Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, N8849V: Fatal accident occurred January 07, 2019 in Soddy-Daisy, Hamilton County, Tennessee

Chris Marinello describes Lynda Marinello as a witty, "Jersey" girl, who was an avid teacher for 25 years in Hamilton County.

Lynda Marinello

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee — Chris Marinello says he still remembers his late wife the same way.

"She was a bright light -- she was a star," he said. "Anybody that met her knew that, and they could tell immediately."

He describes Lynda Marinello as a witty, "Jersey" girl, who was an avid teacher for 25 years in Hamilton County.

"She loved the underdog," Marinello said. "She would say, 'That’s the kid that needs the most amount of help, and I’m gonna help him out.'"

But her life was cut short in January 2019, when a small plane she was riding in crashed into Chickamauga Lake.

Both Lynda and the pilot, family friend Frank Davey, died in the accident.

"I don’t need the NTSB to tell me what happened," Marinello said.

Marinello says, as a pilot himself, that he already knows.

And that’s why he’s suing Davey’s estate for wrongful death.

He says this was reckless pilot error -- putting his wife in danger that could have been avoided.

"Anybody that flies that maneuver knows what the potential outcome is," Marinello said.

In an initial report last February, the National Transportation Safety Board said a witness saw the plane do a “tight U-turn at a low altitude, which he initially thought might have been aerobatics."

“The maneuver that Frank performed is called a wingover," Marinello said.

Marinello is asking for $500,000 in damages.

He says he waited a year to file the lawsuit in order to let wounds heal for both his family and Davey’s.

But ultimately, Marinello wants justice.

"This is not about punishing anyone -- this is about responsibility," he said.

A family friend of the pilot Frank Davey told us last year that Davey was "meticulous" and always played it safe when flying, so they were surprised he flew that day.

We’re told the final NTSB report could take a couple years to complete.

Story and video ➤

Frank William Davey
Lynda Marie Vartan Marinello

The family of a woman killed in last year's fatal Chickamauga Lake plane crash has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the deceased pilot's estate.

Multiple people reported seeing a low-flying plane on the afternoon of January 7th, 2019. One man said he saw the plane go down near Camp Vesper Point in north Soddy-Daisy. After four days of searching, the aircraft was located in about 35 feet of water near an inlet on a property in the 3000 block of Lee Pike. Two victims — retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Frank Davey and Lynda Marinello — were recovered. They had been killed on impact.

After an initial delay due to a partial government shutdown, the National Transportation Safety Board — the federal agency that investigates all civil aviation crashes — released its preliminary report the following month.

The report detailed a general overview of what happened but gave no definitive answers about what caused the crash. A final report could take up to two years to complete.

During the preliminary investigation, a witness told federal investigators that the aircraft made a U-turn at low altitude before plummeting into Chickamauga Lake. That was when the plane spiraled down counterclockwise and struck the lake.

At the time of the crash, a local resident told the Times Free Press he saw the crash and called 911.

"I was looking out of the window and it looked like it did a tight loop and it started to spiral down," said the man, who declined to give his name. "I thought it was doing an acrobatic [maneuver] and lost control. Then I saw the crash. I could see the splash on the other side of the cliff."

Marinello's husband, Christopher Marinello, claims Davey was reckless in attempting the maneuver, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. His negligence and and recklessness is what led to the crash, the Marinello family alleges.

Davey held a commercial pilot certificate with 3,800 hours of flight experience, according to the NTSB.

But Marinello's family claims Davey wasn't flying the plane at its proper angle, which resulted in a stall and subsequent spin. They also allege he failed to maintain adequate airspeed and proper altitude that would allow for recovery from the maneuver he was attempting.

The Marinellos also point out that Davey did not file a fight plan. That isn't unusual for local flights, an NTSB spokesman told the Times Free Press. Flight plans are usually filed for flights that cover longer distances.

Davey family spokesman Richard L. Cox Sr., Davey's childhood best friend, called the lawsuit a legal move to keep the case open past the one-year statute of limitations, which would have expired the same day it was filed.

"To date the NTSB has not issued a final report to the family," Cox told the Times Free Press in an email. "[T]his is an [on]going investigation and we were informed by the NTSB it could take up to two years to receive the final report, after which the family will be notified first for a debriefing."

Original article ➤

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Soddy-Daisy, TN
Accident Number: ERA19LA080
Date & Time: 01/07/2019, 1334 EST
Registration: N8849V
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 7, 2019, about 1334 eastern standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N5624S, was substantially damaged when it impacted Lake Chickamauga, while maneuvering near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the commercial pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight that originated from Dallas Bay Skypark (1A0), Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 1330.

A witness stated that he was in his study at his residence, watching the accident airplane fly over the lake. He noted that the airplane appeared to do a tight U-turn at a low altitude, about two or three treetop lengths above the water, which he initially thought might have been aerobatics. The airplane then spiraled straight down counterclockwise and impacted the lake. The witness then contacted emergency services and assisted local responders in finding the wreckage.

The airframe was recovered from the lake and retained for further examination; however, the engine and propeller were not recovered. Additionally, a GoPro camera was mounted on the right horizontal stabilizer and data from the camera was forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Division, Washington, DC, for examination.

The four-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1971. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 300-hp engine equipped with a constant speed propeller. Review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 1, 2018. At that time, the airframe and engine had accrued 2,156 total hours since new.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, helicopter, instrument airplane and instrument helicopter. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate was issued on February 1, 2018. At that time, the pilot reported a total flight experience of 3,800 hours.

Lovell Field (CHA), Chattanooga, Tennessee was located about 19 miles southwest of the accident site. The recorded weather at CHA, at 1353, was: wind from 180° at 11 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 5,000 ft; broken ceiling at 25,000 ft; temperature 4° C; dew point -14° C; altimeter 30.41 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bellanca
Registration: N8849V
Model/Series: 1730 A
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: CHA, 682 ft msl
Observation Time: 1353 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.41 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chattanooga, TN (1A0)
Destination: Chattanooga, TN (1A0)

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: 35.328611, -85.055556


  1. A video of this aircraft doing turns over water may factor in the claims:

    The 156 time tag makes the video start at the turn. View from inside the cockpit starts at 3:20.

    1. I especially liked the passengers nervous glance to the left during the maneuver.

      Lots of great videos ... lots of fun ... Until it's not.

      May both RIP

    2. I'm guessing that the investigators may find several go pros that were in use ... based on the previous history.

    3. The pilot does raise the nose before the bank and has some altitude, but all it takes is for something to let go in the elevator/aileron controls, power delivery or basic structural integrity and that high bank angle rules what happens next.

  2. What a shame, looks like he was joy riding with people who were unaware of what he was doing. As an aviation adjuster I hate lawsuits for wrongful death, see them all the time but this one seems to have merit. Average trees are 25 feet, so he was doing chandells and steep turns at 75? Thats stupidity, against regulations and dangerous to people below. Sure I have done the same thing in my cub over a field but not with somebody with me.
    His estate will lose that battle.

  3. Another disciple of "Air Wagner" school of flying. Too bad he took an innocent passenger with him. Shameful flying.

  4. Who takes-off and flies like that with both hands on the yoke? Weird. Referencing the youtube video.

    1. Strange use of 2 hands on the yoke in regimes where you would guard or hold the throttle. There is two reasons why you go to copters after Pensacola. One is flying is limited and jet slots are few. The other is they don't think you can keep up with a jet.

    2. Agreed ..... he was white-knuckling in another video ....

  5. I can't think of any defense to these types of actions. This was reckless on every count. If you look at his YouTube channel it appears his behavior was not just limited to flying. One shows him allowing his grandson to stand on the passenger seat while he taxis the aircraft., I mean did he care about any rule or regulation? An if he didn't care about his family how much care is he gonna have for his non-family passenger.
    Such a pity...RIP

    1. Relax, the kid is having fun and the pilot had the throttle guarded. They were taxiing at 10 mph, tops.

    2. @UnknownThursday, January 9, 2020 at 9:04:00 PM EST
      Jerry is that you? Who cares about securing little kids, nothing could ever go wrong. The pilot died because of a reckless regard for safety, which would include securing all occupants especially your beloved grandson!

    3. Are they still on the active runway? Can you imagine what could go wrong with allowing this? GEEZ.

    4. Lucky the kid didn't hit the gear switch- squat switch or not ....

  6. This fine flying machine did not deserve such a fate. Another "classic" gone due to careless operation by it's pilot.

    1. My primary concern is the loss of the innocent passenger ... the plane is a distant second.

  7. The video's are going to be key in this whole case along with the eyewitness accounts. If I were executor of his estate i would settle tomorrow.

    1. The turn in the "River Run" example video includes glimpses of the altimeter readings that show the aircraft was below the FAA minimum altitude of 1500 feet above ground level for that maneuver.

      The altimeter reaches a high point of 1,430 feet at 3:34 when the turn is well underway. After the turn is rolling out at 3:39 the altimeter reads a low point of 1,100 feet. Altimeter readings are above sea level, not ground level, so elevation of the terrain has to be subtracted to get altitude readings above ground.

      TVA regulates Chickamauga Lake level to be no lower than 675 feet above mean sea level. For the River Run video, subtracting minimum lake level from the altimeter indications of this example flight gives the turn a high point of 755 feet above ground level and low point of 425 feet above ground level.

      14CFR Section 91.303 prohibits aerobatic flight below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface, defined as:
      "For the purposes of this section, aerobatic flight means an intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight."!OpenDocument

  8. There is so much wrong with this whole accident I'm speechless.

    1. Yep ... A guy gets bored with routine operation in a high risk adventure and decides to add a little more excitement ... and a bunch more risk. Happens too many times every year.

  9. Greetings, as the saying goes … “There are old pilots and bold pilots ……..” Need I continue?

    1. Ever hear of a guy named Bob Hoover or Chuck Yeager....OLD AND BOLD!

  10. I just came across this. The video is disturbing, and indicative of someone that reflects a complete disregard for the reg’s and good airmanship. What is enigmatic is reading his obituary. When we do, one would glean from the necrology; this would be a person who was disciplined and someone to hold up as an example of safety and personal minimums.

  11. Dude, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager were/are not pilots, they were/are aviation GODS!

    1. Chuck ... throttle it back a bit ...

    2. Chuck Yeager is an asshole! If you want to describe a class act....Aviation God... Look at Bud Anderson... Yeager's Wingman....