Jessica Dubroff - The media's insatiable appetite for sensation was said to have been a factor. Nevertheless . . .

April 11, 1996 – A Freemen Surrender In Montana – Jessica Dubroff: A Dream Extinguished In Wyoming – Isolating The Gene For Werner’s Syndrome.

Jessica Dubroff – The media’s insatiable appetite for sensation was said to have been a factor. Nevertheless . . .

April 11, 1996 – NPR News – All Things Considered – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

April 11, 1996. News from Jordan Montana where two wanted members of the anti-government group known as The Freemen gave themselves up at a farm to Federal Agents. 23-year old Ebert Stanton and his mother, 52 year old Agnes Stanton were arrested. Both were wanted on fraud charges. As many as 20 people, including some children remained at the compound on the Montana ranch.

Seven year-old pilot Jessica Dubroff, her father and her flight instructor were killed earlier when her plane crashed in Cheyenne Wyoming. Dubroff was attempting to become the youngest person ever to fly across the country. Her plane, a single engine Cessna owned by her flight instructor, crashed nose-first shortly after takeoff in heavy rain and snow. The accident quickly prompted the head of the Federal Aviation Board to review the rules that governed when an unlicensed person may fly a plane. Under then-current regulations, young people have to be at least 16 years old to solo at the controls of a powered aircraft and get a license. But they may fly as passengers alongside a licensed pilot. And that pilot may allow them to operate the controls. But the responsibility rested solely on the licensed pilot, and that any flights that had been made by any non-pilot were done with the assistance of a pilot in command who had obviously believed at the time of the flight that it was safe to allow a non-pilot to manipulate the controls. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later investigated the crash and concluded that the fatality was caused by the pilot’s improper decision to take off in poor weather conditions, his overloading the aircraft, and his failure to maintain airspeed. The three factors resulted in a stall and subsequent fatal crash in a residential neighborhood. The NTSB also determined that “contributing to the instructor’s decision to take off was a desire to adhere to an overly ambitious itinerary, in part, because of media commitments.”

And researchers reported in the latest Journal of Science that the gene responsible for Werner’s Syndrome, the rare and often fatal condition that causes premature aging. Scientists were particularly interested in the faulty gene because they believe that Werner’s Syndrome may hold clues to the normal aging process.

And that’s a small chunk of what went on, this April 11th in 1996 as reported by National Public Radio from All Things Considered.


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