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Wed, June 19

Let's hope that's the last crash

News junkies know the "Rule of Threes."

Usually it applies to the deaths of famous people. They tend to come in threes within the same week.

But since Sept. 2, three air crashes have occurred in Yavapai County claiming a total of 10 lives. In the latest crash Monday in Paulden, 68-year-old pilot David Arthur Pelletier and his passenger, Francis Maikowski, 54, died in the crash of an experimental/light sport aircraft near the Pilots Rest Airstrip in Paulden.

Witnesses said the plane was flying northwest toward nearby mountains when it began a turn and went into the ground.

On Sept. 2, two adults and a teen-ager died in the crash of a Cessna Skymaster shortly after takeoff from Love Field in Prescott. Then on Oct. 18, five people died in the crash of a light plane flying near a Russian MiG on a photo shoot.

National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators now are looking into the causes of all three crashes. Circumstances in each incident are widely different, but let's hope Yavapai County has seen its last air tragedy for a while.

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