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Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

News 116

CR0WTR0B0T writes "Micron CEO Steve Appleton was killed in a plane crash around 9AM on Friday, February 3rd. He was flying an experimental fixed-wing single engine Lancair, which crashed in between two runways at the Boise airport."

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bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920585)

This is bad news.

Re:bad (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920619)

Guess that Steve was looking for the John Denver Experience.

Re:bad (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920945)

Guess that Steve was looking for the John Denver Experience.

John Denver, Steve Fossett and too many others.

The spirit to take risks is the spirit of adventure.

Re:bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921503)

Depends on the risks. There is no real adventure in confronting the same challenges day-in, day-out. Once you pass an obstacle, the spirit of adventure is to move on to the next one, not to go back.

I'm not criticizing what these guys did - they did many things that really WERE adventures - but they didn't die in one. They died on simple, unadventurous excursions that went badly wrong. Had Fossett found the site for his attempt to break the land-speed record and then died in that record attempt, that would have been an adventure. He would have been pushing the limits of what was known. Donald Campbell died in an adventure - a little negligently, as he didn't wait for the water to calm, but nobody had ever built a boat that fast and nobody knew what would happen at any moment. That's an adventure.

The successful solo attempt to balloon around the world by Fossett was equally an adventure - and a brilliant one at that. He held 115 other records over his life. That's a hell of an achievement. It's tragic that he died during an extremely boring site-scouting flight due to something as mundane as a downdraft plunging him into a mountain. Low flying in turbulent air next to a mountain was certainly in the spirit of taking risks, but where's the adventure in it? He'd conquered worse in just about every vehicle known to man.

Re:bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38924615)

The successful solo attempt to balloon around the world by Fossett was equally an adventure - and a brilliant one at that. He held 115 other records over his life. That's a hell of an achievement. It's tragic that he died during an extremely boring site-scouting flight due to something as mundane as a downdraft plunging him into a mountain. Low flying in turbulent air next to a mountain was certainly in the spirit of taking risks, but where's the adventure in it? He'd conquered worse in just about every vehicle known to man.

Actually (and this strengthens your point, not contradicts it), as I recall it, Fossett died due to a navigational error -- he flew into a box canyon too tight to get out of, and didn't realize his mistake till it was too late (*). So he wasn't even deliberately taking risks by flying low in turbulent air right next to a mountain during his otherwise unadventurous excursion -- he was literally at the point of "oh shit I have to try to make a turn, any turn, to get out of this". (Or maybe it was an attempt to perform a controlled crash and try to survive it; I seem to recall there was speculation that's what he was trying to do.) Sadly, he didn't make it.

* - If you're not familiar with this, turning into the wrong canyon is a fatal mistake. If your airplane's climb performance isn't enough to climb above the canyon walls by the time you run out of canyon, and you fly far enough in that there's not enough horizontal airspace to make a 180 degree turn and reverse course, you're completely screwed. No way to avoid a crash. The point of no return can happen long before it's visually obvious, so most pilots rely on navigation to avoid going into the wrong places. But all it takes is one mistake along the lines of confusing one canyon entrance for another, and you're done.

Re:bad (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922543)

The spirit to take risks is the spirit of adventure.

Could you please rephrase that using an analogy including Rock, Paper, Scissors?

Re:bad (0)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923219)

The pilots, friends, and crew that go down with them could hardly be important...

(sarcasm)

Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920601)

"Experimental fixed-wing single engine..."

Let me be the first to tell you that if I were your new CEO, I'd stop right there.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920635)

I wonder what Micron was paying him. Usually, CEOs seem to prefer multimillion-dollar private jets, not small homebuilt planes.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (5, Interesting)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920755)

From TFA:

Appleton has owned more than 20 airplanes and is known for doing aerobatics. He crashed in July of 2004 while performing maneuvers over the Idaho desert.

In an interview with Appleton after that crash, he said he suffered a few scrapes and scratches.

"I was only in the hospital one night and then I went home and showed up for work Monday morning," said Appleton about the crash. "I've been flying since then and everything's back to normal."

That crash left some wondering if the CEO was taking too many risks, considering he is head of a major corporation.

"My description of myself, whether I'm the CEO of a very competitive industry or whether I happen to fly aerobatics in airplanes, it's all one package. I mean, it's the personality that comes through in my business at my personal life."

Carolyn Holly spoke with Appleton in 2004 about his flying, Appleton said he is very fortunate for the things he has been able to do.

"I'm very fortunate, lucky to be able to experience the kinds of things that I do," Appleton said. "If my life were to end tomorrow, I've had a full life."

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920801)

Yep, definitely a little different from the typical corporation-raiding golden-parachute-collecting CEO like Bob Nardelli.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921519)

Even if he had been a golden parachute kind of guy, those things are useless for bailing out of single-seater aircraft. Way too heavy.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922823)

Okay, this got a snicker outta me.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921017)

I guess he went out doing the thing he loved. Most people don't get to live or experience the things they love for that long, or even have it be the end of them. (some don't get that at all, which is even worse)

Old age is both a curse and a dream. A time to rest from a life of hardship. But for most it always ends horribly, and sometimes painfully.
And worst of all, sometimes without a single memory of those you love and care about, or even where you are, or who you yourself are.
The thought of being slowly undone and nothing you could do to stop it is probably the scariest thing in existence.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (5, Funny)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921653)

I guess he went out doing the thing he loved.

He loved to crash his airplane???

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923815)

If other people had his money, the kind of money CEOs are (over)paid, they could live out their dreams too.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921665)

That crash left some wondering if the CEO was taking too many risks, considering he is head of a major corporation.

The Graveyards Are Full of Indispensable Men [quoteinvestigator.com]
So no, he was not taking too much risks.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920849)

He owned a small fleet.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922581)

wing.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38924553)

They weren't military craft. "Fleet" is correct.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922407)

For parachuting, the smaller, slower planes are better. Even the Sheikh of UAE has a parachuting plane (GippsAero Airvan) that cost him less than a million Aussie dollars (small change for him no doubt). I’ve seen a photo of it parked in a huge hangar amongst a bunch of jet helos.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922805)

The Lancair isn't a parachuting plane, it's a high performance homebuilt plane with either 2 or 4 seats. According to the Wiki page, Lancair was among the first to popularize the use of molded composites with homebuilt aircraft, and is known for higher cruise speeds compared to similar-size planes. Not generally the kind of plane a super-rich person would care that much about (because they can afford jet fuel for a private jet, which are much more spacious and also generally have better range and cruising speeds than small piston-engine planes). This kind of plane is usually for middle-class people who want to build their own plane (for fun, or to save money, or both).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancair [wikipedia.org]

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920637)

That's probably why he was CEO and you are not.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920669)

OP is still alive, Appleton is being identified through dental records.
 
I'll take Alive.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (5, Informative)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920675)

The "Experimental" tag is applied to anything except for vanilla factory builds, even changing engine from factory default usually ends up with an "experimental" sign on the aircraft. The tag does not reflect on it's safety. They do have a higher incidence of accidents then factory, but that seems to be attributed to second owners rather than builders, and very rarely to the aircraft itself.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920857)

Experimental are all planes that have not been vetted by proper people. Since we love car analogies, experimental would refer to all cars that have not gone through safety reviews like crash tests or have been modified in any way (as such modifications can impact their safety ratings).

In engineering terms, it's like building a bridge without a licensed structural engineer authorizing the design down to smallest details. Anyone can build a bridge, even safer bridges, but this comes down to licenses and such. Same with experimental planes. They are not "certified" to be airworthy, hence they are experimental.

even changing engine from factory default usually ends up with an "experimental" sign on the aircraft

Of course it does! The airframe needs to be certified to a given engine. There are cases when the frame failed because the modified engine was too powerful.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (5, Informative)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922005)

Experimental are all planes that have not been vetted by proper people.

WRONG. Experimental aircraft, when ready for their first flight, go through an inspection from an FAA representative that is extremely thorough. The build log of the plane (which is required to be detailed) is examined, every system on the plane is demonstrated on the ground, and a provisional airworthiness certificate is granted. At that point, a flight test plan is agreed upon (anywhere from 25 to 60 hours, depending upon whether it's an original design or a well-known kit from a major manufacturer). The test flights, which include operating the aircraft on every maneuver it is expected to perform, flight at the extremes of its weight-and-balance profile, performance measurements, and operation of all flight systems (navigation instruments, flight instruments, etc.) is demonstrated under actual flight. Once these tests are performed and signed off, the aircraft is again inspected, just as rigorously. Then, and only then, is it granted an airworthiness certificate.

Experimental planes ARE vetted by the proper people.

I'm building an experimental plane. I'm a pilot. I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. You're talking out of your ass.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38922103)

I'm building an experimental plane. I'm a pilot. I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. You're talking out of your ass.

Are you a professional aerospace engineer? No? Than your aircraft has *NOT* been "vetted by the proper people", and may in fact be dangerous to fly.

Clearly, though passionate about your *HOBBY* , you do NOT know EXACTLY what you are talking about.

Also, your post is a flame.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38922431)

Actually he is perfectly correct. To build and fly an "experimental" aircraft you must very well know what you are talking about. It all requires thoroughly inspected and all sorts of documentation and build logs filled in as you go. To even start building you need to know this stuff.

Building a kit aircraft has nothing to do with being an aerospace engineer. It requires little more than basic metal working techniques (for an aluminum aircraft.) You don't think the people putting together the latest Boeing 787 are all aerospace engineers do you? Why on Earth would they need to be?

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (2)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922621)

Experimental category allows you to fly an aircraft that isn't certified in any other category (such as "normal category"). Every aircraft has to go through the experimental stage regardless of its safety. Extensive flight testing is required during the certification process. In Australia, the experimental certificate conditions can be found here: http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/rules/1998casr/021/021c10.pdf [casa.gov.au]

However, getting an experimental certificate is usually the last step in a long process of getting the aircraft ready. Even making relatively small modifications can require an experimental certificate for an already certified aircraft type. There are a lot of restrictions imposed and a lot of supporting documentation required. I have written a fair few flight test schedules for modifications to a type certified aircraft as a requirement for experimental certificates. These reports detail the testing involved, the flight profile (limited by experimental certificate conditions such as within 25nm from an aerodrome, but in some cases can be more strict), risk analysis, etc. These documents must be approved by an airworthiness authority approved person (AP) or delegate.

I'm no longer working in the field (got sick of the politics), but I'm a former (but still qualified) aerospace engineer with experience in normal category aircraft certification.

Wrong again (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923417)

Same with experimental planes. They are not "certified" to be airworthy, hence they are experimental.

All flying experimental aircraft are certified as airworthy by an FAA examiner. They review construction records and check out the plane itself. You are not allowed to take passengers for the first 25 hours (40 hours for non-certified engines). Most experimental accidents occur during this initial testing phase. After that, the accident rate drops quite close to the rate for normally certified aircraft. The distinction is weather the plane was built using a certified "process" or not. Perhaps the AC here was confusing experimental and ultralight aircraft.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921633)

The tag does not reflect on it's safety.

You mean "its".

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923957)

The tag does not reflect on it's safety.

Afaict the tag means that they have inspected the plane and are convinced it's safe enough to let you fly it but not convinced it's safe enough to let you run commercial operations with it.

Of course actually being safe and convincing the authorities something is safe are a very different matter.

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (4, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920791)

The man was a flight enthusiast. At least he went out doing what he loved. It's not like someone put him on that plane against his will.

It would be like me being killed in a freak audio production accident... I dunno, brain liquefied by bass resonance. After everyone got over their little cry-fest, they'd knock back a pint and say "Death by music, that's our Billco alright".

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

zalas (682627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924777)

It would be like me being killed in a freak audio production accident... I dunno, brain liquefied by bass resonance.

You're not a dubstep producer/engineer are you? ;)

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (4, Informative)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920797)

A lot of people hear "experimental aircraft", and assume that it is a high-risk, never-proved type of aircraft, but that's rarely true. "Experimental" is just a type of aircraft certification by the FAA.

The different certificates available can be seen here on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . Almost everything that is homebuilt or home-modified carries this certification, even if that model of plane has been built thousands of times by other builders, and has been in constant use for decades. Even a change to the engine will throw a stock plane into the experimental category.

You probably have a friend or two who is a member of the EAA. That organization's name is "Experimental Aircraft Association".

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922617)

"Experimental" is just a type of aircraft certification by the FAA.

yes,Its a certification for high-risk aircraft, or aircraft in some high risk activity.

Nope. Or sort of (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923475)

yes,Its a certification for high-risk aircraft, or aircraft in some high risk activity.

It's an FAA certification for aircraft not produced though a certified process. Commercial aircraft (even Cessna) are built using an extremely well documented process. Process certification is expensive - very expensive. Even planes constructed at Scaled Composites are certified experimental - not because they are built by buffoons, not because the designs are unsafe, not because they are dangerous, but because even they are usually one of a kind. IIRC even the small fleet of white nights built for Virgin are going to be individually certified experimental.

I supposed being built by an individual rather than coming off a production line does imply more risk, but that's what the testing phase is for. After that, the safety record is quite good.

Experimental aircraft (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921703)

He died because he fucked up. Not because the aircraft was "experimental".

His engine quit and he tried to turn back to the airport (the "impossible turn", it's often called) from too low of an altitude and let his airspeed dwindle down too low, and ended up stalling the thing and also entered an incipient spin and augered it into the ground. This is the classic impossible turn + stall/spin that kills so many pilots who lose their shit, panic, and do exactly the most wrongest things possible at the controls of their powerless (now poor glider) aircraft.

I myself fly an experimental aircraft all the time (Vans RV) that I built myself. An experimental aircraft that's built correctly is as safe as a factory-built aircraft, but the pilots who fly them are most definitely NOT as safe as a typical private pilot who only flies factory spamcans. Experimental airplanes are almost always very *high performance* aircraft, which demand advanced piloting skills, sense of judgment and training far beyond the demands of most general aviation pilots get. They are not very forgiving of fuckups at all.

The Lancair is a particularly nasty-behaving airplane to fly when you suddenly lose power. You must push the nose over *a lot* and *immediately* to keep the airspeed up, lest you abruptly cause that thin little super critical wing to stall. You have to dive towards the ground to keep it flying (very counter-intuitive, but that's how it works if you want to live). This pilot didn't do that. An eyewitness I know of (who's also a pilot) on the ground saw this whole wreck happen, the Lancair kept way too level in pitch and it slowed way too quickly... with the usual and very predictable results. :-(

One of my own best friends died the exact same way over ten years ago. Lost engine power, tried to turn back to the runway, stalled/spun and augered the damn thing into the ground. He failed to do what our training was supposed to be drilled into our brains in case of engine loss of power.... push the damn nose over and keep your airspeed up so you don't stall. The ground is going to come up at you very quickly, and there's nothing you can do to avoid that, but as long as you keep the damn thing flying and under control, just keep flying as far into and through the forced landing as your airspeed over the wings lets you, chances are good you will live, but if you panic and keep pulling back, you will surely die as your aircraft plummets out of control in a stall/spin and hits the dirt so hard all your internal organs rip loose from their mountings inside your torso, and your brain busts down thru the base of your skull and thru roof of your mouth as the sudden stop G-forces hit at the end of the ride.

 

Re:Experimental aircraft (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922135)

Just looking at the picture of it makes it look like it is a bitch to fly.

Re:Experimental aircraft (2)

conoviator (1991610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923039)

Classic stall/spin sequence. Given Appleton's apparently large amount of experience, it is sobering to pilots like myself to be reminded that even accomplished pilots can make fatal errors. As much as we drill on how to handle these scenarios, there is a powerful urge to return to the runway. A few weeks after I passed my PP check ride twenty years ago, a high school boy practicing for his own check ride encountered engine problems with the rental airplane that I flew for most of my training. He could have landed the airplane in almost any direction (very large and empty farm fields all around). But, no, he tried to crank the airplane around in a 180 to get back to the runway from which he had just departed. Toast. Complete waste of a life. Much of flying is about learning to overcome responses to crises that might be reasonable to land-based mammals, but are deadly when air born.

That wasn't his only fuck up (1)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923455)

He was clearly in communication with the tower as the plane was rapidly loosing airspeed, asking permission to turn around and land. WTF? I mean seriously, whats the first fucking thing you learn as a pilot? It's amazing how that brain can fart, even for an experienced guy like this. RIP.

Re:Experimental aircraft (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923499)

So when you take off, do you actually take the time to plan a straight ahead landing into whatever is there just in case? That would seem to be the prudent thing to do. If it's a plan, it might reduce the tendency to try turning back.

Re:Experimental aircraft (1)

conoviator (1991610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923811)

During flight training, pilots are drilled very frequently in doing essentially exactly that. The instructor will suddenly decrease the throttle, then announce "Okay, you just lost your engine. What are you going to do?" In my experience, this simulation will only happen when "at altitude" -- safely high enough to disallow any real risk in case the engine fails to spin up again. Airline pilots are fortunate enough to have very realistic simulator training that can reproduce the situational context effectively. But, this isn't the case for primary flight training. So, no instructor is going to execute the above drill immediately after taking off when still low to the ground (the situation that led to Appleton's crash).

Re:Experimental aircraft (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924607)

Airline pilots are fortunate enough to have very realistic simulator training that can reproduce the situational context effectively.

Exactly how realistic is it? [slashdot.org]

all your internal organs rip loose from their mountings inside your torso, and your brain busts down thru the base of your skull and thru roof of your mouth as the sudden stop G-forces hit at the end of the ride

Re:Where was his golden... okay I won't (2)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921871)

Speaking as a pilot who is building an experimental-class aircraft (Vans RV-10)...

"Experimental" is what the FAA calls all home-built and kit aircraft. It is a registration designation (which includes a no-commercial-use clause), little more. There is no assumption of decreased reliability with the designation "experimental". An experimental aircraft can be as reliable, or even better than, "certified" aircraft such as Cessna. As a matter of fact, Cessna bought Lancair recently and began selling their aircraft as Cessna the C400. The Lancair family of aircraft (experimental-class or otherwise) have an excellent service record.

Uninformed media want you to think it's some sort of Rube Goldberg contraption or a one-off; that feeds into the "rich, idle playboy" image they pander to their audiences. Don't buy it. They don't know what they're talking about; neither do you.

Hm. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920607)


At 9:00 AM I was taking a huge corn-filled shit.

Coincidence?

The biggest paragraph in the press release (4, Funny)

ydrol (626558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920631)

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920777)

Paragraph 3 contained the phase "left and indelible mark..."

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920843)

Just a line they include in every press release. Nothing to see here.

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920919)

Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty water color memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another fore the way we were

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922129)

Damn, that is harsh. Probably like a form letter with a standard signature for posts on the website, I would *hope*.

Otherwise it sounds like a shameless marketing plug and just short of announcing an office party to celebrate.

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (1)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924643)

Otherwise it sounds like a shameless marketing plug and just short of announcing an office party to celebrate.

As a publicly-traded company with news like this coming out on a Friday afternoon, I doubt they are celebrating [google.com] . But maybe their PR arm is attempting some damage control.

Re:The biggest paragraph in the press release (1)

SrLnclt (870345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924689)

And how did my +1 Informative mod from earlier today end up listing this comment as funny?

I'll take my mod points back by replying to this article and see if someone can explain this to me...

Not the best hobby (1)

nairnr (314138) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920657)

Apparently this was the second crash he was involved in. He crashed in 2004 as well.

Re:Not the best hobby (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921049)

The plane didn't crash itself.

Re:Not the best hobby (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921551)

A great quote from Screaming Lord Sutch: "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving isn't for you."

Extra useful information (1)

Icyfire0573 (719207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920665)

Micron's Website: http://www.micron.com/ [micron.com]
What Micron is: A company that is in the business of designing and building some of the world’s most advanced memory and semiconductor technologies.

Re:Extra useful information (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920701)

What Micron is not: an airplane builder

Re:Extra useful information (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920741)

"News for Nerds." I think users here can figure out how to do a web search if they didn't already know Micron made RAM.

Re:Extra useful information (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920839)

Some people confuse it, though, with MicronPC [wikipedia.org] , a dotcom-bubble company that was well known for sponsoring bowl games, but eventually declared bankruptcy in 2008.

Re:Extra useful information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921095)

That might be because they were the same company.

Re:Extra useful information (1)

antime (739998) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922465)

He will be... remembered.

Take it from Woz... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920707)

...plane crashes are dangerous.

Hmmm... (1, Funny)

butilikethecookie (2566015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920809)

Steve Jobs....Steve Appleton....Steve Wozniak.....How many F**** Steve's are there!?!

That Preposterous Hypothesis (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920867)

Steve Jobs....Steve Appleton....Steve Wozniak.....How many F**** Steve's are there!?!

Did Steve tell you that perchance? Hmmm... Steve.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920895)

The universe seems to be retroactively working towards a one Steve limit.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921373)

You forgot a Steve who is going to throw a chair at you.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923819)

You made my day. Thank you!
ROTFL

Wow (5, Interesting)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920821)

From Wikipedia:
"Steve Appleton participated in a number of sports, including professional tennis. His hobbies included scuba diving, surfing, wakeboarding, motorcycling and more recently, off-road car racing. His aviation background included multiple ratings and professional performances at air shows in both propeller- and jet-powered aircraft. He also had a black belt in Taekwondo.

On the 43rd edition of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 on 2010 Appleton finished 1st on a SCORE Class 1 buggy and 7th overall with a time of 20:32.18.[6]"

I feel like such a bum compared to this guy, actually I am a bum compared to this guy.

live bum with potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921151)

But you're a live bum with potential and a future.

He's just dead and will never do anything else.

Re:live bum with potential (3, Insightful)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921481)

If he's done everything he wanted to do in life, is that really a bad thing?

Re:live bum with potential (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924557)

I bet I can guess how he would have answered the question.

He was 50 years old, and healthy. I sincerely doubt he considered himself to be ready to die.

Re:Wow (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921539)

Depend on how much free time he had. Money opens up that opportunity. It could also be that he's just an active guy that lives for the weekends and is a workaholic during the week.

Re:Wow (2)

jbwolfe (241413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921919)

Takes money to buy toys and fund exciting hobbies... Of all the air racers and auto racers and such, I'm guessing only about 10% are there because of exceptional talent. The rest are just well funded!

Re:Wow (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923035)

And by the way, he was appointed CEO of Micron in 1994 at age 34, becoming the third youngest CEO in the Fortune 500.

Re:Wow (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38923797)

And realize that he started his days at the company working on the production floor. He started from the ground and worked his way up.

He's been with the company for ages, and obviously worked with a lot of people in the company. This doesn't appear to be your oft-maligned appointed figurehead. He probably cared about the company and the people there.

Go around the web and read some of the comments on some of the articles. Lots of people who work or worked for Micron seem to have a lot of good things to say about him.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38923043)

meh. jack of all trades MASTER of none. sucks at flying.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38923677)

On the other hand, you're alive. He isn't.

Plus, his adrenaline craving left his kids without a dad.

Re:Wow (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38924465)

I feel like such a bum compared to this guy, actually I am a bum compared to this guy.

Or to put it another way, at least you're still alive and capable of feeling inadequate. That's more than he can say.

Bad year for Steves (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920829)

Bad past 12 months for CEOs of tech companies named Steve. :(

If I were a CEO named Steve working for a tech company I'd spend every day wrapped in bubble wrap for a while... there again- that might end up suffocating me.

Walmart heir also died of this (0)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 2 years ago | (#38920853)

Seems that small plane crashes are a major source of accidental death among rich people:

http://articles.cnn.com/2005-06-27/us/obit.walton_1_john-walton-wal-mart-jackson-hole-airport?_s=PM:US [cnn.com]

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921127)

Small single-engined plane crashes...

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921595)

Twin-engine planes are good only if they can handle the failure of one engine. Some can, some can't. Four-engine planes are usually designed to handle the failure of two engines, but the only rich guy I know of that flies those is Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden.

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921681)

True, I stand corrected, and I am enriched by the Iron Maiden trivia.

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (2)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921415)

Big difference between a 4-passenger plane and an ultralight, FWIW. The rest of your remark smells like confirmation bias: you had to go back 6-7 years to point to another wealthy plane victim.

Rich people die quietly daily from cancer, disease, heart disease, etc (and not so quietly from pissed-off lovers, fast cars and every other form of fast living). C'est la mort.

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921613)

Sam Walton was famous for doing short hops in a small plane to keep on eye on his stores. That was during the early days. He was a pretty down to earth guy, kept driving his old truck and all that. As soon as he died the company dropped the "buy America" policy. I wonder what he'd think of what it's become. He died from blood cancer, not a plane crash; but it doesn's surprise me one of his heirs died that way. Small planes just aren't as safe as commercial airliners. If you take enough trips, the odds catch up. You can improve your odds by not getting overconfident, and being willing to take a delay for the sake of safety. It's easier said than done, since a lot of the people who fly in these things have a "show must go on, deal must get done" mentality. Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper... they had to make the show. Lynyrd Skynyrd... aw crap. Too sad. Just too, too sad....

Re:Walmart heir also died of this (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922153)

Actually general aviation is more safe per takeoff and landing (or used to be - haven't looked up the stats for 20 years), but commercial rules on safety per passenger miles.

Fast Glass (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38920965)

Coming from an EAA member with some hands on experience in aircraft construction etc.
Lancairs are light composite home/kit built aircraft with somewhat high wing loading and comparitively powerful engines.
On one hand, you have near-turboprop like speed and performance for a quarter of the price. On the other hand, you end up with some not so agreeable handling characteristics.

I'll just say that amongst the General Aviation and home / kit community that "They have a bit of a reputation."

 

Re:Fast Glass (1)

rpstrong (1659205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921359)

This was a Lancair IVP-TP, the '-TP' meaning that it was turbine powered. 'True' turboprop speed (over 400kt cruise), but I dare say it was a bit over the quarter price point!

Re:Fast Glass (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921891)

I'll just say that amongst the General Aviation and home / kit community that "They have a bit of a reputation."

Bit of a reputation! Hah! That's an understatement. They're flying coffins. I won't get in one. Same goes for a QuestAir Venture.
Dangerous as hell unless in the hands of a pilot who's got way above average stick & rudder skills and WAY FAR SUPER-DUPER above average judgmental abilities. Lose you engine and unless you point the nose to the ground immediately to keep your airspeed up above stall, you'll have the same, predictable results.
Don't pick up any ice on the wings or tailfeathers of a Lancair either.

I'm also an EAA member, who built a few RVs and currently fly an -8. A much more sane-handling experimental under adverse conditions, and still plenty fast and fun to fly.

Re:Fast Glass (1)

jbwolfe (241413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922339)

While Steve Appleton had considerable experience, he, indeed may not fit the category of "a pilot who's got way above average stick & rudder skills and WAY FAR SUPER-DUPER above average judgmental abilities"-not that I ever flew with him. Old saying: "Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect." Sometimes no matter what all you do, its not enough... Nonetheless, as referenced here:Extra Flugzeugrau GMBH EA 300/L Air Crash [aircrashed.com] He may have been somewhat of a "hotdog", implying carelessness.

working? (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38921295)

9am Friday morning? Why wasn't he at work?

Condoloences from the "Ovoincs" Community (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38921509)

I met Steve a couple of times when he visited our facility doing work on some joint (PCM) projects. From the previous posts you can probably tell he was quite a guy and it came across immediately when you met him. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

from news for nerds (3, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922061)

rich white man dies doing things rich white people enjoy doing, but not things youll ever have time or resources to do in your life.
local slashdotter quoted as saying, "i wonder if the plane was printed on a makerbot?"

Re:from news for nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38923585)

I'm not rich (but I am a white man), and I've flown Lancairs and dozens of other experimentals. I also own my own aircraft, and it's probably worth less than your car (and it damn sure is cheaper to operate). But don't let facts get in the way of your racist 1% bullshit.

At first... (1)

jbwolfe (241413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38922163)

I was thinking another rich guy got killed playing with dangerous toys. It appears, however, that he was an accomplished aviator. Nonetheless, experimental aircraft are usually untested and this might be an example of production shortcuts. Takeoff is where it happens- max thrust, low to the ground, low energy... Boise is mostly flat to the southeast with rising terrain and flat with steady terrain to the northwest- maybe he should have gone straight ahead. Single engine means always be ready to become a glider. We'll know in a year when the NTSB is finished.

Re:At first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38924753)

I was thinking another rich guy got killed playing with dangerous toys. It appears, however, that he was an accomplished aviator. Nonetheless, experimental aircraft are usually untested and this might be an example of production shortcuts.

You don't know what you're talking about.

FAA "experimental" certification applies to airplanes not built under the regulations we insist on for transport aircraft intended to carry passengers for revenue. In cases like this one, it means it was homebuilt from a kit. It does not mean in any way that the aircraft was "untested", whether in the sense of the design being untested, or the specific aircraft being untested. You don't get a FAA certification of airworthiness of any stripe, "experimental" or not, without a substantial amount of testing on the aircraft design and each aircraft built to that design.

uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38922875)

And I care why?

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