Fact Check

Feldkamp Plane Crash

Family of abortion clinic owner dies when plane crashes into Catholic cemetery that houses a 'tomb to the unborn'?

Published Apr 4, 2009

Claim:   Family of abortion clinic owner dies when plane crashes into Catholic cemetery that houses a "tomb to the unborn."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2009]

Montana Plane Crash Claims Family Members Of Abortion Clinic Owner

March 26, 2009 - There is an ironic twist in tragedy of the small plane that crashed into a Catholic cemetery in Montana on March 24, killing seven adults and seven children. (Those in the plane were on their way to a ski resort only open to millionaires.)

In this cemetery is a memorial called the Tomb of the Unborn that reminds Catholics of the millions of unborn children who have been killed by abortionists.

The deaths of these 14 adults and children cannot be minimized, yet the mainstream media has ignored or suppressed a bizarre twist in this tragedy: Two sisters who died in this crash were the daughters of Irving "Bud" Feldkamp, the owner of Family Planning Associates, the largest abortion clinic chain in the United States. Feldkamp's two daughters, their husbands and their five children died in this horrific crash.

Feldkamp has been listed in the mainstream media only as a dentist. He is not an abortionist himself, but runs 17 abortion clinics up and down the California coast. These clinics perform abortions on babies up to five months gestation.

"Please pray for Bud and his wife Pam during this time of mourning," said TVC Chairman Rev. Louis P. Sheldon. "Pray that God will comfort them and show them that they can surrender their lives to him. Pray that they will reject their pursuit of money in the killing of unborn babies."


Origins:   On Sunday, March 22, 2009, a small plane carrying 14 people crashed into Holy Cross Cemetery, which is just short of the airport in Butte, Montana, killing all aboard. They were:

  • Erin (36) and Amy Jacobson (34), of St. Helena, California, and their children, Taylor (4), Ava (3), and Jude (1).
  • Michael (39) and Vanessa Pullen (37), of Lodi, California, and their children, Sydney (9) and Christopher (7).
  • Brent (37) and Kristen Ching (31), of Durham, California, and their children, Heiley (5) and Caleb (3).
  • Ellison "Bud" Summerfield (65) of Redlands, California.

The flight had been scheduled to land in Bozeman, about 85 miles southeast of Butte, but the destination was altered to Bert Mooney Airport in Butte mid-flight. The purpose of the trip was to ferry the thirteen passengers to a skiing vacation.

While the cause of the crash is as yet undetermined, overloading might have been a factor. The plane was meant to carry no more than ten people, yet there were fourteen on the flight. While seven of the passengers were children, the plane was also carrying the luggage and ski equipment of those aboard.

Nine of the deceased (the Jacobson and Pullen families) were related to Redlands, California, dentist Irving M. "Bud" Feldkamp III. Amy Jacobson and Vanessa Pullen were his daughters. The Jacobson, Pullen and Ching families were Seventh-Day Adventists.

Irving M. "Bud" Feldkamp III is the owner of Allcare and Hospitality Dental Associates in San Bernardino, California, a string of five dental offices. He is also the CEO of Glen Helen Raceway Park in that same city.

A 24 March 2009 Christian Newswire article identifies him as the owner of Family Planning Associates Medical Group, a California medical group which operates a string of outlets specializing in family planning services. We've yet to locate anything that confirms Dr. Feldkamp III, the dentist, as the owner of that concern; however, his son, Dr. Irving M. Feldkamp IV, a general practitioner, is listed in California's business records as the Agent for Service of Process for Family Planning Associates Medical Group Inc.

The mention of a "Tomb of the Unborn" at Holy Cross Cemetery is apparently a reference to a memorial installed by the Knights of Columbus which bears an inscription calling upon God to "protect the unborn." Although the memorial is technically a monument rather than a tomb, the latter term may have come into use through conflation of that memorial with Babyland, a section of Holy Cross that memorializes more than 500 infants and children (many of them victims of the Spanish flu pandemic) who are buried in one of the oldest part of the cemetery.

Last updated:   9 January 2013


    Benson, Don.   "I.M. 'Bud' Feldkamp."

    The Business Press.   8 June 1998   (p. 14).

    Cockle, Richard.   "Plane's Owner Grieves Over Loss of Family."

    The Oregonian.   25 March 2009   (p. B2).

    Edmonds, Gingi.   "Family of Irving 'Bud' Feldkamp Dies in Montana Plane Crash."

    Christian Newswire.   24 March 2009.

    Emeigh, John.   "'Babyland:' New Memorial Preserves Names of Young Victims of Pandemic."

    The Montana Standard.   6 June 2011.

    Gouras, Matt.   "NTSB: Plane Gave Controllers no Sign of Trouble."

    Associated Press.   23 March 2009   (p. B2)

    Associated Press.   "3 Northern Calif Families Killed in Montana Crash."

    24 March 2009.

    Associated Press.   "Report: Montana Crash Pilot Asked Twice To Divert."

    2 April 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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