Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mooney M20J, N58119: Accident occurred September 13, 2012 in Teddys Peak, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA639 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 13, 2012 in Teddys Peak, CO
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N58119
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 13, 2012, approximately 0920 mountain daylight time, a Mooney M20P, N58119, registered to Occuhealth INC., of Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, sustained substantial damage when it crashed in rugged mountainous terrain while climbing over the San Isabel National Forest, Colorado. Both occupants, the pilot and his pilot rated passenger, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the en route portion of the flight, however, obscuration and fog were observed to be present near the accident area. A flight plan was not filed for the cross-country flight being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB) approximately 0820, and was en route to its intended destination of Reno, Nevada, when the accident occurred.

On September 15, 2012, after an extensive air and ground search, coordinated by the Huerfano County Sheriff's Department, the airplane's wreckage was reached by ground personnel near the top of a ridgeline at 37:20.25 N latitude 105:10.02 W longitude, at an elevation of 12,300 feet. The wreckage was found on a steep upslope and there was evidence of a post crash fire that consumed most of the cabin area. The victims were removed and taken to the county coroner's office.

Radar data showed the flight track of the airplane in a steady climb, heading south after takeoff from Pueblo. The airplane then turned to the southwest and then to the west and was climbing throughout its course, which was a typical route of flight for light airplanes en route to destinations west of the Pueblo airport.

There were no reported distress calls from the airplane.

  Regis#: 58119        Make/Model: MO20      Description: M20J
  Date: 09/13/2012     Time: 1500

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

  City: WALSENBURG   State: CO   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 09/17/2012 

DURHAM – A Durham financial consultant and a retired Orange County physician died when a private, single-engine plane crashed last week in Colorado, authorities and family members said Monday.

The victims were identified as Steve Huber, a financial consultant at Pinnacle Funding, a mortgage broker at Brightleaf Square in Durham; and Dr. Bruce Dalton of Hurdle Mills.

Authorities found the small-plane wreckage in southern Colorado’s Huerfano County.

Sheriff Bruce Newman said the Colorado Civil Air Patrol found the plane Friday at an elevation of about 12,400 feet. He said two men were on board.

Newman said the air patrol found the plane while flying over the remote, mountainous region to check out a report of a signal from an emergency locator transmitter. He said the bodies were recovered Saturday morning.

Dr. Dalton’s daughter, Audrey Dalton Reichardt, said in an interview Monday that her father and Mr. Huber were en route to the Reno Air Show in Reno, Nev., “just for fun.”

She said she wasn’t sure who was piloting the 1988 Mooney 201, which originated from the Person County Airport. Both men were authorized to fly the plane, which belonged to Dr. Dalton.

Mrs. Reichardt said they made stops along the way. The last airport they took off from was in Pueblo, Col., she said.

Colorado authorities said Monday they were awaiting official confirmation of the men’s identities from the Huerfano County coroner.

“The FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] will be doing the investigation, so our part of it is pretty much done,” the sheriff said.

Dr. Dalton, 69, lived on his horse farm at 4909 Brock Drive in the Orange County community of Hurdle Mills. He was master of Red Mountain Hounds, a fox hunting club, Mrs. Reichhart said.
“He’s been flying his whole life,” she said. “It’s just a hobby.”

She said her father and Mr. Huber were good friends who enjoyed flying.

“The trip was kind of a bucket-list trip,” she said. “It was something that the two of them had been talking about for years.”

She said they planned to return home directly from the Reno trip.

Dr. Dalton was a graduate of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He was born in Lenoir, and moved to the Triangle in the mid-1980s.

He served in the U.S. Army as a pediatrician, and after retiring from the military, went into the occupational health and safety field, working for Northern Telecom.

Mrs. Reichardt said her father was well-known in the community.

“He was active in his church, and was very loved,” she said. “It’s a big loss.”

Read more: The Herald-Sun – 2 Durham area men die in Colorado plane crash

Rescue crews in Huerfano County on Friday night reached the crash site of an airplane that went down Thursday in the southwest part of the county.

No one survived the crash, according to a press release from the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office.
The exact location of the wreck was not released, but it happened at an altitude of 12,400 feet, the release said.

The wreck was discovered Thursday by the Colorado Civil Air Patrol, which was called to help in the search.

Lt. Col. Mike Daniels of the air patrol said the aircraft may have been traveling from North Carolina.

Daniels said wreckage had been located in mountainous terrain west of Trinidad.

Las Animas County Sheriff James Casias said county dispatch received a call at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night of a downed aircraft.

“We tried to keep track of the plane’s emergency beacon it with CAP,” Casias said Friday night.

Huerfano County took over the search when it was determined the crash was in that county.

Casias said crews first found debris from a plane crash from “four or five years ago.”

“They had to look again and came up with the new location,” Casias said.


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