Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pakistan International Airlines nosedive

SENATORS from the opposition had a busy day in the House on Monday as they grilled Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar whose ministry also oversees PIA. The national flag carrier continues to be in dire straits both economically and operationally. 

While its airfares have skyrocketed in opposition to the trend seen elsewhere in the regional airline market, PIA’s performance falls drastically short of passengers’ expectations. Flight cancellations, inordinate delays, an aging fleet, technical faults, a hefty debt burden, compounding losses, political appointments, over-staffing, an unprofessional management and poor service are factors that have pushed PIA to the brink. Government interference at the appointment and management levels continues to be behind many of the unfortunate facts that keep PIA from being airborne with grace.

Scandals at the airline have abounded in recent years, though not all have been politically motivated. Much of the fleet is grounded. The aircraft that fly are said to do so under precarious technical conditions, which has resulted in the embarrassing ban on all but certain types of PIA planes flying to western destinations. Other controversies such as an arrangement to contract out the provision of spare parts to a single Dubai-based firm have also led to concerns over non-transparency in such dealings. The agreement to share flight codes with Turkish Airlines, whereby PIA would give up most European and North American destinations to the said airline by terminating its West-bound flights at Istanbul, was no less controversial. All this, while the airline’s fortunes have kept diving deeper into the red, impacting on its operations.

According to the defence minister, a potent financial shot in the arm is what the doctors propose for the ailing carrier; a restructuring plan has been sent to the finance ministry while the prime minister awaits recommendations from a committee he had set up to right the wrongs at PIA. This is all very well, but these measures will only serve as palliatives and not as a permanent cure. Besides a bailout plan, the airline needs a structural overhaul, a professional management that should determine and stick to an employee-aircraft ratio, and non-interference from the government in its affairs. This means saying goodbye to political appointments, besides shedding the burden officialdom places on the day-to-day operations of the carrier through the reservation of seats and subsidized air tickets for government functionaries and other beneficiaries.

Operational losses can be overcome and profits made only by having in place a management that is well versed in modern aviation practices. There is no dearth of qualified professionals in the country; only the political will is lacking.

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority attributes 30% accidents to runway incursion

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren has said that more than 30 percent of accidents in the aviation industry are as a result of runway incursion or excursion and that country need to look at ways of reducing accidents in the continent to the barest minimum.

Demuren, in his welcome address at the NCAA: Runway safety and pavement maintenance seminar decried the rate of runway incursion was increasingly becoming a problem saying that the seminar was timely and apt.

Demuren said: The conference is all about runway excursion and incursion. More than 30 percent of all accidents that occur in aviation, occur in the runway either it is runway incursion or excursion.

Excursion is when you have a normal aircraft that veers from the runway or overshoots the runway causing fatalities and runway incursion you all know that is when animals and unauthorized people are crossing our runway and causing threats.

And this can cause a major fatality, imagine a 747 with 500 people, sometimes it can be due to runway contamination because of rain, that is what we are having this discussion today. The NCAA helmsman also said that the seminar was also aimed at discovering new techniques to solve the problem.

Source:  http://nationalmirroronline.net

Jaspers Brush Recreational Flying Club: Tragedy hits small club

CRASH SITE: The Robinson R44 lies on its side after the crash at Jaspers Brush airfield

08 Feb, 2012 01:39 PM

THEY are a tight-knit group at Jaspers Brush Recreational Flying Club and will all be affected in some way by Saturday’s fatal helicopter crash.

Pilot Andrew Wight, who wrote and produced the highly successful Australian film Sanctum, and American cinematographer Mike DeGruy died when their helicopter crashed and burst into flames on take-off at the Jaspers Brush airfield.

It was very quiet at the airfield on Monday; a few pilots were gathered on the clubhouse verandah while an insurance assessor went about his business.

The burnt wreckage of the Robinson 44 next to the airfield driveway is a confronting reminder of the accident.

Shoalhaven City councillor Dave Bennett is the club’s president.

He was filming the helicopter taking off from about three metres away.

“I saw the tail hit the ground and thought that’s not good, I’m very close.

“I ran toward the clubhouse, I fell but I’m not sure if I lost my footing or if my brain made me drop to the ground.

“I don’t remember what happened at that moment. As I got up I noticed one of the club members running to get a fire extinguisher.”

Before seeing it Cr Bennett knew the helicopter had crashed and was burning.

“I went to hook up a hose, I heard one of the men cry out briefly, but the fire was so intense it just went up straight away,” he said.

“There was no time to get to them - we were driven back by the heat.

“Afterwards everyone was in shock. There were tears, and life evaluations, people were counting their blessings. It reminds you that life is so tenuous.

“My main concern now is the welfare of the club members and making sure they get the right counselling.”

Mr Bennett said the crash would not put him off flying.

“Three or four people lost their lives in car accidents over the weekend too, but everyone still gets in their car.

“Relatively speaking flying is extremely safe,” he said.

Sunday’s crash brought the fatalities at the airfield to four.

In November 1991 two people died when an Army Pilatus Porter aircraft crashed on take-off.

The plane had 10 people on board who were taking part in Army parachute exercises.

Four aircraft are based at the facility which has a membership of 40.

Victims were filming documentary

AS POLICE and air safety investigators prepare reports into the fatal helicopter crash at Jaspers Brush on Saturday, the film industry is mourning the loss of two of its highly accomplished members.

Pilot Andrew Wight, who wrote and produced the highly successful Australian film Sanctum, and American cinematographer Mike DeGruy died when their Robinson R44 helicopter crashed and burst into flames on take-off at the Jaspers Brush airfield on Saturday afternoon.

It is believed they were about to film a sequence over Jervis Bay for a documentary being made by acclaimed director James Cameron, who was at the crash site shortly after the tragedy occurred.

Source:  http://www.ulladullatimes.com.au

Aircraft mechanic with a “horrendous” booze addiction again charged with drunk driving

A Manitoba aircraft mechanic with a “horrendous” booze addiction who was sentenced last week for a drunken crash that nearly killed woman is facing new charges of impaired and dangerous driving.

David Donald Shand, 47, is accused of impaired driving, dangerous driving and refusing to provide a breath sample in connection to an incident the evening of Jan. 6.

Winnipeg police said Tuesday a driver travelling on Portage Avenue that day called 911 after seeing a GMC truck being driven in what was described as “an extremely unsafe manner,” said Const. Natalie Aitken.

The truck was seen colliding with curbs and even driving “close to the sidewalks,” Aitken said.

“Certainly, something was up with this vehicle,” she said.

Cops arrested Shand in the parking lot of a large shopping mall in the 3600-block of Portage not long after, police said.

Shand, who hails from Headingley, was released by police on a promise to appear in court Feb. 7.

He is not facing any allegations he breached the conditions of a prior release.

One week ago — on the same day Shand’s new charges were formally sworn and entered into the court database — he was handed a 90-day intermittent jail sentence to be served on his days off of work and three years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm.

On July 7, 2010, Shand hit a street sweeper on Highway 330 near the Perimeter at a speed of 144 km/h. His truck spun out and slammed directly into the front of a 49-year-old woman’s Mazda.

At the time of the crash, Shand — described in court last week as an alcoholic with an “almost irresistible addiction” to booze — was into his second bottle of vodka of the day.

The victim suffered severe, life-altering injuries and required a number of surgeries to save her life. More than a year she has still been unable to return to work.

An agent for defence lawyer Bruce Bonney appeared on Shand’s behalf Tuesday to speak to the new charges.

Shand was to begin serving his intermittent jail term Tuesday.

He is prohibited from driving for the next five years.

Source:   http://www.winnipegsun.com

Virginia Rabung, 1917-2012: Secretary learned to fly in 1940s and flew in races

Virginia Rabung at Campbell Airport in Grayslake.
(Jim Robinson, Chicago Tribune file photo / February 8, 2012)

By Joan Giangrasse Kates, Special to the Tribune

February 8, 2012

Virginia Rabung was standing near one of the airstrips at Campbell Airport in Grayslake during a meeting a few years ago of the Ninety-nines, an all-women's flying club founded by Amelia Earhart, when an open-cockpit two-seater landed nearby.

Then 91, she turned to fellow club member Shelley Ventura and said, "I want a ride on that!"

"The next thing I know, Virginia was climbing into the plane," Ventura said. "She had a look of total bliss before the plane took off."

Ms. Rabung's passion for flight continued even after she sold her trusty blue and white 1946 Cessna 140 in 1995 after more than four decades of high-flying exploits.

A 1998 inductee in the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame, Ms. Rabung, 94, died of natural causes Friday, Jan. 27, at Alden Courts assisted living facility in Aurora. She formerly lived in Chicago and Mundelein.

Ms. Rabung was a 2004 recipient of the Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award given by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the 1950s, she twice participated in flying races from Chicago to Havana and back. She participated in the 1953 All Women Transcontinental Air Race. She flew over the Bermuda Triangle and circled the Statue of Liberty, just for kicks.

"She was such an adventurous spirit — always quick to try something new," said her niece Sheila Rodiek. "She had a zest for life like nobody's business."

"Virginia was a true pioneer in aviation," Ventura said. "She flew in the face of every convention back then and never looked back."

Born and raised on Chicago's North Side, Ms. Rabung was first transfixed by flight when she was 8 and watched single-engine planes overhead while she played in her backyard, Rodiek said.

After graduating from Waller High School, she began working as a secretary in Chicago. In the early 1940s, she took some money she had saved and went to Stinson Airport in McCook to inquire about flying lessons.

The men there initially laughed at her, Ventura said, but she insisted, and they acquiesced, taking her up in a Piper Cub. A few minutes into the flight, they handed off the controls to her, testing her mettle.

"She was frightened and elated at the same time, but she held her own," Ventura said. "She told me, more than anything, she was in sheer awe."

Ms. Rabung soloed for the first time at Stinson Airport in 1944 and then received her private pilot certificate in 1950 at Sky Harbor Airport in Northbrook, the same year she obtained her instrument rating. She received her commercial license in 1961 in Kentucky.

"I needed an outlet," Ms. Rabung told the Tribune in a 1991 article. "Because I was always in the office, I never felt free. Flying gave me a sense of freedom."

In 1952, she bought a Cessna 140 and took a friend up shortly afterward. When the friend saw storm clouds on the horizon, he nervously inquired as to where she kept the parachutes, Rabung's niece said. Ms. Rabung chuckled — there were no parachutes because they would be useless at such a low altitude.

"Virginia, Where Do You Keep The Parachute?" became the title of her 2009 self-published, 200-page memoir, in which she recounted her many adventures and included a "Fly It Yourself Safari in South Africa" guide, which touched on her experience flying around the southern tip of Africa.

"To read her stories inspired me so much," Ventura said. "She told them with such humor and insight and never in a boastful way. It made me realize just how much aviation had enriched her life."

Ms. Rabung retired as the secretary to the general counsel at International Minerals & Chemical Corp. in 1982 after more than 30 years with the firm. In retirement she devoted even more time to flying, taking frequent trips around the country.

"She thought nothing of flying to Milwaukee for breakfast and then down to St. Louis for dinner," Rodiek said.

Ms. Rabung leaves no immediate survivors.

Services were held.

Source:  http://www.chicagotribune.com

La Verne aviation school owner pleads guilty to federal charges

A Lake Elsinore woman who owns a La Verne flight school pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a visa fraud scheme that allowed people from Egypt, Sri Lanka and Taiwan to enter the United States for pilot training, even though the school was not certified to train foreign students.

Karena Chuang, 28, owner of Blue Diamond Aviation, entered the plea Monday in Los Angeles to two federal charges, admitting that she had encouraged
and induced two undocumented immigrants to illegally enter the United States for her financial gain, court papers show.

Chuang was charged in an eight-count indictment filed in December in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson set sentencing for June 11.

Prosecutors said Chuang helped foreign nationals obtain visas to attend flight schools approved to train foreign students when the students actually intended to enroll at Blue Diamond Aviation, which was not approved to enroll foreign nationals in its pilot training program.

Chuang apparently recruited students by offering lower tuition and a shorter training program than those offered by the authorized flight schools, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The investigation began in June 2010 when visa security officers in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Cairo bureau reported that two Egyptian nationals who had received visas to attend a Bay Area flight school admitted that they had, in fact, planned to enroll at Blue Diamond, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Source:  http://www.swrnn.com

Witham Field Airport (KSUA), Stuart, Florida: Funds allocated to repair Engineered Material Arresting System

The Martin County Commission took the following action:

Allocated $108,745 in insurance proceeds and $1,000 in county money to repair the Engineered Material Arresting System at Witham Field, which was damaged in November when an aircraft undershot Runway 12.

Source:  http://www.tcpalm.com

San Bernardino International Airport: Spencer barred from managing fuel

San Bernardino International Airport officials seized control of Scot Spencer’s fueling operation Tuesday after he failed to keep enough fuel on site to fill aircraft that may need it, the airport’s director confirmed.

Last week, the pilot of a plane that was being maintained by Aviation & Defense Inc. at the airport needed fuel before departing, but there was only enough to partly fill the plane’s tank. The pilot had to make a stop along the way to re-fuel, said A.J. Wilson, the interim executive director of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority and related Inland Valley Development Agency.

Wilson confirmed the action and said that the airport’s fueling agreement with Spencer’s SBD Properties company requires enough fuel be kept at all times to serve the needs of the airport, an estimated 20,000 gallons.

“He probably had 1,200 gallons,” Wilson said, adding he wouldn’t know how much was left in the tanks until it was measured.

As a result, the airport terminated Spencer’s fuel agreement immediately.

Spencer’s company will still be allowed to sell fuel to planes that land at the airport, namely at his Million Air franchise that caters to private pilots. He’ll just have to buy the fuel from the airport first and on a cash-up-front basis, Wilson said.

The airport, starting Tuesday, will be buying, storing and managing the fuel itself and plans to work with the same fuel vendor Spencer had used, Air BP — a division of British Petroleum.

Wilson said jet fuel costs about $4 to $4.50 per gallon at the moment. Companies that sell fuel at airports, including Spencer’s, make a profit by selling the fuel for a higher price.

The airport, as part of its agreements with Spencer, received six cents for every gallon of fuel sold.

The airport earned a total of $46,504 in fuel flow fees in the three months ending December, according to the most recent financial report. Spencer was late in paying about $90,000 worth of fuel fees last year.

Piper PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III, N38906: Accident occurred February 04, 2012 in Kalispell, Montana

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 04, 2012 in Kalispell, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/29/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201T, registration: N38906
Injuries: 3 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.

After takeoff, between 300 and 500 feet above ground level over a residential area, the airplane's engine started to sputter and lose power. The pilot selected the longest street on which to make a forced landing, lowered the flaps, and slowed the airplane to a minimum controllable airspeed. The airplane collided with a number of vehicles and trees, and, in the process, the left wing separated from the fuselage. The airplane rotated inverted and embedded itself into the front of a residential house.

Postaccident examination and testing of the left magneto revealed that the magneto’s distributor block bushing was worn to an extent that it provided significant radial play between the bushing and distributor block. The bushing, which holds the distributor gear axle in place, would permit the distributor gear to intermittently disengage from the drive gear. Once the distributor gear had disengaged from the drive gear, the internal timing of the magneto would be off, which could disrupt the normal ignition sequence and operation of the engine. If the pilot had switched to the right magneto, engine power would have likely been restored. The most recent magneto overhaul was performed in 1989. The engine manufacturer recommends that magnetos be overhauled or replaced 5 years after the date of manufacture or last overhaul, or 4 years after the date placed in service, whichever occurs first, without regard to accumulated operating hours since new or last overhaul.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The partial loss of engine power due to magneto malfunction. Contributing to the accident was the lack of adherence to the manufacturer’s recommended magneto overhaul schedule.


On February 4, 2012, at 1315 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28R-201T, N38906, experienced a partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff, at Kalispell City Airport, Kalispell, Montana. The pilot initiated a forced landing on a residential street where during the landing, the airplane collided with parked vehicles, and a residence. The airplane was registered to the pilot and was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and his two passengers received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he fueled the airplane with 45 gallons of AVGAS, taxied to pick up his passengers, and performed a complete engine run-up and preflight checks. During takeoff, the airplane behaved normally and accelerated smoothly. After takeoff, between 300 and 500 feet above ground level (agl) over a residential area, the airplane's engine started to sputter and lose power. The pilot selected the longest street on which he could make a forced landing. He lowered the flaps, and slowed the airplane to a minimum controllable airspeed. The airplane collided with a number of vehicles and trees, and in the process, the left wing separated from the fuselage. The airplane rotated inverted, and embedded itself into the front of a house. The pilot egressed through the pilot's side window, and he assisted with the egress of his passengers.


The low-wing, four-seat, retractable landing gear airplane, serial number 28R-7703283, was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by a Continental Motors Incorporated (CMI) TSIO-360-F, serial number 305278, 200-hp engine, equipped with a Hartzell model BHC-C2YF-1BF constant speed propeller. A review of the airplane's maintenance records showed that an engine overhaul was completed on July 18, 1989. An annual inspection was completed on July 29, 2011, at a recorded tachometer (tach) time of 1,770.3 hours, and time since major overhaul (SMOH) of 322.3 hours. The tach time observed at the accident site was 1,772.65.

Engine Roughness Procedure

The Piper PA-28R-201T Cherokee Turbo Arrow III, Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) provides the following information concerning engine roughness.

Mixture – adjust for max. smoothness
Alternate Air – OPEN
Fuel Selector- switch tanks
Engine Gauges- check
Magneto Switch- L then R then both

“The magneto switch should then be moved to ‘L’ then ‘R’ then back to ‘BOTH.’ If operation is satisfactory on either magneto, proceed on that magneto at reduced power with full ‘RICH’ mixture to a landing at the first available airport.


The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, engine, tail, and right wing, which impacted a residence at ground level. The left wing had been sheared off at the wing root by a parked pickup truck located approximately 50 yards further up the airplane's line of travel. Light blue colored fluid was observed leaking out of the severed wing. There was no post-accident fire. The engine and cockpit area of the airplane was embedded into the building structure. The following day, Sunday February 5th, the airplane was recovered and moved to a storage location in Belgrade, Montana. During the recovery, approximately 45 gallons of AVGAS was recovered from both wing tanks combined.

On February 22, 2012, technical representatives from the airframe and engine manufacturer examined the airplane under the oversight of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector.

Both ailerons were attached to their respective wing, and control cables were attached to both the aileron bell cranks. The horizontal and vertical tail surfaces remained attached to the rear empennage section; the rudder and the stabilator remained attached. The fuel selector handle was in the left tank position; the throttle and mixture control levers were full forward. The AUX fuel pump switch was in the center OFF position. The auxiliary electric fuel pump was functionally tested by applying battery power to the airplane’s electrical system. The pump was found to function normally on both the low and high switch power settings, drawing in and discharging fuel. The fuel gascolator bowl was removed and bluish fluid consistent with AVGAS was observed. Engine power-train continuity was established by rotating the engine’s crankshaft. The engine driven fuel pump was removed, tested, and found to function normally. The magnetos remained attached to the engine and both produced spark at all of their ignition leads when the engine’s crankshaft was rotated by hand.

The airframe manufacturer technical representative reported that the airframe revealed no pre-impact failure to any flight control surface or flight control system component.

The engine manufacturer technical representative reported that the inspection of this engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have prevented its ability to produce rated horsepower.



A surveillance video camera mounted on an airport hangar captured the airplane’s takeoff departure path. The video shows an airplane immediately after takeoff moving at a constant altitude approximately 75 feet above ground level (agl) from right to left across the screen at a constant speed.


Under the direction of the NTSB IIC, an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) mechanic removed both magnetos from the engine on April 5, 2013. Both magnetos were Bendix model S6LN-25. On April 15, 2013, under the supervision of an FAA inspector, both magnetos were placed in a test fixture, and tested at normal operating speeds. The right magneto, serial number A186072, produced spark on all posts. The left magneto, serial number A186084, produced spark on one post. The A&P mechanic and FAA inspector disassembled the magneto (SN: A186084) and found a worn bushing. This magneto was then packaged, sent to the Analytical Department of Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI), and examined under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. CMI technical experts determined that the magneto’s distributor block bushing was worn to an extent that it provided significant radial play between the bushing and distributor block. The bushing, which holds the distributor gear axle in place, was worn to such an extent that it would permit the distributor gear to intermittently disengage from the drive gear. Once the distributor gear disengaged from the drive gear, the internal timing of the magneto would be off, which could disrupt the normal ignition sequence and operation of the engine.

Review of the engine maintenance records showed that the magneto was last overhauled on July 18, 1989, and had accumulated 324.65 hours since overhaul. Review of the S-20 Series Magneto Service Support Manual showed CMI recommends magnetos be inspected after the first 500 hours in service and every 500 hours thereafter. In addition, magnetos should be overhauled or replaced 5 years after the date of manufacture or last overhaul, or 4 years after the date placed in service, whichever occurs first, without regard to accumulated operating hours since new or last overhaul.

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA092 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 04, 2012 in Kalispell, MT
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201T, registration: N38906
Injuries: 3 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 February 4, 2012, at 1345 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28R-201T, N38906, experienced a partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff, at Kalispell City Airport, Kalispell, Montana. The pilot attempted to land on a residential street. The airplane collided with parked vehicles, ending up inside the first floor of a two story home. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and his two passengers received minor injures, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he fueled the airplane with 45 gallons of avgas, taxied to pick up his passengers, and performed a complete engine run-up and preflight checks. During takeoff the airplane behaved normally and accelerated smoothly. After takeoff, between 300 and 500 feet above ground level (agl), the airplane's engine started to sputter and lose power. The airplane was over a residential area. The pilot selected the longest street on to which to make a forced landing. He lowered the flaps and slowed the airplane to a minimum controllable airspeed. The airplane collided with a number of vehicles and trees, and in the process, the left wing separated from the fuselage. The airplane rotated inverted and embedded itself into the front of a domestic house. The pilot egressed through the pilot's side window, and he assisted the egress of his passengers.

KALISPELL- Last weekend's plane crash within the Kalispell city limits was a topic of discussion during Monday night's Kalispell City Council meeting.

While one man spoke in support of the Kalispell airport a spokesman for Quiet Skies, a local group opposed to the proposed airfield expansion, said he believes the airport is a danger.

Scott Davis asked the Kalispell City Council to take a closer look at moving the airport, to either Glacier Park International Airport or another location northwest of town, to prevent any further crashes.

"We're just concerned about our neighborhoods, we're concerned about our historical district downtown, we're concerned about our Main Street and we do not need this type of distraction and danger in the city limits of Kalispell any longer," Davis said.

He also asked the Kalispell City Council to look into the possibility that the gas being emitted from Kalispell Waste Water Sewer Plant could be causing engine cut outs that could lead to plane crashes.

  Regis#: 38906        Make/Model: PA28      Description: PA-28 CHEROKEE, ARROW, WARRIOR, ACHER, D
  Date: 02/04/2012     Time: 2045

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

  City: KALISPELL   State: MT   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

WEATHER: 041955Z 34003KT 10SM OVC016 M02/M06 A3045

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: HELENA, MT  (NM05)                    Entry date: 02/06/2012 

Beechcraft C35, N8974A: Plane In Crash May Have Made Emergency Landing. Accident occurred August 04, 2010 in Rollinsville, Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Investigators say a plane involved in a crash that killed three people in Colorado appears to have made an emergency landing days earlier because of a propeller issue.

A National Transportation Safety Board report issued last week quotes the daughter of one of the passengers as saying the pilot made the emergency landing because of a wiring problem in the propeller governor, which limits the speed of the propeller.

The single-engine plane crashed Aug. 4 in the mountains near Rollinsville, killing everyone aboard.

Authorities identified the victims as the 70-year-old pilot, John Howard of Sunnyvale, Calif., and his passengers, 56-year-old Catherine Heveran of Sunnyvale and 25-year-old James Chatham of Spokane, Wash.

The plane took off from Boulder en route to San Jose, Calif.

The NTSB has not determined the cause.

NTSB Identification: CEN10FA458
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 04, 2010 in Rollinsville, CO
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N8974A
Injuries: 3 Fatal.


On August 4, 2010, about 0620 mountain daylight time, a Beechcraft C35 airplane, N8974A, impacted trees and terrain in the Roosevelt National Forest near Rollinsville, Colorado. The commercial pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The cross-country flight departed Boulder Municipal Airport (BDU), Boulder, Colorado, at 0600 and was en route to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Jose, California.

Old airport price could have been lower

PANAMA CITY — The story of how the final purchase price of the old airfield in Panama City went from $56.5 million placed in escrow in 2007 to $51.4 million this week is a short tale of twin, two-word phases, “complicated contract” and “intense negotiations.”

Airport attorney Franklin Harrison said Tuesday the minimum purchase price set in the contract with St. Andrew Bay Land Co. always had been $45 million, although the larger amount was set aside.

Because of the length of time between December 2007 and the anticipated final closing, a series of detailed specifications was placed in a complex contract before the new owner would accept the land, including environmental testing and cleanup, Harrison said.

“We did some environmental cleanup that pushed the price to $50 million,” Harrison said. After that, “it was just a matter of sitting down and negotiating” to get the price to $51.4 million.

The sale is supposed to go through either Wednesday or Thursday, enabling the Airport Authority board to receive the money and finally settle a $50.37 million construction loan with Regions Bank used to build the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport near West Bay.

As late as March 2011, Harrison was telling airport board members he was pushing to raise the purchase price to a hard floor of $51 million as the environmental cleanup continued.

In addition, the final closing on the land was delayed in December, 2011, because there still were disagreements over whether the exact terms of the contract had been met, he said.

Harrison said Tuesday one of the reasons the final price was accepted by both the airport and St. Andrew Bay Land Co. was the parties did not want to hire breach of contract experts and environmental consultants if negotiations broke down.

Both types of experts had been lined up and ready to go, but the process of going that route was expensive, he said.

“We looked at the realities of the situation and that is what we came to,” Harrison said. In the end, “there was a willing seller and a willing buyer.”

Raytheon Executive Fined in $1 Billion FAA Contract Lawsuit

By Tom Schoenberg

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A Raytheon Co. executive was fined by a Washington court for failing to give opponents in a lawsuit a reprimand letter stemming from an affair with a subordinate while both worked at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Charles E. Keegan, leader of Raytheon’s Civil Aviation Solutions division, violated a court order to turn over the document showing he had an improper romantic relationship with the woman to the Washington Consulting Group Inc., Judge A. Franklin Burgess Jr. of the District of Columbia Superior Court ruled yesterday.

For the past two years, Washington Consulting Group, or WCG, has argued that the relationship began at the FAA, and continued after Keegan left for Raytheon and Maureen Knopes, now Keegan’s wife, became responsible for a contracting program to train air traffic controllers. WCG had held the contract for more than 20 years until Raytheon won it in 2008.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company is seeking $1 billion in damages from Raytheon and Keegan, claiming the relationship contaminated the bidding process on the 10-year contract. Keegan and his wife, now Knopes-Keegan, conspired with others to reconfigure the FAA’s contracting program and stole WCG’s trade secrets to ensure Raytheon would take the business, the lawsuit claims.

‘Conflicting Evidence’

“Though it is faced with conflicting evidence as to whether Keegan’s failure to produce the reprimand letter was inadvertent or intentional, the court reaches the same conclusion in either case,” the judge said, ordering Keegan to pay a portion of legal fees to opposing counsel.

The couple’s romance was investigated by the Transportation Department’s inspector general. In 2004, a top FAA official reprimanded Keegan in a letter for having an “inappropriate relationship” that created a “perception of favoritism” and the appearance of “giving preferential treatment” to Knopes- Keegan, according to the judge’s ruling.

The letter wasn’t disclosed to WCG until Keegan was being interviewed in the case in December. Keegan said in court filings that the document was found in a box in his basement that contained work papers along with a weather dial and a runner’s bib.

“These rulings are unrelated to the merits of the case,” Jon Kasle, a spokesman for Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon, said in an e-mail. “Raytheon continues to maintain that WCG’s suit is without merit,” he said, adding that the company is reviewing the rulings and will defend itself and Keegan.

‘Public Scrutiny’

Steven Thomas, a lawyer for WCG, said in an e-mail the ruling means Raytheon “now must face public scrutiny of its misconduct.”

Raytheon has twice lost bids to have the case dismissed. Last year a judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington ordered the case transferred back to Superior Court. Judge Burgess in November ruled that WCG had presented enough specific allegations to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

Since the mid-1980s, WCG and the University of Oklahoma were awarded contracts to train air traffic controllers, according to the complaint. Controllers who were hired by the FAA would attend two to four months of training in Oklahoma City before moving on to a program run by WCG that lasted two to five years.

Single Contract

In 2006, the FAA in said it was creating a single contract and looking for a company that would recruit, hire, and train controllers. The company would be required to pay the trainees for as long as three years before the FAA would hire them, according to WCG’s complaint.

Knopes-Keegan was the FAA official in charge of the initiative and became the agency’s “public face” for the new program to contractors, according to the lawsuit.

WCG alleges the proposed contracting change was “a ruse” by Raytheon, Keegan, and Knopes-Keegan to make certain that WCG couldn’t bid.

Since WCG didn’t have the resources to compete directly for the new contract, it sought to remain a participant as a subcontractor to Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp., according to court records.

Once WCG was “locked in” as subcontractor, the FAA said in August 2007 that it was dropping the hiring requirement of the initiative and would merely combine the two earlier contracts into one. At that point, WCG said it was too late for the company to enter a bid as a prime contractor for business, according to its lawsuit.

Trade Secrets

WCG alleges Knopes-Keegan, who left the FAA in 2007, gave Keegan company trade secrets that were contained in WCG’s earlier bids. Keegan then used the information for Raytheon’s bid, according to the complaint.

That data, which WCG describes as an “accurate roadmap” for the bid it was presenting with Lockheed, included line-item pricing of subcontractors, instructors, and other vendors as well as staffing plans for the more than 50 facilities where it conducted controller training.

The case is Washington Consulting Group Inc. v. Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC, 10-00296, Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Washington).

Source:  http://www.businessweek.com

South Africa - Fire bomber in forced landing

Cape Town - A Dromader aircraft taking part in the water bombing of the veldfires raging in the Stanford area has made a forced landing just after take-off late this afternoon.

FFA Group spokesperson Evelyn Holtzhausen says the pilot walked away from the crash but was taken to hospital for observation.

The Dromader is one of five used for fire bombing in South Africa.

The FFA Group supplies helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to supplement aerial firefighting efforts.

A full Civil Aviation Authority investigation will take place.

VOR frequency, identifier changing at Anchorage International Airport

Accomplished pilots and users of the VOR/DME at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport will be interested to note that the VOR frequency and identifier is changing Thursday, Feb. 9.

The new VOR (Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio) will change at 12:01 a.m. Alaska Standard Time to a new frequency -- 113.15 MHz -- and the Morse-code identification will be “TED.”

Critical to have on board an aircraft will be updated high/low enroute charts, terminal procedures and a new Alaska Supplement. Terminal procedures for the enroute structure from Valdez to Homer, and Homer to Big Lake have changed, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Information for GPS units can be found herewhere information on navigational aids, airport details and other pertinent information can be searched. When searching “TED” on the VDME information like Elevation 85 feet, LAT N61-10-04.32, and Longitude 149-57-35.54, DATUMS Horz: NAD83 VERT: NAVD88, Channel 78Y.
Aircraft using the VOR transiting the Anchorage area can find more information in the Alaska Supplement, or check with the FAA Safety Team. You can see a PDF of the procedures changes, here.

Pilots’ drug lifestyles worrying

Yet another arrest of a pilot, this time from Lion Air, over the alleged use of crystal methamphetamine late last week has raised concerns over the safety of the country’s airline industry, with the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) suggesting that a large number of pilots could have drug problems.

BNN’s chief of operations, Brig. Gen. Benny Mamoto, said that the arrests of airline pilots may hint at a larger picture of drug abuse in the country.

“There is a possibility that airline crews are linked to drug networks,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Benny said the BNN is currently investigating cases of drug abuse in the transportation sector across the country. He also urged operators to seriously monitor their crews.

“This is a serious warning for airline crews and those on any other mode of transportation that they should not use drugs,” he said.

Benny called on crew members who are addicted to drugs to voluntarily submit themselves to the BNN and ask for rehabilitation.

The BNN had previously revealed that pilots considered crystal meth as being part of their lifestyle.

Lion Air pilot Syaiful Salam, 44, was arrested over the weekend in his room at the Garden Palace Hotel in Surabaya, East Java, with 0.04 grams of crystal meth in his possession. He tested positive to the drug in a urine test.

The arrest was made only three hours before he was due to fly one of the budget airline’s planes from Surabaya to Makassar, South Sulawesi, at 6:15 a.m.

The Transportation Ministry has revoked Syaiful’s pilot’s license.

“This is the consequence of his action and this also serves as a warning for other pilots to not commit such offences,” the Transportation Ministry’s air transportation director general, Herry Bhakti Gumay, said.

Syaiful was the third Lion Air pilot to be arrested for drug use within the past seven months.

Two days after Syaiful’s arrest, members of a joint team from the BNN and the Transportation Ministry arrested a copilot from a national airline for possible drug use.

Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono said the copilot was arrested at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Monday night during a random check.

“Out of the urine tests we carried out on 94 crew at terminals 1 and 2, this copilot’s urine test came back positive,” he said.

Bambang, however, declined to divulge the name of the airline at which the copilot was employed.

Lion Air’s general affairs director, Edward Sirait, said his company would go the extra mile to prevent drug abuse among its crew, including working with the National Police.

“We are ready to work with any agency that can help us to prevent drug abuse in Lion Air, including with the police, the BNN and the regulator,” he said.

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia’s senior public relations manager, Ikhsan Rosan, rejected the BNN’s claim that the use of illegal substances had become a part of pilots’ lifestyles.

“The lives of airline pilots are governed by a great deal of strict rules, including fixed sleeping hours, to help them stay fit,” he told the Post.

Ikhsan said that a small number of pilots might have a drug habit but, in general, pilots in the country were drug-free.

President of the Indonesian Pilots Federation, Capt. Hasfrinsyah HS, ruled out stress as a cause for pilots, including Syaiful, to take drugs.

“A pilot’s job is not ‘stressful’. I could actually say the word is not in our dictionary,” he told the Post.

He said the federation applied strict rules that all pilots should follow. “We have a rule that states a pilot should fly no more than nine hours per day in order to balance their work load. After nine hours, he or she should take a rest and have at least a proper eight-hour sleep.”

Pilots who worked longer hours should report to their company’s designated doctors to obtain a rest permit, he said.

Hasfrinsyah also said a pilot should pass professional checks every six months, which included a health test, a skills test and a simulator test. “Practically speaking, a pilot’s license is only valid for half a year.”

The string of arrests of pilots belonging to private airlines has raised concerns among airline customers over their safety.

“With this drug case, we are now afraid to fly, especially with companies that already have a poor track record, like Lion Air,” one of Lion Air’s frequent flyers, Gentani Rahmaliana, said.


Robinson R44 Raven II, CENAC Marine Services LLC, N369TL: Accident occurred January 19, 2012 in Centerville, Louisiana

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA139 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Centerville, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44 II, registration: N369TL
Injuries: 2 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.

Witnesses saw the helicopter circling at a low altitude and saw the pilot wave at them. None of the witnesses saw the impact, but they heard the impact and saw smoke. They responded to the site and used portable fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire. Examination of the accident site revealed that the helicopter struck several trees and fell straight to the ground in a nose-low attitude, coming to rest on its right side. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Impact signatures were consistent with the engine developing power at impact, and it is likely that, at the time of impact, the helicopter was in a steep descent consistent with settling with power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot allowed the helicopter to settle with power while maneuvering at low altitude.


On January 19, 2012, at 0901 central standard time, a Robinson R44 II, N369TL, collided with trees while maneuvering at low altitude and impacted the Belle Isle salt dome, about 12 miles south of Centerville, Louisiana. There was a fire after impact. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by CENAC Marine Services, LLC, Houma, Louisiana, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Houma (KHUM), Louisiana, at 0827.

Several witnesses told St. Mary’s Parish sheriff’s deputies that they saw the helicopter circling at a low altitude. They said the left seat pilot waved at them. None of the witnesses saw the impact, but heard the impact and saw smoke. They responded to the site and used portable fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire.


According to the helicopter owner/operator the pilot-in-command, age 40, was seated in the left seat. He held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane multiengine land rating, commercial pilot privileges with airplane single-engine land and rotorcraft-helicopter ratings, and a flight instructor certificate with airplane single/multiengine and instrument ratings. He was type rated in the Beech 300/350 King Air, Hawker Beechjet 400, Cessna 500 Citation, and the Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond. He held a first class airman medical certificated, dated June 24, 2011, with no restrictions or limitations. According to his employer, the pilot had logged 8,700 total flight hours and 260 hours in the Robinson R44, of which 215 hours were as pilot-in-command. His list flight review was accomplished in the Beech 350 King Air on December 6, 2011.

The second pilot, age 43, was seated in the right seat. He held a private pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating. He also held a third class airman medical certificate, dated April 15, 2010, with the restriction that he wear corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his airman certificate. According to his employer, the pilot had logged 450 total flight hours, the majority of which was in the Bell 47 helicopter. He had logged 18.9 hours in the Robinson R44, his last flight being on May 5, 2011. He had also flown the Brantley helicopter.


N369TL (serial number 11055), a model R44 II, was manufactured by the Robinson Helicopter Company on January 16, 2006. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5 engine (serial number L-30804-48A), rated at 300 horsepower. According the helicopter maintenance records, the last 100-hour/annual inspection was performed on March 31, 2011, at a total time of 461.5 hours.


The following METARs (Aviation Routine Weather Report) were recorded at Houma (KHUM) and Patterson (KPTN), Louisiana:

KHUM 0850: Wind, 020 degrees at 3 knots; visibility, 6 miles, mist; ceiling, 1,800 feet broken; temperature, 12 degrees Celsius (C.); dew point, 11 degrees C.; altimeter, 30.15 inches of Mercury.

KPTN 0855: Wind, 070 degrees at 3 knots; visibility, 10 miles; ceiling, 2,400 feet overcast; temperature, 12 degrees C.; dew point, 11 degrees C.; altimeter, 30.14 inches of Mercury.


The accident site was situated at an elevation of 6 feet msl (above mean sea level), encompassing a perimeter of about 500 feet. The on-scene investigation revealed the helicopter struck several trees and fell straight to the ground in a nose-low attitude, coming to rest on its right side. A post-impact fire ensued. The tail boom and tail rotor blades remained attached to the helicopter, and 3-foot stubs of the main rotor blades remained attached. The tail rotor drive shaft was intact and, when turned by hand, continuity was observed. Nearby was a 2-foot gash deep in the ground, about the length of a main rotor blade. The helicopter sustained extensive thermal damage from the tail boom forward. All control rods and linkages remained attached to the rotor hub. All breaks were consistent with overload fractures.

The instrument panel was destroyed, but the vertical speed indicator registered 2,600 feet per minute descent, and the attitude indicator revealed a 35-degree left turn and nose-down attitude.

Impact signatures were consistent with the helicopter in a steep descent and the engine operating at the time of impact.


Autopsies were performed on both pilots by the Louisiana Forensic Center. According to their reports, both pilots succumbed to blunt force injuries.

Toxicology protocols were conducted by FAA’s Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI). According to their reports, none of the pilot’s specimens were suitable for analysis due to putrefaction. The pilot-rated passenger had no carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol in the blood (cavity)`, but amlodipine, pravastatin, and valsartan were detected in the liver and blood (cavity). According to FAA’s Forensic Toxicology Drug Information website, amlodipine (Norvasc®) is a prescription calcium channel blocker medication used to treat high blood pressure and angina, pravastatin (Pravachol®) is a prescription HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor to reduce cholesterol biosynthesis and treat elevated blood lipids, and valsartan (Diovan®) is a prescription angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) that acts on the AT1 receptor subtype and is used to control high blood pressure.


The engine was examined at Air Salvage of Dallas in Lancaster, Texas, under the auspices of the National Transportation Safety Board. Examination revealed that the intake and exhaust valves were seized due to thermal damage to the engine. There were no pre-impact anomalies with the engine which would have precluded normal operation.

The three servos were examined at the Robinson Helicopter Company under the auspices of the National Transportation Safety Board. Thermal damaged had compromised most of the servo seals. No foreign debris, scoring, or witness marks were observed on either spool or metering edges of the sleeve.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who participated in the investigation, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and an FAA helicopter pilot examiner, submitted a written statement in which he noted what appeared to be a high velocity impact, large grooves in the ground indicating engine power at impact, and a near vertical descent consistent with “settling with power.”

The following is based on FAA’s “Helicopter Flying Handbook,” (FAA-H-8083-21, Chapter 11, p. 11-13):

“Vortex ring state” is an aerodynamic condition in which a helicopter may be in a vertical descent with 20 percent up to maximum power applied, and little or no climb performance. “Settling with power” occurs when the helicopter keeps settling even though full engine power is applied. Main rotor tip vortices generate drag and degrade airfoil efficiency. As long as the tip vortices are small, their only effect is a small loss in main rotor efficiency. However, when the helicopter begins to descend vertically, it settles into its own downwash, which greatly enlarges the tip vortices. In this vortex ring state, most of the power developed by the engine is wasted in circulating the air in a doughnut pattern around the rotor. A vortex ring state may be entered during any maneuver that places the main rotor in a condition of descending in a column of disturbed air and low forward airspeed. Airspeeds that are below translational lift airspeeds are within this region of susceptibility to settling with power aerodynamics. This condition is sometimes seen during quick-stop type maneuvers or during recovery from autorotation.

Some of the situations that are conducive to a settling with power condition are hovering above ground effect altitude, specifically attempting to hover out of ground effect (OGE) at altitudes above the hovering ceiling of the helicopter, attempting to hover OGE without maintaining precise altitude control, pinnacle or rooftop helipads when the wind is not aligned with the landing direction, and downwind and steep power approaches in which airspeed is permitted to drop below 10 knots, depending on the type of helicopter.

What exactly caused the helicopter crash in St. Mary Parish last month that killed two men remains unclear, according to a report released Monday by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

Lanny Ledet, 43, of Gheens, and Jason McKean, 40, of Amite, were killed when their helicopter, a 2006 Robinson R-44 owned by Cenac Marine Services of Houma, crashed on Jan. 19 in a remote area near Belle Isle about 13 miles southwest of Morgan City, authorities said.

Ledet was a longtime employee of the Cenac's Golden Ranch Plantation, while McKean was a pilot for Chet Morrison Contractors in Houma. The pair took off from the Houma-Terrebonne Airport and were headed to a business meeting in Plaquemines Parish, authorities said, though they had taken a detour over St. Mary Parish.

An autopsy performed by the St. Mary Coroner's Office reported that Ledet and McKean died from blunt-force injuries sustained in the crash.

On Monday, the NTSB released a preliminary report giving more details about the crash, though it did not say what caused it. The report says there was good weather, and “several witnesses reported seeing the helicopter circling at (a) low altitude and said the pilot waved at them.”

Nobody reported seeing the crash, the report says, but witnesses heard the impact, saw smoke and put out the flaming wreckage with extinguishers.

A full report that includes the probable cause will take up to 18 months to complete.

Ladd Sanger, a Dallas-based aviation law specialist and helicopter pilot, said the Robinson R-44 helicopter has a history of catching fire after crashes due to a problem with its internal fuel system.

“There are at least 20 instances where a Robinson is involved in a crash that had a post-crash fire where it shouldn't have happened,” Sanger said, adding that the problem causing the fires was fixed in helicopters made after December 2010 and that replacement parts were made available to those with older models. “I'm glad to see Robinson was proactive in changing the design of the helicopter, but there are still a lot of old ones out there that have this (faulty) design.”

This is the second Robinson R-44 helicopter to be involved in a fatal crash in the past month. On Saturday, two people died in Australia when their helicopter crashed soon after takeoff.

Sanger said the details of that crash are similar to the one in St. Mary, and it is peculiar that both caught on fire.

“This helicopter and the Australian helicopter were at relatively low altitudes and air speed, and there were tremendous post-crash fires,” Sanger said. “If the occupants survived the crash, they obviously did not survive the post-crash fire.”

Sanger also said R-44 models have been known to have issues maintaining blade speed while maneuvering. A maneuver can cause the blades to slow down, Sanger said, which can make the helicopter quickly drop.

A request for comment from Robinson Helicopters was not immediately returned.

Chet Morrison and Cenac share a helicopter hangar at the airport, though it is still unknown why McKean was flying Cenac's helicopter. Representatives from Chet Morrison have said McKean was not flying on their business.

Arnold Scott, NTSB investigator and the report's author, did not immediately return a phone call.

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA139
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Centerville, LA
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44 II, registration: N369TL
Injuries: 2 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.

On January 19, 2012, at 0901 central standard time, a Robinson R44 II, N369TL, collided with trees while maneuvering at low altitude and impacted the Belle Isle salt dome, about 12 miles south of Centerville, Louisiana. There was a fire after impact. The pilot and a pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by CENAC Marine Services, LLC, Houma, Louisiana, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Houma (KHUM), Louisiana, at 0827.

Several witnesses reported seeing the helicopter circling at low altitude and said the pilot waved at them. None of the witnesses saw the impact but reported hearing the sounds of impact and seeing smoke. They responded to the site and used fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire.

The on-scene investigation revealed the helicopter struck several trees before hitting the ground, coming to rest on its right side. The tail boom and tail rotor blades remained attached to the helicopter, and 3-foot stubs of the main rotor blades remained attached. Nearby was a 2-foot gash in the ground, the length of a main rotor blade. All control rods and linkages remained attached the rotor hub. All breaks were consistent with overload failures.

La Grande man with serious eye issue benefits from free Angel Flight

Joe and Rosemary Pelissier of Angel Flight West talk with Bob Jurgensen, right, of La Grande Friday morning at the Union County Airport. Jurgensen had just returned to La Grande after receiving a round trip to the Hillsboro Airport from Angel Flight West. Jurgensen had to go to the Portland area to see a doctor at the Devers Eye Institute. Joe Pelissier is a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight West and his wife Rosemary is the Oregon Wing Leader for the program. 
DICK MASON / The Observer

Bob Jurgensen of La Grande was touched by the angelic spirit of Joe and Rosemary Pelissier of Hillsboro and the Oregon Lions late last week.

Jurgensen, recovering from surgery to repair a detached retina, was experiencing complications and needed to see a doctor in Portland at the Devers Eye Institute. He was in no condition to drive a long distance, could not afford a taxi and did not have any family or friends who were able to drive him to Portland.

Jurgensen did not know what he was going do. Enter Angel Flight West, a program in which pilots provide free non-emergency flights to people with compelling needs such as health conditions.

Jurgensen found that he qualified for a round trip Angel Flight from La Grande to the Portland area.

Pilot Joe Pelissier provided Jurgensen with his “flight of hope,” picking him up Thursday morning at the Union County Airport in his Piper Malibu Mirage. Jurgensen was flown to the Hillsboro Airport, where he was met by Oregon Lions members with their organization’s new Earth Angels program. The volunteers drove Jurgensen to Devers Eye Institute for his appointment.

A volunteer waited for him at Devers Eye Institute until his appointment was over and then drove Jurgensen to the home of family members in Hillsboro, where he spent Thursday night. On Friday morning, a Lion drove Jurgensen to the Hillsboro Airport.

Jurgensen was back in La Grande at 10 a.m. Friday without having spent any money for travel and having experienced limited travel stress.

“It was amazing. I am so thankful,’’ Jurgensen said.

Jurgensen is one of about 160 people who are provided with Angel Flights in Oregon each year, trips being made much easier by the Earth Angels program, which started in Oregon in 2009.

Oregon Lions members meet all Angel Flight passengers and provide free transportation to hospitals, clinics or other sites and later drive them back to the airport. This service is greatly easing travel stress and complications.

“Before the pilot would often have to provide a ride. A lot of times they (the Angel Flight passenger) could not afford a taxi,’’ said Carol Tate, a member of the La Grande Lions Club.

Tate and her husband, Gary, who live in North Powder, are the directors of the Lions’ Earth Angels program in Eastern Oregon. The Tates arranged for Jurgensen to be provided with ground transportation in the Portland area late last week.

Jurgensen is the first person from La Grande to receive an Angel Flight since at least 2009. He is about the 80th Angel Flight passenger pilot Joe Pelissier has had since he joined the program in 2004. He has used his own plane and paid for the expenses for each flight. He speaks humbly of his volunteer efforts.

“I love flying and am always looking for an excuse to fly,’’ Pelissier said Friday morning at the Union County Airport.

A professional pilot, Pelissier views his volunteer efforts as a means of giving back.

“I’ve been very fortunate and want to share my blessings.’’

Pelissier is almost always accompanied on his Angel Flights by his wife Rosemary, the Oregon Wing Leader for Angel Flight West.

Rosemary Pelissier helps lead Angel Flight West in Oregon, which provides about 160 air trips in the state each year.

Knowing how much the flights are helping people make working as a volunteer leader for Angel Flight West a fulfilling experience.

“They (the flights) take such a big burden off passengers,’’ Rosemary Pelissier said.

The majority of the flights are provided for people with health problems, including those who need to get to a hospital for cancer treatments. Flights are also provided to those with other compelling issues, including children who have special needs.

To be eligible for a flight, one must have financial need and be able to walk into a plane and sit up in it throughout the trip. No medical services are provided.

“We (Angel Flight pilots) are not doctors and do not have medical training,’’ Joe Pelissier said.

Pelissier is one of 65 Angel Flight pilots in Oregon. More pilots are needed, especially in Eastern and Central Oregon, said Rosemary Pelissier.

All told, Angel Flight West has 1,600 pilots in 14 western states. Angel Flight West is part of a national Angel Flight organization.

For additional information on Angel Flight West, call 1-888-426-2643.

Source:  http://www.lagrandeobserver.com

Lancair IVP-TP (built by Carlos Garza), Raleighwood Aviation LLC, N321LC: Fatal accident occurred February 03, 2012 in Boise, Idaho

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 03, 2012 in Boise, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2014
Aircraft: GARZA LANCAIR IV-TP, registration: N321LC
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.

The amateur-built, experimental, high-performance airplane was fueled to capacity and the pilot had planned a cross-country flight. During an initial takeoff, the airplane climbed to about 60 feet above ground level (agl) before touching back down; the pilot transmitted to the air traffic controller that he had a problem. The controller asked if the pilot needed any assistance, and the pilot responded that he was going to taxi back and "see if I can figure it out," indicating that there was not a catastrophic failure and the pilot was intending to troubleshoot the problem. The pilot then taxied to a ramp area where the airplane was stationary for almost a minute and a half. Although the pilot's actions during this period are not known, it is likely that he was attempting to troubleshoot a problem with the airplane because the recorded engine parameters are consistent with the pilot cycling the propeller. 

Thereafter, the pilot stated his intention to stay in the traffic pattern, and he taxied the airplane back to the runway. The airplane became airborne about 18 seconds into the takeoff; the pilot then made a request to turn back to land. The airplane turned to the left and continued to climb until it reached its peak altitude of about 320 feet agl. Witnesses indicated that the airplane then entered a spin, completed about one revolution, and impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude before coming to rest in a dirt area between the parallel runways. A fire started upon impact. 

At the peak of the airborne portion of the first rejected takeoff, about 5,860 feet of runway remained. When the pilot made the request to turn back to land during the second takeoff, over 5,160 feet of runway remained, but because the airplane was 260 feet higher and had a higher airspeed than previously, the pilot likely thought he would not be able to land on the runway surface straight ahead. A performance study indicated that the airplane experienced a loss of thrust during the accident takeoff about 1 second before the pilot's request to return. 

Postaccident examination revealed no evidence of a preimpact uncontained engine failure, inflight fire, or flight control system malfunction. Fuel system continuity could not be confirmed due to thermal damage incurred during the postcrash fire. Review of the engine parameters revealed that, during the accident takeoff, the greatest anomaly in the airplane's parameters was that the fuel pressure dropped to a minimum psi while the fuel flow increased and the torque delivered to the engine shaft (Q) increased excessively. Shortly thereafter, fuel pressure recovered when the fuel flow reduced and Q retarded to an idle setting. Q also dropped to an idle setting during the previous takeoff. The reason for these variations could not be explained. In comparing prior flights to the accident flight, the maximum Q attained during takeoff climb was lower than the Q for the accident takeoff, and the fuel pressure did not drop to the same level as during the accident flight, which are indicative of a problem with the airplane.

The airplane was equipped with a Turbine Starter Limiting/Monitoring System, capable of limiting power by restricting fuel flow, which was designed to act as a start sequence controller, an engine protection limiter, and an engine monitor/recorder. It is possible that this system/installation malfunctioned and engaged during the accident takeoff; however, the system was destroyed in the postcrash fire and could not be examined. Consequently, no determination regarding its performance during the accident flight is possible.

The data showed that the pilot's most recent flight in the airplane was 6 days before the accident, at the same airport. During that flight, he also performed an initial rejected takeoff, suggesting that he was possibly having problems at that time; he made a successful flight thereafter, but remained in the traffic pattern. 

A simulation of the accident flight indicated that, during the airplane's left turn, the angle of attack at which the wing stalls was exceeded. A former engineer and general manager of the kit manufacturer stated that if the engine failed during takeoff, the airspeed would rapidly decay, and the pilot would have to push the nose down to maintain flying speed. He noted that following a loss of power, the nose would remain in a nose-up attitude, and unless the pilot made corrective pitch inputs (reducing the angle of attack) within about 4 to 5 seconds, the airplane would rapidly reach a critical angle of attack and stall, which would result in the wing simultaneously dropping. It would not be possible to recover from the stall at altitudes below 1,500 ft agl.

Based on the results of the simulation for the accident flight, witness statements, statements from a former employee of the kit manufacturer, it is likely that pilot was attempting to return to a runway (either the takeoff runway or the parallel runway). The pilot did not push the nose down to maintain flying speed and stalled the airplane well below 1,500 ft agl, and the airplane was spinning when it impacted the ground. Although beyond the end of the takeoff runway was flat, unpopulated hard-dirt surface, suitable for a straight-ahead emergency landing, it is unknown why they pilot chose to return to the airport rather than lower the nose and land there.

Twenty-six percent of Lancair airplanes have been involved in accidents, and 19 percent have been involved in fatal accidents. In 2008 and 2012, the FAA convened two safety groups specifically to address the airplane's "unusually high accident and fatality rate compared to other amateur-built aircraft." The study noted that based on the statistics, the kit was involved in fatal accidents at "a rate that is disproportionate to their fleet size." As a result of studies developed by these safety groups, the FAA acknowledged that accidents would continue to occur if no action was taken. Thus, the FAA issued a notice that Lancair pilots should "review and thoroughly understand all information regarding stall characteristics and obtain specialized training regarding slow flight handling characteristics, stall recognition, and stall recovery techniques;" install an angle-of-attack indicator to better predict a stall; and have their airplane evaluated by an experienced type-specific mechanic to ensure proper rigging, wing alignment, and weight and balance. The notice was recalled shortly after its release and another notice was released later to include other high-performance experimental amateur-built aircraft.

When asked about what he disliked about the flight characteristics of the airplane, the pilot had told a technician who refueled the airplane that it was "squirrelly." According to the FAA, depending on the complexity of the systems installed, pilots likely will require orientation and specially-tailored training to operate this airplane safely. Although the pilot was properly certificated in accordance with existing Federal Aviation Regulations and his estimated flight experience in the airplane was 13 hours 40 minutes, no evidence was found indicating that the pilot had received flight instruction in the accident airplane model, even though he was aware that insurance companies required him to do so in order to receive coverage.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss or commanded reduction of engine power during the initial climb for reasons that could not be determined because of postaccident impact damage and fire destruction to engine systems and components. Also causal were the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and airplane control while attempting to return to the runway despite unpopulated, flat terrain immediately ahead that was suitable for an emergency landing; his decision to take off again with a known problem; and his lack of training in the make and model airplane.


On February 03, 2012, at 0856 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built Lancair IV-TP, N321LC, impacted terrain following a loss of control while on the initial takeoff climb from Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local personal flight was originating from Boise when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

Numerous witnesses located at the airport observed the airplane on an initial rejected takeoff and on the subsequent accident flight. A majority of them stated that, during the initial rejected takeoff, the airplane departed 10R and climbed to about 5 to 10 feet (ft) above ground level (agl) before touching back down on the runway. The pilot taxied back toward the west end of the airport. Shortly thereafter, the airplane departed 10R again and climbed to about 100 to 200 ft agl. It then began to roll to the left while rapidly losing altitude. The airplane completed about one revolution and impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude. The airplane came to rest in a dirt area between runways 10R and 10L, and a fire started upon impact. Airport personnel responded to the accident and extinguished the fire with a fire suppressant. 

The Boise Air Traffic Control (ATC) Facility provided the recorded radio communications between the pilot and controllers. The pilot was initially cleared onto runway 10R and instructed to "line up and wait." About 1 minute later, he was cleared for a departure to the south, and the airplane took off from the 9,760 ft long runway about 0846:38. He transmitted to the controller 40 seconds later that he was going to "land here and stop… we got… we got a problem." An ATC controller asked if he needed any assistance to which he responded by saying, "negative, I'm going to taxi back and see if I can figure it out." About 9 minutes later, he told the controller that he would like to depart and stay in the traffic pattern for a "couple laps." The tower controller cleared the pilot for takeoff at 0854:40, and at 0855:44, the pilot made his last intelligible transmission when he requested that he would "like to turn back in and…uh…land… coming back in…uh…three." An indiscernible transmission was made 9 seconds later that may have been the pilot saying "Boise." 

Flight track data recorded from the airplane's onboard global positioning system (GPS) by the onboard Aerosonic Op Technologies Electronic Flight Instrumentation System (EFIS) was extracted from compact flash memory cards recovered from the wreckage. The EFIS data consisted of 23 parameters with 1 sample taken every 5 to 7 seconds. The recorded data covered the last 14 start cycles of the EFIS, and the last start cycle included data from the accident flight and the rejected takeoff immediately preceding the accident flight. The EFIS data for the last start cycle spanned from 0838:03 to 0856:00, or 25 minutes 57 seconds, with the airborne portion of the accident flight consisting of the last 28 seconds, from 0855:32 to 0856:00. Comparing the times of the pilot's radio transmissions (as recorded in the ATC transcript) to the times of events recorded in the EFIS data revealed that the ATC transcript time lags the EFIS time by about 23 seconds. The EFIS times are used in this report, and the times of radio transmissions recorded in the ATC transcript have been adjusted accordingly (by subtracting 23 seconds). 

A review of the data (see Figures 01 and 02 in the public docket) revealed that after the engine started at 0838:39, the airplane made a continuous taxi (as indicated by variations in groundspeed and heading) from 0844:18 to 0846:07, at which point the nose was aligned with the runway heading (around 100 degrees). From 0846:07 to 0846:32, the airplane remained stationary on the centerline about 270 ft from the approach end of the runway with the torque delivered to the engine shaft (Q) remaining around between 13 to 14 percent, consistent with an idle setting. 

The airplane began the takeoff roll at 0846:32 and became airborne about 0846:59. The airplane climbed 60 ft over the next 10 seconds to 2,845 ft msl, which was the highest attained altitude on that flight and corresponded to about 3,900 ft from the arrival end of the runway, which equates to about 40-percent down the runway with 5,860 ft remaining. At this time, 0847:09, the airplane had reached 108 kts (the highest airspeed of the flight); the pitch attitude had decreased from 8.1 to 4.4 degrees nose-up; the Interstage Turbine Temperature (ITT) had decreased from 581 degrees to 376 degrees Celsius (C); Q had dropped from 89.6 to 13 percent; and fuel flow dropped from 56 to 20 gph. The pilot transmitted that he was going land, and the airplane touched down around 0847:21. The pilot made a right turn to the south to exit onto taxiway D. The airplane continued northwest along taxiway B, made a turn west to taxiway F, north onto taxiway J, and taxied on the ramp toward the pilot's hangar.

When the airplane was adjacent to the hangar (about 175 ft north of the hangar door), the pilot maneuvered to have the nose on a heading of about 060-degrees. From about 0852:25 to 0853:51, the airplane was stationary, and it is unknown what the pilot's actions were during that 1 minute 26 second period. The engine parameters indicated that the propeller rotation speed (Np) fluctuated from about 1,140 rpm, down to 490 rpm, and then up to 1,614 rpm, which corresponded to Q values of about 14, 29 and 34 percent, respectively.

Thereafter, the pilot taxied back to runway 10R (a 1 minute 4 second trip to the hold-short line) and turned on the centerline about 110 ft from the arrival end of the runway, where the arrival threshold makings were located. The airplane began the takeoff roll at 0855:14 and became airborne about 18 seconds later at 0855:32, which corresponds to being positioned about 1,780 ft from the arrival end of the runway (see Figure 02 in the public docket). Immediately after becoming airborne, between 0855:32 and 0855:44, the fuel pressure dropped from 26 to 15 psi and then to 14 psi; fuel flow increased from about 54 to 65 gph; the airspeed increased from 99 to 104 kts; and Q increased from 104 to 113 percent torque. 

At 0855:44, the pilot made his request to turn back to land, and the data began to show significant changes in the recorded parameters at this time. The airplane was in a 12-degree nose-up pitch attitude and had climbed to about 205 ft agl, corresponding to about 4,150 ft from the arrival end of the runway and about 200 ft right of the runway's centerline. The airplane rolled from 1.7 degrees right to 1.6 degrees left; the airspeed increased from 124 to 132 kts; the fuel flow decreased from 65 to 56 gph; the fuel pressure increased from 14 to 31 psi; Q decreased from 113 to 66 percent; and a drop in Np of about 70 rpm was recorded.

The airplane continued to climb for 10 seconds until 0855:54, when it reached about 320 ft agl, the highest altitude attained during the flight. The data revealed that at this point, the airplane was in a 16-degree bank to the left, and it continued to roll to 49 degrees within 6 seconds. Additionally, Q had reduced to 16 percent; ITT dropped to 379 degrees C, the lowest during the entire flight; fuel flow had reduced to 19 gph; the fuel pressure remained around 32 psi; and the gas generator speed (Ng) had reduced to around 62 percent. The last 4 data points, encompassing the last approximate 16 seconds of the flight, revealed that the heading changed from 107 to 21 degrees, with Q decreasing from 16 to 14 percent. The accident site was located about 400 ft north of the last recorded position. 


A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman and medical certification records revealed that the pilot, age 51, held an airline transport pilot certificate with category ratings for multiengine land, multiengine sea, and single-engine land airplanes. His certificate was endorsed with a type rating in the Cessna Citation (A/CE-500 and 525S), and he was authorized to act as pilot-in-command in the experimental Hunter Viperjet. He additionally held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine sea airplane rating. The pilot's most recent first-class medical certificate was issued January 2011, with no limitations.

The pilot's personal flight records were not recovered. On his last application for a medical certificate the pilot reported a total flight time of 3,600 hours. 

1.1.1 Lancair Familiarity/Experience

The pilot's brother recalled that in August the pilot had looked at and considered purchasing a Lancair IV-TP, but decided against that specific airplane because it was "rough" in appearance. In December, the pilot told his brother that he had found the accident airplane in North Carolina and had been looking for a Lancair IV-TP for several months in an effort to make quick/fast flights. The pilot had written a series of emails trying to determine how to acquire insurance and was told that to obtain insurance he would need to complete a training program for Lancairs, despite his flight experience in turbine high-performance airplanes. The facilities that provide such training reported that they did not receive any inquiries about training from the pilot. 

The recorded EFIS data, which included data from the multifunction display (MFD) and primary flight display (PFD) were used to estimate the pilots' total flight time in the Lancair. The pilot received delivery of the airplane on December 31, 2011, and then it was fueled twice on January 3, 2012, first with 43 gallons and then later in the day with 61 gallons. The MFD indicated the airplane was flown in Boise about 40 minutes on December 31 and about 50 minutes on January 2. The airplane completed a 2 hour 30 minute flight from Boise to Sandpoint, Idaho, on January 4 and then returned later that day. 

In addition, EFIS data indicates that the airplane completed a roundtrip flight from Boise to Sandpoint, Idaho, totaling about 2 hours and 40 minutes. On January 11, the airplane made a roundtrip from Boise to Richland, Washington, totaling about 2 hours 5 minutes. The following day, the airplane made a roundtrip from Boise to Bullhead City, Arizona totaling about 4 hours 15 minutes. The last flight recorded before the day of the accident flight was on January 28, when the airplane was flown in the traffic pattern in Boise for approximately 40 minutes. 

The flight times recorded above sum to 13 hours 40 minutes, are presumed to be the pilot's total flight experience in the Lancair. No evidence was found indicating that the pilot had received flight instruction in the accident airplane or in any other Lancair IV-TP.

1.1.2 Personal History

Over approximately 10 years prior to the accident, media interviews of the pilot appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and trade journals. Many of these articles were reviewed and used with NTSB interviews of the pilot's family, friends, and aviation connections to help give insight to the pilot's history. The pilot started his employment at Micron Technology, Inc., in 1983 and was promoted 11 times to become the company's president in 1991 and chief executive officer (CEO) in 1994, the position he held at the time of the accident. Various sources indicate that the pilot had owned over 20 airplanes and participated in various airshows.

The pilot was described as having a passion for high-risk recreation. He participated in activities such as motocross, skydiving, race car driving, and flying high-performance airplanes. He had experience flying a variety of airplanes including, but not limited to: Extra 300, Fairchild PT19, Aero L29, Hawker Hunter, Aviat Husky, Boeing Stearman, and Cessna Citation. The pilot was involved in an accident in July 2004, when he was performing an aerobatic maneuver and did not allow adequate clearance from the ground resulting in a collision. 

Friends and family of the pilot classified his health as "excellent," and his spouse reported that he did not take any medications nor did he regularly use alcohol. She stated that he slept well and regularly. She estimated that the night prior to the accident, he went to bed around midnight and awoke around 06:00-07:00, which was normally the amount of sleep he would get. She believed he was going to Glendale, Arizona, on the day of the accident, and he had indicated that he would be back to their house in Boise around 1630. The pilot's spouse and brother both indicated that there was nothing different in the pilot's life or big changes that had occurred prior to the accident; he appeared to be in excellent health and regularly exercised. A corporate pilot that flew the Micron Technology, Inc., jet regularly recalled that the pilot returned from Miami, Florida at 1205 the morning of the accident, which was the last time he saw the pilot. The exact time the pilot returned home is unknown. 


The Lancair IV-TP is an amateur-built experimental airplane constructed mainly of composite materials. The high-performance, pressurized airplane is equipped with four seats, retractable tricycle landing gear, and traditional flight control surfaces. The accident airplane received a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category for the purpose of being operated as an amateur-built aircraft in March 2007. The builder started construction of the aircraft in November 2004 and completed the aircraft in January 2007. The equipment on the airplane was not a standard Lancair installation for a IV-TP, rather, a firewall forward package provided by an outside supplier (not Lancair); Walter/General Eclectic M601E was the standard installation.

The airplane was equipped with a Diemech Turbines, Inc. M601D engine, serial number (s/n) 864030, and, according to the manufacturer, is rated at 724 shaft horse power (SHP). The Diemech M601D is a two-spool engine consisting of a gas generator which drives a power turbine which drives a reduction gearbox. The gas generator compressor is a mixed configuration consisting of two axial flow stages and one centrifugal stage. Inlet air enters the compressor section radially just forward of the accessory section and travels forward through the two axial stages and one centrifugal stage. The exiting compressor air enters an annular combustor arrangement for mixing with fuel for the combustion process. The expanded flow path gases are then directed to the gas generator turbine by the gas generator turbine nozzles. The remaining expanded flow path gases exiting the gas generator are then directed to the power turbine for the final power extraction before exiting the engine forward of the compressor inlet. 

The power turbine then drives the propeller system by means of the reduction gearbox. The accessory gearbox which is located on the aft end of the engine drives all engine accessories by a direct shaft coming from the compressor spool. Typical engine accessories are the main fuel pump, fuel control unit, starter / generator which are all on the rear gearbox and the propeller governor, which is driven by the reduction gearbox located at the front of the engine. 

The airplane was equipped with a constant-speed three-bladed Avia Propeller V508/E/84/B2 (s/n 120651110), that was manufactured in 1981; the blades were 84 inches in length. The propeller governor was a Jihostroj LUN7815.02-8 (s/n 853059), and the overspeed governor (limiter) was a Jihostroj 065-2600 (s/n 903-071). 

1.2.1 Maintenance Records

The airplane's maintenance records were obtained from the pilot's hangar, where they were located with maintenance-related documents/manuals for his other airplanes. In addition, information was obtained from the FAA and Jihostroj Aero Technology and Hydraulics, the manufacturer of the fuel control unit (FCU) installed on the airplane.

According to the records examined, the airplane, serial number 003, had accumulated a total time in service of about 375 hours when the pilot purchased it on December 31, 2011. The most recent condition inspection was recorded as completed on April 11, 2011, at a total time of 339.3 hours. During that inspection, it was noted that the airplane was modified with removable rudder pedals (co-pilot seat) and the outside air temperature (OAT) probe was relocated to the bottom of the right wing tip, where the winglet is affixed to the right wing. According to the logbooks, the most recent maintenance was performed on June 27, 2011, and consisted of an interior "refurbishment" which included these noted maintenance actions: the interior panels and seats being reupholstered in leather, replacement of the carpet, seatbelt re-webbed. 

A review of the airplane's documents further revealed that the Diemech Turbines, Inc. M601D engine was originally manufactured in 1986 as a Walter 601D and was installed on the airframe with a time in service of 2,950 hours; the last major overhaul occurred before the engine was installed on the accident airframe. The logbook indicated that on April 04, 2011, the engine was inspected in accordance with the Turbine Power Technology 300-hour scope sheet at a tachometer time of 339.3 hours. The Turbine Starter Limiting/Monitoring System (TSLM) recorded the engine total time (since being installed on the airframe) at the time of the accident as 387.5 hours, equating to 387 cycles. 

1.2.2 Configuration/Instrumentation

The engine's SHP at 100-percent Q was 724 SHP and at 112-percent it was 810 SHP. According to Lancair experts, during a normal takeoff rotation speed would be about 75 kts and would be flown about 90-percent Ng. Due to the fast acceleration, a reduced power setting ensures the pilot's ability to operate within limitations. The maximum value of Np was 2,080 rpm.

The engine controls were actuated by three levers located on the center panel of the cockpit. The left lever, the throttle, controlled the power at forward and reverse propeller thrust ratings. The middle lever controlled propeller speed and feathering. The right lever, the condition lever, actuated the fuel shut-off valve and, if the emergency circuit was on, it controlled engine power by metering the fuel flow. 

The airplane had fabricated winglets. The avionics package included an Aerosonic Op Technologies EFIS that was tied to the PFD and MFD and a backup Dynon EFIS. The Op Technologies system enabled the pilot to have visible on the PFD all basic flight instrumentation, a navigation display, and engine instrumentation. Upon application of power, the system would automatically display the airspeed, attitude, altitude, and vertical speed indicators on the upper portion of the screen. 

1.2.3 Fuel System

The airplane's fuel system was non-standard for a Lancair IV-TP installation. It was equipped with long range fuel tanks that increased the capacity of the fuel system to 175 gallons and consisted of four fuel tanks: left wing (58 gallons), right wing (58 gallons), aft auxiliary (24 gallons) and the belly (30 gallons). The amount of unusable fuel was 5 gallons. The fuel system included three low-pressure electric fuel pumps, all of which could be activated by the pilot: one main pump and two transfer pumps (rated at 40 to 50 gph and 28-psi). 

The aft tank, located behind the pilot's seat, was routed through a transfer pump and check valve to the left wing tank; the fuel was added to this tank via a filler cap on the top of the tank accessed through the baggage door. The left tank fuel pickup was located at the lower wing root and routed to the fuel selector. The belly tank was routed through a transfer pump to the right wing tank. The right tank fuel pickup was located at the lower wing root and routed to the fuel selector. 

From the fuel selector, the fuel flow continued via the main electric fuel pump to the pressure header tank. The pressure header tank was comprised of a 1 gallon stainless- steel cylinder with a 10 micron filter affixed to the bottom. The pressure header tank was designed for the fuel to be fed from the electric fuel pump into its main housing and when the fuel pressure was adequate, the fuel would be forced through a 10 micron filter attached to the bottom and continue up through the enclosed center core of the tank. From the tank, the fuel continued by the fuel pressure sensor and then the fuel flow sensor to the fuel control unit (FCU), meaning the pressure and flow displayed on the instrument panel were based on what the pressure header tank was supplying to the FCU. At the top of the header tank was a check valve that ported excess fuel back to the fuel selector, which would then route that fuel to the wing tank that was selected. The fuel selector in turn, had two return lines, one connected to each wing tank. 

1.2.4 Prior Issues

The pilot had emailed the airplane's prior owner on January 12, 2012, stating that he had noticed that fuel from the aft fuel tank was feeding slowly to the left wing tank even when the aft fuel pump was not on, which he assumed was due to the fuel valve not closing completely. The pilot additionally stated that it was "not a big deal," but that it had happened on "both flights" he took. On January 18, the pilot emailed the prior owner again stating that the left fuel tank would constantly weep, and fuel would run down the bottom of the wing to the root and drip under the fuselage (near the wheel well). He additionally noted a strong odor of jet fuel from behind the co-pilot seat and queried the prior owner as to his thoughts if the fuel was coming from the aft fuel tank as it feeds to the left fuel tank. 

The previous owner responded by stating that he had only experienced the left fuel tank leaking when it was near full fuel. He noted that as for the odor, he was not aware of any reason for the smell of fuel in aft cabin. According to a Lancair IV-TP expert, when full fuel is added to the wings and the air temperature rises, the fuel will trickle through the vents. The fuel will then follow the wing shape and flow down to the wing root, where there is a fuel odor in the cockpit.

A corporate pilot employed at Micron recalled flying the accident airplane with the pilot on two occasions; he had not flown a Lancair IV-TP before and the purpose of the flights was for him to try flying it. On the first flight the corporate pilot was positioned in the right seat, and they traded off flying while performing a series of touch-and-go practice takeoffs and landings in the Boise traffic pattern. The second flight was later in January, and they flew roundtrip from Boise to Sandpoint. He recalled that while on the ground in Sandpoint, they had folded the left seat back in an effort to store luggage in the rear. In manipulating the seat position, the teeth became misaligned; they were unable to return the seat's position back to upright; and it remained wedged in a reclined 45-50 degree angle. The pilot originally wanted the corporate pilot to fly the return leg, but he could not operate the airplane with the seat that far reclined so the pilot flew back to Boise from the right seat. 

From reviewing the pilot's email communications and interviewing his friends and family, it appeared that he was satisfied with the airplane in general.

1.2.5 EFIS Data

The airplane's past EFIS flight data was retrieved in an effort to ascertain the parameter values during the last approximate ten flights. A review of those flights (excluding the accident flight) revealed that during takeoff the following was common:

-Q: the maximum torque attained during the takeoff climb was usually between 80 to 95 percent. 
-Pitch: the average maximum pitch was 13-degrees nose-up, with the highest being 18-degrees nose-up.
-Fuel Flow: the fuel flow values varied between 50 to 65gph, with the majority between 50 and 60 gph.
-Fuel Pressure: the fuel pressure values during takeoff varied between 27 to 35 psi, with a majority between 28 to 30 psi. At no time was the fuel pressure recorded as dipping below 25 psi with the exception of one ground run where it momentarily dropped to 0 in conjunction with other parameters not being recorded consistent with the pilot manipulating an electrical power source. 
-ITT: the ITT values during takeoff were between 500 to 600 degrees C (According to a Lancair expert, this would normally be between 650-720 degrees C).
-Np: the Np values reached a maximum between 2,000 and 2,080 rpm. 

A review of the EFIS flight data additionally disclosed that on January 28, 2012, the last flight prior to the accident flight, the airplane performed a rejected takeoff in Boise. During that flight, the airplane reached a maximum airspeed of 46 kts and likely did not become airborne. The fuel flow during the first 5 seconds dropped from 42 to 18 gph (idle), with the fuel pressure remaining consistent around 30 to 32 psi. Additionally, Np decreased from about 1,970 to 1,245 rpm; Q decreased from 52 to 12 percent; and ITT dropped from 505 to 380 degrees C. The airplane landed and taxied back to the runway, departing again about 2.5 minutes later on an uneventful flight where the pilot performed touch-and-go takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern. 

1.2.6 Fuel Pressure and Fuel Flow

Based on the airplane's records, it is believed that the airplane was equipped with a fuel supply monitoring system (FSM), although the unit was not identified/recovered in the wreckage likely due to the extensive fire damage. The fuel pressure warning was set to be activated at 6 psi. The airplane plans show that it was to be equipped with three fuel flow sensors, each positioned between one of the three fuel pumps and the header tank, although it is not know where in actuality they were located on the airplane. The system was designed to give the pilot a warning indication of a low fuel flow. The low-fuel pressure transducer was fitted to the main fuel pump supplying to the header tank, which was where the low level warning indicator senor was fitted. Given that, during the accident flight, the recorded flows and pressures did not drop below the set parameters, it is not likely the pilot received any such warning. 

1.2.7 Fuel Quantity

Local fixed based operator (FBO) personnel fueled the airplane several minutes before engine start on the day of the accident at the pilot's request. A sample of fuel from the truck used to refuel the airplane was obtained, and the refueling technician was interviewed. The EFIS recorded data indicated that both tanks contained 58 gallons of fuel at the start of the initial takeoff attempt, and just prior to the accident (the second takeoff attempt), the right tank contained 54 gallons and the left contained 58 gallons. According to the refueling technician, the pilot had requested that the airplane be refueled to capacity, and the records indicated he purchased 102 gallons of Jet A. The technician recalled filling the wing tanks first, followed by the belly tank and then the aft tank. 

1.2.8 Emergency Circuit

The engine was designed with an emergency circuit for engine control if the FCU becomes faulty, and the pilot is unable to control Q with the throttle. The emergency circuit becomes effective by the pilot turning-on the isolating valve (ISOL) switch in the cockpit. To use the emergency circuit, the power should be reduced to idle (via the throttle lever) and the condition lever (right lever) placed in the idle position (normal fuel-on mid-position and labeled). The ISOL switch can then be selected on, and thenceforth the condition lever can be used as a throttle.

Diemech's Operations Manual states that "if a reduction in torque and an increasing ITT occurs, the probable cause would be mechanical" and that "the ISOL will not work and we suggest you land the plane soon." It further states that "if a reduction in torque, N1, and/or ITT occurs and adding of power does not make a change, there is a probable problem with the FCU…," and the pilot should "reduce power to idle (throttle) and make sure the condition lever is in the indent position +/- 1/3 forward." It states that thereafter, the pilot can "select [the] ISOL valve and use condition lever as throttle.

Several Lancair IV-TP owners with many hours of flight experience in the airplane stated that the process of engaging the emergency circuit takes several seconds, and there would likely be insufficient time to activate the ISOL switch and reapply power to the engine if under 500 feet agl. This time limitation is based on the pilot awareness and reaction time, rather than a mechanical limitation. 

1.2.9 Weight and Balance 

NTSB investigators estimated the airplane's gross take-off weight (GTOW) and center of gravity. The estimate assumed that the airplane had 112 gallons of Jet A fuel distributed in the wing tanks, and that the belly and aft tanks were full. The GTOW was estimated to be 3,837 pounds, with a center of gravity at 90.13 inches aft of datum. The weight and balance record in the airplane indicated that the maximum allowable takeoff gross weight was 4,300 pounds, and the allowable CG range was from 86.5 to 94.5 inches aft of datum). A sheet detailing the weight and balance computations is appended to this report.

The Lancair-recommended maximum GTOW for a Lancair IV-TP with the turboprop engine and winglets was 3,550 pounds. FAA regulations governing amateur-built aircraft identify the builder as the manufacturer of that individual aircraft and, as such, the builder is allowed to set the weight limits, including maximum GTOW, at any desired value.

Because each aircraft is unique in its construction, the builder must determine the stall speeds for that particular aircraft. Documents relating to the stall speeds specific for the occurrence aircraft were not found during the investigation. 

1.2.10 Performance Study

The performance parameters used were based on the recorded EFIS data, and on computer simulations in which the airplane's flight controls were manipulated so as to approximately match the flight path of the airplane recorded in the EFIS Global Positioning System (GPS) data. The simulations used a simple model of the Lancair IV-TP (flaps in the retracted position), a weight of 3,807 lbs (the estimated GTOW less the recorded fuel flow during the flight), and the weather conditions recorded at the time of the accident. The engine power in the simulation was based on recorded propeller speed (Np) and engine torque (Q) data. The complete simulation report is in the contained in the public docket for this accident.

The Lancair IV is an experimental aircraft constructed by individuals from "kits" provided by the designer, Lancair International, Inc. Lancair was not able to provide any usable aerodynamic or performance data with which to construct a simulator model; consequently, the simulator model used in the performance study was based on theoretical aerodynamic relationships grounded in classical aerodynamics and the airplane's geometry; a report of flight tests of another Lancair IV-TP; estimated stall speeds provided to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB); estimates of angle of attack, lift, and drag based on the recorded PFD/EFIS data from the accident flight of N66HL ( NTSB accident # WPR12FA180); and comparisons with other aircraft. 

The objectives of the simulation were to:
-obtain a "match" of the recorded EFIS GPS positions using the recorded pitch and roll information and engine power.
-verify the self-consistency of the recorded data by comparing the EFIS data to self-consistent simulation data.
-provide estimates of performance parameters that were not recorded on the EFIS.
-quantify the lift coefficient (CL) required to fly the final maneuver recorded by the EFIS and determine its proximity to CLmax (the value of CL at stall). 

Two simulations were conducted, one used a nominal model of propeller efficiency (n) throughout the takeoff, and the second introduced a sudden, artificial drop in n at 0855:43 in an effort to better match the airspeed decay recorded on the EFIS. In both simulations, the CLmax of 1.3 was reached before the end of the EFIS data, consistent with the airplane's maneuvers resulting in a stall. 

The 100% values of shaft horsepower (724 SHP) and Np (2080 rpm) result in a 100% value of torque (Q) of 1,828.1 foot-pounds. Consequently, the actual Q (in ft*lbs) on the propeller shaft could be computed from the percent Q recorded by the EFIS by multiplying by (1,828.1/100). The thrust delivered by the propeller was computed from the computed SHP, the true airspeed, and a model of n. The simulation SHP was limited to the maximum nominal SHP of the engine (724 SHP), even though the NP and Q recorded on the EFIS indicated higher power levels early in the takeoff. The fidelity of the simulations could be improved by allowing the engine to achieve these higher power levels, though the conclusions would not be materially affected.

The EFIS data matched the simulator scenario that included the sudden drop in n at 0855:43 (that reduced the simulation thrust) better than the scenario that did not include a drop in n. The n drop was merely a means for reducing the simulation thrust while preserving the engine power implied by Q and Np values recorded in the EFIS data. It is unknown whether the required drop in thrust indicated a modeling error in the simulation (e.g., an unaccounted-for dependency of the airplane's drag on the power level, etc.), an actual malfunction in the propeller or other part of the propulsion system, or some other phenomenon. 

The n-drop simulation was able to follow the EFIS flight track fairly well (until about 08:56:00, when the EFIS recorded a large drop to a pitch angle to -6.7-degrees, which the simulation did not duplicate). The results of the simulation could be used to determine additional information about the flight, such as angle of attack and CL values required to fly the EFIS track. The nominal simulation (without the n-drop), in contrast, started to deviate from the recorded EFIS speed and position data shortly after the pilot's "turn back in" request. These results indicate that the n-drop simulation represented the actual aircraft better than the nominal simulation. The n-drop simulation indicated that the airplane reached the flaps-up CLmax of 1.3 at about 0856:00. 

1.2.11 TSLM

The airplane was equipped with a VR Avionics Turbine Starter Limiting/Monitoring System (TSLM). It was designed to act as a start sequence controller, an engine protection limiter, and an engine monitor/recorder. The unit was capable of in-flight power limiting and utilized an analog controller to activate the Electro-Hydraulic Transducer (EHT) valve, which was a component of the electrohydraulic transducer on the FCU. The EHT valve was used to limit the power generated by the engine by restricting the fuel flow. 

The electrohydraulic transducer controlled pressure in the compartment of the main metering needle in the FCU and thus the needle's position. Therefore, the fuel supply is dependent on the control signal from the integrated electronic limiter unit. It is designed as an independent subassembly mounted on the FCU body. 

Although not identified in the wreckage (due to the post accident fire damage), the airplane should have been equipped with a limiter -disabling toggle switch in the cockpit enabling the pilot to select the limiting function off. 

The TSLM's main display in the cockpit (designed to fit in a standard 2.25 inch hole) showed the following 6 parameters in real-time: ITT, N1 (compressor speed), Np, Q, oil pressure and voltage. Each value was given in both numeric decimal and a bar-graph form; if a parameter was exceeded, and therefore subject to being limited, the value would flash. Following a flight, the data could be extracted and read out on the manufacturer's computer program, TSLM Link., which was the method in which the unit's data was recovered after the accident.

The TSLM's exceedances on the accident unit were set with the following parameters:
Full limiting ITT= 715 degrees
Beta limiting Np= 1900 rpm
Full limiting Compressor rpm (N1)= 101.5 percent
Full limiting Np= 2080 rpm
Full limiting Q = 104 percent
Enable Full (in-flight) limiting= No
Enable beta prop limiting= Yes

The recorded data showed the number of times each of the following exceedances were reached since the engine was overhauled and installed on the airplane:
ITT reached Max ITT= 32
ITT exceeded 800 degrees= 3
Max N1= 1
Max Np= 58
Max Q = 96

According to the manufacturer of the TSLM, exceedance graphs are triggered (recording starts) when one or more of the 6 parameters goes one digit above the set max limit, and recording stops after all 6 parameters have dropped to their max limit or below it for at least 5 seconds. It is thus possible to get multiple parameters exceeding at the same time and end up with only one graph. The ITT exceedance is further monitored at two levels (upper and lower). If an exceeding parameter should dip below its max limit and within 5 seconds go above it again, it would result in another exceedance event/entry grouped with the same graph.

For example, oil pressure on the TSLM is measured to the nearest 1 psi. Thus, with the max limit set at 39 psi, a recording is triggered when oil pressure measures 40 psi or more. Parameters are tested at 100 per second (every 10ms), but recorded at 10 samples per second. Thus within 100ms from reaching 40 psi or more, graph capturing starts. The recording graph stops after oil pressure stays at 39 psi or below for 5 seconds (if no other parameter exceeds during this time).

The system on the airplane was set up so that limiting could only occur while the airplane was on the ground (determined by a squat switch), and/or, the Np limiting could only occur with the propeller in beta. An Np exceedance would only be visible in the cockpit if beta was activated, otherwise it would just show in the recording. If the limiter is limiting, the pilot would see the TSLM light illuminate followed by a reduction of power (the pilot is able to advance the throttle and override the reduction in power). 

For the unit to register the propeller in beta, the pilot would have to manipulate the propeller lever back past the flight-idle gate into beta phase, which would ground a microswitch and display beta mode by illuminating a light on the panel. If the microswitch grounded due to a malfunction in the switches system, the TSLM would perform as if the airplane was in beta and limit Q by restricting fuel. There was no recording/capturing on the TSLM specifically for beta mode or EHT activation unless it occurs while an exceedance recording (abnormal event) is in progress.

Upper ITT exceedances are defaulted to record if the engine reaches in excess of 800 degrees C, and lower ITT exceedances are defaulted to record if the engine reaches in excess of 735 degrees C. A lower exceedance requires borescope inspection, and an upper exceedance requires a teardown inspection. The N1 exceedances were set at 100 percent, and the purpose was to protect the turbine rotors from stretching to the point of serious damage by contacting the engine casing as well as protecting all rotors from encountering catastrophic vibration modes.

The TSLM would show EHT activation via a graph line named "EHT+" (green) that would display TSLM input to indicate a current was flowing in the return wire; the other "EHT" line (blue) would display the output controlled by the TSLM.

1.2.12 TSLM Data

A review was conducted of the airplane's recorded data on the manufacturer's TSLM Link program, which captures the exceedances although the values of the parameters that caused the exceedances are not available (only a graph). The last start before the accident flight was recorded as occurring at 386:37:00, which refers to the total hours, minutes, and seconds that the engine had operated since it was installed on the airplane. At the time of the start of the accident flight, the engine had accumulated 387:13:00 hours. The exceedance summary showed that the engine encountered an Np exceedance at 386:49:27 which continued for about 5 seconds. An oil pressure exceedance occurred at 386:52:00 and continued for about 5 seconds. The last recorded exceedance for that flight was an N1 exceedance, which was the only N1 exceedance ever recorded for the engine. It occurred at 386:57:34 and was recorded as occurring for 5 seconds although the graph showed that N1 was between 77 to 79 percent (with the maximum limit set at 101.5 percent). It is unknown if the exceedances occurred in flight or on the ground. The manufacturer did not know what could cause the trigger of this exceedance graph without the engine reaching that exceedance, although a representative stated that in the field he had seen such exceedance graph histories with erroneous charting (i.e., the exceedance was real, but the data plotted in the chart was erroneous).

The flight on the day of the accident had a start recorded at 387:13:00 and the graph looked similar to the previous start graph. The TSLM recorded six exceedances between this startup and the end of its data, although it was not possible to accurately match the with the EFIS data. The first exceedance was an Np exceedance and recorded as occurring at 387:29:40, equating to 16 minutes and 40 seconds after start and captured 5.5 seconds. The graph displayed that N1 stayed between 92 and 95 percent and ITT oscillated from about 580 to 600 degrees C. Np appeared to peak just above 2,080 RPM (the maximum limit) and level out at 2,000 RPM; the EFIS data showed that about 16 minutes and 40 seconds after the flight the Np was transitioning from 1,114 to 1,774. There were 5 exceedances that occurred thereafter, all of which were ITT exceedances that were recorded as occurring at 387:30:00. The first exceedance was an ITT lower exceedance, the second was an ITT upper exceedance, followed by a lower exceedance with the remaining two being upper exceedances. Of these recorded exceedances, only two graphs were produced, one of which was 24.90 seconds and the other was 22.80 seconds. The longer duration graph showed very little fluctuation in values, and ITT was recorded as being around 950 degrees C. 

The shorter graph showed a rise in ITT from about 470 degrees C up to about 875 degrees C within 0.25 seconds and continued to rise to the same 950 degree C valuation of the longer graph. Additionally, the green EHT+ line indicated that current was flowing to the wire for the first 0.25 seconds that the graph was displaying the recorded parameters.

1.2.13 Handling

The technician that refueled the airplane before the flight stated that while he was rolling up the fuel hose, he conversed with the pilot about the airplane's flight characteristics. He queried the pilot as to what he liked about the airplane, and the pilot responded that the speed capability reached about 300 to 310 kts with a range of about 1,000 to 1,200 miles. When asked what he disliked about the airplane, the pilot noted that it was "squirrelly." 

The Micron corporate pilot that had flown with the pilot in the accident airplane stated that he had frequently flown for the pilot in a professional capacity. He had known the pilot about 14 years, but only flew with him for about 15 to 20 hours. Most of that time was the corporate pilot getting checked out to fly one of the pilot's airplanes. 

The corporate pilot further stated that the accident airplane was the most responsive airplane he had ever flown. He described the airplane as characteristically having an abundant amount of power and that the controls needed very little pressure/manipulation to maneuver the airplane. He recalled that any pitch movements or power changes needed to immediately be compensated with rudder adjustments due to the drastic change in yaw. He remembered that the pilot wanted to add strakes or a fin on the airplane to help with the controllability. He further stated that the pilot was unfamiliar with the panel, which made the airplane even more challenging. 

According to a Lancair IV-TP expert with many hours of flight experience in various models/configurations of the airplane, the governor was originally designed for blade lengths between 99 to 106 inches. Due to the accident airplane's shorter propeller blade length of 84 inches, the pilot could easily encounter an overspeed condition. Therefore when accelerating for takeoff, it was crucial for the pilot not to advance the engine power too quickly, so as to allow the governor enough time to make the required propeller pitch changes without over speeding the propeller. 

The expert additionally stated that around the time of the accident, he tested a new propeller governor for an Avia Propeller (not the same governor as the accident airplane). On the first flight, the propeller's beta light illuminated during takeoff (even though it was not in beta), and the engine was limited when the propeller exceeded 1,900 RPM. He quickly realized that the engine was being limited and reduced Np via the propeller lever. He remarked that during this event, the airplane was almost not flyable due to the amount of rudder pedal input needed during the frequent changes in power resulting from the limiter's effect on the engine. 

A former Lancair engineer and general manager was interviewed with regards to the Lancair IV-TP handling characteristics; the complete interview is contained in the public docket for this accident. He stated in the circumstance of a sudden power reduction in the Lancair IV-TP, the airspeed will rapidly decay, and the pilot must push the nose down to maintain flying speed. He noted that following a loss of power, the nose would remain in a nose-up attitude, and unless the pilot made corrective pitch inputs (reducing the angle of attack) within about 4 to 5 seconds, the airplane would become unrecoverable. He added that the airplane would rapidly reach a critical angle of attack and stall while simultaneously rapidly dropping a wing (the wing that would drop would depend on the particular airplane and how it was constructed). If the airplane stalled in such manner at traffic pattern altitude, there would be no possibility of a pilot recovering. According to the former employee, the departure from controlled flight and the abrupt wing drop are the characteristics that would make the situation unrecoverable. 

The former employee added that in the scenario of a sudden power reduction during takeoff due to FCU malfunction, there would be no time for the pilot to adjust the propeller to coarse pitch, use the ISOL valve, and then use the condition lever as the throttle control. If the pilot does not immediately pitch the nose in a 4 to 5 second timeframe, the airplane will stall. By the time the pilot identifies that there is an engine problem and configures the levers accordingly, there would be no time to recover the airplane. He advises that pilots use a go/no-go decision altitude of 1,500 ft agl, where, regardless of the situation, they will land straight ahead in the event of an engine failure if under that altitude. He clarified that if the engine torque reduces to idle during takeoff, there is no possibility of turning back to the runway until at least 1,500 ft agl. This is because of the airplane's heavy wing loading, and its glide ratio of about 7:1 at a fine propeller pitch and 18:1 at full feather (where the best glide speed is about 120 kts indicated).

The former employee opined that the accident airplane's stall speed (in the accident configuration) would likely have been in excess of 80 kts indicated. He estimated that the airplane's approach speed would have been about 110-120 kts indicated. 

The former employee further stated that a pilot cannot use full engine power during takeoff on the ground, because the IV-TP was not designed for such a high-horsepower engine and does not have enough rudder authority to compensate for the p-factor at full power, and will consequently depart off the left side of the runway. He noted that having fuel in the baggage area (the aft fuel tank) greatly affects the airplane's center of gravity, and the airplane will be extremely sensitive in pitch. 

According to a Lancair IV-TP expert, he had performed a variety of tests in the airplane which included stalling in a variety of scenarios, configurations, altitudes and power settings. He stalled the airplane from 31,000 to 15,000 feet incrementally with 1-4 G's of loading. After hundreds of stalls and over 1,500 hours testing in the Lancair IV-TP he offered the following remarks. 

He stated that the airplane will stall and the nose will drop about 15-degrees and with symmetrical wings, will remain straight ahead. A wing can drop left or right depending on slight induced yaw. For the straight ahead stall and subsequent recovery it is critical to keep the ball centered or the wing will drop. It is very sensitive to a ball slightly out of center. During recovery it is very responsive to lowering the nose and reducing the angle attack above all else. The recovery is immediate with a reduction in angle of attack. Never is power applied until 20 percent above the indicated stall speed. If power is on during the stall entry he will reduce to idle immediately upon stall onset.


A routine aviation weather report (METAR) for Boise was issued at 0853. It stated: skies clear; visibility 10 statute miles; wind from 110-degrees at 5 knots; temperature 28 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 19 degrees Fahrenheit; and altimeter 30.14 inHg. 


The wreckage was located at an estimated 43 degrees 33 minutes 45 seconds north latitude and 116 degrees 12 minutes 57 seconds west longitude, and at an elevation of about 2,860 feet msl. The accident site was in the grassy median just north of a paved service road that runs between parallel runways 10L-28R and 10R-28L and between taxiways D and C. The wreckage was about 1.25 nm from the beginning of runway 10R and about 0.4 nm from the end of the runway. 

Past the end of the runway, there lies about 0.8 nm of flat, unpopulated hard- dirt surface. Beyond that lies a sand-gravel pit and several buildings, with flat terrain between. To the north (left) of the runway heading, the interstate was oriented northwest-southwest and crossed the extended runway centerline about 2 nm from the end of the runway. On a bearing of about 175-degrees and 1 nm away was a 1 nm- long closed runway; flat terrain extended in that direction for 3 nm. 

The first identified point of impact consisted of a crater in the soft terrain where a propeller blade was imbedded; small pieces of airframe and debris surrounded the disrupted dirt. Numerous portions of the airframe were located in the debris field leading from the initial impact to the main wreckage, the largest of which was a majority of the right wing. The main wreckage was located in an upright position about 80 ft from the initial impact point on a magnetic heading of 046 degrees. The main wreckage had sustained thermal damage and consisted of the engine, inboard portion of the left wing, and fuselage (from firewall to aft baggage area).

Pictures and diagrams of the wreckage location and surrounding terrain are contained in the public docket for this accident.


The Ada County Coroner's Office, Boise, Idaho, completed an autopsy on the pilot. The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team at the Civil Aviation Medical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicological testing of specimens collected during the autopsy. The results of the testing were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and listed drugs.


The complete examination reports are contained in the public docket for this accident. 

1.6.1 Airframe Examination

The cowling was separated at the firewall and showed no evidence of fire damage. The top section remained intact, and both sides were affixed to portions of the bottom section. The lower area of the bottom section was not present although numerous sections of skin (around 1 foot by 1 foot) were identified as being part of that section due to distinguishing features (e.g., vent slots, intake curvature, etc.). The inside skin contained a loose dirt covering in areas, but there was no oil, soot, or discoloration noted. 

The firewall and engine mounting brackets had sustained crush damage and were thermally deformed. The nose wheel over-center links were crushed forward and upward toward the engine (hyper-extended), consistent with the landing gear being down during the accident sequence since the gear was crushed in the opposite direction of the normal aft retraction movement.

The cockpit area had sustained severe thermal damage. The avionics were charred, with wire bundles exposed and partially melted. The front seat frames were partially attached to the wing spar and the floor section was mostly consumed by fire. The throttle lever was in the idle position with the gate locked. The propeller lever was full forward. The condition lever was in the full forward position. 

There was no evidence of pre impact mechanical malfunction or failure with the flight control systems.

The electric fuel pumps were consumed by fire. The pressure header tank remained attached to the engine mount structure. After removal, pressurized air was forced through the center tube while blocking the outlet tubing, and no leaks were detected. The header tank was then cut open to reveal the welded tube in the center; there was no evidence of any anomalies. The screen on the return line was clean.

1.6.2 Engine Examination

A complete teardown inspection was performed on the engine. An external examination revealed that the blow-off valve was in a fully open position, which was an indication that the turbine was below 75 percent N1. The FCU first and second stage elements had sustained impact damage precluding investigators from observing if air was in the system. 

The mechanical fuel pump was removed and disassembled revealing that its shaft was intact and bent from impact. The pump's supply line was severed, and the screen filter on the pump contained small dirt particles which were consistent in appearance with fire retardant entering the pump following the initial impact. There was no evidence of excessive wear or pre impact damage. 

A borescope inspection of the fuel slinger, inner combustion chamber, outer combustion chamber, compressor turbine nozzle, compressor turbine and power turbine revealed no evidence of catastrophic malfunction or failure. The borescope inspection of the first stage compressor revealed that it contained a layer of soot consistent with post -accident fire. The compressor could not be turned due to the impact damage of the case which lead to the blades making contact with the stators. No evidence of failure or blade damage was found. 

The main oil filter was removed and found free of debris. Removal of the 205 bearing filter revealed several small carbon particles that, according to a Lancair expert, were a sign of normal operation. There was no metal found in the oil filters. The front magnetic chip detector contained a fine metal sludge, which according to a Lancair expert was also normal for this detector. The rear chip detector contained one fine metal splinter, and the filter was clean. Both screen filters from the front gearbox were removed and contained no metal particles.

Visual inspection of the propeller revealed that the feathering fly weights were forward in the fine pitch position. The spinner had sustained aft crush damage and was wedged against the fly weights. Two blades remained secured in their hubs, and the third blade had broken free and was found in the initial impact point at the beginning of the debris field. The beta block on the propeller governor was attached and not damaged. The propeller governor linkage position was in the full fine pitch position (take off position). 

Disassembly of the engine revealed that the power turbine guide vane was intact, and there did not appear to be contact with the power turbine blades. The nozzle guide vane shroud showed light non-rotational rub marks on the surrounding case, consistent with case ride; there was no curling or indication of rub of the blade tip knife seals from the power turbine blades. 

The number two bearing, bearing housing, and rear shaft were intact and showed a dark coloration, which experts stated was consistent with normal operation. Further disassembly revealed that the compressor turbine (also referred to as the gas generator turbine) blades were intact. There were no rub marks on the shroud that surrounded the blades.

The compressor turbine guide vanes leading edges, concave surfaces and inner band all were clean of debris or metal splatter. The compressor turbine guide vane was intact. The inner combustion chamber liner shell was an orangish coloration which experts state was similar in color to when it is manufactured (from ceramic coating); its bracket was similar in color, in indication that it did not come into contact with the slinger ring (attached to the compressor shaft).

The accessory gearbox was removed. The aft face of the inlet air housing was intact and the vanes contained a film of dirt/debris. The first stage compressor blades were intact. The second stage compressor blades showed evidence of light rub with the slight curling of several blades at the trailing edge tips in the opposite direction of rotation (clockwise). The number one bearing was clean and intact; its outer race showed signatures no real rotational signatures. The impeller vanes were intact with no evidence of rub and were black in coloration. There were no obvious rub marks on the respective stators and casing.

The examination revealed no evidence of pre impact mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

1.6.3 Fuel Control Unit

The FCU was removed, and the input shaft appeared to be intact. The shaft could be rotated by hand and there was no binding. The condition lever and power lever on the FCU were bent and their positions at the time of impact could not be determined. The power linkage position of the beta and reverse thrust slide indicated that the throttle was about 1/3 forward into the power position, which according to a Lancair expert, would be about 15 degrees on the FCU indicator and around 70 percent N1. A complete teardown inspection of the FCU was conducted and the complete examination report is contained in the public docket for this accident. 

The cap to the governor cavity was removed, and the spring and flapper valve were noted to be a red/brown coloration, indicative of corrosion. The speeder spring was removed, and the fly weights appeared to be closed inward, which is the position at rest and also consistent of an under-speed condition. The entire accessory gear box spline shaft was removed, revealing that the balls were corroded and frozen in place. Examination of the gear teeth and shaft revealed no evidence of wear or failure. The area between the flapper valve and the delta p diaphragm was clean; the rubber was pliable. The main metering valve was removed with no anomalies noted.

The accelerator cavity contained a liquid consistent in odor and appearance to that of jet fuel. The altitude compensation cavity contained trace amounts of red/brown coloration, consistent with corrosion. The fuel screen (last chance filter) from the overflow fuel valve to the altitude compensation cavity was clean and free of debris. The teeter valve located between the screen and the bellows was a red/brown coloration. The electro-hydro transducer was removed with no anomalies noted. 

The emergency throttle lever (engine shutoff) was removed, and the spline teeth were geared on the emergency throttle valve. The emergency metering valve pressure regulator was in the closed position and took force to remove (normally a loose fit). There was a hard black substance on the piston that was located near the center. The emergency solenoid was removed and found in the non-activated position (which is the at rest position when no electricity is applied to the circuit). 

The FCU had red/brown coloration in numerous areas, consistent with numerous areas being corroded. A fuel sample from the main metering valve orifice was tested, in an effort to detect if any water was present in the sample; no water was present, which is consistent with exposure to fire retardant following the initial impact.

The main metering valve had areas of corrosion that aligned with it being in the closed position, which correlated with ground idle. The emergency control lever and corresponding valve were in the open position (over the 40-degree detent). The lack of corrosion in the acceleration cavity was consistent with no increase in power (or necessity for the acceleration circuit when the FCU was functioning). The areas with the most pervasive areas of corrosion were the governor and the main metering valve cavity, which were interconnected via a large orifice and the corrosion signatures were consistent with fire suppression fluid entering the FCU after impact. 

Numerous parts could not be examined due to the condition of the unit (corroded) precluding their removal. The examination revealed no evidence of pre impact mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.


1.7.0 Lancair

Lancair International, Inc. is based in Redmond, Oregon and founded in 1984. The Lancair fleet includes a wide range of aircraft from early 235, 320 and 360 two-seat models to the two-seat Lancair Legacy, fixed-gear Lancair ES, the IV, the pressurized IV-P, the turbine IV-TP, and the latest model, the Evolution. Over 2,000 Lancair kits have been sold in more than 34 countries.

The Lancair IV was a progression from the Lancair 235 and the 320. The kit manufacturer wanted to build a four-place retractable landing-gear airplane that had competitive performance to that of certified aircraft. According to Lancair, the IV is essentially a scaled-up version of the 320 with a 30-ft. wingspan and a turbo-charged 350-hp reciprocating engine equipped with a three-blade constant-speed propeller. Since its introduction in 1990, the Lancair IV has broken numerous speed and altitude records for its class type and at altitude has reached sustained speeds in excess of 340 mph (with no tailwind). The entire airframe is constructed of vacuum-formed, oven-cured, prepreg carbon fiber. The company estimates a build time of approximately 2,500 hours. 

The former Lancair engineer stated that he worked for the company from March 2002 to April 2009 as a General and Engineering manager, with his last project consisting of helping in the design of the Evolution. He stated that the Lancair IV was originally designed for a reciprocating Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) engine (a turbocharged and non-turbo charged model) with a gross weight of about 3,200 pounds (with an empty weight of 1,800-1,900 pounds). Thereafter, with the desire to increase performance, Lancair designed the airplane to be fitted with a TCM turbocharged and modified and pressurized the airframe, resulting in the Lancair IV-P. The addition of the structural enhancements to the wing increased the gross weight to about 3,550 lbs.

In 2001, Lancair selected the Walter/General Electric 601E as the test trial turboprop engine to design/retrofit the airframe for higher performance. As part of this design modification, the airframe structure underwent several significant changes including: the nose became about 13 inches longer (more with the inclusion of the propeller and spinner), and the fuel tank located in the belly increased from 9.5 gals to 35 gals. With the heavier airframe structure and engine/equipment, the gross weight increased.

The engineer further stated that other aerodynamic changes occurred during this modification. Specifically, with the increase of nose length, the airplane's pitch and yaw axes were destabilized, and with the larger diameter propeller (that had greater inertia), the three axes were destabilized further. In effect, these changes resulted in the nose section becoming a destabilizing "flying nose," that, in response to an increase in pitch, would produce lift, generating an additional nose-up pitching moment. With the airplane's increased empty weight, the wing loading increased dramatically, which he estimated at upward of 40-45 pounds per square foot. With the laminar flow wing design of the airplane and the already-existing aggressive stall characteristics, the stall characteristics were aggravated further which makes the Lancair IV-TP a challenging airplane to fly, which without adequate training, makes it a dangerous airplane because it was not designed for such a high horsepower engine. 

1.7.1 Lancair Fleet and Accident Rate

The following breakdown was provided by the Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO) and gives the best estimate of the accident rate for the Lancair fleet (see figure 03 in the public docket for the graph): 

Lancair Model : Flying, Accidents, %Accidents, Fatal, %Fatal Accidents
Lancair 200/235 103 32 31% 16 50%
Lancair 320/360 301 76 25% 28 37%
Lancair ES 96 4 4% 3 75%
Lancair IV/IV-P 240 51 21% 27 53%
Lancair IV-TP 57 15 26% 11 73%
Legacy 121 27 22% 14 52%
Lancair Evolution 50 2 1% 0 0 
Totals 922 207 22% 99 9%

The figure shows that at the time of this report, of the 57 Lancair IV-TPs that were registered (and presumably flying), there is an accident rate of 26-percent and a fatal accident rate of 19-percent. 

1.7.2 FAA and Lancair

The FAA convened two safety groups specifically to address the Lancair's "unusually high accident and fatality rate compared to other amateur-built aircraft." The purpose of each group was to "bring the issue to attention of the FAA so appropriate action may be taken." These internal FAA groups were initiated by the Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention (AVP)-100 and were conducted over the course of a six-month period in both 2008 and 2012-2013. The end conclusion of the studies determined that the FAA has the ability and, given the safety findings that surfaced over the studies, "the responsibility to expose its findings and take the appropriate safety enhancement actions it believes would reduce the likelihood of certain Lancair accidents."

According to copies of the notes from the studies, there were internal FAA concerns that any agency requirement imposed upon Lancair would be analogous to the FAA becoming involved in experimental aircraft design certification or in some way intruding in an area for which it had no authority. There was also concern that taking action on Lancair would create a precedent throughout the amateur-built aircraft industry and that the FAA would then be forced to take action on every safety issue affecting an amateur-built aircraft. There were limitations concerning the FAA's role which was centered on the general airworthiness inspection when the aircraft is submitted for airworthiness certification (unless there is specific safety data available). 

The FAA did note in response to these concerns that they indeed have the "statutory and regulatory responsibility to issue airworthiness certificates to amateur-built aircraft and the existing guidance [FAA Order 8130.2F, Section 153 (a)] on this process specifically permits the FAA to impose operating limitations deemed necessary in the interest of safety." As of this publishing of this report, the current guidance is FAA Order 8130.2G, Chapter 4, Section 9, Paragraph 4104 (a), since FAA Order 8130.2F was cancelled April 16, 2011. Further, the authority of the FAA is flexible and imposing limitations is authorized in 49 USC 4704 (d)(1), which provides that "the Administrator may include in an airworthiness certificate terms required in interest of safety."

In specific reference to the Lancair IV-TP, the FAA remarked that certified and experimental aircraft with similar high-performance characteristics require specific training. On numerous occasions (e.g., Viperjet, Robinson Helicopters, Mitsubishi MU-2), the FAA has made type-specific safety determinations when finding that the safe operation of such aircraft requires specific training, proficiency and/or equipment. It was noted in both the studies that many of the Lancairs would be classified as Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA), with an EFIS-equipped cockpit. 

These conclusions were derived based on accident statistics of a sample between 2004 and 2008 that disclosed amateur-built aircraft experienced a fatal accident rate of about 5-6 accidents per 100,000 flight hours; the overall general aviation accident rate for that period was about 1-2 accidents per 100,000 hours. Lancairs' fatal accident rate in the same time period was about 7-8 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. Specifically, in 2008 Lancair comprised 3.2-percent of the amateur-built aircraft fleet and 19-percent of the fatal accidents that occurred that year, with 78.6-percent of Lancair accidents being fatal. 

The study noted that based on the statistics, Lancairs are involved in fatal accidents at "a rate that is disproportionate to their fleet size."

The study found that with extensive use of laminar flow airfoils, low thickness, low surface velocities, gradual velocity changes and low skin friction, Lancairs' stall characteristics are critical (abrupt, unusual) when compared with more traditional certified aircraft. In character, "the stall occurs abruptly, even during a slow deceleration just above 70 kts with a 20-degree pitch break and a wing drop as much as 50 degrees."

As part of its 2008 safety review, the FAA remarked that there were "strong indications" that Lancair would be receptive to FAA directives that would result in incorporation of type-specific training and stall warning devices as part of its kit sales. 

As a result of the Lancair Task Force, recommendations were made to FAA management in November 2008. The recommendations included: publishing an article in FAA Aviation News, issuing a SAIB with regards to flight training and equipment recommendations on applicable models, drafting an InFO based on the SAIB, revising the language for the passenger warning placard applicable to amateur-built aircraft, initiating informal resolution in coordination with industry, and tracking accident data regularly in order to identify any changes in the Lancair accident trends.

The FAA issued InFO notice 09015 on September 25, 2009, with the subject of "Safety Concerns of Lancair Amateur-Built Experimental Airplanes." The notice indicated that while Lancairs represented a little over 3-perecnt of the amateur-built experimental aircraft fleet, they contributed to 16-percent of all amateur-built fatal aircraft accidents in the prior 11 months, of which 65-percent of those were fatalities. In the four years prior, 53-percent of Lancair accidents were fatal, and a majority were a result of the pilot experiencing a loss of control of the airplane while in the traffic pattern. The notice further stated that pilots must take the following corrective actions for safe operation:
-review and thoroughly understand all information regarding stall characteristics and obtain specialized training regarding slow flight handling characteristics, stall recognition, and stall recovery techniques.
-install a high-quality angle of attack indicator to provide a warning of impending stall.
-have their airplane evaluated by an experienced Lancair mechanic to ensure proper rigging, wing alignment, and weight and balance.

The notice was recalled shortly after its release; this is the only InFO notice that has ever been recalled. Although the original InFO (InFO 09015) was supported by LOBO, Lancair contested that they were not the only manufacturer to have a high-performance amateur-built airplane. As a result, InFo 09015 was retracted and InFO 10001 was issued March 09, 2010, which expanded the InFO to include other aircraft with the same characteristics and covered "amateur-built experimental Lancair and other amateur built airplanes possessing high wing loading and stall speeds in excess of 61 knots."

1.7.3 Lancair Training

According to LOBO, experimental aircraft, almost by definition, are often equipped with novel systems and configurations that are not available in certified aircraft. Depending on the complexity of the systems installed, pilots likely will require orientation and specially-tailored training to operate them safely. With the Lancair, many of the airplanes are equipped with EFISs, autopilots, multiple radios and support systems that, although they can provide tremendous capabilities, significantly add to operational complexity. When transitioning into a Lancair, most pilots simultaneously have the task of learning new complex avionics and the handling characteristics of the high performance airplane, with operating manuals that vary widely in accuracy and completeness. 

There are three sources of Lancair training that most insurance companies accept as a prerequisite for coverage. The LOBO has a FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS)-accepted training syllabus and provides CFIs that have completed qualification training in specific models of Lancair aircraft and that are located throughout the US. High Performance Aircraft Training (HPAT) provides training in customer-owned aircraft at designated US locations on an annual schedule. Elite Pilot Services additionally provides training specializing in the Evolution. 

The training both sources offer emphasize demonstrations of the feelings and visual observations associated with the airplane's unique handling characteristics. This includes the difference in the glide ratio with coarse and fine pitch propeller settings, the nuances of entering the traffic pattern and maneuvering at a higher altitude (1,500 ft agl vs the normal 1,000 ft agl) to allow ample time to make a stabilized approach, the lag in engine response when adding full power, how to perform a power-off landing, and execution of a go-around (not using full power).

1.7.4 Experimental "Second Owners"

A "second owner" is a purchaser of an experimental aircraft that was not involved in its construction/build and registration/certification process. There is an inherent difficulty in reaching and influencing second owners before they start flying their newly purchased aircraft due to a delay in the title transfer being published (the only way for the public to be made aware of a new owner). First owners normally have years learning about their aircraft during the building process, including critical subjects such as any unique handling or operating characteristics of the aircraft they are building. More importantly, the experience/knowledge required to complete such a project makes it much more likely the original builder has sought the following: information about FAA and industry standards, the assistance of the kit manufacturer, and interaction with aircraft type/model clubs. In contrast, second owners have access to a fully functional aircraft almost immediately after making their purchase. 

1.7.5 Lancair Community

The LOBO conducted a survey of its members concerning mandatory Lancair training during February 2012. A total of 126 complete surveys were returned for analysis. Of the 126 respondents, 97 percent were Lancair aircraft owners and 69 percent were the builder of record for their aircraft. The results showed a majority supported mandatory training in regards to the potential for lower accident rates and lower insurance premiums. Eighty-one percent agreed or strongly agreed in supporting mandatory training that could lower the accident rate, while seventy-seven percent agreed or strongly agreed in supporting mandatory training if it could lower insurance premiums.

BOISE, ID – The National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into what caused the accident that killed Steve Appleton. The Micron CEO was piloting a high performance aircraft from Lancair when it crashed at the Boise airport Friday. Lancair planes have been involved in dozens of accidents since 1989.

A National Transportation Safety Board database lists at least 45 Lancair aircraft accidents over 22 years. Seven of those happened with the Lancair IV-P, the type of plane Appleton piloted. An FAA “Information for Operators” from 2010 spells out some safety concerns for this type of aircraft. It says “a majority of the fatal accidents occurred due to inadvertent stall/spins while at slower air speeds. . . ” NTSB Investigator Zoe Keliher described what eyewitnesses saw when Appleton’s plane took off.

Zoe Keliher: “It did a steep bank and stalled. Thereafter, it rolled into the ground pretty much contacting the terrain inverted.”

The FAA believes accidents involving Lancair’s high performance planes are mainly due to “lack of pilot awareness.” Dick Knapinski, a spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association, says it’s important for pilots to understand these planes’ unique capabilities.

Dick Knapinski: “I often equate it to the difference between driving down a city street at 30 miles an hour and then driving down that same city street at 60 miles an hour.”

Knapinski recommends dedicated training if a pilot wants to fly a high speed plane like the Lancair IV-P. NTSB investigators say a preliminary report on Appleton’s crash may be out later this week.