NTSB: Plane that crashed killing Clinton teens was flying low

Friday , August 01, 2014 - 2:55 AM

The Associated Press & Ben Lockhart

LITTLEFIELD, Ariz. — A federal investigator says the Davis County pilot of a small plane that crashed in far northwestern Arizona was flying well below what’s allowed by regulation.

Newly licensed pilot, 19-year-old Daulton Whatcott, and 16-year-old Jaxon Whatcott, were headed to Nevada when the single-engine Cessna crashed near the Arizona-Utah border on July 20. The brothers from Clinton, Utah, died.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Larry Lewis said Thursday that motorists on Interstate 15 saw the plane hit a canyon wall, about 100 feet above the elevation of the road. Lewis says the plane should have been flying at a minimum 500 feet.

Preliminary information indicates the plane rounded a corner and turned upside down before striking the canyon wall and sparking a small fire.

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A full report isn’t expected for months. The Whatcott family declined to comment on the investigation Thursday.

Daulton and Jaxon had taken off from Bountiful's SkyPark Airport in Woods Cross earlier in the day and made a stop in Beaver, Utah before heading for Mesquite, Nev. The two were making their way to younger brother Jaxon's basketball tournament in Las Vegas. Daulton received his pilot's license in May.

A candlelight vigil, viewing and funeral have been held to honor the brothers in recent days, with hundreds of friends and family attending each event. The boys were memorialized by loved ones as adventurous, charismatic and accepting.

The Whatcott family has established a memorial bank account on behalf of Daulton and Jaxon at America First Credit Union. The name of the account is "Daulton and Jaxon Whatcott memorial fund." Rhett Whatcott, the boys’ father, has told well-wishers he hopes to promote youth sports scholarships with the donations. The boys were well-known for their heavy involvement in several sports and both had played basketball for Syracuse High School.

Standard-Examiner Ben Lockhart helped with this report. Contact him at 801-625-4221 or blockhart@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Lockhart. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blockhartSE. 

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