No distress call sent before crash

By Emily Bialkowski

Caledonia Argus


A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicates that no distress call was sent from the twin-engine plane that crashed in Caledonia Nov. 1. Three Michigan men were killed in the accident and one passenger survived with serious injuries.

The Piper PA-23-250 was discovered in a harvested field around 4:30 p.m. and was registered to Garlam Aviation, of Troy, Mich. The accident site was located about 590 feet northeast of the Houston County Airport’s runway.

“The ground scars and wreckage is consistent with a right wing airplane down impact followed by the right engine and fuselage impact. The airplane came to rest in an upright position, turned about 180 degrees, and facing the first impact point,” the preliminary report states.

According to, a website that tracks air flights, the plane left Troy, Mich., at 12:07 EDT and was supposed to arrive at the Houston County Airport at 2:05 CDT. The airplane flew for about three hours en route to Caledonia. Prior to reaching Caledonia, the pilot was cleared for GPS-A approach; the pilot canceled his Instrument Flight Rule clearance at about 2:05 p.m., the report states.

The crash was not witnessed and left Joel Alan Garrett, 79, of Troy, Mich.; Dale Edward Garrett, 49, of Berkely, Mich.; and John Paul Bergeron, 50, of Birmingham, Mich., dead.

The sole survivor is Joseph Samuel Stevens, 61, of Bloomfield, Mich.

A final report and finding will likely take more than a year to complete, the NTSB said.