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Paying tribute to lost Mesa pilots

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Let us not forget the fallen. In addition to Air Midwest flight 5481, which I covered in a post from September 8th of this year, Mesa Air Group lost five additional pilots connected to Mesa Airlines and Florida Gulf in three separate airplane crashes. The following is a short synopsis of each in historical order.

In memory of: Larry Donald Oswald (July 23, 1949 to May 10, 1989 – 39 years old)

May 10, 1989 – Beechcraft B200 CATPASS 200 airliner (N39YV) crashed in the San Gabrielle Mountains of Southern California north of the town of Asuza. The pilot was the chief pilot at Mesa Airlines and along with Mesa’s Director of Operations, they were repossessing two aircraft from Air LA. The two airplanes departed the Santa Monica airport enroute to Farmington when the aircraft Larry was piloting hit a ridgeline and was destroyed.

In memory of: John Clayton “Tad” Feazell (Jan 22, 1963 – April 29, 1993 – 30 years old) and Jan Olaf “Benna” Almegard (April 26, 1957 – April 29, 1993 – 36 years old)

April 29. 1993 – A Beechcraft Baron 58 (N5650N) owned by Jan Juan Pilot Training crashed in the mountains near Telluride, Colorado. Tad, an instructor/check airman working for Mesa Airlines was training Benna the assistant chief pilot and a check airman candidate from Mesa subsidiary Florida Gulf Airlines. In the early morning hours of April 29th, the two pilots were leaving training events in Grand Junction, Colorado and headed back to Farmington when they crashed into the base of Mount Wilson near Telluride, Colorado.

In memory of: Christopher Andrew Gardner (June 1, 1968 – April 1, 1996 – 27 years old) and Jennifer Ann Kintigh (March 11, 1978 – April 1, 1996 – 18 years old)

April 1, 1996 – A Cessna P210N (N6427W) owned by a private party crashed into the ocean just short of the Marathon Key airport. A mechanic for Florida Gulf Airlines, who was also a pilot, was flying with a college intern and using a borrowed airplane from a private party to fly to various locations to repair Florida Gulf airplanes. In the early morning hours of April 1st, the airplane on approach to Marathon, crashed in shallow water approximately seven miles northeast of the airport, killing both pilots.

I have more specific information on the first two crashes in my book. A report on the third crash is attached to this blog post.

Larry Donald Oswald - July 23, 1949 to May 10, 1989.

Beechcraft CATPASS 200 (N39YV) was on lease to Air LA and during repossession the chief pilot, Larry Oswald, crashed it into a mountain ridge in California.

John Clayton "Tad" Feazell - January 22, 1963 to April 29, 1993.

Jan Olaf "Benna" Almegard - April 26, 1957 to April 29. 1993.

A Beechcraft Baron similar to the one the two flight instructors were killed in when they flew into a mountain at night near Telluride, Colorado.

A younger photograph of Florida Gulf mechanic/pilot Chris Gardner - June 1, 1968 to April 1, 1996.

Cessna P210 Accident
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