Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Zenair CH 601 Zodiac, N622DP: Fatal accident occurred May 22, 2018 near Bolivar Municipal Airport (M17), Polk County, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bolivar, MO
Accident Number: CEN18FA186
Date & Time: 05/22/2018, 0930 CDT
Registration: N622DP
Aircraft: Donald James Baker Zenith
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 14, 2018, about 0930 central daylight time, a Zenith 601, N622DP, collided with trees and impacted terrain at the Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club, Bolivar, Missouri. The pilot was fatally injured, 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 were reported at the accident site, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Bolivar Municipal Airport (M17) about 0925.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying at low altitude and porpoising (nose up and down) before striking trees an impacting terrain between the 16th and 18th holes at the Silo Ridge golf course, located about 3/4-mile south of the departure airport. They said they heard the engine running and it sounded normal. The on-scene examination established flight control continuity. The two-blade wooden propeller bore evidence consistent with rotation at impact. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Donald James Baker
Registration: N622DP
Model/Series: Zenith 601
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: SGF, 1268 ft msl
Observation Time: 0930 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 400 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 85 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Bolivar, MO (M17)
Destination: Bolivar, MO (M17)

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: 

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 

James Donald Baker
 James Donald Baker was born, November 7th, 1930, and died May 22, 2018.  There will be a Visitation for Mr. Baker, Friday, May 25, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at Bolivar First Baptist Church, Bolivar, Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Pat Baker.

BOLIVAR, MO - The man that crashed his plane on a golf course in Bolivar has died. We know that the plane was an experimental amateur built plane that took off from the Bolivar Airport that’s right down the road from the Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club.

On-lookers noticed the plane, flown by James Donald Baker, 87, was flying lower than other planes.

“And then when I saw it pitching back and forth I knew he was either having trouble with the plane or maybe something was wrong with him," says Shawn Hoffman, an employee at Silo Ridge.

Members of the airport told me that Baker flew weekly and was well known in the aviation community. Hoffman says the golf course has an agreement with the airport that planes must fly at a certain altitude. And they see about 40 planes a day flying over the course.

Right after the accident, Hoffman says golf club members that were on the course at the time rushed over to help.

"Two of the guys mobilized his head and called 911 and held his head," explains Hoffman. "The other guy was giving him CPR.”

Baker succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital about an hour after the crash.

Members of the aviation community told Fox 5 he was a great guy and that he had been working on the Zenair CH 601 Zodiac for a few years now.

Hoffman says, "When the plane went by it didn’t sound anything out of the ordinary. It wasn’t cutting out or missing. It just wasn’t gaining any altitude.”

The highway patrol was the first to respond to the scene. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration will take over the investigation. Fox 5 will continue to follow this story as more information comes in.


Polk County, Mo. - A plane crash in Polk County Tuesday has left one man dead. 

At approximately 9:18 a.m., Troop D Headquarters received a report of a small aircraft that had crashed approximately three-quarters of a mile south of the Bolivar Municipal Airport.

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, and surrounding emergency rescue personnel responded to the area and located a Zenair CH 601 Zodiac crashed in a wooded area on the Silo Ridge Golf Course. 

The pilot of the aircraft was transported by ambulance to Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 10:38 a.m.

The pilot has been identified as James Donald Baker, 87, of Bolivar. 

It is unknown at this time what led to the crash. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration will be on scene today to conduct a complete investigation.

Story and video ➤

SPRINGFIELD, Mo - Southwest Baptist University President Taylor released a statement sending his prayers to the family of the man who died in a plane crash Tuesday.

87-year-old, James Donald Baker, died of injuries suffered in a plane crash Tuesday morning near Bolivar, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman.

Trooper Jason Pace tells KOLR10 that James Donald Baker died at 10:38 a.m. at Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, 

He was the pilot of a Zenair CH 601 Zodiac that crashed at 9:18 a.m. at Silo Ridge Golf Course three-quarters of a mile south of the Bolivar Municipal Airport. 

Here is what President Taylor said in his statement to SBU faculty,

"Please keep the family of Dr. Don Baker in your prayers. Don was a retired faculty member and great supporter of the University who passed away Tuesday, May 22, from injuries sustained in a small-plane crash.

Don is the father-in-law of Mark Grabowski, director of safety and security, and grandfather of Jim Grabowski, development officer. His wife, Pat, is active in the University's Alumni Association and 50-Year Club, and many of their family members have attended SBU.

Don was a dear friend of mine and of the University. He gave so much to the University as an employee and has continued giving to the University in any way possible.

Don was a 1950 graduate of Southwest Baptist College and retired from SBU in 1996 after 20 years of teaching. He joined the SBU faculty as the director of in-service training and associate professor of Christian ministries in 1976. He also served as public relations director at SBU from 1957-1966.

Please keep Pat, Mark, Jim and the rest of the family in your prayers. We all will miss Don terribly, but we know that he has gone on to his heavenly home."

Original article can be found here ➤

An 87-year-old Bolivar man is dead after a Zenair CH 601 Zodiac crashed Tuesday morning at the Silo Ridge Golf Course near Bolivar, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. 

Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said the plane crashed about ¾ of a mile south of the Bolivar airport, hitting trees at the golf course. The incident occurred at about 9:18 a.m., Pace said.

Pace said the pilot, James Donald Baker, was transported to Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, where he was pronounced dead at 10:38 a.m. Baker was the only person aboard the airplane, Pace said.

Pace said the highway patrol, Polk County Sheriff's Office and other emergency rescue crews responded to the wreckage site, which has now been secured.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Pace said the Federal Aviation Authority was on its way to investigate the crash.

Story and video ➤

1 comment:

Kirk D. said...

Sounds like a heart attack, R.I.P.