Saturday, April 07, 2018

Mooney M20J 201, N9133Z, registered to and operated by the pilot : Fatal accident occurred April 06, 2018 near Petaluma Municipal Airport (O69), Sonoma County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California
Lycoming; Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Carleton H. Morrison Jr: 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Petaluma, CA
Accident Number: ANC18FA028
Date & Time: 04/06/2018, 1715 PDT
Registration: N9133Z
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 6, 2018, about 1715 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Mooney M20J airplane, N9133Z, was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire when it collided with terrain shortly after departure from the Petaluma Municipal Airport (O69), Petaluma, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight when the accident occurred. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, and an IFR plan had been filed.

The flight departed from O69 destined for Fallbrook Community Airpark (L18), Fallbrook, California. When the flight failed to arrive on time, a concerned family member contacted Oakland Center (ZOA) and initiated a search for the missing airplane.

ZOA received an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal report at 1723 in the vicinity of O69. An alert notice (ALNOT) was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration at 1803, and an extensive search was launched. Aerial search operations were hindered by degraded weather conditions; however, a ground search was conducted by personnel from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, Petaluma Police Department, Petaluma Fire Department, Rancho Adobe Fire Department, as well as the Petaluma Airport Manager. About 2200 searchers located the accident airplane's wreckage about 2 miles northeast of O69.

At about 1700:30 the pilot received his IFR clearance from O69 to L18 with a void time of 1710.

A pilot rated witness familiar with operations at O69 was on the deck of the airport office monitoring common traffic advisory frequency when he heard the accident pilot radio "Petaluma ground, Mooney taxi to Runway 29" he then observed the airplane taxi to runway 11. He stated that the airplane remained in the runway 11 runup area for about 15 minutes. At about 1700 the pilot announced, "Petaluma traffic, Mooney departing Runway 29." At which time the witness transmitted "Runway 11" to which the pilot replied, "thank you, I appreciate the help." He observed the airplane depart off runway 11, climb to about 300 feet above ground level (AGL) before initiating a shallow left turn and disappearing into the fog. The witness reported that there were no unusual sounds from the airplane during the takeoff, and the engine sounded "strong, smooth and normal."

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) along with the rest of the investigative team reached the accident site on the morning of April 8. The airplane impacted in a near vertical attitude in in a soft, muddy mustard field with rolling hills at an elevation of about 307 ft mean sea level, on a heading of about 200°.

All the airplane's major components were located at the main wreckage site. The right wing was displaced from the fuselage and came to rest on the right side and forward of the fuselage. The left wing sustained extensive accordion style leading edge crushing near the tip lessening in severity toward the wing root. The engine and propeller separated from the airframe and were buried in about 3 feet of soft mud. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and the blades remained attached to the propeller hub assembly. Both blades exhibited leading edge polishing. The fuselage was largely consumed by postcrash fire. All the primary flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective attach points; however, flight control continuity could not be verified on-scene due to impact damage and postcrash fire.

The airplane was equipped with an Electronics International CGR-30P electronic engine monitor. The impact damaged device was recovered from the accident scene and retained for further examination.

The closest weather reporting facility was Petaluma Municipal Airport (O69), Petaluma, California. At 1655, an METAR from O69 was reporting, in part: wind calm, visibility, ¾ statute, mist; clouds and sky condition, overcast 600 feet; temperature, 59 °F; dew point 59° F; altimeter, 29.87 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N9133Z
Model/Series: M20J NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: O69, 90 ft msl
Observation Time: 2355 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 15°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 600 ft agl
Visibility:  0.75 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Petaluma, CA (O69)
Destination: FALLBROOK, CA (L18) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  38.268889, -122.576389 (est)

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

Carl Morrison, 75, of San Diego County

PETALUMA, Calif. --  The pilot killed Friday night when his small plane crashed in Petaluma has been identified by his family as a 75-year-old man from San Diego County.

Vietnam veteran and San Diego resident Carl Morrison was identified by his family as the sole victim in the crash. He was in town as a consultant with the Sonoma County Water Agency.

The case began when the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office got a call around 6:40 p.m. from the U.S. Air Force about an emergency transponder activation from a small plane in eastern Petaluma.

Deputies couldn't find the plane at the coordinates the equipment gave on Sonoma Mountain. However, around the same time, Morrison's wife called Petaluma police from San Diego County to say her husband was overdue home, sheriff's officials said.

Morrison was believed to have left the Petaluma Airport en route to San Diego County in his Mooney M20 fixed-wing airplane, according to sheriff's officials.

Shortly after 10 p.m., deputies spotted a small fire in a remote ravine near the 3600 block of Manor Lane. Deputies found the downed aircraft and the body of the man believed to be the pilot, sheriff's officials said.

The deputies secured the scene and notified the National Transportation Safety Board, the independent federal agency that determines the probable cause of transportation crashes.

According to sheriff's officials, the NTSB will investigate the cause of the collision. The Federal Aviation Administration will also investigate, according to Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the agency.

Original article can be found here ➤

Carl Morrison

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash of a single-engine plane Friday night near Petaluma Municipal Airport that killed a San Diego County man.

Carl Morrison, 75, was piloting his Mooney M20J 201 from the airport back home after a work trip north in his role as a consultant with the Sonoma County Water Agency, according to a Facebook post from his family. Morrison, an attorney and vice commander of the Pacific Region’s Civil Air Patrol, had served in the U.S. Marines and often flew his plane to business meetings around the country.

“We are so saddened by the passing of our husband, father, and friend,” the family post read.

Friends and work colleagues voiced deep sorrow at his sudden death. It came in the type of storm, an atmospheric river, for which he worked to broaden research.

“He had the most wonderful disposition,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane. “He was always positive, and always smiling — just a wonderful human being. We can’t even imagine our team without him, it’s just devastating.”

Col. Timothy Hahn, Morrison’s fellow vice commander in the Pacific Region’s Civil Air Patrol, said Col. Morrison will be deeply missed.

Morrison was a 20-year member of the Marine Corps., retiring as a lawyer and public affairs officer in 1986 in the rank of lieutenant colonel, according to his law office website. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1966 before obtaining a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago in 1976. He also possessed two master’s degrees, from Loyola University and George Washington University.

Immediately following his time in the service, Morrison started a public relations and environmental consulting firm before going on to found his Fallbrook, California-based law firm about an hour north of San Diego in 1995. The office was located at the Fallbrook Airpark.

Morrison was also a devout Mormon with an extensive family, according to friends. He often boasted about his eight children and 22 grandchildren.

Morrison’s wife, Mary, called Petaluma police at about 6:40 p.m. Friday to report him overdue on his trip from the airport south back home, according to a sheriff’s office report. The United States Air Force also contacted the sheriff’s office at around the same time after an emergency signal originated from a small plane in eastern Petaluma.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the coordinates on Sonoma Mountain, but could not immediately find the plane. A small fire eventually led them to the crash site after 10 p.m. in a remote ravine near the 3600 block of Manor Lane, about 2 miles northeast of the Petaluma airport. Deputies hiked up to the fire and spotted the downed plane, confirming the death of a single occupant who they believed was the pilot.

The Sonoma County Coroner had yet to name Morrison as the pilot Saturday.

Due to the weather and darkness, deputies secured the area and contacted the NTSB, which will investigate the cause of the crash. A NTSB spokesman said Saturday morning the circumstances of the crash are currently unknown, and the independent agency will work with the Federal Aviation Administration in its investigation.

No other information is available at this time. Messages left with family went unreturned Saturday afternoon.

Original article can be found here ➤

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