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John Denver killed in Pacific Grove crash 23 years ago today

john denver memorial pacific grove
A memorial in honor of John Denver at the site of the deadly 1997 crash in Pacific Grove

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. (KION) Twenty-three years ago today, singer/songwriter John Denver died in a plane crash in Pacific Grove.

Denver was flying a homemade plane, practicing landings and takeoffs, at the Monterey Regional Airport. He was just off shore when the plane ran out of fuel. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that he turned in his seat to find the fuel selector valve, causing him to accidentally apply the right rudder. The 53-year-old lost control and died in the resulting crash.

The NTSB said Denver was not adequately trained for the transition to this type of aircraft and was inexperienced in flying it.

Two days after the 1997 crash, the Associated Press reported that NTSB spokesperson Matt Furman said Denver did not have a valid license because his medical certificate was denied.

Some of the songs he is known for include "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Annie's Song" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane."

Entertainment / Monterey County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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