Saturday, July 11, 2020

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Mk I (L-20A), N2106K and Cessna TU206G Turbo Stationair II, N6373U: Fatal accident occurred July 05, 2020 in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Brooks Seaplane Service Inc

Echo Rental Co

Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID 
Accident Number: WPR20FA206
Date & Time: July 5, 2020, 14:22 Local
Registration: N6373U (A1); N2106K (A2)
Aircraft: Cessna TU206 (A1); De Havilland DHC-2 (A2) 
Injuries: 2 Fatal (A1); 6 Fatal (A2)
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal (A1); Part 91: General aviation (A2)

On July 5, 2020, about 1422 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna TU206, N6373U, and a de Havilland DHC-2, N2106K, were destroyed when they were involved in an accident near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The pilot and passenger of the Cessna and the pilot and 5 passengers of the de Havilland, were fatally injured. The Cessna was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The de Havilland was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 air tour flight.

The operator of the de Havilland reported that the 20-minute local air tour flight originated from the seaplane base, located on the northern part of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Friends of the Cessna pilot reported that the flight had departed from Coeur d'Alene Airport, at an unknown time, with an intended destination of Lewiston, Idaho.

Witnesses located in the vicinity of the accident site reported that they observed the float equipped de Havilland flying on a northerly heading, and the Cessna was on a southerly heading, as seen in Figure 1. The witnesses reported that both airplanes appeared to be about 700 to 800 ft above the water surface, and that the Cessna may have been slightly lower than the de Havilland, when they collided over the lake. Following the collision, witnesses observed a fireball come from one of the airplanes as both descended into the water. 

There was no radar or automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data for either airplane. 

Figure 1: Witness photo of the de Havilland and Cessna.

Local law enforcement reported that the wreckage of both airplanes was submerged in about 130 ft of water, near the center of the lake between Half Round Bay and Black Rock Bay, as seen in Figure 2. The wreckages of both airplanes were initially documented once they were removed from the water and were then transported to a secure location where they will be examined.

Figure 2: Overview of Lake Coeur d'Alene

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A1)

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N6373U
Model/Series: TU206 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held:
Operator Designator Code:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A2)

Aircraft Make: De Havilland
Registration: N2106K
Model/Series: DHC-2
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCOE,2307 ft msl 
Observation Time: 20:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information (A1)

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: 47.519165,-116.82638

Wreckage and Impact Information (A2)

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 5 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 47.519165,-116.82638

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

Pilot Jay Cawley

Kelly Kreeger

Pilot Neil Lunt

Fredrickson Olsen Family

COEUR d’ALENE — The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office sonar team located the last two victims of Sunday’s plane accident. Their bodies, along with the main portion of the second aircraft, were recovered Wednesday evening and Thursday from Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The Sonar Team, the Dive Rescue Team and technical rescue divers were able to recover one of the victims in about 125 feet of water on Wednesday evening.

The final victim was located Wednesday night, but he was in the wrecked fuselage of the Cessna, one of two aircraft which collided on Sunday afternoon and sank to the bottom of the lake, the sheriff’s office reported. At that time, he could not be removed by divers.

“(Thursday) the airplane recovery team was able to raise the Cessna from the lake bottom, which had the last victim in it,” the sheriff’s office reported in a press release issued Thursday evening. “The victim was handed over to the Kootenai County Coroner’s Office. Again, the names of the remaining victims are not being released until approved by the coroner’s office.”

Recovery efforts will continue today to start bringing up the rest of the wrecked aircrafts. At this time, it is unknown how long this process will take. The recovery efforts will be overseen by the National Transportation Safety Board and contractors hired by the insurance company for the two aircrafts, the release said.

Eight people were killed when the Brooks Seaplane that departed from Independence Point and a Cessna that departed from Felts Field in Spokane collided in mid-air near Powderhorn Bay about 2:20 p.m. Sunday. Five passengers and the pilot were in the Seaplane, and a pilot and passenger were in the Cessna.

Neil Lunt, 58, of Liberty Lake was piloting the seaplane occupied by Sean Fredrickson, 48, of Lake Oswego, Oregon. A 16-year-old girl, a 16-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy were also identified as passengers, along with another adult.

In order to ensure the safety of the personnel for the recovery, a portion of the lake around the crash site will be closed to boaters and will be marked with buoys. Boaters are asked to stay close to shore.

Additionally, the Loffs Bay Boat Launch will be closed temporarily while rescue efforts are taking place.

KCSO officials thanked members of the Sonar and Dive Teams as well as Jake’s Diving for their dedication and tireless work while locating and retrieving all the victims so the family could have some closure.

Pilot Neil Lunt

Final Flight Takeoff: de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Mk I (L-20A), N2106K

Collisions happen even on clearest, sunniest days

It's a pilot's worst nightmare.

Soaring through the skies when all of a sudden another plane becomes too close for comfort. Going upward to 300 miles per hour with only about 12 seconds to react, a midair collision becomes a reality.

"It does happen when you get into a congested area and you're both looking at the same thing,” pilot and former Federal Aviation Administration designated pilot examiner Mike Kincaid of Hayden said Wednesday.

"If one perhaps isn’t following the procedures the other is used to, it surprises them and we all end up in the same spot."

According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, most midair collisions occur in day visual meteorological conditions — the times of best visibility — within 5 miles of an airport. They can also be correlated to traffic levels: most occur between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends during the warmer months, essentially when the most traffic is in the air.

The FAA reported 42 midair collisions in the United States from January 2009 through December 2013. The majority of these midair collisions occurred in good weather and during daylight hours.

"Somebody coming straight at you is the hardest thing to see," said Frank O’Connell of Coeur d'Alene. "It's a small dot and then all of a sudden it's a big dot and it’s there.

"In the aviation community, when someone dies, a piece of us dies," he said.

O’Connell said in his more than 30 years of flying, he's had his share of close calls.

"Especially for people like me that fly low and slow, it's not uncommon to have a close encounter with other airplanes. Not very many that scared me, but I have had a few like that.

"You just never know when somebody's going to sneak up on you or when you're going to sneak up on them."

Pilots are trained to "see and avoid," a rule in the Federal Aviation Regulations that requires pilots to remain vigilant at all times while operating an aircraft, “So as to see and avoid other aircraft.” It then lays down certain “rules of the road” that govern who has the right of way when two airplanes are approaching head-on, converging, overtaking and landing.

However, pilots aren't immune to distractions from passengers, blind spots, sun glare, mechanical problems and a host of other issues that can come into play.

Kincaid and O'Connell both discussed the increased traffic in North Idaho's airspace as a cause for concern.

"The Coeur d’Alene area has seen a dramatic increase in aircraft activity in recent years, putting an extra burden on pilots entering local airspace," Kincaid said. "At the Coeur d’Alene Airport, pilots from the student level to airline pilots enter the airspace in everything from Cubs without radios to big jets.

"Most pilots are very safe and do their best to communicate and follow procedures and FAA regulations when using the airport," he said.

"Others — even those flying $30 million jets — have issues which cause conflicts," he continued. "Many pilots at the Coeur d'Alene Airport say it’s only a matter of time before there is a midair collision in the traffic pattern."

"Celebrities, Forest Service, commercial traffic, and guys like me at the airport who fly putt-putts, so far we've done pretty well mixing it up together,” O'Connell said. "With the increased traffic, there's an increased risk of a midair happening."

O'Connell said communication is paramount for pilots to alert others to their locations.

"If you use the radio enough, you're going to find out where people are and you’re going to get out of each other’s way," he said.

With the evolution of avionics, or electrical systems on aircrafts, he said many times pilots are watching instrument panels more than seeing what is outside the cockpit.

"You can't substitute avionics for your eyeballs,” he said. "There's no substitute for seeing what’s around you."

Kincaid said equipment can help prevent mishaps. The latest technology is what’s called Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B), which basically provides electronic position reporting with air traffic control and between aircraft. It’s fairly cheap to install on an aircraft and many aircraft now have it.

It’s not known if the two planes involved in Sunday’s crash had ADS-B.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Higgins speaks to the media on July 8th near Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Higgins delivers updates on plane crash in a press conference on July 9th. 

Sean Fredrickson and his three children were planning to take a boat cruise around Lake Coeur d’Alene over the Fourth of July weekend. But at the last minute, the always adventurous family decided to take a seaplane trip instead.

“They were so thrilled to be going on the plane,” said Fredrickson’s mother, Ellen Merriman Presley, of Spokane. “You’d think kids would be scared, but they were just as bright and joyful as he was.”

On Sunday afternoon, the de Havilland seaplane Fredrickson, his son Hayden, 16, and his stepchildren Quinn, 11, and Sofie, 15, were riding in collided with another plane over the lake.

Sean, his children, pilot Neil Lunt and an unidentified male passenger were killed in the crash. So were two people in the other plane, who have not yet been identified.

Presley said she got a call from Fredrickson’s wife and Quinn and Sofie’s mother, April, later that afternoon. There had been an accident, she told Presley, but nobody quite knew what had happened.

The family waited while Kootenai County officials searched for answers.

Presley later learned from a friend watching the news that there were no survivors.

A spur-of-the-moment seaplane adventure was exactly the kind of thing Fredrickson and his kids would have loved, Presley said. The family was vivacious, active and “just plain silly,” always wrestling one another and making each other laugh.

Fredrickson lived in Oregon for much of his life, but he had a deep connection to Spokane, where he was born.

He moved away when he was 7 years old, attended the University of Oregon, always remained a die-hard Ducks fan and attended every Portland Timbers game with Hayden and Quinn.

His work as a golf professional in the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego kept him away from home – he often joked he had 400 bosses throughout the industry, and he was frequently too busy to slow down. But he returned to visit Spokane whenever he could.

“He would have moved here forever if he could have,” said Presley. “He loved Spokane, absolutely loved it and missed it always.”

Fredrickson’s kids were in Spokane visiting their grandmother and her husband, Pat, last weekend, as they did every summer. Fredrickson and his wife decided to tag along this year.

Sean’s grandfather, Dr. Ed Fredrickson, was a longtime Spokane dentist and a devoted member of the Spokane Country Club. Presley said she believes he would have been tremendously proud of Sean’s contributions to the industry.

Though Fredrickson and his parents left Spokane when he was young, he was always surrounded by “so much love” from his countless family members back in the city, Presley said.

He dedicated much of his career to the world of golf, but Sean’s first love was soccer. He shared a deep passion for the game with his son, Hayden, who was a rising high school soccer star looking forward to playing for a college team in a few short years. The two “ate, slept and breathed” soccer, Presley said, and any traveling family member made sure they brought back a scarf from the local team for Hayden’s collection.

Hayden was the “light of Sean’s life,” Presley said, and a source of inspiration for his soccer teammates. He was very close to his mom, Alix, and his friends, who Presley said have been at Alix’s house keeping her company and grieving together in the days since Hayden’s death.

Sofie was a “gorgeous, stunning girl with a ton of friends,” Presley said. A lacrosse player, she kept up with her older stepbrother and stepfather without missing a beat. She was almost as tall, if not taller, than Sean and always participated in family roughhousing, often tackling her stepdad to the ground, Presley said.

When the family came to visit this summer, Sofie was eager to show off her new learning permit and the driving skills she’d learned. Presley said she was nervous getting into the car with Sofie behind the wheel at first, then quickly saw she really was as good as she said she was. She was about to turn 16 in August and had “so much to look forward to,” Presley said.

Quinn, the youngest of the three, looked up to his older siblings immensely. A bright, happy kid who was always smiling, his passion was building complex creations with Legos. Presley said his room was always full of the tiny, colorful bricks, and it was a challenge not to step on any when you entered.

He loved biking – he had just gotten a new mountain bike for his 11th birthday. During a long walk with Presley and her husband this summer, she asked Quinn what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“He told me, ‘a forensic specialist,’” Presley said. “What kind of 11-year-old knows that? He was incredible.”

Fredrickson was a man who fiercely loved his family and was fiercely loved by them, Presley said. That was never more apparent to her than after his death, as the outpouring of love and grief rolled in from all over.

“It’s overwhelming, and it’s just awful that it takes something like this to bring that out,” Presley said. “But that outpouring is what’s going to pull this family through.”

Presley said she is comforted knowing that whatever happened in that plane, the family was together and still full of joy.

“And I know they’re all playing soccer together in heaven, too,” Presley said.


  1. The 2 ATP-certificated pilots apparently did not do everything possible to prevent the middar collision.

    The 4 Fredrickson/Olsen passengers, on the Brooks seaplane, likely had no idea that the Brooks flight was not as a safely regulated as a scheduled airliner flight.

    1. Were there too many distractions (e.g., scenery, passenger chatter, dual-role as pilot and narrator)?
    2. Was the yet-to-be-identified 5th passenger actually a tour narrator or another trusting victim?
    3. Were the planes inadequately equipped--no ADS-B?

  2. I wonder why the fifth passenger on the DHC-2, purportedly an adult male, still has not been identified.

  3. "The last victim to be identified in the Brooks Seaplane is David E. Sorenson, 57, of Clayton, Calif. Sorenson was on the Seaplane with the pilot Neil Lunt, Sean Fredrickson and his three children."
    July 13, 2020 5:05 PM [presumably USA MDT]

  4. Some ADS-B comments:

  5. I rode in the right seat of this Beaver as a paying passenger on June 29, 2019. The pilot that day was not the pilot flying during the collision a year later. Background: I am a private pilot with 304 hours in the left seat. I have flown as a passenger in 20 or so aircraft types including airliners, WWII bombers, and others. There were a total of 4 people aboard my flight on N2106K. After a short taxi and warm-up (kind of a rolling run up to safe takeoff point on the lake), takeoff was uneventful. I did comment to the pilot over headset shortly after takeoff, that it was my first time ever completing a takeoff with no radio calls out. In fact, the radio and transponder were not powered on during any portion of the approx 40 min taxi,flight,return. CTAF could not monitored to listen for radio calls by other oircraft. Given the nature of a sightseeing flight, the pilot spent most of his time pointing out landmarks and animals on the ground through the aircraft side windows. Landing was smooth and uneventful. Docking was done solo by the pilot. After a few post-flight photos, I asked the pilot if there was a plan to add ADS-B capability to the airplane. His response was "We have better things to spend money on." I called the FAA office in Spokane the day after the accident, and left a voice message. When the FAA rep called me back the following day, I told him basically what I wrote above. END

  6. "We have better things to spend money on"
    Nice epitaph ....

    1. And the Cessna was not equipped to transmit or receive ADS-B, so even if the Beaver had been equipped with ADSB in/out on both frequencies used, the Cessna wouldn't have been detectable using ADS-B.

    2. In the May 13, 2019 Ketchikan mid-air between float planes N952DB and N959PA, both aircraft were equipped to send and receive ADS-B. Collision happened 3 minutes after the pilot that survived says he had last looked for conflicting traffic on his flight display.

      Did having the ADS-B capability diminish his out the window scan discipline? Perhaps. Controller-managed separation and pattern flying is the best way to prevent collisions, but you can't readily implement that in all of the wild and scenic outdoor airspace.

    3. True but if two ADS avoid just one accident saving two or more lives it was worth every penny. Considering you can buy ones for as low as $1,500, chump change at the cost of owning, maintaining, and flying aircraft, only fools look past potentially lifesaving technology.

  7. Monitoring of CTAF and routine position reports over CTAF by both pilots likely would have prevented the collision. (One pilot may have been doing everything right, but no benefit if radio in other aircraft is turned off. In fact the radio silence may have led one pilot to believe that no one else was flying in the area.) Just knowing that someone else is flying in the area will usually put a pilot's head into swivel mode until traffic spotted. Also would have allowed opportunity for the pilots to coordinate altitude separation to further reduce risk. Aviation com radios developed 80+ years ago and installed on both aircraft involved. See and be seen is good, but hear and be heard is often easier and more effective.

  8. My very good friend was on that 206. She last messaged me at 10:53 a.m. telling me that she was done with her bf/pilot and she never should have gone on that trip, but she was going to finish the weekend off flying, because she loved to fly. I called the FAA's Spokane office to inform them that there could've been a distraction in the the 206 cockpit. They were flying south and at that time of day, that time of year, the sun would've been at their 1:00 or so. This, along with the Beaver's big nose and a sun connect the dots. I wish I could've talked Kelly out of that flight.