|Death: ||Sep. 20, 2008|
Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles, Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, pilot Sarah Lemmon 31 of Anaheim Hills, and copilot James Bland 52 of Carlsbad, Ca were killed in a fiery Learjet crash in South Carolina according to the Lexington County coroner.
Among others on the plane were Travis Barker Former Blink-182 drummer and Adam Goldstein known as celebrity DJ AM who were critically injured.
According to music industry sources, Charles "Che" Still was a longtime friend of Barker's and sometimes worked as a bodyguard when the star drummer performed in small shows. Barker and Goldstein had performed together under the name TRVSDJ-AM at a free concert in Columbia on Friday night.
Michael Creger, a friend of Still, said the bodyguard's family was reeling from the news. They were upset, too, that early media reports of the accident focused on the injured Barker instead of the dead passengers. Still's family had thought the group in South Carolina would be returning home on a commercial flight, but travel plans apparently had changed.
The athletic Still was "a gentle giant" who aspired to be a professional athlete and had been working part time for Barker, Creger said. He was a "huge music fan" who, with his tattoos and stature, was an imposing figure to strangers. His friends, however, knew him as "a loving guy, the kind of guy would do anything for anybody," Creger said.
The Learjet, which was en route to Van Nuys, was taking off shortly before midnight Friday when air traffic controllers saw sparks. In what officials described as a "high-speed overrun" the jet veered off the end of the runway, through a grassy area, a perimeter fence and across a road, slammed into a berm and became engulfed in a "significant fire," said National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson.
A trail of black soot led off a runway, across a five-lane road next to the airport and up an embankment. The nose of the aircraft was gone and the roof was missing from two-thirds of the charred plane.
The plane is owned by Global Exec Aviation, a Long Beach-based charter company, and was certified to operate last year, an NTSB official said.
A 10-member investigative team from the NTSB, which expects to be onsite for up to a week, secured and removed the cockpit voice recorder and sent it to a lab in Washington, D.C., for evaluation. Because of the ferocity of the fire following the crash, investigators could not say whether the data were damaged, but will announce what the quality of the recording was as soon as it is known.
Air traffic controllers did not know if the Learjet had become airborne before the crash, which occurred in clear weather with light winds. The pilots had filed a flight plan from Columbia to Van Nuys with no fuel stops scheduled. As part of the investigation, the NTSB will be looking at the jet's maintenance records, the pilots' medical history and training and their activities going back to 72 hours before the crash.
Created by: cahaden
Record added: Sep 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29953716
Added by: Anonymous
Added: Sep. 21, 2008
Added: Sep. 21, 2008