Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Piper Aircraft and Indian River officials in holding pattern regarding incentive money repayment

VERO BEACH — Piper Aircraft Inc. and the state remain in a holding pattern on the possible repayment of some incentive money the aircraft manufacturer received in 2008, but some county officials indicated they will not be taking a hard line regarding the return of the money.

Both state and Piper officials said a meeting Friday concerning the incentive package went well.

"We discussed the current status of the agreement and Piper is going to do research on their business performance and what they can realistically achieve in terms of reaching performance measurements by the end of their contract," said James Miller, a spokesman for the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state and Indian River County in 2008 developed a $32 million incentive package to keep Piper in Vero Beach, with a key selling point being the construction of the PiperJet, which was later redesigned as the Piper Altaire. The company announced Oct. 24 it was indefinitely suspending the Altaire program and would be laying off 150 employees and immediately releasing 55 contract workers.

The incentive package crafted by the state and county contained employment and investment benchmarks that the company had to meet to receive the incentive money. The company received its first $4 million from the county and almost $6.7 million from the state, but never met the benchmarks needed to collect additional money as the recession sent general aviation sales across the country into a tailspin.

Employment at Piper plummeted from about 1,100 in 2008 to about 580 in the summer of 2009. Employee numbers had climbed back to about 850 before the recent Piper Altaire announcement.

The drop in staffing puts Piper at risk of having to pay back one-seventh of the money it received from the county and state unless there is some significant increase in jobs by the end of the year.

Miller said no decision on potential paybacks, also known as clawbacks, can be made until Piper responds with updated figures on what job creation and economic development goals it can meet.

Piper had earlier received a two-year extension allowed under the contract and Piper spokeswoman Jackie Carlon said the company has not decided whether it will seek additional time.

Indian River County Administrator Joe Baird said Monday that based on the economy, he would be willing to recommend to the County Commission that Piper be given an extension of three or four more years to meet the employment benchmarks.

A day after Piper announced the suspension of its Altaire program, Baird sent a letter to Michelle Dennard, deputy director of the state Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, expressing the county's support for Piper Aircraft.

"Despite recent layoffs, Piper Aircraft, Inc. is still our largest manufacturing operation." wrote Baird, and noted the company has a payroll in excess of $40 million and employs 700 people.

"This business is extremely important to our area businesses, area utilities, and our tax base. Our community would be devastated if, for any reason, the entire operation was forced to shut down," wrote Baird.

Baird said he has no knowledge of any possible shutdown, but was just trying to emphasize the company's importance to the community.

Indian River County Commissioner Peter O'Bryan said previously he would be open to an extension. He said he doesn't think anybody could have predicted the global economic meltdown and noted Piper had invested $100 million of its own money in the jet program before calling it off.

"It wasn't like they were trying to take the money and run," said O'Bryan.

As to whether other companies who received government incentives might expect similar extensions after failing to meet their benchmarks, O'Bryan indicated that it should only be allowed in extraordinary conditions, such as those that can't be predicted.

For instance, O'Bryan said, a company merely saying that it failed to meet its sales projections after one year in a state would not be enough to warrant reconsideration.

Professor Robert Lynch, of Washington College in Chestertown, Md., has evaluated the effectiveness of such programs over the past two decades. He said in the past couple of years, it has not been unusual to see companies wanting to renegotiate incentives deals they received from the government.

While not familiar with the local situation, Lynch said in general, the impacts of incentive programs have been small and somewhat negative.

In determining the impact of incentives, Lynch said, one has to look at other ways the money could have been used, such as to reduce taxes. State and county officials deserve credit in this case, however, for putting a package together that tied payouts to certain performance measures. Often, the money is given out by government without having such protections in place, he said.

O'Bryan said Piper invested more than the money it was given by the county back into the community.

The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce also issued a newsletter noting that the company's payroll since 2008 has been more than $40 million per year. It said this $120 million impact over a three-year period represents a 3,000 percent return on investment of the $4 million the county gave to the company. In addition, the chamber cited a 2007 economic impact analysis it commissioned that showed Piper had a $518 million annual economic impact on the county.

http://www.tcpalm.com

Who Helped Pick Turkia Mullin for Metro Airport CEO?


ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) - The airport authority board now has to find a new chief, and this time let's hope they don't bungle it by bending over backwards to pick a candidate with close ties to the county power players and its CEO Robert Ficano.

Just three months ago, Turkia Mullin was a finalist for the airport CEO job. She was hand picked by the Southfield headhunting firm Trustinus, for which it was paid $50,000.

It's president, John Krasula, didn't have to search far. He was also an investor and director of the Pinnacle race course, a project in which the county through Mullin's development department kicked in $40-million of your money. The track went bust last year.

The three members of the airport board who led the search for the new CEO -- Suzanne Hall, Samuel Nouhan and Charlie Williams -- whittled Krasula's list down to six. All three of those members have financial dealings with the county. They selected Mullin, although no background check on her was provided to them.

"All this information has come out since the search committee convened," said Wayne County Airport Authority Board Member Bernard Parker.

Then, the board as a whole unanimously selected Mullin. The process took just two weeks, and at least two board members told me they never read her contract.

I asked Parker whether he regretted not having read a contract for such a large amount.

"I never received it, so could not have read it," he told me.

"Whoever they settle on, everybody should read the contract," said Bill Shay.

He covers Metro Airport for Crains Communications.

"A lot of people are looking at this and saying, well, this was a done deal before it ever began," Shay remarked. "They knew who they wanted from the start, and they gamed the system to get there."

So, whenever and however a new airport chief is selected, this time we'll be watching because Mullin made $250,000 a year with severance as director of Metro Airport. The head of the Federal Aviation Administration makes $180,000 and gets no severance at all. It's your money.

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com

One Big Project Ends While Officials Plan for More. Daviess County Airport (KDCY), Washington, Indiana.


WASHINGTON, IND. (WTHI) - A small southern Indiana airport is putting the wraps on a big improvement project.

The Daviess County Airport has been closed for the last few weeks while crews carried out an $875,000 up grade.

The airport is already a hub for corporate aircraft in the area and officials want to expand their capabilities to handle even more air traffic in the future.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on the re-paving of the main runway at the Daviess County Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration paid for 95 percent of the work and local officials say it was badly needed.

"We needed to improve the runway because it had been in a deteriorating condition for the last several years and getting worse by the year and this is a vast improvement over what we had before," said Daviess County Airport Manager Jack Miles.

At least 80 percent of the traffic at the airport comes from corporate planes.

With I-69 expanding nearby officials say the airport is another piece in the job attraction puzzle.

"Transportation of all kinds is very important to business," said Ron Arnold with the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. "To get their folks in and out, corporate folks in and out you need an adequate airport."

While the paving project is winding down officials aren't finished with the improvements for the airport.

In fact they're talking about an expansion of the runway to allow larger jets to land there.

"Five thousand feet is what we really need" said Miles. A lot of the airports that carry commercial jet traffic need 5000-feet of runway."

"It's huge to have an airport that can handle corporate jets," added Arnold.

The idea now is that by making the airport bigger and better it can open the way for jobs in Daviess County in the future.

The Airport hopes to have the expanded runway in place by 2016.

Plane crash: How would Indianapolis International Airport (KIND) handle it? Boeing 767-300, Forced gear up landing.


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A flight from New Jersey to Poland ended in a scary but smooth skid without landing gear Tuesday. But the crash landing likely would’ve been handled much differently in Indianapolis, airport officials said.

The LOT Polish airlines flight was heading from Newark, N.J., to Warsaw, Poland. Landing gear problems forced the pilots to bring it down on its belly. None of the 231 passengers and crew was hurt.

Which begs the question: Why would things be handled differently in Indianapolis?

Hundreds of planes take off and land daily at the Indianapolis International Airport.
While the planes are in the air, the Beast Master, one of the Indianapolis Airport Fire Department's Aircraft Rescue Response Vehicles, is on standby ready to respond in any emergency.

Steve Summers is the deputy chief for the Indianapolis Airport Fire Deparment. He said what happened in Poland could happen anywhere. but IAFD would respond differently.

"In an aircraft emergency, we will line ourselves up on a taxiway next to a runway, so if it lands short or long, we have a truck there waiting on them," Summers said, "These trucks are specially designed. They are all-wheel-drive with flotation tires and independent suspension."

The Beast Master has 3,000 gallons of water. It also carries 420 gallons of aqueous film-forming foam.

"What the foam does is on a fuel fire, it provides a barrier between the outside air and the fuel itself so the vapors can't escape and it can't burn," Summers explained.

In Poland, they laid down the foam first. That likely wouldn't happen here.

"Normally we do not foam runways. We allow the plane to come to a stop, and then we cool the plane down with water, and if fuel is involved, then we use foam," Summers said.

He said foam could also be used to help the plane slide along.

"Runways are about 12,000 feet long. We would use all of our product on the runway and create a very slick surface, which the aircraft could easily slide off of," Summers said.

Most aircrafts land and take off into the winds. Summers said in an emergency they would try to approach the aircraft from the front, with the winds to their back so the water and foam they use would target the plane. He said also by doing that, it allows a path around all the doors to push any fire that may occur away, so the passengers could get out.

http://www.wishtv.com

Senate appropriations bill bodes well for Alaska aviation

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a $182 billion appropriations bill for several government agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration. The "minibus" bill -- so dubbed by senators because it differed from an omnibus bill, which provides funding for many more agencies -- passed by a vote of 69-30, with both Alaska senators voting in favor of the bill.

The bill now moves on to the House, where its future is uncertain. But neither of Alaska's senators appear willing to ease up on their defense of one of the programs funded in part by the legislation, Essential Air Service, which received a $143 million allocation via the bill. Combined with further FAA funding, this represents a $13 million increase from the previous year.

The EAS program offers subsidies for airlines traveling to rural airports as an incentive to continue providing regular service to more than 150 remote locations around the U.S. More than 40 Alaska communities are served by the EAS program, including Cordova, Yakutat and Adak, among others.

According to Sen. Begich's press secretary, Julie Hasquet, Begich will continue to follow the progress of EAS as the bill moves to the House. "Sen. Begich is definitely pleased to see support today," Hasquet said in an email, "but the fight is not over and he will continue to work to protect this program."

Murkowski agreed that Tuesday's vote doesn't mean EAS is in the clear. "Can we kind of sit back and say we don’t need to do anymore educating?" She asked. "Absolutely not."

Essential Air Service has been a point of contention in the halls of Congress throughout 2011, with a heated battle in February that threatened to cut the program outright. Alaska's congressional delegates have spoken out on behalf of the program and its importance to a state where many travelers live off the road system and where driving to another airport -- as is the case in other places served by EAS -- simply isn't an option.
Murkowski said some in Congress simply have no idea what that's like.

"We have members who are not fully informed as to how Essential Air Service functions -- particularly in a rural state like Alaska -- and (don't) realize and appreciate why it's essential," Murkowski said. "There really is no other way in Alaska for us to get there."

Arizona: Former United Airlines B747 Captain, Now a Flight Instructor Gives 'Huge Respect' to Polish Pilot. LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-300. Forced gear up landing in Warsaw.


WARSAW, POLAND - More than 230 people on a plane out of New Jersey were forced to touch down without any landing gear in Poland. Amazingly -- nobody was hurt, and the jet stayed intact.

We talked to a former United Airlines pilot, now a flight instructor, who says he's impressed by the pilot's incredible skill.

In Warsaw, Poland -- a Boeing 767 slid down the runway without wheels. The pilot forced a belly landing after the hydraulics stopped working. The landing gear would not come down.

"He did a good job, set it down nice and gentle," says Captain Chuck Thom, an Aerosim flight instructor. "It's almost like a Polish Captain Sully who landed in the Hudson a while ago. You could not have asked for a more picture perfect landing without landing gear… like Sullenberger, just do what you have always done."

Former United Airlines 747 Pilot Captain Chuck Thom watched the landing with me. He says pilots train for this rare type of landing.

"You make a normal landing and set it down with lowest rate of descent possible at the slowest speed possible while you still have control."

The plane departed from Newark. Once in Warsaw, the crew circled the airport for an hour, dumping excess fuel. The plane then coasted onto the runway.

Minutes earlier, firefighters had doused the runway with fire retardant.

After the jet came to a stop, they put out a small fire and helped passengers off the plane.

"Huge respect. Guy did a professional job. Nobody got hurt. Bunged up airplane, but great job, it takes years to get that kind of touch," says Thom.

This was the first time a Polish lot plane was forced to land without any landing gear.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com

New angle of the LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767-300 forced gear up landing today in Warsaw, Poland.



A Boeing 767 carrying 230 passengers has made an emergency landing at Warsaw airport after its landing gear failed.The plane, which was travelling from the US city of Newark, in New Jersey, landed on its belly without its wheels.It had circled above the Polish city for over an hour burning up fuel as the airport was prepared for the crash landing.The Polish airline Lot, which operated the flight, said all safety procedures had worked and that no-one was injured.

"The plane landed safely on its belly on the runway which had been sprayed with special flame-retardant substances. All the passengers disembarked,no-one was injured," Leszek Chorzewski, a spokesman for Lot, told news agency.In preparation for the landing, the airport was closed to all other flights, while nearby streets were cleared, reports Two military F-16 jets were scrambled to observe its progress.The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says the emergency landing looked incredibly smooth to the untrained eye as the plane slid to a halt on the runway, giving off relatively few sparks.

After it landed, fire crews could be seen hosing the aircraft with water and foam as a precaution.

Business Jets Needed - Opinion/Editorial

One would think jet aircraft used for business purposes are evil because of the way some people view them. The media also likes to link them with corporations, even nonprofits, and often politicians, in stories on wrongdoings. In short, business jets are getting a bum rap.

Business jets are necessary as transportation vehicles in today’s economy. We have many large corporations and nonprofit organizations that have plants or operations in several states and even in foreign lands. The jets are used to transport executives from their headquarters to their scattered plants and operations. They are time-savers. Time is money.

These companies retain jobs and create new jobs. Often they are used to transport technicians needed to troubleshoot problems in distant locations. They also are used to transport needed parts. Vendors and customers use jets to visit plants.

Jet aircrafts transport company officials, or site locators, to visit areas being considered to locate a new plant or expanding an existing one.

Washington has had firsthand experience with business jets coming here for all the above purposes.

Many people and some segments of the media see these jets as a luxury that isn’t needed. Yes, there has been some abuse in the use of business jets but it’s minor. The jets are necessary in business operations. Government officials also use them to get around a state or the country. People elect officials and want to see them and want them to attend events. An aircraft makes several stops a day possible.

We need to recognize the necessity of travel in business and government aircraft. They shouldn’t be looked upon as an extravagant abuse of funds and as a toy for the rich.

http://www.emissourian.com

Airport manager claims Rep. Chip Cravaack ‘absent’ on airline issue. Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD), Brainerd, Minnesota.

Airport Manager Steve Sievek expressed disappointment with what he saw as the lack of action by Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., as the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission deals with eventually replacing Delta Airlines.

Cravaack’s communications director, Michael J. Bars, issued a statement in response to the criticism.

“Under law it is the duty of the Department of Transportation to solicit proposals from carriers willing to provide service to the Brainerd Airport. Although Rep. Cravaack is not authorized to actively participate in the replacement process, he met with the Brainerd airport manager in North Branch, and his team continues to monitor this situation closely. Rep Cravaack and staff stand ready to assist constituents who have questions on this issue or would like any background information on the EAS program.”

Airport commissioners directed Sievek to keep Cravaack, who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, informed of future meetings.
“He’s been very absent in this whole process,” Sievek said.

“I’m with you completely,” said Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom, an airport commissioner, of the criticism of Cravaack.

At an earlier airport commission meeting Sievek said that no one from Cravaack’s office attended an informational meeting on that topic in September in the Twin Cities that included officials from Great Lakes Airlines, MnDOT’s Department of Aeronautics and the offices of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

http://brainerddispatch.com

http://www.airnav.com/airport/BRD

Airport officials unhappy with bid from airline. Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD), Brainerd, Minnesota.

Airline service to Brainerd would be more frequent but less spacious if the lone bid for air service from Great Lakes Airlines is accepted.

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Manager Steve Sievek said Tuesday the airport commission has until Nov. 28 to voice concerns with Great Lakes proposal — a bid he termed as disappointing.

Sievek said in comments after the meeting Great Lakes Airlines would replace the Delta Saab 340’s 34-passenger prop plane, which has a restroom and a flight attendant, with a 19-passenger Beech 1900 prop plane with a single row of seats on both sides of the aisle, no restroom and no flight attendant.

In addition the Great Lakes aircraft could not be hooked up to a jet bridge either in Brainerd or the Twin Cities. Sievek said the inability to connect with a jet bridge, which the Brainerd airport expects to acquire as part of its terminal renovation, makes its difficult to accommodate people with mobility issues. A jet bridge, Sievek said, has been seen as an important tool, particularly with the Brainerd area’s aging population.

Sievek noted that many athletes who attend hockey camps in the Brainerd area come with bulky equipment and the storage space for such equipment in the Beech aircraft is “virtually nil.”

Sievek said the Great Lakes Airlines bid met all of the federal requirements. The airport manager said the airport commission intends to ask the federal Department of Transportation to rebid the Brainerd proposal.
“Whether or not they will do that, I don’t know,” Sievek said.

Sievek said for some of Brainerd’s air passengers the smaller aircraft won’t make any difference while others may choose to fly out of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

On the up side, Sievek said Great Lakes Airlines would offer four trips out of Brainerd compared to the two flights a day now offered by Delta.

Unlike Delta, which offered its air service without using a federal subsidy, Great Lakes Airlines would be subsidized by the government for as long as those subsidies continue.

Sievek said he is working with Brainerd Lakes Chamber CEO Lisa Paxton, Reggie Clow of Clow Stamping, Brian Thuringer of Madden’s and representatives of Ascensus before responding to the Great Lakes Airlines proposal.

Sievek emphasized that the airport will continue to have airline service until a replacement for Delta is found and in place.

The commission supported efforts by Airmotive employee Mike Petersen to have Brainerd included in the American Barnstormers Tour on Aug. 12-14, which could draw between 2,000 and 4,000 people.

Petersen said Brainerd and St. Cloud are being considered for inclusion in the tour and a decision could be made this week. The event features bi-plane rides and barnstormers celebrating the golden age of aviation (1920-1940).

“I think this is a fabulous idea,” Nystrom said. “This couldn’t be better situated or scheduled.”
The commission also:

Scheduled a closed personnel committee meeting for this month for union negotiation strategy and manager performance evaluation.

Discussed how it would wait for the county board to take action regarding conflict of interest training.

Learned that the display aircraft which is being repainted is expected to be completed this week. The date of its return to Brainerd will be decided later.

Called for airport officials to craft requests for proposal for interior design of the remodeled airport terminal by next month’s meeting.

Decided to not sell advertising venues in the restrooms of the remodeled terminal. Chair Beth Pfingsten said the advertisements were tacky and Commissioner Brad Davis agreed. The ads generate about $200 a year in revenue.

Approved a five-year lease with the airport’s cafe. The manager reported work continues on a proposed Avionics lease.

The next meeting is 9:30 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Jinx Ferrari Room in the Historic Crow Wing County Courthouse.


http://www.airnav.com/airport/BRD

Salute to veterans to be held in Teterboro. Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey. Teterboro Airport (KTEB)


In recognition of Veterans Day, the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum in Teterboro will conduct a brief ceremony honoring all Veterans and those on active duty.

The event will be held Sunday, November 6, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This program will recognize and thank all Veterans, past and present for their service and dedication to our country, both past and present.

The keynote speaker is Robert DeHaven, WWII B-24 nose gunner and bombardier who flew 15 missions over Germany and was stationed in England with the Eighth Air Force.

The public is invited. The ceremony will be held in the museum’s parking lot at Teterboro Airport, 400 Fred Wehran Drive, located next to the FAA tower.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/KTEB

http://www.njahof.org

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, Aircraft Leasing N739JN LLC, N739JN: Accident occurred November 01, 2011 in Pompano Beach, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA058 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 01, 2011 in Pompano Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N739JN
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the pilot, while the airplane was descending on final approach, the throttle control became unresponsive. Although multiple settings were attempted, the engine remained at idle rpm, and the pilot made a forced landing on a road. The airplane collided with a lightpost and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. Although initial examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, further examination revealed that the throttle cable had separated from its housing/end fitting. As a result, the throttle cable could not actuate the carburetor control, and the engine remained at idle rpm. A review of the airframe and engine logbooks revealed that the throttle cable was not maintained correctly and was never maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s service manual.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The separation of the throttle cable from its fitting, which resulted in an inability to control engine power. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate maintenance by the owner.


On November 1, 2011, at 1735 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N739JN, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power while on final approach to Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot and one passenger reported minor injuries. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 1730.

The pilot stated that he was descending on final approach to land, when the throttle control became unresponsive. He made attempts to change the engine power setting, but no change in power occurred. The engine remained at idle speed as the airplane continued to descend. He made a forced landing on a road and the airplane collided with a light post.

Post accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Inspector revealed that the fuselage collided with a light post and broke away from the cabin section. The left wing outboard section was broken away from the wing assembly at the wing strut. The wreckage was recovered and a cursory examination was conducted on the engine. No engine specific mechanical anomalies were discovered that would have precluded normal engine operation. Further examination revealed that the outer throttle cable housing was separated. When the throttle control was moved, it did not actuate the carburetor throttle control. A review of the maintenance records did not reveal any recent maintenance to the cable and during the last annual inspection no anomalies were noted.

A review of the aircraft and engine logbooks revealed that the throttle cable was not replaced or inspected within the last 2512.9 hours. A review of the Cessna model 172 service manual states, on page 2-42, item J: “Engine controls and linkage-check general condition, freedom of movement through full range. Check for proper travel, security of attachment, and evidence of wear. Check friction locks for proper operation (every 50 hours).” Page 2-48 of the manual, special inspections legends, part E; states, “Lubricate each 50 hours, these controls are not repairable and should be replaced every 1,500 hours or whenever maximum linear movement exceeds .050 inches.”


A Pompano Beach firefighter walks past the crumpled remains of a single-engine plane that made an emergency crash landing just short of Pompano Air Park Tuesday afternoon.
(Mike Stocker, Sun-Sentinel / November 1, 2011)



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http://www.wsvn.com

Two men walked away without major injuries after making an emergency crash landing in a single-engine airplane just short of Pompano Beach Air Park on Tuesday afternoon.

"Amazing," Pompano Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King said. "No one was injured. No one was on the ground … this was their lucky day."

A 42-year-old student pilot was flying the plane on an approach to Pompano Beach Air Park when the Cessna had engine trouble, King said.


Moments before the crash, the plane lost power, the 27-year-old instructor pilot told authorities. He told the student to "bring it up," but the plane continued to lose altitude, King said.

The instructor pilot took over the plane "and landed it just short of the air park," King said.

The plane, tail number N739JN, was heading east when it clipped a palm tree and slammed into a concrete pole at the intersection of Northeast 10th Street and Fifth Avenue; it broke in half upon landing.

The student pilot suffered a laceration to his hand, King said, and the instructor did not appear to be physically injured. Both were transported to North Broward Medical Center for examination.

"They were walking around the plane when [emergency responders] got there," King said.

The names of the men will not be released because they are hospital patients.

"It is absolutely amazing that the two individuals walked away from such a plane crash," King said.

The tower at Pompano Beach Air Park reported the crash to fire-rescue dispatch at 5:52 p.m.

On Tuesday night, two fire trucks were on scene. Foam, used to dilute the fuel that spilled from the plane, covered the ground.

Residents walked to the crash site and snapped photos of the destroyed plane with cameras and phones.

"It's pretty crazy," Zach Chappie, 21, said. "It's not all that common."

Izabel Silva, who lives near the wreckage, said she often worries that a plane will crash into her home because she lives close to the air park.

"I don't like the idea," she said. "I hope it doesn't happen anymore. The guys, they are lucky."

Federal Aviation Administration officials were scheduled to arrive at the scene Tuesday night. After their inspection is complete, the wreckage will be removed, King said.

A single engine plane made a crash landing near the Pompano Beach Air Park, and one person aboard sustained a minor injury, authorities said.

The Cessna was being piloted by a 42-year-old male student and his 27-year-old male instructor, said Sandra King, Pompano Beach spokeswoman. They had taken off from the air park when something went wrong with the plane and it lost power, King said.

The instructor took over piloting the plane and attempted to land it at the air park, but it went down just short of it at 500 NE 10th Street.

The plane broke in half upon impact and some fuel spilled on the road where it crashed, authorities said.

The student sustained an injury to the hand, she said.

"This is their lucky day," King said.

Both will be transported to North Broward Medical Center.

The plane's registered owner is Aircraft Leasing N739JN LLC based in Plantation. A telephone number for the company couldn't immediately be found.

"I have heard of crashes over here before but I have never seen anything like this," said Jack Doyle, who lives in the area.

 A single-engine plane made an emergency crash landing just short of Pompano Air Park Tuesday afternoon.   A 42-year-old student pilot was flying the plane on an approach to Pompano Air Park when the Cessna had engine trouble, said Pompano Beach spokeswoman Sandra King. When the trouble occurred, the 27-year-old instructor pilot took over the plane "and landed it just short of the air park," King said.

The plane, which came to rest at the intersection of Northeast 10 Street and Fifth Avenue, broke in half upon landing.

"The plane broke apart, however the two pilots were able to walk away," King said. "They were walking around the plane when [emergency responders] got there."

The student pilot suffered a laceration on his hand, King said, and the instructor was not injured. Their identities were not available Tuesday night.

"It's just amazing when you see the damage to the plane that they were able to walk away," she said.

The two pilots were taken to a local hospital as a precaution, King said.

A single-engine plane made an emergency crash landing just short of Pompano Air Park Tuesday afternoon.

A 42-year-old student pilot was flying the plane on an approach to Pompano Air Park when the Cessna had engine trouble, said Pompano Beach spokeswoman Sandra King. When the trouble occurred, the 27-year-old instructor pilot took over the plane "and landed it just short of the air park," King said.

The plane, which came to rest at the intersections of Northeast 10 Street and Fifth Avenue, broke in half upon landing.

"The plane broke apart, however the two pilots were able to walk away," King said. "They were walking around the plane when [emergency responders] got there."

The student pilot suffered a laceration on his hand, King said, and the instructor was not injured.

"It's just amazing when you see the damage to the plane that they were able to walk away," she said.

The two pilots were taken to a local hospital as a precaution, King said.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A single-engine plane crash landed on a street after missing the runway at Pompano Air Park.

A student pilot and an instructor on board the Cessna 172N crashed onto Northeast 10th Street after reporting engine problems, Tuesday.

The plane, which was aiming for Runway 6 at Pompano Air Park, came in from the west, clipped a palm trees and lost part of its wing before hitting a traffic pole, breaking the aircraft in half.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue crews responded to spread foam on the plane.

There were no serious injuries. The student pilot only suffered a laceration on his or her arm.

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

Key moments in the Wayne County severance scandal

Aug. 2: Wayne County economic development chief Turkia Awada Mullin is named Detroit Metro Airport CEO, which raises her salary from $200,000 to $250,000.

Sept. 19: Acting on a tip, the Free Press files a public records request asking the county to provide details on any severance Mullin received upon leaving the county.

Sept. 27: County officials confirm to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) that Mullin received a $200,000 severance when she left the county for the airport. County Executive Robert Ficano calls the payment standard practice for top appointees and says the county must pay it under Mullin's contract. Mullin tells the Free Press: "I'm paid what I'm worth."

Sept. 29: Mullin acknowledges she also received $75,000 from Edge Opportunities, a nonprofit funded by area businesses that is affiliated with the Wayne County Business Development Corp. Some of those businesses received contracts from Wayne County. County commissioners say they were never told of the payments and did not approve them.

Sept. 30: Mullin produces an undated, 123-word letter signed by Ficano that says she is to receive one year's severance upon leaving. Hours after producing the mysterious letter, Mullin and Ficano issue a statement saying Mullin will return the $200,000, calling it a distraction. Ficano applauds the move, saying, "It's never been about money with Turkia."

Oct. 4: The County Commission can't get answers from Ficano's office at a hearing on who authorized the severance check to Mullin. Ficano accepts responsibility, but takes no questions before leaving. His aide promises an internal review.

Oct. 11: Commissioners learn Mullin also received thousands of dollars in unused sick and leave time from the county. The payments were authorized by the county's former director of human resources, Timothy Taylor.

Oct. 14: Ficano announces that for their role in the scandal, his deputy, Azzam Elder, and the county's top lawyer, Marianne Talon, are suspended for 30 days without pay. Taylor, who was working part-time, is fired. Ficano apologizes and calls the severance a "mistake."

Oct. 18: The FBI tells state officials it will investigate the county.

Oct. 19: The FBI serves subpoenas on county offices, targeting three county employees and records associated with 14 companies doing business with the county. Ficano hires a criminal defense lawyer.

Oct. 20: A recall petition is filed against Ficano over the severance payment. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Oct. 23: A Free Press investigation reveals that Mullin's claim of bringing $5.5 billion worth of investment into Wayne County is inflated. Confronted with the findings, Mullin estimates that her office was directly involved in more than $3 billion worth of development. The county later compiled a new list of investments totaling more than $5 billion that it said Mullin was involved in, but did not give the newspaper a copy of the list to review.

Oct. 27: Mullin and her assistant repay the severance money they got from the county -- about $150,000, which represents the severance for the two minus taxes taken out. Ficano places a third county employee -- assistant county executive Michael Grundy -- on paid administrative leave after he's linked to the FBI investigation.

Oct. 28: Airport Authority members and Ficano say Mullin has become a distraction and should leave her job at the airport.

Oct. 31: The Airport Authority votes 5-2 to fire Mullin, but declines to provide a reason for the termination.

LOT Polish Airlines Announcements. Boeing 767-300 Forced gear up landing. Warsaw, Poland.



Warsaw, 1 November 2011 LOT Polish Airlines confirms a successful emergency landing of a Boeing 767 aircraft at Chopin's Airport in Warsaw.

On board of LO 016 flying from Newark to Warsaw were 220 passengers and 11 crew members. After the landing passengers were safely evacuated by the crew of the aircraft and then transported to the terminal, where the support team and psychologists took care of them. During the landing the passengers stayed calm and nobody was injured.

After noticing a central hydraulic system failure the standard procedure for emergency landings at Warsaw airport were implemented. All airport authorities and emergency services were alerted and in place to assist the aircraft during the landing.

Warsaw, 1 November 2011 – After the successful emergency landing of a Boeing 767 aircraft of LOT Polish Airlines, Warsaw's Chopin Airport in will remain closed at least until tomorrow 8 AM.

All flights operating to Warsaw by LOT Polish Airlines have been redirected to other airports in Poland, from where passengers are being transported to Warsaw.

All LOT Polish Airlines' flights scheduled for this afternoon and evening from Warsaw have been canceled. Passengers of those flights are being rebooked to the earliest possible alternative.

Passengers of flight LO 016 are currently being released after medical examination and a brief police interview. If required, they will be offered meals and accommodation. LOT's dedicated Support Team is on site and available to offer psychological help and any other support.

http://www.lot.com

Beech King Air 200 N871C: Agents watch returning Dominican pilots in plane heist case


http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N871C
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Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s security and Immigration agencies Monday started to watch the pilots who enter the country as passengers from Central and South America.

The measure seeks to determine who stole the aircraft 10 days ago from a La Isabela International Airport Higuero (AILI) hangar, from where it was flown to Venezuela by Dominican pilots.

For that reason the authorities including the National Investigations Department, and Military Intelligence have a complete and updated list of the Dominican pilots and run strict checks on their travel documents as they arrive from those countries, to see if their passports have the exit and entry stamps

The operation being conducted in the international airports stems from the authorities’ initial belief the craft had been piloted by two Venezuelans, but who were later arrested and are now in custody.



Lawsuit filed in death of Wings over Houston volunteer at Reno Air Races.

The survivors of Friendswood’s Craig Salerno have filed a $25 million law suit against people involved in the operation of the airplane that crashed at the Reno Air Races, killing Salerno.

Salerno’s widow, Dr. Sezen Altug and her two children are suing Richard L. Shanholtzer, Jr., the Reno Air Racing Association, the estate of deceased pilot James K. Leeward and two other companies.

Attorney Tony Buzbee of Friendswood filed the case today in Colin County, Texas, north of Dallas, where he said modifications were made on the airplane that crashed, killing Salerno, Leeward and nine other people.

More than 70 people were injured in the September 16 accident.

The suit states, “Leeward’s plane, called ‘The Galloping Ghost’, was a former military plane that had undergone major modifications, called ‘extremely radical’ by many, including Leeward himself.”

Shanholtzer is an airplane mechanic who works in Colin County, doing business under the name “Frontier Aviation.”

Among a long list of items, the suit claims the air show management knew “there is a vast difference in the safety of spectators at an air race, versus an air show…(and) did not inform those wishing to purchase tickets, ticket holders, or spectators of this.”

It also states that the air show knew about the increased danger posed by racing the modified airplane.

Buzbee is asking for a jury trial.

Buzbee also made public a letter he sent to Howard Plagans, Investigator In Charge of the crash for the National Transportation Safety Board.

In the letter, he wrote, “As you know, the victims of the Reno air disaster, like my clients, are allowed no participation or voice in the NTSB investigation. We have no other choice than to trust that our government will—without influence—leave no stone unturned, comprehensively look at the facts, and determine all of the factors that lead to the crash.”

He goes on to state that the Reno Air Racing Association, Inc. has been designated as a party to the investigation and “I question what expertise that the Reno Air Racing Association, Inc. can provide to this investigation. I question whether such expertise is not offset by the fact that the Reno Air Association Inc., a private company, has major liability at stake, depending upon the conclusions reached by the investigation.”

Buzbee asks Plagans to reconsider.

Attempts to reach Plagans were not successful.

http://www.yourhoustonnews.com

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

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 September 16, 2011, about 1626 Pacific daylight time, an experimental North America P-51D, N79111, impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering at Reno Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp, Ocala, Florida, and operated by the pilot as Race 177 under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Casualties on the ground included 10 fatalities and 74 injured. As of the time of this preliminary report, eight of the injured remain hospitalized, some in critical condition. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed from Reno Stead Airport about 10 minutes before the accident.

The airplane was participating in the Reno National Championship Air Races in the last event of the day. The airplane had completed several laps and was in a steep left turn towards the home pylon when, according to photographic evidence, the airplane suddenly banked momentarily to the left before banking to the right, turning away from the race course, and pitching to a steep nose-high attitude. Witnesses reported and photographic evidence indicates that a piece of the airframe separated during these maneuvers. After roll and pitch variations, the airplane descended in an extremely nose-low attitude and collided with the ground in the box seat area near the center of the grandstand seating area.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage on site. They documented the debris field and identified various components of the airplane’s control system and control surfaces. The wreckage was removed to a secure storage facility for detailed examination at a later date.

The airplane’s ground crew noted that the airplane had a telemetry system that broadcast data to a ground station as well as recorded it to a box on board the airplane. The crew provided the ground station telemetry data, which includes engine parameters and global positioning satellite system data to the NTSB for analysis. The onboard data box, which sustained crush damage, was sent to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination. Investigators recovered pieces of a camera housing and multiple detached memory cards from the airplane’s onboard camera that were in the debris field. The memory cards and numerous still and video image recordings were also sent to the Vehicle Recorders laboratory for evaluation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Reno Air Race Association are parties to the investigation.

Amazing Video! Paraglider vs. vulture (original) / Параплан против грифа. Paraglider, Eagle Crash In Himalayas

THIS is the amazing moment a paraglider stared death in the face as an eagle got caught in his canopy strings and sent him plummeting to Earth.

The terrifying incident, which was captured on the man's head-mounted camera, unfolded over the Himalayas in India where the two collided against massive odds.

The paraglider Vladimir Tsar'kov, 25, can be heard screaming as two birds fly into shot and one gets tangled in the cord suspending him beneath his fabric wing.

The video then shows the canopy collapsing as it twists in the air.

Luckily the stricken man, who has not been named, was able to deploy his back-up parachute — the shadow of which can be seen as he nears the ground.

Miraculously BOTH the man and the bird survived the mid-air encounter despite crashing through dense branches in the final moments of their descent.

At the end of the footage - posted on YouTube - the bird can be seen stumbling to get up as the paraglider shouts to his friend.

It begins flapping furiously to try to shake itself free before calming down as the man patiently tries to pull the strings from its feathers.

Seconds later the bird grows more agitated and the man shouts as it flaps wildly, this time succeeding in breaking free and making its escape.

A postscript at the end of the clip says: "The eagle flew away and his destiny is unknown."

The incident occurred in the Indian Himalayas. The eagle flew into the slings paragliders. luckily, the pilot used the reserve parachute and all ended well.
Индия, Гималаи. Знаменитое у парапланеристов место для высоких и красивых полётов. Ежегодно в октябре-ноябре туда приезжают сотни пилотов-парапланеристов со всего мира. Полёты часто проходят рядом с орлами, они наши друзья и помощники - показывают потоки воздуха, в которых параплан набирает высоту. Но в этот раз орлы смотрели куда-то не туда и в итоге один из трёх орлов влетел в стропы параплана. Параплан спутался и дальше лететь не мог, был использован запасной парашют. Посадка чудом случилась без травм, ведь снижение на запаске не маленькое и легко можно травмироваться об камни или падая с дерева. Ругань была в шоковом состоянии, не относитесь к этому негативно, ведь с птичкой в итоге всё прекрасно :) // Akari (akari88@mail.ru).
Описание в жж: http://stpython.livejournal.com/76956.html

Senegal shuts down airspace linking Guinea

DAKAR Nov 1 (Reuters) - Senegal on Tuesday banned all planes traveling to or from Guinea from using its airspace following a row over a Senegalese plane grounded in the neighboring country.

The row is the latest in a series of spats between the West African neighbors after Guinean President Alpha Conde accused Senegal of being complicit in a failed attempt to assassinate him in July.

Senegal's government said in a statement that a plane belonging to Senegal Airlines had been grounded by Guinean authorities on Monday due to reported unpaid bills owed by the now dissolved Air Senegal International (ASI) airline.

The statement said the move was illegal as ASI had been a partnership between the Senegalese government and Royal Air Maroc while the new carrier, Senegal Airlines, was majority private-owned.

"As a result of the attitude of the Guinean authorities, Senegalese civil aviation has taken the decision to close Senegalese airspace for all planes that are travelling to or coming from Guinea," the ministry overseeing air transport said.

There was no immediate comment from the government in Guinea.

Dakar has denied any role in the attacks on Conde in July.

Conde said the attacks against him were planned at one of Senegal's top hotels, where his chief political rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, has been staying, and it would have been impossible for the Senegalese authorities not to be aware of them.

http://af.reuters.com

Raw Video: 9-foot Statue of Reagan Unveiled at the Washington-area airport


Nov 1, 2011 by Associated Press

A nine-foot statue honoring former President Ronald Reagan has been unveiled at the Washington-area airport that bears his name, more than a decade after the facility was renamed for him.

Suspected Sabotage: Qantas Boeing 767 wires cut

Federal police are investigating the suspected sabotage of one of Qantas' 265-seat Boeing 767s in Brisbane last Wednesday while the plane was being upgraded.

It is understood that after engineers returned from a lunch break, they noticed several wires had been cut on an in-flight entertainment system.

Aviation industry sources have told _The West Australian _ that further inquiries by the engineers revealed more severed wires that had been covered up.

Qantas uses Boeing 767s on Perth routes to the Eastern States.

A Qantas representative declined to give details yesterday other than to confirm that Federal police were investigating and to insist safety "was never at risk".

However, the risk of more serious sabotage or malicious damage was the reason for the delay in Qantas getting back in the air on Monday afternoon after the airline's decision on Saturday to ground its entire fleet, stranding more than 60,000 passengers.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority insisted on a comprehensive sabotage-risk mitigation strategy for Qantas, with thorough checks of critical systems after the incident.

The airline has been engaged in a bitter ten-month battle with three unions over new enterprise bargaining agreements that culminated in the airline applying to Fair Work Australia for a lockout of members and grounding of its fleet.

Airline sources said Qantas' confidential submissions to FWA - which terminated industrial action on Sunday night - detailed concerns about sabotage.

The submission from the airline's head of safety, Susan D'Ath-Weston, raised a number of risk scenarios, including flight crew distraction, intentional unsafe acts by flight crew and intentional unsafe acts by ground crew and engineers that would be undiscoverable by flight crew.

Her assessment concluded that the grounding of the fleet immediately after the lockout was announced substantially reduced the risk of sabotage.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association federal secretary Steve Purvinas said it was not known whether the incident was accidental or deliberate and who was responsible, as many people had access to the aircraft.

The grounding has strained Qantas' relationship with the Federal Government and prompted Julia Gillard to accuse Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of colluding with Qantas over the decision.

http://au.news.yahoo.com

North American P-51D-15-NA Mustang (mod.), Aero-Trans Corp. DBA (piloted by Jimmy Leeward), N79111: Accident occurred September 16, 2011. Reno Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2013
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal, 66 Serious.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/reports.html. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAB-12/01.

On September 16, 2011, about 1625 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, single-seat North American P-51D, N79111, collided with the airport ramp in the spectator box seating area following a loss of control during the National Championship Air Races unlimited class gold race at the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp (dba Leeward Aeronautical Sales), Ocala, Florida, and operated by the commercial pilot as Race 177, The Galloping Ghost, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and 10 people on the ground sustained fatal injuries, and at least 64 people on the ground were injured (at least 16 of whom were reported to have sustained serious injuries). The airplane sustained substantial damage, fragmenting upon collision with the ramp. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed RTS about 10 minutes before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The reduced stiffness of the elevator trim tab system that allowed aerodynamic flutter to occur at racing speeds. The reduced stiffness was a result of deteriorated locknut inserts that allowed the trim tab attachment screws to become loose and to initiate fatigue cracking in one screw sometime before the accident flight. Aerodynamic flutter of the trim tabs resulted in a failure of the left trim tab link assembly, elevator movement, high flight loads, and a loss of control. Contributing to the accident were the undocumented and untested major modifications to the airplane and the pilot’s operation of the airplane in the unique air racing environment without adequate flight testing.




MCKINNEY, Texas - The family of a Houston-area man killed when a racing aircraft crashed into spectators in Reno has filed $25 million lawsuit against the pilot's family, a mechanic on the World War II aircraft and the organization that hosted the event.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Collin County Court in McKinney is believed to be the first stemming from the Sept. 16 crash of pilot Jimmy Leeward's P-51D Mustang during the National Championship Air Races.

Eleven people died, including Leeward. At least 74 were hurt, when shrapnel from the plane flew into the crowd.

Video and photos of the plane moments before the crash showed parts of the tail falling from the aircraft. Some wondered if the 74-year-old pilot lost consciousness in a plane that was able to reach speeds up to 500 mph.

The NTSB and FAA are still investigating the cause of the crash.

"There are two groups of wrongdoers," said Houston-based attorney Tony Buzbee, who filed the civil liability lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Sezen Altug, a physician and widow of dead spectator Craig Salerno, and their two children, ages 6 and 8. "Those who pushed the limits of physics on the plane, being risk takers and reckless without regard for the people who might be watching them, and those who promoted and profited from hosting the show."

Leeward's son, Kent Leeward, declined comment on the lawsuit, which also names Texas-based mechanic Richard Shanholtzer Jr., the Reno Air Racing Association, Leeward Racing Inc. and family corporations in Florida , and Aeroacoustics Inc., an aircraft parts maker in Washington state.

Reno Air Racing Association chief executive Michael Houghton said he hadn't seen the lawsuit but offered "condolences to the families and fans that are affected by this devastating tragedy."

"We fully expect a number of lawsuits to be filed," Houghton told The Associated Press. "This is the first."
Shanholtzer and an Aeroacoustics official did not immediately respond to messages.

Salerno, 50, of Friendswood, Texas, was a dispatcher for Continental Airlines and a lieutenant for a volunteer fire department at home. He also volunteered at an annual Houston air show and was an avid racing pilot. He attended the races with a friend who was hospitalized with critical injuries after the crash.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are probing the crash. A board member has said they were focusing on a piece that apparently fell off the tail of Leeward's plane, dubbed "The Galloping Ghost," as it went out of control.

Photos showed a tail part known as an elevator trim tab missing as the plane climbed sharply, then rolled and plunged nose-first at more than 400 mph into box seats on the tarmac in front of the center of the grandstands. Dead and injured people were scattered widely, but there was no fire.

Leeward was a veteran movie stunt pilot and air racer who competed at the Reno air races since 197

http://www.myfoxdfw.com

NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

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 September 16, 2011, about 1626 Pacific daylight time, an experimental North America P-51D, N79111, impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering at Reno Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp, Ocala, Florida, and operated by the pilot as Race 177 under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Casualties on the ground included 10 fatalities and 74 injured. As of the time of this preliminary report, eight of the injured remain hospitalized, some in critical condition. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed from Reno Stead Airport about 10 minutes before the accident.

The airplane was participating in the Reno National Championship Air Races in the last event of the day. The airplane had completed several laps and was in a steep left turn towards the home pylon when, according to photographic evidence, the airplane suddenly banked momentarily to the left before banking to the right, turning away from the race course, and pitching to a steep nose-high attitude. Witnesses reported and photographic evidence indicates that a piece of the airframe separated during these maneuvers. After roll and pitch variations, the airplane descended in an extremely nose-low attitude and collided with the ground in the box seat area near the center of the grandstand seating area.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage on site. They documented the debris field and identified various components of the airplane’s control system and control surfaces. The wreckage was removed to a secure storage facility for detailed examination at a later date.

The airplane’s ground crew noted that the airplane had a telemetry system that broadcast data to a ground station as well as recorded it to a box on board the airplane. The crew provided the ground station telemetry data, which includes engine parameters and global positioning satellite system data to the NTSB for analysis. The onboard data box, which sustained crush damage, was sent to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination. Investigators recovered pieces of a camera housing and multiple detached memory cards from the airplane’s onboard camera that were in the debris field. The memory cards and numerous still and video image recordings were also sent to the Vehicle Recorders laboratory for evaluation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Reno Air Race Association are parties to the investigation.