John Denver Death

John Denver Death

John Denver, a classic American singer-songwriter whose words and later political deeds touched millions of fans and others alike, died tragically on Sunday 12th October 1997 at the premature age of just 53.

Denver, a lifelong aviation fanatic, was taken from us whilst partaking in one of his great passions, namely piloting his own small aircraft.
The terrible irony of such a passing, a man dying whilst enjoying his passion, was further deepened when fans gathered and radio stations played his music to remember him, they recalled the lyrics and title of one of his best-known and loved songs, "Leaving on a jet plane", whereupon the singer is left mourning the absence of his loved one. And over 25 years on his family, friends and ever loyal fans where left with the same bereftness and longing as the narrator of the song themselves..

But Denver never allowed his love of flying get in the way of anything and he was certainly a fearless though never reckless aviator, witnessed by the fact that he'd already had two lucky escapes from the clutches of death whilst pursuing his love affair with aviation travel.

He'd already walked unscathed from a runway accident in 1989 when the 1931 bi-plane he was taxiing down the runway in readiness for ascension suddenly flipped and ended up facing the wrong way down the runway. It was a relatively minor accident but one that could've resulted in the worst circumstances, but fortunately Denver walked away without a scratch.

And his love of flight extended beyond earthly binds, as he was a fully trained astronaught and was in training to be on-board the doomed Space Shuttle Challenger on its tragic 1986 flight. But a simple twist of fate and Denver couldn't come aboard and so he was spared, though only temporarily as it tragically turned out.

Exact causes are very seldom easy to find in sudden deaths like aircraft fatalities such as Denver's and this case is no exception as no-one not even the coroner, crash investigators nor the traffic controllers he was in contact with until seconds before his death, can definitely ascertain what occurred in the tragic seconds at around 5.27 PM on the fateful day.

What is known is that Denver, a highly qualified and experienced pilot, was practicing manoeuvres in a home-built experimental two-seater plane that he'd bought just the previous day over the Californian pacific coast near to where he had a home in Montery Bay.

There are two theories has to how the tragic events unfolded, but what is certain is that Denver was unfamiliar with some of the controls of his new aircraft and despite his great experience as a pilot made a fatal error in his final seconds by either, depending on who you believe, misreading the fuel gauge and believed that the aircraft had enough fuel to continue its flight when in actual fact it had none, or a design quirk added by the plane's original owner when he built the plane built fooled John into misreading the control panel thus causing the fatal error.

Either way the plane hurtled into the Pacific and the world lost one of its most favourite singers.

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