Monday, August 01, 2011

Cessna 207: A runway lighting failure may have led to Port Vila air crash.

CRASH SITE: The Cessna 207 crash landed at the Le Lagon Resort in Vanuatu.

Authorities in Vanuatu are investigating whether a lack of airport runway lights may be to blame for a light plane crash in Port Vila involving five New Zealand tourists.

Two foreign pilots were also on board the Cessna 207 which crash-landed on a golf course at the Le Lagon hotel resort.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says two New Zealanders were admitted to hospital last night and are being treated for non-critical injuries.

It says one of the patients has been flown back to New Zealand and the High Commission is providing consular assistance to the New Zealanders involved.

A spokesman for the Vanuatu police Kalshem Bongran says civil aviation authorities in Vanuatu are investigating whether the automatic runway lighting system may have failed.

“Because it was raining heavily yesterday evening and there was plenty of cloud and fog, so the pilot had difficulty locating the runway lights.”

Kalshem Bongran says it appears the pilot ran low on fuel as he circled trying to land.

INDIA: Security breach at Delhi airport

MiD DAY has a video clip that shows passengers of a GoAir flight roaming on the taxiway, a highly restricted area, when no shuttle arrived to ferry them several minutes after the plane had landed on Thursday evening

It appears to be a walk in the park. A video clip available with MiD DAY shows a bunch of passengers strolling on the taxiway at Delhi airport after a Srinagar-Delhi flight landed here on Thursday evening. The video footage clearly shows how about 25 people reached the taxiway after they didn't find the shuttle to take them to the airport. The aircraft was parked in bay no. 21.

The GoAir flight (G8-457) landed at Delhi at about 5 in the evening. The plane was to leave for Mumbai next as a new flight. When the passengers couldn't find a shuttle even after several minutes from aircraft evacuation, a group of commuters started walking towards the taxiway to reach the airport building. However, when one of the officials saw them - by then the people had already reached the taxiway - they rushed to the spot and took them back behind the no-entry line. The video was shot by an airport official, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Sources at the airport said that it is not a usual practise and is absolutely prohibited as walking on the taxiway is very risky. "An aircraft is huge and if its engine is on the ejected gases can throw you several metres if you come in too close. Everyone should take precautions in preventing such a thing and passengers should not be allowed beyond a certain point (a line which is marked, called the 'yellow line')," sources said.

"At some airports where there is not much air traffic or resources, some airlines practise this (walk the passengers up to the airport from the runway), but at Delhi airport this certainly should not have happened," sources said.

The video shows that it was only after around a group of passengers reached the taxiway, a white jeep - which belongs to GMR and is called 'follow-me' - ostensibly taking rounds to keep a tab on the activities at the runway and ensure that no violations are happening, came and asked them to go back. Had they not spotted them the passengers might have gone on towards the main airport entrance from the runway.

Out of sight
Besides, sources said that even in terms of security it was not something that should have happened as anyone can become a security threat if he/she goes away from airline officials' sight.When contacted, GoAir officials said that they have forwarded the case to senior officials and they are awaiting response from them.

Aviation expert, N Shashank, who was previously working with airlines and is now into aviation Consulting & Support, said: "As per security norms no passenger can enter taxiway.

Only ground security staff works there, and that too when they are connected through wireless. It is bizarre if some passenger had entered the taxiway as he/she may get injured and this can even lead to security breach. Airport is one place which is under high surveillance and proper protocol is followed. If a group of passengers have been recorded on camera walking on the taxiway then the matter should be inquired into."

Do you know?
A taxiway is a path on an airport connecting runways with ramps, hangars, terminals and other facilities. They mostly have hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, although smaller airports sometimes use gravel or grass.


Works Minister Jack Warner kept out of airline tragedy incident. Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800, 9Y-PBM, Performing Flight BW-523. Georgetown, Guyana.

Works Minister Jack Warner says he is not being kept informed on developments regarding the incident involving Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 which broke into two on landing in Guyana. Speaking to reporters at the winding up of Moruga’s Heritage festival last night, Warner said he was sad that the State owned airline’s reputation had been tarnished by the incident in which the aircraft skidded off the end of a slick runway stopping short of a deep ravine in Guyana’s capital Georgetown on Saturday. Warner explained that he had no new information on the matter as he was not being kept up to date by authorities.

He said: “It is unfortunate. I am glad that no lives have been lost. I am sad that CAL’s image has been tarnished somewhat and I don’t know what the investigations shall reveal and so therefore I will wait until the whole thing is investigated fully before I make a definite statement.” He added: “I don’t know how this matter is being handled. I have been kept outside the loop so I really don’t know what is happening. All I know is what I read in the newspaper. I have not been directly involved in the matter.” Asked whether he agreed with the decision to take the pilots off roster, Warner replied: “I don’t know if this was a good move. If you take them off the roster because you want to save them from worry and from harm and from concern, then fine. But if it is because you have already pre-judged the issue it is not correct. I don’t know if this was the case.”

Asked why he wasn’t being kept informed, Warner said: “Girl, listen, I don’t have any answers to give, I am not in the loop, I don’t have any reasons but I am batting in my corner but I have colleagues like De Couteau who support me but I don’t even care, honestly.” Warner also said that he was warmly welcomed by the Moruga people and he assured them that he would fix their landslips and bad roads.


Soon Private Jets Will Include Touch Controls: Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion Touch Screen.

Soon private airplane pilots will abandon their old instrumentation and adopt a modern touch-based interface in their airplanes.

Avionics company Rockwell Collins is developing the first touchscreen primary flight display (PFD) for business jets and turboprop planes. These displays will make it easy for pilots to change flight parameters and even the flight plan with a few taps and a couple of gestures.

Besides a modern interface, these new touchscreens will also be safer for pilots. Pilots won't have to look down and fiddle with their instrumention. The PFD will be installed in a location that allows pilots to keep their eyes upward and forward while flying, similar to a properly mounted GPS device in a car.

FAA certification of this new display is expected in 2013 and it'll land in cockpits soon after. [Rockwell Collins via GizMag]

Mumbai: Airline compensation law only on paper? Loopholes in guidelines stipulated by the DGCA enable airlines to get away without paying compensation in several cases of delays.

The absence of clear-cut rules about compensation that airlines should pay to customers in case of flight delays is acting as a boon in disguise for flight operators.

For instance, there is no rule to stipulate the amount of compensation to be paid by an airline if it defaults on payment to oil companies, resulting in curtailment of fuel supply to the airlines and eventual delay or cancellation of flights. This incongruity is adding to the woes of passengers.

On July 18, Air India and Kingfisher Airlines fights could not take off for two to four hours across the country due to shortage of fuel. The oil companies had apparently curtailed fuel supply to the defaulters, resulting in mass delay of flights.

To cap it all, the airlines neither informed its passengers about the development, nor they paid any compensation, making the most of porous compensation rules.

"We believe that the airline must pay passengers for the delays caused by their inability such as defaulting on payment to the oil companies. But the same is not happening, thanks to the loopholes in existing guidelines," said Devang Sanghvi of Venus Holidays, a travel agency in Andheri.

"We got many calls from the passengers regarding the delays that occurred due to recent suspension of flight operations by the defaulter airlines.

The airlines are at fault here and they should be penalised," added Sanghvi.

A city-based frequent flier who got stranded for at least two-and-a-half hours recently owing to the flight suspension told MiD DAY that they were not even informed about the reason behind the delay.

"The versions kept changing from the ground staff to the help desk. While someone said it was a technical delay because of a snag in the Air Traffic Control system (ATC), another said it was due to the bad weather. We only came to know about the actual reason, the day after through newspaper articles."

The Kingfisher airlines and Air India, which owe heavy dues to the oil companies, had to suspend their flight operations as the firms stopped fuel supply. The Kingfisher airline had to shut down its entire flight operations for at least two hours on July 18 because of depleted fuel supply.

In the last two-and-a-half months, the services of Air India had also been put on hold twice for the same reason.

On July 19, MiD DAY had reported ('Oil companies starve debtor Kingfisher' on July 19) how airlines apologised to their respective passengers by issuing a statement and did not pay compensation to the fliers.

According to the new rules from DGCA, which came into force on August 15, 2010, passengers are entitled to Rs 2,000 as compensation in case of a two-hour delay (excluding delays caused by an ATC snag, inclement weather and shortage of fuel) and Rs 4,000 in case of a four-hour delay.

The law further says that passengers must be informed at least three hours in advance about cancellation of flights. In case the airlines fail to do so, they must refund the price of the ticket to those who don't want to fly that day or make some alternative travel arrangements for them.

The Other Side

E K Bharatbhushan, chief of the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), did not elaborate much on the loopholes in the existing law. "There is no existing law to penalise airlines in such a situation," he said.

The DGCA chief, however, remained non-committal about stopping recurrence of such incidents in the future.
Kingfisher and Air India officials could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.


MANILA: Witness - former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo involved in chopper scam.

MANILA (Updated 10:53 a.m.) -- A businessman engaged in aircraft charter and sale of helicopters on Tuesday named former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo as the previous owner of choppers sold to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

During a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the purchase of “brand new” used choppers by the PNP, Lion Air Inc. president Archibald Po, the supplier of the questioned choppers, said he personally met with Arroyo at his office in Makati in 2003.

Po, in his affidavit, said Arroyo inquired about choppers in 2003 but all have been loaned by the late Fernando Poe Jr. who was running for president against his wife, former President and now Pampanga Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He added he suggested that Arroyo buy his own choppers instead and Arroyo agreed to purchase the five Robinson R44 Raven.

He said the five purchased helicopters by Arroyo were all registered under Asian Spirit.

Po also said that in 2006, Arroyo asked him to sell his helicopters at $350K each. Arroyo bought the five choppers for only $475K.

“Sometime in 2006, FG told me that he was selling the helicopters at US Do11ar 350,000.00 each. I commented that the price is on the high side for pre-owned helicopters, but FG said that was the price he was willing to sell the helicopters.” Po said.

Arroyo told Lion Air to prepare a proposal for the Manila Aerospace Products Trading (Maptra) in 2009, he said.

In November 2009, Lion Air sold the two pre-owned helicopters to Maptra.

It was Maptra that sold the choppers to the Philippine National Police.

Payments were delivered to Arroyo, Po claimed.

“On l6 April 2010, Maptra paid us in full. I then delivered and turned over the full payment of Maptra to FG,” he said.

Maptra owner Hilario de Vera, for his part, said “the PNP-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) secretariat had asked him to sign supply contract for choppers. The supply contract indicated the choppers were brand new.”

De Vera questioned why the choppers were declared as brand new, but still, he signed the contract.

He added Po gave him the assurance to deliver second-hand choppers following the order from First Gentleman Arroyo.

De Vera said he confronted Po for the misdeclaration, but Po assured that no one will question the deal.

“Po had assured me the PNP had orders from Mike Arroyo to accept the choppers I will deliver,” he added.

He also said that the two choppers delivered to PNP had different serial numbers than those in his proposal to PNP.

Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, earlier filed a resolution to hold an inquiry on a purchase in 2009 of three Robinson Raven helicopters for the PNP’s Special Action Force.

They said that according to flight records, two of the helicopters had flown for around two years before the PNP bought them.

Earlier, Lacson in a press statement said, “Initial findings would indicate that the previous and original owners of the pre-owned, yet sold as brand-new, light police operational helicopters are the Arroyos.”

Maptra and the PNP may have entered into an anomalous contract that was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government,” the senators added.


Helicopter Crash, Pilot Uninjured. Northern Iowa

Helicopter crash

MASON CITY, IA-One man is counting his blessings tonight - walking away unharmed after crashing his helicopter.

25 year old Joseph Sailer from Shakopee hit a power line while crop dusting near Joice.

He crashed into the field.

Those responding to the scene are still talking about how lucky he is to have walked away with only a few scratches.

When see what's left of the wreckage, you'll have a hard to believing it, as well!

Dispatchers got a 9-1-1 call Monday morning that a helicopter crashed in Joice.

There's one main thought for law enforcers responding to the scene.

Worth County Sheriff Jay Langenbau said, "you don't see too many, especially do not see too many people walking away from it.”

As they arrived, no one could exactly pin-point where the chopper went down. That’s when they got some surprising news

Langenbau said, "Then we got a call that the pilot had walked out and someone picked him up and brought him into town."

25 year old Joseph Sailer walked away from this helicopter.

He was crop dusting when he hit a power line.

That sent him crashing right into a corn field he was working.

Langenbau said, "He's fine, walking. More mad about what happened to the helicopter then what happened to him."

The sheriff says flying helicopters for spraying crops is not that un-common.

In fact, he says airplanes usually fly at around 100 miles per hour and helicopters at only 50.

Choppers fly slower than planes, and some say that's what makes them more capable of doing the job well.

He said, "Helicopters can do a little bit different things then planes can, they can get a little bit lower and be more precise on where they are going."

Unfortunately this aircraft will no longer be making any rounds but everyone who's seen what's left is just relieved nobody's hurt.

Langenbau said, "He's not injured; he walked away from it and just got sprayed down to make sure all the chemicals were off him."

Sailer was still at the scene when we arrived. He told us he did not feel like talking about what happened this morning.

Meanwhile, the FAA is still investigating the crash.

The Sheriff tells us they're the ones who decide if anyone gets fined. He said any crop or power line damages would be more of a civil issue. The power did go out for a while around Joice, but everything is back up and running now.


Vampire NZ5772 : Ohakea gate guardian returns. Ohakea Air Base - New Zealand.

REVAMP: A World War II jet-engine fighter, the Vampire, is returning to the entrance of Ohakea Air Base.

For two years, the gate guardian of Ohakea Air Base has been missing.

The former WWII jet-engine fighter, the Vampire, has been locked away in a hangar to recieve a thorough revamp by dedicated airforce volunteers.

Flight Lieutenant Barb Finlayson said the Vampire NZ5772 was pulled down because of wear and weather.

Volunteers started putting it up yesterday morning, with the aircraft almost completed by mid-afternoon.

The refurbished aircraft will grace the new official entrance to the base.

Flight Lientenant Finlayson said it was always the wish of Tim Walshe, the former Commanding Officer of Operation Support Wing, for the Vampire to remain the gate guardian.

The Vampire was piloted in the 1950s by several sqaudron leaders from 75 Squadron. 


Bell 206 L4, N484AE, operated by Air Evac EMS, Inc: Incident occurred August 01, 2011 in Relience, Tennessee

NTSB Identification: ERA11IA436 
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Monday, August 01, 2011 in Relience, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/2012
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N484AE
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

Before landing, the pilot performed a high and low reconnaissance of the area and received a briefing of the obstacles by the landing zone. The crew was advised of wires along the road north of the field and large rolls of hay spaced intermittently across the field. The pilot then landed the helicopter in a field and picked up a patient who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Given the weight of the helicopter and power available, the pilot elected to perform an airspeed-over-altitude takeoff on a westerly departure path along the long axis of the landing zone. The departure path was signaled to the landing zone commander, who issued an approval for the takeoff. During the initial takeoff climb, the helicopter struck wires and returned to the field for landing. After the incident, a closer inspection of the takeoff path revealed that a three-strand group of wires crossed the west side of the field perpendicular to the takeoff path. When viewed from the point of departure, the wires appeared to emanate from the thick, tall tree lines that bordered both sides of the landing zone, and were superimposed against a background of dense woods. There were no additional visual cues (poles, towers, or transformers) available that could be associated with the wires. Additionally, at the time of the accident, the sun was directly in the takeoff path and 30 degrees above the horizon. The bright sunlight and glare conditions likely reduced the ability of ground crew and the flight crew to discern wire obstacles.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:
Inadvertent contact with wires due to the lack of visual cues regarding their presence and the low angle of the sun, which was directly in the takeoff path.


On August 1, 2011, about 1818 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206 L4 helicopter, N484AE, operated by Air Evac EMS, Inc., sustained minor damage from a wire strike during takeoff in Reliance, Tennessee. The certificated commercial pilot, two crewmembers and one patient were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan was filed for the flight that departed a farm field in wooded, hilly terrain. The medical evacuation flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 135, and destined for Erlanger Medical Center Heliport (0TN8), Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to pick up a patient that had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The landing zone (LZ) was a large field where he performed an approach after performing a "high and low recon" of the area, and receiving a briefing of the obstacles by the "LZ command" that was established by the local fire department. The crew was advised of wires along the road north of the field, and large rolls of hay spaced intermittently across the field.

After he determined the weight of the helicopter and power available, the pilot decided on an "airspeed over altitude" takeoff. The pilot chose a westerly departure path because the field offered a "long, open area with down-sloping terrain." The departure path was signaled to the LZ commander, who issued approval for the takeoff through a firefighter.

The pilot initiated the takeoff, and when the helicopter reached 50 feet and 40 knots, the pilot adjusted the flight controls for a 60-knot climb. About that time, the pilot heard a loud "thud" and saw scuff marks on the windscreen that alerted him to the wire strike. He announced the emergency to his crew, and completed a precautionary landing back to the field.

Written statements provided by both crewmembers were consistent with the pilot's.

On August 2, 2011, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector visited the site, and photographed the area. Damage to the helicopter was limited to the windscreen, and no major structural damage was noted. Scratches in the paint and marks on the upper and lower Wire Strike Protection System (WSPS) were consistent with a wire strike.
The inspector observed that a three-strand group of wires crossed the west side of the field perpendicular to the takeoff path. When viewed from the point of departure, the wires appeared out of the thick, tall tree lines that bordered both sides of the LZ, and were superimposed against a background of dense woods. There were no additional visual cues (poles, towers, or transformers) available that could be associated with the wires.


The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft helicopter and instrument helicopter. He reported 2,173 total hours of flight experience, of which 116 were in the incident helicopter make and model. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on June 1, 2011.

According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 2010. The most recent inspection in the helicopter Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP) was completed July 27, 2011, at 564 total aircraft hours.


At 1853, the weather conditions reported at Lovell Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee, located approximately xx miles xx of the incident site, included few clouds at 6,500 feet, visibility 10 miles, temperature 36 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.93 inches of mercury. The wind was from 120 degrees at 6 knots.

The calculated density altitude at the time of the incident was 3,318 feet.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, at the time of the incident the azimuth of the sun was about 273 degrees east of north, and the sun was positioned approximately 28 degrees above the horizon.

An an Air Evac helicopter hit a power line on its way back from picking up a patient in a car accident.

According to WRCB in Chattanooga, a spokesperson for Erlanger Medical Center said an Air Evac helicopter was called to cover a vehicle crash in Polk County.

Three people were injured in the crash and emergency responders were planning to take two by ambulance and one by a chopper.

Once the helicopter landed, it picked up a patient and was on its way back up when it hit a power line and came back down. A spokesperson from Air Evac said the helicopter made a safe landing.

No one in the chopper was injured in the hard landing. Authorties called UT to send Lifestar and called Erlanger for a chopper as well.

All three patients are now at Erlanger in stable condition.

EDITORS NOTE: A previous version of the story said the helicopter made a hard landing, which was based on information from WRCB-TV and Erlanger Medical Center. Air Evac disputes that information.

Supplier says Philippine National Police helicopters owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.

The supplier of the two helicopters that were sold as new to the Philippine National Police (PNP) has confirmed that the same aircraft were previously owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.

During Tuesday's blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged misrepresentations in the PNP's multi-million purchase of helicopters, Lion Air president Archibald Legaspi Po said Mr. Arroyo approached him in 2003 to inquire about chartering helicopters.

Po said he told the former First Gentleman that all their available choppers were already loaned to the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. At the time, Poe was running against Mike Arroyo's wife, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for the presidency in the 2004 polls.

"I offered to him the Robinson R44 Raven 1 helicopters, five units of which would be the price for just one European helicopter. FG then told me to go ahead, buy him five (5) Robinson helicopters," he said.

He said Mr. Arroyo even remitted $475,000 as a deposit. He likewise revealed that Mr. Arroyo asked that the importation of the choppers be coursed through his other company — Asian Spirit — because it would make the importation tax-free.

"I agreed to FG's proposal, and the helicopters were delivered to Asian Spirit at the Clark Export Processing Zone," he said.

As of posting time, GMA News Online was still trying to reach the camp of Mr. Arroyo for comment.

Lion Air was the company which sold two pre-owned R44 Raven I choppers to the Manila Aerospace Trading Corporation (MAPTRA), which later sold and priced them as brand new to the PNP.

During last week's hearing, Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr. had confirmed that he used to pilot the two choppers, which were used by the First Family when former President Arroyo was still in power.

Gaspar noted, however, that from what he understood, the choppers were owned by Lion Air and not the former First Family.

Earlier, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that two more choppers owned by the former First Gentleman were still with Lion Air.

Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros: Airport solves puzzle of rare visitor in Hawke's Bay skies. New Zealand.

FRIENDLY MISSION: The Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros.

It was compact, fast and left a distinctive jet-engine echo across Napier on Saturday, leaving some wondering if the RNZAF had fired up its jet squadron again.

The sleek blue and white single-engined jet was seen and heard during the middle of the afternoon and appeared to be doing relatively low-level circuits of Napier, and over Hawke's Bay Airport.

It left two people who contacted Hawke's Bay Today mystified - and wondering if the air force had fired up one of its parked-up Macchi jet trainers.

While not one of the air force's grounded planes, and not bearing military colours, the jet is a type which is used by several air forces around the world as a light attack aircraft.

It was identified by aircraft controllers at the airport yesterday as an Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros - built in the Czech Republic and one of three known to be in New Zealand.

The aircraft is privately owned and based at Ohakea where it is used for advanced commercial jet training.

The sophisticated two-seaters have a top speed of about 750km/h and have featured at air shows throughout the country, although they are relatively rare visitors to Bay skies.


Kingston, Washington: 27-Year-Old Man Killed In Skydiving Accident

Watch Video:

KINGSTON, Wash. -- Investigators identified a skydiver who was killed over the weekend as a 27-year-old man from Kingston.

Zack Fogel was killed near Marion, Montana, Saturday when his parachute didn't open.

Fogel’s profile picture on Facebook was taken with his niece Jaeda, a little girl his brother Jay Fogel said Fogel loved.

Jay said Fogel was badly hurt in a car accident 10 years ago, and doctors said he would never walk again.

Fogel proved them wrong and eventually was able to walk with the help of canes.

But Fogel, who his brother said loved life, didn’t just walk. He skydived, bungee jumped, parasailed and even went swimming with sharks.

Jay said there wasn't one thing in life that would hold Fogel back, and described his brother as an inspiration to not just disabled people, but to the healthy as well.

On Saturday, Fogel was skydiving at an event in Montana. His brother said after Fogel jumped from a plane, witnesses said he had trouble righting himself into a position in which he could deploy his chute. It didn't open.

The sheriff's office is ruling Fogel’s death an accident. Jay Fogel said he's lost a brother and best friend, who helped him start his dental business. A man with an undying desire to succeed and to never quit.

On Facebook, tributes are being posted on Fogel’s page.

One friend wrote, "He flew through the sky and made us all believe it could be done."

Another wrote, “Your attitude, sense of humor and determination were an inspiration to us all." 

Watch Video:

Kiwi injured in Vanuatu plane crash

A Kiwi is being flown home to New Zealand for medical treatment after they were injured in a plane crash in Vanuatu yesterday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that five New Zealand tourists were on a small plane that crash landed in Port Vila around 6pm NZ time.

Two New Zealanders were hospitalised and an MFAT spokeswoman said one of them would be transported to New Zealand today for medical treatment.

The ministry would not confirm what injuries they had sustained.

The small air taxi crash landed in the Le Lagon Resort at around 6pm NZ time, New Zealand's High Commissioner in Vanuatu, Bill Dobbie, said.

He confirmed that five of the seven people onboard were New Zealanders and said the commission had provided them consular assistance.

It was unclear what caused the plane to crash but a local man, who lived 600 meters from where it landed in Port Vila, said it was raining so hard he didn't hear it come down.

He said there had been a severe tropical storm which meant there was zero visibility when the plane was attempting to land.

He said the plane hit a raised golf tee in the middle of the course which caused one of the wings to hit the ground and tip the plane on to its side. 


Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane landed badly. Flight BW-523. Georgetown, Guyana.

The Caribbean Airlines jetliner overran the runway at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri because of a “long landing” at high speed, well-placed sources said Monday.

The pilots were interviewed by officials of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Caribbean Airlines and American agencies.

Demerara Waves Online News ( ) was told that the Boeing 737-800 might have touched down more than half way down the runway and travelling to fast to stop effectively. The runway is 7,500 feet long.

Officials said the plane also landed at approximately 90 knots instead of 80 knots Saturday morning around 1:25. Investiagtors noted that the speed might not have been a major consideration but the touch-down point was a key consideration in the plane overruning the ruway. Officials said there was light rain and visibility was eight kilometers. The pilot has 25 years experience.

Investigators are now expected to corroborate the pilots’ account when they download contents of the Flight Data Recorder and the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.

The recorders left Guyana around 6 PM for the Washington-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), at the request of the GCAA which is spearheading the probe.

None of the 162 passengers and crew was killed. One person suffered a fractured leg and another concussion, while the others sustaained bruises and hits about their bodies.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who visited Guyana hours after the incident, said she expected the results of the probe to be made available soon so that authorities would be able to avoid future incidents.

Caribbean Airlines is owned by Trinidad and Tobago. A senior government official, who had accompanied the Trinidad and Tobago leader here, noted that the pilot did his best in the circumstances.

The NTSB said it designated Bob Benzon as the U.S. Accredited Representative. He is leading the U.S. team, which includes seven NTSB staff with expertise in operations, meteorology, airworthiness, survival factors, and aircraft performance. There are also representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the aircraft's manufacturer, Boeing.

Devastated by assault charge. Wings and Wheels over Waikato air show.

An entrepreneur left ruined by disgraced air show organiser Ken Ross is flabbergasted police have decided to charge him with assaulting the disgraced promoter more than three years earlier.

Grant Hall, company director of The Good Water Company, was a key witness for police during their prosecution of Ross over the failed Wings and Wheels over Waikato air show.

The air show was set for March 7 to 9, 2008, but after months of promotional hype was postponed indefinitely - leaving sponsors and exhibitors about $350,000 out of pocket.

Mr Hall lost $28,000 to Ross after agreeing to be the event's official bottled water supplier.

Ross was later convicted of fraud.

Mr Hall said he was still battling to rebuild his life when police contacted him last week to say he was being charged with assaulting and threatening to kill Ross.

The charges relate to a stoush between the pair at Hamilton Airport in February 2008 when Ross met with sponsors.

Mr Hall followed Ross out into the airport car park where he grabbed him by the collar and demanded Ross "bloody-well give us our money back".

Mr Hall said he was "absolutely mortified" to be charged over the incident.

"I just feel this is a real travesty," he said.

"I gave a victim impact statement and was very helpful to police so to have them turn around and out of the blue lay these charge is real salt in the wounds. Has it taken police three years to get this file to the top of their pile?"

Mr Hall admits he grabbed Ross but said the confrontation only amounted to "a bit of verbals".

The Good Water Company borrowed money to invest in Ross' air show, a move which financially ruined the fledging business.

The company has since been liquidated and Mr Hall is facing bankruptcy.

Proceeds from the company were earmarked for the Sir Peter Blake Trust to educate young people about the environment.

"The air show could have generated a couple of hundred grand of revenue but we never had $28,000 to invest so we borrowed money and robbed Peter to pay Paul," Mr Hall said.

"Instead of getting some really good cash flow we were dealt a devastating loss and it was the catalyst for the business failing."

Mr Hall said he was "very emotional" when he confronted Ross but was assured by police the matter would probably not go any further.

It is understood Ross reported the incident to police in 2008.

Mr Hall will appear in the Hamilton District Court later this month and plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

He has no previous convictions and will apply for legal aid to fund his defence.
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Mr Hall said the prospect of seeing Ross again in court was upsetting.

"I've lost all my life savings and will have to travel from Auckland on a bus to court because I don't have a vehicle. I'm also going to have to take time off from my part-time job. It just seems so wrong. It's very twisted. It seems like a twisted ironic turn of events."

Waikato Times' efforts to contact Ross were unsuccessful.

The Ken Ross saga:

- Air show organiser Ken Ross promotes Wings and Wheels over Waikato, scheduled to be held at Hamilton Airport on March 7-9, 2008.

- The Good Water Company signs up in December 2007 to supply bottled water to the event, paying Ross $28,000.

- After months of promotional hype Ross postpones the event indefinitely in late February, 2008, leaving sponsors and exhibitors about $350,000 out of pocket.

- In March 2008, the Commerce Commission applies for court orders ensuring ticketholders funds are protected. Approximately $500,000 is repaid to ticketholders.

- Ross found guilty in November 2009 of five criminal fraud charges following a 3 1/2-week defended hearing in the Hamilton District Court. Ross also found guilty of five breaches of the Fair Trading Act.

- Ross sentenced in March, 2010, to nine months' home detention and 200 hours' community work.

- Waikato Times

Aircraft firm fined over fuel leak. Tullamarine airport, Australia.

EPA Victoria has fined an aeroplane engine-testing company for causing an environmental hazard at Tullamarine airport.

About 3000 litres of jet fuel was released on December 2 after a rubber gasket seal from a fuel pump base plate blew out at LTQ Engineering Pty Ltd.

EPA's Chris Webb said the fuel leak was damaging to the surrounding environment and posed a safety risk.

The company was fined $6000.

Bulgaria's Economy Minister: Jet fuel crisis is quite unlikely

If there is a jet fuel crisis in Bulgaria, the culprit will be obvious LUKOIL Aviation, whose responsibility it is to supply kerosene to the airports in Bulgaria, Bulgarias Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov told bTV.

In his words, however, a jet fuel crisis is hardly likely to unfold in Bulgaria.

However, sources from LUKOIL Aviation said they were struggling to supply the necessary quantity of jet fuel from abroad, as their main supplier LUKOIL Nefotchim had had its license suspended by the Customs Agency.

The situation is further aggravated by the higher demand for kerosene in summer, compared to the rest of the year.

LUKOIL Aviation did not share Bulgarian governments optimism that the state reserve of jet fuel would fully compensate the shortage caused by the halted production.

Plovdiv Airport CEO Doychin Angelov expressed hope that the awkward situation with the suspended license of LUKOIL Neftochim would be resolved soon and that no flights would be cancelled because of shortage of fuel.


Cessna 150F, N3050X: Accident occurred July 26, 2011 in Harbor Beach, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA516
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 26, 2011 in Harbor Beach, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N3050X
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he was flying over water at an altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level when the engine began to lose power. He contacted flight watch and informed them of the situation. His efforts to restart the engine by applying carburetor heat and full mixture were unsuccessul. He said that engine power was regained just prior to ditching the airplane. He exited the airplane which sank soon after contacting the water. The pilot was rescued 18 hours later. A review of the Federal Aviation Administration Carburetor Icing chart revealed the conditions were conducive to serious carburetor icing at glide power. The pilot reported he did not recognize the symptoms of carburetor ice and that he should have applied the carburetor heat sooner.

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

The pilot's delay in using carburetor heat while operating in carburetor icing conditions, resulting in carburetor ice and subsequent partial loss of engine power.

A Gouverneur pilot survives a plane crash and a night in the cold waters of Lake Huron. Michael Trapp has returned to New York after days in a Michigan hospital and as our Rachael Paradis tells us, his night facing ten foot waves will not stop him from flying again.

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Michael Trapp has faced death and survived not once, but twice.

Michael Trapp said, "You have to focus on the survival aspect."

The 42-year-old pilot left the small town of Gouverneur on a two seater plane last Tuesday afternoon. He was heading toward Wisconsin to visit family.

Just a few hours into his trip, he made a call to the Coast Guard. He was having engine problems. Shortly after, he lost communication and his plane crashed into Lake Huron.

Trapp said, "It was just a horrific accident."

The plane crash was just the beginning. Trapp was then in cold waters without a life jacket. He tried to use his pants as a flotation device, but that failed.

Trapp spent 18 hours treading water and facing ten foot waves. Whenever a boat was close he would wave his sock in the air. Several boats passed him by without catching a glimpse of the sock. It wasn't until the next morning that he was spotted and rescued. Trapp says his legs were so weak, he had to be dragged onto the boat.

Trapp said, "It feels good. It feels good to be on dry ground I tell you."

Trapp spent a few days in the hospital recovering before driving back to New York with his family. He got back into Gouverneur late Sunday night, greeted by a parade and many who are thankful to have him home.

Trapp's father-in-law, Richard Card said, "I missed him I can tell you that."

Trapp said, "I cried of course. Who doesn't love their family?"

Trapp's wife asked him to stay out of the water and get a Harley instead, but he says the experience will not keep grounded.

Trapp said, "I will fly again. I love flying."

Trapp says his wife has saved his hospital tags and the sock to remember what he survived, but as for his plane, it will stay at the bottom of Lake Huron.

Despite the near-death experience, Trapp is very good-natured about it all. In fact, his friends brought him gifts including a life jacket and a beach towel.

As for all the media attention, after the crash, he had requests from about 70 different media outlets the day after it happened.

Fear of arrest ‘delayed’ help for helicopter crash victims. Ọṣun State, Nigeria.

Two peasant farmers, a septuagenarian, Pa Agboola Atanda and a 50-year-old Samuel Oyewole, were the first to see the crashed helicopter at the hilly side of the Government Reserved Forest in Ife-Odan, a boundary community between Ola-Oluwa and Ejigbo local government areas of Osun State.

According to the duo, they saw the chopper before the crash and the deafening sound that followed the mishap last Friday.

According to them, they ran away in fear, rather than alerting the police, who possibly would have initiated help for the victims. The farmers, out of ignorance, said they were afraid the police would hold them accountable for the crash. But the flames from the crashed helicopter forced the whole village with about 40 houses to start running helter- skelter, a development which eventually aroused the suspicion of motorists along the road leading to Iwo town.

However, it was learnt that the victims, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Josepdam Group of Companies, Mrs. Josephine Damilola Kuteji, a senior pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), her Personal Assistant, Mrs. Adedoyin Okubanjo and the Filipino pilot, Catameo Arnold, trapped in the ill-fated chopper were not likely to have been rescued alive even if help had come in good time. It was said that the impact of the crash was fatal because the chopper suddenly hit the tree on the mountainous hill and lost balance.

The head of the Disaster Management Unit of the Osun cammand of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Olaniyi Babalola, blamed the crash on poor visibility caused by fog that enveloped Ikonifin community on that fateful day.

Babalola, and his team got to the scene of the crash around 1am the following day, more than 12 hours after the aircraft owned by Ogedengbe Air Services (OAS) had crashed.

They were later joined by sister agencies, including the National Emergency Mangement Agency (NEMA), the State Security Service (SSS), led by the state Director, Mr. Adeboye Olusegun, the Poilce, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. O. Henry and the Fire Services in Osun and Oyo states.

Segun Ajayi, an engineer and the director of Osun State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA), said his team got to the scene shortly after the NSCDC team’s arrival. He said N49,000 cash and some foreign currencies, five cell phones, two of which belonged to the pilot, three bags containing personal belongings, including the Bible, a hymn book, anointing oil and some documents were recovered from the scene.


Cirrus SR20, Anansi Aeronautics LLC, N365DP: Accident occurred July 29, 2011 in Fredonia, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR11FA354 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 29, 2011 in Fredonia, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR20, registration: N365DP
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.

The airplane collided with terrain while maneuvering in dark night visual meteorological conditions while on the third leg of a 1,665 nautical mile (nm) cross-country flight. The airplane, with the pilot/owner and a pilot-rated passenger aboard, had departed the east coast in the morning and had been en route for about 16 hours. It could not be determined which of the two pilots was manipulating the flight controls at the time of the accident. The planned length of the last leg of the flight was 660 nm, which was about equal to the airplane’s calculated maximum range for a no wind condition with a 45 minute reserve. Radar data revealed that during the last few minutes of the flight, the airplane changed course several times toward different nearby airports. These heading excursions were most likely due to a decision by the pilots to divert to an alternate airport after realizing that the destination airport could possibly be beyond the current range of the airplane. The last radar return was about 0.1 nm south of the accident site, which was located in a remote, sparsely populated area. Examination of the accident site revealed signatures, including tree strikes and wreckage distribution, consistent with controlled flight into terrain. Postaccident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the pilots lost situational awareness and failed to maintain terrain clearance. Conditions conducive to controlled flight into terrain included fatigue due to the pilots’ long duty day, the dark night light condition, the lack of ground lighting in the region, and the fact that neither pilot was instrument rated.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-instrument-rated pilots’ loss of situational awareness during a dark night flight over a remote area, which resulted in their failure to maintain an altitude sufficient to ensure adequate terrain clearance. Contributing to the accident was the pilots’ fatigue due to their long duty day.


On July 29, 2011, about 2100 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp SR20, N365DP, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain while maneuvering about 30 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Fredonia, Arizona, in the Kaibab National Forest. Both the private pilot and registered owner of the airplane, and commercial pilot/passenger, sustained fatal injuries. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed from the Rock Hill Airport-Bryant Field (UZA), Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 0800 eastern daylight time (EDT), with its destination being the Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Henderson, Nevada.

A family member of the private pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), that the purpose of the flight was to reposition the airplane from UZA to HND. The family member further reported that she thought the flight departed UZA about 0800 EDT on the morning of the accident, but wasn’t entirely sure of the precise time. The family member stated that she spoke with the pilot that afternoon, who reported that he was refueling in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and would be arriving HND about 2130 or 2200 Pacific daylight time (PDT) that evening. The family member revealed that after falling asleep and awakening about 0300 PDT the next morning and realizing that the flight had not returned, she became very concerned and began making phone calls in an effort to locate the pilots.

A family member of the commercial pilot reported to the IIC that the majority of her conversation with the pilot was basically of a personal nature, with very little of the conversation regarding the trip itself. However, she did provide a communication timeline relative to the personal texting she and the pilot conducted while he was en route (all times are Pacific daylight times):

7:00 am received text stating he was on the move
9:41 am received two texts stating he was in Tennessee and Arkansas
10:41 am about eating in Arkansas in a 737 [restaurant]
11:48 am: stating “off we go”
4:50 pm: voicemail saying they were leaving from Guymon after getting food and gas
5:57 pm: text stating he was about to pass Taos, New Mexico
8:23 pm: text mentioning it was slow going, still 90 min[utes] out
8:45 pm: texting personal information, about 10 texts until she did not receive any more
(7 min or so worth of texting if she were to estimate)

Law enforcement personnel reported to the IIC that in a conversation with a family member of the private pilot, the family member stated that the flight had departed from UZA at 0800 EDT. The family member further stated that the airplane had landed somewhere in the Oklahoma panhandle to refuel. The family member revealed that the commercial pilot called a family member at 2023 and said that they were going to refuel somewhere in Arizona before proceeding to HND. She added she thought that the commercial pilot had sent a text message to the family member at 2045.

Law enforcement personnel reported to the IIC that in a conversation with a family member of the commercial pilot, she had received a text message from him stating that they planned to land at HND by 2130. The family member added that it was her belief that the airplane had not landed anywhere else to refuel after leaving Oklahoma.

An alert notification (ALNOT) was issued by the Prescott Flight Service Station, Prescott, Arizona, about 0800 MST on the morning of July 30. The airplane wreckage was subsequently located that morning about 1000, 31 nm southeast of Fredonia, Arizona.

It was determined by fuel receipts and witness statements that after departing UZA, the airplane landed at the Walnut Ridge Airport (ARG), Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, at about 1330 central daylight time (CDT); the distance between UZA and ARG was about 486 nm. After landing, the airplane was refueled by the pilot using the self-service fuel island with 50.1 gallons of aviation fuel; according to Cirrus Aircraft, the total usable fuel for the SR20 is 56.0 gallons. Witnesses reported that the airplane departed ARG about 1400 CDT.

After departing ARG, the airplane proceeded westbound to the Guymon Municipal Airport (GUY), Guymon, Oklahoma; the arrival time could not be determined during the investigation. The distance between Walnut Ridge, Arkansas and Guymon, Oklahoma is about 512 nm. Guymon airport personnel stated that they didn’t think the pilots had eaten at the airport during their stopover, but they were not certain. A fuel receipt did indicate that the airplane was refueled with 44.2 gallons of aviation fuel, time stamped at 1851 CDT. Airport personnel did say that they thought the airplane departed about 1900 CDT.

Radar data provided by the 84 RADES, Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, revealed the last 26 minutes of the accident flight covered a distance of 58 nm. During this period of time, the airplane was transmitting a 1200 transponder code, but was not transmitting MODE C (altitude) reporting information.

From 20:28:55 to 20:54:10 (25 minutes, 15 seconds), data indicated that the airplane was flying a magnetic heading of 244 degrees with an average ground speed of 132 knots.

At 20:54:10, radar data indicated the airplane turned right approximately 16 degrees, followed by an approximately 50-degree turn to the left 36 seconds later.

From 20:54:47 to 20:55:24 (37 seconds), radar data indicated that the airplane’s magnetic heading was 210 degrees with an average ground speed of 116 knots. This heading was determined to be in line with the Kingman Airport (IGN), Kingman, Arizona, which was located about 115 nm from the airplane’s position at the time of the turn.

From 20:55:24 until the last radar return at 20:55:36 (12 seconds), radar data revealed that the airplane had turned right about 90 degrees to a northwest heading. This heading was in line with the Kanab Airport (KNB), Kanab, Utah, which was located 34 nm northwest of the last radar return.

The accident site was located about 0.1 miles north of the last radar return in the Saddle Mountain Wilderness of the Kaibab Plateau, a sparsely populated area about 20 nm north of the Grand Canyon National Park’s north rim. The airplane had impacted high standing trees at an elevation of about 8,900 feet msl, on a measured magnetic heading of 355 degrees. The energy path extended along the impact heading for about 385 feet, and extended over a lateral distance of about 110 feet.

Subsequent to an on site survey of the wreckage and the surrounding area, the airplane was recovered to a secured storage facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination.


The private pilot, age 39, was the owner of the airplane and possessed a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records revealed that the pilot received his private pilot certificate on April 13, 2008, in a Cessna 172 airplane. According to the Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application submitted to the FAA examiner prior to his private pilot check ride, the pilot listed a total flying time of 73.4 hours. During the investigation, the pilot’s personal logbook was not recovered, and as a result his time in make and model, as well as a breakdown of other pilot times was not determined.

A search of FAA records revealed that the pilot’s most recent application for his airman medical certificate was dated July 24, 2007, which was his initial medical examination for a student pilot certificate. A third-class FAA medical was approved on July 31, 2007, with 0 flight time noted.

The commercial pilot, age 32, possessed a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and airplane single-engine sea ratings. The pilot’s commercial pilot certificate was issued on July 16, 2009, and his FAA third-class medical certificate on May 15, 2008. At the time of his application for the medical certificate, the pilot listed a total flying time of 400 hours. A family member related to the NTSB IIC that at the time of the accident the pilot’s total time was about 600 hours. No breakdown of the pilot’s flight time was determined, as his personal logbook was not available during the investigation.


The Cirrus SR20, serial number 1062, was a four-place, low wing, fixed tricycle landing gear airplane, manufactured in 2000. A Continental Motors, IO-360-ES series, 210-horsepower, horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine powered the airplane.

A review of the airplane’s maintenance records revealed that the airframe and engine’s most recent annual inspection was conducted on March 2, 2011, at a recorded HOBBS time of 2,468.0 hours. It was revealed during the inspection that the engine had accumulated 1,046.9 hours since its last overhaul. Additionally, maintenance records indicated that on March 22, 2011, the expired parachute and rocket motor were replaced with parachute CDC#14242-101, S/N 003130R1, and rocket motor CDC#26602-001, S/N 0197.


A review of air traffic facilities revealed that there were no communications between the pilot and air traffic control on the day of the accident.


At 2054 MST, the weather reporting facility at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN), Grand Canyon, Arizona, located about 34 nm south of the accident site, reported wind 210 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 11,000 feet, temperature 22 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.28 inches of mercury.

At 2054 mountain daylight time, the weather reporting facility at the Kanab Airport, Kanab, Utah, located about 36 nm northwest of the accident site, reported wind 340 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inches of mercury.

At 2053 mst, the weather reporting facility at the Page Municipal Airport (PGA), Page, Arizona, which is located about 42 nm east-northeast of the accident site, reported wind 320 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 33 degrees C, dew point 3 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

A review of the weather by an NTSB meteorologist indicated that there was no evidence of “cloud” below 16,000 to 17,000 feet in the area of the accident site. These bases were obtained from the GCN METAR, which indicated clouds from 10,000 to about 11,000 feet above ground level, and that the tops of the clouds were roughly 22,000 feet mean sea level. The meteorologist added that there were no pilot reports (PIREPS) in the area that he could account for, and that there was some rain in southwestern Utah. The meteorologist further added that the meteorological data he reviewed was consistent with an environment that would not have been conducive to meteorological clouds; it was too dry.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department, the phase of the moon on the evening of the accident was waning crescent with 1% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated. Moonset was at 1851 MST.


An on site examination of the wreckage was conducted under the supervision of the NTSB IIC, who was accompanied by a representative from Cirrus Aircraft Design. A detailed survey of the wreckage revealed that all components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

The airplane was located at an elevation of 8,869 feet msl, at coordinates 36 degrees 30.870 minutes north latitude and 112 degrees 09.768 minutes west longitude. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a pine tree, with broken branches estimated to be about 55 feet up the approximately 65-foot tall tree. Paint chips were observed on the ground along the energy path in line with the second point of impact. The energy path was measured to be on a magnetic heading of 355 degrees.

A large pine tree with a piece of bark missing from its trunk was located 69 feet from the FIPC; there was also a piece of fiberglass imbedded in the tree trunk. Additionally, larger pieces of fiberglass, the right aileron, and green glass consistent with the right navigation light lens were located in the immediate vicinity of the tree. The tree scar was measured to be about 32 feet above ground level.

Approximately 140 feet from the FIPC, a shallow crater was observed with various airplane components in the immediate vicinity. Further north, about 190 feet from the FIPC, several trees and the ground were observed to have been blackened with soot and ashes from a post impact fire. The flaps, left aileron and half of an elevator were located in the next 100 feet leading up to the main wreckage. Remnants of spot fires were also observed.

The propeller was located approximately 280 feet from the FIPC, and was separated from the engine.

The main components of the front crew seats were located approximately 342 feet from the FIPC.

Pages from the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) were the last items in the debris field, located about 385 feet from the FIPC.

The debris field was approximately 110 feet at its widest point near the main wreckage.

The cockpit and cabin areas were identified, and observed to have been consumed by fire and destroyed. No cockpit instrumentation was located for examination. The only component that was distinguishable at the wreckage site was the face of the altimeter, which read 30.47 inches of mercury and 1033 millibars of pressure.

The main wreckage was located approximately 255 feet from the FIPC. It consisted of a large section of the aft left fuselage, the FS222 bulkhead, and the empennage, to include the vertical and horizontal stabilizers with their associated flight control surfaces. The carry-through wing spar, flight control cables, engine, and the inboard section of the right side of the wing were also observed in this area.

The right wing was consumed by fire and impact damaged. A section of the right aileron, which was located about 120 feet southwest of the main wreckage, was bent and twisted, and exhibited no thermal damage. Its associated trim tab was not located. The right flap had separated from the wing, and was against a tree about 75 feet in line with the energy path and prior to the main wreckage. The flap was observed bent at a downward angle at about mid-span. The right wing fuel tank was consumed by fire.

The left wing was consumed by fire and impact damage. The left aileron was observed separated, and found against a tree about 45 feet along the energy path and prior to the main wreckage. The aileron was bent and twisted, and exhibited no signs of thermal damage. The wing’s flap was located just west of the energy path, and about 45 feet from the main wreckage. The flap was bent and twisted, with no signs of thermal damage noted. The left wing fuel tank was consumed by fire.

The empennage, which came to rest on the north edge of the main wreckage site, exhibited no signs of thermal damage. The rudder, elevators, and both horizontal stabilizers remained attached at various attach points. The rudder was observed split at mid-span. Both elevators sustained impact damage and deformation. Both stabilizers also sustained significant deformation. Elevator and rudder control cable continuity was confirmed.

The front cockpit seats and seat tracks were found separated from the airplane, and exhibited impact damage and fragmentation. The rear seats were also fragmented.

The nose landing gear attach point with the engine mount was located about 40 feet prior to the main wreckage site and in line with the energy path. The nose gear tire, which had separated from the landing gear structure, was found about 125 feet prior to the main wreckage site along the energy path.

Both main landing gear were identified at the accident site. The left gear had separated from the left wing, while the right main landing gear remained attached to its wing. Thermal damage was observed to the right main landing gear.


On August 1, 2011, an autopsy was performed on the private pilot at the Coconino Health Department, Office of The Medical Examiner, Flagstaff, Arizona. The findings of the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was as a result of blunt force injuries.

The Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeronautical Institute for the private pilot. The report indicated that tests for Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide were not performed, and that no Ethanol was detected in Muscle or Kidney. Loratadine was detected in the Lung and Kidney. Loratadine is an over the counter non-sedating antihistamine that is used to treat allergies, and not considered to pose a significant hazard to flight safety.

On August 1, 2011, an autopsy was performed on the commercial pilot at the Coconino Health Department, Office of The Medical Examiner, Flagstaff, Arizona. The findings of the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was as a result of blunt force injuries.

The Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeronautical Institute for the commercial pilot. The report revealed that specimens were unsuitable for analysis of Carbon Monoxide; no Cyanide was detected in the blood, and no drugs were detected in the blood. The following values of Ethanol were noted in the report:

24 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Muscle
13 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Blood
No Ethanol detected in Kidney


Under the supervision of the IIC, an examination of the airframe and engine was performed by representatives from Cirrus Aircraft and Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI), at the facilities of Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on August 11, 2011.

Airframe examination

The examination of the airframe revealed that all components necessary for flight were identified and accounted for. It was also determined that no pre-impact anomalies existed with the airframe that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

Engine examination

The examination revealed that the engine had separated from the airframe and propeller assembly. The crankshaft propeller flange had separated from the engine, and remained attached to the propeller assembly. The magnetos, fuel pump, alternator, and vacuum pump were all observed to have separated from the engine.

The cylinders were boroscoped. The piston heads and combustion chambers were observed to have light grey deposits. The valve heads were undamaged and had no signs of abnormal thermal discoloration. The number 1 and 3 valve head areas had an oil residue. The crankshaft was moved with the use of a pipe wrench and had approximately 5 degrees of rotation. The camshaft was rotated from the forward accessory drive with valve continuity confirmed. The cylinder overhead components were lubricated; numbers 1, 2, 4, and 6 cylinder were undamaged. The overhead components for numbers 3 and 5 had impact damage.

Examination of both magnetos revealed that each had separated from the engine; their positions could not be determined. One magneto had impact damage to its housing and mounting flange. Small sections of the ignition leads remained attached to the magneto distributer cap. The magneto drive was rotated by hand, and the impulse coupling engaged. Spark was visible at the damaged ignition lead ends. Examination of the second magneto revealed that its distributor cap and attached housing had separated and were not available during the inspection. The magneto’s drive shaft rotated by hand.

The vacuum pumps were found in the main wreckage and disassembled. The electrically driven vacuum pump had impact damage and was found partially opened. Small sections of the rotor were found in the cavity. The cavity was free of damage and chatter marks. The engine driven vacuum pump was observed separated from the engine and had impact damage to its mount. The drive coupler was intact, with minor impact damage noted. The pump was disassembled. The rotor was cracked in several sections. The cavity was free of damage and chatter marks.

The propeller had separated from the engine, and the crankshaft propeller flange remained attached to the hub. The separated surfaces of the crankshaft propeller flange had 45-degree shear-lips and impact damage. The spinner had impact damage and was crushed aft revealing the piston dome. Blade A was bent aft near the shank and had S-type bending at the tip. Blade B was loose in the hub, and the blade surfaces had multidirectional gouging. The leading and trailing edges from the mid-section to the tip had gouging. Blade B was bent aft at the shank and aft again at the tip.

The technician concluded that the inspection of the engine did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation and production of rated horsepower.

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS)

An examination of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) revealed that the activation handle was in the handle holder. The safety pin was not observed. The activation cable housing had been destroyed by fire. The activation cable was continuous from the activation handle to the igniter assembly. The igniter assembly and launch tube exhibited thermal damage. The parachute enclosure was separated from the bulkhead, and was located in the debris field beyond the main wreckage. The parachute remained in the D-Bag, and was located approximately 35 feet beyond the main wreckage in the direction of the energy path. The rocket motor and pickup collar separated from the lanyards, and were not observed.

Performance Data

During the investigation and at the request of the IIC, Cirrus Aircraft provided performance data for the SR20 airplane. Calculations revealed that on the accident leg of the flight, from GUY to HND, including the 45 minute reserve requirement under Federal Aviation Regulation 91.151, the estimated range of the airplane would have been 658 nm; the distance from GUY to HND is 659.8 nm. (Refer to the Cirrus Aircraft Final Mishap Report, which is appended to this report, for detailed performance calculations.)


Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Advisory Circular number 61-134, "General Aviation Controlled Flight Into Terrain Awareness." The circular was issued to the general aviation community to "...emphasize the inherent risk that controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) poses for general aviation (GA) pilots."

The circular defines CFIT as a situation which "...occurs when an airworthy aircraft is flown under the control of a qualified pilot, into terrain (water or obstacles) with inadequate awareness on the part of the pilot of the impending collision."

According to the CFIT circular, "situational awareness" is defined as "...when the pilot is aware of what is happening around the pilot's aircraft at all times in both the vertical and horizontal plane. This includes the ability to project the near term status and position of the aircraft in relation to other aircraft, terrain, and other potential hazards."

Maximum Elevation Figures

According to the Las Vegas Sectional Aeronautical Chart that was current at the time of the accident, the depicted Maximum Elevation Figure in the area of the accident site was 9,400 feet msl; the accident site was located at 8,869 feet msl. As defined in the legend of the sectional chart, the Maximum Elevation Figures (MEF) shown in the quadrangles bounded by ticked lines of latitude and longitude are represented in THOUSANDS and HUNDREDS of feet above mean sea level. The MEF is based on information available concerning the highest known feature in each quadrangle, including terrain and obstructions (trees, towers, antennas, etc.). Example: 12,300 feet would be displayed as 12³ in the middle of the quadrangle.

Alternate airports

The following alternate airports were located within 40 nm of the accident site. Each had a runway that was 5,950 feet in length or longer:

Page Municipal Airport (PGA), Page, Arizona, had a lighted runway that was 5,950 feet in length; it was 38 nm from the accident site on a magnetic heading of 040 degrees.

Grand Canyon Airport (GCN), Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, had a lighted runway that was 8,999 feet in length; it was 34 nm from the accident site on a magnetic heading of 167 degrees.

Kanab Municipal Airport (KNB), Kanab, Utah, has a lighted runway that was 6,193 feet in length; it was 35 nm from the accident site on a magnetic heading of 315 degrees.

Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.151 (a)

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.151(a), “Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions” states: “No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed –

(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or

(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.


SONOMA -- A Sonoma man was identified Monday as one of two victims of a plane crash near the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Jacobe Daniel Foster, 32, is believed to have died when a single-engine Cirrus SR20 flying from Rock Hill, S.C., to Henderson, Nev., crashed Friday night in the Kaibab National Forest.

Foster and Andrew Jay Weiner, 39, of Henderson were both believed to be on board the plane, authorities said. It is unknown who was at the controls, but records show that Foster was a licensed pilot.

The plane was built in 2000 and has no previous record of incidents, according to federal aviation databases. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Foster's family declined to comment Monday.

Foster ran track and served as team captain at the University of North Carolina, where he majored in computer science.

A Facebook page dedicated to Foster describes him as "the superhero who officially has his wings in heaven now."