Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pair injured in plane crash - central west of New South Wales

Two men have been injured in a light plane crash in the central west of New South Wales.

Emergency services were called to Wargin Road at Wyalong to reports a plane had crashed at about 8:30am (AEST).

It came down in a paddock south of the town.

Police say a 35-year-old man was flown to Canberra Hospital with a suspected broken pelvis and spinal injuries.

A 27-year-old man was taken to a local hospital with a cut leg.

Police are at the scene and a crime scene has been established.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has been notified but says it is not investigating the accident. 

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au

Glasair III (Mfr. Rotherwick, HR), International Metals Trading and Investments LTD, N471B: Accident occurred May 17, 2012 in Darby, Montana

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA213
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Darby, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: Rotherwick HR Glasair III, registration: N471B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, about 2 hours into a visual flight rules cross-country flight, he enriched the mixture due to indications of excessive cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures. This resulted in a higher fuel burn than planned, so he changed the flight’s destination to a closer airport. While en route to his amended destination, he encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A subsequent buildup of ice resulted in a loss of 100 knots of airspeed as the airplane entered a controlled descent. The pilot executed a 180-degree turn and broke out of the clouds over a valley. During the next 50 minutes, he made several attempts to exit the valley; however, mountain peak obscuration and a thunderstorm prevented him from flying out of the valley. Now very close to fuel exhaustion, he elected to land on a two-lane highway. During the landing roll, the airplane veered off the side of the road, impacted a tree, slid backwards through a ditch, and collided with a concrete drainage culvert. The airplane sustained damage to the outboard sections of both wings.

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

The pilot’s loss of directional control during an emergency landing on a paved highway

***This report was modified on August 7, 2012. Please see the dcoket for this accident to view the original report.***


The pilot reported that, about 2 hours into a visual flight rules cross-country flight, he enriched the mixture due to indications of excessive cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures. This resulted in a higher fuel burn than planned, so he changed the flight’s destination to a closer airport. While en route to his amended destination, he encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A subsequent buildup of ice resulted in a loss of 100 knots of airspeed as the airplane entered a controlled descent. The pilot executed a 180-degree turn and broke out of the clouds over a valley. During the next 50 minutes, he made several attempts to exit the valley; however, mountain peak obscuration and a thunderstorm prevented him from flying out of the valley. Now very close to fuel exhaustion, he elected to land on a two-lane highway. During the landing roll, the airplane veered off the side of the road, impacted a tree, slid backwards through a ditch, and collided with a concrete drainage culvert. The airplane sustained damage to the outboard sections of both wings.



 NTSB Identification: WPR12CA213 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Darby, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: Rotherwick HR Glasair III, registration: N471B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.


NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, about 2 hours into a visual flight rules cross-country flight, he enriched the mixture due to indications of excessive cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures. This resulted in a higher fuel burn than planned, so he changed the flight’s destination to a closer airport. While en route to his amended destination, he encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A subsequent buildup of ice resulted in a loss of 100 knots of airspeed as the airplane entered a controlled descent. The pilot executed a 180-degree turn and broke out of the clouds over a valley. During the next 50 minutes, he made several attempts to exit the valley; however, mountain peak obscuration and a thunderstorm prevented him from flying out of the valley. Now very close to fuel exhaustion, he elected to land on a two-lane highway. During the landing roll, the airplane veered off the side of the road, impacted a tree, slid backwards through a ditch, and collided with a concrete drainage culvert. The airplane sustained damage to the outboard sections of both wings.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s loss of directional control during an emergency landing on a paved highway.

***This report was modified on August 7, 2012. Please see the dcoket for this accident to view the original report.***


The pilot reported that, about 2 hours into a visual flight rules cross-country flight, he enriched the mixture due to indications of excessive cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures. This resulted in a higher fuel burn than planned, so he changed the flight’s destination to a closer airport. While en route to his amended destination, he encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A subsequent buildup of ice resulted in a loss of 100 knots of airspeed as the airplane entered a controlled descent. The pilot executed a 180-degree turn and broke out of the clouds over a valley. During the next 50 minutes, he made several attempts to exit the valley; however, mountain peak obscuration and a thunderstorm prevented him from flying out of the valley. Now very close to fuel exhaustion, he elected to land on a two-lane highway. During the landing roll, the airplane veered off the side of the road, impacted a tree, slid backwards through a ditch, and collided with a concrete drainage culvert. The airplane sustained damage to the outboard sections of both wings.

DARBY – A single-engine aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing on West Fork Road south of Darby Thursday afternoon after running into bad weather, according to Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman.

The plane, with two adult males onboard, left Portland, Ore., at about 12:30 p.m. and was scheduled to make a stop in Billings before heading on to Minnesota.

Neither man was significantly injured in the landing, which occurred at about mile marker 1.2. However, the plane did sustain some heavy damage after it skidded to a halt in a ditch.

“They ran into bad weather and could not reach an airport that was outside of the weather they were in,” Hoffman said. “Weather conditions were the most contributing factor. The front apparently blew in pretty quickly. The pilot reported that his wing started to ice, and he was starting to get low on fuel. They found a hole in the weather and decided to attempt an emergency landing. When he hit the roadway, after he dodged some cars, he hit the brake and the wind picked up and spun him into the ditch. The plane sustained significant damage to the wing, undercarriage and propeller.”

Hoffman said the pilot apparently circled several times to make sure there were no cars on the road before attempting to land, although the plane did come down in front of one vehicle.

Responders from the Montana Highway Patrol, the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, the Hamilton Airport and other emergency services responded to the scene, Hoffman said. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were on their way from Butte to investigate the situation as well.

Hoffman said the names of the two men haven’t been released. The FAA were to interview the two men Thursday evening.

Source: http://missoulian.com/news


http://registry.faa.gov/N471B


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 471B        Make/Model: EXP       Description: GLASAIR
  Date: 05/17/2012     Time: 2223

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: DARBY   State: MT   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD AND WENT INTO A DITCH, NEAR DARBY, MT

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: HELENA, MT  (NM05)                    Entry date: 05/18/2012 

 
NTSB Identification: WPR11CA022
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 21, 2010 in Colville, WAProbable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: Rotherwick Glasair III, registration: N471B
Injuries: 2 Minor.
 
The pilot reported that he was landing the airplane in calm wind conditions. The airplane touched down midway down the runway at stall speed. Upon touchdown, the pilot retracted the flaps and applied brake pressure, including full aft elevator, in an attempt to bring the airplane to a stop. With the end of the runway approaching, the pilot applied left brake in an effort to turn the airplane to the left and the airplane nosed over off the end of the runway. The pilot stated that he checked the brakes prior to flight, but felt that they did not function normally during the landing. A witness reported that when the airplane was landing, it floated in ground effect until about 100 feet beyond midfield. The landing gear contacted the runway and the airplane continued to decelerate until disappearing over the end of the runway. According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that responded to the accident, skid marks led from the runway to the location where the airplane came to rest. The FAA inspector examined the braking system following the accident and found no mechanical anomalies. At the time of this writing, the pilot had not submitted NTSB Form 6120.1, the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's misjudged approach and failure to attain the proper touchdown point, which resulted in a runway overrun.

Fighters Will Patrol Chicago on Friday

Chicago will get a different kind of sonic boom tomorrow in preparation for NATO. 

The North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) will take over the skies Friday for safety preparations before the NATO Summit.

A series of training flights coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard, the NATO Summit Joint Operations Center, and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region’s Eastern Air Defense Sector will make up the Amalgam Virgo, a NORAD air defense exercise.

“Our interagency partnerships are a key component to the air defense shield for events like this and the Amalgam Virgo exercise is an excellent opportunity for us to hone our air defense skills with all our interagency partners,” said Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke.

Chicago residents can expect to hear plenty of noise from the aircrafts beginning around 9 a.m. and ending around 11 a.m.

A Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air National Guard C-21 aircraft, Air Force KC-135 tanker, Air Force F-16s, and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will be part of the show for gawkers to watch.

Similar safety exercises and precautions like this have been routine since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.  

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com

Kolb Firestar II (Mfr. Marley, Thomas J.), N9173T: Accident occurred May 17, 2012 in Cedar Fort, Utah

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

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

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Aviation Accident Data Summary:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Cedar Fort, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2015
Aircraft: MARLEY KOLB FIRESTAR II, registration: N9173T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

A witness reported observing the airplane start to wobble while approaching the airport to land. She stated that it was a windy day and that a sudden wind gust caused the airplane to tip on its side while in the air; thunderstorms with microbursts were reported in the area at the time of the accident. She added that it appeared that the pilot attempted to level off the airplane but was unsuccessful. The airplane subsequently impacted open terrain near the runway and rolled several times before coming to rest inverted. A postaccident examination of the airplane confirmed primary flight control continuity.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while on approach for landing in gusting wind conditions.

On May 17, 2012, about 1150 mountain daylight time, an experimental Marley Kolb Firestarter II airplane, N9173T, impacted the ground in an open field about 100 yards north of the Cedar Valley Airport (UT10), Cedar Fort, Utah. The sport pilot/owner, the sole occupant, operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot received serious injuries; the airplane came to rest inverted and was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from an unknown location.

A witness reported that she observed the airplane start to wobble during its landing sequence. She stated it was a windy day and that a sudden gust of wind caused the airplane to tip on its side while in the air. It appeared that the pilot attempted to level off the airplane but was unsuccessful. The airplane subsequently impacted the open terrain near the runway and rolled several times before coming to rest inverted.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident site was able to establish flight control continuity. He reported local thunderstorms with microburst in the area.

The pilot did not provide a completed NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report Form 6120.1 nor a written statement to the investigator.

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA214 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Cedar Fort, UT
Aircraft: MARLEY KOLB FIRESTAR II, registration: N9173T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On May 17, 2012, about 1150 mountain daylight time, an experimental Marley Kolb Firestar II airplane, N9173T, impacted the ground in an open field about 100 yards north of the Cedar Valley Airport (UT10), Cedar Fort, Utah. The pilot/owner, the sole occupant, operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot received serious injuries; the airplane came to rest inverted and was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from an unknown airport.

Witnesses located at the airport relayed to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident site, that the airplane was landing in a crosswind condition. Prior to touchdown, the airplane appeared to fall from the sky and then impacted the ground. The FAA inspector was able to establish flight control continuity. He also reported local thunderstorms with microbursts in the area.





A man suffered neck and back injuries when his ultralight aircraft crashed late Thursday morning in Utah County. Utah County Sheriff’s Lt. Eric McDowell said the single-prop aircraft had been airborne about 20-30 minutes when the pilot, described as a man in his 50s, attempted to land at Cedar Valley Airport near Eagle Mountain, about 30 miles northwest of Provo.

"We’re still investigating what caused him to crash, but either a crosswind or mechanical problems ended up with him flipping over [on landing]. He was complaining of neck and back pain and he was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in Salt Lake City,"McDowell said, but was in stable condition. Neither the identity of the pilot nor his condition was immediately released. 


EAGLE MOUNTAIN -- A small airplane flipped upside down while landing in Eagle Mountain Thursday, injuring the pilot. 

 The single propeller airplane was coming in for a landing at about 11:50 a.m. at Eagle Mountain's Cedar Valley airport when it crashed, according to Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Eric McDowell. The plane had been up in the air for roughly 20 or 30 minutes, McDowell said, and was either on the ground or close to it when it flipped.

"It's unclear if it was mechanical failure or wind," McDowell said. "These things are so small that it wouldn't take much."

Authorities are still investigation the cause of the crash.

McDowell said the man flying the plane suffered facial abrasions and complained of neck and back pain, but was alert immediately after the crash. He was taken to the University of Utah for medical treatment and McDowell added that the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The man's name has not been released.

The crash did not cause delays for other aircraft at the airport.

FAA finds no evidence in pilot's claim of unidentified object over Denver

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 8:24 PM EDT, Thu May 17, 2012

  • The agency finds nothing to back up reported sighting over Denver
  • A corporate jet pilot had radioed he saw a possible remote-controlled aircraft flying near him
  • The FAA reviewed radar and audio communications
  • No other pilots reported seeing an unidentified aircraft, FAA says

(CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration found no evidence of unidentified aircraft or objects in its inquiry into a corporate jet pilot's claim he saw a possible remote-controlled aircraft flying near his jet over Denver this week, the agency said Thursday.

In reaching its conclusion, the FAA reviewed radar and audio communications, and no other pilots reported seeing an unidentified aircraft, acording to an agency statement.

On Monday, the pilot of a corporate jet, a Cessna Citation 525 CJ1, was flying over Denver on Monday after coming in from Wichita, Kansas, according to CNN affiliate KUSA.

The pilot made a radio transmission to air traffic control about the object, KUSA reported, citing LiveATC.net.

"A remote-controlled aircraft, or what, but something just went by the other way. ... About 20 to 30 seconds ago, and it was like a large remote-controlled aircraft," the pilot said.

 http://www.cnn.com

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Flying Over Residential Area


May 8, 2012 by 001122dave
5/8/12 5:20pm --- the military wants us to capture low flying aircraft in photos to prove that they are flying too low over residential areas. Rare as it is to have a camera in hand when they happen to appear---- I finally caught a video! This should also clear up the source of the vehicle---Davis Monthan, Ft. Huachuca, or the border patrol.

Although this is far from a 'reasonable' altitude, I have often seen them even lower than this.

The military needs to practice their pilots at reasonable altitudes over private property or stay on the zillions of acres of designated military lands!

UPDATE: a friend has identified this as a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

BTW, if you pause the video at :05, you will see a strange 'arm' pointing off to the right and downward. UPDATE: . This has been identified as a refueling boom used for aerial refueling.

...still trying to figure out the best place to submit this and file a complaint.

Puppies Stop Digging to Study Low Flying Aircraft

Grown in Saskatchewan, flown in Ottawa: NRC aircraft test oilseed-based fuel in search for a cleaner alternative to traditional jet fuel

 
Dave Marcotte, Group Leader Airborne Research, Aerospace National Research Council Canada with a Falcon 20 that is a test aircraft. The NRC is working with an Ottawa company called Agrisoma, to test ethanol. A T33 is the chase aircraft that is equipped with various instruments to sample the exhaust emissions from the Falcon 20 during flight. Photograph by: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The skies over Ottawa are rumbling with the sound of a mid-sized business jet that’s being propelled primarily by jet fuel made from seeds grown in Saskatchewan farmers’ fields. 

With the help of Ottawa’s Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., researchers from the National Research Council are testing bio-jet fuel in a Dassault Falcon 20 executive jet. The fuel, which is made up of more than 50 per cent ethanol, is produced by Agrisoma from seeds derived from the Ethiopian mustard plant Brassica carinata.

The NRC has offered up the Falcon 20 and a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star chase plane, running on traditional petroleum-based jet fuel, from its hangar at the Ottawa airport.

The experiment could result in a more sustainable jet fuel for the world, and bring additional revenues to Prairie farmers.

The project is a collaboration among Agrisoma, the NRC, Honeywell UOP Inc. and Saskatoon’s Genome Prairie-led Prairie Gold project.

Brassica carinata is drought- and heat-tolerant and can be grown in areas not suited for canola, said Mejda Lortie, Agrisoma’s director of regulatory and government affairs.

The company’s variety of the plant, branded Resonance, is an oil feedstock that was grown near Kincaid, Sask., in the summer of 2011.

“It is a tough cookie,” she said. “It can grow in poorer soils or soil that doesn’t have the characteristics that would support, for example, canola production.”

Agrisoma Biosciences was founded in 2002 as a spinoff of Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. of Burnaby, B.C., and specializes in altering the genes of various oilseeds to create crops that are heartier and yield more oil. The company’s chief executive, Steven Fabijanski, has more than 20 years of experience in agricultural technologies.

Doug Heath, project manager with Genome Prairie, said Brassica carinata and another plant, Camalina sativa, are being developed specifically for industrial uses.

Both are oilseeds and non-food crops, which is important because many have criticized companies for using edible food crops to make ethanol. Using a food crop to make fuel has several disadvantages, not the least of which is driving up the cost of grains, such as corn, because of demand from the fuel industry.

“The goal is to grow both of these crops down in the Palliser Triangle area where traditionally canola wasn’t always a guaranteed crop,” Heath said. “Even though right now it takes a few more days to mature compared to canola, that’s fine down in southern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta.

Heath hopes to use the oilseeds to produce a more eco-friendly fuel.

The aviation industry the world over is seeking alternatives to traditional carbon-based fuel. Qantas Airlines recently launched Australia’s first commercial flight using a 50/50 mixture of regular fuel and refined cooking oil. And Canada’s Porter Airlines flew a Bombardier Q400 powered by an oilseed-based fuel from Toronto to Ottawa last month in what Porter said was the country’s first biofuel-powered passenger flight.

The current test flights, conducted in partnership with the NRC with funding from the Government of Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiatives, will evaluate the Resonance-based biojet fuel under a number of flight conditions to provide the world’s first ever real-time, inflight emissions measurements for a biojet fuel.

The tests are being done in the modified Dassault Falcon 20 twin-engined jet using a 50/50 blend of carinata jet fuel and petroleum-based fuel. The classic Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star chase plane, originally manufactured in 1948, has been equipped to measure inflight emissions while flying. The T-33 will monitor emissions in real time, at altitude.

“It’s not just a jet engine on the ground making extrapolations on,” Heath said. “It’s actually measuring what’s coming out of the jet as it’s flying.”

“We all assume there is a reduction in greenhouse gases emissions, but nobody has really measured it in the atmosphere,” Lortie added. “This program is the first one that will using our jet fuel will be able to measure the emissions during a flight.”

The test flights are expected to be completed by early June and researchers will then analyse the results.

If they get positive findings, Lortie said they will be looking to scale up production in the coming years.

“It is expanding the portfolio of some growers, especially in the southern parts of Saskatchewan, giving them an alternative to leaving their land on fallow,” she said.

Postmedia News and Citizen staff

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

Cabri light helicopter: Tough little mover

 

By Rohit Jaggi 

As I look out for spring rainclouds above the lush British Cotswolds, it occurs to me that the French-built aircraft I am flying removes many of the concerns that pilots of little two-seat helicopters have drummed into them.

Many of those pilots’ concerns are mechanical. In some ultralight aircraft, the single bolt that holds the fabric-and-tube wing on to the fuselage is known as the “Jesus bolt”. In helicopters it is the rotor head that plays a similar vital role, acting as the mount for the blades of the main rotor and taking the weight of the rest of the helicopter suspended beneath it.

The £250,000 Cabri, though, has three rotor blades set in a hub as sophisticated as that on bigger helicopters costing millions of pounds. This means the potentially weak point is extremely strong – and the Cabri can be thrown around the sky with what, for most light helicopter pilots, is an unprecedented degree of abandon.

Despite the exhortations of Steve Dean, a Cabri instructor for UK importer Cotswold Helicopters who is seated beside me, I’m only scratching the surface of that potential.

Even so, the safety advantages are reassuring. The Cabri is the first light helicopter to be certified under stringent European regulations.

Its passenger cabin and shock-absorbing seats are designed for a descent rate of 2,000 feet per minute. That is the rate seen in autorotation, or gliding – when air passing through the rotor disc spins the blades and provides lift. Or, as Dean puts it, if the engine fails and you do nothing else but lower the collective control to alter the pitch of the rotor blades and enter autorotation, you will survive the un-avoidable collision with the ground.

Although simulated engine failure is a key part of helicopter training, in the Robinson R22 – the little two-seat machine that is the workhorse of the training and personal flying market – the low-inertia twin-blade rotor’s speed can decay so quickly that unless the pilot lowers the collective within a few seconds of the engine stopping, there is no chance of the rotor speeding up enough to provide sufficient lift.

Other safety aspects are more of a mixed bag. The anti-torque rotor – the one at the rear that stops a helicopter from vividly illustrating Newton’s third law of motion and spinning in the opposite direction to the main rotor – is embedded in the vertical tail surface. That cuts the risk of people walking into it and of it hitting objects such as trees in tight landing spots.

But, ironically for a helicopter that sells itself so hard on its safety aspects, my flight in the Cabri was delayed because the Cotswold Helicopters machine was involved in a “hard landing” when it started spinning uncontrollably.

Drawing lessons from that, I make sure to keep the rotation speed down and use all the travel in the pedals – and have no problem. At least the hard landing demonstrated the strength of the machine.

Its monocoque body is made from a carbon-fibre honeycomb, like that used in Formula One cars. That is extremely light, at just 20kg, allowing for a hefty payload. Admittedly, neither Dean nor myself are particularly heavy, but we could have brimmed the 170 litre fuel tank, giving up to six hours’ flying time.

As I cruise at a relaxed, vibration-free 90 knots (about 104mph), a big electronic readout on the instrument panel of the sophisticated and comfortable interior displays all the relevant parameters – from rotor speed to engine oil temperature and a precise readout of fuel left in both quantity and remaining running time.

With efficient systems and controls taking care of so much – there are similar aids for engine management – flying the Cabri is made more enjoyable. The cyclic in my right hand, which controls the angle of the main rotor disc and therefore whether the aircraft flies forwards, backwards or sideways, has the weight of much heavier machines. But its effect is direct and lag-free, which means it is easy to settle into moving it enough but not too much – “overcontrolling” is too easy in many helicopters and makes any flight a series of wobbles rather than soaring through the sky.

Where the Robinson two-seater wins is on price. At about £167,000 its base price, before taxes, is significantly lower than that of the Cabri. But the Robinson requires a £100,000 complete rebuild every 12 years or 2,200 hours.

Another way to look at it is that the Cabri’s price is close to that of the Ferrari 458 Italia I was driving a few days before I flew the Cabri. The mid-engined, two-seat car is a fine machine. But between that and the – also mid-engined – French two-seat helicopter, it is the flying machine that would give me more pleasure. Slower on paper but quicker in the real world, the helicopter would also actually get more use.

Source:  http://www.ft.com

Cirrus SR22 Avidyne MFD Engine Monitoring Erratic CHT Indications

Diamond Aircraft: Ontario-made planes travel the world

Diamond Aircraft in London, Ontario, saw a sales increase of 33 percent last year for its single- and twin-engine aircraft. It also has a jet model under development 

(MARK SPOWART - THE GLOBE AND MAIL) 
A DA40 model painted in a customer's colors is ready for delivery. Diamond's fuel-efficient planes are used widely by flight schools.

.

MARK SPOWART -THE GLOBE AND MAIL
 While a plane is being built it undergoes several inspections before it's ready for flight. Diamond Aircraft has sold planes in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, China, Europe, South America, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey.

Read more and photo gallery:   http://www.theglobeandmail.com

Bermuda: Low-flying plane surveys island

THURSDAY, MAY 17: Bermuda will today be buzzed by a low-flying plane.

But it’s not an invasion or a spy plane – the aircraft has been commissioned to take photographs of the island’s landscape by Government.

The plane, equipped with a hi-tech camera, will survey the entire island and a Government spokeswoman said residents should not be alarmed.


http://bermudasun.bm

If they can get the insurance, the Reno Air Races are a go this year

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board on Thursday gave a 1-year special permit for the Reno National Championship Air Races with the stipulation that the Reno Air Racing Association obtain $100 million in insurance coverage.

The association must also pay any increase in insurance rates incurred by the authority for holding the Reno Air Races.

“It’s one more hurdle out of the way,” Reno Air Races President and CEO Mike Houghton said.

Houghton said he hopes to come back to a airport authority meeting next week with the proof of the $100 million insurance.

“We’re close to finishing, and we’re in great shape,” Houghton said of the effort to obtain the insurance certificate. He said they need a “group effort” to raise the money quickly to pay for the policy after obtaining the certificate.

Houghton said that the association was also trying to respond to National Transportation Safety Board concerns within 90 days and was using people with technical skills on certain aspects. He joked that keeping track of them all was the most difficult part.

Last month, the NTSB recommended safety steps as part of its review of the deadly Sept. 16 crash that sent debris flying into the audience. Eleven people died, including the pilot, and at least 70 people were seriously injured.

Houghton also planned to bring the findings of the association’s “blue-ribbon” panel, which was formed to review plans and recommend changes for the Reno Air Races, to the meeting next week.

The NTSB is an independent agency created by Congress to investigate transportation disasters and make safety recommendations. Though the NTSB has no authority to require its proposals be followed and is not part of the permitting process for the Reno Air Races, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said that the association has responded well to past NTSB recommendations.

In anticipation of this year’s event, slated for Sept. 12-16, the NTSB recommended that pilots receive special G-force training and perhaps wear G-suits to help them deal with race conditions, Hersman said. And the race course at the Reno Stead Airport should be changed to keep spectators away from the flight path, she said.

Hersman also said the Federal Aviation Administration needs to fix its rules to clarify whether spectators must be 500 feet from the flight path, or 1,000 feet away. FAA documents showed that one order demanded a 500-foot setback, while another said spectators should be 1,000 feet from the showline.

Race officials also need to change their inspection system to make sure that problems found during pre-race technical inspections are fixed and documented. And each aircraft should undergo an engineering evaluation to confirm that the airplane can handle race speeds and stresses, she said.

Source:   http://www.rgj.com

Commercial aircraft: Duelling the duopolies - New entrants to the world jetliner market struggle to take off

IT MAY well turn out that pilot error, or something other than a fault in the aircraft, made a Russian-built Sukhoi Superjet crash into a mountain in Indonesia on May 9th, killing all on board. But the disaster, on top of recent reports of unreliability among the first Superjets to go into service, is bound to hinder Russia’s ambition to become a big exporter of modern commercial aircraft. And the Russians are not the only ones trying, and struggling, to do so.

The Chinese, like the Russians, have spent years working on planes that, they hope, will muscle in on the two near-duopolies in the world airliner market. Russia’s Superjet, and its Chinese equivalent, the ARJ21, are smaller “regional” jets, the market for which is dominated by Embraer of Brazil and Bombardier of Canada. The much juicier market for full-sized airliners is currently divided between America’s Boeing and the Franco-German Airbus. Russia’s MC-21 and China’s C919, also under development, are potential competitors to Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’s A320.

The Superjet, which has been certified by the European Union’s air-safety agency, was beginning to gather some interest outside the former Soviet sphere, encouraging Sukhoi to hope for sales of perhaps 40 a year by 2014. However, the first four planes delivered to Aeroflot of Russia have suffered repeatedly from breakdowns, leading to flight cancellations.

China’s ARJ21 had its maiden flight in 2008 and its maker, Comac, was due to start deliveries last year. But the plane’s certification by the Chinese and American authorities may slip into next year. China’s C919 is supposed to have its first test flight in 2014 but that too may slip. Comac is vague about how many firm orders it has. At the Dubai air show in November, Irkut, the Russian company making the MC-21, said it had 235 orders, mostly from former Soviet countries. It too is aiming for a maiden test flight in 2014, but an Irkut executive acknowledged that his firm was still seeking an international partner to help it market the plane.

Then there are the Japanese: Mitsubishi makes some chunky bits for planes but aspires to sell a complete flying machine of its own. However, its MRJ, yet another contender for the regional-jet market, has just been delayed. Its maiden flight, which had been due around now, has been put back to late next year. The MRJ is said to be technically a good plane, but like the other new contenders it has failed so far to get a critical mass of orders.

A similar fate, its rivals hope, may befall Bombardier, which wants to move up from regional jets to full-sized airliners with its CSeries. Last month the company said it was still on course to deliver the first CSeries to airlines in late 2013. It has more than 300 firm or tentative orders, and hopes to make 120 of them a year by 2016. However, two early customers—Republic Airways Holdings of America, and Korean Air—have expressed fears that it is not selling well enough to guarantee its success. Partly to assuage such worries, Bombardier has agreed with China’s Comac that the two will seek to make their planes’ cockpits and other systems similar, to encourage airlines to order both together.

Delays, breakdowns and even accidents are not unknown when the established makers launch new planes. But they have a record of getting them right eventually, whereas the new entrants cannot offer potential buyers such reassurance. Moreover, the industry’s dominant firms are not just sitting back watching their rivals struggle. Boeing and Airbus have launched, to great success, re-engined versions of the 737 and A320, and Embraer is likewise re-engining its E-Jet regional aircraft.

So will any of the new contenders ever pose a serious threat to the established order? Although they are behind the Russians on producing a regional jet, and lag the Canadians in turning out a full-sized airliner, the betting is on the Chinese, in the long term. Their government seems determined to succeed, however long it takes, and undoubtedly has the money to make its dreams take wing.

Source:  http://www.economist.com/node/21555570

Boeing 737-210C, C-GNWN: Resolute First Air plane crash lawsuits filed in Iqaluit - Two lawsuits allege the crash that killed 12 was caused by negligence

 The survivors and some family members of the victims in last year's First Air crash in Resolute, Nunavut are suing the airline, NAV Canada and the federal government for negligence.

On August 20, 2011 a Boeing 737 crashed into a hillside close to the community’s airport. The crash killed 12 people, including the two pilots and two crew members. Three people survived.

Two separate lawsuits have been filed at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

In one statement of claim, families of seven of the victims and the survivors allege the crash was caused by negligence.

They're suing First Air and NAV Canada, a private company based in Ottawa that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system, as well as the Attorney General, who represents the Department of National Defence.

They are claiming damages for their physical injuries and psychological harm, as well as "pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life."
 
10 allegations of negligence

The lawsuit lists seven ways in which the air traffic controllers failed to do their jobs, and weren't properly briefed about how to handle civilian aircraft. It says they didn't have enough training, that there weren’t enough air traffic controllers on duty to handle the traffic and that there was confusion about their responsibilities.

The documents specify that NAV Canada and DND should have done more to warn the pilots that they weren’t aligned with the runway and were heading for the hill.

Both lawsuits say First Air was responsible for the actions of the pilots who failed to realize the plane was not alligned with the runway and was heading into land; didn't use the landing equipment correctly; and didn't communicate with air traffic controllers properly.

One lawsuit alleges DND, NAV Canada and First Air are "jointly and severally liable" for damages.

The other lawsuit is from the widow of arctic scientist Marty Bergmann, who was a passenger.

Sheila Bergmann McCrae also said in her statement of claim the "accident was caused by negligence." She does not list DND among the defendants but she includes the same allegations against NAV Canada and First Air.

The alleged negligence claimed by plaintiffs includes failing to warn pilots the aircraft was not aligned with the runway and failing to ensure the instrument landing system was working.

The Transportation Safety Board stated in a progress report in January that NAV Canada checked the ground-based instrument landing system equipment two days later and reported it was working. It found that at the time of the crash, the jet was structurally sound. Another aircraft successfully landed 20 minutes later.

DND set up temporary air traffic control tower

The lawsuits say the Resolute Bay Airport is normally an “uncontrolled airspace,” meaning pilots land using instruments and don’t usually use air traffic control services. The pilots ensure other aircraft aren’t landing at the same time and plan their approach to the runway.

But on the day of the crash, the Canadian military was in Resolute for Operation Nanook, a training exercise. The documents say DND and NAV Canada had arranged for air traffic controllers to work out of the airport, "the details of [the arrangement] are presently unknown to the plaintiffs."

They set up a temporary air traffic control tower that included a ground-based radar system. The lawsuit says air traffic controllers should have been providing military aircraft and the First Air crew with detailed information to prevent them from flying into the hill.

But that didn’t happen, the lawsuit says.

"For reasons presently unknown to the plaintiff, the pilots of First Air Flight 6560 failed to realize that they “were descending into terrain until it was too late to take action."

Both groups want trials to be held in Iqaluit and they are represented by the same Yellowknife-based lawyer, Adrian Wright.

Neither lawsuit specifies a specific amount of money.

First Air and NAV Canada refused to comment on either lawsuit.

The families of the two pilots and the two crew members are not included in either lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Source:   http://www.cbc.ca

Portland Jetport Tests Emergency Procedures


Jetport and city officials today conducted what's known as a "table-top" drill to ensure that emergency procedures are up-to-date.

They were practicing for a bad day this morning at the Portland International Jetport. City firefighters, police, jetport officials and others conducted an emergency drill, practicing how they would respond to a major disaster at the airport.

Jetport Manager Paul Bradbury says it's important to test emergency procedures to make sure they're up-to-date. "Are the airline representatives the right one? Are the logistics representatives the right one? Did your vendor list that is going to respond with blankets and other triage materials, are they the correct vendor? Is that part of you emergency plan still up-to-date or did that vendor go out of business?" he said.

Today's exercise was what's called a "table-top" drill. Officials are seated at tables, going over procedures, making calls and working with radios. Every few years, officials conduct a full-blown mock disaster involving real equipment and people acting the roles of dead and injured.

Jim Howard and Josh Spengler: Cessna 170 B at the Bandera Airport in the Cascade Mountains

 

Plans taking shape for giant Air Show at Vero Beach airport in 2013

VERO BEACH — Plans to bring a giant air show to the Vero Beach Municipal Airport in October, 2013 are flying high.

The nonprofit Vero Beach Air Show Inc. is interested in sponsoring the event, which would be similar in size to other air shows throughout the area, including the Stuart Air Show that takes place at Witham Field in November.

That event features both military and non-military aircraft, and includes equipment displays, rides, activities and community/vendor booths.

Read more about this in Friday's Indian River Press-Journal.

Estonia to open maritime museum in seaplane hangar

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) - Estonia will open the Baltic states' largest maritime museum in a hangar once used by Charles Lindbergh.

The main attractions at the €15 million ($20 million) Seaplane Harbor will be a British-built submarine dating from the 1930s and a life-size replica of the 184 seaplane, a British two-seater designed by Short Brothers.

The unique concrete hangar housing the museum was built in 1916-17 when Estonia was part of czarist Russia. Its most famous guest was Lindbergh, the U.S. aviator, who flew there from Moscow in 1933 as part of his tour around Europe.

The hangar was a closed military zone from 1940, when the Soviet Union annexed Estonia, until 1991 when the Baltic state regained its independence.

___
Online:

Obituary: John S. Copeland

Northborough - John S. Copeland, 81, passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, May 16, 2012. He was the husband of Jean S. (Staken) Copeland.

Born in Iowa City, Iowa, he was the son of the late Paul and Gertrude (Phelps) Copeland. He was educated in Chicago schools and was a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also attended Case Western Reserve in Ohio. He had been a resident of Northborough for 14 years, previously living in Westborough for many years.

During the post -Korean Conflict era, he served with the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant.

John was an experienced Engineering Executive for multiple corporations in the United States and Belgium. He was a licensed pilot and instructor and was a very active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, where he was currently serving on the board of directors. He also volunteered his services for The Young Eagles and was a member of the Baha’i faith.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children, Jeffrey P. Copeland and his wife, Mary, of Holden, Jerri L. Holland and her husband, James, of Hopkinton, and Jeanine A. Deranian of Grafton; one brother, William C. Copeland of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and 12 grandchildren. He was the father of the late June B. Kangas.

A funeral procession will be formed Monday, May 21, at 10:15 a.m., at the Rand-Harper-Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough, followed by a graveside funeral service at 11 a.m. in Pine Grove Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home are Sunday, May 20, from 3 to 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vintage Aircraft Association, A Division of EAA, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54902.


http://www.communityadvocate.com

Cessna Caravan C208 on weather modification - rain making flight

 
Coming back inbound to land at VTCC Chiang Mai International Airport in northern Thailand, the Cumulonimbus supercooled cloud of anvil shaped super summer strom is now yielding rain and that the convection of its top seems to become less active as the whole cell is sinking releasing rain droplets. Now it's not becoming super summer storm as it stops developing upward and we can now be sure that there will not be hail storm and strong wind of microburst coming in to hit the city.
The weather radar on board shows good echo of intensified rain droplets.
 
 

On the road again ..... ( up in the air ) ..... I just can't wait to get on the road again ! It's just a clip of our flight, a formation flight of two C-208, taking off from VTCC Chiang Mai International airport in northern Thailand. This is in early May 2012 and we were flying to dispense rain making substances to create more cloud condensation nuclei. The sky-the atmosphere turned out to be, as could be seen with high relative humidity due to La Nina, a sudden change, which it was firstly predicted at the beginning of the year that El Nino would affect Thailand but it's the other way around. It's hard to predict these days, global warming ?, but surely the change has taken place...

Pilot Reports Possible Plane Down in Boyd County, Kentucky; Search Called Off

UPDATE 5/17/12 @ 1:55 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – The search for a small plane that might have crashed in Boyd County has been called off, according to our crew at scene.

The search began after the pilot of a small plane called in a possible plane down that he spotted from the air. This was late morning on Thursday.

The Cannonsburg Fire Department and Boyd County EMS searched a two mile area along Straight Creek Road for about 2 hours. Health Net was also brought in and conducted an air search of the area.

The Health Net pilot reported seeing some piles of material that could have been mistaken for a plane, but nothing was found.

Tri-State airport has not reported any aircraft missing and the pilot of the plane who made the call has not been located according to Richard Cyrus, Chief of Cannonsburg Fire Department.

Early Thursday Afternoon, emergency responders told WSAZ.com that they were able to contact the pilot and now believe whatever he spotted from the air may have been was in Greenup County.

Emergency responders have now given that information to Greenup 911

ORIGINAL STORY 5/17/12 1:30 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Emergency crews are searching for a small plane that might have crashed sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning in Boyd County

The Cannonsburg Fire Department and Boyd County EMS are searching a two mile area along Straight Creek Road.

The search began after the pilot of a small plane called in a possible plane down that he spotted from the air. This was late morning Thursday.

Health Net has been flying over the area with a helicopter, while crews are also conducting a ground search.

Tri-State Airport has not reported any aircraft missing and the pilot of the plane who made the call has not been located according to Richard Cyrus, Chief of Cannonsburg Fire Department.

Cyrus says for right now they are treating it as if there is a plane down, "There is a plane down until we discover it's not."

A command post has been set up in the area.

Health Net reports they have searched the area and although they did see some piles of material that could have been mistaken for a plane, nothing was found.

The pilot of Health Net said they were low on fuel and were returning to base.

Boyd EMS says they will now consult with the fire chief at Tri-State Airport before calling off the search.


http://www.wsaz.com

Employment Opportunity: Searey - Senior Sales Rep - Progressive Aerodyne, Inc.

Company Profile:

Progressive Aerodyne, Inc. is a private company that designs and manufactures light sport amphibian aircraft and is motivated to be a world-class performer particularly since the company’s aircraft has been dominating the market for the past 20 years.

The company is now taking advantage of a tremendous growth opportunity with support from loyal customers and local government.

Its facility is located 35 miles north of Orlando, Florida.

As an executive staff reporting directly to the CEO, the position holder will be a major contributor to the sales growth of the company and will play an influential role in this teamwork environment.

Job Description:
▪      The prime responsibility is to target new customers and generate sales of Light sport aircrafts
▪     Ability to manage sales force (independent distributors nationwide and abroad)
▪     Develop and implement marketing strategies
▪     Conduct marketing activities such as Special Events, Air shows and other avenues to generate sales and to promote product
▪     Perform Public Relations and represent the company effectively
Requirements:
▪     College degree in a business related field
▪     Minimum of 10 years experience in sales relevant to recreational aircraft or boat sales, including minimum one year in sales management capacity
▪     Experience in marketing strategy and implementation
▪     Familiar with light sport aviation industry
▪     Pilot license required
Please submit your interest to Flore Gunn, H.R. Specialist at recruit@searey.com

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com

Air Dolomiti Avion de Transport Regional ATR-72-500, Lufthansa, I-ADCD: Runway excursion, 1 slightly hurt - Franz Josef Strauss International Airport, Germany

 
A passenger plane of Lufthansa's Air Dolomiti lies in the grass at Munich's Franz-Josef Strauss airport after an emergency landing Thursday May 17, 2012. The airline says the plane with 62 people aboard made an emergency landing at Germany's Munich airport where it slid off the runway. One passenger was slightly injured. Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, says the twin turboprop plane turned around shortly after take-off in Munich Thursday as smoke billowed through cabin and cockpit, German news agency dapd reported. Munich airport said the plane, bound to the Italian city of Venice, experienced engine problems during the emergency landing and slid off the runway, coming to a halt in the grass nearby. 
Photo: Lukas Barth / dapd 

 
A passenger plane of Lufthansa's Air Dolomiti lies in the grass at Munich's Franz-Josef Strauss airport after an emergency landing Thursday May 17, 2012. The airline says the plane with 62 people aboard made an emergency landing at Germany's Munich airport where it slid off the runway. One passenger was slightly injured. Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, says the twin turboprop plane turned around shortly after take-off in Munich Thursday as smoke billowed through cabin and cockpit, German news agency dapd reported. Munich airport said the plane, bound to the Italian city of Venice, experienced engine problems during the emergency landing and slid off the runway, coming to a halt in the grass nearby. 
Photo: Lukas Barth / dapd


 
A passenger plane of Lufthansa's Air Dolomiti lies in the grass at Munich's Franz-Josef Strauss airport after an emergency landing Thursday May 17, 2012. The airline says the plane with 62 people aboard made an emergency landing at Germany's Munich airport where it slid off the runway. One passenger was slightly injured. Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, says the twin turboprop plane turned around shortly after take-off in Munich Thursday as smoke billowed through cabin and cockpit, German news agency dapd reported. Munich airport said the plane, bound to the Italian city of Venice, experienced engine problems during the emergency landing and slid off the runway, coming to a halt in the grass nearby.
 Photo: Lukas Barth / dapd


 

 Rescuers stand next to a passenger plane of Lufthansa's Air Dolomiti taht lies in the grass at Munich's Franz-Josef Strauss airport after an emergency landing Thursday May 17, 2012. The airline says the plane with 62 people aboard made an emergency landing at Germany's Munich airport where it slid off the runway. One passenger was slightly injured. Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, says the twin turboprop plane turned around shortly after take-off in Munich Thursday as smoke billowed through cabin and cockpit, German news agency dapd reported. Munich airport said the plane, bound to the Italian city of Venice, experienced engine problems during the emergency landing and slid off the runway, coming to a halt in the grass nearby. 
Photo: Lukas Barth / dapd

BERLIN (AP) — An airline says one of its planes, which was carrying 62 people, made an emergency landing at Germany's Munich airport where it slid off the runway. One passenger was slightly injured. Air Dolomiti, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, says the twin turboprop plane turned around shortly after take-off Thursday in Munich as smoke billowed through cabin and cockpit, German news agency dapd reported.

Munich airport said the plane, bound for Venice, Italy, experienced engine problems during the emergency landing and slid off the runway, coming to a halt in the grass nearby. All passengers were able to disembark unassisted through a door that stood only about 1 meter (1 yard) above the grass. The incident's cause was under investigation. It spurred significant delays at the Munich airport.

Source:  http://www.chron.com

Mooney M20J/205 MSE, Sheridan Air LLC, N9154K: Accident occurred May 09, 2012 in Sterling, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA327 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2012 in Sterling, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/2013
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N9154K
Injuries: 2 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.

The pilot landed at the airport for the first time, and he and two passengers went to dinner with family members. They returned to the airport after dark for the return flight to the pilot’s home base. According to the surviving passenger, the pilot initiated the takeoff roll from a taxiway intersection and did not utilize the entire runway. The 2,478 foot-long runway had a 2.4 percent upslope in the takeoff direction, with a prominent hill and trees located past the departure end. The airplane became airborne at the runway numbers, which were just before the displaced threshold, and the stall warning horn sounded immediately after liftoff. The pilot attempted to climb above the trees; however, the left wing struck a tree, and the airplane crashed into the woods about 0.37 miles past the departure end of the runway. The airplane impacted the ground inverted and caught fire. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of a pre-impact mechanical malfunction or failure. According to the aircraft manufacturer, the expected takeoff roll for the airplane at the time of the accident was about 1,490 feet on a level runway, given a gross weight at takeoff of 2,714 pounds. Maximum gross weight for the airplane was 2,900 pounds.

The surviving passenger reported that the pilot did not utilize a checklist and did not complete any weight and balance calculations. The pilot should have aborted the takeoff when he realized he wasn’t going to liftoff in time to clear the trees.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s decision to take off on an uphill slope without utilizing the entire available runway, and his failure to abort the takeoff when he realized he wasn’t going to liftoff in time to clear the trees at the end of the runway.


"The Aerodrome Information was updated June 14, 2013."

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 9, 2012, about 2225 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N9154K, was destroyed following a collision with trees and terrain after takeoff from Spring Hill Airport (70N), Sterling, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot and one pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured and one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York (FRG).

The surviving passenger reported the following. He arrived at FRG earlier on the day of the accident for the flight with the pilot and the other passenger. He stated that he was in the aft seat at all times, the other passenger was in the right, cockpit seat at all times, and the pilot was in the left, cockpit seat at all times. The pilot performed all flight duties and the other passenger did not fly the airplane. The flight proceeded to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the pilot had the fuel tanks topped off. He did not recall the pilot performing any weight and balance calculations, nor did he observe him using a checklist at any time. He recalled that the pilot stated they were, “…a little overweight from Farmingdale.”

During the flight, the pilot elected to land at 70N since it was closer to the other passenger’s parents, who were picking the group up for dinner. He stated that the pilot had not flown into 70N before. On the first attempt at a landing, the pilot acquired the runway late and commenced a go-around to lose altitude. An uneventful approach and landing were then made.

After dinner, the group returned to 70N for the return flight to FRG. The pilot was aware of the hill at the departure end of runway 23, since they had seen it in daylight hours during their arrival at 70N. After ground operations, the pilot taxied the airplane to runway 23. He lined up for takeoff at the intersection of the taxiway and runway 23; he did not back taxi to the end to utilize the entire runway. The pilot advanced the throttle to begin the takeoff roll. The runway lights were on and appeared normal. The airplane became airborne at the departure end numbers, just prior to the displaced threshold. Immediately after liftoff, the stall warning horn activated. The pilot was “unable to recover from the stall.” As the flight approached the trees at the end of the runway, the airplane began a turn to the left of the runway centerline. He could see the trees approaching, and estimated that the airplane was about three feet above the trees. The left wing struck a tree, and they “went down.” The airplane landed upside down, and caught fire immediately. He was able to climb out of a rear window that broke out during the impact.

When asked about engine performance, the passenger stated, “I didn’t hear any problems with the engine at all.” Shortly before the crash, he recalled the front seat passenger asking the pilot, “Are we going to be OK?” to which the pilot answered, “I don’t think so.” He also stated that the wind was “very light” at the time of departure.

The father of the front seat passenger was interviewed after the accident. He stated that none of the occupants of the airplane had been to 70N before. The flight departed runway 23 from the intersection closest to the departure end of runway 5. He stated that all the taxiway lights and the runway beacon were working.

A witness reported hearing the airplane's engine, followed by the sound of the airplane colliding with the trees and ground. She went outside her home and could see the wreckage on fire. The surviving passenger came running out of the woods, calling for help.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He reported a total flight experience of 272 hours on his commercial certificate application, dated July 11, 2011. The pilot’s personal flight logbook was not recovered.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a single engine, low wing, retractable gear airplane, serial number 24-3372. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine rated at 200 horsepower.

The aircraft maintenance records were not recovered after the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 2253 surface weather observation for Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, reported wind from 310 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 nautical miles (nm) or better with light rain, few clouds at 7,000 feet, ceiling 9,000 feet broken, temperature 13 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, and altimeter setting 29.64 inches of mercury. Sunset was about 2008 and evening civil twilight was about 2039.

AERODROME INFORMATION

A lighted hill, about 29 feet high, was located about 201 feet beyond the runway 23 departure end. Runway 23 was 2,478 feet long, including a 400-foot displaced threshold at the departure end, and had a 2.4-percent upslope. All airport lighting was reportedly operational at the time of the accident.

The intersection of the taxiway and runway where the takeoff roll was initiated was about 200 feet from (beyond) the approach end of runway 23.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was situated in a wooded area, about 0.37 nm southwest of the departure end of runway 23. The airplane wreckage was found inverted, on a heading of 090 degrees. All structural components of the airplane were located within the area of the main wreckage and there was no discernible wreckage path. A post-crash fire consumed a majority of the cockpit, cabin, and left wing. Several broken tree limbs were located adjacent to the wreckage; they exhibited smooth, angular cuts and black transfer marks.

The landing gear were found in the extended position and the wing flaps were found in the “takeoff” position.

Flight control rod continuity was established from the burned cockpit area to the rudder, elevator, and ailerons. The left aileron control rod was intact and connected to the left aileron. The bracket holding the forward eyelet of the left aileron control rod was separated from the underlying structure. The right aileron control rod was broken immediately next to the aft eyelet. The fracture exhibited indications of an overload separation. The eyelet remained attached to the right aileron. The pilot and co-pilot control wheels were linked together via control rods.

The engine was removed from the firewall and examined at the accident site. The propeller remained attached to the engine. The exhaust system was partially impact-separated from the engine; it was removed and the heat shroud was removed from the cabin heater assembly and inspected. No exhaust gas residue was observed. The engine was separated from the airframe and was suspended by a chain using a front loading tractor and back hoe. All rocker covers and spark plugs were removed. The spark plugs displayed an extended service life and a color consistent with normal combustion when compared to a Champion Spark Plug wear guide. The engine was manually rotated using the propeller; suction and compression were observed on all cylinders. The valve rocker arms were observed rotating in a normal manner. The accessory gears were observed rotating. All cylinders were examined using a lighted bore scope; no defects were observed. Nothing was observed during the course of the examination that would have precluded this engine from making rated power prior to impact.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Pilot

A postmortem examination of the pilot was performed at the offices of Forensic Associates of NE PA, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, on May 11, 2012. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as “Multiple traumatic injuries secondary to airplane accident (pilot)” and the manner of death was “accidental.” The report stated that the pilot was dead when the fire erupted.

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens of the pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The CAMI toxicology report indicated no carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, or drugs.

Pilot-rated Passenger

A postmortem examination of the pilot-rated passenger, seated in the right cockpit seat, was performed at the offices of Forensic Associates of NE PA, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, on May 11, 2012. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as “Combined effects of smoke inhalation with carbon monoxide poisoning and pulmonary edema and heat secondary to airplane crash and fire” and the manner of death was “accidental.”

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens of the pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The CAMI toxicology report indicated 19 percent carbon monoxide in the blood. No cyanide or drugs were detected in the blood. The blood was unsuitable for analysis for ethanol.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Aircraft weight and takeoff performance was estimated using for the prevailing conditions at 70N at the time of the accident. According to the aircraft manufacturer, the expected takeoff roll for the airplane at the time of the accident was about 1,490 feet on a level runway, given a gross weight at takeoff of 2,714 pounds. Maximum gross weight for the airplane was 2,900 pounds. Runway 23 had a 2.4-percent upslope. The aircraft manufacturer did not have performance charts that incorporated runway upslope.




Casey Falconer, a college student from Garden City Park who died in a plane crash in Pennsylvania last week, was devoted to aviation.
 
That’s the way Jean Radagan, professor of aviation at Farmingdale, recalled Falconer who she taught in her general aeronautics class in his freshman year. 
“He took flying very seriously. It was like his life’s passion,” Radagan said of Falconer, who had been a sophomore at Farmingdale.

She said the 19-year-old aviation major was universally liked by his peers.

He was very, very likeable. All the students loved him. He always had a smile on this face,” she said. 

Radagan said she recalled that Falconer would sometimes sit on the end of the runway listening to the sound of tower operations.

“He was almost addicted to the flying scene. He absolutely loved it,” she said.  

Graveside services for Falconer were held at Pinelawn Cemetery on Tuesday morning.

Falconer, 19, and fellow aviation student Patrick Sheridan from Farmingdale State College were killed last week when the plane Sheridan was piloting crashed shortly after taking off from Spring Hill Airport in Sterling, PA last Wednesday night.

The fixed-wing single-engine Mooney M20J apparently lost power minutes after it was airborne and reportedly crashed into the ground and burst into flames.

A second passenger in the plane, Evan Kisseloff, 21 of Oceanside, also an aviation student at Farmingdale, survived the crash.

“There was a point when I knew there was going to be an impact. I didn’t know when it was going to be, but I knew that it was going to be,” said Kisseloff in an interview posted online after participating in graduation ceremonies at Farmingdale on Saturday.

Kisseloff said he recalled the left wing of the aircraft striking a tree limb just before impact. He said he screamed for the others to get out of the plane as he crawled to safety but heard no response.

Falconer and Sheridan were pronounced dead at the scene.

Falconer’s wake at the New Hyde Park Funeral Home was thronged with people seeking to pay their respects to a young man some remembered as an Eagle Scout.

Members of the Falconer family declined to speak with reporters.

Kisseloff recalled that he and Falconer met when Falconer first started attending school in Farmingdale. He described him as a friend and confidante.

“He was the kind of person you could go to about anything,” he said.

He said he particularly appreciated Falconer’s sense of humor. 

“He had an adult sense of humor, a very mature sense of humor,” Kisseloff said. “His jokes still play in my head every day.”

He said he would remember both of his schoolmates for their devotion to aviation.

“I’m going to remember their love of flying,” Kisseloff said. “This field is based on passion, and that’s what I’m going to remember about them.”    

Source:  http://www.theislandnow.com

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA327
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2012 in Sterling, PA
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N9154K
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.


On May 9, 2012, about 2225 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20J, N9154K, was substantially damaged following a collision with trees and terrain after takeoff from Spring Hill Airport (70N), Sterling, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot and one pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured and one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a corporation and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York (FRG).

Reportedly, the flight arrived at 70N earlier in the evening after refueling at Lancaster, Pennsylvania (LNS). After the pilot and passengers returned to the airport, the flight departed on runway 23. Radio and radar contact with air traffic control was not established. The airplane crashed about 0.37 nautical miles southwest of the departure end of runway 23.

An initial examination of the wreckage revealed the following. The accident site was situated in a wooded area. The airplane wreckage was found inverted, on a heading of 090 degrees. All structural components of the airplane were located within the area of the main wreckage. A post-crash fire consumed a majority of the cockpit, cabin, and left wing. The landing gear were found in the extended position and the wing flaps were found in the takeoff position.

A lighted hill, about 29 feet high, was located about 201 feet from the runway end. Runway 23 had a 2.4-percent upslope. All airport lighting was reportedly operational at the time of the accident.

A witness reported hearing the airplane's engine, followed by the sound of the airplane colliding with the trees and ground. She went outside her home and could see the wreckage on fire. The surviving passenger came running out of the woods, calling for help.