Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicago, Illinois - Pilot putting region's old airports on the radar

Chicago area's former airfields that provided vital WWII training are subjects of planned book

Nick Selig, 76, is researching a planned book about dozens of the Chicago area's old airports.




Veteran pilot Nick Selig is flying solo on a mission to salute Chicagoland's ghost airports, the grass airfields carved out of farmland that helped sow the seeds of victory in World War II.

Almost all of the approximately 45 airports are long gone. Some are abandoned while others are buried under the highways, shopping malls and residential subdivisions of suburban Chicago.

They include Elmhurst Airport near Lake Street and state Route 83, which opened in 1927 and thrived until a utility line was erected through the airfield in 1956, followed by Interstate Highway 290; Maywood Field, an airmail field where Charles Lindbergh once landed that is now the home of Hines VA Hospital; and Ravenswood Airport, along Touhy Avenue near Rosemont, which opened in the late 1920s and was among about six muddy airfields close to Orchard Field Airport, which became O'Hare International Airport.

"There was a creek running through the middle of Ravenswood," Selig said. "Two runways went across a bridge over the creek. Pilots had to negotiate that when taking off and landing.

"Unfortunately, it's also where the American Airlines DC-10 crashed in 1979 after taking off from O'Hare."

All 271 people aboard the plane and two on the ground were killed, making it the deadliest air disaster in the U.S. until the9/11terror attacks.

Selig fondly remembers visiting Chicagoland Airport near the village of Half Day, which today is part of Vernon Hills. It was one of 15 airports the Navy built to train pilots during WWII. An old farmhouse on the site served as the airport office.

"I always thought it was unique because it was the only airport I ever saw with a swing for kids to play on," said Selig, adding that the airport operated until the 1970s.

"These little airports, only 20 to 40 acres on average, came to be at any open field around the suburbs," Selig said.

Selig, 76, is a retired O'Hare airplane mechanic who is a part-time flight instructor. He spends time at libraries and historical societies researching the old airfields and the pilots who trained for WWII or who scratched out a living selling rides, lessons and airplanes.

"I hope to record it all in a book for posterity before the participants of the era expire, including me," said Selig, who lives with his wife, Suzette, also a pilot, at Naper Aero, a residential airpark community in Naperville.

He has written 25 of the 45 "ghost airport" stories and is working with a publisher, he said. Some of the tales have come from fellow old pilots he meets when he presents a slide show on the topic to aviation clubs and other groups.

The airfields that the Navy built in the Chicago area during WWII were used to train up to 90 percent of Navy pilots, Selig estimated.

"Very few people know about these suburban airports. What I am trying to put across in my book is that at the beginning of World War II, if it hadn't been for these little dirt and sod airfields to train all the pilots we needed for the war, it might have been a significantly different outcome," he said.

The personalities Selig has come across are a big part of the story he wants to tell.

There was Dick Lloyd, for instance, who in the mid-1940s bought Sky Haven Airport near Bensenville and operated it on land he leased from a railroad until the field closed in 1955.

"Dick Lloyd had a wooden leg. Before we had these sticky Post-it Notes, he used to thumbtack notes to himself on his wooden leg," Selig said.

Another larger-than-life character was Willie Howell, who ran Howell Airport at Cicero Avenue and Route 83 near Crestwood in southern Cook County. The airport closed in 1990, replaced by the Rivercrest Shopping Center.

"If you landed your airplane at this airport, you'd better pay Howell's landing fee because he would run out in his Cadillac car and park in front of your airplane so you couldn't move it," Selig said, quoting Howell's former flight students.

Selig is eager to talk to survivors of this bygone era of aviation. He can be contacted at nickselig35@gmail.com.

Linden, Michigan - Woman who retrained as jet engine mechanic shows 'people can reinvent themselves'

Ryan Garza | MLive
Debbie Monchilov, of Linden, recently graduated with a technical school degree from the Aviation Technology Institute to be a jet engine mechanic.


By Blake Thorne, MLive.com

LINDEN, Michigan -- Debra Monchilov didn't listen to the criticisms surrounding her choice to change career paths.

Criticisms that she was too old to become a jet engine mechanic.

Or too female.

"I always had a passion," said Monchilov, a Linden resident who at age 51 just became a licensed airframe and powerplant technician. She trained at Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology in Canton.

Completion of the 20-month program means Monchilov can do complex maintenance and upkeep on airplanes, windmills, military drones, even some amusement park rides.

It's a world of opportunity for a former stay-at-home mom and insurance agent who, before this, had no formal engineering or mechanical training and no college credits.

"I had to start from the bottom up," Monchilov said.

Monchilov always had an interest in aviation. She remembers watching planes as a 6-year-old girl and daydreaming about working on them.

She was taking flying lessons at Bishop International Airport a few years ago when she got to talking with a man who worked as a recruiter for Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology, or MIAT.

So she enrolled. She never missed a day of class. She even had the letters "FLYNHI" -- for "Flyin' High" -- on her license plate.

Soon, Monchilov was learning all the complex electronics and mechanical skills required. She built special equipment used to test circuits. She hung propellers and cleaned jet engines. She even built the tool box she uses.

"It was amazing the stuff they had to learn," said her husband, Ron Monchilov.

The hard work paid off. Last April, she was named the national aviation maintenance technician student of the year by the Aviation Technician Education Council. The honor earned her a trip to Orlando to receive the award and rub elbows with industry leaders.

It was a top honor made more special, considering the field in still mostly dominated by men.

"I was the only girl in the class," she said. "Everybody called me the classroom mom."

It's a title she embraced. She would bring in baked goods for her 20- and 30-something male classmates.

"I only remember two, three girls in the whole school," she said.

It's a growing field. The industry is expecting to add 19,600 jobs through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

"This is a hiring machine," Ron Monchilov said of the industry.

"The aviation industry is the new auto industry," he added.

The job offers have been pouring in for Monchilov. Offers from across the country, and here in Michigan, have asked her to work on everything from planes to drones to amusement park rides.

She hasn't taken anything yet. She'd like to stay in the area. Her dreams are to work at Bishop and to work on private planes.

Ron Monchilov said he's very proud of his wife. Her story, he said, shows that there are opportunities out there for people willing to work hard and leave their comfort zone.

"People can reinvent themselves," he said.

Plane Forced Off Runway At Allegheny County Airport (KAGC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — The pilot of a small plane was reportedly not hurt in an accident at the Allegheny County Airport Sunday afternoon.

NewsChopper 2 flew over the scene in West Mifflin showing the airplane down in a grassy area.

According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Piper Archer suffered some nose gear damage when a wind gust caused the airplane to come down.

The Post-Gazette reports that Airport Authority officials said the pilot was practicing landings and takeoffs when the accident happened.

The incident closed the airport for a short time Sunday afternoon, but as the Post-Gazette reports, it reopened at about 3:30 p.m.

Source:  http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com

Flight triggered warning in cockpit

LATEST: A departing Pacific Blue aircraft triggered a cockpit warning most pilots would not encounter in their entire careers, an expert witness told the Queenstown District Court today.

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

The 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.

CAA allege the pilot should not have taken off for Sydney after 5.14pm because Pacific Blue rules stipulated departing aircraft at Queenstown needed at least 30 minutes before civil twilight at 5.45pm.

The aircraft departed at 5.25pm.

Expert witness Colin Glasgow, a former commercial airline pilot, Air New Zealand chief pilot and CAA airline inspector, told the court Queenstown Airport was categorized 'x', the highest of a four-level system, because of the terrain, gusting winds, a narrow runway, the then lack of runway lights and no radar.

Pilots flying in and out of Queenstown were required to undergo specific training, including flying with an examiner.

The departure route was an approved flight path over the Frankton arm, around Deer Park Heights to a reference point between the hill and The Remarkables, after which the aircraft could engage instruments and ascend into cloud.

Visual rules for the initial takeoff segment were designed to enable a pilot to deal with an emergency before the reference point, when there was no going back.

A minimum altitude was specified for the aircraft between Deer Park Hts and The Remarkables, to ensure aircraft could climb safely over the Southern Alps if an engine failed.

"As he was leaving when he did he would not be able to land the aircraft before light faded completely.

"He took away [the return to Queenstown] procedure if a malfunction occurred during this critical stage of flight.''

The aircraft descended slightly after takeoff, triggering an automatic "don't sink'' warning and "cut a corner'' flying around Slope Hill instead of directly overhead, the court was told.

As the craft turned around Deer Park Hts, it banked up to 30-degrees, when normal aircraft banking was typically 15-degrees.

This manoeuvre triggered an automatic cockpit "bank angle'' warning, a scenario that can lead to stalling.

"Pilots will fly an entire career and not hear this warning other than in a simulator.

"Being able to safely navigate terrain and avoid other aircraft depended on the ability to see through the visual segment, he was struggling to do that.''
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The aircraft did not reach minimum altitude between Deer Park and The Remarkables, a manouevre designed to allow enough climbing performance to ascend to more than 9000 feet and clear the Southern Alps.

"Failure to reach altitude created a real risk that an engine failure after [the reference point between Deer Park and The Remarkables] meant he would not have achieved enough altitude to fly over The Alps.

"He only just managed to make 9000 feet with both engines.''

The hearing continues.

Pilot ignored fundamental rule, court told

A Pacific Blue pilot took away the one option that may have saved passengers' lives in the event of an engine failure, a court has been told.

The pilot, who has name suppression, is facing a charge of careless use of a Boeing 737 after he took off from Queenstown on 22 June 2010.

The flight had 70 passengers and crew on board and was bound for Sydney.

A retired Air New Zealand captain has been called as an expert witness by the prosecution.

Colin Glasgow told the Queenstown District Court on Monday that all takeoffs must factor in the worst thing happening at the worst possible time.

Mr Glasgow said the Pacific Blue captain ignored this by taking off after the airline's daylight curfew as he never could have landed back at Queenstown in darkness on one engine.

He said the pilot left himself no other options and put 70 lives at risk and compromised his position to act in an emergency.

Raw Video: Belly Landing


Plane Lands Without Gear At Hollister Municipal Airport (KCVH), California


HOLLISTER, Calif. - A close call for one pilot as he landed at the Hollister Muncipal Airport without landing gear.

It happened just after 11:00 AM Sunday at the airport on San Felipe Road.

Hollister Fire Crews say a man made a rocky landing without his gear but managed to not be injured during the process. He was the only one in the plane.


Source: http://www.kionrightnow.com

Allegheny County (KAGC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Airport reopened after landing accident

The Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin has reopened after wind pushed a small plane off the runway earlier today.

A Piper Archer airplane was overcome by a gust of wind as the pilot practiced "touch and gos," or landings and take-offs without stopping, around 1:45 p.m., according to JoAnn Jenny, a spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The plane was forced back down in mid take-off and was pushed to a grassy area on the side of the runway.

The pilot was uninjured and the plane's nose gear suffered damage.

The West Mifflin Fire Department and the airport operations department responded to the scene. The airport closed after the incident and reopened around 3:30 p.m.

Piper Arrow has rough landing at Marco Island Airport (KMKY), Florida

Story Created: Mar 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. - The Collier County Sheriff's Office said a small plane experienced rough landing at the Marco Island Executive Airport on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities say the Piper Arrow aircraft arrived at the runway without landing gear.

The pilot was identified as a 66 year old man from New York, who was the only person on board. He was not injured.

The Marco Island airport is temporarily closed while authorities await the National Transportation Safety Board to arrive and begin an investigation.

Bottle thrown at landing helicopter - County Down, Ireland

Sunday March 11 2012

A man has been arrested after a bottle was thrown at a helicopter as it landed in Co Down.

The glass bottle was thrown at the rotor blades of the privately owned aircraft as it touched down in Newcastle.

The helicopter was damaged in the incident, but no-one was injured.

Police said they arrested a man over endangering an aircraft.

Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N49739,and Hughes 269C, N7505B: Accident occurred August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA606A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, MI
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17), registration: N49739
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA606B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, MI
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER HUGHES 269C, registration: N7505B
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 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 accident occurred during an air show routine as a wing walker attempted an aerial transfer from an airplane to a helicopter. The pilots of both aircraft reported that the aerial transfer was planned to occur on the third pass along the air show line. The initial passes went according to plan. However, on the third pass, the wing walker attempted to grab the helicopter skid before the two aircraft reached the briefed transfer point. The helicopter pilot stated that the wing walker released his hold on the airplane handle and lunged with both hands for the helicopter skid before the aircraft were in position. He reported that the wing walker attempted to go back to the airplane, but was unable to grab on to anything. The wing walker subsequently fell, impacting a grass area within the air show performance area. Both aircraft involved landed safely after the accident, without damage to either aircraft. The wing walker sustained fatal injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The wing walker’s decision to release his grip of the airplane during an attempted aerial transfer from airplane to helicopter before both aircraft achieved the proper relative positioning for the transfer.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On August 21, 2011, at 1335 eastern daylight time, an attempted aerial transfer of an individual (wing walker) from a Boeing A75N1 Stearman airplane, N49739, to a Hughes 269C helicopter, N7505B, resulted in a fatal injury to the wing walker during an air show performance at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (MTC), Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Neither aircraft was damaged during the accident; nor was either pilot injured. Both aircraft landed normally after the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and a Certificate of Waiver issued for the air show. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from RMY about 1315.

The airplane pilot stated that the wing walker fell during their third pass along the air show line. He reported that the wing walker was to wait for a cue from the helicopter pilot when both aircraft were in position for the transfer. He stated that the wing walker jumped to reach the skid on the helicopter before it was in position, letting go of the handle on the airplane. The wing walker was unable to regain a hold of the handle on the airplane and fell. The airplane pilot noted that the wing walker did not normally let go of the handle on the airplane until his arm was wrapped around the skid on the helicopter.

The helicopter pilot reported that the aerial transfer was planned to occur on the third pass along the air show line. The initial passes went according to their plan. However, on the third pass, the wing walker attempted to grab the helicopter skid prior to the briefed transfer point. The helicopter pilot stated that the wing walker released his hold on the airplane handle and lunged with both hands for the helicopter skid before the aircraft were in position. He reported that the wing walker attempted to go back to the airplane, but was unable to grab on to anything. The wing walker subsequently fell approximately 150 feet to the ground.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors assigned to the air show reported that they were near the air boss control trailer located northeast of the designated aerobatic box at the time of the accident. They noted the aircraft appeared to have been within the aerobatic box boundaries as they flew southbound past their position. They stated that the aircraft were just north of air show center when the wing walker fell from the airplane. The wing walker impacted a grass area about 1,100 feet east of runway 1-19 and 300 feet north of the perpendicular access road.

The wing walker was transported from the scene and subsequently pronounced dead at a local hospital. Both aircraft involved in the aerial transfer landed safely after the accident.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION
According to FAA records, the wing walker did not hold a pilot certificate. The FAA does not require specific certification or training related to wing walker/aerial transfer performers. The wing walker had performed with the airplane pilot for about 10 years, and had reportedly performed a similar act with other pilots prior to that. He had been a member of the International Council of Air Shows since 2008.

The airplane pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine land and sea airplane, multi-engine land and sea airplane, and helicopter ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine airplane, instrument airplane, and helicopter ratings. He reported 41,000 hours total flight time, with approximately 10,000 hours in a Boeing A75N1 Stearman airplane. His most recent flight review was completed on July 23, 2011. He was issued a first class airman medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses on May 4, 2011.

The helicopter pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine land and sea airplane, multi-engine land and sea airplane, and helicopter ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine airplane, instrument airplane, helicopter, and instrument helicopter ratings. He reported 17,815 hours total flight time, with approximately 1,500 hours in a Hughes 269C helicopter. His most recent flight review was completed on April 7, 2011. He was issued a second class airman medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses on March 17, 2011.

Both pilots held current Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) authorizations with aerial transfer endorsements. The airplane pilot's authorization also included a wing walking endorsement.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
The airplane involved in the accident, N47739, was a 1943 Boeing A75N1, serial number 75-4462. It was World War II era bi-wing training airplane, with an open cockpit, a two-place tandem seating configuration, and a conventional (tail wheel) landing gear arrangement. The single engine airplane was powered by a 225-horsepower Continental Motors R-670-6N radial engine, serial number 181087.

The airplane had accumulated about 8,390 hours at the time of the most recent annual inspection. That inspection was completed on June 15, 2011. About 37 hours had accumulated on the airplane since that inspection. The engine had about 1,030 hours total time, with approximately 330 hours since overhaul.

The accident airplane was equipped with two hand holds along the trailing edge of the upper wing in the area of the forward cockpit. An additional hand hold was located about mid-chord of the upper wing, approximately on the airplane centerline.

The helicopter involved in the accident, N7507B, was a Hughes 269C, serial number S1205. It was a two-place aircraft, which incorporated a conventional landing skid arrangement. The helicopter was powered by a 190-horsepower Lycoming HIO-360-D1A engine, serial number L-24382-51A.

The helicopter had accumulated about 5,782 hours at the time of the accident. The most recent annual inspection was completed on December 20, 2010. About 13 hours had accumulated on the helicopter since that inspection. The engine had about 7,657 hours total time, with approximately 131 hours since overhaul.

The accident helicopter was equipped with padding applied to the forward portion of the left landing skid. This was the area of the helicopter used by the wing walker as observed in the video segments reviewed by the NTSB.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS
At 1255, the weather conditions recorded at MTC were: wind from 270 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 7 miles; few clouds at 2,000 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 9,000 feet agl, broken clouds at 12,000 feet agl; temperature 24 degrees Celsius; dew point 16 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.88 inches of mercury.

At 1355, the weather conditions recorded at MTC were: wind from 270 degrees at 13 knots; visibility 7 miles; scattered clouds at 4,500 feet agl, scattered clouds at 12,000 feet agl, broken clouds at 18,000 feet agl; temperature 25 degrees Celsius; dew point 13 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.87 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION
Selfridge Air National Guard Base was served by a single north-south runway. Runway 1-19 was 9,000 feet by 150 feet, with a 1,000-foot overrun area at both ends. Air show center was located on the runway centerline, approximately 800 feet north of taxiway H. The audience fence line was located 1,650 feet east of the runway.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wing walker impacted a grass area about 1,100 feet east of runway 1-19 and 300 feet north of the perpendicular access road. The accident occurred within the designated air show aerobatic performance area. No ground personnel or spectators were injured as a result of the accident.

Both aircraft involved in the aerial transfer landed safely after the accident. Neither aircraft was damaged. The pilots stated that there no failures or malfunctions with either aircraft during the accident flight.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the wing walker was performed at the Macomb County, Michigan, Medical Examiner's Office on August 22, 2011. FAA toxicological testing was negative for all substances in the screening profile.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Selfridge 2011 air show was held on Saturday, August 20th, and Sunday, August 21st. According to the air show website, performances included military and civilian aircraft, in addition to the aerial transfer performance. No anomalies or difficulties regarding the August 20th air show performances were reported to the NTSB.

The airplane pilot performed as a part of the Untied Team: Mohr & Buis, which conducted non-aerobatic formation flight, wing walking, and aerial transfer maneuvers. He reported that he has been performing in air shows for the past 36 years, and performed in an aerial transfer act for the past 18 years. He estimated that he performed at 5 – 10 venues each season, with about 3 shows at each venue. He noted that the aerial transfer act did not vary at all from performance to performance. The airplane pilot also performed a solo aerobatic act under the name of Mohr Barnstorming.

The helicopter pilot performed a solo helicopter air show routine under the name Otto the Helicopter, in addition to the aerial transfer routine as part of the Untied Team. The helicopter pilot reported that he had performed this act with the wing walker many times over the previous 6 years.



A wing walker who fell to his death in August while attempting an aerial stunt at an air show at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, let go too soon as he tried to transfer from a single engine plane to a helicopter, according to a final report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ann Arbor stuntman Todd Green, 48, fell 150 feet to the ground after he attempted to transfer from a Boeing A75N1 Stearman airplane to a Hughes 269C helicopter.

The pilots of the plane and helicopter gave statements to the NTSB and are in the report as part of the investigation of the death of Green, who would have turned 49 on March 2.

The airplane pilot said Green jumped to reach the skid on the helicopter before it was in position and let go of the handle of the airplane. He said Green "did not normally let go of the handle on the airplane until his arm was wrapped around the skid on the helicopter," according to the report released on March 5.

The helicopter pilot said the transfer was to take place after the third pass and that the first two passes went as planned. He said Green let go of the airplane handle and "lunged with both hands for the helicopter skid" before the plane and helicopter were in position. Green attempted to go back to the airplane, but was unable to grab ahold to anything, the helicopter pilot told investigators. The report does not state wind speed as a factor in the accident. The wind was at 13 knots according to the report, which is a moderate breeze.

Green had more than 25 years of experience as a stuntman and was a member of the International Council of Air Shows. His father Eddie "The Grip" Green is in the International Council of Air Shows Foundation Hall of Fame.

On a Facebook page dedicated to his memory, a family member recalled a time when a five-year-old Green climbed through his sister's bedroom window and used a pillowcase to parachute from the roof.

"He was not hurt but we should have know (sic) that life would never be boring with Todd around," the post read.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA606A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, MI
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17), registration: N49739
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA606B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2011 in Mt. Clemens, MI
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER HUGHES 269C, registration: N7505B
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On August 21, 2011, at 1335 eastern daylight time, an attempted aerial transfer of an individual (wing walker) from a Boeing A75N1 Stearman airplane, N49739, to a Hughes 269C helicopter, N7505B, resulted in a fatal injury to the wing walker during an air show performance at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (MTC), Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Neither aircraft was damaged during the accident; nor was either pilot injured. Both aircraft landed normally after the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and a Certificate of Waiver issued for the air show. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from RMY about 1315.

Bill Waldock: Aircraft Accident Investigation - Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus College of Aviation


Bill Waldock is a professor of Safety Science at the Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus College of Aviation. He is an expert in Accident Analysis, Aerospace Safety, Aircraft Accident Investigation, Aircraft Accident Survivability, Aircraft Crashworthiness, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting and Aviation Safety.  To learn more about our faculty experts visit: news.erau.edu

Beechcraft 76 Duchess N6697L: Accident occurred March 10, 2012 in Rio Linda, California

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA128 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 10, 2012 in Rio Linda, CA
Aircraft: BEECH 76, registration: N6697L
Injuries: 3 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 10, 2012, about 1940 Pacific standard time, a Beech 76, N6697L, sustained substantial damage following a dual engine power loss and subsequent forced landing near Rio Linda, California. The airline transport pilot and his two passengers were not injured. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which had originated from Visalia, California, about 1810. A flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot said that he was descending towards his destination when both of the airplane’s engines stopped producing power. He selected a dark space on the ground and performed a forced landing. During the landing the airplane collided with a ditch and a fence. The airplane’s right wing was separated from the fuselage, and the fuselage and left wing were bent and wrinkled.

RIO LINDA (CBS13) – A plane crash-landed Saturday night in Rio Linda but no one was seriously injured.

The incident happened at around 7:30 p.m. in the 6900 block of West 4th Street.

The small two-engine plane was headed to McClellan Airfield when its left engine failed. The right engine then failed, forcing the pilot to land the plane in a field located four miles northwest of the airport, said FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage. All three men who were on the plane suffered minor injuries but were able to walk away from the crash.

The plane, a Beech 76 Duchess, was still in the field Sunday, just short distance away from a home where a family was eating dinner Saturday when it went down.

“They got lucky,” said Joseph Delso Sr., who lives in the home near where the plane crashed. “It’s just amazing nobody was hurt. Everybody walked away.”

It’s possible the plane ran out of fuel, but the exact cause of the crash is under investigation.

RIO LINDA, Calif. -- The wreckage of a small plane sat in the yard of a Rio Linda family Sunday after it crashed there Saturday night.

The three men aboard the plane walked away from the crash after narrowly avoiding power lines and landing 120 feet from a home where 40 people were attending a party, said Joseph Delso, whose yard is where the plane crashed.

Delso said the home next door, on the 6000 block of 4th Street -- which belongs to his father-in-law -- is where 40 people were gathered for a party Saturday night when the plane went down. He said the pilot and the other two men aboard the plane appeared to be calm and possibly in shock after the crash. Delso and his family walked them into the home and helped tend to facial cuts and scrapes, which appeared to be the men’s only visible injuries, Delso said.

KCRA-3 could not reach the pilot. Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane is registered to Rajinder Kalar, from Beaverton, Ore.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board told KCRA-3 on Sunday that the pilot reported that his engines were failing and crashed at about 7:40 p.m. Saturday. Other pilots told KCRA-3 that the failure of both engines would typically indicate a lack of fuel, though investigators could not confirm the exact nature of the problem on Sunday. The NTSB will investigate the accident further once it receives a report from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will send an investigator to the site, according to the NTSB spokesman.

This aircraft went down in a field just outside of Sacramento, CA in Rio Linda at approximately 1930Hrs, March 10, 2012 after both engines failed. There were three souls aboard and all three walked away from the incident.

RIO LINDA - Three men walked away from a plane crash on Saturday night after their aircraft landed in a field near a Rio Linda home.

The small twin engine aircraft, a Beech 76 Duchess, crashed around 7:30 p.m. at the 6900 block of West 4th Street.

"I just don't know how these guys survived. I don't know how they survived," said Adrienne Levy whose home was nearly struck during the incident. The aircraft clipped a telephone pole when it landed, Levy said.


"I think if it hadn't hit that telephone pole it would have come right into our house and we have a full house of people here -- we've got like 10 kids here, so it's pretty scary," said Levy.

FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer explains that the aircraft experienced left engine failure followed shortly by right engine failure causing the pilot to force land in a field, 4 miles northwest of its destination.


"All of a sudden I heard a puff and the puff caught my attention," said Joe Delso who was attending the party at Levy's home. "I looked over to the east and I saw a light and I heard wind and all of a sudden I heard a thud," said Delso.

The aircraft was on its way to McClellan Airfield from Visalia, California.

Kenneth Isenhower lives near the crash site and saw the plane coming in as the pilot struggled to find a safe place to land.

"I heard the plane coming overhead and it looked lower than normal and so I come out and look at it and the lights start flickering on the plane and then all of a sudden they go out," said Isenhower.

The three men on board walked away from the crash with minor injuries.

"I know they were extremely thankful and two of them were in pretty big shock -- maybe at shock they're alive," said Levy.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage, according to Kenitzer.

According to the FAA, the registered owner of the aircraft is Rajinder S. Kalar of Oregon.

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Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies and Sacramento Metro firefighters responded after a small plane crashed in Rio Linda on Saturday.

The twin engine propeller Beechcraft Duchess crashed in a field off West Fouth Street, less than 7 miles from McClelan Field, and just under 3 miles from the Rio Linda airport.

Investigators believe the three men onboard the aircraft were traveling from Visalia to McClelan Field when both engines failed.

All three men suffered lacerations to their faces. No other injuries were reported.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is investigating. Officials with the NTSB and the FAA are on the way. They will take over the investigation after they arrive.

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A small plane went down Saturday night in Rio Linda because of engine failure, but the pilot and two passengers walked away “virtually uninjured,” said Deputy Jason Ramos, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

Witnesses reported the crash about 7:30 p.m. as the plane dropped over the semi-rural area. The pilot managed to guide the twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft to a field between houses on large lots in the 6900 block of West Fourth Street, Ramos said. The plane landed hard, but there was no fire, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District officials responded to the scene.