Father, son who died in plane crash laid to rest — (Stafford County Sun)

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Stafford County Sun

Tracy Bell Thirteen-year-old Kyle John Morton and his father John B. Morton, Jr. were laid to rest Friday, following a funeral that drew hundreds of people including many of Kyle’s middle school classmates.

The funeral service was held at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center at 10 a.m. There, two closed caskets draped in flowers sat side by side at the front of the room.

John Morton and his son Kyle, who lived in Stafford’s White Oak area with their family, enjoyed spending time together and were doing just that Saturday when the elder Morton borrowed a Cessna 150M from a fellow pilot and took off with his son at Shannon Airport in Spotsylvania.

They were both killed when the plane crashed at River Heights mobile home park near the airport. Witnesses said the plane went straight up and quickly came down, crashing.

During the funeral service, Kyle Morton was described as “a great kid with a big heart” who sought to serve the Lord.

Although no one was prepared for this day, John and Kyle Morton were because they were both very much in touch with God, according to their family.

John Morton’s interests included aviation, traveling and mechanics.

He worked for the FBI at Quantico as a computer-electronics technician, held a master’s degree in computer information systems and previously worked for 14 years for United Airlines at Reagan National Airport.

Kyle Morton was an eighth-grader at Dixon-Smith Middle School in Stafford. He loved sports, air-soft, fishing and sports cars. In his obituary, he was remembered for his optimistic and positive attitude.

The crash is being investigated by the Virginia State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Survivors include wife and mother Kristy Morton; daughter and sister Adriane Morton, a junior at Stafford High School; John Morton’s mother Catherine Morton of Columbia, S.C.; his sister Linda Morton of Tennessee; in-laws Marge and Oliver Parson of Fredericksburg; sister-in-law Mindy Ball of Fredericksburg; brother-in-law Greg Parson of Utah; six nieces; and one nephew — Kyle’s cousins.

Memorials may be made to the Morton Family Memorial Fund at PNC Bank

To view National Transportation Safety Board Accident Report click here

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA583
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Fredericksburg, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N66246
Injuries: 2 Fatal

On September 29, 2012, about 1715 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N66246, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain, following an in-flight loss of control during initial climb from Shannon Airport (EZF), Fredericksburg, Virginia. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned local flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The owner of the airplane reported that he was a longtime friend of the accident pilot. The airplane was based at EZF and not flown often. The accident pilot was allowed to borrow the airplane whenever he wanted; however, he only flew it for 2 hours during April 2012, and the accident flight. No other flight hours were accrued during 2012 and the last annual inspection was completed in November 2011. Although the accident pilot was also a certificated mechanic, no maintenance work was performed on the airplane prior to the flight or in 2012.

The pilot fueled the airplane with 15 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline before the accident flight. According to a witness, who was a flight instructor, he and a student pilot were practicing landings in another airplane at EZF. The flight instructor heard the accident pilot report his intentions on the common traffic advisory frequency, which were to back-taxi on runway 6. Subsequently, during an approach, the flight instructor observed the accident airplane on departure from runway 6, about 100 feet above the trees. The accident airplane made a 90-degree left bank, and began to turn left until the nose descended and the airplane disappeared behind terrain. Other witnesses, who were on the ground near the accident site, reported seeing the airplane spinning as it descended.


The pilot, age 48, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held an airframe and powerplant certificate.

Toxicological testing was also performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Review of the toxicological report revealed:

“…117 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Urine
70 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Brain
67 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Muscle
Citalopram detected in Liver
Citalopram detected in Urine
N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Liver
N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Urine…”

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment due to alcohol.