Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tipsy pilots now face 1 yr jail, 5L fine. (India)

NEW DELHI: Reporting to work drunk would now mean more than just cancellation of license for pilots and cabin crew. It will now also invite anywhere up to one year in jail and up to Rs 5 lakh in fine for tipsy pilots and crew.

The aviation ministry's move by amending the Aircraft Act will make its recent change on punishing drunk pilots foolproof. It had two years back decided to suspend licenses of tipsy pilots caught drunk for the first time for three months. And commercial pilot license of pilots caught drunk for the second time would get suspended forever. This means, such a person would never be able to fly as a pilot ever again in any Indian carrier.

"However, there was one major lacuna in these stringent changes. Pilots caught drunk while reporting to operate a flight or those who came to airports in an inebriated state but fled after finding that breath tests are going on argued that their license could not be suspended as they did not actually operate a flight. Since they did not break any law, they argued no action could be taken against their license and that only airlines may take some disciplinary steps," said highly placed sources.

Realizing that this argument was blunting their "zero tolerance" on the issue of drunk flying - something that directly affects safety of passengers, - the government decided to make even an attempt to operate a flight in a drunk condition a legal offense with criminal culpability. The aviation authorities have now amended the Aircraft Act's rule 24 and now even those who are caught drunk at airport in pre-flight tests and then not allowed to operate their flight will now face a jail term of up to one year and fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. Pilots and cabin crew are not supposed to have alcohol at least 12 hours before operating a flight.

"There will be zero tolerance on safety issues. Indian carriers have been very lax in punishing drunk pilots and cabin crew as they used to just ground them for a month or two each time they failed the breath test. So the earlier rule to suspend license for three months and then cancel it for good if someone is caught drunk again meant that the issue no longer was a disciplinary one under airlines. The regulator got powers to suspend license and now the DGCA can take criminal action also," said sources.

In fact, sources say that after pilots, the government is going to crack the whip on airlines also who endanger safety by cutting corners in aircraft maintenance or changing of spare parts.

Pakistan International Airlines rejects corruption, mismanagement allegations

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has rejected all allegations of corruption and mismanagement and said the shareholders and members of the board of directors remain fully aware of the airline’s financial and operational situation.

“The approval of the five-year PIA Business Plan to turn around the Corporation by the Federal Government is a clear indication of the present management’s integrity and professional competence,” PIA said in a statement. “The present management consists of acclaimed professionals of the global aviation industry and is determined to not only root out corruption, but also to turn around the airline following correct business practices and official rules of business so that the corrupt elements may not find any escape route.”

It said the management continued to make sustained efforts by explaining the situation not only to the elected organs of the state, media, but also to the representatives of the PIA employees.

Last week PIA management invited associations of employees and on their suggestion decided to form an Advisory Committee for prevention of corruption comprising presidents of various associations and management representatives.

The PIA management also asked them to point out the cases of corruption in the organization so that the management could take action against the corrupt, but the associations requested the management to defer the committee till after new elections of these bodies.

Regarding the two leased Boeing 747s acquired for the Hajj operation, the statement said that these cost $7.1 million and that PIA had earned through these aircraft about $6.5 million and was expected to earn another $6.5 million which would make $13 million by the end of lease period on December 15.

“It is totally wrong that these two Boeing 747s on lease were ever offered to PIA for sale,” it said.

Indian Billionaires Fail to Turn Air-Travel Boom Into Profit

(Bloomberg) -- Even billionaires can’t figure out how to make money in Indian aviation.

Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., controlled by brewing tycoon Vijay Mallya, is expected to report a second-quarter loss today, following Kalanithi Maran’s SpiceJet Ltd. and Jet Airways (India) Ltd., the nation’s biggest carrier. All three companies have also slumped more than 65 percent in Mumbai this year.

Indian airlines have failed to turn a 19 percent jump in passenger numbers into profits because of a price war, fuel taxes that average about 25 percent and the rupee’s 11 percent depreciation this year. State-owned Air India Ltd. can also offer below-cost fares after winning 32 billion rupees ($639 million) of government bailouts since a 2007 merger.

“We have a serious issue on hand and that is to address the viability of Indian carriers,” said Kapil Kaul, the Indian head for CAPA Centre for Aviation. The financial status of domestic carriers is “very fragile,” he said.

CAPA expects the nation’s airlines to lose about $2.5 billion in the year ending March, including losses of as much as $2 billion for Air India. Only closely held IndiGo, India’s biggest discount airline, may make a profit, Kaul said, without giving a precise forecast.

Jet fell as much as 12 percent in Mumbai and was down 3.1 percent at 10:00 a.m. SpiceJet dropped 4.3 percent.

Kingfisher Rises

Kingfisher jumped as much as 7.9 percent after the Economic Times said the board will today consider a proposal to sell real estate to raise about 9 billion rupees over the next two years. It will also discuss a plan to convert loans from its parent into equity and to change aircraft lease terms, the daily said, citing a presentation to investors.

The carrier’s Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Aggarwal didn’t respond to two calls to his mobile phone. Ravi Nedungadi, chief financial officer of parent UB Group, said in a text message that he can’t take calls because he was in meetings.

Kingfisher in a statement said last week that it was seeking to increase bank lending limits, and cutting flights to 300 a day from 340 as it reconfigures planes and stops offering low-cost services as part of a turnaround plan. It denied having reduced services because of a shortage of pilots. The airline made the statement after shares plunged 18 percent in two trading days amid reports about cancellations.

‘Over Taxed’

The airline will likely report a 3.1 billion rupee loss for the three months ended Sept. 30, according to an ICICI Bank Ltd. estimate compiled by Bloomberg. The carrier, named for Mallya’s flagship beer, has made about 48 billion rupees of losses in the last three fiscal years.

“In India, airlines are over taxed and over charged,” Mallya, the airline’s chairman and managing director, wrote on Twitter last week. The carrier confirmed it was his feed. Mallya, 55, said he couldn’t talk because he was busy when called by Bloomberg News yesterday.

Kingfisher has a 19 percent share of India’s domestic aviation market about the same as Air India and IndiGo, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Mumbai- based Jet has a 26 percent share, including low-cost unit JetLite.

Jet Losses

Jet slumped to a wider-than-expected 7.14 billion rupee loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 after a 50 percent jump in its fuel bill and a 2.76 billion rupees loss from currency fluctuations. Passenger numbers rose 16 percent from a year earlier.

The carrier hasn’t reported an annual profit in the last four years. The fortune of Chairman Naresh Goyal has shrunk to $435 million from $1.3 billion since 2007, according to Forbes.

SpiceJet, controlled by Maran who built a $2.5 billion fortune after founding Sun TV Network Ltd., had a loss of 2.4 billion rupees in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 101.1 million rupees a year earlier. The New Delhi- based airline said fuel costs and the weaker rupee offset passenger numbers that jumped about 30 percent in the first eight months.

“The industry is focused on a war of market share and revenue growth,” said Srisu Subrahmanyam, a co-founder of Chicago-based Orchard Group, which advise airlines. “This has benefited the consumer due to the fare wars for market share but it cannot be sustained.”

The drop in the rupee, the worst performer among Asia- Pacific’s 10 most traded currencies this year, has raised the cost of airplanes bought from overseas. Jet-fuel prices have also risen about 30 percent in Mumbai since Jan. 1, excluding tax, according to Indian Oil Corp.’s website.

Air India Handouts

Air India has lost money every year since combining with Indian Airlines Ltd. in 2007. It has kept flying because of government handouts, and it is seeking another 65 billion rupees by the end of March. The airline is also close to agreeing a debt-restructuring package with state-controlled banks that will pare interest expenses by 13 billion rupees a year.

“Air India is still suffering because of the merger, but at least it has government support,” said P.C. Sen, a former chairman of the carrier. “For private airlines, things are quite different.”

The industrywide losses mean that India’s airlines need about $2.5 billion of new cash to maintain operations, including $1.32 billion for Air India, according to CAPA. Kingfisher needs $200 million immediately followed by another $200 million within three months, it said.

Kingfisher Debt

Kingfisher has a 14.8 billion rupee revolver loan maturing in January and a 60 billion rupee term loan running until 2019, according to Bloomberg data. It doesn’t have any bonds.

Mallya, who has a $1.1 billion fortune, according to Forbes, has already propped up Kingfisher’s finances. In the year ending March, he doubled personal loan guarantees to 61.7 billion rupees, for which he received 508.7 million rupees. United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd., Mallya’s holding company, also increased guarantees to 168.5 billion rupees.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Nov. 12 that the government may help Kingfisher, according to Press Trust of India. He didn’t elaborate. The finance ministry may ask lenders to help the carrier recast debt and the oil ministry may extend credit for fuel to airlines, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said last week.

To help the wider industry, the government should cut fuel taxes and lower airport charges, the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India said yesterday. It also called for an end to a ban on overseas carriers buying into Indian airlines.

“Almost every airline needs funds,” said D.S. Rawat, the business group’s secretary general. “There will be a question mark on their survival if they aren’t able to raise them,” he said.

--With assistance from Siddharth Philip in Mumbai. Editors: Neil Denslow, Arijit Ghosh

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III, Palm Springs Aviation Inc., N5016U: Accident occurred January 05, 2010 in Auberry, California

NTSB Identification: WPR10GA097
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 05, 2010 in Auberry, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/2011
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N5016U
Injuries: 4 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 public aircraft accident report.

The pilot was flying a deer-surveying mission under contract with a state government agency with three state employees onboard. About 2 hours into the flight, witnesses observed the helicopter flying along a valley and colliding with one of two “skylines,” or cables strung between the towers of power transmission lines. The transmission lines consisted of two parallel steel skylines on top and three power conductor lines mounted about 20 feet below. The helicopter appeared to be flying straight and level prior to the collision, exhibiting no indications of distress. Examination of the engine and damage to the rotor system indicated that the engine was producing power at the time of the collision. Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any evidence of preaccident failure or malfunction. The transmission lines were depicted on the applicable sectional map, as well as a printed survey map located in the debris field. The power conductor lines were observed to sag about 70 feet below the skyline in the area of the accident. The power conductor lines were about twice as thick as the skyline. Additionally, the position of the sun would have hindered identification of the skyline by the pilot. In the area of the collision a second set of power lines were located about 200 feet below the lines depicted on the maps. As such, it is possible that the pilot misidentified these as the lines depicted on the maps. Neither of the sets of power lines were equipped with spherical visibility markers or similar identification devices.

The helicopter was equipped with a wire strike protection system; however, examination of its cutting surfaces revealed that it did not make contact with any lines. The helicopter struck the second skyline along the direction of flight, indicating that it flew below the first line with the main rotor blades striking the second line from below; since the wire struck outside of the cutters’ capture envelope, the wire strike protection system would not have been in a position to protect the helicopter. Federal regulations require that any planned construction of structures over 200 feet above ground level (agl) be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. While the power lines’ height exceeds 200 feet agl at the center of the span, their construction predates adoption of the regulation. At the time of the accident, the state agency did not have any formal safety or operational training systems in place for passengers who fly on surveying missions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see and avoid a wire while maneuvering during low-altitude operations.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 5, 2010, at 1209 Pacific standard time, a Bell 206B, N5016U, collided with power lines near Auberry, California. The helicopter was registered to Palm Springs Aviation, Inc., d.b.a. Landells Aviation, and operated by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) as a public-use deer surveying flight. The certificated commercial pilot and three passengers were killed. The helicopter was substantially damaged by post crash fire. The local flight departed Trimmer Heliport, Trimmer, California, at 1007. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site, and a company flight plan had been filed.

The mechanic assigned to the helicopter drove up from Landells Aviation the afternoon prior to the accident. He stated that the pilot departed Landells in the helicopter about 1300, and arrived at Trimmer at 1545. The mechanic then drove with the pilot for an hour to their hotel. They then had dinner and the pilot retired to his room about 2000. The mechanic reported that the following morning they met in the hotel lobby at 0700; the pilot appeared well rested, in a good mood, and his "normal self." They then drove to Trimmer, arriving at 0900, and were greeted by the three CDFG passengers. The mechanic then serviced the helicopter with the addition of 38 gallons of fuel, for a total of 75 gallons. He then checked the helicopter fluids, and removed the aft doors. The mechanic stated that he observed the pilot then perform a preflight inspection, followed by a briefing with the three passengers.

At the time of the accident, two witnesses, who were law enforcement officers for the United States Forest Service (USFS), were located on a north facing ridge at the confluence of Willow Creek and the San Joaquin River. Both officers observed the helicopter emerge from a valley to the north, and fly southbound along Willow Creek and directly towards them. A set of power transmission lines spanned the valley from the east to west. The officers reported that the helicopter continued through the valley, on a trajectory towards the power lines. As the helicopter came within the immediate vicinity of the lines it reared back, and then began an immediate descent, colliding with the ground. The officers noted that prior to the accident, the helicopter was flying straight and level, with the engine sounding, "normal and smooth."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 70-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, land, rotorcraft-helicopter, instrument airplane, and helicopter. He additionally held a flight instructor rating for airplane single and multi engine, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on May 12, 2009, with limitations that he have glasses available for near vision.

According to records provided by the Landells Aviation, as of December 2009, the pilot had accumulated a total flight time in all aircraft of 16,864 hours, of which 13,560 was in helicopters, with 3,369 in the Bell 206 series. The records also indicated that the pilot had 47 years of flying experience, which included helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), search and rescue, aerial survey, photography, mapping, and animal capture.

The pilot's total flight time for 2009 was 95.4 hours, and was comprised of HEMS, fire suppression, sling, and survey missions, all of which were flown in either the Bell 206 or Bell 222U. His most recent flight prior to the accident was a deer survey mission, which took place on December 23, 2009.

Two CFDG employees, who had last flown with the accident pilot on deer surveying missions about 1 month prior to the accident both reported that the pilot did not perform his usual pre-flight briefing, but rather an abbreviated briefing followed by a reminder to watch for obstructions in-flight. Additionally, during one mission they noted that the pilot appeared to be, "trying too hard" to observe deer. They became alarmed, and admonished the pilot during the flight.

HELICOPTER INFORMATION

The helicopter, serial number 2634, was manufactured in 1979 and equipped with a Rolls-Royce/Allison 250-C20J gas turbine engine.

A review of the helicopter's maintenance logbooks revealed that the last inspection was for a 100-hour engine and airframe exam dated October 30, 2009, at a total airframe time of 15,339.6 flight hours. At that time, the engine was replaced. According to the maintenance records, the replacement engine had a total time since new of 6,675 hours. The last maintenance entry was for battery service, and occurred the day before the accident at a total airframe time of 15,376.4 hours. Later that day, the helicopter flew for approximately 2.5 hours to Trimmer.

The helicopter was equipped with a wire strike protection system. FAA records indicated that the system was manufactured by Bristol Aerospace Limited, under supplemental type certificate number SH4083SW. The wire strike protection kit was comprised of an upper and lower fuselage deflector/cutter, and a serrated windshield center post deflector channel.

The helicopter's equipment list referenced the installation of a Trimble TNL 1000 Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. The GPS unit was destroyed by post-accident fire.

The helicopter was equipped with dual pedal controls, and single right seat pilot controls for the cyclic and collective.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest aviation weather observation station was Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fresno, California, located 27 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 336 feet mean sea level (msl). An aviation routine weather report was recorded at 1153, and stated: winds calm; visibility 2 miles with mist; skies 600 feet overcast; temperature 6 degrees C; dew point 4 degrees C; altimeter 30.22 inches of mercury.

The USFS officers reported the weather conditions at the accident site to be clear skies with a few high scattered clouds, and light winds out of the north. They stated that the accident site elevation was above the lower cloud layer in Fresno.

According to the United States Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department, the altitude and azimuth of the sun in Fresno at 1210 were 30.7 degrees and 181.4 degrees, respectively.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The helicopter was equipped with an Automated Flight Following (AFF) system. According to Landells, the system was not required per the CDFG contract, and was not being used at the time of the accident.

An impact damaged Garmin III global positioning systems receiver (GPS) was recovered from the accident site. The unit was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Office of Research and Engineering for data extraction. Due to the damage sustained during the accident sequence, flight track data could not be extracted.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage came to rest in the Sierra National Forest, within a heavily-wooded valley floor, 50 feet east of Willow Creek at an approximate elevation of 1,200 feet msl. The elevation of the valley peaks directly to the east and west of the creek were about 2,500 feet.

The valley was spanned by two separate sets of intersecting electrical power transmission lines, crossing diagonally over Willow Creek adjacent to the main wreckage.

The first set of lines were on a southwest-northeast orientation, and strung between two metal towers separated by a span of about 2,900 feet. The tower to the east was 81-feet-tall, with the tower to the west 95 feet. The base of the east tower was located at an elevation of about 1,570 feet, with the west tower at 1,680 feet. The cables strung between the towers consisted of two parallel steel 'skylines' at the top, and three 220,000 volt power conductor lines mounted about 20 feet below. The power lines and skylines exhibited differing degrees of droop such that their vertical separation was about 70 feet at the midspan point. The skyline to the south had severed approximately midspan, subsequently becoming entangled in the remaining lower conductor lines.

The second set of lines consisted of a group of 5 cables spanned by two, 40-foot-tall wooden towers. The lines followed a southeast-northwest orientation about 200 feet below the first set of power transmission lines.

Neither of the sets of power lines were equipped with spherical visibility markers, or similar identification devices.

The upper power lines were owned by Southern California Edison (SCE). Examination of the severed skyline at the accident site revealed it to be about 0.5 inches thick. According to a SCE representative, the skylines were comprised of 7 strands of high-strength steel wire. The conductor lines were 0.994 inches thick, and comprised of 30 strands of aluminum, wrapped around 19 strands of steel.

The main wreckage, which consisted of the cabin, tailboom, and tail rotor, came to rest inverted, 100 feet south of the upper power transmission lines' midspan point. The entire cabin area had been consumed by fire.

The debris field continued to the north and consisted of the forward cowling, air filter assembly, pilot door, and segments of Plexiglas.

The main transmission gearbox and mast were located about 300 feet north of the main wreckage. The main rotor assembly, consisting of the 'red' blade, hub assembly, and inboard section of the 'white' blade, came to rest on the adjacent banks of Willow Creek, about 90 feet northwest of the main wreckage. A 4-foot-long outboard section of the white main rotor blade was located 1,100 feet south of the main wreckage on a rocky outcropping beyond the banks of the San Joaquin River.

The sun's position was reviewed 2 days following the accident from a south-facing vantage point within the valley. The vantage point closely matched the helicopter elevation noted by the witnesses. At the accident time of day, the skyline appeared partially obscured by the sun.

All major sections of the helicopter were accounted for at the accident site.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by Pathology Associates of Clovis, for the Madera County Sheriff's Department. The cause of death was reported as right hemothorax, and lacerations of heart, aorta, and pulmonary artery.

Toxicological tests on specimens from the pilot were performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute. Analysis revealed no findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol. The results contained the findings for doxylamine detected in the blood and liver, and hydrocodone detected in liver. Refer to the toxicology report included in the public docket for specific test parameters and results.

The pilot had not reported the use of doxylamine or hydrocodone on his most recent application for an airman medical certificate. He did report the use of Celebrex, Prevacid, and Simvastatin.

FAA medical records revealed a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in 1982, which the pilot did not report on his medical certificate application until 1992, when he was subsequently convicted for a second DUI offense. In August 1992, he was issued a second-class medical certificate contingent upon total abstinence from alcohol or mood altering chemicals.

In July 2001, the pilot's medical certificate application was denied based on his intermittent use of Luvox to control Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The pilot was subsequently psychiatrically evaluated, and it was determined that he did not have OCD, but rather manifested a, "life-long pattern of compulsive traits and perfectionist tendencies." The pilot then discontinued the use of Luvox, and was issued a second-class medical certificate in September 2001.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine and airframe were recovered from the accident site to a remote storage facility for further examination.

Engine

The engine sustained thermal damage during the post accident fire, and as such, most ancillary components were consumed. Fire damage prevented examination of all fuel lines, the fuel controller, fuel pump, bleed valve, and power turbine governor.

The accessory gearbox had become fire consumed, with only white ash case remnants remaining. The associated gears remained in the general vicinity of the gearbox. The gears exhibited thermal distortion; the teeth for all observed gears remained intact.

Both exhaust outlets and the combustor case exhibited malleable crush damage, and were free of internal dents. The compressor case exhibited crush damage, and appeared bent about 10 degrees from the centerline. The case appeared to impinge on the first and second stage axial compressor wheels, the blades of which were noted bent opposite the direction of travel. Six blades from the first stage wheel had become liberated at the root.

Circumferential rub marks were noted to the seal of the sixth stage compressor wheel, consistent with component rotation during impact.

Examination of the turbine section revealed the fourth stage wheel to be soot-covered and intact. The first stage wheel was examined utilizing a borescope; the blades appeared intact and no damage was noted. The fuel nozzle orifices appeared clear, and displayed light sooting.

Airframe

The entire cabin area including the flight controls and cockpit instruments sustained heavy crush damage and subsequent thermal exposure. The flight control servos, and their associated control rods, had become fire consumed.

The main transmission gearbox remained attached to its mounts, which had become separated from the fuselage assembly. The main rotor mast remained attached to the gearbox, and had separated at the hub. The fracture surface was on a 45-degree plane around the mast circumference, and displayed granular features. Rotation of the mast by hand resulted in rotation of the gearbox input shaft.

Both main rotor blade roots remained attached at the hub, with the blades separated into five sections. The pitch link tubes remained attached at the blade horns, but had become twisted and separated about midspan. Examination of the blades revealed serrated leading edge gouges, with upper and lower skin striations consistent in appearance with the severed skyline.

The tail had become separated into two sections consisting of tail rotor and gearbox assembly, and the center tailboom. The remaining sections of the tail through to the fuselage had been consumed by fire. The tail rotor assembly remained intact and attached to the gearbox; rotation of the tail rotor by hand resulted in rotation of the gearbox input shaft.

The air filter assembly appeared clear and free of obstructions.

Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any evidence of pre-accident failure or malfunction.

Wire Strike Protection System

The upper and lower wire cutter assemblies had sustained varying degrees of thermal damage. Examination of the blade and cutting surfaces revealed them to be free of scratches, nicks, abrasions or any indication of cable contact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Deer Survey Flight Procedures

A CDFG employee explained the general procedures for conducting deer survey flights. He stated that the mission profile is defined prior to the flight by a specialist who creates a route based on the area of study. The area is bisected by a set of parallel 'transect lines', which are then followed by the helicopter crew.

A helicopter survey mission typically includes two 'spotters' in the rear of the helicopter, with the pilot and a navigator in the front seats. The pilot's responsibility is to fly the helicopter, and see and avoid obstructions. The navigator's duties include assisting the pilot with following the correct transect lines, as well as spotting obstructions. When deer are observed, the spotters call the position relative to the helicopter; the pilot then turns the helicopter towards the deer while they are counted. Typically a 200-meter-wide 'window' is defined along the transect line for deer observation. The helicopter will divert from the transect to observe deer within this window. Once the deer are documented, the helicopter returns to the original diversion point.

The CDFG employee reported that typically the pilot gives a preflight briefing prior to the flights. The briefing includes helicopter safety, and procedures for spotting and reporting aerial obstructions.

A CDFG employee who had flown on previous deer surveying missions revealed that she did not receive any formal safety or operational training with regards to surveying missions, and that she learned through, "on the job training." Another employee reported that he was not aware of any formal surveying guidelines explaining the duties of each person on board the helicopter, and that no formal training regarding surveying flights was provided by the CDFG.

The CDFG contract with Landells Aviation makes reference to the type of flying maneuvers required. In particular, the specifications for helicopter services states, "Pilots and their helicopters must routinely perform extremely low level and intricate flying maneuvers. The work includes, but is not limited to…flying close to the ground at variable speeds in mountainous terrain…negotiating abrupt sharp turns in response to animal movements…" With respect to survey and census services, the contract further states, "Oftentimes, this requires approaching the animal to within several feet and becomes even more difficult when the animal is attempting to flee in an erratic manner in mostly steep, mountainous terrain…Surveys require the pilot to navigate the helicopter to a precise set of coordinates, fly in a prescribed direction or pattern (transect) to a predetermined location or distance while maintaining an altitude generally 20 to 200 feet above the surface in through variable terrain."

Federal Aviation Regulations

Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 77, Section 23, defines what constitutes "Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace." Generally, only those objects greater than a height of 500 feet above ground level (agl), or greater than a height of 200 feet agl within 3 nautical miles of an airport, are considered to be obstructions to navigable airspace.

Title 14 CFR Part 77, Section 13, covers "Construction or alteration requiring notice," and defines reporting requirements for proposed construction, or alterations exceeding 200 feet, irrespective of location. The regulation requires that the planned construction of such structures be filed with the FAA. Based on the filing, the FAA performs an obstruction evaluation study, the results of which could include the addition of obstruction marking devices.

Review of the FAA archives revealed that no filing had been made regarding the installation of the power lines at the accident site. Title 14 CFR Part 77, Section 13, was adopted in 1968. According to a representative from SCE, the towers were installed in 1951.

Maps and Charts

The accident site was located within the area covered by the FAA San Francisco Sectional Aeronautical Chart. Examination of the chart revealed that the power lines were depicted at the accident location. Additionally, a printed map was located in the debris field. The map appeared to depict the transect lines for the accident flight. Further examination revealed that the transect line SJ7A/sJ7B crossed over the power line. The accident location was located about 200 feet west of the transect line.
=============
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

Southern California Edison is paying up for a deadly helicopter crash.

The crash killed the pilot and three California wildlife workers when it went down in Madera County last year.

Edison didn't take any chances with a jury and instead settled out of court.

The amount paid to the families is confidential.

Marni Cotter says she's still angry about the crash that killed her husband.

"The accident shouldn't have happened and wouldn't have happened if Edison would have followed industry standards," said Cotter.

A barely visible power line snagged the chopper flying above the Sierra National Forest.

Attorneys used a photo showing how faint the line is, even against a blue sky.

Attorney Steven Cornwell hopes the lawsuit will force the power company to inspect and mark its utility lines.

"Out there are people who have families like Clu and Marni had and who will be in a helicopter in a few years and run into those lines," said Cornwell.

The settlement gives the Cotter family a sense of closure.

"You go through two years and you look at the potential benefits and what it's going to mean for me and my family and public safety, and you know to that extent I'm satisfied," said Cotter.

Southern California Edison has said that no one asked them to mark the power lines.

The report from the National Transportation Safety Board says that the towers holding the unmarked lines stood about 95 feet above the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires utility companies to place markers and lights on power lines standing higher than 200 feet above the ground.

Globe Swift GC-1B, N80775: Incident occurred February 12, 2016 and accident occurred November 19, 2011 - Denver, Colorado

Date: 12-FEB-16 
Time: 15:22:00Z
Regis#: N80775
Aircraft Make: GLOBE
Aircraft Model: GC1B
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03
City: DENVER
State: Colorado

AIRCRAFT LANDED AND THE GEAR COLLAPSED, CENTENNIAL AIRPORT, DENVER, CO

http://registry.faa.gov/N80775

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA075 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Denver, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2012
Aircraft: GLOBE GC-1B, registration: N80775
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot stated that the engine began to gradually lose power shortly after takeoff and that he could smell raw fuel. As the pilot turned back to the airport, the engine stopped running, and he made a forced landing to a field short of the runway. During the landing, the airplane nosed over and the vertical stabilizer was bent. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed a fitting that secured the main fuel line to the engine was loose and leaking fuel. The interruption of fuel was enough to cause the loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of a loose fuel line fitting.

The pilot stated the engine began to gradually lose power shortly after takeoff and he could smell raw fuel. As the pilot turned back to the airport, the engine stopped running and he made a forced landing to a muddy field short of the runway. During the landing, the airplane nosed over and the vertical stabilizer was bent. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed a fitting that secured the main fuel line to the engine was loose and leaking fuel.


Firefighters responded to the scene of a single-engine plane crash near Centennial Airport on Nov. 19. The pilot was evaluated for injuries but was not transported to a hospital.



CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A single-engine airplane crashed into a field Saturday afternoon near Centennial Airport.

Becky O' Guin, spokeswoman with South Metro Fire Rescue, said the pilot was walked away from the crash.

South Metro fire crews were dispatched at around 12 :50 p.m. to a field near Potomac Street and Broncos Parkway on a report of a plane crash.

O'Guin said the pilot told investigators that the plane ran out of gas shortly after taking off from the airport. The pilot turned the plane around and tried to land back at the airport without its engine running, O'Guin said.

The pilot put it down in the field and the plane nosed into the ground after landing.
-------------------
South Metro Fire Rescue Authority firefighters responded to an airplane crash just south of Centennial Airport near Chambers and Potomac in unincorporated Douglas County at 12:40 p.m. Nov. 19.

There was one person on board the plane when it went down in a field. The pilot was evaluated for injuries, but was not transported to the hospital. The pilot was flying a Swift single-engine aircraft when he lost power to the engine. He was trying to return to Centennial when the plane went down and came to a stop resting on its top.

Firefighters with South Metro’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Team made sure that the fuel and electrical was shut off and checked for fuel leaks.

The crash is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB.

 http://www.ourcoloradonews.com

 http://www.thedenverchannel.com

From the dentist's chair to the skies above Destin, Florida, Joe Carnley reflects on tragedies and triumphs

GIVING BACK: Dentist Joe Carnley says he loves to give back to his profession, so he regularly serves as a visiting faculty member at schools such as the University of Florida and Louisiana State University. He is also a Dale Carnegie instructor, where he teaches management courses.

NOT FLYING: Not taking to the skies these days, Carnley is keeping himself busy digging nose first into books. He is an avid reader of history books and has a passion for the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.


Whether it was sleeping in boats at Hudson’s Marina as a youngster or pulling barrel rolls behind the stick of a World War II era T-6 Texan, Joe Carnley has always played by his own rules and has no regrets.

“I’ve got a little bit of a wild streak,” the longtime Destin dentist said with a chuckle.

After spending five months at the Mayo Clinic battling throat cancer, Carnley has hung up his flight suit and sold his planes. But he is cancer free — and back to work, changing the lives of Destinites one smile at a time.

The early years

Growing up about 60 miles north of Destin in the rural community of Paxton, Carnley says he got his first brush with dentistry after traveling to Andalusia, Ala., for routine dental work.

“Everyone in the dentist’s office was so nice and they would let me watch them pour molds and set things up,” he remembers. “I was fascinated by it.”

And while those early encounters left a lasting impression on his young mind, like many other boys his age, sports were his true love. As a guard on his high school basketball team, Carnley and his teammates won the state championship during his senior year.

“We averaged like 100 points a game,” he said. “We were like the movie “Hoosiers” — that’s pretty much our story.”

Growing up in the Panhandle, the doctor spent time working at The Gulfarium and Hudson’s Marina, where he admits, he would spend the night in boats from time to time.

College and a new love

His talents on the court afforded him a partial basketball scholarship to Western Carolina College. At the time, Carnley said he really wanted to be a basketball coach, but the lack of job security changed his mind.

While hitting the books, Carnley found a new passion — flying. He attempted to join a pilot program for the Navy/Air Force, but his eyesight prevented him from joining.

“I wanted to be a pilot so bad,” he told The Log. “That just burst my bubble.”

With a degree in chemistry and biology in hand, Carnley landed a job at Dupont as a chemist in 1966. During his time at Dupont, flying lessons became a regular part of his life.

While he enjoyed his job, the rigorous shift work and management of a few hundred employees wasn’t exactly what he was looking for.

Dental school

Drawing off his early experiences in the dentist’s office, Carnley decided that he would attend dental school, which he graduated from in 1971.

As part of his continuing studies, he would take a two-year internship with the Air Force and find himself stationed in San Bernardino, Calif.

With his internship completed and looking for a job, a dental product distributor convinced the Paxton native to return to the Panhandle, more specifically Destin, where there were very few dentists in the early ‘70s.

With Shoreline Towers still under construction, Carnely found himself staring at Destin’s emerald green waters and sugar white beaches from the 12th floor of the unfinished condo.

“I looked out… fell in love,” he said.

Carnely would go on to purchase the unit he found himself gazing from that day. Destin was now his new home.

Flying high

After joining the local Air Force Aero Club, Carnley was able to earn his pilot’s license and can fly twin-engine planes and commercial aircraft.

With more than 3,000 flying hours under his wings, his plane of choice is the T-6 Texan, a plane that was first flown in 1935 and saw action in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Having rented aircraft for a while, Carnley and his friend Max Matthews purchased a T-6 Texan in 1999.

The “bigness and the noise” of the T-6 is what drew Carnley in. Being behind the stick of the World War II-era plane sent tingles down the doctor’s spine each and every time he took off and landed.

“It’s exhilarating,” he said. “It’s like flying in heaven.”

As he spent more and more time in the air, Carnley took up formation flying and began to participate in air shows. The thrill of formation flying made Carnley’s adrenaline flow.

“You have to look at the other plane at all times,” he said. “You can’t look at your controls, you have to know where everything is.”

Always wanting to give back to the community, Carnley and the members of the “Destin Warbirds,” which included Charles DuPlantis and the late Tim McDonald, would frequently take veterans for flights in their vintage machines — reliving memories of their glory days.

“It meant a lot to us to be able to do that for them,” he said.

Tragedy

In the past year-and-a-half, Carnley has seen more than a handful of his fellow pilot friends lose their lives to accidents.

In March of 2010, Birmingham neurosurgeon Herman Evan Zeiger Jr. and his wife Peggy were killed when they crashed their T-6 into the Gulf of Mexico about a half-mile off Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Just months later, fellow Warbird Tim McDonald, owner of Fort Walton Beach Machining, was killed, along with his brother-in-law, when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near the Crab Trap.

More recently, Carnley said he lost another friend to a flying accident and was devastated by the news.

Given these personal tragedies and the rising cost of fuel (nearly $6 a gallon), Carnley said it was time to let the stick go and hang it up, so he sold both planes that he owned about a year ago.

“I miss it; I miss it a lot,” he said.

Cancer scare

While he was still grieving the losses of his close friends, Carnley would face another round of bad news after he was diagnosed with cancer.

After the diagnosis, he would spend five months at the Mayo Clinic battling throat cancer His latest battery of tests came back negative and he is cancer free.

“They told me I had no chance,” he said of his initial diagnosis.

During his uphill fight, Carnley said it was the support of his fiancé Tina Anderson and the letters and emails from his friends and patients that kept him going and upbeat.

“I’ve been very lucky,” he said. “I feel good, blessed.”

Taking it easy

Now that he is back in office, Carnley said he is still taking it slowly as he continues to get back to full strength. While he is not flying these days, he is keeping himself busy reading. Next on his list of to do’s is to get back on his Harley and hit the golf course.

Dr. Canley’s office is located in the Mae Center at 385 Harbor Boulevard. For more information call 850-837-2189.

Settling back into his office is exactly where Carnley wants to be — it’s where he feels most comfortable. Working with his hands, being with his staff and interacting with his patients puts him at peace.

“I really just love people,” he said. “I love to talk to them and hear their stories, find out what they are about — I love coming to work.”

Slingsby T67M200 Firefly , TC-CBF, Türk Hava Kurumu, Turkish Aeronautical Association: Fatal accident occurred November 19, 2011 near Selcuk-Ephesus Airport (LTFB), Turkey

ANKARA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two pilots were killed on Saturday when a training plane of the Turkish Aviation Association (THK) crashed in western Turkey, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The Slingsby T67 Firefly plane crashed right after taking off at the Efes Airport in Selcuk town of the western province of Izmir, according to the report.

Pilots Ali Can Ergun and Necmi Mizrak died at the scene of the crash, Izmir Governor Cahit Kirac was quoted as saying.


Story and video: http://webtv.hurriyet.com 

İzmir’in Selçuk İlçesi’nde Türk Hava Kurumu’na ait eğitim uçağı henüz bilinmeyen nedenle düştü. Uçakta bulunan iki pilot hayatını kaybetti. Efes Havaalanı'ndan saat 12.00 sıralarında eğitim uçuşu için havalanan pervaneli uçak henüz bilinmeyen bir nedenle Efes Antik kentinin girişindeki ayva bahçesine düştü. T 67 tipi uçağın içinde bulunan pilot öğretmenler Necmi Mızrak ve Can Ergün' ün hayatını kaybettiği öğrenildi.

ERCO 415-C Ercoupe, N99168: Accident occurred November 19, 2011 in Mulberry, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA077 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Mulberry, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2013
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415-C, registration: N99168
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

The medically unqualified pilot filled the airplane’s fuel tanks and flew about 45 minutes to another airport, where the airplane remained on the ground about 2 hours and no fuel or maintenance services were performed. The pilot agreed to fly a passenger, who was a student pilot, to another airport. The passenger reported that, after boarding the airplane, he was not briefed on how to use the lapbelt, which the pilot secured for him. The passenger also reported that the pilot did not ask him his weight for the purpose of weight and balance calculations. The pilot did not perform a preflight inspection per the passenger’s account. Based on all available data from the pilot, maintenance records, and airplane documents located in the wreckage, the airplane was near or at its maximum gross weight at the time of engine start. After taxiing to the departure runway, the pilot did not perform an engine runup. He then taxied onto the grass runway, applied the brakes, and applied full power. The pilot reported that the airplane accelerated but not as fast as he thought it should have. The pilot reported that it took a long time to accelerate to 60 mph, and, about the point when he was considering aborting the takeoff, the airplane became airborne.

After becoming airborne, the pilot stated that the airplane climbed to 400 feet, cleared power lines, then began descending. He maneuvered the airplane toward a clearing, and, while descending, the right wing collided with trees. The airplane then impacted the ground in a right-wing-low attitude and a fire ensued. The pilot and passenger exited the airplane. The passenger later reported having difficulty unlatching his restraint because he was not familiar with it. The delay in releasing his restraint most likely resulted in greater burn injury to the passenger than had it been immediately released.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no compression in three of the four cylinders, but this was most likely due to the postcrash fire. Further examination of the thermally damaged engine revealed that the left magneto produced spark when rotated by hand, but the right magneto did not produce spark. Postaccident inspection of the right magneto revealed extensive heat damage, which precluded operational testing; therefore, no determination could be made as to whether there was preimpact failure or malfunction of the right magneto. Based on available evidence, the airplane’s poor acceleration during takeoff was most likely due to being near or at its maximum gross weight and operating from a grass runway. The pilot should have aborted the takeoff once he recognized the airplane’s poor acceleration performance.

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

The pilot’s failure to abort the takeoff after recognizing the airplane’s poor performance during the takeoff roll. Contributing to the passenger’s injuries was the pilot’s failure to provide a briefing on the use of the lapbelt, which delayed the passenger’s exit from the wreckage.

On November 19, 2011, about 1135 eastern standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C, N99168, registered to a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from South Lakeland Airport (X49), Mulberry, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight from X49, to Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida. The sport pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained serious injuries due to burns. The flight originated about 5 minutes earlier from X49.

The pilot stated that earlier that day he flew uneventfully from Punta Gorda, Florida, to X49, and after landing secured the engine and remained on the ground about 2 hours; no fuel or maintenance was performed while at X49. While on the ground at X49, he received a call, and based on that call, wanted to return to PGD rather than fly to SPG Airport as planned for lunch. While proceeding to his airplane he was asked if he could take the passenger to SPG for lunch. He agreed to do so, and both got into the airplane to depart. He (pilot) was seated in the left seat and the passenger was seated in the right seat.

The pilot further stated that because the airplane was parked on grass which was soft, he needed a little bit of power to get out of the ruts created by the landing gear. He taxied to runway 14 and other airplanes departed ahead of him. The wind was from the east at 8 to 10 knots. Because of the short duration on the ground, the fact that the flight to X49 was uneventful, and the power application to get out of the parking spot, he did not perform an engine run-up. He estimated that the airplane had 16 gallons total fuel on-board at the time of engine start. He rolled onto the runway with all available runway ahead, applied the brakes, and added full power. The airplane accelerated but not as fast as he thought it should which he attributed to being on a grass runway. He also reported that it, “took a long time to get to 60 [mph]”, and when asked reported the grass was mowed and in good shape. About the point when he was considering aborting the takeoff, the airplane became airborne.

The pilot estimated the takeoff roll was 1,000 feet (typical is 500 to 600 feet), with about 2,000 feet of runway remaining. At the point the airplane became airborne it was traveling at 60 miles-per-hour (mph). He also reported that the rotation point was farther down the runway than usual. He climbed to about 400 feet, cleared power lines, then the airplane began descending. He noticed trees ahead that he thought were not too far beneath the airplane. He maneuvered the airplane towards a clearing but while descending close to the ground, the right wing of the airplane collided with a tree spinning the airplane to the right. The airplane hit the ground right wing low which caused a postcrash fire that started on the right side of the airplane. He and the passenger undid their lapbelts and exited the airplane out each respective side. By the time he ran around to the right side of the airplane the passenger was already out of the airplane and on a road.

The passenger stated that he had planned to fly to SPG as a passenger in another airplane; however, the pilot of that airplane declined to take him due to weight and balance considerations. He looked for another airplane to ride as a passenger to SPG, and the accident pilot advised he would fly him there. He did not notice any type of preflight inspection, and asked the pilot about the need to perform a preflight inspection to which he replied that he knew the airplane better than anybody else. He and the pilot boarded the airplane at the same time and he (passenger) was in the right front seat. After being seated the pilot buckled his lapbelt for him; the airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses. He was not briefed on the usage of the lapbelt, which he reported was fastened but loose. The pilot did not ask him his weight for weight and balance purposes, and he did not notice the pilot perform any weight and balance calculations. He donned his headset, and noted the pilot grab a card with handwriting. The pilot threw the card in the back of the airplane before starting the engine.

After the engine was started, the passenger reported that the pilot applied ¾ throttle to get out of the parking spot, which did not seem right to him based on his flight experience in a Breezer airplane. The pilot taxied to runway 14, and when near the approach end of the runway there were 2 other airplanes there performing engine run-ups. He questioned the pilot about the need to perform an engine run-up, and the pilot replied that a run-up was not necessary because he had just landed about 2 hours earlier and the fact that he knew the airplane better than anybody else.

The passenger further reported that the pilot taxied onto runway 14, applied full power and performed a rolling takeoff. About 1//2 way down the runway, the airplane was not airborne. Based on his aviation experience, he thought the pilot should have aborted the flight at that point. The pilot continued the takeoff roll and about ¾ down the runway with the nose landing gear still on the runway, the airplane felt light to him. At that point the pilot quickly pulled the control yoke then pushed it forward, followed by “very quickly” pulling it. The airplane became airborne and he described the wings as slowly rocking. The airplane began to slowly climb but it, “almost felt like it wasn’t supposed to be flying.” The pilot was pulling aft on the control yoke to climb but visually the airplane did not appear to be climbing even though the airplane was in a nose-high angle of attack. When the flight was over Highway 60, the pilot said, “woops” and the first and only time, He (passenger) glanced at the airspeed indicator noting it was at 70, but quickly decreased very quickly to 40; that was the last time he glanced at the airspeed indicator. The airplane impacted a tree on the right side causing the airplane to yaw to the right. The airplane then impacted the ground in a nose-low attitude, and he reported a slight gap in his memory. He reported gaining consciousness with fire all around him. Because he was not briefed on the lapbelt usage and he was unfamiliar with the kind of lapbelt he described as being a buckle type with a hinged clasp, he struggled to release his restraint. He pulled on the lapbelt and believed he became free of the lapbelt because fire destroyed the webbing. He exited the wreckage and ran away from the airplane walking on a road asking a nearby bystander for help. The individual provided him a blanket to rest his head as he laid on the ground.

The passenger was airlifted by helicopter to the Tampa General Hospital where he was treated for his burns. While hospitalized the pilot visited the passenger and during the visit the passenger asked the pilot why he had not performed an engine run-up before takeoff and he replied that he was trained of the need to only perform an engine run-up 1 time a day regardless of the number of flights performed. During the visit the passenger’s mother who was in the room reported the pilot say he, “should have aborted the takeoff and doesn’t know why he didn’t.”

The passenger was asked if he perceived any change in engine sound from the moment the pilot applied takeoff power to the point of the accident and he reported he could not recall; however, he added that he did not perceive any increase in engine sound between the point when the pilot applied takeoff power and the moment of impact.

He was also asked at any point during the takeoff did he perceive any sputtering from the engine and he reported the only time he heard sputtering was when the pilot first attempted to start the engine. He was also asked how high the airplane climbed and he reported that a witness said the airplane climbed no higher than nearby powerlines.
The passenger was asked if his lack of knowledge with the lapbelt contributed to his burn injuries and he reported in his estimation that he would have been burned to some extent, but he was not sure how much his knowledge on how to release his restraint could have mitigated his burn injuries.

A witness who is an airframe and powerplant mechanic and was located about 100 yards from the departure end of runway 14 reported hearing the engine when the pilot taxied to the runway. Because of the distance between his position and the run-up area for runway 14 he was unable to hear clearly an engine run-up. He reported that when the airplane was at the departure end of runway 14, it was in a slight climb attitude, which was not too steep and about the height of power lines. He did not hear any sputtering sound from the engine but believed it was not developing full power only because he thought the airplane should have been higher based on the location. The witness further reported that, "...he didn’t hear any engine malfunction", but reported that the engine did not sound like the engine sound from other Ercoupe airplanes (3) he had heard in the past. The airplane did not appear to him to climb much between the departure end of the runway and the location of the power lines, and it appeared to be flat with respect to a climb attitude. The airplane then disappeared from his sight and he then diverted his attention to other duties. He did not see any smoke trailing the airplane. He then heard on a radio about the accident and grabbed a fire extinguisher and proceeded to the site.

Following recovery of the airplane, the thermally damaged engine was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector. Hand rotation of the propeller which was still attached to the crankshaft flange revealed crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. Cold differential compression testing of all cylinders using 80 psi revealed the Nos. 1, 3, and 4 cylinders tested 0, while the No. 2 cylinder held 70 psi. The oil filter was cut open and no contaminants were reported. Both magnetos were determined to be properly timed to the engine; however, only the left magneto was noted to produce spark at all ignition leads during rotation of the magneto. The right magneto did not produce spark from any ignition leads during hand rotation of the magneto. Inspection of the interior of the right magneto revealed it had “corrosion throughout.” Further examination of the right magneto revealed the insulation of a wire was burned and the wire was fractured. The right magneto was retained for further examination.

Examination of the right magneto was performed at a FAA certified repair station with FAA oversight. The magneto was determined to be manufactured by Eisemann, and was model LA-4, indicating it was for a four cylinder “light aircraft”, and the serial number was 46-40767. The magneto as first received was placed on a test bench and did not produce spark. The magneto was disassembled which revealed extensive internal corrosion and the FAA inspector noted it was “…excessively dirty”. The FAA inspector also reported that the points were excessively corroded and the electrical wire to the points had all the insulation cover burned exposing the conductor wire.

Maintenance records and documents associated with the airplane located in the wreckage were recovered and noted to be heavily fire damaged. The examination of the documents revealed the airplane empty weight was 839.1 pounds, and the empty weight arm was 25.8 inches aft of datum. The gross weight was listed as 1,320 pounds, and the center of gravity (CG) range was listed to be 26.4 to 30.3 inches aft of datum.

Weight and balance calculations were performed using the airplane empty weight (839.1), empty weight moment (21,648.78), the weight of the pilot per his NTSB interview (200 pounds), the weight of the passenger per his interview (155 pounds), the amount of fuel on-board per his NTSB interview (16 gallons or 96 pounds 100 low lead fuel), and the weight of oil (8.0 pounds). Based on those numbers, the airplane gross weight at the time of engine start was calculated to be approximately 1,298 pounds and the center of gravity was calculated to be 28.55 inches aft of datum. Weight calculations were also performed using the weight of the pilot reported by the FAA inspector-in-charge (approximately 230 pounds). Changing the pilot weight to 230 pounds resulted in a gross weight at engine start of approximately 1,328 pounds.

The last annual inspection was signed off as being completed on December 14, 2010. The airplane total time at that time and recording tachometer time at that time were recorded to be approximately 1,963 hours and 1,025 hours, respectively.

During an interview of the pilot 4 days after the accident, he was asked if the FAA had ever denied his medical application; he replied no.

According to information from personnel from the FAA Aeromedical Certification Division, the pilot’s last special issuance medical certificate was dated June 14, 2006. The special issuance medical certificate was not valid for any class after June 30, 2007. In November 2006, he was issued a third class under a Special Issuance Authorization, which expired June 30, 2012. The authorization was contingent upon him sending medical reports at 12 month intervals. No new medical information was received by the Aeromedical Certification Division since the 2006 authorization; therefore, in August 2006, he was given a final agency denial by the FAA Administrator because he did not meet specified medical standards.

According to 14 CFR Part 61.23, a pilot must have in his or her possession a medical certificate issued by FAA, or a U.S. driver’s license when exercising the privileges of a sport pilot certificate in a light sport aircraft other than glider or balloon. The regulation also indicates that a person using a U.S. driver’s license to meet the requirements must not have had his or her most recent Authorization for a Special Issuance of a medical certificate withdrawn.

The pilot submitted an affidavit to the insurance adjuster indicating that at the time of the accident his pilot logbook was in the airplane and the logbook was “lost and./or destroyed” in the fire. He reported that his flight review was current, but was not able to contact the certified flight instructor who gave him his last flight review in accordance with 14 CFR Part 61.56.



 NTSB Identification: ERA12LA077 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Mulberry, FL
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415-C, registration: N99168
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

On November 19, 2011, about 1135 eastern standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C, N99168, registered to a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from South Lakeland Airport (X49), Mulberry, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight from X49, to Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida. The certificated sport pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated about 5 minutes earlier from X49.

The pilot stated that earlier that day he flew uneventfully from Punta Gorda, Florida, to X49, and after landing secured the engine and remained on the ground about 2 hours; no fuel or maintenance was performed while at X49. While on the ground at X49, he received a call, and based on that call, wanted to return to PGD rather than fly to SPG Airport as planned for lunch. While proceeding to his airplane he was asked if he could take the passenger to SPG for lunch. He agreed to do so, and both got into the airplane to depart. He (pilot) was seated in the left seat and the passenger was seated in the right seat.

Because the airplane was parked on grass which was soft, he needed a little bit of power to get out of the ruts created by the landing gear. He taxied to runway 14 and other airplanes departed ahead of him. The wind was from the east at 8 to 10 knots. Because of the short duration on the ground, the fact that the flight to X49 was uneventful, and the power application to get out of the parking spot, he did not perform an engine run-up. He estimated that the airplane had 16 gallons total fuel on-board at the time of engine start. He rolled onto the runway with all available runway ahead, applied the brakes, and added full power. The airplane accelerated but not as fast as he thought it should which he attributed to being on a grass runway. He also reported that it, “took a long time to get to 60 [mph]”, and when asked reported the grass was mowed and in good shape. About the point when he was considering aborting the takeoff, the airplane became airborne.

He estimated the takeoff roll was 1,000 feet (typical is 500 to 600 feet), with about 2,000 feet of runway remaining. At the point the airplane became airborne it was traveling at 60 miles-per-hour (mph). He also reported that the rotation point was farther down the runway than usual. He climbed to about 400 feet, cleared power lines, then the airplane began descending. He noticed trees ahead that he thought were not too far beneath the airplane. He maneuvered the airplane towards a clearing but while descending close to the ground, the right wing of the airplane collided with a tree spinning the airplane to the right. The airplane hit the ground right wing low which caused a postcrash fire that started on the right side of the airplane. He and the passenger undid their lapbelts and exited the airplane out each respective side. By the time he ran around to the right side of the airplane the passenger was already out of the airplane and on a road.




Photo courtesy of Dr. Harley M. Richards


A Fort Myers man and a Lakeland teenager were taken to area hospitals after a small plane crashed in Polk County on Saturday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

The plane went down in Mulberry after departing South Lakeland Airport. Deputies said pilot Robert Van Wagnen, 81, and passenger Phillip Herrington, 16, were injured.

Their injuries were not considered life-threatening. Van Wagnen was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, deputies said, and Herrington to Tampa General Hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Records show the 1946 Ercoupe 415-C is registered to Van Wagnen.

The plane is a fixed wing, single-engine craft. Various media reports indicated that the man and teen had been flying to Albert Whitted Field in St. Petersburg for lunch.
 ===========
MULBERRY | Two people were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries after the single engine plane they were traveling in crashed at 11:33 a.m. near State Road 60 and Coronet Road, Polk County Fire Rescue said.

A Fort Myers man was the pilot and his passenger was a 15-year-old boy. They had just taken off in a 1946 Ercoupe from the South Lakeland Airport and were heading to the Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg for lunch, deputies said.

The Ercoupe crashed then caught on fire, deputies said.

It landed on the lawn of the RCMA Mulberry Child Development Center at 4441 Academy Drive in Mulberry.

The pilot was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center and the teen was airlifted to the Tampa General Hospital, said Brad Ruhmann, spokesman for Polk County Fire Rescue.

No one else was injured.

MULBERRY, Fla. - Polk County emergency crews are on the scene of a small plane crash in the area of Coronet Road and Highway 60 in Mulberry. The crash happened around 11:30 this morning. The aircraft may have been a bi-plane.

Officials say two people were injured in the crash. An adult male passenger who sustained critical burn injuries was airlifted to a local hospital. The pilot was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Three engine companies and two ambulances responded to the scene.

No word on the identity of the victims or what caused the crash.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A pilot and a child were able to escape a plane that crashed and caught fire in southern Polk County early Saturday, investigators said.

The 1946 Ercoupe took off from the South Lakeland Airport and made an emergency landing next to a day care center in the Willow Oaks area along State Road 60 and Coronet Road.

After the impact, the Fort Myers pilot and the youth escaped the burning aircraft, which grew into a heavy fire. The child was flown to a hospital and the pilot went to a hospital in an ambulance, but investigators said they did not have life-threatening injuries.

Investigators said the pilot was flying the child to Albert Whitted Field in Tampa for lunch.

Polk County Fire Rescue said the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Air India management can alter policy for workmen: Apex court

New Delhi, Nov 19, (IANS) :  The Supreme Court has ruled that Air India was entitled to alter its policies with regards to its workmen and those promoted to executive category could no longer claim benefits of an agreement covering them when they were still workmen.

"In our view, the management of Air India was always entitled to alter its policies with regards to their workmen, subject to the consensus arrived at between the parties in supersession of all previous agreements," said a bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Kabir said: "We are unable to accept ... that those workmen who had been promoted to the executive category would continue to be governed by the settlement arrived at when they were workmen and were represented by the (Air India Cabin Crew) Association."

The apex court's Friday ruling came as it declined to interfere with a Delhi High Court verdict of Oct 8, 2007, dismissing the petition by the Air India Cabin Crew Association challenging the decision by which their service conditions were altered.

"It is, in fact, the prerogative of the management to place an employee in a position where he would be able to contribute the most to the company," the apex court judgment said.

Having said this, the court declared that Air India "was at liberty to adopt the revised promotion policy which was intended to benefit all the employees".

The issue before the court was whether the airline's management was entitled to alter the service conditions of flight pursers and air hostesses, despite several bilateral agreements between Air India management and its workmen represented by the Air India Cabin Crew Association, and the executive cadre of in-flight pursers and air hostesses.

The apex court said: "In our view, once an employee is placed in the executive cadre, he ceases to be a workman and also ceases to be governed by settlements arrived at between the management and the workmen through the concerned trade union."

It is not a question of an attempt made by such employees to wriggle out of the settlements which had been arrived at prior to their elevation to the executive cadre, which, by operation of law, cease to have any binding force on the employee so promoted by the management, the judgment said.

The other question before the apex court was regard to the merger of cabin crew effected in 1996, giving rise to the other disputed questions relating to interchangeability of duties between flight pursers and air hostesses.

A further question that arises is whether in the circumstances indicated, a policy decision of gender neutralization, which was prospective in nature, could be applied retrospectively to the pre-1997 cadre of pursers and would it be arbitrary and contrary to the provisions of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

On these issues, the apex court said that it was more concerned with the decision taken in terms of Section 9 of the 1994 Act, to bring about a parity in the service conditions of both flight pursers and air hostesses, both at the level of workmen and also the executive cadre.

While the agreements are not altered or vary to any large extent, what has been done is to iron out the differences on account of the revised promotion policy, which exempted some of the workmen, who had been transformed to the category of executive from the ambit of the said settlements, said the court.

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Special Conditions: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Model GVI Airplane; Windshield Coating in Lieu of Wipers

An unpublished Rule by Federal Aviation Administration on 11/21/2011

This document is unpublished, but on 11/21/2011 it is scheduled to be published and available on this page. Until then, you can download the pre-publication PDF version.

Workers reclaim Bangkok airport

Nov. 18 - Workers move in to Bangkok's domestic Don Muang airport preparing to reclaim it after the worst floods in 50 years. Nick Rowlands reports.


Reno Air Racing Association: Two Weeks Remain for Refunds of Air Race Tickets

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From the Reno Air Racing Association:

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) is currently offering refunds for tickets purchased for Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 due to the cancellation of the remainder of the 48th Annual National Championship Air Races. Since refund information was first posted in mid-October, Air Race customers from around the world have called, mailed and emailed their support that RARA apply their refund amounts towards sustaining the future of the air racing organization and the planning and production of future events. However, for those who are interested in receiving a refund, information can be found online at www.airrace.org. All refund requests must include original tickets and be postmarked by Dec. 1, 2011 to be eligible.

"While there are some ticketholders who have requested refunds for their 2011 tickets, we are amazed and humbled by the overwhelming number of fans who have requested to leave their money with the Reno Air Racing Association," said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of RARA. "We remain committed to preserving this unique aviation event and any funds left with this organization will go directly towards saving the future of the event."

Though it takes place for just one week each September, the National Championship Air Races are a year-round effort that requires significant work hours and financial resources. As a non-profit organization, the Reno Air Racing Association must rely heavily on ticket sales to generate the funding it takes to coordinate each year's Races. As such, all refund requests must be submitted no later than Dec. 1, 2011 in order to allow the Reno Air Racing Association and its board of directors to begin building a financial and logistical plan for future events.

"We've always said this event would not be possible without our fans and that has never been truer than right now," said Houghton. "As we keep the victims of this recent tragedy in our thoughts and prayers, the outpouring of encouragement we've received from many of those affected by this accident, from this community and from people all over the globe has inspired and motivated us to do whatever we can to bring the National Championship Air Races back to northern Nevada as soon as possible."

For more information on refunds, visit www.airrace.org or call 775.972.6663. 

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