MADRAS, Ore. (KOIN) — It was sketchy, an airshow maneuver Marcus Paine reportedly called a “complete crapshoot” to another performer a day before he attempted it at the Cascades Airshow in Madras and failed.
Now, two years later after Paine’s plane crashed in front of hundreds of people, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have determined the fatal mistake is one he shouldn’t have made. The analysis revealed there was no evidence of mechanical failure or impairment from Paine, a 61-year-old pilot with over 20 years of flying experience when he passed away.
The investigation showed that the density altitude in Madras on Aug. 27, 2016, was 5,221 feet, creating an inverse relationship between decreasing engine power and rising height.
“It is likely that the pilot failed to adequately compensate for the changes in airplane performance due to high density altitude conditions, which resulted in a collision with the terrain,” the investigation analysis said.
Doug Bonfield, a military aviation veteran, was there on that Madras day. He knew early that Paine was in trouble.
“He pulled it up had a ground effect, and started his vertical and came over the top and I was just looking at it like, ‘that don’t look good.’
“He came down way low, looked like he pulled the nose up, the tail caught, rolled it over (and) looked like he ripped the wings off the right side.”
You can read the full NTSB final report below