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Palo Alto man dies in Tahoe plane crash

Original post made on Jul 23, 2013

A Palo Alto pilot was killed and his wife was injured after their private plane crashed in a wooded area in South Lake Tahoe Monday, the El Dorado County Sheriff Department confirmed.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 22, 2013, 7:05 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Justin and Marguerite, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2013 at 12:05 am

Our hearts go out to the entire Lefton family, especially our friend Erica. We are thinking of you and love you and hope for a speedy recovery for Karen!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

Very sad for all involved. It sounds as if this could be due to something like a heart attack to me.

I hope Mrs. Lefton recovers quickly and that she has some privacy in the followup.

Posted by Ellen, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

How brave of nurse Beth Frisby to stay and comfort Karen while fuel was leaking.

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

:( RIP Heartfelt condolences to the family.

Posted by Al, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

A sad accident. I hope she recovers both physically and mentally.

Posted by Cindy, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

It's lucky that a nurse was in the area.
I echo the other comments hoping for a speedy recovery.

Posted by Amazed, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

What amazing luck that a trauma nurse just happened to be in the vicinity!

Those small planes are so dangerous and easily buffeted by any change in wind and weather. it's amazing that they are not more regulated, or better yet, made illegal.

Posted by Pilot, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm

"Amazed," private planes are an extremely highly regulated mode of transport. Pilots are required to pass a medical exam every 6-24 months, depending on the rating they are trying to earn or maintain. The planes themselves are inspected annually, and after a certain number of hours the engines must be rebuilt completely.

Pilots must go in for flight reviews with an FAA-certified instructor at least every 24 months (usually more often). Pilots are also required to maintain their currency by making a specified number of takeoffs and landings in each aircraft type that they want to operate.

I don't know how much more regulated you want to make it, but apparently your lack of understanding of aircraft and piloting makes you want to ban it completely. That is a reflection of your lack of education, not of the relative safety of flying.

My condolences to the Lefton family, and best wishes for Mrs. Lefton's speedy recovery.

Posted by boscoli, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Heartfelt coundolescense to the family.
This tragic incident shows again how dangerous it is to have small planes landing and taking off from general aviation airports adjacent to residential neighborhoods. If this plane had been taking off from Palo Alto it could have easily slammed into a house, store or school.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Good thing cars never slam into houses, stores or schools.

@Pilot: doublecheck whether a medical is required for Sport Pilot rating.

Posted by Abe Mitchell, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:14 am

My heart felt sympathies to all of the family, and may The Lord Bless You All at this sad time.

Posted by Pilot, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

Musical, sport pilots are extremely restricted. A sport pilot, which Mr. Lefton was not, would not be able to fly from Palo Alto to Tahoe.

The most dangerous part of my flying is the drive from my house to the airport.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Agreed. Minor quibble.

Posted by My condolences!, a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

My condolences to the family.

For interest, international aviation accident statistics for planes with greater than 6 seats.
Web Link

Posted by Sad News, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:25 pm

South Lake Tahoe airport has had so many small plane accidents over the years. Many of them happen because pilots simply don't realize their plane will behave differently at altitude.

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