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Atherton resident dies in homebuilt-plane crash

Original post made on Nov 23, 2009

Atherton resident and attorney Gary Lampert, 58, died after his experimental aircraft caught fire and crashed north of an apple orchard near Watsonville Saturday, according to the Santa Cruz County coroner's office and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 23, 2009, 5:58 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by Pilot, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

Pilots do not have to file flight plans if they're flying under visual flight rules (VFR). Not having a flight plan on file does not signify that there is anything unsafe about the flight.

To fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), or above 18,000 feet, the FAA requires that a flight plan be filed. However, if the weather is clear and the flight will be conducted at lower altitudes than 18,000 feet, no flight plan is required.

I get tired of reporting that makes it sound as though pilots did something illegal by flying without a flight plan. You can be certain that the pilot had a route planned out to get him from his origin to his destination.

Pilots without flight plans can request "flight following," which is a service that air traffic control can offer if they have the resources, to VFR flights. Flight following just means that air traffic control will inform you of other flights in your vicinity. I use it when I'm on a long VFR flight.

My condolences to the Lampert family. Lancair kit planes are usually very reliable.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Thank you Pilot. The article appears to stick to the facts, but the general reader often needs that clarification regarding absence of flight plan. Imagine if automobile drivers had the option of filing a driving plan? Might help some of those people we hear about each winter who get bogged down in the snow on some remote mountain road. Then everyone could tsk tsk if the victim chose not to file. Don't know where people would expect the funding to come from though.

My condolences to the Lampart family as well.


Posted by WHS_Alum, a resident of Woodside
on Nov 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I remember Gary from Woodside High School. He was funny, cute, and everybody liked him. I am saddened to hear about this tragic accident.

My condolences to the Lampert family.


Posted by Steve & Annie Kellenberger, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Nov 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Our condolences to the Lampert Family.... and to Julie, whom we all know well. Such a tragedy, and at a very young age. Our best.


Posted by Linda & Chad Schneller, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 24, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Gary was a special person whom we loved very much. As close family friends, like cousins, it has hit our family hard. We are deeply saddened for all Gary's family and friends.


Posted by Jon, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 24, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
...
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr


Posted by Simone Cox, a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2009 at 7:34 am

My condolences to the Lampert family. I was friends with Gary back in "the day" and I remember his love of flying. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, especially his son.


Posted by Richard Delescale, a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2009 at 12:42 am

Talk about a shock when I heard that gary stuffed his lancair into the orchard..I was the one that was in the robinson R44 when we crashed at palo alto airport in 2000 and he saved our lives from an autorotation that went wrong...Because of his quick actions,we survived the crash which left the helicopter totaled..
I`ve known gary since the Trans Air days 15 years ago and we`ve been tight friends ever since...I`ll miss you my good friend and think of your humor throughout the rest of my life and will see you again soon in the next life..your buddy,,Rich,{that crazy hovercraft guy} and god bless the lampert family and all who knew gary................


Posted by Karl Geng, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2009 at 8:49 am

My condolences to the entire Lampert family.

I remember Gary fondly from building a helicopter with him. He was funny, energetic and very helpful. I shall miss him.


Posted by joyce carver, a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2014 at 11:28 pm

i know its been a coupke years now and my heart is still broken from garys passing. i WAS JUST AT 2ND STREET SALLOON HERE IN RENO NEVADA AND I BROKE THE NEWS TO 2 OF GARYS OLD FRIEND TOMMY AND MARK HALLER AND RUSSELL. THEY DIDNT EVEN KNOW BUT WE JUST TALKED ABOUT THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN WE FIRST MET GARY and davwe in tahoe.; this went on for hours and it was nice to remember our yopunger days. nothing but good memories. gARY WAS A GREAT MAN AND HIS BROTHER DAVE THE BEST. HE WILL BE MISSED AND STILL IS MISSED THESE PAST 4 YEARS. MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY.


Posted by Cheryl Martina, a resident of Woodside
on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I recently found out about Gary's death from the Woodside Alumni Website. I was so saddened to hear about his plane crash and sudden death. Gary and I went to Woodside High school together. I remember walking home from school as a sophomore down Stockbridge in Atherton and Gary came to pick me up in his red sports car and gave me a ride home. We remained friends thruout high school. Years later, after my divorce in 1985, I contacted Gary and we dated for a couple months. We always kept in touch by calling each other over many years and getting together a few times in Tahoe. I will miss Gary's smiling face and talking to him. He was too young to die.
My heart and prayers reach out to Gary's family.
May God Bless You And Gary🙏


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