Thursday, March 8, 2012

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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport gets ready to host Aviation Day: Vintage, contemporary aircraft in spotlight

Last year, after a two-year hiatus because of the economy, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport drew 10,000 spectators for its Aviation Day.

This year, officials say that the nice weather may help them top that number as people come to get close-up looks at contemporary military aircraft and vintage warbirds.

And while Saturday's event remains free for the most part, organizers don't know how much longer they can keep it that way.

Trade-A-Plane Apps For Everything That Keeps You Flying

/PRNewswire/ -- The world's largest aviation resource since 1937, Trade-A-Plane gives you access to everything that keeps you flying with its iPhone and new Android app.
 
With the detailed search functionality available on the  website, the Trade-A-Plane app allows you to find listings for Aircraft, Engines, Parts/Products, Real Estate, Services and Companies—and sort the results using various criteria. You'll get complete listings of airplanes for sale with all of the information seen on our site, including photos, videos and documents, as well as a variety of contact options for the seller.

The Trade-A-Plane mobile app features:
  • Search listings for Aircraft, Engines, Aircraft Parts and products for sale, Real Estate, Services and Companies.
  • Select specific search criteria (i.e., Category, Sub-Category, Make, Model, Price, Last Updated, etc.).
  • Sort the results by various criteria and view detailed listing information provided by the seller, including photos, videos and documents.
  • Easily contact the seller via the app by calling or emailing, visiting the seller's Facebook or Twitter profile, getting directions to the listing, or by viewing the seller's website in your preferred browser app. You can also view the listing live in Browser on our website, www.trade-a-plane.com.
  • Email a Friend any listing detail page -- The email includes a link to the listing on our website and on our mobile site so you can easily view the information from any desktop or mobile device.
  • View upcoming aviation events and add them to your personal calendar through our Events Calendar.
  • Get quick access to the Trade-A-Plane contact information.
Since 1937, Trade-A-Plane has been the leading Marketplace for airplanes for sale featuring makes like Cessna, Beech, and Piper, as well as other aviation products and services. Everything that keeps you flying...in print, online and now in the palm of your hand!

For more information, email Rachel Hill, Associate Publisher at rhill@trade-a-plane.com, visit www.trade-a-plane.com, become a fan of Trade-A-Plane on Facebook or call 1-800-337-5263.

SOURCE Trade-A-Plane 


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/08/4320896/trade-a-plane-apps-for-everything.html#storylink=cpy

Cessna Citation 500, VP-BGE: Accident occurred on March 30 2008, near Biggin Hill Airport (UK)



CORRUPT businessman Kautilya Nandan Pruthi, who duped celebrities, sports stars and hundreds of other victims out of £115 million in Britain's biggest "Ponzi" investment scam, owned the plane involved in the Farnborough air crash.

Indian-born Pruthi was labelled a "professional fraudster" as he was jailed for 14 years and six months at Southwark Crown Court, and told he faced deportation back to his home country following his jail term.

Pruthi owned the Cessna Citation 500 which crashed into a house in Romsey Close, Farnborough, after an engine shutdown on March 30, 2008.

The detached house was left in ruins but owners Ed and Pat Harman were away at the time.

All five people on board the plane died.

Pruthi was in no way implicated or involved in the incident.

Also sentenced today were Pruthi's associates John Anderson and Kenneth Peacock, who were found guilty by jury of unauthorised regulated activity, and jailed for 18 months for their part in the fraud.

Former cricketer Darren Gough and actor-turned-singer Jerome Flynn were among 800 people scammed as flamboyant fraudster Pruthi claimed he was one of the richest men in London.

Investors lost life savings after being told they would get massive revenue returns unmonitored by the Financial Services Authority.

Delivering his sentence to Pruthi, Judge Michael Gledhill QC said: "You are an extremely intelligent, articulate, sophisticated and plausible liar. In short, a professional fraudster. You set up and masterminded what may well be the largest and longest running Ponzi fraud to come before the courts in this country."

Many investors lost their homes, pensions and life savings, he added. Mr Gledhill said Peacock and Anderson, who the court heard had since undertaken psychiatric counselling, were as much victims of Pruthi as other investors.

"They trusted you completely, as did everybody else that came into your orbit. They believed every false representation you made about your scheme - why would they have invested and then encouraged family and friends to give you their money?" he added.

Pruthi was also made subject to a financial report order and qualifies for automatic deportation after his release from prison, the court heard.

Before trial, Pruthi pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to four specimen counts of obtaining money transfers by deception, one count of participating in a fraudulent business, one count of unauthorised regulated activity and one count of converting and removing criminal property. 


Flight's departure postponed because of stolen phone

An Air Malta flight due to have taken off for Manchester at 3.30 p.m. was delayed after a passenger reported that his iphone had been stolen.

The theft is said to have taken place at the departure gate.

Passengers who were on the plane were disembarked and all passengers were searched.

The plane took off at 5 p.m. Informed sources said the decision to delay take-off was taken by Air Malta at the request of the police.

An Air Malta spokesman said the airline was cooperating with the police.

http://www.timesofmalta.com

'Maybe we weren't going to make it ...' - Cameraman

A freelance cameraman who filmed a Pacific Blue takeoff inside the cabin thought "maybe we weren't going to make it too far", the Queenstown District Court was told yesterday.

A 54-year-old pilot, of Papakura, appeared for the fourth day of a defended hearing before Judge Kevin Phillips.

The pilot, who has interim name suppression, has denied operating a Boeing 737-800 in a careless manner on June 22, 2010, a charge laid by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Adelaide-based freelance cameraman Simon Christie, who was working on The Amazing Race Asia television programme and on board the aircraft when it departed in dwindling light, said the takeoff was bumpy.

Speaking via a Skype videolink, he said he was holding a camera but put it down during takeoff after being told over the PA system: "We are going to give it a go."

"It was bumpy, 30 seconds to a minute then we seemed to drop, not a big drop. I could see houses clearly because we were heading to a large lake.

"Maybe we weren't going to make it too far, it seemed to be a steep climb for a few minutes, once we broke through the clouds everything was fine."

Virgin Australia – previously Pacific Blue – flight operations manager Geoffrey Lowe told the court about safety procedures for a 737-800 flying out of Queenstown if an engine failed.

Using aircraft engineering performance data, simulators and satellite topographic maps, Pacific Blue formed safety plans for any engine-out incidents taking off from Queenstown.

Queenstown was a complex airport, surrounded by mountains, and the biggest workload was calculating engine failure procedures against topography, he said.

The minimum engine-out takeoff clearance for the highest obstacle out of Queenstown was 35 feet (10.5 metres), he told the court.

Judge Phillips said that was "a pretty fine line".

Mr Lowe said the company manual stipulated a pilot flew a figure-of-eight return to Queenstown if an engine failed before a set takeoff reference point or, if it occurred after the takeoff reference, continued on a set heading initially with maximum continuous thrust.

Eyewitness Alan Kirker, who watched the take-off over the Frankton Arm from Larch Hill Pl, told the court he saw an unusually low aircraft in level flight.

The charter boat skipper, whose vessel was on a list of standby rescue boats, said his first thought was how quickly he could leave his home to launch on Lake Wakatipu. "It got to the Kelvin peninsula, banked very heavily, maybe a 45-degree bank.

"I was afraid it was going to clip the trees. "I was watching a front coming ... it banked heavily around the golf course. I could still see it again as it got around the base of Deer Park (Heights). I could only see the lights. It was in the whiteout."

http://www.stuff.co.nz

No pressure on pilots to fly if not comfortable: company

Pilots were not pressured to depart if they were not comfortable, Virgin Australia New Zealand (formerly Pacific Blue) flight operations manager Geoffrey Lowe told the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

He was giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial of a 54-year-old pilot, of Auckland, who denies one charge of operating a plane carelessly on June 22, 2010. His name is suppressed.

Judge Kevin Phillips asked Mr Lowe what happened if a pilot "is on the ground making a call he's not coming back?

""Then he shouldn't leave. We don't pressure any of our pilots to depart if they're not comfortable to depart ... they should [stay]," Mr Lowe replied.

Mr Lowe, who is responsible for maintaining the competency of pilots, said one of the main considerations for the company with Queenstown was the "high climb required to clear the obstacles", particularly in the event of an engine failure during take-off.

"It's a bit like doing push-ups with two arms.

"If I'm lucky, I'm able to get two push-ups, but if I take one arm away, I'm lucky to get half [a push-up].

"If you take away one engine [of a plane] you don't necessarily get half the power."

Mr Lowe told Judge Phillips, when asked, the airline put no pressure on any pilot to fly if they were not comfortable.

"There's no pressure for any aircraft overnighting in Queenstown when it should be overnighting in Sydney?", Judge Phillips asked.

"I sometimes think it's more of a perception. We certainly do not pressure anybody to leave," Mr Lowe replied.

"If they're not comfortable, then they should stay, whether that's Queenstown, Brisbane or Christchurch.

"We have a duty manager system in place - a pilot rings a central number, hits a few buttons and that will be directed to a duty manager. ... If he [the pilot] doesn't want to go, he doesn't go."

http://www.odt.co.nz

Airport commission: Need for legal counsel debated

Jeff Czeczok of Brainerd, who went from outside critic to the newest member of the Brainerd Regional Airport Commission after his appointment to the panel in January, on Tuesday decried the commission’s payments to a legal counsel as a waste of money.

He said the commission’s payment for attorney Dyan Ebert’s review of data practices requests could possibly be handled by the office of the Crow Wing County attorney. The county and city of Brainerd jointly own the airport.

Czeczok cast the sole no vote when the commission voted to pay bills. Commission member Howard Pihlaja was absent. Commission member and Brainerd City Council member Kevin Goedker had to leave before that vote was taken.

In January, commission Chair Andy Larson said the panel decided to hire an attorney in order to get ongoing, consistent legal advice. At Tuesday’s meeting he said the city had temporarily raised the possibility of withholding its airport funding and he had received advice from the city and county attorneys that the commission might want to retain its own counsel.

Before his appointment to the commission Czeczok was among those citizens who had sought information from the commission regarding a conflict of interest issue.

Airport Commissioner Beth Pfingsten said she would meet with Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan to see what sort of legal assistance might be provided at no cost. She said Ryan had earlier indicated that while his office might be able to provide some help he would not attempt to provide any legal advice regarding aviation law.

Rachel Reabe Nystrom, a county board and airport commission member, told Czeczok that the staff of the county attorney is fully engaged in a variety of legal cases and any additional requests for the time of those lawyers could cost the county money.

“It does cost somebody something,” she said. “Free is not free.”

The commission heard a presentation from Ed Hall, who has suggested an alternative method to hiring an airport manager could be to hire him on a contract basis.

Hall said he had more than 40 years experience in military, commercial and civilian aviation. He suggested that he could serve on a contract basis for a period of about three years while the commission conducted a vetting process in its search for an airport manager.

One of the goals he would set, if hired, would be to gauge any possible interest by Vision Airlines in Georgia to provide scheduled service to the Brainerd airport. He also suggested a “complete operational audit and reorganization plan.” Hall said he would emphasize a culture of safety if he were running the airport.

Responding to Hall’s stated alarm at the quick pace of the hiring process for a new airport manager, Pfingsten said it was not a rush but was a six-month process.

Larson noted the commission’s goal to hire an airport manager by June 1 is flexible.

“If we go to July, we go to July,” he said. “If we go to August, we go to August.”

The commission unanimously approved a $2,500 budget for advertising for the new airport manager.

Plans call for the ads to be published in the Brainerd Dispatch, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis and selected trade publications. In addition, about 20 universities and colleges that offered aviation programs will be contacted.

Commission members authorized the interim airport manager to complete work on the ad copy, job description and employment application for the airport manager’s position.

Interim Airport Manager Rick Adair said he had not yet heard anything from Great Lakes Aviation, the firm which was awarded the right to provide service to Brainerd in the wake of Delta Airlines’ announcement that it will eventually cease its operation at the airport.

In other action, the commission:

Approved a contract amendment for a change order amounting to an additional $4,500 for the engineering firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), the engineering firm involved with the recent remodeling of the airport terminal. Joel Dresel of SEH said the money was for soil testing work that took considerably longer than anticipated. He said he thought it was fair to pay the extra money to the soil testers.

Agreed to a total budget of $45,000 over three years to spend on interior decorating of the airport.

Heard Pfingsten ask the city council and county board representatives on the commission to share highlights of the monthly commission meeting with their respective political entities. Bowen also expressed her hope that the Minnesota Legislature approves setting aside undeveloped land north of the airport for a refuge.

“That land should not be developed into residential areas,” she said.

http://m.brainerddispatch.com

Jack Holthaus obtains pilot certificate at University of Cincinnati

Jack (pictured on the right) with instructor Jimmy McCord immediately following his Recreational checkride.

Jack Holthaus earned his Recreational pilot certificate on February 13, 2012. To obtain his Recreational certificate, Jack passed an oral and a flight exam with a Federal Aviation Administration designated flight examiner.

 Jack is enrolled in the Professional Pilot Program at the University of Cincinnati. The laboratory portion of the Professional Pilot Program is taught at the Clermont County Airport.

Jack is the son of Doug Holthaus of Milford. When he completes the two-year program through the University of Cincinnati, he will have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Commerical pilot certificate.

For more information about professional pilot training at the University of Cincinnati, visit www.ucclermont.edu or call 513.732.5200.

Pilot Doug Kandle talks about his experimental aircraft in his hangar at Caldwell Industrial Airport (KEUL), Caldwell, Idaho

by Idaho Press-Tribune

Pilot Doug Kandle talks about his experimental aircraft in his hangar Monday morning at the Caldwell Airport. Kandle built the lightweight experimental aircraft in the basement of his Caldwell home.

Smoke reported in Southwest jet at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS)

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Smoke was reported in the cockpit of a Southwest Airlines aircraft Thursday morning at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

A team from the Federal Aviation Agency's aircraft rescue and firefighting unit found no fire on board, officials said.

The craft was parked at Gate 11, officials said. Passengers were taken off the plane and it was pulled away from the terminal.

According to the ABIA flight information page, the plane at Gate 11 was Flight 129 bound for Dallas Love Field and then to Albuquerque/Tucson.

Council considers operating Moore-Murrell Airport (KMOR), Morristown, Tennessee


The Morristown City Council will weigh the costs and benefits of taking over operations of the Morristown airport before signing a new contract with a fixed-based operator, officials say.

The contract with the airport’s current fixed-based operator, FBO, Morristown Air Service expires on June 1.

The FBO is responsible for providing day-to-day airport management, and receives the lion’s share of the revenue from hangar rentals and fuel sales.

The public decision-making process begins at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 26 in Council Chambers with an open forum.

Prospective FBO bidders, pilots and airport users will have the opportunity to offer input on what direction they believe city government should take.

Councilmember Chris Bivens appeared to capture the mood of city council when he said he’s not convinced city government should manage the airport.

“I want to know why we don’t want to get into it,” Bivens said.

Should councilmembers choose to take over airport operations, the leading candidate for airport manager is Assistant City Administrator Ralph “Buddy” Fielder, who has served as city government’s point man for airport issues.

Councilmembers said Tuesday evening they do not yet have enough facts to make an informed decision, but whatever happens, city government’s contract with its FBO is likely to change.

Councilmembers were told that five individuals are interested in bidding on the FBO contract, which could include a different revenue-sharing split.

Morristown Air Service receives 67 percent of the revenue from city-owned hangars, and gives city government 8 cents for every gallon of aviation fuel it sells.

Also, city government is responsible for mowing the grounds and major maintenance on the terminal and other structures.

Morristown City Administrator Tony Cox says it’s impossible for councilmembers to consider all options and make a decision by June 1, the day the contract with Morristown Air Service expires.

Cox says he’ll be consulting with the current FBO with a view to extending the contract for 90 days to give time for councilmembers to make a decision.

Morristown Air Service, which has had the FBO contract for approximately 12 years, is not obliged to operate the airport on a temporary basis.

Fielder says most municipalities the size of Morristown manage their own operations, but frequently have a governing airport board to steer the ship.

Long-time local pilot Lloyd “Bounce” Bible volunteered his services as an impartial advisor to councilmembers prior to the March 26 public meeting, an offer that was tacitly accepted.

Bible opined that city’s FBO could provide better fueling and maintenance services.

Bible says that airport management is a non-intuitive enterprise that requires specialized knowledge, and that he’s willing to work with Fielder to develop criteria for the decision-making process.

http://www.citizentribune.com

Cortez Municipal Airport (KCEZ) keeps plugging away: Passenger numbers down from high mark in 2007

Passengers deplane from a Great Lakes Aviation flight from Denver at the Cortez Municipal Airport.
Journal/Sam Green


The Cortez Municipal Airport is a one-man operation.

Russ Machen is that guy and he has worked for the city of Cortez for 32 years, the past 20 as the airport manager.

No matter what the job — plowing snow, manning the snow blower or lawnmower, wildlife management or working on the parking area, Machen is the guy.

Back when Machen took over the airport maintenance position, the airport management fell under the city manager’s duties. But after he resigned in 1991, Machen began taking on more responsibilities.

“It was baptism by fire,” Machen said. “We didn’t have a city manager for six months so anything that come down the pipe, ‘You’re the airport guy, you can handle it.’”

Little by little, Machen found himself with more duties.

Machen said the airport is a valuable asset for the community, but its hit some economic turbulence recently.

“Economically, 2011 business was down,” Machen said.”Our fixed base operator Cortez Flying Service sold 141,000 gallons of fuel in 2011. In ’07, our benchmark year, they sold 219,000 gallons.”

A fixed base operator provides fuel and service for planes that use the Cortez airport. Bill Moore has owned and operated CFS since 1971. He said it’s becoming harder to find such service at smaller airports.

“We fuel the planes and service the planes. We do maintenance for Great Lakes on an on-call basis. You might have trouble finding that these days. Most don’t have it.”

Machen said 2007 was also a high mark for passengers flying out of Cortez, with more than 11,000 people using the airport for commercial flights.

“In 2010 we had about 7,000 and in 2011 we had 7,600, so things started to do an uptick on passenger boards.”

With steady but modest numbers of airline travelers, the airport depends heavily on state and federal funds to maintain operations. The Essential Aviation Service grant is a federal subsidy that helps keep commercial airlines in rural communities. In Cortez, Great Lakes Airlines has provided commercial air service to and from Denver for the past 10 years.

“They drive everything,” Machen said. “They’re the biggest revenue source when you combine their landing fees and billing rent, and there’s a passenger facility charge, which we allow to tax the passengers, and then we get that back to provide for infrastructure.”

He said the recent four-year Federal Aviation Administration bill that passed secured funds for future projects. The airport may consider acquiring property to accommodate an instrument landing approach to help pilots land in inclement weather.

“Right now we’re on a visual approach only, so when we have snow coming down we can’t land an airplane and they’ve got to wait for the road to clear,” Machen said.

He also said the FAA requires frequent and costly upgrades.

Federal grants help pay for 95 percent of those costs, but before the bill passed there had been 23 extensions since 2008, Machen said.

“It’s a big deal that we have a four-year funding from the FAA,” he said.

According to a news release from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-Colo.), the bill can help boost economies.

“Finally Congress has come together on a bill that will clear the way for critical construction projects and allow for long term construction plans, reduce delays for travelers, improve safety and access to air travel, and provide a huge economic boost for Colorado’s airports and their surrounding communities,” Bennet said.

For now, the airport receives about $150,000 annually in grants based on the number of travelers that use the airport. If travelers surpass the 10,000 mark, grant funding would jump to $1 million.

“You can do a lot with a million dollars,” Machen said. He said lengthening the runway is another plan, but until passenger boardings increase that plan will remain on the drawing board.

State grants have helped pay for equipment like a snowplow, front-end loader, snowblower, lawnmower and more.

Great Lakes Airlines offers three round-trip flights to Denver, Monday through Friday and two on Saturday and Sunday.

“It gives us a link to Denver, where you can go anywhere,” Machen said. “I think it’s essential in this day and age to maintain a commercial service connection, because without it, your economy suffers.”

http://www.cortezjournal.com

The women are taking off

Captain Ann Parr Waple of Air Mekong
Photo: VnExpress

With a tall, slender figure, an impressive 170 –centimeter height, long hair and a bright smile, 25-year-old Huynh Ly Dong Phuong surprises many when they learn that she is an experienced pilot.

She has worked for national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines for a year and a half now, and the beautiful pilot has caught many of her passengers by surprise when she walks out of the cockpit, and is often asked to take pictures with them.

Born and raised in Brussels (Belgium), she had always been fascinated with planes and airports whenever she went back to Vietnam for vacations. Since then, the young girl knew that she wanted to become a pilot.

Yet apparently the dream was opposed by Phuong’s parents, who suggested she take an easier office job. When her father passed away when she graduated from high school, Phuong was admitted into a business school, yet still found herself dreaming about the sky.

After finally obtaining her mother’s permission, Phuong came back to Vietnam and trained to become a pilot with Vietnam Airlines, which sent her to a 2-and-a-half-year training course in Montpellier (France) with 31 other trainees.

The course had four female pilots, and one dropped out before graduation. Phuong said there were times when she wanted to give up as she went through a lot of stress dealing with pressure and discrimination from male classmates who said “they had no idea what a girl was doing there.”

“Yet I also had very good instructors and friends who showed lots of support. I was determined to change others’ thinking about female pilots and make them realize that not only can women fly planes, they can also do it very well.”

To Phuong, her most memorable moment during the training was when she was allowed to fly on her own by her instructor. “I felt like a bird spreading its wings for the first time. It was so surprising and I was overwhelmed with emotions.” Then there was the first time Phuong took off with 180 passengers on board; “I looked at them and felt so nervous and happy at the same time.”

At present, Phuong flies both domestic routes to Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang and Cam Ranh; and international flights to China, Korea, Japan, Singapore or Malaysia.

“Each day on board is a new, happy and memorable day. The sky looks different everyday, and no fancy office can be as beautiful as that. I feel so blessed to fly pass many beautiful natural scenes and explore new lands,” Phuong shared, yet she said the busy working schedule has kept her from getting involved in any relationships.

25-year-old pilot Huynh Ly Dong Phuong

Being a pilot is an interesting and safe job

To many people, flying a plane may sound like a harsh and dangerous job that is more suitable for men, yet 29-year-old Ann Parr Waples, a captain of local airliner Air Mekong, thinks it is a very interesting and safe job.

Ann moved to Vietnam in October 2010 with her husband, who also flies for Air Mekong, after working for several American airlines.

“She is really nice and funny, yet once she gets into her cockpit, she is completely different, serious and really focused,” a flight attendant said about Ann, who came from Tennessee (America) and flies Air Mekong’s 90-seat Bombardier CRJ 900.

Ann’s father was a pilot, and she had her first training course at Middle Tennessee State University, where she found that flying a plane was not an easy job, as she had imagined. There are thousands of pieces of equipment and buttons in a plane’s cockpit, which requires pilots like Ann to log thousands of hours of training, simulating and examinations to excel in using them.

“To become a good pilot, it doesn’t matter if you are female or male, you have to train your judgment skill and your ability to deal with emergencies,”

While working in Vietnam, Ann has had to deal with situations like bad weather with heavy rains or dense fog, and passengers having serious health problems.

“Four months ago, on a flight from Hanoi to Saigon, there were 6 passengers with medical problems. I had to make an emergency landing to get these people into the nearest hospital. Fortunately all of them were OK, and I haven’t had any situations I couldn’t handle,” Ann said.

In her free time, Ann often travels around Vietnam with her husband to famous vacation spots from Phu Quoc and Nha Trang to Ha Long or Con Dao. “I love doing this job and I am proud of it,” the young captain said.

http://www.tuoitrenews.vn

Cessna 172S, N665SP: Accident occurred February 15, 2012 in North Bend, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA105 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 15, 2012 in North Bend, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N665SP
Injuries: 3 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.

During the local flight, which took place in dark night visual meteorological conditions, several witnesses reported observing the airplane’s lights at a low altitude and hearing the airplane’s engine running before the sound of impact. One witness, a certificated pilot, estimated that when he saw the airplane there was an overcast layer of clouds about 2,000 feet mean sea level (msl) with some lower level clouds and patchy areas of fog. Recorded radar data showed the flight departing the airport and ascending to an altitude of about 2,400 feet msl while traveling in a northeasterly direction. The data subsequently showed that the airplane descended on an east-southeasterly heading to an altitude of about 1,500 feet msl before radar contact was lost. The last recorded radar target was about 6 miles northwest of the accident site, which was located at an elevation of about 1,958 feet msl. The terrain along the pilot’s route of flight ranged between about 500 and 1,000 feet msl; the accident occurred as the airplane approached an area of rising (mountainous) terrain. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation. Toxicology tests of the pilot revealed a blood alcohol concentration of 154 mg/dl. Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit operation of an airplane by persons with blood alcohol concentrations exceeding 40.0 mg/dL. It is likely that the pilot was impaired during the flight, which affected his ability to operate the airplane and maintain clearance from terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's physical impairment due to alcohol, which adversely affected his ability to operate the airplane and to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain while operating in dark night conditions.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On February 15, 2012, about 0154 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N665SP, was substantially damaged following impact with terrain on the western face of Mount Si, near North Bend, Washington. The airplane was registered to Christiansen Aviation Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by the pilot, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot and his two passengers sustained fatal injuries. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight originated from the Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington, at 0135.

A witness, who was a rated private pilot, reported that while driving in an easterly direction on Interstate 90 (I-90), he observed anti-collision and navigation lights from a low flying airplane that was flying in a southeasterly direction, about 1 mile north of I-90. The witness stated that as I-90 turned to a southwesterly direction, he lost sight of the airplane for a couple of minutes, however, reestablished visual contact with the airplane as he and the airplane approached North Bend. The witness said that at that time, the airplane altered its course and was traveling in a northeasterly direction at an estimated altitude of about 1,000 feet above ground level (agl). The witness added that visibility was at least 3 miles with a high overcast cloud ceiling and a few lower elevation clouds.

Several witnesses located near the accident site reported having heard an impact sound. One witness reported observing the lights of a low flying airplane over his location about 300 to 500 feet agl. The witness stated that he heard the engine rev up and couldn’t see the lights anymore. Shortly thereafter, they heard a pop along with the engine noise suddenly stop.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recorded radar data revealed that the accident airplane was on initial climb from RNT. The airplane ascended to an altitude of about 2,400 feet mean sea level (msl), initially traveling in a northeasterly direction. As the airplane approached the area of Snoqualmie Falls, it descended to an altitude of about 1,500 feet msl, and traveled along an east-southeasterly course. The last recorded radar target was at 0146, about 1.5 miles southwest of Snoqualmie Falls at an altitude of 1,500 feet msl. The last radar target was located about 6.11 miles northwest of the accident site.

According to one of the passenger’s family members, the pilot and the two passengers attended a local hockey game that started at 1930. Following the game, the pilot and passengers went to dinner.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

The pilot, age 30, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. A first-class airman medical certificate was issued to the pilot on August 8, 2007, with no limitations stated. Review of the pilot’s logbook revealed that as of the most current logbook entry, dated February 12, 2012, he had accumulated 991.5 hours of total flight time.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION 

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) 172S8069, was manufactured in 1998. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine, serial number L-27912-51A, rated at 180 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with a McCauley 1A170E/JHA7660, serial number SH101, fixed pitch propeller. Review of the aircraft maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on October 10, 2011, at an airframe total time of 5,477.3 hours and engine time since major overhaul of 560.7 hours. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

A review of recorded data from the Renton Municipal Airport automated weather observation station, located 21 miles east of the accident site, revealed at 0756, conditions were wind from 160 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 6 miles, mist, few clouds at 2,800 feet, overcast cloud layer at 4,000 feet, temperature 2 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees and terrain on an approximate heading of about 120 degrees magnetic at an elevation of about 1,958 feet msl. Multiple topped trees and damaged tree limbs were noted within the wreckage debris path. Both wings, horizontal, and vertical stabilizers were separated and located throughout the wreckage debris path. The fuselage came to rest inverted and the engine remained attached.

Partial flight control cable continuity was established due to the extent of impact damage to the aircraft. The rudder flight control cables remained attached to the control horn at the tail of the aircraft. The ailerons and flap control cables were observed with tension overload separations at the inboard section of each wing and remained attached to the flight controls. The flap actuator was observed with no threads exposed corresponding to a 0 degree flap setting. The elevator control cables were observed with tension overload separations consistent with the separation of the horizontal stabilizer surfaces. The elevator trim tab control cables and actuator remained attached to the tail. The elevator trim actuator was measured and found to be 1.3 inches, which equated to a neutral trim position.

The top spark plug for the number 2 cylinder was removed and exhibited normal wear signatures as per the Champion Aviation Check-a-Plug chart. The fuel distribution valve was opened and observed with no debris or damage to the diaphragm. The propeller was separated from the crankshaft and exhibited leading edge polishing and “S” bending. 

The on-site examination of the airframe and engine, revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure with the airframe or engine prior to impact. The wreckage was not recovered from the accident site.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The King County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy of the pilot on February 16, 2012. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was “...blunt force trauma...”

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs were tested, and had positive results for 246 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in the Urine, 195 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in the Vitreous, 154 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in the blood, 92.08 (ug/ml, ug/g) Acetaminophen detected in the urine, 6.852 (ug/ml, ug/g) Dipehnhydramine detected in the blood, and an unspecified amount of Dipehnhydramine in the urine and liver.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Information obtained from CAMI revealed, “…ethanol is primarily a social drug with a powerful central nervous system depressant. After absorption, ethanol is uniformly distributed throughout all tissues and body fluids. The distribution pattern parallels the water content and blood supply of each organ. Postmortem production of ethanol also takes place due to putrefaction processes, but vitreous humor and urine do not suffer from such production to any significant extent in relation to blood. Vitreous humor would normally have about 12% more ethanol than blood if the system is in the post absorptive state, and urine would normally have about 25% more ethanol than blood. The average rate of elimination of ethanol from blood is 18 mg/dL (15-20 mg/dL) per hour.”

CAMI also states that Title 14 CFR 91.17 (a) “prohibits any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 g/dL (40.0 mg/dL) or more alcohol in the blood.” Adverse clinical symptoms have been noted with blood ethanol levels as low as 20.0 mg/dL (0.020 g/dL).”


NTSB Identification: WPR12FA105
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 15, 2012 in North Bend, WA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N665SP
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 15, 2012, about 0154 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N665SP, cruised into the western face of Mount Si, about 1.75 miles east of North Bend, Washington. The airplane fragmented upon impacting trees and upsloping mountainous terrain, which resulted in substantial structural damage. The airplane’s registered owner, Christiansen Aviation, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, leased the airplane to a fixed base flight school operator in Renton, Washington, called AcuWings. The commercial pilot held a certified flight instructor certificate. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the dark nighttime, personal sightseeing flight. No flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), about 0135.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recorded radar was performed for an aircraft having performance characteristics of a Cessna 172, that flew on a route from RNT to the accident site vicinity, and that disappeared about the time of the accident near the crash site. Only one target was found that met these criteria. The FAA’s recorded radar shows an aircraft on initial climb out from RNT. The aircraft climbed to 2,400 feet mean sea level (msl), as indicated by its altitude encoding transponder. Initially, the aircraft proceeded in a northeasterly direction. However, as the aircraft approached Snoqualmie Falls, it descended to 1,500 feet and proceeded on an east-southeasterly course. The last radar hit occurred at 0146, at which time the aircraft was about 1 mile southwest of the Falls, and about 1 mile north of Interstate Highway 90 (I-90). During the last minute of recorded flight, the aircraft’s ground speed decreased from about 112 to 106 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator received information from a witness who stated that about 0150 he was driving in an easterly direction on I-90. The witness holds a private pilot certificate. He reported having observed the anticollision and navigation lights from a low flying airplane that was cruising in a southeasterly direction an estimated 1 mile north of I-90. The witness stated that when I-90 turned southeasterly, he lost sight of the airplane for a couple of minutes. However, he regained visual contact with the airplane as he and the airplane approached North Bend. At that time, the airplane had altered its course and was heading in a northeasterly direction. The witness estimated that the airplane’s altitude was about 1,000 feet above ground level. (North Bend’s elevation is 400 to 500 feet msl.) The witness stated that the visibility was at least 3 miles. There was an overcast ceiling several thousand feet above the ground, with a few lower elevation clouds. Based upon the flight path drawing provided by the witness, the Safety Board investigator notes that when the witness lost visual contact with the airplane, it was flying toward the Mount Si area and was within 3 miles of the crash site.

Beginning about 0154, several persons located in North Bend telephoned 911 and reported having heard an impact sound. At least one witness reported having observed the lights of a low flying airplane and the sound of its engine suddenly stop following its 0153 low altitude easterly direction flight over the city toward Mount Si.

The Safety Board investigator’s on scene examination of the accident site and airplane wreckage revealed evidence of multiple broken tree trunks and felled branches on the mountainside in Mount Si’s Natural Resource Conservation Area. Fragmented airframe components, including both crushed wings, were noted below dozens of felled branches on an approximate 120-degree magnetic track leading to the fuselage, which was upside down. No evidence of preimpact oil leaks, fuel filter blockage, flight control anomalies, or fire was noted at the estimated 1,950-foot msl crash site.

MEDIA ADVISORY
March 7, 2012

DNR to reopen trails and trailheads in Mount Si NRCA Friday, March 9

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that it will reopen the Mount Si and Little Si trailheads and trails at 8 a.m., Friday, March 9. The area was closed to public access after a single-engine airplane crashed in the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) on February 15. 

Initially, the area was closed while federal and local teams conducted an investigation into the cause of the crash. The area remained closed so that a helicopter salvage operation could remove the wreckage safely without risk to the public. Recovery efforts have been delayed due to winter weather conditions and poor visibility.

DNR anticipates the plane wreckage will be removed prior to Friday. However, if efforts to remove the wreckage are postponed again, DNR will still reopen the area. The agency may need to close Mount Si NRCA for one day in the future to enable the salvage operation to take place safely.

“Public safety was our main reason for keeping the area closed during the attempted salvage operation,” said Doug McClelland. “We know how much the public enjoys visiting the Mount Si area. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Where to find updates on the status of Mount Si:
For more information, contact Doug McClelland, 206-920-5907, or doug.mcclelland@dnr.wa.gov .
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, toni.droscher@dnr.wa.gov