Brother Chan Morse ’70 died Sept. 3, 2015 when his single-engine plane used for towing gliders crashed in the desert east of Palmdale, California. He was 67.
Brother Morse apparently took off from Crystal Airport and crashed about six miles away. He had just released a glider when the plane dived into the ground. He was the only one in the plane.
A woman at the scene, Iris Scochio, said the aircraft was part of the Southern California Soaring Academy, which offers glider flight training at the airport. The flight school was closed Thursday, but its members were there for the nonprofit organization’s Wounded Service Member Glider Program. “Every month they give free glider rides to the veterans from different hospitals,” Scochio said.
Brother Morse left the UA after his freshman year to attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Despite leaving the university he stayed in touch with Sig Brothers over the years, said Bob Bretz ’67.
Morse was an experimental test pilot and U.S. Air Force Academy graduate. He was known as an expert pilot who flew helicopters in Vietnam before becoming an experimental test pilot and joining the Air National Guard. Morse's flying earned him several awards, including U.S. Test Pilot of the Year.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a grandchild.
Further details were unavailable.
All Honor to His Name