Monday, July 26, 2021

SIAI Marchetti SM.1019B, N28U: Fatal accident occurred July 24, 2021 at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport (KLWS), 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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington 
Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana
Hartzell Propeller

Location: Lewiston, ID
Accident Number: WPR21FA283
Date & Time: July 24, 2021, 12:00 Local
Registration: N28U
Aircraft: SIAI-MARCHETTI SM-1019B 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 24, 2021, about 1200 Pacific daylight time, a SIAI Marchetti SM-1019B airplane, N28U, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport (LWS), Lewiston, Idaho. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Airport security video captured the airplane positioned at the intersection of taxiway D and runway 12 prior to takeoff. The pilot started the takeoff roll and continued about 450 ft down the runway before the airplane departed the runway in a three-point departure configuration. The airplane then pitched up in a steep climb, increasing in pitch to an altitude of about 80 ft above ground level, and then banked left and started to descend. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a nose down left-wing low attitude near the intersection of taxiway F and taxiway C.  A postcrash fire ensued.

A witness stated the airplane depart the runway in a steep climb and “stalled out,” and that “you could hear it.” He described the airplane turning sharply to the left then descending nose-down to the ground. Other witnesses located at the airport reported that the engine was operating normally during the departure.

According to a family member, the pilot had the airplane refueled in Lewiston and planned to fly to Hungry Ridge Ranch Airport (37ID), Grangeville, Idaho, where he owned a residence.

The airplane was recovered to a secured facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N28U
Model/Series: SM-1019B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: N/A

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLWS,1436 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Lewiston, ID 
Destination: Grangeville, ID (37ID)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 46.376415,-117.01176 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Dale Snodgrass
1949 - 2021

Dale O. "Snort" Snodgrass CAPT USN (Ret.) a celebrated naval officer and aviator for 27 years, talented demonstration pilot, and dedicated chief pilot died tragically in his SIAI-Marchetti 1019 taking off from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport in Idaho on 24 July 2021. The St. Augustine, Florida resident was 72.

Dale was raised in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York and attended the University of Minnesota as an NROTC Midshipman setting records as an All-American swimmer. He graduated in August 1972 and was commissioned an Ensign. Selected for jets, he completed his Navy flight training in December 1973 and was one of the first fighter pilots to fly the F-14 Tomcat. He was selected to attend and graduated from U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) at NAS Miramar, California and then served as a weapons training officer. As a Lieutenant (LT) he earned his Landing Signal Officer (LSO) qualification for all wing aircraft and was later selected as the Air Wing LSO for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Eight. Then Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Snodgrass was selected in 1983 to be the operations officer of the Atlantic Fleet adversary squadron (VF-43) at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia (NAS Oceana). A remarkable airman, he was selected as the 1985 Fighter Pilot of the Year and 1986 Grumman Aerospace TOPCAT of the Year. After serving as the executive officer of Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101) in 1988, he was selected for command of Fighter Squadron 33 (VF-33. In April 1993, he began service in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as section head of OPNAV N88, Aviation Training Resources. A year later he was promoted to Captain (CAPT) and selected for a major command. In April 1994, Captain Snodgrass became commodore of Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic based at NAS Oceana. In February 1997, he returned to Washington, D.C. as head of the House Liaison Office for the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs where he served until his retirement from the Navy in June 1999. His personal awards include two Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, two Air Medals, three Strike/Flight Air Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals with Combat V, three Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy Achievement Medals.

After military retirement, Snodgrass founded DS Airshows Inc. and co-founded Draken International serving as Chief Pilot, Lead for the Draken Black Diamond Flight Team and Director of Operations for Draken's Adversarial Combat Training. Dale was also notably recognized as one of only ten authorized U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Pilots.

Dale "Snort" Snodgrass accumulated over 13,000 hours in tactical aircraft during his career and is amongst the greatest fighter pilots of all time.

He is survived by his wife Cynthia, Dale's daughters Danby & Morgan, granddaughters Molly, Mae, Avery and Emory, his Sisters Donn & Marilou and his wife Cynthia's children, Holly and Jeffery.

Friends are invited to attend the military funeral at 1:30pm on Friday, August 27 at the Fort Stanton Veterans Cemetery located at 1398 State Highway 220, Fort Stanton, New Mexico. Service dress is optional but appreciated. A celebration of life will follow at Sierra Blanca Regional Airport at 5pm.

In lieu of flowers, please donate online to St. Jude and Inspiration4 to help find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases at