Mary Ellen Carlin had a plane. Alice Diane Emig needed a boost.
Emig’s mother, Monterey resident Sara Myers, said Carlin offered to return to the Sacramento area because Emig, who quit driving after brain surgery in 2012, wanted to attend a procedure medical treatment her son was scheduled to undergo at UC Davis.
“She generously offered to fly her back for the date,” Myers said. “We played bridge on Monday, she agreed to come back on Tuesday and I loaded Diane and her dog into Mary Ellen’s car and they drove to the airport. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong.”
Carlin, an experienced pilot and flight instructor, had barely taken off in his Golden Eagle Cessna under low cloud cover around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 13 when the plane swerved to the ground, crashed into a house in the development of Will ride off Hwy 68 and ignite.
Although their bodies have yet to be found and identified – a process so laborious it can take months for the coroner to confirm the names – the crash was deemed impossible to survive.
Myers described Carlin as his good friend and his daughter, the eldest of two children and a food service worker in the Folsom Cordova school district, as a wonderful cook. She had taken her Emig to Monterey for three weeks this summer and had planned to drive her back, but Carlin made the offer of her plane.
“It took me a while to get anything out of the sheriff’s office,” Myers says. “They burned down and there is an identification problem.”
Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief John Thornburg said recovery of the remains was scheduled to begin on the afternoon of July 14. The coroner will first try to use the dental records to identify the victims; if that fails, they will turn to DNA.
Myers suggested another way, at least for her daughter: “She had a plaque in her head from brain surgery. I imagine that might help them identify it.
“It’s hard to accept,” Myers continued. “One day someone is here and perfectly fine, and then all of a sudden they’re gone.”
Just as it may take months to confirm the identity of the victims, it may take several more months to determine the cause of the accident.
At a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the airport, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Eric Gutierrez admitted they had little information to offer in the process anytime soon.
“We will try to do everything in our power to trace what happened with this event,” said Gutierrez. “The process is to gather as much data as possible throughout the event.”
At approximately 10:40 a.m. on July 13, the Cessna took off from runway 10-Right and made an uphill right turn in a low cloud layer that fell to about 700 feet. The plane climbed to about 1,900 feet, Gutierrez said, but then Northern California Tracon, the regional air traffic control facility based in Rancho Cordova, noted that the plane was heading for terrain.
“ATC then provided a low altitude alert, and they also provided vectors. The plane continued to turn right and began to descend,” he said. “It hit the southwest corner of a residence and luckily for the residents there was no one there at the time.”
The house serves as a second home for Roger Goulart, Silicon Valley software director, and his family. Reached on his cell phone on his way to Monterey County, Goulart said his 20-year-old daughter had been staying at the Monterra property but was not there at the time of the crash.
Meanwhile, veteran commercial airline pilot Bill Sabo, who lives on the peninsula, says that among aviators there is speculation that the plane suffered a failure in one of its engines, leading it to veer in the direction that led to his downfall.
“It started to climb and for some reason I haven’t figured it out yet, it turned just after take off. I looked at the weather reports for that time, and it was reported it was 700 and overcast. , which means the clouds were up to 700 feet… in a high performance aircraft, you go straight to the clouds.
“Why she turned right, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because she lost the engine. If she lost it on the right engine, with all the power on the left, it would push the plane towards the right “, continues Sabo. . “It got to a point on the climb, and it’s very difficult, one of the hardest things to do is balance this plane with power on one side, not power on one side. the other, and try to keep it level. ”
Sabo said it appeared, based on Flight Tracker, a program that, as the name suggests, tracks air traffic, which the plane had attempted to return to the airport. Based on the audio available between the pilot and air traffic control, the pilot did not report any problems prior to the accident.
Once the remains are collected and removed, the NTSB will gather all the debris from the aircraft and place it in a controlled facility for investigation. This facility will likely be in Sacramento, according to the NTSB.