Saturday, April 24, 2021

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N461DK: Fatal accident occurred April 23, 2021 in Danville, Yell County, Arkansas

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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas
Piper; Vero Beach, Florida 

Mark Andregg DDS PC

Location: Danville, AR 
Accident Number: CEN21FA198
Date & Time: April 23, 2021, 17:01 Local
Registration: N461DK
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 23, 2021, about 1701 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46-310P airplane, N461DK, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Danville, Arkansas. The pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane had departed the Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport (MKO), Muskogee, Oklahoma, about 1622 destined for Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Williston, Florida on an instrument flight rules flight plan. On the flight plan, the pilot indicated a planned cruise altitude of FL230.

According to archived air traffic control (ATC) information, about 10 minutes after departure, ATC advised the accident pilot about moderate precipitation along the route of flight. About 1658, after reaching 20,200 ft, the airplane began to descend on a southeast heading. No further radio communications were received from the pilot.

About 2 minutes after the descent began, the airplane initiated a right descending turn to the northeast and continued on that heading for about 30 seconds. The flight path then became erratic before the data ended.

A search was immediately initiated, but due to the terrain, the airplane was not located until the next morning. The airplane was found in an area of densely forested terrain at an elevation of about 930 ft above mean sea level on a heading of about 010°. During the on-scene portion of the investigation, it was determined that the right wing, right aileron, right horizontal stabilizer, and right elevator had separated in flight and was not located within the vicinity of the main wreckage. Although an aerial search commenced, to date, these components have not been located.

The airplane was equipped a Continental Motors TSIO-550 series engines. Detailed wreckage and engine examinations are pending.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N461DK
Model/Series: PA-46-310P 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMEZ,1079 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 38 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 80°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 700 ft AGL
Visibility: 5 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Muskogee, OK (MKO)
Destination: Williston, FL (X60)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.96735,-93.62222 

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

Dr. Mark Andregg,  his wife Shannon and their son Nathan.

Mark, Shannon, and Nathan Andregg passed away together on April 23, 2021.

Mark was born in Hays, Kansas on September 7, 1965 to Fred and Velma Andregg. Shannon was born in Santa Barbara, California on February 3, 1965 to Donald (Jim), Jr. and Geraldine (Jeri) McMahon. Their son Nathan was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20, 2000 to Mark and Shannon.

Mark was a loving son, brother, husband, and father, as well as an accomplished Orthodontist in Tulsa. He enjoyed hunting, flying, woodworking and being active with his beer brewing club. Mark earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and his dental degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his Orthodontic degree from Northwestern University in Chicago.

Shannon was a loving wife, mother, and sister. She thoroughly enjoyed laughing with her family and friends, crafting, creating stacks with her decorative bracelets, being involved with her college sorority, and going to Oklahoma State football games with her mom, dad, and brothers. Shannon was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and a graduate of Oklahoma State University.

Nathan was a happy and loving young man. He was involved with the Tulsa Autism Society and a graduate of Mounds High School. Nathan loved to swim, jump on his trampoline, and take leisurely walks with his mom.

Mark, Shannon, and Nathan are survived by Mark's mother Velma Andregg, his brother Steve Andregg and his wife Gina, Shannon's brothers Sean and Don McMahon and their wives Valerie and Kelly. They also have three nephews and a niece.

Memorial services will be held at St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 6, 2021 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Els for Autism Foundation (

Timothy "Tim" Christian Allison
January 10, 1993 - April 23, 2021

Timothy Allison’s spirit took flight to his Heavenly home on April 23, 2021 at the age of 28.

The grand adventure of Timothy’s life began on January 10, 1993 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Always an over-achiever, he insisted on starting homeschool with his older siblings when he was almost 2 years old and graduated from high-school at 16. After a month-long mission trip to Taiwan, and with other mission trips scattered throughout, Timothy tested out of his college classes with less than 2 years of study and received his Bachelors in Business Administration from Thomas Edison University in 2012.

Timothy then spent a year in Taiwan teaching English in their public schools. Timothy’s travels included mission trips to Singapore, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Brazil (Amazon area), Mexico, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Alaska, and many stateside mission trips. Along the way, he became at least conversational in Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish. His interests through the years encompassed football, photography, piano, guitar, tennis, antique car restoration, motorcycle riding, sky diving, kayaking, and kite surfing, to name a few, all of which he commenced with the intent to become a professional.

Timothy paid cash for his first fixer-upper house, took a 1,367 mile bike trip with a friend to raise awareness for human trafficking, dug water wells for villagers in the Amazon jungle, built houses in Alaska for flood victims, and restored homes in an Indian Reservation.

A jack of all trades, Timothy’s enterprises included home construction, home inspection, and cell tower construction, along with car, plane, and house flipping. In addition, he was EMR, Scuba, and A1 computer certified. After only 2 weeks of job-shadowing his Uncle Curt, he began repairing appliances as a teenager, which led to starting his own company, RSG Appliance Repair. God and RSG sustained him throughout flight training and the many levels of certification thereafter, until he was finally positioned in his dream life of Allison Aviation. Timothy’s blessed life included flight instructor (boasting hundreds of students), charter pilot and diver driver, with some undercover manhunts thrown in for fun.

At a young age, Timothy made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized at Keefeton Freewill Baptist Church. He memorized large passages of scripture and even as a preschooler, could recite entire Bible chapters with his siblings. Years of meditating on Scripture contributed to his amazing success in life. But rather than keeping that success to himself, he used his magnetic personality and generous spirit to invest in the lives of countless others and motivate them to live their dreams, as well. Believing he was indestructible until his purpose was finished, Timothy lived in confidence and assurance that God had his back, so there was nothing to fear.

Timothy is preceded in death by infant siblings Benjamin, Jeremiah, and Jordan Allison; Maternal grandfather Gary Price; and Paternal Grandmother Mary Doster.

Timothy is survived by his parents, Herb and Kim Allison; siblings Caleb, Bethany, Joseph (wife Shaelee and children Brantley, Baylor, and Bella), Hannah-Grace, and Jubilee Allison; Maternal grandmother Jane Price, Paternal Grandparents Herb Sr. and Ada Allison; Special cousins Sarah, Susannah, Natalie, Andrew, and Charlie Price; special uncle, Curt Price; and a multitude of relatives and friends who claim Timothy as part of their family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the many charities Timothy supported:

Traffick 911 (freeing youth from sex trafficking. Timothy was a Legacy supporter.)

She is Safe (rescue, restore, and equip at risk women and girls globally)

Living Waters (equipping Christians to evangelize. Timothy received a call from the CEO, Ray Comfort, due to his substantial contributions. Ray was surprised to find out that Timothy was a humble appliance repairman at the time!)

Samaritan's Purse (Providing Christian relief to a hurting world. Timothy worked with this organization in Alaska, and was convinced of their legitimacy. He said they were the "real deal.")

Global Equip Ministries (This is the team Timothy joined to drill a water well in the Amazon jungle, and other ministry trips. He knew the CEO Paul Perry personally. Specify the Timothy Fund.)

Gospel for Asia (Timothy was so excited as a youngster, to save up enough money to buy a water buffalo through this ministry for a family in an indigenous country!)

Your local church (some churches have been hit hard because of the pandemic and low attendance. Donate in Timothy's memory.)

Service will be held at First Assembly of God in Muskogee on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Interment will follow at McLain Cemetery with Herb Allison, Caleb Allison, Joseph Allison, Eddie Allison, Curt Price, and Cary Lee Rains serving as pallbearers.

Public Visitation will be from 9 am to 8 pm on May 6 at Cornerstone Funeral Home with family visitation from 5-7 pm.

A Muskogee man was identified Tuesday as the pilot of a plane killed when the plane crashed near Danville, in western Arkansas. 

Tim Allison, of Allison Aviation in Muskogee, had been piloting a plane that belonged to Dr. Mark Andregg, a Tulsa orthodontist. Andregg, his wife Shannon and their son Nathan, all of Mounds, were killed in the crash that happened Friday night, said Yell County, Arkansas, Sheriff Bill Gilkey.

The plane, a single-engine Piper PA-46, crashed after leaving Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport. The plane was registered to Mark Andregg, who also was a licensed pilot.

The Piper PA-46-310P Malibu was on course for Central Florida at 20,000 feet before a rapid descent and crash, with thunderstorms in the area. The FAA lost radar contact with the aircraft about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock about 5 p.m. Friday, when nearby residents reported hearing an aircraft in distress and the sound of a crash.

"It was a very dense part of the Ouachita National Forest, and the road had to be built to get into the wreckage," Gilkey said.

Approximately 70 different search and rescue and law enforcement helped in the search. 

"The terrain and then the weather that moved in just shortly after the crash Friday really kind of hampered our efforts in locating the plane," Gilkey said. "We did our best. We combed a large area. there was an eyewitness that put us somewhat close. It was tough going at night with storms and everything."

The aircraft wreckage was located about 11 a.m. Saturday.

TULSA, Oklahoma (KTUL) — The Federal Aviation Administration says four people were killed after a light aircraft crashed in western Arkansas on Friday night.

The FAA released the following statement:

Local authorities notified the FAA that they located the wreckage of a single-engine Piper PA-46 in a remote area near Danville, Ark., at approximately 11 a.m. local time Saturday, April 24. The FAA issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) on April 23 to public safety agencies to alert them about the missing aircraft. The flight departed Muskogee-David Regional Airport in Muskogee, Okla., and was headed for Williston Municipal Airport in Williston, Fla. Four people were aboard. The FAA and NTSB will investigate.

The missing plane is registered Tulsa orthodontist Dr. Mark Andregg. FlightAware shows the plane took off Friday from the Muskogee airport at 4:22 p.m. CT and was expected to land in Florida at 9:19 p.m. ET.

The FAA lost radar contact with the aircraft about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock just before 5 p.m. Friday.

Yell County Emergency Management posted to social media Saturday, confirming there were no survivors.

Emergency Management Director Jeff Gilkey posted to Facebook earlier in the day on Friday, warning about severe weather that night and into the next morning.

Andregg's dental office confirmed he, his wife Shannon, and son Nathan were killed in the crash, as well as a fourth person, who hasn't been publicly identified yet.

His dental assistants said he was going on a trip to Florida when the plane went down.

They said Andregg had recently gotten his pilot's license and plane because his son, who had autism, was afraid of flying. This was going to be their first big trip as a family.

His office said many dentists have come forward to help take care of Andregg's patients, who were alerted about his passing via text message Monday night.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

At about 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 23rd, Yell County dispatchers received a 911 call reporting a possible plane down near the area of 25893 Highway 80 near Blue Ball Road.

According to reports, the FAA lost contact with a plane and residents in the area heard a large explosion.

The plane was described to be white with a blue stripe and was a single-engine aircraft.

After taking the report, Yell County 911 operators dispatched the Yell County Sheriff’s Department, Pinnacle EMS, Yell County Mounted Patrol, Danville Rescue and Arkansas State Police to Highway 80 near Waltreak.

Dispatch informed responders that Life flight advised they were enroute to assist but Survival Flight 7 cancelled their response due to weather conditions.

As the search efforts continued, the weather conditions began to deteriorate and due to the time, it became dark, making the search efforts more difficult. After reviewing various maps and consulting with FAA officials, at about 7:30 p.m., search and rescue personnel made the decision to relocate to two other areas of interest to begin additional search efforts. One of the areas of interest was near Dutch Creek and the second was off of Kingston Road. The staging areas for the Dutch Creek search was at the Dutch Creek Fire Department and the Kingston Road staging area was set up at New Bethel Church in Ola.

Just after 8 p.m. Friday night, rescue personnel began running side by sides  and ATV’s along Highway 60 West and Forestry Service Road 477 after officials received coordinates from FAA. Search personnel were advised that the coordinates should put them within 1000 feet of location where the plane had last been seen in radar.

At approximately 8:20 p.m. search and rescue personnel advised they were en route up the mountain on the road just before the Dutch Creek bridge and would continue search efforts there. A short time later, personnel in that area advised they had located what appeared to debris but they had not located the plane.

After continuing to search for the plane in unfavorable conditions, search crews suspended the search efforts for the night but planned to return to the area on Saturday morning to resume the search efforts. At that time, emergency responders and search and rescue personnel returned available for service  and left the area.

After the search efforts were suspended for the night, RVN learned that the looking plane was a 1985 Piper PA-46-310P Malibu that has a pressurized cabin and has the capacity for one pilot and five passengers.

Further research revealed that the plane had taken off at 4:22 p.m. from Muskogee, Oklahoma and according to the planes flight plan, was enroute to Williston, Florida. The plane was scheduled to land at the Williston Municipal Airport at 9:19 p.m. Friday night, but it had not made its landing as scheduled and was overdue.

After reviewing the radar footage and statistical information concerning the plane’s flight, it appeared that after taking off from the Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport, the plane climbed to the altitude of 20,000 feet.

At 4:58 p.m. Friday afternoon, the plane reached the altitude of 20,200 feet when for unknown reasons, it suddenly began to  drop, traveling at speeds of up to 201 mph.

The airplane was then seen on radar traveling in a circle like pattern just over Scott and Yell counties and then radar contact was lost.

At about 10 a.m. Saturday morning, April 24, search and rescue personnel returned to the area and resumed the their search efforts. After conducting the search, at approximately 11 a.m., the wreckage was found in the area of Dutch Creek Township and it was determined that their were no survivors.

At this time, authorities have contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and have secured the crash site.

Once the NTSB arrives on scene, they will begin their investigation into how the crash occurred. The NTSB will conduct an extensive investigation into the crash in order to determine what caused the crash and other unknown details.

At this time, the number of fatalities involved in the crash and their identities have not been released.


  1. Yet another needless tragedy. RIP.

    1. This flight could've been conducted safely where they left earlier in the day. A clear shot all the way to Florida where they departed Muskogee by noon that Friday. Instead the weather system approached from the Southwest and the weather deteriorated from about 2PM onward.

    2. Yes, that's the only way with a Malibu. Legal or not, they really shouldn't be flown in IMC conditions with as weak as they are structurally, and how easily they can exceed Vne when upset. The FAA should have just kept that restriction in place from years ago. It's like flying PA32 airframes with a lot of time on them. Some airplanes are just less inclined to stay in one piece than others.

  2. Severe weather was forecast along the first several hundred miles of his flight.
    Here's the radar and flight path.

    As of 03/25/2021 the FAA database listed the pilot as a private pilot with no instrument rating. Also according to the reg's, you must hold an instrument rating to fly at altitudes 18,000 and above.


    Airman opted-out of releasing address
    Medical Information:
    Medical Class: Third Medical Date: 8/2019
    BasicMed Course Date: None BasicMed CMEC Date: None
    Certificates Description
    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 7/3/2020



    1. One of the pilots was IFR rated.

    2. The pilot was certified to fly instrument.

  3. Tragic. He had filed for a long mostly-night flight in a single engine airplane in marginal weather. So often we see accomplished people asking too much from themselves and their airplanes. Prayers for his family.

    1. No, the fourth passenger was the hired pilot. The Dentist was not flying.

    2. You don't know that. The Doctor could have been flying and, the CFI was along as a Ck/Safety pilot as this was an IFR flight and the Doctor was not IFR rated. Yes, technically the CFI was PIC because he had the ratings but, who had hands on the controls? Might never know.

    3. Whether it was the dentist or the instructor, either way, even a quick glance at your basic consumer weather app showed severe weather between point A and point B of which flying this plane into had more than enough inherit risk to call it off. Just ridiculous, whomever made the decision did so knowing full well they were putting four lives at risk which, in the end, as almost anyone with a brain and a conscience knows, is foolhardy.

    4. Colin,
      I agree wholeheartedly. I've made several posts on this thread concerning the decision to initiate this flight in the first place. The poster below stating "Knowing the pilot instructor, I can assure you that weather or schedules were not the problem." Obviously, no one can understand the CFI's thought process to make this flight but, if weather or schedules were not an issue then, why not wait until tomorrow when the weather was better and, the whole flight could be made in the daytime. Just doesn't make any sense. This flight was doomed from the get-go.

  4. Yes, the weather.
    but another pilot, his training pilot was also on board.

  5. Some reports now say four souls lost. ADS-B data plot is not continuous at the accident location after turn begins:

    1. Yes 4 people was on board. Mark, his instructor, his wife and their son.

    2. Yes 4 people was on board. Mark, his instructor, his wife and their son.

    3. Yes 4 people was on board. Mark, his instructor, his wife and their son.

  6. Radar history shows weather between Fort Smith and Hot Springs for that track in Adsbexchange:

  7. ASN Database now showing 4 fatalities ... R.I.P. :(

  8. Andregg family of 3
    Tim Allison of Allison Aviation

  9. RIP Andregg family.....wonderful people.

    1. Mark was a friend of mine from Dental School. Very smart guy. So heartbreaking :(

  10. Did we check the weather first or just say oh I'm going any way I don't care. As a boater, I sure would not have been on the water in that kind of weather, much less in the air.

    1. This type of "Gotta go anyway" Friday after work accident will keep happening to people with schedule and destination plans they made in advance.

      Boating to a schedule put that Duck tour crowd in weather at Branson that you wouldn't go boating in. When keeping a schedule makes the decision, lives are at risk.

    2. Q: Was the experienced instructor pilot likely to perform or allow the owner to perform the observed spiral dive crash from daytime VFR conditions on top?
      A: Nope.

      Need to know what flight level was required to get above the weather. Saying "he was above it likely in clear sky" without knowing that answer is pointless.

      Satellite image archive shows solid cover at the time:

  11. Absolutely Heartbreaking! RIP Dr. Andregg and Family! You will be sorely missed by my daughter and I! You were an amazing orthodontist!

  12. Sounds like another pressurization issue to me.

    1. No, sounds like continued flight into extreme weather causing in flight breakup.
      Last few ADS-B data points show decent rates of -18000, to -24000 ft/min

    2. Knowing the pilot instructor, I can assure you that weather or schedules were not the problem. This is a mechanical issue that the most accomplished pilot could not over come.

    3. The right turn onset that progresses into spiral dive LOC but no emergency call suggests incapacitation or disorientation. Carbon monoxide from exhaust jacket heater, hypoxia or spatial disorientation would suffice.

      Unless someone slumped over the controls, it appears that autopilot was not engaged when the turn began. Notice that the filed flight plan has no waypoints and their flown track is not aligned with airway routes.

      Knowing the pilot instructor, would he hand fly the whole 800+ mile flight? Maybe there was too much turbulence for autopilot to be engaged when LOC occurred. That brings the discussion back to weather. Can't rule out weather without precise information.

  13. Sorry for the loss of this family. After looking at the weather data it is scary. Most professional full-time pilots will fly away from this type of weather. Loss of control may be the final report cause but a contributing factor has to be got to keep the schedule.

  14. So if a CFI was onboard why in the hell he allowed this kind of trip straight into rather inclement weather? And I will speculate this was probably a 250-1000 hrs dude intent on reaching the 1500 hrs mark and getting the hell out of teaching to rack the hours if so...
    Poor quality CFIs seem to abound since it is the only way for a commercial pilot to accumulate the hours for his ATP ticket.

    1. A 53-year-old doctor should not need to rely on a 21-year-old CFI to tell him that you don't fly an airplane through the center of a thunderstorm.

    2. 10 years ago a pilot I knew died when he and his CFI flew into severe icing. The CFI was very knowledgeable and competent with procedures but had little cross-country IFR time. There was pressure on them both to make the trip. They had sufficient warnings but flew on and were quickly overwhelmed by the weather. I hope we will be able to see how much actual weather time this CFI had.

    3. So are you telling me a 21 year old "CFI" from a puppy mill school was onboard? For realz???
      This is absolutely ridiculous. Career CFIs like me should ask the FAA to stop counting hours from instructing as towards the 1500 hrs ATP requirements. Build your hours doing crop work, sightseeing tours, flying skydivers, surveying or the countless other ways to get those hours but if you don't want to teach... do not teach as you will KILL people. Prime example here.

    4. 1600 hour cfi, great pilot very experienced, light to moderate rain in area, not severe at time of crash, tops were low, he was flying in clear skies

    5. 1600 hour cfi, great pilot very experienced, light to moderate rain in area, not severe at time of crash, tops were low, he was flying in clear skies

    6. "great pilot very experienced, light to moderate rain in area, not severe at time of crash, tops were low, he was flying in clear skies"
      Clark, You don't know what the weather was like on that flight unless,
      You were on it and, somehow miraculously parachuted out after you saw the wing detach and determined (this doesn't look good.) You need to carefully read some of the posts and click on some of the links about the weather at the time. Like this one.

      This is not weather any sensible pilot would want to fly a light plane into.
      "Emergency Management Director Jeff Gilkey posted to Facebook earlier in the day on Friday, warning about severe weather that night and into the next morning."
      "Dispatch informed responders that Life flight advised they were enroute to assist but Survival Flight 7 cancelled their response due to weather conditions."
      And, more....

  15. Updated info, all four victims identified, plus "missing wing":

    1. Just like this one. They found the wing 6 miles from the fuselage. All I can think of in these situations is the last 60 seconds must have been hell.

    2. Yeah, I think there have been more than 2 of these malibou/mirage types that have broken up in weather - not sure if it's bc the pilots think they can get above the weather or the airframe just can't take much turbulance as high speeds and they arent slowing down or who knows - all I know if I am not flyinf anywhere in a malibou nor mirage - just my personal preference

  16. Instructor pilot from Muskogee, identified in story:

    Certificate: COMMERCIAL PILOT
    Date of Issue: 12/16/2018
    Certificate: FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
    Date of Issue: 8/1/2020

    1. Judging from his bio he wasn't very 'seasoned' as a pilot.

    2. Just as I called it even before knowing who the CFI was!!! A puppy mill "CFI" with probably less than 1000 hrs and who had never lived through a real emergency and the need to assert a PIC authority.
      A real CFI is someone who can tell a drop zone owner they will refuse to fly skydivers because of storm clouds gathering or who had smoke in the cabin, engine roughness, inadvertent stall in high turbulence. Someone with a tailwheel endorsement and 100+ hrs in type who knows the importance of rudder work etc...
      Real Life vs. what they teach in flight school and which misses the last part i.e correlation level is what makes true airmen.
      Real CFIs are those who have at least 1000+ hrs when they get their teaching ticket. And not to become ATPs.
      Lastly I bet the flight school where that "CFI" was trained is about to get a little questioning by the NTSB... and soon lawyers.

    3. I have been flying "small planes" of various types and many long cross-country trips for almost 30 years, and also in "small" jets on a number of trips. Looking at the weather there is NO WAY I would have attempted this in a piston aircraft and limited to 20k ft. Regardless of what ultimately brought the plane down, they shouldn't have taken those risks. So very very sad! Flying is unforgiving, and I always thought one should be scared of flying before every flight -- just to consider all risks, be conservative, and live long and enjoy the experience and freedoms of flying.

      I suspect this will be an accident that will be the subject of training seminars and analyses to learn-from.

    4. MarcPilot, you are very close in your description of the CFI. He had very little actual IFR, no previous Meridian experience; only a basic check-out in that aircraft. Even your rudder comment was accurate. Sad for everyone involved, and aviation as a whole.

    5. This has nothing to do with stick and rudder skills, or lack thereof. These guys launched in Level 3 and Level 4 thunderstorms. The outcome is predictable.

    6. He had 1600 hrs very experienced, was not pilot error, I'm fairly experienced at 1200 and I was completely comfortable with his decision making

  17. "Pilots who fly small airplanes in bad weather and die are usually buried in sunshine." I vividly remember my CFI 25 years ago sharing this statement with me. Says it all - right? Any questions?

  18. Accidents like this are almost always caused by circumstance combined with poor decisions. This one will likely be no different as the investigators will be able to determine with confidence, what exactly happened. This is far from the first time a Malibu has fallen from the flight levels in areas of bad weather. So many so, that the FAA at one point considered requiring a type rating for the Malibu. We all like to speculate as to the cause of these crashes. I doubt this investigation will reveal any causes that we haven’t seen before. If the owner was as inexperienced as it seems, then he probably thought he was being prudent by bringing along someone he perceived to have much more experience than he did. Experience is often a relative thing.

  19. The PA46 airframe has been more tested and proven by the NTSB than any other, after being grounded for a year in the '90s due to inflight breakups. It was determined that the aircraft is very solid but because it is the only 6 passenger pressurized piston single, the model can attract newer pilots to its capabilities that are not qualified to fly it - thinking it is an all weather machine. Much as the Cirrus originally did with its Chute, resulting in bad accident statistics early on.

  20. What caused the registration airworthiness section to show "Special Flight Permit" and "Ferry Flights"?

    For sale ad from 2020 did say the windshield needed to be replaced. It also listed a 1991 nose gear collapse and 1993 gear up while the aircraft was based in Mexico 1985 to 1998.

  21. Am I the only one going to bring up the Irony of the DDS buying an airplane because his Autistic Son was afraid of flying? Then on their first flight the Autistic Sons fear of flying is realized in the worst possibly way. Really Sad Deal!!!

    1. ^ You are absolutely correct.

    2. I lurk here a lot and read a lot of the accidents what happened..but I confess this one had my eyes water a bit. So very very sad.

  22. I've been flying I'm GA aircraft since my 1st birthday. My father has been flying for most of his 70 years, and his great-uncle flew bombers in WWII. My dad has been telling me since I was a kid: "general aviation aircraft are not transportation. If you absolutely need to be somewhere, buy an airline ticket and let the pros handle it." How many times I've told this to other GA pilots and been ridiculed, "of course they're transportation!" and "I've flown my ABCD from here to [name some far-off place]".

    Any GA pilot who took a look at that weather and said, "let's go flying!" was going to die in a plane crash at some point. It was just a matter of when and who they'd take with them.

    We really haven't invented many new ways to crash planes in the last 50 years. Sigh.

    1. A really good comment..and true. Taught to fly by my Dad...14 airplanes and a Bell Jet Ranger...and we are still are afraid of weather. I am ATP/CFII/MEI and still a bit nervous in certain weather. I have done a few stupid things in airplanes, but credit my fathers conservative attitude about flying GA aircraft in weather to my cautious attitude today. Our CE-340 was fun to fly but would hop around in turbulence something fierce. I think the Gov of Missouri was killed with his son flying a CE-340 at night in weather. You can get over your head very quickly in weather/Ice/Turbulence you didn't think was coming.....lots of Dead ATPs out there...somewhere....

  23. Looking at the track log on a satellite view map, the spot where the sudden course and altitude deviation happened is between 2 close mountain ranges that probably "funnel" wind currents. The severe weather that was building in that area at the time, may have created a violent updraft against the face of the mountain, and they unexpectedly flew right into it thinking they were above the front.

    1. The mountain ridges there are very low, no "faces". Winds are not going to funnel updrafts to 20,000 feet off those hills. Below is a description and photo from Hwy 80 near the Dutch Creek crash site:

      "Dutch Creek Mountain is a ridge in Arkansas and has an elevation of 1690 feet."


  24. My uncle flew night-fighters and Mosquitoes in WWII. In the early sixties he brought a twin and flew it from his place around Oakland, CA. In the early 70s he had a 310 and they (family) were flying to Omaha to meet us for dinner. They were late getting into town because Uncle said he had to fly around a storm. His plane looked awful big to me so I remarked "that it should power right through that stuff". Uncle looked at me and said, "Yea, like a playing card in a windstorm."

  25. I hope this accident brings attention of the NTSB to the poor standards to which CFIs are trained and the fact the 1500 hrs mandate for ATPs created a whole generation of young inexperienced and reluctant CFIs with 0 interest in the craft of teaching someone not to kill themselves in an unforgiving field, and now teaching others to become CFIs. This "CFI" was probably himself taught up to commercial level by a low time CFI seeking his ATP ticket and maybe with 50 more hours than he had. In theory and according to Law a CFI cannot teach another to become a CFI unless they have been teaching for at least 2 years, so after the CPL such a CFI candidate might be taught by a more seasoned instructor but also there are no minimum dual or time requirements so basically they can just seek a 2+ year CFI just to get an endorsement and had spent no time at all being taught. And just get one of those online classes from King's School.
    This is a deadly loophole that needs to be addressed by the FAA as a CFI is literally just an add on to a commercial pilot's license with no standards to become one.
    The exam itself is also subjective since it relies on a PTS not an ACS.

  26. the 'x'factor in the cabin, their son, who had autism, was afraid of flying. This was going to be their first big trip as a family.
    "Fears and Phobias in Autistic Children. Weather (Cloudy weather, natural disasters such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, thunderstorms, wind)"

  27. Recognize the photo with the Cessna from the CFI's social media postings. Other images include inflight photo of N461DK's panel from a post on September 5, 2020 with text "The sun setting on a great trip to Florida" and a photo standing outside N461DK posted March 6, 2021.

    The accident flight was not the CFI's first trip to Florida in N461DK.

    1. Ok, this means what relating to the April 23rd crash? I guess it means he wasn't "lost" when they flew into severe weather

    2. The September flight to Florida discredits a post made here that claimed the CFI only had a basic check-out in the aircraft.

  28. Well, that verifies that he was very experienced in N461DK. A flight 7 Months ago and, a picture 2 Months ago standing by N461DK. Sounds like a full and extensive ck out to me????

    1. A “check out” does not translate into competency or practical experience. It would seem that the CFI possessed neither. I’m sure the CFI was excited for the opportunity. But, one must know their limitations.

    2. as to weather related fatal accidents, Legendary test pilot Scott Crossfield, who in 1953 in an Edwards Air Force Base test flight became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound and later piloted the famous X-15 rocket planes, died at age 84 in the crash of his C210 ....
      "The NTSB has blamed Scott Crossfield's death on his own failure to obtain updated en route weather information, and on air traffic controllers for not giving him adverse weather avoidance assistance.

      The former civilian test pilot took off in his Cessna 210A on April 19, 2006, from Prattville/Grouby Field Airport in Prattville, Ala., and was en route to Manassas, Va., on an IFR flight plan. Crossfield encountered severe embedded thunderstorms and received a clearance to deviate, but it was too late. The airplane disappeared from radar 30 seconds after he initiated the turn. The wreckage was found in the mountains near Ludville, Georgia."

  29. Many times pilots can make imprudent choices and get away with it. Sometimes it takes a wing coming off to make you realize you can only cheat death so long.

  30. as to weather related fatal accidents, Legendary test pilot Scott Crossfield, who in 1953 in an Edwards Air Force Base test flight became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound and later piloted the famous X-15 rocket planes, died at age 84 in the crash of his C210 ....
    "The NTSB has blamed Scott Crossfield's death on his own failure to obtain updated en route weather information, and on air traffic controllers for not giving him adverse weather avoidance assistance.

    The former civilian test pilot took off in his Cessna 210A on April 19, 2006, from Prattville/Grouby Field Airport in Prattville, Ala., and was en route to Manassas, Va., on an IFR flight plan. Crossfield encountered severe embedded thunderstorms and received a clearance to deviate, but it was too late. The airplane disappeared from radar 30 seconds after he initiated the turn. The wreckage was found in the mountains near Ludville, Georgia."

  31. We call it the "Harry Bliss Syndrome". "This baby will take us anywhere". Right up until it doesn't...

  32. I've got 800 hours in my 350P, powered by a PT6 though. That weather would have kept me on the ground for sure. Dunning-Kreuger effect at work here...a psychological principle which states that it's hard to evaluate your competence when you're incompetent, so how would you know you're incompetent?

  33. I know that this has already been mentioned once, but I find it very strange that the dentist bought a single engined light aircraft for his son to travel in because the son was afraid of flying?! What a crazy idea, nearly as bad as putting his family in that aircraft with him and an inexperienced pilot for an ill-advised trip that any sensible person would not have made. Foolhardy in the extreme and completely avoidable.

    1. You nailed it.
      Nice people dying for bad decisions.

    2. Dentists are right behind lawyers who are right behind doctors, for having a high rate of crashes per profession.

  34. I think that people on this site are looking at the wrong radar picture to understand the weather at the crash site, at the time the airframe apparently separated in midair. The crash took place around 5 PM Central time (not in the dark of night), to the northeast of Hot Springs: If you take a Northwesterly Heading from the Hot Springs in this time-stamped weather map to find the crash site, you will see no precipitation on the map. If there were clouds, they would have been far beneath this flight, at 20000 feet. When you look at the FlightAware track, you see a steady uneventful climb until the last four minutes of flight.
    The steady climb was continued for three of the last four minutes, but the pilot powered back from around a 170 knot climb to a 150 knot climb. He climbed at that lower power setting for about three minutes until the extreme breakup event began. In clear air, this seems to indicate that he was experiencing something that made him want to slow down. The beginnings of aerodynamic flutter, maybe? An imbalanced propeller blade, about ready to separate? A depressurizing cabin, followed by a panic induced abrupt nose-over by the less experienced pilot? It never ceases to amaze me, how people armchair this kind of crash without taking a good look at the historical flight and weather data, that is readily available. What the real weather data tells us here, is that nothing remarkable shows up in the weather data at the location of the in-flight separation, which suggests mechanical failure (possibly combined with a bad reaction to the failure).

    1. Ah, what looks like some facts and logic in this long accusatory posting about puppy mill instructors and incompetence. A bit of a ray of light that this indeed could have been a result of some failure that they were working. It is a real tragedy, we don't have a clue what happened and we just assume incompetence. May they rest in peace.

  35. I'm sorry, that's just stupid. Even worse he killed innocent people along with himself. Early in my career I NEVER put other people as risk like this. To me it was unconscionable. Did I ever screw up and have to divert and land at an intermediate airport? Hell yes! Did I have to apologize to my Pax? YES! Later I flew 737s for 35 years. Did I ever not make my destination due to weather? HELL Yes! Did I have to apologize to my Pax? YES, many times!

    It's called commons sense, coupled with the ability to project yourself and your aircraft in to the immediate future 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes ahead and ask yourslef: "Where will I be? What will I encounter? Is this a good place to be? Will I be able to divert or reverse? Is this "PERFECTLY safe?"

    Here's the kicker: If the answer is YES with no problem, continue. If the answer is NO, immediately put together plan B and do the same loop. If the answer is "I don't know" or, more importantly "I think it's OK", then the answer is NO! It's NOT safe. Don't waste anymore time and get to work on Plan B.

    When you're safely descending into your "new" enroute alternate, you can preoccupy yourself with the speech you'll make to your pax when you're safely on the ground.

  36. I knew Mark well. He was a brilliant man and excelled in school. He was accomplished and was known for his methodical way of approaching life. He will be missed. RIP.

  37. For most diversion procedures, you need to aviate, navigate, and communicate as you make choices. In the digital era, the ability to have “information at your fingertips” makes the process of finding these arrangements easy.

    Weather diversion procedures are typically performed spontaneously, so you won’t have a lot of time planning. Filing for or having an alternate airport is something you plan for as part of the original flight plan. A diversion happens when the original plan doesn’t culminate as planned.

  38. Not a good idea to be up in the air in that neck of the woods on that particular day...(my opinion) this flight was a "no go" from the "Get go" if it ain't safe play it safe ARRIVE ALIVE....sometimes just a little later than planned

  39. MarcPilot,
    You need to quit spitting out your biased opinions of "inexperienced" instructors. If you read the CFI's bio, you will discover that he was not JUST an instructor, but also did charter and skydive flights as well and boasted hundreds of students. For some reason, skydive flights seem to impress you. You take a few people up to 14,000, open the door kick them out and then descend. Anybody can do that. Not anybody can be a CFI. Other than high performance time in a grungy 182 and tons of landings, that offers no experience that would benefit a flight instructor.

    Furthermore, assuming that he was a "Puppy mill" CFI also does not seem to be based on any facts. You would probably call me the same thing if you knew my age, when I was trained by a Navy A-4 fighter pilot and instructor with a 100% pass rate on private pilots.

    Furthermore, there are lots of CFI's that enjoy teaching and aren't just there to build hours.

    Additionally, the CFI exam is based on the PTS, but all the maneuvers are performed to a commercial standard listed in the Commercial your point was??

    I think you could be more helpful to the aviation community by sticking to the known details instead of making wild, unfounded assumptions with only opinions to back them.

    1. Well the facts speak for themselves... he flew a perfectly good plane into hellish weather conditions and killed 2 other people. Which all goes against all principles of good airmanship.
      It only takes this one time in Aviation to ruin all your career, life and legacy. Regardless of your previous competence, experience and knowledge.
      Based on this mistake I call him a puppy mill CFI that went through the motions, did some work here and there, collected ratings which is good on a resume and reduces insurance requirements, and who was unable to make a good decision in this flight.

  40. Excellent reply to MarcPilot.....well said, Sir