ANGEL FIRE, N.M. -- Officials say they warned a pilot against taking off from a northern New Mexico ski resort yesterday because of winds gusting to 55 miles per hour.
But airport manager Harvey Wright said the pilot, identified as 33-year-old San Antonio aerospace engineer John Phillip Verhalen III, "felt comfortable with his abilities and the aircraft. And given as we are not policemen, we can't ask him for the keys."
Verhalen and his girlfriend, Jennifer Woodward, died in the crash. Verhalen's Sister Sara and her daughter Chloe, who were from the Dallas area, were also killed.
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