UPDATE: Final NTSB Report

| November 24, 2019

Here is the final NTSB report on an incident that occurred last year.  https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20180122X32841&ntsbno=ERA18FA064&akey=1

There were a couple of interesting revelations such as the toxicology report and the fact that “the pilot’s wife told investigators that she was unaware that her husband was being treated for mental health issues.”

In fact, the entire last paragraph is worth quoting…

Records indicated that the pilot complained of worsening symptoms from PTSD, including nightmares and intrusive thoughts, during the end of 2016 and early 2017. This was apparently brought on by legal issues. The underlying issue was that the pilot had been discovered misrepresenting his military service, which had been revealed on the internet by a group he considered “terrorists.” The pilot was facing charges for repeatedly breaking the conditions of a restraining order regarding threatening the wife of the individual who revealed his misrepresentation. The pilot’s wife told investigators that she was unaware that her husband was being treated for mental health issues.

We were told that this report doesn’t match the claims that he made in court.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Navy Poser, Usual Suspects

Comments (106)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    “The Hair is trying to get meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee1”

  2. SSG Kane says:

    Wonder what the Claimed PTSD was from.

  3. OAE CPO USN Ret says:

    HeWhOsHaLlNoTbEnAmEd must be so disappointed that his alleged reports to the Feds about it being sabotage were not mentioned anywhere in the report.

    BTW, the seat was found 30 feet from the plane. So ol Lawn Dart made one final flight without fuel.

  4. Sapper3307 says:

    They did add that he was doing unauthorized work on the control linkage, he was bragging about it the pilots boards.

  5. Sapper3307 says:


  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, gee whiz, this individual still can’t avoid his desperate need for attention. Some things never go away. Others take a while to rust and decay.

  7. RM3(SS) says:

    PTSD is rampant, especially in photographers that never left their aircraft carrier during the Vietnam war. Horrors! /sarc

  8. AW1Ed says:

    The End.


    • rgr769 says:

      One thing is for certain. Danny Dangerously is now maintaining a straight and level attitude and the altitude assigned to him. Also, he has permanently cured the problems with his radio transmissions.

    • Friend says:

      Screw the giggles, laughing myself SILLY every time I see this picture…and yes I stole it several times…
      This report vindicates EVERYONE except the stupid pilot…

    • Skippy says:


      Skippy approves ^^^^^^^^^

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

      Busted a gut ROFLOLMFAO!!!

    • Retired Grunt says:

      Ladies and gentlemen, you’re better than that……. i swear you are…. hes dead…. please and god bless.

      I saved a life, you saved the world.

      • rgr1480 says:

        Apparently *you* were never subjected to his legal shenanigans.

        With apologies to the Musical “Oklahoma”
        (Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers)

        Poor Dan is dead
        Poor Dan Bernath is dead
        All gather round his coffin now to pee
        He had no heart I’m told
        And he was gettin’ kinda old
        Oh why did such a bastard trouble me?

        Poor Dan is dead
        Poor Dan Bernath is dead
        He’s lookin’ not so peaceful nor serene
        He burned in purty hard
        And he’s battered and hagard
        His conscience has never been so clean

        Then the preacher’d get up and he’d say
        “Folks, we are gathered here to mourn and groan over that rat-bastard Dan Bernath
        Who crashed hisself in his plane near the golf course”
        And when there’d be no weepin’ an’ wailin’ — from none of them present —
        Then he’d say, “Dan was the most misunderstood man in this territory
        People used to think he was a mean ugly fella and called him a dirty skunk
        and an ornery pig stealer

        The folks that really knowed him
        Knowed that beneath them two shitty briefs he always wore
        There beat a heart as big as all outdoors
        Dan Bernath loved his fellow man

        He loved the dogs he flew with their paws duct-taped
        And the beasts of the fields
        He loved the mice and the vermin in the barn
        And he treated the rats like equals (which was right)
        He loved all the little children
        He loved everything and everybody in the world
        Only . . . only he never let on
        And nobody ever knowed it

        Poor Dan is dead
        Poor Dan Bernath is dead
        His one fRiEnD is weepin’ for miles around
        The pine trees in the dell
        Will give out a different smell
        Because poor Dan is underneath the ground

        Poor Dan is dead
        A candle lights his head
        He’s layin’ in a coffin made of wood
        And folks are feelin’ glad
        ‘Cuz he used to treat them bad
        And now they know this bastard’s gone for good

        Poor Dan is dead
        A candle lights his head
        He’s lookin’ oh so purty and so nice
        He looks like he’s asleep
        It’s a shame that he won’t keep
        But it’s summer and we’re runnin’ out a’ ice

        Poooooor Daaaaaaaan
        Poooooor Daaaaaaaan

      • Hack Stone says:

        Along with being a disbarred attorney and a lousy pilot, Daniel Bernath was a bully, provoking people into responding to his harassment, then filing bogus lawsuits against them. Obviously he had a beef with TAH for exposing his lies, but that wasn’t enough for him. For some reason his turned his attention and venom towards the Shipley’s, who at this point never even mentioned Bernath, which resulted in yet another series of criminal and civil trials, all of which Bernath lost. Having his day in court was not enough for the Gravity Challenged, he continually violated restraining orders, resulting in his confinement by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hack Stone said it before, and he will say it again; More people mourned the death of Adolph Hitler than Daniel Bernath. Not to say that Bernath was worse than Hitler, but the Shipley’s never had to file a restraining order against Hitler.

      • SFC D says:

        No, I’m really not better than that. Sorry for disappointing you. Jesus and I will discuss that later.

        • The Stranger says:

          I’m not better than that either, and I’m just all tore up about it. Actually I’m not. Sometimes you just get tired of being the “better man.” This is one of those cases. You see, in order for me to forgive, the person who did wrong should show some remorse or contrition. Bernath did neither. He was most likely up to something crooked or shady with regards to his last flight, based on his past history. If you’re so inclined, do some research on this clown’s backstory. He could have done the right thing at multiple points in this saga. He manifestly refused to do so and, in many cases, doubled down. I can somewhat understand that doing the right thing can be difficult at times, but in Dan’s case, doing the right thing was very easy…do nothing. Instead he would continue the fight, knowing he was wrong and knowing that he would lose but banking on making someone else miserable enough that they would knuckle under. This was always about one thing with Bernath, control. He wanted to exercise control over others since he couldn’t exercise control over his own life. Truly a sad, pitiful person who worked hard to earn the loathing and opprobrium of the commenters on this forum. I respectfully disagree with Retired Grunt’s comments, but wish him the best with his medical procedure tomorrow.

          • The Stranger says:

            The research part of my comment was addressed to Retired Grunt. My response went in an unintended direction from when I started and more properly should have been addressed to RG. (Forget it, he’s rolling)

          • Ex-PH2 says:

            BErnath knew that the American Legion was moving to seize his assets, including his airplane.

            I don’t think his little plane liked him at all, but put up with his crap until it found an opportunity to part company with him permanently.

    • Retired Grunt says:

      I’m going in for surgery tomorrow morning and I don’t know if I’m coming back I don’t do well with anesthesia….. I’m listening to that song I wonder what I keep my life I wonder what I sacrifice is crazy brothers and sisters Mr. Burnath is gone… Hes dead we are still here and each and every one of you are better than that or I didn’t know any of you. I’m not trying to glorify Mr. Bernath…. I’m trying to get you to realize who you truly are amazing

  9. Mason says:

    His wife didn’t know he had mental issues? Talk about Stockholm syndrome. The ATM at the bank could tell he had issues.

  10. The Stranger says:

    There once was a lawer named Dan,
    Who got himself thrown in the can,
    He was finally let out,
    Then went flying about,
    And that’s when the shit hit the fan.

  11. Roh-Dog says:

    If i wasn’t so gd hungover Id drink to that.
    I hope the insurance company gets to keep their moneyz…

  12. ninja says:

    Is this really the FINAL report?

    What I read, it is the “History of the Flight”.

    I don’t see a conclusion, determination as to what caused the accident, i.e. did the Investigators determine it was Pilot error? Did the Investigators determine the aircraft might have had faulty issues?

    I compared this report to the other Bernath 2012 report where it seems Investigators determined Bernath failed to properly fuel his plane as the cause of his last accident, yet I don’t read that here.

    Perhaps there is more to come?

    IMHO, it looks as if he may have tried to pull the same stunt as he did in 2012, thinking he was going to walk out of the crashed plane alive, to perhaps seek monetary damages against the makers of the plane, the previous owner, other indi indivuals that I willl not name, but his plan back-fired on him.

    And now his family are the ones suffering from his selfish, self-centered ways.

    So obvious from Day 1 he had huge mental issues/illness. He may have tricked the Virginia Court System and others that he was mentally doing better, all the while coming up with his last wordly scheme of deceit.

    I try to show compassion for those who have those hiccups of the brain. However, there is only so much society can do to try to help those who really don’t want help or deny they have a form of mental illness.

    I hope there will be a final analysis, conclusion to this.

    • rgr769 says:

      I don’t think this is the final report. Otherwise, it would have assigned even a probable cause. The ones I read back when I was still flying usually assigned a cause, even if was only probable pilot error.

    • Morgan Blake says:

      ninja wrote: “IMHO, it looks as if he may have tried to pull the same stunt as he did in 2012, thinking he was going to walk out of the crashed plane alive, to perhaps seek monetary damages against the makers of the plane, the previous owner, other individuals that I will not name, but his plan back-fired on him.”

      This is what I believe as well. The fact that he was over a golf course gave him a sense that he could have a safe landing.

      • ninja says:

        If one goes to this site and scrolls down to the 2013 incident, one will see the similarity between this report and the 2018 report, all related to fuel:


        Bernath probably had this all planned, probably while sitting in the Virginia jail system.

        I doubt his plan was to become a deceased. In his arrogant, narcisstic way, I really believe he thought he was going to pull another trickery, perhaps for money, perhaps for revenge.

        Again, I have compassion for those who have mental illness. But in this case, Bernath reaped what he sowed. Am very surprise his wife had no clue of his mental instability or so she says or she could be in denial as well.

        Agree with others. I think there may be other reports tying to this case.

  13. Perry Gaskill says:

    There seems to be some strong evidence in the NTSB report that Bernath punched his own ticket. Aircraft don’t typically roll upside down and crash into the ground at a 45 degree angle unless there’s a major control failure, something the NTSB didn’t find.

    • rgr769 says:

      They do if part of the control surface system fails. If it wasn’t the medication, Danny Boy may have been undone by his own pretending to be an A&E mechanic. First responders had cut some of the control cables, so it was likely impossible to assess if there was a failure or malfunction of the control systems. Apparently, he was bragging on a pilot forum that he could adjust his own control cables and whatnot.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        I’m going with suicide. Some other clues were that he had apparently firewalled the throttle to the engine redline. RPM for a normal cruise speed should have been around 2500 instead of 5950. The flight recorder also indicated that the aircraft hit the ground travelling at 136 knots which also happened to be the airframe never-exceed speed.

        Bernath was also suffering from health, and financial problems, not to mention being recently released from jail.

        Although no compound amounts were indicated by the toxicology report, the fact that the three main impairment drugs were anti-depressants could be an indicator that Bernath took them before taking off in order to help work himself up for what he planned.

  14. Cameron Kingsley says:

    I was wondering when this creep was going to pop up again. Guess he periodically will keep showing up on here.you could probably make a soap opera on his life and illustrate what a rotten person he truly was.

    • SFC D says:

      If a soap-opera writer had penned the entire Bernath/TAH saga, bullshit flags would be falling like monsoon rain. You just can’t make this shit up.

  15. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    If he didn’t have another airplane to wreck, I bet he’d have staged a car wreck instead and sued Cadillac for it.

  16. Hack Stone says:

    You can point a disbarred attorney towards the fuel pumps, but you can’t make him have enough aviation fuel to reach his destination.

  17. crashing into a golf course? Holy moley, sounds like a lot of holes in this story.

  18. A Terminal Lance Coolie says:

    From what I can see in the report, it looks like good old Lawn Dart either had an episode related to his medications, or tried staging an accident.

    Considering Lawn Dart’s lawsuit-happy tendencies, i think I’ll favor the latter.

  19. Bim says:

    Sounds like Danny got back from the Shipley’s all expense paid vacation and tried to catch up on all the antidepressants that he missed while in the gray bar hotel. Listening to his ATC recordings, he was obviously impaired and two steps behind the aircraft from the moment he did his preflight.

    He was running the poor motor at almost redline and had the plane right up against its max maneuvering speed before the mayday call. A quick jerk of the stick could have been enough to to start the aircraft disassembly process.

    “Never fear, I shall never be mentioned in an NTSB report”. – well, you got that one right, Dan. They didn’t actually publish your name.

  20. Hack Stone says:

    Don’t feel too bad. Not many people know that every time someone orders a Kamikaze Cocktail, the Bernath Estate gets $0.13 in royalties.

  21. The Other Whitey says:

    Doesn’t one first need to have a traumatic experience in order to get post-traumatic stress? But then again, it is (or more correctly *was*) Bernath we’re talking about here…

    • Hack Stone says:

      Maybe he had Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    • OWB says:

      The only trauma he had was self-inflicted. He was a drama queen, making melodramas where there were none, much to the surprise of those who innocently walked into one of his escapades.

      How many people did he harm with his imagined grievances? How many lies did he tell which hurt real people? How much money did he cost people who had never heard of him defending against one of his attacks?

      He did not allow folks to simply ignore him.

      • rgr769 says:

        Looks like ol’ Miss Karma caught up to him. It was just a long time coming. I like the “self-murder” theory, but that implies he did it to benefit his wife with insurance or something. I think that is out of character for him. It is quite obvious that the only person the human lawn dart cared about was himself. So his malfunctions, whether drug induced or not, are the more likely cause.

        • Perry Gaskill says:

          Another factor is that the NTSB report mentions the cops showing up when a mechanic was working on Bernath’s airplane. If the aircraft had been subject to an asset seizure, it might be that Bernath decided to crash it out of spite. If he wasn’t going to be allowed to have it, he didn’t want anybody else to have it either.

        • Poetrooper says:

          He was a lawer, a bad one for sure, but still a lawer, so he had to know that having all those drugs in his system would provide the insurance company with a strong defense against paying.

          Would it not, Counselor?

          • rgr769 says:

            Not really. He was prescribed those drugs. And in most jurisdictions, even suicide is not necessarily a defense to paying, if the policy has been in effect for several years. For example, if one gets drunk, crashes the car and kills oneself, the insurance company usually pays without proof of a suicide defense on a recently issued policy. Negligence by the deceased insured is not a defense to a life insurance policy claim.

            • rgr769 says:

              I might also add that as an attorney with over 40 years of litigation experience, Danny Boy did not engage in intelligent or rational behavior. His actions are comparable to several other lawers I have tangled with over the years who are now disbarred. Danny was not a rational or skilled player in the game of Litigation Lotto. He was also a lousy pilot.

  22. DirtDart says:

    And the Over speeding and Revving the RPMs didn’t help either.

    All this douche canoe had to do was say – i dicked up wont do it again. ill leave every one alone. I know ive been a major dick. ill try to make it up.

    But no- he went out like a little b*&^%

    That were my sympathy ends- by enemies blade- never by my own- hard to not see it that way. made his own bed

  23. Berliner says:

    All I can say is he made an impact.

  24. Combat Historian says:

    ‘Ole Danny was a crashing bore…

  25. Poetrooper says:

    Dug in his heels…

  26. Toasty Coastie says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised at all if the wife pops up with a continued lawsuit to vacate the previous awards or do as someone suggest above and go after the plane manufacturer in some way. She was complicit with all the bs when Lawn Dart was alive, she’ll find a way to carry it on, after all, she must be close to broke with all the payouts they owed.

  27. Just An Old Dog says:

    I may be overthinking it but somehow I think that the individual doing the report Knew what a piece of Shit Bernath was and that he was a Poser/ Fuckhead.
    The details he put in about him being outed as a fake were probably his way of ensuring whoever read the report would know what a fuck-stick he was.

  28. Retired Grunt says:

    Please forgive me I’m gonna start preaching for a minute I have a surgery tomorrow. We do not think about write we do not think about wrong we are brothers and sisters we are soldiers some of us lose our way from time to time and that’s OK. But you gotta ask yourself just like the song just like I do every day would I actually give my life I hope that if I’m ever presented with that situation I would but honestly I’m probably just as scared as everybody else I’ve had a gun pointed directly at my face more than once actually I never knew what the right answer was I did what I had to do in only what I had to do. If you are and honorably retired or discharge honorably veteran then you are my brother and you are my sister. Sorry brothers and sisters I was just venting I guess.

    I saved a life. You saved the world.

    • Hondo says:

      Even brothers and sisters can be disowned for sufficient cause. Bernath provided sufficient cause many times over.

      Bernath was an asshole who knew enough about the courts to use them as a weapon against others – and did so repeatedly, out of petty spite.

      He was NOT my “brother veteran”. He voluntarily gave up that status when he started harassing those who comment here.

      I shed zero tears regarding Bernath’s demise. Rather, I am happy that those he tormented for no good reason are no longer subject to his lies and legal harassment.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Well stated, Hondo…

      • Ret_25X says:

        Let’s not forget that serving in the military and getting one’s DD 214 is insufficient to accrue honor to one’s self.

        This is not about forgiveness. Forgiving people for their actions is not a mandate to ignore their dishonorable life and actions.

      • Poetrooper says:

        Spot on, Hondo. there’s always been a side of me that has a hard time with that “Turn the other cheek,” admonition.

        It’s the side where that first cheek gets smacked…

  29. Retired Grunt says:

    Hes dead, he wasn’t what he said he was but he was a veteran….. If I know you like I think I know you you’re gonna hate the fact that he lied but you’re also going to respect the fact that he actually was a veteran

    • Just An Old Dog says:

      I fucking refuse to use the words respect and Bernath in the same sentence.
      He was a vile piece of dog shit that tortured others with his abuse of the system.
      There are some members here who had their named dragged in the mud and spent money defending themselves against this assbag.
      The Shipleys spent a SHITLOAD of money in court costs and lawyer fees defending themselves, and eventually they were the ones who got the fuckhead locked up. It took a huge toll on them.
      Daniel Bernath was the scum of the earth. There are not many people on this earth that I can say I truly hate and wished death on, but he was one. He was probably a fucking cunt when he served.
      If I could go back in time and be on the Yorktown I would gladly kick him if his fucking face while he was coming up a ladder well.
      Veteran my ass.
      That only goes so far.
      Fuck him.

  30. Retired Grunt says:

    Please …..

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      You are clearly and strongly advocating for forgiveness to ones enemies. I am assuming from the Christian perspective, but if from another you are still dutiful and correct to do so.

      Let not your heart be troubled, as we were told. Be well from your coming ordeal.

      You are judged on your own acts, not on those who discount your advice. Do your duty, but avoid falsely taking up their burdens. It wearies the soul needlessly. Do your duty and drive on. Some folks just need longer catharsis for their wounds. And the subject of this thread wounded a great many people, for a long time. It will be a while before most of the tormented can put it aside and truly heal. There is also justice in ending the hurt that comes from too long holding on to the past.

      Patience and persistence. The healing of scars is not swift.

      Post again, please, after your procedure. Let us know you are ok.

    • GDContractor says:

      Gotta love it when someone who wasn’t around back then adopts the perspective of “Oh I’m sure he wasn’t THAT bad.”

      Bernath had the option of creating a legacy of “honorable veteran”. Bernath chose otherwise. Choices have consequences.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        Dan had numerous chances to come clean about his actions and never did. He went after people, sometimes for years, for any reason. He abused the court system with his frivolous law suits, looking for that ultimate payday.

        He was, for lack of a better term, a bitter, bitter little man.

        • rgr769 says:

          Danny Boy was a compulsive fuckwit and an asshole to everyone who had the misfortune of coming in contact with him. He reaped what he sowed. He didn’t give a shit about veterans, if his actions are any indications. So why should we not respond in kind? He is where he is because of his own actions.

      • Just An Old Dog says:

        “Gotta love it when someone who wasn’t around back then adopts the perspective of “Oh I’m sure he wasn’t THAT bad.”

        I’d like to add that what was shared here wasn’t even the tip of iceberg when it comes to the crap that piece of shit pulled on the Veteran’s community.

        He also went after good people and businesses that had nothing to do with Stolen Valor or the Military.

        He was less than pond scum.

    • OWB says:

      Forgiveness is great. Personally, I have no problem with the concept. Forgetting is another thing. Some/Most/Many did the forgiveness thing some time since the death of this truly evil man.

      Ultimately, we are not a committee that decides the ultimate fate of the man’s soul. My personal forgiveness of him for his sins means nothing in the greater scheme of things.

      So, don’t fret that the assembled here remember his deeds. His willingness to hurt anyone and everyone on his evil quest is pretty much all you need to know about him and our natural reaction to him.

  31. GDContractor says:

    It all makes perfect sense that this was an accident if you consider that his iPad said he was cruising at 80 kts and everything was fine and dandy.

  32. Wilted Willy says:


  33. mblake says:

    One thing that DB’s death accomplished is that it drove DW right into the open, loving arms of Frank Dux.

    Much like that slow motion meadow scene from “Wuthering Heights.”

  34. 5th/77th FA says:

    Bitch Bernasty was a waste of oxygen and now he is a waste of a cemetery plot AND a headstone.

  35. Dennis - not chevy says:

    Bernath was given more than his fair share of chances to admit he was wrong. A real man would have admitted losing his way and would have asked for help and guidance as he atoned for his ways. Not him, he had to keep at it and building on his lies. Those who are new will not remember the good people who were harassed by Bernath.

    • rgr769 says:

      He not only harassed people, he sued them, causing them thousands of dollars in legal fees. Only a few he sued recovered what it cost them in dollars. And I am sure none of them felt like they were adequately compensated for the grief he caused them with his bullshit lawsuits.

  36. Hack Stone says:

    Autopsy results confirmed no traces of Red Bull in Daniel Bernath’s system.

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      An unsubstantiated rumor says that the autopsy also revealed small traces of jet fuel in his system. Examiners have speculated that it must have entered through the rectum.

      • rgr769 says:

        Um, that should have been 100 octane low lead (100LL) av-gas, as that is what his glorified motor glider ran on, unless someone gave him a shot of JP4 up the poop chute. But as we know, the last thing on Dan’s mind was his ass.

  37. AO2(NAC) says:

    yeah, fuck that guy.

    I’m the last to celebrate an unfortunate demise, but in this case I’m making an exception.
    He was a creep and a dirtbag. He stole valor and slung poo at those that called him on it.
    Didn’t he get in a fight with a judge in an elevator?
    I’m glad he’s gone.

    • rgr769 says:

      Yes, he did get into a fracas with a Social Security judge before whom he frequently appeared. Bernutz only handled SSA cases in Oregon because it’s State Bar prudently refused to admit him as an attorney.

    • The Stranger says:

      So his alias was Hu Flung Poo?

  38. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    I know polite society would like us to refrain from defaming the dead, however this man chose to dishonor and defame himself on a regular basis.

    I am glad for those affected by his frivolous lawsuits they will no longer have to be bothered with that nonsense at personal cost and expenditure of time along with their money.

    Mr. Bernath’s arrogance cost him his life, a sad outcome for his family less so for those he antagonized and made miserable with his never ending stream of litigation against all who dared express the truth to him.

    For that I have no compassion for this man whatsoever. His last moments of fear and pain are most likely what he deserved based on how he acted while alive.

    Good riddance to you sir, may there never be another like you in our lifetimes.