local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page

 last week

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 3 - 9, 2003


Crash investigation
could take months
to complete

"We’re going to be as diligent and as thorough as we can with the physical parts we have left of this airplane. But there’s not much left of this one, to tell you the truth."

TOM LITTLE, National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator,

Express Staff Writer

It could be several months before federal authorities complete an investigation of the fatal airplane accident that claimed the life of Hailey resident James J. Woodyard on Nov. 19.

The investigation is one of many currently ongoing, and each takes time, said Tom Little, a Seattle, Wash.-based air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

"We’re going to be as diligent and as thorough as we can with the physical parts we have left of this airplane," Little said. "But there’s not much left of this one, to tell you the truth."

The accident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. as Woodyard, 61, approached Friedman Memorial Airport to land. According to a preliminary report written by Little, Woodyard called the air traffic control tower in Hailey at 6:18 to request a 360-degree turn to lose altitude.

At 6:23, the controller requested a position report, and Woodyard responded that he was about five miles south of the airport at 7,500 feet, "…reestablishing myself inbound."

"The tower cleared Wood-yard to land, but no confirmation of the landing clearance was received," according to the preliminary report.

Little said he has examined photographs and video of the crash site near the top of 7,449-foot Lookout Mountain. He said he has not yet been able to visit the crash site.

Examining the scene, however, will only be one part of a three-pronged investigation.

Little said the National Transportation Safety Board will consider weather, the pilot and what’s left of the plane in attempting to piece together what may have caused the accident.

Little declined to speculate about the cause but acknowledged that extremely high winds were reported by pilots who landed prior to Wood-yard’s scheduled landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board was established in 1967 and is charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States.

An obituary appears on Page A22 of the Wednesday, December 3, 2003 printed edition of the Idaho Mountain Express.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.