Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N4395R, registered to the Hill Flying Club Inc and operated by a private individual: Fatal accident occurred on December 29, 2017 in Great Salt Lake, Ogden, Weber County, Utah

Denny Mansell, 71

Peter Ellis, 74

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Hill Flying Club Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N4395R 



Location: Ogden, UT
Accident Number: WPR18FA063
Date & Time: 12/29/2017, 1441 MST
Registration: N4395R
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 29, 2017, about 1441 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172M, N4395R, impacted water in the northern portion of the Great Salt Lake. The commercial pilot and a private pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Hill Flying Club Inc., and operated by a private individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD), Ogden, Utah, about 1420.

After family members became concerned that the pilots had failed to return from their flight, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT) for the airplane. No emergency locator beacon signal was reported. A ground and air search ensued, however, on January 2, 2018, the search was terminated. Subsequently, several days later, an area where the airplane may have impacted was calculated, in the northern portion of the Great Salt Lake. The area was scanned with sonar equipment, and a target that resembled the airplane was identified in about 20 ft of water. On January 13, the target was cofirmed to be the missing airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer:  CESSNA
Registration: N4395R
Model/Series: 172M M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OGD, 4472 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 MST
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: OGDEN, UT (OGD)
Destination:  OGDEN, UT (OGD) 

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.195556, -112.013056 (est)

Chief Deputy Dale Ward with Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department talks with media after successful recovery operation Saturday, Jan. 13. The search-and-rescue team recovered the bodies of two men missing from Box Elder County after their plane crashed in the Great Salt Lake.


BOX ELDER COUNTY — After two weeks of search and recovery efforts, the two men missing from Box Elder County were found dead Saturday in the Great Salt Lake.

The bodies of Denny Mansell, 71, and Peter Ellis, 74, were recovered from the site of a crashed Cessna-172 airplane off Promontory Point, officials say.

Chief Deputy Dale Ward with the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference that the families have been notified and the bodies were transferred to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

The men and the plane had been missing since Friday, Dec. 29, when they left the Ogden-Hinckley Airport around 3:30 p.m. to fly to the Promontory area to watch the trains at the Golden Spike Historic Site. They were reported missing at about 9:20 p.m. that night.

“All members of this operation send our condolences to the Ellis and Mansell family,” Ward said. “We’re pleased that we were able to bring some closure to the family with the recovery today.”

Ward said National Transportation Safety Board investigators and the insurance company of the airplane will now take over on recovering the aircraft, which was discovered last weekend under 20 feet of water in the Great Salt Lake, according to a press release from the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office.

Ward stressed the difficulty of the mission, and listed several involved agencies and officers, including Box Elder County Sheriff, BE Search and Rescue, Utah Department of Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol, Box Elder Communications Center, Utah Division of Natural Resources and Weber County Scuba/Search and Rescue.

“This was probably the most technical operation that either Weber or Box Elder teams have ever done,” Ward said during the conference, describing complications with boats and dive equipment due to the saline levels in the Great Salt Lake. “Divers had to almost double their body weight in order to get down to the aircraft. ... The visibility was less than a foot under water and most of the work had to be completed by feel.”

Following prep work on Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning, search-and-rescue teams were on the water by 9:30 a.m. Saturday and completed the mission at 11:30 a.m. with the recovery of the bodies, Ward said.

“The success of this dive was because the Weber Dive Team spent the past week getting familiar with a similar aircraft at the Ogden Airport and practicing how doors opened, location of equipment in the cabin, how the safety belts operated, etc.,” Ward said in a press release. “These practice sessions were done by feel to simulate dive conditions.”

Ward also emphasized the danger of the operation. The diver who found the men nearly entered a hypothermic state before he could remove his suit, Ward said.

However, all participants in the operation are now safe, he said.

Ward credits the family members of both men and their knowledge of airplanes for the quick location of the aircraft. Some family members were commercial pilots.

The family was assisted by mathematicians who calculated data to help pinpoint the plane’s location, greatly reducing the scope of their search, Ward said.

And the success of the operation despite its difficult location was due to the dedication of rescue workers, he added.

“We certainly hope we don’t have to dive in the north arm of the Great Salt Lake anytime soon,” he said.

“We are not going to give up searching until the loved ones are recovered. We will search until we cannot search any longer.”

http://www.standard.net




Searchers have recovered the bodies of two men whose airplane crashed into the Great Salt Lake two weeks ago. Dive teams located the pilot, 71-year-old Denny Mansell, and passenger 74-year-old Peter Ellis, Saturday morning.

Box Elder County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dale Ward said scuba divers recovered the bodies of the two missing men, inside the crashed Cessna 172, under about 20-feet of water. The bodies were transported to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy, and to determine the exact cause of death.

Mansell and Ellis were reported missing after they failed to return home from a private flight, December 29. The two men took off from the Ogden Hinckley Airport earlier in the afternoon. They had told family members, they planned to fly to the Promontory area and view the trains at the Golden Spike Historical Site from the air.

Searchers found the crash site last week in the north part of the lake, after analyzing radar data from the aircraft prior to its loss of signal and following up on tips from the public. They used sonar equipment, to determine that the object was an airplane about the size of the missing Cessna 172.

Ward said recovery efforts had been hampered because of bad weather and equipment issues, primarily because of the saline levels in the water. Divers had to almost double their body weight in order to get down to the aircraft. Once there, visibility was less than a foot and most of the work had to be completed by feel.

Deputies, along with search and rescue teams were assisted by the Utah Department of Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol, Box Elder Communications Center, Utah Division of Natural Resources, and the Weber County Scuba/Search and Rescue.

Ward said search and rescue teams are thankful to bring some closure to the Mansell and Ellis families. They also extended their condolences.

The investigation has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.

http://www.cachevalleydaily.com



PROMONTORY, Box Elder County — Search and rescue crews have identified an object found in the Great Salt Lake as an airplane that matches the size and description of a plane that went missing last month.

While heavy fog hampered crews' efforts to navigate to the object's location, along with equipment issues that caused delays, a dive to further investigate the plane scheduled for Sunday morning was postponed. But there was an "upside" to Sunday's efforts, said Dale Ward, Box Elder County sheriff's chief deputy.

The object was "unequivocally identified as an airplane of the general size and description of our Cessna 172," Ward said in a news release Sunday.

The Cessna was carrying pilot Denny Mansell and passenger Peter Ellis, both in their 70s, when it went missing Dec. 29.

The men had planned to fly near the Promontory Point area and get a bird's-eye view of the winter steam engine festival at the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office, Utah Department of Public Safety and Civil Air Patrol have all assisted in the search for the plane, as well as the 100 members of the Hill Flying Club, of which both Mansell and Ellis are members.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office had been helping Box Elder in the search by scanning the Great Salt Lake with sonar. On Saturday, officials found a "target" to investigate further, the agency posted on Facebook.

"(We) hope we are successful and can bring closure to the family," the post stated.

Images obtained from sonar "convinced us that the object was absolutely an airplane and was consistent with the size of a Cessna 172," Ward said.

The aircraft is resting on the bottom of the Great Salt Lake in about 14 feet of water on private property near Promontory, he said.

There is also a "sizable debris field" surrounding the aircraft, but none of those objects have been identified yet, Ward said.

The deputy said the "only way" to positively confirm the aircraft as the missing Cessna 172 is to have divers investigate it.

Due to weather and other logistical issues, the dive Sunday was postponed. It had not been rescheduled as of Sunday afternoon, Ward said.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.deseretnews.com

UPDATE: Search crews stated Sunday that equipment problems and inclement weather including fog prevented dive teams from entering Great Salt Lake Sunday.

According to a press release from Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, crews reassembled Sunday to dive down to a possible aircraft found in about 14 feet of water in the north arm of the Great Salt Lake. However, due to equipment issues and fog, the dive was not undertaken Sunday.

It is unclear when the dive will take place, as searchers say they need to consider several factors to complete what they called a “technical dive”.

Authorities stated that Sunday’s efforts did reveal more details about the object in the water.

“The upside to today’s efforts is that the object was unequivocally identified as an airplane of the general size and description of our Cessna 172,” the release states.

The object was found earlier in the week after aviation experts analyzed various factors and determined the missing airplane was likely in a small section of the north arm of Great Salt Lake.

Crews struggled with Fog Saturday as well. Video posted by Weber County Search and Rescue shows the foggy conditions on the lake Saturday.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://fox13now.com




BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Search teams in Box Elder County plan to put divers into Great Salt Lake Sunday after they found an object in the water believed to be an airplane.

The object was spotted Saturday and the find comes more than a week after an airplane with two Ogden men on board was reported missing in the Promontory area near Great Salt Lake. 

Dale Ward, Chief Deputy with Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, said the object is in the north arm of Great Salt Lake and was spotted by search crews working on boats with sonar.

“We’ve discovered what we believe to be an airplane, and we are going to put divers in to confirm that,” Ward said.

Ward said they are not able to confirm the object is the aircraft reported missing out of Ogden, but he said they are confident the object is an aircraft of some kind. He said they have been working with pilots and aviation experts as they search for the missing plane.

“We worked with some experts to get us to where we are right now,” Ward said Saturday.

The dive teams plan to enter the water Sunday morning.

Video posted by Weber County Search and Rescue shows boat crews searching amid challenging visual conditions.

The airplane reported missing out of Ogden December 30 was piloted by 71-year-old Denny Mansell. His friend, 74-year-old Peter Ellis, was riding as a passenger.

Both men are from Ogden and had planned to fly over the Winter Steam Festival being held at Golden Spike Historic Site that day. The pair was reported missing when they did not return later that evening as planned.

Story, photo gallery and video   http://fox13now.com



BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Search teams in Box Elder County plan to put divers into Great Salt Lake Sunday after they found an object in the water believed to be an airplane.

The object was spotted Saturday and the find comes more than a week after an airplane with two Ogden men on board was reported missing in the Promontory area near Great Salt Lake. 

Dale Ward, Chief Deputy with Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, said the object is in the north arm of Great Salt Lake and was spotted by search crews working on boats.

“We’ve discovered what we believe to be an airplane, and we are going to put divers in to confirm that,” Ward said.

Ward said they are not able to confirm the object is the aircraft reported missing out of Ogden, but he said they are confident the object is an aircraft of some kind. He said they have been working with pilots and aviation experts as they search for the missing plane.

“We worked with some experts to get us to where we are right now,” Ward said Saturday.

The dive teams plan to enter the water Sunday morning.

The airplane reported missing out of Ogden December 30 was piloted by 74-year-old Denny Mansell. His friend, 74-year-old Peter Ellis, was riding as a passenger.

Both men are from Ogden and had planned to fly over the Winter Steam Festival being held at Golden Spike Historic Site that day. The pair was reported missing when they did not return later that evening as planned.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://fox13now.com






BRIGHAM CITY — It's been one week since a plane carrying two men went missing in northern Utah. 

But friends of Denny Mansell, 71, and passenger Peter Ellis, 74, say they are not giving up looking.

"They're like family. These guys are husbands, they have wives, they're fathers, they have kids, they're grandpas, they have grandkids. They're just stellar people," John Malmberg, president of the Hill Flying Club and a friend of both men, said Friday.

On Dec. 29, Mansell, the pilot, and Ellis took off from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport in Mansell's Cessna 172. Their plan was to fly the Promontory Point area, take pictures of the winter steam engine festival at the Golden Spike historic site, then return to the airport about an hour later, according to the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office.

But whether they made it to Golden Spike or decided to fly to other areas afterward was still unknown Friday.

The Weber County Sheriff's Office, Utah Department of Public Safety and Civil Air Patrol have all assisted in the search, as well as the 100 members of the Hill Flying Club — the flying club that both Mansell and Ellis are members of.

Maimberg said in the past week his group, and even private pilots, have searched the south tip of the Promontory Point area extensively, as well as surrounding areas stretching from the Pocatello Valley, Malad Valley, Hansel Valley, Sardine Canyon, Trapper's Loop, North Ogden Canyon and Weber Canyon.

"We've put a lot of man hours, a lot of airplane hours, searching down low, looking in every canyon and crevasse we can," he said. "We don't do it haphazardly. We fly where we have had some information that a possibility where they're going to be and then we fly it in a grid manner. … Problem is, we're looking for something that probably doesn't look like an airplane."

Recently, the club received a tip that the plane was spotted flying a week ago near Malad, Idaho. On Friday, Maimberg said he was going to fly the shoreline on the north end of the Great Salt Lake. At the same time, he said Weber County sheriff's search and rescue crews were using boats equipped with sonar in the same area to search.

Mansell was a very experienced pilot with more than 45 years of flying, Maimberg said.

"Both of them were capable of flying that airplane, and Denny could fly it as well as anyone around," he said.

But Maimberg's personal theory is the plane may have been caught in a strong down-draft that slammed them to the ground.

He said it's doubtful at this point that the men survived.

Maimberg is encouraging recreationists in northern Utah who are out hiking, target shooting or hunting to keep their eyes open.
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"If they see something out of the ordinary — a burn scar, a little burn scar could be 6 to 8 feet around if they went in hard," he said. "Or just a little field of debris. But I think what we're looking for is something that doesn't look like an airplane, so it makes it even tougher."

It's important, Maimberg said, to find the remains of the men to give closure to the family.

"You can replace an airplane. You just can't replace people. It's the part of not being able to tell their families where they're at or what's happened that's the tough part," he said.


Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.deseretnews.com





A longtime Utah State University professor and former Logan resident was one of two men aboard a light plane that went missing Friday after taking off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

Former USU economics professor Peter Ellis, 74, was the passenger in an airplane piloted by 71-year-old Denny Mansell. The two men, both currently living in Ogden, were reportedly headed to Promontory to fly over the trains on display at Golden Spike Historical Site during the Winter Steam Festival.

A search for the missing plane was launched Friday night and continued through much of the holiday weekend. It included a boat patrol in the Great Salt Lake along with ground and air resources.

Late Sunday, the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office announced it was scaling back the search. At that time, a Department of Public Safety helicopter, as well as the Civil Air Patrol, were dismissed from the search.

The missing plane is a red and white Cessna 172 and was believed to have taken off around 3:30 p.m. Friday. Searchers have requested anyone who might have seen the plane matching this description to email missingplane4395@gmail.com. The information could help crews narrow their search area.


Original article can be found here ➤ https://news.hjnews.com




BOX ELDER COUNTY — No new leads had developed in the search for two men and a missing aircraft out of Ogden as of Sunday afternoon, but family is asking for photos from people who were at the Golden Spike Historic Site Friday.

The search for pilot Denny Mansell, 71, and passenger Peter Ellis, 74, continued Sunday morning, with an added boat patrol from the Utah Department of Parks and Recreation checking the Great Salt Lake, according to a news release from the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office. 


“There have been several tips that have come in and all have been investigated, however no definitive leads have developed. Search efforts will continue until nightfall,” Box Elder Chief Deputy Dale Ward said in the release. 


Mansell and Ellis left the Ogden-Hinckley Airport around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, in a red and white Cessna 172 to fly to the Promontory area to watch the trains during the Steam Festival at the Golden Spike Historical Site. The two planned to return around 4:30 p.m. the same day.


The family of the missing men asks that anyone who was at the festival on Friday afternoon and has evidence that the plane was there, such as photos, to send them to missingplane4395@gmail.com. The plane was likely in the area between 3-5 p.m. 


“If we can establish that they flew the Golden Spike Site, it will help narrow the search area,” Dale said in the release. 


The search for the missing men began Friday night with sheriff’s deputies searching at ground-level and a helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety searching from the skies, the release says.


In addition to the sheriff’s office, Box Elder Search and Rescue, the Utah Department of Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol and the Box Elder Communications Center are all helping conduct the search. 


Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.standard.net





BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) - Officials from the Box Elder County Sheriffs Office, Utah Department of Public Safety and the Civil Air Patrol are looking for an aircraft that went missing near the Great Salt Lake on Friday night.

The searchers are covering an area known as the Spiral Jetty which is along the boarder of the Great Salt Lake in Box Elder County.

According to Chief Deputy Dale Ward, the crews are searching for a red and white Cessna 172 with tail number N4395R. The aircraft has two occupants on board: Denny Mansell, age 71, and Peter Ellis, age 74.

Crews started searching the area Friday night after dispatchers were contacted advising of an overdue aircraft shortly before 9:30 p.m. Crews expanded their search into the Great Salt Lake on Sunday.

The family is now asking for the public's help. They are requesting that anyone that was at the Steam Festival on Friday and has evidence the plane was in the area, such as photographs, they are asked to e-mail this address: missingplane4395@gmail.com. The plane was most likely in the area between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.good4utah.com






BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah, Dec. 31, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A search for an aircraft missing since Friday afternoon has widened to the Great Salt Lake Sunday, according to a news release from the Box Elder County Sheriff.

A Department of Parks and Recreation boat has joined the search, patrolling the Great Salt Lake to assist with the search for a red and white Cessna 172, No. N4395R.

The plane’s two occupants are pilot Denny Mansell, 71, and his passenger, Peter Ellis, 74.

Family members said the men left Ogden-Hinckley Airport at about 3:30 p.m. Friday, planning to fly to the Promontory area and view the trains at Golden Spike Historic Site from the air. They expected to return to Ogden by about 4:30 p.m.

The news release states that Box Elder Communications was contacted at about 9:20 p.m. Friday with a of report of the overdue plane. A check of local airports was requested.

Deputies on the ground and the Department of Public Safety helicopter searched through Friday night and early Saturday morning, concentrating in the Promontory area of Box Elder County.

“Search and Rescue teams started at first light on Saturday and later supported by Civil Air Patrol and DPS. Volunteers began an early air search Saturday and were active until Civil Air Patrol restricted the air space,” the release continues.

Search efforts were suspended at dark Saturday, but search and rescue crews continued patrolling on the ground Sunday, while DPS and Civil Air Patrol searched from the air.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://gephardtdaily.com




BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah — Search and rescue crews are working near Promontory Point Saturday after an airplane carrying two men was reported missing. 

Later Saturday police identified those men as 74-year-old Peter Ellis and 71-year-old Denny Mansell, both of Ogden.

Mansell is listed as the pilot of the aircraft, which is a red and white Cessna 172.

Sgt. Steve Berry with Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office said the two men departed from Ogden-Hinckley Airport around 3:30 p.m. Friday and were supposed to return before dark.

The pair was reported missing at 9:20 p.m. and search operations began Friday night with a helicopter and continued Saturday.

The pilot is known to make trips to the Spiral Jetty, and Berry said the pilot may have been planning to fly over Promontory Point, where the Winter Steam Festival is underway

Authorities say the terrain they are searching includes a lot of area to cover and many canyons both big and small, which complicates their efforts. Authorities have also checked with nearby airports to make sure the men didn’t make an unexpected landing elsewhere.

A Department of Public Safety helicopter is aiding in the search effort along with the Civil Air Patrol. The search remains active Saturday evening and officials say they will continue searching until dark. If the plane has not been found by dark, search efforts will resume again Sunday morning.

Authorities say the two men are friends and that they have contacted their respective families about the search.

Story and video ➤ http://fox13now.com




BOX ELDER COUNTY — (KUTV)- Search and Rescue teams in Box Elder are currently searching in the area of the Great Salt Lake for a possible downed aircraft Saturday afternoon.

According to dispatch, searchers are looking in the area known as the Spiral Jetty which is along the border of the Great Salt Lake for a missing is a Cessna 172, red and white in color, N4395R.


Officials believe the plane is occupied by two people; pilot Denny Mansell, 71, and passenger Peter Ellis, 74.


According to family they left Ogden Hinckley Airport about 3:30 PM on Friday with plans to fly to the Promontory area and view the trains at the Golden Spike Historic Site from the air then return to Ogden about 4:30 PM.


Box Elder dispatch was alerted about the overdue aircraft around 9:20 PM and requested a check of the local airports.


According to a press release, a search involving Deputies and the DPS helicopter went through Friday night into early Saturday focusing on the Promontory area of Box Elder County. The search efforts will be suspended at dark Saturday evening and will resume again Sunday morning.


Story and video ➤ http://kutv.com

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