Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Incident occurred near Texas State Technical College Waco Airport (KCNW)

WACO - The pilot and only person onboard a single-engine plane that crashed in a field north of the TSTC runway jumped out of the plane unhurt on Wednesday afternoon. 

 The pilot, who is from Waco and in his 60's, ran out of fuel on his flight from Houston to Waco, made an emergency call to authorities around 3:00 p.m. and crashed into some trees.  Officials say his 30 years of experience helped him make the best decision to avoid hurting himself or others who live nearby.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, although DPS officials say their preliminary investigation indicates the pilot did, in fact, run out of fuel.

UPDATE: Small Plane Crashes at End of Runway at Texas State Technical College Airport

UPDATE: The person flying the plane that crashed at the Texas State Technical College Airport was a Waco man in his 60s.

He was flying from Houston when he ran out of fuel and landed in a field at the airport. The plane did not turn over and no fires broke out when he landed.

The man has over 30 years of flight experience which enabled him to land the plane safely.

TRACE Engines successfully tests de Havilland Beaver conversion kit

Midland's Texas Reciprocating Air Craft Engines (TRACE) celebrated a milestone this weekend with the successful flight of a de Havilland Beaver powered by a TRACE engine over the weekend.

"We're very excited about the performance of the airplane," said TRACE Chief Operating Officer David Czarnecki about the test flight that marked the end of a yearlong effort to design a conversion kit for the de Havilland Beaver. The plane, which carries freight and passengers, typically is categorized as a "bush" plane capable of taking off from small fields, lakes or rivers, if equipped with floats.

The TRACE engine produced 600 horse power and replaced the original Pratt & Whitney Radial engine that produced 45 horsepower. Czarnecki said it took the company a year to design the conversion kit, procure the components and assemble the kit. "We're finally reaping the benefit of the efforts we've put in over the last year," he said.

Sealand Aviation, of Campbell River, British Columbia, provided the de Havilland Beaver and will serve as the sales and installation center for the TRACE Beaver after the company receives a Supplemental Type Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The certification is expected by September after additional ground and flight testing. TRACE and Sealand plan to market the TRACE Beaver primarily to the Canadian and Alaskan markets, where these models bring everything from passengers to food, medical supplies and equipment to remove areas where there are often no roads to access.

TRACE also is developing a conversion kit for the Cessna Caravan, "which is our next conversion project," Czarnecki said as the company works to expand the number of planes it can convert and develop additional platforms. He estimated it will be another six months before the company conducts a test flight of a TRACE Caravan.

At the same time the company successfully tested its Beaver engine, Czarnecki said the company also completed FAA testing of its Air Tractor 301 model, which now will be sold alongside its Air Tractor 401 lines. Air Tractor, based in Olney, manufactures aircraft used in agricultural spraying.

"Things are finally falling into place," he said as the aviation rebounds from the global economic downturn that began in 2008.

Czarnecki said plans are to continue to work with the staff he currently employs to manufacture products and develop new products. As business grows, he said, "we will see" about expanding the workforce

The company's main facility is at 3000 W. Interstate 20, but the company also rents a hangar at Midland International Airport.


Naples residents complain of airport noise

NAPLES -Naples residents are making noise about noisy planes flying in and out of the Naples Airport.

"It's not only loud, it's painful. I mean, it's just a really shrill sound," says Peggy Layton.

Peggy's home is in the direct path of planes flying in and out of the Naples Airport, and she says it has only gotten louder over the years.

"It is disruptive. You can't talk to another person or listen. You can't hear them," she says.

Layton isn't alone. Dozens of her neighbors showed up at city council on Wednesday to make some noise about silencing the jets.

Airport officials say so far, they've done everything possible to keep the noise down, like extending runways, banning louder planes, and setting a curfew.

There's a voluntary 10:00 p.m. curfew and most pilots follow it. But since it's not mandatory, late night arrivals do still happen.

"You get awakened in the middle of the night when a jet comes over at two in the morning," says nearby resident Larry Schultz.

Residents suggested charging pilots for breaking curfew and changing flight paths.

"They need to route the planes over the bay," says resident Alan Parker.

But those ideas may have a turbulent takeoff.

"We do have to live within a budget as every public agency does, and some of these recommendations are pretty expensive," says Naples Airport Executive Director Ted Soliday.

For now, Layton says she'll continue to deal with the noise from low-flying planes and hopes that's the only problem they'll cause.

"I am worried that some day one is actually going to hit because they do come in very low," she says.


Deputies may have explanation for near mid-air collision

ADAMS COUNTY - A local sheriff's office thinks it may have an explanation for the mysterious object that nearly caused a mid-air collision Monday evening.

As 9Wants to Know reported Tuesday night, a pilot of a corporate jet reported to air traffic control that the mysterious object caught his eye while flying 8,000 feet over Cherry Creek. The mystery object did not show up on radar.

The Adams County Sheriff's Office says they found a 14-foot solar bag Tuesday around noon.

It's basically a weather balloon that looks like a long, black pool noodle.

9NEWS is waiting to hear back from the FAA to see if that's a plausible explanation.

After teen's fatal fall from airliner, Congress questions airport security

WASHINGTON -- The case of a Charlotte, N.C., teenager who died after stowing away in the wheel well of a jet was part of a federal hearing Wednesday on airport security problems.

Delvonte Tisdale's ability to breach security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport was one of a list of security problems at America's airports that have raised the ire of the public and members of Congress who are concerned about the next 9/11-type attack.

Tisdale, 16, snuck into the left wheel well of a Boeing 737 on Nov. 15, 2010, before it departed to Boston. He fell from the airplane around 9 p.m. as it passed over the Boston suburbs heading to Logan Airport.

"He wasn't an employee and he got into a sterile area," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who noted Tisdale's case in his opening statement. "We still don't know how that issue has been fixed or how it occurred. We can't continue to kick the can down the road when situations like this happen."

Thompson said he didn't see any improvements in perimeter security that could prevent a similar event from happening.

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security sought better understanding of whether recent reports of security breaches and unauthorized access to tarmacs were anomalies or systemic failures. Members focused much of their indignation on the Transportation Security Administration. They paid particular attention to an inspector general report of six major airports released this week that found more than half of all security breaches were never reported to higher officials.

In one egregious case, TSA officers failed to report that a passenger entered a secure area with a handwritten boarding pass, according to the report.

It's been more than 10 years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and no similar attack has occurred.

In 2011, Transportation Security Administration officers screened more than 603 million passengers at 450 airports across the country and stopped more than 125,000 prohibited items, including 1,300 firearms.

John Sammon, assistant administrator of the TSA's Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, told lawmakers that the agency is working on improvements. The agency is developing a uniform definition of a security breach and is creating a comprehensive oversight program that would gather information on all security breaches, he said.

Lawmakers were not satisfied.

Outside security around aircraft is a joke, said Rep. Chip Cravaack, a Minnesota Republican and a former airline pilot who said more must be done to prevent the next 9/11-style attack.

"The next incident is going to come from the ground," he said. "It's going to come from the shadow of the aircraft. It's not going to come through the passenger terminal."

In March, a man crashed his vehicle through a locked gate at Philadelphia International Airport and sped toward a plane as it was taking off.

At the Atlanta airport, an employee was captured on video swiping his badge to let another person into a restricted area.

Charlotte aviation director Jerry Orr could not be immediately reached for comment. Last year, he told lawmakers in Washington that the TSA was "more interested in avoiding responsibility" than finding out what happened to Tisdale. Orr has in the past criticized the effectiveness of the TSA and has said individual airports could do a better job at airport security than the federal agency.

The Transportation Security Administration completed an investigation into how Tisdale may have breached Charlotte security in November, but spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said details were not released for security reasons.

"TSA continues to oversee (Charlotte's) airport security plan to ensure the airport operator, the airlines and airport law enforcement remain in compliance with the strict TSA-approved regulations designed to maintain the security of the airport and the airfield," she said in a statement.

Massachusetts investigators have speculated that Tisdale climbed over the Charlotte airport's 6-foot-high chain-link fence, which is topped with barbed wire.

More hearings are expected on perimeter security issues, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican who chaired the subcommittee hearing.

"There is no such thing as 100 percent secure, but a teenage boy ought to not be able to get through," he said. "And we have to find out why that happens."

Drug lab near cash plane crash site

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - Ecuador's official news agency says police have found a cocaine-processing lab near where a small Mexican-registered plane crashed over the weekend with $1.3 million in cash aboard.

Andina news agency says three people were arrested and a half ton of cocaine seized at the lab Wednesday.

Andina also says authorities assume the plane was carrying more than the $1.3 million that was found after it crashed, killing the pilot and co-pilot. It identifies them as presumed members of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel.

Unlike neighboring Peru and Colombia, Ecuador is not known to cultivate coca, the basis of cocaine. But it is a transit country and authorities say they dismantled five cocaine labs in Ecuador last year and have found four so far this year.

Pilot's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) contributed to crash

The grandmother of the pilot who was one of two men who died in an ultralight crash at Tatham in 2010 has told a coronial inquest her grandson's ADHD contributed to their death.

Michael O'Keefe and his passenger Josef Hainaut died on a return trip to Casino from Lismore when their ultralight crashed into a paddock on May 7, 2010.

Patricia O'Keefe said her grandson Michael was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was aged four. She described him as "a law unto himself" and "a handful" due to ADHD which he had been unmedicated for since he was six.

"I do think that ADHD did contribute to Michael and Josef's death and my doctor does too," she said.

"I do believe Michael and Josef died because of Michael's impulsive behavior."

Mrs O'Keefe told the court there were now draft regulations put in place by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regarding pilots with ADHD.

The court heard Mr O'Keefe's license was never suspended but after he was spoken to about performing illegal manoeuvres in February 2009 he did not fly for about 12 months.

The man responsible for police investigations into aviation fatalities, Chief Inspector Hurley, said he was in no doubt that if the engine had failed Mr O'Keefe would have had the skills to land the ultralight.

Mrs Hainaut's solicitor David Evenden said the family would like to see changes in the requirements for scheduled maintenance, for which the onus currently falls on the pilot, through changes in registration guidelines for recreational aircraft.

Mr Evenden and Coroner's Assistant Sgt Rowe retired at 3pm to consider their recommendations for the Coroner.

Coroner Jeff Linden will hand down his recommendations today.


Red Bull Akte Blani(x) 3

 May 14, 2012 by Redbullskydiveteam 

The Red Bull Skydive Team recently performed a spectacular performance high in the skies above Austria well worthy of any James Bond film. As part of the project Akte Blani(X) 3, the five-man squadron set off in hot pursuit of two Blanix gliders cruising 4,000 metres above the ground. In one of the most daring wingsuit manoeuvres ever seen, the skydivers then inched their way towards the aircraft before flying along side by side at speeds in excess of 180km/h.

Beechcraft V35B Bonanza, N645EP: Accident occurred May 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, New Mexico

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA291 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 11, 2012 in Las Vegas, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N645EP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The private pilot departed at night in his single-engine airplane from a remote airport and subsequently impacted terrain southeast of the airport. The airplane wreckage was dispersed over a large area and was heavily fragmented, consistent with a high-speed impact. Examination of the airplane and engine found no mechanical deficiencies that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot's logbook was found in the wreckage and was partially completed between 2005 and 2009. There were no logged entries of any night flight time, and the pilot’s most recent simulated instrument training was logged in 2005. The pilot's flight time/experience since 2009 is unknown except for a biennial flight review that was completed in 2011.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s loss of airplane control for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.


On May 11, 2012, at an undetermined time, N645EP, a Beech V35B airplane, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain after takeoff from the Las Vegas Municipal Airport (LVS), Las Vegas, New Mexico. The private pilot, sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was not filed for the flight and the pilot’s destination that evening was not known. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was reported missing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT). The airplane was located by search and rescue personnel on May 12, 2012, about 4 miles east-southeast of the Las Vegas Municipal airport.

A review of the available air traffic control (ATC) and radar data information revealed the pilot departed Henderson, Nevada, earlier that day and received flight following services to LVS. The inbound radar data revealed that the airplane approached LVS from the west, and then turned north before the airplane descended below the radar coverage area around 2029. The last radar return indicated the airplane was 4 miles northwest of the airport at an altitude of 8,400 feet mean sea level (msl).

According to the LVS airport manager, the fixed-base operator was closed and no one saw the airplane land or takeoff. However, airport fueling records from the self-service fuel pump revealed the pilot used his credit card to purchase fuel that evening. The time stamp on the fuel receipt was 2246. The airport manager asserted the time stamp on the self-service fuel pump was accurate. Several requests were made to the pilot's family to obtain the time stamp from when the pilot swiped his credit card. However, that information was not made available at the time the factual report was written.

According to the pilot’s wife, she said the pilot was ultimately destined for Georgia, where he planned to attend their daughter’s graduation. She thought he was possibly headed for either Amarillo, Texas, or Little Rock, Arkansas, where he would spend the night, before continuing on to Georgia the next day.

It is unknown what time the pilot departed LVS. A review of available radar date for the area did record three radar returns emitting a VFR beacon code approximately 4 miles northeast of the airport at an altitude of 7,900 feet msl between 2117:45 and 2118:15. The first two returns were on an east-northeast heading and the last return appeared to be heading southeast.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last FAA third class medical was issued on December 30, 2010, with a restriction for near and intermediate vision. At that time, he reported a total of 1,000 flight hours.

One of the pilot’s logbooks was located in the wreckage. The first entry was made on June 30, 2005, and the last entry was made in September 2009. All of the logged flights were in the accident airplane. At the time of the last entry, the pilot accrued a total of 1,236 total flight hours. The pilot also logged total of 32.3 hours of simulated instrument time between 2005 and 2007; however, none of these flights were endorsed by a flight instructor or safety pilot. No night time was logged.
The pilot's last biennial flight review was conducted in the accident airplane and successfully completed on September 3, 2011.


Weather at LVS at 2053 was reported as wind from 130 degrees at 14 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 16 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.96 inches Hg.
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department, the moon phase on the evening of the accident was waning gibbous with 62 percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. However, the moonrise wasn’t until 0039 the following morning.


The airplane was examined on-scene by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-in-Charge and the FAA on May 13, 2012. The wreckage was heavily fragmented along open, treeless pasture on private property at an approximate elevation of 6,800 feet. The wreckage was scattered along a linear path that was approximately 800 feet long by 250 feet wide, and oriented on a magnetic heading of 236 degrees. The initial impact point was located near the top of a shallow hill and consisted of an approximate 30 foot long ground scar, followed by an approximate 1 foot deep crater. Small pieces of red and white paint chips were found embedded in the ground scar along with broken pieces of clear glass. Broken pieces of the propeller assembly were found in the crater.

Scattered down the shallow hill and along the wreckage path, forward of the initial impact point, were sections of the right wing, pieces of the airframe, section of the instrument panel, the pitot heat tube, personal belongings, and the propeller assembly.

The main wreckage, which included the entire tail section, a large section of the left wing, and sections of the cockpit and avionics were found approximately 200 feet forward of the initial impact point. The engine was found approximately 600 feet forward of the main wreckage. All of the accessories except for the propeller governor had separated from the engine. Both crank case halves and the oil sump were partially crushed aft and all of the engine mounts were broken. The #5 cylinder was partly separated, exposing the valves.

The wreckage was moved to a secure facility and a follow up examination of the engine and airframe was conducted separately. The engine examination was performed under the supervision of an NTSB air safety investigator.

The top spark plugs and rocker covers were removed, but the crankshaft could not be rotated because of impact damage. The cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope. All of the piston heads and cylinder domes were coated with normal combustion deposits. All of the valves were in place and not damaged.

A visual exam of the top spark plugs revealed the center electrode was missing from the number five spark plug. The spark plugs had normal wear when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison card. They had light gray deposits in the electrode areas.

The fuel nozzles were removed and examined. Nozzles one, three, and five were broken in half. The number two nozzle was bent. Nozzles four and six were not damaged. All of the nozzles had varying amounts of debris in the interior chamber.

The propeller governor was in place and not damaged. The actuating arm was in place and moved freely. The drive shaft was free to rotate. The oil screen was clean and clear and free of debris.

The vacuum pump exhibited impact damage, but the drive coupling was intact. The drive shaft would not rotate. The unit was disassembled and the rotor block was shattered. The vanes were in place and damaged. Scoring was observed in the interior of the vacuum pump case.

Both magnetos were separated from the engine and had impact damage. Both magnetos sparked at all terminals when the drive shafts were rotated by hand.

The propeller assembly separated from the engine at the crankshaft. All three blades remained attached to the hub. The first blade was bent aft. The second blade was also bent and torsionally twisted. The blade exhibited chordwise scoring and leading edge gouging. The third blade was twisted and exhibited leading edge gouging.

Examination of the engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies that would have precluded normal operation of the engine.

The airframe was examined under the supervision of the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge. The examination revealed the flap actuator was in the fully retracted position. The landing gear actuator indicated that the gear was still in transit when the accident occurred and was near the fully retracted position.

Flight control continuity was established for the rudder, elevator, and trim cables to the center fuselage. The ends of the cables were broken and exhibited frayed ends, consistent with overload. The arm for the differential elevator control was broken off at the base of the differential control. Metallurgical examination of the fractured end of the control arm by an NTSB metallurgist revealed it failed from overload forces.

The right wing sustained more impact damage than the left wing. The right wing aileron balance and up-cable remained attached to the bell crank and were fractured. The fractured ends were frayed, consistent with overload forces.

Flight control continuity was established for the left aileron to the wing root and for both the left and right flap cables to the center section of the airplane.

The horns on the pilot’s control wheel were broken off. The passenger’s control wheel separated from the airframe, but the horns were intact.
The propeller and mixture controls were found full forward and the throttle was out approximately 1-inch.

The fuel selector was set to the right fuel tank. The top of the fuel manifold valve was torn open and packed with dirt.

The attitude indicator sustained heavy impact damage. It was disassembled and the gyro remained in the gimbals, which remained in the case. The gyro was opened and no scoring was observed on the gyro or the inside of the case.

The needle on the tachometer was frozen at 2,400 RPM and registered a time of 4,380.7 hours. The airspeed needle was frozen at 208 knots and the altimeter was set to 29.98 inches Mercury.

A review of the airplane's maintenance logbooks revealed the last annual inspection was completed on March 1, 2011, at an airframe total time of 4,289.5 hours.


An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 14, 2012. The cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt force injuries. In addition to the blunt force injuries, the report also indicated “changes in the liver commonly caused by diabetes mellitus, obesity, or alcohol use.”

The pilot’s wife was a medical doctor. She reported that her husband did not have any health issues and was not diabetic. She reported that she administered him a stress test in the months previous to the accident and successfully passed. He was not taking any medications and was a social drinker.

Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA’s Accident Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Specimens tested positive for 85 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol in the liver, and 26 (mg/dl, mg/hg) Ethanol in muscle tissue. Specimens used for the toxicology were taken two days after the accident and it is possible that some or all of the ethanol detected may have been from sources other than ingestion.


According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 10 Night Operations it states, “Good eyesight depends upon physical condition. Fatigue, colds, vitamin deficiency, alcohol, stimulants, smoking, or medication can seriously impair vision. Keeping these facts in mind and taking adequate precautions should safeguard night vision."

"Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree in controlling the airplane. This is particularly true on night takeoffs and climbs."

"After becoming airborne, the darkness of night often makes it difficult to note whether the airplane is getting closer to or farther from the surface. To ensure the airplane continues in a positive climb, be sure a climb is indicated on the attitude indicator, vertical speed indicator (VSI), and altimeter. It is also important to ensure the airspeed is at best climb speed. Necessary pitch and bank adjustments should be made by referencing the attitude and heading indicators. It is recommended that turns not be made until reaching a safe maneuvering altitude. Although the use of the landing lights provides help during the takeoff, they become ineffective after the airplane has climbed to an altitude where the light beam no longer extends to the surface. The light can cause distortion when it is reflected by haze, smoke, or fog that might exist in the climb. Therefore, when the landing light is used for the takeoff, it may be turned off after the climb is well established provided other traffic in the area does not require its use for collision avoidance."


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA291
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, NM
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N645EP
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 May 10, 2012, at an unconfirmed time (all times in this report have been converted to mountain daylight time), N645EP, a Beech V35B airplane, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain 4 miles east south-east of Las Vegas Municipal Airport (LVS), Las Vegas, New Mexico. The private pilot, sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Henderson Executive Airport (HDN), Henderson, Nevada, approximately 1725. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A review of preliminary air traffic control radar data revealed that the pilot landed at LVS around 2030. While at LVS, he purchased 41.7 gallons of 100LL AVGAS. At 2117:45, three radar returns emitting a VFR beacon code are observed about 4 miles east of the airport an altitude of 7,900 feet msl. The radar returns indicated the target was heading east, then southeast before the data ended at 2118:15.

The airplane was examined on-scene by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-in-Charge and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on May 13, 2012. The wreckage was fragmented along open, treeless pasture on private property at an approximate elevation of 6,900 feet. The wreckage was scattered along a linear path that was approximately 800 feet long by 250 feet wide, and oriented on a magnetic heading of 236 degrees. The initial impact point was located near the top of a shallow hill and consisted of an approximate 30-foot-long by 1-foot-wide ground scar, followed by an approximate 1-foot-deep by 3-foot-wide crater. Small pieces of red and white paint chips were found embedded in the ground scars along with broken pieces of clear glass. Broken pieces of the propeller assembly were found in the crater.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His last Third Class FAA medical was issued on December 30, 2010, with a restriction for near and intermediate vision. At that time, he reported a total of 1,000 flight hours.

Weather at LVS at 2053 was reported as wind from 050 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, light rain, clouds broken at 4,500, clouds overcast at 5,000, temperature 11 degrees Celsius, dewpoint, 4 degrees Celsisus, and an altimeter setting of 30.27 inches Hg.

The founder of the Arizona Regional Medical Center, Robert M. Siegel, passed away the weekend of May 12, 2012 in an airplane accident. 

The following is an internal memo sent to Arizona Regional Medical Center staff.

We are sad to announce the death of our founder, Robert M. Siegel, MD. Dr Siegel died doing the things he loved, flying his plane to visit his daughters and wife. He was on his way to Georgia for his youngest daughter’s graduation when the accident happened.

We will all miss Dr. Siegel tremendously. His energy and passion were unmatched and were the driving force, along with lots of help from his wife, Dr. Barker, and their many friends and colleagues, in the creation of ARMC. We are committed to honor his vision and his legacy by continuing to provide outstanding patient care and growing ARMC.

The Siegel family wants you all to know how much it means to them to have the outpouring of caring that they have already experienced. Obviously, many details still need to be worked out, but the family has asked that, in lieu of gifts & flowers, that donations can be made to The ARMC Research Foundation or to the Robert M. Siegel Legacy Fund for The Daughters. Both are set up at Northern Trust Bank. We will share more details about services, open house, etc. as they become known.

Note from the family: Keep up the work that was started by our father and husband. Know that we can do it, and do it with excellence!

 A well-known Valley cardiologist died in a small plane crash.

Dr. Robert Siegel of Arizona Regional Medical Center was killed in the crash, according to Leslie Hill, the center's director of community relations.

The FAA said the aircraft crashed Thursday about five miles from Las Vegas.

According to FAA records, Siegel was the registered owner of the aircraft, described as a fixed-wing, single-engine Beechcraft V-35.

An FAA team is investigating what caused the crash and it will hand all information over to the NTSB.

According to its website, the Arizona Regional Medical Center provides health care at two acute care hospitals located in Mesa and Apache Junction.
  Regis#: 645EP        Make/Model: BE35      Description: 35 Bonanza
  Date: 05/10/2012     Time: 2030

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: LAS VEGAS   State: NM   Country: US


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

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: ALBUQUERQUE, NM  (SW01)               Entry date: 05/14/2012 

Do My Military Job: Fighting a jet fire

NewsChannel 3’s Bianca Martinez spent a day at Langley with Air Force firefighters. They put her through their grueling physical readiness test and made her face the flames. Could she stand the heat? Watch the video to find out. 


Boeing Field/King County International Airport (KBFI) issues noise notice about upcoming flights

In an unusual move the King County Airport, commonly referred to as Boeing Field, issued a notification about some upcoming flights that are likely to get not only attention but will generate noticeable noise.

The West Seattle Herald has more information on the visiting B-17 here.

press release:

We have been advised by the Museum of Flight that upcoming flight events may create noisy conditions for communities surrounding Boeing Field, such as the neighborhoods of Georgetown, Beacon Hill, Magnolia, West Seattle; and portions of Renton and Tukwila:

Beginning on May 21 and lasting through Memorial Day weekend, the Museum of Flight is hosting B-17 Bomber tours and rides on the Seattle-born Aluminum Overcast; and a range of vintage military aircraft sponsored by the Cascade War Birds Fly In.

Residents should be aware that these aircraft are sanctioned by permits from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and are intended for the enjoyment of pilots, fans of aviation history, and the general public.

KCIA is an open-access airport and is not authorized to restrict any aircraft 24/7. To file a noise complaint, please contact 206-205-5242; or online at

S.D. Civil Air Patrol Exercises Saturday in Sioux Falls area

RELEASED: 16 May 2012
S.D. Civil Air Patrol Exercises Saturday in Sioux Falls Area

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—Dogs, airplanes, and high-technology will converge on the Sioux Empire Saturday as the South Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol holds a training exercise in Sioux Falls.

The SAREX, short for “search and rescue exercise,” will feature not just CAP members from across the state, but also search dogs and their trainers from the Brookings area, the use of the S.D. Air National Guard’s state-of-the art Mobile Emergency Operations Center, and the wing’s Cessna 172s and 182s from across South Dakota.

“The exercise is intended to provide participants with a realistic simulation environment in which to develop their mission specialty skills and accomplish evaluation of skills for completion of Emergency Services qualifications,” said Lt. Col. Donald Barbalace of Aberdeen.  Lieutenant Colonel Barbalace, a fifty-year member of the CAP, will direct the SAREX as incident commander.

This SAREX will feature inter agency cooperation with the S.D. Air Guard and private non-profit organizations as well as CAP components.  As in last year’s numerous flooding missions, the CAP typically works in conjunction with local, state, federal, and tribal governments, and private agencies.  Sometimes the CAP plays a “force multiplier” role and sometimes it brings special skills like aerial photography to the disaster relief or search and rescue effort.

CAP members will check into mission base by 9 a.m. at the Sioux Falls Composite Squadron’s headquarters at 3401 N. Aviation Lane at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.  Aircraft and ground teams will be deployed throughout the morning and afternoon in the Sioux Falls vicinity. The S.D. Air Guard’s mobile ops center will be located near the mission base.

For additional information prior to the SAREX, contact Capt. Todd Epp, S.D. Wing Public Affairs Officer, at 605.351.5021 or at 

The South Dakota Wing of the CAP has approximately 310 cadet and adult members with squadrons in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Pierre, Brookings, Custer, and Spearfish.  In 2011, the wing flew numerous photo reconnaissance missions for the state of South Dakota and FEMA during flooding across South Dakota and received the national commander’s commendation for its efforts.  The wing’s website is at  

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.

Harbor Springs Airport (KMGN), Michigan: International Learn To Fly Day event to take place locally

HARBOR SPRINGS — Those interested in learning more about flying are invited to participate in the International Learn To Fly Day event at Harbor Springs Municipal Airport 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19

Harbor Springs Chapter 1087 of the Experimental Aircraft Association will host the event, which is free of charge. Guests will learn more about the time commitment and expense required in learning to fly.

Pilots, flight instructors and aircraft owners will discuss the possibilities in aviation.

A Young Eagles Flight Rally will also take place during the event. Area youth ages 8-17 will have the chance to take to the skies in an attempt to get young people interested in aviation.

Experimental Aviation Association members will fly area youth on an individual basis, free of charge.

"Free airplane rides are just one part of the flight rally," said Bill Meyer, spokesman for the event. "We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation."

Pilots at the event will also explain to youth about how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety.

Following each flight, each young person will receive a "Young Eagle" certificate, and their name will be entered into the "World's Largest Logbook," housed permanently at the Experimental Aircraft Association Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wis.

The event will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Harbor Springs Municipal Airport, 8350 M-119 in Harbor Springs. For more information, contact Bill Meyer at (231) 838-8545.

Learn to Fly for Free with Sky Chiefs Aviation — This Saturday

If learning how to fly a plane is something you’ve always wanted to do but the cost has held you back, get ready  — this weekend is for you.

Courtesy of Sky Chiefs Aviation, you can learn to fly for free (yes, we said free) during a 40-minute No Excuses Discovery Flight. Participants will sit in the pilot’s seat of a Cessna 152 or a Cessna 157 and perform basic maneuvers — except takeoff and landing.

 The event is Sky Chiefs Aviation’s third annual “International Learn to Fly Day,” which will be held at the Gainesville Regional Airport from 9am to 5pm free of charge.

For those who are interested in learning more about flying or acquiring a pilot’s license, the EAA chapter and the Civil Air Patrol will also be making a visit.

For more information, visit

Airlines Hurry to Recruit Pilots During Shortage

By Alec Luhn
The St. Petersburg Times
Published: May 16, 2012 (Issue # 1708) 

MOSCOW — Russia has been widely touted as the world’s most deadly place to fly after a series of air crashes. The Russian aviation industry faces another pressing issue that may eventually compound safety problems — a shortage of personnel, especially pilots.

As passenger flights continue to increase, the number of students graduating from Russian aviation academies won’t be able to meet airlines’ staffing demands, an industry expert said. The burgeoning deficit is prompting airlines to cover their staffing needs by poaching pilots from other airlines and starting special recruitment programs, among other means. If this deficit is not successfully addressed, it could exacerbate the safety concerns about air travel in Russia, experts said.

“The most problematic segment, the deficit which could directly affect the level of flight safety in the future, is the shortage of graduates from educational institutions specializing in flight operations,” said Oleg Panteleyev, an analyst at the industry information agency Aviaport.

According to Panteleyev, about 330 new pilots graduated from Russian flight schools in 2011. Although the state flight schools plan to graduate 480 pilots in 2012 and to increase that number in future years, the number of graduates will be less than the number required by airlines. The industry’s staffing needs will include an estimated 800 to 1,000 pilots annually over the next few years, he said.

Meanwhile, passenger travel continues to grow in Russia. Sixty-four million people flew on Russian airlines in 2011, and the number of passenger flights increased 12.6 percent compared with 2010, RIA-Novosti reported in March. The number of passengers grew 18 percent in the first two months of 2012 as compared with the same period last year, according to the news service.

Wage Wars

Pilot positions comprise 5 percent of the aviation vacancies on recruiting website, said spokesman Vladislav Gladenkov by e-mail. Meanwhile, 14 percent of the site’s aviation vacancies are for flight attendants and 16 percent are for ticket agents, he said.

Aviator positions, however, remain foremost on airlines’ minds. Russia’s second-largest airline, Transaero, concerns itself mainly with hiring pilots, spokesman Sergei Bykhal said by e-mail.

“Because the company’s fleet is constantly expanding, we carry out constant, planned recruitment of personnel, primarily pilots,” Bykhal said.

Russian airline VIM Avia is most in need of pilots and flight attendants, said spokeswoman Yelena Fyodorova by e-mail.

Whereas during the Soviet period flight schools put out as many as 2,500 graduates a year, in post-Soviet Russia that number decreased to less than 200, Novaya Gazeta reported in 2011. This was because a decrease in the number of passenger flights in Russia during the 1990s was accompanied by a sharp drop in government financing for the country’s flight schools, Panteleyev said.

Moreover, the lack of ground personnel is only slightly less acute than the pilot shortage, Panteleyev said.

Most large airlines can currently meet their staffing needs by attracting personnel from smaller airlines, Panteleyev said.

“Airlines poach pilots from each other, and the only method of attracting pilots is higher wages,” Panteleyev said, noting that large spending on aviators makes Russian airlines uncompetitive with foreign companies.

VIM Avia declined to name the average salary of its pilots, and Transaero said only that its wages correspond to those at leading airlines worldwide. Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported in 2011 that the salary of an experienced pilot in Russia exceeds $10,000 per month.

Transaero hires pilots both from flight schools and other airlines, Bykhal said. Few other sources for aviators exist. Military flyers sometimes go into civil aviation, but the “number of these pilots is tens of people when the need is for thousands,” Panteleyev said.

Personnel from former Soviet republics could help address the problem, but by law Russian airlines can only hire Russian or Belarussian citizens, he added.

Bring a Friend

The personnel deficit has prompted airlines to try various recruiting tools. Russian airlines and flight schools have visited secondary schools on joint recruiting tours, Panteleyev said, but these trips can’t alleviate the current problem, as the number of students wanting to enroll already exceeds the number that flight schools can accept.

To try to establish a steadier supply of pilots, the country’s largest airline, Aeroflot, opened its own flight school in partnership with the Ulyanovsk Higher Civil Aviation School in March 2011, the company said on its website. Students first study for a year and a half at the Ulyanovsk school, then for half a year at Aeroflot’s school on the outskirts of Moscow, where they learn to operate a specific plane. The company requires 250 new pilots every year, general director Vitaly Savelyev told news agency Prime.

VIM Avia runs its own training center to provide flight school graduates with additional instruction, Fyodorova said, and Bykhal said Transaero also has a training center.

Aeroflot recently garnered publicity for its recruiting program “Bring a Friend to Be a Pilot.” For every new pilot hired on the recommendation of an Aeroflot employee, that employee receives a 200,000 ruble ($6,800) bonus. During the course of 2011, the airline hired 35 pilots in this fashion, flight director Igor Chalik told Vedomosti in April. Panteleyev said he doesn’t know of any similar programs at other Russian airlines.

Aeroflot started the program after first appealing to recruiting agencies to help it hire pilots, Chalik said. Although Russian airlines, including VIM Avia, don’t often tap headhunters, the skills of recruiting agencies may eventually find demand in this segment, Panteleyev said. One task for recruiters in such a market is to find the most qualified candidates, since almost any applicant starts to look good to personnel-starved airlines, he explained.

“A good recruiting agency should sift out the candidates that have problems,” Panteleyev said. “The second part is the search for specialists ready to work for a reasonable wage, so that you don’t have to overpay.”

Fatigued Flight Crews

The lack of both flight and ground personnel can exacerbate safety concerns due to overworking, according to Igor Obodkov, spokesman for the Sheremetyevo Air Staff Union, who said encouragement by airlines to fly more hours wearies pilots. The problem looks like it will only get worse: Aeroflot is planning to double its fleet even though “there’s nowhere to get pilots from,” he said.

“Pilots’ fatigue builds up, and it’s not clear what it will lead to,” Obodkov said.

Although the set maximum flight time for commercial pilots is 800 hours a year, regulations allow them to fly 900 with the approval of their airline union, often for overtime pay. Some fly up to 1,000 hours unofficially, Obodkov said.

Furthermore, down time between flights is often insufficient due to poor flight schedule planning, he noted. Russian aviators only have about six days off each month, compared with the 12 days off mandated by U.S. airline Delta, Obodkov said.

An investigation by the Interstate Aviation Committee of an Aeroflot-Nord crash in Perm on Sept. 14, 2008, which killed 88 people, found that the daily rest period between the crew’s flights on Sept. 11 had been less than half the 12-hour minimum (the crew flew on Sept. 11, 12 and 13), one of many regulatory violations in the crew’s work-rest schedule, according to the investigation report. The captain also had alcohol in his blood, the report said.

Errors made by personnel cause about 80 percent of air crashes in Russia, including allowing pilots without the necessary experience to fly, said Yelena Glebova, head of transport and customs oversight at the Prosecutor General’s Office, RIA-Novosti reported.

If the shortage of personnel is not addressed, it could constrict the development of the air industry, Panteleyev said.

“By the middle of this decade, the lack of pilots and ground staff will already hamper the growth of passenger traffic,” he predicted.


Aeroflot struggles with hell-raising passengers and pilots

Russia's major airline - Aeroflot - headed by General Director Vitaly Savelev has opted to bring out an initiative which allows air companies to make a blacklist of passengers and pilots. Vechernya Moskva has reported that this is a way to avoid confrontations with hell-raising clients and incompetent staff.

"We've gone over this time and again and now we've decided to go ahead with the initiative to make a "blacklist of pilots" said Savelev to journalists during a ceremony at the premier of "Russia's Wings".

According to Savelev, due to a deficit of pilots in Russia, those pilots who have been fired from one company due to work violations just switch to another. At present, around 400 new pilots qualify in Russia every year, juxtaposed to a deamnd of 1000. Savelev suggested that Russia could hire pilots from other CIS countries, but Russian legislation currently prevents this, reports

Getting onto the "blacklist" of passengers, according to the General Director, means a passenger who behaves inadequately during the flight. These people, he thinks, ought to be refused from boarding.

The Head of Aeroflot also noted that his company intends to suggest the relevant amendments to the law for consideration by the deputies of the State Duma, reports Priyam.

Remote controlled airplane club works to keep noise down

 To the editor:

Trying to be the very best neighbors we can be, and hearing the concerns of the Reiswig Road residents, we (the Kelowna Ogopogo Radio Control Club) relocated our activities to the very far south of our property, just as requested.

Additionally, we have relocated our entrance from the end of Reiswig Road to Lodge Road, so as to have no further traffic impact on Reiswig Road at all.

We continue to vigilantly train our pilots to avoid flying around neighbor properties. Also, we continue to test all our aircraft for noise. No plane may fly if it exceeds 92 dB. Compare the City of Kelowna has a 96 dB sound limit for cars, motorcycles, etc.

We think of ourselves as a community organization, and perhaps like Rotary or Kinsmen, we are always on the lookout for community projects we can help with. For example, on April 14 we put on a talk and demonstration for the retirement residents of the Smith Creek Retirement home in West Kelowna.

On May 5 and 6, we organized a Lake Country Food Bank drive.

As we aim to integrate into the community and neighborhood, we appreciate the support we have been getting from so many Lake Country residents and neighbors. We also have enjoyed introducing the many out of town visitors we get to Lake Country.

John Falconer,

Lake Country

Citation Jet 1 taxiando até a decolagem em SBSP Hangar Global Taxi Aéreo

Al Qaeda magazine: Airline plots a "good bargain"

(CBS News) The author of al Qaeda's latest bomb-making magazine said that the terror group will continue to pursue attempts to blow up U.S. jetliners and isn't concerned that such plots might be foiled because they represent "such a good bargain."

Abdullah Zul Bejadayn, believed to be a Saudi explosives expert who has been featured in previous bomb-making video tutorials, said in the second edition of "Al Qaeda Airlines" that the militants "do not mind at all in this stage if [plots] are intercepted. It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy and keep him on his toes in exchange [for] a few months of work and a few thousand bucks."

A double agent working with U.S., Saudi and British intelligence recently infiltrated al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and thwarted a plan to use an underwear bomb to attack a U.S.-bound airplane - a plot similar to a failed attack on Christmas Day 2009. The agent volunteered to carry out the suicide mission, which originated in Yemen, and instead delivered the updated non-metallic explosive device to American officials.

The latest al Qaeda publication outlines major plots from the last decade -the shoe-bomb plot in 2001, the attacks in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005, respectively, among others - and discusses materials frequently used in constructing bombs and techniques for avoiding security, though Bejadayn said he "was instructed not to give much detail as the enemy is watching us closely in a bid to get a clearer picture."

CBS News national security correspondent Bob Orr reports that U.S. officials are aware of the publication but say it's not news that al Qaeda continues to target U.S. aviation. The recently thwarted plot out of Yemen demonstrates that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is working to develop explosives that can be smuggled past aviation checkpoints and onto U.S.-bound flights.

The chief bomb-maker for AQAP, Ibrahim al-Asiri, has quickly risen on the U.S. public enemies list. While al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri may be the world's "most wanted terrorist," sources say al-Asiri may actually be the most dangerous. 

U.S. officials briefly thought al-Asiri was killed in the same drone strike last fall that eliminated AQAP operational leader Anwar al-Awlaki. But al-Asiri survived the September 30 attack.

Al-Asiri was the architect of the 2009 "underwear bomb" worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab aboard Northwest flight 253. Al-Asiri also built the carefully concealed bombs, hidden in printers aboard two cargo planes in 2010. U.S. investigators suspect al-Asiri was behind the latest device which is now being studied by FBI explosives experts.


Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey: Blown fuse at 177th Fighter Wing causes no injuries or damage

A blown fuse Wednesday morning at the Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing at the Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township startled passerby but didn’t cause any injuries, officials said.

Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Daugherty, spokesman for the New Jersey National Guard, said no one was injured when a fuse on a utility pole adjacent to the base exchange, a convenience store on site, blew at about 9:30 a.m.

“No one got hurt or shocked,” he said. “It made more noise than anything.”

Daugherty said workers are resetting the circuit breaker. The blown fuse did not cause any significant damage.

High-flying 15 year old Anna heads into the sky solo

Flying a plane solo was not on 15-year-old Anna Tuncks’ agenda when she woke up Tuesday morning, but it was something she accomplished by the end of that day. Anna has been flying for almost two years at the Ballarat Aero Club and was excited to have her first solo flight. 

 “I was ecstatic, I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

Before she was allowed to fly solo, Anna’s instructor put her through a series of trials to ensure she was ready.

“He said at the beginning of the lesson that I should expect anything.”

Some of the trials Anna had to endure included her instructor opening doors mid-flight, the engine being cut off and having to glide down into paddocks.

She has also had to complete three exams before getting to this point.

Anna was unaware she would be given the opportunity to have her first solo flight that day, so when her instructor said it was time for him to get out she was shocked.

“I was looking at the paddocks to see the places where I could land,” she said.

When she finished her first solo fight, she was doused with a bucket of water, a long-held flying tradition. 


CANADA: A tale of two polluted airports

Transport Canada is spending millions of dollars cleaning up historic pollution at a municipal airport in British Columbia even as it refuses the same help to Hamilton.

Hamilton is studying PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) contamination at an old firefighting training pad at its airport, which Transport Canada owned until 1996. The toxic chemical has also been found downstream in fish and turtles in the Binbrook reservoir.

The city has asked for federal cash for remediation, which could cost $2 million at the airport alone. The federal government says it’s not responsible for the cleanup because the 1996 airport transfer agreement doesn’t list PFOS as a “contaminant of concern.”

But Transport Canada has spent close to $2.4 million since 2006 cleaning up firefighting pollution, including PFOS, at an airport owned by the City of Williams Lake, B.C., according to a federal contaminated sites inventory.

“We weren’t even aware of it (the pollution) until the government came in and started doing remediation work,” said Brian Carruthers, CAO for the city of 11,000 which also took over its airport from Transport Canada in 1996. “Never once was there any indication that it was anything other than the federal government’s responsibility to deal with … It’s never been a political issue at all.”

Hamilton Councillor Brian McHattie said the federal government can’t take responsibility for pollution that happened on its watch in one place, but not in another.

“If they’re treating municipalities in different ways, they’re in trouble,” said McHattie, one of several councillors who initially balked at paying for a pollution study without federal involvement. “The federal government obviously has to contribute because the city doesn’t have the resources to deal with this problem.”

The city is still trying to convince the federal government to help, said Guy Paparella, director of airport and industrial land development, but staff have not yet investigated the Williams Lake cleanup and how it compares to Hamilton’s situation.

The Spectator asked to speak with Transport Canada about the B.C. project last Thursday, but no one was available by the end of Tuesday. Answers to emailed questions were also unavailable.

David Sweet, Conservative MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, said he and Niagara West-Glanbrook MP Dean Allison have met with city and federal officials on the issue, but added he “won’t speculate” on whether federal funding is possible.

“The Minister has been clear, the government has been clear, the transfer happened in 1996, and now it’s a local responsibility,” he said.

That response confuses Joe Minor, the Hamilton biologist who raised the alarm about PFOS near the airport with independent soil testing in 2011.

Minor pointed to consultant reports online showing Transport Canada is involved in remediation or studies of PFOS not only in British Columbia, but also in Ontario at the London International Airport, which is still on federally owned land.

The federal government, through the Department of National Defence, is also investigating PFOS contamination at military bases in Trenton and Greenwood, N.S.

“I’m not sure how they can say they’re not responsible,” Minor said. “It’s like Hamilton being left out is a bureaucratic accident or something.”

In Williams Lake, Carruthers said he assumes the city’s 1996 airport transfer agreement shows Transport Canada is responsible for the cleanup, but he was unable to find the document last week.


How To Get A Pilot's License

May 15, 2012 by USAF155 

Graduation Project. How to get a pilot's license. This video shows the major steps:

Salina Municipal Airport (KSLN), Kansas: Student pilots compete in SAFECON - Event hosted by Kansas State University Salina

Pilots from collegiate aviation programs around the country are testing their skill and competing to be named the National Top Pilot. SAFECON 2012 is going on this week in Salina. The event is hosted by Kansas State University Salina and held at the Salina Municipal Airport.

More than 500 competitors, coaches, judges, and sponsors have traveled to Salina for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, May 14-19. During these six days, students representing 27 schools will participate in 14 events that will test their knowledge, skill, teamwork, and safety practices.

Some events, such as navigation, challenge competitors' ability to think on their feet, while others, such as the achievement award, are based on their contributions to their teams, communities, and the field of aviation throughout the year.

Teams earn invitations to the national competition based on their performances at regional competitions the previous fall.

In pictures: Ghana's flying women

Patricia Mawuli is a certified pilot, aircraft engineer and the only African woman qualified to build Rotax engines - which are used to fly light aircraft. She now helps run the Aviation and Technology Academy Ghana (AvTech), some 50km (30 miles) north-east of Ghana's capital, Accra.

Read more and photos:

Cessna 401, N9DM: Fatal accident occurred May 11, 2012 in Chanute, Kansas

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report:

Docket And Docket Items  - National Transportation Safety Board:

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Aviation Accident Data Summary:

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA290  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 11, 2012 in Chanute, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 401, registration: N9DM
Injuries: 4 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

While en route to the destination airport, the pilot turned on the cabin heater and, afterward, an unusual smell was detected by the occupants and the ambient air temperature increased. When the pilot turned the heater off, dark smoke entered the cabin and obscured the occupants' vision. The smoke likely interfered with the pilot’s ability to identify a safe landing site. During the subsequent emergency landing attempt to a field, the airplane’s wing contacted the ground and the airplane cartwheeled. Examination of the airplane found several leaks around weld points on the combustion chamber of the heater unit. A review of logbook entries revealed that the heater was documented as inoperative during the most recent annual inspection. Although a work order indicated that maintenance work was completed at a later date, there was no logbook entry that returned the heater to service. There were no entries in the maintenance logbooks that documented any testing of the heater or tracking of the heater's hours of operation. A flight instructor who flew with the pilot previously stated that the pilot used the heater on the accident airplane at least once before the accident flight. The heater’s overheat warning light activated during that flight, and the heater shut down without incident. The flight instructor showed the pilot how to reset the overheat circuit breaker but did not follow up on its status during their instruction. There is no evidence that a mechanic examined the airplane before the accident flight. Regarding the overheat warning light, the airplane flight manual states that the heater “should be thoroughly checked to determine the reason for the malfunction” before the overheat switch is reset. The pilot’s use of the heater on the accident flight suggests that he did not understand its status and risk of its continued use without verifying that it had been thoroughly checked as outlined in the airplane flight manual. A review of applicable airworthiness directives found that, in comparison with similar combustion heater units, there is no calendar time limit that would require periodic inspection of the accident unit. In addition, there is no guidance or instruction to disable the heater such that it could no longer be activated in the airplane if the heater was not airworthy.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The malfunction of the cabin heater, which resulted in an inflight fire and smoke in the airplane. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of understanding concerning the status of the airplane's heater system following and earlier overheat event and risk of its continued use. Also contributing were the inadequate inspection criteria for the cabin heater.


On May 11, 2012, approximately 1630 central daylight time, a Cessna 401 airplane, N9DM, collided with terrain near Chanute, Kansas. A post crash fire ensued. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. One passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to DRDJ Sales and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated on an instrument flight rules plan. The cross-country flight departed the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (RVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma, approximately 1545, for the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport (CBF), Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The survivor of the accident provided a written statement of the accident. She reported that when the pilot turned on the heater, a “terrible smell” was detected. The pilot told the passengers that the smell was normal for some heaters. When the pilot turned the heater off, dark, black smoke began to enter the airplane, which made it difficult to see. In an attempt to extinguish the fire, they poured water bottles in the vents, which had not effect. The pilot quickly descended. During the emergency landing, the pilot attempted to pull up, but the wing tip hit the ground first. The passenger thought the airplane rolled as it hit the ground. Another passenger assisted her in egressing from the airplane, but that survivor later succumbed to his injuries.


The pilot, age 23, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. On June 28, 2011, a first class medical certificate was issued with the restriction “not valid for night flying or by color signal control.” At the time of the pilot’s application for a medical certificate he reported accumulating 600 total hours, with 50 logged in the preceding 6 months. On June 27, 2010, the pilot had applied for his commercial pilot certificate and on that application he reported 392.8 hour of total time. The pilot’s logbook was not located during the course of the investigation.


The multi-engine airplane, N9DM, serial number 401-0123, was manufactured in 1967. It was powered by two turbo-charged, fuel injected, 300-horsepower, TSIO-520-E engines. Each engine drove a metal, 3-blade propeller. According to the airplane’s logbooks, the last annual inspection was accomplished on January 15, 2012, at a Hobbs time of 2,455.5 hours. This inspection had a remark, “heater is inop[erative].” A sales advertisement, dated January 8, 2012, listed the airframe’s total time as 4,819 hours. Including the time the pilot flew for his insurance requirements, the airframe had accumulated at least 4,831 hours.


At 1652, an automated weather reporting facility located at the Chanute-Martin Johnson Airport (KCNU), Chanute, Kansas, 6 nautical miles east of the accident site, reported wind from 180 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, a broken ceiling at 11,000 feet, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 15 C, and a barometric pressure of 30.07 inches of mercury.


The pilot was under radar and radio contact with Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and at 1606 reported that the airplane was level at 10,000 feet. The pilot requested and was approved to proceed direct to CBF. At 1624, the pilot requested a descent from 10,000 to 8,000 to “get out of the clouds and turbulence,” which was approved. ARTCC then issued a frequency change which was acknowledged by the pilot. The pilot did not make radio contact with the next controller, and there were no further communications with the pilot. In addition, no distress calls were heard by ARTCC controllers or other pilots on either ARTCC frequency.


The accident site was in a line of trees between a grass field and a corn field. The debris path was aligned along a 277 degree magnetic heading. The first impact point was a narrow ground scar consistent with a wing tip strike. Near the impact point was a portion of the right wing tip. About 88 feet down the wreckage path were two ground scars of varying lengths. No other ground scars were found leading to the main wreckage.

The main wreckage came to reset in a tree line about 162 feet from the initial impact scar, in the upright position, facing east. A post-crash fire had consumed a majority of the fuselage. All of the airframe’s flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. However, just outboard of the engine nacelle, the wing was torn and fragmented. The left engine separated from the nacelle and was located behind the left wing. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage and was crushed rearward and folded along its length. The outboard portion of the wing was bent upward and twisted rearward. The right engine had separated from its nacelle and was located 105 feet west of the main wreckage.

The vertical stabilizer was torn and twisted. The rudder was torn and separated from the vertical stabilizer, but remained attached to the fuselage via the control cables. The vertical stabilizer and elevator had separated from the empennage and were beneath the tail portion of the airplane. Flight control continuity was established to all flight controls.

The flaps were set to 15 degrees. The landing gear was in the retracted position. Portions of acrylic glass from the forward wind screens were found east of the wreckage in an area not exposed to the post-crash fire. These portions of acrylic glass contained soot on the cabin side surface. The cockpit gauges were impact and thermally damaged and did not convey reliable information. Both fuel selector valves were examined and found in the OFF position.

The left propeller had separated from the propeller hub and was found near the right wing. All three blades were relatively straight with one blade bent rearward near its mid-span. All three blades had soil and debris on the blade tips. The right propeller remained attached to the propeller hub. All three blades displayed leading edge polishing and damage near the blade tips. The blades were labeled A, B, and C, for documentation purposes only. Blade A was bent rearward just outboard of the blade root and bent forward near its 2/3 span. Blade B was bent forward towards the cambered side. Blade C was curled towards the cambered side near its mid-span.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot as authorized by the Wilson County Coroner’s Office. The cause of death was a result of thermal injuries. The autopsy found no indication of physical or toxicological impairment.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A reading of 12% carbon monoxide was detected in the pilot’s blood. Testing did not detect the presence of cyanide, ethanol, or other tested substances.


Engine runs

Both engines were shipped to Continental Motors Inc., Mobile, Alabama. Under the auspices of the NTSB, the engines were examined and prepped for engine runs. Each engine started and produced rated horsepower. No preimpact anomalies were detected with either engine.

Airplane Heater

The airplane was equipped with a South Wind 8259GL-1 combustion heater, serial number 388, which was last overhauled on February 11, 1994. Airplane logbooks recorded the heater’s installation on October 17, 1996, with a heater Hobbs time of 126.4 hours and Airworthiness Directive (AD) 81-09-09 accomplished. A review of the logbook did not find any additional entries for heater Hobbs time or compliance with AD 81-09-09.

On January 6, 2011, an annual inspection was accomplished and the heater was mistakenly identified as a Janitrol heater. This entry listed the heater as inoperative. A work order, dated February 9, 2011, described work performed on the heater: “Troubleshoot cabin heater. Found that cause of no fuel to fuel pump was due to no electrical power to fuel safety valve. Found stuck airflow switch, cleaned and heater operated normally.” There was not a log book entry that returned the heater to service. In addition, there was no evidence that a pressure decay test was accomplished. The heater Hobbs was destroyed in the accident and the heater’s hours could not be verified.

For insurance purposes, the pilot was required to fly with a certificated flight instructor (CFI) for at least 12 hours to obtain familiarization in the airplane make and model. In a telephone interview with the CFI, he recalled that during a flight on April 25, 2012, the heater’s overheat light illuminated shortly after they activated the heater. The heater shut down and no smoke or fumes were detected by the flight crew, so they continued to their destination. At the destination, the CFI demonstrated to the pilot how to reset the circuit breaker. He stated that they performed the return flight without utilizing the heater. Although they flew at least one additional flight on May 2, the CFI did not know any further information about the heater. The pilot’s father (a retired airline pilot) had flown with the pilot on May 6, in the accident airplane. He did not recall any placard on the heater and the pilot had not mentioned any problems with the heater to his father. Fire damage to the heater switch area prevented an evaluation of any placards.

Cessna’s Model 401 Owner’s Manual states that when the overheat warning light is illuminated, the heater overheat switch has been actuated and the temperature of the air in the heater has exceeded 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the heater switch is actuated, the heater turns off and cannot be restarted until the overheat switch, located in the right forward nose compartment, has been reset. Prior to having the overheat switch reset, the heater should be thoroughly checked to determine the reason for the malfunction.

There is no record of work being accomplished on the accident airplane after the overheat light had illuminated. Neither of the airplane’s home airfield repair shops performed work on the accident airplane. The fixed base operator did not recall seeing any personnel performing work on the airplane in the days preceding the accident.

Cessna’s service manual for the Cessna 401 listed the causes of “heater trips over heat switch” as a defective overheat switch or insufficient vent air and a defective duct limit switch. The corrective action is to replace the overheat switch or replace the duct limit switch and increase the air rate, respectively.

South Wind Heater exam

The heater was examined at Cessna Aircraft Company under the auspices of the NTSB and FAA. The heater displayed signatures of thermal damage. When the igniter housing assembly was removed, thermal damage was noted to the ignition unit and spark plug. The spark plug displayed heavy sooting. The heater’s shroud was removed and the duct limit switch was found to be misaligned. Discoloration on the switch surface suggested a misalignment prior to heat discoloring the metal. The combustion chamber’s interior was heavily sooted and contained several large pieces of carbon deposits and debris. The heater was reassembled with and sealed through the use of a general sealant. Attempts to perform a pressure decay test were unsuccessful. Utilizing a soap and water mixture and pressurization, at least four portions of the combustion chamber displayed signs of leaks. At least three leaks existed on welded joints and one leak around the igniter tip.

Compliance with Airworthiness Directive (AD) 81-09-09

After compliance with AD 81-09-09, the heater is required to be inspected every 250 hours of use and overhauled every 1,000 hours. Unlike comparable combustion heaters, there is no calendar time limits which would require an inspection. If the inspection is not completed or the heater is inoperative, there is no guidance in the AD to disable the heater in a manner that it can no longer be activated in airplane. In contrast, a similar heater’s AD requires a visual inspection every 100 hours or 1 year. That AD also provides steps to disable the heater in a manner that it can no longer be used, if the heater fails inspection or as an alternate compliance to the AD.

 NTSB Identification: CEN12FA290
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 11, 2012 in Chanute, KS
Aircraft: CESSNA 401, registration: N9DM
Injuries: 4 Fatal,1 Serious.

On May 11, 2012, approximately 1630 central daylight time, a Cessna 401 airplane, N9DM, was substantially damaged upon impact with terrain near Chanute, Kansas. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. One passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated on an instrument flight plan. The cross-country flight departed the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport (RVS), Tulsa, Oklahoma, approximately 1545, for the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport (CBF), Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Initial reports indicate that the pilot received air traffic control services and had requested to descend from 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl) to 8,000 feet msl. There were no further radio communications between the pilot and air traffic control, nor were there any distress calls by the pilot.

The accident site was located in a tree line, between a grass field and a corn field. The wreckage path’s initial impact point was a ground scar consistent with a ground contact by the right wing tip, followed by signatures of additional ground impacts, before the airplane collided with a large tree. A post crash fire ensured. All major airplane components were accounted for at the accident scene.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

To honor the lives of the four men who gave their lives in pursuit of sharing the gospel with the young generation, the families of Austin Anderson, Garret Coble, Stephen Luth and Luke Sheets are asking that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in honor of these men.

A memorial ensures that the legacy of these men carry on and that many more lives can be touched by their testimony. If you are interested in making a memorial for Garrett, Luke, Stephen or Austin, you’ll find the information on how to do that below:

Austin Anderson
Austin’s Memorial Fund is set up at the Anderson Burris Funeral Home, which is serving as the custodian for it at this time. Cash or checks made out to the Oral Roberts University Veterans Scholarship may be sent to 3002 N. Van Buren, Enid, OK  73703

Garrett Coble
The Coble family has arranged a memorial fund in Garrett’s name at Bank of America In Tulsa. Memorial gifts will be designated to the El Nino Emanuel orphanage in Peru. 

Stephen Luth
The Stephen J. Luth Memorial Fund has been established at the Central State Bank in Muscatine, Iowa. Donations may be made in his name by cash or check. Please include the account number on the check: 7264054. Checks may be mailed to Central State Bank, 301 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine, IA  52761. The bank’s phone number is 563-263-3131.

Luke Sheets
The Sheets family is asking that memorials be made to one of three designated place. A memorial fund has been established at North Shore Bank. Cash and checks made out to the Luke Sheets Memorial Fund may be sent to 2614 S. Bayshore Dr., Sister Bay, WI  54234. The phone number for North Shore Bank is 920-854-2381.
The Sheets family is also asking that memorials be sent to the Oral Roberts University Department of Missions. Checks may be mailed to Oral Roberts University – Attn: President’s Office, 7777 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74171  (Luke Sheets Memorial / Missions).

Additionally, the Sheets family is requesting memorials be made in Luke’s name to Teen Mania Ministries. Donations may be made online at


By Jennifer Horn 

Last Friday, a man named Austin Anderson did something so extraordinary that it sounds like a major motion picture, but was in fact heartbreakingly real.

After surviving a fiery plane crash in Kansas in which three of the five passengers died instantly, Anderson, a 27-year-old Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, crawled into the burning fuselage to drag 22-year-old Hannah Luce to safety. Anderson guided Luce to a nearby road, where a passerby called for help. Marine, Christian, son and friend Austin Anderson later died from burns sustained while rescuing Luce.

We live in a world where we toss around the word “hero” with ease, assigning the title to everyone from spoiled protesters to rich celebrities who fly in private jets to put their names on charitable efforts. There are many good people in this world who do good things, but there must be a word that distinguishes between “climate activist” and Austin Anderson.

Anderson had recently taken a job working with a Christian organization that reaches out to teens. After years serving his country in the Marine Corps, he had dedicated the next phase of his life to serving his God. This man, and all who die so that others may live, deserve a category, a word, all their own.

I suppose one could ask what any of this has to do with politics. I don’t know – maybe nothing. Or maybe everything. There are no heroes in politics. Our military, police officers and firefighters understand courage and service in a way that our politicians seem completely oblivious to.

Anderson knew something, deep in heart, that most of us can not contemplate; he lived a life of faith and valor combined. While probably no more perfect than anyone else, he understood something about a life worth living – about a life worth giving – that the ordinary among us can’t even articulate.

It is said that courage is fear that has said its prayers; Anderson and others like him understood this. Austin Anderson is not an example of what just anyone could be… he is an example of what, even in our wildest imaginations, we could only hope to be.

Jennifer Horn was the 2008 Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in New Hampshire's 2nd District. She has been an award-winning radio talk show host, newspaper columnist and small business owner. She is a long-time advocate for breast cancer research and support and lives in Nashua with her husband and five children. She has endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential election.

ENID — Austin G. Anderson, 27, passed away Saturday morning, May 12, 2012, at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kan. Austin was born Feb. 6, 1985, to Monte Grey and Mary Frances Anderson.

Austin graduated from Ringwood High School in 2003, where he excelled in football, making the 8-man All-Star Team.

Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Reserves and served two tours in Iraq. In 2012, Austin was pinned Staff Sergeant Anderson in Washington, D.C., and was later honorably discharged after eight years of dedicated military service.

Austin accomplished a life goal of graduating from Oral Roberts University on May 5, 2012, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Immediately after graduating, Austin began his dream career at Teen Mania Ministries in Tyler, Texas, as Head of Operations and Marketing. Austin was a dedicated member of Faith Center Fellowship, the church founded by Austin’s father.

While serving Teen Mania Ministries, Austin’s plane went down north of Wichita, Kan. Austin was one of two survivors of the accident and was able to heroically carry the other survivor from the scene of the accident. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

All who know Austin will forever profess of his inspiration to others to find purpose in life and strive to help all those in need. His favorite movie line quotes, “Every man dies, but not every man truly lives,” and Austin is one of the few that truly lived for each day.

Austin is survived by his fiancée and love of his life, Elizabeth Thaxton; his mother, Mary Anderson; brother, Aubrey James; sister, Allie Joy; grandparents, Don “Papa” and Carrol Ann “Annie” Anderson; grandmother, Edna Parker and husband Neil; and many extended family.

Proceeding in death is Austin’s father, Monte Grey Anderson; uncle, H.O. Scott; and grandfather, Don Steidl.

The celebration service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla. Arrangements by Anderson-Burris Funeral Home.

Memorials are to ORU Veterans Scholarship.

Condolences online at

Contributed photo 
Stephen Luth is seen here on May 5 during his graduation ceremony at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

A plane crash may have robbed Cyndi Luth of her son, but not of her belief that they will meet again

MUSCATINE, Iowa — On May 5, Cyndi Luth and her husband, David, had much to celebrate as they gathered with family for their son Stephen Luth’s graduation from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

Days later, she learned that family reunion would be their last — at least for now.

Stephen and three other people died when the plane they were in crashed around 4:30 p.m. Friday, northwest of Chanute, Kan.

Cyndi, who received the news late Friday, said the  Christian faith she and her family share gives her hope.

“I feel like King David when his son died,” said Cyndi, referring to King David of the Old Testament whose prayers were not answered when he asked that God spare his infant son’s life.

After his son died, King David got up, washed and got dressed, which came as a surprise to those who had seen him spend days praying and grieving.
“David told them, ‘My son is dead and he cannot come to me,’” Cyndi said.

“‘But I can go to him.’”

On Sunday, her first Mother’s Day without Stephen since his birth 22-years ago, Cyndi said that when she thinks of her outgoing, well-liked son, that same thought, knowing they will meet in heaven one day, helps her deal with her grief.

Funeral services for Stephen Luth are pending with the Ralph J. Wittich Riley Freers Funeral Home in Muscatine.

The plane trip Stephen took Friday was to a Christian youth rally, Acquire the Fire, in Council Bluffs, organized by Teen Mania Ministries.

“It was a youth ministry event organized by his new employer,” said Cyndi.
Stephen was looking forward to beginning his new job today as marketing director with the Texas company.

The others who died in the crash were pilot Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wis.; Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Okla. and Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa.  

Hanna Luce, 22, of Garden Valley, Texas, was critically injured and admitted to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

Cyndi said reading Stephen’s Facebook page is a great comfort to  she and David Luth, and their sons, Joshua Luth, 26, Jonathan Luth, 24, and James Luth, 19.

“The comments and testimonials have been a great blessing,” said Cyndi. The Luths left the following statement on Stephen’s Facebook page:

“To all, thank you for such wonderful testimonies of how our son has touched your lives. Please pray for us as it’s our hearts desire to tell Stephen’s story, “Make No Small Plans Here,” and to celebrate his zeal for life.”

Stephen, a member of the Oral Roberts University cheer team and a campus chaplain, made many friends during his four years at Oral Roberts.

“There were things we didn’t know,” said Cyndi. “One person wrote, ‘I’m graduating from nursing school. Thank you.’ Another said, ‘You talked me out of committing suicide.’”

Stephen, a 2008 Muscatine High School graduate, also had many friends here, the town where he was born and raised, said Cyndi.

“He was in the youth group at Calvary Church and the captain for the MHS cross-country team,” said Cyndi. “He worked at Fareway in the meat department and a lot of people knew him from there.”

Stephen was Cyndi and David’s third son to graduate from Oral Roberts University.

Joshua’s  bachelor’s degree is in business management, and Jonathan’s is in mechanical engineering. Joshua and wife Britney, and Jonathan and wife Jennifer all live in Tulsa.

James Luth is a freshman at Oral Roberts.

Cyndi said her family knows they can face the future without Stephen, because of their faith.

“It would be impossible otherwise,” she said. “It’s a big hole and we’ll just have to let it be hard to fill as we move forward.”

Funeral Information for Garrett Coble 

A memorial service and celebration of Garrett’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 17 at the Chapel at Oral Roberts University under the direction of Integrity Funeral Services.

In honor of Garrett’s continued commitment to missions, the Coble family as designated the El Nino Emanuel orphanage in Peru for memorial contributions in Garrett’s name. A fund has been established at Bank of America in Tulsa for donations.

Please keep the Coble family in your thoughts and prayers.

– A small airplane that crashed in southeast Kansas was carrying five people with connections to Oral Roberts University to a Christian youth rally in Iowa, a friend of three of the victims said Saturday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that four of the passengers died in Friday's crash and one was badly injured. Those killed were identified Saturday as pilot Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wis.; Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Okla.; Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa, Okla.; and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa.

Hannah Luce, 22, of Garden Valley, Texas, was critically injured and admitted to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. Luce, a recent Oral Roberts graduate, is the daughter of Ron Luce, a trustee at the school and the founder of Teen Mania Ministries, which was sponsoring this weekend's Acquire the Fire rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the twin-engine Cessna 401 went down around 4:30 p.m. Friday northwest of Chanute, Kan. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said the eight-seat plane caught fire after the crash.

"The plane lost contact with air traffic control after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude," Knudson said. "After that, there was no further communication."

Brooke Ninowski, who recently graduated from Oral Roberts, said she had been friends with Anderson for about two years — he was her brother's roommate for a semester. She said they also had a few classes together.

Ninowski said she also knew Luth and Sheets through school, noting that Luth had dated one of her best friends.

"They were guys who stuck to their morals and it showed through their character, and how they treated people," she said. "They thought of others first. I don't know if the reports are true about Austin, that he might have pulled Hannah out of the wreckage, but that wouldn't surprise me in any way."

Sheets, Coble and Luth were killed at the scene, while Anderson died at a hospital in Wichita just before 5 a.m. Saturday, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

"They were going to an Acquire the Fire event run by Teen Mania Ministries," she said. "They're put on in various cities, Christian youth rallies where young people come together and learn about God."

On Saturday, Oral Roberts President Mark Rutland issued a statement asking the university community to pray for Luce and remember those who were killed. He said Luth, Sheets and Anderson were recent graduates, and Coble was a former business instructor at the school.

"The entire ORU community grieves for the families of the ORU graduates who lost their lives in this tragic plane accident," Rutland said. "May God grant them peace and they reflect on the precious lives that were so dear to their hearts. We continue to pray for those who are recovering."

The following message from the website..

Teen Mania Friends and Family: 

We are sad to announce that five individuals on board a flight to Acquire The Fire in Council Bluffs, Iowa were involved in a plane crash around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. The plane went down in rural southeastern Kansas, and three of the five on board died at the scene. Please be in prayer for the families of Luke Sheets, Garrett Coble, and Stephen Luth, who went to be with the Lord yesterday.

Hannah Luce and Austin Anderson were also onboard the plane when it crashed and were able to walk to a nearby roadway and get help. However, both Hannah and Austin suffered severe injuries and were life-flighted to hospitals in Kansas City and Wichita, respectively. Hannah is listed in serious but stable condition, suffering primarily from burns on 28 percent of her body. Sadly, Austin succumbed to his injuries at 5:30 this morning and went to be with the Lord.

The entire Teen Mania family is mourning the loss of four young lives who were full of so much promise and love for God. All were friends of Teen Mania, and two of them, Austin and Stephen, were newly hired to Teen Mania’s staff to join our marketing team. Please pray that God surrounds the families of Austin, Stephen, Luke and Garrett with His love and peace in this extremely difficult time.

Please also hold up Hannah and the Luce family in your prayers as she continues to recover from her injuries. Ask that God give Hannah strength and healing, and that He also surround her parents, brother and sister with His peace and love.

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement!

Above message from the website

Garrett Coble 

Tulsa man killed in plane crash

Photo of the actual plane

Scene of SE Kansas plane crash 


Three students who graduated from Oral Roberts University last week were among four people who died in a plane crash Friday afternoon in southeastern Kansas.

A fifth person, also an ORU graduate, was injured in the crash of a twin-engine Cessna that departed from Jones Riverside Airport in Jenks carrying five passengers, all of whom had connections to the Tulsa university.

Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa, Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wisc., and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa were killed when the 1991 twin-engine plane went down in a field nine miles west of Chanute, Kan., about 4:30 p.m., according to a report from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood and, Hannah Luce, 22, of Golden Valley, Texas, were hospitalized.

Anderson later died at Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kan.

Sheets, Luth and Anderson graduated from ORU last Saturday. Luce had graduated previously, according to the university.

Coble, an assistant professor of marketing at Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow, previously taught at ORU.

The plane took off from Jones Riverside Airport around 3:45 p.m. and was bound for Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. It skidded about 200 feet before impacting a tree line, according to a report.

According to a source familiar with the situation but who wished to remain anonymous, the passengers were heading to an Acquire the Fire Christian youth rally in Council Bluffs this weekend.

The founder of the event is Ron Luce, a member of the ORU board of trustees and father of Hannah Luce.

The plane was piloted by Sheets, who was living in Tulsa.

His father was a commercial airline pilot and Sheets would often spend Friday afternoons making medical support flights.

According to a statement released on the ORU Facebook site ORU President Dr. Mark Rutland said:

”There was a tragic plane crash in southern Kansas yesterday and five people with connections to ORU were involved in the accident.

Stephen Luth, Luke Sheets, and Austin Anderson, all three recent graduates, and Garret Coble, a former instructor in the College of Business, have died. Hannah Luce, a recent graduate and daughter of ORU Trustee Ron Luce, is in the hospital. Please pray for all of the families that lost loved ones and for Hannah in the hospital. Pray for God’s peace to be with all of them and pray for Hannah’s healing.”

A twin engine plane that took off from Jones Riverside Airport has crashed in rural Kansas, killing four men. 

The 8-seat Cessna 401, which bears the emblem of an eagle and an American flag on the tail, was en route to an airport in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The plane went down in a rural area northeast of High Prairie Church, Kansas, around 5:30  p.m. Friday.

A total of five passengers were on board.  Three men, including the pilot, were pronounced dead at the scene, and a man and a woman were taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to officials.  The NTSB said the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude.  Investigators were unaware of any distress call.

A report from the Kansas Highway Patrol identified the victims as pilot Luke Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wisconsin; Garrett Coble, 29, of Tulsa; and Stephen Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa.  Austin Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Oklahoma; and Hannah Luce, 22, of Golden Valley, Texas were hospitalized. Anderson later died at a Wichita hospital while Luce is in critical condition.   The crash report states the aircraft landed in a field, skidded 200 feet and impacted a tree line, then spun 180 degrees and caught fire.

Firefighters worked for several hours getting control of the fiery wreckage.  The NTSB will investigate what caused the crash.

Garrett Coble's Facebook page says he attended Oklahoma State and studied marketing and was an assistant professor of marketing at NSU-BA, and was recently engaged.  Stephen Luth's Facebook page says he attended Oral Roberts University. Austin Anderson was a recent ORU graduate.

Late Friday, FOX23 spoke with a Bill Austin, a plane dealer in Tennessee, who says he sold the plane a few of weeks ago.  He declined to name the buyer but he believed the buyer was from the Muskogee area.  He said he knew of no prior problems  with the plane. 

Austin said the previous owner of the plane was a huge fan of country music star Aaron Tippin, and had the plane outfitted with the eagle and flag emblem.  The new buyer was also a Tippin fan.  Austin, who is a personal friend of the Tippins, said Aaron Tippin actually flew the plane to Tulsa, to Jones Riverside Airport, a few weeks ago, and met the pilot, Luke Sheets, and some of the other young men.

Of pilot Luke Sheets, Austin said, "He was just a wonderful young man, God-fearing man, it's a terrible loss."

A plane that took off from the Jones Riverside Airport Friday afternoon crashed near Chanute, Kansas, killing four people.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the 1991 Cessna 401 took off from the runway about 4:30 in the afternoon.

An accident report obtained by KRMG says the aircraft was westbound when it landed in a field, skidding 200 feet before impacting a tree line. The aircraft spun 180 degrees and came to rest facing eastbound.

Peter Knudson. a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, says the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude.

The report lists the pilot as 23-year-old Luke Sheets from Ephraim, Wisconsin. He was killed

Also on board was 29-year-old Garrett Coble from Tulsa. He was also killed. A friend tells KRMG Coble was recently engaged. He was an an assistant professor at Northeastern State University. He graduated from Oklahoma State University after studying marketing.

The third fatal victim was 22-year-old Steven Luth from Muscatine, Iowa.

Another passenger, 27-year-old Austin Anderson from Ringwood, Oklahoma, was taken to Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.

22-year-old Hannah Luce from Garden Valey, Texas, was taken to KU Medical Center in Kansas City.
The plane was en route to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Knudson says the plane lost contact with air traffic control shortly after getting permission to descend to a lower altitude. Knudson says investigators were unaware of any distress call.