Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spirit AeroSystems employee dies following accident.

WICHITA, Kan.—  Jerry Milligan died Saturday afternoon from injuries sustained in an accident while working at Spirit AeroSystems.

Officials with Spirit say Milligan was working with a fuselage panel on Thursday when the accident happen. They add all the circumstances surrounding his injury are yet not known.

In a statement released Saturday, company officials say, “We are deeply saddened by the death of our team member Jerry Milligan. The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority."

Officials with Spirit add they are investigating with the incident, and are cooperating fully with outside authorities.

Source:   http://www.kwch.com

New flights from China may provide big boost to Hawaii economy

The first regularly scheduled direct flight from China arrived in Honolulu on Tuesday.

Tourism officials see it as a gateway to more potential visitors in the years ahead.

Nearly 300 passengers from China Eastern Airlines arrived in Honolulu with plenty of fanfare. They were greeted with flower lei by dignitaries, among them, Hawaii's chief executive.

"These folks coming in regularly from China are beginning a new relationship between China and Hawaii," said Governor Abercrombie.

The flight from Shanghai will make trips to Hawaii twice a week, bringing in an estimated $60 million in annual visitor spending.

"Nowadays Chinese people are richer and richer, they long to go abroad for traveling with their families," said Amber Xu, one of the visitors from China.

"Chinese happen to spend the most money per visitor in the world, over $320 a person per day. And so that will be good for Hawaii's economy, good for the U.S. economy," said Mike McCartney of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

With a booming economy, the Chinese are ready to travel and eager to spend. The new regularly scheduled flights are more appealing because it's non-stop. In the past, Chinese travelers had layovers In Japan and Korea, which added at least a couple of hours to the trip.

"Some places are far away and you need to change flights several times, so it makes people feel tired, but this is a direct flight and you can go far away just within ten hours," Xu says.

Tourism officials say this could eventually open the way to daily flights to Hawaii. But the biggest obstacle now is waving the visa requirements. That's something the governor is hoping to work on when top government officials from China and the US are here for the APEC Summit.

"If we can work something in that area of visa waivers in general or perhaps for Hawaii as a test case we're gonna pursue that," Abercrombie says.

Fujairah airline venture targets 30-minute Abu Dhabi service

A route where passengers spend more time in the airport than in the sky may sound like a "hard sell".

But a new airline offering domestic routes within the UAE hopes the idea will take off.

Eastern Express, a joint venture between two local aviation companies, is set to launch flights between Fujairah and Abu Dhabi from early next year.

Flights will take less than 30 minutes - meaning passengers will spend more time checking in and passing security checks than in the air.

It takes about three hours to drive between the UAE capital and Fujairah.

But Eastern Express, a joint venture between Al Hajjar Air and Abu Al Houl, is pinning its hopes on strong demand from domestic flyers.

Gaurav Sinha, who runs Insignia, a travel branding agency in Dubai, said the launch of the domestic route was a sign of maturity in the UAE aviation industry.

"It's a positive sign to see these initiatives take place," he said. "Fujairah is not as connected to Abu Dhabi and Dubai as it could be."

But he questioned whether there would be adequate demand, given the short distance between the two cities.

"The amount of time it takes to get from Abu Dhabi International Airport to the city, it begs the question whether it would be quicker to drive," said Mr Sinha.

"I question whether there's enough demand, unless it's catering for the corporate segments. It comes down to the frequency and number of flights."

The new airline will reportedly be based in Fujairah, the most easterly of the emirates.

It will feed passengers to the international airlines that operate out of Abu Dhabi airport.

It would be one of the few passenger services to operate out of Fujairah International Airport, which mainly handles cargo flights.

Source:  http://www.thenational.ae

Fairchild PT-19A (M-62), N53956: Accident occurred August 13, 2011 in Madrid, Iowa

Aviation Accident Final Report   -    National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items  -   National Transportation Safety Board:   https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA569
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Madrid, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD M-62, registration: N53956
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

Witnesses observed the accident airplane flying low along a river. A witness located near the accident site reported that the airplane struck power lines suspended above the river. The airplane subsequently impacted a sandbar along the river. The postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of a medication commonly prescribed for depressive illness. In addition, the pilot had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. However, it was not possible to determine the level of medication present or the extent that fatigue might have affected the pilot, if at all, during the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper decision to conduct low-level flight along a river, which resulted in a collision with power lines.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 13, 2011, about 1200 central daylight time, a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19A) airplane, N53956, was substantially damaged when it impacted power lines and terrain along the Des Moines River near Madrid, Iowa. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The World War II era military training airplane was registered to a private individual. It had been restored and was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The flight originated from Boone Municipal Airport (BNW), Boone, Iowa, about 1130. The intended destination was Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa.

The pilot flew to BNW on the morning of the accident for a fly-in event. During the event, the pilot gave rides to several attendees. The airplane was reportedly refueled prior to departure. The pilot commented that he would be returning to IKV by following the Des Moines River.

Witnesses boating on the river reported that they observed the airplane as it flew along the river. As the airplane passed their location, the wings banked apparently waving at them. The airplane was 50 to 100 feet above the river; low enough for the witnesses to notice that the airplane occupants were two men. There was no sign of distress related to the airplane.

A witness who was fishing along the shoreline of the river reported that the airplane approached his location from the north. He estimated that the airplane was initially about 500 feet above ground level (agl) and descending. The airplane subsequently struck power transmission lines suspended about 200 feet above the river. The left landing gear and the left wing contacted the static lines. The airplane nosed over approximately three times in-flight and impacted a sandbar along the river, coming to rest inverted. 

The airplane impacted a sandbar along the Des Moines River, about 3 miles south-southwest of Madrid, Iowa. The site was about 13 miles south of BNW, the departure airport, and about 14 miles northwest of IKV, the intended destination airport. The airplane came to rest inverted. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine and multi-engine land airplane ratings. The single-engine rating was limited to commercial pilot privileges. The pilot held type ratings for BE-300, BE-1900, and SA-227 airplanes.

The pilot was issued a second class airman medical certificate on August 30, 2010, with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot indicated "No" to the current use of any prescription or non-prescription medication. He noted a total flight time of 6,600 hours, with 15 hours flown within the preceding 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19), serial number T42-3814. The Fairchild M-62 was a World War II era military training aircraft. It was a single engine, two place, open cockpit, monoplane design, with a conventional (tail wheel) landing gear configuration. The airplane was powered by a 170 horsepower Ranger 6-440-C2 engine. The engine was an in-line, six cylinder, air cooled design. The airplane was purchased by a private individual in December 2002, and was subsequently restored. At the time of the accident, it was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum.

The airplane had accumulated approximately 2,560 hours total flight time at the time of the accident. The most recent annual inspection was completed on May 15, 2011, at 2,554 hours. The engine had accumulated about 172 hours since overhaul. There were no subsequent maintenance logbook entries, nor was there any record of unresolved maintenance issues associated with the accident airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The Ames Municipal Airport (AMW) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located approximately 14 miles north east of the accident site, at 1153, recorded weather conditions as: wind from 320 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 23 knots; scattered clouds at 3,400 feet above ground level (agl); 10 miles visibility; temperature 22 degrees Celsius; dew point 16 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury.

The Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), located approximately 15 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1155, recorded weather conditions as: wind from 320 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 18 knots; broken clouds at 3,600 feet agl; 10 miles visibility; temperature 25 degrees Celsius; dew point 14 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a sandbar along the river, and came to rest inverted. A section of a static line was located adjacent to the airplane. In addition, two yellow and black spherical power line markers were lying on the sandbar in the vicinity of the accident site. Visual examination of the power transmission lines revealed that one static lines appeared to be down. The second static line and all three transmission lines appeared to be intact.

The fuselage was crushed aft to approximately the leading edge of the wings. The nose of the airplane, including the engine, was buried into the sand. The wings were partially separated from the fuselage. The leading edges of the wings were crushed aft. The fuel tanks were partially separated from the wing structure. The flaps and ailerons remained attached to both wings. The empennage was twisted relative to the fuselage. The fuselage structure immediately forward of the empennage was deformed. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were buckled and deformed consistent with an impact at the top of the structures. The rudder was partially separated from the stabilizer. The horizontal stabilizer and elevators appeared intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction of the airframe were observed.

One blade of the two blade wooden propeller was broken off at the hub. The second blade exhibited span wise cracking. Internal engine continuity was confirmed through rotation of the crankshaft. Compression was observed on all cylinders. Both magnetos rotated freely by hand. Ignition spark was obtained across all leads on the left magneto. The right magneto was not equipped with an impulse coupling. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction of the engine were observed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted on August 14, 2011, at the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office in Ankeny, Iowa. The pilot's death was attributed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology report stated:
20 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Vitreous;
No Ethanol detected in Muscle;
No Ethanol detected in Brain;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Liver;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Kidney;
Sertraline detected in Liver;
Sertraline detected in Kidney.

Sertraline, also known under the trade name Zoloft, is commonly prescribed for the symptomatic relief of depressive illness. Desmethylsertraline is the predominant metabolite of the antidepressant sertraline. Precise blood levels of the medication could not be established because a blood sample was not available for testing.

A review of available medical records revealed that the pilot had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He had been prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for the condition. However, it was not possible to determine the extent that OSA induced fatigue might have affected the pilot, if at all, during the accident flight.

The pilot's wife stated that her husband was very active and energetic. She noted that there had been several deaths in their family within a relatively short period of time, and that was the most likely reason her husband was taking Zoloft. She believed that he was on a very low dose of the medication. She had not noticed any changes in his behavior prior to the accident. She also reported that her husband had not been using the CPAP device prior to the accident and had not used it at all that summer. She also stated that his snoring was much better, and that he was not exhibiting signs of fatigue prior to the accident.

In a holding pattern: Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR), Connecticut.

Michael Safranek, assistant administrator at Danury Airport, shows the need to repair taxiway C at the Danbury Airport on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011.
Photo: Jason Rearick / CT

Original Article and Photos: http://www.newstimes.com
 .
DANBURY -- For decades, Danbury Municipal Airport has served as an integral part of the area's transportation system.

And while many argue the facility serves as a powerful economic generator for Greater Danbury, little revenue has been derived from the airport to help fill city coffers.

In fact, the airport just about breaks even.

Mayor Mark Boughton recently announced the formation of a task force to study the airport, the benefits the facility provides to the community and ways to generate additional revenue for the city.

Boughton has suggested the task force also examine privatizing the facility as a way to provide additional dollars for the city.

Some industry officials argue privatization isn't the way to go, but there is a tremendous amount of potential growth in the airport's future.

Dean Saucier, regional representative of the National Business Aviation Association, said privatization has been attempted at airports throughout the U.S., but has never actually been successful.

"It's a very, very difficult avenue to go down," he said, noting the move would require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"A lot of people have tried it, but there has yet to be an airport in the country that has gone private," Saucier said. "On the surface, it looks promising, but when you put pencil to paper, it's not all that appealing."

Wayne Toher, of Reliant Air, cautioned that privatizing the airport could result in a loss of federal funding for improvements to the airport.

Within the past couple of years, the airport has received about $1 million from the FAA to repair and repave the intersection of the two runways. There is also more than $750,000 in the works for repairs to two sections of the airport's taxiways.

The local match required to receive federal funding is less than 2 percent, said Michael Safranek, assistant airport administrator.

Saucier said that while privatization may not work in Danbury, there is growing interest from aviation operators to have a site in western Connecticut to expand their businesses.

"We are always hearing from our members in New York that if there was only a better place for them to operate in Connecticut, they would love to do that," Saucier said.

Westchester Airport, he said, is quickly reaching capacity, as are Waterbury-Oxford Airport and others in the region.

"I know of a number of Connecticut operators who base their planes out of Westchester," Saucier said. "It's more expensive, but they have two fully dedicated instrument landing systems."

While Danbury has a limited instrument landing system, improving it doesn't necessarily mean the operators will come to this side of the border, he said.

"Also critical is whether someone can use the airport without having a tremendous amount of people complaining about their operations," he said.

"Airports are great economic generators and these (aviation company) operators can bring lots of well paying jobs, but the operations do create some noise," Saucier said. "It really comes down to how friendly the community is and how willing the city is to help people who want to come here."

There are several ways Danbury gets revenue from the airport, including leasing property to businesses that operate there and permit fees and fuel flowage fees of 12 cents per gallon, which operators say is already one of the highest prices in the region and adds about $58,000 annually to city coffers.

The only way to increase revenue, local operators said, is to lease more property and attract additional traffic to the airport.

Toher said if the city reduces its fuel flowage fee, which he said is the highest in the state, it may attract more traffic.

"The more fuel we pump, the more money the city makes, without having to do anything more than they already do now," he said.

While some industry officials say expanding the runway could generate more traffic for the airport, officials say that isn't likely to happen.

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi said residents in his town, as well as Danbury residents who live near the airport, would likely object to runway expansions.

"Residents would vehemently object to expanding the runway because it could increase the traffic," he said.

While Marconi commends Boughton for initiating the task force and said the airport is a true asset to the region, he added, "in general, any increase in traffic would be a detriment to the people of Ridgefield and those in Danbury around Wooster Mountain."

Of course, there is always the thought that "if you don't like airplane noise, you shouldn't live near an airport," Marconi said. "These are things people should take into consideration when buying a home."

However, speaking for the town of Ridgefield, he said, "We are very concerned about any increase of traffic at the airport."

Traffic at the airport has decreased significantly in recent decades.

According to Safranek, there were as many as 190,000 movements -- takeoffs and landings -- per year at the airport during the heyday of the 1970s, driven by a post-Vietnam GI bill that paid for flight lessons.

But the high cost of flying, not to mention the price of gas and the economic conditions in the past several years, reduced traffic to about 77,000 movements last year.

Toher, who runs a charter operation out of Reliant, said his traffic has already increased more than 20 percent compared to last year.

Safranek and airport administrator Paul Estefan said they support Boughton's proposal to develop the task force.

"The airport is an integral part of the Greater Danbury community and needs to be a viable entity for the city and the taxpayers," Safranek said.

"In these economic times, evaluating all of the city's resources and assets can only make Danbury an ever-stronger economic engine for the future of our community."

Original Article and Photos: http://www.newstimes.com

FLYERS ON THE WALL: Display depicts history of Taunton Municipal Airport (KTAN), Massachusetts.


Original Article and Photo: http://www.tauntongazette.com

 Taunton —  A new installation at the Taunton Municipal Airport depicts the history of aeronautics and of the King family, who helped propel flying based out of the Silver City.

Ted Porada, the ground services manager at the airport, put up historical pictures, newspaper clippings and model airplanes to inspire and enlighten visitors about flying and how it took off, starting with the Wright Brothers. The display, started and completed in the spring, begins in a trailer used to train aviators and overflows into an equipment storage building.

“Part of an idea of an airport is people don’t want to just look at your equipment, they want something to go from when they come in, to know what was here and how was it built,” said Porada, who has worked at the airport for four years. “It’s probably corny for some people. But I like history.”

One of the highlights of the display is framed photos and information about the King family who founded the airport in 1919. There are many photos of Ora and Everett King.

Robert Gilbert, a pilot who lives in Blackstone and frequents the Taunton airport for fuel as well maintenance, said he was amazed by the installation.

“I thought it was fascinating,” said Gilbert, who started flying in 1958. “I knew Ora and Everett. They were very well known in the area. She had a unique voice on the radio, you could always tell that it’s her. Ted must have had 100 pictures of them in there. The wall is literally covered with them.”

But there are also pictures of dozens of pilots who use the Taunton airport, on another wall in the equipment storage building. Gilbert said he and his wife really appreciated that.

“Ted said, ‘I got your picture up on the wall,’” Gilbert said. “I said, ‘We have to see it.’ I was surprised. It’s quite extensive.”

Porada said that any of the pilots there can pose with their planes and have their pictures taken and framed before being put up on the wall.

Porada said that he hopes that visitors enjoy the display during the cookouts and pig roasts held at the airport. More than 100 airplanes are based at the Taunton Municipal Airport.

Original Article and Photo: http://www.tauntongazette.com

Pilot safe after emergency helicopter landing. Sylvan Lake, Canada.

EDMONTON - A pilot narrowly avoided crashing a helicopter after the engine failed near Sylvan Lake on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said the pilot performed an emergency landing manoeuver known as autorotation, generating lift with the main rotor to soften the landing.

“The pilot successfully completed an autorotation landing,” said John Lee, western regional manager. “The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was taken to Red Deer hospital for observation.

Since the landing was successful, Lee said the event is not being described as an accident.

'X' To Mark Many Spots Around BWI: Temporary X's drawn on roads will be used for aerial photos.

Residents near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport may soon start seeing large, white X's on streets in their communities.

About 40 of the markings will be painted on public rights-of-way around the airport within the next few days, airport spokesman Jonathan Dean said in a statement Friday.

The airport is updating its mapping database, he said, and aerial photographs will be taken as part of the project. The Xs help improve the accuracy of the photographs.

The markings are temporary and will be removed after the photography is complete, Dean said.


LINTHICUM, Md. -- Large, white "X" markings on areas around the airport will not necessarily mean treasure lies beneath.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport officials said the markings will help calibrate aerial photography as part of efforts to update the airport's mapping database.

The markings placed in communities surrounding the airport will be removed after the aerial photographs are complete.

http://www.wbaltv.com

Grass runway disappearance explained. Alva Regional Airport (KAVK), Oklahoma.



For several months, pilots and members of the Alva Airport Commission wondered why the original grass strip runway had not been replaced when the new 5,000' runway was completed. Pilots consider the grass strip a safety cushion during times of heavy cross winds. Older planes, like the historic biplanes, often choose to land only on grass strips, eliminating future landings at Alva without the alternate runway.

No More Mystery

The mystery no longer exists. A change order signed by Mayor Lynn A. Chaffee on February 2, 2010, and approved by the Alva City Council at the Feb. 1, 2010, meeting officially eliminated the grass runway. Change Order #1 submitted to Dobson Brothers Construction Company deleted “Furnish & Install Bermuda Grass Sodding” at the airport cutting the contract cost by $435,000.

A letter confirming that action from Kyle C. Sewell, P.E. confirmed that deletion as follows: “Regarding the sod runway, Change Order #1 deleted item #10 from the base bid for 335,000 SY of Bermuda Grass Sodding ($435,500) which was for the sod runway.

The archived report of that meeting in the February 5, 2010 Alva Review-Courier states:

“At Monday night’s Alva City Council meeting, members approved the first change order for the Runway Construction Project. Business Manager Steven Brown said during discussions with FAA officials, it was decided that sod would be laid only on the shoulders of the runway. The remaining construction area would be sprigged.

Because of the reduction in the amount of sod needed, the cost was reduced accordingly. The original contract cost of sod was $435,500. The new cost of sod is $45,500, and the cost of sprigging is $120,000. The project will be reduced to reflect the $270,000 savings.”

It is unclear if council members fully understood the ramifications to the safety of pilots when they approved this change order.

Rebuilding the grass strip must now be placed back on the Airport Improvement Plan, which will delay its construction and probably increase its cost, Airport Commission member Paul Kinzie stated. 

Source:  http://news.mywebpal.com

Cathay may postpone ad campaign after sex scandal. Embarrassed airline ponders best way to handle latest phase of its global marketing drive.

Simon Parry
Aug 14, 2011

They have already enraged Cathay Pacific's chief executive and cost a pilot and an air hostess their jobs. Now the notorious photographs of the couple's sex act in the cockpit of a plane have sent a multimillion-dollar global advertising campaign for the airline into a tailspin...

Cessna 172: Three Escape Plane Crash With Minor Injuries. Randolph County, West Virginia.





A plane goes down in Randolph County and, luckily, all three passengers escape without any serious injuries.

It happened after 11 a.m. Saturday when Troopers say a Cessna 172, a small four passenger plane, crashed into the woods in the Pond Lick area of Chenoweth Creek Road, outside of Elkins.

Police and fire crews combed the area for hours on foot and ATVs and found the plane. The male pilot and his male and female passengers all escaped the plane with only minor injuries. They are all said to be from the Parkersburg area, to which the plane was returning.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in from Charleston to investigate the cause of the accident.

The Elkins detachment of the State Police responded to the call as well as the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Elkins and Beverly Fire Departments and Randolph County EMS.

Watch Video: http://www.wdtv.com

Van's RV-6, N16DD and Vans RV-8, N189DK: Accident occurred August 13, 2011 in Conroe, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N16DD

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA573A 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Conroe, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: STEVENS R P/MCCRIGHT D W VANS RV-6, registration: N16DD
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA573B 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Conroe, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: KNAB DOUGLAS J RV-8, registration: N189DK

Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.


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

The RV-6 collided with the RV-8 from below while maneuvering during day visual meteorological conditions. The RV-6 descended uncontrolled to ground impact, and the pilot of the RV-8 made a forced landing in a field. The two airplanes were part of group of seven airplanes practicing formation flight maneuvers for an upcoming airshow. According to the pilot of the RV-8, the RV-6 and another airplane were instructed to move into trail positions behind the RV-8. He saw the two airplanes drift back and out of view. About 5 seconds later, the pilot of the RV-8 heard a loud bang and immediately his airplane's engine stopped operating. He did not see the RV-6. The pilot of the other airplane that was moving into the trail position with the RV-6 said that the RV-6 was supposed to be the last airplane in this formation, but instead it moved directly behind the RV-8. The pilot thought that maybe the RV-6 pilot forgot which slot he was supposed to take, so he let the RV-6 have the position and moved behind the RV-6. Shortly after, he observed the RV-6 drift beneath and then climb up and collide with the RV-8. The collision was not violent. He then saw the two airplanes separate, and the RV-6 slowly nosed over into a 60-degree nose-down descent toward the ground. He reported that the pilot of the RV-6 "didn't seem in control of his airplane" before the collision and might have been incapacitated. However, he did not observe anything unusual with the pilot of the RV-6 that would have indicated a possible medical condition before or during the flight. Autopsy and toxicological testing of the RV-6 pilot revealed no evidence of impairment or incapacitation. Although incapacitation or impairment of the RV-6 pilot could explain why he failed to maintain clearance from the RV-8, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether this occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the pilot of the RV-6 airplane to maintain clearance from the RV-8 airplane while practicing formation flight.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 13, 2011, approximately 1130 central daylight time, N16DD, an experimental-amateur built Stevens/McCright Vans RV-6 airplane, was substantially damaged, when it collided with N189DK, an experimental-amateur built Douglas Knab Vans RV-8 airplane, approximately 15 miles north of Lone Star Executive Airport (CXO), near Conroe, Texas, while practicing formation flight. The airline transport pilot flying the RV-6 was fatally injured and the private pilot flying the RV-8 made a forced landing to a field and sustained minor injuries. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the respective pilot. No flight plan was filed for the flight that departed CXO at 1100. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Both the RV-8 and RV-6 pilots were members of Freedom Flight (also known as the Freedom Flight Aviators), which includes seven pilots and their low-wing,experimental-amateur-built Vans RV aircraft. According to their website, Freedom Flight pilots are all professional aviators, either former military or current and retired airline pilots. All are extensively trained in formation flying, discipline and safety. The Freedom Flight mission is to,"...Foster community pride and patriotism through precision formation flight exhibitions in support of community events, and through missing-man demonstrations to honor all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy." The pilot of the RV-8 stated the team was practicing for an event that was to take place the following weekend. He said all seven pilots met for a 30 minute brief prior to the flight, during which time, the formations were discussed and positions/numbers were assigned to each pilot.

After the pre-flight briefing, all seven pilots taxied their airplanes out to the runway and departed around 1100. The pilot of the RV-8, which was colored silver, and the pilot of the RV-6, painted red, were the last two airplanes to depart. After reaching altitude, the pilots began to practice their flight routine. At one point, the lead pilot instructed the pilots to enter their assigned fingertip or V formations. The lead for the fingertip formation then instructed the pilot of the RV-8 to enter the slot position to make a diamond formation. The lead pilot then instructed the other pilots in the diamond formation to "go trail." Since the pilot of the RV-8 was already in the trail position, he observed the other two airplanes, which included the RV-6, move into their trail positions. He observed the RV-6 and the other aircraft drift behind him and out of view. The pilot of the RV-8 said, "After about 5 seconds I heard a loud bang and immediately the engine stopped dead. Fire shot into the cockpit through the fresh air vent and burned my left arm and stomach area. I saw the orange flames on my left arm. The flame went out almost as fast as it came." Another pilot asked him if he was okay, and he responded that someone had hit him although he never saw anyone or anything hit him.

The pilot of the RV-8 still had control of his airplane despite losing all engine power, and immediately began to look for a place to land. He circled down over a field and landed. During the forced landing, the pilot could see a pillar of smoke rising from a wooded area nearby, where the RV-6 had crashed.

The pilot that was moving into the trail position along with the RV-6 was the only pilot to witness the collision. He said that he and the pilot of the RV-6 were moving into the trail position behind the RV-8 and were approximately 2,000 to 2,500 feet above ground level (agl) in level flight. The RV-6 was supposed to be the last airplane in this formation, but instead moved directly behind the RV-8. The pilot thought that maybe the pilot in the RV-6 forgot which slot he was suppose to take, so he let the pilot of the RV-6 have the position and then he moved behind the RV-6. Shortly after, from a distance of about 30 feet away, he observed the RV-6 drift right under and then climb up into the RV-8. The collision was not violent, even though it caused a large gas explosion/fireball in the RV-8's engine compartment. The other pilot was unsure if the collision was hard enough that it would have injured the pilot of the RV-6. He saw the two airplanes separate and the RV-6 slowly nosed over until it was in an almost 60 degree nose down descent toward the ground. The pilot said the damage to the RV-6 was minimal and it appeared to be "flyable." He said the pilot of the RV-6 "didn't seem in control of his airplane" prior to the collision and thought he might have been incapacitated. However, he did not observe anything unusual with the pilot of the RV-6 that would have indicated a possible medical condition prior to or during the practice flight.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot of N189DK held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last FAA Third Class Medical was issued on March 4, 2010. He reported a total of 1,918 total flight hours; of which, 178 hours were in the RV-8.

The pilot of N16DD held an airline transport pilot rating for airplane single-engine and multi-engine land. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single and multi-engine airplane, and instrument airplane. His last FAA Second Class Medical was issued on November 9, 2010. At that time, he reported a total of 37,150 total flight hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather at Lone Star Executive Airport at 1153, was reported as wind from 240 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 4,900 feet, temperature 33 degrees C, dewpoint 22 degrees C, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.99 inches of HG.

WRCKAGE INFORMATION

Several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors responded to both accident sites, which were approximately .3-miles apart. According to one of the inspectors, N16DD impacted wooded terrain and a post-impact fire consumed most of the airplane. Examination of N189DK revealed that the propellers blades were scarred at the tip and exhibited red paint transfer. There were also red paint transfer marks on the lower left side of the engine cowling along with impact marks. The right elevator had been impacted from the front and below. The leading edge of the right wing exhibited impact marks, scrapes and red paint transfer about a quarter of the way down the wing from the fuselage. Both of the main landing gear was spread, and the right gear exhibited dark red paint transfers.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot of N16DD by the Montgomery County Forensic Services Department, Conroe, Texas, on August 16, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be "multiple blunt injuries sustained as a pilot of an aircraft that crashed with a subsequent fire." The thermal injuries occurred postmortem and did not cause or contribute to death. Their toxicology report indicated a positive reading (4%) for carbon monoxide.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was negative for all items tested, including carbon monoxide.




WALKER COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- Federal Aviation Administration officials Saturday were investigating a fatal mid-air plane collision in Walker County.


Officials said two home-built planes collided around 11:45am over the northern part of Lake Conroe off F.M. 1375 at Stubblefield Lake Rd. The FAA has shut down the area to investigate.

According to eyewitnesses, a group of seven planes was flying over the area doing formations when one plane went beneath another.

The planes clipped and there was a fire in the air, witnesses said. Two planes went down. One was engulfed in flames.

The pilot of the plane that caught fire died in the crash.

The other pilot was losing fuel. He was able to land his damaged plane and walked out with burns on one of his arms.

Both planes went down in a thick wooded area about a mile off F.M. 1375. Officials said the group of pilots is based out of Conroe.

Hunter Strole saw the collision from his backyard and ran for help.

"They were doing stunts, just like flying in a V, and the back plane came up, hit the front plane, and it just fell out of the sky like a rock," Strole said.

Investigators are not yet releasing the name if the pilot who died. They said they are still trying to notify family members.

Source:  http://abclocal.go.com

One person is dead after two small planes collided near Lake Conroe, officials said.

The crash occurred about 11:45 a.m. Saturday near the northern part of the lake near FM 1375 at Stubblefield Lake Road, according to the Department of Public Safety in Conroe.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the planes, which had departed from Lone Star Airport, were in a group of seven home-built aircraft flying in formation. One plane flew under another and the two crashed about 15 miles northwest of Conroe.

The plane underneath, a single-engine RV-6 with tail number N16DD, crashed into a forest. The pilot died at the scene. According to the FAA website, the 8-year-old plane was registered to a Montgomery resident.

The other plane, a 2-year-old RV-8 also registered to a Montgomery resident, crashed into a pond. The pilot was treated on the scene, officials said.

The first report of the accident came to DPS at 11:44 a.m. from the Lone Star Airport tower, a dispatcher said. Initial reports indicated one of the aircraft was a World War II-era "practice plane," according to DPS.

The wreckage is spread over portions of Walker and Montgomery counties. The body was recovered on land, authorities said. FAA is investigating.

This is the second fatal crash involving a home-built plane in the Conroe area in three months. In May, a father and daughter who had narrowly escaped a fiery crash in 2007 died when their experimental plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Conroe Airport. Elzie J. “Bud” Warren, 70, and, Phyllis Jean Ridings, 52, died May 7 on their way to an air show in Temple.

Source: http://www.chron.com

WALKER COUNTY, Texas – One person is dead after two planes collided over Lake Conroe in Walker County on Saturday.

Authorities said seven home-built, single engine planes were flying in formation near FM 1375 and Stubblefield Lake Road around 11:45 a.m. when two of the planes collided.

One of the planes crashed while the other managed to safely land.

Texas DPS officials said the body of one of the pilots was recovered from the plane that crashed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one else was onboard.

Airblue crash: Almost half of families yet to receive compensation. Airbus A321-231, AP-BJB. Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Pakistan. Accident occurred on July 28, 2010.

KARACHI: Airblue GM (Commercial) Raheel Ahmed said on Saturday that the families of 63 out of 138 passengers, who died in the Airblue plane crash last year, had received Rs5 million each in compensation.

Speaking at a conference on “Aviation and Travel Industry: Promoting a Soft Image of Pakistan” organised by Investment and Marketing Conferences, Ahmed said that the delay in compensation for the rest of the families was because of legal reasons. “Families of the crash victims are required to produce a certificate of succession to receive compensation,” he said.

Airblue Flight 202 crashed on July 28, 2010, near Islamabad, killing 138 passengers and six crew members.

Ahmed said that Airblue had received certificates of succession from 73 families. “It takes three to four weeks for a family to receive the compensation package once it has submitted the certificate of succession,” he said.

Ahmed said that Airblue also helped many families with Rs50,000 because they couldn’t afford to engage a lawyer to get the certificate of succession from court.

Ahmed said that immediately after the crash, Airblue had paid 132 families Rs550,000 each as “initial compensation.” The rest of the families approached Airblue through their attorneys, he said. “We thought initial compensation was necessary, especially for the families that needed immediate monetary help,” he said.

He criticised the media for sensationalising the crash and spreading what he called “conspiracy theories.”

He said that after 9/11, Americans turned fire-fighters into heroes for their brave response to the tragedy. He expressed his disappointment that the Pakistani media didn’t report the efforts of rescue workers who reached the site of the crash in the absence of a vertical trail.

Speaking on the occasion, PIA Deputy Managing Director Salim Sayani said that despite poor law and order, floods and other difficulties, PIA achieved double-digit growth in revenue in the last two years.

However, he said, the profit margin declined in the same period. “Business person don’t travel in and out of Pakistan anymore,” he said.

Sayani said that the number of tourists travelling to Pakistan decreased after the 9/11 attacks. “Out of PIA’s seven million passengers, only 100,000 are pure tourists. In 2000, PIA had one million passengers who could be described as tourists. In 2010, the number declined to 100,000,” he said.

He said that India had a 48 per cent share in the regional tourism industry. He attributed the success of India’s tourism industry to its “meticulous” marketing strategy. He added that the Maldives entertained 200 per cent more tourists than Pakistan.

Irfan Ahmed, CEO of chutti.pk, Pakistan’s first travel and tour portal, said Egypt had set aside $50 million to promote tourism this year and a substantial part of it would be spent online. “The message is that Tahrir Square is over. Tourists should come back,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.

In Pictures: Piper PA-32-301, N8152Z. Coast Guard responds to plane crash. Kodiak, Alaska.

http://registry.faa.gov/N8152Z
KODIAK, Alaska - Coast Guard personnel from the Base Support Unit Kodiak Fire Department monitor the removal of a single-engine Piper airplane near the Kodiak runway Aug. 12, 2011. The Coast Guard firefighters received the call to respond at 11 a.m. confirmed there were no injuries to either person aboard and monitored the extraction of the plane for safety. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.
Three photos :

Teens behind the wheel -- of planes . . . .

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An air museum in central Florida offers aviation summer camp for teens and tweens
  • The kids practice on simulators, before getting in a real plane
  • Some students get the opportunity to fly the airplane, while others sit in the backseats
  • Director Ernie Sanborn says young kids "adapt to (flying) much easier than older students"

Lakeland, Florida (CNN) -- At a summer camp in central Florida, students learn the fundamentals of flying an airplane -- not just from a computer simulator, but from an actual airplane cockpit. 

"It was epically scary," Brandon Hardy, 16, said after he flew and landed a plane for the first time. "My knuckles were white, my toes were curled in my shoes."
For the past four years, kids between the ages of 11 and 18 have attended weeklong camps at the Florida Air Museum at Sun 'N Fun in Lakeland.

The Destination Aviation summer camp teaches kids everything from the instrument panel in the cockpit, the aerodynamics of a plane and how to file a flight plan followed by hours on flight simulators.
Read More and Photos:  http://www.cnn.com

Van's RV-6, N16DD: Accident occurred August 13, 2011 in Conroe, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N16DD
 
NTSB Identification: CEN11LA573A 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Conroe, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: STEVENS R P/MCCRIGHT D W VANS RV-6, registration: N16DD
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

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

The RV-6 collided with the RV-8 from below while maneuvering during day visual meteorological conditions. The RV-6 descended uncontrolled to ground impact, and the pilot of the RV-8 made a forced landing in a field. The two airplanes were part of group of seven airplanes practicing formation flight maneuvers for an upcoming airshow. According to the pilot of the RV-8, the RV-6 and another airplane were instructed to move into trail positions behind the RV-8. He saw the two airplanes drift back and out of view. About 5 seconds later, the pilot of the RV-8 heard a loud bang and immediately his airplane's engine stopped operating. He did not see the RV-6. The pilot of the other airplane that was moving into the trail position with the RV-6 said that the RV-6 was supposed to be the last airplane in this formation, but instead it moved directly behind the RV-8. The pilot thought that maybe the RV-6 pilot forgot which slot he was supposed to take, so he let the RV-6 have the position and moved behind the RV-6. Shortly after, he observed the RV-6 drift beneath and then climb up and collide with the RV-8. The collision was not violent. He then saw the two airplanes separate, and the RV-6 slowly nosed over into a 60-degree nose-down descent toward the ground. He reported that the pilot of the RV-6 "didn't seem in control of his airplane" before the collision and might have been incapacitated. However, he did not observe anything unusual with the pilot of the RV-6 that would have indicated a possible medical condition before or during the flight. Autopsy and toxicological testing of the RV-6 pilot revealed no evidence of impairment or incapacitation. Although incapacitation or impairment of the RV-6 pilot could explain why he failed to maintain clearance from the RV-8, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether this occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the pilot of the RV-6 airplane to maintain clearance from the RV-8 airplane while practicing formation flight.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 13, 2011, approximately 1130 central daylight time, N16DD, an experimental-amateur built Stevens/McCright Vans RV-6 airplane, was substantially damaged, when it collided with N189DK, an experimental-amateur built Douglas Knab Vans RV-8 airplane, approximately 15 miles north of Lone Star Executive Airport (CXO), near Conroe, Texas, while practicing formation flight. The airline transport pilot flying the RV-6 was fatally injured and the private pilot flying the RV-8 made a forced landing to a field and sustained minor injuries. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the respective pilot. No flight plan was filed for the flight that departed CXO at 1100. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Both the RV-8 and RV-6 pilots were members of Freedom Flight (also known as the Freedom Flight Aviators), which includes seven pilots and their low-wing,experimental-amateur-built Vans RV aircraft. According to their website, Freedom Flight pilots are all professional aviators, either former military or current and retired airline pilots. All are extensively trained in formation flying, discipline and safety. The Freedom Flight mission is to,"...Foster community pride and patriotism through precision formation flight exhibitions in support of community events, and through missing-man demonstrations to honor all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy." The pilot of the RV-8 stated the team was practicing for an event that was to take place the following weekend. He said all seven pilots met for a 30 minute brief prior to the flight, during which time, the formations were discussed and positions/numbers were assigned to each pilot.

After the pre-flight briefing, all seven pilots taxied their airplanes out to the runway and departed around 1100. The pilot of the RV-8, which was colored silver, and the pilot of the RV-6, painted red, were the last two airplanes to depart. After reaching altitude, the pilots began to practice their flight routine. At one point, the lead pilot instructed the pilots to enter their assigned fingertip or V formations. The lead for the fingertip formation then instructed the pilot of the RV-8 to enter the slot position to make a diamond formation. The lead pilot then instructed the other pilots in the diamond formation to "go trail." Since the pilot of the RV-8 was already in the trail position, he observed the other two airplanes, which included the RV-6, move into their trail positions. He observed the RV-6 and the other aircraft drift behind him and out of view. The pilot of the RV-8 said, "After about 5 seconds I heard a loud bang and immediately the engine stopped dead. Fire shot into the cockpit through the fresh air vent and burned my left arm and stomach area. I saw the orange flames on my left arm. The flame went out almost as fast as it came." Another pilot asked him if he was okay, and he responded that someone had hit him although he never saw anyone or anything hit him.

The pilot of the RV-8 still had control of his airplane despite losing all engine power, and immediately began to look for a place to land. He circled down over a field and landed. During the forced landing, the pilot could see a pillar of smoke rising from a wooded area nearby, where the RV-6 had crashed.

The pilot that was moving into the trail position along with the RV-6 was the only pilot to witness the collision. He said that he and the pilot of the RV-6 were moving into the trail position behind the RV-8 and were approximately 2,000 to 2,500 feet above ground level (agl) in level flight. The RV-6 was supposed to be the last airplane in this formation, but instead moved directly behind the RV-8. The pilot thought that maybe the pilot in the RV-6 forgot which slot he was suppose to take, so he let the pilot of the RV-6 have the position and then he moved behind the RV-6. Shortly after, from a distance of about 30 feet away, he observed the RV-6 drift right under and then climb up into the RV-8. The collision was not violent, even though it caused a large gas explosion/fireball in the RV-8's engine compartment. The other pilot was unsure if the collision was hard enough that it would have injured the pilot of the RV-6. He saw the two airplanes separate and the RV-6 slowly nosed over until it was in an almost 60 degree nose down descent toward the ground. The pilot said the damage to the RV-6 was minimal and it appeared to be "flyable." He said the pilot of the RV-6 "didn't seem in control of his airplane" prior to the collision and thought he might have been incapacitated. However, he did not observe anything unusual with the pilot of the RV-6 that would have indicated a possible medical condition prior to or during the practice flight.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot of N189DK held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last FAA Third Class Medical was issued on March 4, 2010. He reported a total of 1,918 total flight hours; of which, 178 hours were in the RV-8.

The pilot of N16DD held an airline transport pilot rating for airplane single-engine and multi-engine land. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single and multi-engine airplane, and instrument airplane. His last FAA Second Class Medical was issued on November 9, 2010. At that time, he reported a total of 37,150 total flight hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather at Lone Star Executive Airport at 1153, was reported as wind from 240 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 4,900 feet, temperature 33 degrees C, dewpoint 22 degrees C, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.99 inches of HG.

WRCKAGE INFORMATION

Several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors responded to both accident sites, which were approximately .3-miles apart. According to one of the inspectors, N16DD impacted wooded terrain and a post-impact fire consumed most of the airplane. Examination of N189DK revealed that the propellers blades were scarred at the tip and exhibited red paint transfer. There were also red paint transfer marks on the lower left side of the engine cowling along with impact marks. The right elevator had been impacted from the front and below. The leading edge of the right wing exhibited impact marks, scrapes and red paint transfer about a quarter of the way down the wing from the fuselage. Both of the main landing gear was spread, and the right gear exhibited dark red paint transfers.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot of N16DD by the Montgomery County Forensic Services Department, Conroe, Texas, on August 16, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be "multiple blunt injuries sustained as a pilot of an aircraft that crashed with a subsequent fire." The thermal injuries occurred postmortem and did not cause or contribute to death. Their toxicology report indicated a positive reading (4%) for carbon monoxide.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was negative for all items tested, including carbon monoxide.

-------------

WALKER COUNTY, Texas – A pilot is dead after two planes collided over Lake Conroe in Walker County on Saturday.

Authorities said seven home-built, single engine planes were flying in formation near FM 1375 and Stubblefield Lake Road around 11:45 a.m. when two of the planes collided.

"I saw the airplanes flying in formation like they do every weekend. I heard a pop, louder than normal," said witness Lonnie Upton. "I saw one of them break out, turn around. He was losing altitude."

Authorities said one of the planes crashed into Sam Houston National Forest, starting a fire that was quickly extinguished. The pilot onboard was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the aircrafts landed in a small pond and the pilot suffered burns on one of his arms, according to officials.

Only the pilots were on the two planes that collided. The pilot who died was flying a single-engine RV-6 registered to a Montgomery resident. The other plane, an RV-8, was also registered to a Montgomery resident.

The rest of the pilots landed safely at Lone Star Executive Airport in Conroe.

Authorities said they they are mourning the loss of their colleague, whose name has not been released.

"It's very sad. This is someone who has a family," said Erik Burse with the Texas Department of Public Safety. "This is someone who's part of our community and now we no longer have them."

Source: http://www.khou.com


One person is dead after two planes collided this morning over Lake Conroe, officials said.

The crash occurred about 11:45 a.m. over the northern part of the lake near FM 1375 at Stubblefield Lake Road, according to the Department of Public Safety in Conroe.

No information was immediately available about the person who died or whether there might be more victims, a DPS communications operator said.

One plane crashed, while the other landed safely, DPS said.

The first report of the accident came to DPS at 11:44 a.m. from the Lone Star Airport tower, a dispatcher said.

One of the aircraft was a World War II-era "practice plane," according to DPS.

The wreckage is spread over portions of Walker and Montgomery counties. The body was recovered on land, authorities said.

Source: http://www.chron.com

CONROE, TX (KTRK) -- Emergency crews are searching the wreckage after a mid-air plane collision and crash in Montgomery County.

Officials said two planes collided around 11:45am over the northern part of Lake Conroe off F.M. 1375 at Stubblefield Lake Rd.

At least one of the planes appeared to have come out of Lone Star Airport.

One plane crashed. The other was able to safely land.

One body has been recovered from the wreckage, officials said. That person was burned, but officials have not said how extensive the injuries are or if anyone else was in the plane.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.

Fairchild PT-19A (M-62), N53956: Accident occurred August 13, 2011 in Madrid, Iowa

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA569
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Madrid, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD M-62, registration: N53956
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

Witnesses observed the accident airplane flying low along a river. A witness located near the accident site reported that the airplane struck power lines suspended above the river. The airplane subsequently impacted a sandbar along the river. The postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of a medication commonly prescribed for depressive illness. In addition, the pilot had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. However, it was not possible to determine the level of medication present or the extent that fatigue might have affected the pilot, if at all, during the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper decision to conduct low-level flight along a river, which resulted in a collision with power lines.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 13, 2011, about 1200 central daylight time, a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19A) airplane, N53956, was substantially damaged when it impacted power lines and terrain along the Des Moines River near Madrid, Iowa. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The World War II era military training airplane was registered to a private individual. It had been restored and was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The flight originated from Boone Municipal Airport (BNW), Boone, Iowa, about 1130. The intended destination was Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa.

The pilot flew to BNW on the morning of the accident for a fly-in event. During the event, the pilot gave rides to several attendees. The airplane was reportedly refueled prior to departure. The pilot commented that he would be returning to IKV by following the Des Moines River.

Witnesses boating on the river reported that they observed the airplane as it flew along the river. As the airplane passed their location, the wings banked apparently waving at them. The airplane was 50 to 100 feet above the river; low enough for the witnesses to notice that the airplane occupants were two men. There was no sign of distress related to the airplane.

A witness who was fishing along the shoreline of the river reported that the airplane approached his location from the north. He estimated that the airplane was initially about 500 feet above ground level (agl) and descending. The airplane subsequently struck power transmission lines suspended about 200 feet above the river. The left landing gear and the left wing contacted the static lines. The airplane nosed over approximately three times in-flight and impacted a sandbar along the river, coming to rest inverted.

The airplane impacted a sandbar along the Des Moines River, about 3 miles south-southwest of Madrid, Iowa. The site was about 13 miles south of BNW, the departure airport, and about 14 miles northwest of IKV, the intended destination airport. The airplane came to rest inverted.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine and multi-engine land airplane ratings. The single-engine rating was limited to commercial pilot privileges. The pilot held type ratings for BE-300, BE-1900, and SA-227 airplanes.

The pilot was issued a second class airman medical certificate on August 30, 2010, with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot indicated "No" to the current use of any prescription or non-prescription medication. He noted a total flight time of 6,600 hours, with 15 hours flown within the preceding 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1943 Fairchild M-62 (PT-19), serial number T42-3814. The Fairchild M-62 was a World War II era military training aircraft. It was a single engine, two place, open cockpit, monoplane design, with a conventional (tail wheel) landing gear configuration. The airplane was powered by a 170 horsepower Ranger 6-440-C2 engine. The engine was an in-line, six cylinder, air cooled design. The airplane was purchased by a private individual in December 2002, and was subsequently restored. At the time of the accident, it was being operated by the Iowa Aviation Heritage Museum.

The airplane had accumulated approximately 2,560 hours total flight time at the time of the accident. The most recent annual inspection was completed on May 15, 2011, at 2,554 hours. The engine had accumulated about 172 hours since overhaul. There were no subsequent maintenance logbook entries, nor was there any record of unresolved maintenance issues associated with the accident airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The Ames Municipal Airport (AMW) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located approximately 14 miles north east of the accident site, at 1153, recorded weather conditions as: wind from 320 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 23 knots; scattered clouds at 3,400 feet above ground level (agl); 10 miles visibility; temperature 22 degrees Celsius; dew point 16 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury.

The Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), located approximately 15 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1155, recorded weather conditions as: wind from 320 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 18 knots; broken clouds at 3,600 feet agl; 10 miles visibility; temperature 25 degrees Celsius; dew point 14 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a sandbar along the river, and came to rest inverted. A section of a static line was located adjacent to the airplane. In addition, two yellow and black spherical power line markers were lying on the sandbar in the vicinity of the accident site. Visual examination of the power transmission lines revealed that one static lines appeared to be down. The second static line and all three transmission lines appeared to be intact.

The fuselage was crushed aft to approximately the leading edge of the wings. The nose of the airplane, including the engine, was buried into the sand. The wings were partially separated from the fuselage. The leading edges of the wings were crushed aft. The fuel tanks were partially separated from the wing structure. The flaps and ailerons remained attached to both wings. The empennage was twisted relative to the fuselage. The fuselage structure immediately forward of the empennage was deformed. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were buckled and deformed consistent with an impact at the top of the structures. The rudder was partially separated from the stabilizer. The horizontal stabilizer and elevators appeared intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction of the airframe were observed.

One blade of the two blade wooden propeller was broken off at the hub. The second blade exhibited span wise cracking. Internal engine continuity was confirmed through rotation of the crankshaft. Compression was observed on all cylinders. Both magnetos rotated freely by hand. Ignition spark was obtained across all leads on the left magneto. The right magneto was not equipped with an impulse coupling. No anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction of the engine were observed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted on August 14, 2011, at the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office in Ankeny, Iowa. The pilot's death was attributed to injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology report stated:
20 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Vitreous;
No Ethanol detected in Muscle;
No Ethanol detected in Brain;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Liver;
Desmethylsertraline detected in Kidney;
Sertraline detected in Liver;
Sertraline detected in Kidney.

Sertraline, also known under the trade name Zoloft, is commonly prescribed for the symptomatic relief of depressive illness. Desmethylsertraline is the predominant metabolite of the antidepressant sertraline. Precise blood levels of the medication could not be established because a blood sample was not available for testing.

A review of available medical records revealed that the pilot had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He had been prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for the condition. However, it was not possible to determine the extent that OSA induced fatigue might have affected the pilot, if at all, during the accident flight.

The pilot's wife stated that her husband was very active and energetic. She noted that there had been several deaths in their family within a relatively short period of time, and that was the most likely reason her husband was taking Zoloft. She believed that he was on a very low dose of the medication. She had not noticed any changes in his behavior prior to the accident. She also reported that her husband had not been using the CPAP device prior to the accident and had not used it at all that summer. She also stated that his snoring was much better, and that he was not exhibiting signs of fatigue prior to the accident.

Brazoria County, Texas: Plane goes down, taking out electrical lines in its path.

Officials said this plane crashed near Angleton on Saturday 
Photo submitted by an ABC13 viewer to iWitness.abc13.com

ANGLETON, TX (KTRK) -- A small plane went down Saturday in Brazoria County, taking out some electrical lines in its path.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the incident happened around 11am Saturday on F.M. 523 at County Road 210 just outside Angleton.

Officials did not immediately have any information on injuries, but they said the plane took out some electrical lines.

It was also unclear how many customers in the area were without power after the plane went down.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for more information as it becomes available.

Mid-Air Helicopter Rescue in Germany. 20 Rescued From Cable Car. (With Video)

A helicopter has plucked to safety 20 people stranded in mid-air on a cable car in southern Germany after a paraglider collided with the cables.

The 19 passengers and conductor were brought to safety after spending 18 hours suspended 80m (260ft) above the ground at Mt Tegelberg in Bavaria.

Rescuers supplied food and blankets, and toys for six children aboard, while waiting for strong winds to die down.

They also freed the paraglider and his tandem passenger.

The head of the cable car operator, Tegelbergbahn, said he was shocked the paraglider had apparently tried to cross the cables.

Pilots knew they were only allowed to fly parallel to them, Franz Bucher said, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

It was not immediately clear if the pilot would face charges

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