Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cessna 150J, registered to Outer Banks Seaplanes LLC and operated by Island Aerial Ads, N60111: Fatal accident occurred June 27, 2018 near Dare County Regional Airport (KMQI), Manteo, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Cessna/Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Manteo, NC
Accident Number: ERA18FA180
Date & Time: 06/27/2018, 1026 EDT
Registration: N60111
Aircraft: CESSNA 150J
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Banner Tow 

On June 27, 2018, about 1026 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150J, N60111, registered to Outer Banks Seaplanes LLC. and operated by Island Ariel Ads, crashed in a wooded area in Manteo, North Carolina. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 banner tow flight. The local flight originated from Dare County Regional Airport (MQI), Manteo, North Carolina.

A ground crew member was working in the banner pick up area and witnessed the events that transpired just before the accident. He initially watched as the accident airplane approached and lined up with the pickup poles. He noted that the airplane was very low and estimated the tail of the airplane to be about 5 feet off the ground. As the airplane flew through the pickup area, the pickup loop caught around the left elevator. He recalled the pilot making a radio call to the ground crew stating, "I can't turn, it won't release." He watched as the airplane continued north and was barely over the tops of the trees. The airplane made a climbing left turn, and it seemed like the wind was pushing it to the left. He watched as the airplane disappeared behind the tree line.

Another witness stated that the winds on the morning of the accident were a crosswind to runway 23. The witness did not see the pickup of the banner but saw the airplane as it climbed out to midfield with the tow rope wrapped around the left horizontal stabilizer. He and the other ground crew members watched as the airplane reached the end of the runway while yawing to the left. The airplane made climbing left turn to an altitude about 250 feet before it appeared to enter an aerodynamic stall. The airplane then descended into the trees just to the left of the departure end of the runway 23.

The pilot, age 35, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He held a Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate, with limitations for corrective lenses. The pilot reported that his flight experience included 150 total hours of flight experience and 0 hours in last six months as of his medical examination on February 12, 2018. The pilot's logbook was not recovered; therefore, his total flight experience at the time of the accident could not be determined.

The airplane was manufactured in 1969 by Cessna as model 150J. It had been modified by a supplemental type certificate and was powered by a Lycoming O-360 series 180-horsepower engine, and equipped with a McCauley fixed-pitch propeller. Review of maintenance records revealed the airplane was last inspected in accordance with an annual inspection on June 19, 2017. The engine's time since overhaul was 1224.64 hours and the airframe total time was 11,868.70 hours.

At 1035, the recorded weather at MQI included winds from 120° at 10 knots, gusting 14 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and scattered clouds at 1,900 feet above ground level (AGL). The temperature was 27°Celsius (C), the dew point was 22°C, and the altimeter setting was 30.27 inches of mercury.

The main wreckage was located approximately 400 feet from the centerline of runway 35 on a 242° heading. The airplane impacted treetops at approximately 75 feet AGL and 400 feet from the departure end of the runway 17 centerline. The wreckage path was 124 feet long on a 242° magnetic heading. The airplane came to rest inverted, facing the direction of travel in between trees adjacent to the airport perimeter. The airplane sustained extensive compression damage to the forward fuselage, reducing the cockpit volume. The right wing had trailing edge tree damage at the flap and aileron as well as leading edge crush damage throughout the length of the wing. The left wing was still attached to the airplane with the part of the outboard section separated. The right elevator separated from the horizontal stabilizer. The left horizontal stabilizer was observed with the banner tow rope wrapped around the leading edge. All flight control surfaces were observed at the accident site. Flight control cable continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.

Examination of the cockpit revealed the instrument panel was impact damaged, which prevented an examination of the instruments. Examination of the engine revealed that it was impact damaged. The engine remained attached to the airframe at the tubular mount. The engine was displaced aft and toward the left. The propeller remained attached to the engine flange. The propeller spinner was fragmented. The engine was partially disassembled to facilitate an examination. The engine was rotated by turning the crankshaft flange and continuity of the crankshaft to the rear gears and to the valve train was confirmed. Compression and suction were observed on all four engine cylinders. The interiors of the cylinders were viewed using a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted.

The carburetor was fractured across the throttle bore and impact-separated from the engine. The throttle cable was broken and remained attached to the carburetor throttle control arm. The mixture control cable wire was separated from the carburetor mixture control arm. The carburetor induction air box was partially crushed, and the carburetor heat control cable separated from the air box control arm. The positions of the control arms before impact could not be determined. In the cockpit, the throttle control knob was aft, the mixture control knob was aft, and the carburetor heat control knob was forward.

The carburetor was partially disassembled, and no damage was noted to the internal components. Blue colored liquid with an odor consistent with aviation fuel was observed in the carburetor float bowl. The carburetor fuel inlet screen was free of debris. The engine driven fuel pump remained attached to the engine and no damage was noted. The hose from the pump to the carburetor was separated at the carburetor fuel inlet fitting and aviation fuel was expelled from the hose as the engine was rotated. The pump was not removed. The auxiliary electric fuel boost pump remained attached to the firewall and no damage was noted.

Both magnetos remained attached to the engine and no damage was noted. The engine was rotated by turning the crankshaft flange and spark was observed from all four ignition leads of both magnetos. The magnetos were not removed. The spark plugs were examined using a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The lower spark plugs exhibited gray color and worn normal condition. The upper spark plugs were not removed but their electrodes were viewed using a lighted borescope and exhibited gray coloration and worn normal condition.

Oil was observed in the engine. The oil suction screen and the oil filter media were free of metallic debris. Both oil coolers and the associated hoses were secure.

Examination of the propeller revealed both blades were damaged and remained attached to the crankshaft flange. Both blades were bent aft and had chordwise scoring throughout the blade span.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N60111
Model/Series: 150J J
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Island Aerial Ads
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMQI, 13 ft msl
Observation Time: 1435 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1900 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / 14 knots, 120°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Manteo, NC (MQI)
Destination: Manteo, NC (MQI)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 35.918889, -75.695556 (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

Daniel Morgan Lane

Kill Devil Hills - Daniel Morgan Lane, or “Morgan” as he was lovingly known, left this earth tragically doing what he most loved, flying, June 27, 2018 in Manteo, NC.

Morgan was born in Pittsburgh, PA, March 11, 1983. Raised in The Glenn, Morgan’s childhood was full of laughter, friends and music. Following his high school graduation, Morgan attended CCBC and later completed his bachelor’s degree at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania. Pursuing his passion for flight, Morgan entered the United States Air Force, earning his pilot’s wings and eventually retiring as a captain.  In recent years, Morgan enjoyed traveling, surfing, camping and boating.  Until the time of his untimely passing, he was employed with a local air tour company based in Manteo.

Left to cherish Morgan’s Memory are his parents, Gerry and Nancy Lane of Duck, NC; one brother, James Lane (Jennifer) of Los Angeles, CA; his uncle Bob and Uncle Mike; Aunt Kathy, Aunt Mary, and Aunt Candy as well as his cousins and extended family members. Also surviving is his loving family from The Glenn, his Air Force family, numerous devoted friends, and lastly his furry children, Kelev and Virgil.

The memorial service with full military honors will be held ocean front at the Lane residence in Duck, Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 5pm. In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully welcomes memorial donations in Daniel M. Lane’s memory to Wounded Veterans or to an animal shelter of your choice.

Condolences to the family may be expressed via the online register at Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

The Dare County Airport Authority is discussing the safety of banner planes in the aftermath of Wednesday’s deadly aircraft crash off Etheridge Drive in Manteo.

A small airplane, piloted by 35-year-old Daniel Morgan Lane, went down shortly after take off from the Dare County Airport around 10:30 a.m., authorities said. Lane was circling around to pick up a pull-behind banner when the crash occurred.

As the plane attached to the banner and Lane gained altitude, the banner became entangled in a tree and the plane was pulled to the ground off Etheridge Road near the UPS center, said NC Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Michael Baker.

At least one person witnessed the plane go down, and passersby rushed into the woods to help, one with a machete to cut their way through the brush, said Chief T.J. Jones of the Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department.

The aircraft was tangled in trees and underbrush, and the pilot was trapped in the wreckage. Fire crews cleared good Samaritans from the scene after noticing a smell of fuel from the plane, Jones said.

Firefighters used a chainsaw to cut a path through the woods and rescue Lane, who died at the scene.

The 1968 150J Cessna is listed with the Federal Aviation Administration as owned by Outer Banks Seaplanes LLC and Lane worked for Island Aerial Ads.

In his obituary, Lane’s family said he died doing what he most loved: flying. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, Lane joined the U.S. Air Force, earned his pilot’s wings and eventually retired as a captain.

Lane’s family owns a home in Duck, where his memorial service will be held, but he had recently bought a home in Kill Devil Hills.

At the Dare County Airport Authority meeting last week, member Jack Shea said the incident should serve as a reminder to banner plane operator’s to use extreme caution. The authority will consider, once the Federal Aviation Administration investigation is complete, that the group’s safety committee look into the crash and any changes that may need to be made.

Planes towing advertising banners are a common site above the beaches of the Outer Banks in the summer months.

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) -- A pilot whose plane crashed Wednesday morning near the Dare County Regional Airport has been identified by officials as 35-year-old Daniel Morgan Lane of Kill Devil Hills.

The Dare County Sheriff's Office confirmed to deputies responded to the crash, which is in a wooded area off Airport Road, shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Sgt. Michael Baker with North Carolina Highway Patrol said the plane touched down to pick up an advertisement banner and the banner got tangled in the trees on takeoff -- pulling the plane to the ground. 

The pilot was the only person on board the plane, Baker said.

Mark Tate, who works nearby, says he heard a “metallic boom” and looked outside his office to find the banner tangled in the trees. 

Tate says good Samaritans and first responders used machetes and other tools to reach the pilot.

“They couldn’t even find the plane for at least 10 minutes,” he said. “His buddies were running all around trying to yell, trying to find him.”

The Cessna 150J is registered to Outerbanks Seaplanes LLC in Manteo, according to records filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says Lane worked for Island Aerial Ads.

10 On Your Side is still working to get a response from both companies. 

Several other agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are also investigating.

Story and video ➤

The pilot of a banner-towing airplane died from injuries sustained after his aircraft went down Wednesday near the Manteo airport.

The crash happened around 10:26 a.m. near Etheridge Road on Roanoke Island.

An eyewitness said he heard a loud noise outside his business that sounded like someone throwing a plastic trash can across the driveway.

First Sgt. Michael Baker with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said Daniel Morgan Lane, 35, of Kill Devil Hills, had just departed the airport after picking up a banner.

The banner got entangled first with the aircraft and then caught several trees, causing the plane to slam into a wooded area, according to Baker.

Good Samaritans used machetes and chainsaws to reach the wreckage, which they said was broken into multiple pieces and fuel was spread all over the site.

Emergency responders were on the scene within minutes of the crash, but had to work carefully to extricate the pilot due to the nature of his injuries.

Lane died a short time after he was removed from the plane and was loaded into a Dare County EMS unit.

The Cessna 150J is registered to Outerbanks Seaplanes, LLC., of Manteo, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Lane worked for Island Aerial Ads.

The Highway Patrol and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. As a former banner tow pilot I will say I would never attempt to tow a banner with a Cessna 150 or even a 172. I know it can be done but those planes do well pull their own weight much less a banner. >Perhaps< if this pilot would've had more power he could have gained more altitude and cleared those trees.

    1. If you look at the specs of the aircraft you will see that this aircraft was modified. It did not have the standard engine in a 150. It was modified to have a lycoming 180 HP 0-360 engine. This made this aircraft more than adequate to not only pull Banners but billboards as large as 35'high X 125' long.

  2. Yeah I had that thought as well
    Here they only use Piper's that go dang near vertical after grabbing the banner!

  3. These 150’s have been upgraded with 180 hp not the normal TCM O200 (100) hp engines that are usually on C150’s.

  4. My heart is still in a million pieces over this. I love you Morgan....