Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Port Authority New York and New Jersey: Cop suspended after allegedly working as firefighter on days he called in sick – Teterboro Airport (KTEB), New Jersey

 
  Teterboro Airport (KTEB), New Jersey
Steve Hockstein/ The Star-Ledger
A June file photo of Teterboro Airport, where Port Authority police officer Thomas Jardines worked before his suspension.

Prior to Thomas Jardines suspension, he was assigned to the Teterboro Airport (KTEB) Unit, a five-person team responsible for patrolling the Bergen County facility and responding to crashes.

A veteran Port Authority police officer was suspended for 45 days without pay Monday after he was videotaped responding to fires and doing other work as the Jefferson Township volunteer fire chief on days he called in sick to the Port Authority, agency officials said.

 The officer, Thomas Jardines, will lose just over $11,000 based on his police officer’s salary of $90,000, which is posted along with other employee salary information on the Port Authority website, www.panynj.gov. Jardines made $19,986 in overtime in 2011, according to the site.

The Port Authority said its inspector general’s office launched an investigation last year after flagging Jardines for an unusually high number of sick days over a period of several months. Officials said investigators from the office later videotaped him fighting fires on days he had called in sick.

On one occasion, agency officials said, Jardines was videotaped washing a fire truck after having called in sick at his Port Authority job for what he said was a shoulder injury.

The officials asked not to be named because the case involves a personnel matter.

The agency said one of Jardines’ sick days was on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. More than 80 Port Authority employees, including 37 Port Authority police officers, died in the attacks.

Jardines has served as chief of Jefferson Township Fire Company No. 2, a volunteer department, for the past two years, Mayor Russell Felter said.

Felter said he was surprised and saddened to hear of Jardines’ case.

"From everything I know about him, he’s always been a straight shooter," the mayor said last night. "He’s gone out of his way to follow our procedures and we’ve been happy with him as chief."

Jardines, who lives less than a block from Lake Hopatcong in Jefferson, could not be reached for comment Monday.

On his page at fireengineering.com, a firefighters website, he indicates he has worked for the Port Authority since 1988, with duties that included fire suppression. Prior to his suspension, he was assigned to the Teterboro Airport Unit, a five-person team responsible for patrolling the Bergen County facility and responding to crashes.

The Jardines case comes amid an ongoing investigation by the Port Authority inspector general’s office into a police testing scandal which has led to the dismissal, forced retirement or demotion of several high-ranking officers. The investigation began after officials said the former commander of the department’s internal affairs unit took cell phone pictures of questions on the lieutenant’s exam.

Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents Jardines, issued a statement Monday criticizing the agency for releasing information about Jardines’ suspension.

"With all the urgency that’s going on in the world, I’m glad to see that a Port Authority Police administrative adjudication is newsworthy," Nunziato said.

Port Authority officials said Jardines’ 45-day "compulsory leave" is a disciplinary action that spares him his job and his pension.

When he returns to work, Jardines will no longer be assigned to the Teterboro unit, a Port Authority spokesman said. Instead, he will transferred to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, a much larger, more closely supervised unit with a substantially longer commute from his home in Morris County, the official said.
Sources:  
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/07/port_authority_cop_suspended_f.html

http://jefferson.patch.com/articles/report-jefferson-fire-chief-suspended-from-port-authority-officer-position#photo-10091214

FREE! The Atlantic City Airshow “Thunder Over The Boardwalk”: Five (5) hours, free and great for families

 

What: The Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over The Boardwalk”

When:
Friday August 17, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Where:
Visible anywhere on the Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk

Cost: Free and Atlantic City beaches are always free

The Skinny:
“Thunder over the Boardwalk” the Atlantic City Airshow, each year attracts Atlantic City’s largest crowd for a single event. Last year an estimated 800,000 people traveled from across the country to view the nation’s biggest midweek airshow. 

This year there is one major change. No longer on Wednesday the airshow is now Friday giving more people the opportunity to see this spectacular free event.

Hours are 10:30 until 3:30 visible from anywhere on the Atlantic City beach and Boardwalk.


Here is the lineup (subject to change)

 
10:30 a.m. Blue Cross Blimp Flybys
10:45 a.m. Airshow sponsors banner tow aircraft flybys
11:00 a.m. Army Golden Knights flag jump with National Anthem
11:08 a.m. Army Golden Knights mass exit show
11:15 a.m. NJ ANG 177th FW F-16 fighting falcon flyby (4 ships)
11:17 a.m. NJ ANG 108 WG KC-135R Stratotanker flyby
11:19 a.m. McGuire 504th AMW C-130H Hercules flyby (2 ships)
11:23 a.m. MA-ANG 104th FW F-15C Eagle flyby (2 ships)
11:25a.m. DE-ANG 166 AW C-130H Hercules Flyby (2 ships)
11:27 a.m. NJ ANG Composite flyby (KC-135 & F-16)
11:29 a.m. NJJ State Police helicopter flyby
11:31 a.m. Raiders demonstration team
11:40 a.m. US Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration
11:55 a.m. FAA Williams Hughes Tech Center Convair 580 and Global 5000 flybys
12:00 p.m. MidAtlantic MedEvac flyby
12:01 p.m. US Navy HSL-48 SH-60B Seahawk flyby
12:03 p.m. Andrew McKenna AT-6 Texan Aerobatic demonstration
12:10 p.m. Jim Beasley Jr. Spitfire demonstration
12:20 p.m. USAF NY-ANG 103rd RQS ParaRescue demonstration
12:30 p.m. USAF RI-ANG 143 AW C-130J Hercules flyby
12:35 p.m. GEICO Skytypers
12:55 p.m. USAF-AETC 37th FTS T-6A Texan II (4 ship flyby)
12:57 p.m. Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan II demonstration
1:12 p.m. Black Diamond jet team
1:48 p.m. USAF F-4 Flybys
1:55 p.m. USAF Heritage Flight F-4 and P-51
2:05 p.m. Raiders 6 ship demonstration team
2:25 p.m. GEICO speedboat race
2:33 p.m. A surprise flyby
2:40 p.m. PPG Red Eagle Airsports Pitts Solo Aerobatic demonstration
3:00 p.m. USAF Thunderbirds


The schedule could change visit the ACCVA website for last minute changes.

The 2nd annual Atlantic City Salutes America's Armed forces Parade is on Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. on the Boardwalk.

This year over 130 units which include marching bands, floats, musical ensembles, military and civic leaders and veterans groups will take to the world famous Atlantic City Boardwalk.


For additional information on the airshow and parade visit the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority website

Parking: Park 'n Ride at the SJTA Expressway Intercept lot will be provided by The Atlantic City Jitney Association through the SJTA: $20 per vehicle includes parking and shuttle to/from the AC Boardwalk Shuttles will run from 9am - 5pm continuously on the day of the Air Show. Drop off and pickup point will be at Indiana Avenue and the Boardwalk Park 'n Ride at Bader Field.

Two killed in light aircraft crash

Sunday November 11 2012 

An instructor and a young trainee pilot were killed when the light aircraft they were flying crashed in a wood.

Damien Deegan and Niall Doherty died when the Cessna 150H came down a few miles short of the airfield near Birr, Co Offaly as darkness fell.

Mr Deegan, from the nearby village of Crinkle, was in his 20s and a trainee pilot. It is understood he was well advanced in his training with a high number of hours under his belt. Mr Doherty, in his 30s, from Roscrea, Co Tipperary, was his instructor.

A Garda Air Support and emergency services search was launched after their plane lost contact with Air Traffic Control at around 4.50pm on Sunday. The wreckage was discovered later in the evening in woodland less than two miles from Birr Airfield, from where the men had set off.

Mr Deegan and Mr Doherty were members of the local Ormand Flying Club, based in Birr. The club paid tribute to the men in a statement online.

"A very sad day for the Ormand Flying Club having lost two of our friends," it said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with both families tonight."

It is understood the plane took off from Birr Airfield and was headed south when it began to experience difficulties - the cause of which is still unknown.

The Irish Aviation Authority confirmed the plane lost contact with Air Traffic Control in Shannon. "The aircraft dropped off screen and the controllers alerted the emergency services and Gardai," said a spokesman.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport was then notified.

Garda Air Support and emergency services launched a search at around 6.30pm and discovered the plane in the Clonkelly Upper area - a woodland area not far from Birr Airfield. The AAIU and gardai are now investigating the circumstances of the accident. The scene of the wreckage has been preserved as the authorities carry out their investigations.

Kingsley Field could grow: 14 new fighter jets, 120 active duty personnel could be added to local air base

Kingsley Field could welcome 14 additional fighter jets and 120 active duty personnel to Klamath Falls over the next few years, adding a lift to the area economy. 

    “It’s awaiting signature, maybe in the next 30 days,” said Lt. Col. Martin Balakas, a spokesman for the Oregon Air National Guard base. “Basically we’d have to start implementing now for folks starting to show up in October 2013.”

    The proposal currently before the Air Force would provide Kingsley — with its current fleet of 25 F-15 Eagles, the nation’s only F-15C/D flight school — with the resources to meet new military demand for F-15-trained pilots.

    One of the largest employers in the Klamath area, Kingsley’s fate has been unclear since 2005, when the Air Force commissioned the first of 381 F-22 Raptors scheduled to replace the 1970s-era F-15.

    In 2011, the Air Force proposed an F-15 retirement date of 2025, throwing Kingsley’s long-term viability into question. And Pentagon defense budget cuts announced in January — $487 billion in all 50 states over the next decade — will include some base closures, according to NBC News.

    But with reduced commissions and safety concerns for the F-22, combined with other aircraft delays, Kingsley’s 173rd Fighter Wing and its heritage fighters could now stay operational for decades.

    “Due to a decrease in the number of F-22s and the entry date of the F-35 pushed to the right a bit, that end-of-service number will be well beyond the original 2025,” Balakas said.

More pilots


    The F-15’s service extension, together with the continued ramp-up for the F-22 and F-35, means the Air Force needs a larger pool of pilots trained to fly a range of aircraft.

    According to Balakas, several other air units had petitioned for the pilot-training mission — part of a  resource-sharing agreement between Air Force and Air National Guard called Total Force Integration — but Kingsley’s reputation won out.

    “We’ve had a longer history of training awesome pilots here, and we’ll be in that business for a long time,” Balakas said.


Read more here:   http://www.heraldandnews.com
 

Profits flying high for Airbus' parent firm despite a few technical hiccups

THE parent company of Airbus has announced that its profits for the last six months have almost doubled to a staggering £1 billion. 

Although the firm has been hit by two major problems it has still enjoyed one of its most successful years on record thanks to the enormous popularity of planes part-designed at its factory in Filton.

The company revealed the six-monthly figures to the French stock markets just a few weeks after it announced billions of pounds worth of orders at the Farnborough Air Show.

Much of the recent success of the firm has been built on the popularity of the new version of the A320 aeroplane which was partly designed in Filton.

Airbus employs more than 4,000 in South Gloucestershire and is one of Bristol's most important companies, according to estimates the aviation sector supports around 20,000 jobs in the city.

Airbus has become the largest aeroplane manufacturer in the world in the last 18 months overtaking its rival Boeing in the process.

And according to the latest set of figures EADS, the parent of Airbus, almost doubled profits for the first half of the year.

The figures were much better than expected.

However, it was not all good news for the firm.


The problems discovered in the wings of the A380 super-jumbo has seen a fall in orders for the plane over the coming year. As reported in the Post previously, cracks in the wings of the plane were caused by a design fault in work carried out in Filton.

EADS was also forced to admit yesterday that its long awaited A350 aircraft will also be delayed again by another three months. 

Read more here:   http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Captain Pam McCoy: Flying legend comes in to land

David Clensy meets one of Bristol Airport’s best loved pilots, Captain Pam McCoy, as she lands for the final time ahead of her retirement 

 There is a glimmer in the blue summer sky. In moments it has grown into a speck. Then a little silver cross. Before finally, the incoming object becomes recognizable an airplane. 

 The sight of an incoming Airbus is not unusual here at Bristol Airport, but today, all eyes are on the growing glimmer. For today is the day the staff at Bristol Airport have to start saying their goodbyes to one of the place’s best-loved characters – Captain Pam McCoy.

The steady pair of hands at the controls have steered hundreds of aircraft in to land at Bristol since Pam first flew here in 1977.

A formidable character, with a seemingly permanent mischievous glint in her eye, the Iron Acton-based captain is a familiar figure at the airport.

Everyone you speak to here comes up with the same set of expressions when trying to describe her – “extraordinary”, “a force to be reckoned with”, “a legend”, and above all else “a genuinely lovely person”.


Read more:   http://www.southwestbusiness.co.uk

Foreign Airlines Boycott Nigerian Airspace Due To Poor Infrastructure

Following the numerous infrastructural and logistic challenges of the Nigerian aviation sector, reports have emerged that at least 10 foreign airlines now boycott the Nigerian airspace thereby leading to loss of revenue. 

The airlines now reportedly reroute their flights through neighboring countries even as key officials in the aviation agencies and workers’ unions had inundated the Minister of Aviation, Stella Uduah-Ogiemwonyi with letters on the deplorable state of the communications equipment.
http://nigerianbulletin.com 

THERE seems to be no respite yet for operators and patrons of the Nigerian aviation sector as more problems have continued to dog the industry. 

From tarmac challenges due to poor infrastructure, high cost of aviation fuel to huge expenditure on aircraft acquisition and maintenance, the safety of the country’s airspace is now a subject of controversy between the Federal Government and foreign airlines.

The situation is so bad that often times airplanes enter the Nigerian airspace without the knowledge of air traffic controllers. At other times, they only get to know of such flights through telephone calls from their counterparts in Nigeria’s friendly nations.

Apparently to avoid running into trouble with the aviation authorities over an open declaration that the country’s airspace was no longer safe for them to overfly, all the major foreign airlines have quietly refrained themselves from using the nation’s airspace.

According to them, the country’s airspace is dotted with moribund communications gadgets (visual and voice) such that air traffic controllers and pilots now have extreme difficulty in reaching one another.

Before the foreign airlines took the action, some key officials in the aviation agencies and workers’ unions had inundated the Minister of Aviation, Stella Uduah-Ogiemwonyi with letters on the deplorable state of the communications equipment.


Read more here:   http://www.ngrguardiannews.com

How to save time and money, according to Ryanair: Build a plane with wider doors so passengers can be herded on more quickly

Ultra cost-cutter Ryanair wants to widen its doors in yet another scheme to make themselves cash. 

The Dublin-based airline says allowing people to get on or off in twos could boost their profits as it would speed-up their turnaround at airports.

Ryanair's outspoken boss Michael O'Leary is famous for his cost-cutting ideas, including charging £1 to use the toilet or even offering standing tickets on flights.

Now Mr O'Leary is in talks with a Chinese company to help him herd passengers on and off in record times.

The state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China is already considering putting a prototype together for them.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Cebu Pacific sells 10 planes, as it prepares to upgrade fleet

MANILA, Philippines - Leading budget carrier Cebu Pacific said it will sell its entire fleet of 10 Airbus A319 aircraft, which it says are its oldest and smallest planes, to US-based Allegiant Travel Company. 

In a statement, Cebu Pacific said it will deliver the aircraft to Allegiant over a 15-month period starting March 2013. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

"The Airbus A319s are our oldest and smallest jet aircraft. Whilst they have served us well for the last six years as we have grown our business and developed new markets, the time is right to trade up to bigger, brand new Airbus A320 aircraft. Between now until 2014, CEB will be taking delivery of 15 brand new Airbus A320 and 4 Airbus A330 aircraft. Cebu Pacific is likewise exploring options to advance the delivery of Airbus A320 orders scheduled for delivery between 2015 to 2016," said Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific.

Gokongwei said the new planes will accommodate the growing demand for air travel, as well as ensure greater operational efficiency.

Cebu Pacific is planning to start its long haul services in the third quarter of 2013, with the delivery of up to 8 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Airbus A330 has a range of up to 11 hours, which would allow the airline to serve markets such as Australia, Middle East, parts of Europe and the US.

The Gokongwei-led carrier currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 20 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 22 more Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft orders.



http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/07/31/12/cebu-pacific-sells-10-planes-it-prepares-upgrade-fleet

European Union bars 284 Airlines from flying

Worried by aviation safety in Africa, the European Union has continued to expand its list of African airlines that are not permitted to operate into its airspace. 

The new list has 284 airlines from 24 countries worldwide currently barred from flying into Europe. Out of the 24 countries worldwide with airlines on the banned list, 17 of them or over 70 per cent are from Africa. This means that about a third of all African countries are on the banned list.

Top on the list in Africa is Democratic Republic of Congo with 36 carriers, while Sudan has 14 and Mozambique and Angola had 13 each. Others are Sao Tome and Principe 10, Benin Republic 8, Gabon 7, Sierra Leone 7, Republic of Congo 5, Ghana 1, Rwanda 1, Djibouti 1, Zambia 1, and Mauritania1.

African continent is important not only to the United States and Europe but to other continents’ economic, strategic and foreign policy interests and efforts have been made to improve commerce and connectivity to benefit the regions.

However, the continent has the highest aviation accident rate in the world, which has hindered progress. Recognizing the importance of improving aviation safety in Africa, the U.S. and the international aviation community have worked to improve aviation safety in Africa.

As in other regions in the global aviation industry, safety is the priority and a major concern in Africa’s air transport industry given its impact on the industry and national economies. Owing to higher rate of safety occurrences in Africa, safety on the continent has been given greater attention by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and safety partners such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This safety concern has continually forced the European Union to take a critical appraisal of the operations of airlines in the continent and to ascertain their level of compliance to aviation safety by coming up periodically with a list known as the ‘blacklist’.

The EU blacklist has stirred a fresh round of condemnation as Africa’s aviation experts accused Europe of clandestinely putting more African airlines in the infamous list to expand their own operations in the region.

Participants drawn from airlines around the continent, including 33 Ministers of Transport in the continent and other aviation stakeholders at the just-ended African Ministerial conference on Aviation Safety in Abuja, said that the idea to have many African airlines on the infamous list was both political and one based on economic consideration.

The first version of the EU blacklist was published in 2006, on the legal basis of the Regulation NO. 474/2006 of the European Commission, issued on March 22 of that year. This current version of the list was drawn on April 3, 2012. The list has been regularly updated since then; more countries are being added to the list.

Africa had the world’s worst safety record in 2010, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which measures airline safety in hull losses- accidents that involve an aircraft being destroyed or damaged beyond economical repair – per million flights. Against a global average of 0.61 hull losses per million flights in 2010 – the lowest accident rate to-date – the figure in Africa was 7.41 hull losses per million flights -12 times greater. Africa’s record was still in better shape compared to 2009, with 9.94 hull losses.

Read more here:  http://www.ghanamma.com/2012/07/eu-bars-284-airlines-from-flying/

FINAL REPORT: Breakdown of separation - Boeing 737, VH-YVA and a Gulfstream IV, VH-CGF, 59 km NE Armidale, NSW, 8 October 2011

On 8 October 2011, a breakdown of separation occurred between a Boeing 737-8FE and a Gulfstream IV. Both aircraft were under radar surveillance and subject to an air traffic control service. The aircraft were on reciprocal tracks on air routes that intersected about 35 NM (65km) north-east of Armidale.

The ATSB identified a number of human factors and individual work processes that contributed to the occurrence.
 

Final Report released July 31 2012
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2011/aair/ao-2011-127.aspx 

http://www.superwombat.com/syd1007vhcgf.html  Photo Gulfstream G-IV VH-CGF

http://www.flickr.com/photos/legoblock/6845057458/sizes/l/  Photo Virgin Australia B737NG-800 VH-YVA

(Hat tip to Rob "Biz Jets")

Beechcraft Baron G58, N7122T: Accident occurred July 20, 2012 in Medford, Oregon

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N7122T

GLOBAL FLIGHT SUPPORT & SALES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N7122T

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA324 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2012 in Medford, OR
Aircraft: Hawker Beechcraft G58, registration: N7122T
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On July 20, 2012, about 1145 Pacific daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft G58, N7122T, was substantially damaged when it veered off the runway, and struck a sign and a ditch during landing at Rogue Valley International Airport – Medford (MRF), Medford, Oregon. Both the pilot/owner and his passenger were uninjured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he based the airplane at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) Palm Springs, California. He departed PSP about 0839, conducted the flight under visual flight rules, and reported that the flight and approach were unremarkable. He reported that he used 85 knots as his final approach speed, and full flaps for the landing. When the airplane touched down on runway 32, it immediately went "out of control," and swerved to the right and left. It exited the right (northeast) side of the runway, struck a runway distance sign, and then a ditch. All three landing gear were fracture-separated from the airplane during the accident sequence. The airplane came to rest upright, approximately 4,000 feet down runway 32, and 500 feet from the centerline. In his initial statement to first responders, the pilot reported that he believed that there was a malfunction of the rudder control system. The airplane was recovered by a maintenance facility on the airport, and was retained for additional examination.

FAA information indicated that the pilot held a private pilot certificate, with airplane single engine land, airplane multi engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in March 2011. According to the pilot, he had a total flight experience of about 850 hours, including about 45 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The airplane was manufactured in 2011, and had a total time in service of approximately 50 hours.

The MFR 1153 automated weather observation included variable winds at 4 knots; visibility 10 miles; clear skies; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inches of mercury.




MEDFORD, Ore. -- A local pilot makes a crash landing at the Medford-International Airport on Friday afternoon.

Officials say the pilot was not reporting any problems before or during the landing, but once he touched-down the plane veered off the runway sliding a considerable distance.

The runway had to be shutdown for a few minutes. The plane took out some signage, but it they are expected to be put back up shortly. The pilot's name is not being released, but the cause is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Aero Commander 500-S, Rgd. Spur Aviation Services LLC, N535SA: Accident occurred July 23, 2012 in Elko, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR12TA323
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Monday, July 23, 2012 in Elko, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2014
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 500 S, registration: N535SA
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The flight mission was to provide airborne coordination for an aerial fire suppression effort. The pilot was a company employee, and the other crewmember, who was not functioning as a pilot, was an employee of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 

Although the pilot was required by the company to remain present for the duration of the airplane fueling before the flight, he did not do so. A design peculiarity of the fuel quantity system prevented in-cockpit determination of the actual fuel quantity once the fuel level rose above a value that was 21 gallons below the actual maximum capacity. Only a visual inspection of the tank would enable determination of the actual fuel quantity above that level or whether the tank was completely full. The pilot reported that he began the flight with full fuel, but there was no evidence that he visually checked the fuel level. Therefore, it is possible that the flight began with as much as 21 gallons less than the pilot believed. After takeoff, the pilot radioed to his dispatch center that he had 4 hours 30 minutes of fuel on board. Company rules and the exclusive-use contract with the BLM required the pilot to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations that precluded departure without a 30-minute fuel reserve.

The fire was located about 15 minutes (still air) flight time from the base airport, but the return flight would be subject to a headwind of about 10 knots. Exclusive of the 30-minute fuel reserve requirement for the beginning of the flight, there were no mission-specific or other factors that dictated the pilot's turnback time. About 4 hours 15 minutes after departure, with the airplane fuel quantity gauge indicating 0 gallons of fuel, the pilot turned back to base. Shortly thereafter, both engines lost power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot conducted a forced off-airport landing.

The company's and BLM's guidance differed in several aspects regarding the flight planning, briefing, and communication requirements. Due in part to those differences, the two crewmembers did not conduct any preflight briefing, or any in-flight communications, regarding fuel status. Neither of the two was required to, and they did not, establish a minimum fuel value which, when reached, would require them to depart the operating area and return to base. 

The fuel quantity system had been calibrated about 14 months before the accident, and postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical problems that would have resulted in premature fuel exhaustion. The pilot reported that he relied on his time and fuel consumption calculations instead of the cockpit fuel quantity gauge to determine the fuel remaining and his turnback time. His calculations were based on starting the flight with full fuel tanks, and a nominal flight-planning fuel consumption rate, neither of which could be verified after the accident. Postaccident calculated fuel consumption rates for the flight were in the same range as both recent historical data from the accident airplane and the manufacturer's published values. 

Although the pilot could have used the fuel gauge in addition to his calculations to determine the remaining fuel, he chose not to. The more conservative risk management approach would have been to turn back to base when the fuel gauge reached the minimum value necessary to complete the flight safely. In addition, neither of the crewmembers explicitly determined and communicated a minimum fuel quantity value that mandated a return to base, and none of their guidance explicitly recommended or required them to do so.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's failure to comply with required fueling procedures and the pilot's poor decision-making in not monitoring his fuel gauge and turning back when it reached minimum fuel.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On July 23, 2012, about 1745 Pacific daylight time, an Aero Commander 500 S, N535SA, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near Elko, Nevada, due to the complete loss of power in both engines. Neither the pilot nor the Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) was injured. The public-use flight was performing an air-attack coordination mission for aerial fire suppression activity. The airplane was owned by Spur Aviation Services of Twin Falls, Idaho, and was being operated on an exclusive use contract by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (DOI/BLM). No Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight. 

A Fire Traffic Area was established and aviation support was controlled by the ATGS. The flight departed Elko International airport (EKO), Elko, about 1315, and flew to the vicinity of the fire, located about 15 minutes east of EKO. Interagency Dispatch Center (IDC) records indicated that at 1319, the pilot radioed that they were airborne, with 4 hours 30 minutes of fuel on board. The airplane loitered in the vicinity of the fire to enable the ATGS to coordinate the air attacks. About 1730, the pilot notified the ATGS that they had to depart the fire locale for a return to EKO, and shortly thereafter, the airplane turned on course for EKO. 

While en route back to EKO, at a point that the ATGS estimated was 4 to 5 minutes away from EKO, the engines started "surging," and soon thereafter, the engines ceased developing power. The pilot decided that due to distance and terrain considerations, he would land off-airport instead of attempting to return to EKO. Although the airplane was in the vicinity of a four-lane highway, the pilot opted to land on a two-lane highway due to significantly less vehicular traffic on that highway. About 1744, the flight radioed IDC that the pilot was planning to conduct an off-airport landing. About 1751, the flight radioed that they had landed on Nevada State Highway 228, and that the occupants were uninjured, but that the airplane was damaged. 


PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

Pilot

The pilot held multiple pilot certificates (including Airline Transport Pilot) and ratings, and was appropriately certificated and rated for the accident airplane make and model. The pilot's records indicated that he had a total flight experience of about 16,800 hours, including about 1,500 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in April 2012, and his most recent flight review was completed in May 2012. In addition, he was properly certificated ("carded") by the DOI Office of Aviation Services (OAS) for the mission. 

The pilot was employed by Spur Aviation Services. He completed his company-provided fire-mission flight and ground training, which is conducted annually prior to the each fire season, on May 23, 2012. His ground training session was 8 classroom hours, and included company-created modules regarding the airplane fuel system, fuel handling and management, and flight planning. 

The pilot had been stationed at Elko since July 9, 2012. Since that time, he operated within the applicable crew day and flight hour requirements. His records indicated that he had flown the accident airplane make and model 121 hours in the previous 30 days, and 22 hours in the previous 10 days. The pilot stated that, on the day of the accident, he began his day with a good breakfast, and that he was well rested.


Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS)

The ATGS was employed by the BLM. The Interagency Aerial Supervision Guide (IASG) was a primary guidance document for the conduct of BLM fire suppression operations, and the ATGS was qualified and current to conduct fire suppression missions in accordance with the IASG. According to the then-current IASG, in addition to aerial supervision of the fire suppression efforts, the ATGS was to "assist the pilot as requested with crew duties." Although not required for ATGS certification, the Crew Resource Management (CRM) course was cited in the IASG as a training opportunity that "should be considered prior to initial certification or as a supplemental or refresher training (for) individuals currently certified as air tactical group supervisors." The ATGS completed the CRM course in April 2007. It was not determined whether the ATGS had obtained any pilot training, or held any pilot certificates.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

FAA information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1972, and was equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540 series piston engines. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated a total time in service (TT) of 6,443 hours, and each engine had accumulated a TT since overhaul of 1,323 hours. The airplane was maintained under an FAA-approved inspection program, and its most recent inspection was completed on July 16, 2012. 

The airplane was certificated ("carded") in accordance with DOI/OAS policies and procedures, and met all requirements of the applicable BLM exclusive-
+use contract. 


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

Recorded weather information at EKO indicated that between 1256 and 1656 inclusive, there was significant weather activity. That activity included strong winds, stronger gusts, heavy rain, and thunderstorms. During the attempted flight leg from the fire area back to EKO, the winds were recorded as gusting to about 20 mph from the north-northwest; that wind direction presented a headwind for the returning airplane.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

The airplane landed on a straight section of two-lane highway that was about 2,300 feet long, and located about 6 miles southeast of EKO. The landing site elevation was about 5,300 feet above mean sea level. IDC records indicated that the airplane was pushed clear of the road about 1830.

Personnel from the FAA, BLM,.032 and DOI examined the airplane 2 days after the event. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the outboard leading edges of the left and right wings due to impacts with highway signs located on each side of the road. 

Electrical power was applied to the airplane, and the fuel quantity gauge registered "0," which indicated that the fuel tanks were devoid of usable fuel. Investigators opened the fuel sump drain line to determine the amount of fuel remaining in the fuel tanks. About 3/4 gallon of fuel was drained from the airplane, which was consistent with the fuel quantity gauge indication.

The airplane was examined to determine if the lack of fuel was due to a fuel leak. There was no evidence of discoloration or residue on the airplane that would indicate a fuel leak. The airplane was refueled, and a fuel leak check was conducted. Again, no evidence of a fuel leak was observed. 

Temporary wing repairs were accomplished on the airplane, and it was flown successfully from the accident site to EKO, and subsequently to Oregon for permanent repairs. Both flights were uneventful, with no indications of any fuel- or engine-related abnormalities. 


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airplane Fuel System

The airplane had a usable fuel capacity of 156 gallons, distributed in five interconnected tanks. The fuel quantity indication system utilized a mechanical float located in the main fuel cell. The fuel quantity gauge indication was limited to 135 gallons, with index marks in 10 gallon increments from 0 to 120 gallons. The next index mark was also the uppermost, and indicated 135 gallons. Since the indicated quantity could not exceed 135 gallons, the only way to determine whether the actual fuel quantity was above that level or full was to open the wing refueling port, and visually check the fuel quantity.

Maintenance records indicated that the fuel quantity indication system was last calibrated in May 2011, about 14 months prior to the accident. Per the airplane maintenance manual, the "Indicator reading shall never read more than [the] usable fuel." In the period between the calibration and the accident, there were no maintenance write-ups or actions concerning the fuel quantity indication system.


Fueling Procedures

Spur Aviation Services' Operations Manual (OM) contained the following statements regarding the pilot-in-command's (PIC) responsibilities with regard to fuel:
- The PIC "is responsible for fueling...his aircraft...at all times." 
- "…fueling of aircraft at any location shall be performed by the Pilot in Command or by any other company personnel under his supervision…"
- "It shall be the responsibility of the Pilot in Command to check the amount of fuel serviced at each station and correlate this amount with the total fuel as reported by the servicing agent and as indicated by the fuel gauges."

In addition, the Spur Aviation Services fuel system ground training presentation module contained the following two statements:
- "Pilots must be present during refueling" 
- "At each refueling [the] pilot will remove and reinstall fuel cap themselves"

The pilot reported that he was present during the fueling of the airplane. However, the fixed base operator line personnel stated that the pilot left the airplane before refueling was completed. The investigation did not determine whether the pilot removed and reinstalled the fuel cap, or whether he cross-checked the serviced and indicated fuel quantities. 

The ATGS reported that he had assisted in the refueling of the airplane, which was contrary to the BLM contract for the airplane. The contract stated that BLM "personnel are not involved with refueling of contract aircraft unless the pilot has determined that it is an absolute necessity due to an emergency situation." However, the BLM guidance (IASG) was in conflict with that contract, since it required the ATGS to "confirm the fuel supply and flight time available for the flight." 


Flight Planning and Fuel Burn 

Spur Aviation Services' OM stated that the PIC "Prepares or supervises preparation of a flight plan considering such factors as altitude, terrain, weather, range, weight, [and] fuel."

The pilot's company-provided fuel system ground training was provided to, and acknowledged by, the pilot on May 23, 2012. The associated presentation cited an "Overall fuel burn" of 30 gallons per hour (gph). According to Spur Aviation Services personnel, that value was to be used for general fuel planning purposes. 

The airplane manufacturer's performance and flight planning data indicated that cruise fuel burn rates ranged between 17 and 31 gph as a function of power and mixture settings. The climb fuel burn rates were considerably higher. The actual flight profile, including altitudes and power settings, was not able to be determined. 

As noted previously, for the majority of the flight, the weather in the area was characterized by strong and gusty winds, with rain and thunderstorms. Strong winds and associated turbulence can affect fuel usage, particularly if the pilot varies engine power to maintain a relatively constant location relative to the fire. The pilot reported that his technique for operating in those conditions was to set the engine power for a fuel burn rate of approximately 30 gph, and let the airspeed vary. The airplane was equipped with a cockpit fuel flow gauge, but no information regarding its accuracy was obtained by the investigation. 

The pilot departed the fire area for a return to EKO about 1730, which was 4 hours and 15 minutes after takeoff, and approximately 14 minutes prior to fuel exhaustion. The pilot reported that even though the fuel gauge registered a quantity of 0 gallons, his time- and fuel-flow-rate based calculations indicated that he should still have had "25 to 35 gallons" remaining. 

Review of the airplane's previous 13 flights in the week leading up to the accident flight revealed that the accident flight was the longest, by 0.2 hours, and that the next longest flight was 3.0 hours. Calculated fuel burn rates for those flights ranged between 24.6 and 36.6 gph. The actual fuel burn rates could not be determined, because the calculations presumed that the tanks were completely filled prior to each flight, and that presumption could not be verified. 

Records indicated that the most recent fueling prior to the accident flight was accomplished at a tachometer time of 1,279.5 hours, and that 80.4 gallons of fuel were uploaded. The tachometer registered 1,284.0 hours at the time of the accident. If the tanks were completely filled (156 gallons) prior to the flight, the calculated average fuel burn would be 34.7 gph. If the tanks contained the maximum indicated quantity (135 gallons), the calculated average fuel burn would be 30.0 gph.

Spur Aviation Services did not have a company-specific policy for reserve fuel requirements; instead, the company deferred to 14CFR Part 135 fuel reserve requirements, which required a 30-minute fuel reserve for visual flight rule (VFR) operations. Using the nominal fuel burn rate of 30 gph, a 30-minute fuel reserve would be 15 gallons, which in turn would be depicted on the fuel quantity indicator with the needle located between the second (10 gallons) and third (20 gallons) index marks.


Pilot-ATGS Briefing and Coordination Procedures
Portions of the BLM guidance, exclusive-use contract, and training information indicated that the ATGS had certain flight-related responsibilities in addition to his mission responsibilities, and that he could be used as a resource to assist the pilot.

Although the IASG specified those briefing requirements, the BLM contract did not incorporate the IASG requirements by reference, and it did not explicitly require the pilot to provide a pre-flight mission briefing to the ATGS regarding fuel requirements or limits. Therefore, the guidance for the pilot (the contract) was incongruent with the guidance for the ATSG (the IASG). According to a representative of the DOI Office of Aviation Services, previous attempts to include preflight mission briefing requirement in the DOI guidance, in order to harmonize contractual and IASG requirements, have been unsuccessful.

Neither DOI nor BLM documents (including the IASG) addressed or required the establishment of a pre-determined minimum fuel value which, when reached, would require the aircraft to depart the operating area and return to its base. In addition, neither agency's documentation required periodic communication of aircraft fuel state, either intra-cockpit (aircrew), or between the aircraft and the ground (via dispatch or flight following). 

The ATGS and pilot had flown together on multiple fire missions. The ATGS reported that he and the pilot did not conduct the mission brief required by his guidance, which would have included several fuel-related aspects, for the flight. He also reported that they did not discuss roles and responsibilities during an emergency, which was also required by his IASG guidance, but he did not explain the reason for the lapse. 


Situational Awareness

The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK, FAA-H-8083-25) defined situational awareness as the "accurate perception of the operational and environmental factors that affect the airplane, pilot, and passengers during a specific period of time." The PHAK stated that a situationally aware pilot "has an overview of the total operation and is not fixated on one perceived significant factor." The PHAK stated that "some of the elements inside the airplane to be considered are the status of airplane systems," and cautioned that "an awareness of the environmental conditions of the flight... and its relationship to terrain, traffic, weather, and airspace must be maintained."


Risk Management

The following paragraphs describe the underlying concepts of hazard, risk, and risk management, and have been paraphrased from the FAA Risk Management Handbook (FAA-H-8083-2). 

A hazard is a condition, event, object, or circumstance that could lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesired event such as an accident. Risk is the future impact of a hazard that is not controlled or eliminated. Risk is the product of two elements; the likelihood of the occurrence of the hazard, and the severity of the hazard. 

Risk management is the method used to control, reduce, or eliminate the hazard, by reducing or eliminating the likelihood, severity, or both, of that hazard. It is a decision-making process designed to systematically identify hazards, assess the degree of risk, and determine the best course of action. Risk management must be an active, conscious, and methodical activity. Compliance with appropriately designed procedures constitutes a significant component of risk management in flight operations. Hazard identification is critical to the risk management process; if the hazard is not identified, it cannot be managed.

NTSB Identification: WPR12TA323 
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Monday, July 23, 2012 in Elko, NV
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 500 S, registration: N535SA
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subje
ct 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 public aircraft accident report.

On July 23, 2012, about 1745 Pacific daylight time, an Aero Commander 500-S, N535SA, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near Elko, Nevada, due to the complete loss of power in both engines. Neither the pilot nor the observer was injured. The public-use flight was operated by the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as an air-attack coordinator for aerial forest firefighting activity. The airplane was owned and piloted by Spur Aviation of Twin Falls, Idaho. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the observer, who was a BLM employee, the flight departed Elko International Airport (EKO) about 1315, and flew to the vicinity of the fire, located about 15 minutes east of EKO. Interagency Dispatch Center records indicated that at 1319, the pilot radioed that they were airborne, with 4 hours 30 minutes of fuel on board. The airplane loitered in the vicinity of the fire and the observer coordinated the air attacks. About 1730, the pilot notified the observer that they had to depart the fire locale for a return to EKO, and shortly thereafter, the airplane turned on course for EKO. While en route to EKO, at a point which the observer estimated was 4 to 5 minutes away from EKO, the engines started "surging," and the pilot then decided that due to distance and terrain considerations, he would land on a road instead of attempting to return to EKO. Interagency Dispatch Center records indicated that about 1744, the flight radioed that the pilot was planning to land on a road, and that they would need assistance controlling road traffic. About 1751, the flight radioed that they had landed on the road and the occupants were uninjured, but that the airplane was damaged.

Dispatch records indicated that the airplane was pushed clear of the road about 1830. According to information provided by first responders, the airplane landed on a straight section of road about 2,300 feet long, at a location about 6 miles southeast of EKO. The landing site elevation was about 5,300 feet above mean sea level. The outboard sections of both wings were damaged by impact with road signs; the airplane was otherwise undamaged. Personnel from the FAA, BLM, and the United States Department of Interior (DOI) examined the airplane 2 days after the event. They reported that a total of about 1 gallon of fuel was recovered from the airplane.

FAA information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1972, and was equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540 series piston engines. Spur Aviation held a 14 CFR Part 135 operating certificate. The pilot held multiple pilot certificates and ratings, and was appropriately certificated and rated for the accident airplane make and model. The pilot's records indicated that he had a total flight experience of about 16,800 hours, including about 1,500 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in April 2012, and his most recent flight review was completed in May 2012.

The EKO 1756 automated weather observation included winds from 330 degrees at 8 knots with gusts to 17 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 11,000 feet; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.



 
Tragedy was averted Monday when an pilots of an airplane helping in the fight of a local wildfire escaped without injury after an emergency landing near lee. 

Early Monday morning detectives of the Elko County Sheriff’s office were returning from the fire in Lee when they were alerted that the Jiggs Highway near the Ten Mile ranch was blocked due an aircraft making an emergency landing.

When the detectives arrived in the area of the ranch, the aircraft already landed. The pilot, Terry Scott, and Heli Tach Fire Supervisor Eric Hutchins were outside the aircraft, uninjured.

The aircraft suffered minor damage to both wings due to striking signs along the edge of the roadway while landing.

Traffic was diverted around the aircraft and the road was cleared.

The aircraft was eventually pushed approximately ? mile to the entrance to the Landa Ranch and off of the Jiggs Highway.

The aircraft was one of the spotter planes involved in fighting the Chimney Fire near Lee.

The Ten Mile ranch is located approximately three miles south of the Lamoille Highway intersection in Spring Creek on the Jiggs Highway.

Last month two pilots fighting a blaze in White Pine County lost their lives in a crash. 

Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza, N471BB: Accident occurred July 25, 2012 in Sugar Grove, Illinois

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N471BB

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA481  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Sugar Grove, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2013
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY B36TC, registration: N471BB
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, the airplane’s engine lost partial power and shook violently. The pilot elected to land the airplane in a cornfield off the end of the runway, where the it sustained substantial damage to both wings. A postaccident engine run performed with the engine still mounted on the airframe revealed no anomalies, but full-power testing could not be performed due to shortening of the propeller blades to facilitate the test. A mechanic who performed work on the engine after the accident reported that the turbocharger was full of oil and that the shaft appeared to be loose. As a result, the turbocharger was replaced with an overhauled unit. The mechanic also reported that the mechanical fuel pump was replaced after the accident but prior to arrival at the engine repair facility. It was reportedly replaced to correct a lean mixture condition, but the mechanic could not verify the reason. Based on the available information, the reason for the engine's partial loss of power could not be determined during the course of the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident testing and examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

On July 25, 2012, about 0850 central daylight time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company model B36TC airplane, N471BB, collided with a corn crop and the ground just after takeoff from runway 36 at the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Sugar Grove, Illinois. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane received substantial damage to both wings. The aircraft 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 for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and its intended destination was the Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

A postcrash examination of the airplane's wings revealed leading edge wing skin and substructure damage along the entire spans.

The pilot reported that he had arrived at ARR two days prior to the accident flight and had filled the fuel tanks at that time from the airport’s self-service fuel pumps. He reported that on the day of the accident, he performed a pre-flight examination of the airplane and found no anomalies. The examination included sampling of the fuel sumps which revealed clear samples that were free of debris. The pilot stated that the weight and balance calculations placed the airplane near full gross weight, but within the operating envelope. The pilot elected to depart using runway 36 which was the nearest runway to the fixed base operator where he had parked the airplane. The pilot said that the weather reports indicated that using runway 36 would result in a 5 to 7 knot quartering tailwind, but calculations he had performed indicated that the takeoff roll would require about 1,500 feet of runway given those conditions. The pilot reported that the ensuing takeoff roll required about one-half of the 3,198 foot runway and that after retracting the landing gear, the engine sputtered and shook violently. The pilot estimated that the airplane was between 50 and 100 feet above the ground at this point. He elected to land the airplane in the corn crop directly ahead of the airplane with the landing gear retracted.

Subsequent to the accident, the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), along with a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration performed an engine test run at ARR with the engine still mounted on the airplane. Damage to the propeller blades required that the blades be cut about 18 inches outboard of the propeller hub. In addition, the airframe was secured to prevent movement during the test. The NTSB IIC operated the engine from the pilot seat using the normal engine controls. The start-up was performed using the procedure found within the Pilot’s Operating Handbook. The engine started without hesitation and idled normally. The engine speed was increased, but due to the shortened blades it was necessary for the NTSB IIC to limit throttle movement as to prevent exceeding the maximum allowable engine speed. During the test, all gauge readings were normal and no defects were noted in operation. Although the test did not show any anomalous indications in engine operation, full power testing could not be performed due to the shortened propeller blades.

The pilot noted in his report that during repair operations, the facility performing the engine repairs found “a significant and suspicious” quantity of oil on the turbocharger. Discussions with the mechanic at the repair facility revealed that the turbocharger was replaced after the accident with an overhauled unit due to excess oil in the turbocharger and an apparent looseness in the shaft. The mechanic also stated that prior to arrival at the engine repair facility; the engine’s mechanical fuel pump had been replaced reportedly due to fluctuations that prevented proper mixture adjustment of the fuel system. The mechanic could not verify this anomaly because the replacement of the fuel pump occurred after the accident and prior to its arrival at the engine repair facility. During testing at the repair facility, the engine did not exhibit this anomalous behavior, but the new fuel pump had already been installed at that time.


NTSB Identification: CEN12LA481
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 25, 2012 in Sugar Grove, IL
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY B36TC, registration: N471BB
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On July 25, 2012, about 0850 central daylight time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company model B36TC airplane, N471BB, collided with a corn crop and the ground just after takeoff from runway 36 at the Aurora Municipal Airport, Sugar Grove, Illinois. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane received substantial damage to both wings. The aircraft 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 for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and its intended destination was the Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

A postcrash examination of the airplane's wings showed leading edge wing skin and substructure damage along the entire spans.






 








Two California men were uninjured when their single-engine plane made an emergency landing Wednesday morning into a cornfield just north of the Aurora Municipal Airport.

Pilot Dan Bagget and co-pilot Rod Kenner were heading to an air show in Oshkosh, Wis. when they started to take off about 8:45 a.m., Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said.

Their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza lost engine power as they were taking off, so Kunkel said the plane made an emergency landing.

“They just brought it down to a soft landing in the cornfield,” Kunkel said.

The plane suffered “significant damage,” Kunkel said, and will remain in the field about 300 yards north of the runway until investigators from the National Transportation Safety Bureau and the Federal Aviation Administration can evaluate the scene. The plane is not visible from any of the roads bordering the airport.

Neither Bagget, 66, of Mountain View, Cal., nor Kenner, 65, of Walnut Creek, Cal. was injured in the emergency landing.

The Sugar Grove Fire Department, Aurora police and the Kane County Sheriff's office responded to the incident. Aurora police are handling the initial investigation, while the FAA will conduct a follow-up investigation, authorities said.

Female thrown from a moving vehicle at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD), Minnesota

Brainerd police


A report at 3:23 p.m. Sunday that a female was thrown from a moving vehicle at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, 16384 Airport Road. The woman was located and taken by North Memorial Ambulance to the emergency room.


http://brainerddispatch.com/news/2012-07-30/police-blotter-july-31

Monday, July 30, 2012

Aiken Municipal (KAIK), South Carolina: Airport topic of City Council work session

The Aiken Municipal Airport's success seems to be flying high as the facility has seen an increase in traffic over the last few months.

Aiken City Council members gathered at the airport Thursday afternoon for a work session to hear from Aiken Aviation Enterprises owner Mike Laver about the happenings at the facility.

Aiken Aviation Enterprises is the fixed-base operator which first leased the airport from the city in 1977.

The airport has seen many changes over the years. Most recently, the Instrument Landing System was installed and first used in February. ILS provides navigational guidance - both horizontal and vertical - to properly equipped aircraft, allowing them to land at the airport in bad weather conditions of cloud ceiling and visibility. The ILS permits additional piston-powered and jet aircraft at the airport.

Thanks to that new system, aircraft that couldn't land there before now can. For example, Laver said, they had a Global Express aircraft land there this year, which is a pretty large plane with a 100-foot wingspan. The ILS has helped increase the airport's traffic flow.

This year, the week of the Masters Golf Tournament was extremely busy, Laver said.

"It's crazy - that's the only way to describe that," Laver said when Councilwoman Gail Diggs asked what it's typically like during the Masters. "I was very proud with what everybody (staff) did this year. It was quite amazing."

The Aiken airport experienced a 47 percent increase in traffic during the Masters week. Laver said he remembers seeing 48 large jets that Friday. Aiken's aiport was taking in aircraft when Bush and Daniel fields in Augusta couldn't.

The airport did face a few challenges when the economy tanked. Starting around 2007 or 2008, the airport saw a decrease in fuel sales, Laver said. And over the years, he had to put in around $500,000 to keep the FBO afloat.

But, with his great staff, competitive fuel prices and the recent increase in traffic, Laver said the airport has pulled through a tough time.

The Aiken Municipal Airport was established by the federal government during World War II on 1,150 acres that was owned by the city. It was later returned to the municipality when the war ended, according to a memorandum from City Manager Richard Pearce. The city had to continue using that land for an airport or other related uses.

Through the years, many improvements have been made to the airport. Small, local aircraft and larger jet planes from around the country and world have made a stop at the airport as it expanded its services.

"We seem to have a good reputation - I'm proud of the job we're doing here," Laver said, later adding, "The community should be proud of what's happening at the airport."

Cessna 172P Skyhawk, Interstate Aviation Inc., N64182: Accident occurred July 26, 2012 in Plainville, Connecticut

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA483 
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Plainville, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N64182
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.

During daylight in good weather conditions, the pilot was flying an approach to his home airport. After one go-around, the airplane approached the same runway a second time. During the second final approach, the airplane flew lower than normal and the nose dropped. The airplane subsequently impacted a berm 20 feet below and immediately before the runway. A postcrash fire consumed the cockpit and cabin area. Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

The toxicological report noted that Zolpidem (a sleep aid known by the brand name Ambien among others) was detected in the blood and liver. Toxicological reports note “detected,” rather than an actual value, when the level of a substance is below the therapeutic range and, thus, is not intended to imply impairment.

According to law enforcement personnel, during the 2 years preceding the accident, the pilot had gone through a divorce, the closure of his business, and most recently was anticipating arrest on a felony charge. Additionally, about 1 month before the accident, a detective received a telephone call from a family member of the pilot, who expressed concern that the pilot was going to commit suicide based on remarks that the pilot had made; however, the family member later stated that the pilot recanted. Further investigation by law enforcement personnel did not recover a suicide note.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain the proper glidepath during final approach in visual meteorological conditions, resulting in collision with a berm.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 26, 2012, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N64182, operated by Interstate Aviation Inc., was substantially damaged during final approach, when it impacted a berm just prior to and below runway 20 at Robertson Airport (4B8), Plainville, Connecticut. The 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 no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Columbia County Airport (1B1), Hudson, New York, at 1739.

The airplane was based at 4B8. Several witnesses at North Canaan Aviation Facilities Inc. Airport (CT24), North Canaan, Connecticut, stated that earlier during the day, the accident airplane arrived there uneventfully about 1430 and departed about 1630. They added that it was common for the accident pilot to visit the airport and fly around the local area. They did not report anything abnormal with the pilot or the airplane.

Review of radar data, provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), revealed primary targets that originated approximately .1 mile south of 1B1 at 1739:17. The targets proceeded to 4B8 and terminated on a left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern to runway 20, at 1901:24. The targets then reappeared on another left downwind leg for runway 20 at 1903:47, and terminated at 1905:15. There was no record of radio contact with air traffic control. Additionally, there was no record of any contact with flight service or direct user access terminal service.

A flight instructor, who was walking to his car at the airport about 1900, saw the accident airplane approach. He reported that the pilot made one radio transmission on the local common traffic advisory frequency, regarding landing advisories. The airplane proceeded to fly a mid-field crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern, followed by a left downwind, base, and final leg of the airport traffic pattern. The witness noted that when the airplane was on final approach, its flaps were extended and it was "a bit" high. The nose then moved right, as if the airplane entered a controlled slip. The witness then left the airport in his car and did not see the impact.

Three people, who were driving their respective cars near 4B8 about 1910, witnessed the accident. The first witness stated that she observed the airplane "lower than usual" and it looked low as it crossed a street and impacted the berm below the runway. The second witness stated that the airplane looked level at first, but then the front end dropped down and she lost sight of the airplane. She subsequently saw smoke and the airplane engulfed in flames. The third witness stated that were no visible signs of engine distress prior to impact. Specifically, the airplane was not flying erratically or emitting smoke.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 51, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on July 30, 2011. The pilot's logbook was not recovered. He reported a total flight experience of 1,000 hours on a "Renter Pilot Information" form he completed on June 23, 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane, serial number 17275530, was manufactured in 1982. It was powered by a Lycoming, O-320, 160-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade fixed pitch McCauley propeller. Review of the aircraft logbooks revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 13, 2012. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 8,690 total hours of operation. The engine had accumulated 3,784 total hours of operation, and 1,655 hours of operation since major overhaul. The airplane had flown about 9 hours since the annual inspection, until the accident flight.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD), Hartford, Connecticut, was located about 10 miles northeast of the accident site. The reported weather at HFD, at 1853, was: wind from 200 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 miles; overcast ceiling at 9,000 feet; temperature 29 degrees C; dew point 21 degrees C; altimeter 29.62 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage came to rest upright, with the empennage resting on top of the airport perimeter fence. An approximate 4-foot diameter by 1-foot deep impact crater was observed in the berm, about 20 feet below runway 20. The cockpit and cabin area were consumed by a postcrash fire. Both wings were observed separated from the airframe and exhibited impact damage along the leading edge. The ailerons were approximately neutral and measurement of the flap jackscrew corresponded to an approximate 30-degree full flap extended position. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact and undamaged. Measurement of the elevator trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate 5-degree tab up (nose down) trim position.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the rudder pedal torque tubes to the rudder and from the control yoke base to the elevator. Continuity of the elevator trim was confirmed from trim wheel sprocket to the elevator trim tab. Aileron continuity was confirmed from the aileron control sprocket to their respective separation near the wing roots. The aileron balance cable remained attached to the left and right aileron bellcranks.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe and was canted right. The propeller remained attached to the engine. One propeller blade exhibited s-bending and melting, while the other blade was bent aft and exhibited leading edge gouges. The engine was separated from the airplane and the propeller was removed from the propeller flange to facilitate further examination of the engine. The valve covers were removed and oil was noted throughout the engine. The top spark plugs were also removed for inspection; their electrodes were intact and light gray in color. When the crankshaft was rotated by hand, camshaft, crankshaft, and valvetrain continuity were confirmed and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. Both magnetos sustained fire damage and could not be tested. Inspection of the carburetor revealed that the floats, needle valve, and venturi were consumed by fire.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on July 28, 2012, by the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut. Review of the autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was "multiple blunt traumatic injuries" and the manner of death was "accident."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Review of the toxicology report revealed:

"Zolpidem detected in Liver
Zolpidem detected in Blood"

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to law enforcement personnel, during the 2 years preceding the accident, the pilot had gone through a divorce, a closure of his business, and most recently was anticipating arrest based on a warrant being processed, which included the charge of sexual assault in the first degree. Additionally, on June 22, 2012, a detective received a telephone call from a family member of the pilot, who expressed concern that the pilot was going to commit suicide based on remarks that the pilot had made. The family member later stated that the pilot recanted; however, on the day after the telephone call (June 23), the pilot went to Interstate Aviation and completed a "checkout" flight in order to rent their airplanes. Further investigation by law enforcement personnel did not recover a suicide note.




TORRINGTON >> James E. Seaver, Sr. the Torrington man killed in a Plainville plane crash in July, had a drug used to treat insomnia running through his veins when his Cessna 172P crashed into a berm near Robertson Airport.
 
Seaver, who was also being investigated by Torrington Police on allegations of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl years prior, had zolpidem detected in his liver and bloodstream, according to a toxicology report released by the National Transportation Safety Board. The brand name of zolpidem is Ambien, a sedative-hypnotic designed to slow brain activity, allowing a person to sleep easier.

Seaver’s fatal plane crash occurred on July 26 shortly after 7 p.m. in Plainville, after the private pilot departed from North Canaan Aviation Facilities, Inc. Airport at 6:20 p.m. He was 51.

Weeks following the fatal accident, Torrington Police released an unsigned arrest warrant indicating Seaver was under investigation for allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2010. The girl, now 14, reported the incident to her mother in June and was given a forensic interview which proved consistent with her testimony of alleged sexual activity, the warrant states.

The warrant application relays an exchange between Seaver and the girl’s mother, with Seaver admitting he had “only touched her” three to four times, requesting the mother not to report him. 
“Can’t we find a therapist that doesn’t have to report,” Seaver said, according to the report.

Seaver’s toxicology report, finalized on Aug. 29 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, examined specimens from the decedent’s vital organs, blood and urine. The one-page summary states that no carbon monoxide or cyanide was detected in his blood, nor was any ethanol — indicating alcohol use — found in Seaver’s urine. The report additionally tested for amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs, including anti-depressants.

Medical information states that consumers of zolpidem — whether in its pill form, like Ambien, or its oral spray version — should expect to sleep shortly after taking the drug. The drug makes consumers sleepy, and consumers should expect to sleep a minimum of seven hours, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The National Library of Medicine states that zolpidem should only be taken for seven to 10 days; not to exceed two weeks of consumption.

A recent study released by BMJ Open, a British-based medical publication, found drugs like zolpidem are more likely to cause cancer and consumers have a greater risk of death than people who don’t use sleep aid medication.

“When starting Ambien, do not do anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane,” the drug’s user precautions read.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration has yet to finalize a report from the July 26 incident, although preliminary investigation by the NTSB claims weather was not an issue during the crash. The initial report additionally states that Seaver never made radio contact with flight service, nor were there records of contact with air traffic control.

The Cessna 172, the same model Seaver flew, is a four-seat single engine aircraft and according to the company, its best seller. Seaver’s crash marks the second fatality in the 172 model in Plainville since 2002. There have been two other crashes investigated by the NTSB near Robertson Airport since that time, although neither caused death.

Seaver was the only victim in the crash.

Source: http://www.registercitizen.com

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA483  
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation  
Accident occurred Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Plainville, CT
 Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N64182 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 July 26, 2012, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N64182, operated by Interstate Aviation Inc., was substantially damaged during final approach, when it impacted a berm just prior to and below runway 20 at Robertson Airport (4B8), Plainville, Connecticut. The 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 no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed North Canaan Aviation Facilities Inc. Airport (CT24), North Canaan, Connecticut, about 1820.

Review of preliminary radar data, provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, revealed primary targets that originated approximately 3 miles southeast of CT24 at 1825:57. The targets proceeded to 4B8 and terminated on a left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern to runway 20, at 1901:24. There was no record of radio contact with air traffic control. Additionally, there was no record of any contact with flight service or direct user access terminal.

A flight instructor, who was walking to his car at the airport, saw the accident airplane approach. He reported that the pilot made one radio transmission on the local common traffic advisory frequency, regarding landing advisories. The airplane proceeded to fly a mid-field crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern, followed by a left downwind, base, and final leg of the airport traffic pattern. The witness noted that when the airplane was on final approach, its flaps were extended and it was “a bit” high. The nose then moved right, as if the airplane entered a controlled slip. The witness then left the airport in his car and did not see the impact.

The wreckage came to rest upright, with the empennage resting on top of the airport perimeter fence. An approximate 4-foot diameter by 1-foot deep impact crater was observed in the berm, about 20 feet below runway 20. The cockpit and cabin area were consumed by a postcrash fire.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA483 
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Plainville, CT
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N64182
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.


On July 26, 2012, about 1910 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N64182, operated by Interstate Aviation Inc., was substantially damaged during final approach, when it impacted a berm just prior to and below runway 20 at Robertson Airport (4B8), Plainville, Connecticut. The 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 no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed North Canaan Aviation Facilities Inc. Airport (CT24), North Canaan, Connecticut, about 1820.

Review of preliminary radar data, provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, revealed primary targets that originated approximately 3 miles southeast of CT24 at 1825:57. The targets proceeded to 4B8 and terminated on a left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern to runway 20, at 1901:24. There was no record of radio contact with air traffic control. Additionally, there was no record of any contact with flight service or direct user access terminal.

A flight instructor, who was walking to his car at the airport, saw the accident airplane approach. He reported that the pilot made one radio transmission on the local common traffic advisory frequency, regarding landing advisories. The airplane proceeded to fly a mid-field crosswind leg of the airport traffic pattern, followed by a left downwind, base, and final leg of the airport traffic pattern. The witness noted that when the airplane was on final approach, its flaps were extended and it was "a bit" high. The nose then moved right, as if the airplane entered a controlled slip. The witness then left the airport in his car and did not see the impact.

The wreckage came to rest upright, with the empennage resting on top of the airport perimeter fence. An approximate 4-foot diameter by 1-foot deep impact crater was observed in the berm, about 20 feet below runway 20. The cockpit and cabin area were consumed by a postcrash fire.





Fire engulfs a plane that crashed just off the runway at Robertson Field Airport in Plainville Thursday.


NTSB investigating deadly plane crash in Plainville 
Federal officials arrived Friday to investigate a deadly plane crash near Robertson Field in Plainville. The plane crashed shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday night, killing the pilot.


Monday, July 30, 2012   9:12 PM EDT
 By Lisa Backus

 PLAINVILLE — The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is waiting on dental records to positively identify the man who died in a plane crash while trying to land at Robertson Airport Thursday night. 

A spokesperson for the medical examiner said they have determined a tentative identity of the pilot but the office still needs to locate and compare dental records to make a positive ID.

The plane burst into flames after crashing into a fence in front of a berm at the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Northwest Drive around 7 p.m. Thursday. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are still looking into the cause of the crash. The Cessna was rented from a company at the airport around 1 p.m. the day of the crash, investigators said.

Police said they would not release the identity of the pilot until his name is confirmed by the medical examiner’s office.


http://registry.faa.gov/N64182

http://www.newbritainherald.com

FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 64182        Make/Model: C172      Description: P172,Skyhawk Hawk XP
  Date: 07/26/2012     Time: 1915

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

LOCATION
  City: PLAINVILLE   State: CT   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING CRASHED SHORT OF THE RUNWAY, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, PLAINVILLE, CT

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: WINDSOR LOCKS, CT  (EA63)             Entry date: 07/27/2012