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Civil Air Patrol Grounded Day Of Plane Disappearance

April 28, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Civil Air Patrol Grounded Day Of Plane Disappearance
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Captain Neil Schmid has been a pilot for many years, now working with the Civil Air Patrol. He's been through many different types of weather conditions and knows how quickly a flight plan can change.

"Clouds, ceilings, wind, winds upstairs and winds on the ground, visible moisture, visibility and so on," Schmid said.

More than one thing can keep a plane on the ground, and it could be more than one thing that led to a crash near Highmore, killing all four people on board. Schmid won't speculate about what could've brought the plane down, but he does know that on Sunday, the day the Piper 32 disappeared; the winds led to the cancellation of a scheduled drill and grounded every Civil Air Patrol aircraft.

"There were several aircrafts in the air and it got too windy and we brought them down and held by the safety standard that we have," Schmid said.

Those planes are still grounded, waiting for the winds to calm down. Schmid says that he has flown a Piper 32, like the one that went down, and like the planes he flies for the Civil Air Patrol; the smallest weather change can keep him from going in the air.

"Most light aircrafts have weather capabilities, but it's fairly limited. You don't want to be flying through thunderstorms and severe high wind situations, you want to be very careful," Schmid said.

Schmid says the experience of the pilot can also go a long way in determining whether flying in certain weather conditions is safe.

"Always have an out. You can always turn around and go back the way you came from, that's probably best because if you're going into bad weather, the weather you came from is probably better than where you're going," Schmid said.

Schmid emphasized that anything discussed about why the plane went down is purely speculation until the NTSB concludes its investigation.

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