Saturday, January 05, 2019

Piper PA-23 Apache, N2146P: Fatal accident occurred December 30, 2018 near Beaver Island Airport (KSJX), Charlevoix County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Beaver Island, MI
Accident Number: CEN19LA051
Date & Time: 12/30/2018, 1948 EST
Registration: N2146P
Aircraft: Piper PA 23
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 30, 2018, about 1948 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-23 airplane, N2146P, impacted a wooded area shortly after takeoff from runway 27 at the Beaver Island Airport (SJX), Beaver Island, Michigan. The accident site was located about one-half mile north of the airport. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to a limited liability company and operated by a private individual as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan was filed but had not been activated. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Fitch H Beach Airport (FPK), Charlotte, Michigan. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N2146P
Model/Series: PA 23 Undesignated
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: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: SJX, 670 ft msl
Observation Time: 1955 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 15 knots, 240°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Beaver Island, MI (SJX)
Destination: Charlevoix, MI (CVX) 

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:  45.696111, -85.568333 (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

Dr. Donald Falik 

Dr. Donald Falik, beloved dentist of the Charlotte, Michigan community, died unexpectedly in an airplane accident on December 30, 2018. Don, age 72, was born April 30, 1946 in Detroit to Chazkel and Florence (Katzin) Falik. In 1969 he married Mary “Lee” Park. Their adventures together over the next 49 years were many. 

Don lived life to the fullest, and gave of himself often to help others. Dentistry, flying, and car collecting were Don’s favorite activities in life. He found a way to blend them by flying patients and friends in need of transportation or a fun experience.

Don’s love of dentistry began when he was a child. He graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit, attended MSU, and graduated from the University of Detroit Dental School in 1970. Shortly thereafter, he served his country in the Navy Dental Corps. After an honorable discharge, he and his family moved to Charlotte in the Spring of 1972, where he began his dental practice. Weekend, midnight, and holiday emergencies were not uncommon for Dr. Falik. He often visited hospitals and nursing homes to care for his patients.

After he received his pilot’s license in 1993, any opportunity to fly made Don happy. He would take off at the drop of a hat, if the opportunity arose and weather conditions permitted. Don had a love of mechanics, which led him into a love of orthodontics. His work was a hobby, and his patients and staff were part of the extended family.

Don and his wife Lee loved to travel, taking several trips to Mexico and Europe. During one visit to Mexico, he provided dental services in very primitive conditions to school children. A devoted family man, Don was very proud of his wife, sons, and especially adored his two darling granddaughters. 

Dr. Don Falik is survived by his loving family: Lee, wife of 49 years; sons, Dr. Robert Falik, Thomas Falik, and Michael (Crystal) Falik; granddaughters, Myla and Riley; brother, Dr. Louis Falik; and sister, Sheila Millman. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends are encouraged to support the Falik family at visitation and funeral services. Funeral services are Saturday, January 5, 2019, 12:00 Noon at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte with Rev. David Keller officiating. Visitation is Friday, January 4, 5-8:00 PM, and Saturday, January 5, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Wings of Mercy or Angel Flight. Friends and family are encouraged to share memories of Don on his tribute page at The family is in the care of Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte. 

BEAVER ISLAND, Mich. (WILX) - Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the man killed in a plane crash Sunday on Beaver Island.

72-year-old Don Falik of Charlotte was leaving the island in his plane when it crashed around 7:45 PM. Falik has a house on the island.

The sheriff's office confirmed that Falik was the pilot of the plane and the only person aboard at the time of the accident. One witness who works at the Peaine Township Airport described to police that the plane sounded like it was "struggling to climb," according to police. Falik's plane crashed in a heavily wooded area off Buff Kett Rd., according to police. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted in finding the plane.

The sheriff's office said the plane was in good condition and well kept. He was flying a Piper PA-23 Apache airplane, built in 1956. Police told News 10 that Falik is a dentist in Charlotte.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is still ongoing. 

Original article can be found here ➤

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Investigators have identified the man who died in a plane crash on Beaver Island.

The Beaver Island Fire Department and EMS first responded to a report of a loud explosion in the area around Peaine Township Airport around 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

The victim in the crash has been identified as Donald Stuart Falik, 72 of Charlotte, Michigan.

According to our sister station in Lansing, WILX, Falik was a dentist.

Reports said Falik has a home on Beaver Island and was leaving the island at the time of the crash

According to an airport employee, it sounded like Falik's plane was struggling to climb.

Falik's body has been sent to Grand Rapids for an autopsy.

According to Charlevoix County Sheriff Charles Vondra, Falik was the pilot and only person in the plane at the time of the crash.

The U.S. Coast Guard was called to assist.

After an extensive search, Falik's Piper PA-23 Apache plane was found to have crashed in a heavily wooded area off Buff Kett Road.

Original article can be found here ➤

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