Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mooney M20C, N6466U: Accident occurred November 14, 2014 in Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Howard F. Guthrie: http://registry.faa.gov/N6466U

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA051
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 14, 2014 in Pagosa Springs, CO
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N6466U
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 November 14, 2014 about 1730 mountain standard time (mst), a Mooney M20C, N6466U, was destroyed when the airplane impacted terrain near Stevens Field (PSO), Pagosa Springs, Colorado, due to unknown circumstances. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had not been filed. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airplane had departed from Moriarity Airport (0E0), Moriarity, New Mexico.

At 1655, the KPSO automated weather observation system reported the following weather conditions: no wind, visibility one-half mile in light snow, ceiling overcast at 100 feet above ground level, temperature and dew point 1 degree Celsius, altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03


1962 Mooney M20C, N6466U S/N: 2213: http://www.avclaims.com

It's been a rough couple of days for the families of an Albuquerque couple killed in a plane crash over the weekend. 42-year-old Melissa Watson, a teacher at Valle Vista Elementary, and her boyfriend, 55-year-old Howard Guthrie, both lost their lives when Guthrie's plane crashed in southern Colorado Friday. 

 KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with Guthrie's daughter, Sada Abila, Thursday, who said flying was his passion and it was the happiest she had ever seen him.

She said her father and Watson left Moriarty on Friday headed for Pagosa Springs, Colorado for a weekend getaway to celebrate Watson's birthday.

Their plane couldn't land at the time because of bad weather, and was forced to turn around.

Search and rescue crews found the plane and their bodies Wednesday.

Abila said her father had been flying for 15 years and it was his passion. She said he and Melissa started dating this summer and that Howard was head-over-heels for her.

She said she hadn't seen her father that happy in a long time and that the two were a perfect match.

"We were worried about the plane…and he just said, 'I'd rather die while I'm still living, and I'd rather die doing something I loved rather than die old and in pain," Abila said of her father.

Guthrie was a Los Alamos High School graduate and a mechanic who owned his own business. He leaves behind his daughter, a son and two grandchildren.

Abila says her father wouldn't want a traditional funeral and didn't like to see people sad, so his family is instead meeting Thursday evening at his favorite restaurant to celebrate his life.


A plane out of New Mexico that was reported missing earlier this week was found shortly after noon on Wednesday. 

The plane was found at 12:37 p.m. in southern Archuleta County, north of the Colorado-New Mexico state line, Archuleta County Sheriff Rich Valdez reported Wednesday afternoon.

Both occupants known to be in the plane were found deceased, Valdez said.

According to Valdez, the Air Force contacted the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management at 7:23 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, reporting that a small, private plane may be missing.

The last locational ping from the aircraft was located in Archuleta County, Valdez said.

The New Mexico State Police also received a report of the incident Monday night, according to a press release.

According to that press release, the NMSP Albuquerque District received a call from the Albuquerque Police Department regarding locating a missing airplane occupied by two people.

Those people, according to the NMSP, were Howard Guthrie, 55, and Melissa Watson, 42, both of Albuquerque. Both were deemed missing after Watson failed to show up for work.

The press release indicates that the pair left the Moriarty, N.M., airport in a Mooney M20C, with tail number N6466U, last weekend en route to Pagosa Springs. Further information indicated the plane was turned around due to inclement weather and was not able to land in Pagosa.

Archuleta County search personnel formed three ground teams to begin searching a portion of Archuleta County around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, and three aircraft and one military helicopter were involved in the search, Valdez reported.

On the New Mexico side, the NMSP aircraft (ABLE06) worked to triangulate the most “logical” avenues of travel.

A Tuesday morning update by the ACSO stated that a U.S. Air Force C-130 flew the area with FLIR (forward looking infrared) Monday night, but was “unsuccessful in locating any evidence of the missing aircraft.”

Upper San Juan Search and Rescue met Wednesday morning with members from La Plata County and Mineral County search and rescue teams, Southern Ute rangers, and roughly 10 ground teams were deployed to the area in question to continue searching for any physical evidence that would confirm a downed aircraft.

Valdez said Wednesday’s search took place east of the area searched Tuesday and, at 12:37 p.m., the plane was found by ground crews.

After it was found, crews confirmed that the tail number matched that of the missing aircraft.

Also assisting USJSAR and the ACSO in this mission were the Civil Air Patrol, New Mexico Search and Rescue, AMOC (Air Marine Operations Center) and AFRCC (Air Force Rescue Coordination Center).

“I was extremely impressed with everybody that was willing to take their time to put into this,” Valdez said, noting that some search and rescue volunteers took vacation from their jobs in order to help on the search.

Too, Valdez said he considers USJSAR to be “one of the best in the state,” adding that he knew the team would find the plane, even if it were a needle in a haystack.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.

The crash remains under investigation.

- Source:  http://www.pagosasun.com

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) -The Pagosa Springs Sun is reporting that the plane that went missing late Monday in Colorado has been found and both passengers were killed. 

The Sun reports the plane was found around 12;30 p.m. Wednesday in southern Archuleta County, north of the Colorado-New Mexico state line.

Earlier Wednesday, state police said there had been no sign of the missing plane carrying an Albuquerque teacher and her boyfriend in New Mexico, so they turned their attention to a southern Colorado forest to search for clues.

State police flew the couple’s path in New Mexico on Tuesday but said they found nothing. They weren’t flying Wednesday, but crews in southern Colorado met in the morning to map out search efforts in Colorado.

Howard Guthrie, 55, was flying his four-passenger Mooney airplane and his girlfriend, 42-year-old Melissa Vatson, was with him. Friends and family hadn’t heard from the couple since Friday afternoon when they left the Moriarty airport.

State police said bad weather kept the plane from landing in Pagosa Springs so the couple turned around. Air and ground crews searched in the snow-covered San Juan National Forest which is less than 30-miles southeast of Pagosa Springs. That’s where the couple’s plane was last tracked.

Guthrie was a navy vet and mechanic. A fellow navy vet told KRQE News 13 Guthrie could fix anything and would know what to do in this situation. Watson taught second grade at Valle Vista Elementary and has a son in fifth grade.

Guthrie’s daughter told KRQE News 13 her dad has flown planes for 15 years, and that the couple was planning on skiing in Colorado.

Story and Comments:   http://krqe.com

Search Plane: Aircraft search southern Archuleta County for missing plane earlier this week. The plane was found shortly after noon on Wednesday.

Search plane

Search plane

Last night a C-130 from the United States Air Force flew the area with FLIR capability (Forward Looking Infrared). They were unsuccessful in locating any evidence of the missing aircraft.

Archuleta County Search and Rescue met this morning with members from La Plata County, Mineral County, and Southern Ute Search and Rescue. Ground teams were deployed to the area to continue searching for any physical evidence that would confirm a downed aircraft. Civil Air Patrol will continue to fly the area, throughout the day.

We will continue to update as information becomes available.

Archuleta County, CO Sheriff's Office: On Monday, November 17, 2014 at about 7:23 PM, Archuleta County Search and Rescue was contacted by the United States Air Force in reference to an overdue airplane. According to a representative from the USAF, they reviewed the flight path of a small private airplane and the discovered the flight path came to an end.

On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, at about 5:30 AM, Archuleta County Search and Rescue assembled three ground team to begin searching the area in which the last GPS reading was obtained from the aircraft. Additional resources included three aircrafts that will be flying the area, rotating out every hour. An additional helicopter was also called in to assist, which was believed to have arrived around 9:30 AM. At this time, there is no confirmation of a downed aircraft.

Please continue to monitor Archuleta County, CO Sheriff's Office Facebook page for regular updates:  https://www.facebook.com

Melissa Watson.

Howard Guthrie. 

An Albuquerque pilot and his girlfriend, a teacher, were on board a single-engine plane reported missing Monday, according to a family friend.

New Mexico State Police confirmed Howard Guthrie and Melissa Watson took off from the Moriarty Airport en route to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, on Friday. The plane was scheduled to return this weekend, however, officials say the plane never made it to Pagosa Springs.

On Tuesday, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office said the plane's flight path came to an end just west of Buckles Lake in the San Juan National Forest. The county assembled three ground rescue teams to search the area near the plane's last GPS reading. Three aircraft will also patrol the area, rotating every hour.

At this time, the sheriff's office says there is no confirmation that the plane crashed.

Guthrie is the registered owner of the single-engine Mooney M20 plane, according to Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board records.

The family friend said Watson is a third grade teacher in Albuquerque.

- Source:   http://www.kob.com

PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. — Aircraft and ground teams are searching Archuleta County in southwestern Colorado for a single-engine plane reported missing after it left a New Mexico airport late last week. 

New Mexico State Police have identified the occupants of the plane as Howard Guthrie, 55, and Melissa Watson, 42, both of Albuquerque.

The Mooney M20C plane is registered to Guthrie, according to FAA records.

Their plane was unable to land to land in Pagosa Springs because of bad weather and turned around, the State Police said in a news release. A State Police airplane is searching for the plane on its most logical path of travel on the New Mexico side of the border. Several agencies are involved in the search for the plane.

The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department says three ground teams and three aircraft resumed the search early Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Mooney M20C took off from Moriarity, New Mexico, on Friday and was bound for Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

The sheriff’s department said on its Facebook page the plane’s path was tracked as far as Buckles Lake about 15 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs.

The area had wintry weather over the weekend.

- Source:   http://www.abqjournal.com

Guthrie and Watson left Moriarty on Friday en route to Pagosa Springs. 
Photo: Facebook

Howard Guthrie is the registered owner of a Mooney M20C reported missing Monday. 
Photo: Facebook

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