Pilots Blamed in Montrose Crash

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Pilots unfamiliar with winter weather flight operations are being blamed in the crash of a Bombardier Challenger CL-600 in Montrose, Colo., on Nov. 28, 2004. The chartered plane, operated by Air Castle Corp. of Van Nuys, Calif., landed at the Montrose airport to drop off NBC sports executive Dick Ebersolís wife, actress Susan St. James. While waiting for the passengers to reassemble, the plane sat for 45 minutes in freezing precipitation but was not de-iced prior to takeoff. While attempting a climb from runway 13/31, the Challenger rolled violently left and right several times before impacting the ground.

Three of the six people on board, one of Ebersolís sons, the captain and a flight attendant, were killed in the crash. Ebersol, another son and the co-pilot were seriously injured. The NTSB says the crash was caused by the failure to detect and remove ice and snow on the wings.