that my Father passed away, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, and I was really starting to wonder;
Some time had passed and I was looking for something along the same line again and I thought I would search some more on the subject; I really wanted to know for sure that it definitely was WZZ; know exactly what happened; and I really wanted to find some photos so as to provide irrefutable evidence; it didn’t take long and I found the British Civil Aviation Authority’s official report, the one that I have in the other post; when I came to the photo of the remains scattered across a hangar, laid out as they do to recreate the approximate configuration, my heart sunk; totally; completely; there was absolutely no doubt; that was indeed C-FWZZ; the paint job was unique; I know, I designed it back in 1978.
I read and re-read the narratives to try to understand what could have happened; after a few times through, something occurred to me as to what could have happened, or more specifically not happened, that ultimately led to this tragic outcome; but that will be the subject of another post.