Monday, July 16, 2012

Cessna T206H Stationair, Rgd. JM Aviation Holdings LLC, N6200B: Accident occurred July 16, 2012 in Glens Falls, New York

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA460  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Glens Falls, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA T206H, registration: N6200B
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

According to the pilot, after the airplane landed, it veered to the left. He applied full power to abort the landing, but the airplane exited the left side of the runway. The airplane continued about 100 yards across the grass apron and into deeper grass where it struck a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and vertical stabilizer. Further examination revealed that the left main landing gear tire had come off the tire rim during the accident sequence, but no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation were found.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion.

According to the pilot, after the airplane landed, it veered to the left. He initiated a go-around, applied full power, but the airplane exited the left side of the runway. The airplane continued about 100 yards across the grass apron, and into deeper grass where it struck a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and vertical stabilizer. Further examination revealed the left main landing gear tire had come off the tire rim during the accident sequence, but no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.


NTSB Identification: ERA12CA460
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Glens Falls, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA T206H, registration: N6200B
Injuries: 1 Minor.

According to the pilot, after the airplane landed, it veered to the left. He initiated a go-around, applied full power, but the airplane exited the left side of the runway. The airplane continued about 100 yards across the grass apron, and into deeper grass where it struck a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and vertical stabilizer. Further examination revealed the left main landing gear tire had come off the tire rim during the accident sequence, but no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.


http://registry.faa.gov/N6200B
 
FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 6200B        Make/Model: C206      Description: 206, P206, T206, TP206, U206, TU206,  (T
  Date: 07/16/2012     Time: 2317

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: GLENS FALLS   State: NY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING WENT OFF THE RUNWAY AND INTO A DITCH, GLENS FALLS, NY

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     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: ALBANY, NY  (EA01)                    Entry date: 07/17/2012 



 
Police and rescue squads respond to the scene of a plane crash at Warren County Airport Monday evening.


QUEENSBURY -- A single-engine plane crashed Monday night at Warren County Airport, flipping over several times as it landed, officials said. 

 The pilot, an Albany-area resident whose name was not immediately available, suffered a cut to one of his hands after the single-engine plane flipped over, Warren County Undersheriff Bob Swan said. No other passengers were on the plane.

Swan said investigators believe the plane blew a tire as it landed, causing the pilot to lose control.

"The pilot's okay. He was up walking around when I got there," said South Queensbury Assistant Fire Chief Eric Lettus. "It looked like the plane flipped over several times."

The crash happened on the main runway around 7:20 p.m. South Queensbury firefighters responded and a number of other area departments were called out as mutual aid, Warren County Fire Coordinator Brian LaFlure said. Fuel also spilled from the plane.

Lettus said the fuel spill was a "large" one because the plane's tank was nearly full. The state Department of Environmental Conservation was responding to the scene as of 9:15 p.m.

Emergency responders remained on the scene as of 9 p.m. Airport management could not be reached Monday night. No further details were available late Monday.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration planned to send investigators to the airport on Tuesday, Swan said.

Source:  http://poststar.com

Police report includes crash landing of aircraft in Bimini

July 16, 2012 

CRASH LANDING OF AIRCRAFT IN BIMINI


Police in Bimini are continuing their investigations into the crash landing of a craft in South Bimini at approximately 2:53pm on Saturday 14th July, 2012.

The 45 year old Bahamian male pilot along with one male passenger age 34 years, both of New Providence, were reportedly en route to New Providence from Fort Lauderdale, when the aircraft developed engine difficulties resulting in the craft being crash landed at the airport in South Bimini.

Although the craft was extensively damaged, fortunately, nobody was injured during this incident and investigations are continuing.

Sources:   


http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com

http://www.tribune242.com

Bird strike destroys engine as plane lands

An engine on a China Eastern Airlines plane was destroyed after it was hit by a bird while the plane was landing at Hongqiao International Airport . 

The MU5396 flight was from Zhengzhou in Henan Province. The flight crew handled the incident properly, China Eastern said, and the plane landed safely. 

Last Tuesday, a bird hit a China Eastern plane soon after it took off from Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport. The plane had to return to the airport.

Beech B36TC Bonanza, Van Auto Inc., N6703K: Accident occurred July 16, 2012 in Nassau, Bahamas

http://www.aaipu-bcaa.com/FinalReports/N6703K_Final_Report.pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N6703K

NTSB Identification: ERA12WA457 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Nassau, Bahamas
Aircraft: BEECH B36TC, registration: N6703K
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

On July 16, 2012, about 0930 eastern daylight time, a Beech B36TC, N6703K, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 25 nautical miles north northwest of Nassau, Bahamas. The pilot and passenger are presumed to be fatally injured and the airplane is presumed to be destroyed. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight departed Marsh Harbor Airport (MYAM), Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, about 0912, and was enroute to Daytona, Florida.

The flight was in contact with the FAA Miami Enroute Air Traffic Control Center. The pilot reported encountering severe turbulence and radar and radio contact was lost. Debris from the aircraft was located by the U.S. Coast in the ocean near the last radar .

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Air Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit Civil Aviation Department of Bahamas. Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Air Accident Investigation & Prevention Unit
Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation
P.O. Box AP-59244 Nassau, Bahamas
1 (242) 376-3709
1 (242) 377-6060 FAX
Email: aaipu.cad.bahamas@gmail.com

This report is for informational purposes and contains only information obtained for or released by the Government of Bahamas.


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 6703K        Make/Model: BE36      Description: 36 Bonanza
  Date: 07/20/2012     Time: 1200

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

LOCATION
  City: MIAMI   State: FL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES. GRAND HARBOR CAY, BAHAMAS

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SOUTH FLORIDA, FL  (SO19)             Entry date: 07/20/2012 




It turns out that the Bahamas Air Sea and Rescue Association (BASRA) made a huge blunder Tuesday when it reported that search efforts for two possible survivors of a plane crash had been called off. 

 On Wednesday, the US Coast Guard said contrary to information disseminated by BASRA Operations Manager Chris Lloyd, search teams continue to race against the clock to locate the pilot and passenger of a Beechcraft Bonanza BE36, which crashed in waters off the Berry Islands on Monday.

On Tuesday Mr. Lloyd told the Bahama Journal, “the crash was in the ocean, so I would say today it will be called off.”

Mr. Lloyd noted that search and rescue efforts quickly changed to search and recovery mode, therefore search teams would be searching for bodies as opposed to survivors.

“[There’s] no sign of survivors. You’re not looking for bodies really either because they would tend to sink and in the ocean the currents would tend to take them away and you have no idea where they will surface later,” Mr. Lloyd said.

US Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios told the Bahama Journal Wednesday morning that Mr. Lloyd disseminated inaccurate information.

“As far as I know we have no time periods for our search efforts. It all depends on what we find at the scene and at this time we are still actively searching,” he said.

“We’ve been searching all through Tuesday night and we have been searching all [Wednesday] morning as well. We had our Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin on scene along with an M860 rescue helicopter which arrived at noon today [Wednesday]. We have also been told that Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) would be providing a surface asset as well,” Mr. Rios said.

Mr. Rios also shot down Mr. Lloyd’s statements that bad weather hampered initial search and rescue efforts.

“I was told that the weather conditions were actually pretty favorable at first. I am not sure if they got worse on Tuesday, but I know in the beginning of the search everything was okay,” he said.

At this point, the only things which have been recovered at the crash site have been debris and an empty inflated life raft.

“Right now all we have found is debris, so until we find something that we determine that there is no point in searching, we will continue to search,” Mr. Rios said.

The pilot and his passenger have been identified as Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen.

Both are licensed pilots who live at the Spruce Creek Fly-In community in Port Orange.

According to reports, the couple left Marsh Harbour, Abaco Monday morning en route for Daytona, Florida.

Source:   http://jonesbahamas.com/search-still-on-for-crash-survivors-coast-guard/


NO SURVIVORS were found on day two of the search following a plane crash off the Berry Islands on Monday. 

 According to the US media, the aircraft was carrying Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen, a married couple from Daytona Beach, Florida, who are both licensed pilots and frequent visitors to their vacation home in Abaco.

Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, BASRA’s operations director Chris Lloyd said while the search effort continued, it is thought the couple perished in the crash.

He said: “There was never going to be any (survivors) – the wreckage was just so bad.”

The single engine aircraft, which left from Marsh Harbour for Daytona Beach, Florida Monday morning, lost radio contact and dropped off radar about 20 minutes after take off, a police source said.

Mr Lloyd said after speaking with the US Coast Guard, he understands satellite radar showed severe weather over what would have been the plane’s direct route to Florida.

He said it appears the pilot went south to avoid the weather, losing communication with Miami towers around 9.20am, just after the couple said they were experiencing turbulence.

A search was launched near Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands where the last communication was received.

However, because of the severe weather, BASRA was unable to send up a search plane, said Mr Lloyd.

Surprised that a single engine plane took off in such harsh conditions, he said, “There was no way we could ask someone to volunteer to fly into that type of weather.”

Mr Lloyd said the Coast Guard responded quickly, deploying a helicopter that found  massive debris field, oil slick and empty life raft around five miles off Great Harbour Cay.

Bahamian police and the US Navy were also at the scene assisting with the search.

The search has now been called off.

Source:    http://www.tribune242.com



 
Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen, owners of Seminole Paint and Auto Body Shop in Sanford, went missing during a flight Monday morning. 


The U.S. Coast Guard continued their efforts to locate Sanford business owners Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen Monday after their plane crashed on a trip from Bahamas to Daytona Beach.

Family of the couple, who own and operate Seminole Paint and Auto Body Shop in Sanford, released a statement Monday afternoon.

“The families of Alan Van Nimwegen and Kathleen Van Nimwegen hold out hope for the return of Alan and Kathleen," the statement said. "Alan and Kathleen were en route from the Bahamas to Florida, when radar contact with their airplane was lost during bad weather. As of this release, US Coast Guard search and rescue operations are continuing in the area of the last radar contact with their plane."

The Nimwegens were residents of Port Orange and friends said the two frequently flew to their home in Bahamas for weekends. They returned during the week to run their auto shop.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said contact was lost with the aircraft, which is a Beechcraft Bonanza, around 9 a.m. Monday. The plane had departed from marsh Harbor in the Bahamas.

Search teams from the U.S. Coast Guard located debris possibly related to the crash including a life vest and an oxygen tank. However, no one had been found.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The family of a couple aboard a plane that crashed over the Atlantic Ocean while heading from the Bahamas to Daytona Beach has issued a statement. 

 "The families of Alan Van Nimwegen and Kathleen Van Nimwegen hold out hope for the return of Alan and Kathleen," the statement said.  "Alan and Kathleen were en route from the Bahamas to Florida, when radar contact with their airplane was lost during bad weather. As of this release, US Coast Guard search and rescue operations are continuing in the area of the last radar contact with their plane."

Federal Aviation Administration officials said they lost communication with the BE 36, which had departed Marsh Harbor, around 9 a.m. Monday.

The Nimwegens are longtime residents of Port Orange and frequently vacation in the Bahamas, the family said.  They lived in Hewitt, N.J., before moving to Florida. Friends of the couple say they were owners of the Seminole Paint and Auto Body Shop in Sanford.

Local 6 spoke to a man who helped care for the Nimwegens' plane in the Bahamas, who described Al Nimwegen as a cautious and seasoned pilot who was worried about the weather.

"He's a good pilot, he's been coming here for years," said Rudolph Key.

The search team located possible aircraft debris, including a life vest and oxygen tank overnight, and an oil sheen was located southwest of the debris field.  So far, however, no one has been found.

Local 6 confirmed Van Nimwegan had a flight plan with Miami Flight Service, who said on Tuesday there is still no sign of the aircraft.

"He told Miami Flight Service he was having problems," Key told Local 6.

Coast Guard officials will continue to search the area.

http://www.clickorlando.com

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Coast Guard officials said they located debris that could be a crashed plane headed from the Bahamas to Daytona Beach, but the Central Florida couple believed to have been on board has not been located. 

 A search for the plane's passengers continues on Tuesday.

Federal Aviation Administration officials began searching after they lost contact with the craft while it traveled from Marsh Harbor, Bahamas toward Florida.

Keith Rogers said he feared that the passengers were his close friends, Al and Kathleen Van Nimwegen, who own Seminole Paint and Body in Sanford.

Rogers, who owns Dive Abaco in the Bahamas, said no one has been able to contact the pair.

"It's very sad. We are all down about the possibility of losing those two," he said.

Friends said the couple lives in the Spruce Creek Fly-In community and travels every weekend to their second home in Marsh Harbour.

"I have known them 15 years, and they flew in here pretty much every single weekend. They would fly in on Friday and fly back on Monday so he could go back and run the auto body shop," Rogers said.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Daytona Beach couple is missing after their plane crashed into the ocean, during a trip back home from the Bahamas on Monday. 

 The U.S. Coast Guard said it found some wreckage while searching for survivors Tuesday morning.

The couple owns an auto body business in Sanford, WFTV learned.

According to a friend, they work Monday through Friday and fly to a second home in the Bahamas almost every weekend.

The couple reportedly left their home in the Bahamas on Monday around noon, after adjusting their flight plan because of bad weather in the area.

Not long after that, the Federal Aviation Administration notified the Coast Guard that they'd lost communication with a plane carrying two passengers on board.

A search was mounted and a helicopter crew located a debris field along the route that Al and Kathleen Van Nimwegen would have been taking from Marsh Island in Abaco to the Spruce Creek fly-in community where they lived near Daytona Beach.

A friend in the Bahamas WFTV spoke with Monday night said he believed they were flying a relative's plane, but it's a route they've flown many times before.

"They've been doing it every weekend ever since I've known them. They might miss the odd weekend, but generally it's every weekend," said friend Keith Rogers. "No one has heard from them and there was a downed plane, and they did leave the island at noon today, so I guess it's pretty much a given that they are the victims of the crash."

The Coast Guard has not confirmed any deaths or the make of the plane, but friends from the Bahamas said they fear the worst.

Source:    http://www.wdbo.com

 NASSAU, Bahamas — U.S. and Bahamian officials are searching for any survivors from a small plane crash near the archipelago off Florida’s east coast. 

The U.S. Coast Guard in Miami says a small plane carrying two people lost communications with aviation officials Monday afternoon. Authorities have not disclosed the aircraft’s tail number or details about the missing passengers.

The small plane apparently departed from Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, and was en route to Daytona Beach, Florida.

A helicopter crew located possible debris from an aircraft off the Bahamas. Bahamian authorities later located a sheen of oil nearby. 

 Miami-based Coast Guard cutter, Bahamian officials search for missing plane, passengers

A U. S. Coast Guard cutter stationed in Miami has joined Bahamian officials in the search for two possible survivors from a plane crash near the Bahamas on Monday.

The Coast Guard received notification Monday afternoon from Federal Aviation Administration officials that it had lost communications with a small airplane with two on board.

The plane reportedly took off from Marsh Harbor, Bahamas and was headed for Daytona Beach.

Bahamian authorities, including Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Bahamian Air and Sea Rescue Association, requested the Coast Guard's assistance in locating the site of the crash.

Beech A36 Bonanza, Rgd. Snowbird Aviation Corp., N59PJ: Aircraft force landed on a road, 5 miles from Washington, Indiana

http://registry.faa.gov/N59PJ

FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 59PJ        Make/Model: BE36      Description: 36 Bonanza
  Date: 07/16/2012     Time: 1530

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

LOCATION
  City: WASHINGTON   State: IN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, 5 MILES FROM WASHINGTON, IN

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: INDIANAPOLIS, IN  (GL11)              Entry date: 07/17/2012 


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 59PJ        Make/Model: BE36      Description: 36 Bonanza
  Date: 07/16/2012     Time: 1530

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

LOCATION
  City: WASHINGTON   State: IN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, 5 MILES FROM WASHINGTON, IN

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: INDIANAPOLIS, IN  (GL11)              Entry date: 07/17/2012 
 


 
This Beechcraft Bonanza made an emergency landing on a section of I-69 at Epsom. No damage, injuries or work disruption were reported. 



 WASHINGTON — A leaking fuel cap was the culprit that caused an airplane pilot to make an emergency landing Monday on an empty stretch of the I-69 corridor under construction at Epsom. 

 A loose nut inside the fuel cap prevented it from sealing tight and allowed fuel to leak from one of the aircraft’s two fuel tanks, according to Tom Snow, whose Signal Mountain, Tenn., business, Snowbird Aviation Corp., owns the plane. However, that wasn’t apparent until the Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft was on the ground.

Once the pilot landed he could see fuel streaks on the wing of the 1987 fixed-wing, single-engine plane, according to Snow. He said a rubber bladder contains fuel inside the wing. Suction from the air pulling at the fuel bladder kept the fuel gauge from registering, he explained, and when the fuel ran out the engine stopped.

Because the pilot was uncertain about the nature of the problem from the air, he decided to play it safe and land the aircraft instead of simply switching to the other fuel tank. Though the Beechcraft Bonanza has seating for six, only the pilot was on board at the time of the incident.

“The pilot is very experienced,” Snow said. “We do a lot of training for these type of situations, and he did the right thing. He saw a good spot to land and he took advantage of it.”

Snowbird Aviation leases the plane to the pilot’s company, and Snow did not wish to release either name. The pilot was flying from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Danville, Ill. There were no injuries and no damage in the 11:30 a.m. incident.

“It was a serious situation the pilot handled very well,” Snow said. “I’m very thankful everybody’s OK. The airplane was not damaged, but that’s way down the list.”

Cher Elliott, media relations director for the Indiana Department of Transportation Southwest District, said there were no workers in the area where the plane landed, so there were no injuries and the workday was not disrupted. She also said there was no damage to the new highway.

“I can’t say enough about the way everyone responded,” Snow said of local emergency responders and airport personnel. “A mechanic came over from the airport and fixed the problem.”

He said additional fuel also was brought to the scene from the DC Airport.

An Indiana State Police trooper secured the scene until aviation investigators could arrive and approve the plane’s takeoff, which was around 6 p.m. Monday, according to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department. A final report has not yet been released.
===========

EPSOM — A Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft made an unexpected — but safe — landing in Daviess County Monday morning using the unfinished I-69 as a landing strip.

“There was no damage and no injuries,” said Sgt. Chad Dick, Indiana State Police Public Information Officer for the Jasper District.

The six-passenger plane, registered to Snowbird Aviation Corp. of Signal Mountain, Tenn., had only the pilot on board when it landed on an I-69 northbound lane at Epsom around 11:30 a.m. Initial reports indicate the 1987 fixed-wing, single-engine plane was having some sort of mechanical trouble and needed to make an emergency landing.

Daviess County Airport Manager Jack Miles said he received a call from an Evansville Regional Airport air traffic control official who told him about the situation and that the pilot was going to try to land at Daviess County Airport. According to flightaware.com, the pilot was flying from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Danville, Ill.

“Sometimes things quit and you just land at the nearest safe haven,” Miles said. “He did the right thing and landed on a stretch of I-69.”

He added the landing may have been more precautionary due to a worsening problem than from direct mechanical failure.

An ISP trooper secured the scene until Federal Aviation Administration investigators could arrive. According to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, the plane took off around 6 p.m.

Cher Elliott, media relations director for the Indiana Department of Transportation Southwest District, confirmed there was no damage reported to I-69. She said there were no workers in that particular area, so there were no injuries and the workday was not disrupted.

NORAD jets intercept Toronto-bound plane after radio communications fail

TORONTO - Two Canadian fighter jets intercepted a commercial airliner near Quebec City on Monday after the Toronto-bound aircraft did not respond to radio communication. 

The jets were acting under the direction of the joint North American Air Defence Command, or NORAD, and intercepted the airline around 1:50 p.m. E.T.

NORAD says the jets were able to help the Boeing 767-300 to re-establish radio communications with air traffic control before the aircraft continued without incident to its destination.

Winnipeg-based NORAD spokeswoman Capt. Jill Strelieff says the airline was flying from Paris to Toronto with 303 people on board.

She says security reasons prevented her from revealing the airline involved or how long the aircraft was unresponsive to radio communications.

NORAD's mission is to prevent air attacks against North America. It safeguards Canadian and U.S. airspace by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity and provides aerospace and maritime warnings for North America.

Source:   http://www.brandonsun.com

Needles found in sandwiches on Delta flights: Meals prepared by same company subject to Ch. 2 security breach investigation

 
(Photo courtesy ABC News) 
Needles were found in sandwiches on four different Delta flights originating in Amsterdam on Sunday, July 15, 2012.

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines Inc. and the FBI are trying to figure out how needles got into turkey sandwiches served aboard four flights from Amsterdam. One passenger was injured. 

The airline said that what appear to be sewing needles were found in six sandwiches on Sunday. One passenger on a flight to Minneapolis was injured, but the passenger declined to get medical attention, according to Delta spokeswoman Kristin Baur. The other needles were on two flights to Atlanta and one to Seattle.

The FBI's Atlanta office has opened a criminal investigation into the matter, the agency said in a written statement. An FBI spokesman in Atlanta did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Baur said flight attendants stopped serving the sandwiches as soon as the needle was discovered. Messages went out to other flights en route from Amsterdam, where the sandwiches had been prepared by a catering company. Another sandwich served on the Minneapolis-bound flight also had a needle, Baur said.

After the needles were found, passengers got pizza instead.

Baur said security for its meal production has been increased, and it is using more prepackaged food while the investigation continues.

"Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident. Delta has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft.

"Delta requires all its in-flight caterers to adhere to strict criteria in order to offer our customers the very best onboard meals. The safety and security of our passengers and crew is Delta's number one priority," the airline said in a written statement.

The sandwiches were made in the Amsterdam kitchen of catering company Gate Gourmet and were to be served to business-class passengers on Delta flights.

Gate Gourmet spokeswoman Christina Ulosevich said the company has gotten no reports of similar incidents on any of the other airlines it serves out of Amsterdam. She said the company does not yet know how the needles got into the sandwiches.

Gate Gourmet issued a statement, saying, "We take this matter very seriously and have launched our own full-scale investigation. The authorities involved have our complete support, and we are working closely with our customers, to include heightening our safety and security procedures. Nothing is more important to Gate Gourmet than the safety and well-being of our customers and their passengers."

The Transportation Safety Administration is also looking into the incident. In a statement provided to Channel 2 Action News, they said, "Upon notification of reports of possible foreign objects being discovered in meals served on several flights inbound to the U.S. from Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, TSA immediately notified all U.S. air carriers with flights from Schiphol to ensure awareness. TSA continues to closely monitor the review of the incidents as well as the security protocols being conducted by the air carrier and the airport authority."

This is not the first time TSA has had issues with Gate Gourmet. Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant uncovered a major security risk with Gate Gourmet at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Diamant spent eight weeks digging into Gate Gourmet after a whistle-blower came forward with undercover video of catering carts, still unsealed, ready to be loaded onto planes.

At that time, TSA Director John Pistole told Diamant that the TSA's investigation into Gate Gourmet could lead to a complete review of security procedures for airline caterers nationwide.

Pistole promised that the TSA would investigate.

"I'll look at it and assess if we need to make changes," Pistole said.

The TSA's investigation found "no violation of security regulations."

Former TSA administrator Kip Hawley told Diamant that does not mean the unsealed carts are not a problem.

"If there's a security threat that's outside the regulation, there's no excuse for it, but the regulation says it's OK," Hawley said.

However, in May, Diamant reported that the whistle-blower brought more pictures showing the security breach remained.

The TSA still stands firm, claiming that despite the law's language, "the assertion that the law requires the sealing of individual catering carts is incorrect," and they have "developed procedures to ensure the secure movement of catering supplies, carts and vehicles."

In May, Gate Gourmet told Diamant it is in full compliance with TSA rules and would welcome any opportunity to review policies and procedures with the TSA.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

Source:  http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/needles-found-delta-flight-sandwiches/nPt3w/

Beechcraft A23 Musketeer, Beechcraft Aviation Club LLC, N8771M: Accident occurred July 16, 2012 in Laytonsville, Maryland

http://registry.faa.gov/N8771M

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA458 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Laytonsville, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/2013
Aircraft: BEECH A23, registration: N8771M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

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

The pilot performed a preflight inspection and fueled the airplane with no anomalies noted. He performed two takeoffs and landings without incident. Before the third takeoff, the pilot verified that the flaps were retracted for takeoff and that the left fuel tank was selected. The pilot applied power to take off and released the brakes. As the airplane rolled down the runway, it lifted off the ground, and then settled back onto the runway. The pilot stated that he continued to apply full power but that the airplane was not performing as well as on the previous takeoffs. The airplane eventually became airborne. The pilot stated that he initiated a turn to the right in order to avoid striking trees off the end of the runway; the flight instructor subsequently took the flight controls as the right turn became steeper and the airplane began to descend. According to a witness, the airplane appeared like it would not clear the trees, banked right, and then entered a spin before impacting the ground.

Postaccident examination of the fuel selector revealed it was in a mid-range position, with neither the left or right tank selected. When the fuel selector was placed to the center position, similar to where it was found after the accident, fuel would not flow through the fuel selector. Thus, it is likely that the pilot did not turn the fuel selector completely so that it was not locked in the detent, which restricted fuel flow and resulted in a loss of engine power. In addition, the main fuel line and the return fuel line were removed and there was no fuel present.

A postaccident engine teardown was performed and the fuel manifold was disassembled; dry rot was noted on the manifold diaphragm and it was leaking. The leak might have reduced fuel consumption, but not a significant amount. It is likely that, because of the loss of engine power, the airplane would not have been able to adequately climb above the trees off the end of the runway. Therefore, the pilot attempted to avoid the trees and initiated a turn during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin.

Although postaccident testing indicated that the flight had adult-onset diabetes, it could not be determined if the flight instructor experienced symptoms from the condition or side effects from the medication that treated the diabetes, which could have hindered his ability to operate the airplane. Furthermore, the flight instructor did not report the diabetic condition or medications on his most recent application for an Aviation Medical Certificate.

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

The pilot’s failure to ensure that the fuel selector handle was correctly positioned, which resulted in an interruption of fuel to the engine and a loss of engine power during the takeoff, which necessitated a turn away from the trees at the end of the runway and the subsequent stall.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 16, 2012, about 1905 eastern daylight time, a Beech A23, N8771M, was substantially damaged following a collision with terrain in Laytonsville, Maryland. The private pilot received minor injuries and the flight instructor was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by an individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a Washington, DC, special visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, Maryland, about 1845.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to prepare for a flight review with the flight instructor. The pilot performed a preflight inspection and fueled the airplane prior to takeoff with no anomalies noted. They performed two takeoffs and landings prior to the accident. After each landing they would perform the after landing checklist, then prior to takeoff, they would perform the before takeoff checklist. During the check, the pilot verified that the flaps were retracted for takeoff and that the left fuel tank was selected with the fuel selector.

During the final takeoff, the pilot applied power and released the brakes. The airplane rolled down the runway, lifted off the ground, and then settled back onto the runway. The pilot stated that he continued to apply full power but the airplane “did not have nearly as much lift” as the previous takeoffs. As the airplane continued to climb, the pilot initiated a turn to the right in order to avoid striking trees off the end of the runway. The flight instructor then took the flight controls as the right turn became steeper. The airplane then entered a spin and impacted the ground.

According to witnesses, the pilot applied full engine power in order to take off on runway 26. One witness stated that it seemed the airplane was "having difficulty climbing out of ground effect." The airplane continued the takeoff, climbed to about 150-200 feet above ground level, banked right, and entered a stall and subsequent spin until it impacted the ground. One witness stated that the airplane would not be able to clear the trees at the end of the runway. Another witness noted that the engine "backfired" and that he heard it lose power prior to impacting the ground.

According to an employee at the airport, he topped off the fuel tanks prior to the accident flight. He then observed the airplane perform several successful takeoffs and landings prior to the accident.

The wreckage came to rest approximately 425 feet beyond and to the right of the departure end of runway 26.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 83, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued September 24, 2010, and at the time of the examination the pilot reported 2,300 total hours of flight experience. The medical certificate was issued with two restrictions: must wear corrective lenses and must wear hearing amplification. According to the pilot's logbook, he accumulated 2,319.2 total hours of flight time. His most recent flight review occurred in July 2010. He accumulated 1.9 hours of flight time in the past 90 days in the accident airplane.

According to FAA records, the flight instructor, age 79, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, multiengine land, glider, and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine, multiengine, instrument airplane, gliders, as well as an advanced ground instructor certificate and an instrument ground instructor certificate. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued June 12, 2012, and at the time of the examination the pilot reported 18,000 total hours of flight experience. At the time of this writing no pilot logbooks had been located.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1964, and was registered to a corporation in 2002. It was a low-wing, fixed, tricycle gear airplane that was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-346-A series engine rated at 165 horsepower. The most recent annual inspection was performed on September 13, 2011, and at that time, the airplane had accumulated 1,989.66 hours of total flight time.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1855 recorded weather observation at Gaithersburg, Maryland (GAI), located approximately 5 nautical miles south of the accident location, included calm wind, clear skies, temperature 31 degrees C, dew point 23 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.89 inches of mercury.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Davis Airport was located about three miles north of Laytonsville, Maryland, at 630 feet elevation. The asphalt runway was 2,005 feet long, 25 feet wide, and oriented 08/26. The Airport Facility Directory noted that there were trees at both ends of the runway and a glide angle of four degrees was needed to clear the trees.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage came to rest in an area of dense underbrush. The coordinates of the main wreckage were 39:14.545 N, 077:09.274 W, and the first indication of ground contact was about 45 feet east of the main wreckage.

A note pad found in the fuselage indicated the date, July 16, and a start tach time of 1,993.08 for the flight. The tachometer discovered in the airplane indicated a tach time of 1,993.37 hours.

There were no pre-impact anomalies noted with the airframe. All components of the airplane were located within the area of the main wreckage. The right wing tip was located next to the initial impact ground scar approximately 45 feet from the main wreckage.

Flight control cable continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the control surfaces. Flight control cable continuity was observed to be intact from the cockpit control connection point to the empennage flight controls. The aileron flight controls were observed to be intact from the cockpit flight controls to the left and right aileron bell cranks. Rudder control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit area to the rudder. Flap control continuity was established from the flap control handle to the left and right flap turnbuckles.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage and was displaced slightly aft. The forward section of the left wing root was separated from the fuselage and the aft portion of the wing root was crushed into the fuselage. The outboard six feet of the wing was crushed in the aft and positive direction. The wing tip and pitot tube remained attached to the left wing. The left main landing gear remained attached to the wing. The outer leading edge, next to the wing tip attachment, was buckled and vegetation debris was found in the area of the buckle. The aileron remained attached to the wing at all attach points. The flap remained attached to the wing via the inboard flap attachment and the outboard attachment point. The flap control rod was separated from the flap torque tube.

The left wing fuel tank was breached and empty. There was a small area of blight on the vegetation under the left wing root. The left wing fuel cap seals were examined with no anomalies noted. The left wing fuel vent was clear and free of debris.

The stall warning indicator was located on the leading edge of the left wing. Stall warning continuity was confirmed with a multimeter through the switch housing.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The leading edge of the right wing exhibited brown scoring/markings in the left to right direction. The outboard three feet of the right wing was damaged in the aft and positive direction. The forward section of the right wing root was crushed toward the fuselage. The aft section of the right wing root was separated from the fuselage. The right aileron remained attached to the right wing. The right flap remained attached to the wing via the inboard and outboard flap attachment points and was displaced toward the fuselage about 4-6 inches. The flap control rod was separated from the flap torque tube. The right main landing gear remained attached to the right wing. The right wheel was displaced to the inboard side of the right main landing gear strut.

The right wing fuel tank was filled to about a quarter inch above the bottom of the tab. It was reportedly full of fuel when the first responders arrived. The right wing fuel cap seals were examined with no anomalies noted. The right wing fuel vent was clear and free of debris. A fuel sample was taken from the right wing and no contaminants were noted.

The forward area of the fuselage was bent and buckled in several places on both the left and right sides. The right side of the fuselage forward of the right wing was buckled. The roof of the fuselage was cut and removed by first responders. Both front seats had separated from the seat tracks. Three of the four seat mounts on both the left and right front seats were spread. The seatbelts remained attached to their respective attachment points. Both the right front and left front seat belt webbing did not exhibit any deformation or stretching. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses.

The airplane fuel tank capacity was 59.8 gallons, of which 58.8 gallons were usable. The left fuel filler cap was installed with the latch closed. The left fuel tank output line was found separated at the fuselage side wall. The right tank fuel filler cap was installed with the latch closed. The fuel selector valve was located between the left front and right front seats along the forward edge of the seats. The fuel selector was discovered in a mid-range position between the left and right fuel tanks. Fuel system continuity was confirmed from the left tank through a void at the wing root to the fuel selector and from the right tank to the fuel selector. The fuel selector was tested with no anomalies noted. When the fuel selector was placed to the center position, similar to where it was found after the accident, fuel would not flow through the fuel selector. In addition, there was a witness mark from the fuel selector knob on the plate that covered the fuel selector. The mark was consistent with the center position indication that the fuel selector was found in.

The fuselage exhibited witness marks that were in the vicinity of the inboard edge of the flap. The scoring was in the vicinity of the zero degree flap position. In addition, the flap selector was discovered in the zero degree (retracted) position.

The empennage was displaced to the right of the longitudinal axis and was separated at the aft bulkhead. It was separated on the left side but remained attached to the fuselage on the right side. It was displaced about 80-90 degrees to the right of the longitudinal axis. The horizontal stabilizers remained attached to the rear empennage. The left side of the horizontal stabilizer was displaced in the forward direction and the right horizontal stabilizer was displaced in the aft direction. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the rear empennage and the rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The stabilizer trim tab remained attached to the trailing edge of the stabilizer and was bent in the positive direction. The leading edge of the horizontal and vertical stabilizer remained undamaged. The left side of the empennage was dented inward in the vicinity of the left stabilizer.

The engine remained attached to the engine mounts which remained attached to the firewall on all but one mount leg. It was displaced down and to the right of the longitudinal axis of the airplane. There were oil stains on the vegetation under the engine noted after the wreckage was moved. The engine controls were found in the full forward positions.

The engine remained intact. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller mounting flange. The muffler remained attached to the exhaust system but was impact damaged. Both magnetos remained attached to the engine. The vacuum pump remained attached. The oil filter was attached to the accessory section.

The top spark plugs were removed from the cylinders and the fine wire electrodes exhibited normal wear and color when compared to the Champion fine wire spark plug inspection card.

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand via the propeller and continuity was confirmed from the propeller to the accessory drive section of the engine. Cylinder valve train continuity was observed to be intact with no anomalies noted. Compression and suction were confirmed on all four cylinders using the thumb compression method.

The shower of sparks ignition system remained attached to the firewall.

All cylinders were borescoped and no anomalies were noted. The valves remained intact and no anomalies were noted.

No fuel was discovered when the main fuel line and the return fuel line were disconnected from the engine. The fuel pump drive remained attached to the engine, and rotated freely with no anomalies noted. The fuel manifold was disassembled. The plunger gasket exhibited a small amount of dry rot. The fuel manifold screen was free of debris and fuel was present in the manifold. The fuel injectors were removed. The Nos. 1, 3, and 4 injectors were clear with no obstructions. The No. 2 injector was partially blocked.

The propeller was a two bladed Sensenich fixed pitch propeller. The propeller blades displayed leading edge nicks and gouges and chordwise scratching on the blade back. One blade was bowed aft.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland performed the autopsy on the flight instructor. The autopsy report indicated that the flight instructor died as a result of “multiple injuries.”

The FAA’s Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the flight instructor. Fluid and tissue specimens from the flight instructor tested negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. However, the toxicological test did test positive for acetaminophen and rosuvastatin in the urine, desmethylsertraline, diphenhydramine, glipizide, and sertraline in the liver, and desmethylsertraline, glipizide, and piolitazone in the blood.

In addition, according to a postmortem clinical report on the flight instructor, 34 (mg/dl ) Glucose was detected in Vitreous, 1150 (mg/dl ) Glucose was detected in Urine, and 8.7 (%) Hemoglobin A1C was detected in Blood.

Sertraline (Zoloft®) is a prescription selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used as an antidepressant.

Desmethylsertraline is the predominant metabolite of the antidepressant sertraline, Zoloft®. While it is an active metabolite, it is substantially less active than sertraline.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl® or Sominex®) is an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine used to treat allergies and Sominex® is marketed as a nonprescription sleep aid.

Glipizide (Glucotrol®) is an oral blood-glucose-lowering drug of the sulfonylurea class that stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas. The medication is used to treat type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes and may cause hypoglycemia.

Pioglitazone (Actos®) is an oral antidiabetic agent that acts primarily by increasing uptake of glucose by peripheral organs and decreasing glucose production by the liver. It is used in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Rosuvastatin (Crestor®) is a prescription lipid lowering agent used to treat elevated blood lipids and elevated cholesterol.

According to the FAA, on the flight instructor’s most recent FAA medical certificate application, he did not report using any medication. In addition, he reported that he did not have any type of diabetes.

The pilot was asked about the physical condition of the flight instructor and stated that he did not observe the flight instructor under any duress, showing lack of alertness, or any health issues.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engine was examined at the manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, in October 2012, under the supervision of a NTSB investigator. During the examination, the starter, fuel pump, vacuum pump, fuel manifold, generator, magnetos, spark plugs, cylinders, and oil filter were removed and disassembled for examination. The fuel manifold was placed on a test stand and leaked fluid from its vent hole. A full report of the engine examination can be found in the public docket for this case.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Beechcraft Musketeer A23 Owner’s Manual stated in the BEFORE START CHECK to “use 15 gallons from left tank first; thereafter select the fuller tank.” In addition, “Always bear in mind that the engine-driven fuel pump returns excess fuel to the left hand fuel tank. Provide space for the returned fuel by using fuel from the left hand tank until it is approximately one-half empty, before drawing fuel from the right hand tank.”



NTSB Identification: ERA12FA458 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Laytonsville, MD
Aircraft: BEECH A23, registration: N8771M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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

On July 16, 2012, about 1905 eastern daylight time, a Beech A23, N8771M, was substantially damaged when it crashed during takeoff from Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, Maryland. The private pilot received minor injuries and the certified flight instructor was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to a corporation and operated by an individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a Washington, D.C., special visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from W50 about 1845.

According to witnesses, the pilot applied full engine power in order to takeoff on runway 26, which was about 2,005 feet in length. One witness stated that it seemed the airplane was "having difficulty climbing out of ground effect." The airplane continued the takeoff, climbed to about 150 to 200 feet above ground level, banked right, and then stalled and subsequently entered a spin from which it impacted the ground. One witness noted that the engine "backfired" and that he heard it lose power prior to impacting the ground.

The airplane came to rest approximately 425 feet past and to the right of the departure end of runway 26. All structural components of the airplane were located within the area of the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces and the engine was retained for further examination.


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 8771M        Make/Model: BE23      Description: 23 Musketeer, Sundowner
  Date: 07/16/2012     Time: 2308

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

LOCATION
  City: LAYTONSVILLE   State: MD   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE WERE 2 PERSONS ON 
  BOARD, 1 WAS FATALLY INJURED, 1 SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, NEAR 
  LAYTONSVILLE, MD

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   1     Ser:   1     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: BALTIMORE, MD  (EA07)                 Entry date: 07/17/2012 


Frank Schmidt, Flight instructor 







 



 



















LAYTONSVILLE, Md. -   A spokesman with Davis Airport has identified the man who died in a small plane crash in Laytonsville Monday as 79-year-old flight instructor Frank Schmidt.

Schmidt was an expert instructor with over forty years experience. According to friends, he had been hired by the pilot of the plane to take him through a series of practice runs. 

People at the airstrip say the pilot had recently purchased a share in the plane, a Beechcraft BE23, and wanted Schmidt to help him get more familiar with the controls in a series of exercises called ‘touch-and-goes.'

Eyewitnesses suggest the plane crash was caused by some kind of engine failure, however, an official cause has not yet been determined.

The crash occurred about 7:20 p.m. Monday at Davis Airport. The pilot was flown with injuries to a trauma center. 

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Graham says the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate. Laytonsville is located about 50 miles northwest of Washington.



LAYTONSVILLE, Md. - Authorities in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., say one person is dead and one person is injured in a small plane crash in Laytonsville. 

 Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Graham says the crash occurred about 7:20 p.m. Monday at Davis Airport. He said one person died and a second person was flown to a trauma center.

Graham says the Federal Aviation Administration was on its way to investigate. Laytonsville is located about 50 miles northwest of Washington.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said in an email that a Beechcraft BE23 was landing when it crashed at the airport.

One person is dead and another was critically injured after the small plane they were flying in crashed near Davis Airport in Laytonsville. 

 Montgomery County Fire crews were called to the 23600 block of Pocahontas Road at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The single engine, four-seater plane crashed into a wooded area on the edge of the airport.

Federal investigators will return to the scene Tuesday to try to determine the cause of the crash.

Witnesses say they could hear it from a mile away.

"We watched him take off it appeared he didn't get much higher than 40 or 50 feet by the end of the runway and he was very slow and it looked like he wasnt going to clear the trees and spun to the ground," said Robert Schapiro.

One man was found dead at the scene, another was flown to an area trauma center in critical condition.

"He approached the two gentleman and one was moving around the other was just there," witness Tameka Stephens said.

A mechanic at the airport told ABC7 the deceased was his friend, an experienced pilot.

"He had been known to have 18, 500 flight hours incredibly experienced, I was one of his last students," said Dennis Stiles, airport mechanic.

The identities of the pilot and passenger have not been released.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what caused the crash.




Experienced Flight Instructor Killed, Pilot Injured in Laytonsville, Maryland, crash of plane

A witness said the plane appeared not to have enough power to clear the trees, and stalled, then spun to the ground. The crash blew out the windshield, according to the witness, who said the wings were mangled, the tail severely damaged, and the engine was falling out of the plane.

The identities of the flight instructor, who was killed, and the injured pilot have not been released, pending the notification of relatives.The pilot was flown to a trauma unit for treatment.

 


























Witnesses and emergency workers respond at the scene of a small plane crash that left one person dead late Monday night. 


LAYTONSVILLE, Md. -- A small plane crash near a tiny, rural airfield here has left a man described as an experienced pilot dead, and a copilot fighting for his life in a trauma center.  

Montgomery County 911 got the call about the crash near Davis Airport at about 7:20 Monday evening.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene found one adult dead at the scene and the second in critical condition.

Robert Schapiro, an instructor from Clarksville-based Bootcamp Helicopters, was practicing maneuvers with a student at Davis Airport when he says he saw the single-engine plane go down into a thicket of trees near Pocahontas Road just after takeoff.

"He started a right turn to try to clear the trees on the right side, and it looked like he turned too far, stalled the airplane, and spun to the ground," Schapiro said.

An apprentice aviation mechanic at the airport, Dennis Stiles, says he heard the plane backfire and drove out to the scene in his Jeep.

He says the pilot who died was a good friend of his, an experienced pilot with about 18,500 flight hours on his record.

"I'd gotten to know this man very well. He was old, and he had lived a very long and full, exciting life. I'd learned a lot from him," Stiles said.

Stiles says the plane had passed its last annual inspection and was in good flying order.

Authorities aren't identifying the victims until their families can be notified.

The Federal Aviation Administration is assisting Montgomery County Police and Fire and Rescue to investigate the cause of the crash.

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - One person is dead and another was critically injured in the crash of a small plane in Laytonsville near Davis Airport on Monday evening, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. 

 Just before 7:30 p.m., fire crews from Montgomery County were called to the 23600 block of Pocahontas Road.

One person was confirmed dead, and the injured person was flown to a trauma center, according to a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

The identities of the pilot and passenger have not been released.

The plane, identified as a 1964 Beechcraft A23 Musketeer II, is a fixed wing single engine aircraft. It was listed for sale on a website called TradeAPlane.com.

The plane was described by the unnamed seller as being in "good condition, needs paint," with a price of $22,500.

The FAA is on the scene to investigate the crash.


GAITHERSBURG, Md. (CBSDC) — One person was killed when a small plane crashed near Davis Airport in Gaithersburg on Monday evening. 

Authorities say the plane crashed around 7:20 p.m. near the 16300 block of Pocahontas Road.

Another person inside the plane was transported to a local trauma center.

Attempts to reach the crash site were hampered because the plane went down in a heavily wooded area.

Hazmat crews were called to the scene to help control the fuel leaks.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were called to the scene to assist in the investigation.

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - One person is dead and another was critically injured in the crash of a small plane in Laytonsville near Davis Airport on Monday evening. 

 Just before 7:30 p.m., fire crews from Montgomery County were called to the 23600 block of Pocahontas Road.

The injured person was flown to a trauma center. The identities of the pilot and passenger have not been released.

The plane, identified as a Beechcraft A23, is a fixed wing single engine plane.

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County authorities say one person is dead and one person is injured in a small plane crash in Laytonsville. Graham says the Federal Aviation Administration was on its way to investigate. 

 Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Graham says the crash occurred about 7:20 p.m. Monday at Davis Airport. He said one person died and a second person was flown to a trauma center.

Initial accounts indicated that the two occupants were severely injured and possibly trapped in the wreckage

Beech 200 King Air, N45MF: Accident occurred February 06, 2007 in Belgrade, Montana

NTSB Identification: SEA07FA051 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 06, 2007 in Belgrade, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2008
Aircraft: Beech 200, registration: N45MF
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

The cross-country flight was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, approximately 42 nautical miles from the tower-controlled destination airport, when the pilot was cleared for the visual approach. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and there was an overcast layer of clouds at 11,000 feet. After the en route radar service was terminated, the pilot contacted the local control tower and made a garbled and partially unintelligible transmission. Shortly after the time of the transmission, local law enforcement personnel received reports of a downed aircraft. The wreckage was located later that evening approximately 80 feet below the peak of a ridge that rose to an elevation of approximately 5,700 feet. From the initial point of contact with terrain, the debris path was scattered over the crest of the ridge and continued down the opposing side, in a south-southeast direction, toward the airport. The ridge was the highest obstruction between the accident location and the destination airport. The airport is located in a large valley and is surrounded by rising mountainous terrain. At night, clouds and terrain are difficult for pilots to see, and a gradual loss of visual cues can occur as flight is continued toward darker terrain. Additionally, the horizon is less visible and less distinct at night than during the day. Because the pilot was descending the airplane over rural, mountainous terrain that provided few visual ground reference cues, and because the overcast cloud layer would have prevented moonlight from illuminating the terrain, it is likely that the pilot did not see the rising terrain as the airplane continued toward it. The airplane was equipped with an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System; however, impact damage to the unit precluded post accident testing. It is not known how the unit was configured during the flight or what type of alerts the pilot received prior to impact. Post accident examination of the wreckage, to include both engines, did not disclose evidence of a mechanical malfunction prior to impact. Additionally, no evidence was found to suggest an in-flight structural failure.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate altitude and descent rate during a night visual approach. Dark night conditions and mountainous terrain are factors in the accident.

This report was modified on January 6, 2008.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On February 6, 2007, at 2104 mountain standard time, a Beech 200 King Air airplane, N45MF, registered to and operated by Metro Aviation, Inc., of Shreveport, Louisiana, collided with sparsely populated mountainous terrain approximately 13 nautical miles (nm) north-northwest of the Gallatin Field Airport (BZN), Belgrade, Montana. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) positioning flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was in effect. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the three occupants, an airline transport pilot, flight paramedic and flight nurse, were killed. The air ambulance was under contract to Benefis Healthcare/Mercy Flight, Great Falls, Montana. The flight departed Great Falls International Airport, Great Falls, Montana, at 2040 with an intended destination of BZN (approximately 103 nm from the departure airport). Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the departure airport and dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the destination airport.

A review of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) transcripts for the flight indicated that radio communications with the airplane was lost shortly after the pilot was cleared for the visual approach to runway 12 at BZN. 

At 2108 the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office received reports of a downed aircraft. 

The wreckage was located about 2230 that evening approximately 80 feet below the peak of a ridge that rose to an elevation of approximately 5,700 feet. From the first identified point of contact with terrain, the debris path tracked over the crest of the ridge and continued down the opposing side, in a south-southeast direction, for approximately 1,575 feet.

Satellite based flight-tracking data (OuterLink) provided by the Operator indicated the airplane started a descent, from 15,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), approximately 42 nm north of the airport. The last data transmission from the airplane was received approximately six minutes later in the general area where the wreckage was located.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot-in-Command (PIC) 

At the time of the accident, the PIC, age 59, held an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land, a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and a type rating in the BE-300 King Air. The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class airman medical certificate was issued on November 10, 2006, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses.

Personnel records maintained by the operator indicated that Metro Aviation hired the pilot in November of 1999. Preceding his employment with Metro Aviation, the pilot was employed by Lynch Flying Service (beginning in 1996) as an air ambulance pilot.

Company personnel records revealed that the pilot had accumulated 17,608 hours total flying time, which included 1,318 hours PIC in the King Air 200. The pilot had flown 66 hours in the previous 90 days, 45 hours in the previous 30 days and approximately 25 minutes (the accident flight) in the previous 24 hours.

Training records indicated that the pilot successfully completed initial King Air (BE90 and 100) training in March of 1996, while employed by Lynch Flying Service of Billings, Montana. 

On April 2, 2000, the pilot successfully completed King Air 200 initial/upgrade training with SimuFlite in Dallas, Texas. The completion of the course, which included ground and simulator training, qualified the pilot as PIC for the King Air 200. In conjunction with the King Air 200 curriculum at SimuFlite, the pilot completed King Air BE90 and A100 recurrent and differences training.

The pilot's most recent recurrent training for the King Air 200 was successfully completed with SimuFlite, in Dallas, Texas, on March 31, 2006. The recurrent training included ground and simulator training and fulfilled the recurrent Part 135 pilot testing requirements. 

The pilot's most recent Part 135 line check and IFR proficiency check were successfully completed on October 12, 2006. 

Flight and Duty Time

The accident date, February 6, 2007, was the pilot's fifth consecutive duty day of a seven day rotation cycle. His duty day began at 2100 hours and was scheduled to end at 0700 on February 7. The accident flight was the pilot's first flight of the shift. Flight and duty times for the 5 days preceding the accident were:

On February 5, the pilot's duty day began at 1900 and ended at 0700 the following morning. There were no flight operations during the pilot's duty day.

On February 4 the pilot's duty day began at 1900, and ended at 0700 the following morning. The pilot completed one flight (.8 hours) during the duty period.

On February 3, the pilot's duty day began at 1900, and ended at 0700 the following morning. There were no flight operations during the pilot's duty day.

On February 2, the pilot's duty day began at 1900, and ended at 0700 the following morning. There were no flight operations during the pilot's duty day.


On February 1, the pilot was not on duty.

In the six months preceding the accident, the pilot flew a total of 73.4 hours.

Review of pilot records, and subsequent conversations with the operator, indicated the pilot had flown this particular route of flight and was familiar with the terrain. 

AIRPLANE INFORMATION 

The accident airplane, a Beech King Air 200 (serial number BB-234) was manufactured in 1977 and, since the date of manufacture, had accumulated 5,992 total flight hours. The airplane was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada turbo propeller PT6A-41 engines.

The airplane was being maintained in accordance with the manufacture's inspection program. Review of the aircraft logbooks revealed that the airplane's most recent inspection, a phase four inspection, was completed on September 21, 2006, at 5,827 total flight hours. There were no reported open maintenance discrepancies with the airplane at the time of the accident.

The airplane was equipped with a Bendix/King Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). The EGPWS is classified as a class B Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS). The EGPWS is a terrain warning system that provides relevant real-time terrain information. The system evaluates the aircraft flight parameters and compares it with an onboard terrain, obstacle and airport database. When the system predicts potential conflicts between the aircraft and terrain it alerts the flight crew of the conflict(s) via audio caution. The system incorporates an inhibit switch in the cockpit. When engaged by the pilot, the switch will silence terrain alerts generated by the system. The airplane was not equipped with a TAWS graphic display. 

Post accident data recovery from the component's non-volatile memory was unsuccessful due to the extent of damage sustained during the impact sequence. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The closest weather observation facility to the accident site was the destination airport, Gallatin Field Airport, Belgrade, Montana, located approximately 13 nm from the accident site at an elevation of 4,471 feet msl. The airport is equipped with an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS). The following weather observations (METAR format) were issued surrounding the time period of the accident:

On February 6, at 2056, the observation was, in part, wind from 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility unrestricted at 10 miles, overcast ceiling at 11,000 feet, temperature 3 degrees Celsius (C), dew point minus 1 degrees C, altimeter 30.30 inches of Hg.

At 2145, the observation was, in part, wind from 260 degrees at 4 knots, visibility unrestricted at 10 miles, overcast ceiling at 11,000 feet, temperature 4 degrees C, dew point minus 1 degrees C, altimeter 30.01 inches of Hg.

The weather observation system at the Great Falls Airport reported the following weather observations:

At 1953, the observation was, in part, wind from 040 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 7 miles, overcast ceiling at 500 feet, temperature minus 8 degrees C, dew point minus 9 degrees C, altimeter 30.13 inches of Hg.

At 1900, Salt Lake Center (ZSLC) received a pilot weather report (PIREP) from the pilot of a Cessna single engine airplane that was 6 nm west of Great Falls at 6,000 feet. The pilot reported light to moderate clear icing with an outside air temperature of 1 degrees C.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, Department of Astronomical Applications, the phase of the moon was wanin gibbous (just past full) with 82% of the moons visible disk illuminated. Moonrise was at 2234.

COMMUNICATIONS

At 1959, the pilot contacted, by telephone, the Great Falls Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) and obtained an abbreviated preflight briefing for an IFR flight from Great Falls to BZN. During the briefing, the pilot declined current weather synopsis information.

At 2010, the pilot contacted, by telephone, the Great Falls AFSS and filed two IFR flight plans, Great Falls to BZN and a return flight from BZN to Great Falls.

At 2039, Great Falls Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) cleared N45MF for takeoff, and at 2042 the aircraft was radar identified and cleared to 15,000 feet. At 2056 (16 minutes after takeoff) the pilot of N45MF stated to ATC that the BZN airport was "in sight." At 2057, the pilot was cleared to descend at his discretion from 15,000 feet to 13,000 feet. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and stated "…I've got the airport in sight at BZN requesting a visual approach." At 2100 the pilot was cleared for the visual approach to the BZN airport. At 2101:01 ATC radar services for the flight were terminated and the pilot was instructed by Center to contact BZN Tower. At 2101:21 the pilot contacted BZN Tower. The pilot stated "BZN tower lifeguard King Air four five mike foxtrot." The balance of the radio transmission was garbled and unintelligible. At 2101:38 a second radio transmission from the pilot was received, however, it was garbled and unreadable. Personnel at the BZN tower reported that communications from aircraft in the area where the accident airplane was were commonly garbled and unreadable.

FAA radar data indicated that at 2057 the airplane started the descent from 15,000 feet, approximately 42 nm north of the airport (approximately 30 nm north of the accident site). The last radar target (2101:40) associated with the airplane was approximately 13 nm north of the accident site at 11,300 feet. 

Radar coverage in the area of the accident is limited to aircraft above 11,000 feet MSL due to mountainous terrain. The Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude (MOCA) for the area is 9,100 feet. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION 

The Gallatin Field Airport is owned and operated by the Gallatin Airport Authority, Belgrade, Montana, and serves as the primary airport for Bozeman (BZN). The airport is located in a valley at a reported elevation of 4,471 feet and is surrounded by rising mountainous terrain. The airport has four hard-surfaced asphalt runways, 12/30 and 03/21 magnetic. Runway 12/30 is 9,003 feet long and 150 feet wide. Runway 12 is equipped with medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), high intensity runway edge lights and a 4-box visual approach slope indicator (VASI [3.00 degrees glide path]).

The airport is serviced by an air traffic control tower (ATCT) that was operational at the time of the accident. The control tower operates from 0600 - 2400 hours. Approach and departure services are provided by Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) on a continuous basis.

ATC radar services were not available at the airport prior to April of 2007. On April 18, 2007, a surveillance radar system (Raytheon ATCB1) was put into service and local radar services began. The radar system enables ATC controllers to detect aircraft operating at lower altitudes within the valley area.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Initial onsite investigation of the wreckage began on February 7, and was suspended on February 8 due to deteriorating weather conditions (snow). The onsite portion of the investigation recommenced on May 15, 2007. 

The wreckage was located on the upslope (north) side of a ridge, which was the highest obstruction between the accident site and the airport. The GPS measured elevation of the ridge was 5,700 feet. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) with terrain was a conifer tree approximately 80 feet below the ridgeline. Pieces of the left wing's leading edge were imbedded in the tree bark (north side) approximately 5 feet above the base of the tree. A second tree, located approximately 40 feet to the west of the FIPC, was observed with similar scaring (north facing) approximately 2 feet above the base of the tree. Pieces of the right wing's leading edge were imbedded in the tree. The distance from the first tree strike to the ground scar was about 10 feet. 

The wreckage debris path continued upslope, from the two trees, to the top of the ridge. The slope angle varied from 30-45 degrees depending on the localized topography. A majority of the wreckage was distributed between the FIPC and the top of the ridge on a magnetic heading of about 170 degrees. The debris path, from initial impact to last known piece of debris, covered approximately 1,575 feet in length. The wreckage and ground along the wreckage path were sooted and burned. Numerous pieces of wreckage appeared to have rolled from the top of the ridgeline down the south side of the ridge. 

The majority of the wreckage was distributed between the initial ground scar and the top of the ridge. The cockpit and cabin were located approximately 200 feet from the initial ground scar and were destroyed by impact forces and postaccident fire. 

The right wing separated from the fuselage. The wing assembly was fragmented and scattered along the debris path. Pieces of the aileron were located along the left side of the debris path beginning approximately 150 feet from the initial tree strikes. Sections of the flap assembly and upper wing skin, to include the fuel cap, were located along the right side of the debris path approximately 75 feet from the initial tree strikes. 

The left wing separated from the fuselage. The wing assembly was fragmented and scattered along the debris path. The left inboard flap was located on the right side of the debris path approximately 100 feet from the initial tree strikes. A section of the outboard flap was found on the left side of the debris path approximately 100 feet from the initial tree strike. The left aileron separated from the wing and was located on the left side of the debris path approximately 300 feet from the initial impact.

The empennage was still attached to the aft section of the fuselage and was located along the debris path approximately 100 feet from the initial tree impact. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the aft fuselage. The rudder, with trim tab attached, was separated from the vertical stabilizer and located along the debris path approximately 20 feet beyond the empennage. The right horizontal stabilizer was attached to the vertical stabilizer. The associated elevator assembly had separated from the empennage. A section of the elevator (inboard) measuring approximately three feet in length was found, along the debris path, about 20 feet beyond the empennage. The inboard section, approximately three feet, of the left horizontal stabilizer was still attached to the empennage. The outboard section of the stabilizer had separated from the assembly and was located on the right side of the debris path approximately 30 feet from the empennage. The inboard section of the elevator and associated trim tab had separated from the horizontal stabilizer and was located in the immediate area of the empennage. The left and right elevator trim tab actuators remained attached to the stabilizer. Both sustained impact related damage. 

The right engine separated from the wing and was found along the debris path. The engine was fragmented and the largest intact portion of the engine, the gas generator, was found beyond the ridgeline of the hill approximately 1,200 feet from the FIPC. Multiple pieces of the right engine were found along the debris path starting on the upslope side of the hill and continuing down the backside of the ridge. The right propeller assembly separated from the engine assembly and was located along the debris path approximately 700 feet from the FIPC. Two of the four propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub assembly. Leading edge gouging, bending and chordwise scratching was noted to the propeller blades. Multiple pieces of propeller blades were located along the debris path.

The left engine separated from the wing assembly and was located at the southern end of the debris path, approximately 1,575 feet from the FIPC. The engine was fragmented and the largest portion was found at the end of the debris field. Multiple pieces of the engine were found along the debris path starting on the upslope side of the hill and continuing down the backside of the ridge. Three of the four propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub assembly. Leading edge gouging, bending and chordwise scratching was noted to the propeller blades. Multiple pieces of propeller blades were located along the debris path.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies on the pilot and medical crew were performed under the direction of the Gallatin County Coroner. According to the autopsy report(s), the cause of death for all three crewmembers was multiple acute blunt traumatic injuries. 

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology tests on specimens from the pilot and no drugs of abuse, to include alcohol, were detected. See attached toxicology report for specific test parameters and results. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Postaccident examination of the wreckage, to include both engines, disclosed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction prior to impact. 

ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT INFORMATION 

Metro Aviation, Inc, is based in Shreveport, Louisiana, and operates both fixed wing and rotarywing aircraft throughout the United States. At the time of the accident, Metro Aviation had two aircraft based (under contract with Benefis Healthcare) in Great Falls, Montana; the accident airplane, a King Air 200 and an American Eurocopter AS350 B2 Helicopter. 

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Flight Standards District Office is the assigned certificate holding district office (CHDO) for the operator. The principal operations inspector (POI) and principal maintenance inspector (PMI) for the operator are based in Baton Rouge. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) chapter 5-1-2, "Follow IFR Procedures Even When Operating VFR," states the following: "When flying VFR at night, in addition to the altitude appropriate for the direction of flight, pilots should maintain an altitude which is at or above the minimum en route altitude as shown on the charts. This is especially true in mountainous terrain, where there is usually very little ground reference. Do not depend on your eyes alone to avoid rising unlighted terrain." Additionally, with respect to VFR night operations in mountainous terrain, chapter 7-5-6 of the AIM states, in part: "Continuous visual contact with the surface and obstructions is a major concern and flight operations under an overcast or in the vicinity of clouds should be approached with extreme caution."

The FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3, chapter 10, states the following about night flying: "Distance may be deceptive at night due to limited lighting conditions. A lack of intervening references on the ground and the inability of the pilot to compare the size and location of different ground objects cause this. This also applies to the estimation of altitude and speed. Consequently, more dependence must be placed on flight instruments, particularly the altimeter and the airspeed indicator."

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A Utah federal judge has asked the Montana Supreme Court to decide whether that state’s laws allow an aviation company to pursue its claim that federal air traffic controllers were at fault in a 2007 crash that killed three people. 

In her Monday order, U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell said that Montana law — whatever it is — should prevail in the case because the Metro Aviation air ambulance was traveling intrastate when it crash in Montana. The fact that Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers were at a facility in Utah was immaterial, she said, adding that the federal government has no home state.

But Campbell said Montana law is "unsettled," and asked the Montana Supreme Court to rule on whether that state’s laws allow such claims in connection with the dispute between Metro Aviation and the United States.

The air ambulance crashed around 9:04 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2007, during a flight from Great Falls, Montana, to Bozeman. Pilot Vince Kirol, 59, and passengers Paul Erickson, a 33-year-old paramedic, and Darcy Dengel, a 27-year-old nurse, died in the crash. The crew, under contract with Benefis Healthcare, was traveling to Bozeman to pick up a patient.

Before reaching a settlement, Dengel’s family alleged Metro endangered the lives of the flight crew by using only one pilot instead of two during the night flight and had not properly trained employees how to use safety equipment.

The National Transportation Safety Board later determined that pilot error was a "probable" factor in the crash. The pilot, it said, failed to maintain an adequate altitude and descended too fast when approaching the Gallatin Field Airport, which is about 11 miles west of Bozeman. The board also said night conditions and mountainous terrain were also were contributing factors. The aircraft struck a tree 80 feet below the ridgeline, causing the Beechcraft 200 King Air to hit the mountainside.

After Metro Aviation settled claims brought by the passengers’ families, the company and its four insurers filed a lawsuit in Montana’s federal court against the U.S. government alleging FAA air traffic controllers caused the crash. 

 Metro Aviation alleges controllers were directing the pilot and failed to warn him of a "minimum safe altitude alert" received in Salt Lake City. Had that information been relayed to the pilot, he would have changed the angle of descent, the company maintains.

The lawsuit was transferred in May 2010 after a ruling that Utah was the proper venue because the FAA’s Salt Lake Center Air Traffic Control directed and advised air traffic in Montana and any alleged act or omission occurred here.

The lawsuit seeks damages that include loss of the airplane, settlement payments and related investigation and litigation costs. Metro Aviation acknowledges that such claims are barred in Utah, but argues Montana law, which allows such actions, should apply. The U.S. argues the claims are barred by laws in both Utah and Montana, and if those laws conflict, only Utah law should apply because it is the state with the "most significant relationship" to the allegations.

Source:   http://www.sltrib.com