Friday, April 6, 2012

Crop dusting -- not for the faint of heart

DAWSON -- American agriculture took a positive turn in August, 1921, when Lt. John A Macready sailed over an Ohio catalpa grove to dump a load of powdered lead arsenate on invading Catalpa Sphinx Moths.

By the end of his six-acre journey, Macready had become the world's first crop duster -- sometime know in modern times as aerial applicators. Among the early followers in this pioneer's dust trail would be a company called the Delta Dusters in Louisiana, later to become Delta Airlines.

The profession has come a long way since the early days of flight, as evidenced by larger, more powerful and efficient aircraft and computerized delivery systems. Despite the technical advancements, though, the planes continue to be flown by human pilots.

If you think you may be interested in a career as an aerial applicator look for a thrill park featuring rides imposing up to six intermittent "G's," or multiples of your own weight. There should be alternating short runs across uncertain terrain, eight to ten feet from the ground at speeds of 150 miles per hour. No tracks, no suspension cables. If you enjoy the ride, make sure your pilot's license is up to date then ask for an application.

J.D. Scarborough, 66, the sole aerial applicator for Ronnie Lee's RCL Flying Service in Dawson, has managed to survive his profession for 41 years, describing the work as "long periods of total boredom, sprinkled with periods of absolute terror." He was 25 when he started, he said, convinced by his uncle that flying was the way to go.

"I was a crane operator in Brunswick at the time," Scarborough said, "and I told (my uncle) I wasn't interested in flying. He finally got me to go out with him over the water to see some whales that were out there. I though that was just the coolest thing and it wasn't long before I was taking lessons."

It was about a year after that Scarborough's uncle was killed in a crop dusting accident," Scarborough said. There were others.

"This boy that was working with me -- I saw him when he went down," Scarborough said. "I got in the truck and ran over as quick as I could get there but he was completely burned up. It made me a lot more careful. It sure did."

Scarborough himself has crashed -- or nearly so "a few times," he said, from running out of gas (just once), engine failure or snagging power lines.

"I flipped a Cessna upside-down in a creek one time," said Scarborough, chuckling, "I couldn't get over the trees so I hit the dump lever to drop my chemicals, but I still couldn't get over. When I put myself on the ground and hit the brakes I flipped over into the water."

Scarborough was able to disengage his harness and free himself from the plane, but he had to walk back to the airport. He said that during his adventure his friend flew over the same spot several times but never noticed him. Despite a cavalier attitude, Scarborough thinks about his own death or injury.

"All that's in the back of your mind the whole time," Scarborough said. "When things have happened to other people and not to you, you have to wonder 'why them and not me."

While the loss of life is possible on any given day, Scarborough says it's not as dangerous as it used to be. He flies a near $1 million turbo-jet aircraft made in Albany by Thrush Aircraft.

According to Scarborough, the plane does a lot the work for him. An advanced GPS system, coupled with computer programing gives latitude and longitude of fields. In the interest of efficiency, the pilot is guided swath by swath which path to take over a field.

Applied chemicals are much safer now, said Scarborough, who has worked with some really toxic substances, including the infamous "agent orange," because they're designed to "do what they're going to do" in the first few hours of application, before becoming perfectly safe with exposure to sunlight.

A computer controls how many gallons of insecticide are applied to each swath or acre, even in the presence of a headwind or tailwind. At any given moment Scarborough knows heading, speed and altitude above sea level. When the application is finished he can provide the client with most of the same information, accounting for every second of the job.

"I enjoy working and I got no day set to retire," Scarborough said. "As long as I can do a good job I'll be right here."

Source:  http://www.albanyherald.com

Employment Opportunity: Flight instructor at Freeflight Aviation. Flying W Airport, Lumberton, New Jersey

Flight Instructor, CFI or CFII, for a part 61 flight school in the South Jersey Area. Part Time or Full Time Job. To instruct in Diamond, Cessna, and Piper Aircraft. Possible office work may be available to qualified individual. We offer online scheduling of our aircraft and 24/7 aircraft availability. Week Day Available is preferred. Our airport is located in South - Central Jersey. Get a little sun, with a pool and motel on site. A nice restaurant and another soon to open. Monthly FAA safety seminars at our location. FAA Testing Facility at our location. 

We enjoy flying, and we are here to have fun. Please join our team as an independent flight instructor. We also have an aircraft maintenance facility on site. Want some hands on experience, just ask. Send us your resume today. Blue Skies.

Remos GX, N75GX: Accident occurred April 05, 2012 at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB), Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 05, 2012 in Ann Arbor, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2013
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX, registration: N75GX
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 student pilot reported that the airplane suddenly veered to the left during the takeoff roll and that he was unable to maintain control, even with full opposite rudder and aileron inputs. The airplane became momentarily airborne before it nosed down and impacted a field adjacent to the runway. The student pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to maintain airplane control on takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and collision with terrain.

On April 5, 2012, at 1130 eastern daylight time, N75GX, a special light sport Remos GX, sustained substantial damage on takeoff from the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB), Ann Arbor, Michigan. The student pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Gemini Aviation LLC, Flat Rock, Michigan. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight destined for Adrian, Lenawee County Airport (ADG), Adrian, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the solo cross country flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a written statement, the student pilot stated that during the take off roll on runway 06, the airplane suddenly veered "hard" to the left. He was unable to correct the turn with full right rudder and aileron. The student pilot said, "...The airplane just jumped up into the air and when it went up it continued to go to the left and then it came straight down." The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the empennage, and the firewall. In addition, both the left main and nose landing gears had separated.

The student pilot reported a total of 25.5 flight hours; all of which were in the accident airplane. He also said there were no pre-mishap mechanical failures. 

At 1135, weather reported at the airport was wind from 060 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 22 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,900 feet, temperature 6 degrees Celsius, dewpoint -2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of Mercury.



The Federal Aviation Administration will not have a complete report on Thursday's crash at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport for several more weeks.

Tony Molinaro, spokesman for the FAA's Great Lakes Region based in Chicago, said the FAA was still gathering up information Friday.

"We'll look at the basics, we'll talk to the pilot, any kind of maintenance records," he said.

The airplane crashed while flying off the runway Thursday morning. The pilot, who was rescued by the Pittsfield Township Fire Department, was taken by ambulance to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.   
The aircraft, a single-engine Remos GX, is registered to Gemini Aviation LCC, based out of Flat Rock. It was manufactured in 2008.

There was no word as to where the aircraft was headed when it left the airport.

Molinaro said no more details on the crash will come out until the investigation is complete.

"We don't talk about any of the details until its completed," he said.

FLORIDA: DeLand plane crash reignites control tower debate

DELAND --

Monday night's plane crash into a Publix supermarket reignited debate over the need for a control tower at the DeLand airport.

Ron Levy built an experimental plane in his own garage.

He flew into the DeLand airport Wednesday and saw a gaping hole in the Publix supermarket roof.

The crash triggered a fire, injuring the pilot, co-pilot and three others in the store.

Since little was left of the craft, the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation turns to electronics on the plane to see if the pilot transmitted information seconds before the crash.

It was not transmitted to a control tower because the DeLand airport the pilot took off from does not have one.

"The FAA or the government was talking about putting a tower here," Levy said.

That was back in 2008. However, a tower was never built, leaving some to wonder if tower personnel could've made a difference.

"It possibly could've gotten a fire truck or something out there quicker because there's a possibility that the pilots would've told the tower that he had just taken off and he has an emergency and was gonna turn around and come back and land," Levy said.

Construction of a tower triggered a debate that pitted pilots against skydivers.

Pilots argued air traffic control was needed, while skydivers said a tower would bring business to a crawl.

Deland city officials said they do not foresee building a tower, but the new debate continues as to whether or not a control tower would have made a difference in Monday's crash.

"I don't think that guy really had much time to do anything or change anything,” said Pete Putnam, a pilot. “If his engine quit at a low altitude, it all happened very fast."

New Smyrna Beach and Ormond Beach airports have towers and are about the same size as DeLand's.

However, those two airports do not have a flourishing skydiving business.


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: UNK        Make/Model: EXP       Description: SEAWIND 3000
  Date: 04/03/2012     Time: 0000

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: DELAND   State: FL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT, REGISTRATION UNKNOWN, CRASHED ONTO A ROOF OF A SUPERMARKET, AND 
  BURNED, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD SUSTAINED UNKNOWN INJURIES, EXTENT OF 
  INJURIES TO PERSONS ON THE GROUND UNKNOWN, DELAND, FL

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   2
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   3


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: ORLANDO, FL  (SO15)                   Entry date: 04/04/2012 

L.A.'s Helicopter Noise Spurs Legislation

Helicopters are ubiquitous in the skies over Los Angeles. There are police and fire helicopters and TV news choppers, tracking the latest car chase. There are also tourist helicopters dipping down over sites like the Hollywood sign. Residents complain they're noisy and annoying. Now, a local congressman is hoping a federal law can bring some peace and quiet. 

Reporter: Colin Berry


Buffer zones being actively expanded around military air bases: Municipalities around Langley asking for state money for land

HAMPTON — Localities throughout Hampton Roads have purchased hundreds of acres bordering military air bases to minimize the potential damage from crashes, such as the one that occured Friday afternoon in Virginia Beach, on the surrounding communities.

Peninsula officials have actively pushed to create a larger safety zone to the south and west of Langley Air Force base as a way to buffer development from encroaching into the landing and takeoff area around the base.

Langley is home to the U.S. Air Force's 1st Fighter Wing and the 480th Intelligence Wing.

A Joint Land Use Study finalized in 2010 by the four localities bordering Langley recommends spending about $12 million to purchase 31 acres to extend Langley's buffer zone. Hampton and Newport News, as well as Poquoson and York County have all asked for state and federal money to purchase those parcels.

Land in the extended buffer zone around Langley is located along Magruder Boulevard near the Hampton Roads Center North Campus.

Purchasing those 23 plots is also seen as a way to help stave off anticipated Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission closures by proving the base is safe for military objectives.

The paramount reason to purchase the land though, is to protect pilots and community surrounding the base, said Bruce Sturk, Hampton's director of federal facilities support.

In November 2011, Virginia Beach bought nearly 800 acres of farmland and woods to protect Naval Air Station Oceana from encroaching development. Officials there have said the city will commit $15 million annually to stop new development around Oceana.

"They have a model over there on how to work with the community, to work with the Navy base ... in the use of acquiring properties and putting them in a state of an appropriate type use for that facility," said Sturk, of Oceana. "It's a benchmark model and it's recognized as a national model."

It was unclear late Friday where the F/A-18 Hornet crashed in relation to Oceana's buffer zone.

"We've focused a fine tooth look at Langley and any potential encroachment to prevent and remove any current or future non-conforming uses for that land," Sturk said.

Source:  http://www.fox43.com

Plane diverted to Fargo after colliding with red-tailed hawk


Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It was a scary moment for passengers on American Eagle flight 4080 to Chicago this afternoon. The Fargo Airport Authority says this plane hit a red-tailed hawk.

The plane was then diverted back to Fargo, where crews checked to make sure nothing was wrong. Airport officials say the decision of whether or not to divert the plane back to Hector is left up to the pilot.

Shawn Dobberstein – Hector International Airport Manager; “It's not unusual, passengers shouldn't be concerned, but certainly with the safety of the flight crew on board, they do what's in the best interest for the safety of everybody on board.”

The plane was delayed by almost three hours, but has since landed safely in Chicago.

Watch Video:  http://www.wday.com

Tampa International Airport kicks off volunteer greeter program


TAMPA - From the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority:

Nothing says "welcome" like a friendly smile. Beginning today, Tampa International Airport is looking to recruit 100 smiling faces to greet visitors as they arrive in Tampa Bay by becoming Airport Volunteers.

Volunteers will provide tourism information, brochures, maps and directions, as well as the latest information on special events happening around the region.

"We're looking for people who are proud of their community and want to share their knowledge about everything that there is to see and do here," said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. "Tourism professionals are available at most conference and event venues, but we want to make that special connection with visitors as soon as they get to Tampa."

Residents have eagerly signed up to volunteer at the airport for large events in the past. Now those services will be at the airport full-time.

"Tourism is a year-round industry in Tampa Bay," said Lopano. "We want everyone to feel welcome and know that at this airport they're getting the absolute highest level of customer service."

The airport will work with local convention and visitors' bureaus from both sides of the Bay to provide volunteers with training on points of interest, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and special events.

Four new Tourism Information Centers are being constructed in the baggage claim area for the program as part of the airport's $30 million Main Terminal Modernization, which also includes upgrades of restrooms, ticketing areas, and signage.

In exchange for a six-month commitment to volunteer at least one four-hour shift per week, volunteers will receive free airport parking and special "thank you" events during the year.

If you are interested in becoming an Airport Volunteer, visit the airport website, TampaAirport.com or contact the airport's Public Affairs office at (813) 870-8759.

Tampa International Airport security bins to get an advertising makeover

Say goodbye to those gray trays at airport security.

As part of a new partnership with Tampa International Airport, Tampa-based SecurityPoint Media will replace the trays with white bins that have laminated advertisements in the bottom.

About 1,500 new bins will be put in place by the end of April.

The airport will get a share of the revenue from the advertisements, and the Transportation Security Administration will no longer be responsible for maintaining and replacing the trays.

SecurityPoint Media did not disclose how much it costs to advertise on the bins or what percentage of the revenues will go to TIA.

SecurityPoint Media, an alternative advertising company, has its trays in 36 other airports nationwide, including in Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando.

Passengers describe frightening plane plunge

A COUPLE have described the moment when they heard the captain of their Ryanair plane yelling “Mayday” after a depressurisation incident in the cabin.

Melvin Frater and his wife Jacqueline, from Nottingham, were flying back from Milan to East Midlands Airport when they heard a “bang” followed by a rush of cold air.

Three people were taken to hospital for precautionary examination following the incident last Wednesday, Ryanair confirmed.

Mr Frater said: “We were approximately 20 minutes into the flight when we felt and heard a bang, followed by a rush of very cold air, rushing by our feet, from the front to the back of the plane, Mr Frater said.

“This was immediately followed by the deployment of the oxygen masks and the plane began to make a rapid descent.”

Mr Frater said children and babies started to cry, but passengers remained calm and followed the safety procedures.

He said he could see snow-covered mountains “approaching fast” out of the windows of flight FR 1703, which was carrying 134 passengers.

He said: “It was quite strange that, unlike the scenes of panic and screaming which accompany cinema portrayals of such situations, there was initially a real sense of calm and quiet – we just followed safety procedures.

“The captain could then be heard over the speaker system – whether this was supposed to be heard by the passengers I do not know – but it was very unnerving to hear him say something like: ‘We are making an emergency descent due to loss of cabin pressure. Mayday!’”

He said once the plane had levelled out, the air crew told them the oxygen masks were no longer needed.

The plane was diverted to Frankfurt Hahn airport, where they were later transferred to a different plane and flown back to East Midlands Airport. In a statement, Ryanair apologised to passengers for the incident.


http://www.scotsman.com

Regulatory: When it comes to airport noise regulation, “Big Brother” is watching you. Local airport operators have few options when regulating noise

With the long awaited passage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, H.R. 658 (FAA Reauthorization Act), on March 6, 2012, the increasing pace of expansion of both commercial and general aviation airports, and the FAA’s new airspace redesign initiatives to reduce delay, airport noise and its impacts have become an increasingly hot topic.

In the old days, pre-1990, local airport operators, usually constituted of elected local representatives, could impose “reasonable, noise based, nondiscriminatory” regulations such as limits on the noisiest aircraft using the airport, as well as on the hours of operation (curfews). While many local communities currently impacted by noise from runway realignments and changes in approach and departure patterns still pressure their local representatives for relief, since the passage of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 [1] (ANCA), the power to regulate airport noise has become, with very few exceptions, the exclusive province of the federal government. 

ANCA’s principal aim was to substitute advances in “quiet engine” technology for restrictions on airport operations. To carry out that aim, ANCA mandated that the noisiest, “Stage 2,” aircraft in excess of 75,000 lbs. (generally commercial aircraft)[2] would be phased entirely out of the existing fleet by Dec. 31, 1999 [3] and no new Stage 2 aircraft above 75,000 lbs. could be added after Nov. 5, 1990 [4] (Non-Addition Rule).[5]

In return for ensured technological advances, ANCA divests local proprietors of the power to unilaterally regulate airport noise.

Read more:  http://www.insidecounsel.com

Comp Air 8SF, Spanish Fly Enterprises Inc., N548SF: Accident occurred April 06, 2012 in Everglades City, Florida

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N548SF

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA271
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 06, 2012 in Everglades City, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: WEJEBE JOSE CA8 -SF, registration: N548SF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses observed the airplane depart the airport to the north and make an abrupt right turn at an altitude of about 150 feet. One witness, who was also a pilot, described the wings as “shimmying,” appearing as if the airplane stalled before it banked to the right in a nose-down attitude. The airplane crashed and was nearly consumed during the postcrash fire. A postaccident examination was conducted with no preimpact mechanical anomalies noted.

Records indicate that the pilot built the airplane from a kit about 6 years before the accident. The pilot and airplane logbooks were not located during the investigation; therefore, the maintenance history for the airplane, and the pilot’s recent (and total) flight experience could not be determined.

Postaccident toxicological testing revealed metabolites of the drug diazepam (Valium) in the pilot’s blood and urine. Valium is a prescription benzodiazepine classed as a central nervous system depressant and tranquilizer, used as a sleep aid and to inhibit anxiety. The amount noted in the pilot’s blood suggested he took the drug 12 to 24 hours before the accident, and, as a result, it would not have affected his performance.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and loss of airplane control.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 6, 2012, at 1645 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Comp Air 8 CA8-SF, N548SF, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground shortly after takeoff from Everglades Airpark (X01), Everglades City, Florida. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight which was destined for Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot was a professional fisherman who produced his own fishing show. According to interviews with the pilot’s family and friends, he had flown into Everglades Airpark earlier in the week to film the show.

The pilot’s cameraman reported to local law enforcement that they did some filming on the day of the accident, and then he drove the pilot to the airport for his return flight to COI. The cameraman observed the pilot perform a preflight inspection on the airplane, and then walk toward the airport operations building to pay his parking fee. At that point, the cameraman left the airport, and therefore did not observe the takeoff.

A witness observed the airplane depart from runway 33 and make a sharp right turn at an altitude of about 100 to 150 feet. The airplane became almost inverted, with the right wing down, before it rolled back toward a level attitude. The nose remained in a nose-down attitude and the airplane banked to the left before impacting the ground in a 10-15 degree left-wing-low attitude.

Another witness, who was also a pilot, observed the accident airplane depart the airport to the north. According to the witness, the airplane took off with an “extremely sharp upward angle.” As the airplane climbed, it appeared to be “shimmying the wings,” which the witness described as “indicative of a stall.” He then heard a change in the pitch of the propeller as the airplane turned “sharply” to the right, “with the wind.” The airplane “flattened out” before impacting the ground.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on February 24, 2011. At that time, he reported 1,208 hours of total flight experience.

Prior to the medical certificate issued in 2011, the pilot’s most recent medical certificate was issued on June 14, 2006. At that time, he reported 621 hours of total flight experience.

The pilot’s first medical certificate was issued on July 13, 2004. At that time, the pilot reported 30 hours of total flight experience.

The pilot’s family was unable to locate any pilot logbooks.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Comp Air 8 airplane was a single-engine kit-built airplane powered by a Walter 601 turboprop engine. The pilot was also the builder of the airplane, completing it in 2006, at which time it received an FAA airworthiness certificate.

According to the facility who maintained the accident airplane’s engine, the most recent maintenance they performed was on September 7, 2010. The maintenance was requested to fix internal and external corrosion on the engine as a result from standing outside at sea level.

A representative from Composite Technologies stated the accident pilot most recently brought the airplane to their facility about 4 weeks prior to the accident to have maintenance performed on the nose wheel. They also cleaned the airplane, as oil was appearing on the underside of the cowling and fuselage.

The representative also stated that the pilot often performed his own maintenance.

The pilot's family was unable to locate the logbooks for the airplane or engine.

Additionally, requests made to Comp Air for any documents regarding the building or maintenance of the airplane went unanswered during the investigation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The wind recorded at Naples Municipal Airport (KAPF), Naples, Florida, located about 27 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 1753 was from 310 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 21 knots.

Examination of the Aircraft Operations Log for X01 revealed two entries by other pilots on the day of the accident. The comment regarding conditions at the airport, noted next to the entries, stated "14-22 KTS."

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Everglades Airpark was comprised of a single runway, oriented on a heading of 15/33 degrees. The asphalt runway was 2,400 feet long and 60 feet wide.

The overnight parking log for X01 confirmed that the pilot arrived at the airport on March 31, 2012.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground about 275 yards east of the departure end of runway 33. The wreckage path was about 20 feet in length, and initiated with 2 indentations in the ground, similar to the shape of the propeller spinner. The propeller was separated from the engine and located prior to the main wreckage along the wreckage path.

The main wreckage was oriented on a heading of 050 degrees, and nearly consumed by the post-crash fire. The left wing was separated from the fuselage and came to rest on top of the cockpit area. The engine was separated from the firewall and came to rest adjacent to the leading edge of the left wing. The remnants of the right wing, fuselage, and empennage sections remained attached through cables and wiring. The vertical stabilizer was lying flat on top of the right horizontal stabilizer.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the flight controls.

The airplane and engine were recovered from the accident site and a more detailed examination was performed on April 24, 2012. A detailed report of the examination can be found in the public docket for this investigation. In summary, the examination of the engine and propeller revealed damage consistent with power application (in excess of 94%) at the time of impact. The airframe examination revealed no mechanical anomalies, and the pilot's seat position was confirmed to be in the appropriate position for normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Collier County District Twenty Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot on April 7, 2012. The cause of death was listed as Multiple Blunt Injuries with Conflagration. The report also detailed demonstrated marked atherosclerosis with 80% stenosis in the coronary arteries. The location or extent of maximal stenosis was not mentioned and no microscopic evaluation of the heart was performed.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. Following were the results of the toxicological testing:

0.046 (ug/ml, ug/g) Nordiazepam detected in Blood
0.019 (ug/ml, ug/g) Nordiazepam detected in Urine
Oxazepam NOT detected in Blood
0.318 (ug/ml, ug/g) Oxazepam detected in Urine
0.08 (ug/ml, ug/g) Temazepam detected in Urine
Temazepam NOT detected in Blood

All three of these drugs are metabolites of diazepam (marketed under the trade name Valium), a prescription benzodiazepine classed as a central nervous system depressant and tranquilizer and used as a sleep aid and anxiolytic.

According to the pilot’s FAA medical file, he first obtained third class medical certificate in 2004. He was recertified in 2006 and 2011; the only medical event reported in the interim was an uncomplicated hip replacement surgery. He denied taking any medication at each medical examination.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A LaCie Hard Drive was retained from the wreckage and downloaded in the NTSB Video Recorder Laboratory. The download of the recording revealed no content of the accident flight.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Fueling Information

According to records provided by COI, the airplane was fueled with 152 gallons of Jet A fuel on March 31, 2012. Additionally, the tanks and trucks used at the facility were inspected daily. According to the inspection report, no anomalies were identified during the entire month.

No fuel was purchased by the pilot at X01.

Additional Interviews

A witness observed the accident airplane flying a few days prior to the accident. He was standing outside his shop on an island about 3 miles from X01, when he observed the accident airplane "buzzing the island" at an altitude of 200-300 feet, performing steep turns. The witness reported the airplane approached the island from the northwest, and maneuvered over the island "low, fast, and in a steep bank."

An interview with an Operations Specialist at X01 revealed the accident pilot had a history of "hotdogging" at the Airpark. He often performed steep turns after takeoff, and in at least one instance the airplane almost rolled inverted. The traffic pattern for runway 33 required a left turn after takeoff to avoid departures over the nearby town. According to the Specialist, the accident pilot had been reminded on several occasions about the procedures; however, he often performed a right turn after departure from runway 33 and flew over the adjacent town.

The cameraman was interviewed by local law enforcement after the accident; however, subsequent requests for interviews by NTSB personnel were denied. Additionally, a request for video documentation of the aircraft flying in the area was also not responded to.

Law Enforcement Records

A review of law enforcement and FAA records revealed the pilot received four speeding tickets between 1990 and 2012. Additionally, his driver’s license was suspended in 2005 after driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol content (driving under the influence).

The pilot did report the offense to the FAA (as required), and a review of his most recent medical application revealed a comment in the notes section of the application which stated “arrest for DUI appealed and not convicted. Charged with reckless driving. License reinstated.”

A review of the pilot’s FAA airman file revealed no previous accidents or incidents.



 NTSB Identification: ERA12FA271 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 06, 2012 in Everglades City, FL
Aircraft: WEJEBE JOSE CA8 -SF, registration: N548SF
Injuries: 1 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 April 6, 2012, at 1745 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built CA8-SF, N548SF, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground shortly after takeoff from Everglades Airpark (X01), Everglades City, Florida. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight which was destined for Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a witness, the airplane departed from runway 33 and made a sharp right turn at an altitude of about 100 to 150 feet. The airplane then entered a nose-down attitude and veered to the left, until it impacted the ground in a 10-15 degree left-wing-low attitude.

The airplane impacted the ground about 275 yards east of the departure end of runway 33. The wreckage path was about 20 feet in length, and initiated with 2 indentations in the ground, similar to the shape of the propeller spinner. The propeller was separated from the engine and located prior to the main wreckage along the wreckage path.

The main wreckage was oriented on a heading of 050 degrees, and nearly consumed by the post-crash fire. The left wing was separated from the fuselage and came to rest on top of the cockpit area. The engine was separated from the firewall and came to rest adjacent to the leading edge of the left wing. The remnants of the right wing, fuselage, and empennage sections remained attached through cables and wiring. The vertical stabilizer was lying flat on top of the right horizontal stabilizer.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the flight controls.

The airplane and engine were recovered from the accident site and retained for further investigation.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on February 24, 2011. At that time, he reported 1,208 hours of total flight experience.

The wind recorded at Naples Municipal Airport (KAPF), Naples, Florida, located about 27 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, at 1753 was from 310 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 21 knots.


spanishflytv.com
Jose Wejebe, host of Spanish Fly







 

The host of a popular fishing TV show was killed Friday afternoon when his single-engine plane crashed near an Everglades City airstrip.

Jose Wejebe, who hosted Spanish Fly, a saltwater fishing show on the Outdoor Channel and formerly on ESPN, died when his kit plane plummeted into a field near the runway shortly after takeoff from Everglades Airpark.

Wejebe is the registered owner of the plane, according to FAA records.

Hs ex-wife, Lynne Calero, confirmed that Wejebe died in the crash.

“It’s awful,” Calero said Friday. “He was very close to his family. It’s a real waste.”

Wejebe, 54, was alone on the Comp Air 8, a kit plane that can seat six adults and two children, aviation officials said. They did not know where Wejebe’s plane was headed at the time of the crash, but said it was departing to the north.

The plane fell from above the 2,400-foot runway around 4:45 p.m., right after takeoff, officials said. It landed in a barren field adjacent to the public airport’s runway on privately owned land. The crash scene was not visible from the airport building.

“There was a significant post-crash fire,” said Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Smoke from the crash could be seen for at least two miles, the distance to the Marathon gas station where John Famiaglietti was working Friday.

“I saw the smoke, and at first I thought it was a house on fire,” said Famiaglietti, who later learned of Wejebe’s death from his boss.

No injuries were reported for others on the ground, but at least one witness saw the plane crash, Knudson said. Airport staff was gone for the day, and does not have to be present for pilots to use the runway, Collier County Airports Director Chris Curry said.

Wejebe was known for his extensive travels chasing big fish, which took him from the Gulf of Mexico to the Galapagos.

Born in Cuba, he fled to Miami with his family after Fidel Castro’s revolution, according to his website. It was in Florida that he learned to fish alongside his father at 8 years old.

As a teen, Wejebe bought his first boat with the money he made working at a gas station, his official online biography states. He ultimately became a fishing guide in South Florida, from Biscayne Bay to Everglades City. Wejebe was living in the Florida Keys at the time of his death.

In 1995, he made it into the mainstream when the first episode of Spanish Fly aired on ESPN-2, following him on fishing expeditions. A second show, Vida del Mar, followed on ESPN in 2001.

Spanish Fly was currently airing on the Outdoor Channel, and Wejebe recently had a special on National Geographic Wild.

His only child, Kristin Wejebe, 28, recently filmed a father-daughter fishing show with him.

“It was very important to her to be able to share that,” said Calero, who is Kristin’s mother. “She was so proud.”

Wejebe had a strong following in the fishing community. One of his social networking pages has 66,000 followers. Members of online fishing forums were lamenting his death minutes after it was posted on the Daily News’ website.

The cause of the crash could take months to determine, but the weather was relatively clear, Knudson said. An NTSB investigator is expected at the scene this morning and will spend several days there.

The airpark is on 29 acres on the southwest end of Everglades City. It sees about 5,000 flights a year, Curry said.

While Southwest Florida has seen several plane crashes in recent years, few have been fatal. Of four crashes in 2008, a total of 12 pilots and passengers survived in three separate crashes.

In the fourth plane crash in December of 2008, 74-year-old Benjamin Arthur Simpson of Naples was killed when his Cessna 172 crashed off the coast of Goodland near Cape Romano.

EVERGLADES CITY -  Jose Wejebe, the host of a popular TV fishing show, was killed in the Everglades City plane crash Friday, according to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

Crews on scene say the plane's tail number is N548SF. And according to the FAA, the aircraft with that number is registered to Wejebe.

Officials we spoke to say he was flying in an experimental, single-engine aircraft. The type is a CA8-SF.

Former Collier EMS Chief Jeff Page was chartering a boat when the crash happened. He said he saw the aircraft take off from the Everglades City Airport after 4:30 p.m. Friday and then felt the winds shift.

He said he thinks the plane got caught in a crosswind before hitting the ground and exploding.

"The plane popped up and it looked like it got its nose too high into the wind and it almost put it straight vertical," he said.

Page went on to describe the actual crash.

"The initial explosion of when it hit, there was no way anyone could survive it - no way anyone could even approach the plane," Page said. "It immediately burst into flames."

The intense explosion sent shockwaves through the otherwise quiet community.

"I had never seen anything like hat happen in my life. I panicked," said Everglades City resident Charlotte Ledford. "The smoke was horrible - one big huge gust of smoke that totally engulfed the whole area."

Wejebe was the host of the show, Spanish Fly - a saltwater fishing show on the Outdoor Channel and formerly ESPN.

On Wejebe's bio page within the TV shows website it states, "In the present day, Jose enjoys his new passion of flying private aircraft."


The Everglades Airpark is located at 650 E.C. Airpark Road in Everglades City. It sits immediately southwest of the Big Cypress National Preserve, and is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Everglades National Park.

The FAA is still investigating the specifics of the crash.
 
The host of a popular fishing TV show was killed Friday afternoon when his single-engine plane crashed in Everglades City.

Jose Wejebe, who hosted Spanish Fly, a saltwater fishing show on the Outdoor Channel and formerly ESPN, died when his kit plane plummeted into a field near the runway shortly after take-off from Everglades Airpark. Wejebe is the registered owner of the plane, according to FAA records.

Cuba-born Wejebe was known for his extensive travels chasing big fish, which took him from the Gulf of Mexico to the Galapagos.

His ex-wife, Lynne Calero, confirmed that Wejebe died in the crash.

EARLIER
One person died Friday afternoon when a small plane crashed near an Everglades City airstrip.

The single-engine plane was taking off from Everglades Airpark.

"It went up and then it landed on an empty field next to the runway," said Jamie Mosbach, spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

There was no confirmation on the identity of the victim, she said, adding that gathering information at the scene was difficult because the plane caught fire.
"There's no way of reading a tailnumber," Mosbach said, because the plane "was destroyed."

The National Transportation Safety Board, one of the federal agencies that investigate plane crashes, has been "notified of an accident and is gathering information," but has no further information at this time, according to Washington, D.C.-based spokesman Peter Knudson.

 An East Naples fire captain said reports from the scene were "that nobody could survive."

"It doesn't sound too good," he added.

Fire trucks responded from Everglades City and Port of the Isles, he said.
The airpark is on 29 acres on the southwest end of Everglades City.

EVERGLADES CITY - 
The host of a popular TV fishing show was killed in the Everglades City plane crash Friday, according to our news gathering partners at Naplesnews.com.

They are reporting his ex-wife, Lynne Calero, confirmed that it was Wejebe in the crash.

Officials on scene say the plane's tail number is N548sf. And according to the FAA, the aircraft with that number is registered to Wejebe.

Officials we spoke to say he was flying in an experimental, single-engine aircraft. The type is a CA8-SF.

Former Collier EMS Chief Jeff Page was chartering a boat when the crash happened. He said he saw the aircraft take off from the Everglades City Airport after 4:30 p.m. Friday and then felt the winds shift.

He said he thinks the plane got caught in a crosswind before hitting the ground and exploding.

"The plane popped up and it looked like it got its nose too high into the wind and it almost put it straight vertical," he said.

Page went on to describe the actual crash.

"The initial explosion of when it hit, there was no way anyone could survive it - no way anyone could even approach the plane," Page said. "It immediately burst into flames."

Wejebe was the host of the show, Spanish Fly.

The airpark is located at 650 E.C. Airpark Road in Everglades City. It sits immediately southwest of the Big Cypress National Preserve, and is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Everglades National Park.


One person died Friday afternoon when a small plane crashed near an Everglades City airstrip.

The single-engine plane was taking off from Everglades Airpark.

"It went up and then it landed on an empty field next to the runway," said Jamie Mosbach, spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff's Office.

There was no confirmation on the identity of the victim, she said, adding that gathering information at the scene was difficult because the plane caught fire.

"There's no way of reading a tail number," Mosbach said, because the plane "was destroyed."

The National Transportation Safety Board, one of the federal agencies that investigate plane crashes, has been "notified of an accident and is gathering information," but has no further information at this time, according to Washington, D.C.-based spokesman Peter Knudson.

An East Naples fire captain said reports from the scene were "that nobody could survive."

"It doesn't sound too good," he added.

Fire trucks responded from Everglades City and Port of the Isles, he said.

The airpark is on 29 acres on the southwest end of Everglades City.

 EVERGLADES CITY -
At least one person is dead in a plane crash that happened in a field near Everglades Airpark, according to the Collier County airport director.

He says the man was flying an experimental, single-engine aircraft. He added that the pilot left from Everglades City Airport after it had closed at 4:30 p.m. so no airport staff was around.

Former Collier EMS Chief Jeff Page was chartering a boat when the crash happened. He said he saw the aircraft take off and then felt the winds shift.
He said he thinks the plane got caught in a crosswind before hitting the ground and exploding.

He added the crash was so bad that he could not make out the tail number on the craft.

Our news gathering partners at Naplesnews.com spoke to an East Naples Fire captain who said reports from the scene were that "that nobody could survive", adding that the plane was on fire after the crash.

Officials with the FAA say the pilot was flying an amateur-built, single-engine aircraft. The type is a CA8-SF.

The airpark is located at 650 E.C. Airpark Road in Everglades City. It sits immediately southwest of the Big Cypress National Preserve, and is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Everglades National Park.


EARLIER

A small plane has crashed in a field next to the Everglades Airpark.

An East Naples fire captain said reports from the scene were "that nobody could survive", adding that the plane was on fire after the crash.

"It doesn't sound too good," he added.

Fire trucks responded from Everglades City and Port of the Isles, he said.

The airpark is on 29 acres on the southwest end of Everglades City.


The pilot of a single-engine plane has died after the plane crashed in a field next to Everglades Airpark just after 4:40 p.m.

The plane had just taken off from the airport, but it didn’t get far.

“Something happened to the plane and it crash landed in a field just off the runway,” said Jamie Mosbach, spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane then burst into flames. 

Mosbach said the victim has not been identified, and it is still unclear what caused the crash. 

Officials believe the plane was carrying no other passengers, and no one else was injured in the crash.

Is Million Air deal taking off at Griffiss?

 Rome, N.Y.   -  Four years into a 10-year contract with a private company to run fixed-base operations at Griffiss International Airport, profits aren’t anywhere near projected levels.


And a look at other airports run by Freeman Holdings of New York raises questions about whether Oneida County has gotten the best deal.

The company does not pay rent for the space it occupies in a county-owned building here.

 Plus, Freeman keeps half the revenue generated from renting space for plane storage in numerous spaces including 28 county-owned T-hangars.

County Executive Anthony Picente said even if the deal is off to a slow start, it’s well worth it because the county was able to shed seven employees when handing over operations to Freeman in 2008. The county also was spared everything from pouring coffee for travelers to the complexity of purchasing and selling fuel.

 “It eliminated something we weren’t very good at,” Picente said. “It has transformed part of the airport, in terms of its overall handling of planes, passengers and tenants.”

He estimated the cost savings was about $500,000 a year in salaries, benefits and equipment the county has not had to purchase.

Freeman Holdings Managing Partner Chris Freeman agreed the deal was beneficial to the county.

“If we weren’t there, they would have to pay someone to be there,” he said.

But former Democratic county Legislator Michael Hennessy, who was vocal in his opposition to the Freeman Holdings deal during the negotiation period, said it’s no surprise to him that things aren’t going as well as expected.

“He was able to sell the concept to a board that was desperate to find an alternative,” he said. “It’s like all the privatization we’ve done. We never look back to see if there is true savings or not.”

Freeman Holdings came to Griffiss under a 10-year contract with the option to renew for another 10 years. It runs the county’s fixed base operations, which include services offered to pilots, passengers and planes when they land at the airport.

That includes everything from fuel to food service. The company works under the franchise name Million Air, which is a national chain of fixed-base operators.

Under the deal between Oneida County and Freeman Holdings, the county gets 8 cents for every gallon of fuel sold, but the profits aren’t anywhere near those hoped for.

Company fuel payments to the county in 2009 and 2010 were $44,791 and $62,491, respectively. And in 2011, the take was $71,024, county figures show.
In 2008, Million Air projected the county would make $190,000 off the deal in 2009 and $205,000 in 2010.

Board of Legislators’ Airport Committee Chairman David Wood, R - Rome, conceded that projections hadn’t been met, but pointed to the “upward trend,” and noted the down economy.

“I’ve heard nothing but praise for the whole operation,” he said.

Freeman said the lower-than-expected profits were the result of trouble attracting business to the airport, including issues setting up a U.S. Customs office there.

A customs office would make it easier for flights — whether military or civilian — coming directly from overseas locations to land at Griffiss. Now, when such a flight arrives there, customs officials from Syracuse are called, which takes time and is inconvenient.

 “Of all our locations, Rome is the one barely eking by,” he said. “If Rome had customs there and had a way to attract business that would be a different story, and they don’t.”

Million Air made $143,855 from hangar rents in 2011, and Oneida County received an equal amount, county records show.

In August, then-Airport Commissioner Vernon Gray said the portion of the rents kept by Million Air was a loss for the county.

Picente, however, said splitting the hangar rents is fair even though the majority of the hangar tenants predate Freeman because Million Air is managing the operations.

Wood said the deal is about “cost avoidance.”

“We couldn't afford to remain a gas station attendant at Griffiss,” he said. “We gave up some of our revenues in exchange for a national brand and a private entity to do it better.”

Freeman Holdings operates at numerous other former Air Force bases across the country, but the details of its contracts vary greatly by location.
Several airports had agreements that include rent for space occupied by the company.

For example, in California, the city of Victorville operates an airport at the former George Air Force Base. There, Freeman Holdings’ Million Air franchise pays between $6,000 and $7,000 a month in rent, Assistant City Manager Keith Metzler said.

At Victorville, Freeman has been able to attract military planes, and the city garnered close to $800,000 in 2011 from its 10-cent-per-gallon share of the million gallons of fuel sold there, Metzler said.

“Our relationship with them is really good,” he said.

At Yuma International Airport in Arizona, Freeman pays $15,358 per month to rent space, including hangars. It pumped 3 million gallons of gas there in 2011 and passed the Yuma Airport Authority 10 cents a gallon, airport records show.

The airport is near several existing military flight operations, and Freeman Holdings has helped increase business from military contractors, officials said.
Boeing Co. recently also tested its new Dreamliner 787 planes at Yuma, and Gen Grosse, Yuma County Airport authority corporate accounts manager, said Freeman’s Million Air franchise was key in keeping the business.

“Boeing is familiar with the Million Air franchise,” she said, pointing to the business the community as a whole got from Boeing. “It’s because of the customer service.”

Wood and Picente both said they believe the county and Million Air eventually will make more money at Griffiss. In the meantime, they say the relationship still is a win.

“We were losing money,” Picente said. “Those costs are gone now.”

Source:  http://www.littlefallstimes.com

Aviation Repair Technologies opens component shop

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Aviation Repair Technologies at the Blytheville Aeroplex has been struggling to find customers. Lack of planes has meant lack of jobs. In the past several months the company has branched out into component repair. Company officials hope this will be a steadier income.

"We're looking for a customer to replace American Eagle. We'll find one, there's a lot of big regional operators out there. Once we find that we'll pick up another 200 jobs." Says President and CEO of A-R-T Ben Quevedo. Quevedo  feels good about the companies plan to get heavily into component repair as well as major service work on aircraft.

With new equipment such a huge oven used to bake composite materials and high tech machining tools that can duplicate parts, Quevedo says airlines shipping parts to them for repairs or exchange makes good business sense.

"We have a low cost facility, a good location and we can be very competitive. Quevedo said as the group of local officials and prospective customers looked over the shop. Quevedo indicated a radome off a regional jet. "These components will come in by themselves. Like the contract we will sign with Horizon, 61 part numbers that every time it comes off the airplane it will be sent to us. It has nothing to do with the airplane and that really is a big help."

If everything goes to plan ART says they would like to corner the market on the CRJ and it's parts.  But as Bruce Berry, the Director of Support shops points out, they can handle just about any kind and size of aircraft part.

"From the regional aircraft all the way up to the wide-body aircraft. And in this shop we're not just going to cater to the regional jets." Berry said, "We're actually going to have some 747 parts arriving this month."  In the hangar were two aircraft. One a CRJ had been flown in from Nigeria, halfway around the world to save a ton of cash. A fairly typical policy anymore.

Quevedo, "The plane that is coming in tomorrow had gone to Italy before and he was paying something like a $175 dollars an hour."A-R-T will charge them 60 an hour.

One benefit of a component shop is that every technician does not have to have an aircraft repair license and can be trained on the job. Berry says soon he will be fully qualified to train people in composite repair.

Berry, "We'll be able to bring a lot of local people in, train them to a high standard in advanced composites and then retain them local people here." Other areas of the shop will also be staffed by people who have been trained in house. The majority of A&P mechanics will work in the hangar.

Currently there are about 90 people working at the facility. Quevedo showed a planned target to recall laid-off workers and hire new workers.

Quevedo, "We expect to be about 200, 225 by the end of the year."

Source: http://www.kait8.com

Two Pilots Killed in Plane at Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport

 

An airplane crash occurred this morning at the Marcos A. Gelabert airport, in Albrook, resulting in the deaths of at least two people. Killed were the pilots Guillermo Palm and James Edward Smith, who were aboard the plane. 

According to the TVN News team who are at the scene, sources within the air terminal said it was an "ultra light" aircraft that crashed, which had just taken off from Albrook when the accident occurred. However, we were informed that when the accident occurred firefighters were at the airport, then moments later investigators from the Direction of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) arrived, and a hearse for the removal of the bodies

A non-certified experimental plane with two people aboard, crashed minutes after take off from the Mark A. Gelabert International Airport  in  Albrook Panama. Both passengers were killed.

Civil Aeronautical Authority general manager, Rafael Barcenas said  the light sport  plane took off for Penonome, Cocle,at 7.50 am.  It had fuel for a three hour flight, Forty seconds later  the pilot radioed  to the control tower that he intended to return to the runway. The plane crashed and exploded on landing.

"It was an experimental airplane,(AS 56) a non certified aircraft under the risk of the operator and operating  under CAA regulations" said the manager.

Public Ministry staff  removed the bodies and an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

Oxford Aviation Academy Piper Seneca landing

by GertjanvandenBosch on Apr 6, 2012

Oxford Airport runway 01.
Plane : G-BEAG, Piper PA-32-200T Seneca II
Oxford Aviation Academy

Beechcraft C35, N8974A: Cause Undetermined In 2010 Fatal Plane Crash

DENVER (AP) – Federal investigators say they couldn’t tell why a single-engine plane apparently lost power before it crashed in the Colorado mountains in 2010, killing two people from California and one from Washington state.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the crash, dated Wednesday, says it appears the propeller may not have been turning at the time of the Aug. 4, 2010, crash. The report says investigators found no other signs of pre-crash mechanical trouble.

The crash killed the 70-year-old pilot, John Howard of Sunnyvale, Calif., and his passengers, 56-year-old Catherine Heveran of Sunnyvale and 25-year-old James Chatham of Spokane, Wash.

The Beech C-35 had taken off from Boulder en route to San Jose, Calif. It crashed near Rollinsville, 30 miles west of downtown Denver and 13 miles from Boulder.


NTSB Identification: CEN10FA458
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 04, 2010 in Rollinsville, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2012
Aircraft: BEECH C35, registration: N8974A
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

Forest service personnel discovered the wreckage of the airplane on the side of a narrow, wooded valley after reports of fire in the area. Ground scars and damage to adjacent trees were consistent with the airplane having struck trees before impacting the ground. One propeller blade was located 250 feet from the main wreckage. Damage to the propeller blade and blade hub was consistent with separation due to the impact with trees and indicative of little to no rotation at impact. Examination of the remaining airplane, engine, and related systems revealed no anomalies. No reason for a possible loss of engine power or the impact with terrain could be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Corona Municipal Airport (KAJO), California: Piper Cherokee Six, PA-32-300, N55962 ... Ill-fated pilot had limited instrument-flight experience

A pilot with only two hours' experience in actual instrument-flight conditions was at the controls of a plane that crashed in bad weather three years ago near Corona killing both occupants, federal investigators say.

Fifty-year-old pilot William Randy Morgan of Trabuco Canyon and 46-year-old passenger Karen Lynne Oberdiear of San Juan Capistrano died in the wreckage of the Piper Cherokee Six in a marsh behind Prado Dam on March 20, 2009.

They had just taken off from Corona Municipal Airport with a planned destination of Lake Havasu City. It took searchers 10 hours to find the crash site.

At the time of the crash, a 400-foot-high overcast blanketed the airport, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s interim report on the accident.

“After losing sight of the airplane due to the low fog, (a witness) heard what sounded like the airplane impacting trees,” according to the report. “Another witness at the airport … thought the airplane made two 360-degree turns, which were followed by a dull thud.

“Both witnesses were unable to see the airplane due to the low visibility at the airport.”

The pilot’s logbook showed that he had about 426 hours of flight experience, nearly all of it in that model plane, the investigators wrote. The pilot was rated for instrument flight, with two hours of instrument flight under actual instrument conditions and 47 hours of simulated instrument flight, they wrote.

“No flight time was recorded within the last 90 days prior to the accident, and there is no record of the pilot obtaining an instrument proficiency check within the 12 months prior to the accident,” according to the report.

The interim report makes no attempt to establish the cause of the crash. The final report is scheduled to be released next month.

http://www.pe.com

http://www.ntsb.gov


NTSB Identification: WPR09FA158
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 20, 2009 in Corona, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N55962
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 20, 2009, about 0840 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Piper Cherokee Six, PA-32-300, N55962, impacted terrain during departure from Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), Corona, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces. The cross-country personal flight departed Corona, California, at 0838, with a planned destination of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

Russia: 3 Plane Crashes in One Day

It is a grim day for aviation in Russia.

First a helicopter crashed, killing the pilot. Then another helicopter had a rough landing, injuring 4 people.

And in the evening, a small plane went down, killing 4 people on board.

And that is just 2 days after a plane crash in Siberia that killed 31 people on Wednesday.

Media reports suggest the crash on Wednesday happened because the plane was not deiced properly, and temperatures in the region of Tumen are biting even in April.

Russia has a poor airline safety record, as many as 118 people died in plane accidents last year. They account for 20% of the world plane crash victims.

Experts suggest that some of the planes used in Russia were purchased abroad and are not suitable for use in the harsh climate of the country.

In order to protect passengers, there should be proper certification procedures, but they are hard to enforce when 4 different government agencies are involved, not one.

[Vladimir Gerasimov, pilot, Ph.D]:
"We need one government body to be in charge of our civil aviation. To accomplish this, as my colleagues have said, there should be political will of the authorities."

Pilots and experts have written a letter to the President of Russia with their suggestions on ensuring aviation safety.Meanwhile, the recent spate of air disasters leave ordinary Russians feeling increasingly anxious about flying.

[Unidentified Russian Man]
"It is not clear who is responsible for the aviation industry. There are a number of airlines".

[Unidentified Russian Woman]:

"I fly about 3-4 times a year, actually more, if you count return flights. Is it safe? Everything in our world is relatively unsafe. How can it be safe to fly if plane crashes happen all the time."

According to the authorities, the causes of Friday's crashes are under investigation.

F/A-18D Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 crashes in Virginia Beach

Read more here:



In Pictures: Mechanics with SkyWest Airlines inspect for hail damage

Mechanics with SkyWest Airlines inspect for hail damage on one of their airplanes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport after tornadoes moved through the area earlier this week. American Airlines said the storms forced the cancellation of nearly 300 flights Friday.
 (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, David Woo) 


American Airlines has canceled another 296 flights as it works to replace or repair dozens of planes grounded in North Texas because of hail damage.

Cessna 172, N6871H: Aircraft on landing, went off the runway and into the trees. Heritage Field Airport (KPTW), Pottstown, Pennsylvania

    LIMERICK — An official with the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Friday that a plane went of the runway at Pottstown-Limerick Airport Thursday afternoon, causing substantial damage to the airplane.

    The FAA spokesperson said the plane was a Cessna 172, occupied by one person who “was doing a touch-and-go landing” when the plane went off the side of a runway “and into some woods.” The pilot, whose name was not released by the FAA, was not injured, the spokesperson said.

    The incident happened at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Because the aircraft “sustained substantial damage,” the incident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

http://www.pottsmerc.com
 
FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 6871H        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 04/05/2012     Time: 1730

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

LOCATION
  City: POTTSTOWN   State: PA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, WENT OFF THE RUNWAY AND INTO THE TREES, POTTSTOWN, PA

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: ALLENTOWN, PA  (EA05)                 Entry date: 04/06/2012 

Russia: Tolerating disaster

© RIA Novosti. Iliya Pitalev


by Dan Peleschuk, RussiaProfile.org

A string of public tragedies this week seems to have reinforced Russia’s unfortunate reputation of being disaster-prone. With no end in sight to the worrying consistency of public disasters, the authorities seem resigned to Russia’s perpetual bad luck.

In just two days, nearly 50 people were killed in a rapid-fire spate of tragedies that highlight Russia’s dire public safety situation.

First, an airliner traveling from the Siberian city of Tyumen to Surgut on April 2 crashed shortly after taking off, killing 31 people instantly and landing another 12 in critical condition at nearby hospitals. Russian media have reported that investigators are pointing to the ground crew’s failure to properly de-ice the plane before departure – another sign of the human error factor present in so many other air tragedies.

The disaster arrives just six months after a YAK-42 crash killed the entire Yaroslavl-based Lokomotiv hockey team in an accident that investigators also chalked up to human error. President Dmitry Medvedev pledged after that tragedy to overhaul Russian air safety standards – Russia was ranked in 2011 as having the world’s worst air safety record – and introduce new foreign aircraft into Russian fleets. Yet the French-made ATR 72 in the Tyumen crash prompted some to speculate that the authorities have run out of options.

In a follow-up tragedy on April 3, a deadly fire tore through a southern Moscow market and killed at least 17 people, most them believed to have been migrant workers from Central Asia. Investigators pointed to the possibility of a faulty space heater as the cause, also noting that the migrants were likely trapped inside their metal-lined shanty, in which they lived in overcrowded conditions.

Such incidents are commonplace in Russia, where public safety standards are often skirted and the individuals responsible for overseeing such affairs are prone either to carelessness or corruption. They also beg the question of the official response. While Medvedev canceled his planned meeting with the opposition and addressed the air crash in a meeting with Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova, he simply ordered her to speed up efforts at investigating the crash and consoling the victims’ families. PM Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, remained silent. The deaths of the migrants, though a pressing issue for a country crippled by problems tied to an influx of undocumented workers from the Caucasus and Central Asia, similarly went unrecognized.

Some experts say that while some seem intent on connecting the failure of public safety to poor governance, many Russians aren’t. According to Vladimir Pribylovsky, the head of the Panorama think tank, Russians typically do not hold the authorities responsible for such disasters – nor do they expect the outpouring of official grief that might be found in the West after a public tragedy. “Traditionally, in Russia, the price of a human life isn’t very high, so no one is really fazed much by things like this,” he said. He added that Russia’s turbulent history may have also played a role in hardening society to the point at which it becomes seasoned to tragedy and perhaps more willing to accept it. “Look at Peter the Great: he killed more people in his time than Stalin did, relative to the population at the time,” Pribylovsky said. “Nevertheless, he’s regarded as the greatest and most successful figure in Russian history – and it’s not only the government that believes this, but society also.”

The views expressed here are the author’s own.
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