WELKER, Daniel

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WELKER, Daniel (1970-1998)



In the News~

October 3, 1998 [LAT]: “Pilot's Body Found in Island Wreckage. A pilot killed in a single-engine plane crash this week on Santa Catalina Island lived in Laguna Hills, authorities said. The body of Daniel Welker, 28, was discovered in the wreckage in the Silverpeak area on the west end of the island, said Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier. Welker flew alone, Carrier said. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.”


October 3, 1998 [LAT]: “A pilot killed in a single-engine plane crash this week on Santa Catalina Island lived in Laguna Hills, authorities said. The body of Daniel Welker, 28, was discovered in the wreckage in the Silverpeak area on the west end of the island, said Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier. Welker flew alone, Carrier said. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.”


[NTSB]: “ACFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, PILOT SUFFERED FATAL INJURIES. (-23) ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1998, AT 1700 PDT, PILOT AND SOLE OCCUPANT, DANIEL C. WELKER, OF CESSNA, CE-152-152, N49770, DEPARTED SANTA ANA AIRPORT SIGNED OUT FOR A LOCAL FLIGHT. AT .8 HOURS LATER, THE CESSNA IMPACTED THE EAST SIDE OF SILVER PEAK LOCATED ON THE WEST ISTHMUS OF CATALINA ISLAND APPROXIMATELY 200 FEET FROM THE TOP OF THE PEAK. MR. WELKER SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES. MR. WELKER HAD FLOWN THREE FLIGHTS LANDING AT CATALINA ISLAND AIRPORT ON OCTOBER 14, 1997, NOVEMBER 5, 1997, AND MARCH 5, 1998, ALL WITH PASSENGERS ACCORDING TO HIS PILOT LOGBOOK. GARY SEQUEIRA, PRESIDENT OF ORANGE COUNTY FLIGHT CENTER, WHERE THE AIRPLANE WAS RENTED FROM STATED THAT MR. WELKER WAS REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A CHECK-OUT PRIOR TO FLYING TO CATALINA ISLAND AND BIG BEAR AIRPORTS, AND THAT ACCORDING TO THE FLIGHT SCHOOL RECORDS, MR. WELKER AHD NOT ACCOMPLISHED EITHER CHECK-OUTS. MR. WELKER WAS A SECOND SHIFT FUELER AT AMR COOMBS, AND ACCORDING TO SHERRIE EATON, PERSONNEL MANAGER AT AMR COOMBS, MR. WELKER WORKED THERE FOR 10 MONTHS AND HAD NEVER MISSED A DAY OF WORK. ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1998, MR. WELKER CALLED IN SICK AND SPOKE TO NADINE, A LINE SERVICE TECHNICIAN. NADINE STATED THAT SHE MENTIONED TO MR. WELKER THAT HE DID NOT SOUND SICK AND MR. WELKER REPLIED THAT HE WAS. FUEL RECEIPTS CONFIRMED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS TOPPED OFF WITH FUEL ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1998 AND FLEW 1.1 HOURS ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1998 AND 1.5 HOURS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1998, BEFORE MR. WELKER FLEW THE AIRCRAFT. MR. WELKER DID NOT FUEL THE AIRCRAFT AND HAD FLOWN .8 ON THE HOBBS AT THE TIME OF IMPACT. AT THE ACCIDENT SITE THE AIRCRAFT APPEARED INTACT WITH THE PILOT IMPACTED AGAINST THE YOKE. THE AIRCRAFT PROPELLER INITIALLY BEGAN HITTING A PATCH OF CACTUS 79'10" FROM THE AIRCRAFT, THE PROPELLER DEPARTED THE FUSELAGE AT 57' AND THERE WERE HUB STRIKES AT 45'9" AND 26'. THE AIRCRAFT LANDED UPSIDE DOWN ON AN UPHILL SLOPE WITH THE EMPENNAGE OF THE AIRCRAFT TWISTED 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT OF THE FUSELAGE RIGHT SIDE UP. THE MASTER SWITCH IN THE AIRCRAFT WAS ON AND IGNITION WAS ON. BOTH THE TRANSPONDER WAS SET TO 1200, THE ANTICOLLISION LIGHT SWITCH WAS ON, DIRECTIONAL GYRO INDICATED 150 DEGREES, FLAPS AT 9 DEGREES. THERE WAS A WITNESS MARK LEFT ON THE TACHOMETER AT 2100 RPM. THERE WAS AN OPENED LOS ANGELES SECTIONAL AND AN AVALON PAGE FROM FLIGHT GUIDE. THE LA SECTIONAL WAS OBSOLETE FOR USE ON JULY 16, 1998. IN MR. WELKER'S POSSION, BUT UNOPENED WERE ALSO A LA TERMINAL CHART, ALSO OBSOLETE FOR USE ON JULY 16, 1998 AND PHOENIX SECTIONAL OBSOLETE FOR USE ON MAY 22, 1997. THE TOW BAR WAS FOUND 4'9", THE MAGNETIC COMPASS 28'3", AND THE PILOT'S WATCH FACE 42'3" UPHILL FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE WATCH BAND WAS FOUND LAYING NEXT TO THE FUSELAGE. THE BATTERY AND NOSE WHEEL ROLLED DOWNHILL FROM THE FUSELAGE. THE HOBBS METER INDICATED 3130.5. MR. WELKER DEPARTED SNA WITH 3129.7 ACCORDING TO THE AIRCRAFT SIGN-OUT SHEET. AFTER THE WRECKAGE WAS RECOVERED, JERRY PRINCE, FROM AIRCRAFT RECOVERY SERVICE, STATED THAT APPROXIMATELY 10 GALLONS OF FUEL LEAKED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE FLAPS WERE UP AND NO THREADS SHOWING, FUEL SELECTOR WAS ON, ELEVATOR, AILERONS, AND RUDDER ALL WORKED OKAY. CONTINUITY OF THE FLIGHT CONTROLS WAS ESTABLISHED DUE TO THE FACT THAT ONLY THE CABLE SHEARED FROM A RIGHT RUDDER TENSION OVERLOAD. THE PILOT'S YOKE SHEARED, AND WAS STILL IN THE PILOT'S HANDS AT THE TIME OF IMPACT. HEADSETS AND HAND MICROPHONE WERE PLUGGED IN. THE ELT BATTERY WAS DATED JUNE 2000 AND WAS HEARD BY THE COAST GUARD PERFORMING PRACTICE MANEUVERS WHO FOUND THE AIRCRAFT AT 0945 PDT ON OCTOBER 1, 1998. BOTH FUEL CAPS SHOWED SIGNS OF LEAKAGE, THE SEAT BELTS WERE NOT TSO TAGGED BUT WERE NOT BROKEN IN THE ACCIDENT. THE THROTTLE WAS LOCKED OPEN AND THE MIXTURE FULL RICH. THE MCCAULEY PROPELLER SERIAL NUMBER DID NOT MATCH THE MAINTENANCE RECORDS FOR THE AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT HAD SUSTAINED A PROP STRIKE IN 1987 ACCORDING TO THE MAINTENANCE RECORDS. THE ENGINE WAS IN WORKING ORDER AND SHOWED NO SIGNS OF LOSS OF POWER. THE SPARK PLUGS HAD NORMAL LEAD DEPOSITS FROM OPERATION. THIS ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION IS NOW CLOSED. (.4) THE PILOT INTENDED TO COMPLETE A LOCAL FLIGHT AROUND SANTA CATALINA ISLAND. FRIENDS INDICATED THE PILOT WAS STARTING AN AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS. ONE FRIEND, A PHOTOGRAPHER, FLEW A PREVIOUS PHOTOGRAPHIC FLIGHT AROUND THE ISLAND WITH THE PILOT AND STATED THEY FLEW WELL BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE MOUNTAINTOPS. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH UPSLOPING TERRAIN AT AN ELEVATION OF APPROXIMATELY 1,440 FEET MEAN SEA LEVEL (MSL). THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS AT THE APEX OF A PEAK LESS THAN 1/2 MILE EAST OF THE HIGHEST POINT, SILVER PEAK, 1,804 FEET MSL, ON SANTA CATALINA ISLAND'S WESTERN PENINSULA. THE SHORELINE (SEA LEVEL) WAS LESS THAN A MILE TO THE RIGH T OF THE FLIGHT PATH. THE DEBRIS FIELD WAS ABOUT 120 FEET LONG ON A MAGNETIC HEADING OF 315 DEGREES. THIS ROUGHLY PARALLELED THE RIDGELINE IN THIS AREA. THERE WERE NO WITNESSES. THE HOUR METER INDICATED 0.8 HOURS ELAPSED DURING THE FLIGHT. THE AIRPLANE WAS DISCOVERED THE FOLLOWING MORNING BY A COAST GUARD HELICOPTER INVESTIGATING AN EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTER (ELT) SIGNAL. SUNSET WAS AT 1844. INCLINATION OF THE SUN WAS 1.9, 1.0, AND 0.1 DEGREES AT 1830, 1835, AND 1840 RESPECTIVELY. THE SUN'S AZIMUTH WAS 250.8, 251.5, AND 252.2, RESPECTIVELY.”