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Ten Die in Nascar Team's Plane Crash

Ten Die in Nascar Team's Plane Crash

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- A plane owned by the Hendrick Motorsports organization crashed Sunday on its way to a NASCAR race, killing all 10 people aboard, including the son, brother and two nieces of the owner of one of auto racing's most successful teams.

The Beech 200 took off from Concord, N.C., and crashed in the Bull Mountain area about seven miles west of Martinsville's Blue Ridge Regional Airport about 12:30 p.m., said Arlene Murray, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

A spokesman for a funeral home where the bodies were being taken said the dead included the four relatives of Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.

The weather in the area was overcast at the time of the crash, according to Jan Jackson of the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said investigators were on their way to the crash site, which was in rough terrain, but could not begin their examination until Monday.

Hendrick owns the teams of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers, who competed in Sunday's Subway 500 in the Nextel Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR learned of the plane's disappearance during the race but withheld the information from the Hendrick drivers until afterward, NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. All the Hendrick drivers were summoned to the NASCAR hauler immediately after the race and Johnson, who won the race, was excused from Victory Lane.

NASCAR has spoken with Rick Hendrick, NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said, adding that neither NASCAR nor the Hendrick organization would have further comment Sunday night.



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Comments (15)

Flying may be safer than dr... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

Flying may be safer than driving, but it sure is a hell of a lot more tragic when something goes wrong.

Crap. My father was one of ... (Below threshold)

Crap. My father was one of the designers of that plane. Our condolences to the families.

I'm sure Radio Blogger will... (Below threshold)

I'm sure Radio Blogger will be all over this like white on rice...


Oh God! :'(May the... (Below threshold)

Oh God! :'(

May they be with God now!

Go Hendrick Motorsprots!

REV. JORDAN AT CINCINNATI A... (Below threshold)

REV. JORDAN AT CINCINNATI AME: "We are asking you to support him. I'm not worried about a 501 (c) (3) doctrine. We are asking you to support him."


Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) organizations (including churches) are "absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office." (IRS Pub.1828)

As it did in 1992, 1996 and 2000, the IRS issued an election year advisory this past April reminding 501(c)(3) organizations of this prohibition. In its recent advisory letter, the IRS referenced a case, Branch Ministries vs. Rossotti. 211 F.3d 137 (D.C. Cir. 2000). In this case an appeals court upheld the revocation of a church's tax-exempt status because the church engaged in political activities. Just prior to the 1992 presidential election, the church published newspaper ads titled "Christians Beware" and asserted that then-Governor Clinton's positions on abortion, homosexuality, and the distribution of condoms to teenagers in schools violated Christian teaching. The court found that the church's political activity violated the Internal Revenue Code's prohibition on intervening in political campaigns.

I was watching the race whe... (Below threshold)

I was watching the race when it was mentioned at the end. Jimmie Johnson won and was not allowed to celebrate and none of the drivers were able to be interviewed out of respect for Rick Hendricks. Tragic is right; my heart goes out to the family. He lost so many in one downfall.

Bush04 - what the hell has ... (Below threshold)

Bush04 - what the hell has anything you said got to do with Rick Hendricks loss of family and friends today in an airplane crash from NC to VA?

go spam elsewhere and under the right subject.


Yeah, I saw the non-celebra... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I saw the non-celebration in Victory Lane, too. I don't think it's because Jimmy wasn't "allowed" to celebrate, but that under the circumstances it would've been inappropriate. Especially since none of the Hendrick drivers, or anyone else, for that matter, knew about it until the race was complete. Between now and next week's race in Atlanta, there's going to be 10 funerals. I can't imagine. One of the things that's drawn me into being a NASCAR addict over the last few years is how the sport is a community. In the NFL, for instance, you have 30 teams going at each other two at a time, and they all switch up the next week. NASCAR teams compete against each other week in and week out. It's a sports family. It's worst for Rick Hendrick and his immediate family, of course, but this affects everyone attached to the sport, even, to a much lesser degree, down to the fan level.

And Bush'04, you're a jerk for posting your message in this thread. Go buy some respect, 'cause you'll find none here.

"Flying may be safer than d... (Below threshold)

"Flying may be safer than driving, but it sure is a hell of a lot more tragic when something goes wrong."

That's not necessarily true. Things go wrong more often that you might realize. Most aviation accidents occur on the ground at an airport and do not involve injuries. Aircraft are designed such that they can operate with engine failures, landing gear problems, flight control snafus, inoperative instruments, airframe damange, and much more.

Most aircraft accidents are due to pilot error rather than mechanical failure (by a ratio of about 86 to 13, according to the Air Safety Foundation). Of course, that's little consolation to those who lose friends or family in an accident.

The cause of this one will, as always, remain uncertain until the NTSB issues its report. The King Air has a good safety record. In fact, I believe Raytheon claims it's the best of any cabin class turboprop twin on the market.

Flying is like driving, walking, racing, and every other thing in life in the sense that it has risks.

My condolences to the Hendricks team.

I was looking at the flight... (Below threshold)

I was looking at the flight manifest last night and it just made my heart drop. There isn't much you can say to someone who has lost so much except "we love you and our prayers are with you..."

Just so sad, very tragic.</... (Below threshold)

Just so sad, very tragic.

MY CONDOLENCES TO THE HENDR... (Below threshold)

Ok... there were more than 20 planes that diverted their landings to another airport because of fog that day. Why didn't Hendrick's plane do the same ?
This is a clear cut case of pilot error folks.
The plane missed the first approach, then collided with the side of the mountain.
It sheared the tops of the trees for 100 ft.
AND according to a couple of witness's that heard it before it crashed... the plane was at not much more than idle when it hit.
Pilot error. Plain and simple. Tragic.

T Ball you haven't a clue a... (Below threshold)

T Ball you haven't a clue about flying, but are very opinionated. Twenty other flights may have diverted, but weather does change constantly. As for missing one approach, many airlines, corporate and general aircraft, miss for one reason or another every day. Approximately what torque setting do you think? Yes just what I thought, again you're speculating.
Lets get back to the facts; many people have lost loved ones. God bless them all in this time of need.

Yes Brian... You're absolut... (Below threshold)

Yes Brian... You're absolutely right. I AM opinionated. But, common sense tells me I'm also right on this. How many other planes flew into that airport that day ? How many other planes diverted to a much "safer" airport ?
Weather conditions do change... that's a fact.
But, it was overcast and VERY foggy that morning causing most other planes to divert. The Hendrick's plane didn't... and it cost 10 people their lives.
Commom sense.
Again... May Godbless the friends and family members of all that perished on this tragic flight.

there was an airplane on th... (Below threshold)

there was an airplane on the approach in front of the Hendrick's plane that landed without incident. why do you think we have not heard any of there statements concerning the events of that day? Everything would lead to the incompetence of the Hendrick's pilots






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