Friday, November 4, 2011

Cessna 150F, N3086X: Accident occurred October 13, 2011 in Moncks Corner,, South Carolina.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA051 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 13, 2011 in Moncks Corner, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/29/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N3086X
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

According to a flight instructor, the pilot’s intent was to practice for an upcoming flight review. There were no witnesses to the accident; however, a witness at the airport observed the pilot park his car near the hangar that housed the airplane, untie the airplane, and pull it out of the hangar. Then, as the witness was leaving the airport, he saw the pilot get into the airplane. The witness also noted that the sun had gone down, but it was not quite dark when he left. Radar data for the timeframe just after the witness observed the pilot indicated a target transmitting a 1200 transponder code that is consistent with the airplane’s location. Just after sunset, the airplane took off and, after a brief flight to the northwest of the airport, entered the airport traffic area and completed a landing. After 5 minutes, the airplane was again airborne, and, according to radar data, completed another landing or a low approach. There was no further radar contact.

The pilot was reported missing 11 days after the accident and was found 3 days after that about 30 feet away from the airplane wreckage. The wreckage came to rest wedged between several trees about half way along, and to the right of, the runway about 60 feet outside the northwest airport perimeter fence. Initial tree cuts were consistent with an approximate 45-degree right-wing-down turn and 45-degree angle of descent, which is consistent with the pilot’s loss of control in flight. An examination of the wreckage revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot’s location at the accident site indicated that he was able to unhook his seatbelt and extricate himself from the airplane. Autopsy results for the pilot indicated that the cause of death was most likely the “toxic effects of ethylene glycol,” a substance most frequently encountered in antifreeze fluid. Toxicological testing did not reveal the presence of ethylene glycol, but the autopsy found associated crystals in the kidney, indicating that the pilot survived long enough for the substance to clear his system. Initial symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning mimic acute ethanol intoxication, with slurred speech and ataxia. Depression of the central nervous system can result in coma. Kidney failure is a late stage symptom.

According to the pilot's logbooks, his most recent flight review was about 9 years before the accident, and his most recent recorded flight was about 5 months before the accident. It was unknown if the pilot had recently flown but not logged the flight time. Although the pilot’s lack of recently logged flight time could indicate a loss of airplane control related to a lack of currency, it is far more likely that the debilitating effects of ethylene glycol posioning rendered him unable to control the airplane while airborne. How or why the pilot may have ingested ethylene glycol is beyond the scope of this investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The debilitating effects of ethylene glycol poisoning, which resulted in the pilot’s inability to maintain control of the airplane.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 13, 2011, at 1911 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N3086X, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain at Berkeley County Airport (MKS), Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The private pilot was fatally injured. Twilight visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan had been filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a flight instructor, the pilot’s intent was to practice for an upcoming flight review.

There were no witnesses to the accident; however, there was a witness to the pilot's activities prior to starting the airplane. That witness stated that he saw the pilot park his car near the hangar that housed the airplane, untie it, and pull it out of the hangar. Then, as the witness was leaving the airport, he saw the pilot get into the airplane. The witness also noted that the sun had gone down, but it was not quite dark when he left.

Radar, just after the timeframe that the witness had seen the pilot, included a target transmitting a 1200 transponder code. At 1851, the target was first observed at 100 feet, departing runway 23. The target then made a left turn, followed by a right turn, and proceeded to the northwest. It subsequently completed a turn back toward the airport and entered a left downwind leg at 800 feet. After the left downwind, the target completed a left descending turn to a final approach to runway 23, with the final radar contact of the approach occurring at 1902.

At 1907, another target was observed at 100 feet, departing runway 23. The target entered a left downwind and subsequently completed the traffic pattern, with last contact approaching runway 23 at 1911. There was no further radar contact.

The pilot was reported missing on October 24, 2011, and he and the airplane were found on October 27, 2011.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 64, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued April 15, 2011, and at the time, the pilot reported 1,060 total hours of flight experience. According to the pilot's logbooks, his most recent flight review occurred on June 15, 2002, and his most recent recorded flight occurred on May 8, 2011, at 1,062.6 hours of flight time.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1966 and registered to the owner on August 10, 1992. It was powered by a Continental Motors O-200 series, 100-horsepower engine. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 10, 2011. At the time of the inspection, the reported total time was 3,600.2 hours in service with a tachometer time of 1,688.0 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather, recorded at the airport at 1855, included calm wind, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 22 degrees C, dew point 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.65 inches Hg.

According to United States Naval Observatory data, sunset occurred at 1849. The end of civil twilight occurred at 1914, and moonrise was not until 1933, with the moon then having a 98 percent visible disk.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 23 was 4,351 feet long and 75 feet wide, and was constructed of concrete. The airport did not have an air traffic control tower. Communications utilized a common traffic advisory frequency and were not recorded.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in a level, wooded area about 60 feet outside the northwest airport perimeter fence, about 1,900 feet from the approach end of runway 23. The airplane came to rest in the vicinity of 33 degrees 11.24 minutes north latitude, 080 degrees 02.25 minutes west longitude. Initial tree cuts were consistent with an approximately 45-degree right-wing-down turn, 45-degree angle of descent, on a 330-degree magnetic heading.

The airplane came to rest wedged between several trees, with the wings, left wing up, right wing down, nearly vertical. About 8 feet from the right wing tip, where the wing was first in contact with the ground, it was bent about 90 degrees toward, and under the fuselage. The fuselage came to rest approximately parallel to, and about 5 feet above the ground.

All components of the airplane were located at the accident site, and flight control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces. The flaps were confirmed extended to about 15 degrees by measurement of the flap actuator drive screw.

The tachometer time was 1,688.9 hours.

The engine firewall was deflected upward. The fuselage and empennage remained intact and were wrinkled and dented. Both wings exhibited leading edge, aft crushing. The elevator, horizontal stabilizer, rudder, and vertical stabilizer remained attached at all attachment points. The vertical stabilizer exhibited leading edge impact damage while the leading edges of the horizontal stabilizers were not damaged.

The propeller remained attached to the propeller hub. One blade was missing the propeller tip, and exhibited s-bending and leading edge damage. The other blade exhibited slight aft bending.

The engine remained attached to the fuselage. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed to the accessory section of the engine by hand-turning the propeller. Compression was obtained on three of the four cylinders with the fourth cylinder exhibiting impact damage. Spark was obtained on all towers of the magnetos. The presence of fuel was confirmed in the right fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor.

The field examination of the airframe and powerplant revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal airplane operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

According to local authorities, the pilot was found about 30 feet from the airplane.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, with the cause of death reported as "probable toxic effects of ethylene glycol."

The autopsy also noted that there were scattered contusions and abrasions on the body up to 1 inch [in length], fractures of the 6th and 7th ribs, and hemorrhagic abdominal wall musculature, but no palpable fractures or dislocations of the extremities.

Microscopic examination of the kidney revealed the presence of numerous fan-shaped, birefringent crystals.

According to the toxicological profile for ethylene glycol prepared by the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

“Information on the health effects of oral exposure in humans is largely limited to case reports of acute accidental or intentional ingestion of ethylene glycol. These case reports have identified three stages of acute oral ethylene glycol toxicity in humans. These stages are well documented and occur within 72 hours after ingestion. The first stage involves central nervous system depression, metabolic changes (hyperosmolality), and gastrointestinal upset, and spans the period from 30 minutes to 12 hours. During the second stage (12–24 hours after ingestion), metabolic acidosis and associated cardio-pulmonary symptoms…become evident. During stage three, which covers the period 24–72 hours after ethylene glycol ingestion, renal involvement becomes evident. The third stage is characterized by flank pain and oliguria/anuria. Histopathological findings show renal tubular necrosis and deposition of calcium oxalate crystals. Often, the cardiopulmonary effects in the second stage are not evident, so the distinguishing symptoms of ethylene glycol intoxication are central nervous system depression, acidosis, and nephrotoxicity.”

The profile also noted that, “Adverse neurological reactions are among the first symptoms to appear in humans after ethylene glycol ingestion.”

Forensic toxicology testing was also performed at the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results included no carbon monoxide or cyanide detected in the blood, no ethanol detected in the urine, Bupropion detected in the urine but not in the blood, and 1.187 (ug/mL, ug/g) Lamotrigine detected in the blood and urine. Ethylene glycol was not noted.

Neither Bupropion nor Lamotrigine were reported on the pilot’s most recent application for a medical certificate, and the investigation was unable to identify treating physicians or obtain further personal medical information.

According to the NTSB Medical Officer Factual Report, “buproprion is an antidepressant used to treat depression and as a smoking cessation aid. Buproprion carries the following FDA warnings: 1) a dose-dependent risk of seizures; 2) may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). Lamotrigine is an atypical anti-seizure medication that is also used to treat bipolar disease.”

An investigation into how or why the pilot may have ingested ethylene glycol is beyond the scope of this investigation.



Kenneth W. Tollett


 ~

MONCKS CORNER — Kenneth Tollett evidently tried to crawl away from the wreckage. His private plane had gone over the airport fence and into the trees alongside the runway. He could have survived, maybe. But what needed to happen didn’t.

He wouldn’t be found for two weeks.

The Moncks Corner man’s family is burying him Saturday after a funeral service in Dunlap, Tenn. His death in the horrible wreck at Berkeley County Airport on Oct. 13, and the delay searching for him, were the consequences of too many things gone wrong. He wasn’t found sooner because he didn’t tell anyone that he planned to fly and because he had a tendency to go off by himself, so no one immediately became alarmed.

Tollett, 64, flew in an airspace plagued by old emergency equipment giving off so many false signals that the U.S. Air Force no longer monitors the frequency. A lot of private pilots don’t even listen to it unless requested. The $5,000-$6,000 cost of upgrading to more closely monitored satellite equipment discourages a lot of pilots.

Like a lot of private pilots, he wasn’t required to file a flight plan or even check in with the office. The emergency equipment designed to back him up isn’t always reliable. And pilots who are supposed to listen for it, often don’t.

The circumstances stacked the odds against him.


http://www.postandcourier.com

Pakistan International Airlines bailout package rejected

ISLAMABAD: The government turned down on Friday a Rs20 billion bailout package requested by the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to help it come out of a ‘financial crisis’.

“The government does not have the capacity to provide cash support. We can help them in loan restructuring but they will have to meet performance indicators,” Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan said.

According to sources, the government has concluded that the prevailing crisis in the national carrier is because of ‘mismanagement’ and ‘bad governance’ and not financial shortcomings.

The sources said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari took notice of PIA’s deteriorating condition and called its chief to give him strict instructions for bringing improvement in the airline’s affairs.

They said nine of the 39 PIA planes had been grounded because of some ‘erroneous decisions’ of the management, including an agreement with a US firm, Transworld, for the supply of spares, food items and other material.

An official told Dawn that a team of PIA officers met Prime Minister Gilani on Thursday and sought the bailout package.
However the team was warned by the premier that “an attitude of business as usual is unacceptable”.

The prime minister also constituted a committee led by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and comprising Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi, Principal Secretary Khushnood Lashari and the defence secretary to prepare within a week a roadmap for PIA’s turnaround.

http://www.dawn.com

Direct Air cancels West Palm Beach flights from Chicago/Rockford International Airport (KRFD)

ROCKFORD — Equipment problems prompted Direct Air to cancel flights from Chicago Rockford International Airport to West Palm Beach, Fla., an airport official said.

Hundreds of travelers are affected by cancellation of service, which was supposed to begin Nov. 16. Flights have been canceled through January, the airport official said.

Rachel Bachrodt bought six tickets in September for a winter trip to Florida’s Atlantic coast.

She said Direct Air refused to give her a refund, telling her she could fly from Rockford to Punta Gorda airport near Fort Myers, 144 miles away on the Gulf coast, and rent a car.

“Well, I didn’t purchase the tickets to go to Fort Myers,” she said. “Offering tickets to another destination is not acceptable. They are simply not usable.”

Bachrodt said she would seek a refund by disputing the charge with her credit card company.

Several calls to Direct Air President Ed Warneck for comment were not returned. Direct Air is based in Myrtle Beach, N.C.

Zach Sundquist, air service analyst at the Rockford airport, said Direct Air was supposed to start seasonal service Nov. 16. But the airport was told it had aircraft problems.

“We’ve been getting some calls from people, venting frustration, but they understand that we’re the airport, not the airline,” he said.

Direct Air is a public charter. It does not own its planes. It leases them from other companies for Direct Air routes, Sundquist said.

Direct Air started twice weekly seasonal flights to Palm Beach last November.

http://www.rrstar.com

1st Delaware Aviation Career Day tomorrow at New Castle Airport (KILG), Wilmington, Delaware

The first Delaware Aviation Career Day is being held Saturday at the New Castle Airport. “Let your dreams take flight” is the theme of the first Delaware Aviation Advisory Council’s Career Day. It’s from 9am to 2pm at the New Castle Airport and is for Delaware and South Jersey High school educators and students in grades 10 through 12 who are interested in learning about professional careers in civilian and military aviation and aviation technology. It happens at the Delaware Air National Guard side – and students will get up close and personal with a C-130 transport plane, talk with Airmen and see the maintenance and support shops. They will also get to talk with civilian aircrew and look at several civilian aircraft.

PNG Commission says over-spinning propellers could be cause of plane crash

A pair of over-spinning propellers is being investigated as the cause of a plane crash that killed 28 people in Papua New Guinea last month.

The PNG Accident Investigation Commission’s preliminary report into the October 13 crash near Madang, shows the Airlines PNG Dash 8 went into high speed in the minutes before the crash.

The Sydney Morning Herald says the report said both propellers simultaneously oversped and exceeded their maximum permitted revolutions per minute by in excess of 60 per cent.

Air Crash Investigator Sid O’Toole told reporters it was unusual for both propellers to overspeed at the same time.

Mr O’Toole said the aircraft’s propellers will be sent to the USA for analysis, while other parts will be sent to Canada.

He said he expected an update to the report in four months’ time.

Australian pilot Bill Spencer, his New Zealand co-pilot Campbell Wagstaff, a crew member and a passenger were the only survivors of the crash.

The airline has resumed flying its Dash 8 fleet after being cleared by PNG’s Civil Aviation and Safety Authority last week.

Meanwhile, a proposed merger with national airliner Air Niugini has been scrapped by the PNG government.

http://www.rnzi.com

Airlines PNG aircraft engines 'over-revving'. Papua New Guinea

Witnesses to a fiery air crash in Papua New Guinea in which 28 people died but a Kiwi pilot walked away with bruises reported a loud bang as the engines over-revved.

The country's Aircraft Investigation Commission yesterday issued a graphic preliminary report - although without any conclusive findings - into the crash of an Airlines PNG Bombardier Dash-8 on October 13. Co-pilot Campbell Wagstaff, whose parents live in Te Kuiti, survived the fiery crash with only four others.

The aircraft left a trail of wreckage 300m long, but evidence from marks on the trees and the ground indicated to the investigators that it force-landed in "a controlled state in a shallow angle of descent".

Both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were recovered undamaged and taken to Canberra for analysis.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Shannon airport to lose €8m this year (Ireland)

THE MINISTER for Transport, Tourism and Sport has confirmed that Shannon airport is heading for an €8 million loss for this year.

“The way things are going, Shannon will not be important any more because there will be so few people going through it and I want it to be a strategic asset for the region,” Leo Varadkar said.

The Minister was in Bunratty Folk Park yesterday to announce €6.6 million in funding for various tourism projects, including €3.15 million for riverside improvements in Co Limerick and €1.22 million on Derrynane House in Co Kerry,

He confirmed that projected losses of about €8 million for Shannon this year, following combined losses of €16 million for the airport in 2010 and 2009.

“There is a difficulty with Shannon. It is losing money. It is losing over €8 million a year and in the past that was okay, because the profits in Dublin were enough to cover it, but Dublin isn’t making money any more either, largely as a consequence of T2, so we need to make sure that Shannon is sustainable in its own right.”

He added: “I would like to see Shannon operate as an autonomous entity running its own affairs, but that can only be done if it’s financially sustainable because there isn’t subsidies available for the airport.

“There wasn’t during the boom, there certainty isn’t now. We are certainly in a difficult position in terms of the budget.”

Mr Varadkar said he was not yet convinced by any of the options under consideration for the future of the airport “and that is the purpose of the process we are going through”, in reference to the consultant’s report he has commissioned on the future of Shannon and Cork airports.

He also ruled out writing off any debts Shannon airport had in any new structure.

“We are not in a position to write off any debts. A lot of State companies have debts and in many cases they are self-inflicted. If we were writing off debts for one State asset, we would have to do it for others and that is not something we are in a position to do.”

He added: “Shannon is a loss-making airport and the only sustainable future for an airport like Shannon is one where it is busy and you have a lot of people flying in and out. What we had over the last number of years is the airport been neglected by policymakers and the previous government and it can’t go on the way it is.”

http://www.irishtimes.com

Cessna 402C, Acklins Blue Charter, C6-NLH: Accident occured October 05, 2010 in Nassau, Bahamas


The Bahamas Department of Aviation has "done nothing" to create meaningful changes to the regulations governing the sector, according to a leading executive, with a recent crash report containing rehashed and stale recommendations tabled years ago.

Randy Butler, the CEO of SkyBahamas, told Guardian Business that an independent body must be brought in to analyze the findings and provide an objective view.

"The department hasn't taken any responsibility and done nothing," he said. "If you're talking about having appropriate regulation, that's a stroke of the pen. There is no political will to get anything done."

The comments follow a report recently leaked to the media, which was penned under the direction of Captain Patrick Rolle, the director of the Bahamas Aviation Department.

In the report, the Air Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit (AAIPU) detailed the circumstances surrounding a fatal accident in October 2010 that killed nine people in the waters of Lake Killarney, and highlighted the need for "tougher penalties for persons engaging in unauthorized air charters".

This recommendation, one of 15, is "not new", Butler explained, and the department is placing them in the report "as if they are new".

"Why would you give recommendations and not attempt to put them in place?" he asked.

Messages left for Rolle at the Department of Aviation were not returned by press time.

Butler told Guardian Business the majority of the recommendations in the report were first tabled after an audit in 2008/2009, whereby it was determined some 61 percent of the aviation sector was non-compliant.

A correction action plan was proposed, Butler explained.

Among the other recommendations in the report from the AAIPU include an evaluation of the surveillance programs to ensure that budget and personal resources are sufficient and a request to amend regulations to enforce that flight plans are required for all flights.

In addition to the recommendations being stale, Butler felt a report should be penned by an external agency.

The Bahamas is too small with similar interests at play to keep the issue strictly within the country, he said.

"You shouldn't have the people in this small industry and country do an accident investigation. There should be a separate investigation that is independent of them. The action must be transparent and everyone should be satisfied," he added.

http://www.bahamaslocal.com

Lawsuit looms after plane crash report. 

The families of the nine men killed in a plane crash in Lake Killarney over a year ago intend to sue the manufacturer of the aircraft and the engine, The Nassau Guardian has learned.

Shenicia Williams, wife of Clarence "Nat" Williams, one of the victims, said the group is planning to file a civil suit.  She said the families have already hired a lawyer to handle the proceedings.  

However, she declined to give further details, adding that her lawyer advised her not to.

The men were killed when the doomed Acklins Blue Charter crashed into the lake minutes after take-off from Lyden Pindling International Airport.

The twin engine Cessna was on the way to San Salvador for the Discovery Day weekend festival when it crashed on October 5, 2010.

Williams said the families of the victims were awaiting the report on the crash, which she said would help them put the ordeal behind them.

Minister with responsibility for Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, and officials from The Department of Civil Aviation have refused to officially release the report.

However, copies have leaked to the media.

Williams said she is relieved that is has finally been released.

"I think that all of the families, we've been seeking healing and I've known and realized that the only healing is through Christ.  So we're just happy," she said.

REPORT'S FINDINGS

The report prepared by Delvin Major, an investigator at the Department of Civil Aviation, indicates that pilot Nelson Hanna would have had a better chance of landing the aircraft had he not attempted to turn the aircraft around.

"If, instead of attempting to return to the airport, the pilot had decided to force land into the lake more or less straight ahead, the outcome might have been different," the report said.

"There would still have been a crash risk and probably a rapid longitudinal deceleration, but the vertical speed at impact could have been low, the wings could have been leveled and this would have made the end of the flight far more survivable for all onboard."

According to the report, the left engine of C6-NLH suffered a mechanical failure of the number two cylinder, and therefore could not produce rated shaft horsepower.  

"The electrical and engine control switches for the right engine of C6-NLH were found in the 'off' position; therefore the aircraft was incapable of climbing on the power of one engine alone,"  the report reveals.

The report adds that it is possible that the pilot never considered the forced landing option when the aircraft would no longer climb.  What seems likely is that under extreme pressure, he maintained the only option that occurred to him - returning to the airport.

Furthermore, the report notes that according to eyewitness reports, from the initiation of takeoff power up to the point when the aircraft lost control white smoke was observed trailing behind the left engine of the aircraft.

"Eyewitnesses also reported that the takeoff appeared normal with gear retracted shortly after takeoff and the aircraft seemed to struggling to climb,"  the report says.

"The aircraft was seen at a low height, turning in a left direction over the lake as if trying to return for a landing at the airport.  The bank of the aircraft changed from shallow to very steep to almost perpendicular to the ground, gears were extended and almost immediately the aircraft lost control and nose dived into the lake inverted.

"It cartwheeled, coming to rest upright, approximately 1/4 mile from the approach end of runway 27.  The aircraft came to rest on an approximate heading of 210 degrees."

The report also indicated that the aircraft was over the maximum allowed weight for takeoff by more than 500 pounds.

The flight plan filed for this flight listed on person onboard; however, there were seven additional occupants including a second pilot.

The maximum weight allowed was 6,850.  However, the total weight recovered was 7,373, according to the report.

"The excess weight above the maximum weight allowed for takeoff may have been an important factor in the aircraft's inability to gain adequate altitude after takeoff,"  according to the report.

In addition to Williams, 38; and Hanna, 43; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin, 23; Devon Storr, 27; Chanoine Mildor, 44; Lavard Curtis, 26; and Taylor, who was 28, all died in the crash.

NTSB Identification: ERA11WA008
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 05, 2010 in Nassau, Bahamas
Aircraft: CESSNA 402, registration: C6NLH
Injuries: 9 Fatal.


On October 5, 2010, about 1236 Atlantic standard time, a Cessna 402C, Bahamian registration C6-NLH, registered to and operated by Lebocruise Air Limited, crashed into Lake Killarney shortly after takeoff from the Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the non-U.S., non-commercial flight from MYNN to the San Salvador Airport (MYSM), Cockburn Town, Bahamas. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the certificated commercial pilot, co-pilot, and 7 passengers were killed. The flight originated about 1233, from MYNN.

The pilot was cleared to takeoff from runway 14, and according to the pilot of an airplane who was behind the accident airplane waiting to takeoff, white colored smoke was observed trailing the left engine during takeoff. The tower controller reportedly informed the accident pilot of the smoke and the accident pilot stated to the controller he needed to return to the airport and requested runway 27. While returning to the airport, a pilot-rated witness reported seeing the airplane in a “hard over” bank to the left followed by the airplane pitching nose down. The airplane crashed into the lake approximately 1,000 feet abeam the approach threshold of runway 32.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Bahamas. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Manager of Flight Standards Inspectorate, Bahamas
P.O. Box AP 59244
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
Phone: (242) 377-3445/3448
Facsimile: (242) 377-6060

This report is for information purposes only, and contains only information released by or obtained for the Bahamian Government.

Cessna 402C, Acklins Blue Charter, C6-NLH. Lake Killarney, New Providence Island, Bahamas: Accident occurred October 5, 2010

THE lawyer representing the families of the men who were killed in the Lake Killarney plane crash is "frustrated" at not receiving an official investigation report from the Department of Civil Aviation.

Devard Francis said he needs the report in order to move forward with several law suits he plans to file on behalf of his clients.

He represents the families for all of the men involved in the October 5 plane crash, except pilot Nelson Hanna.

Mr Francis was tight-lipped on who the families intend to sue, however, sources said they will file claims against the Government, the manufacturer of the plane and a company that inspected the aircraft and cleared it for flight.

The findings of the crash probe, which was prepared by the Department of Civil Aviation, were exclusively published in The Tribune earlier this week.

Tourism and Aviation Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said the official report is expected to be released in less than month.

However, Mr Francis said he still has no idea what is in the report - except for what he read in The Tribune - despite his many efforts.

He said: "This is ridiculous. It has been more than a year and the families have yet to know what happened that day. We have written over a dozen letters to the aviation department and have gotten no response. I called them up to yesterday but they insist the report is still not ready. How long does this process take?"

Most of the victims' families are suffering financially without the men who were the "bread winners of the households".

"Some of these people are literally going through a financial drought without their husbands and brothers. The insurance companies are not releasing money to them because the report has not been released. These people are going through hell," said Mr Francis.

"God forbid another plane crashes and other families have to go through this delay. You have to remember that there were more victims than the people who died that day. Their families have now also become victims."

The 90-page report prepared by Delvin Major, an investigator at the Department of Civil Aviation, revealed several contributing factors to the crash that killed all nine people aboard. Pilot Nelson Hanna was not certified to operate commercial charter flights; he and his co-pilot ignored earlier signs that the plane's left engine was failing and the Cessna 402C was more than 500lbs overweight.

It also revealed Mr Hanna turned off the power to his plane's right engine, which showed no mechanical problems, while the plane's left engine was failing and smoking.

The Acklins Blue Air Charter went down minutes after take off from the Lynden Pindling International Airport on October 5, 2010.

All nine men on board the plane died as a result of the crash. They are Clarence Williams, 38; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin,23; Devon Storr, 27; Chanoine Mildor, 44; Lavard Curtis, 26; Delon Taylor, 28, and pilot Nelson Hanna, 43.

 
NTSB Identification: ERA11WA008
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 05, 2010 in Nassau, Bahamas
Aircraft: CESSNA 402, registration: C6NLH
Injuries: 9 Fatal.
 
On October 5, 2010, about 1236 Atlantic standard time, a Cessna 402C, Bahamian registration C6-NLH, registered to and operated by Lebocruise Air Limited, crashed into Lake Killarney shortly after takeoff from the Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the non-U.S., non-commercial flight from MYNN to the San Salvador Airport (MYSM), Cockburn Town, Bahamas. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the certificated commercial pilot, co-pilot, and 7 passengers were killed. The flight originated about 1233, from MYNN.



The pilot was cleared to takeoff from runway 14, and according to the pilot of an airplane who was behind the accident airplane waiting to takeoff, white colored smoke was observed trailing the left engine during takeoff. The tower controller reportedly informed the accident pilot of the smoke and the accident pilot stated to the controller he needed to return to the airport and requested runway 27. While returning to the airport, a pilot-rated witness reported seeing the airplane in a “hard over” bank to the left followed by the airplane pitching nose down. The airplane crashed into the lake approximately 1,000 feet abeam the approach threshold of runway 32.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Bahamas. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Manager of Flight Standards Inspectorate, Bahamas
P.O. Box AP 59244
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
Phone: (242) 377-3445/3448
Facsimile: (242) 377-6060

This report is for information purposes only, and contains only information released by or obtained for the Bahamian Government.

Cessna 402C, ABC Airways Charter, C6-NLH: Accident occurred October 5, 2010 in Lake Killarney, New Providence Island, Bahamas

NTSB Identification: ERA11WA008 
 14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 05, 2010 in Nassau, Bahamas
Aircraft: CESSNA 402, registration: C6NLH
Injuries: 9 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On October 5, 2010, about 1236 Atlantic standard time, a Cessna 402C, Bahamian registration C6-NLH, registered to and operated by Lebocruise Air Limited, crashed into Lake Killarney shortly after takeoff from the Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the non-U.S., non-commercial flight from MYNN to the San Salvador Airport (MYSM), Cockburn Town, Bahamas. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the certificated commercial pilot, co-pilot, and 7 passengers were killed. The flight originated about 1233, from MYNN.

The pilot was cleared to takeoff from runway 14, and according to the pilot of an airplane who was behind the accident airplane waiting to takeoff, white colored smoke was observed trailing the left engine during takeoff. The tower controller reportedly informed the accident pilot of the smoke and the accident pilot stated to the controller he needed to return to the airport and requested runway 27. While returning to the airport, a pilot-rated witness reported seeing the airplane in a “hard over” bank to the left followed by the airplane pitching nose down. The airplane crashed into the lake approximately 1,000 feet abeam the approach threshold of runway 32.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Bahamas. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Manager of Flight Standards Inspectorate, Bahamas
P.O. Box AP 59244
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
Phone: (242) 377-3445/3448
Facsimile: (242) 377-6060

This report is for information purposes only, and contains only information released by or obtained for the Bahamian Government.

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

THE ill-fated pilot of the plane that crashed into Lake Killarney was warned about engine deficiencies on his Cessna 402C aircraft but "shrugged it off" hours before he and the eight other people on board crashed to their deaths, an accident report prepared by the Civil Aviation Department said.

Minutes before the crash pilot Nelson Hanna was also alerted by an air traffic controller that white smoke was trailing from his left engine during take-off, however, he did not declare an emergency nor did he report any engine or mechanical failure to the control room.

The plane's left engine failed, however, Hanna turned off his plane's right engine, which showed no mechanical failures, causing the aircraft to lose its thrust while it was 150 to 300 feet in the air.

The pilot then initiated a steep turn while the plane's landing gear was down as he tried to return to the runway but the plane stalled, pitched nose down and fell into the lake shortly after 12.30 pm on October 5, 2010.

The 90-page report prepared by Delvin Major, an investigator at the Department of Civil Aviation, revealed that Mr Hanna knew of his plane's mechanical problems hours before the crash.

According to the report, Mr Hanna conducted a charter flight from LPIA to Treasure Cay, Abaco at 9.30 am.

A passenger, who sat behind the co-pilot on the Abaco flight, said he noticed "technical problems" with the plane's left engine pressure gauge needle readings before the plane took off from the runway. The unidentified passenger - who is an American pilot - said he was "uneasy" because he had been in a accident on a plane with the "exact type of manifold pressure discrepancy".

He said he told Mr Hanna and his co-pilot, but the men dismissed his concerns.

Said the report: "The passenger reported that he observed the left engine manifold pressure needle not reacting as it should. The passenger stated that he advised both pilots and they both shrugged it off as no big deal and said it will clear up when full power is applied.

"Eventually, the needle indications matched each other and once the pilots were satisfied the aircraft departed."

It was also noted that the plane's navigational instruments - needed for instrument meteorological conditions - were inoperative.

Despite the passenger's misgivings, the pressure reading eventually became normal and the plane was able to take off and later land in Marsh Harbour, not Treasure Cay as originally intended, due to bad weather.

Hanna then flew to Nassau where he accepted a request to fly seven people from LPIA to San Salvador. They were heading to the island for a weekend music festival.

However, a flight plan filed by the pilot listed only one person on board the plane.

The second flight took off at 12.30pm. Eye-witnesses told investigators they saw white smoke trailing behind the left engine before the plane became airborne. Some witnesses said they heard sounds of the engine misfire and saw the smoking intensify upon take-off.

The investigation also revealed that the twin engine plane was 523 pounds over the maximum weight allowed for take-off when it crashed minutes after leaving the runway.

There was no cockpit voice recorder onboard the plane, so investigators had no idea what conversation, if any, took place between the crew during their last moments alive.

However investigators speculated that the harrowing moments before the crash confused Mr Hanna causing him to turn off the wrong engine. The report added that the pilot's decision to return to the runway was likely based on instinct and was not practical in an emergency.

Said the report: "The experienced and competent pilot was confronted with an unenviable emergency at a critical stage of flight. A number of potentially confusing cues may have led to him misidentifying the partial loss of power from the left engine and secured the right engine. His reaction and instinct to return to the runway confounded his instinctive reaction to an emergency situation, which is much practised in training and testing.

"The time for him to make the correct diagnosis and to take corrective action was short. During this time he announced his decision to return to the airport for a landing on runway 27 and initiated a turn to the left. With the left engine problem persisting and the right engine secured and not producing thrust at this time, the reduced thrust of the left engine was insufficient to maintain lift. In a tightening turn, with gears extended, the aircraft stalled, became inverted which resulted in a steep nose dive into the lake."

A toxicology report found Mr Hanna had an over the counter drug, salicyate, in his urine however it could not be determined if this was enough to impair his judgment.

All nine men on board the plane died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries from the crash. They are Clarence Williams, 38; Chet Johnson, 39; Corey Farquharson, 41; Junior Lubin, 23; Devon Storr 27; Chanoine Mildor, 44; Lavard Curtis, 26; Delon Taylor, 28 and Hanna, 43.

A memorial service was held for the victims on the anniversary of the crash.

United Express Pilot Sentenced For Flying Drunk. Pilot To Serve 6 Months In Federal Prison

DENVER, Colo. -- United Express pilot Aaron Jason Cope,33, of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced Friday morning by visiting U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim to serve 6 months in federal prison followed by 6 months of home detention for operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol, according to the Office of the US Attorney in Denver.

The judge ordered Cope to spend the first three months of home detention under electronic monitoring, according to a news release from the US Attorney's Office. Cope was also sentenced to serve 2 years on supervised release, according to a release by the US Attorney's Office in Denver.

U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim is visiting from the District of Minnesota. Cope was ordered to report to a facility designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons by January 3, 2012, according to a news release.

According to the US Attorney;s Office in Denver: Cope was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 16, 2011. He was convicted of the charge alleged in the indictment, namely the operation of an aircraft under the influence of alcohol following a two-day bench trial which started on June 6, 2011 and concluded on June 7, 2011. Judge Tunheim's written opinion finding the defendant guilty was issued on June 17, 2011. Cope was sentenced today, November 4, 2011.

According to the indictment, facts presented during the trial, and the written opinion of Judge Tunheim, on December 8, 2009, Cope was the co-pilot and first officer on United Express Flight 7687, a commercial flight operated by Shuttle America, Inc., from Austin, Texas to Denver, Colorado. As co-pilot and first officer, Cope was in a "safety sensitive" position. The captain of Flight 7687, Robert Obodzinski, sat in close proximity to Cope in the cockpit. Obodzinski testified that although Cope appeared to be thinking and speaking clearly, periodically during the flight he detected an unusual odor, which he eventually concluded was the smell of an alcoholic beverage. Upon arriving at the gate at Denver International Airport (DIA), Obodzinski leaned over and "took a big wiff." Obodzinski testified that he concluded that the smell of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from Cope.

According to the facts presented during the trial, Obodzinski contacted dispatch to delay the next scheduled leg of the flight until the issue was resolved. While Cope went outside to conduct a post-flight inspection, Obodzinski spoke by phone with the acting chief pilot of the airline, his union representative, and a Human Resources Manager for Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America. Once Cope returned to the cockpit, Obodzinski reportedly told him, "if you have any problem taking a breathalyzer, call off sick and get out of here," to which Cope replied, "well, I guess I better call off sick then." Obodzinski was directed by his company to escort Cope to an alcohol testing facility in DIA's main terminal.

At the testing facility, according to testimony, Cope stated that he had gone to a bar with a friend and also purchased beer from a gas station near the hotel. On December 8, 2011, at 10:33 a.m. Cope was administered a breathalyzer test, which reflected his alcohol content was .094. At 10:54 a.m. a second "confirmation" test was administered, which reflected a .084 percent alcohol content. According to Judge Tunheim's opinion, Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America, has a "zero tolerance" policy regarding alcohol consumption in safety-sensitive positions, and considers a blood alcohol content of .02 percent grounds for termination. The FAA prohibits an individual from acting as a crew member of a civil aircraft while impaired by alcohol, with a blood alcohol content of .04 percent, or within eight hours after the consumption of any alcohol beverage.

"The public rightly expects that airline pilots will not drink and fly," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Because flying while intoxicated is a serious crime and puts the lives of passengers and people on the ground in danger, we will prosecute it swiftly and effectively - every time."

"Today's sentencing is a clear signal that severe penalties are in store for those pilots who act in a criminally irresponsible manner and fail in their core duty to protect the passengers that are in their care," said Max Smith, Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent in Charge of the Fort Worth Regional Office. "Both DOT and the OIG are committed to ensuring the safety of the Nation's aviation system. We will continue to vigorously investigate and work with our prosecutorial colleagues to see that those who violate criminal laws and endanger the traveling public are punished to the fullest extent of the law."


DENVER - Aaron Jason Cope, age 33, of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced this morning by visiting U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim to serve 6 months in federal prison followed by six months of home detention for operating a common carrier under the influence of alcohol.

The judge ordered Cope to spend the first three months of home detention under electronic monitoring.

Cope was also sentenced to serve two years on supervised release. U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim is visiting from the District of Minnesota. Cope was ordered to report to a facility designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons by Jan. 3, 2012.

Aaron Jason Cope was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 16, 2011. He was convicted of the charge alleged in the indictment, namely the operation of an aircraft under the influence of alcohol following a two-day bench trial which started on June 6, 2011 and concluded on June 7, 2011.

Judge Tunheim's written opinion finding the defendant guilty was issued on June 17, 2011. Cope was sentenced on Friday.

According to the indictment, facts presented during the trial, and the written opinion of Judge Tunheim, on Dec. 8, 2009, Cope was the co-pilot and first officer on United Express Flight 7687, a commercial flight operated by Shuttle America, Inc., from Austin, Texas to Denver, Colorado.

As co-pilot and first officer, Cope was in a "safety sensitive" position.

The captain of Flight 7687, Robert Obodzinski, sat in close proximity to Cope in the cockpit. Obodzinski testified that although Cope appeared to be thinking and speaking clearly, periodically during the flight he detected an unusual odor, which he eventually concluded was the smell of an alcoholic beverage.

Upon arriving at the gate at DIA, Obodzinski leaned over and "took a big wiff." Obodzinski testified that he concluded that the smell of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from Cope.

According to the facts presented during the trial, Obodzinski contacted dispatch to delay the next scheduled leg of the flight until the issue was resolved. While Cope went outside to conduct a post-flight inspection, Obodzinski spoke by phone with the acting chief pilot of the airline, his union representative and a Human Resources Manager for Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America.

Once Cope returned to the cockpit, Obodzinski reportedly told him, "if you have any problem taking a breathalyzer, call off sick and get out of here," to which Cope replied, "Well, I guess I better call off sick then." Obodzinski was directed by his company to escort Cope to an alcohol testing facility in DIA's main terminal.

At the testing facility, according to testimony, Cope stated that he had gone to a bar with a friend and also purchased beer from a gas station near the hotel. On Dec. 8, 2009, at 10:33 a.m. Cope was administered a breathalyzer test, which reflected his alcohol content was .094.

At 10:54 a.m. a second "confirmation" test was administered, which reflected a .084 percent alcohol content. According to Judge Tunheim's opinion, Republic Airways, the parent company of Shuttle America, has a "zero tolerance" policy regarding alcohol consumption in safety-sensitive positions, and considers a blood alcohol content of .02 percent grounds for termination. The FAA prohibits an individual from acting as a crew member of a civil aircraft while impaired by alcohol, with a blood alcohol content of .04 percent, or within eight hours after the consumption of any alcohol beverage.

"The public rightly expects that airline pilots will not drink and fly," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Because flying while intoxicated is a serious crime and puts the lives of passengers and people on the ground in danger, we will prosecute it swiftly and effectively - every time."

"Today's sentencing is a clear signal that severe penalties are in store for those pilots who act in a criminally irresponsible manner and fail in their core duty to protect the passengers that are in their care," said Max Smith, Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Agent in Charge of the Fort Worth Regional Office. "Both DOT and the OIG are committed to ensuring the safety of the Nation's aviation system. We will continue to vigorously investigate and work with our prosecutorial colleagues to see that those who violate criminal laws and endanger the traveling public are punished to the fullest extent of the law."

This case was investigated by the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General, and the FAA, with full cooperation by Shuttle America.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Mackey and Mark Pestal. 

http://www.9news.com

Cessna 172, N212CF: Accident occurred November 02, 2011 in Frederick, Maryland

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA061
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 02, 2011 in Frederick, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: N212CF

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

After touchdown, with a left crosswind of about 6 knots, the student pilot reported a strong vibration in the wheels and a pull to the left. He applied power to abort the landing, but did not maintain directional control, and, as a result, the airplane departed the left side of the runway, collapsing the nose landing gear. Postaccident inspection of the nose landing gear shimmy damper revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot’s inadequate directional control during the landing roll.


On November 2, 2011, about 1715 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172R, N212CF, registered to FL Flyers LLC, operated by Frederick Flight Center, experienced a loss of control during landing at Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), Frederick, Maryland. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight from Carroll County Regional Airport/Jack B Poage Field (DMW), Westminster, Maryland. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the student pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The flight originated about 20 minutes earlier from DMW.

The student pilot stated that the accident flight was his fourth solo flight. He departed FDK and flew to DMW where he performed a full-stop landing. He later reported noticing a "slight shutter in the wheels during the landing roll but no steering issue was noticed." He departed to return to FDK, and entered the traffic pattern for landing on runway 23. He reported that the approach was flown at 70 knots, and after a smooth touchdown, he reported that almost immediately he, “…felt a strong vibration in the wheels and a pull to the left….” He applied power to go around, and attempted to keep the longitudinal axis of the airplane aligned with the runway but the airplane veered to the left and departed the left side of the runway. The airplane came to an abrupt stop with the nose pitched into the ground.

Postaccident inspection of the airplane and airport were performed by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector. The inspector reported that black marks on the runway were noted to the runway edge, consistent with brake application. Inspection of the airplane revealed that the nose landing gear was folded under the airplane, and further inspection of the nose landing gear shimmy damper revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

A surface observation weather report taken at the accident airport at 1710, or approximately 5 minutes before the accident indicates in part that the wind was from 160 degrees at 6 knots.


A single-engine plane landed nose-down on a runway Wednesday at Frederick Municipal Airport.

Frederick Municipal Airport was closed temporarily Wednesday after a small airplane crash-landed, airport manager Kevin Daugherty said. The pilot was not seriously injured, Maryland State Police said. The Federal Aviation Administration would not release the pilot’s name.

The crash shut down operations for about an hour while emergency crews responded to the scene on runway 23.

“We notified FAA, and they will do a preliminary investigation,” Daugherty said.

The aircraft is registered to a Florida corporation, according to the FAA registry.

“He was just practice flying,” said FAA spokesman Jim Peters.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 212CF        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 11/02/2011     Time: 2115

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: FREDERICK   State: MD   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT LANDED NOSE DOWN, FREDERICK, MD

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: BALTIMORE, MD  (EA07)                 Entry date: 11/03/2011 

Air Force pilot blacked out before Nevada crash

This Nov. 10, 2010 file photo shows Air Force Capt. Eric Ziegler giving a student a high five during a visit to South Elementary in West Fargo, N.D. Ziegler, a Nellis Air Force Base pilot blacked out because of high gravitational forces before a fatal crash in the desert north of Las Vegas, investigators concluded in their report released Friday Nov. 4, 2011


LAS VEGAS — An experienced instructor pilot killed during a training exercise in the Nevada desert blacked out because of gravitational forces, according to an Air Force investigation.

Capt. Eric Ziegler, 30, was found leaning forward in his seat in a position consistent with being unconscious after the June 28 crash north of Las Vegas, concluded the report obtained Friday by The Associated Press. Investigators found no maintenance problems or other issues that could have caused the accident.

The crash occurred under clear skies while Ziegler and another pilot simulated air-to-air combat 18,000 feet above the Nevada wilderness. It was the final training exercise Ziegler needed to complete before he could start the elite U.S. Air Force Weapons School.

His determination to put on a perfect performance and assure his promotion may have clouded Ziegler's concentration and contributed to his inability to counteract the gravitational forces, investigators said. To do so, pilots are expected to contract their lower body muscles and breathe in as much air as possible, which increases blood flow to the eyes and brain and helps maintain consciousness and sight.

Ziegler was 26 minutes into the mission when witnesses saw the jet take a dive during a planned high-speed turn, a challenging but doable maneuver. There was no evidence that Ziegler tried to eject or maneuver the jet before the impact. Investigators said he should have been able to complete the turn, but "slight fatigue" likely contributed to his life-ending error.

Ziegler and the other pilot were on their fourth flight of the mission when the other pilot noticed a bright flash below him. The other pilot tried to communicate with Ziegler, but received no response. An autopsy showed Ziegler died instantly from injuries sustained during the impact. It's likely that he was still unconscious when the jet crashed, the report states. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the investigation findings.

Ziegler was an experienced instructor pilot with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2003 and earned a master's degree in 2010. He had served in South Korea and Germany and had flown more than 1,300 hours throughout his career.

The day before he died, Ziegler learned that his grandfather had died. According to the report, he was so upset that he missed his freeway exit on the drive to work. The death was not a surprise, but Ziegler removed himself from flying for the day because he worried his grief would affect his judgment and concentration.

Still, he prepared as much as possible for the simulated air battle, using white boards to chart the exercise and checking the weather. He reviewed the jet before the mission and did not discover any anomalies.

He returned to work the next day sober and in good health. His friends said he was focused and ready to fly. His wife later said he had been well-rested that morning. Crash investigators concluded that his emotional state was "a minor factor, at most, for cause of the accident."

Nellis, which trains pilots in military flight and combat, frequently sends jets soaring over empty Nevada desert. Ziegler died in a plane similar to the ones used by the Air Force's aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds. The single-seat F-16C Fighting Falcon is a "relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system," the report states. The destroyed jet was valued at $21.3 million.

Ziegler was married with a young daughter and was a native of West Fargo, N.D. He was president of his 1999 high school class and helped the school's football team win a state championship that year.

A 2008 accident killed a Nellis airman after he went into a violent spin while attempting a basic turn maneuver at about 350 mph in an F-15 jet.

http://www.deseretnews.com

Bell 206L-3 LongRanger III, AIR LOGISTICS OF ALASKA INC, N130AL: Accident occurred November 03, 2011 in Noblesville, Indiana

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA053 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 03, 2011 in Noblesville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N130AL
Injuries: 6 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 before departure, he checked two internet weather services for his flight’s weather briefing. The weather forecast indicated visual meteorological conditions for the entire flight. The internet weather service used by the pilot contained a disclaimer stating the service “is not a substitute for an official flight briefing.” The weather was reportedly good until 10 miles north of the destination, where the flight encountered rain and low ceilings. The onboard radar indicated that weather had deteriorated behind the route of flight and along the proposed route of flight. Weather conditions continued to deteriorate and the pilot elected to perform a precautionary landing with a quartering tailwind. About 30 feet above the ground, the helicopter settled rapidly. The pilot added power to slow the descent and the helicopter made a firm landing with about 10 knots of forward speed. The right skid then dug into the soft field and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. A ground fire subsequently ensued.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the helicopter during the flight. The helicopter’s Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) stated that the primary source of preflight weather briefings is an individual briefing obtained from a briefer. Other sources include the internet-accessed Direct User Access Terminal System. The AIM advises that weather services provided by entities other than Federal Aviation Administration, National Weather Service (NWS), or their contractors may not meet quality control standards; the internet sites the pilot referenced were not supported by these entities. The AIM also indicated all "flight-related, aviation weather decisions must be based on primary weather products" that meet regulatory requirements. Prior to departure the NWS was reporting instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) in the destination area and an AIRMET for IMC was current for the route of flight that extended over the accident site.

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

The hard landing the pilot performed with a quartering tailwind, leading to the helicopter's rollover. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s reliance on a weather service that did not provide a primary weather product.

On November 3, 2011, about 1815 eastern standard time, N130AL, a Eurocopter EC 130 B4, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing near Noblesville, Indiana. A ground fire subsequently occurred. The private pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to Sweetwater Helicopters LLC and was operated by the pilot. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area during the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file for the flight. The flight originated from the Adderly's Pad Heliport (1IN8), near Fort Wayne, Indiana, about 1715, and was destined for the Indianapolis Downtown Heliport (8A4), Indianapolis, Indiana.

The pilot reported that before departure he checked two internet weather services for his flight’s weather briefing. He indicated that the weather forecast indicated visual meteorological conditions would be in place for the entire flight. The flight departed 1IN8 and weather was reportedly good until ten miles north of Indianapolis Metro Airport when the flight encountered rain and low ceilings. He proceeded to hover the helicopter over a field while evaluating the weather. The on-board radar indicated that weather had deteriorated both behind his route of flight and along his intended route of flight. The pilot elected to divert to Noblesville Airport. The weather conditions continued to deteriorate and the pilot elected to perform a precautionary landing on a harvested cornfield. He circled to observe the field before making a landing approach from the north. While approaching the hover about 30 feet above the ground, the helicopter settled rapidly. He added power to slow the descent and the helicopter made a firm landing with about ten knots of forward speed. The right skid dug into the soft cornfield and the helicopter rolled onto its right side. The pilot reportedly attempted to pull the emergency fuel shutoff lever but was unable to do so. The passengers and pilot exited through the left side door. After ten minutes, flames were observed and the helicopter sustained a ground fire. The pilot reported that there were no helicopter mechanical malfunctions encountered during the accident flight.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and a technical advisor from American Eurocopter to the accredited representative for the Bureau d'Enquetes et D'Analyses of France accessed the accident site on November 4, 2011 and examined and documented the wreckage. The instrument panel and cabin area were destroyed by the fire. The helicopter was equipped with a vehicle engine multifunction display (VEMD) and a Garmin G-500. The VEMD and the Garmin G-500 were shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination. The NTSB non-volatile memory (NVM) Factual Report, in part stated:

Garmin G500
The Garmin G500 is a multi-function cockpit display designed to
consolidate primary flight, navigation, and sensor data. ... The panel
mount portion of the unit is configured with a dual side-by-side 6.5 inch
displays that can be set up to display performance and control
instrumentation as well as approach plates and other navigational data.
The G500 is a passive display device, accepting GPS data from an
external source, and does not record any information.

Thales VEMD
The Thales VEMD is a multi-function cockpit display designed to manage
essential and non-essential vehicle and engine data. The VEMD is a dual
channel system and each channel stores data and failure information on
... NVM. The following information is stored in the VEMD:

Flight Reports
Failure Reports
Over-limit Reports (certain models). Over-limit reports do not
contain date or time stamp information.
...

Four failures and three over-limitation exceedances were recorded
during this flight.

The recorded failures and over-limits are consistent with a sudden stoppage of the main rotor blades and a rupture of the engine to main gearbox transmission shaft. The NVM Factual Report is attached to the docket associated with this investigation.

The pilot, age 54, held a private pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating. The pilot held a FAA second-class medical certificate issued on January 4, 2010. He reported that he had accumulated 713 hours of total flight time and 701 hours of total flight time in rotorcraft. He indicated that he had accumulated 304 hours of flight time in the same make and model airplane as the accident helicopter.

The closest National Weather Service (NWS) terminal aerodrome forecast to the accident site was issued for the Indianapolis International Airport (IND), near Indianapolis, Indiana. The forecast, issued at 1518, was valid from 1500 on November 3, 2011 expected wind from 090 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 3 statute miles in light rain and mist, scattered clouds at 800 feet above ground level (AGL), ceiling overcast at 1,500 feet AGL, with temporary conditions of ceilings broken at 800 feet through 1700 EST. At 1750 EST the NWS issued an amended forecast for IND while the flight was en route. The amended forecast valid for 1800 on November 3, 2011 expected wind from 090 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 1 statute mile in light drizzle and mist, ceiling overcast at 400 feet AGL.

The NWS had airmen's meteorological information (AIRMET) sierra update five current at the time of the accident for ceilings below 1,000 feet AGL and/or visibility below 3 miles in precipitation and mist.

At 1815, the recorded weather at the Indianapolis Executive Airport, near Indianapolis, Indiana, was: Wind 040 degrees at 11 knots gusting to 16 knots; visibility 5 statute miles; present weather rain; sky condition overcast 600 feet; temperature 8 degrees C; dew point 8 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury. A review of the observations for TYQ indicated that IFR conditions had been reported at the station since 1435.

A representative from one of the internet weather services that the pilot used for the accident flight stated that the internet service was not a qualified internet communications provider (QICP), which does not require a login and the users are anonymous. The service did not record output data provided during the user session. However, it did record internet input requests. A review of the requests revealed weather references to 8A4 on November 3, 2011, nine views for the weather within a 10-mile radius of 8A4 and Smith Field Airport (SMD), near Fort Wayne, Indiana, one view of the airport data for 8A4, one view of the route between SMD and 8A4, and one view of the weather within a 10-mile radius between 8A4 and IND. In addition, a review of this website showed a disclaimer that it “is not a substitute for an official flight briefing.”

According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Chapter 7, Safety of Flight, the FAA maintains a nationwide network of Flight Service Stations (FSSs) to serve the weather needs of pilots. The primary source of preflight weather briefings is an individual briefing obtained from a briefer at the FSS. These briefings, tailored to a specific flight, are available 24 hours a day through the use of the toll free number. Other sources of weather information include the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS), which can be accessed by pilots via personal computer, inflight weather information, which is available from any FSS within radio range to include en route flight advisory service (EFAS), which is provided to serve the non-routine weather needs of pilots in flight.

Additionally, the AIM advises pilots and operators to be aware that weather services provided by entities other than FAA, NWS or their contractors (such as the DUATS) may not meet FAA/NWS quality control standards and further cautions pilots and operators when using unfamiliar products, or products not supported by FAA/NWS technical specifications.

The AIM indicated that the development of new weather products coupled with increased access to these products via the public internet, created confusion within the aviation community regarding the relationship between regulatory requirements and new weather products. To clarify the proper use of aviation weather products to meet the requirements of 14 CFR, the FAA defines weather products as a primary weather product which meets all the regulatory requirements and safety needs for use in making flight related, aviation weather decisions and supplementary weather product which may be used for enhanced situational awareness. If utilized, a supplementary weather product must only be used in conjunction with one or more primary weather products.

The AIM, in part, stated:

All flight-related, aviation weather decisions must be based on
primary weather products. Supplementary weather products augment
the primary products by providing additional weather information but
may not be used as stand-alone weather products to meet aviation
weather regulatory requirements or without the relevant primary
products. When discrepancies exist between primary and supplementary
weather products describing the same weather phenomena, users must
base flight-related decisions on the primary weather product.
Furthermore, multiple primary products may be necessary to meet all
aviation weather regulatory requirements.