Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grumman American AA-1B, N1608R: Accident occurred May 31, 2012 in Lawrence, Massachusetts

http://registry.faa.gov/N1608R

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA377  
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Lawrence, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA-1B, registration: N1608R
Injuries: 1 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.

After flying for about 40 minutes without incident, the pilot returned to the departure airport to practice touch-and-go landings and takeoffs. The pilot stated that she landed on the 3,900-foot-long runway as she normally did for a full-stop landing. She retracted the flaps, adjusted the trim, and advanced the throttle. As the airplane lifted off the ground, the pilot became concerned that it was too far down the runway and too close to the ground to clear trees that were located beyond the departure end of the runway. She elected to abort the takeoff and was not able to stop the airplane on the remaining runway. The airplane departed the end of the runway, rolled through grass, down an embankment, and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its empennage. The pilot reported that the airplane did not experience any mechanical malfunctions or failures during the accident. She further stated that she may have taken too much time to transition the airplane for takeoff after landing and also thought that if she had committed to the takeoff, the airplane would have adequately cleared the trees.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion.


NTSB Identification: ERA12CA377 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Lawrence, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA-1B, registration: N1608R
Injuries: 1 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.

After flying for about 40 minutes without incident, the pilot returned to the departure airport to practice touch-and-go landings and takeoffs. The pilot stated that she landed on the 3,900-foot-long runway as she normally did for a full-stop landing. She retracted the flaps, adjusted the trim, and advanced the throttle. As the airplane lifted off the ground, the pilot became concerned that it was too far down the runway and too close to the ground to clear trees that were located beyond the departure end of the runway. She elected to abort the takeoff and was not able to stop the airplane on the remaining runway. The airplane departed the end of the runway, rolled through grass, down an embankment, and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its empennage. The pilot reported that the airplane did not experience any mechanical malfunctions or failures during the accident. She further stated that she may have taken too much time to transition the airplane for takeoff after landing and also thought that if she had committed to the takeoff, the airplane would have adequately cleared the trees.

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

The pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion.

After flying for about 40 minutes without incident, the pilot returned to the departure airport to practice touch-and-go landings and takeoffs. The pilot stated that she landed on the 3,900-foot-long runway, as she normally did for a full-stop landing. She retracted the flaps, adjusted the trim, and advanced the throttle. As the airplane lifted off the ground, she became concerned that it was too far down the runway, and too low above the ground, to clear trees that were located beyond the departure end of the runway. She elected to abort the takeoff, and was not able to stop the airplane on the remaining runway. The airplane departed the end of the runway, rolled through grass, down an embankment, and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its empennage. The pilot reported that she did not experience any mechanical malfunctions or failures during the accident. She further stated in retrospect, that she may taken too much time to transition the airplane for takeoff after landing, and also felt that if she had committed to the takeoff, the airplane would have adequately cleared the trees.



Courtesy of Massachusetts State Police
Police and firefighters examine an overturned plane in the grass at Lawrence Airport. The pilot, 48-year-old Rebecca Harvey escaped without serious injury, according to police

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A plane missed the runway and flipped on its back in North Andover on Thursday. The pilot escaped unharmed.

Sky7 HD was over the underbelly of the small plane that flipped on its back around 6:30 Thursday evening. It was feet from the runway when pilot was trying to land. But when crews were called out, the cockpit was empty.

“We were concerned for the pilot, obviously,” said Michael Miller, Airport Manager.

The experienced pilot, a woman from Acton, is believed to have made her way out through a narrow window.

"The pilot actually walked away from the crash and informed the control tower that the accident did happen. So I was actually somewhat relieved when I found that out," Miller said.

Witnesses say the pilot walked hundreds of feet from the wreckage to the air traffic control tower and later declined medical treatment.

Miller was forced to shut down the airport.

“We closed the airport for safety purposes. There were too many emergency personnel vehicles on the airfield and wanted to make sure everyone was safe, including the pilots as well as the ground personnel,” Miller said.

Those familiar with runway 32 at Lawrence Municipal Airport don't know what would have caused the crash in perfect flying conditions.

“Anytime you’re flying in a private airplane you have to be careful of that. But like I said, there’s no wind tonight it’s really hard to speculate what could have happened,” said Kelly Bradbury.

The NTSB and FAA are hoping to get some answers too, and tow the wreckage away for a thorough investigation.

The airport’s manager told 7News the pilot’s plane is based at the Lawrence airport. She did speak with investigators after the crash.

Bombardier: Putting You. First. -- What we're doing to win your loyalty, trust and satisfaction

 

 Eric Martel, President of Bombardier Customer Services, and Andy Nureddin, Vice President of Bombardier Customer Services and Support, share Bombardier's Service and Support strategy for 2012 and provide details on the organization's key strategic initiatives for Business aircraft customers.

Peachtree City, Georiga: Local pilots attempting to break records

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -  Two local pilots are attempting to break a couple of world records by performing what they say will be the highest airshow ever.

Gary Rower, a captain for Delta Air Lines, and Buck Roetman, a private jet captain, hope to perform the highest airshow ever on water and the all-time highest airshow, which would be more than 10,000 in the air.

They will make the record-breaking attempts over the July 4 holiday in Colorado.

The show will include loops, barrel rolls in formation, head-on passes and individual maneuvers, according to Roetman.

Roetman flies a custom-built plane, which is based in Peachtree City, while Rower flies a 1942 Stearman bi-plane, which resides in Newnan.

The two men have flown together for years. They said that flying in such altitudes can be difficult.

"The air is so thin that there's not really anything for the airplane to turn with. It's a little like driving on an icy road versus driving on dry pavement. Everything you have to do has to be done carefully," said Rower.

Another potential problem in flying over the mountains of Colorado is that the nearest airport will be more than 20 miles away.

For more information on the duo's record-setting attempt, visit: http://www.highestshowonearth.com/

US donates $225,000 body scanner to Nigeria

The United States Government has donated a set of body scanner to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for use at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, handed over the scanner to the Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, on Thursday at the MMIA.

Some of the officials in attendance were the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren; and Project Co-ordinator, US Africa Command, Lt Col. Tim Hafner.

The US Ambassador said the new scanner, purchased and installed at $225,000, was donated to the Nigerian Government by the US Africa Command.

McCulley said the new scanner, which is capable of detecting drugs and bombs, was meant to compliment the war against terrorism and narcotics.

He said prior to the purchase of the new scanner, the US Mission had bought four other scanners and four new drug and explosive-detecting “Itemizers” for use at Nigeria’s four international airports in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.

He said, “Drug trafficking is a global problem that requires a global solution. Narcotics trafficking is a multibillion dollar a year business that destroys the lives of countless people, especially the youth. We will continue to fight side-by-side with you against this scourge.

“And in this spirit of cooperation, it gives me great pleasure to be with you today to dedicate an important new tool in Nigeria’s anti-drug trafficking arsenal-a second full body scanner for MMIA, that will enable NDLEA colleagues to perform quick, non-evasive searches of suspected drug traffickers and to locate illegal drugs or other contraband. This second scanner will enable NDLEA to have one scanner dedicated to arriving passengers, and one for departing passengers.”

 Giade, who expressed Nigeria’s gratitude for the scanner, said the agency would not relent in its efforts to combat the drug trafficking business in the nation’s airport.

Hondo pained at losing (another) flight school

 U.S. Aviation plans to relocate its flight school, which primarily serves Chinese pilots-to-be in Hondo, to Sherman in coming weeks.

“It's a big blow for us,” Mayor Jim Danner said Thursday.

Besides losing airplane fuel sales and a $5,527-a-month tenant at a city-owned hangar, he said the departure of the school's roughly 40 students will harm the local economy.

U.S. Aviation executive J. Michael Sykes cited “an unworkable and uncooperative relationship” with Federal Aviation Administration officials in San Antonio in giving notice of the school's pending move to North Texas Regional Airport in Sherman.

Danner said the city is asking elected federal officials to discuss the situation with the FAA in hopes of keeping the firm at the South Texas Regional Airport in Hondo.

U.S. Aviation set up shop there in late 2010, replacing Wright Flyers, which closed five months after opening the school due to contractual problems with Chinese airline clients.

Source: http://www.mysanantonio.com

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, Harrison Gypsum LLC, N976S: Fatal accident occurred May 31, 2012 in Macon, Mississippi

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N976S
  
NTSB Identification: ERA12FA376
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Macon, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: HAWKER BEECHCRAFT A36, registration: N976S
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.

While on a long cross-country flight on an instrument flight rules flight plan, the pilot attempted to fly through a line of thunderstorms. The airplane was equipped with satellite radar weather (NEXRAD Composite) and a stormscope/strikefinder. Using his equipment and talking with air traffic controllers, the pilot noted a break in the extreme precipitation, which still contained moderate to heavy precipitation, about 115 miles from the airplane's position. As the airplane approached that area, the pilot reported that a thunderstorm cell had filled it in; however, there was still a gap in the line of thunderstorms about 10 miles north. The pilot then attempted to fly to that gap and no further communications were received from the accident airplane. Review of the airplane's radar track was overlaid on a weather radar plot and revealed that the pilot attempted to fly though a Level 5, or heavy, thunderstorm cell. The turbulence from that cell resulted in an in-flight breakup of the airplane due to overstress, and the wreckage was scattered over a mile on the ground.

The satellite radar weather information, most likely displayed in the airplane cockpit when the pilot was attempting to fly to a gap in thunderstorm cells, was about 6 to 7 minutes old at the time of the accident and depicted the airplane in an area clear of precipitation. The airplane's stormscope/strikefinder would have provided real-time lightning information; however, it would have had significantly less detail than composite weather radar depictions and thus be less suitable for use in attempting to navigate through a line of thunderstorms and in between thunderstorm cells. Both sources of weather information used were less suitable than onboard weather radar, which would have provided real-time weather radar images in the cockpit. The pilot had obtained his instrument rating less than 2 years before the accident and had accrued about 32 total hours of actual instrument experience.

The NTSB recently issued a related Safety Alert, In-Cockpit NEXRAD Mosaic Imagery, viewable at www.ntsb.gov, describing how the actual age of NEXRAD data can differ significantly from the age displayed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's decision to continue flight into an area of known thunderstorms, which resulted in an in-flight breakup. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in actual instrument meteorological conditions and his reliance on datalink weather radar imagery for tactical avoidance of convective weather.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 31, 2012, at 1656 central daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft A36, N976S, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during an in-flight break-up and collision with terrain near Macon, Mississippi. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed near the accident site and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (OUN), Norman Oklahoma. The flight originated from Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Clearwater, Florida, at 1415.

According to air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was in radio contact with Memphis Center at 1625 and the airplane was level at 20,000 feet. At that time, the center controller advised of extreme precipitation at the airplane's 12 o'clock position and 85 miles away, extending north and south. The pilot acknowledged the information and stated, "…I'm looking at that trying to see if there is any way I can get through it and I'm beginning to think there is…"

At 1626, the controller advised that there was a break in the extreme precipitation, but still moderate to heavy precipitation, on a heading of 330 degrees at 115 miles. The pilot stated that he saw that as well, and thought it would be the best spot to fly through the line of precipitation. The pilot received permission to deviate to that spot. At 1633, the controller asked the pilot if he had weather radar onboard, and the pilot replied that he had "Nexrad Composite." At 1636, the pilot requested a lower altitude to remain below the freezing level, and he ultimately descended to 12,000 feet. At 1653, the pilot advised the controller that a cell had filled in the area he wanted to fly through, but there was still a gap about 10 miles north. He planned to fly north 10 more miles before going through the gap. The controller acknowledged the pilot's intentions. No further communication was received from the accident airplane. At 1656:27, the speed information disappeared from the airplane's radar target, followed by the altitude information.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 53, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 23, 2011. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 258 hours. The pilot obtained his instrument rating on August 20, 2010. According to the pilot's logbook, he had accrued a total flight experience of approximately 342 hours; of which about 32 hours were in actual instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot had flown 23.8 hours and 9.8 hours during the 90-day and 30-day period preceding the accident, respectively; of which, 7.6 hours and 3.4 hours were in actual instrument meteorological conditions, respectively.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, serial number E-3370, was manufactured in 2001. It was powered by a Continental IO-550, 300-horsepower engine, equipped with a three-blade constant-speed McCauley propeller. Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on June 14, 2011. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 1,337.0 total hours of operation. The engine had accumulated 358.0 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had flown about 200 hours since the annual inspection.

The airplane was equipped with XM WX Satellite Weather and an L3 (Goodrich) WX 500 Stormscope/Strikefinder.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

There was no record of the pilot receiving a weather briefing or filing a flight plan with flight service or direct user access terminals; however, the pilot's business partner reported that the pilot commonly used ForeFlight, an iPad app to obtain weather briefings and file flight plans.

An NTSB Meteorologist collected and compiled weather data into a factual report. The National Weather Service Surface Analysis Chart for 1600, about 1 hour before the accident, depicted the accident site east of a squall line. Ground based weather radar (WSR-88D) at Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi, depicted heavy precipitation associated with thunderstorms along the squall line. Specifically, at 1656, ground based radar showed the airplane had penetrated an area characterized by reflectivity values of 50 dBZ or greater (Level 5).

The XM WX Satellite Weather (Nexrad Composite) radar product, time stamped at 1650, depicted the airplane clear of precipitation. This product would have been presented to the pilot as being approximately 6 to 7 minutes old at the time of the accident. The next product was broadcast at 1656:05, time stamped 1655, and may have uploaded to the cockpit within seconds of the in-flight breakup. This product would have also depicted the airplane clear of precipitation and would have been presented to the pilot as being approximately 1 to 2 minutes old. The airplane was also equipped with a stormscope/strikefinder, which would have depicted real-time lightning information, but contained less detail than Nexrad Composite weather radar.

George M Bryan Airport (STF), Starkville, Mississippi, was located about 24 miles north of the accident site. The recorded weather at STF, at 1655, was: wind from 240 degrees at 7 knots, gusting to 22 knots; visibility 4 miles in thunderstorms with heavy rain; scattered clouds at 1,100 feet; broken ceiling at 2,600 feet; broken ceiling at 4,000 feet; temperature 20 degrees C; dew point 18 degrees C; altimeter 29.79 inches of mercury.

[For more information, see "Meteorology Group Chairman's Factual Report" in the NTSB Public Docket.]

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage impacted a rural area near Macon, Mississippi, consisting of fields and wooded terrain. A debris path extended approximately 1.25 miles on a magnetic course about 300 degrees. Pieces of window seal and cabin roof, with a global positioning system receiver antenna, were located at the beginning of the debris path. The left wing, cabin door, vertical stabilizer, and right wing were located in a field along the first one-third of the debris path. The top rudder section, both ailerons, fuselage, right wingtip fuel tank and middle seats were located along the second one-third of the debris path, in a wooded area. The pilot's seat was located along the final one-third, with the debris path terminating at the engine and forward cockpit section, also resting in a wooded area.

The left wing was separated at the root and the left main landing gear remained retracted in the wing. The left wing outboard section also separated about 10 feet from the root. The left flap was intact and retracted, while the left aileron had separated. The left aileron was recovered about .4 mile northwest of the left wing. Its trim tab and bellcrank remained attached. The left aileron was ballooned from 14 inches to 54 inches from the aileron tip. The left wing top main spar bolt remained in place and was bent upward, consistent with a positive wing separation. The fuel cap remained secured and fuel remained in the left wing fuel tank. The aileron trim actuator rod extension measured 2.5 inches, which equated to an off-scale tab down position. Buckling was observed on the lower wing skin, in a crosshatch pattern.

The right wing front spar remained attached to the front carry through spar via the upper and lower spar bolts. The right main landing gear and right flap were intact and retracted. An approximate 1-foot section of right aileron remained attached to the right wing and no other sections of right aileron were recovered. The right wingtip exhibited compression damage at the leading edge and the wingtip fuel tank had separated. The fuel cap was secured and no fuel was in tank; however, blue staining and vegetation discoloration was noted near the fuel tank. The pilot's left seat track remained intact and the right seat track had separated. The adjustment (center) track separated at the third adjustment hole from the front.

The rudder separated from the vertical stabilizer. Vertical stabilizer leading edge compression damage was observed, which extended approximately 20 inches, consistent with wing contact. The vertical stabilizer forward spar was buckled on the right side and bent aft, which the aft spar completely separated.

The main fuselage was crushed on the left side. The left horizontal stabilizer was bent aft and rotated 90 degrees. The left elevator had separated and was not recovered. The right horizontal stabilizer was bent up and aft. The right horizontal stabilizer exhibited leading edge impact marks, located 38 inches from the root. The right elevator inboard section remained attached and the outboard section separated 41 inches from the root. The right elevator trim actuator jackscrew measured 1.5 inches of extension, which equated to an approximate 10-degree tab down position. The rudder bellcrank, rudder torque tube, and 22 inches of rudder remained attached by rudder cables.

The engine remained attached to the firewall and the propeller remained attached to the engine. Both the engine and propeller were buried in mud. The instrument panel came to rest inverted and both control yokes separated. Some postcrash fire damage was noted. The bottom section of the instrument panel had been consumed by fire and the top section did not sustain fire damage.

The airplane's satellite weather information and stormscope/strikefinder information were both displayed on a Honeywell KMD-550 multi-function display unit. The airplane was also equipped with a JPI 700 engine monitor. The display unit and engine monitor were retained and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for data retrieval. The KMD-550 did not contain any non-volatile memory; however, radar data available to XM WX Satellite Weather subscribers surrounding the time of the accident was provided to an NTSB Meteorologist by the company that disseminates the information. Data from the JPI engine monitor was successfully downloaded and plotted. Review of the plot revealed that the exhaust gas temperatures were consisted with cruise engine power until the end of the data.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on June 1, 2012, by the State of Mississippi Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Jackson, Mississippi.

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Review of the toxicology report revealed:

"… 0.097 (ug/ml, ug/g) Diphenhydramine detected in Blood
Diphenhydramine detected in Urine…"


 NTSB Identification: ERA12FA376 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Macon, MS
Aircraft: HAWKER BEECHCRAFT A36, registration: N976S
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 31, 2012, at 1656 central daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft A36, N976S, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during an in-flight break-up and collision with terrain near Macon, Mississippi. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (OUN), Norman Oklahoma. The flight originated from Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Clearwater, Florida, at 1415.

According to preliminary air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot was in radio contact with Memphis Center at 1625, and the airplane was level at 20,000 feet. At that time, the center controller advised the pilot of extreme precipitation at the airplane's 12 o'clock position and 85 miles away, extending north and south. The pilot acknowledged the information and added that he was looking at it, and evaluating if there was any way to get through it. At 1626, the controller advised the pilot that there was a break in the extreme precipitation, but still moderate to heavy precipitation, on a heading of 330 degrees at 115 miles. The pilot stated that he saw that as well, and thought it would be the best location to fly through the line of precipitation. The pilot subsequently received permission to deviate to that location. At 1633, the controller asked the pilot if he had weather radar onboard, and the pilot replied that he had "Nexrad Composite." At 1636, the pilot requested a lower altitude to remain below the freezing level, and he ultimately descended to 12,000 feet. At 1653, the pilot advised the controller that a cell had "filled in," but there was still a gap about 10 miles north, which he planned to fly through. The controller acknowledged the pilot's intentions. No further communication was received from the accident airplane and radar contact was lost at 1656:27.

The wreckage impacted a rural area near Macon, Mississippi, consisting of fields and wooded terrain. A debris path extended approximately 1.25 miles on a magnetic course about 300 degrees. The airplane was equipped with satellite weather and radar weather, which were both displayed on a KDM-550 multifunction display (MFD). The airplane was also equipped with a JPI 700 engine monitor. The MFD and engine monitor were retained and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for data retrieval.


The remains of a Beechcraft Bonanza 4-seater plane sits near the edge of a pond where it crashed near Mashulaville about 5 p.m. Thursday. The pilot is confirmed dead by Noxubee Coroner R.L. Calhoun.


JACKSON, Miss. - An executive of an Oklahoma gypsum company was killed Thursday when the company plane he was flying crashed in eastern Mississippi. 

 Noxubee County, Miss., Sheriff Terry Grassaree said E.R. "Tracy" Shirley III of Newcastle, Okla., died in the crash. He was vice president and chief financial officer for Harrison Gypsum Co. of Norman, Okla.

Authorities say the plane crashed just before 5 p.m. in the Mashulaville community, about 15 miles southwest of Macon, Miss.

Witnesses say high winds and lightning were present around the site at the time of the crash.

Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, says air traffic controllers in Memphis, Tenn., lost contact with a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza BE36 Thursday afternoon.

The plane, registered to Harrison Gypsum, had departed from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Clearwater, Fla., with a stated destination of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman.

Shirley had been an executive with Harrison Gypsum since at least 2004. The company mines and processes gypsum for a variety of uses.

"He was a very nice, family Christian man," Shelly Nutter, wife of company marketing manager Tony Nutter, said late Thursday.

A man who answered the phone at Shirley's home in Newcastle referred comment to company President Charles W. "Russ" Harrison. Harrison could not immediately be reached late Thursday.

The plane crashed near the Mashulaville home of Brandi Clark, who said that pieces of the plane were scattered behind her family's house and in a pasture.

Her husband, Chris Clark, said the plane appears to have broken up before hitting the ground.

"My kids were out in the yard playing and they heard a loud noise," Clark said. "They came in and got me and I saw a lot of little pieces in the air."

The largest part of the plane crashed into a pond. But he said that nearly two hours later he and a neighbor found the body more than 250 yards away.

Clark said there was thunder and lightning in the area at the time, but he said rain did not arrive for about another 30 minutes. He speculated that the plane may have been hit by lightning.

Scott Boyd, editor and publisher of the Macon Beacon, a weekly newspaper, said debris from the plane was strewn in a straight line across about a two-mile area.

"It appears to me he had turned around and headed back south," said Boyd, who went to the scene.

"The wind obviously just ripped the plane apart," he said. "It was a pretty fierce storm at the time."

Boyd said search crews were hampered by lightning and heavy rain. Noxubee County Coroner R.L. Calhoun said emergency responders suspended their search after sundown because of stormy weather.

Jeff Rent, spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said a dive team went to the scene Thursday evening to check wreckage in the pond.

Peters said that air traffic controllers in Memphis sent out a bulletin after losing contact. He said FAA investigators would also go to the site.


 JACKSON, Miss. -- A plane crash Thursday near the east Mississippi town of Macon has killed a pilot bound for Oklahoma. 

A witness said the plane crashed just before 5 p.m. in the Mashulaville community, about 15 miles southwest of Macon. 

Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said air traffic controllers in Memphis, Tenn., lost contact with a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza BE36 Thursday afternoon. The plane had earlier departed from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Clearwater, Fla., with a stated destination of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman, Okla.

Authorities believe only the pilot was on board, Peters said. He declined to release his identity, saying he wasn't sure if Oklahoma authorities had notified the man's family. Flightaware.com listed a flight plan from St. Petersburg to Norman Thursday for a Beechcraft Bonanza registered to Harrison Gypsum Co. of Norman, Okla. Officers at the company did not immediately respond to emails late Thursday.

The plane crashed near the home of Brandi Clark, who said that pieces of the plane were scattered behind her family's house and in a pasture.

Her husband, Chris Clark, said the plane broke up in the air before hitting the ground.

"My kids were out in the yard playing and they heard a loud noise," Clark said. "They came in and got me and I saw a lot of little pieces in the air."

The largest part of the plane crashed into a pond, but he said that nearly two hours later he and a neighbor found a body, apparently the pilot, still strapped to his seat more than 250 yards away.

Clark said there was thunder and lightning in the area at the time, but he said rain did not arrive for about another 30 minutes. He speculated that the plane may have been hit by lightning.

Scott Boyd, editor and publisher of the Macon Beacon, a weekly newspaper, said debris from the plane was strewn in a straight line across about a two-mile area.

"It appears to me he had turned around and headed back south."

"The wind obviously just ripped the plane apart," Boyd said. "It was a pretty fierce storm at the time."

Boyd said search crews were hampered by lightning and heavy rain.

Jeff Rent, spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said a dive team arrived at the scene Thursday evening to check wreckage in the pond. Peters said that air traffic controllers in Memphis sent out a bulletin after losing contact. He said FAA investigators would also go to the scene

Noxubee County Coroner R.L. Calhoun said only one body was found Thursday before emergency responders suspended their search after sundown because of stormy weather. Calhoun said he could not release the identity of the person killed in the crash.

IN PICTURES: Venezuelan soldiers set off explosions to destroy airstrip used by drug traffickers

Venezuelan Interior Minister Tarek El aissami (C) watches the debris of an aircraft during an operation to destroy clandestine airstrip used by drug traffickers in Apure on Thursday. In the frame of the operation "Boquete" (Hole) launched May 26, two presumed traffickers were arrested and 36 clandestine airstrips and 11 aircrafts destroyed. 

Pietenpol Air Camper: Bittersweet journey

 
 The plane loaded on a trailer for the trip last year to the Air Zoo.

 
Bob Humbert saw his plane hanging in the Kalamazoo Air Zoo a couple of weeks ago.


It took 38 years before Bob Humbert took off in his homebuilt airplane. 

Now the plane will never touch down again.

“It looks great,” Humbert said last week, looking up to see the aircraft suspended from the ceiling of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

Humbert, 74, had his first look a couple of weeks ago after donating the single-engine Pietenpol Air Camper to the aeronautical museum at 6151 Portage Road, just south of the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport.

“To have it there means a whole lot,” Humbert said. “It’s like a life’s dream come true.”

A microbiologist who retired from the Kellogg Co. in 1997, Humbert has a love of flying.

He started planning the plane in the mid-1960s and constructing it on his dining room table. He expected to build the plane in a couple of years.

Instead, work and family interfered and he soloed the plane on June 22, 2007.

Federal regulations require that the pilot of a homebuilt plane fly it 40 hours before taking passengers or flying farther than 25 miles from the airport.

He had planned to take his wife, Dortha, as his first passenger but just as he reached the 40-hour mark he developed positional vertigo. He never flew the plane again and his wife’s only ride was to taxi on the runway.

The plane is a single-engine, open cockpit monoplane designed to be powered by a Ford Model A engine. The first ones were flown in 1929.

“It was a real novelty at the time,” he said. “People didn’t believe that an aircraft could be powered by an automobile engine.”

He once described the plane as low and slow and said he chose to build it “because it can land on a grass strip and you can feel the wind. It’s a different kind of adventure than getting up and going 200 miles an hour.”

He modified the plane by installing an aircraft engine but otherwise the design of a wood structure covered with fabric was original.

“The design goes back so far and has been in use for so long,” he said. The planes are still being built today.”

But by last year Humbert said he knew because of the vertigo, he would not be able to fly anymore and began thinking about what to do with it.

For the last eight years he has volunteered at the Air Zoo.

“I started volunteering just because of my love of aviation,” Humbert said, “and my love of aircraft and the opportunity to be around airplanes and learning more about them and talking to people on a regular basis who love them and have knowledge of them.”

So the Air Zoo was his first choice for the plane.

“It is probably one of the finest non-governmental aviation museums in the Midwest,” he said.

“It is unusual for them to take a homebuilt unless there is a special interest. But I think the age and the uniqueness of the design is part of why the Air Zoo accepted it.”

Humbert talked to Bob Ellis, president and CEO and Ellis came to Battle Creek to look at the plane late last year.

In December it was dismantled and placed on a trailer and hauled to the Air Zoo. It was re-assembled and is now hanging in the former East Campus and what will become the Restoration Center. That portion of the Air Zoo should be open to the public this summer and will contain several planes and will allow people to watch work on restoring aircraft.

Humbert, now battling cancer, visited the building last week and saw the plane for the first time since it left Battle Creek.

The visit was a time for him to see staff and other volunteers and for Ellis to explain that the display was as much about Humbert as the plane.

“All the planes have a story,” he said. “This one is an example of an early home-built aircraft and shows innovation.”

But more than that, he said the plane is also about Humbert and flying.

“This is all about the dreams and the passions that are the stories of flight,” Ellis said. “And you have to know the story that Bob had a dream 40 years ago and that dream came true.

“It is a story about dreaming,” he said. “And this plane will always be flying.”

See Humbert’s plane:

Where:  Kalamazoo Air Zoo, 6151 Portage Road
Info:  www.airzoo.org

Vans RV-8, N808WW: Accident occurred May 31, 2012 in Hutchinson, Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA333 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Hutchinson, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2013
Aircraft: Walters RV-8, registration: N808WW
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

The pilot was landing the airplane with excessive speed. The airplane touched down 2,200 feet down the 4,000-foot-long runway. When the tailwheel touched down, the airplane began to veer off of the runway. The pilot stated that the tailwheel became "squirrelly." The pilot added engine power while attempting to return to the runway surface. He then pitched the airplane's nose up to avoid an airport lighting aid at a speed that was too low to maintain flight. The airplane settled back to the ground and impacted the terrain. Postaccident examination of the tailwheel and flight controls revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain proper airspeed during the landing attempt, his failure to maintain directional control, and his delayed attempted aborted landing at an airspeed that was too low, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

On May 31, 2012, at 1550 central daylight time, a Walters RV-8, N808WW, departed runway 33 and impacted terrain during an aborted landing at Hutchinson Municipal Airport-Butler Field (HCD), Hutchinson, Minnesota. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and the wing. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was destined for HCD.

The pilot stated that the final approach to landing was normal and maybe a "little fast," at an airspeed of about 80 knots. He said that he maintained flight over the runway to bleed off speed. When the main landing gear touched, the airplane rolled out down the runway. He said that the tail "got squirrelly" when it touched down during the rollout. The airplane veered off the right side of the runway and he tried to return the airplane back to the runway. He added full engine power while attempting to return to the runway and noticed a bank of lights ahead. He "jerked" the control stick back in an attempt to get the airplane to fly. The airplane lifted off at a high pitch attitude, and as it was airborne, he tried three times to move the control stick forward. During the third control input on the control stick, the wing stalled and dipped. The airplane impacted the ground at a "very low" pitch attitude, cartwheeled, and came to rest on the landing gear.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane touched down about 2,200 feet down runway 33 (4,000 feet by 75 feet, asphalt). The airplane veered off about 3,100 feet down runway 33. Examination of the tailwheel revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the flight controls confirmed flight control continuity.


Jorge Sosa 
 Emergency personnel looked over the crash site at Hutchinson Airport on Thursday afternoon
 ~  

HUTCHINSON, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A single-engine homebuilt airplane with two people aboard has crashed at the Hutchinson Municipal Airport, but police say no one was killed. 

 The crash was reported around 3:45 p.m. Thursday at Butler Field. At that time, authorities received the report of an airplane that appeared to be going down and smoke coming from the apparent crash site.

When emergency responders arrived, they found a damaged airplane with two occupants outside of it being cared for by employees of Life Link, who are stationed at the airport.

The occupants have been identified as David Wayne Walters of Oregon and Jean Louise Galloway of North Carolina. Both were conscious and alert before being taken to Hutchinson Health Care by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

It was not immediately known if the plane was landing or taking off.

The FAA and Hutchinson police will investigate the crash.

Hutchinson is about 45 miles west of Minneapolis.

 
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Two people involved in a late afternoon plane crash suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Hutchinson Police Services said in a statement the small plane went down around 3:45 p.m. at Hutchinson Municipal airport. Police identified the two occupants as David Walters of Oregon and Jean Galloway of North Carolina.

By the time the police arrived, both were out of the plane, conscious and being tended to by the Life Link crew stationed at the airport. 

The FAA's Great Lakes Region spokesman, Tony Molinaro, said the two-passenger plane is home-built.

FAA records show it's registered to Don Walters from Covington, Ga.

HUTCHINSON, Minn. (AP) — A single-engine homebuilt airplane with two people on board has crashed at the Hutchinson Municipal Airport, but police say no one was killed. 

Hutchinson Police Lt. Tom Gifferson says the crash was reported around 3:45 p.m. Thursday at Butler Field.

Gifferson says there were no fatalities. The Federal Aviation Administration does not know the conditions of the two people aboard.

It was not immediately known if the plane was landing or taking off.

The FAA and Hutchinson police will investigate the crash.

Hutchinson is about 45 miles west of Minneapolis.

Cirrus SR20 GTS G3, I Fly Elite (Rgd. owner Hunt Aviation LLC), N187PG: Fatal accident occurred May 29, 2012 in Duck Creek Village, Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA235  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 29, 2012 in Duck Creek Village, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR20, registration: N187PG
Injuries: 4 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 airplane collided with remote mountainous terrain in an inverted position during the second leg of a cross-country flight in day visual meteorological conditions. Recorded data recovered from the airplane revealed that about 40 minutes into the flight, the airplane reached its highest recorded altitude of 7,847 feet mean sea level (msl). At this time, the airplane was about 4 miles from a mountain ridge directly ahead, the lowest point of which was 8,470 feet msl, with terrain elevations of more than 9,000 feet msl on both sides. The airplane’s recovered electronic data revealed that the airplane’s stall warning system activated about 3 minutes before the accident and remained on for most of the remaining recorded data. The data indicated that the airplane rolled steeply to the left, briefly recovered and pitched up 10 to 15 degrees, and then rolled to the left in a nearly 67-degree inverted nose-down attitude before impacting terrain. Postaccident calculations indicated that at the time of the accident, the airplane was likely being flown close to the airplane’s stall speed.

The pilot, who had rented the airplane, had extensive rotorcraft/helicopter flight experience but had accumulated only about 160 hours total flight time in fixed wing airplanes, with about 17 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot’s most recent flight in the make and model of the accident airplane took place about 18 months before the accident flight.

Postaccident interviews with personnel from the company that rented the airplane revealed that, on a previous occasion, the pilot had been observed overloading the airplane and was advised that he could not take that much baggage on the flight. The company personnel further stated that on the morning of the accident, after the company fueled the airplane for the pilot’s flight, the pilot taxied the airplane to another area on the airport where he loaded his passengers and baggage. This location was about 1/4 mile away and was not visible from the company’s facility. The calculated density altitude at the time of the accident was 9,287 feet, which would have been detrimental to the airplane’s climb performance, especially if the airplane was overloaded. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Based on the available information, it is likely that the pilot was unable to maintain sufficient airspeed to climb the airplane over the high terrain, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Further, it is likely that a combination of the pilot overloading the airplane before taking off and the high density altitude conditions would have resulted in the airplane’s reduced climb performance. Further, the pilot’s lack of total experience operating fixed wing airplanes in mountainous terrain likely negatively affected his decision to attempt to fly over the mountainous terrain with the given conditions and contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed and airplane control while maneuvering a heavily loaded airplane over high mountainous terrain in a high density altitude environment. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience operating fixed wing airplanes in such an environment.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 29, 2012, about 1258 mountain daylight time, a Cirrus SR20 airplane, N187PG, was substantially damaged following impact with remote mountainous terrain while maneuvering near Duck Creek Village, Utah. The rental airplane was operated by Elite Aviation of the North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada. The certified private pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed the Mesquite Airport (67L), about 1114 Pacific daylight time, with Bryce Canyon Airport (BCE), Bryce Canyon, Utah, as its reported destination.

The investigation revealed that the purpose of the flight was for the pilot and his three passengers to fly to Bryce Canyon for a fishing trip; fishing rods, tackle, and fishing licenses were located at the accident site. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot activated a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan in Las Vegas at 0954, and subsequently canceled it after flying clear of McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada, Class Bravo (B) airspace about 1005. When the airplane departed VGT, it had 41 gallons of aviation fuel on board. At the time of departure from VGT, the airplane was estimated to be over its maximum gross takeoff weight limitation by 210 pounds.

After departing VGT, the pilot flew direct to the Mesquite Airport (67L), Mesquite, Nevada, where it landed about 1100. Recorded non-volatile memory data revealed that the airplane had consumed 7.6 gallons of fuel during the flight. Prior to departing 67L, the pilot added about 10 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. The airplane subsequently departed 67L for BCE about 1214, a flight of approximately 105 nautical miles (nm). At the time of departure, the airplane was estimated to be in excess of its maximum takeoff weight by about 225 pounds.

According to radar data, about 1245, which was about 30 minutes after departure from 67L, the airplane was climbing through 6,600 feet mean sea level (msl) on a northeasterly heading. At 1250, it was ascending through 7,100 feet msl, and at 1254:28 the airplane reached its highest recorded altitude for the flight, which was 7,847 feet msl. At this time, and directly in front of the airplane about 4 miles distant, was rising terrain; the lowest ridge was 8,470 feet high, with terrain measuring more than 9,000 feet in elevation bordering the ridge on both sides.

Data recovered from the airplane’s Recoverable Data Module (RDM)revealed that about 3 minutes prior to the accident, at 1255:10, the stall warning activated for the majority of the remaining 188 seconds of recorded data. At 1257:57, the airplane began a roll excursion to the left and reached a 54-degree, left wing down attitude, before briefly recovering to 8 degrees left wing down. The airplane then rolled to the left in a nearly inverted attitude at the end of the data. The airplane was in a climb attitude of between 10 to 15 degrees of pitch until about 1258:11, when it pitched to a 67-degree nose down attitude at the end of the data, which was recorded at 1258:20.

Local law enforcement personnel located the wreckage about 1930 on May 30, 2012. The airplane came to rest inverted on the west face of a mountain ridge, and about 100 feet below the top of the crest. An onsite examination of the wreckage revealed that all components necessary for flight were accounted for. The wreckage was recovered to a secured storage facility for further examination.

In a statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the Mesquite Airport facility manager reported that on the day of the accident, while he was refueling another airplane at the fueling island, he instructed the accident airplane as it pulled up to the fuel pump. He said that one of the four men in the airplane mentioned to him that they were all helicopter pilots, and that another one who was doing the refueling said that the fuel in the right wing was above the tab, and that he added fuel to the left side to balance it out; 9.98 gallons of fuel was added to the left tank. The witness further stated that as the men were boarding the airplane, he heard one of them ask whose turn it was to take the front seat. He concluded by stating that after taking off he observed the airplane do one touch-and-go, and then heard someone say that it looked like [the airplane] took an unusually long time to [gain] altitude.

Elite Aviation rented the airplane to the pilot. A post-accident interview with their management personnel revealed that the pilot refueled the airplane at their facility. He then taxied the airplane to another area on the airport to load his passengers and baggage. This location was about 0.25 miles away from the Elite facility, and was not visible from their business. Elite personnel also reported that on a previous occasion, which occurred just after the accident pilot had been checked out in the airplane, he was observed loading the airplane for a flight. Elite management personnel noticed that the airplane would be overweight, at which time the pilot was informed that he could not take that much baggage on the flight. Also during the interview, Elite management personnel revealed that the accident pilot would always try to circumvent things with the female office receptionists, but not with any of the male office personnel. In one instance, it was described that the accident pilot mentioned to the wife of one of the company’s owners that he could fly the rental airplane without renter’s insurance; the company co-owner said that this was not true. Elite personnel also reported that there were a few times when the accident pilot attempted to bargain airplane rental fees.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot number 1 (pilot-in-command who occupied the right front cockpit seat position)

The pilot, age 44, possessed an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate for rotorcraft-helicopter. He also held a private pilot certificate, issued on May 7, 2010, for airplane single-engine land, and also possessed an instrument airplane rating. The pilot received his most recent second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate on December 1, 2011, with no limitations noted. At the time of the accident, the pilot was employed as a commercial helicopter pilot by a local sightseeing and tour company, which was based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A review of the pilot’s personal and company flight records revealed that he had accumulated a total time in all aircraft of 5,668 hours, of which 5,465 hours were in helicopters and 160 hours were in airplanes. Additionally, the pilot had logged 1,003 hours of flight instruction given in helicopters. It was also revealed that as of March 31, 2012, the pilot had a total time of 109.5 hours in all Cirrus aircraft, which included 43.1 hours in the accident make and model, the SR20, and 66.4 hours in the SR22. Records indicated that the pilot’s most recent flight in an SR20 airplane prior to the accident flight was conducted on September 15, 2010, at which time he had accumulated a total of 16.7 hours as pilot in command in make and model.

Pilot number 2 (left front cockpit seat position)

The pilot, age 31, possessed a commercial pilot certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter instrument helicopter ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate, with rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter ratings. Additionally, the pilot held a mechanic’s certificate with an airframe rating. The pilot’s most recent second-class FAA medical certificate was dated July 6, 2011, with no limitations. He did not possess a pilot certificate for airplanes.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a Cirrus Design model SR20, serial number 1892. It was a four-place, low wing, single-engine airplane, with a tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was issued an FAA normal category standard airworthiness certificate on January 14, 2008. It was equipped with Avidyne MFD & PFD, STEC 55X, dual Garmin GNS 430s, EMax, Stormscope, Skywatch, and an Xm weather/radio. The airplane was powered by a 210-horsepower Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI) IO-360-ES21 six-cylinder, reciprocating engine, serial number 360550. The engine was manufactured on December 2, 2007

A review of the operator’s maintenance records revealed that the airplane’s most recent annual inspection was performed on May 3, 2012, at an airplane total time of 1,739.6 hours. The most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on May 23, 2012, at an airplane total time of 1,839.6 hours. When examined at the post-accident layout examination, the HOBBS meter for the accident airplane indicated 2,068.4 hours. The FLIGHT Hobbs meter indicated 1,847.2 hours.

WEIGHT AND BALANCE

During the investigation, and with data recovered from the airplane’s Recoverable Data Module (RDM), weight and balance computations were calculated by Cirrus Aircraft and confirmed by the IIC for the takeoffs at both VGT and 67L, as well as for the estimated condition about the time of the accident.

With 41 gallons of fuel on board and considering the medical weights of the four occupants and weighed baggage, it was calculated that the airplane was 207 pounds over the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 3,050 pounds when it departed VGT. After the calculated fuel burn from VGT to 67L and refueling after landing, the airplane was estimated to be about 221 pounds over the MTOW when it departed 67L. It was further calculated that the airplane was 177 pounds in excess of its maximum gross weight near the time of the accident. (Refer to the weight and balance calculations located in the Cirrus Final Mishap Report for additional details.)

PERFORMANCE

During the investigation, and at the request of the IIC, a Cirrus Aircraft Flight Test Engineer reviewed the non-volatile memory data to determine the climb performance of the accident airplane.

The engineer reported that just prior to the loss of control the pressure altitude was 7,250 feet msl, and the outside air temperature was 15.5 degrees Celsius (C). Based on Cirrus certification data for climb performance, the airplane loaded to 3,227 pounds should have been able to climb at +375 feet per minute, assuming that the engine was operating normally at the maximum available power of 2,700 revolutions per minute (rpm) and that the best rate of climb (Vy) of 93 knots indicated airspeed (IAS) was being flown by the pilot. The engineer also reported that based on the Cirrus engine power model and the recorded engine data, at 1856:20, the engine should have been producing 108 horsepower. Further, applying this reduced engine power to the Cirrus certification data, the climb performance would have been reduced to +22 feet per minute, again assuming that Vy was being flown by the pilot. The engineer added that the data appeared to indicate that the airplane was not being flown at Vy at this point in time, but in fact the airspeed was nearly at stall, which was 73 knots indicated airspeed (IAS). The engineer added that as the speed decreases towards a stall, the climb performance is reduced to zero. The 0% flap stall speed for the SR20 at 3,050 pounds is 69 knots IAS. Correcting for a weight of 3,227 pounds yields a stall speed of 71 knots IAS.

METEROROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1258, the weather reporting facility located at Swains Creek, Utah, which was about 9 nautical miles east-northeast of the accident site, reported wind from the southwest at 6 miles per hour (mph), gust at 8 mph, temperature 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 23 degrees F, sky clear, and an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches of mercury.

At 1253, the recorded weather observation at the Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC), Cedar City, Utah, which is located about 26 nautical miles northwest of the accident site, reported wind variable at 4 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 75 degree F, dew point 14 degrees F, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

A Terminal Area Forecast (TAF) for Bryce Canyon Airport (BCE), which was issued at 1143 on May 29, 2012, and was valid from 1200 May 29 to 1200 May 30, revealed wind 220 degrees at 10 knots, with gusts to 18 knots, sky clear, and visibility greater than 6 miles.

There were no AIRMETS or SIGMETS in effect in the vicinity and timeframe of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An on-site examination of the wreckage was conducted under the supervision of the NTSB IIC, who was accompanied by representatives from the FAA, Cirrus Aircraft Design, and CMI. A detailed survey of the wreckage revealed that all components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

The accident site was located in mountainous terrain about 7 nm southwest of Duck Creek Village, Utah, on the west face of a ridge about 100 feet below the top of the crest. A GPS reading taken at the site revealed that the main wreckage was located at 37 degrees 26.101 minutes north latitude and 112 degrees 45.899 west longitude, at an elevation of 7,172 feet msl.

The main wreckage came to rest inverted on a measured magnetic heading of about 180 degrees, and the energy path was oriented on a measured magnetic heading of 277 degrees. A tall pine tree between 20 to 25 feet tall was located uphill about 15 to 20 feet from the initial point of impact. There were no signatures observed to the tree consistent with impact by the airplane. The initial point of impact was evidenced by various shrubs and branches that had been cut off at a 15 to 20 degree angle to the ground. Immediately adjacent to the shrubs and down slope, a ground scar was observed in the dirt. The ground scar widened out downhill in line with the main wreckage, and contained multiple window fragments throughout the area. Facing downhill from the initial point of impact, another pine tree, about 8 inches in diameter and located on the right side of the debris field, was observed broken off about 1 foot above the ground. On the left side of the energy path, a third pine tree, about 1 foot in diameter, had stripped bark missing from its trunk, about 2 to 4 feet above the ground. The airplane’s propeller was observed separated from the engine, and laying on the ground partially hidden by shrubs. The two trees were estimated to be about 20 to 25 feet apart. The main wreckage came to rest 52 feet from the initial point of impact.

The forward fuselage was heavily damaged. The engine and engine compartment were found embedded in the ground, with fragments of the upper cowling and windscreen located uphill from the main wreckage. The forward cabin was observed crushed aft, with the instrument panel crushed and fragmented.

The right cabin door separated from the fuselage and was located near the initial point of impact. The left cabin door was fractured into two main pieces consisting of the top and bottom halves. The baggage compartment door separated from the airplane. All three doors exhibited impact damage.

The left wing was fractured and separated laterally at the inboard aileron attachment point. The wing was also fractured laterally about 2 feet further outboard. The inboard section of the wing contained 45-degree wrinkling starting forward inboard and then going aft outboard. The left flap was observed basically intact, however, it did contain some downward bending at the outboard most corner. The left aileron was also mostly intact, but was fractured and separated from all attach points. The aileron was observed bent and wrinkled. The left fuel cap was secured, and the fuel cap tab was extended. The fuel tank was breached. The left main landing gear sustained minimal damage. The forward most area of the wheel pant was cracked.

The right wing was observed fractured and separated at mid-span. Scratches along the longitudinal axis were also observed with organic debris adhering to the underside of the wing. The right flap was wrinkled throughout its span. The flap hinge was bent outboard and almost flush with the wing. The outboard 6 inches of the flap was bent upward. The right aileron was observed bent in two places, about one-third of the way inboard from the outboard extreme and also about mid-span. The aileron was also observed separated from the trailing edge of the wing at all attach points. The right fuel tank was breach; the fuel cap was observed secured. The right elevator was not damaged, with the exception to a crack along the forward and outboard section of the component. The right main landing gear remained attached and secured at all attach points. The only visible damage was a slight crack to its wheel pant.

Aileron control cable continuity from the left kickout pulley to the left aileron actuation pulley to the right aileron actuation pulley and back to the right kickout pulley was verified on site.

The flap actuator shaft separated from the flap motor. Approximately 3.5 inches of actuator was extended, which was consistent with a flaps UP position.

The entire empennage aft of the aft cabin bulkhead was intact. The right horizontal stabilizer and right elevator remained attached to the fuselage at all inboard attached points. Both sustained only minimal damage to their outboard leading edges. The left elevator and left horizontal stabilizer were not damaged. The rudder was intact and sustained only some minimal damage. Rudder control cable continuity from the FS306 bulkhead to the back seats was verified on site. Rudder control continuity from the backseats to the rudder pedal torque tubes was also confirmed. The rudder also exhibited powder residue from the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System rocket.

The nose landing gear was fractured and separated from the engine mount attachment point. The wheel remained secured to its attach point.

The engine was partially separated and came to rest upright at a heading of 130 degrees. There were no significant visual anomalies, or indications of catastrophic failure. The propeller governor control lever was found full in, and the propeller cable was separated. The throttle was at idle, and the mixture lever showed to be somewhere mid-travel.

The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell three-bladed propeller assembly. The propeller separated from the crankshaft just aft of the propeller flange. Spiral cracking and 45-degree shear lips were observed. The spinner was crushed aft and had fractured in multiple locations.

All three propeller blades were loose in the hub. Two blades exhibited polishing on the cambered side. One propeller blade was bent toward the cambered side. The second propeller blade was bent slightly toward the non-cambered side. The third propeller blade was slightly curled at the tip.

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS)

The activation handle was in the handle holder. The safety pin was not observed. The rocket motor was located under the vertical stabilizer in the main wreckage. The pickup collar assembly was on the rocket. The lanyards were discolored brown consistent with rocket exhaust. The incremental bridle had not unzipped. The right side of the vertical stabilizer and rudder had brown discoloration consistent with rocket exhaust. The packed parachute assembly lay on the ground just forward of the vertical stabilizer. The rear harness remained snubbed, and the reefing line cutters had not been activated. The Sheriff noted that the first responders had cut the CAPS harnesses, and utilized them to extricate the decedents from the wreckage. The CAPS enclosure cover was located under the outboard portion of the right wing in the main wreckage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Pilot #1 (right front cockpit seat position)

On May 31, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot at the facilities of the Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah. The results of the examination revealed that the cause of death was determined to have been due to “blunt force injuries.” The report also indicated that toxicological testing results were negative for all substances in the screening profile.

Pilot #2 (left front cockpit seat position)

On May 31, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot at the facilities of the Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah. The results of the examination revealed that the cause of death was determined to have been due to “blunt force injuries.”

The Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report for pilot number 2 was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeronautical Institute Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report indicated that specimens were unsuitable for analysis of carbon monoxide, and that no cyanide and no ethanol detected in Blood. The following value of Acetaminophen was noted in the report:

2.447 (ug/ml, ug/g) Acetaminophen detected in Blood

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The NTSB IIC secured the airplane’s primary flight display (PFD) and Recoverable Data Module (RDM), and forwarded them to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for evaluation. An NTSB Vehicle Recorder specialist reported the following:

Primary Flight Display (PFD)

The Avidyne Entegra PFD unit includes a solid state Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), and displays aircraft parameter data including altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and heading. The PFD unit has external pitot/static inputs for altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed information. The PFD contains two flash memory devices mounted on a riser card. The flash memory stores information the PFD unit uses to generate the various PFD displays. Additionally, the PFD has a data logging function, which is used by the manufacturer for maintenance and diagnostics. Maintenance and diagnostic information recording consists of system information, event data, and flight data.

An examination of the PFD revealed that while it had been damaged by impact forces, the specialist was successful in extracting the 2 Flash memory chips from the damaged housing and placed in a surrogate PFD unit for download. The download revealed that the PFD contained about 17 hours of flight data, including the accident flight.

Recoverable Data Module (RDM)

The Aerosance RDM is a crash hardened flight recording device installed in the tail of the airplane that records critical flight information at a 1 Hz recording rate. This RDM stored approximately 200 hours of flight data at a 1 Hz recording rate. An examination of the unit revealed that the RDM card was undamaged, and the data was recovered normally.

Flight and Engine Data

A review of the basic flight data and engine data from the accident flight revealed that the airplane departed Mesquite Airport approximately 1114 PDT, 1214 MDT, and flew in a northeasterly direction. Fifty percent flaps were used for departure and were retracted at 1214:37 MDT. They remained retracted for the rest of the flight. At 1216:30 MDT, the cylinder head temperature on the number five cylinder reached 453° F. According to the Cirrus SR20 Pilot Operating Handbook, for the CMI IO-360-ES engine installed on N187PG, cylinder head temperatures are limited to 460° F. At 1216:40 MDT, the engine rpm decreased from approximately 2450 rpm to 2300 rpm. The engine oil temperature was within 5° F of the 240° F limitation for much of the flight, exceeding it at 1258:14 MDT. The autopilot was briefly active from 1229:42 to 1229:45 MDT.

At 1255:10 MDT, the stall warning activated for the majority of the remaining 188 seconds of data. At 1257:57 MDT, the airplane began a roll excursion to the left, reaching 54° left wing down, briefly recovering to 8° left wing down before rolling to the left nearly inverted at the end of the data. The airplane was climbing between 10-15° of pitch [up] until approximately 1258:11 when it pitched down to 67° nose down at the end of the data. The final RDM data was recorded at 1258:18 MDT and the final PFD data was recorded at 1258:20 MDT. (Refer to the Vehicle Recorder Specialist’s Factual Report, which is appended to the docket.)


NTSB Identification: WPR12FA235 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 29, 2012 in Duck Creek Village, UT
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR20, registration: N187PG
Injuries: 4 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 29, 2012, about 1400 mountain daylight time, a Cirrus SR20 airplane, N187PG, was substantially damaged following impact with remote mountainous terrain while maneuvering near Duck Creek Village, Utah. The certified private pilot and 3 passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed the Mesquite Airport (67L), Mesquite, Nevada, about 1155 Pacific daylight time, with Bryce Canyon Airport (BCE) as its reported destination.

According to the airport manager at 67L, the airplane landed about 1130 Pacific daylight time, refueled, and departed about 1155. Neither the pilot nor any of the three passengers indicated where the airplane had arrived from or where it would be departing to. The airport manger reported that after refueling the airplane with about 10 gallons of aviation fuel, the flight departed to the northeast, but only after performing one touch-and-go landing.

The airplane was reported overdue and missing later that afternoon. About 1930 that evening, local law enforcement personnel reported that the airplane had been located in remote mountainous terrain on the west slope of a mountain ridge about 22 nautical miles southeast of Cedar City (CDC), Utah, and about 7 nm southwest of Duck Creek Village.

On May 31, two National Transportation Safety Board investigators, accompanied by representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, Cirrus Aircraft, and Continental Motors, Inc., traveled to the accident site. A survey of the wreckage revealed that it had come to rest inverted on a measured magnetic heading of 277 degrees, at coordinates 37 degrees 26.101 minutes north latitude and 112 degrees 45.899 minutes west longitude, and at an elevation of 7,172 feet mean sea level. There was no post crash fire. It was determined after examining the wreckage that all components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

At 1353, the weather reporting facility at CDC indicated wind variable at 4 knots with gusts to 18 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 26 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

The airplane was recovered to a secured storage facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination.

=========

The Kane County Sheriff's Department has identified the pilot as Joshua Stubblefield, 31 years old and the three passengers, Chris Spircu, 44 years old, Paul Andrews, 32 years old and Todd Stuntzner, 45 years old. 

The single-engine plane left North Las Vegas for Bryce Canyon Tuesday morning. FAA officials say the plane crashed after a brief stop in Mesquite. The crash site was discovered on a ridge on the northeast boundary of Zion National Park. 

 




 




 



 



 
 



 



 




NORTH LAS VEGAS -- The Kane County Sheriff's Office today released pictures from the Utah plane crash that claimed four lives Tuesday. 

The pictures show the crash site of the Cirrus SR20. The single-engine plane left North Las Vegas for Bryce Canyon Tuesday morning. FAA officials say the plane crashed after a brief stop in Mesquite. The crash site was discovered on a ridge on the northeast boundary of Zion National Park. 

The plane, registered to Hunt Aviation, was operated by Elite Flight Training and Management Company. Officials with the company say the pilot was experienced and on a non-training pleasure flight. The names of the victims have not been released.
 
FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 187PG        Make/Model: SR20      Description: SR-20 CIRRUS
  Date: 05/30/2012     Time: 0230

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

LOCATION
  City: CEDAR CITY   State: UT   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 4 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, WRECKAGE LOCATED 20 MILES FROM CEDAR CITY, UT

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   4
                 # Crew:   4     Fat:   4     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SALT LAKE CITY, UT  (NM07)            Entry date: 05/31/2012 

Alaska Airlines to introduce San Diego State themed aircraft

 
Time lapse video of San Diego State University's hallmark scarlet and black colors and logo being applied to an Alaska Airlines 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop.    The new paint scheme is being introduced to celebrate the start of Alaska Airlines' new nonstop daily service from San Diego to Fresno/Yosemite, Monterey and Santa Rosa/Sonoma County.  Like other university-themed planes operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Aztec aircraft was painted at no cost to the university and will fly throughout Alaska's regional route system.


SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Alaska Airlines is scheduled to unveil its new commuter aircraft painted in the red and black of San Diego State University Thursday.  The carrier also plans to take school officials, alumni and others for a short demonstration flight around the area aboard the 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop, which will be operated by its commuter affiliate, Horizon Air.  It's the airline's ninth plane sporting college colors. The others are Boise State, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.   The airline is scheduled to begin nonstop service from San Diego to Fresno, Monterey and Santa Rosa early next month.