Sunday, July 31, 2011

Marietta, Georgia: Neighbors Want Answers About Low-Flying Plane

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A low-flying airplane has buzzed a Marietta neighborhood four days in a row, and no one seems to know who it belongs to.

Paul Saffold is a pilot with 48 years of experience.  He said he can’t think of a reason why a single-engine plane was constantly flying over his neighborhood for days.  Channel 2’s Craig Lucie asked Saffold how long it’s circling in a day. “It’s unusual having lived in the area for 34 years. We see aircraft, but not one circling for days at a time and certainly not in the same path. It’s circling from 9:30 to 1:30 or 2 in the afternoon,” Saffold said.

Saffold said he couldn’t get a tail number.The Federal Aviation Administration said that is what they would need to track it down. An FAA spokesman said they don’t have any record of the plane since it flew just above 1,000 feet, which is below radar coverage.

A few residents also called the Cobb County Airport to complain about the plane.  When Lucie contacted them, they said they didn’t have any record of it taking off or landing there.

A Dobbins Air Reserve Base spokesman said the plane doesn’t belong to them either.Saffold though thinks someone is not telling the whole story. “Nobody is flying in this airspace without first contacting the Dobbins control tower,” Saffold said.

A Dobbins spokesman said they are still investigating to see if the plane entered their airspace.

The FAA said the pilot didn’t do anything illegal since the plane was flying above the required 1,000 feet.

Other aviation officials said the plane could belong to a law enforcement agency or utility company.Lucie called all of them in the area, but the agencies said it is not their plane.

Saffold initially thought it could be someone taking pictures of real estate, but added “who needs four days to take pictures of the same houses?”

Helicopter with 3 aboard crashes in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — A helicopter has crashed north of Prince Rupert, B.C.

An official with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination centre says a call about the crash came in just before six p.m. Sunday.

Three people were aboard the helicopter, but their condition isn't known.

The rescue centre has dispatched a search plane to determine where the crash site may be and if anyone is still alive.

The chopper came down on what's known as the Nelson Glacier, located about 160 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, which is on B.C.'s northern coast.

Source:  http://www.ctv.ca
 Emergency services have been called to a glacier near Stewart, B.C., after reports a helicopter has crashed.

A police spokesman said the helicopter is operated by Vancouver Island Helicopters Ltd. The Provincial Emergency Program has been activated and a search helicopter and airplane are on their way.

There are reports of three people onboard. No word on injuries.

Nelson Glacier is near Stewart, B.C., 160-kms north of Prince Rupert.


RCMP say a helicopter has crashed on or near the Nelson Glacier, not far from Stewart, British Columbia.

Stewart is about 160 kilometre's north of Prince Rupert.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says the helicopter was carrying a pilot and two passengers.

He says the registered owner is Vancouver Island Helicopter Ltd.

An official with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre says a call about the crash came in just before 6pm, Sunday.

A Canadian Coast Guard DH-5 Buffalo search aircraft as well as a Cormorant helicopter has been dispatched to the scene.

Vacationers Stranded as Airline Fails

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

After starting as a Norilsk-based charter service in 2007, Continent airlines came to an unexpected end Friday.

Hundreds of holidaymakers spent the weekend stranded at airports on the Black Sea coast and in the Amur region after the mysterious collapse of Continent airlines on Friday.

Regional authorities were left scrambling to find replacement routes and airport operators after Continent declared itself bankrupt — even drafting aircraft from the government's Rossiya squadron, which usually flies top officials, to get people home.

Norilsk-based Continent unexpectedly announced that it was ceasing operations Friday when it ran out of money to pay airports to refuel its planes.

News agencies reported that the Federal Air Transportation Agency revoked the airline's operating license at the request of Continent chief executive Vladimir Krasilnikov. Online business magazine Marker identified the majority owner of the airline as Stanislav Leichenko, a former military pilot who founded Atlant-Soyuz airlines, which was later taken over by the Moscow city government.

The company owes some 32 million rubles ($1.16 million) to Russian airports, RIA-Novosti reported.

The Transportation Ministry said the company was so short of money it could not even contribute to providing the stranded passengers with food or water.

Transportation Minister Igor Levitin on Saturday ordered the seizure of Continent's aircraft and asked the Federal Air Transportation Agency to forward information to prosecutors to investigate the company for "non-provision of passenger services."

Continent was founded in 2007 as a charter flight company, but started scheduled flights between Norilsk and Moscow last winter, according to its web site.

The company started scheduled flights connecting Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk with Black Sea resorts on April 26 this year. It had a fleet of nine Tu-154m aircraft.

It is not clear what went wrong, though sources in the Amur region administration told RIA-Novosti that they had been concerned about the "stability of the company's work" for the past two weeks.

There were more than 600 passengers still stranded in Sochi, Anapa, Krasnodar and Gelendzhik by Sunday afternoon, Sergei Lekharev, chief executive of airport operator Basel Aero, told Interfax. Others were stranded in Simferopol in the Crimea.

The government has promised to compensate airlines that help return the stranded passengers.

The Transportation Ministry on Sunday urged passengers to avoid travel and try to redeem tickets for cash at travel agencies, or buy new tickets on other airlines. The company is believed to have sold tickets for flights up to September this year.

"The general director of Continent airlines has said the company is ready to sell its aircraft in order to refund the tickets," the ministry said.

Meanwhile, regions are looking for new operators to take over routes operated by the defunct airline, presenting an opportunity for domestic carriers to expand.

Officials in the Amur region, where Continent airlines ran regular flights to southern Russian resorts including Sochi as well as connections to Vladivostok, told RIA-Novosti that "we have begun looking for new companies. In particular we are in negotiations with UTair."

Plane has hard landing at airport Sunday. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (KDTS), Destin, Florida

A single-engine prop plane was damaged after a hard land Sunday afternoon at the Destin Airport.

No one was injured on the six-passenger plane.

The hard landing caused the plane’s landing gear to fold beneath it and the nose of the aircraft hit the runway. The impact caused a small fuel leak.

Because of the leak, Destin firefighters responded and remained on scene as the aircraft was removed from the runway.

Co-worker IDs family of 4 as plane crash victims. Cessna 180 Skywagon float plane. Trapper Creek, Alaska.

An Anchorage pilot and his family were the four people who died in a collision between their single-engine plane and another small aircraft, a co-worker of the pilot said Sunday.

The Cessna 180 was registered to Corey Carlson, a 41-year-old private pilot, who died with his wife, Hetty Carlson, 39, and their two young children, said Mark Mazur, who worked with Corey Carlson at GE Drilling Systems, an oilfield services company.

The crash around Amber Lake near Trapper Creek, 80 miles north of Anchorage, came nearly three weeks after another in-flight collision that remarkably left the 13 people aboard the two aircraft unhurt. In a vast state with a very limited road system, traveling by small plane is a common activity for many residents.

Alaska authorities had tentative identifications of the dead but were not releasing names until the state medical examiner's office makes positive IDs, said Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for state troopers.

Mazur said he learned of the deaths from Carlson's father, but he declined to say more.

Authorities said the floatplane crashed and burned after the collision with another single-engine floatplane, a Cessna 206, which suffered significant damage but was able to return to Anchorage.

The pilot, Kevin Earp, 56, of Eagle River, was alone in the aircraft and uninjured. There was no listing in Eagle River for Earp, and he did not respond Sunday to a message left through his son, Andrew Earp, in Fairbanks.

It's too early to speculate what caused the collision, said Larry Lewis, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who was at the crash site Saturday evening.

"The airplane impacted the ground in a steep vertical descent," he told The Associated Press in an email Sunday. "Most of the airplane was consumed by a post-crash fire."

The bodies have been recovered.

On July 10, nine people aboard a Piper Navajo and four people in a Cessna 206 were uninjured when the planes collided. Both aircraft had minor damage but were able to land safely in Anchorage.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus described that incident as "almost unheard of."

American Aviation AA-1A Trainer, Rays F Inc., N34299: Accident occurred July 23, 2011 in Corona, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N34299
 
NTSB Identification: WPR11FA344
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 23, 2011 in Corona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: AMERICAN AVIATION AA-1A, registration: N34299
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Radar data revealed that the introductory instructional flight departed and proceeded toward mountainous terrain adjacent to the intended destination. As the airplane approached the foothills, it entered a series of turns. The radar data did not include altitude information, most likely because the altitude reporting mode of the airplane's transponder was inoperative. A witness, located in her residence near the accident site, observed the airplane flying unusually low along the ridgeline. The airplane then made an abrupt, swooping, and descending turn. As it began to roll out of the turn, the wings started to rock from side to side, and the airplane then immediately descended nose-down into the ground. The airplane did not appear to be trailing smoke or vapor, and the engine was producing a sound consistent with high power throughout the maneuver.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane struck the ground in a near vertical nose-down attitude. The impact attitude and the witness’s description of the rocking wings followed by an immediate nose-down descent both are consistent with an aerodynamic stall. Analysis of the radar data revealed that, in the final turn, the airplane was flying at a speed of about 77 knots with a turn radius of about 400 feet. To achieve the turn radius observed would have required a bank angle between 50 and 60 degrees with an associated increase in load factor that would have caused the airplane's stall speed to match or exceed its airspeed. The airplane's design was such that uncoordinated flight control input close to stall speed could result in an unrecoverable spin.

Examination of the airplane's structure, the majority of which was consumed by postaccident fire, and the engine, which sustained heavy thermal damage, did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

An aggressive flight maneuver performed by the pilot during low altitude flight, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 23, 2011, at 1023 Pacific daylight time, an American Aviation AA-1A, N34299, collided with mountainous terrain near Corona, California. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damaged during the accident sequence, and was subsequently consumed by post impact fire. The local instructional flight departed Chino Airport, Chino, California, at 1015. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The CFI recently became an instructor for Duke's Flying Club (DFC). According to the Manager of DFC, the flight was an introductory lesson for the student pilot, with a destination of Lake Matthews, located about 15 miles southeast of Chino. He stated that the CFI had joined DFC in June 2011, and that this was his second flight with the club as an instructor.

A witness, located in her bedroom on the north side of her residence about 600 feet northeast of the accident site, was talking on the telephone when she heard an aircraft fly overhead. She stated that aircraft often fly in the area, but this sound was much louder, and appeared lower than usual. She became concerned, and ran outside to look for the aircraft. She looked to the west, towards the foothills, and observed an airplane flying from right to left just above the ridgeline. The airplane then made an abrupt, swooping, and descending left turn towards her position. She described the turn as extravagant, and similar to an aerobatic maneuver typically seen at air shows. As the airplane began to roll out of the turn, the wings started to rock from side to side. The airplane then immediately descended, nose-down into the ground. She stated that throughout the flight, including the descent, the airplane did not appear to be trailing smoke or vapors, and that the engine was producing a sound consistent with high power. She reported weather at the time of the accident to be calm winds and clear skies.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided radar and air traffic control audio data for the flight. The data revealed a target displaying a 1200 beacon code, and no altitude information, on a southeast track, departing Chino Airport airspace at 1018. The target continued on the same track for the next 2 minutes, traveling directly over Corona Municipal Airport. At 1023, the target began a left turn followed by a right turn, returning to a southbound track 50 seconds later. The target continued south for another minute. For the next 10 seconds, the target began a 50-degree turn to the left, followed 5 seconds later by a 90-degree right turn towards mountainous terrain. The wreckage was located about 200 feet east of this final radar return.

The audio data revealed that air traffic control personnel from Chino Tower were able to locate the airplane's primary radar target just after departure, but the target did not appear to be transmitting altitude information. During multiple radio communication exchanges, the pilot reported cycling the transponder, and ultimately switching it to non-altitude reporting mode. Tower personnel subsequently provided traffic advisories, and approved the pilot to change radio frequencies. During the exchange, the pilot reported that he was climbing through 1,800 feet to 2,500 feet. The last recorder transmission made by the pilot occurred about 5 minutes after takeoff, when he inadvertently transmitted his position to Corona Airport traffic utilizing the Chino Airport radio frequency.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

CFI

The pilot’s flight records were not recovered, and assumed to have been destroyed by the post impact fire.

A review of FAA airman records revealed that the 18-year-old pilot was first issued a private pilot certificate with a glider rating in November 2008. He progressed to a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane, on January 24, 2011. On March 21, 2011, he was issued his CFI certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land.

According to his Airman Certificate/Rating applications, he had accrued a total of 301.2 hours flight experience at the time of the application for his commercial certificate, and 350 hours at the time of his application for a CFI certificate.

According to acquaintances of the pilot, all of his glider flight experience was in Civil Air Patrol aircraft. His experience with the Grumman AA-1A series of aircraft was limited to the prior instructional flight for DFC, and an introductory flight with the manager.

All of the pilot’s powered airplane check rides were conducted by the same FAA examiner.

The pilot held a first-class medical certificate issued on July 15, 2010. It had no limitations or waivers.

Student Pilot

A review of FAA airman records revealed that the 19-year-old pilot did not hold a combined student pilot/medical certificate, or any other rating. FAA regulations do not require that a pilot hold such a certificate during dual flight training.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The low-wing, two-seat airplane, serial number AA1A-0270, was manufactured in 1971. It was powered by a four-cylinder Lycoming O-235-C2C engine, serial number L-10639-15, and equipped with a fixed pitch McCauley metal propeller.

A review of airframe and engine maintenance logbooks revealed that the airplane had undergone an annual inspection, which was completed the day prior to the accident. At that time, the airplane had accrued a total of 6,545.02 flight hours, with the engine accumulating a total of 1,652.32 hours since its overhaul in 2003.

METEOROLOGICAL

An automated surface weather observation at Corona Airport (elevation 533 feet msl, 5 miles northwest of the accident site) was issued 27 minutes prior to the accident. It indicated variable wind at 3 knots; 5 miles visibility in haze, with clear skies; temperature of 21 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; and an altimeter setting at 29.95 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located in the foothills adjacent to the northern region of the Cleveland National Forest, about 10 miles south-southeast of Chino Airport, and 7 miles west of Lake Matthews. The accident site was on a 15-degree northeast-facing slope, at the 1,500-foot level. The terrain was comprised of waist-high scrub brush, interspersed with trees ranging in height from 10-30 feet.

From the wreckage location, the terrain rose to the 4,007-foot peak of Mount Pleasant, located about 2.5 miles to the west. The mountain range continued further 8 miles southeast, where it reached a maximum elevation of 5,720 feet at Santiago Peak.

The first identified point of impact consisted of a ground disruption in soft dirt, which contained the propeller, a section of engine cowling, and fragments of the engine flywheel, canopy frame, and clear Plexiglas. Both propeller blades sustained chordwise scoring, and remained attached to the hub. The composite propeller spinner was fragmented, with the spinner plate formed around the front and rear surfaces of both blades opposite the direction of rotation. One blade was curled aft, about 90 degrees from the root. The second blade sustained about 15 degrees of tip twist.

The engine and nose landing gear structure was separated from the fuselage, and located about 20 feet downhill from the propeller.

The main wreckage was located 15 feet downhill, and consisted of the primary fuselage structure, tail section, and both wings. The entire structure was thermally destroyed, with only partial ash remnants of the wings, control surfaces, and fuselage structure remaining. Both wing spars came to rest on an east-west heading, and remained partially attached to the landing gear struts, and cabin seats. Burnt remnants of the cabin controls, tailcone, and empennage were located underneath the wing spar center section. The rudder control cable was continuous from the rudder horns, through to the foot pedals.

The remaining wreckage consisted of fragmented and dispersed sections of the control yokes, foot pedals, and flight instruments, all of which remained within the immediate vicinity of the accident site.

No impact damage or witness marks were noted to any of the trees surrounding the wreckage area. The ensuing post-accident fire burned about 1 acre of land, to the northwest of the accident site.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The County of Riverside Sheriff-Coroner conducted a postmortem examination of both pilots. The cause of death was reported as the effect of multiple blunt force traumatic injuries.

Toxicological specimens from the pilots were recovered by the Coroner, and tested by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). Analysis revealed no findings for carbon monoxide, or cyanide for the CFI, with negative results for all screened drug substances and ingested alcohol. Analysis of samples collected from the student pilot revealed similar negative findings for cyanide and ingested alcohol, with 2.711 (ug/ml, ug/g) Acetaminophen detected in blood. The specimens recovered were unsuitable for carbon monoxide analysis.

According to CAMI, Acetaminophen, a common over the counter analgesic/antipyretic, has a therapeutic low and high of 5.0 and 50.0 ug/ml, respectively.

Refer to the toxicology report included in the docket for specific test parameters and results.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine

The airplane was examined subsequent to the removal of the wreckage. The engine sustained extensive thermal damage, and all ancillary hoses, cables, and lines were destroyed. The aft sections of both magnetos and the carburetor bowl had melted. The forward engine case was bent, impinging the crankshaft at the forward bearing. The propeller crankshaft flange remained attached, with a section of its plate surface torn aft and away from the crankshaft. The top spark plugs were removed, and exhibited black sooting consistent with postaccident thermal damage. Plugs one, two, and three exhibited wear signatures consistent with normal operation when compared to the Champion AV-27 check-a-plug chart. Plug three exhibited worn out - normal signatures.

The engine cylinder heads were examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a borescope. The piston crowns and valves all exhibited grey deposits with black sooting. No valve-to-piston head piston contact, or other mechanical damage, was observed. Damage to the forward crankshaft and engine casing precluded rotation of the engine's drive train. Removal of the rocker covers revealed all springs and rockers to be oil wet.

No evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction was noted during the examination of the recovered engine, a detailed engine report is contained within the public docket.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Radar data indicated that the airplane's groundspeed as it approached the final turn was about 96 knots, reducing to 77 knots during the turn, the radius of which was about 400 feet. Referencing Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators (NAVWEPS 00-80T-80), Figure 2.29, General Turning Performance (Constant Altitude, Steady Turn), the airplane's angle of bank would have been between 50 and 60 degrees.

According to the Flight Manual, applicable to this series of airplane, the stall speed at a bank angle of 60 degrees, maximum gross weight, and forward center of gravity loading, was 79 knots calibrated airspeed with the flaps up, and 75 knots with the flaps down. The airplane's flap position at the time of the accident could not be determined.

The manual further states, "Avoid uncoordinated use of the controls at the stalling speed as this may result in s spin. SPINS ARE PROHIBITED...There is evidence that permitting a spin to go beyond one turn without initiating proper recovery procedures can allow a spin mode to develop from which recovery is not possible."

The plane was disintegrated.
Credit Daniel Lane


Two men who died in last week's small plane crash outside not far from Lake Elsinore were identified today as teenagers from Los Angeles County.

Matt Shope, 18, of Corona, and Pedro Torres, 19, of Pomona, were killed in the crash that shattered the single-engine, Taylormade aircraft and sparked a brush fire.

The call came through about 10:30 a.m., according to authorities.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A plane went down in Corona today just outside the Cleveland National Forest and Lake Elsinore, sparking a brush fire in Joseph Canyon, authorities said.

The call of the crash and fire came through about 10:30 a.m., according to a Corona police dispatcher.

According to Corona deputy fire Chief John Medina, the fire was contained to a one-acre area.

Though he would not confirm a fatality in the crash, Medina did say that the plane was burned up in the crash and no one has walked away from the wreck.

There is at least one possible fatality, Medina told Patch at the scene.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were sent to the scene, Medina said.

A coroner investigator had not been sent to the scene as of noon but firefighters at the scene told Patch the wreckage was being treated as a crime scene and police tape surrounded the site.

CLICK HERE for story update.

Malaysia: Keep close tabs on flying schools. (Opinion)


By WILLIAM DENNIS,  Subang Jaya.

I REFER to “Aspiring pilots’ wings clipped” (The Star, July 29). Students in the flying school mentioned in the story are not the only ones who have encountered problems with their courses.

My nephew and several others faced a similar predicament.

He was mid-way through his training, with only 18 hours left to complete the required 40 hours on the twin-engine aircraft to complete his course, when it was stopped as the aircraft which was leased by the school was repossessed.

Another twin-engine aircraft was grounded due to technical problems.

My nephew had earlier done 140 hours on single-engine. He had not flown for seven months and calls to the school as to when his twin engine training could resume and the course be completed, only drew blanks.

It was only after seven months being in the dark and the problem highlighted in the newspapers that the school sent my nephew to another flying school and paid for him to complete his training. He completed his course in mid-July. It took him three years 10 months to complete his course.

When he enrolled in 2007, the school gave the assurance that the course would only take 18 months, but demanded that the full course fees of RM280,000 excluding accommodation to be paid in full upfront.

When asked why the school needed the full sum to be paid upfront, the reply was: “Meet the requirement or go to another school that allows two payments”.

Left with no choice my younger brother who works with an oil company in a foreign country issued a cheque for the amount.

The Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Higher Learning should make regular checks on these schools and also ensure that they have the required number of aircraft and instructors in ratio with the number of cadet pilots that have been enrolled.

Just approving the start-up of these schools will not do. It must be ensured that they also have sufficient funds to acquire or lease aircraft.

By WILLIAM DENNIS,  Subang Jaya.

U.S. Coast Guard helicopter is searching for a man who was last seen in Lake Erie in Avon Lake


AVON LAKE, Ohio - The Avon Lake fire department and the U.S. Coast Guard are currently on scene at Lake Erie in Avon Lake searching for a male who was last seen in the water.

Coast Guard officials say a 20 year old male went missing in Lake Erie near Illuminating Co. in Avon Lake Sunday evening when he reportedly went under water & did not re-surface.

A Coast Guard helicopter is currently en route from Detroit and a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Cleveland Harbor on scene to assist in the search.

The Avon Lake Fire Department and Avon Lake dive team are also assisting in the search.

NewsChannel5 is following this developing story and will keep you updated with the latest information as it becomes available.

Source:  http://www.newsnet5.com

Watson Island, Florida: Tunnel builder accused of trespassing on seaplane base

The owner of the historic Chalks Airlines says the company hired to build a tunnel from the MacArthur Causeway to the Port of Miami is trespassing on his property on Watson Island.

A seaplane base that has operated on Watson Island for 85 years is complaining that the multinational company that will bore the $1 billion tunnel to the Port of Miami is trespassing on its 2.4-acre property.

“They use our road every day to move equipment or to get to their offices, and sometimes they even store equipment within our property, without authorization,” said Jim Confalone, president of Chalks Airline, which operates the storied seaplane base.

Chalks’ complaint is the latest controversy to rock the tunnel project, which recently sparked alarm among county commissioners when Miami Access Tunnel (MAT), the project’s concessionaire, requested additional money from a reserve fund to cover the costs of reinforcing the subsoil before boring begins in October.

Watson Island is MAT’s principal staging area for tunnel construction. As a result, the firm has collected equipment and material on the island, particularly in the median of the MacArthur Causeway.

The southbound tunnel leg to the port will be bored first beneath Government Cut, followed by the northbound leg. It is expected to take one year. The tunnel is expected to open in May 2014.

During an interview, Confalone said equipment on a grassy knoll across from his office belonged to tunnel work crews.

Chris Hodgkins, MAT vice president, said: “We are working closely with the city of Miami, and with their permission, as they own the property.”

Cristina Fernández, public information coordinator for Miami, relayed a comment from Tim Schmand, director of the Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority, which subleases the property to Chalks.

“About your inquiry reference tunnel equipment parked in seaplane company’s leased property, [Schmand]responded that the city disagrees with Mr. Confalone’s statements, but this being in litigation no further comments can be provided at this time,” Fernández wrote in an email to El Nuevo Herald.

Confalone sued the city and MSEA in 2007 because, he said, they “refused’’ to let his company build a new seaplane terminal that would feature a restaurant, gift shop and lounge. That lawsuit is pending in state court. Confalone says he delivers rent checks for $2,500 plus sales tax every month.

Confalone said that in October, when he first complained about MAT equipment and personnel entering his property, the city advised him that he was “wrongfully reading the survey’’ that outlines the property and accused him of interfering with Florida Department of Transportation operations. FDOT signed an agreement with MAT in 2009 to proceed with the tunnel project.

Confalone said he read the survey correctly.

“They need to take a remedial course on survey reading,” he said, referring to city officials.

The seaplane base on Watson Island was started by Arthur Burns Chalk in 1926.

A succession of owners operated the service after Chalk sold it to a friend. Owners have included the late talk show host Merv Griffin and business tycoon Donald Trump.

Confalone, a former Eastern Airlines pilot, took over the airline in 1999, buying it out bankruptcy.

The crash of a seaplane in 2005 that killed 20 people halted seaplane commercial airline service, but Chalk’s International continued operating with land-based flights until Confalone sold the company to the general manager in 2007.

A separate company, Chalks Airline, which Confalone heads as president, continues to operate the terminal airport where private seaplanes arrive and depart.

Hawk One reflects rich Canadian aviation history

En route from an air show in Medicine Hat, Alberta to the B.C. Aviation Museum in Victoria, the Hawk One fighter jet paid a visit to the Abbotsford International Airport last Tuesday afternoon.

The jet’s gold frame came into view, cut down the side with a red and white streak that progresses into a hawk’s head. The plane’s open nose, which draws air for its jet engine, is a trademark.

The aircraft costs $5,000 an hour to run due to fuel and maintenance.

The historical F-86 Sabre 5 fighter jet is the only one flying in Canada, and will be making an appearance at the Abbotsford Airshow, which runs from Aug. 12-14 at Abbotsford International Airport, 1464 Tower Street.

Piloted by retired Canadian Armed Forces Lt. Colonel Dan Dempsey, the aircraft will be performing low level acrobatics at the show, potentially alongside the Snowbirds and an F-18 demo.

Dempsey has been flying in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for 23 years.

He grew up admiring planes as his dad also flew in the RCAF.

Ultimately, it was the influence of the Golden Hawks, which flew F-86 aircrafts from 1959 to 1964, that inspired Dempsey to join.

“They were the first to give recognition to Canadian aerobatics,” said Dempsey. “When they stopped, it sent reverberations through the RCAF.”

When the opportunity arose in 2009 to fly the Hawk One, Dempsey emerged from retirement.

Painted in the same colour scheme as the Golden Hawks, Dempsey discovered his particular plane was once used as a Golden Hawks training jet, making the experience even more special.

Since returning from retirement, he’s been touring across Canada, performing at air shows, talking to veterans about their stories and working to encourage youth.

“We’re speaking with kids and hopefully inspiring them to do something unique and special with their lives,” he said. “We try to plant a seed of motivation with them.”

The Hawk One continues to travel by sponsorship and donation.

At shows, audiences have a chance to “look, touch and learn” about Canada’s rich aviation heritage.

“We don’t want that history to be lost.”

Dempsey is excited to return to the Abbotsford Airshow, where he first performed 40 years ago, and has returned many times since.

“It’s one of the greatest airshows in the world,” said Dempsey. “It’s such a wonderful, diverse event every year, from the Snowbirds to war birds. Some of the best performers in the world continue to touch down at the Abbotsford Airshow.”

The event will feature a number of military planes, warbirds and civilian demonstrations.

For more information about the Abbotsford Airshow, visit www.abbotsfordairshow.com.

Source:  http://www.bclocalnews.com

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) GOP senator misses vote on Reid plan for 'aviation celebration' EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

By Josiah Ryan, The Hill

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) missed Sunday’s procedural vote on Senate Majority Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) deficit reduction proposal because he was attending an aviation celebration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, his communications director told The Hill.

“Senator Inhofe missed today's procedural vote, because he had prior commitments at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI, including meeting with and helping those seeking to strengthen the aviation sector of Oklahoma's economy,” Inhofe communications director Jared Young wrote in an email.

Young pointed out that Inhofe had already “registered his opposition” to Reid’s plan by signing a letter along with 42 of his Republican colleagues on Saturday pledging to vote against it.

Inhofe’s vote wouldn’t have changed the result. Reid’s measure fell well short of the 60 votes necessary to move the measure forward, and Reid has now endorsed a new plan for raising the debt ceilng.

According to its website, AirVenture is "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration."

Inhofe, who is a pilot and a certified flight instructor, is a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus. He is pushing legislation called the pilot’s Bill of Rights which would “remedy many of the most serious deficiencies in the relationship between general aviation and the FAA,” according to his official congressional office.

The Senate voted 50 to 49 early Sunday afternoon to block Reid's plan to raise the debt-ceiling.

Source:  http://thehill.com

Poles give Smolensk report thumbs down

Almost half of Poles think that Poland's report into the causes of the Smolensk air disaster does not fully explain the reasons behind the deaths of President Kaczynski and 95 others in Smolensk last year, finds an opinion poll by the Homo Homini Institute commissioned by Polish Radio.

Over 47 percent of Poles are dissatisfied with the report's findings - which found that pilot error, training and preperation were all causes of the tragedy which killed many of Poland's political and military leaders.

Twenty nine percent judge the long-awaited document good document as "good".

Much of the report agrees with findings of the earlier Russian investigation into the crash in western Russia, though it did find that Russian air traffic control gave the pilots incorrect information about the approach to Smolensk airport and that they had been given no clear weather information, crucial with thick fog awaiting them on arrival.

Though Defence Minister Bogdan Klich resigned after the report was published on Friday, 33 percent of respondents of the poll commissioned by Polish Radio think that further resignations should follow, with almost 23 percent calling for PM Donald Tusk to quit.

On Friday, Tusk accepted the resignation of defense minister Bogdan Klich, submitted Thursday, in the wake of the report into the causes of the Smolensk air disaster.

According to Anna Karasińska, deputy head of the Homo Homini Institute, such a large number of Poles saying they are not satisfied by the report signals the need for further explanation by the government.

Meanwhile, opposition MPs have joined in the call for more resignations, citing government failure in the preperation of President Kaczynski's trip to western Russia to attend an anniversary ceremony of the 1940 Katyn massacre.

One opposition MP said Friday after publication that the report was full of "lies"

Head of the Law and Justice (PiS) parliamentary party, Mariusz Błaszczak and Marek Wikiński of the Democratic Left Alliance SLD both told Polish Radio on Sunday that Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski and the head of Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Minister Tomasz Arabski should join Bogdan Klich in quiting their posts.

Jaroslaw Kalinowski of the junior coalition member the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) said that resignations should have followed straight after the disaster on 10 April last year.

Paweł Poncyljusz from the Poland Comes First party (PJN) added that the most important thing for now was to draw conclusions from the Smolensk report in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

Source:  http://www.thenews.pl

Subsidies set to expire at Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey.

Atlantic City International Airport’s record passenger levels, a key part of boosting the region’s gaming and tourism industries, may be at risk when subsidies for one of its two carriers expire.

A two-year agreement under which the airport’s operators provided millions of dollars in subsidies to AirTran Airways for the daily route to its Atlanta hub will expire in September.

AirTran has announced no changes to the twice-daily Atlanta route, which connects local flights to a national circuit. But the future of the flight ultimately rests with Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran in May, said Sharon Gordon, spokeswoman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which runs the airport in Egg Harbor Township.

Airport officials have not spoken to Southwest about its plans, Gordon said. But, she added, the SJTA has no plans to extend or enter into another so-called “risk abatement agreement” such as it has with AirTran.

“We will continue to do air service development, and meet and present data, and work with our community to bring airlines to our market, but the reality is, at the SJTA we just don’t have the funding for it (risk abatement),” Gordon said.

Under the agreement, which was sought by the SJTA in 2009 after it put out requests to airlines for a route with national connections, the authority guaranteed as much as $3.1 million a year in 2009 and 2010 if the Atlanta flights did not generate enough passengers and revenue for the airline.

In 2009, that financial safety net cost the SJTA about $2.5 million. In 2010, it was $1.5 million, the SJTA’s annual report shows.

Gordon said the incentive has been drawing more passengers, particularly after the routes were re-timed to offer quicker connections.

“The SJTA has ... been able to convince AirTran of the opportunity here in Atlantic City for air service development,” Gordon said. “We need to get the community engaged and show the airlines that we’ll be a profitable market.”

The load factor — a percentage measure that gauges average flight occupancy — has increased on AirTran flights into Atlantic City International, federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics data show.

Although the average flights in January and February are only half full, occupancy builds in spring and peaks in summer, federal data show.

Average occupancy on total AirTran flights into and out of Atlantic City increased from 63 percent in 2009 to 67 percent in 2010. The airline also had a route to Orlando it discontinued in July 2010.

From June 2010 to December 2010, average occupancy was 76 percent.

As airlines can be reluctant to start a new, unproven route, incentives have been used — at Atlantic City International Airport and airports nationwide — to induce more air service to different locations.

The risk abatement agreement with AirTran, which started in June 2009, is set to expire Sept. 7 after being extended in February. The extension offers as much as $1.4 million in passenger revenue guarantees.

Although AirTran was acquired by Southwest, the airlines operate separately and are gradually integrating.

“We evaluate routes on a daily basis, and we never really forecast what may or may not happen. Right now, we’re operating the route and we have to leave it at that,” said Christopher White, a spokesman for AirTran.

Whitney Eichinger, a spokeswoman for Southwest, said the airlines are still evaluating schedules and strategies as they merge during the next 18 months.

“In the coming weeks, we will have updates a bit more on what that strategy looks like,” she said. “Obviously, there’s careful consideration in the markets being served.”

The SJTA offers other incentives to airlines that bring new flights to the airport, such as waiving landing fees for the first year and providing cooperative marketing dollars for new flights, Gordon said.

For Spirit Airlines, the local airport’s main carrier, this included its routes to Boston and Chicago, she said.

The region’s tourism-dependent economy faces increasing gambling and tourism competition from other states. The airport is seen as an important avenue to bring visitors to gamble at the casinos, attend conventions, book hotel rooms, shop the stores and dine in the restaurants.

Atlantic City International has experienced historic growth in the past three years, reaching a record 1.4 million passengers in 2010, SJTA statistics show.

In the first six months of 2011, the airport drew 730,174 total passengers, about 12 percent more than the same period in 2010.

Airport officials credited much of the increase to the airport’s two carriers adding more destinations.

“We’re hopeful the community is going to get very engaged behind our existing carriers, and we’re hopeful this time next year we’re going to be seeing greater opportunities and more flights here,” Gordon said.

Subsidy agreements are becoming increasingly common, said Robert Mann, of R.W. Mann & Co., an airline industry analysis and consulting firm based in Port Washington, N.Y.

The agreements have been popular to locations with tourism interests and seasonal markets, he said.

AirTran in particular has been active in this, entering new markets with limited risk, Mann said.

The larger Philadelphia International Airport does not use those types of incentives, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.

The Atlantic City International market has used such guarantees in the past with mixed results.

With as much as $1.2 million in guarantees annually for the first two years, Continental ran a route from Atlantic City to Newark for four years before the route was stopped in December 1997.

Delta Air Lines was backed by $2 million in guarantees when it launched daily jet service from Atlantic City to Cincinnati in October 2002. Despite concerns the airline would pull out after the agreement expired in October 2003, the flight ran for several years afterward.

Flight diverted to Indy, man dies. Unsure if man died in flight or on land. Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, Flight WN-1891.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Southwest Airline flight 1891 from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio was diverted to Indianapolis due to a passenger illness, according to airport spokesperson Carlo Bertolini.

Bertolini said, when the plan landed at the airport around 11:30 Saturday night, medical responders tried to revive the man but were unsuccessful. It’s unsure at this time if the man died on the plane, or after landing.

The Marion County Coroner will be handling the case.

Wright “B” Flyer mourns loss of pilots, Silver Bird N453WB.

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2011

DAYTON, Ohio – Wright “B” Flyer Inc. and its members extend our deepest condolences to the families of Mitchell Cary and Don Gum, who died Saturday, July 30, in a crash of our newest airplane, the Silver Bird.

Mitch and Don were volunteer pilots and members of the Wright “B” Flyer board of trustees. Mitch was a former president of the organization. Mitch and Don were highly competent pilots with extensive experience flying Wright “B” Flyer’s airplanes and other experimental aircraft. They always observed the highest standards of safety. They made enormous contributions to our organization and to the aviation heritage community. They were good friends and we miss them deeply.
Read more:  http://www.wright-b-flyer.org

Emergency Landing in Wisconsin: Navy helicopter TH-57 Bell was on its way back to Indiana after making an appearance at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.



Emergency landing of Navy helicopter in Bayside
(Sarah Worthman)


Photos and video: http://www.fox6now.com

A U.S. Navy helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at Ellsworth Park in Bayside Sunday morning.

The helicopter landed with three crewmen aboard. Nobody was hurt.

According the Fox Point - Bayside Patch, the TH-57 Bell helicopter was on its way back to Indiana after making an appearance at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

/"It really isn't a big deal," said Bayside Police Chief Bruce Resnik, who was at the scene Sunday afternoon. "It landed under (its own) power."

The helicopter was expected to be checked out and leave the park sometime Sunday afternoon.

Read more about this incident in the Fox Point - Bayside Patch.

High above Saskatchewan’s vast plains, an emergency room in the sky.

The flight crew removes a stretcher from the aircraft to make room for the patient.



SASKATOON — After landing in Ile-a-la-Crosse, the first challenge on this muggy afternoon presents itself to the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance team: Lifting the 35-year-old rollover victim, a hulking six-foot-tall man, safely on to the plane.

It takes three paramedics and a pilot to do the job, their faces strained as they carefully lift the stretcher above their heads and through the back hatch door of the plane. Flight nurse Kathy Sproxton guides the stretcher around a tight corner and into place.

The patient’s girlfriend, who is along for the flight, informs Sproxton it’s her first ever trip by plane.

"When we take off, you’re going to feel like you’re sliding down to the other end of the plane," Sproxton tells the woman — advice met with a look of panic as the plane starts down the short runway.

An hour or so earlier, at Saskatchewan Air Ambulance headquarters, the calls start rolling — and they don’t stop.

The 35-year-old man rolled his truck overnight, breaking his back and neck, and requires transfer to Saskatoon for surgery.

A physician in Nipawin requests that an elderly woman complaining of intense chest pains be airlifted to Royal University Hospital.

In Swift Current, a request comes to move a patient whose pacemaker needs to be re-paced to Regina.

A 10-month-old boy in Cumberland House who’s suffered head trauma requires help from the pediatric intensive care team and a transfer to Saskatoon.

The tight-knit crew, most transplanted from the adrenalin-filled environments of intensive care units, emergency rooms and road ambulances, sit in the lounge of the cramped hangar building, discussing upcoming home renovations and last week’s hailstorm.

A sleepy day at Saskatchewan Air Ambulance is suddenly awakened.

"It’s like the fire bell," says Cindy Seidl, the program’s high-energy manager and a longtime flight nurse, who will soon be on her way to Nipawin to help the woman suffering chest pains.

Saskatchewan Air Ambulance works like a virtual intensive care unit suspended above the province’s sprawling landscape.

Twenty-thousand feet in the air, in the tight, sometimes turbulent cabin of a turboprop aircraft, paramedics and nurses restart hearts, insert breathing tubes, deliver babies and save lives.

Air transportation is a critical part of Saskatchewan’s health system.

Air Ambulance flies patients out of province to waiting organ donors, transports critically injured collision victims and moves patients from small community hospitals to specialty centres in Saskatoon, Regina or out of province.

The program was the first non-military medical transport service in the world 65 years ago and remains a lifeline to remote communities without access to specialty care.

"We just quietly go about our business," Seidl says. "Every day we get to help people in needy situations."

Saskatchewan’s expansive boundaries mean specialized services are non-existent in most of the province, and air ambulance crews are responsible for bringing the province’s health system together.

The need for the service is growing as health facilities shut down in rural Saskatchewan and people live longer. The number of trips for the service have jumped from 1,140 in 2004 to close to 1,700 in each of the last two years. Outside of the military, Saskatchewan’s planes log more miles per year than any other of their make and model in the world. Last year, the planes were in the air for more than 1.2 million kilometres.

And with only two aircraft available and two crews working at any given time, all calls have to be juggled by a flight nurse working in the Provincial Aeromedical Co-ordination Centre, an airy ground-floor office that looks out over the airport ramp and runway.

On this day, Janet Conan is working the dispatch desk. She talks to the physicians and paramedics on the ground, getting a clear picture of the patient’s condition and, if needed, giving expert advice. The entire province is treated like a hospital’s emergency room, where the most critical patients — whether a 24-year-old woman who needs transfer to the maternity ward or a 45-year-old injured in a snowmobile crash — are given priority. With an increasing number of calls, low-priority transfers and return flights home often have to wait or are taken by private carriers.

"We need to have the best picture of what’s going on," Conan says. "I’m trying to draw as much information out as I can."

Down the narrow hallway, pilot Jeff Egeland, a 42-year-old former water-bomber pilot, is given the flight to Ile-a-la-Crosse to transport the man injured in the rollover. He pulls up a chair at his computer to check weather conditions for the 50-minute flight and begin a series of calculations to ensure the weight of the aircraft is within regulations. Once that job is finished, he prepares the plane, a task that in the coming year will be done by a second pilot as Saskatchewan upgrades its safety standards in line with the rest of the country.

Deep family connections are the norm, it seems, among air ambulance employees. In 1965, Egeland’s mother was transported from Spiritwood by air to Saskatoon after being rear-ended by a drunk driver at the age of 15, which broke her neck.

"She’s a survivor," Egeland said. "I’m a little partial to it. That’s always in the back of my mind."

The work gives him perspective, Egeland says.

"I’ve got four kids, all healthy," he says. "Yeah, they’ve got teenage issues. But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what you deal with up here every day."

The flight nurse for the trip to Ile-a-la-Crosse, Kathy Sproxton, and paramedic Cary Serviss join Egeland aboard the plane.

Sproxton, a 17-year veteran of air ambulance who says she was attracted by the autonomy of working in the air, notes there are no washrooms on board, just a bedpan. Drinking coffee before longer flights isn’t recommended.

"If you have to go, there’s not a lot of privacy," she says.

In the cramped space, planes carry equipment, supplies and medications similar to those found in an intensive care unit, such as intravenous pumps, a ventilator, cardiac monitoring and a defibrillator. There’s enough room for two patients, if necessary, on stretchers.

The nurse and the paramedic bring complementary skills, says Serviss. The paramedic is an expert in the tight quarters of an ambulance while the nurse typically knows intensive care units inside out.

Trauma and heart attack victims, in particular, have the most to gain by getting expert care fast, he explains.

"Time is muscle," Serviss says, explaining the need to reach heart attack victims quickly. "You can’t waste any time."

As the plane arrives, the concrete runway at Ile-a-la-Crosse appears, nestled between the picturesque forest and lakes down a rough road about 20 minutes from town.

Crew members all have their own stories about help from the small communities they fly into. As the story goes, one night in the early 1990s, the lights had been shot out at the airport of a remote northern community’s runway as a crew approached to transport a critically injured child. The crew contacted the person in charge of the airport, who was at a town dance. Minutes later, with the plane circling overhead, dozens of cars showed up from the dance to shine headlights on to the runway. Egeland says in winter it’s common for teams of snowplows to be clearing runways as the air ambulance crew arrives.

The crew hustles out of the plane to meet the local paramedic crew and load the man onto the plane. Once the rollover victim is aboard, the nurse’s work begins.

Practising medicine in the sky presents its own difficulties. Space is a constraint in the compact plane. The depletion of oxygen and changing air pressure are medical challenges, which have to be constantly monitored in the sky, Sproxton says.

The noise, vibrations and temperature of the aircraft can present problems for the patient’s health and comfort.

As the plane ascends into the sky, the man is hooked up to the heart monitors and an IV. Clearly uncomfortable, he continues to stretch out his arms above his head, clenches his teeth, covers his face and tries to move his feet. Sproxton gives him a shot of morphine to numb the pain and has him lay his hand across her legs, which are inches away, for support. He stretches his arm out and holds his girlfriend’s hand.

"I don’t normally ask men to lay their hands across my legs," Sproxton jokes. "But (your partner) is right here."

One hour later, the plane is landing in Saskatoon.

The man’s girlfriend is relieved. An ambulance awaits to take him to Royal University Hospital and emergency surgery after that.

"I’m just thankful we arrived," she says, sighing.

"It’s been a long day."

Beechcraft G35 Bonanza, Robert W. Pelissier (rgd. owner & pilot), N156RP: Accident occurred July 31, 2011 in Byron, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA431 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 31, 2011 in Byron, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/11/2012
Aircraft: BEECH G35, registration: N156RP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a cross-country flight, about 9,200 feet mean sea level, the pilot cancelled his visual flight rules flight following and descended toward the destination airport. Review of the radar data showed the airplane descending from 9,200 feet at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute and a ground speed of 180 knots. At an altitude of about 3,000 feet, the ground speed was 178 knots and radar contact was lost. No radio transmissions were received from the pilot after radar contact was lost. Witnesses who were working in a field said they heard a loud "popping" sound. They looked up and saw an airplane and what looked like a wing separating from it. They continued to watch the airplane as it began to spin before crashing into the ground.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the airplane wings had experienced high positive forces when the stabilizers broke in a downward direction. Once the stabilizers broke, the airplane immediately pitched down and changed rapidly from a high positive angle of attack (AOA) to a high negative AOA. The high negative air loads on the wings caused the right wing to break in a downward direction and caused the left wing and fuselage to rotate left wing down.

Further breakup analysis indicated that there was no specific evidence of flutter. A review of the airplane flight manual revealed the never-exceed speed (VNE) for calculated and indicated airspeed was 176 knots. During the postaccident examination of the airspeed indicator, the indicator needle was stuck at the 192 mph position. It is likely that as a result of the continued flight beyond the VNE envelope during a steep descent to the destination airport, the airplane broke up in flight due to the airplane exceeding the design limits.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s sustained flight at airspeeds in excess of the airplane's never exceed speed during a steep descent, which resulted in a subsequent in-flight structural failure due to overstress.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 31, 2011, about 1319 eastern daylight time, a Beech G35, N156RP, experienced an in-flight break up during a descent over Byron, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane came to rest in a vacant lot in a residential subdivision and was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Stuart Powell Field Airport (DVK), Danville, Kentucky at approximately 1119; destined for Perry-Houston County Airport (PXE), Perry, Georgia.

According to information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was in cruise flight at 9,200 feet when he cancelled visual flight rules flight following with the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center. Radar data tracked the airplane descending from 9,200 feet, at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute, and a ground speed of 180 knots. At an altitude of approximately 3,000 feet, the ground speed was reduced to 178 knots before radar contact was lost with the airplane. No radio transmissions were received from the pilot after radar contact was lost.

Witnesses reported that they were working in a field when they heard a loud "popping" sound. They looked up and saw an airplane and what looked like a wing separating from it. The airplane began to spin before crashing into the ground. One witness called 911 and went over to the crash site to see if he could help.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 44, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. He also held a third-class airman medical certificate issued on March 31, 2010, with no limitations or waivers. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for review. A review of the pilot's application for insurance revealed that in January 6, 2011, he reported on an updated application that he had 400 total hours and 140 hours in make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The three-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number D-4492, was manufactured in 1956. It was equipped with a Continental E-225-8, 225 horsepower engine, which was equipped with a Hartzell two-blade propeller. A review of the aircraft logbooks indicated that on October 1, 1995, the original logbooks were lost and the previous owner at the time estimated the aircraft to have 4,000 hours. A review of maintenance logbook records revealed that the last annual inspection was completed on June 4, 2011 at a tachometer time of 366.18. The airframe total time was 4,172.2 at the time of the annual inspection. The airplane’s tachometer was damaged during the accident.

Further review revealed that on July 2, 1996 the left and right elevators were re-skinned. The Airworthiness Directive (AD 94-20-04) was documented as paragraph 3 note 2-3 of AD by Supplemental Type Certificate Kit No. 35-4016-3 was verified.

During the examination of the airspeed indicator dial, it was noted that it was marked per the airplane flight manual with "MPH" on the outside and "Knots” on the inner ring. "VNE = 202 MPH (175kph) Yellow 175 MPH (152 kph) to 202 MPH." During the postaccident examination of the airspeed indicator, the indicator needle was stuck at the 192 MPH position.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at PXE, which was located about 8 miles south of the accident site, at an elevation 418 feet, was: wind 290 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies; temperature 33 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 22 degrees C; altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane was examined at the accident site on July 31 and August 1, 2011. The accident site was located in a vacant lot in a residential subdivision. The wreckage debris was spread throughout the subdivision on a path approximately 970 feet long. The wreckage debris path was on a magnetic heading of 230 degrees.

The cockpit cabin was crushed and breached, and left wing remained attached at the wing root and carry through spar. The entire right wing was separated at the wing root and was located approximately 500 yards from the main wreckage site, and was also on a 230 degree heading.

Diagonal wrinkles were present along the upper and lower wing skins. Pulled rivets were present on the leading edge at the lap joint outboard of the stall vane. The left wingtip separated, and was located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The left aileron separated at the inboard edge of the outboard hinge. The left flap remained attached. The left flap actuator measured 1.75 inches, corresponding to a flaps retracted position. The left main landing gear was folded in the gear well. Residual fuel remained in the left main and aux tanks.

The right wing separated from the wing carry-through structure inboard of the attach fitting. The forward spar carry-through was fractured. The upper portion of the forward spar carry-through separated in the vicinity of rivets in the wing attach fitting. The nested C-channels in the lower portion of the spar carry-through was separated, with small portions of aluminum deformed upward approximately 90° in the bottom of both C-channels. The forward portion of the forward spar web was bent forward and downward. The right landing gear push rod was bent downward and aft. The inboard rib of the right wing was damaged where the right landing gear push rod had been pulled downward through the lightening hole. The aft upper wing attach fitting was fractured on the inboard side at the furthest outboard line of rivets. All associated structures were separated. The aft lower wing attach fitting remained intact with associated structure that remained attached, bent downward and aft. The right main landing gear remained attached and folded in the gear well. The right flap remained attached. The right aileron cables separated at the bell crank and pulled through the wing.

The left stabilizer separated from the aft fuselage, but remained attached by the elevator trim cables. The trim cables tore through the bottom surface of the left stabilizer to the area of the inspection plate. The trim cables tore down through the aft fuselage structure approximately 1 inch. Wrinkles were present on both the upper and lower portions of the stabilizer. The left stabilizer skin was deformed laterally along the aft stabilizer spar. Fractures were present on the forward and aft stabilizer spars. The left ruddervator separated from the left stabilizer and separated into four pieces and revealed buckling throughout the span of the stabilizer. The left ruddervator horn separated from the hinge and the left ruddervator push rod. The ruddervator horn was located at the beginning of the wreckage path.

The right stabilizer separated from the aft fuselage. The trim cables tore through the bottom surface of the right stabilizer to the inspection plate. The trim cables tore through the aft fuselage skin approximately 6 inches. The forward spar of the right stabilizer exhibited a small portion of the bottom of the C-channel bent downward. The right elevator remained attached. The right elevator counterweight separated from the elevator. The right ruddervator horn separated from the hinge and the right ruddervator push rod. The right ruddervator push rod also separated from the differential mechanism. Buckling was observed throughout the span of the stabilizer. The right ruddervator horn was located on side of a home and had impacted a roof at the beginning of the wreckage path.

The fuselage was resting on its right side with compression toward the left side of the fuselage. The upper aft fuselage structure separated from the fuselage. Rudder and elevator control continuity was confirmed from the differential mechanism to the aft spar. The airspeed indicator read approximately 192 mph. The 256 inch bulkhead was bowed aft in the area of the left and right stabilizer forward spars. The upper spar cap of the right portion of the forward spar carry-through structure was bent upward with the outboard 4inches was bent downward and aft.

Examination of the engine revealed it sustained impact damage. The impact damage was concentrated on the lower left side of the engine. The starter motor, left-magneto, and vacuum pump separated from their respective mounting locations. All of the ignition leads exhibited varying degrees of impact related damage. The upper six spark plugs exhibited normal wear signatures when compared to the Champion-Aviation Check a plug chart. The spark plugs were removed and the cylinder combustion chambers borescope revealed a normal amount of combustion deposits. The crankshaft was rotated and compression and valve train continuity were established on each of the six cylinders during the rotation of the crankshaft. Examination of the engine and its components did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Examination of the propeller revealed that both blades exhibited evidence of rotational scoring. The propeller blades were marked A and B. Blade A was relatively straight with little bending. Blade B had multiple bends with twisting. There were no discrepancies noted that would have precluded normal operation of the propeller.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 8, 2011, by Georgia Bureau of Investigation, DeKalb, Georgia, as authorized by the Peach County Coroner.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol was detected in the liver or the muscle, and no drugs were detected in the liver.




According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a small plane crashed in Byron around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.

Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks identified the pilot as Robert Pelissier of Macon. Friends say Pelissier was married with two children.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the plane, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, crashed in a lot in the Autumn Cove subdivision. That's off of the Highway 247 Connector.

Bergen says the aircraft was destroyed.

Bergen says they don't know what caused the crash. Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese says they believe mechanical problems caused the crash.

The Peach County Sheriff's Office, Byron Police and several other departments are on the scene.

The entrance to the subdivision was blocked off. Only people who live there are allowed to enter.

At about 4 p.m. Sunday, a helicopter was seen surveying the crash scene.

The Sheriff says they were waiting for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators to arrive.

13WMAZ has a crew on the the scene. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

Source: http://www.13wmaz.com

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a plane crashed in Byron around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says it crashed in a lot in the Autumn Cove subdivision. That's off of the Hwy 247 Connector.

According to scanner traffic, the coroner is on scene and at least one person was killed in the crash.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says the man killed lived in Macon.

Bergen says they don't know what caused the Hawker Beechcraft to crash.

The Peach County Sheriff's Office, Byron Police and several other departments are on the scene.

The entrance to the subdivision is blocked off. Only people who live there are allowed to enter.

At about 4:00 p.m. Sunday, a helicopter was seen surveying the crash scene.

Bergen says the aircraft was destroyed.

13WMAZ has a crew on the the scene. We'll have more information as it becomes available.


Source: http://www.13wmaz.com

Witnesses say a small plane crashed off of Hwy 247 Connector in the Autumn Cove subdivision.

According to scanner traffic, the coroner is on scene and at least one person was killed in the crash.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says the man killed lived in Macon.

The Peach County Sheriff's Office, Byron Police and several other departments are on the scene.

The entrance to the subdivision is blocked off. Only people who live there are allowed to enter.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have arrived at the site and are taking over the investigation.

At about 4:00 p.m. Sunday, a helicopter was surveying the crash scene.

13WMAZ has a crew on the the scene. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

http://www.macon.com

BYRON, Ga. (AP) — One man has died in a plane crash in Peach County.

WMAZ-TV reports that police have sealed off the Byron subdivision where the crash happened. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the Hawker Beechcraft BE35 crashed for reasons that were not immediately clear. She says one person was on board the aircraft, which was destroyed in the crash.

No one on the ground has been reported injured. Bergen referred questions about the fate of the pilot to local authorities.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones told The Telegraph of Macon that the identity of the victim was being withheld until family members can be notified.


Witnesses say a small plane crashed off of Hwy 247 Connector in the Autumn Cove subdivision.

According to scanner traffic, the coroner is on scene and at least one person was killed in the crash.

The Peach County Sheriff's Office, Byron Police and several other departments are on the scene.

The entrance to the subdivision is blocked off.Only people who live there are allowed to enter.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have arrived at the site.  

Source:  http://www.greenwichtime.com