Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Schempp-Hirth Arcus M, N215MM: Fatal accident occurred July 01, 2019 in Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ephraim, UT
Accident Number: WPR19FA183
Date & Time: 07/01/2019, 1356 MDT
Registration: N215MM
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 1, 2019 about 1356 mountain daylight time, a Schempp Hirth Arcus M glider, N215MM, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Ephraim, Utah. The pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. The glider was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed within the area and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from Nephi Municipal Airport (U14), Nephi, Utah at 1228.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the glider impacted the side of a mountain at an elevation of 7,628 ft mean sea level (msl). The last radar data that was obtained from the on-board air data computer, at 1356:47, depicted the glider at 7,785 ft msl.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SCHEMPP HIRTH
Registration: N215MM
Model/Series: ARCUS M
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Weber John H
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 39.385000, -111.499167 (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 

John Weber with his wife, Connie Mariano, in June. 

After turning around an auto-parts maker, Remy International Inc., John Weber took time in recent years to indulge his love of piloting gliders, a hobby he had pursued since his 20s. On July 1, Mr. Weber died when his glider crashed near Ephraim, Utah. He was 63.

Mr. Weber, a onetime McKinsey & Co. consultant, was best known for rescuing Remy, a maker of starters, alternators and hybrid electric motors once owned by General Motors. When he was brought in as CEO in 2006, Remy was owned by investors including a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. investment fund. Its debt traded at less than 70 cents on the dollar, reflecting doubts about its survival.

Mr. Weber replaced nearly all the senior management and closed plants in Indiana, Virginia and Mississippi. He concentrated Remy’s production in Mexico, Hungary, China and South Korea. When head-office employees in Anderson, Ind., asked him to provide an employee gym, he said Remy couldn’t afford it and invited those who didn’t understand to leave. “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out,” he added, former colleagues recalled.

Remy went through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2007 to restructure debts. Mr. Weber stepped down as CEO in early 2013 after the company obtained a listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market .

Mr. Weber, refusing to accept lawyers’ doubts that it could be done, force-marched Remy through its bankruptcy reorganization in less than 60 days. He also negotiated price increases with Remy’s biggest customer, GM.

In 2015, BorgWarner Inc. acquired Remy International for about $1.2 billion.

John Howard Weber, described by one former colleague as a prankster and “corporate gun for hire,” was born Feb. 21, 1956, in Calgary, Alberta. His father was an insurance salesman and his mother a homemaker. Injuries from a car accident thwarted his plan to study at the Royal Roads Military College. Instead, he attended the University of Toronto, where he received a mechanical engineering degree in 1979. He earned his M.B.A. degree at Harvard in 1984.

Mr. Weber, who became a U.S. citizen, worked for General Electric Co. , Honeywell International Inc. and AlliedSignal Inc. before becoming CEO of Eagle-Picher Industries Inc., a maker of industrial and defense products, in 2001.

Gerald Mills, who headed human resources at Remy when Mr. Weber was CEO, remembered that his boss found out in 2008 that Mr. Mills’s daughter, then studying at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, had been hit by a car while jogging and suffered minor injuries. Mr. Weber immediately arranged to use his own airplane to fly Mr. Mills to Charlottesville.

Mr. Weber is survived by a sister and two children from his first marriage, which ended in divorce. He is also survived by his wife, Connie Mariano, a former White House physician who now practices in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dr. Mariano got to know Mr. Weber when she gave him a check-up at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. They married in 2010.

Thomas Bjork 
1953 - 2019

Passed away suddenly in a sail plane accident on July 1, 2019. Tom was born on May 1, 1953 in Seattle, WA to Clifford Andrew Bjork and Phyllis Ann Duggan Bjork. His family settled in San Jose, where he attended school and graduated from Lynbrook HS. He went on to graduate from USC with a degree in Economics and was honored as a Distinguished Graduate by the Air Force ROTC. He joined the Air Force as a 2nd Lt. He was assigned to the pilot training class of 77-05 at Laughlin AFB, TX, and reassigned to Laughlin as a T-38 instructor. He went on to serve as a B-52 Captain at Barksdale AFB, LA, concurrently earning an MBA from Louisiana Tech. He then returned to ATC, his last assignment being a T-38 instructor at Williams AFB, AZ. Upon separating from the Air Force, he moved to the Sacramento area and began a 25 year career as a financial consultant and later was also a branch manager at both AG Edwards and Stifel Nicolaus. After retirement in 2011 he pursued his hobby of flying gliders, taking trips all around the west wherever he could find good lift. He enjoyed being part of the Hole in the Wall Gang and sharing in their success. His many other interests included snow skiing, water skiing, surfing and sailing. He loved snorkeling in the coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. He enjoyed playing card games, especially party and duplicate bridge, as well as Corvettes, gardening and wood working projects. Above all he enjoyed his family, both immediate and extended. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and 2 sons, Brian Bjork (Rebekah) and Steven Woermanbjork (Kendra). He leaves 6 much loved grandchildren, Ila (10), Rachel (8), Orville (7), Joel (6), Emmett (5) and Anna (2). Other survivors include his mother, Phyllis Williams, two brothers, Dan Bjork (Kathy) and Cliff Bjork (Lesa), sister-in-law Nancy Gibbs (Wayne), brother-in-law Scott Johnson, cousin Kathy Bailey and other family members and good friends. He enjoyed many great relationships with his clients over the years. He was a loyal friend and husband. The Celebration of Life will be held Friday, July 12 at 10 am at Sierra Hills Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane in Sacramento.

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah, July 2, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified two men who died after a glider crashed Monday afternoon east of Ephraim in the foothills of Bald Mountain.

Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office officials said the deceased are John Weber, 63, of Scottsdale, Arizona and Thomas Bjork, 66, of Orangevale, California.

Late Monday night, the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office confirmed there were no survivors.

Detective Derick Taysom said Sanpete County Dispatch received a 911 call notifying them that a group of OHV operators had found the downed aircraft, and reporting that the aircraft’s two occupants were deceased.

The crash was approximately four miles northeast of Ephraim.

The sheriff’s office, Sanpete County Search and Rescue, and the Medical Examiner’s Officer went to the scene, and the pilot and passenger, both male, were confirmed deceased. It’s not clear at this time which man was the pilot and which was the passenger.

In the course of the investigation, officials learned that the glider had taken off from the Nephi airport at approximately 3 p.m. and was heading to an airport near Richfield.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation Tuesday, Taysom said.

This was the second fatal crash of an aircraft in Utah since the weekend. A single-engine two-seat aircraft carrying the pilot and a passenger was reported missing Sunday and was found Monday morning in San Juan County. The two men on board were confirmed deceased.

Original article can be found here ➤

Sanpete Sheriff's Office

On 07/01/19 at 5:11 p.m. Sanpete County Dispatch received a 911 call reporting a group of OHV operators came upon a downed plane. It was reported the two occupants of the aircraft were deceased. The location of the crash was reported as being approximately 4 miles northeast of Ephraim City. The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, Sanpete County Search and Rescue, and the Medical Examiners Officer responded to the scene. Upon arrival the aircraft was identified as a small glider-type aircraft. The male pilot and male passenger were confirmed to be deceased. It was learned through the investigation the aircraft took off from the Nephi airport and was enroute to land at an airport near Richfield. The reason of the crash is unknown at this time.


  1. "Mr. Weber replaced nearly all the senior management and closed plants in Indiana, Virginia and Mississippi. He concentrated Remy’s production in Mexico, Hungary, China and South Korea.
    What a great American this guy was, sure hope we don't find anymore of these guys running a United States of America company.

  2. The comment above is inaccurate. As someone that knows the history of the company both prior and after John's tenure, Remy had already the production concentrated in the countries listed prior to John's time with the company.

    I should also note that even if that was true, the sarcastic tone of the comment above notes "what a great American this guy was".... it's not because someone moves production to another country that they are not "good Americans". Sometimes making those hard decisions is necessary in order to remain competitive and keep higher paying jobs in the country.

    What's better for America? Making everything here and going out of business because all competitors have a lower cost or moving some labor to outside of the country, remain competitive and generating $$$ for the economy? I think we both know the answer to that.