Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Beechcraft V35 Bonanza, N1561Z: Fatal accident occurred May 12, 2019 in Frankfort, 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: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Location: Frankfort, MI
Accident Number: CEN19FAMS1
Date & Time: 05/12/2019, 1849 CDT
Registration: N1561Z
Aircraft: BEECH V35
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On May 12, 2019, about 1849 central daylight time (CDT), the pilot of a Beech V35, N1561Z, declared an emergency due to an engine failure while over Lake Michigan. The pilot attempted to divert to Frankfort Dow Memorial Airport (FKS), Frankfort, Michigan. Radar and radio communications were lost at 1849 when the airplane was approximately 4 nm west of FKS. The pilot and passenger are presumed to have sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane is presumed to be destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Evergreen Exploration LLC, Howell, Michigan, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Ontonagon County-Schuster Field (OGM), Ontonagon, Michigan, was en route to Custer Airport (TTF), Monroe, Michigan.

The United States Coast Guard conducted a search for the missing airplane. Water depth in that area was 600 ft, and water temperature varied between 39° and 42°F. based on buoy readings. The search was suspended on May 14, 2019, at 0707 cdt.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N1561Z
Model/Series: V35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Evergreen Exploration LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFKS, 634 ft msl
Observation Time: 1855 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 350°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Ontonagon, MI (OGM)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. 

Randal Scott Dippold
November 2, 1953 - May 12, 2019

Randal Scott Dippold, 65, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019. A memorial service to honor and celebrate his life will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 3pm at the Graham Community Church, 7320 W. Beard Rd. Perry, MI 48872, Pastor John Schlaack will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church from 12-noon until the service, a dinner will follow the service. 

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Randall's name are suggested to the family for future designation.


Emanuel "E.Z." Manos 

The MSP Marine Services Team has located the plane which went missing on May 12 near Frankfort.  A rover positively identified and searched the plane.  Unfortunately, Emanuel Manos and Randal Dippold remain missing.  Their families remain in our thoughts as the search continues.

The president of Detroit Salt Company has been identified as one of two people aboard a small airplane that remains missing a week after it disappeared over Lake Michigan. 

The Benzie County Sheriff's Office identified the two men believed to have been on the missing aircraft as Emanuel "E.Z." Manos, 53, who is the president of Detroit Salt Co., and Randal S. Dippold, 65, of Perry, the owner of Airservice Enterprise Inc., based in Howell. 

According to the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Manos joined the Detroit Salt Company in 1997, became the company's president in 2010 and earned a Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Special Achievement Award in 2016. The company's website says it operates the only rock salt mine in Michigan.

Officials with the Benzie County Sheriff's Office and the Detroit Salt Company could not immediately be reached for additional comment Sunday.

The Benzie County Sheriff's Office in a news release reported the pilot of the plane sent a distress signal and indicated that the engine had failed around 7:20 p.m on Sunday, May 12. The Beechcraft V35 Bonanza was flying from Ontonagon in the Upper Peninsula to Monroe when it went missing. 

The release said the plane was diverted to an airport in Frankfort, but dropped off radar over Lake Michigan, about four miles west of Frankfort. 

Ronald Berns, director of the Benzie County Dispatch Center,  told the Free Press that the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) had last contact with the plane, and told authorities they lost communication when the plane was reportedly at 700 feet and moving about 77 knots. 

Ongoing search

According to an Associated Press report posted by Bay City-based WNEM-TV, crews unsuccessfully searched for the missing plane by helicopter, plane and boat last Monday.

Tim Wendt, command duty officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, told the Free Press the USCG searched about 1,400 square miles extending both east and west from the aircraft's last known location near Frankfort, but ended its search Monday, May 12. 

However, reports say other agencies have continued searching. 

Benzie County emergency management coordinator Frank Post told the Livingston Daily on Tuesday that a search has been organized based on buoy information from the USCG. 

"It's from the beaches from Frankfort north to Lake Township Park and from Frankfort south to Arcadia," Post told the Livingston Daily.

The Benzie and Manistee County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs also posted about the ongoing search on Facebook Friday. 

In a Facebook message sent Sunday, Benzie and Manistee CERT Programs told the Free Press the team unsuccessfully searched from the south Frankfort Pier to the Arcadia Pier (about 11 miles) on Tuesday, and searched from the Frankfort Pier to Lake Township Park (about 10 miles) on Friday. 

Berns told the Free Press on Sunday that authorities have continued their search over the past several days, but nothing has been recovered. 

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

Emanuel "E.Z." Manos 

FRANKFORT — Two men who were on board an aircraft that went missing at about 8 p.m. Sunday near Frankfort have been named.

Emanuel Z. Manos, 53, of Monroe, and Randal S. Dippold, 65, of Perry, were flying the Beechcraft V35 Bonanza when it fell off the radar about five miles west of Frankfort over Lake Michigan, according to information from the Benzie County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities do not know which man was flying the aircraft when it went down.

About 70 volunteers were expected to search the Lake Michigan shoreline along with the county's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) near Frankfort today and Thursday to look for any signs of the crash.

Boats and helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have been searching for the plane since late Sunday, covering about 1,400 square miles.

No signs of a crash have yet been spotted and the search has turned into a recovery mission, according to the sheriff's office.

Personnel working a Minneapolis control tower contacted the Coast Guard on Sunday after losing contact with the plane, which had reported engine trouble.

A flight plan shows the Bonanza took off from Ontonagon near Houghton in the Upper Peninsula and was headed for Monroe. When the aircraft reported engine problems, it was redirected to the Frankfort Dow Memorial Airport.

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel had said indications were that the aircraft had likely gone down in the lake about four miles offshore.

The Lake Ann area was searched Monday after a father reported his daughter heard what sounded like a plane crash.

Anyone with information about the crash should contact the Benzie County Sheriff at 231-882-4484.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.record-eagle.com

FRANKFORT, Michigan  (WXYZ) — A local plane and its two passengers have gone missing over Lake Michigan, and the search was suspended overnight. 

Right now, 7 Action News reporter Matt Smith has confirmed the plane itself was based out of a local business in Howell called Evergreen Exploration and it was piloted by Randy Dippold. A number of folks who have flown out of the Howell airport say that Dippold was a seasoned pilot.

The small plane went missing Sunday night. Helicopters could be spotted over Lake Michigan Monday but the search over open waters was called off late in the day.

"If it did crash in the lake and it submerged and four miles out, it's 600 feet deep. So it'll be almost impossible to find it," said Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel.

According to a nearby Sheriff, the pilot reported engine issues and officials tried to relay them back to small airport in Frankfort.

The plane was originally meant to fly from the Upper Peninsula and land in Monroe.

Instead, the last known location is roughly 4 1/2 miles out on the lake, and the Sheriff doesn’t seem to think it — or its passengers – will be found.

"The difficulty is that the lake can swallow the plane up, and we'll never know where it is," said Sheriff Schendel.

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

FRANKFORT — U.S. Coast Guard crews on Monday called off their Lake Michigan search for a plane that went missing west of Frankfort on Sunday. But searchers kept scanning the Lake Ann area Monday for signs of a crash.

Officials from a Minneapolis regional control tower called U.S. Coast Guard personnel just before 8 p.m. Sunday after they lost contact with the Beechcraft V35 Bonanza about 5 miles west of Frankfort after it took off from Ontonagon in the Upper Peninsula, said Master Chief Alan Haraf, of the 9th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office.

The plane, which carried two men, appeared to have engine problems. Traffic control officers tried guiding them to the closest airport, in Frankfort, before the plane disappeared, according to Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel.

Haraf said Coast Guardsmen suspended their search at about noon Monday after crews searched the waters near Frankfort on Sunday and into Monday. Schendel estimated the water's depth in the vicinity at about 600 feet.

“There was no sign of any wreckage,” Haraf said.

But deputies and other searchers continued looking in the Lake Ann area Monday afternoon. A father called Monday morning and said his daughter heard a plane that was "having trouble" and she thought she heard a crash Sunday at about 7:30 p.m., Schendel said.

A Department of Homeland Security helicopter was deployed to scan the area, while other crews were expected to search on foot, he said. Schendel also asked Michigan State Police officials to send a helicopter.

"We want to explore all possibilities," Schendel said.

No signs of a crash had been found by Monday afternoon, he said.

The area crews searched — land and water — about 1,400 square miles, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Investigators do not know the identities of the two men in the plane, nor is it clear where they were flying to — they left no flight plan and no recent missing person reports have been filed, Schendel said.

Federal Aviation Administration officials released a preliminary statement reporting Frankfort as the plane's intended destination. But information from Flight Aware — a digital aviation company that operates the world's largest flight tracking and data system — shows the plane was headed for Monroe.

The plane is registered to Evergreen Exploration.

Aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City and Detroit; the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ontario; Customs and Border Protection; and Department of Natural Resources officers assisted.

Coast Guard stations in Frankfort and Manistee also launched boats for the search effort.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.record-eagle.com

A small airplane dropped off the radar near Frankfort Sunday night.

Now investigators fear it dropped into Lake Michigan.

The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the DNR, Benzie County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Homeland Security, have been searching for a small plane.

At this point, no traces of this plane have been found. 

The Benzie County sheriff tells us two men were on board, but it’s unclear of their ages.

“They said they were in contact with an aircraft that was experiencing an emergency situation,” said Sheriff Ted Schendel.

It was around 8 Sunday night when the Minneapolis air traffic control called the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office to tell them a plane had gone off the radar.

“They started to experience the emergency, so the air traffic controllers directed them towards Frankfort, which would’ve been the closest airport for them to land,” explained Sheriff Schendel.

The plane’s engine stalled with two men on board.

The last known location was about 4.5 miles into Lake Michigan.

“If it did crash in the lake and it submerged and four miles out, it’s 600 feet deep, so it’ll be almost impossible to find it,” said Sheriff Schendel.

Nevertheless, crews continue to search for any trace of the plane that was registered to Evergreen Exploration in Howell.

The plane flew out of Ontonagon and was supposed to land in Monroe.

“The difficulty is that the lake can swallow the plane up and we’ll never know where it is,” explained Schendel.

The sheriff tells us Monday could be the last day of searching.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.9and10news.com

BENZIE COUNTY, Michigan  (WPBN/WGTU) -- A search is underway after a plane went missing in Benzie County.

The Benzie County Sheriff said it went missing between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday about four miles west of Frankfort.

The sheriff said two people were on board of the single-engine plane.

According to the United States Coast Guard, a report came in from the Minneapolis center regarding a single-engine Beechcraft 35 Bonanza experiencing engine problems.

Records indicate the two people inside the plane were on their way from Ontonagon to Monroe.

Officials said the plane involved is registered to Evergreen Exploration.

Crews are still searching for the plane and passengers.

Helicopter crews from Air Station Detroit and Air Station Traverse City are helping in the search effort near Frankfort.

UPDATE (12:35 p.m.):

According to the Sheriff, they believe the plane crashed about four and a half miles off shore in an area of water that is about 600 feet deep.

Boats have been searching the area.

UPDATE (6:00 p.m.):

The Benzie County Sheriff says Michigan State Police have a vehicle that can drop down to 600 feet, which is the depth they believe the plane may be at in Lake Michigan.

The sheriff says crews will be out on the lake Tuesday morning.

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


  1. Looking at FlightAware the pilot was out over the lake a 7,000' and almost across when he started losing altitude (engine failure) and his last course change was east towards the shoreline but didn't quite make it. I wouldn't think of making that flight in a piston single at night. At least if things go bad during the day you have some chance of survival. I would think that lake water still has to be mighty cold this time of year. Sad story.

  2. 7:30 OR 8:00 PM is not night in western Michigan. Evening but there would still be plenty of light to see the surroundings.

  3. Crossed Lake Michigan a lot of times at Ludington. Never at 7,000', 10,000' or higher. Always had an uneasy feeling about it. Too many sad stories like this one.

  4. Good reason to have a BRS. At least you have a chance to survive if you are into taking risks. Flew in a Baron to Minneapolis that pilot wanted to shortcut up the lake. I said "no", keep it over the land. He said he had a life raft! Right, lap belts and hitting the water at 80 mph. Chances of survival = close to zero. RIP guys.

  5. Ditching in the water is VERY survivable without a BRS. You don't hit the water at 80 mph, you glide onto the water almost like landing on a runway, only with gear up. The plane will sink, but it will usually float for a few minutes so you'll have a good chance to get out.

    Having a raft is more important than a parachute when flying over an expanse of water, especially cold water. Life vests might not have been enough for the cold water in this area this time of year. The Coast Guard helicopter wasn't en route from TVC until over 20 minutes after they went into the water, and severe hypothermia sets in fast in sub-50-degree water.

    Choosing a wise route is more important than having a raft. They could have EASILY stayed within gliding distance of land if they had simply overflown Beaver Island rather than taking the direct route. It would have added 10-12 minutes to their flight, and probably years to their lives.

    Altitude is another poor choice they made. Even going the direct route, they should have been higher. On that route they couldn't go high enough without oxygen to stay within glide range of land, but had they chosen 12,000 feet instead of 7,000 they would have minimized their risk. The extra glide range from 12,000 feet would have allowed them to make it to the shoreline, and possibly even to FKS Airport 2 miles inland. I don't know what they were thinking.

    Not to judge the mistakes of the dead too much, but we can all learn some lessons from this tragedy. I fly this area all the time, and often see other pilots not taking the water seriously enough. The lakes are nothing compared to an ocean, but not many people go 30 miles offshore over the ocean in a single at 7,000 feet. They shouldn't do it here either.

  6. As a Naval Aviation Safety School trained former Marine A-4 squadron Safety Officer, I have to say that Ryan’s comment is the absolute BEST, well thought out and superbly written comment on this blog I have ever read. Well done Sir and I hope everyone who reads it heeds your wise words.

  7. What is the deal with Bonanzas and engine failures?

  8. Some aircraft ditching can be successful, but not have a plan in that event? Survive the event but no rescue in sight.

  9. That's why a raft is important. Jonathan Leber likely would have survived if he had a raft. A life jacket at the bare minimum, but in that cold water hypothermia hits fast and hard. It also often leads people to do irrational things like take their life jacket off. You need a raft to get your body out of the water. You have to be prepared to survive long enough to be rescued. A raft also makes for a larger visual contrast against the water for the searchers to find.

    Another excellent idea these days is a personal locator beacon clipped to your life jacket, or if not flying over water just kept somewhere within reach. In most cases, that will help rescuers find you much faster than they otherwise would. The ELT on the plane won't do much good for you after it sinks, and even on land finding it can take a while. A PLB sends a relatively precise GPS location rather than just a signal to hunt down like the ELT, so it's a big help to getting you rescued faster anywhere you happen to lose an engine or have other issues forcing you down. It's not activated automatically like the ELT in a crash, so if you're going down it's a good idea to activate the PLB before you make contact in case you are unable to do so afterward.

  10. Ryan, pull Randy’s flights, every one was done the same and I would say his crossings of the lake surpass any amount you could dream of. Randy was an excellent pilot and a humble man, your Monday morning quarterbacking is despicable.

  11. Joel, I'm sorry for the loss of someone you knew and respected. I have no doubt he was a great pilot, judging by his ratings and years of experience.

    But he made mistakes that were easily avoidable and contributed to his untimely death. There's nothing despicable about trying to prevent others from making the same mistake.

    It's totally irrelevant that every flight went well up to that point. You have to plan for things going wrong no matter how many times they've gone right in the past. None of the uneventful flights in the past will save your life when the engine dies over open water.

    I've lost a friend to an aviation accident, too. He was a great pilot with 15,000+ hours, far more than I will ever reach, but he was no more invincible than any of us. And he screwed up. Yes, the accident was unquestionably his fault. It doesn't take anything away from my memory of my friend to admit that. I wish I could go back in time and do something to prevent it, but we can't change the past, only influence the future.

    Again, I'm sorry for your loss, Joel.

  12. Ryan, correct on your comment. Also, having a flashlight/strobe. On the 20 yr kid, what a sad event. TO survive ditching, be on a cell phone and knowing there's no way help get there in time (and at night). I've crossed the lake at daylight only, summmers, always high enough to get to shore if something happened - and always had life jackets.

  13. Found. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/05/23/plane-missing-over-lake-michigan-found-near-frankfort/1203890001/?fbclid=IwAR2mtZHy0w3Ri1p7Jy3SJnLSYIrxmBajVbnAreIelSpFRFdJP7BaibOaYAY

  14. I remember the Leber flight well. So sad listening to his 911 call as his plane was sinking under him. Also, they found and raised that plane but never found Leber.

  15. Lake Michigan is unforgiving, it’s cold even during the summer months and colder during the winter. Flying across Lake Michigan is a risk some of us aren’t willingly to take. If you want to take that risk then make sure you are prepared for it. I remember the Leber story, poor kid ran out of gas and he was literally within the shoreline. I make my yearly trip to Mackinac Island from SE Wisconsin, some folks laugh that I always fly up and around the upper peninsula. To be honest the portion of the flight from about Schoolcraft to Mackinac Island is about 40 miles over the water, but I know I can make the shoreline if my engine should quit on me.

    Stay safe and learn from each other.

  16. The body of Emanuel Manos has been found near the plane. Randy Dippold is still missing.

  17. Here's video of a Bonanza ditching yesterday, showing it's quite survivable: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1bLme5FY8a/

    First is a still image showing the survivors in the water after the ditching. They were rescued and are OK. Swipe or click over for the video of the ditching.

    Back to N1561Z going down in Lake Michigan. It was not ditching that killed the two men. Their plane was found on the bottom intact, not broken up in any way. It simply "landed" on the water and they were able to climb out.

    Death was caused by drowning probably accelerated by hypothermia. They would have been in the exact same situation had the engine failure happened in a Cirrus with a parachute.

  18. Watched that video. That plane didn't flip? Could not positively see that. Just thought it might have flipped first

  19. No, it didn't flip. Pilot recorded a video where they were standing on top of the wing for a minute, then the nose sank so they went into the water.

    Pilot said he wished he had life jackets and a raft. He was getting hypothermic and gradually losing his ability to hold onto the seat cushion. Didn't think he would last another 30 minutes if he hadn't been rescued.