NTSB Report Exonerates Pilot...

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Two Died In Fiery Crash

It's unusual for the NTSB to complete its investigation of a GA accident and find no fault with the pilot. But in its probable-cause report on a September 2002 crash in New Jersey, issued last week, the safety board found that a bad bolt caused the engine of a Piper Saratoga PA 32R-301T to stop without warning, and put none of the blame on the pilot's handling of the ensuing emergency. Mike Kirkley and his wife, Sandy, of London, Ontario, died when their airplane crashed and burned in a wooded residential neighborhood. Their two young sons were rescued by bystanders and survived. The Kirkleys were well-known in their home region, where she was a leading orthopedic surgeon and he was a former football star who had built a successful communications company.