"Co-pilot held answers sought in investigation But he died in plane crash in 1985" THE ARKANSAS GAZETTE June 27, 1988 Emile Camp, Barry Seal's co-pilot and a partner in many of Seal's exploits, could have provided answers to many of the questions about Seal's activities. But Camp died in a 1985 crash on Fourche Mountain north of Mena almost a year to the day before Seal's death at Baton Rouge. Dandra Seale, Barry Seal's secretary, said Seal and Camp were to travel in Seal's Lear jet February 20, 1985, from Baton Rouge to Mena and later to Miami. But, when they arrived at the Baton Rouge airport, she said, they found that Seal's jet had been stolen. "He sent Emile in one of his other planes and caught a commercial flight to Miami," she said. That was the last time they saw Camp alive. Records to be inspected Rudy Furr, the Mena airport manager and the former business manager of Rich Mountain Aviation, said Camp was bringing records to Mena for review by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector. Fred L. Hampton, owner of Rich Mountain Aviation, said Seal was converting a C-131 that had once been used by the Coast Guard for civilian use. "I waited here with the FAA inspector, but Camp never came," Furr said. The Piper Seneca that Camp was flying was reported missing about 3:30 p.m. Authorities searched unsuccessfully for the missing aircraft for several days. Seal and his brother, Ben, arrived at Mena with two helicopters, officials said, and joined the search. They found the wreck February 23 on Fourche Mountain about 10 miles north of Mena. "Barry said he had a feeling that he knew where Emile had crashed," Dandra Seale said. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that pilot error was the cause of the crash. Crash came as surprise A. L. Hadaway, the former sheriff, said he was surprised to learn that Camp, an experienced pilot, had crashed. "He could find this airport at night and land without lights; I've seen him do it," Hadaway, who is also a pilot, said. Furr said there was little doubt that Camp's death was an accident. "I've heard murder, that Camp had a bomb on board, that he had 500 pounds of cocaine and that he had $3 million in cash," Furr said. "You can hear anything." "Emile was not as good a pilot as he thought he was," Hampton said. Seal later testified that he stayed at Mena for a week after Camp's body was recovered. He was then told by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to return to Miami, he said. Another Seal associate, Eric Arthur, a native of the Turks and Caicos Islands, died in 1984 when he walked into the moving propellers of an airplane at Seal's island base.
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