Gillette man calls for new flight plan regulations - KOTA Territory News

Gillette man calls for new flight plan regulations


Nine-year-old Shyann Lenz, her mother, Trista Meyer, and Meyer's boyfriend, Matt Ahrens were all on a small private plane that crashed Thanksgiving weekend.

"I spend most of my day crying," said Mark Lenz, Meyer's ex-husband and Shyann's father.

After learning that no flight plan was filed, he hopes to see new regulations put in place requiring flight plans.  He says those would help rescue crews immensely in case of an emergency.

"The search area was as large as 2,000 square miles.  My kids are required to be in car seats.  We're required to wear seat belts, yet you're going to allow these aircraft to fly around with no clear direction of where they need to go," said Lenz.

Aircraft owners cited their right to privacy when Congress considered public flight plans more than a year ago.  But Lenz is pushing for this because Shyann's death certificate lists hypothermia as the main cause of death, suggesting she survived the crash.

"Had the rescuers been able to get to them, there's a good chance that, I was told by a medical examiner, that shy would have been fine," said Lenz.

Lenz says he does not want to see more parents go through what he did.

"I know it's too late for them.  But you know what?  It's not too late for the next baby, or the next mother, or the next daughter, or the next father that gets out there.  If we have a flight plan in place, we may be able to save someone else's life," said Lenz.

Lenz contacted Senator Mike Enzi's office last week.

Enzi's press secretary says the office's staff is talking with the FAA and aviators about current regulations and what can and should be done.

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