Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mooney M20K, N123JN, registered to Flying Llama LLC and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred February 12, 2018 near Bellingham International Airport (KBLI), Whatcom County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Renton, Washington
Continental Motors Inc.

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N123JN

Location: Chuckanut, WA
Accident Number: ANC18FA024
Date & Time: 02/12/2018, 1913 PST
Registration: N123JN
Aircraft: MOONEY AIRCRAFT CORP. M20
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 12, 2018, about 1913 Pacific standard time, a M20K Mooney airplane, N123JN, was destroyed after impacting terrain on Chuckanut Mountain near Bellingham, Washington, while on a visual flight rules (VFR) approach to Bellingham International Airport (BLI). The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to Flying Llama LLC and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Harvey Field (S43), Snohomish, Washington, at about 1851, and was destined for BLI.

According to a statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) by the co-owner of the airplane, the purpose of the flight was to reposition the airplane from S43 to BLI for maintenance repairs to the cowl flaps and engine data monitor turbine inlet temperature (TIT) sensor. The distance to the destination was about 56 nm.

Preliminary radar and voice communication from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicate that the airplane departed S43 at 1851 and climbed to about 4,300 feet on a course to the north-northwest. At about 1907, the airplane commenced a slow decent rate of about 300 fpm and continued the descent at rates between 300 and 600 fpm until impact. At about 1910, the pilot called BLI air traffic control tower and reported his position about 14 miles south of the airport. BLI tower control issued clearance for a visual flight rules (VFR) approach to runway 34 and requested a radio report at 3 miles. There were no further radio communications from the pilot. The preliminary radar data indicated the last recorded position at time 1913 was 9 miles south of the airport on a course of 336°, altitude of 1975 feet and groundspeed of 146 knots. At time 2122 the FAA issued an alert notice (ALNOT) due to numerous reports of an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal in the area.

At about 2200, search parties from the Whatcom County Sheriff's office and U.S. Custom and Border Patrol located the wreckage on the north side of Chuckanut Mountain in Larrabee State Park above Fragrance Lake.

The NTSB investigator-in-charge and FAA aviation safety inspectors reached the accident site on the afternoon of February 13. The accident site was located on the north face of the mountain in an area of dense forest and undergrowth with no lighted structures. Large portions of the fragmented airplane were scattered along a debris path which started at the ridgeline above the Cyrus Gates Overlook and oriented along a magnetic heading of 328 °. The debris field was about 1,200 feet in length and 100 feet wide. The, wings, empennage, fuselage, propeller, cockpit and engine were each located in separate locations and exhibited extensive impact damage.

An area believed to be the initial impact point was marked by a broken tree top located at the top of the east-west running ridge. The top 15 feet of a 50-foot tree with fresh lengthwise fractures, was located laying in the direction of the wreckage. Other tree top debris was also located along the north side of the ridge. The first identifiable piece of wreckage was the outer portion of the right wing which exhibited a 12-inch leading edge elliptical impact area with tree scrapings in the paint. The left wing was located about 85 feet from the right wing and exhibited similar elliptical impact areas on the leading edge and near the wing root. The empennage and rudder were located down hill in the overlook parking lot. The left horizontal stabilizer had one large elliptical impact area on the leading edge. The fuselage, tail cone and propeller were located downhill on Cleater Road. A large tree about 10 inches in diameter was laying down in the center of the debris. The tail cone was separated from the crushed and fragmented fuselage. The cockpit, which separated into two sections, and the engine were located downhill and were the last two major pieces of debris. The wreckage will be recovered and retained for further examination.

The pilot's logbook indicated that he logged a total of 760.1 flight hours, of which 57 hours were in M20 airplanes. He was issued an FAA time limited Third Class Special Issuance medical certificate on October 4, 2017, that was due to expire on October 31, 2018, due to conditions related to coronary heart disease and sleep apnea.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY AIRCRAFT CORP.
Registration: N123JN
Model/Series: M20 K
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: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBLI, 149 ft msl
Observation Time: 0253 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: SNOHOMISH, WA (S43)
Destination: BELLINGHAM, WA (BLI) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  48.655000, -122.465278 (est)

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


A plane that crashed Monday night in the Chuckanut Mountains above Larrabee State Park, killing the pilot, was being flown from Paine Field in Snohomish County to Bellingham for maintenance, officials said.

Dr. Gary Goldfogel, Whatcom County medical examiner, said the pilot was Don Stanwyck, 61.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday that the aircraft is a single-engine Mooney M20K with the registration number N123JN.

That aircraft is owned by Flying Llama LLC of Carnation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website. Stanwyck’s Facebook pages shows that he is affiliated with at least one llama business.

Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said the pilot was the only person aboard the four-seat aircraft.

“His cause of death is under continuing investigation and his manner of death is to be certified as ‘accidental,’ ” Goldfogel said Tuesday. “He has pre-existing heart disease that may have created a medical emergency and partial explanation for the crash.”

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board is heading the investigation, and that person hadn’t yet arrived at the scene Tuesday morning, said NTSB spokesman Chris O’Neil.

“We’re in the very early stages of our investigation,” O’Neil said.

Whatcom County authorities said the plane crashed about 8 p.m. Monday near the end of Cleator Road, not far from the Fragrance Lake trailhead, about 9 miles south of Bellingham International Airport.

“U.S. Coast Guard and local first responders began checking on reports of a small plane that had radio contact with air traffic control advising that the plane was going down. Radio contact was lost and the exact location was unknown,” Parks said in a statement.

Bellingham Fire’s fireboat Salish Star joined the initial search, which focused on the waters west of Bellingham between Eliza Island and Governors’ Point, according to emergency radio dispatches.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew found the wreckage in the mountains just east of the initial search area about 9:15 p.m. Monday and guided Bellingham and South Whatcom firefighters and other personnel to the scene, Parks said.

Parks said the wings apparently sheared off as the aircraft descended into a thick forest canopy. Stanwyck’s body was found farther away in debris of the fuselage, he said.

“(The pilot) obviously clipped trees on glide path,” Parks said, citing information from deputies that assisted in the search.

Battalion Chief Mitch Nolze of South Whatcom Fire Authority said the fuselage toppled a tree across Cleator Road. He said firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and other rescue crews covered the steep terrain on foot and didn’t require technical rope skills.

“As far as we could tell, the debris field stretched several hundred feet, if not several hundred yards,” Nolze said, adding the main wreckage started at the top of ridge and stretched downhill.

O’Neil said the NTSB’s investigation could take one to two years, and would focus on the pilot, weather and the condition of the aircraft.

FAA records show that the aircraft’s last certificate issue date was May 23, 2017. It was certified airworthy Feb. 14, 1979.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com





BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A Duval man was killed when a small plane crashed in Whatcom County on Monday night, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Crews received reports of an aircraft down around 10 p.m. in an area about five miles south of Bellingham International Airport.

The Sheriff's Office said the plane had lost radio contact with air traffic control.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol helicopter found the wreckage in the Larabee State Park area near Chuckanut Mountain, using a signal from the plane's last known location and direction of travel.

The Sheriff's Office says initial information indicates that the aircraft plane clipped trees at the summit of Chuckanut Mountain.

The Sheriff's Office say reports from the Victoria Tower indicate the aircraft was flying at 2,000 feet and was descending at a rate of 200 feet per minute. Chuckanut Mountain has an elevation of 2,080 feet.

When firefighters arrived, they said there were trees down, but no fire.

One person, the pilot, was confirmed dead. He has been identified as 61 year old Don Stanwyck of Duval

The Sheriff's Office said the pilot was the only person on board

Aerial footage from KOMO's Air 4 at the scene show that the plane shattered into pieces on impact, with wreckage scattered in the trees and on a nearby roadway.

The Sheriff's Office said according to the plane's owner, the single engine, fixed-wing plane was being flown from Paine Field in Snohomish County to Bellingham for maintenance. 


Story and photo gallery ➤  http://komonews.com




A pilot was killed when the small plane he was in went down in the Chuckanut Mountain area south of Bellingham Monday night.

No one else was in the plane.


The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said that at 8 p.m., emergency dispatchers began receiving reports that an aircraft may have went down in a general area thought to be five miles south of the Bellingham International Airport.  


The U.S. Coast Guard and local first responders began investigating reports of a small plane whose pilot had told air traffic control that the plane was going down.  Radio contact was lost and the location of the plane was unknown.  


A U.S. Customs and Border Protection chopper found the crash scene in the Chuckanut Mountain area near Fragrance Lake. Whatcom County Sheriff's Office search and rescue deputies who reached the crash scene said there were no survivors. 


National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the plane crashed in mountainous, tree-covered terrain about 10 miles south of the Bellingham Airport.


Investigators said the debris field indicates the plane hit and scraped trees as it went down.


Authorities said the 1979 fixed wing Mooney M20K, which is registered in Carnation, was being flown to Bellingham from Paine Field for maintenance, according to one of the plane’s owners.


The pilot, a 61-year-old man, had a pre-existing heart condition that may have played a role in the crash, the medical examiner said.


The Sheriff's Office conducted a grid search of the area Monday to confirm that there was no one else in the plane.


The county medical examiner took possession of the pilot's body at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.


Investigators are working to confirm the identity of the pilot and notify the next of kin.


The NTSB said it could take up to a year to know for certain why the plane went down.


Story and photo gallery ➤ http://www.kiro7.com







A plane that crashed Monday night in the Chuckanut Mountains above Larrabee State Park, killing the pilot, was being flown from Paine Field in Snohomish County to Bellingham for maintenance, officials said.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday that the aircraft is a single-engine Mooney M20K with the registration number N123JN.

That aircraft is owned by Flying Llama LLC of Carnation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said the pilot was the only person aboard the four-seat aircraft – the pilot’s identity was being withheld until relatives were notified.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Board is heading the investigation, and that person hadn’t yet arrived at the scene Tuesday morning, said NTSB spokesman Chris O’Neil.

“We’re in the very early stages of our investigation,” O’Neil said.

Whatcom County authorities said the plane crashed about 8 p.m. Monday near the end of Cleator Road, not far from the Fragrance Lake trailhead, about 9 miles south of Bellingham International Airport.

“U.S. Coast Guard and local first responders began checking on reports of a small plane that had radio contact with air traffic control advising that the plane was going down. Radio contact was lost and the exact location was unknown,” Parks said in a statement.

Bellingham Fire’s fireboat Salish Star joined the initial search, which focused on the waters west of Bellingham between Eliza Island and Governors’ Point, according to emergency radio dispatches.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew found the wreckage in the mountains just east of the initial search area about 9:15 p.m. and guided Bellingham and South Whatcom firefighters and other personnel to the scene, Parks said.

Parks said the wings apparently sheared off as the aircraft descended into a thick forest of cedar, fir and hemlock. The pilot’s body was found farther away in debris of the fuselage, he said.

“(The pilot) obviously clipped trees on glide path,” Parks said, citing information from deputies that assisted in the search.

The pilot’s body was taken to the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.

Battalion Chief Mitch Nolze of South Whatcom Fire Authority said the fuselage toppled a tree across Cleator Road. He said firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and other rescue crews covered the steep terrain on foot and didn’t require technical rope skills.

“As far as we could tell, the debris field stretched several hundred feet, if not several hundred yards,” Nolze said, adding the main wreckage started at the top of ridge and stretched downhill.

O’Neil said the NTSB’s investigation could take one to two years, and would focus on the pilot, weather and the condition of the aircraft.

FAA records show that the aircraft’s last certificate issue date was May 23, 2017. It was certified airworthy Feb. 14, 1979.

Story, video and photos ➤ http://www.bellinghamherald.com

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