Saturday, September 19, 2020

Van's RV-9A, N94KJ: Fatal accident occurred September 19, 2020 at Ottawa Executive Airport (Z98), Zeeland, Ottawa County, Michigan

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 did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Location: Zeeland, MI 
Accident Number: CEN20LA399
Date & Time: September 19, 2020, 06:38 Local 
Registration: N94KJ
Aircraft: Vans RV9 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 19, 2020, about 0638 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Vans RV9A airplane, N94KJ, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident at Ottawa Executive Airport (Z98), Zeeland, Michigan. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) information, the airplane departed Z98 on Runway 20 and climbed on a southeasterly heading to about 800 ft above ground level (agl), then turned back toward the airport. The airplane made an approach to Runway 2 and descended to about 125 ft agl, then began a climb and turned right to the east of the runway. The last recorded information showed the airplane at 350 ft agl.

The airplane impacted a field about 1,100 ft northeast of the Runway 20 threshold with a low forward groundspeed and a post impact fire ensured. Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no anomalies with flight control continuity. The airplane will be further examined at the recovery location.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N94KJ
Model/Series: RV9 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBIV,689 ft msl
Observation Time: 06:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C /1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.39 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Zeeland, MI (Z98) 
Destination: Milton, WV (12V )

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.82389,-85.923889 (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

Dale and Joyce DeWeese

Dale Norman DeWeese, age 61, and Joyce Carol DeWeese, age 59, of Zeeland, Michigan, entered together into the presence of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, September 19th, 2020.Dale and Joyce were Owosso High School sweethearts who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on September 6th. Together, they raised their children, doted on their granddaughters, cared for their parents, and generously blessed everyone they could. 

As members of Jamestown Baptist Church, Dale and Joyce served in a number of ways, including Missions Committee and Children’s Ministry. Their hearts delighted to praise God in song. Dale enjoyed his 22 years working as an Engineer at Steelcase. While he had many hobbies over the years, his passion was aviation. He loved flying with Joyce and giving friends and family rides in his airplane. Dale played the trumpet and guitar beautifully and blessed many with his exquisite hand-crafted pens. Despite his patient and meticulous nature, he was competitive, quick-witted, and loved a good laugh. 

Joyce was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who prioritized family. She had a passion for memorizing scripture and was a faithful prayer warrior. She loved to play games, and her hands were always busy making things, from knitting and sewing, to creating her memorable bags and purses, which she eagerly gave to family and friends. With her warm and engaging personality, she never knew a stranger. 

Over all of their passions and pursuits reigned their saving faith in Jesus Christ, who “died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). His grace in their lives shone brightly in their love, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and boundless generosity to those around them. They will be sorely missed.  

They were preceded in death by Dale’s parents, Norm and Jackie DeWeese, and Joyce’s mother Sharon Stanfield. They are survived by their children, David Dale DeWeese, Leann and Peter Ambler; their treasured granddaughters, Elise, Juliet, Adele, and Maria Ambler; Joyce’s father, Charles “Chuck” Stanfield; Dale’s siblings, Bob and Julie DeWeese, Diane and Eric Erskin; Joyce’s siblings, Becky and Mack McKindley, Dan and Triss Stanfield, Carolyn and Van Rue; many loving nieces, nephews, and other extended family members. 

Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 12 noon at Jamestown Baptist Church, 2472 Quincy St., Hudsonville, with their son-in-law, Pastor Peter Ambler and Pastor Shawn DeJong officiating.  The burial and committal service will take place Saturday at 1 pm for friends and family at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Owosso, Michigan.  Relatives and friends may meet the family Friday from 10 a.m. – 12 noon prior to the service at the church.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” Psalm 116:15

1 comment:

  1. Appears to be the third owner of 2006 RV-9A. Home adjacent to the airport taxiway. Tragic. My condolences to family and friends.