Friday, October 18, 2019

Aeronca 7AC, N82308: Fatal accident occurred October 17, 2019 near Martins Aerodrome (WI78), Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin

John Hugo Fiddelke 
August 25th, 1951 - October 17th, 2019 

Patrick J. Schounard
October 20th, 1968 - October 20th, 2019

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Green Bay, WI
Accident Number: CEN20FA008
Date & Time: 10/17/2019, 1650 CDT
Registration: N82308
Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 17, 2019, about 1650 central daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC Champion airplane, N82308, impacted a moving vehicle during short final approach to Martins Aerodrome (WI78), Green Bay, Wisconsin. The private pilot and the vehicle occupant sustained fatal injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Brennand Airport (79C), Neenah, Wisconsin, about 1600 and was destined for WI78.

The pilot departed WI78 earlier in the morning and arrived at 79C to meet with a mechanic to complete the airplane's annual inspection. The pilot and mechanic ate lunch together and then the pilot departed 79C for WI78. During their conversation, the pilot mentioned to the mechanic that he was concerned about the wet turf runway at WI78 and that he preferred to land near the end of the runway.

According to witnesses who were traveling in vehicles near the accident location, and a vehicle dashboard camera, the airplane was about 5 ft over the county highway adjacent to the end of runway 1 when it impacted the front left side of the westbound vehicle. The airplane remained on top of the truck after the collision. The truck departed the right side of the county highway, entered a ditch, and came to rest near a residential driveway. Figure 1 shows the main wreckage on the left and the grass runway on the right.

Figure 1 - Accident site

An initial on-site examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies with the airframe or engine. The airplane has been retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca
Registration: N82308
Model/Series: 7AC 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: KGRB, 702 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 50°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Neenah, WI (79C)
Destination: Green Bay, WI (WI78)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.422500, -87.935833

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

Aaron Sauer
NTSB Air Safety Investigator 

LEDGEVIEW, Wisconsin (WBAY) - UPDATE 10/22:

A Greenleaf man involved in a crash with a small plane has died, according to the Brown County Medical Examiner's Office.

Patrick Schounard passed away on October 20th. It would have been his 51st birthday, according to an obituary.


The Brown County Sheriff's Office has released names of the two men involved in a fatal crash involving a small airplane and a pickup truck.

The pilot was identified as John Fiddelke of De Pere. He died as a result of injuries he suffered in the collision Thursday evening.

The pickup truck driver was identified as Patrick Schounard of Greenleaf. He's currently hospitalized in serious condition.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office and NTSB held a news conference Friday morning to discuss the investigation. Watch the full news conference in the video above the story.

At about 4:50 p.m., a fixed-wing, single-engine plane was coming in to land on runway one at Martins Aerodrome, just off County MM (Dutchman Road). Witnesses spotted the plane flying about five feet above the road. A westbound pickup truck hit the plane. The plane and the truck veered off the right side of the road and came to rest in a residential driveway, according to the NTSB.

Pilot Fiddelke died at the scene.

The NTSB arrived Friday morning to conduct the investigation. The agency's involvement is routine in all fatal plane crashes.

NTSB Air Safety Investigator Aaron Sauer says investigators will be looking at the pilot's experience, training and medical information as they work to determine what happened.

"We understand the aircraft may have come out of maintenance, and we are talking with the mechanic, as well as reviewing any aircraft records. It does appear that some of the records from the aircraft were on board, and we have recovered some of those documents," says Sauer.

Part of the investigation will be finding out why the plane crossed the road so low -- just 5 feet off the road.

"I can't speculate on what the pilot's decision there was to be five feet off of the roadway at the time. Certainly again we'll take witness information and take a look at the aircraft to see if there were any issues there," says Sauer. "As you can see the runway behind us is very close to the edge of the roadway surface. So we'll still have to try to piece some of that information together, why the aircraft was where it was and came in contact with the truck."

At the time of this publication, the plane is still on top of the pickup truck. Sauer's team is waiting for a recovery crew to safely move the vehicles to a secure location.

"The aircraft is still on top of the truck, so there are some hazards that we have to be careful," says Sauer. "The aircraft and the truck will be secured in a location until we can do further follow-up examination. There's certain documentation that we can do here while on scene, but then we will do a more detailed examination in the near future."

The NTSB will perform a detailed examination of the vehicles.

In their investigation, the NTSB looks at three things: man, machine and environment.

Skies were overcast during the incident. Winds were calm to light. It was still daylight.

Dutchman Road was closed between Hidden Valley Lane and Rookie Lane, across from Fonferek's Glen park in Ledgeview for about 24 hours.

Video from the scene shows the plane appears to have come to rest on top of the pickup truck, which went off the road.

Debris was scattered in the road, in the ditch and in the field where the plane ended up. First responders worked for hours to clean up the debris. We saw vehicles from the Ledgeview Fire Department, Brown County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Public Service.

The NTSB plans to release a preliminary report on the crash next week. It will include updates on the investigation and witness statements.

It takes six months to a year for the agency's full report on the crash. The NTSB will compile the mechanical investigation with autopsy reports and toxicology results.

Story and video ➤

LEDGEVIEW - John “Hugo” Fiddelke, age 68, of De Pere, passed away unexpectedly as the result of an accident on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Hugo was born August 25, 1951 in Paullina, IA to Hugo and Edna (Runge) Fiddelke. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. He went on to pursue a career in engineering and sales in the paper industry in the Green Bay area. Outdoor life was of great importance to Hugo. He was an avid hunter, often stating that hunting was ‘just the excuse’ to get out and enjoy nature. He appreciated the comradery he shared amongst fellow hunters. The peaceful serenity of nature he so greatly valued was often found at his cabin in the Canadian wilderness or at his Townsend, WI cottage. Flying was also a passion of Hugo’s. The tranquility he so deeply cherished could always be enjoyed as he soared through the skies. When he wasn’t hunting or flying, he could be found working in his shop, reading a good book, or simply basking in the unconditional companionship of his beloved dog, McQuila. Hugo is preceded in death by his parents. Hugo is survived and sadly missed by his life partner of 45 years, Jeanne Bonacci; his siblings, Nancy Kilgore (Robert Brown), Fred (Kathy) Fiddelke, and Mike (Michele) Fiddelke; Jeanne’s sisters, Annette Woodward (David Howson) and Katherine Ries; and his many nieces and nephews with whom he enjoyed spending time. Hugo is further survived by good friends Christopher and Steven Havlichek whose relationship with Hugo evolved from mentorship to friendship as they grew. Family and friends may visit at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N. Webster Ave., De Pere, from 2:00 to 4:00 on Tuesday, October 22. A service will be held at 4:00 at the funeral home with Fr. Bob Rhyner officiating. Cotter Funeral and Cremation Care is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Hugo’s honor can be made to the EAA Aviation Foundation, Inc., PO Box 3816, Oshkosh, WI 54903 or to the Brown County Library, 515 Pine Street, Green Bay, WI 54301

LEDGEVIEW, Wisconsin (WBAY) - A local man piloting a small airplane died when his plane collided with a pickup truck Thursday afternoon.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office says a Aeronca 7AC plane was coming in to land at a private airfield just off County MM. The plane was low and collided with a pickup truck going west on County MM, which is also known as Dutchman Road.

The pilot, a Ledgeview man, died at the scene. The driver of the pickup truck, a man from the Greenleaf area, suffered critical injuries.

Authorities are not releasing their names yet so families can be notified.

The sheriff's office doesn't know yet why the plane crossed the road so low. Its crash reconstruction unit was on the scene. the FAA and NTSB are also responding, which is routine in all plane crashes.

Video from the scene shows the plane appears to have come to rest on top of the pickup truck, which went off the road.

Debris was scattered in the road, in the ditch and in the field where the plane ended up. First responders worked for hours to clean up the debris and are still on the scene at the time of this writing.

We saw vehicles from the Ledgeview Fire Department, Brown County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Public Service.

Dutchman Road is closed between Hidden Valley Lane and Rookie Lane, across from Fonferek's Glen park in Ledgeview. Deputies are asking everyone to avoid the area.

Story and video ➤

LEDGEVIEW, Wisconsin (WLUK) -- The Brown County Sheriff's Department says a pilot died in a plane crash in the town of Ledgeview, near Fonferek’s Glen County Park.

Deputies say the crash happened just before 5 p.m. Thursday when the small airplane was trying to land at  Martins Aerodrome (WI78), a private airfield, but crashed into a pickup truck.

Deputies confirm the pilot is a Ledgeview man. The pickup truck driver is a man from Greenleaf, who was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office isn't identifying either man involved in the crash.

Plane debris could be seen scattered across Dutchman Road and a nearby field. The plane itself could be seen on top of the truck at the scene, which is on Dutchman Road, near the intersection with Hidden Valley Lane.

Story and video ➤

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