Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Piper PA-22-150, N6849B: Accident occurred March 05, 2012 in East Troy, Wisconsin

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA182
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 05, 2012 in East Troy, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-150, registration: N6849B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot was en route to his destination airport after having made an intermediary stop at another airport when the engine experienced a total loss of engine power, and the pilot performed a forced landing. Examination of the airplane revealed that there was no usable fuel present and there were no fuel system leaks.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

On March 5, 2012, about 1430 central standard time, a Piper PA-22-150, N6849B, experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight. The pilot subsequently made an off airport forced landing to a field near East Troy, Wisconsin. The certificated private pilot was uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the flight that departed from Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport (3D2), Ephraim, Wisconsin, destined to Burlington Municipal Airport (BUU), Burlington, Wisconsin.

The pilot stated that the airplane was fueled at BUU and had 44 gallons aboard prior to departure. After about 1:40 hours of flight time, he landed at 3D2. He then departed for BUU and after about 1:15 hours of flight time, the engine quit. He positioned the fuel selector to the left fuel tank and the engine restarted and then ran for about 30 second and quit. During the descent for a forced landing, the engine was able to be restarted using "short bursts" by hand pumping the accelerator pump and the primer pump. The airplane landed short of the field that the pilot planned to land on.

Examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that none of the airplane fuel tanks contained usable fuel, and there was no evidence of fuel leak.

The pilot's flight review was expired at the time of the accident.


 NTSB Identification: CEN12LA182 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 05, 2012 in East Troy, WI
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-150, registration: N6849B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On March 5, 2012, about 1430 central standard time, a Piper PA-22-140, N6849B, experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight. The pilot subsequently made an off airport forced landing to a field near East Troy, Wisconsin. The certificated private pilot was uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the flight destined to Burlington Municipal Airport (BUU), Burlington, Wisconsin.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 6849B        Make/Model: PA22      Description: PA-22 Tri-Pacer, Caribbean, Colt
  Date: 03/05/2012     Time: 2039

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

LOCATION
  City: EAST TROY   State: WI   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A RIVER, NEAR EAST TROY, WI

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: MILWAUKEE, WI  (GL13)                 Entry date: 03/06/2012 
 
 

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 6, 2012 workers remove the engine of an aircraft that crash landed in the Mukwonago River on Monday. A 56-year-old man miraculously escaped with a few bumps and bruises after crash landing a plane in the Mukwonago River near where it meets Interstate 43 just before 2:30 p.m. Monday. Vaughan Weeks of Racine is the registered owner of the Piper fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft.

Cessna 310: John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (KJST), Johnstown, Pennsylvania

The Cessna 310, flown by pilot Chuck Burkhead, as it makes it's wheels-up landing at Johnstown-Cambria County Airport. 




Pilot Chuck Burkhead speaks with the response crew on the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport tarmac, immediately following his landing



The Cessna 310 being foamed by fire crews immediately after its landing at Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.
Todd Berkey


JOHNSTOWN — A New Hampshire pilot and his two passengers are grateful to be alive after a hairy wheels-up landing today at Johnstown’s airport.

Chuck Burkhead of Portsmouth, N.H., was on approach to Somerset airport when his twin-engine Cessna 310’s instruments told him the aircraft landing gear was malfunctioning, authorities said.

Instead of trying the "belly" landing in Somerset, Burkhead decided to turn north for Johnstown, where he knew a strong emergency response was available, said Bob Heffelfinger, battalion chief for Richland Township Fire Department.

“He wanted to come here because he knows the response,” Heffelfinger said.

Burkhead and his passengers circled the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport for about 90 minutes before making what a flight instructor described as a textbook wheels-up landing and evacuating the plane just before 2:30 p.m. today.

Airport traffic control Director Dennis Fritz was in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration following the incident to determine how to remove the aircraft from the airport’s main runway, airport Solicitor Tim Leventry said.

Burkhead and his passengers were en route from Portsmouth to Somerset for a business meeting, Leventry said.

Michael Slack: Safer air races are possible


In the wake of last year’s tragedy, something must be done to address safety at the Reno Air Races.

Toward this end, we have filed a public comment with the National Transportation Safety Board advocating for changes that will make the race safer for spectators, as well as racers and support crews.

As a point of full disclosure, we represent some of the spectators who were injured on that fateful day. With this perspective in mind, we would like to see the Reno Air Racing Association invite designated representatives of the private party stakeholders — pilots, crews and racing fans — to begin proactive technical discussions on how to build in adequate safety margins for the various risk scenarios that confront participants and fans at Reno.

In crafting a solution, we believe it is important to look at four major risk categories:

First, organizers of the National Championship Air Races use a “heat” format where multiple planes race against each other. This stands in contrast to the single-airplane, “timed” format used in other air races, which obviously lessens the chance of a midair collision. The risks associated with multiple aircraft need to be properly assessed to determine if racing rule changes are needed.

Second, the safety standards for aircraft are insufficiently defined and monitored. Vintage airplanes like those flown at Reno are often highly modified, exacerbating the flight loads and putting the aircraft under stresses that were not contemplated by designers. Aircraft operating at higher air speeds, such as the unlimited class, should be scrutinized much closer to end to the history of structural failures at Reno.

Third, stricter medical and fitness standards are needed to screen out pilots who present a danger to themselves, other pilots and spectators. These races are very demanding and require pilots to be in optimum physical and mental condition.

Finally, the spectators at Reno are placed in an area that is highly vulnerable to contact with planes or debris if there is a mishap. The energy of multiple planes racing toward the spectator area is an invitation for disaster and is, in large part, why so many spectators were hit by debris in last year’s crash. By contrast, other air races and air shows confine the energy of aircraft parallel to and not directed toward spectator areas. To reduce the risk of spectator injury, the Reno spectator area must be arranged parallel to the direction of flight and at a sufficient distance from the course to provide an envelope of safety from the dangers of impaired or out-of-control aircraft.

There are ways to address the above risk factors while being responsive to desires of participants and those who produce air races. That is a balance that our Reno clients endorse.

At the same time, it would be an even greater tragedy if we did nothing and this happened again.

Michael Slack is a partner at Austin-based Slack & Davis. His comments to the NTSB about NCAR can be read at www.aviation.slackdavis.com


NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

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 September 16, 2011, about 1626 Pacific daylight time, an experimental North America P-51D, N79111, impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering at Reno Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp, Ocala, Florida, and operated by the pilot as Race 177 under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Casualties on the ground included 10 fatalities and 74 injured. As of the time of this preliminary report, eight of the injured remain hospitalized, some in critical condition. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed from Reno Stead Airport about 10 minutes before the accident.

The airplane was participating in the Reno National Championship Air Races in the last event of the day. The airplane had completed several laps and was in a steep left turn towards the home pylon when, according to photographic evidence, the airplane suddenly banked momentarily to the left before banking to the right, turning away from the race course, and pitching to a steep nose-high attitude. Witnesses reported and photographic evidence indicates that a piece of the airframe separated during these maneuvers. After roll and pitch variations, the airplane descended in an extremely nose-low attitude and collided with the ground in the box seat area near the center of the grandstand seating area.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage on site. They documented the debris field and identified various components of the airplane’s control system and control surfaces. The wreckage was removed to a secure storage facility for detailed examination at a later date.

The airplane’s ground crew noted that the airplane had a telemetry system that broadcast data to a ground station as well as recorded it to a box on board the airplane. The crew provided the ground station telemetry data, which includes engine parameters and global positioning satellite system data to the NTSB for analysis. The onboard data box, which sustained crush damage, was sent to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination. Investigators recovered pieces of a camera housing and multiple detached memory cards from the airplane’s onboard camera that were in the debris field. The memory cards and numerous still and video image recordings were also sent to the Vehicle Recorders laboratory for evaluation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Reno Air Race Association are parties to the investigation.

Metro Family’s Para Sailing Disaster to be Shown on Travel Channel



PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — A six-year-old’s birthday adventure nearly turned deadly in Mexico. Now two years later, the Haith family of Prairie Village will see their ordeal revisited on the Travel Channel show, “When Vacations Attack.”

The family was staying in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when Eddie Haith convinced his Mom Debbie Haith to let him go para sailing. She remembers it was Eddie’s Birthday week so he wanted to go first and they wouldn’t let us go tandem but they felt it was calm enough out that Eddie would be able to handle it.

His older brother Jake filmed Eddie from below and watched in horror as a gust of wind blew Eddie towards a building. Eddie’s parents, his twin sisters and and older brother all yelled for Eddie to pull a safety rope to lower him to the ground but the boy wasn’t strong enough to overcome a gust of wind.

In a split second, home video shows Eddie crashing into the 3rd floor patio deck of a stranger’s condominium. The boy broke his leg, his nose and two ribs.

“I thought I was dreaming, seeing my son hit a building in front of my eyes and I’m not able to be there to help him,” said the boy’s dad Brian Hait. “It was the worst thing that could’ve ever happened to a parent.”

After one night at a local hospital, the Haiths decided to charter a plane to bring their son to Kansas City for surgery.

“We did not have Travel Insurance,” said mom Debbie Haith. “If I would’ve paid $10 extra per ticket, it would’ve covered the $26,000 Air Ambulance home.”

The Haiths say any family about to go on Spring Break should buy Travel Insurance. Eddie Haith has since made a full recovery but says he won’t be doing anymore extreme sports on vacation.

” I’m fine now, I’m glad I’m alive,” the boy said.

The episode of “When Vacations Attack” featuring the Haith family debuts Tuesday, March 6 at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel.

http://fox4kc.com

Geese Force Emergency Landing At Denison Municipal Airport (KDNS), Iowa





AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State Trooper Scott Pigsley was on his way back to Atlantic from Sioux City early Tuesday morning when his plane hit a flock of geese.

The crash happened between midnight and 1 a.m.

Pictures of the plane show multiple dents on the wings, a broken wheel cover and blood on the outside of the aircraft.

“It was dark and all of the sudden I heard a big bang – the plane shook,” said Pigsley.

Pigsley said he initially thought he was having engine problems in the dark he didn't see the flock of geese and couldn't immediately see the damage to his Cessna 182.

“Then I used a flashlight and started noticing damage to the aircraft,” said Pigsley.

From what Pigsley could see of the damage to the right wing, landing gear and tail he knew it was significant enough that he wouldn't make it back to Atlantic so he made the decision to make an emergency landing at the Denison airport about 18 miles away.

“I landed as slow as I could in case that left wheel was damaged or pinned because if that’s the case, it’s going to skid and put me into a spin, so I tried to land as slow as possible,” said Pigsley.

Pigsley has practice with emergency situations, landing an aircraft with engine trouble in 2006 in a field near Bondurant. In 2010, he made a similar landing right on Highway 44, near the Audubon and Guthrie County line.

“I may be experiencing more than most people, but with our training and as frequently as we fly, I’m more comfortable and able to deal with it when a situation has arisen,” said Pigsley.

Encountering flocks of geese is one such situation that Pigsley said all pilots train for because it can often be a problem.

“Especially in the spring and the fall when the migratory birds are moving it can happen and it has happened,” said Pigsley.

Pigsley was not hurt in the incident.


Watch Video: http://www.kcci.com

Bladen County, North Carolina: Authorities find missing plane, appears to make emergency landing

Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinlaw said officials received a call from the Lumberton Airport about the situation.
(Source: Chris Barnhill)

The plane was found in a field in the Rowan community around 6:15 p.m.
(Source: Chris Barnhill)

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Bladen County authorities spent part of Tuesday afternoon searching the area of Highway 210 in Harrells for a reported missing plane.

Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinlaw said officials received a call from the Lumberton Airport about the situation.

The plane was found in a field in the Rowan community around 6:15 p.m. It appears the plane made an emergency landing in a field off of Highway 210.

According to a firefighter, no one was hurt in the landing. There is no word at this time as to what caused the plane to make an emergency landing.

http://www.wect.com

Confusion over jet's takeoff window

Confusion "reigned" among airport staff about the takeoff window for a midwinter Sydney-bound passenger jet, Queenstown District Court heard this morning.

A 54-year-old Papakura pilot, who has interim name suppression, has denied operating a Boeing 737 in a careless manner on June 22, 2010, a charge laid by the Civil Aviation Authority.

He appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips for the third day of a defended hearing, during which witnesses presented evidence about the takeoff of the Pacific Blue flight almost two years ago.

Wellington International Airport manager Daniel Debono, a Queenstown Airport operations manager in 2010, told the court there was confusion about the timing of evening civil twilight (ECT).

The authority alleges the pilot should not have taken off after 5.14pm because airline rules stipulated departing aircraft needed at least 30 minutes before civil twilight cut off at 5.45pm.

The aircraft departed at 5.25pm.

Debono, under cross-examination, said he checked the twilight time using Airways' website and there were two times, a general regional time and an aerodrome-specific time.

Defence lawyer Matthew Muir asked about confusion among airport staff, Debono and then chief executive Steve Sanderson.

"It was not until CCTV was verified we determined its proximity to ECT.

"There were different views of ECT.

"I had been told by one staff member the aircraft departed after ECT. We were not sure if it was within the 30 minutes we expected the aircraft to depart," Debono said.

Airport staff went home and Debono reviewed CCTV footage a few days later.

Muir said confusion "reigned overnight" after the takeoff and asked whether there was a significant difference of opinion regarding ECT.

Debono said it was not uncommon.

"(Airports) are rife with speculation, people's views, it's not the first time I have come across red herrings.

"ECT restrictions do vary between airlines, what the aircraft does is their call."

Eyewitness Robert Clark, a mechanic who was living in Frankton in 2010, told the court the aircraft "just didn't look quite right" as it took off at a 20-degree to 30-degree angle.

"It appeared to be quite low," he said.

The defence case argues the pilot's actions were correct and any breach of requirements, if demonstrated, was below the level of carelessness.

The hearing continues.

http://www.stuff.co.nz

"Buffalo Joe" praises staff for successful emergency landing


Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The owner of Buffalo Airways is thankful everything turned out safely for everyone involved yesterday.

Buffalo's Electra plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Yellowknife Airport after one of its landing gear malfunctioned.

The landing was successful and all six people on board, including a film crew for the show "Ice Pilots NWT", were safe and sound.

Joe McBryan said the crew did everything right.

“They followed all the procedures in their training and their exercises,” he said. “They did everything possible and the result is they got the aircraft down with as minimal amount of damage as you could possibly do under those circumstances.”

McBryan says the plane flew overhead for about an hour to burn off fuel and lighten the plane, but the crew was also taking that time for something else.

“They were using that time to go through all the emergency drills,” he said. “I was on the phone to people making sure we weren’t missing anything that we could have done to alleviate the problem. As it turned out, they made the right decision.”

McBryan also said everyone in the vicinity of the airport, including the military, offered help and he's thankful for the offers.

http://hqyellowknife.com

Caribbean Airlines cuts staff

Several Caribbean Airlines employees in Montego Bay and Kingston are to lose their jobs as the Trinidadian-based organization outsources its customer service operations.

The airline says its employees were informed by the vice president of human resources and executive - manager airports, today.

“Caribbean Airlines will provide and assist, where feasible, in obtaining alternate employment for persons affected by this process and employees will be remunerated in accordance with industrial practice," acting chief executive officer, Robert Corbie stated in a media release this evening.

He said the organization was committed to providing a quality service, and was confident that this decision would impact positively on its operations.

"We will emerge even stronger as a leader in regional aviation,” he said.

It wasn’t clear how soon the persons affected would be sent home, however, the airline says it expects to continue normal business operations throughout the reorganization process and sought to reassure the public that this action should not affect its operations as all flight schedules and reservations remain intact throughout the Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica networks.

http://go-jamaica.com

More details on wheels-up landing at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (KJST), Johnstown, Pennsylvania


JOHNSTOWN — A New Hampshire pilot and his two passengers are grateful to be alive after a hairy wheels-up landing today at Johnstown’s airport.

Chuck Burkhead of Portsmouth, N.H., was on approach to Somerset airport when his twin-engine Cessna 310’s instruments told him the aircraft landing gear was malfunctioning, authorities said.

Instead of trying the "belly" landing in Somerset, Burkhead decided to turn north for Johnstown, where he knew a strong emergency response was available, said Bob Heffelfinger, battalion chief for Richland Township Fire Department.

“He wanted to come here because he know the response,” Heffelfinger said.

Burkhead and his passengers circled the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport for about 90 minutes before making what a flight instructor described as a textbook wheels-up landing and evacuating the plane just before 2:30 p.m. today.

Airport traffic control Director Dennis Fritz was in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration following the incident to determine how to remove the aircraft from the airport’s main runway, airport Solicitor Tim Leventry said.

Burkhead and his passengers were en route from Portsmouth to Somerset for a business meeting, Leventry said.

Controversial padlocked access road at Atlantic County's Airport Circle is opened by South Jersey Economic Development District

The South Jersey Economic Development District, after weeks of public disagreement with Atlantic County over the blocked access road running through the unbuilt NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park, opened the roadway on Tuesday.

The road was opened at 5 p.m. following a vote of the district’s executive committee, SJEDD Executive Director Gordon Dahl said.

Atlantic County maintains the newly opened road will help ease traffic congestion at the Airport Circle.

Dahl had closed the road in December – without a board vote – citing safety and design concerns. Last week, Atlantic County demanded that the district return the county’s $2.5 million contribution to the project if the road was not going to be accessible by the public.

County Executive Dennis Levinson said that demand will be dropped.

“All of the problems that occurred there were certainly avoidable. It’s a shame the public had to go through this. They had to succumb to pressure,” Levinson said. “I’ve never dealt with an agency like this in all the years I’ve been in politics.”

 http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Heroin disguised as lollipops seized at Florida airport

Rafael Quinonez Jimenez is accused of smuggling 3.2 kilograms of heroin disguised as lollipops.
(SEMINOLE COUNTY JAIL / March 6, 2012)


More than 3.2 kilograms of heroin was found disguised as candy inside a man's luggage at Orlando International Airport Friday.

Rafael Eduardo Quinonez Jimenez, 45, was arrested Friday at OIA shortly after he arrived on a TACA Airlines flight from San Salvador, El Salvador. The flight originated in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Customs officials noticed Quinonez Jimenez appeared "very nervous and was sweating profusely" and referred him to a secondary check. That's when officials discovered 172 lollipops packed inside a duffel bag.

Each "lollipop" containted18.8 grams of heroin, totaling 3.2 kilograms of the illegal drug, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Quinonez Jimenez told Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials he was given the duffel bag by a man at a gas station in Guatemala City earlier that morning, along with a plane ticket, hotel booking information and $500.

Quinonez Jimenez claimed he didn't know who he was supposed to deliver the drugs to in Orlando because he was supposed to receive a phone call, according to the complaint.

He was booked into the Seminole County jail where he is being held without bond.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Aircraft in distress lands safely on its belly after doing "everything right": John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (KJST), Johnstown, Pennsylvania

JOHNSTOWN — Shortly after 3:15 p.m., air traffic controllers at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport optimistically told a Cessna with landing gear problems to use "runway one five."

And nearly an hour and a half after the small plane reported landing gear issues, that's exactly what happened. The plane with two people reportedly on board landed on its belly without incident at 3:28 p.m.

Flight instructor Jared Shuke said it was one of the best emergency landings he had ever seen.

"They did everything right," he said.

Fire companies and rescue units from across the East Hills and Windber had scrambled to prepare for a possible crash as the plane circled the airport and dumped fuel.

Aero Adventure Aventura II, N1193S: Accident occurred February 26, 2012 in Laceys Spring, Alabama

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA194 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 26, 2012 in Laceys Spring, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2012
Aircraft: STROUT FRANK AVENTURA II, registration: N1193S
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.

The pilot and passenger departed for a local flight with the intent of landing the amphibious airplane in a nearby farm field that had been flooded with water. A friend of the pilot noted that the water level in the field was not sufficient for a landing and waved off the pilot as he overflew the field. The airplane then entered a steep bank and nose-down attitude from an estimated altitude of 100 feet. Ground scars and observed impact-related damage to the airframe suggested that the airplane impacted the ground in a left-wing-low attitude. The symmetric damage signatures observed on the airplane's propeller and observations of a witness to the accident confirmed that the engine operated until impact. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions. The pilot did not possess the required rating on his pilot certificate to operate the accident airplane, and examination of available pilot records showed that he had not logged any flight training in the accident airplane make and model or any other seaplane. While the pilot possessed a reported 700 total hours of flight experience and was said to have logged about 10 previous flights in the accident airplane, the pilot's most recent flight review was completed nearly 6 years prior to the accident flight. Federal Aviation Administration published guidance on flying seaplanes equipped with engines mounted above the center of gravity "strongly urged" pilots to obtain training specific to the make and model of seaplane to be flown, as their unique handling characteristics were "not intuitive and must be learned."

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a low-altitude maneuver. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of the required rating to operate the airplane.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 26, 2012, about 1330 central standard time, a experimental amateur-built Aventura II, N1193S, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain and was subsequently consumed by a postimpact fire near Laceys Spring, Alabama. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local personal flight, which originated from a nearby private airstrip about 1328, was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a friend of the pilot, who also witnessed the accident, the pilot had purchased the airplane about 2 months prior to the accident, and since that time had completed about 10 total flights in the airplane. Several days before the accident, the friend and the pilot flew the airplane from the pilot's private airstrip to a flooded farm field located about one mile northeast, so that the pilot could practice landing the amphibious airplane on water. During that flight, the friend reported that the airplane performed normally.

On the day of the accident flight, the pilot again intended to fly to the flooded farm field to practice water landings. The friend thought that the water level in the field might have receded since their last flight, as he believed that the field was being drained, so he drove out to the field to assess the situation. Upon reaching the flood gate, the friend noted that the water level was too low to attempt a landing, and as the accident airplane approached him head-on, he "waved-off" the pilot. The airplane then passed over his left shoulder at an altitude about 100 feet above the ground. Moments later, the airplane impacted the ground about 100 feet behind and to the right of him and immediately caught fire. The friend then ran toward the airplane in an attempt to extract the occupants, but when the whole airframe ballistic recovery parachute rocket ignited, he had to vacate the area of the wreckage. The fire worsened, and the entire airframe was consumed in about 10 minutes.

The friend reported that the airplane's engine operated throughout the accident sequence, and that its sound was smooth and continuous. He estimated that the engine might have been operating with a 3/4 throttle setting.

Another witness reported observing the airplane during the final moments of the flight as he drove along a road parallel to the airplane's flight path. When he initially observed the airplane, it was flying westbound at an estimated altitude of 400 feet. He then returned his attention to driving, but looked at the airplane several seconds later when his son called his attention back to it. The second time he observed the airplane, it was at a significantly lower altitude, and was in a steep left bank and in a nose down attitude. He lost sight of the airplane behind obstructions thereafter, but knew that based on the airplane's last observed attitude and proximity to the ground, that it would crash. He subsequently contacted local emergency services and proceeded toward the accident site in order to render assistance.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, the pilot, age 63, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He did not hold a rating for airplane single engine sea. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on August 31, 2009 with the limitation, "holder shall wear correcting lenses."

A personal flight logbook was recovered from the pilot's hangar. Examination of the logbook revealed a period of flight activity between April 2002 and February 2008. During that time, the pilot accumulated a reported total of 729 hours of flight experience. The logbook did not contain any entries showing transition training to, or previous flight experience in the accident airplane make and model or in any seaplanes. The log also noted the pilot's most recent flight review was completed on June 14, 2006.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA airworthiness information, the experimental amateur-built amphibious airplane was certificated on August 19, 2006. Review of FAA registration information showed that the airplane's builder was also listed as the registered owner of the airplane. According to the builder, the accident pilot purchased the airplane from him about 2 months prior to the accident. At that time, the airplane had not undergone the required annual condition inspection for two years. No record of sale, application for registration, or maintenance records for the airplane were recovered following the accident.

On February 20, 2012, an advertisement for the sale of the accident airplane was placed on an internet classified forum, which listed the accident pilot as the point of contact. The advertisement claimed that the airframe had accumulated 350 total hours of operating time, and that the engine had accumulated 125 total hours of operating time.

The fuselage of the airplane consisted of a fiberglass hull with seating provisions for two occupants. Pontoons were located at the outboard portion of each wing, retractable main landing gear were attached to the fuselage, and a steerable tail wheel was attached to the empennage. A Rotax 912ULS engine equipped with a three blade composite propeller was installed above the wing, aft of the fuselage.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather conditions reported at Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville, Alabama, located about 10 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 1353, included winds from 170 degrees at 7 knots, clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, a temperature of 16 degrees Celsius (C), a dewpoint of -4 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.29 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in an open field adjacent to a gravel road and barbed wire fence. The initial impact point was identified by an area of flattened grass and a depression in the mud oriented along the wreckage path. Portions of the airplane’s fabric covering and several pieces of fiberglass were found along the wreckage path, which was 73 feet long and oriented 155 degrees magnetic. The main wreckage was located at the opposite end of the wreckage path and was oriented 025 degrees magnetic. The left wing pontoon and pontoon support structure was separated from the main wreckage and located 36 feet to the left of it.

The main wreckage was almost entirely consumed by a post-impact fire, and most of the airplane’s aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass components were damaged beyond recognition. Several steel components comprising the fuselage, wing, and empennage structure remained relatively intact, though the fabric covering had been completely consumed by fire. Control continuity was traced from the left cockpit control stick to the elevator and flaperon control surfaces, and the elevator trim cable continuity was traced to the cockpit area. Rudder control continuity was also confirmed from the rudder pedal bar attachment points to the rudder control horn/tail wheel attachment point. Each of the control surfaces was free to move about its respective hinge mount. The throttle control cable remained attached to both of the engine’s carburetors.

The engine was separated from the airplane and examination revealed that it was also extensively fire-damaged. Each of the three composite propeller blades exhibited fibrous separations between 5 and 6 inches from the respective blade roots. Continuity of the drivetrain was confirmed through rotation of the propeller from the output drive gearbox to the accessory section of the engine. The top 4 spark plugs were removed and displayed electrodes that were light gray in color.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Huntsville, Alabama.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing on the pilot. The testing was negative for the presence of ethanol, carbon monoxide, cyanide, and drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Seaplane, Skiplane, and Float/Ski Equipped Helicopter Operations Handbook, "Many of the most common flying boat designs have the engine and propeller mounted well above the airframe’s CG [center of gravity]. This results in some unique handling characteristics. The piloting techniques necessary to fly these airplanes safely are not intuitive and must be learned. Any pilot transitioning to such an airplane is strongly urged to obtain additional training specific to that model of seaplane." The handbook further stated, "Depending on how far the engine is from the airplane’s CG, the mass of the engine can have detrimental effects on roll stability. Some seaplanes have the engine mounted within the upper fuselage, while others have engines mounted on a pylon well above the main fuselage. If it is far from the CG, the engine can act like a weight at the end of a lever, and once started in motion it tends to continue in motion."




LACEY'S SPRING, Ala. (AP) - A new report on a deadly plane crash says the pilot's friend tried to warn him not to land because of poor conditions moments before the aircraft crashed and burned.

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board states that the aircraft was equipped for water landings. The pilot planned to practice landing on water in a flooded farm field near Lacey's Spring on Feb. 26.

The report says his friend drove to the field, noticed the water level was too low for a landing, and tried to "waive off" the pilot flying overhead but the plane crashed and caught fire.

The pilot and a passenger were killed. The Morgan County Coroner identified them as Larry Hicks and Gayle Owen.

The report is preliminary, and the investigation is continuing.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA194
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 26, 2012 in Laceys Spring, AL
Aircraft: STROUT FRANK AVENTURA II, registration: N1193S
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 February 26, 2012, about 1330 central standard time, a experimental amateur-built Aventura II, N1193S, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain and was subsequently consumed by a postimpact fire near Lacey's Spring, Alabama. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local personal flight, which originated from a nearby private airstrip about 1328, was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a friend of the pilot, who also witnessed the accident, the pilot had purchased the airplane about 2 months prior to the accident, and since that time had completed about 10 total flights in the airplane. Several days before the accident, the friend and the pilot flew the airplane from the pilot's private airstrip to a flooded farm field located about 1-mile northeast, so that the pilot could practice landing the amphibious airplane on water. During that flight, the friend reported that the airplane performed normally.

On the day of the accident flight, the pilot again intended to fly to the flooded farm field to practice water landings. The friend thought that the water level in the field might have receded since their last flight, as he believed that the field was being drained, so he drove out to the field to assess the situation. Upon reaching the flood gate, the friend noted that the water level was too low to attempt a landing, and as the accident airplane approached him head on, he "waived-off" the pilot. The airplane then passed over his left shoulder at an altitude about 100 feet above the ground. Moments later the airplane impacted the ground about 100 feet behind and to the right of him and immediately caught fire. The friend then ran toward the airplane in an attempt to extract the occupants, but when the whole airframe ballistic recovery parachute rocket ignited, he had to vacate the area of the wreckage. The fire then worsened and the entire airframe was consumed in about 10 minutes.

Two other witnesses reported observing the airplane during the final moments of the flight. In separate statements they each described observing the airplane flying low, in a steep left bank, and in a nose down attitude before each lost sight of it behind obstructions.

Foster a tornado victim - Essex County Airport (KCDW), Caldwell, New Jersey


Shelter dogs from states hit hard by tornadoes will be arriving in North Jersey soon, and Tenafly-based PetResQ is seeking help finding them foster homes.

Robyn Urman, the rescue group’s founder, says that Pilots N Paws will be flying the first group in to Essex County Airport tomorrow. The animals come from kill shelters that need room to house other pets displaced by the devastating storms.

To help or get more information about the rescue effort, call (201) 450-5992 or email petresqinc@aol.com.

http://blog.northjersey.com

Pearson Field Airport (KVUO), Vancouver, Washington: Documentary Wins National Award

The hangar at Pearson
City of Vancouver


A documentary on Vancouver's Pearson Field Airport, the oldest in the nation, has brought home a Telly Award. It's a prestigious honor that earns recognition within the video industry. The Telly's are awarded by the same group behind the Oscar's.

The video documentary was shot and edited in five days by Jordan Thompson, Miles Burnett, Evan Newman and Paul Suarez of Couv.com.

Thompson says they were inspired to highlight the essence that is Pearson Field, because the industry of small aviation airports is dying with one per week disappearing.


http://www.kxl.com

Private aviation business in Middle East set to soar

A dedicated airport for executive jets spurs demand among corporates, VIPs

Image Credit: Rahman/Gulf News
Visitors look at the world’s first microlite aircraft.

Image Credit: WAM
Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated the Abu Dhabi Air Expo at Al Bateen Executive Airport on Tuesday. Participants were upbeat about the prospects for private aviation in the Middle East.


Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
Visitors and officials tour the Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2012 on Tuesday at Al Bateen Executive Airport.

Abu Dhabi: The private aviation business in the Middle East is expected to experience growth of 20 per cent this year, aviation experts said on Tuesday at the Air Expo held at the Al Bateen Executive Airport for the first time in Abu Dhabi.

"It's definitely growing," James Coak, commercial manager at Rotana Jet Aviation, said. "The Middle East has seen growth along with Asia…and as a company, we've already achieved our goals."

Rotana Jet Aviation is one example. The private jet operator, launched in February last year, has been providing its services of one aircraft flying an average of 60 hours per month. This year, it expects its order of three new aircraft to be delivered in April and August. "It has been a very good year for us," he said.

Abu Dhabi Aviation, which has been around since 1976, expects a 20 per cent increase in its business across the board.

Government clients

Abu Dhabi Aviation currently has 54 helicopters and three aircraft with contracts in 13 countries. In the UAE, the company has contracts with the Abu Dhabi police, the military and Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco).

However, for many companies, while business is good, the market is growing more competitive.

"In the past few years we were the only company providing helicopter services," Khalid Mashhour, project and marketing manager at Abu Dhabi Aviation, said. "Today, new companies have come online."

Mashhour said that today the company is trying to expand its private jet services to VIPs which, he said, is going to be a very important segment of the market in future.

"There are people who come to Abu Dhabi on business and then need to go to Dubai for a meeting and need to leave in two hours and they can't afford to stay for a whole day," he said. "It's saving time and saving money, especially for VIPs."

Royal Jet, an Abu Dhabi Aviation company, achieved a 226 per cent surge in net profit for 2011, the company announced this week. The company has been in operation for only eight years.

At Al Bateen Executive Airport, which is dedicated to private aviation business, former military hangars are being refurbished and transformed into civil aviation hangars as more operators are flying in and out of the airport.

Organic growth

"This year, we'll continue to finish the refurbished hangars. We're working on seven at the moment," Steven Jones, general manager of the airport, said.

There are currently six local aviation companies listed at the airport.

"This year, we expect an expansion certainly in Jet Aviation and Rotana Jet," Jones said. "We would be surprised if we didn't have at least three or four new companies based here," he added.

"The GCC-based business aviation operators are still growing. Internationally, it's all been slower because this area is still growing… and that's what you call organic growth," Jones said.

He added that there's capacity, high standards of service and growth in technical stops. "We're in the right place, we've got capacity and we have a good product."

In 2011, 115 new operators used the Al Bateen Executive Airport, Jones said. In 2012 he expects the commercial aviation movement to increase by at least 10 per cent.

Hangar leased long-term

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) concluded a long-term land lease agreement with Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) at Al Bateen Executive Airport, where FAS commissioned a new 10,000 square metre hangar to support its corporate helicopter and private jet charter and MRO business.

ADAC also signed another lease agreement with R-Offices to provide Grade A serviced offices to businesses at the airport. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) project will enhance the range of office space on offer to the business aviation industry, including aircraft operators, in-flight catering and investment companies, as the airport experiences continued strong growth in aircraft traffic and its tenant base.

http://gulfnews.com

International Air Transport Association suspends GMG Airlines from billing network

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has suspended GMG Airlines Ltd from its billing and settlement plan (BSP) as the carrier failed to pay dues.

Due to the suspension, all travel and ticketing agents and general sales agents will remove GMG Airlines' ticketing authorities from their systems. The BSP travel agents will also stop all ticketing and refund transactions through the BSP link.

Industry insiders said the suspension will be a huge setback to the country's first private passenger airline as its payments using the BSP link and ticket sales in different countries will come to a halt.

GMG said its tickets sales will not be affected much, as agents can book tickets through their internet booking engine or B2B (business to business) system.

IATA provides services for the settlement of financial transactions between travel agents and airlines. The BSP link is an internet-based system, which facilitates these interactions and exchange of information between all participants.

Travel agents sell tickets across the globe and make financial transactions through global distribution systems (GDS) that use the BSP link.

In a letter to all BSP participants on Monday, Karthik S, IATA's country manager in Bangladesh, said, "BSP travel agents should stop immediately all ticketing and refund transactions through the GDS and BSP link and continue to remit funds to the BSP."

The letter also said that the IATA will be pursuing an agreement with the airline to formalise the ticket refund process.

Meanwhile, Asif Ahmed, director of marketing, HR and customer experience of GMG Airlines, said they issued payment for BSP at the end of last week but payment processing on the US end has taken longer time than usual.

"We are in touch with the IATA, and BSP should resume as soon as the payment clears," he told The Daily Star yesterday.

He also said, within this period, agents can book tickets through their internet booking engine or call their sales representatives and send emails.

When asked about the amount outstanding, Ahmed could not immediately give the figure.

http://www.thedailystar.net

R.D. White passes away

WOODLAWN — — The community has lost one of its Senior Saints who spent his life being dedicated to veterans and the field of aviation.

White, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army Air Corps, died at his home Sunday evening, one day before his 90th birthday. He was born in West Frankfort, but married his love, Ellen Louise (Modert) in Mt. Vernon on June 30, 1946; she preceded him in death on Sept. 6, 2000.

White is credited with being one of the founding members of the Mt. Vernon Experimental Aircraft Association, the Woodlawn Veterans Memorial Committee, the Civil Air Patrol 338 Composite Squadron, the Jefferson County Flying Club and the Jefferson County Hall of Honor and Museum at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. He was inducted into the Senior Saint Hall of Fame in 2008. As a Christian, he was one of those who helped form a successful food pantry for the Woodlawn community, served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, served as a Sunday school teacher for many years and helped re-open the Baker Street Baptist Church in Walnut Hill and attended the church while assisting in its re-opening.

A veteran himself, White was an outspoken advocate of veterans and the military, which started at an early age. White said in a 2000 interview that he could remember listening to the stories told by Civil War veterans while sitting on his grandfather’s front porch as a child. He entered the Army Air Corps in July 1942 and served during World War II in Iwo Jima and Guam. He was a glider pilot and instructor during the war and later completed officer’s school to eventually command the 1100 Missile Company in Germany. Among his many stations, White served as company commander of the 4th Ordinance Company at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the Tuslog 67 classified unit in Istanbul, Turkey and was Battalion Commander of the 71st Maintenance Battalion in Germany.

After retiring from the U.S. Army White became the manager of the Benton Airport and the Salem Airport. He retired as general manager of the Salem Airport but continued to spread his love of aviation by helping organizing and serving as commanding officer of the 338 Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, based at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport and established in 2001. The group includes about 17 senior members and nine pilots from Jefferson County, Salem, McLeansboro, Fairfield and surrounding areas. The squadron also has a cadet program for youth.

He also helped form the local EAA organization, and was responsible for joining his love of aviation with a veterans reunion during the annual Little Egypt Fly-In and Veterans Reunion, sponsored by the EAA.

“Twenty-eight years in the military made me a veteran for life,” White once said. “The welfare of veterans is very important to me.”

White became one of the founding members of the Woodlawn Veterans Memorial, located across from the Woodlawn Grade School. He was joined in the committee by Derwood Baker, Bill Moore, Billy Waller, Glen “Blue” Troutt, Kenneth McKinzie, Jerry A. Young, James Burk, Lyle Endicott, Clarence Duckworth, Arthur W. Shewmake Jr., Tom Mears, Tom Gaither, J.D. Smith, Ted Buck and Clifford Christensen. Work by the Woodlawn Veterans Memorial Committee started in 2001 before the bombing of the Twin Towers, and the committee became a registered non-profit on June 13, 2002.

White also organized the community commemorations for Veterans Day and Memorial Day in Woodlawn, and stated honoring the country and its flag were close to his heart.

“This flag of our nation has been bloodied, battered and torn in battle, trampled and burned by traitors who hate the freedom that it represents,” White once said. “But it will always fly high in the hearts and minds of people who love liberty.”

He was inducted into the Senior Saint Hall of Fame in 2008, and was described as “a true leader in accomplishing projects.”

White took on two more projects shortly after his induction, with a sports aircraft training center at the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport, to help pilots obtain a sport aircraft license and the Hall of Honor and Museum.

In 2010, he and the core group of veterans who worked on various memorial projects in the county, the EAA and the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport Board began the Hall of Honor at the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. The memorial wall grew to include a museum with items donated by local veterans, including White.

“I do veterans things for the airport during the (EAA Little Egypt) Fly-In,” White said. “I thought I’d put up a few pictures of the veterans.”

The museum has been visited by school children, adults, veterans and political figures since its opening.

Visitation for White will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Newell Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon; funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday. He will be laid to rest at Tower Heights Cemetery in his native West Frankfort, with full military rites accorded by Mt. Vernon American Legion Post 141. Memorials may be given to the Jefferson County Veterans Hall of Honor at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport.

http://register-news.com

Caribbean Airlines denies neglecting Tobago

State-owned airline Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has fired back at Tobago House of Assembly (THA) chief secretary Orville London who has claimed that the airline is not doing enough for Tobago.

In a statement issued last Friday, and a subsequent advertorial in the weekend newspapers, CAL said the company has consistently stated its commitment to meeting the travel demands of locals and foreigners into and out of Tobago with the addition of flights and aircraft.

In addition to matching increased demand during peak periods and special events like the Great Race and the Tobago Jazz Experience, the airline says it has always invested in improving the air bridge between Trinidad and Tobago. There are 22 flights daily between the islands, including the recently launched “red-eye” late night service.

Last month, London had accused the airline of “not being supportive” of Tobago, and “not being cooperative as it should have been or could have been in assisting Tobago in being a more formidable presence in the international tourism market”.

CAL said it had added a direct flight between Tobago and New York, but it records a 44 per cent average load factor. Despite requests for additional flights, unless the load factor increases, it would be more cost efficient to maintain a large airport hub, with connections for passengers travelling on to other Caribbean Airlines destinations, the airline said.

The airline reported that passenger capacity on the air bridge increased by 6.25 per cent over a three-year period from 2008 to 2011, with a 9.6 per cent increase in passenger loads between 2010 and 2011.
..
“Caribbean Airlines is committed to providing the support, however, this must be done in a structured manner, incrementally and profitably in order to have a sustainable operation. We are committed to the process and wish to state that the THA continues to put the airline in a negative light over the years,” said the airline.

SilkAir Airbus A319-100 gear fire on landing at Indonesian Airport

The landing gear of a SilkAir plane briefly caught fire during an emergency landing at Adisumarmo Airport in Solo on Tuesday morning, aviation authorities said.

None of the Airbus A319's 124 passengers were injured as the plane touched down safely.

Silk Air, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, has been ordered to report the "serious incident" to a local transportation safety agency, said Bambang Supriyadie Evan, the spokesman of the Ministry of Transportation.

“The Transportation Ministry’s directorate general of air transport has asked SilkAir to report [the incident] to the KNKT [National Committee for Transportation Safety],” Bambang said Tuesday in Jakarta.

“This is a serious incident and [it has] occurred within Indonesia’s territories. KNKT can cooperate with the Singaporean authorities in its investigation,” he added.

Bambang said air traffic controllers originally thought the SilkAir plane's tires only smoked, but further investigation confirmed that the plane's tires did catch fire. The plane landed in Solo at 8:55 a.m. on a direct flight from Singapore.

Silk Air has maintained that the plane did not catch fire.

"Initial inspections found smoke from the wheel brakes, but no evidence of fire," Silk Air said in a statement.

"While the aircraft has been cleared for operations, it will be undergoing further engineering inspections before returning to Singapore. Passengers booked on the return flight will be re-accommodated on other airlines."

Bellanca 7GCBC Citabria, N5542K: Coroner identifies Montana man killed in plane crash

BILLINGS - A Montana man is dead and another man is in the intensive care unit after a plane crash in rural northeastern Montana.

Richland County Coroner Marv Johnson identifies the deceased as James Steppler, 55, of northwestern Richland County. Johnson says Steppler died of blunt force trauma injuries he sustained in the plane crash. Johnson says it appears Steppler died upon impact.

According to Richland County Sheriff Brad Baisch, another person was injured in the crash. Coroner Johnson says the man was airlifted to Billings for medical treatment. Sources tell Q2 the injured man is Verlin Steppler, the nephew of James Steppler. Verlin Steppler is currently in the intensive care unit at St. Vincent Healthcare.

Emergency responders were called to a plane crash at about 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, southwest of Culbertson in Richland County. The crash occurred near County Rd. 324 near a shelter belt, which is a row of trees planted to protect a shelter. The National Transportation Safety Board says the crash involved a single-engine fixed wing Bellanca plane.

Two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are en route to the scene. 

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA123
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 05, 2012 in Brockton, MT
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N5542K
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 March 5, 2012, about 1556 mountain standard time, a Bellanca 7GCBC, N5542K, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain about 12 miles southeast of Brockton, Montana. The private pilot was fatally injured and the one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 local personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport (SDY), Sidney, Montana, at an unknown time.

Witnesses located outside and near the accident site, reported that the accident airplane flew over their location from the north and made a 360 degree left turn, followed by a 180 degree left turn. The airplane then departed to the west and ascended. Shortly thereafter, the witnesses observed the airplane in a left turn and descending to ground impact. The airplane “belly flopped” and then continued through a series of trees before it came to rest about 70 yards from the initial impact point.

Jumbo thrill-seekers of the Caribbean


Low flying jumbo jets are the main attraction at Maho Beach, where hundreds of tourists put themselves in the path of landing and departing airplanes.

Hundreds of thrill-seeking tourists flock to Maho Beach on this Caribbean island every day – not to sunbathe or swim but to put themselves deliberately (and insanely, some say) in the path of low-flying jumbo jets. For them, spending the day reaching for the underbelly of a Boeing 757 or other such aircraft as it streaks overhead to land at the island’s international airport is their idea of fun in the sun.

Veteran plane-spotters, in fact, say there is no place quite like it: a beautiful, white sandy beach at the end of a runway where the local hangout – the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill – posts the arrival and departure times of aircraft on a surfboard and broadcasts radio transmissions between pilots and the control tower.

For the pilots of these monster jets, flying low into the airport is necessary to ensure touching down as close to the end of a short runway (7,546 feet) as possible. That may seem dangerous. But no major incident has been reported in the long history of what has been called the world’s scariest airport.

Planes that land, however, must also take off. And that’s where the danger comes in.

Holding on to the fence for dear life as the powerful jet engines rev up for takeoff, tourists routinely ignore a nearby sign warning that “jet blast” from departing aircraft “can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death.”

But for these thrill-seekers, it’s just another day at the beach.

http://www.csmonitor.com