What's this? Sam Walton's son and heir killed in a plane crash?

I just heard the tail end of a breaking news report - Sam Walton’s son is dead?

USA Today says yes

It appears he was flying an ultralight.

Or failing to fly an ultralight, as the case may be.

I know…I’m going to Hell.

  1. Given how his firm pays and treats their employees I’m sure you’ll meet him there.

  2. With all that money one would suppose he could afford a real plane.

  3. The two previous points don’t mean I don’t feel for his family who have lost a loved one and doubtless don’t hold my views on points the first and second.

Unless I’m mistaken, using an ultralight isn’t a matter of “affording a real plane.” It has to do with what kind of flying you want to do.

Maybe that’s because his family isn’t obnoxious. The man died, and you’ve still got to score your little political points.

And for your information, Wal-Mart was the only large retailer to make Forbes’ “100 best places in America to work” list last year.

I understand he did pretty good work in Vietnam as well. Sad.

didn’t John Denver die in an ultra light crash as well?

No. You’re confusing “ultralight” with “homebuilt” airplanes. I believe John Denver died in a Long-Eze which is one of Burt Rutan’s homebuilt* designs. If memory serves, the particular plane which John Denver was flying had a non-standard fuel valve location (not per design), and while twisting around in his seat to change it, he allowed the plane to fly into the water.

*Homebuilt = at least 51% of the contruction completed by the owner.

I believe an ultralight is defined as an aircraft under 255 pounds, with a speed under 55 knots. (FAA regs have more detail, but I’m not familiar with them)

Doper experts: If I’ve gotten any of the details wrong, please feel free to correct. It’s 0630 and I’m operating from memory here…

This is sad. My condolences to his family. And ShibbOleth, I work at a Walmart right now, and while parts of it suck (just like any other job) overall it is not too bad - better than other retail jobs I have had. (not that that is saying much . . .)

[Nitpick] It’s Long-EZ. An earlier, similar design was called the Vari-Eze, pronounced ‘very easy’. I’ve always assumed that he changed the ‘easy’ spelling on the Long-EZ to the way it is because so many people mispronounced the earlier design as ‘very eez’.

I should have built one of those when I had the chance. :frowning:

The radio report I heard said Walton was in contact with ATC, reported he had a problem, and was returning to the Jackson Hole airport. No further transmissions.

I didn’t even think of it as political. I just really dislike Wal*Mart as an entity. They were a bit nasty to do business with (bullies) and it’s a nasty place to shop. I avoid it if at all possible. That’s MO and not a political statement. Make of it what you want.

Now that there’s more out there about the place, it seems the guy wasn’t really a schmuck, so I apologise for the toss away lines.

He saved several members of his Green Beret unit as a medic in Vietnam, and never actually worked for Wal*Mart (as an employee), only as a fairly recent board member. And he made his money the old-fashioned way, he inherited it from daddy. Doesn’t make him evil, but also doesn’t make him a saint. Just a man. RIP.

John Walton going to Hell? I think not:


Given the current trend in “Nigerian” scams, I wonder how long it will be until John Walton’s death turns up in a scam.

It was thought that he crashed in a desolate, deserted area, but nearby ruins revealed that he crashed near what were once small mom-and-pop businesses along Main Street.

Why do I hear this as said in the Batman announcer’s voice?

Does Forbes rate that on all employess. or management?

A classmate of mine’s father flew ultralights. He ended up put together like a puzzle after that last crash. They’ve got their own set of challenges, unique to ultralights, and he was a hotdog who decided they didn’t apply to him.

Well sure! They’ve put everybody else out of business.
[sup]Sorry, I couldn’t resist[/sup]