Friday, October 21, 2011

Experimental aircraft: Smoke in cockpit, crashed near Hibbing, Saint Louis County - Minnesota

A small plane crashed near Hibbing Friday afternoon after smoke filled the cockpit, forcing an emergency landing.

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department, two people were aboard an experimental aircraft on a pleasure cruise when smoke starting filling the plane.

The pilot attempted to land in a field about 600 feet above ground. Sgt. Pat McKenzie with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Dept. said barbed wire in the field flipped the plane when it landed, but that didn't contribute to minor injuries suffered by the passenger.

The passenger apparently fell to the floor, upside down, after unbuckling his seatbelt. The pilot was not injured.

The crash happened about 10 miles east of Hibbing on Highway 37. A possible oil line could be to blame. The Federal Aviation Association will be investigating the crash on Saturday.

Original article: http://www.wdio.com

Minnesota: Mesaba Airlines to close its Eagan headquarters, cut 193 jobs

The regional airline, now owned by Pinnacle, will eliminate nearly 200 Minnesota jobs as it moves to Memphis.

Despite promises to the contrary, Mesaba Airlines will permanently close its Eagan headquarters Dec. 26 at the behest of owner Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines. Both airlines are regional carriers for Delta Air Lines.

In the process, Pinnacle will cut 193 Mesaba jobs in Eagan, out of a total of about 800 Mesaba jobs in Minnesota. The closing of Mesaba headquarters and the number of workers affected was disclosed in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter to the mayor of Eagan dated Oct. 14.

It remains unclear whether some of those employees will get other jobs with Pinnacle in Memphis, Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams said Friday. That will be resolved by the end of the year, he said.

"There is no impact on air service or passengers," Williams said.

Pinnacle flatly declared that Mesaba's headquarters would remain in Eagan under its own management in a July 2010 statement. But on Friday, Williams said that closing the headquarters "was the plan from the beginning. The headquarters would be in Eagan, but not indefinitely."

The headquarters closure follows the appointment earlier this month of Mesaba operating chief John Spanjers, based in Eagan, to be the next Pinnacle chief operating officer, based in Memphis.

Founded in 1944, Mesaba is the longest-flying regional airline in the United States. Delta Air Lines sold it to Pinnacle Airlines for $62 million last year.

While Pinnacle will keep alive the Mesaba corporate name, Mesaba will henceforth be headquartered in Memphis.

Remaining in the Twin Cities will be the Mesaba training facility in Eagan, and the Mesaba pilot group and maintenance organization at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Williams said.

The shutdown of Mesaba headquarters in Eagan comes at a time when all domestic airlines are cutting expenses and coping with higher fuel prices and an uncertain economy. Airlines are scheduling fewer flights and squeezing more passengers onto the remaining flights.

Williams said the closure of the headquarters is unrelated to those trends because, as a regional airline operating as a subcontractor for Delta, Pinnacle doesn't decide the number of flights that will be scheduled.

http://www.startribune.com

Fighter jet sent to rouse drunk Norwegian captain

A drunken Norwegian freighter captain steering his 70-metre-long vessel on autopilot had to be awoken from semi-consciousness by a Danish F-16 fighter-bomber after a helicopter sent from Denmark failed to get him to alter course.

The Danish coastguard, or Sjøvaernet, then urged police to board the vessel and steer it off a course the Norwegian captain had failed to alter for six hours. The long straight line on their radar screens tipped the Danes off that something was amiss.

The ship, the MS Ranfafjord i Kattegat had to be “buzzed” by the jet because its snoozing captain’s blood-alcohol level was over 20-times the legal limit. He was arrested on the bridge for suspicion of sailing while under the influence.

“He tried to blame the navigator, but the log book showed the navigator had gone off watch and the captain had taken over,” Nord-Jylland policeman Per Holst told newspaper Nord-Jyske.

The ship was piloted for the crew to Aalborg in Denmark.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N6085W: Accident occurred October 16, 2011 in Guthrie, Oklahoma

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA021 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Guthrie, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N6085W
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 was fueled to capacity and flew for 3 hours and 15 minutes to its destination, where it was not refueled. Two days later, the airplane flew for 3 additional hours. During that flight, a passenger said that he heard the pilot say that they were low on fuel. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power and the airplane collided with power lines and impacted a storage shed in a residential area. The airplane was equipped with two 25-gallon fuel tanks (50 gallons total, of which 48 gallons were useable). The airplane had been aloft for about 6 hours, 13 minutes. Depending on the power setting, the airplane would have burned between 38 and 52 gallons for the two flights.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:The pilot’s inadequate fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 16, 2011, at 1538 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N6085W, collided with power lines and impacted a storage shed in a residential area of Guthrie, Oklahoma, following a total loss of engine power. The pilot was fatally injured. One passenger sustained serious injuries, and another passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flight plan had been filed by the pilot while en route. The flight originated from Gaston’s Resort (K3M0), Lakeview, Arkansas, approximately 1230, and was en route to Guthrie (KGOK).

On Friday, October 14, the pilot fueled the airplane to maximum fuel capacity and flew from KGOK to Norman (KOUN), Oklahoma, a straight-line distance of about 44 miles. The pilot's son and grandson boarded the airplane. They departed KOUN approximately 1245, and flew to K3MO, a fishing resort, arriving there about 1500. The pilot's other son drove to K3MO, and they stayed at the resort for two days.

Because there was no fuel at K3MO, the airplane was not serviced. On the day of the accident, the brothers switched -- one flying and the other driving back to KGOK. The airplane departed K3MO about 1230 and did not land at any airport to refuel. The 11-year-old passenger, who was in the back seat, said the flight was pleasant until they were about 2 or 3 miles from KGOK and he heard his grandfather say they were low on fuel. The grandson fell asleep and was awakened by the crash.


PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION

The 62-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He also held a third class airman medical certificate, dated November 1, 2010, with the limitation, "Holder shall possess glasses for near and intermediate vision." His last flight review was dated March 21, 2011.

The pilot had three logbooks: the first logbook contained entries from June 25, 1985 to August 30, 1989; the second logbook contained entries from September 23, 1989 to July 4, 2010, and the third logbook contained entries from July 18, 2010, to October 1, 2011 The third logbook indicated the pilot had accrued the following flight times (in hours):

Total time, 883.8
Pilot-in-command, 835.0
Instruction received, 54.5
Day, 822.6
Night, 61.2
Cross-country, 822.6
Simulated instruments, 6.2
Piper PA-28-140, 185.7


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N6085W, a model PA-28-140 (serial number 28-20099), was manufactured by the Piper Aircraft Corporation in 1964. It was powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2A engine (serial number L-14053-27), rated at 150 horsepower, driving a Sensenich 2-blade, all-metal, fixed-pitch propeller (model number 74DM6-0-60).

According to the airplane maintenance records, the last annual and 100-hour inspections were performed on April 2, 2011, at a total time of 3,505.14 hours. At that time, the engine had accrued 1,708.7 hours since major overhaul. At the accident site, the tachometer read 3,553.1 hours.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The following weather observations were recorded by Guthrie Municipal Airport’s (KGOK) AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System)) at 1453 and 1553, respectively:

Wind, 280 degrees at 10 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 32 degrees C.; dew point 11 degrees C; altimeter, 29.90 inches of Mercury.

Wind, 250 degrees at 8 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, clear; temperature 32 degrees C.; dew point, 11 degrees C.; altimeter, 29.89 inches of Mercury.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was found resting against a storage shed in a nose-down, right wing low attitude. The right wing fuel tank was compromised; the left wing fuel tank was empty. The fuel selector was on the left tank, and the electric boost pump was on. The mixture control was rich, and the throttle was midrange and bent. The master and magneto switches were on.

The following is a partial list of observed switch and control positions and instrument settings:

Flaps – Up
Trim – Full nose down
Tachometer – 100 rpm
- 3,553.1
Hobbs meter – 792.1
Clock – 3:38:29 (stopped)Airspeed - 0
Heading indicator – 150 degrees
Altimeter – 3,600 feet
Artificial Horizon – 25 degree left bank
Turn Coordinator – 2x right standard rate turn
Kollsman window – 30.30 in. Hg.
Comm #1 – Digital
Nav #1 - Digital
#1 OBS – 278 degrees
Comm #2 – Between 122.5 and 122.7 MHz (on)
Nav #2 – 114.5 MHz
#2 OBS – 251 degrees


MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy on the pilot (#1104209) was performed by Oklahoma’s Office of the Chief Medical Investigator. Death was attributed to “multiple blunt force injuries.”

Toxicology protocols were conducted by both the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute and Oklahoma’s Office of the Chief Medical Investigator. Both reports showed negative results for ethyl alcohol, carbon monoxide, cyanide, and drugs.


TESTS AND RESEARCH

The airplane was equipped with two 25-gallon fuel tanks (50 gallons total, of which 48 gallons were useable). Based on the pilot’s son’s report, the airplane had been aloft for approximately 6 hours, 13 minutes. According to the Piper PA-28-140 “Pilot Operating Manual,” fuel consumption would be 8.4 gallons per hour (gph), 7.3 gph, and 6.2 gph at 75, 65, and 55 per cent power, respectively, and total fuel consumption would have been 52, 45, and 38 gallons, respectively.

A Bendix/King AV80R GPS (Global Positioning System) was recovered at the accident site and sent to NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination. According to the engineer’s report, the device did not contain a memory card.


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Guthrie, OK
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6085W
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On October 16, 2011, at 1538 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N6085W, collided with power lines, and impacted a storage shed in a residential area of Guthrie, Oklahoma. The pilot was fatally injured. One passenger sustained serious injuries, and another passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR (visual flight rules) flight plan was air-filed. The flight originated from Gastons (3M0), Lakeview, Arkansas, approximately 1230.

The 11-year-old passenger, who was found in the back seat, reportedly told first responders that his grandfather (the pilot) had "run out of gas." The on-scene investigation revealed a compromised right fuel tank. The left fuel tank was empty. The fuel selector was on the left tank and the boost pump was on.



Guthrie EMS and Logan County officials were called out to Highway 105 and Bogey Drive shortly after 3:30 p.m. when Lahonda Ball called 911 after stepping outside to see that a plane, a single-engine, four-seat Piper PA28, had crashed on Jerry and Lahonda Ball’s shed.

No one on the ground was injured.

Three people were on board, including an 11-year-old boy. Paramedics were able to get the child out first and at the time believed had only suffered a cut above his right eye. He was later released around mindnight.

The next to be pulled from the plane was a male, Darrell Stewart Smittle, 41, who was said to have suffered broken legs. He was medi-flighted to OU Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. The third member of the plane, Darrell Allen  Smittle, 62, was pronounced dead on the scene. The child told Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers he was with his uncle (passenger) and grandfather (pilot).

The plane was registered to the elder Smittle, an Edmond resident.

The 11-year-old boy, Joshua Smittle, also told troopers they were returning from a fishing trip in Arkansas and before the crash his grandfather said they were needing to get some gas.

Jerry Ball and other witnesses told Guthrie News Page that never did hear an engine sound, but only saw a shadow before hearing what they thought was a (electrical) transformer blowing. The plane appeared to be traveling north to south, but after the crash the plane faced north.

Jerry, along with neighbors and friends, tried to get to the three passengers. Paramedics were forced to cut the plane to get to the three members of the plane.

Power lines and a power pole were hit before the plane came down to the ground. OG&E was quickly called out to the scene for the fallen lines  as several customers went without power. Power was restored early Monday morning.

The National Transportation Safey Board investigators were notified and were en route to the scene to determine what had gone wrong.
=======

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- A preliminary report on a plane crash at Guthrie that killed the pilot and injured two passengers says the plane's fuel tank was empty.   The report by the National Transportation Safety Board says the plane's right fuel tank was not operable and the left tank was empty. 

The report says the aircraft's fuel selector was set on the empty left tank.


The crash Sunday afternoon in a residential area of Guthrie killed 62-year-old pilot Darrell Allen Smittle of Edmond and injured 41-year-old Darrell Stewart Smittle of Edmond and 11-year-old Joshua Smittle of Norman.

Joshua Smittle told state troopers at the scene that Darrell Allen Smittle was his grandfather and had said the plane had run out gas.

Spinning 20 times in a DA20

by Prozaccow on Oct 20, 2011

"From 10,000 feet to 5,000 feet we spin the Katana... 20 rotations!"


Florida: Airdyne Aerospace seeks incentives from state, Hernando County

BROOKSVILLE — A company that designs and builds airplane components at the Hernando County Airport is ready to expand its operation and is seeking financial incentives from the state and the county.

Airdyne Aerospace Inc. began leasing a 6,000-square-foot hangar at the airport in October 2009, using the space for research and development and storage of components for C-130 transport planes. Now the company wants to move to a larger manufacturing space at the airport and begin building the components it has designed.

County commissioners on Tuesday will consider approving the project for incentives — including one for the creation of jobs — since Airdyne plans to add at least 17 high-skill, high-wage jobs in the first two years of operation. Currently, Airdyne has fewer than 10 employees.

The average wage for the new jobs is estimated to be $57,762, which is twice Hernando County's average wage.

The commission will also be asked to consider whether Airdyne's expansion is eligible for a combined state and local incentive for "qualified targeted industries.'' The county pays a 20 percent match, with the state paying the remainder, for that incentive.

If the commission approves, the county will pay a total of $74,800 in incentives over the next five years.

The company is still awaiting approval for the state incentives, according to Michael McHugh, the county's business development manager.

Airdyne, which is only about 5 years old, is headquartered in California.

Hangar space, research and development offices, and manufacturing facilities include the Hernando operation, a Canada-based division and several other field offices across the United States.

Just this week, the company demonstrated one of its products on a C-130 that was flown to the Hernando airport. It was a special door to replace the original door on the plane.

Instead of a solid door, Airdyne engineered and built one with a special bubble window that would provide more visibility to those inside.

Whether that visibility is needed for a search-and-rescue mission or for a military application, it was a good example of what Airdyne does, McHugh said.

"In essence, their products can be installed or retrofitted into existing aircraft, making them safer or more capable instead of buying another airplane,'' McHugh said.

The products include a mounting arm that could provide a platform for radar or sensors, like a sensor attached to a plane flying a mission to Antarctica. The sensor will allow the pilot to determine the crevices in snow fields to figure out where to land safely.

Other equipment allows upgrades to fueling or firefighting functions, McHugh said.

The new manufacturing building has features that Airdyne will need as it expands its operation, including easy access for supply trucks and a top-flight security system since some of their products are designed for military use, he said.

The building is also close to the airport's runways so that customers can fly into the airport and have their retrofitting completed or see demonstrations of how equipment works.

"I think this has got high potential,'' McHugh said.

Expanding at the airport was an easy choice, said Mike Hillestad, vice president for sales and marketing for Airdyne.

"It's a very hospitable area,'' he said, praising McHugh, the county airport staff and members of the aviation authority for their willingness to work with the company to make the expansion happen. State and local incentives were also attractive.

In addition, many of the materials that the company needs for its operation are located in and around the airport, and Airdyne intends to shop locally, Hillestad said.

Plus, he said, being in Central Florida, there are plenty of out-of-work engineers who used to work at Cape Canaveral who might be available to fill the new positions.

"We can't afford not to be there,'' he said.

http://www.tampabay.com

New Jersey: Egg Harbor Township war veteran saw the world from the skies

In the 1920s and '30s, tiny Hobucken, N.C., didn't get many airplanes flying over. So when Harry James Williamson was growing up there, just west of the Outer Banks, he had a wish every time he saw a plane go by.

Williamson, who died last month at 88, told his kids that as a boy, he always hoped he could get a ride in an airplane someday. He never dreamed he could fly the plane himself.

But when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Williamson - or Red to friends, thanks to his hair - enlisted in the Navy at 18. After two years of training, the country boy had his pilot's wings.

Lt. Williamson's specialty was the PBM Mariner, a giant seaplane with a crew of 13. He flew all over the South Pacific in World War II to "patrol ... for enemy ships, offer air support (to) ground troops under fire, and rescue men from ships" damaged by attacks, he recalled years later.

After the war, he headed back to the Atlantic coast to live with an older brother in Brooklyn. By the early '50s. Red was in a glamour job - a Pan Am pilot - when a friend set him up to meet a cute nursing student named Jill Wilday. Six weeks later, they were married, so she could move with him to a new job in Peru.

They headed back home to New York after two years. Jill was a nurse and a mother - the family grew to include a girl and three boys - and Red wanted to get away from the city. They moved to South Jersey, but when his airline cut back on pilots, Red was out of a job.

He started working for newspapers, but ended up as an Atlantic County public works supervisor. The family settled in Egg Harbor Township, but Red's days in the air were not over.

He and Jill traveled the world. Their favorite spot of all was Ireland, which Red first flew into one day as a pilot.

His daughter, Robin McBrearty, 55, of Egg Harbor Township, says he went to Ireland at least 100 times - "He just fell in love with it."

Kendal Cobb, of Pleasantville, the oldest of Red's eight grandchildren, heard lots of his Ireland memories.

"He had that bright-red hair, so they all thought he was Irish," Cobb says. "He wasn't, but they took him in anyway."

Red always liked telling travel tales. But, his family says, he basically never told them anything about the war - almost until this year, after his beloved Jill died in April.

In June 2011, Red sat down and dictated two pages called "Remembering World War II" to McBrearty. It was three months before he died - and 66 years after the war ended.

She asked him why he waited so long, why he never talked about the war before.

"He said everyone who went through World War II had stories," this vet's proud daughter says. "But no one wanted to hear them anymore."

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Middle Tennessee State University: Hail Damages Flight Program Planes





MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Several airplanes belonging to MTSU were pounded with golf ball-size hail and have been grounded until they are cleared for flight.

Wayne Dornan, who chairs the Middle Tennessee State University Department of Aerospace, told The Daily News Journal that flight controllers at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport were monitoring the weather Tuesday and saw an approaching hailstorm.

They ordered the student pilots to land ahead of a hailstorm. No one was injured, but the school was left with only three planes in their training fleet. The 27 others were grounded indefinitely.

"Three is better than none," said Wayne Dornan, Chair of the Aerospace Department.

Dornan said they were still trying to assess the damage done to about 90 percent of university's fleet.

"I don't even want to think about how much this could cost," he said Friday.

The storm dumped golf ball sized hail. As the storm started approaching the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport, flight dispatchers used a new system, installed just three weeks ago, to get a handful of planes in the air to land in time.

The radar-like system was so new it was still in the testing phase. Dornan said before Tuesday's storm they had not even decided if they were going to purchase it, but now it could be a "done deal."

Had a storm with that type of hail and intensity popped-up just a month ago before they began testing the new system, Dornan said it could have killed everyone in the sky.

"A plane like this cannot fly that kind of a storm," he said, pointing to one of the school's Diamond aircraft.

The pilots made it on the ground minutes before the storm hit. A move, Dornan said, saved lives.

"It could have done some serious, serious damage and I don't particularly see a plane being able to make it through a hail storm of that intensity," he said.

The damage left behind was no bigger than your fingertip, but still university instructors were not taking any chances.

"If it was a car I don't think I would hesitate or worry about driving it anywhere, but this is an airplane and we don't know what this has done to the structural integrity of the wing," said Dornan.

Surprisingly, the damage was not the problem keeping instructors up at night. It was what could happen to flight students, like Alex McCloud, who have to earn precious flight hours.

"I think it's kind of natural to be a little nervous, but I think most of us are pretty confident that everything is going to be taken care of," said McCloud.

MTSU was hosting a handful of other universities for a regional flying competition. Planes from about five universities were at the airport when the storm hit.

MTSU has grounded its planes until manufacturers inspect them and make certain they are safe to fly.

Experts planned to check each plane before the university figures out if it needs to lease or borrow temporary ones until its entire fleet is fixed

http://www.newschannel5.com

Dreamliner’s Composite Repairs Questioned

Boeing Company's new 787 Dreamliner, set to fly its first paying passengers next week, faces four “safety-related concerns” about repairs to the composites used for the fuselage and wings, a U.S. agency said.

A review of the Dreamliner, the first airliner built with mostly carbon-fiber reinforced composite plastics, was released yesterday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The GAO identified four concerns: limited information on the behavior of airplane composite structures; technical issues with the unique properties of the materials; the standardization of repair materials and techniques; and training and awareness.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certified the plane in August following 20 months of flight tests, after requiring the planemaker to take extra steps to demonstrate it meets safety standards. The GAO was asked by three Congress members to review the aviation agency’s certification process and planned oversight once the model enters service, and consulted experts on repair and maintenance issues.

“None of the experts believed these concerns posed extraordinary safety risks or were insurmountable,” the GAO said in its report. The FAA is taking action to address the matters, the report said, and “until these composite airplanes enter service, it is unclear if these actions will be sufficient.”

The 250-seat Dreamliner uses lighter-weight plastics and more electricity to let it fly farther with less fuel. That allows airlines to open new long-haul routes that wouldn’t warrant service with jumbo jets.

Tokyo to Hong Kong

The 787 is scheduled to fly passengers from Tokyo to Hong Kong on Oct. 26 for its initial customer, All Nippon Airways. The Japanese carrier took delivery of the first plane last month, more than three years late, after Boeing struggled with the new materials and manufacturing processes.

“Regardless of the materials we use, Boeing employs the same rigorous methods to deliver products that are safe for the flying public and efficient for airlines,” said Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman in Seattle. “Composite materials have been used in commercial airplanes for decades.

‘‘The concerns in the GAO report are limited to support activities,’’ which already are being addressed through an industrywide effort involving regulators, manufacturers, operators and maintenance and repair organizations, Birtel said.

‘Game-Changer’

Boeing has called the plane a ‘‘game-changer’’ because of its lighter-weight plastics, new engines and an all-electric system. The new technologies also promise a better experience for passengers, the Chicago-based planemaker says.

Boeing has used composites for other airliners before, including the 777, though never for the whole fuselage and wings as is done with the 787.

‘‘The FAA conducts a rigorous certification process for every new airplane that ensures it meets the highest levels of safety, and the FAA has certified commercial aircraft that use composite materials for decades,’’ the agency said in a statement. ‘‘In addition to the extensive certification requirements, the FAA’s robust safety oversight system is designed to detect and correct any issues that may emerge during actual flight.’’

The GAO’s review was requested by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Representative Donna Edwards of Maryland and Representative Jerry Costello of Illinois, all Democrats.

http://www.bloomberg.com

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers: Award offered for MedFlight shooting information

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible for shooting at a MedFlight helicopter flying north of London about noon on Thursday, Aug. 4.

A reward poster said the medical helicopter was airborne at about 1,000 feet when a bullet struck the skin of the aircraft. However, it did not penetrate into the cabin and no crew members were harmed.

The helicopter was able to continue with its flight and arrived at its destination in Fayette County without further incident.

Lt. Eric Semler of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting remains under investigation by both local authorities and the FBI. It is a federal crime to shoot at or damage an aircraft, punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison.

Semler encouraged anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious during the time the helicopter flew near London to call the sheriff’s office at (740) 852-1212 or contact Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-TIPS (8477) or 1-877-645-8477.

Central Ohio Crime Stoppers does not use caller ID or record telephone conversations. A special coding system protects the identity of the caller.

http://www.madison-press.com

Republic of Singapore Air Force: Tunnel crawl game may have caused enlarged liver to rupture

Second Warrant Officer (2WO) Poh Eng Ann collapsed at Paya Lebar Airbase on Apr 24, 2009, and was pronounced dead the same day.
-- PHOTO: THE POH FAMILY

A 'tunnel crawl' of an F-5 aircraft by a senior technician with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), who took part in the game, may have caused his pre-existing enlarged liver to rupture, said a coroner on Friday.

State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid was giving his findings on the death of Second Warrant Officer (2WO) Poh Eng Ann at Changi General Hospital on April 24, 2009, after he collapsed at Paya Lebar Airbase.

The 36-year-old regular had an undiagnosed liver condition due to hepatitis. His liver was one-and-a-half times larger than normal, soft and more susceptible to rupture as a result of any trauma, like a knock or compression of his right chest or upper abdomen, the court heard.

A higher board of inquiry (HBOI) convened by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in April that year had concluded that none of the day's activities that 2WO Poh took part in during a 'welcome ceremony' - a regular, informal annual event for newly posted or newly promoted servicemen - could have led to the rupture.

http://www.straitstimes.com
SINGAPORE: The crawl through an F-5 aircraft's narrow engine may have caused a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) regular's pre-existing condition of an enlarged liver to rupture and killed him, a coroner said on Friday.

State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid was giving his findings on the death of Second Warrant Officer (2WO) Poh Eng Ann on April 24, 2009, after the 36-year-old took part in games organised for newly-posted or newly-promoted servicemen.

One of the games, called the "tunnel crawl", involved crawling through the 5.2m-long engine of the jet, which measured 48cm by 30cm.

Although 2WO Poh, who was 1.74m tall and weighed 84kg, completed the non-compulsory, non-competitive activity without any apparent difficulty, he had an undiagnosed liver condition because of hepatitis, the court heard.

His liver, which was one-and-a-half times larger than normal, was soft and more susceptible to rupture as a result of any trauma, like a knock or compression to his right chest or upper abdomen, according to a forensic pathologist.

2WO Poh did not complain of any discomfort before or immediately after the crawl but, after more than an hour, he was seen foaming and could not be resuscitated.

A Higher Board of Inquiry (HBOI) convened by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) after the fatality had earlier concluded that none of the day's activities could have led to the rupture.

But after the court asked MINDEF to clarify, in light of the pathologist's opinion, if it completely excluded the link between the rupture and the "tunnel crawl", the HBOI was reconvened and on Friday concluded that it could not rule out the possibility.

After the hearing, 2WO Poh's widow, Ms Eileen Chuan Li Eng, was visibly shaken.

She muttered: "I'm in a state of ... I don't know ..." before she broke down and hugged her family.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com

PA-46R-350T Malibu Matrix, Valley Mortgage Services Inc., N422HP: Accident occurred October 21, 2011 in Paso Robles, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N422HP


NTSB Identification: WPR12LA015
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 21, 2011 in Paso Robles, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA46R, registration: N422HP
Injuries: 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 pilot reported that when he was established inbound on the second instrument approach, after missing the first one, the engine began to make a sound similar to fuel starvation. The pilot checked to ensure that the mixture was at full rich and turned on the fuel pump, but there was no change in the sound of the engine. He then switched fuel tanks, but there was still no change, and the airplane was losing altitude. The pilot stated that he had the throttle at full forward but that the engine was not making full power. He subsequently made a forced landing to an open field.

During the postaccident examination, downloaded data from the airplane’s multi-function display (MFD) revealed that when he began the missed approach at 04:01:00, the pilot did not return the engine mixture to a full rich condition; the climb back to 6,000 feet was performed at a setting less than full rich. The data indicated that at 04:06:00, the engine was making full power; however, the fuel flow was at a very lean setting. The data further indicated that the cylinder head temperature (CHT) and the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT) were elevated. One of these two elevated temperatures likely tripped a red annunciator on the panel, prompting the pilot to go to the full rich condition at 04:06:30. When the pilot was leveling off, the CHTs started a steady drop along with the oil temperature. The TIT immediately dropped to a more normal value when the pilot advanced the mixture to full rich. At 04:09:30, the manifold pressure dropped, which indicated that the pilot closed the throttle. At 04:10:15, the data revealed that the airplane began a relatively normal descent, and that the MAP continued to decrease in steps. About 2 minutes later, or about 1 minute 45 seconds prior to the end of the data, the descent rate increased to about 1,800 feet per minute and remained there until the end of the data. At this time the MAP indicated that the throttle was closed or nearly closed. Data for MAP and TIT are consistent with the engine running with the throttle closed, or nearly closed, throughout the final descent until the data ended at 04:14:06. Accordingly, the MFD data did not reveal any evidence of a powerplant-related failure.

Postaccident testing and examination of fuel samples revealed that two out-of-range results were noted, consistent with aged fuel. The postaccident examination also revealed that spark plug coloration was indicative of an even distribution of fuel to each cylinder and that there was no indication during the examination of a clogged fuel nozzle. Additionally, MFD data did not support the presence of a plugged fuel nozzle during the accident flight. Therefore, the investigation could not definitively determine if the condition of the fuel was contributory to the partial loss of power.

During the postaccident examination, the engine was run successfully and no mechanical anomalies or failures were noted that would have precluded normal operation; the loss of engine power could not be duplicated.

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


A loss of engine power while maneuvering for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 21, 2011, about 0415 Pacific daylight time (PDT), N422HP, a Piper PA-46R-350T airplane, sustained substantial damage as a result of a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Paso Robles Municipal Airport (PRB), Paso Robles, California. The pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, suffered minor injuries. The airplane is registered to Central Valley Mortgage Services of Porterville, California. The cross-country business flight was being operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and activated. The flight departed the Porterville Municipal Airport (PTV), Porterville, California about 0300, with PRB as its destination.

In a written report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that after missing the first instrument approach he was cleared by air traffic approach control for a second approach. The pilot stated that when he was on course [inbound] the engine began to make a sound similar to that of fuel starvation. The pilot further stated that he made sure that the fuel mixture was “full rich” and turned on the fuel pump, but there was no change in the sound coming from the engine. The pilot reported that he then changed fuel tanks but there was still no change in the engine sound, and as he was losing altitude fast he needed to set up for a glassy water [type] landing due to the fog, the dark night condition, and the hilly terrain. The pilot stated that he now had the throttle full forward, and while the engine was running it was not making full power. The airplane subsequently impacted an open field in the landing configuration, coming to rest in an upright position.

An onsite postaccident examination performed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector revealed that the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. It was also revealed that both main landing gear and the flaps were extended and that the nose landing gear was bent aft from the extended position. There was no observable damage to the empennage. The airplane was recovered to a secured location for further examination.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 65, held an airline transport pilot certificate. He possessed ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, airplane multiengine land and sea, and instrument airplane. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane. The pilot reported a total time of 32,476.7 total hours of flight time, 23,061.7 hours in single-engine airplanes, and 9,415 hour in multiengine airplanes. The pilot reported 243.9 hours flown in the past 90 days, 109 hours in the last 30 days, and 4.1 hours in the last 24 hours. The pilot reported 420 hours in the make and model as the accident airplane, with 75.3 hours as an instructor in make and model. His most recent flight review was conducted on September 21, 2010. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on July 29, 2011, with the restriction that he “must have glasses available for near vision.”

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 2009 fixed wing single-engine airplane, serial number 4692122, received a FAA airworthiness certificate on May 29, 2009. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming TIO-540-AE2A , turbocharged, fuel injected, reciprocating engine, serial number L-13354-61A, and was rated at 350 horsepower. The engine was equipped with a composite three-blade Hartzell constant speed propeller.

A review of aircraft maintenance records indicated that the most recent annual inspection was performed on May 4, 2011, at a total aircraft time of 281.1 hours. A review of the engine logbooks revealed that a left magneto, part number 6363, serial number 09020514, was removed and reinstalled after repairs had been completed by Ly-Con Rebuilding Co. of Visalia, California, on October 18, 2011, at a total aircraft time of 336.6 hours.

The airplane was equipped with an Avidyne Flightmax Entegra EX5000 R8.1 Multi-function Display unit (MFD). The engine page provides the pilot with engine parameters depicted on simulated gauges and electrical system parameters located in dedicated regions within the MFD display.

The most recent fueling of the airplane was recorded to have taken place at the Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, on October 7, 2011, two weeks prior to the accident. At that time the airplane was topped off with 69.4 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. The only flight reported to have taken place during the two week period preceding the accident flight was the reposition flight from Visalia to Porterville, a distance of about 23 nautical miles.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0403, the PRB weather reporting facility located about 3 nautical miles (nm) south of the accident site reported wind 310 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 1 ¾ miles, mist, overcast clouds at 200 feet mean sea level (msl), temperature 12 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

At 0414, the PRB weather reporting facility indicated wind 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 2 ½ miles, mist, overcast clouds at 200 feet msl, temperature 12 degrees C, dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest upright in an open field surrounded by gentle rolling terrain about 3.07 nm north and slightly west of the extended centerline of runway 19 at PRB. The measured geographical coordinates at the accident site were 35 degrees 43.862 minutes north latitude and 120 degrees 36.905 minutes west longitude, and the elevation was measured at 927 feet msl.

An examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed that both wings had sustained substantial damage, all three propeller blades were damaged, and that the flaps and landing gear were configured in the extended position. The airplane’s cabin section and aft fuselage, inclusive of the empennage, were intact and appeared undamaged.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

On November 9th and 10th, 2011, under the supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board IIC, representatives from the FAA, Lycoming Engines and Piper Aircraft, Inc. examined the airplane at the facilities of Plain Parts, located in Pleasant Grove, California.

Multi-Function Display (MFD) examination

During the examination the airplane’s Avidyne Multi-Function Display (MFD) yielded a CF memory card, which provides GPS position, time and track data, as well as information from the airplane concerning altitude, engine and electrical system parameters, and outside air temperature. Under the supervision of the IIC, the MFD memory card was downloaded on site using a portable laptop computer. This data was then sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, D.C., who processed the recorded flight data. (Refer to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder’s Specialist’s Factual Report, which is located in the docket.)

The downloaded MFD data resulted in 3 plots and corresponding tabular data being generated, which were then provided in graphical format to the IIC. The plots covered a time period from 03:15:00 to 04:15:00 (PDT), which is the entire flight. The last recorded data point occurred at 04:14:06. Plot one contains basic engine parameters, including engine speed, oil pressure, oil temperature, and cylinder temperatures. Plot two contains fuel system and gear weight on wheels information. Plot three contains electrical system parameters.

A review and analysis of the Avidyne MFD data was conducted by a Lycoming Electronic Engine Controls Lead Engineer and a Piper Aircraft Powerplant and Mechanical Systems Engineer. This information was subsequently reviewed by an NTSB powerplant engineer, who concurred with both assessments. Their reviews revealed the following:

Lycoming Engines engineer’s review: (all times referred to are Pacific daylight time)

When the pilot did his missed approach procedure at 04:01, he did not return the engine to a full rich condition. The pilot’s climb back to about 6,000 feet pressure altitude was performed at something less than full rich.

At 04:06, the [engine] was making full power with about 42 in-Hg manifold pressure and 2,500 RPM. However, he was running a fuel flow which put him in the 0.43 Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) range (so he was not at 350 horsepower). This is very lean, and his cylinder head temperature (CHT) peaked around 450 degrees Fahrenheit (F), while the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT) was running [between] 1,700 to 1,800 degrees F for about 5 minutes. One of these two elevated temperatures likely tripped a red annunciator on the panel, prompting the pilot to go to the full rich condition at 04:06:30.

Once at full rich, the pilot was leveling off, so we see the CHTs started a steady drop, along with oil temperature. The TIT did an immediate drop to a more normal 1,400 degrees F when the pilot went to full rich.

At 04:09:30, the manifold pressure makes a nice drop to about 18 in-Hg, which is below the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard atmospheric pressure for 6,000 feet, which makes us think that he closed the throttle. As he descends, the manifold pressure should decrease, but it does not, suggesting the throttle was not opened.

If there was an un-commanded loss of power, say from both turbo[chargers] dying, I would expect the engine to perform as a normally aspirated engine, which should have been sufficient to land the aircraft. Seems he closed the throttle.

Piper Aircraft engineer’s review: (all times referred to are Pacific daylight time)

In summary, it appears the data ends during a second approach attempt. At 04:09:30, there was a large drop in MAP consistent with closing of the throttle to a low power setting. At 04:10:15, the aircraft begins a relatively normal descent at a rate consistent with the previous attempt. The MAP continues to decrease in discreet steps. About 2 minutes later (1:45 prior to the end of the data), the descent rate increases to roughly 1,800 [feet per minute] and remains there until the end of the data. MAP is very low (about 5-6 in Hg) at the end of the data, indicating the throttle is closed or nearly closed.

Data traces for MAP and TIT are consistent with the engine running with the throttle closed, or nearly closed, throughout the final descent until the data ends at 04:14:06, and 1909 feet pressure altitude.

Discrete steps in the MAP are consistent with deliberate reductions in throttle position during the final descent, but that is speculative without throttle position data.

There's no obvious evidence in the data that points to a powerplant related failure.

The data supports Lycoming Engines comments that the pilot failed to enrich the mixture prior to the climbout at 04:02 to 04:06, as maximum recorded TIT was 1768 F (18 F over the limit). TIT hovered between 1750 F and 1755 F for about 2 minutes and only exceeded 1755 F for about 30 seconds when it peaked at 1768 F. At 04:06:36, he quickly enriched the mixture which immediately reduced TIT; possibly in response to a redline alarm. Maximum recorded cylinder head temperature was 464 F on number 5; well below the redline limit of 500 F. Fuel quantity shows sufficient fuel in each tank and engine fuel flow is indicated throughout the flight.

Engine examination

An examination of the engine revealed that the fuel injection servo remained undamaged and securely attached at the mounting flange. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached and continuity to the cockpit was established. The plug on the side of the injector body was secure with the safety wire in place. The fuel injection servo and induction system were examined and observed to be free of obstruction.

All engine compartment fuel lines were found to be in place and tight at their respective components.

The fuel flow divider remained secure at the mounting bracket situated at the top of the engine. The fuel lines remained secure at each flow divider fitting. The fuel injection nozzles remained secure at each cylinder with the respective fuel line attached.

The fuel pump was attached to the engine at the mounting pad. The fuel lines remained secure at their respective fittings. The fuel pump was not removed for examination.

The airframe fuel selector/gascolator fuel filter screen was found properly installed and free of contamination.

The engine fuel system components performed within manufactures specifications during the engine operational check. During the operational check there was no indication of a plugged fuel nozzle. Further, the downloaded Avidyne data did not support the presence of a plugged fuel nozzle during the accident flight.

The spark plugs were secure at each position with their respective spark plug lead attached. The top spark plugs were removed, examined and photographed. The spark plug electrodes remained mechanically undamaged. The spark plugs coloration and symmetry were indicative of an even distribution of fuel to each cylinder.

The turbocharger system components remained secure at their respective mountings. The turbocharger compressor and turbine impellers remained intact and undamaged. The turbine was free to hand rotate. Each exhaust system clamp was secure at each location. The exhaust bypass valve/wastegate remained secure at the transition. The butterfly valve remained intact and undamaged.

Engine run

Prior to conducting an operational check of the engine, the top spark plugs were removed examined and photographed. The crankshaft was rotated by hand utilizing the propeller. The crankshaft was free and easy to rotate in both directions. Thumb compression was observed in proper order on all six cylinders. Mechanical continuity was established throughout the rotating/reciprocating group and accessory section during hand rotation of the crankshaft. The bottom spark plugs were not removed. The combustion chamber of each cylinder was examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The valves were intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of valve to piston face contact observed. The gas path and combustion signatures observed at the spark plugs, combustion chambers, and exhaust system components displayed coloration consistent with normal operation. There was no oil residue observed in the exhaust system gas path.

A test propeller was installed to facilitate the engine run, since the installed propeller had been damaged during the landing sequence.

The top spark plugs were re-installed and their respective leads attached to facilitate an engine operational check. A remote fuel source was attached at the inlet fitting of the electric fuel boost pump and electrically energized. A fuel pressure indication within the normal operating range was observed.

The engine was started with the starter using standard procedures. An oil pressure indication within the normal operating range was observed at the cockpit mounted oil pressure gauge.

Once the engine stabilized at above idle, the electric fuel boost pump was de-energized, at which time the engine continued to run smoothly. The engine driven fuel pump delivered a fuel pressure indication within the normal operating range.

Once the engine was at operating temperature, the throttle was advanced to about 1600 revolutions per minute (rpm), at which time the magnetos were checked utilizing the cockpit mounted ignition switch. Both magnetos operated at each of their respective switch detents and within manufactures specifications.

The throttle was advanced to the maximum stop at which time the engine would produce manifold pressures within specification that also indicated the turbo charger system was functioning. The engine rpm was not within specification due to the mismatch of test propeller and governor.

The engine operational check exhibited no unusual indications, fuel or oil leaks.

Fuel samples

Two fuel sample test reports were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for examination by an NTSB chemist. The results of the examination revealed that all tests were found to be within specification with two exceptions: 1) Potential Gum (ASTM D873) which was found to be higher than the specification, and 2) ASTM Equation Vapor Pressure (ASTM D5191), which was found to be lower than the specification. These out-of-range results are consistent with aged fuel or fuel that had been exposed to air for a period of time (i.e. sitting in an aircraft fuel tank).

Fuel Servo and Flow Divider examination

On November 28, 2011, under the supervision of the NTSB IIC, the airplane’s fuel servo and flow divider were examined at the facilities of Precision Airmotive, located in Marysville, Washington. The Precision technician who performed the tests revealed that no anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation.



 NTSB Identification: WPR12LA015 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 21, 2011 in Paso Robles, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46R, registration: N422HP
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 21, 2011, about 0410 Pacific daylight time, N422HP, a Piper PA46R-350T airplane, sustained substantial damage as a result of a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Paso Robles, California. The pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, suffered minor injuries. The airplane is registered to Central Valley Mortgage Services of Porterville, California. The cross-country business flight was being operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and activated. The flight departed the Porterville Municipal Airport (PTV), Porterville, California about 0300, with Paso Robles Municipal Airport (PRB), Paso Robles California, as its destination.

Local law enforcement personnel who interviewed the pilot shortly after the accident, reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) that the pilot stated that while on an instrument approach he experienced a partial loss of engine power, and that when attempts to restore power were unsuccessful he initiated a forced landing to an open field about 3.5 miles north of PRB. The airplane came to rest upright with both wings having sustained substantial damage.

The airplane was recovered to a secure storage facility pending further investigation.



A sheriff's department spokesman says the pilot experienced mechanical problems before landing at the airport, causing him to attempt a landing in a plowed field.

The pilot was outside the 2010 single-engine Piper Matrix when emergency crews arrived on scene. The sheriff's department says he has visible head injuries and is being evaluated at Twin Cities Hospital.





The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department says, 65 year-old Bobby Joe Blythe of Visalia was taken to Twin Cities hospital with moderate injuries.

It happened about 4:10 Friday morning, five miles northeast of the Paso Robles airport, in remote area near Ranchita Canyon and Van Dollen Roads.

Investigators say Blythe described the engine as sputtering before going down.
The Piper Malibu plane was substantially damaged and sheriff's investigators say Blythe had a moderate head injury.

But KSBY found out, this wasn't the first time Blythe had a plane crash. We found a newspaper article from the Hanford Sentinel from October of 2003.

It said Bobby Joe Blythe was airlifted to Fresno's University Medical Center after the crop dusting plane he was flying went down in a cotton field.

The article states Blythe was transported with serious injuries.

Friday, the FAA confirmed -- only one person is a registered pilot under that name.
Sheriff's department investigators say it took a while for them to locate Blythe, who was standing next to the plane when they arrived.

"We actually were talked in by the pilot while we were trying to triangulate his location. We used sirens and lights for him to see and for him to talk us in. What happened was we rolled emergency apparatus, firetrucks, ambulance, that type of thing, because he did have a moderate head injury," said Rob Bryn of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said Blythe was on his way to the Paso Robles airport to pick up a passenger.

The tail number of the plane lists the owner as Central Valley Mortgage Services out of Porterville.

They had no comment.

The FAA and the NTSB will investigate.

http://www.ksby.com

A 65-year-old pilot from Visalia is being treated at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton after his plane crashed near the Paso Robles airport early Friday morning.

The pilot, Bobby Joe Blythe, is being evaluated for a moderate head injury. He was headed to the Paso Robles airport to pick someone up when he experienced engine problems, according to officials.

Blythe was the one who called 911 at about 4:20 a.m. after the crash.

“It took a considerable amount of time to find him because of the dense fog,” said Rob Bryn, sheriff’s spokesman. “Cal Fire and Sheriff’s deputies searched and actually used sirens and lights so that he could direct rescuers to the site.”

Blythe was standing next to the plane when rescuers found him, said Bryn.

Original story:

A man was injured after his plane crashed in a field near the Paso Robles airport early Friday morning.

The man was trying to land a 2010 Piper Malibu Matrix at the airport when he crashed on final approach at approximately 4:20 a.m., according to a Cal Fire dispatcher. The plane was found in a field near Ranchita Canyon and Von Dollen roads.

Foggy conditions made it difficult to find the plane, according to Cal Fire. Emergency officials had to use GPS signals from man's cell phone to determine his exact location.

The man, who was the only person in the plane, was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injures. His name and other personal information, including the extent of his injuries and where he was coming from, were not known as of early this morning.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, a pilot was injured in an early-morning plane crash north of the Paso Robles Airport Friday.

A sheriff's department spokesman says the pilot experienced mechanical problems before landing at the airport, causing him to attempt a landing in a plowed field.

The pilot was outside the 2010 single-engine Piper Matrix when emergency crews arrived on scene. The sheriff's department says he has visible head injuries and is being evaluated at Twin Cities Hospital.

The pilot, who emergency crews say crashed just shy of a row of trees, guided them to the scene using his cell phone.

A man was injured after his plane crashed in a field near the Paso Robles airport early Friday morning.

The pilot was trying to land a 2010 Piper Malibu Matrix at the airport when he crashed on final approach at approximately 4:20 a.m., according to a Cal Fire dispatcher.

The plane was found in a field near Ranchita Canyon and Van Dollen roads.

Initial reports are saying the crash was due to dense fog.

The victim has been taken to the Twin Cities Hospital and is suffering from moderate injuries.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, there was a single airplane crash just north of Paso Robles Airport near Ranchita Canyon & Van Dollen Paso early Friday.

That's about 5 miles north of the airport.

Is Frontier Airlines here to stay?


A new low cost carrier starting taking off from McGhee Tyson Airport in June.

Frontier Airlines flies from Knoxville to Denver four days a week.

Since its arrival, Frontier's low fares have caused other airlines to drop their prices on the days this low-cost carrier flies. But, is Frontier getting enough business to keep them flying out of Knoxville?

Danni Varlan, President of East Tennesseans for Airfare Competition was on 10News at 5 to talk about it. Watch the video to get her take.

http://www.wbir.com

"Disorganized Tower" (video sent to us) Pakistan International Airlines, Kathmandu airport, Nepal.

Cherry Point dedicates new headquarters after decorated Airman

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Cherry Point Air Station in Havelock dedicated their new 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarter building after a decorated Airman from the 1920s.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Cherry Point Air Station in Havelock dedicated their new 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Headquarter building after a decorated Airman from the 1920s.

Construction on this 2nd Marine Aircraft Headquarter building began back in July 2009 after the previous building was completely lost in a fire.

This new building, named after General Frank Schilt, decorated Airman and Marine who received a Medal of Honor for his heroes.

"I was just floored really with such a wonder honor for him and to think they're recognizing him contribution to naval aviation over 40 years. It's very humbling and a wonderful feeling that they're doing this," said Alice Schilt Magee. General Schilt’s daughter remembers her father, “I was astounded he was like the Indiana Jones of the 1920s. He had a wonderful life and he loved it. He loved being a Marine and loved to fly."

But Magee says her father left his war stories and acts of heroism at the door. At home, he was just her father.

General Schilts' granddaughter remembered him much the same way.

"I knew nothing about who he was as a Marine or as a general. I knew nothing about that as an adult but as a grandchild, I just knew I had his attention and I loved him very much and he showed his love back," said Francy MaGee, Gen. Schilt’s granddaughter.

And as two women who grew up in a military family, the news of President Obama bringing troops home from Iraq by then end of this year is a long overdue blessing.

The 80,000 square foot building cost 14 million dollars to build.

And sits on the same grounds that the general himself walked on so many years ago.

--- Original Story ---

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - A ceremony is scheduled for Friday by the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Cherry Point Marines and personnel to officially name the combined headquarters building on the command parade deck.

Completed in March, the new headquarters building is the most prominent building on the air station.

The name chosen is a dedication to the memory Gen. Christian F. Schilt. He was a Marine aviator with ties to the Cherry Point community. Schilt's family will attend the ceremony.

http://www2.wnct.com

Russia: YAK 52 RED testflights

SkyWest plane makes unscheduled stop at Provo Municipal Airport (KPVU), Utah.

PROVO -- A small commercial jet descended out of the clear, bleach-blue skies over Utah Valley Friday afternoon to make an unscheduled stop at the Provo airport.

The SkyWest airplane -- which was en route from Ontario, Calif., to Salt Lake City -- landed shortly before 1 p.m., according to officials. SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said that the landing was prompted by the activation of an indicator light related to the plane's oil. The landing was a precautionary measure and was never declared an emergency, Snow said.

Fifty people were onboard, Snow added, and none of them left the plane during the stop in Provo. After about an hour of maintenance on the tarmac, the plane taxied to the far end of the runway near a wooded hill, exhaust from the engines sending up swirling heat signatures. A pair of private, two-seater planes took off, a third small plane landed. Then at 1:44 p.m. the SkyWest flight lifted into the air and headed for Salt Lake City.

http://www.heraldextra.com

Blackhawk helicopters land at Notre Dame College during ROTC training exercise


SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - Shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Ohio Air National Guard touched down on the campus of Notre Dame College in South Euclid. The aircrafts are stationed at Rickenbacker Air National Base near Columbus, Ohio.

More than 100 people from surrounding neighborhoods and Notre Dame College braved the cold rainy weather as the helicopters passed over the administration building and then gently set down on a large grassy area in front of it. South Euclid fire and EMS units were on hand as a precaution.

More than 60 ROTC cadets from area colleges were on-hand to take part in a training exercise. The cadets gathered around the Blackhawks once they were shut down. They were briefed about the training mission, and the proper procedure for entering and exiting the aircraft.

Cpt. Matthew McGraw, with the John Carroll ROTC group, said there were two types of landings and loadings the cadets would experience. The first group was loaded just before 11 a.m. while the helicopters were shut down. This was the “cold load."

The Blackhawks then lifted off and took the cadets to Camp Ravenna where they will participate in additional field training exercises.

Once the helicopters returned, in about an hour, the second group of cadets would “hot load” into the aircraft. This type of loading requires the cadets to load into the aircraft while the engines were still running. Once they were loaded, the Blackhawks would immediately take off. This group was also transported to Camp Ravenna.

Participating ROTC units were from Notre Dame College, John Carroll University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Ursuline College, Baldwin-Wallace College and Hiram College. Notre Dame College spokesman Brian Johnston said the exercise was held here because the school had ample room to land the two helicopters.

David Mallard: Interview on Ground Support and New Zealand Flexibility

David Mallard is the Supply Chain Manager, Hydro Systems KG, a worldwide renowned supplier of airframe and engine tooling and ground support equipment.  Mallard talked with InvestAuckland about supplying for Boeing, Airbus and Rolls Royce and the how New Zealand's strength in the aviation sector stems from flexibility.

Three airlines interested in serving Mason City Municipal Airport (KMCW), Iowa

MASON CITY - Three airlines have expressed interest in serving Mason City Municipal Airport, replacing Delta Airlines.

The three proposals are far different in scope and service. They are: Great Lakes Aviation; Multi-Aero Inc., doing business as Air Choice One; and Sovereign Air.

Great Lakes would provide four daily round trips between Mason City and Minneapolis on a 19-seat Beech aircraft, 11 fewer seats than the aircraft now serving Mason City.

Air Choice One is offering 47 round trips a week, roughly seven a day, on a nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravan.

Sovereign Airlines is not yet operating, does not have an aircraft and is seeking funding. It is proposing 19 flights a week on a 30-seat aircraft.

Airport Manager Pam Osgood said the city and the Airport Commission have until Nov. 21 to respond to the proposals.

"I want to remind everyone that Delta Airlines is committed to service Mason City until another carrier is operating here," she said. "People can book their flights out of Mason City without being concerned about any changes."

She said Great Lakes Aviation would allow local service to be marketed and priced utilizing the Great Lakes reservations system which includes customer ticket purchasing capability on both the Great Lakes' website and on all major web booking websites.

Great Lakes will be utilizing interlines e-ticketing and baggage agreements with American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways. All of them offer passengers maximum access to the domestic and international air transportation system at the Minneapolis hub.

Osgood said Great Lakes and Delta Airlines are coordinating an upgrade of electronic communication systems to enable Great Lakes to provide Delta boarding passes and Sky Miles processing.

Delta and Great Lakes also intend to enable the sale of Great Lake's passenger segments on the Delta website for added passenger convenience, she said.

These reservation system upgrades are anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2012, said Osgood.

Great Lakes is headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Air Choice One is offering web-based booking and connectivity with United Airlines. It is based in St. Louis.

Osgood said Sovereign Air, headquartered in South Dakota, intends to have baggage and ticket agreements with the major air carriers by the start of the service.

There are 24 cities, including Mason City, seeking air service that would be subsidized by the federal Essential Air Service program.

"Every community in this situation is anxious to see something happen," said Osgood.

She said Great Lakes indicated it needs to be selected by at least five of the 24 cities in order to provide the service proposed for Mason City.

http://globegazette.com