Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cessna 182D Skylane, N8718X: Fatal accident occurred October 15, 2016 in South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA008
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 15, 2016 in South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182D, registration: N8718X
Injuries: 1 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 October 15, 2016, at 1552 Pacific daylight time a Cessna 182D, N8718X, struck the eastern face of Red Peak Mountain, in the Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The cross-country flight departed Winnemucca Municipal Airport, Winnemucca, Nevada about 1320 with a planned destination of Westover Field / Amador County Airport, Jackson, California. Marginal visual meteorological conditions with moderate rain prevailed at Lake Tahoe Airport, 10 miles east of the accident site, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot was returning from a hunting trip in Idaho, and had stopped at Winnemucca to service the airplane with fuel. Preliminary radar and audio data revealed that after takeoff, he initiated a climb to 10,500 ft. As he approached Reno, he made contact with Northern California TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control), requesting visual flight rules (VFR) flight following. The controller assigned the airplane a squawk code, and the flight progressed at a mode C reported altitude of 10,700 ft while remaining on a heading of 220 degrees magnetic, and travelling at a ground speed of between 40 and 60 knots.

Having reached Southeast Reno at 1505, the controller initiated handoff of the airplane to Oakland Center, and provided the pilot with the Oakland frequency. The pilot read back the frequency correctly, however Oakland controllers reported that the pilot did not make contact. The flight progressed at the same general heading and altitude for the next 30 minutes, however, radar data indicated that as the airplane approached the mountain range, it began to veer 30 degrees left and then right, while descending. Two minutes later, the airplane had descended to the last recorded radar target at 9,600 ft, about 1/2 mile east of the 9,100 ft mountain peak.

Controllers were unable to establish contact with the pilot, and an alert notice (ALNOT) was issued. Snow, rain, and strong wind conditions hampered the search effort, and the airplane wreckage was subsequently discovered three days later, at an elevation of about 8,100 ft, just below the last radar target.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Tyrell Kremer pilots his Cessna 182 above the Sierra Nevada en route from Stockton to Salmon, Idaho, on Oct. 8, 2016. He was reported missing on Oct. 15 as he attempted to fly to Jackson. Following an air and ground search that was delayed by poor weather conditions, he was found near the wreckage of his plane in a rugged and remote of the Sierra near Lake Schmidell on Oct. 18.

The El Dorado County Coroner’s Office identified the body of a man found Tuesday afternoon near the site of a Sierra Nevada plane crash as Tyrell Kremer, the pilot of an aircraft reported missing days before.

The 52-year-old Wilton resident was flying from Idaho to Jackson early Oct. 15 after a weeklong hunting trip, said longtime friend Rick Seifert, who was in Idaho with Kremer.

Kremer’s body was found days later near the wreckage of a small plane by search and rescue crews in a rugged area of the Sierra Nevada on Tuesday afternoon, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. The plane, a small, single-engine Cessna manufactured in 1960, was registered under Kremer’s name, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Kremer worked as a senior safety consultant for Alliant Insurance Services, providing safety training and onsite help for construction companies, according to Seifert, who said the two first met on a construction site roughly 20 years ago.

“He could relate to anyone on the job site and he was very dedicated to create a safe job site for thousands of construction workers,” he said.

Seifert described Kremer as a loving father and husband who lived in Wilton, an unincorporated town in Sacramento County, and grew up in Idaho. The two had started a magnetized hanger business based in Idaho.

On Oct. 14, the two went to dinner after what Seifert called a successful hunting trip. Seifert said Kremer planned to leave early Saturday, and that the two did not see each other the next day.

“He wanted to get off early in the morning because the weather was coming in,” Seifert said about Kremer.

When no family or friends had heard from Kremer by midday Saturday, Seifert said they began to worry. Seifert said Kremer had been flying for about 25 years and was good about notifying his loved ones of his landings.

Mark Deutschendorf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Reno office, said a wind advisory had been issued for Saturday throughout the entire Lake Tahoe area. Heavy rain and low visibility caused by cloud coverage were persistent through the day, he said.

“There really wasn’t any break in the weather,” Deutschendorf said.

On Sunday, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office reported that his plane had gone missing. Authorities said the last known position of the aircraft was traced to an area of the Sierra Nevada southwest of Lake Tahoe.

Search and rescue crews on the ground and in the air battled with a fury of rain and wind as they searched for the missing aircraft in the following days. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office posted on its Facebook page that search efforts had been stalled due to poor weather conditions.

On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office posted at 3:40 p.m. that ground crews would continue to work throughout the night while airborne search efforts had been suspended for that day. Kremer’s body was found outside of his wrecked plane in the Desolation Wilderness, southwest of Lake Schmidell, at 4:15 p.m., according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

A woman who answered the phone listed under Kremer’s name said his family did not wish to comment on Kremer’s death.

Seifert said Kremer’s passion for helping others and his positive attitude would be missed among those who worked with him.

“He was a very unique and well-liked individual who will leave a big hole in the construction industry,” he said.

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