This is in response to the March 16 story about a plane crash and the West Gardiner Fire Department.

The pilot of the small plane that crashed shortly after takeoff should have been more aware of the flying conditions on that cold winter night. Jeannette Symons, who had been a pilot for some time and had traveled across the United States, should have been questioned prior to flying. She should have known about the weather conditions. Other pilots cancelled their flights due to icing and poor visibility. She should not have been allowed to take off from the Augusta airport. Why did she take the chance to fly in bad weather?

West Gardiner rescue responded in a timely fashion to recover survivors. Unfortunately, when they arrived there were two victims. They spent many hours during the recovery and many persons were involved.

According to the article, there were a few checks prior to take-off that were not in order. Symons’ insurance carrier claims that the coverage may have been voided due to the lack of documentation for her training.

I feel that the West Gardiner Rescue should be fully paid for their efforts and for all the expenses incurred during this unfortunate event. Regardless of the invalid insurance situation, they should and must be compensated. Perhaps the money should come from her estate. If all else fails, the case should be legally filed.

Stephen Royles

Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this letter, the estate of Jeanette Symons has compensated emergency responders for their efforts.

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