Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ridge Lowell H JAYBIRD, N365R: Accident occurred August 16, 2012 in Gull Lake, New York

 NTSB Identification: ERA12TA542 
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Gull Lake, NY
Aircraft: RIDGE LOWELL H J230, registration: N365R
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 public aircraft accident report.

On August 16, 2012, about 0845 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur built Jabiru J230, N365R, received substantial damage during a ditching in Gull Lake, New York after an in-flight separation of the propeller. The public use flight was operated by Patriot Technologies LLC under contract with the Department of Defense (DOD). The commercial pilot and his one crew member were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight which departed Burlington International Airport (BTV), Burlington Vermont about 0800, destined for Griffiss International Airport (RME), Rome, New York.

According to the operator, the purpose of the flight was to provide aerial support for a DOD training exercise. At the time of the accident, the flight was receiving VFR flight following from the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).

According to the pilot, after departing BVT, he headed westbound and climbed to 6,500 feet above mean sea level. Approximately 45 minutes into the flight, the engine began to run rough "like it was developing carburetor ice" so the pilot applied carburetor heat. The engine however, continued to run rough and began to "cough" like it was being starved for fuel, so the pilot made sure that both fuel valves were open, and turned on the electric fuel boost pump.

The pilot then assessed that the engine might stop running, so he called for the high altitude engine failure checklist. However, before they began the checklist, the propeller came off the airplane, struck the right side of the cowling, struck the right lift strut, and fell away.

The pilot then declared an emergency with the ARTCC, began evaluating landing sites, and elected to ditch in a nearby lake. After ditching, the airplane came to rest on the surface of the lake with the cabin halfway submerged. Both crewmembers then egressed from the cabin and swam to the lake shore, and were later picked up by helicopter.

Four days after the ditching occurred, the airplane was recovered from the lake. Post accident examination revealed that the entire propeller assembly, including the propeller spinner, and propeller flange extension, had separated from the engine crankshaft.

The crankshaft, along with multiple engine parts was retained by the NTSB for further Examination.

  Regis#: 365R        Make/Model: EXP       Description: EXP- JAYBIRD
  Date: 08/16/2012     Time: 1235

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: LONG LAKE   State: NY   Country: US


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

  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: ALBANY, NY  (EA01)                    Entry date: 08/17/2012

Small plane crashes in western Adirondacks (2nd update)

Two people rescued; no injuries reported

A small, private plane contracted by the U.S. Defense Department to support a military training excercise crashed in a lake in a remote area of the western Adirondacks this morning.

The plane had taken off from Burlington, Vt., was bound for Rome, N.Y., and crashed in Gull Lake, in the northeast corner of Herkimer County: west of Lake Lila, south of Cranberry Lake and north of the Stillwater Reservoir.

"The tail was sticking out of the water, as I understand it," Ray Brook-based state police Lt. Walter Teppo said. "The pilots were able to get to shore. They were unharmed."

The New York Air National Guard helped rescue the two men involved in the crash. A pair of HH-60 helicopters from the Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, based on Long Island, were flying in the area at the time of the plane went down, according to Maj. Giuseppe Scaglione.

"We were en route to the Army base at Fort Drum, doing some training," Scaglione said. "We heard the mayday message over the radio. Air traffic control asked us if we could support and vectored us into the last known coordinates. Our pilots took over from there and conducted some search operations. They found the aircraft as well as the two crew members. My understanding is they were both standing along the shore, so they had made it out of the aircraft on their own."

The two were not seriously injured, Scaglione said. They were picked up and helicoptered to Fort Drum to be checked out by medical personnel there.

"It's just very fortunate for the crew that went down that our guys happened to be nearby," Scaglione said. "Our mission here at the 106th Rescue Wing is, of course, rescue. These guys train for it, day in and day out."

The Vermont National Guard issued a press release about the crash late this afternoon. It says the small, fixed-wing aircraft was a civilian plane contracted by the Department of Defense to support a Vermont Air National Guard military training excercise in the local area. It was not carrying any weapons, the release states.

"The Department of Defense regularly contracts civil aircraft to provide support for training exercises," the release says. "The crash occurred in a remote location and will not affect public safety. A formal investigation will take place and until the investigation concludes no other information is available at this time."

The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in to investigate the crash. FAA spokesman Jim Peters said in an email that the plane was a single-engine, home-built aircraft. It reportedly had an engine problem shortly before the crash, he said.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman David Winchell said his agency received notice of the crash around 9 a.m.

"We have state police helicopters, forest rangers, environmental conservation officers and spill response staff on the ground trying to locate the site of the crash and secure the crash site and determine if there's any fuel leaking or environmental issues," Winchell said just after 11 a.m.

The names of those involved and the type of plane they were flying have yet to be released.

 Two people were reportedly rescued by a military helicopter after their small, private plane crashed in a lake in a remote area of the western Adirondacks this morning.

 Emergency services officials and state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 spokesman David Winchell said the plane crashed in Gull Lake, which is located in the northeast corner of Herkimer County: west of Lake Lila, south of Cranberry Lake and north of the Stillwater Reservoir.

"It was a civilian aircraft with two occupants," Winchell said. "Fort Drum responded to a mayday and picked up the two occupants and brought them back to Fort Drum."

Winchell said DEC received notice of the crash around 9 a.m. He said he didn't have any more specific information about the incident at this point.

"We have state police helicopters, forest rangers, environmental conservation officers and spill response staff on the ground trying to locate the site of the crash and secure the crash site and determine if there's any fuel leaking or environmental issues," Winchell said. "We're waiting for the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) or NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to step in and take over the investigation of the crash."

A Ray Brook-based state trooper said the two occupants of the plane were not seriously injured and were transported to a medical unit at Fort Drum, the Army base near Watertown, to be checked out. He said the military helicopter was in the area on a training mission when it heard the distress call.

Both Winchell and the trooper said they were told that the small plane was some type of experimental aircraft.

A Fort Drum spokeswoman said the helicopter that assisted in the rescue was a U.S. Air Force Black Hawk, not a helicopter based at the home of the Army's 10th Mountain Division. She confirmed that the plane's occupants were treated at Fort Drum but wasn't immediately able to provide any other information.

 LONG LAKE — A small seaplane crashed into Gull Pond here Thursday morning, but all three occupants were rescued safely. 

The pilot and two passengers were all picked up with only minor injuries, officials said.

The State Police helicopter based at Saranac Lake Regional Airport was used to rescue the trio from the water, after a passerby called 911.

It’s not known if the float plane was trying to land or take off at the time of the crash.

State Police, Long Lake Fire Department and Emergency Squad and State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers are all at the site.

The names of the occupants have not been released.

Gull Pond is located near the St. Lawrence, Hamilton and Franklin counties lines.

A search is underway after 911 dispatchers say a single engine plane went down in the Town of Long Lake in Hamilton County on Thursday. 

Dispatchers say there are two victims and that there is no word on the extent of the injuries.

The emergency call came in around 8:43 a.m. on Thursday morning. That call initially came in from Herkimer County, who sent it over to Hamilton County.

Fort Drum was called into service shortly afterward to help search for the plane, and the Long Lake Fire Department has set up at the scene.

As of this writing, there is no word on where the plane was coming from or where it was going.

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