Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cumberland, Maryland: Helicopter rescue team is one of a kind for area

CUMBERLAND — A specially-trained aerial rescue team comprised of Cumberland firefighters and the Cumberland Section of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command is the only one of its kind within the region. The next nearest such response team is located in Frederick County.

The Cumberland Fire Department Helicopter Emergency Aerial Team was initiated in 2003 by then Fire Chief William Herbaugh and the Maryland State Police Aviation Division, Trooper 5.

The initial members of the Cumberland Fire Department HEAT team in 2003 were: Capt. William Davis (who now leads the team), Capt. Sam Wilson, Capt. Chris Ratliff, Lt. Steve Grogg, Lt. Vince Pyle, Equipment Operators Steve Hout and Ed Kenner, and Paramedics Doug Beitzel and Jim Kucharczyk.

The initial training included aircraft familiarization and safety, crew resource management, training on hoist rescue insertion/extraction techniques and rescue basket deployment and management.

Annual dynamic training allows for the execution of all the aforementioned topics in a controlled training environment which provides an arena for evaluation of the team’s deployment techniques.

Members of the HEAT team are certified in High Angle Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue.

The team operates primarily in Maryland’s Region 1, which includes Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, but also is on call as a resource to other regions within the state as well as regions of Western Pennsylvania, Northern West Virginia and Northern Virginia.

The Cumberland Fire Department HEAT team is one of several teams which utilize a joint partnership between fire departments and the Maryland State Police Aviation Division.

The team has been very active since it was formed eight years ago.

Deployments have ranged from a power plant smokestack rescue in Moundsville, W.Va., in March 2006; a mine rescue in Fairmont,W.Va.; a wilderness rescue in Dolly Sods, W.Va.; swiftwater deployments to the Potomac River in Washington County; two downed aircraft in the region of the Jefferson National Forest, W.Va., as well as mountain rescues in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.

In September 2010, four members of the team: Civilian Pilot Scott Russell, Senior Trooper Lance Shank, Lt. Vince Pyle and Firefighter Steve Hout were awarded the Maryland State Police Certificate of Valor for a winter mountain rescue.

Currently, the team has 14 members led by Capt. William Davis. Team members include: Capt. Sam Wilson, Capt. Chris Ratliff, Capt. Daron Winters, Cumberland Fire Marshal/Lt. Shannon Adams, Lt. Vince Pyle, FF/EMT-P Steve Adams, FF/EMT-P Doug Beitzel, FF/EMT-P Mike Salvadge, EO/EMT-P Terry Puffinburger, EO/FF Ed Kenner, EO/FF Jeff Wagoner, EO/FF Steve Hout, FF/EMT Jon Miller.

“The Maryland State Police Aviation Command is honored to have such an exceptional working relationship with the Cumberland Fire Department’s HEAT team. Since the team first became operational, the enhancements to MSP Aviation’s aerial rescue program have been numerous,” said Maryland State Police Flight Paramedic Alex Kelly, of the Cumberland section of MSP Aviation Command.

“In the past, when Trooper 5 was called upon to perform a hoist rescue, we would explain to the rescuers on the ground — either with a rapid face to face briefing after landing on-scene or via the radio while overhead — what we needed them to do. This system worked well enough, and it was all that we had. There was clearly room for improvement. Aerial rescue is the most demanding mission for the helicopter and its crew,” Kelly said.

“Since the advent of the HEAT team we can now perform what were once complicated and, by their nature, risky operations in the safest and quickest way possible.

“The MSP pilots and trooper/flight paramedics train regularly with the CFD HEAT team so we are intimately familiar with each other’s equipment and procedures,” said Kelly.

The proximity of the Cumberland Fire Department in the Public Safety Building on Bedford Street to Trooper 5’s hangar at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport is also beneficial.

“We have the luxury of departing for missions with the HEAT team on board without prolonging our response time. The average response time for the team to the hangar is eight minutes. This is just enough time for the flight crew to reconfigure the aircraft cabin from its typical medevac role to hoisting.”

The other HEAT teams in the state typically meet the helicopter at a pre-arranged location for pick-up due to the fact that they are not close to the hangars.

“The dedicated members of the Cumberland City Fire Department HEAT team have enhanced the speed, safety and capability of the aerial rescue services the MSP Aviation Command delivers to its customers,” said Kelly.

http://times-news.com

Beechcraft Bonanza V35, N9569Q: Accident occurred November 20, 2011 in Lusby, Maryland

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA080 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Lusby, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2012
Aircraft: BEECH V35, registration: N9569Q
Injuries: 1 Serious,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, during the night flight, he made an initial pass to locate the airfield and to turn on the runway lights via the radio. He rejected the first approach when he lost sight of the landing area. He visually reacquired the field and began his second approach. During the second approach, he saw the runway lights from the approach end to the departure end and the windsock to the left of the runway. He recalled that he felt that the airplane was slightly low. He stated that, while he was on what he believed was short final, trees appeared in front of the windscreen, and trees limbs and branches began to hit the airplane. The airplane began to severely vibrate and shimmy, so the pilot reduced power and pushed the yoke forward to force the airplane onto the ground. The airplane collided with the ground, and the airframe was substantially damaged.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not maintain clearance from trees during a night approach.

The pilot stated that during a night flight he made an initial pass to locate the airfield and turn on the runway lights via radio. The first approach was aborted when he lost sight of the landing area. He visually re-acquired the field and began his second approach. During the second approach, he saw the runway lights from the approach end to the departure end and the wind sock to the left of the runway. He recalled that he felt slightly low during the approach. On what he believed was short final, he stated that trees appeared in front of the windscreen. Trees limbs and branches began to hit the airplane. The airplane began to severely vibrate and shimmy, so the pilot reduced power and pushed the yoke forward to force the airplane on the ground. The airplane collided with the ground and the airframe was substantially damaged.





Audio: Emergency responders on-site of plane crash
 
http://thebaynet.com

UPDATE: Maryland State Police Helicopter Trooper 2 has flown both the male pilot, age 46 and a 16-year-old passenger to Prince George’s Shock Trauma.

Preliminary reports indicate the pilot was flying a 1966 V-35 Bonanza and encountered a missed approach, clipped some trees, lost some equipment and as a result slid off the runway.

The NTSB and a FAA inspector are en route to the scene to investigate.

Plane Crashes at Chesapeake Ranch Estates Airport

Fire and Rescue Crews from both Calvert and St. Mary’s County are on the scene of a plane crash at the Chesapeake Ranch Estates Airport in Lusby.

The crash was reported around 6:26 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20.

Two male patients are reported to have been on board the plane. A MSP helicopter has been requested to the scene of the crash.


Update:  Maryland State Police Trooper 2 transported two males, pilot and passenger, to Prince George's Hospital. Also, two fire fighters were transported to hospital.  Pilot suffered a concussion and broken legs. Aircraft was purchased approximately 1 month ago.

LUSBY, Maryland — Maryland State Police say two people have been injured in a small plane crash at the end of a runway at a Calvert County airport.

Trooper First Class E. West of the Prince Frederick barracks says the plane crashed around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at an airport at the Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lusby. West says it’s not yet clear how badly the two people aboard the plane were injured.

Even as pilots quit, Kingfisher Airlines pays junior level staff

Quelling fears of disgruntled employees, Kingfisher remunerates two months' salary of lower level employees; will pay the remaining staff next weekend

With an aim to pacify workers from the lower rung of its workforce, cash-strapped Kingfisher airlines on Saturday paid pending salaries to its lower bracket employees that were pending for the last two months.

The payment of salary to the ground handling staff and technicians comes against the backdrop of uncertainty that is looming around the financial health of the troubled airline among the employees.

The airline had defaulted on the salary payment to its employees, but looking at the current crisis within the airline, the management wanted to dispel fears among workers in the lower level first. The salaries of those in the upper bracket, however, are likely to be released next weekend.

Payment of salary was aimed to send a message to the disgruntled employees that the airline regards them as a priority and is concerned about their welfare. In the past few months more than 100 pilots have quit Kingfisher airline due to salary issues.

"Everyone is worried. In a situation when the company is making losses and has also shut down one of its services recently, everyone is nervous about their future. The work force in the lower bracket gets a low salary and if they do not get the salary on time, things become bleak for them," said a ground handling staff from Kingfisher, on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, a Kingfisher airline spokesperson confirmed that the salaries were pending, he said, "Yes, the salaries were delayed and the company is working on this aspect."

http://www.mid-day.com

Cruising the skies in vintage aircraft: Aviation enthusiasts keep history alive and flying high

Tom Long of Benedict said that as a boy he built model airplanes and “always wanted to be a pilot.”

Long, a licensed flight instructor with an airline transport pilot license and a mechanic with an inspection authority grade, now owns a few 1940s- and ’50s-era planes, some in flying order and others in stages of restoration, which he does himself. He is especially proud of his World War II Valiant BT-13, a two-seat bomber trainer he purchased in 1998 and hauled on a trailer home from California. He then spent two years restoring it.

“I fly it all the time,” he said, mentioning that when he and his wife go on fly-in breakfast trips meeting up with other pilots who fly in their planes to a restaurant, his plane grabs people’s attention. If it was bought new it would be worth close to $1 million, he said.

“I’ve always wanted something similar,” so he said when he saw it in Trade-A-Plane magazine he inquired. “All the parts were there except the engine and propeller,” Long said, adding that he preferred to have a freshly overhauled engine anyway.

Long, who also owns an aircraft restoration business in New York with a friend, said he likes the old-style planes, especially the World War II models.

Oklahoma State to examine travel rules. Crash of Piper PA28, N7746W. Perryville, Arkansas.


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma State University officials will examine the school's travel policy in the wake of a plane crash that killed women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, an assistant coach and two other people in central Arkansas, a spokesman said Sunday.

"Certainly, it's a little early, we're still kind of recovering from this, but we'll certainly look at the policy," university spokesman Gary Shutt said. "Any time you have a terrible accident like this, definitely you look at the policy."

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Gallagher-Iba Arena for Budke, 50, assistant coach Miranda Serna, 36, and the others who died in Thursday's crash. Organizers were working to finalize plans Sunday.

The two coaches were killed when the plane they were riding in crashed into a wooded hillside in central Arkansas. The pilot, Olin Branstetter, 82, and his wife, Paula, 79, also died.

Budke and Serna's deaths come more than 10 years after two men's basketball players and eight others associated with the program were killed in a January 2001 plane crash in Colorado. Changes were made to the travel policy, including rules requiring two pilots to be on board for all OSU travel involving student athletes and aircraft to be powered by two or more turbine engines.

"It does not apply to recruiting trips for coaches," who were allowed to make travel arrangements at their own discretion, Shutt said.

Budke and Serna were flying to Little Rock to watch two prospective recruits play in a game, two days before the Cowgirls were scheduled to play two weekend games, Shutt said.

"Obviously the high school season coincides with the college season, so if you want to go see players you need to have the flexibility and ability to make quick trips," Shutt said.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, already has ruled out weather as a factor. A spokesman didn't immediately return calls and emails seeking comment on Sunday.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Branstetter passed a medical examination, was certified to be a commercial pilot and was flight-instrument rated.

"Every pilot, regardless of age, is required to have a medical exam a minimum of every two years, and every pilot must also do a check ride with a certified instructor every two years," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. "That means you have to both prove that you're medically fit to fly, as well as ride with someone who can sign off on your abilities to handle the duties that come with being a pilot."

Shutt said it was his understanding that Branstetter hadn't taken coaches on any other flights before Thursday's crash. Branstetter, a former state senator, was an Oklahoma State University alumnus and donated to scholarships at the school, Shutt said.

Meanwhile, the Cowgirls' participated in a light practice on Saturday, Shutt said. The Cowgirls were scheduled to play Grambling State on Saturday and Texas-Arlington on Sunday, but those games were canceled.

Associate head coach Jim Littell has been named interim head coach. The next game is set for this coming Saturday.

"The intent is to resume the season at some point," Shutt said. "(Team officials) will assess things and move forward as quickly as they can."

http://espn.go.com

Smoke In Cockpit Diverts Plane To Pittsburgh: Plane Lands Without Problem

PITTSBURGH -- ExpressJet flight 4405, operating as Continental Express from Newark to St. Louis, is diverted to Pittsburgh due to a burning smell in the cabin Sunday.

According to ExpressJet Airlines, crew members were able to follow safety protocol and declare an emergency.

The plane landed without incident and was able to taxi to the gate under its own power.

Passengers Kicked Off Planes Meets Reality TV - Southwest Airlines Has New Show on TLC

Some of the famous or not-so-famous who may get kicked off any Southwest Airlines planes may find themselves on reality TV.

Cable TV's odd reality series producing TLC announced this week it had picked up 13 episodes of a new reality show about Southwest Airlines.

The airline has made news by showing the door on one earlier flight to director Kevin Smith (reportedly for being too large for a seat) and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off another flight for wearing too saggy of pants recently as well.

Another episode that gained attention, L Word star Leisha Hailey was also kicked off a flight for arguing with the flight staff after a customer complained she was kissing her girlfriend.

Now those types of episodes and other chores that occur during the day of the the life of a SW Airlines employee and all the messy ways of travel will be on display soon as the airline has agreed to a deal for a reality TV series.

The series of 13 half-hour episodes will profile some of the airline's customers "as they prepare to travel for milestone moments," TLC says.

"Air travel has become incredibly accessible, and as a result, millions of travelers navigate the challenges of the airport, especially during the upcoming holiday season," said Amy Winter, general manager of TLC, in a statement.

"Southwest is a beloved brand, and their customers and employees will reveal the passion, commitment, and fantastic payoff of 'getting there' that helps keep us all flying."

Will you watch?

http://www.nationalledger.com

2 Injured when plane crashes at Chesapeake Ranch Airport (MD50), Lusby, Maryland



Update:  Maryland State Police Trooper 2 transported two males, pilot and passenger, to Prince George's Hospital. Also, two fire fighters were transported to hospital.  Pilot suffered a concussion and broken legs. Aircraft was purchased approximately 1 month ago.

LUSBY, Maryland — Maryland State Police say two people have been injured in a small plane crash at the end of a runway at a Calvert County airport.

Trooper First Class E. West of the Prince Frederick barracks says the plane crashed around 6:30 p.m. Sunday at an airport at the Chesapeake Ranch Estates in Lusby. West says it’s not yet clear how badly the two people aboard the plane were injured.

TV helicopter prompts crash false alarm. (Australia)

Reports of a helicopter crash west of Melbourne are the result of a news chopper landing near a controlled burn-off, authorities say.

Emergency crews were earlier responding to a report of "a helicopter down" near Melton about 10am.

However, the Country Fire Authority said the false alarm was the result of a well-intentioned emergency call from a a member of the public, who saw two helicopters in the air before seeing smoke.

The caller became concerned and contacted authorities.

The incident is believed to have happened at Brookfield.

It is believed a Channel Seven helicopter landed near an area where a controlled burn-off was taking place.

High winds hit Wellington flights. (New Zealand)

LATEST: High winds forced a plane to abort two landing attempts in Wellington this morning, with the plane having to return to Auckland.

Gale force winds of up to 130kmh are forecast in Wellington today and MetService is warning residents to take precautions.

Air New Zealand flight 417 failed to land and was turned back to Auckland.

Air New Zealand spokesman Mark Street said the pilot made two attempts to land but conditions were too blustery and the flight had to turn back to Auckland.

The outbound flight NZ432 Wellington-Auckland which was due to depart at midday is cancelled.

The Fire Service has attended 12 weather-related callouts this morning in Wellington, Masterton and Eketahuna.

Those call-outs were related to trees down in some places, as well as telephone and power lines down, Wellington fire shift commander Mike Wanoa said.

He said to have 12 callouts with such high winds was not many. "We got away with it this time".

High winds have also been causing problems in Wellington Harbour today.

A large, high-sided car carrier was unable to berth at Aotea Quay this morning because of the weather.

Harbourmaster Mike Pryce said the Trans Future 5 had arrived about 10.15am and had not been able to berth. The carrier was now circling near the heads where the wind was calmer until things died down. Winds were gusting 55 knots in the harbour.

East by West ferries had been cancelled though other ferries were running at this stage.

Forecaster Oliver Druce said it was going to be a stormy day. "We will have gale force winds with big gusts. There will be north-west gales and rain until 6pm this evening when there will be a southerly change."

Things were set to "miraculously clear up" later tonight but not before the winds grew stronger.

Winds of up to 120kmh had been recorded in Kelburn this morning.

Campers who stayed in Wairarapa overnight for the Toast Martinborough festival woke to high winds this morning.

MetService warned the winds had the potential to damage insecure structures, trees and powerlines and make driving difficult, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.

People were advised to secure any loose objects.

http://www.stuff.co.nz

Socata TBM700N (TBM850), SV Leasing Company of Florida, N37SV: Accident occurred October 12, 2011 in Hollywood, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA023 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 12, 2011 in Hollywood, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2014
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N37SV
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

In anticipation of the maintenance test flight, a about 72 gallons of fuel was added to the left fuel tank to balance the fuel load. During the preflight, the pilot noted that the left tank had 105 gallons and that the right tank had 108 gallons. Because of the fuel level indications, the pilot did not visually inspect the tanks; even if he had done so the wing dihedral would have prevented him from seeing the fuel level. About 20 minutes after takeoff, the pilot received the first annunciation of “Fuel Low R,” which lasted for about 10 seconds then went out. This indicates the fuel quantity is less than or equal to 9 gallons of usable fuel in the right tank. The pilot attributed this to a malfunction of the low fuel level sensor, since the fuel gauge showed about 98 gallons of fuel. He instructed the right front seat occupant (the mechanic) to make a note so the sensor would be replaced after the flight. Shortly thereafter, the amber “Fuel Unbalance” illuminated, and indicated that the right fuel quantity was greater than the left; as a result the pilot switched the fuel selector to the right tank. He then initiated a descent to 10,000 feet to perform system checks, and after levelling off at that altitude for about 15 minutes, received a second “Fuel Low R” annunciation; he verified that the fuel selector automatically switched to the left tank and noted that the message went out after about 10 seconds. Either before or during a descent to 4,000 feet, the second “Fuel Unbalance” annunciation occurred. The right tank again depicted a greater quantity of fuel, so the pilot again switched the fuel selector to the right tank. The flight continued to a nearby airport, where the pilot terminated an instrument approach with a low approach. The flight then proceeded to the destination airport and entered the traffic pattern on a left downwind leg.. While on the downwind leg, the pilot received the third “Fuel Unbalance” annunciation and at this time the left fuel gauge indicated 55 gallons while the right fuel gauge indicated 74 gallons. Because he intended to land within a few minutes, the pilot manually selected the fullest (right) tank, then turned to base then final. While at 800 feet on final approach, the red warning message “Fuel Press” illuminated and the engine lost all power. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. Unable to reach the airport, the pilot landed on a nearby turnpike. Both fuel tanks were breached, and fuel leakage, likely from the left fuel tank, was noted at the site. Inspection of the fuel outlet filter on the engine and the fuel sequencer reservoir considered an airframe item revealed both contained minimal fuel consistent with fuel starvation from the right fuel tank that actually did not contain an adequate supply of fuel. Postaccident operational testing of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction that would have resulted in the loss of power. Examination and testing of the right fuel gauge harness revealed that a high impedance shielded cable was not correctly soldered to the shielding braid when the airplane was manufactured, which resulted in erroneous high readings of the fuel quantity in the right tank. Several opportunities existed to detect the fuel quantity errors in the right tank during the airplane’s 600-hour and annual inspection, which was signed off the day before. Several times during the inspection, electrical power was applied and different fuel quantities for the right tank were displayed, yet nothing was done to determine the reason for the different fuel indications. For example, 41 gallons was displayed, yet 70 gallons was drained; the fuel was returned to the tank after maintenance, yet the gauge showed 51 gallons, and after a post-maintenance run was performed, the gauge showed over 140 gallons even though it hadn’t been fueled. Maintenance personnel incorrectly attributed the difference to fuel migration. Further, the pilot had the opportunity to terminate the test flight after multiple conflicting indications from the right tank, yet he continued the test flight, which resulted in fuel starvation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to terminate the flight after observing multiple conflicting errors associated with the inaccurate right fuel quantity indication. Contributing to the accident were the total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation from the right tank, the inadequate manufacturing of the right fuel gauge electrical harness, and failure of maintenance personnel to recognize and evaluate the reason for the changing fuel level in the right fuel tank.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 12, 2011, about 1334 eastern daylight time, a Socata TBM 700, N37SV, registered to SV Leasing Company of Florida, operated by SOCATA North America, Inc., sustained substantial damage during a forced landing on a highway near Hollywood, Florida, following total loss of engine power. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 maintenance test flight from North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated other crewmember sustained minor injuries; there were no ground injuries. The flight originated from HWO about 1216.

The purpose of the flight was a maintenance test flight following a 600 hour and annual inspection.

According to the right front seat occupant, in anticipation of the flight, he checked the fuel load by applying electrical power and noted the G1000 indicated the left fuel tank had approximately 36 gallons while the right fuel tank had approximately 108 gallons. In an effort to balance the fuel load with the indication of the right fuel tank, he added 72.4 gallons of fuel to the left fuel tank. At the start of the data recorded by the G1000 for the accident flight, the recorded capacity in the left fuel tank was approximately 105 gallons while the amount in the right fuel tank was approximately 108 gallons.

The PIC reported that because of the fuel load on-board, he could not see the level of fuel in the tanks; therefore, he did not visually check the fuel tanks. By cockpit indication, the left tank had approximately 105 gallons and the right tank had approximately 108 gallons. The flight departed HWO, but he could not recall the fuel selector position beneath the thrust lever quadrant. He further stated that the fuel selector switch on the overhead panel was in the "auto" position.

After takeoff, the flight climbed to flight level (FL) 280, and levelled off at that altitude about 20 minutes after takeoff. While at that altitude they received a "Fuel Low R" amber warning CAS message on the G1000. He checked the right fuel gauge which indicated 98 gallons, and confirmed that the fuel selector automatically switched to the left tank. After about 10 seconds the amber warning CAS message went out. He attributed the annunciation to be associated with a failure or malfunction of the sensor, and told the mechanic to write this issue down so it could be replaced after the flight. The flight continued and they received an amber warning CAS message, "Fuel Unbalance" which the right fuel tank had more fuel so he switched the fuel selector to supply fuel from the right tank to the engine. The G1000 indicates they remained at that altitude for approximately 8 minutes.
He then initiated a quick descent to 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and during the descent accelerated to Vmo to test the aural warning horn. They descended to and maintained 10,000 feet msl for about 15 minutes and at an unknown time, they received an amber warning CAS message "Fuel Low R." Once again he checked the right fuel gauge which indicated it had 92 gallons and confirmed that the fuel tank selector automatically switched to the left tank. After about 10 seconds the CAS message went out. Either just before or during descent to 4,000 feet, they received an amber CAS message "Fuel Unbalance." Because the right fuel gauge indicated the fullest tank was the right tank, he switched the fuel selector to supply fuel to the engine from the right tank.

The flight proceeded to the Opa-Locka Executive Airport, where he executed an ILS approach which terminated with a low approach. The pilot cancelled the IFR clearance and proceeded VFR towards HWO. While in contact with the HWO air traffic control tower, the flight was cleared to join the left downwind for runway 27L. Upon entering the downwind leg they received another amber CAS message "Fuel Unbalance" and at this time the left fuel gauge indicated 55 gallons while the right fuel gauge indicated 74 gallons. Because he intended on landing within a few minutes, he put the fuel selector to the manual position and switched to the fullest (right) tank.

Established on final approach to runway 27L at HWO with the gear down, flaps set to landing, and minimum speed requested by air traffic for separation (85 knots indicated airspeed). When the flight was at 800 feet, the red warning CAS message "Fuel Press" illuminated and the right seat occupant with his permission moved the auxiliary fuel boost pump switch from "Auto" to "On" while he, PIC manually moved the fuel selector to the left tank. In an effort to restore engine power he pushed the power lever and used the manual over-ride but with no change. Assured that the engine had quit, he put the condition lever to cutoff, the starter switch on, and then the condition lever to "Hi-Idle" attempting to perform an airstart. At 1332:42, a flightcrew member of the airplane advised the HWO ATCT, "…just lost the engine"; however, the controller did not reply.

The PIC stated that he looked to his left and noticed a clear area on part of the turnpike, so he banked left, and in anticipation of the forced landing, placed the power lever to idle, the condition lever to cutoff, the fuel tank selector to off, and put the electrical gang bar down to secure the airplane's electrical system. He elected to retract the landing gear in an effort to shorten the landing distance. The right front seat occupant reported that the airplane was landed in a southerly direction in the northbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike. There were no ground injuries.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 2008, by EADS Socata as model TBM 700, and was designated serial number 441. At the time of the accident, it was powered by a 850 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D engine and equipped with a Hartzell HC-E4N-3/E9083 propeller with reverse capability.

The airplane's fuel system consists of a 150.5 gallon capacity wet wing fuel tank in each wing, with a resulting total usable capacity of 292 gallons. Fuel gauging is a capacitance type with 3 probes installed in each wing, and a low fuel sensor installed in each wing inboard of the inboard fuel probe, which provides a low level CAS messages when the fuel quantity remaining in the concerned tank is under about 9 U.S. gallons. The fuel probes are capacitors connected in parallel via electrical harness to the fuel amplifier (FCU) which in turn is connected electrically to the G1000 in the cockpit for display for the fuel tank readings.

Review of the maintenance records revealed an entry on August 4, 2010, indicating, "Troubleshoot right fuel quantity, found pin B at P61 connector loose, removed and replaced pin B at P61 connected as required, performed an operational check of right fuel quantity, system operates normal." The airplane total time at that time was recorded to be 451.1 hours. There was no other record of repair of the right fuel harness.

On September 29, 2011, the airplane was flown to HWO for compliance with an annual/600-Hour inspection. A pre-inspection engine run-up was performed and according to a fuel timeline provided by the maintenance facility, the reading for the fuel level in the right fuel tank at the completion of the run was recorded by the G1000 to be 41 gallons. On October 4, 2011, due to fuel leaking from 2 panels of the right wing, it was drained of fuel. A total of about 70 gallons of fuel were drained from the right fuel tank. The same day, electrical power was applied for about 43 seconds and during this time the right fuel quantity at the beginning and ending of the power-up was recorded to be approximately 11 gallons, though there was no remaining fuel in the fuel tank. The leaking panels were removed, repaired, and reinstalled. On October 5th, the fuel drained from the right tank were placed back into the right wing, and a post maintenance run-up was performed using only fuel from the right fuel tank. This was done in an effort to balance the fuel load. The G1000 recorded that at the completion of the engine run, the right fuel tank contained 51 gallons. The G1000 indicated power application 2 days later indicating the right fuel tank had approximately 143 gallons, despite the fact that it had not been fueled. Five days later, on October 12, 2011, the G1000 indicated power application for less than 30 seconds which indicated the right fuel tank had 107 gallons of fuel, while the left fuel tank had 35.5 gallons of fuel. No maintenance was done to evaluate the reason for the changing right fuel quantity.

Further review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane was last inspected in accordance with a 600 hour inspection and annual inspection which was signed off as being completed the day before. The airplane total time at that time was recorded to be 593.4, while the airplane total time at the time of the accident was 595.2 hours.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin G1000 Integrated Flight Deck, which is a collection of multiple avionics units which include flight displays. Each display has two SD card slots. The SD memory card was removed from the MFD and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division for readout.

According to the NTSB Factual Report, the data was extracted normally and contained 59 log files. The event flight was recorded and contained approximately 1 hour and 38 minutes of data; the calculated sample time interval was 1.055 seconds per data record. A review of the recorded data with respect to the fuel level revealed that beginning about 1218, or about 2 minutes after takeoff until 1229, during which time the airplane was at FL190 and climbing to FL280, the fuel level indication for the left steadily decreased consistent with supplying fuel to the engine, while the fuel level indication for right varied with increases noted. The left fuel level remained steady from about 1229 until about 1245, indicative of fuel being provided from the right fuel tank. From about 1245 until about 1324, a steady decrease of the left fuel quantity was noted, while during the same period the right fuel quantity indication showed a general decline. At the end of the recorded data, the left fuel quantity was approximately 62 gallons, while the right fuel quantity was approximately 60 gallons. A copy of the report and data is contained in the NTSB public docket.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The NTSB did not immediately respond to the accident site; however, the NTSB did view the airplane during the recovery process. The approximate location of where the airplane came to rest was reported to be 25 degrees 59.845 minutes North latitude and 080 degrees 13.312 minutes West longitude, or approximately 4,338 feet and 94 degrees from the approach end of runway 27L (intended runway). The airplane was recovered for further examination. According to the recovery crew, fuel leakage was noted at the accident site; however, it was not determined what tank(s) the fuel leaked from, nor the amount of fuel leaked.

The airplane was formally inspected by NTSB on October 17 and 18, 2011. Also in attendance were representatives of the FAA, technical advisor from Daher-Socata, and Pratt & Whitney Canada. As first viewed, both wings and the horizontal stabilizer were removed. The fuselage was fractured circumferentially at frame 8.

Examination of the cockpit revealed the auxiliary fuel boost pump switch was in the "Auto" position, the manual fuel tank selector was in the "Off" position, and the fuel selector switch on the overhead panel was in the "Manual" position.

Testing of the airplane's fuel quantity indicating system was performed using the aircraft's battery for electrical power. The right wing which was empty of fuel was electrically connected while the wing was inverted. With the aircraft's battery power applied, the G1000 displayed red X's for fuel quantity for both sides. The G1000 indicated that the fuel used was 88 gallons, and the fuel remaining was 123 gallons. The left wing which was empty of fuel was then electrically connected in an upright position and with the aircraft's battery power applied, the G1000 displayed 108 gallons in the left wing on initial power up. The gallons decreased steadily over the next 10 minutes to 29 gallons when the test was terminated. The left and right wings were electrically connected in an upright position, and with aircraft's battery power applied, the G1000 displayed 33 gallons for the left fuel tank and the right fuel tank indicated red X's. With battery power applied and fuel selector switch on overhead panel in auto position, the G1000 displayed changing of the fuel selector position. The fuel sequencer was not in bypass; approximately 2 ounces of fuel were drained from the fuel sequence reservoir, which contained slight aluminum particles on the screen. With battery power applied, a fuel supply plumbed to the left wing root, and the fuel selector positioned to the left tank, fuel flow noted at the firewall fitting and no suction was noted at the right wing root fitting. With battery power applied, a fuel supply plumbed to the right wing root, and the fuel selector positioned to the right tank, fuel flow noted at the firewall fitting and no suction was noted at the left wing root fitting. The fuel amplifier was retained for further examination.

Examination of the left wing following fuel system testing revealed the fuel tank was breached, but there were no obstructions inside the fuel tank. The fuel tank outlet finger screen had a little fuzz material present. Both flapper valves were installed and noted to operate normally. The low fuel sensor, fuel probes, and electrical harnesses pertaining to fuel were noted to be installed correctly. The low fuel sensor, inner fuel probe, intermediate fuel probe, outer fuel probe, main fuel tank electrical harness, intermediate strap electrical harness, high and low fuel vent valves, and fuel check valve were removed for further examination.

Examination of the right wing following fuel system testing revealed the fuel tank was breached, but there were no obstructions inside the fuel tank. The fuel tank outlet finger screen had some debris. Both flapper valves were installed and operate normally. The low fuel sensor, fuel probes, and electrical harnesses pertaining to fuel were noted to be installed correctly. The low fuel sensor, inner fuel probe, intermediate fuel probe, outer fuel probe, main fuel tank electrical harness, intermediate strap electrical harness, high and low fuel vent valves, and fuel check valve were removed for further examination.

Cursory examination of the engine and propeller revealed all four propeller blades were bent aft. Rotation of the propeller by hand resulted in expected rotation of the power turbine assembly, while rotation of the compressor assembly resulted in expected rotation of all the Accessory Gearbox (AGB) drives. Examination of the fuel filter revealed the level of residual fuel in the bowl measured 0.400 inch. The propeller was removed from the engine which was removed from the airframe and shipped to Pratt & Whitney Engine Services (PWES) facility for engine operational testing.

Prior to operational testing of the engine with FAA oversight, borescope examination of it revealed no discrepancies. The engine was placed in a test cell as received and with FAA oversight, the engine was started and operated at various power settings for over 2.5 hours. Four parameters exceeded the Overhaul Manual tolerances for a zero time engine , but when the repair limits that factor in the engine's operating time were used, the only parameter out of tolerance was the inter turbine temperature (ITT), which can be adjusted with a trim class change. A copy of the report from the engine manufacturer is contained in the NTSB public docket.

TEST AND RESEARCH

According to the maintenance manual, a low level test, and indicator calibration on aircraft are not due until 1,500 hours and/or 4 years; therefore, these special inspection items were not performed during the last 600-Hour/Annual inspection.

According to section 3.8 of the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), in the event of annunciation of "Fuel Low R" as reported by the pilot occurring twice, the emergency procedures specify to check the corresponding gauge, check that the other tank has been automatically selected, and if not, place the fuel selector switch to manual and manually select the opposite tank of the indication. Section 3.8 of the POH also indicates that with respect to the red warning CAS message "Fuel Press" on, a fuel pressure drop at the high pressure engine pump inlet. The corrective action indicates to check the remaining fuel, move the fuel selector to the opposite tank, check the fuel pressure indication, and place the "Aux BP" fuel switch to the auto position.

The POH also indicates that the fuel selector automatically changes in-flight every 10 minutes, and the maximum dissymmetry is 15 U.S. gallons. When the first low level CAS message occurs, the sequencer immediately selects the other tank. The selected tank will operate until the second low level CAS message occurs. When both low level CAS messages are visible, the sequencer changes tanks every 1 minute 15 seconds. There are no procedures specified in the POH to deal with multiple conflicting fuel level annunciations from the same fuel tank.

Testing of the 3 capacitance fuel probes from each wing, the low fuel sensor from each wing, the fuel amplifier (FCU), the fuel check valves from each wing, the left fuel gauge harness and intermediate strap, the right fuel gauge harness and right intermediate strap were performed at the respective manufacturer's facility with oversight from personnel of Bureau d'Enquetes et d'Analyses (BEA), Bourget, France. The results of the examinations revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

Examination of the right fuel gauge harness, part number (P/N) T700G921201000100, serial number (S/N) 0110740 was performed at the manufacturer's facility BEA oversight, who also performed X-ray testing of the harness. An electrical continuity check revealed a discrepancy of pin B of the P60 and P61 harnesses. During the testing resistance values of several thousand Ohms were noted; however, during movement of the harness, the resistance value increased to more than 1 Million Ohms. Both harnesses were examined with an x-ray machine, the results of which were compared with the left harness, as well as to an exemplar harness. It was noted that the High Impedance shielded cable near the P60 connector appeared to be outside of the solder joint. The shielded wire on the P60 and P61 sides is a copper nickelled (kapton type) with a self-soldering sleeve adapted to this technology. A complete disassembly of the P60 harness was then performed which revealed that when the self-soldering sleeve was cut, the shielded HI wire was not correctly soldered to the shielding braid near the P60 connector during manufacturing; it was not complete. Testing of an exemplar harness duplicating the improper solder connection of the right harness was performed on an exemplar airplane with no fuel. During the testing, the right fuel quantity depicted the maximum value.

Personnel from the BEA reported that during research, starting with airplane serial number 434, new kapton type electrical wires were utilized for some of the fuel gauge harnesses. And although the manufacturing instructions were clear, one mistake was identified in the manufacturing process.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

Post-Accident Corrective Actions

As a result of the initial finding of the investigation and the result of a second airplane with erroneous fuel indication issue, in October 2011, a representative of the airplane manufacturer sent an e-mail to all owners, operators, and network owners of TBM 700 and TBM 850 (market name for TBM 700) airplanes equipped with Garmin G1000 Integrated Flight Deck. The e-mail advised of 2 instances in which erroneous fuel indication occurred. The e-mail asked that before the next flight, document the quantity of fuel in each tank, and then fill each tank noting the amount. If a discrepancy exists, contact a maintenance center to correct the discrepancy. The issue involving the other airplane was attributed to be from an intermediate fuel probe.

Additionally, in March 2013, the airplane manufacturer developed technical note (TN) 70-014, titled Fuel Gauge Harness. This made it mandatory to replace the shielded cable on TBM 700 airplanes equipped with modification (MOD) MOD70-0176-00, affected airplanes were S/N's 434 through 440, and 442 through 450. The airplane manufacturer also changed their quality control procedure for fuel gauge harnesses for production airplanes, and implemented a specific box used for manufacturing fuel gauge harnesses.


 





















































Donato Pinto, 50, of Aventura was a passenger on the plane  



Socata TBM 700, N37SV
Accident occurred October 12, 2011 in Hollywood, Florida


For airplanes dealing with emergencies, South Florida's roadways have become runways.

Since 1990, planes have landed at least 18 times on highways, busy thoroughfares and residential streets, sometimes squeezing down in heavy traffic. With few cow pastures available amid the region's urban sprawl, the pilots had little other choice.

"It was the only option I had with the altitude I had," said Vincent Citrullo, a flight instructor, who, along with a student, crash-landed on Northeast 10th Street in Pompano Beach after their Cessna 172 lost power on Nov. 1.

In most cases, the planes, ranging from large cargo haulers to small trainers, were within a few miles of an airport. That's because engine failures usually occur right after takeoff or just before landing. Pilots say power changes at those stages of flight can trigger mechanical problems.

Only two of the accidents were fatal. In one, a Beechcraft King Air rammed into an Interstate 95 retaining wall while approaching Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing the copilot in June 2001. In the other, a home-built plane crashed onto Yamato Road in Boca Raton, killing the pilot in September 2009.

Otherwise, aircraft-roadway incidents are rare, occuring on average less than once a year. General aviation planes make more than 800,000 takeoffs and landings regionwide.

In perhaps the most spectacular accident, pilot Charlie Riggs belly-flopped a DC-3 cargo plane down onto a quiet residential street in June 2005. That was shortly after the plane took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and its right engine failed.

The aircraft slid 100 yards, clipped six cars and exploded into flames, yet no one died, prompting some city officials to call it the Miracle on Northeast 56th Street. Riggs, 68, of Pembroke Pines, said he selected the little road because nearby Cypress Creek Road was too busy.

"The cars wouldn't have had a chance," he said. "They were going 40 and I'm doing 90 in the opposite direction."

In another high-profile incident, in September 2007, shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, a cargo plane careened onto the shoulder of I-95 north of Commercial Boulevard. After the crash, the pilot sat in the open air, an eerie sight, as the cockpit had disintegrated.

More recently, pilot Alain Jaubert crash-landed a Socata TBM 700 on Florida's Turnpike near Hollywood Boulevard, after losing power on Oct. 12. At the time, the high-powered single-engine aircraft had been approaching North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines. The pilot and a passenger were injured but no one on the ground was hurt.

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky said because Jaubert aimed south onto the turnpike's northbound lanes, motorists were able to see the turbine-powered plane coming at them and get out of the way.

Indeed, in the vast majority of the roadway landings, the pilots were able to avoid hitting cars.

On the other hand, a twin-engine Piper Seneca clipped seven cars after crash-landing in rush hour traffic on I-95 in Boca Raton in July 2001. The pilot and a passenger suffered minor injuries, as did numerous motorists.

Whenever a plane lands on a road, or anywhere else off an airport, the Federal Aviation Administration investigates whether the pilot should face punitive action, said agency spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

"For example, if an aircraft runs out of fuel and the pilot is forced to land on a roadway, the pilot could be cited for not ensuring that the aircraft had enough fuel before making the flight," she said.

Because planes tend to be low to the ground when trouble strikes, pilots are forced to make snap decisions where to put down. Meanwhile, open land in South Florida has dwindled markedly in the past three decades.

For instance, in Broward County, where the majority of incidents have occurred, less than 11 square miles of agricultural land remain, a fraction of what it was before 1990, according to the University of Florida GeoPlan Center.

Just the same, in the event of power failure, student pilots are trained to look for the most wide-open area, not necessarily a road, said Terry Fensome, owner of Pelican Flight Training Center at North Perry Airport.

"The main thing is to put the plane down without hitting anything," he said.

Almost 10,000 attend Temora air show. (Australia)

ALMOST 10,000 people who attended the Temora Aviation Museum's inaugural Warbirds Downunder Airshow at the weekend are likely to still be recovering from sore necks.

All heads turned to the skies above Temora on Saturday to see Tiger Moths, Spitfires and Sabres take to the air in a show which exceeded even the organisers' expectations.

"It's the first time we've held an event of this size," Temora Aviation Museum assistant manager Lisa Love said.

"It exceeded our expectations, the flying went on without a hitch; the only thing was the heat, but unfortunately we can't control the weather."

After marching through the gates early to get a glimpse of the 52 planes scheduled to fly, families had the opportunity to walk through the museum to see some of Australia's early aviation history or enjoy a range of children's entertainment.

For many the real fun and sense of amazement came in the afternoon when the first of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilots left the tarmac for an aerobatics display.

The RAAF Roulettes, an elite formation aerobatic display team, wowed the crowd before an F/A-18 Hornet performed in a tribute formation with warbirds.

The Hornet, piloted by a member of Number 75 Squadron from RAAF Base Tindal, carried out a fly-by alongside historical aircraft including a Kittyhawk, Mustang, Meteor and Sabre.

All the planes were flown by Number 75 Squadron throughout the Squadron's history with only two planes - a Vampire and Mirage - missing.

The fly-over was a symbolic moment for a group of World War II veterans on the ground who were original members of Number 75 Squadron established in 1942 who travelled to Temora to see the plane in action before the Squadron's 70th anniversary next year.

A solo handling display of the F/A-18 Hornet completed the day.

Mrs Love said the day would not have been successful without the support of Temora Shire Council and wider community groups who provided various support roles to the museum during the event.

Piaggio P.166 - Virtual Globetrotting. Location: Pescara, Italy

The Piaggio P.166 is a twin-engine pusher-type utility aircraft developed by the Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aero.

Paris air show takes off

The landing of the world's longest plane, an updated Boeing 747, opens a week of aeronautical acrobatics and military muscle at the Paris air show.

ICP MXP-740 Savannah VGW (Skykits Corp. kit), N61XT: Fatal accident occurred November 20, 2011 in Plato Center, Illinois

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA073
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Plato Center, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/2014
Aircraft: SKYKITS SAVANNAH VGW, registration: N61XT
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.

A witness reported that the student pilot taxied the airplane to the west end of the runway, and then he taxied the length of the runway to the east. He then taxied the airplane back to the west end of the runway before departing. The airplane became airborne and climbed to about the height of a nearby barn (about 50 feet above ground level) when the airplane’s wings began to “wobble.” Then the airplane turned left and nosed straight down. The student pilot intended to obtain a sport pilot’s certificate with a single-engine land rating but had not started his flight instruction at the time of the accident. He was an accomplished noncertificated ultra-light gyroplane pilot, but he did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration gyroplane pilot’s certificate. The pilot had purchased the airplane but had not received any flight instruction in the airplane, and he did not have a solo endorsement to fly the airplane. Except for a 0.4-hour demonstration flight in the airplane, the accident flight was the first time the accident pilot flew the airplane. The postaccident examinations of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Postaccident toxicology testing indicated that the pilot had used chlorpheniramine, but it could not be determined if impairment from the medication contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The noncertificated pilot’s decision to fly the airplane without receiving any flight instruction in the airplane, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during takeoff and the subsequent aerodynamic stall. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 20, 2011, about 1328 central standard time, a Skykits Savannah VGW, N61XT, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the runway after takeoff from Runway 6 (2,400 feet by 28 feet, asphalt) at the Olson Airport (LL53), Plato Center, Illinois. The pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the Northern Illinois Rotorcraft Club and was operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

A witness reported that the pilot intended to depart from LL53 and land at an airstrip on the pilot's property, which was located about 3 nautical miles to the northwest. She reported that the pilot started the airplane near its hangar for about 10 to 15 minutes to warm up the engine. She stated that the engine quit, but the pilot started it again and began to taxi the airplane. The witness reported that she observed the pilot taxi the airplane to the west end of the runway, and then he taxied the length of the runway to the east. The pilot then taxied the airplane back to the west end of the runway before departing. The witness reported that the airplane became airborne and climbed to about the height of a nearby barn (about 50 feet above ground level) when the airplane's wings began to "wobble." She stated that the airplane's wings wobbled back and forth, and then the airplane turned left and nosed straight down. The airplane impacted the side of the asphalt runway and fell inverted on the south side of the runway.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 69-year-old student pilot intended to obtain a sport pilot's certificate with a single-engine land rating. The pilot did not have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate, because as a sport pilot, a valid state driver's license was sufficient to indicate that the pilot was medically qualified to operate the airplane.

The student pilot's flight logbook was not obtained, but it was reported by a witness that the student pilot had a total of about 10 hours of flight time in airplanes. The witness reported that around 1990, the student pilot had obtained a student pilot certificate and received about 10 hours of flight instruction in a Cessna 172. FAA medical records indicated that the pilot did receive a third class medical and student pilot certificate in June 1990 and December 1992; however, there was no record of the pilot renewing the medical certificate or obtaining a private pilot's certificate.

Witnesses reported that the student pilot was an accomplished uncertificated ultra-light gyroplane pilot. He built and piloted numerous ultra-light gyroplanes for a number of years, but he did not obtain a FAA gyroplane pilot's certificate. The number of flight hours in ultra-light gyroplanes was not determined.

He purchased the airplane from Skykits Corporation on June 1, 2011. A flight instructor flew the airplane from the manufacturer's location in Tennessee, to Valparaiso, Indiana, on June 29, 2011. The flight instructor reported that he flew with the accident pilot on July 4, 2011, in the airplane for 0.4 hours. The accident pilot did not perform a takeoff or landing during that flight. According to the flight instructor, that was the only time the accident pilot flew in the accident airplane. The flight instructor delivered the airplane to LL53 on July 16, 2011. The flight instructor reported that he planned to provide flight instruction to the accident pilot, but that was delayed because the accident pilot did not receive his student sport's pilot certificate until September or October. He did not provide flight instruction in the accident airplane. The accident pilot did not have a logbook endorsement for solo flight in the accident airplane.

The flight instructor reported that the airplane had about 13 hours of operation when he delivered it to LL53. He stated that the accident pilot intended to taxi the airplane to become familiarized with the airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Skykits Savannah VGW light-sport airplane, serial number 10-03-51-905, manufactured in 2011. It seated two and had a maximum gross weight of 1,235 pounds. It was powered by a 115-horsepower Rotax 914UL2 engine, serial number 6774029. The airplane's recording hour meter reading at the accident site indicated 15 hours of operation on the engine and airframe since manufacture. The flight instructor who flew it from Tennessee to LL53 described the airplane as a "rocket ship," because of its performance with the 115 horsepower engine combined with the light weight of the airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1252, the surface weather observation at DuPage Airport (DPA), West Chicago, Illinois, located about 11 nm southeast of LL53 was: wind 010 at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; overcast 2,300 feet; temperature 6 degrees Celsius; dew point -1 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.24 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the south edge of runway 6 about 1,560 feet from the approach end of the runway. The impact ground scars at the edge of the asphalt runway were about 10 feet from the inverted main wreckage. The right wingtip was crushed inboard and the entire leading edge of the right wing exhibited aft crushing. The nose and engine compartment were crushed aft. The left wing exhibited buckling along the entire span of the wing, but did not exhibit aft crushing of the leading edge. The fuselage behind the cabin was buckled. The empennage was intact, but had impact damage to the left and right side of the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. The ground scars and impact damage to the airplane were consistent with a steep nose down, right wing low attitude upon impact.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit flight controls to the associated flight control surfaces.

The three-bladed propeller hub remained attached to the engine. However, two of the three composite blades were broken from the hub at the blade roots. The blade that remained attached to the hub had a partial fracture near the blade's midspan. One of the blades that separated from the hub was broken in two pieces. The separation of the blade was opposite the direction of travel, and the blade exhibited chordwise scratching. The other blade that separated from the hub exhibited a partial fracture of the blade opposite the direction of travel.

The engine remained intact and exhibited minimal impact damage. It was transported to the Poplar Grove Airport, Poplar Grove, Illinois, for an engine examination and engine run on a test stand.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was performed at the Kane County Coroner's Office in Geneva, Illinois, on November 23, 2011. The "Cause of Death" was listed as multiple blunt force trauma resulting from an aircraft crash. A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. The results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. The following substances were identified in the toxicology report: chlorpheniramine detected in blood (heart); chlorpheniramine detected in urine; ephedrine detected in urine; ephedrine not detected in blood (heart); metoprolol detected in urine; metoprolol detected in blood (heart); pseudeoephidrine detected in urine; and pseudoephedrine detected in blood (heart).

Metoprolol is a prescription beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Pseudoephedrine is a non-sedating over-the-counter decongestant found in various cold and allergy medications. Chlorpheniramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy and common cold symptoms. It is available over the counter under various trade names including Chlor-Trimeton and Chlortabs. Chlorpheniramine caries the warning – "may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." The normal therapeutic range is from 0.0100 to 0.0400 ug/ml.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine was examined at the Poplar Grove Airmotive engine shop. The engine compression was checked and the No. 1 cylinder had 80/80, No. 2 cylinder had 80/80, No. 3 cylinder had 78/80, and the No. 4 cylinder had 79/80. The engine was run on a test stand, and the engine operated normally from idle to full power.

The examination of the gearbox revealed that the vacuum drive gear made contact with the gearbox case when the propeller impacted the terrain. A series of circular scrapes and grooves were created in the gearbox that was consistent with the engine rotating at the time of impact.

The ROTAX TUR 113.0 turbo control unit (TCU) was downloaded at the Rotech Flight Safety facility in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. The downloaded data indicated that during the last time the engine was operating, 13 lines of data were recorded during the 13 minutes of engine operation recorded by the TCU. (The data is recorded at 1 minute intervals) The engine rpm recorded in the 13 lines of data ranged from a low of 2,865 rpm to a high of 4,194 rpm. The last line of recorded data indicated that the rpm was 3,841 rpm. The rpm typically produced using takeoff power is between 5,500 to 5,800 rpm. If power to the TCU is turned off prior to the one minute interval recording rate, the data stored during that partial minute will be lost.


http://registry.faa.gov/N61XT


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA073 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Plato Center, IL
Aircraft: SKYKITS SAVANNAH VGW, registration: N61XT
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 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.

On November 20, 2011, about 1328 central standard time, a Skykits Savannah VGW, N61XT, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the runway after takeoff from runway 06 at the Olson Airport (LL53), Plato Center, Illinois. The pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the Northern Illinois Rotorcraft Club and was operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

A witness reported that the pilot intended to depart from LL53 and land at an airstrip on the pilot’s property which was located about 3 nautical miles to the northwest. She reported that the pilot started the airplane near its hangar for about 10 – 15 minutes to warm up the engine. She stated that the engine quit, but the pilot started it again and began to taxi the airplane. The witness reported that she observed the pilot taxi the airplane to the west end of the runway, and then he taxied the length of the runway to the east. The pilot then taxied the airplane back to the west end of the runway before departing. The witness reported that the airplane became airborne and climbed to about the height of a nearby barn (about 50 feet above ground level) when the airplane’s wings began to “wobble.” She stated that the airplane’s wings wobbled back and forth, and then the airplane turned left and nosed straight down. The airplane impacted the side of the asphalt runway and fell inverted on the south side of the runway.

At 1252, the surface weather observation at DuPage Airport (DPA), West Chicago, Illinois, located about 11 nm southeast of LL53 was: wind 010 at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; overcast 2,300 feet; temperature 6 degrees Celsius; dew point -1 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.24.






Officials say a 69-year-old Hampshire man is dead after a small airplane crashed as it attempted to take off near Elgin in unincorporated Kane County, officials said. 

 Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford confirms one person is dead. He says the single-engine experimental craft crashed under unknown circumstances at about 1:50 p.m. The tail number is N61XT, he said.

He says the FAA is investigating and did not immediately have further details.

Kane County sheriff's deputies are at the scene of the crash, which reportedly occurred at about 1:30 p.m., officials said.

The accident happened near the Olson Airport, 9N776 Kendall Rd., near Plato Center  just west of Elgin, officials said. Officials said the plane was attempting to take off and crashed on the airport property for an unknown reason. It was not known where the plane was headed, police said.

While the crash remains under investigation, the only injury was to the sole occupant of the plane Frank J. Kehoe, of Hampshire who died in the crash, said Lt. Patrick Gengler, a spokesman for the Kane County Sheriff's Department. Officials described Kehoe as an experienced pilot.

The owners of the airport were not at the airport and did not have any information about the crash.


http://www.chicagotribune.com




A 69-year-old Hampshire man who died Sunday when the small, single-engine aircraft he was piloting crashed upon takeoff from an airstrip west of Elgin had a passion for planes and flying. 

Frank Kehoe was an avid pilot, with more than 1,000 hours logged, according to longtime friend Deborah Hill of Elgin.

Local and federal authorities are investigating the crash, the cause of which was not immediately known.

Authorities said Kehoe was flying an Experimental Skykits aircraft when it crashed about 1:30 p.m. under unknown circumstances at Olson Aviation near Plato Center. He was the only person aboard the plane as he attempted a takeoff from the one-runway private airport nestled between farms at 9N776 Kendall Road.

The plane crashed in an open field next to the runway, just east of Route 47, and landed upside down.

Jerry Swanson was outside his house across the street from the airport shortly before 1:30 p.m. Sunday when he saw the plane taxiing. He later heard a big crash and, with his 14-year-old son JJ, looked across the street to see Kehoe's plane upside down.

Swanson and his wife, Plato Township Supervisor Kathleen Swanson, hurried across the street and called 911. While they were waiting, they held the plane up to get pressure off Kehoe's head and body.

Pingree Grove emergency responders arrived in about five minutes, the Swansons said.

"They got here as quick as they could have," Kathleen Swanson said, but there was nothing anyone could do to help Kehoe.

Witnesses said that after takeoff, Kehoe's airplane only got as high as a barn next to the runway before the small aircraft started wobbling and then crashed. Kane County Sheriff's police did not know where Kehoe was flying to.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will continue the accident investigation. The plane will be reconstructed and analyzed to figure out what caused the crash, but Aviation Safety Investigator Jim Silliman said it could take up to a year to come to a conclusion.

Silliman and others will inspect the plane itself, as well as analyze the maintenance records and research Kehoe's training and background as a pilot during the course of the investigation.

Hill said Kehoe owned several planes and flew regularly in his free time.

"That was his passion: Planes."