Saturday, November 13, 2021

Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander, N866JA: Fatal accident occurred November 13, 2021 at Welke Airport (6Y8), Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, Michigan

Mike Perdue
Smith Realty Group

 Kate Leese, and husband Adam Kendall
Frank and Baker

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; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Air Accidents Investigation Branch

McPhillips Flying Service Inc doing business as Island Airways

Location: Beaver Island, Michigan
Accident Number: CEN22FA031
Date and Time: November 13, 2021, 13:49 Local
Registration: N866JA
Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi and commuter - Non-scheduled

On November 13, 2021, at 1349 eastern standard time, a Britten Norman BN-2A airplane, N866JA, was Substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident on Beaver Island, Michigan. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured, and one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 air taxi flight.

The airplane departed the Charlevoix Municipal Airport (CVX), at 1332, with the pilot and 4 passengers on-board. After departing CVX, the airplane turned north and proceeded directly toward the Welke Airport (6Y8), on Beaver Island, Michigan. The enroute portion of the flight was conducted about 1500 ft. above mean sea level (msl), and the airplane remained at this altitude until the it was about 3 nautical miles (nm) from 6Y. At this point, the airplane began descending and was maneuvered toward a straight-in approach to runway 35 at 6Y8. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data ended about 0.24 nm south of the accident site.

The airplane impacted the ground about 110 ft east of the extended centerline of runway 35, and 320 ft south of the runway threshold. The turf runway was 3.500 ft long and had a displaced threshold just beyond its intersection with paved runway 9/27. Impact signatures indicated that the airplane struck the ground in a left wing low, nose low attitude. The front of the fuselage was crushed upward and aft.

All major components of the airplane were located at the accident scene. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to each respective control surface except for cuts made by first responders for occupant extraction. Engine control continuity was established from the cockpit to each engine except for cuts made by first responders for occupant extraction. The wing flaps were found in an extended position.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BRITTEN-NORMAN 
Registration: N866JA
Model/Series: BN-2A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)
Operator Designator Code: ECLA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSJX,666 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2000 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / 20 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.73 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Charlevoix, MI (CVX)
Destination: Beaver Island, MI (6Y8)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 45.719909,-85.517729 

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.

Friends said Bill Julian had a passion for aviation, not only for the enjoyment he got out of it for himself, but also for getting the next generation of pilots off the ground. 

William “Bill” Francis Julian, 55, of Traverse City, passed away unexpectedly November 13, 2021.

Bill was born in Bay City, June 25, 1966.

He attended and graduated from Bay City Central High School. Bill was involved with the school’s athletic program, excelling in football and basketball. Following graduation, Bill earned bachelor and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. In 2003 Bill moved to Traverse City, met and married Katharine McKenzie and began a family.

Bill spent his professional life teaching and coaching. When he moved to Traverse City, he taught at St. Francis High School. He then took a position teaching social studies at East Middle School, where he remained until his passing.

In 1989 Bill earned his pilot license, followed by becoming a certified flight instructor in 1990. Bill loved to fly, and loved the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was known for his love of animals, especially for his Labrador Retrievers. He volunteered his time and distributed joy, with the help of his canine companion at Munson Medical Center. He was also a steward with the Leelanau Conservancy.

Bill leaves behind his wife Katherine McKenzie; daughter Elizabeth “Betsy;” mother Mary Ann Coryell; siblings Dennis (Tammie), Greg (Molly), Sue (Steve) and Jim (Leslie); step-mother Carol Julian; as well as many family members and friends.

He was predeceased by his father Vern Julian and step-father Charles Coryell.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 PM, Thursday November 18, at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. A memorial service is set for 1:30 PM, Saturday November 20, at Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City. Bill's memorial service will also be livestreamed at,

Memorial contributions may be directed to a charity of one’s choice, or to the Leelanau Conservancy,

Memories and condolences may be shared on Bill’s tribute page,

Bill Julian

When the sirens go off on Beaver Island,  everyone that knows and loves everyone cringes to think, Who?

When  a small plane crashes, the news spreads quickly and everyone’s heart is immediately broken to wonder, who have we lost? What families will be suffering on this day?

On this day, we lost so much.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Mike Perdue, Kate Leese, and husband Adam Kendall, of Beaver Island and William Julian of Traverse City, Michigan. Christy Perdue, Michael’s wife, and mother of their four children , is the daughter of local resident, Carl Heller. Mike is a well-known, respected and loved member of the community,  and a realtor in Gaylord, Michigan. William Julian was a commercial pilot at Traverse City,  semi-retired and a recent part-time addition to Welke Airport.

Kate and Adam brought their family and dreams to Beaver Island in 2019. The happy, loving couple also brought love to all of the island community and all others they met along the way. Much like Mike and Christy Perdue,  they gave hope and inspiration and so much love to all they met.

Federal Aviation officials were present to investigate the crash over two days and gave an official statement to local news stations and the Northern-Islander Newspaper. A complete report from that interview will be available later today.

John Brannen, senior air safety investigator  for the National Transportation Safety Board and other members of the FAA team stated that the investigation will continue for months as investigators dig into the details of the weather conditions, flight records and the many other factors that will help determine some official and final report about the crash.

United States Coast Guard officials were only ten minutes away when the planes internal notification signal reached them. Fortunately, they were able to respond within those minutes and rescue Laney Perdue,  the 11-year-old daughter of Mike and Christy Perdue. Laney and William Julian were immediately airlifted to the mainland where Julian died, and Laney was transported to Grand Rapids Children’s Hospital where she remains under care and reported to be stable.

Response was immediate and swift from across the island as residents quickly made plans to contact the family and rescue 2100 grape vines planted at Kate and Adam’s Anthos Wine Farm. Dozens of residents met the family with food from Harbour Market Bodega at the farm to cover the young vines while cold temperatures and dangerous weather swirled around the grieving army.

Meanwhile, others gathered downtown at a recently installed art structure, brought to the island last year by Burning Man Festival coordinator,  Nathan Altman. Altman and partner Sarah Mueller, Northern-Islander editor, Cynthia Johnson, and Kate Nix lit a ceremonial fire in the fire platform of the sculpture. The traditional, culturally connected fire is lit and kept burning so that people can gather to send positive thoughts and help the lost loved ones find their spirit homes. The small group offered prayers and mantras throughout the long night of grief and mourning while others brought firewood and joined them in the harbor. On Sunday evening, hundreds attended a heart-rendering service led by Father Peter Wigdon of the Beaver Island Holy Cross Catholic Church.

Altman’s InnerSun project was designed with the goal of bringing communities together and was first lit for Summer Solstice in June 2021. The community had already gathered for the installation and celebrations and/or casual gatherings already this year. Constructed as a geodesic dome of 32 sheet metal panels,  the structure represents hundreds of hands,  with each person’s expression of what their “inner sun” means. Ranging from expressions of  “love,” “family” and many other sentiments of the celebrations of life,  the InnerSun project served this time,  to bring together and comfort a heavy-hearted community.

It is difficult to imagine at this time that comfort can be brought to anyone with this impossible loss before us. Coming so soon after many covid-19 losses,  the recent deaths of much-loved personalities,  Danny Johnson, Fiddler,  and Edward Palmer, island musician;  these precious lives lost are yet another heavy blow.

At the same time,  this sadness brings everyone closer together to offer prayers, food, hope and assistance to those left behind. A Go Fund Me account has been established for the family of Willian Julian, and for Mike Perdue family on Facebook.

More information and news will be available at in the coming days.

Kate Leese and Adam Kendall
Antho Vineyards



A fatal plane crash on Beaver Island on Saturday afternoon left four dead, including the pilot. An 11-year-old girl is the lone survivor.   

According to initial reports from the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department, the Island Airways 1:30 p.m. flight on Saturday, November 13 was arriving at Welke Airport on Beaver Island when it crashed. 

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the type of plane that crashed on Beaver Island was a Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander. 

A crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City was already in the air conducting training when they got an alert about the crash. The Coast Guard crew were able to see debris from the crash on the island and local emergency medical teams who were responding to the scene of the accident.  

The Coast Guard helicopter airlifted two people — one adult male and one female child — with only the child surviving.  

On Monday, Charlevoix County Sheriff Chuck Vondra reported the pilot’s name to be William Julian — a part-time pilot who started with Island Airways in April.

The other passengers on board were Gaylord realtor Mike Perdue, his 11-year-old daughter Laney, new-to-the-island Kate Leese and Adam Kendall, who were planning a vineyard in the area, and their two dogs. All were lost in the crash, including the two dogs, except Laney, who was severely injured. Laney was initially life-flighted to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey and was reportedly later transferred in better condition to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, according to local EMS officials. 

Ryan Wojan, Perdue’s business partner at Smith Realty in Gaylord, said he believed Perdue died protecting his daughter. 

"Mike was an amazing man. He wanted the best for everyone around him. From what the doctors and first responders said, he saved his daughter's life by cradling her during the crash. His daughter said she remembers her daddy squeezing her so hard," said Wojan. 

In his biography on the Smith Realty website, Perdue said he began his real estate career in 2012 under the mentorship of Dale Smith. Perdue and Wojan acquired the independent real estate firm from Smith in 2016.

“At my age, there are not many things that are new to you,” Smith told the Gaylord Herald Times on Monday. “But when I got the call from Ryan on Saturday, It was like someone had kicked me in the stomach and knocked me off my feet.”

“This is a very tragic thing that happened. I am so sorry for Christie (Perdue’s wife). Mike was a very good guy. We, like everybody in business, had our ups and downs but there was mutual respect," added Smith. "He leaves everything in good shape (and) has Ryan as a partner." 

Perdue was also a member of the Otsego County Economic Alliance, Inc. (OCEA) Board and the OCEA Executive Committee.   

“He truly believed in and was dedicated to OCEA’s mission of championing our local economies. He was slated to become OCEA’s vice-chairman for 2022. He was instrumental in working with local businesses to expand in Otsego County, as well as recruiting new businesses to invest into Otsego County. His commitment to his community was admirable. He will be greatly missed,” said Lisa McComb, executive director of OCEA. 

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the Perdue family. By midday on Monday, $60,600 had been raised of the $100,000 goal.

According to the GoFundMe page, Laney “is alert and talking and was able to tell them her mom’s name and phone number. She is being a trooper and so strong. There are many broken bones and injuries but most of them are ones that are going to heal on their own, another miracle!

“So many people have reached out and offered to help … Right now the focus is healing for Laney and the time frame is unknown. Once we have a better idea we will announcement service arrangements.”

Kate Leese and Adam Kendall had recently started a vineyard on Beaver Island, according to a Nov. 6 story in The Detroit News. Their two dogs, Frank and Baker, were also killed in the crash. 

On Monday, Charlevoix County Sheriff Chuck Vondra said “two members from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) along with two NTSB officials and two investigators from Lycom engines” had arrived on the scene to investigate the accident.  

”As far as we can tell, the pilot radioed in about 10 minutes out and again when he was a couple of minutes away from the island and everything was normal at that time,” Vondra said. 

During the time of the accident, the temperature on Beaver Island was 39 degrees Fahrenheit, with a windchill of 32 degrees and a wind speed of 15 mph out of the west, with gusts up to 25 mph. Visibility was up to 5 miles, according to 

The accident has hit the communities of Beaver Island and Charlevoix hard, Vondra added. 

“It hits hard for us and the people on Beaver Island,” he said. “It has a huge impact on the island, which is a small, close-knit community."

Beaver Island is located approximately 32 miles from the City of Charlevoix off Michigan's Lower Peninsula. With a year-round population of approximately 600 people, it is the largest island in Lake Michigan. 

Charlevoix’s city manager Mark Heydlauff said, “The Charlevoix and Beaver Island communities are separated by water but inextricably linked. We are figuratively and literally family. The tragedy on Saturday affects families throughout our shared community. We mourn with those who mourn and send our prayers and thoughts of recovery for the injured person. We stand with the grieving and will assist investigators as we can in understanding this tragedy. At times like this, an extra hug and expression of care is the best that can be offered for our hurting friends and neighbors.” 

Officials said plane crashes in the area are uncommon. This is the first crash of Island Airways, according to historical data.    

Another plane suffered a crash in February of 2001, which resulted in the death of the pilot and one passenger while a mother and her three children survived. They waited to be rescued in frigid winter temperatures for over 15 hours, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune at the time.  

Court fight intensifies over Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD) hangar leases

Ogden City has asked a federal judge to deny an airport user group’s “drastic and even radical” request for an injunction to stop the city from ending long-running hangar leases.

The Ogden Regional Airport Association last spring filed suit in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City alleging that new airport management plans will allow the city to illegally take improvements built into hangars after leases are not renewed.

The city denied the allegations and filed a motion that the suit be dismissed. Later, the association sought a preliminary injunction against any lease terminations before the suit is resolved.

Attorneys representing the city filed two more documents November 12 — one requesting that the court now rule on its dismissal motion and the other opposing the association’s motion for an injunction and temporary restraining order.

“Plaintiffs are seeking drastic and even radical injunctive relief that will effectively preclude Ogden City from managing the Ogden City Airport consistent with their municipal authority and responsibilities as well as state and federal statutory and regulatory requirements,” the city argued. The city contended the move to “rewrite the lease agreements” and require the city to “renew them into perpetuity” would convert the hangars into “permanent fee estates.”

City plans have evolved over the years toward putting the airport on a better financial footing and to comply with federal regulations, the city said. For instance, the Federal Aviation Administration has adopted regulations limiting storage of “non-aeronautical property” in hangars, the city said. The association has argued that storage of non-aircraft items in hangars is permitted by the FAA “if they did not impede the movement of aircraft.”

The city also challenged statements submitted by two former Ogden-Hinckley Airport managers, including a contention that the city historically allowed lease owners a right of first refusal when terms expired and that “the airport was aware and even encouraged hangar owners to rely on their right of first refusal.”

In its filing last week, the city said it does not dispute that association members are entitled to enforcement of the terms of their lease agreements, but the city disputes any implication that it or any authorized representative waived any right to the enforcement of contract terms and rights secured by those lease agreements. The city noted the lease claims came from two former airport managers who were fired and still hold hangar leases there.

The association accused the current airport manager, Bryant Garrett, and the city attorney’s office of executing “a scheme to get around owners’ right of first refusal and established policies and practices to terminate owners’ leases and take their hangars without fair compensation.”

The city said new lease agreements for hangars have not contained a right of refusal since 2017, and the city “has never promised any kind of perpetual or unending right to the renewal of lease agreements.” Further, the city council on April 20 this year “eliminated language related to first rights of refusal for airport leases.”

The city said it always has reserved the right to structure leases to meet the needs of the airport. In 2016, the city adopted an administrative policy stating that lease renewals may not be available, or may carry a shortened term, if a new lease renewal would conflict with airport redevelopment plans.

The association quoted from a business plan in which the city outlined potential steps for phasing out leases, including demolition of hangars 50 or more years old. “Hangars needed to be removed before their lawful lease is up will likely need to be compensated,” the document said.

But in its court filing, the city said that document was a draft, not approved by any city officials and not authorized for public release.

Judge Jill Parrish has taken the arguments under advisement and no further hearings have yet been set.


Ogden City and airport management have determined any hangar over 40 years old is obsolete and has no value, “no exceptions” (Gary Williams, Ogden City Attorney). Lessors are left with three options: (1) walk away, (2) tear down to bare dirt, or (3) rent the facility to the airport at a fair market value.

Joint owners and I contracted with GSA to build the US Forest Service hangar in 1985. We have remodeled twice; it took two years just to get a building permit for the last remodel. In those years, we covered many specs, but one important item was never discussed, Title 8. Our renewed lease was signed in January 2021. Three months later, Title 8 was approved. Some public servants admitted they had never heard of it, yet it miraculously passed in one meeting. Title 8 was enforced before it became policy!

Much language (e.g., facility vs ground lease, guidance vs law, etc.) changed in our last lease with no disclosure. We just spent over $1 million to remodel our entire facility. Why would anyone spend that kind of money just to lose their investment? Why would anyone want to locate at Hinckley, home of hostile takeover(s)?

If airport hangars are becoming worthless, why are property taxes going up? Who pays property taxes when the airport takes ownership? Government does not tax government. Can Weber County do without the taxes paid by private hangar owners? Will the airport pay insurance on “their” acquired hangars? Can a city government overtake a federal government lease?

Airport finances are a problem. It is well publicized: the airport operates at a financial loss to the city. That was contested and losses halved. The latest reports are the airport operates in the black. Will a professional dare investigate the numbers and sign an audit?

Ogden needs a municipal airport, not a national or military airport. Those airports are already close. Ogden City and airport managers also need greater transparency, thorough financial accountability, and an airport that welcomes private aviators.

Tamera Newman
Tremonton, Utah 

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N5862W: Accident occurred November 12, 2021 in St. Petersburg, Florida

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 Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22LA066
Date and Time: November 12, 2021, 18:31 Local
Registration: N5862W
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5862W
Model/Series: PA28 180 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: KSPG,6 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: St Petersburg, FL (SPG)
Destination: Orlando, FL (ORL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 27.76618,-82.50449 

TAMPA, Florida — A pilot was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard Friday night after a small plane went down into Tampa Bay.

At around 6:30 p.m., Pinellas Fire and Rescue alerted the U.S. Coast Guard at St. Petersburg about the emergency crash. 

The Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee landed in the water about three miles south of MacDill Air Force Base, according to a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson. The Coast Guard diverted a boat crew that was undergoing training to rescue the pilot, the Coast Guard said in a news release. 

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater was launched and a small boat rescue crew responded to the scene.

"The pilot was able to use the light on his cellphone to signal to us where he was, which made finding him quicker," Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Hava of the boat crew coxswain, said in the release. "A lot of others arrived on-scene about the same time as us."

The pilot was transferred to EMS without any injuries reported.

Officials say the plane is submerged and the owner is working with a salvaging company to recover the plane.

At this time, a hazard notice is being broadcasted to other boaters in the area on VHF radio channel 16 to watch out for the submerged plane.

Cessna 172: Incident occurred November 13, 2021 at City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS), El Paso County, Colorado

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aircraft landed and struck taxiway lights. 

Date: 13-NOV-21
Time: 17:02:00Z
Regis#: RALLY70
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Zenair STOL CH 701 SP, N984LD: Fatal accident occurred November 12, 2021 in Randsburg, Kern County, California

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; Van Nuys, California

Location: Randsburg, California 
Accident Number: WPR22FA033
Date and Time: November 12, 2021, 14:14 Local
Registration: N984LD
Aircraft: Zenith STOL CH701 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 12, 2021, about 1414 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Zenith CH-701, N984LD, was destroyed when it was involved in accident while landing at a back-country airstrip, near Randsburg, California. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airport was located within a 1,500 ft-wide valley, at an elevation of about 2,450 ft. The runway was oriented on a southwest heading, with rising terrain to the north, and a parallel ridgeline to the south which fell away to an open desert playa.

A witness, who was located on a camping spot about ½ to the west, and overlooking the runway, stated that he had camped at that location many times before, and was familiar with aircraft landing on the airstrip. About 1410, he heard the typical sound of an airplane in the traffic pattern and saw a high-wing airplane flying northeast along the ridgeline at an altitude of about 300 ft over the runway. He stated that it was flying in a manner that seemed appropriate for an airplane approaching the southwest runway for landing.

A short time later he heard an engine revving up, and when he looked up, the airplane was at the north end of the runway, flying northwest. The airplane was wobbling, and it then began to bank left. It’s bank angle reached about 60° such that he could see the full wing profile; the nose then dropped, and the airplane descended rapidly to the ground.

Another witness, who was located within the runway valley, stated that his attention was drawn to an airplane flying northeast over the ridgeline. It was flying about 50 ft above the ridge and appeared to be bouncing, in a manner that he attributed to it encountering turbulence. He was concerned and continued to watch the airplane as it began a left turn consistent with it initiating an approach to land on the southwest runway. The airplanes bank angle then rapidly increased, reaching what he estimated to be about 90° such that the airplane was on a knife-edge. The nose of the airplane then suddenly dropped, and the airplane rapidly descended, and collided with the ground, erupting in flames. 

Both witnesses reported that they did not see the airplane emitting smoke of vapors at any time prior to the impact.

The airplane came to rest inverted on a heading of about 035°, in the foothills of the rising terrain to the north, about 750 ft short of the southwest runway landing threshold, and 275 ft to the right of the centerline.

The entire fuselage through to the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer, along with most of the right wing, and the inboard section of the left wing, sustained extensive thermal damage, melting most of the aluminum structure. The steel airframe components sustained varying degrees of crush and bending damage. The horizontal and rudder/vertical stabilizer remained intact, and came to rest in line with the burnt fuselage remnants.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith
Registration: N984LD
Model/Series: STOL CH701 
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KNID,2230 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C /1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Inyokern, CA (IYK) 
Destination: Randsburg, CA

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: 35.429426,-117.73031 

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.

David Joseph Moynihan

David Joseph Moynihan, 31, passed away on Friday, November 12, 2021.

David is predeceased by his grandparents David Gohmann, and Vivian and Joseph Moynihan.

David is survived by his parents, Humphrey and Connie Moynihan; sisters Katie Moynihan Gray and Meghan Moynihan; brothers-in-law, Brian Gray and Cliff Martin. David is also survived by his much-loved nieces and nephews Evelyn, godchild Mabel, Gus, godchild Lucy, and Leon; numerous friends and extended family members including his grandmother, Margie Gohmann.

David was born in Covington, Virginia on September 30, 1990. He was an Eagle Scout, valedictorian of his Alleghany High School class, and earned his BA in Economics with a minor in Chemical Engineering, as a Rodman Scholar of the University of Virginia. He was kind, thoughtful, and never met a food he didn’t want to eat. Always adventurous, David loved time outdoors with his family and friends, taking on—and excelling at—recreational activities for all seasons. He eventually took this spirit to the skies, first as a novice with the Sandhill Soaring Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan and eventually as an aviator (call sign “Shands”) for the U.S. Navy, serving honorably and achieving the rank of Lieutenant. David dedicated much of his off time to mastering aviation, learning to fly nearly eighty different types of aircraft and sharing his passion for flying with his loved ones. The day before his death, David achieved his glider instructor certification and, in his last hours, was camping near a small California airstrip and flying with a friend.

A Mass of Christian Burial for David will be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 5505 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, Ky. 40291 (visitation begins at 9 a.m. at the church) and interment at Calvary Cemetery, 1600 Newburg Rd, Louisville, Ky. 40205 to follow. A remembrance service will be held in San Diego on Friday, January 7 with details to follow.

David’s family thanks the first responders, the U.S. Navy, the men and women of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-6, and David’s many friends from Virginia to San Diego who have shared their memories and given their wonderful support in so many kind and helpful ways.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to the Soaring Society of America Flight Training Scholarship Fund or the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Hal Wood

Marjo and Hal Wood

Marjo Wood was visiting relatives in Holland when she got the news.

Her husband, Hal Wood, had died in a November 12 plane crash as the passenger of a Zenair STOL CH 701 SP near Randsburg. He was 68. The pilot, David Joseph Moynihan, 31, died at the scene, as well.

Both were connected through their service to the Navy and the love of flying, Marjo said. Moynihan was an active helicopter pilot and Hal Wood was a retired Navy SEAL.

However, retirement didn’t suit her husband, said Marjo, who became his wife on November 8, 1975.

After all, “Once a navy SEAL, always a SEAL,” she added.

Surfing, skiing, hang-gliding, bass guitar-playing, rollerblading, bodybuilding and teaching Krav Maga were only some of his favorite activities.

“There was never any downtime,” she said. “Hal never sat still.”

Born in Minnesota, he enlisted into the Navy around 1972 quickly after high school. The enrollment only came after superiors assured him he could join the SEALs.

“Hal liked things that were a challenge,” Marjo said.

Operations called him away without notice, and he didn’t know when or if he would arrive home. By then, the Vietnam War was winding down, she added. Hal, who served as a hospital corpsman, was also called away to Korea, the Philippines and other places for missions.

After four years of active service and four years in the reserves, Hal jumped from job to job before landing a spot at Southern California Edison, working there for 33 years.

Over the last 20 years, Marjo said, Hal’s passion became flying. He became obsessed with the CH-701 and finally bought one.

Moynihan was a “nice, congenial friend” of Hal’s and they had planned to meet up in Kern County to spot a campground Nov. 12.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary findings Friday of the crash and said the Zenair STOL CH 701 SP took off at about 2:14  p.m. from Inyokern and flew toward Randsburg.

Another witness said he saw an airplane flying northeast over the ridge, and it was “bouncing,” according to NTSB’s report. He attributed the movement to turbulence.

Concerned, the same witness watched as the plane started to initiate “an approach to land on the southwest runway,” the report said. However, the bank’s angle began to increase, to about 90 degrees.

“The nose of the airplane then suddenly dropped, and the airplane rapidly descended and collided with the ground, erupting in flames,” the NTSB report stated.

Witnesses said the plane did not emit smoke before impact, per the report.

Hal leaves behind his wife, two children and three grandchildren. Moynihan’s family could not be reached Friday for comment.

DECEDENT’S NAME: David Joseph Moynihan

CASE #: C04364-21


AGE: 31 years

TYPE OF CASE: Aircraft Fatality                

DATE OF INCIDENT: November 12, 2021

TIME OF INCIDENT: 1413 hours  

LOCATION: Open desert north of Garlock Road and west of US Route 395, Ridgecrest (GPS Coordinates 35.427893, -117.73723)

DATE OF DEATH: November 12, 2021

TIME OF DEATH: 1413 hours

PLACE OF DEATH: Scene               

INVESTIGATING AGENCY: National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration                                            

DETAILS: David Joseph Moynihan was an occupant of an aircraft that crashed at the location mentioned above. He was determined to be deceased at the scene.

COMMENTS: Family notified


The Kern County coroner’s office identified the second person killed in the Garlock plane crash as David Joseph Moynihan, 31, from San Diego.

BAKERSFIELD, California — Kern County Fire confirms a two-seater plane crash southwest of Ridgecrest kills two people.

Authorities identified on Monday one man killed in the crash as Hal Derwin Wood, 68, of Murrieta, California. The identity of the second man killed in the crash is still pending.

The crash happened at 2:15 p.m. on November 12 near Garlock Road, north of Randsburg.

Kern County Fire has passed the case off to the Bureau of Land Management, and now National Transportation Safety Board is in charge, and said they are investigating the crash of the Zenair STOL CH 701 SP.

The Kern County Sherriff's Office has closed off the area near the site.

A plane crashed Friday afternoon, killing two people north of California City, according to the Kern County Fire Department.

The incident occurred near Garlock Road, east of Highway 395 in Randsburg, a Kern County Fire Department spokesperson said. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said in an email that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The identities of the deceased have not been released.

The Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said the plane was a kit-built Zenair STOL CH 701 SP. 

The Kern County Fire Department responded to the scene at 2:43 p.m. 

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office provided site security.

Cody Colombo, 22, and his 16-year-old brother rode their dirt bikes near the crash Friday afternoon. They saw a small, black and red plane turn in the air and disappear behind a hill around 2 p.m., Colombo said. It sounded like a normal plane, he added.

Both brothers began to ride and saw the California Highway Patrol officers with other first responders canvassing an area, Colombo said. They both wondered what had prompted the large presence.

Cody said he then saw a body bag next to the mangled heap of metal, thought to be the previously spotted plane.

“It was a crumpled up mess,” he said. “It didn’t look like a plane anymore.”