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It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write…

22 Nov

I don’t really want to tell people this. I dread doing it. I dread saying the words. I have struggled with this for days and in the end I’ve decided that I need to let go of the secret. I really hope that I’m not making a mistake in writing this. At the end of the investigation, I think I will know. But no matter what, it’s a conversation that will haunt me forever.

This is in regards to Joe Masessa’s plane crash.

I found the whole preliminary report https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20191102X80415&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=FA. Perhaps you should read it too first before you read on and then I’m going to divulge something I knew which I was very hesitant to discuss.

It’s time to talk about that conversation that keeps haunting me.

In May 2019 Joe was at my home when he told me this was going to happen. And he told me where it would happen and how it would happen. The report is almost verbatim what he said. He told me it would go nose down into the concrete on the runway in Stuart. I said, “You don’t want to do that.” He had looked me straight in the eye when he told me. He didn’t look me straight in the eye when he said, “No, I don’t want to do that.”

My dilemma in understanding this is that in telling me this could happen was coming from either one of two places. Either you were telling me this because you knew something was a risky maneuver and it could go wrong. Or you were telling me this because this is exactly what you planned to do because of what was going on with the injury in your head. And you knew I wouldn’t stop you. I might not want to hear it and I might not want it but in the end if you were suffering that much from something where we knew there was no treatment, the most humane thing I could is let you go. And I may be the only person you ever talked to who fully understood that whole picture. And you knew I wouldn’t tell anybody and I didn’t until I see some people struggling to understand what happened and all the sudden this one conversation and a look I’ll never forget suddenly becomes very relevant.

We can’t undo what’s been done even if it was an accident. You told me this six months before the show. And I’ve struggled with, “Now what’s the right thing to say and do.” I wanted to wait to read the preliminary report. Ideally, I want the final report but that’s 18 month to 2 years away. I was hoping that maybe this could be a right engine failure but I’m sure it’s not. And maybe there’s still some chance that it’s not one of the two scenarios. But my gut tells me to quit analyzing it and listen to what you said. You gave me the answer six months ago.

In reading the report, and I think only another Mohawk pilot could tell me if this conclusion could be wrong – it doesn’t seem like an accident because you never pulled up at the end or attempted – unless somehow you couldn’t. The engines were going full speed. But again, I can’t exactly draw that conclusion 100%. Maybe I can but I find it hard that you told me. You told me six months before and you told me where it would happen. But I know you told me all this because you didn’t want this to come as a surprise and yet it still did.

I can only go back to the look in your eye and without a shadow of a doubt you knew this would happen. I’m just not 100% sure of the intention.  Pilot error or planned? And of the two scenarios, the NTSB probably has to classify it both ways – as pilot error.

For the people who have to read this, please don’t hate me for divulging this conversation. If I were on the end of not knowing this. I would want to know. Believe me, I am so so sorry for your loss. But I hear people looking for answers in other things that were going on and those things may or may not be relevant.

All I know is what was said to me and either way I understand why it was said to me.

It’s a hard, hard thing to know what was the right thing to do. In the end, I decided that it was better just to say it. For better or for worse, for accurate or inaccurate, that conversation happened. It is what it is. Right?

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