Thursday, October 28, 2021

Beech B36TC Bonanza, N75RM: Fatal accident occurred October 27, 2021 in Lena, Oconto County, Wisconsin

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; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

Arbuckle Aviation LLC


Location: Lena, Wisconsin
Accident Number: CEN22FA021
Date and Time: October 27, 2021, 18:17 Local 
Registration: N75RM
Aircraft: Beech B36TC
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On October 27, 2021, at 1817 central daylight time, a Beech B36TC airplane, N75RM, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Lena, Wisconsin. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Airplane position data indicated that the flight departed Fort Worth Meacham Airport (FTW), Fort Worth, Texas, at 1357 and proceeded on a northeasterly course. The airplane initially leveled about 15,500 ft mean sea level (msl). However, as the airplane approached a line of storms, the pilot began to deviate. Ultimately, the airplane leveled about 24,000 ft msl and returned to a northeasterly course.

Attempts by air traffic control to contact the pilot after the airplane climbed through 18,000 ft were not successful. About 1756, the airplane entered a descent from 24,000 ft msl. It was about 25 miles west of Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the time. About 2 minutes later, the airplane course became slightly erratic as the descent continued. At 1803, when the airplane altitude was about 16,100 ft msl, the course changed abruptly from northeasterly to westerly. The airplane immediately entered a right turn and returned to the northeasterly course. At that time, the airplane entered a steady descent of about 1,000 fpm, which continued until the data ended. The final data point was recorded at 1817:11. The accident site was about 540 ft northeast of the final data point and aligned with the flight path.

The airplane impacted a corn field and slid about 150 ft before coming to rest. The landing gear and wing flaps were retracted. The lower fuselage structure was damaged from the airplane nose to the midcabin area consistent with impact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from each control surface to the cockpit. An initial engine examination did not reveal any anomalies consistent with an inability to produce rated power. Both fuel tanks appeared to be intact. About 35 gallons of fuel remained in the left tank; no fuel remained in the right fuel tank. The cockpit fuel selector was set to the right tank at the time of the on-scene examination. Further examination of the onboard oxygen system is pending.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N75RM
Model/Series: B36TC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOCQ,605 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C /3°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: None
Departure Point: Fort Worth, TX (FTW)
Destination: Unknown

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.99211,-88.24405 

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

Rick Louis Mai
~


Rick Louis Mai, 67, of Sunrise Beach, passed away on October 27, 2021.

Rick was born in Tacoma, Washington to Richard "Rich" and Ellen Mai on April 23, 1954. He married Jo Lene on August 28, 1982 in Dallas. He had a great passion for hunting, boating, flying and his construction equipment. He had a passion for "pushing dirt" as he would help make designs for houses and golf course. His greatest passion was for his family, he loved taking care of his mother and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.

He was bigger than life and a rock to all that knew him. He will be remembered for his witty nicknames, his love for children and being a friend to all who knew him.

Rick is preceded in death by his Father Richard Mai; Brother Mark Mai; and Sister Lauri Mai Hoffman. Rick is survived by his wife Jo Lene Mai; Daughters, Courtney Mai Smith with husband Nils Smith, Jamie Lynn Wolds with husband Ian Wolds; Son, Jacob Mai; Mother, Ellen Mai; Brother, Kurt Mai with wife Roblyn Mai; Grandchildren, Presley and Emmalyn Smith, Hannah and Carson Wolds. Rick is also survived by many friends.

A Celebration of life will be held November 19, 2021 at 10:30 am at Peace Lutheran Church. The celebration will continue at the Grand Oaks Golf Club at 12 pm located at 3502 Country Club Dr, Grand Prairie Tx 75052.

In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude or Peace Lutheran Church in Hurst, Texas.



Rick Louis Mai
~





Rick Louis Mai, 67, of Sunrise Beach Missouri, passed away on October 27, 2021.

Rick was born in Tacoma Washington to Richard "Rich" and Ellen Mai on April 23, 1954. He married Jo Lene on August 28, 1982 in Dallas. He had a great passion for hunting, boating, flying and his construction equipment. He had a passion for "pushing dirt" as he would help make designs for houses and golf course. His greatest passion was for his family, he loved taking care of his mother and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He was bigger than life and a rock to all that knew him. He will be remembered for his witty nicknames, his love for children and being a friend to all who knew him.

Rick is preceded in death by his Father Richard Mai; Brother Mark Mai; and Sister Lauri Mai Hoffman.

Rick is survived by his wife Jo Lene Mai; Daughters, Courtney Mai Smith with husband Nils Smith, Jamie Lynn Wolds with husband Ian Wolds; Son, Jacob Mai; Mother, Ellen Mai; Brother, Kurt Mai with wife Roblyn Mai; Grandchildren, Presley and Emmalyn Smith, Hannah and Carson Wolds. Rick is also survived by many friends.

A Celebration of life will be held November 19, 2021 at 10:30 am at Peace Lutheran Church. The celebration will continue at the Grand Oaks Golf Club at 12 pm located at 3502 Country Club Dr, Grand Prairie Tx 75052

In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude or Peace Lutheran Church in Hurst, Texas.

39 comments:

  1. Jets escorting...this will be interesting.

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    1. Had been at 24K feet before becoming unresponsive.

      ADS-B missed ending, but saw odd track coming down from altitude:
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=aa1933&lat=44.626&lon=-88.608&zoom=10.1&showTrace=2021-10-27&trackLabels

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    2. Standard Operating Practice for a NORDO VFR aircraft in Class A airspace at FL240 without a clearance. Multiple attempts to contact the pilot via 121.5, possible cell phone, last fuel service to determine range, then ask military for assistance. Scramble fighters for intercept.

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    3. Flightaware captured data down to 1000' MSL:

      Track log:
      https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N75RM/history/20211027/1928Z/KFTW/L%2045.00167%20-88.23889/tracklog
      Track:
      https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N75RM

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    4. Some data observations:

      Looking at the descent from 24,000 MSL to 1000 MSL, the distance between those mapped GPS positions measures 35 statute miles for the 23,000' of lost altitude. Checking for the glide ratio:

      35 x 5,280 = 184,800 feet traveled. 184,800/23,000 = 8.03 to 1

      The vertical rates in the initial descent during the alternating small turns show large negative rates in the right-turnings and lesser rates in the left-turnings by looking at the data points available zoomed in on the Adsbexchange track recording.

      The glide ratio and apparent vertical rate relationship to banking right and left in the small turns suggests alternating fuel unporting and bank/slosh recovery by a windmilling engine upon reaching minimum usable fuel for level flight in the selected tank.

      Individual tank capacity divided by gal/hour cruise fuel burn rate can predict a maximum possible time period from pilot's final tank selection until the observed start of descent. The pilot had to be conscious when that tank selection was made.

      Reference:
      Alternating small turns in early descent:
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=aa1933&lat=44.625&lon=-88.526&zoom=13.6&showTrace=2021-10-27&trackLabels&timestamp=1635375607

      Mapped position at 24,000 MSL from FA track log:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:44.5519+-88.5951
      Mapped position at 1,000 MSL from FA track log:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:45.0017+-88.2389

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    5. This pilot reported medical issues before climbing to 24,000 feet. He was headed to my airport in Missouri for an annual inspection which I was to conduct. The airplane corrected it’s direction in the descent because the autopilot was engaged. My hypothesis is that his medical issue, which he reported, was actually hypoxia and that he mistakenly dialed in 24,000 feet when he meant 4,000 feet because the point of his ascent was where he should have begun his descent to my airport. I suspect his oxygen system was either empty or defective either mechanically or operator error.

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  2. appeared to reach a cruise alt @ 15:27:33 (EDT) 33.8750, -96.4670 ↗ 36° 192 221 15,800.
    departed @ 15:51:49 35.1712, -95.3440 ↗ 41° 237 273 15,800 370^
    reached @ 16:21:30 36.6324,-94.7426 ↗ 52° 239 275 24,250

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  3. No doubt Hypoxia. Looks like he climbed to top weather and if he put the mask on or not, he didn't receive enough O2 if any at all.

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    1. Definitely had WX to top as the track maneuvered near Tulsa:

      https://weather.us/radar-us/oklahoma/reflectivity/KINX_20211027-200011z.html

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    2. Hi, What is WX? I'm his son. Trying to get a grasp here. Thanks.

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    3. Hi Jake, WX means "weather." I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    4. @JMai- WX is weather. The comment is saying that the pilot had rainclouds between where he was and where he was going. That comment was made while it was presumed that he might have ascended to get over that weather, as opposed to flying through it at a lower altitude.

      The link is the radar picture from that time period.

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  4. Looks to me like the intended destination was Lee C Fine Memorial Airport
    Kaiser/Lake Ozark, Missouri [KAIZ]. Same airport in which aircraft departed from earlier that placed it in Fort Worth.

    Originally must have tried climbing to 15,000 MSL to clear the weather, which would still require the pilot to use oxygen, but possibly needed to go higher. Will be interesting to hear what communications between pilot and ATC took place to see if the pilot requested a higher altitude once at FL 150 and if a clearance was given to enter the Class A airspace.

    I can't think of a reason why the plane would have climbed to FL240 on it's own without some interaction from the pilot and the use of the autopilot.

    The autopilot was defiantly engaged for the remainder of the accident flight holding the aircraft on heading and at flight level 240 until fuel starvation occurred.

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  5. Almost seemed like the pilot was recovering control after the drop and turn at 16K MSL if you look at the near-original heading resumption afterwards.

    Realized after finding an AFM supplement in the WPR17FA013 docket that the descent probably did not meet the auto-disconnect conditions of the presumed OEM Bendix/King KFC-150 autopilot, which are:

    The autopilot will automatically disconnect under the following conditions:

    - Electrical power failure
    - Internal FCS failure
    - Loss of "compass valid" internal condition (only with KCS55A compass system, while a heading mode is active)
    - Roll rate > 14°/sec (unless CWS switch held depressed)
    - Pitch rate > 5°/sec (unless CWS switch held depressed)


    Track detail, drop/turn at 16K MSL:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=aa1933&lat=44.699&lon=-88.440&zoom=12.4&showTrace=2021-10-27&trackLabels&timestamp=1635375058

    AFM Supplement excerpt, 1983, Bendix/King KFC-150 autopilot:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/Document/docBLOB?ID=40469017&FileExtension=.PDF&FileName=AFM%20Supplement%20Excerpts-Master.PDF

    KFC-150 Pilots Guide Excerpts:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/Document/docBLOB?ID=40469016&FileExtension=.PDF&FileName=KFC%20150%20Pilots%20Guide%20Excerpts-Master.PDF

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  6. I wonder about a flight plan with a destination airport, and if they overflew that. That seems like a long straight flight

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. The developing story now includes FAA spokesperson saying the pilot climbed to 24,000 feet without permission. Maneuvering is consistent with weather avoidance, but some mystery there from no comm, no plan filed.

    The pilot's comms at KFTW can be heard at link below. Ground provides taxi instructions at the 18 minute point, 75RM checks in with tower at 23 minutes, saying "We'll be northeast", lines up to wait, cleared for takeoff at 27 minutes, tower approves frequency change at 29 minutes. No handoff to departure.

    https://archive.liveatc.net/kftw/KFTW1-Del_Gnd-Twr-Oct-27-2021-1830Z.mp3

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    1. My name is Jake. I'm his only son, and I took the picture. I've flown with him many times. I can't access this mp3. Could you help me out? The link appears to be broken. I don't know all the facts yet, but I have my assumptions. I agree... I assume that he maneuvered above/around that storm... he always checked his oxygen before takeoff. Luck wasn't on his side I suppose, but he always found his window with storms. I digress... he was a damn good pilot. He had a pretty bad injury to his forehead when we put him to rest. Near his temple on the left side. I don't know a lot of the jargon on this site... but I think he might have been knocked unconscious, then died of hypoxia as autopilot kept him at 20K+. He had his mask on upon discovery by the Jets/helicopter, and oxygen delivery was switched on per the investigator. I miss him terribly, and we're still awaiting the merits of the investigation per NTSB findings. I hope he was gone before landing in that field. His injuries were pretty bad... like a bad car wreck. But I'm grateful that we got him home in one piece. It would very much like him if he was getting any oxygen in short spurts, and came to last minute. I hope it was Hypoxia, I'm grateful nobody else was hurt. He would be too. He would always say "son even if you've lost both engines, you've still got a perfectly good airplane... find a field, and pull the landing gear up before you belly in". I appreciate this thread. I'll try to keep everyone updated. I'd say "Surely" and he'd always laugh, and say "Don't call me Shirley" or... "Good luck we're all counting on you." Any information, I'd love to know.

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    2. Jake, the LiveAtc recording is only made publicly available for 30 days on the original archive link. As a family member, you should be able to ask for the FAA's tower recording copy from FAA or the NTSB. Alternately, you could ask someone who saved a copy on their hard drive to dropbox a copy of the LiveAtc recording to you.

      You can probably get LiveAtc to email you the mp3 file by using the contact form at this link if you explain who you are and include the original file link in your text block:

      https://www.liveatc.net/ct/contact.php

      Sorry that you have lost your dad. Seems very likely that he was not waking up during the descent or the fuel tank selection would have been changed to the other tank.

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    3. Jake, I'm so sorry for your loss. I live near where the jets were scrambled from so when the accident happened, I was trying to piece together the events and downloaded a few files from LiveATC. I happened to be looking at this report and found your comment and turns out I still have the KFTW tower audio instructing your dad to contact Alliance tower. It's a short clip but I uploaded it here https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jyqgyul7e5t80i/KFTW1-Twr-Oct-27-2021-1830Z.mp3?dl=0 Sending you and your family my deepest condolences.

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  9. Photos of the plane, as-landed in a dry-stalk cornfield:

    https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/pilot-found-dead-in-oconto-county-plane-crash-cause-under-investigation/

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  10. This aircraft was originally delivered on 02/09/1984 in DE as N6780Z. Had one owner after original owner on 02/2008 in GA. Then, sold to Arbuckle Aviation LLC on 12/13/2012. At some point between 2008 and 2012 the airplane was converted to a rocket Engineering TurbineAir turboprop conversion Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21, designated by flightaware as (36T). The new owner changed the N number to N75RM on 12/27/2013.
    This accident has all the hallmarks of Hypoxia combined with fuel exhaustion. The specs for the conversion match almost exactly to the range of 900 nm (998 sm) flown.
    According to ADS-B, no FMS or additional info was recorded beyond basic altitude, heading, and speed. The aircraft was squawking VFR (1200) in class A airspace (above 18,000') with no flight plan. That is the reason for the NORDO intercept.

    http://aviationdb.net/aviationdb/AircraftDetailPage
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2015/january/pilot/t_ql
    https://flightaware.com/resources/registration/N6780Z
    https://flightaware.com/resources/registration/N75RM
    https://flightaware.com/photos/view/13765-dd90d032ae2eb415955861d5bda5e0ca77991156/aircrafttype/BE36 (photo)
    JW

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    1. This was a stock engine B36TC. We know the pilot and he departed the airport where we are based. We are also puzzled about the rest of the details.

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  11. I was 30 when I did the altitude chamber at CAMI in OKC. I was a runner, and I was in the best health and the youngest of the guys in the box that day. If I recall correctly, we initially went to 20k for a bit where they gave us our simple assignments. My assignment was simple grade school addition. We then did the rapid decompression to 25k. All I remember before I passed out was a really nice warm fuzzy feeling as I struggled with the math then … I was the first one to go in about one minute (I was told that I went quickly because I was a runner … opposite of what I expected). I recover quickly after going on the O2 and was able to observe my work mates as they slowly went over the next few minutes. One guy actually became violent as they worked to get his mask on. Very educational. I would not trade the experience for anything in my aviation training. After that I always had a greater respect for monitoring the pressurization and the use of the O2 and the mask.

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    1. I'm his son, this gives me peace. I hope he departed with that warm fuzzy feeling, and grateful that nobody else was hurt..

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  12. Look at that perfect landing into a cornfield wings level (left wing already removed for transport prep in the pics). Totally intact aircraft. A conscious pilot could not have done a better job out of power putting down. How did this aircraft continue into the ground wings level and at such a shallow angle after running out of gas? RIP to him and condolences to the family and friends who knew and loved him.

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    1. Sometimes it works out. You probably know about the famous unpiloted jet landing linked below and the 2017 Mooney N9149V self-landing where the passed-out from CO pilot survived.

      Jet:
      https://f-106deltadart.com/580787cornfieldbomber.htm
      Mooney:
      https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/online-learning/real-pilot-stories/dan-bass-accident-photos

      http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2017/02/accident-occurred-february-02-2017-in.html

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    2. Many years ago at the airport I worked at, a guy self prop started his J-3 Cub. It got away from him, took off and flew away with no one on board. They were all panicking, afraid of where it would end up. They eventually found it undamaged in a pasture, where they fueled it, and flew it back to the airport.

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    3. Thank you, whoever you are. I am his only son. He was a great pilot. I hope god glided him into that field, with no other loss of life or property, and that he didn't feel a thing. Thank you for your condolences. -Jake Mai.

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  13. Doesn't look like a turbine coversion. They typically have tip tanks to feed the more thirsty turbine engine. Also the nose is a lot longer. My have just been a turbocharged piston.

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    1. We need to see a closeup of the cowling. Articles below about the TurbineAir conversion don't show tip tanks, describes some added capacity done with extra bladders and footwell header tank.

      http://blog.covingtonaircraft.com/2020/08/28/turbineair-bonanza/

      https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2015/january/pilot/t_ql

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    2. B36TC is a factory turbocharged 36

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  14. Presumably the preliminary report's statement "Attempts by air traffic control to contact the pilot after the airplane climbed through 18,000 ft were not successful" indicates no conversation with controllers before initiating that climb from 15K.

    Much mystery remains...

    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/104170/pdf

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  15. This pilot reported medical issues before climbing to 24,000 feet. He was headed to my airport in Missouri, which was NOT Lee C Fine but a different nearby airport, for an annual inspection which I was to conduct. The airplane corrected it’s direction in the descent because the autopilot was engaged. My hypothesis is that his medical issue, which he reported, was actually hypoxia and that he mistakenly dialed in 24,000 feet when he meant 4,000 feet because the point of his ascent was where he should have begun his descent to my airport. I suspect his oxygen system was either empty or defective either mechanically or operator error.

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  16. I personally witnessed this plane fly by me 3 times:1-6 minutes apart, an hour and a half before the crash. He flew by heading west,circled out of my view then 1 minute later flew by again heading west, circled again near overhead the continued west then 6 minutes later returned from West, flew past heading east never saw again. Approximately an hour later, heard fighter jets overhead. Approximately an hour and a half after first visual of suspected plane, I witnessed the search by helicopter overhead. Crash sight was unknown for at least an hour which was miles SW of my location. There was odd events leading up to eventually finding plane-maybe it's procedure???

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    1. With the crash site being miles SW of your location, it is a sure thing that you didn't see this aircraft. Look again at the ADS-B data's glide slope intercepting the ground, just 540 ft northeast of the final data point and aligned with the flight path.

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    2. Nothing odd.... maybe an airplane took off from KOCQ heading West, the cloud ceilings came down, pilot didn't want to chance it, turned back to KOCQ or even headed across the bay back to KSUE?

      With ADBS, although not foolproof, it would have definitely shown what you witnessed IF it was the same airplane.

      Just remember, there are more airplanes and airports (some private) in the area. Just because you saw an airplane doesn't mean it was THIS airplane (There's a nice Bonanza based at KOCQ that would look identical from the ground).
      Also... the low cloud level sucked that day... I should know... I was about 5 miles from the crash site and I AM a pilot. That crashed happened and my wife's phone exploded by friends and family checking if I was OK.

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  17. NTSB reports preliminary information on the aircraft's performance, yet reveals little on the pilot operator, specifically autopsy results!

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  18. Did he pass away from lack of oxygen or from injuries sustained when the plane came down in the field?

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