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From left, Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown, Congressman Mike Thompson and Northshore Fire Chief Jim Robbins gathered to celebrate the fire district's new water tender at the Clearlake Oaks Fire Station on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009. Photo courtesy of Northshore Fire Protection District.





CLEARLAKE OAKS – This week Northshore Fire Protection District marked the addition of a new water tender made possible through a federal grant.


Congressman Mike Thompson visited the district's Clearlake Oaks Fire Station on Monday to celebrate the new equipment, which Fire Chief Jim Robbins said is the district's second water tender.


Robbins said the water tender – built by Fouts Brothers Fire Equipment of Smyrna, Georgia – will be based at the Clearlake Oaks station. The other one the district has is in Upper Lake.


Accompanying Thompson were representatives from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development Santa Rosa office.


A grant through USDA Rural Development's Economic Impact Initiative Grant Program helped make the water tender purchase possible, as Lake County News has reported.


The agency gave the district a $100,000 grant in June, and the district provided another $57,000 to pay for the equipment, Robbins said.


In September the district also received 20 new air packs and 20 new lightweight air tanks paid for through a $78,000 grant of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, also through USDA Rural Development. The district supplemented that grant with $25,000 to purchase the new equipment.


The district, with a $2.3 million annual budget, has 17 paid staff and 72 volunteers to cover 228,300 acres or 350 square miles, making it the largest fire district by area in the state, as Lake County News has reported.


Robbins said they're working on some new grant applications to USDA Rural Development now, hoping to receive funds for a new ambulance for the Clearlake Oaks station.


The district also wants a new machine that fills air bottles for firefighters' breathing apparatus. The machine would be built right into a truck, Robbins said. The district currently is looking for a company to build the equipment.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

 

 

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The new water tender, purchased with help from a United State Department of Agricultural Rural Development grant, is one of only two such pieces of equipment in the entire Northshore Fire Protection District, the third largest district in size in the entire state. Photo courtesy of Northshore Fire Protection District.
 

KELSEYVILLE – A Kelseyville man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly hit a bicyclist and fled the scene.


Mark George Sanders, 59, was arrested for felony hit and run following the incident, which occurred at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at the stoplight at Kit's Corner, the intersection of Highway 281 and Highway 29, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Tanguay.


Tanguay said 77-year-old Kelseyville resident Derek Millard was on his bicycle, stopped at the intersection's northeast corner during a red light.


Millard pressed the button for pedestrian crossing, and when the light turned green and the pedestrian crossing green light was activated, he began to cross the Highway, according to Tanguay.


At that time, Sanders was driving his 1997 Mazda pickup truck westbound on Highway 281 approaching the intersection. Tanguay said Sanders' light turned green and as he made a right turn onto northbound Highway 29 the front of his pickup truck struck Millard as he was crossing the road.


Millard was thrown off of his bicycle and Tanguay said Sanders fled the scene in his truck. A witness was able to get the information on the pickup truck and the information was broadcast over law enforcement radios.


A CHP officer spotted the Mazda pickup truck and pulled Sanders over, arresting him for felony hit and run, according to Tanguay.


Millard sustained moderate injuries to his side and hands as a result of this collision, Tanguay said.


The CHP reported that alcohol is not a factor in the collision, which is still under investigation by CHP Officer Mark Crutcher.


In addition to the hit and run charge, Sanders was booked on a misdemeanor probation violation, with bail set at $10,000, according to jail records. He remained in the Lake County Jail late Wednesday.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

KELSEYVILLE – A three-vehicle collision near Kit's Corner Monday evening caused a temporary closure of Highway 29 and resulted in minor injuries.


The California Highway Patrol reported that crash took place just after 5 p.m. south of Kit's Corner, which is the intersection of Highway 29 and 281.


One of the three vehicles involved was a big rig with a flatbed, the CHP reported.


The crash blocked both lanes of Highway 29, with traffic on the northbound lane diverted to Soda Bay Road, according to the report.


The CHP reported that Caltrans was called to the scene to bring sand for helping remove spilled diesel on the roadway. Towing companies also were requested, with a call put out for a tow truck large enough to move the big rig.


Shortly after 6 p.m. officials opened Highway 29 at Highway 175 to Cobb, with one way traffic control taking place past the scene.


The CHP reported that there were minor injuries to individuals involved in the crash, but specifics – including the number of injuries – weren't immediately available Monday evening.


The highway was scheduled to be reopened shortly before 7 p.m.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

CLEARLAKE – Christmas wish trees and charity drives around Lake County are seeking help from the community in order to assist families in need this holiday season.


A Christmas wish tree is being hosted by the city of Clearlake, and is located in the lobby of Clearlake City Hall, 14050 Olympic Drive.


Now in its third year, the Clearlake wish tree is for children from around Lake County who are sponsored through Social Services/Child Protective Services and Lake Family Resource Center.


Ornaments on the tree include identification numbers – no names – and basic information about the particular child, including gender, age and a gift idea.


Wrapped gifts can be brought by Wednesday, Dec. 9, or community members can make a monetary donation to the city of Clearlake with “Christmas wish tree” noted on the check and organizers will do the shopping for them.


Vice Mayor Judy Thein, who has helped organize the tree over the last three years, said a shopping trip for some of the gifts is planned for Friday.


She said the donations and generosity to benefit the children this week has been “overwhelming.”


Thein said they still have 68 children they're collection gifts and donations for this holiday season.


“It's touching the community in so many ways,” she said of the effort.


Another wish tree effort is taking place at Umpqua Bank branches in Kelseyville, at 4280 Main St., and Lakeport, at 805 11th St.


Umpqua Bank also is collecting gifts for children in the care of Child Protective Services in Lake County. The children range in ages from 2 months to 17 years.


The Umpqua Bank trees in Kelseyville and Lakeport have approximately 150 names on them, according to bank officials. People can stop by the bank, choose a tag and sign the register, and then return the wrapped gifts and tags by Dec. 10. They also will take monetary donations and do the shopping.


For more information about Umpqua Bank's effort, call the Lakeport branch at 707-262-3342.


A number of other efforts are going on around the county to help those in need this holiday season.


The Upper Lake Fire Auxiliary Christmas Cheer Program is raising funds and collecting goods to distribute in its holiday baskets.


The effort includes a wish tree at the Westamerica Bank branch in Upper Lake, where they're seeking gifts of new toys and clothing for children age 1 month to 17 years.


Donations of food – particularly whole hams and turkeys – and funds are being sought. For information call Pet Acres at 707-275-2729 or Clarke's Collectibles in Nice at 707-274-9175.


This Saturday, Langtry Estate & Vineyards is hosting its annual Christmas charity drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the winery, 21000 Butts Canyon Road, Middletown.


They'll have music, pictures with Santa, shopping and collection of donations for local charities.


For information call Langtry Estate & Vineyards, 707-987-2385.


Then this Sunday, Dec. 6, the 17th annual Lake County Toy Run, will circle Lake County.


Bring an unwrapped new toy to the Kmart parking lot on S. Main Street in Lakeport and join the 11 a.m. fun run around the Clear Lake to the Kelseyville Lions Club. Lunch, sponsored by Clear Lake Road Riders, costs $10. For more information call 707-263-9000.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

VACAVILLE – A man convicted of the 1990 murder of his mother was denied parole in a Monday hearing.


The Board of Parole Hearings denied parole for convicted murderer James Robert Ivsich, 48, according to Lake County Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.


Hinchcliff attended the lifer hearing at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville to argue against Ivsich’s release.


Ivsich was convicted of the second-degree murder of his 56-year-old mother, Patricia Erickson, Hinchcliff said. Judge Robert Crone Jr. Sentenced Ivsich to 16 years to life on Jan. 14, 1991.


Ivsich's minimum eligible parole date was March 31, 2001, said Hinchcliff, who attended previous parole hearings for Ivsich to oppose his parole.


According to investigation reports by the Clearlake Police Department, Ivsich was living with his mother at the time at their residence on Alvita Avenue in the city of Clearlake.


Ivsich was reportedly abusing alcohol and had been verbally abusive and threatening toward his mother on previous occasions according to witnesses.


When officers arrived at the Alvita Avenue residence on May 1, 1990, they found Erickson inside the residence with two stab wounds, one in her chest and one in her back. Ivsich was sitting in a chair with a bloody fixed blade knife lying next to him. His blood alcohol level shortly after the incident was .32, four times the legal limit for driving.


Ivsich initially told investigators he did not remember what happened except that he was home with his mother when she suddenly fell over with a knife in her back. He subsequently told investigators that he had left the house and when he returned home he gave his mother a hug and found a knife in her back.


He later told investigators he came home and an unknown intruder ran out of the house past him and he found his mother with a knife in her.


Ivsich was last denied parole in December 2008 for a three-year period. However, due to a change in the law on length of parole denials, Ivsich was given a new hearing on Nov. 30, Hinchcliff said.


At the hearing the parole commissioners agreed with Hinchcliff’s argument that Ivsich still presented an unreasonable risk of danger to the public if released at this time, and that based on his failure to obtain counseling and treatment while incarcerated, it was unreasonable to expect he would be ready for parole for at least five years.


His parole bid was subsequently denied.


Hinchcliff said Ivsich's next chance for parole and a parole hearing will not be until December 2014.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Jay Beristianos on the scene of the fire on Monday, November 30, 2009. Photo courtesy of Andrew Bergem.

 



THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED.


NORTH LAKEPORT – Firefighters quickly put out a small wildland fire that broke out in the north Lakeport area Monday evening.


Cal Fire said the blaze was reported at about 5:20 p.m. It was located in the area of Bridge Arbor and Robinson roads.


Local residents traveling through the area reported seeing a large fire, with one person telling Lake County News that at one point it looked like four separate fires.


Lakeport firefighters Andrew Bergem and Brian Hajik were passing by and were the first on scene to report the conditions, Bergem said.


They saw four spots, light flashy tule vegetation, moderate rate of spread, with no structures immediately threatened, said Bergem. The men also assessed the resources needed and access, which Bergem said was difficult due to terrain.


Hajik requested a response from Lakeport Fire Protection District, which sent one engine, and Cal Fire Boggs Mountain, Bergem said.


Northshore Fire, which also responded, had a water tender and at least one engine on scene, based on reports from the incident. Cal Fire sent one engine and started to send a bull dozer, but it was canceled.


When the fire was contained at about 6:15 p.m., it had burned between four and five acres, according to Cal Fire.


Bergem said the fire was contained by firefighters with the help of a natural fire break – a creek that surrounded the southern and eastern perimeters of the fire, where it burned itself out.

 

See video of the fire, shot by Michael Augustine, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLQR4Ngmpco .


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

MIDDLETOWN – The public is invited to a community meeting concerning the recently completed draft Middletown Area Plan Update.


On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Lake County Community Development Department and members of the Middletown Area Plan Advisory Committee will host a community meeting at the Middletown High School to introduce the Draft Middletown Area Plan Update.


The meeting – which previously had been scheduled for Dec. 8 – will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Middletown High School multipurpose room, 20932 Big Canyon Road.


Information will be provided during the meeting concerning changes in policies, zoning and land

use designations that are proposed by the Draft Middletown Area Plan Update.


The draft area plan was developed by the Advisory Committee and the Community Development Department as an update to the area plan adopted in 1989.


When adopted, this area plan will provide an updated policy framework and plan to guide future growth within the planning area. The planning area includes the communities of: Middletown, Hidden Valley Lake, Anderson Springs, Coyote Valley and Guenoc Valley, along with the outlying rural areas.


The draft Middletown Area Plan Update is available for review on the Web at www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Community_Development/Documents .


Copies of the draft area plan are also available at the county libraries, and at the Community Development Department located on the third Floor of the Lake County Courthouse.


For more information, call the project's manager, Kevin Ingram, at the Community Development Department, 707-263-2221.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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A work crew puts in place the new Upper Lake Arch on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. Photo by Eric Seely.



 


 


UPPER LAKE – On Tuesday afternoon, a work crew installed the new arch leading into downtown Upper Lake.


The project is a key piece of the town's downtown revitalization project, which began over the summer.


County Deputy Redevelopment Director Eric Seely said the arch installation “represents a major milestone of the Upper Lake Main Street Project.”


The $1.7 million downtown improvement project is upgrading both sides of Main Street, extending from Highway 20 down to the intersection at Second Street – including undergrounding of utilities and new sidewalks, county officials reported. Main Street also is being rebuilt and new streetlights have been installed.


Seely said improvements are still coming, with the column stone work and landscaping to be installed in the coming weeks.


Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon owner Bernie Butcher commended Seely and the redevelopment agency for the work downtown.


While street repaving was under way last week, Butcher said the street was only shut down for a few days, and the crews did a good job of allowing access to Main Street businesses.


“When finished, it will be quite an attractive transformation,” he said of the project.


Butcher gave Seely kudos, noting that Seely has personally overseen the project every day during construction.


The arch and new streetlights are in place in time for the town's holiday celebration and Christmas parade, which takes place on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5. Upper Lake's merchants and residents invite everyone to come and join in the fun.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

 

 

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A closeup of the lettering on the new Upper Lake Arch. Photo by Eric Seely.
 

 

 

 

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A crew member works on fastening the edge of the new Upper Lake Arch on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. Photo by Eric Seely.
 

 

 

 

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Pat Lynch, owner of Hi-Way Grocery, strikes a strongman pose. Photo by Jim Robbins.
 

 

 

 

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Work crews worked on repaving a portion of Main Street in Upper Lake last week. Photo by Bernie Butcher.
 

 

 

 

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The newly installed arch is just in time for the town's holiday celebration this weekend. Photo by Eric Seely.
 

SONOMA COUNTY – A 19-year-old Lakeport resident who was involved in a four-vehicle collision that killed a family of four Saturday night has died.


Steven Culbertson died late Sunday morning at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, according to Officer Jon Sloat of the California Highway Patrol's Santa Rosa office.


Katy Hillenmeyer, a Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital spokesperson, told Lake County News late Monday that Culbertson died “surrounded by loved ones.” Under privacy laws Hillenmeyer was not authorized to give further details.


The young man's death followed by several hours the deaths of John Maloney, 45, his wife Susan, 42, and their young children Grace, 5, and Aiden, 8, whose Nissan Quest was hit broadside by Culbertson at around 9:20 p.m. Saturday.


Based on its initial investigation, the CHP determined that Culberton allegedly was driving his Mini Cooper more than 90 miles per hour southbound on Lakeville Highway when he clipped the rear end of a Honda CR-V driven by Petaluma resident John Graham, 61.


Culbertson's vehicle continued on, running a red light and hitting the Maloneys' Quest, which was traveling eastbound on Highway 37. The Quest was then pushed into an eastbound traveling Mitsubishi Galant driven by 52-year-old Carrie Rodriguez of Novato.


Rodriguez and her passengers, Liberty Rosario, 42, of Fairfield and Adelaida Nicholas, 53, of Novato, were transported to a Novato hospital with minor injuries, said Sloat. Graham and his passenger, Stockton resident James Parker, weren't hurt.


There had been differing reports over the weekend regarding Culbertson's death.


Sloat said the CHP received a call from the Sonoma County Coroner's Office reporting that Culbertson died at 11:15 a.m. Sunday.


However, several hours later Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital officials continued to report to Lake County News and other media that Culbertson was in care and in critical condition.


The CHP – which spent hours investigating the scene with the help of the agency's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) – said speed was a factor in the crash.


Sloat said that Culbertson was not being pursued by any law enforcement at the time of the collision.


There was no evidence of alcohol or drugs at the scene, said Sloat.


However, he added, “We're not ruling it out yet.”


A blood sample was taken from Culbertson and submitted to the Department of Justice laboratory. Sloat said it should take about two weeks for those tests to be completed.


Two years ago, a family of five was killed in a fiery crash on Highway 101, said Sloat. That and Saturday's crash are the two worst in his 10 years working in the Sonoma County area, he said.


Culbertson graduated from high school in 2008 and aspired to be a professional race car driver and mechanic, according to his Facebook page.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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Ron Keas captured the setting full moon on the morning of Wednesday, December 2, 2009, in Lucerne.


 


LUCERNE – The full moon this week provided a great opportunity for local photographer Ron Keas.


Keas caught the full moon setting at 6 a.m. Wednesday from a Lucerne Park.


A frequent contributor to Lake County News, more of Keas' work can be seen at his Web site, www.3dviewmax.com/ .


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

SALT LAKE CITY – Last week a Cobb man received a 10-year federal prison sentence for attempting to lure a 13-year-old Utah girl to his home to have sex with him late last year.


Robert Lavern Davison, 41, pleaded guilty in August to one count of coercion and enticement for illegal sexual activity, as Lake County News has reported.


Judge Dale Kimball gave Davison the 120-month sentence on Nov. 23 in the US District Court of Utah's Central Division.


When Davison leaves prison, he will be subject to 20 years of supervised release, must register as a sex offender and won't be allowed to have contact with children under age 18 without adult supervision approved by the US Probation Office, according to Kimball's ruling. The ruling also specifically ordered Davison not to contact the young victim.


Kimball ordered Davison to pay $5,502.20 in restitution.


Davison's sentencing had been set for Dec. 17, but officials moved to have it earlier following the completion of a psychosexual examination that had been ordered in August, according to court records.


Portions of the sentencing document, including the statement of reasons, were sealed by the court.


Late last year, Davison had allegedly persuaded the young teenager, who he had met on the Internet while playing “World of Warcraft,” to meet him in California, as Lake County News has reported.


The girl, from Centerville, Utah, was reported missing by her family, according to case records. Police later found her at a Salt Lake City bus station with a ticket Davison purchased for her through a third party.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Davison on Feb. 12 at his home. The Lake County Sheriff's Office assisted in the arrest and service of search warrants.


Kimball's order last week included a recommendation to the federal Bureau of Prisons that Davison be placed in a facility where a sex offender management program is available, “preferably in California to facilitate family visitation.


The order also included the recommendation that Davison be placed in protective custody for his safety.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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Cotati resident Harold Chouinard's Schleicher ASW 27 glider, foreground, and a Piper PA 25 tow plane flown by Robert Boylan of Hidden Valley Lake, landed to the east of the runway at Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown after they collided mid-air on the morning of Saturday, November 28, 2009. The aircraft are pictured on Monday, November 30, 2009, a short time before they were removed from the scene. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 

 


THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED.


MIDDLETOWN – On the morning that a preliminary investigation into a Saturday mid-air collision near Middletown was wrapping up, local officials released the names of the two men who died in the crash.


Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported Monday that 44-year-old Robert Sean Boylan of Hidden Valley Lake and 63-year-old Harold Harvey Chouinard of Cotati were the crash victims.


Boylan was piloting a Piper PA 25 tow plane and Chouinard was in a Schleicher ASW 27 glider when they collided, according to Eliott Simpson, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, who remained on the scene Monday morning.


Simpson said that, based on witness reports, both men were approaching the landing strip at Crazy Creek Air Adventures from different directions when the crash occurred.


He said the glider was coming on the right downward leg and the tow plane was the left downward leg, with both circling to land. They hit at the approach end of the runway.


The equipment on both the glider and plane had appeared to be in working order based on Simpson's preliminary onscene investigation.


Bauman reported that sheriff's deputy coroners responded to the scene at about 11:40 a.m. Saturday. Rescue personnel from Cal Fire were already on scene when deputies arrived and both the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB had been notified of the collision.


When deputies arrived at the scene, Bauman said they were led to the wreckage, where they found the pilots of both aircraft near their respective crafts. Boylan and Chouinard both were pronounced dead at the scene.


Bauman said that, due to extended response times by the FAA and the NTSB, deputies secured and guarded the crash scene throughout the day and night until both federal agencies could arrive to investigate the cause of the collision the following day.


Autopsies will be scheduled to determine the exact cause of death for both of the pilots, Bauman said.


The two aircraft came to rest in a pasture several hundred yards to the east of the approach end of the landing strip. The plane was sitting about 100 yards to the north of the glider, facing in a northerly direction, while the glider was pointed toward the runway.

 

 

 

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The wreckage of the tow plane, sitting where it landed in a pasture near the landing strip at Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown. The plane was moved a few hours after the picture was taken on Monday, November 30, 2009. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.
 

 

 


On Monday the wreckage remained where it had landed, said Simpson, except that he had the glider turned over so that it was sitting right side up for the purposes of the investigation.


Following the collision the glider had landed on its top and fire personnel cut off the right side wing as they worked to rescue Chouinard, Simpson said.


Both aircraft were surrounded by small debris fields. The wheel of the plane lay about 30 feet from it.


The glider's tail section bore the name “Hal,” for Chouinard, under whose name it was licensed, according to FAA records. The registration certificate was issued in April of 2003.


The tow plane was licensed to Cal Soar Inc., at the same address as Crazy Creek Air Adventures on Grange Road. That certificate was issued in July of 1992, FAA records showed.


Six people, who Simpson said were family members of Boylan, visited the crumpled wreckage of the tow plane early Monday morning. They walked slowly around it and then stood quietly together. As they left the field they declined the request for a comment.


Simpson, who has been doing the investigations for about three years, is an engineer who also is a pilot. Most of the NTSB investigators have a piloting background, he said.


“We have to investigate every single civil aircraft crash,” said Simpson, who is based in Los Angeles. About 15 NTSB investigators are based on the West Coast, he added.


The cause of the crash itself is yet to be determined. Simpson said a preliminary reported will be available within the next five to 10 days, with a final factual report likely to be completed in about six months, although it could take as long as nine months to finish.


That report will then go to Washington, DC, to the full safety board, which will determine the collision's probable cause, Simpson said.


Simpson expected to be at the Middletown crash site until noon on Monday, noting that the onscene portion of the investigation was complete.


“So now it's just recovery,” he said.


The aircraft were recovered later Monday morning and transported to a privately owned storage facility in Sacramento, Simpson said.


The facility, which was hired by the insurance companies covering the aircraft, will store the plane and glider during the investigation, Simpson said.


“They're there in case anything else comes to light,” he said.

 

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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