Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Beechcraft V35 Bonanza, N1561Z: Fatal accident occurred May 12, 2019 in Lake Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Declared emergency while over Lake Michigan. Loss of radar and communication with aircraft. Subject of Alert Notice (ALNOT). Search and rescue suspended on May 13th, 2019.  Wreckage not located, presumed under water.

Evergreen Exploration LLC


Date: 12-MAY-19

Time: 23:49:00Z
Regis#: N1561Z
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: V35
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: Yes
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

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 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


Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

Good catch.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.

ryan said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.