Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Vans RV-6A, N820TL, registered to and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred March 31, 2018 near Santa Paula Airport (KSZP), Ventura County, California

Ted (Theodore) Edward Dopler
 NOVEMBER 30, 1957 ~ MARCH 31, 2018 (AGE 60) 

After Graduating Catholic Central High School in May 1976, Ted joined the United States Air Force where he met and married his first wife Dawn A. Dopler while stationed at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. After reenlisting, he was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. After leaving the service in December 1986, Ted began employment with Lockheed Martin and moved his family to California. When his first marriage ended in divorce, Ted met and fell in love with Lori Ann Geisler in May 1996. Ted and Lori were married on August 20, 2001. Ted was an avid pilot and aviation enthusiast.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Ted E. Dopler:

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location:  Santa Paula, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA116
Date & Time: 03/31/2018, 1408 PDT
Registration: N820TL
Aircraft: Ragle RV6A
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 31, 2018, about 1408 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur built RV6A, N820TL, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near the Santa Paula Airport (SZP), Santa Paula, California. The private pilot and pilot rated passenger sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Rosamond, California, at an undetermined time with a reported destination of SZP.

Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site and at SZP reported observing the accident airplane on the downwind leg for runway 22. As the airplane neared an area where a turn to the base leg would be performed, the airplane entered a steep left turn, followed by a subsequent spin and descent into the ground. Shortly after impact, a postcrash fire ensued.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees and terrain about 0.7 miles east-southeast of SZP. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the 30-foot long wreckage debris path. The airplane came to rest upright on a heading of about 043 degrees magnetic. A majority of the right wing and center section of the fuselage were mostly consumed by fire. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Ragle
Registration: N820TL
Model/Series: RV6A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KCMA, 65 ft msl
Observation Time: 2055 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rosamond, CA
Destination: Santa Paula, CA (SZP)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  34.345278, -119.047500

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

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (KABC) --  Authorities released the identities of the two people killed after a homebuilt plane crashed into a storage container in the Santa Paula area over the weekend.

Ted Dopler, 60, of Palmdale, and Jody Smith, 58, of Lancaster, both died in the Vans RV-6A crash Saturday afternoon. The coroner determined both men died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries because of the accident.

The Vans RV-6A had left earlier Saturday from Rosamond Skypark Airport in the Antelope Valley, but authorities do not know yet where the men were heading.

The aircraft crashed on a property in a wooded area in the 17800 block of South Mountain Road, just outside the city limits of Santa Paula. No one on the ground was injured.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA. NTSB officials are looking for witnesses to the crash and asked that they contact them through the email

Original article can be found here ➤

The two men killed in Saturday's plane crash outside Santa Paula have been identified by authorities.

Ted Dopler, 60, of Palmdale, and Jody Smith, 58, of Lancaster, were declared dead at the scene in the 17800 block of South Mountain Road. The plane left from Rosamond Skypark Airport in the Antelope Valley, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said.

Dopler is the registered owner of the plane, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Saturday's crash of the Vans RV-6A into a ranch property south of city limits took place shortly after 2 p.m. No one on the ground was injured.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal safety officials will interview more witnesses Monday in the crash of a small experimental airplane in Santa Paula that killed the two people on board, including one man who reportedly lived in Lancaster.

The Vans RV-6A crashed around 2:10 p.m. Saturday in the vicinity of South Mountain Road and 12th Street. The two men on board died at the scene. No one else was injured.

One of the two victims was identified by NBC4 on Sunday as 60-year-old Ted Dopler of Lancaster. The station interviewed his wife, Lori Dopler, who said she was supposed to be on the flight but stayed home at the last minute to take care of her mother. The Vans RV-6A left from a private airfield in Rosamond, less than 30 minutes from the couple’s Lancaster home.

They were on their way to the Santa Paula airport, with Ted Dopler flying and a male passenger was on board who hasn’t been identified, but crashed about 1 1/2 miles away, according to NBC4.

The plane’s federal registration number indicated that it was registered out by a person or company in Palmdale.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

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