Monday, March 26, 2018

Loss of Control in Flight: Mooney M20E, N213EJ; fatal accident occurred March 26, 2018 at Marina Municipal Airport (KOAR), Monterey County, California

Gordon Leroy Holley
April 20, 1932 ~ March 26, 2018 (age 85)

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Jose, California
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Mooney Aircraft; Kerrville, Texas

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N213EJ

Location: Marina, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA112
Date & Time: 03/26/2018, 1053 PDT
Registration: N213EJ
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 26, 2018, about 1053 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N213EJ, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 29 at Marina Municipal Airport (OAR), Marina, California. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which had originated from Watsonville Municipal Airport (WVI), Watsonville, California.

The pilot kept his airplane in a hangar at WVI. According to WVI operations personnel, the pilot parked his car just outside the airport operations office about 0954 and came into the office to request a fuel top off for his airplane, which was in his hangar. The operations supervisor noticed that the pilot's ability to walk had significantly deteriorated since he last saw the pilot a few months prior, but that the pilot appeared to be in good spirits. The airplane was subsequently serviced with 25.4 gallons of fuel. A WVI surveillance camera recorded the airplane taking runway 20 for departure at 1035:54.

The airplane landed at OAR, which is located about 15 miles south of WVI. No radio communications to or from the airplane were recorded at WVI, en route, or OAR. No witnesses were identified who could provide information about the pilot's activities at OAR in the minutes preceding the accident, including whether the accident takeoff was part of a touch-and-go landing, or was preceded by a full-stop landing. However, two witnesses observed the takeoff before the accident.

One witness at OAR, who was located about midfield, reported that he saw the accident airplane lift off, and stated that the landing gear retracted immediately after the airplane became airborne. That witness and another witness reported that they saw the airplane begin an unusually steep climb in an unusually high nose-up attitude. The airplane then pitched over to an approximately level attitude and began to yaw to the left. During that nose-left yaw, the nose and left wing dropped, and the airplane began a spin.

The airplane spun to the ground, and a fire erupted immediately.

A surveillance camera was mounted on a building near the southwest corner of the airport about 1,500 ft west of the accident location. The airplane entered the camera field of view near the upper frame edge appeared to be on a descending flight path on a heading of about 160°in an approximate 15° nose down pitch attitude The airplane continued to yaw left, the pitch attitude continued to decrease, and the trajectory became increasingly steep. By the time the airplane was about 3 airplane lengths above the ground, the nose-down pitch attitude was nearly vertical, the top of the airplane was facing the runway 11 threshold, and the trajectory appeared to be near vertical. The airplane impacted the ground in a near-vertical nose-down attitude, and a fire began immediately. The vertical distance from the top of the image frame to the impact point was about 10 airplane lengths, or about 230 ft. The elapsed time from the first image of the airplane to impact was about 3.5 seconds.

Because the climb was not captured, climb speed or climb angle information could be obtained from the imagery. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 85, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: BasicMed Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  2650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot, age 85, held a private pilot certificate with an instrument-airplane rating. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had a total flight experience of about 2,650 hours. He ceased flying in mid-2014 due to a family illness and resumed in August 2017. The logbook indicated that he had accrued about 22.6 hours since then, all of which were in the accident airplane. The first 8.1 of those hours were dual instruction with a flight instructor, including a flight review on November 22, 2017.

The flight instructor owned and operated a Mooney M20E similar to the accident airplane, and the pilot was referred to the instructor by their common maintenance facility.

Between August 25 and November 22, the instructor flew with the pilot a total of 8 times and then conducted and endorsed the pilot's flight review. All flights were in the accident airplane, and all originated at WVI.

The instructor noted that, at first, the pilot was "rusty" but that he regained his proficiency in the airplane. At some point early in the re-currency training, the pilot had difficulty extending the landing gear, but he did eventually master that procedure. The pilot preferred to not conduct touch-and-go landings, and when flying with the instructor, the pilot always preferred full-stop landings with a taxi back for takeoff. The instructor stated that the pilot's "go-arounds were well-managed."

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Registration: N213EJ
Model/Series: M20E NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1965
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 939
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/22/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2575 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3518 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: IO 360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

General

The airplane was manufactured in 1965 and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 series engine. The pilot purchased the airplane in 1990 and had kept it hangared at WVI since 1999. Maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was completed on September 22, 2017. As of that date, the airplane had a total time (TT) in service of about 3,517 hours, and the engine had a TT of about 792 hours.

The airplane was not approved for intentional spins.

Landing Gear

The M20E has a manual landing gear retraction/extension system activated by a large lever (sometimes referred to as a "Johnson bar") located between the two front seats. The lever pivots about 90° at a point on the floor below the instrument panel. The motion of the lever is through an arc parallel to the longitudinal axis of the airplane. When the lever is up/vertical, the landing gear is extended; when lever is down/horizontal, the landing gear is retracted. Gear retraction requires the lever to be pivoted aft and down; gear extension is accomplished via the opposite motion. The lever has a locking button and a slide collar for activation and locking for both the gear-extended and gear-retracted positions.

Pitch Trim and Flaps

The pitch trim is manually controlled and actuated by a handwheel on the cockpit floor between the two front seats. The wheel rotates in the vertical plane parallel to the airplane longitudinal axis. Rotation of the trim wheel operates a chain that operates a jackscrew that changes the angle of incidence of the empennage, and concurrently actuates the pitch trim position indicator. The pitch trim position indicator is located on a central subpanel that is below the primary instrument panel. The pitch trim position indicator is situated above the flap position indicator.

The hydraulic flaps are manually controlled and actuated. Flap extension is a two-step process; first, the flap lever is set to the desired flap position, and then the flaps are extended by manually pumping the flap handle. Flap retraction is commanded via the flap lever and actuated by springs and airloads; the pilot does not need to pump the flap handle. The flap position indicator is on the central subpanel just below the pitch trim position indicator. Both the trim and flap indicator systems used mechanically driven pointers moving relative to fixed scales.

Takeoffs in the airplane are typically conducted with half flaps, and landings are typically conducted with full flaps. In flight, flap extension results in an airplane-nose-down (AND) moment, which requires airplane-nose-up (ANU) trim to reduce or alleviate control forces. With landing flaps extended, the airplane typically requires significant ANU trim. Go-arounds, therefore, require significant AND re-trimming to reduce or alleviate adverse ANU control forces.

Takeoff and Stall Speeds

According to the manufacturer's owner's manual (OM), takeoff is accomplished by applying back pressure on the yoke "at about 65-75 mph airspeed." The airplane will adopt a nose-high attitude until back pressure is released. Best angle climb speed is 94 mph, and best rate of climb speed is 113 mph at sea level. Once airborne and placed in the proper pitch attitude, the airplane will accelerate rapidly to a speed well above the liftoff speed.

The OM lists the zero-bank stall speeds for the zero, half, and full flap positions as 67, 64, and 57 mph, respectively.

Pilot Seat Fore-Aft Position

The pilot's seat was mounted on rollers that rode on two longitudinal rails or tracks on the floor to provide for adjustment in longitudinal position. The design enabled the pilot to select a position and lock the seat in that position via a retractable, spring-loaded pin on the seat assembly that fit into one of several holes in the seat tracks. Several factors, including seat pin and/or track hole wear, improper adjustment, debris, damage, or mispositioning by the pilot could result in improper or incomplete pin engagement, which in turn could result in seat slippage (travel) during airplane maneuvers. In such cases, acceleration forces on takeoff could result in uncommanded and unexpected aft seat travel.

According to a Mooney representative, if the seat were to come unlatched and roll aft in flight, it is possible for it to move fully aft beyond the last track hole until stopped by a pin at the aft end of each seat track. The representative also stated that, during impact, an unlatched seat would travel forward and then either latch in an intermediate position or travel to the forward-most position. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MRY, 15 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1054 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 215°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Marina, CA (OAR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1035 PDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown 

The 1054 automated weather observation at Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), Monterey, California, located 7 miles southwest of OAR, included wind from 110° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 6°C, dew point 4°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

One pilot/witness at OAR reported that the wind at the time of the accident appeared to be from about 260° to 270° at about 10 knots.

Airport Information

Airport: Marina Municipal Airport (OAR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 137 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3483 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

OAR was situated at an elevation of 137 ft mean sea level and was equipped with a single paved runway designated 11/29. The runway measured 3,843 ft by 75 ft. OAR was not equipped with an air traffic control tower. 

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: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.675556, -121.756944 (est)

The airplane impacted and came to rest just southwest of the intersection of runway 29 and taxiway C, offset about 300 ft from the runway centerline. The impact site was located on a flat grassy area between the runway and a parallel taxiway. The only ground scars were a small crater from the propeller and engine, and two shallow impressions from the two wing leading edges. The upright wreckage was primarily confined to an area slightly larger than the length and wingspan of the airplane.

The wreckage was documented on scene and in additional detail after recovery. Significant portions of the cockpit and cabin and their contents were heavily damaged or consumed by fire. No evidence of any large or heavy baggage or other cabin contents was observed. The wings and the steel-frame fuselage structure exhibited substantial impact crush damage. The outboard wing sections and the empennage were not significantly damaged by the fire. All major components were accounted for on scene.

Both wings bore full-span leading edge crush damage in the aft direction. All flight control panels/surfaces remained attached to their respective primary structures. The ailerons, elevators, and rudder were intact. The left flap was impact damaged and slightly fire damaged. The right flap was partially consumed by fire.

Flight control continuity in all 3 axes, including pitch trim, was confirmed between the respective aerodynamic surfaces and their cockpit controls. The airplane was equipped with an aftermarket deployable spoiler assembly on each wing; both the left and right spoiler panel sets were found in their retracted positions.

The pitch trim was found set to the takeoff position. The flap setting at impact could not be determined. The landing gear was found in the retracted position.

Although impact and fire damage precluded a complete determination of the pre-accident integrity and functionality of all engine and propeller components, no evidence of pre-impact mechanical deficiencies or failures that would have precluded continued operation was observed.

The outboard seat track for the left (pilot's) forward seat remained partially intact and was examined to determine the possible longitudinal position of the seat during the accident. The track contained seven holes. The seat was found set with the pin in the 5th hole back from the front of the track. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office, Coroner Division, autopsy report indicated that the cause of death was "multiple blunt force trauma," and that alcohol and drug test results were all negative. Forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot was performed by the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory; results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and tested-for drugs.

Additional Information

Aerodynamic Stall

The FAA publication H-8083-25A Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, (PHAK) stated that an aerodynamic stall results from a rapid decrease in lift caused by the separation of airflow from the wing's surface brought on by exceeding the critical angle of attack (AOA). AOA is defined as the acute angle between the chord line of the airfoil and the direction of the relative wind. An aerodynamic stall can occur when the airplane flies too slowly, or when higher wing loads are imposed due to maneuvers such as pull-ups or banked flight.

An airplane can be caused to fly too slowly when the commanded vertical flight path requires more engine power than is available. Both the commanded flight path and the available power can be pilot, design, or circumstantially induced. Circumstantial inducements include mechanical anomalies or failures, and center of gravity location.

Pilot Seat Fore-Aft Position and Adjustment

The investigation was unable to determine which seat position the pilot normally used. The pilot was reported to be about 5 ft 8 inches tall. The Mooney representative was about 6 ft tall; he reported that positioning the seat with the pin in the 5th hole was a "comfortable" position for flying the airplane. The representative also reported that two other Mooney pilots, one who was 6 ft tall and one who was 5 ft 10 inches tall, both used a seat positioned with the pin in the 4th hole.

Location: Marina, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA112
Date & Time: 03/26/2018, 1053 PDT
Registration: N213EJ
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 26, 2018, about 1053 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20E, N213EJ, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 29 at Marina Municipal Airport (OAR), Marina, California. The private pilot/owner received fatal injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The airplane was based at Watsonville Municipal Airport (WVI), Watsonville, California. According to WVI operations personnel, about 0954 on the morning of the accident, the pilot parked his car just outside the Airport Operations Office, and came into the office to request a fuel topoff in his airplane, which was in his hangar there. The Operations Supervisor noticed that the pilot's ability to walk had significantly deteriorated since he last saw the pilot a few months prior, but that the pilot appeared to be in good spirits. Shortly thereafter, the fuel truck pumped 25.4 gallons into the airplane. WVI surveillance cameras recorded the airplane taking runway 20 for departure at 1035:54 PDT. No radio communications to or from the airplane were recorded either at WVI or OAR, which is located about 15 miles south of WVI.

One witness at OAR, who was located approximately midfield, reported that he saw the airplane lift off, and that the landing gear immediately retracted after breaking ground. He and two other witnesses all reported that they observed the airplane begin an unusually steep climb in an unusually high airplane-nose-up attitude. The airplane then pitched over to an approximately level attitude, and then began to yaw to the left. As it did so, the nose and left wing dropped. At this point in the flight, the airplane entered, via the upper frame edge, the field of view of a surveillance camera that was mounted on a building near the southwest corner of the airport. The left wing was the first item to appear in the frame. At that point the airplane appeared to be on a heading of about 160°, with about a 15° nose down pitch attitude, and in a descending flight path. The airplane continued to yaw left, the pitch attitude continued to decrease, and the trajectory became increasingly steep. By the time the airplane was about 3 airplane lengths above the ground, the pitch attitude was nearly vertical nose down, the top of the airplane was facing the runway 11 threshold, and the trajectory was near vertical. The airplane struck the ground in a near-vertical nose down attitude, fell back onto its underside, and a fire began immediately. The impact site was located just southwest of the intersection of runway 29 and taxiway C, offset about 300 feet from the runway centerline. The vertical distance from the top of the image frame to the impact point was about 10 airplane lengths, or about 230 feet.

Initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the bulk of the cockpit and cabin, and their contents, were consumed by fire. The wings and the steel-frame fuselage structure exhibited substantial impact crush damage. The outboard wing sections and the empennage were not damaged by the fire. The landing gear was found in the retracted position. The wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for subsequent detailed examination.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an instrument-airplane rating. Review of his logbook revealed that he had a total flight experience of about 2,650 hours. He ceased flying in mid 2014 due to a family illness, and resumed in August 2017. The logbook indicated that he had accrued about 22.6 hours since then, all of which were in the accident airplane. The first 7.1 of those hours were dual instruction with a certified flight instructor.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1965, and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 series engine. The pilot purchased the airplane in 1990, and had kept it hangared at WVI since 1999. Maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was completed on September 22, 2017. As of that date, the airplane had a total time (TT) in service of about 3,517 hours, and the engine had a TT of about 792 hours.

The 1054 automated weather observation at Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), Monterey, California, located 7 miles southwest of OAR, included winds from 110° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 6° C, dew point 4° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury. One pilot-witness at OAR reported that at the time of the accident, the winds were from about 260° to 270° at about 10 knots.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N213EJ
Model/Series: M20E 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: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MRY, 15 ft msl
Observation Time: 1054 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Marina, CA (OAR)
Destination:

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: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  36.675556, -121.756944 (est)

Gordon Leroy Holley, better known as Lee Holley passed away suddenly on Monday March 26th, 2018 at the age of 85.

Lee Holley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 20, 1932. Lee was a graduate of Watsonville High School, and following high school, he joined the Navy in 1951. He served as an Aviation Ordnanceman on the USS Bairoko during the Korean War until 1955.

Lee aspired to be a cartoonist, and displayed a love of cartooning at an early age. So upon leaving the Navy, Lee studied at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

In 1955 Lee began his professional career as a Warner Bros animator in the Friz Freleng unit and was there from 1955 - 1958. Lee worked on Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester and Tweety, and Daffy Duck characters. In 1958 he started working for Hank Ketcham on Dennis the Menace.

While working for Hank Ketchum, Lee submitted cartoon ideas to the newspaper syndicates, and in 1960 he finally succeeded in selling a teenage panel to King Features called Ponytail.

Ponytail debuted in 1960 was syndicated in over 300 newspapers worldwide until 1989.

In addition to his career, and love of drawing, Lee had a passion for flying. He loved to fly his own plane, and enjoyed flying over the Monterey Bay. One of his favorite experiences was renting a plane in New Zealand and flying from the North Island to South Island.

Lee was also an avid runner. He ran over 50 marathons, including 10 Boston Marathons. In addition to running, Lee loved playing tennis, and would spend hours on the courts whether at Seascape or the Palm Springs Tennis Club. Lee also enjoyed travelling, and was ardent reader, especially anything pertaining to WWII history.

Lee truly enjoyed life, and enjoyed making others happy. He took great pleasure in doing sketches for anyone who asked, whether it was for single person or for a class full of children.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Gordon and Vida Holley.

Lee is survived by his wife, Patricia Holley and children; Karen Holley and Susan Carothers. He is also survived by his siblings Donna Roberts and Donald Holley and his grandchildren; Chance Carothers, Suzanne Cassady and his great grandchild, Marco Parra.

Services will be held on April 20th, at Ave Maria Memorial Chapel at 10:30 with a Celebration of Life to follow at The Seacliff Inn, In Aptos.

A Celebration of Life in Palm Springs to be announced at a later date.


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Veterans, Alzheimer's Association, or Charity of your choice.



WATSONVILLE — Gordon Leroy Holley, better known as Lee Holley, whose comic strip “Ponytail” ran in 300 newspapers across the U.S. including the Register-Pajaronian, died March 26 when his small plane crashed at Marina Municipal Airport. He was 85. 

Holley’s family delayed confirming his death because his body was so badly burned that a DNA test was necessary to confirm his identity, a family member said.

Holley was born in Phoenix, Ariz., on April 20, 1932. He lived in Palm Springs and was visiting his daughter in Watsonville at the time of the crash.

He graduated from Watsonville High School in 1954, and based his internationally syndicated strip on his time there. In 1986, Holley was named in the first Watsonville High School Hall of Fame.

As an artist at Warner Brothers, Holley regularly contributed to the studio’s eight-minute shorts, which were made to run between matinee double features at theaters across the country. He also drew such notable characters as Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and the Coyote and Roadrunner.

He also worked for “Dennis the Menace” creator Hank Ketcham.

Once he signed on to draw “Dennis,” Holley saw borderline stardom that brought him offers from several publications such as Playboy.

Even before he found his fame in the cartooning world, Holley painted murals on the walls of pool halls and stores in Watsonville.

During a four-year stint in Navy ordinance during the Korean War, Holley honed his skills drawing a character named Seaman Deuce for military publications. After he got out, he applied for work at Disney and was put on a waiting list. During the wait, he contacted Warner Brothers and was hired.

Holley worked on three Academy Award-winning shorts, including 1957’s “Birds Anonymous” and the medieval-themed “Knighty Knight Bugs.”

He met his future wife, Patricia, then a stewardess on Pan American Airlines, and moved to her hometown of London to be with her. 

Throughout his career, Holley wanted to start his own comic strip based on his time at Watsonville High School. In his free time, he drew a few panels and sent them out to groups he thought might be interested. In 1960, he got a telegram from King Features Syndicate asking him to call their headquarters collect.

“Ponytail” became an internationally syndicated strip. Set at “Watsonhill” High, it related the misadventures of a blue-eyed blonde and her friends on the California coast.

In 1990, he retired to play tennis, fly his small plane and drive his Porsche. 

Archive “Ponytail” strips continue to run in the Register-Pajaronian.


Original article can be found here ➤  https://register-pajaronian.com


MARINA — One person died after a Mooney M20E crashed into a field next to the runway at Marina Municipal Airport on Monday morning.

Marina Fire Chief Doug McCoun said the plane took off from the airport and then stalled after ascending at a high angle.

“It winged over and spiraled into the ground,” he said.

Start your day with the news you need from the Bay Area and beyond. 

The Marina Fire Department received a call of a plane crash about 10:55 a.m. When they arrived, the plane was on fire in the field.

The pilot was the only person onboard.

McCoun said the coroner will release the name of the pilot after proper notifications.

Firefighters continued to patrol the scene more than an hour after the fire was extinguished.

“There are metals on an airplane that burn hot,” McCoun said. “We’re trying not to disturb the aircraft, but still put the fire out.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified of the crash, and McCoun said he expected those agencies to conduct their own investigation into the crash.

According to McCoun, it was a private plane and was not affiliated with Skydive Monterey Bay, which operates out of the airport.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.mercurynews.com




MARINA, Calif. - UPDATE 3/26/2018 4 p.m.:  One man is dead after a plane crash at the Marina Municipal Airport Monday morning. 

Just before 11 o’clock, reports came in about a plane that had crashed and was engulfed in flames.

“The first officer on scene confirmed there was one plane that had crashed and was fully involved when the officer arrived on scene,” said Commander Eddie Anderson with Marina Police.

Fire crews from Marina and Presidio of Monterey responded, along with police and paramedics.

The Federal Aviation Administration told KION one person was aboard the aircraft when it crashed. Authorities say the aircraft was a Mooney M20E and was based out of Watsonville.

“We do have a few witness accounts. As I understand it, the witnesses said the airplane was taking off from runway 29, which is right behind us, going this direction, got airborne. Some witnesses said it climbed at a pretty steep angle, and they’re reporting that it stalled and came down,” says Michael Huhn with the NTSB.

Investigators have not identified the pilot, but say he was a familiar face at the airport.

“It’s my understanding the plane actually landed here to get fuel and was leaving and something happened, we don’t know exactly what caused the plane to crash,” Anderson said.

That’s the job of the FAA and the National Safety Transportation Board. Investigators were at the scene taking pictures of the wreckage and speaking to witnesses on Monday afternoon. They say it could take up to a year before they can determine that caused the crash.

The Marina Municipal Airport is closed while the investigation continues.

ORIGINAL POST: One man is dead after his plane crashed on the runway of the Marina airport.

We are told he was the pilot, and the only person on the small plane. He was making a stop to fill up and was a regular at the airport. Officials do not believe he was from the area.

The airport is now closed while first responders, the NTSB and FAA investigate the incident.

The FAA tells us, "A single-engine Mooney M20E crashed under unknown circumstances while the pilot was taking off from Marina Municipal Airport around 10 a.m.The FAA and NTSB will investigate."

Original article can be found here ➤  http://www.kion546.com



Marina >> One person died after a small personal aircraft crashed into a field next to the runway at Marina Municipal Airport on Monday morning.

Marina Fire Chief Doug McCoun said the plane took off from the airport and then stalled after ascending at a high angle.

“It winged over and spiraled into the ground,” he said.

The Marina Fire Department received a call of a plane crash at around 10:55 a.m. When they arrived, the plane was on fire in the field.

According to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a single-engine Mooney M20E. The pilot was the only person onboard.

McCoun said the coroner will release the name of the pilot after proper notifications.

Firefighters continued to patrol the scene more than an hour after the fire was extinguished.

“There are metals on an airplane that burn hot,” McCoun said. “We’re trying not to disturb the aircraft, but still put the fire out.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were notified of the crash and McCoun said he expected those agencies to conduct their own investigation into the crash. The airport closed as officials investigated the crash.

According to McCoun, it was a private plane and was not affiliated with Skydive Monterey Bay, which operates out of the airport. He said the plane is based out of Watsonville.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

In 2014, a Mooney M20F single-engine plane landed on its belly at the Marina Municipal Airport after its landing gear collapsed with no injuries resulting from the landing. In 2001, a homemade airplane built and piloted by David Rominger, 70, of Marina, crashed in a strawberry field when the aircraft’s wings collapsed while approaching the Marina Municipal Airport, killing him.

Original article ➤  http://www.montereyherald.com



MARINA, Calif. —  A small plane crashed on a Marina airport runway and burst into flames Monday.

The single-engine Mooney M20E pilot was declared dead at the scene.

No passengers were in the plane when it crashed at 10 a.m.

The pilot's identity was not immediately released. Witnesses said the plane is based out of Watsonville.

Flight instructor David Stoik described the crash as horrific.

"Upon watching the angle of the aircraft in the air as it took off from the runway I knew there was going to be a crash," Stoik told KSBW.

"The airplane burst into flames instantaneously upon impact on the ground. I jumped into my vehicle from the West Hangar and went to the site of the accident. The airplane was burnt to the ground in less than three minutes," Stoik said.

Firefighters doused the blaze.

"It's just a tragedy all the way around," Stoik said.

FAA officials are investigating to determine what caused the deadly crash.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.ksbw.com

Cirrus SR22, N848SR: Incident occurred March 24, 2018 at Scottsdale Airport (KSDL), Scottsdale, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

Aircraft veered off the runway on landing.

Aerozona 1 Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N848SR

Date: 24-MAR-18
Time: 16:20:00Z
Regis#: N848SR
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: SCOTTSDALE
State: ARIZONA

Champion 7GC, N4844E: Incident occurred August 28, 2019 and Accident occurred March 25, 2018 at Merrill Field Airport (PAMR), Anchorage, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage

August 28, 2019: Aircraft lost control on landing and scraped right wing on runway.

https://registry.faa.gov/N4844E

Date: 29-AUG-19
Time: 03:27:00Z
Regis#: N4844E
Aircraft Make: CHAMPION
Aircraft Model: 7GC
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: ANCHORAGE
State: ALASKA

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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

Location: Anchorage, AK
Accident Number: ANC18LA030
Date & Time: 03/25/2018, 1730 AKD
Registration: N4844E
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7GC
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On March 25, 2018, about 1730 Alaska daylight time, a Champion 7GC airplane, N4844E, sustained substantial damage following a landing gear separation during landing at Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska. The pilot in the front seat and the pilot-rated passenger in the rear seat sustained no injury. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were present at the time of the accident and a VFR flight plan was filed. The airplane departed from Merrill Field Airport, about 1300.

The pilot reported that after completing a local area flight and upon landing to the dry asphalt of runway 25, the tailwheel-equipped airplane touched down, and ground looped to the left. During the landing sequence, the right main landing gear assembly separated, and the right wing impacted the runway. The pilot and passenger were able to egress from the airplane without further incident. The pilot further reported that during the landing sequence, the wind condition was 6 knots from 340 degrees.

The right wing and right aileron sustained substantial damage. The right main landing gear strut fractured at a junction where a jam nut is placed below a brazed joint. The fractured landing gear strut portion, along with the jam nut and brazed joint, was submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory, Washington, District of Columbia, for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CHAMPION
Registration: N4844E
Model/Series: 7GC 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: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAMR, 138 ft msl
Observation Time: 0053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 360°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.59 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK (MRI)
Destination: Anchorage, AK (MRI) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  61.215833, -149.841944 (est)

Interstate S-1A-65F Cadet, N37428: Accident occurred March 24, 2018 in Lancaster, Los Angeles County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys

During stunt performance aircraft made contact with ground vehicle then landed without incident.

http://registry.faa.gov/N37428

Date: 24-MAR-18
Time: 21:05:00Z
Regis#: N37428
Aircraft Make: INTERSTATE
Aircraft Model: S 1A
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: AIR SHOW
Flight Phase: MANEUVERING (MNV)
Operation: 91
City: LANCASTER
State: CALIFORNIA

Dova DV-1 Skylark, N511JP: Incident occurred March 25, 2018 at Buchanan Field Airport (KCCR), Concord, Contra Costa County, California and Incident occurred February 09, 2016 Palo Alto Airport (KPAO), Santa Clara County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento

Aircraft experienced nose gear collapsed on departure and veered off the runway.

http://registry.faa.gov/N511JP

Date: 25-MAR-18
Time: 18:47:00Z
Regis#: N511JP
Aircraft Make: DOVA AS
Aircraft Model: SKYLARK
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: CONCORD
State: CALIFORNIA

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Jose

Light sport Dova as Skylark, on landing nose gear collapsed and the prop struck the runway.

Date: 09-FEB-16
Time: 21:46:00Z
Regis#: N511JP
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA FSDO-15
City: PALO ALTO
State: California

Sonex Tri Gear, N4124G: Incident occurred March 25, 2018 at Crystal River Airport (KCGC), Citrus County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Aircraft landed and went into grass causing gear collapsed.

http://registry.faa.gov/N4124G

Date: 25-MAR-18
Time: 14:50:00Z
Regis#: N4124G
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: SONEX TRIGEAR
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CRYSTAL RIVER
State: FLORIDA

Lindstrand Balloon 105A, N1517H: Accident occurred March 24, 2018 in Wesley Chapel, Pasco County, Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1517H

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Wesley Chapel, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA116
Date & Time: 03/24/2018, 0845 EDT
Registration: N1517H
Aircraft: LINDSTRAND BALLOONS 105A
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Business - Sightseeing 

On March 24, 2018, about 0845 eastern daylight time, a Lindstrand Balloons 105A, N1517H, was substantially damaged when it collided with power lines in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The commercial pilot was not injured, and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The sightseeing flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot reported that he was preparing to land, and as the balloon approached the landing site he saw that the area was roped-off. He then decided to land at his alternate landing site, which was an adjacent field on the backside of a shopping center.

He began a descent, saw power lines as he passed over the stores, and attempted to use the "burners" to climb, but it was too late. He knew the balloon was going to hit the powerlines, and told the passengers that there would be a hard landing and to "get down." The pilot secured the fuel at the burners and the tanks. The balloon descended straight down; the pilot heard a "pop," and felt sparks on his shoulders as the balloon hit the powerlines. The basket landed upright, and witnesses came to assist.

An examination of the balloon by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the balloon cables, throat and scoop were damaged. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LINDSTRAND BALLOONS
Registration: N1517H
Model/Series: 105A NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Balloon
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ZPH, 89 ft msl
Observation Time: 0835 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Zephyrhills, FL
Destination: Wesley Chapel, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:

WESLEY CHAPEL, FL - Two people were injured Saturday morning when a hot air balloon hit a power line near the Groves Shopping Center, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

The hot air balloon was approaching a landing spot when the basket struck a power line. The balloon then landed below the power line. Three adults were in the balloon's basket at the time, deputies said.

Pasco deputies and county fire rescue crews responded to the scene and found that two of the adult passengers in the basket identified as Hector Vega, 37, and Ashley Vega, 33, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The hot air balloon pilot Michael Braun, 62,was uninjured. Both passengers were transported to a local hospital.

The hot air balloon was operated by a company called Aerial Adventure Tampa Bay.

The FAA and the National Transportation and Safety Board are investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://patch.com

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - Pasco sheriff's deputies are on the scene of a hot air balloon accident near The Groves Shopping Center.

Three people were onboard the basket at the time. Two adult passengers, Hector and Ashley Vega, suffered non-life threatening injuries, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. The pilot, Michael Braun, was uninjured.

The incident occurred near Oakley Boulevard about 8:44 a.m. Saturday.

The hot air balloon was approaching a landing spot when the basket struck a power line, a Pasco sheriff's office release said. The balloon then landed below the power line.

The injured passengers were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified.

No further information was released.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.abcactionnews.com