Wednesday, July 18, 2012

West Texas Air Ambulance Has State Violations




WEST TEXAS - Following a tip from a NewsWest 9 viewer, NewsWest 9 took a look at O'Hara Flying Service out of Amarillo and their medical wing, Air Ambulance Stat.

 They have contracts with multiple cities across West Texas and in one of their areas, they were found to have four EMS rule violations back in February.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, those violations range from failing to keep vehicles adequately equipped and supplied, to not having the current protocols and current equipment.

Pecos in Reeves County also uses Air Ambulance Stat.

The violations weren't found in their division and they said they're not concerned because sometimes violations can be minute details.

"I know there was one violation that incurred because the ambulance had a big bottle of hand sanitizer in the front of the ambulance where the driver is," City of Pecos Mayor, Venetta Seals, said. "I wouldn't think that would really be a violation but because it wasn't actually on their list of things that are normally stocked in the ambulance, they were written up for it."

To find out if these were just minute details, NewsWest 9 called O'Hara's owner, Clay Dixon, to get his side of the story.

He refused to comment.

O'Hara is the same flying service that owned the air ambulance plane that crashed in Alpine back in July 2010, killing five people including the pilot.

The crash was blamed on pilot error and fatigue.

Pecos officials said they have two Cessna planes from Air Ambulance Stat, none of which have ever given them problems.

"I myself have gone up in that plane," Seals said. "If I had concerns about it, I wouldn't have done so."

Seals said the planes are safe and what caused these violations to happen must be examined before any concern comes.

"Does something like that really compromise the care that is being given and I think that's the question that really needs to be asked," she said.

Our investigation continues.

To find out what these violations really are, NewsWest 9 contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services and requested the right documentation: the notice of violation, the agree to order and the inspection report.

We're expected to have those sent to us within the next couple of days.

Government to invest $60M for Lethem airstrip expansion

Government is planning to invest $60M to expand the Lethem airstrip this year, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Robeson Benn. He said the designs will be done this year and hopefully there would be a public/private partnership established to build a terminal at the airstrip. 

 Noting the public/private partnership at Ogle Airport, Benn cited that as a good example of a collective effort which develops travel and regional tourism activities.

He said Government has spent close to $1B in air traffic control systems which include radios and specialized tracking equipment amongst other items.

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com

Ultralight Trike Engine Out Emergency Landing

 

 July 5, 2012 by HerbBenton 

On July 4th 2012 I took off from the Hartford WI airport heading south to fly over some lakes and snap some photos of friends playing on the water.

3 minutes into the flight my engine sputtered and I had to pick an off-airport landing spot.

This video is about 3 minutes long and shows how important it is to stay calm and cool during an emergency landing.

Aviation project troubled

The board of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority doesn’t want to renegotiate its deal with the company that plans a $10 million facility to serve private aircraft owners.

 And some board members last week said they’re concerned that the deal is going to pieces.

Million Air, a Houston-based company, has missed deadlines to deliver engineering documents that airport officials want to see so they can track progress on the company’s facility at Rock Boulevard and Mill Street at the southeast corner of the airport.

The company has said it plans to open that facility next spring, but work hasn’t begun. The facility would include hangars, fueling operations, meeting rooms, offices and other facilities to serve crews and passengers on private aircraft.

Airport executives didn’t get into detail during a public meeting last week, but one official said that problems between the airport and Million Air cover a wide spectrum.

“There were concerns both with operational performance and financial performance,” said Tina Iftiger, the airport’s vice president of economic development. Top-level financial executives from the airport as well as the company have been drawn into private talks.

Members of the airport board declined a proposal from Million Air that would allow the company to work with Airport President and Chief Executive Officer Krys Bart and her staff to renegotiate the deal between closed doors.

The company didn’t send any executives to a meeting of the airport board last week, and the absence didn’t sit well with some board members.

“This relationship probably isn’t going work,” said Airport Trustee Adam Mayberry.

Randi Thompson, another member of the board, said Million Air’s plans as a fix-based operator for private aircraft — “FBO” in the business — may have been unrealistic from the start.

“I felt we were getting the Ritz-Carlton of FBOs. I questioned whether the economy would support a Ritz-Carlton,” Thompson said. The company said it’s struggled with reduced revenues from fuel sales at the airport since it began operating in temporary quarters about 18 months ago.

That’s a reflection of a slowdown in visits by corporate aircraft to the Reno-Tahoe area. Bart said a relocation of the annual Safari Club International convention from Reno this year and sharply lower private air traffic after the tragedy at the National Championship Air Races in September also cut into fuel sales.

When Million Air first announced its plans, airport officials said the company was expected to generate an economic impact of roughly $57 million in the five years after opening the Reno facility.

John Wagnon, a member of the airport board, said the airport’s unwillingness to renegotiate its deal with Million Air doesn’t necessarily mean the company’s plans are dead.

“They still have the ability to honor the agreement that is in place,” he said.

GoAir aims to raise Rs 1,100 crore to pare debt

MUMBAI: Wadia Group-promoted budget airline GoAir is in the market to raise $200 million (Rs 1,100 crore) in equity to pare debt, a source close to the development said.

The airline, which was eyeing to rope in a strategic investor to offload stake, is now willing to cut a structured equity deal with private equity players with fixed return on investments, the same source added.

"GoAir wants to retire a portion of its debt and is willing to offer some of the group's real estate assets as collateral to raise $200 million," the person said. GoAir, according to information filed with the registrar of companies for 2010-11, had debt of over Rs 600 crore.

The airline has inched up its market share as Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines slumped to the sixth slot in terms of market share due to its financial troubles. Its ambition can be gauged from the fact that it has sought waiver to a government rule that allows domestic carriers to fly international only if it has 20 aircraft in its fleet.

GoAir currently has about 12 aircraft in its fleet and has said that it wants to start operations to destinations between three to four hours of flying soon as these operations will allow optimum utilisation of its aircraft.

The airline clarified that it's not in the market for an equity infusion. GoAir Managing Director Jeh Wadia, however, said that the airline is well capitalised and is not actively looking for funds. He also said that GoAir has met initial payment commitment for 72 Airbus aircraft it ordered in June 2011.

The budget airline that has over 200 flights per day has placed an order for 72 A- 320 neos, said to be more fuel efficient than the existing 320s. The value of the order alone is about $7.2 billion (list price) and the deliveries will start from 2016. Responding to ET's queries, GoAir said: "As a company we don't comment on market speculation. We would like to mention that we are a fully and adequately funded company. We have fully funded the acquisition of our balance 72 aircraft on order from Airbus. We have not specifically given any mandate to anyone at present for any fund raising as we are fully funded."

However, ever since it placed the order with Airbus, the airline has been getting enquiries from prospective investors.

Also, in what could be a prelude to a fund raising, GoAir, in a recent filing of outcome of an extraordinary general meeting held on May 2012 in its Worli office to regulatory authority, informed of reclassification and increase of authorised share capital and said it has increased the authorised share capital from 150 crore to 170 crore which is also indicative that the company intends to raise equity in near term. GoAir also stated that it will diversify its businesses from the current one of being in commercial scheduled and non-scheduled aircraft operations business and explore new businesses opportunities. GoAir had at one point approached the market for raising funds but could not strike a deal with private equity players as the deal fell apart on valuation issues.

Contrary to market sentiment, a private equity player believes the timing is right for GoAir to hit the fund-raising trail as oil prices have eased a bit and valuation might be favorable for promoters.

Why is there an airline pilot shortage?


A potential shortage of pilots in the next two decades has industry analysts worried that airlines will resort to hiring lower caliber pilots. NBC’s Tom Costello reports. 

 http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/48183887#48183887

London Calling - British Airways

 

by FlyBritishAirways

Join the conversation and see the plane on your own street at http://www.facebook.com/britishairways #HomeAdvantage

This summer, the greatest sports event on Earth comes to London. And our best sportsmen and women have a once in a lifetime opportunity, to compete at the highest level with the whole country behind them. That's why we're asking the nation to join together, to give our athletes the greatest home advantage we can give them. It could be the difference in seconds and millimetres, turning silver into gold. This summer, there's nowhere else in the world to be.

Memo Hints At End For Comair Airline

 
A company that was born and grew up in northern Kentucky and became a big name in the sky faces an uncertain future tonight. An internal memo leads employees at Comair to fear the carrier may cease operations very soon.

Local 12 News Reporter Joe Webb has been looking into those reports. There have been some major changes in the economy and major competition in the regional airline niche that Comair helped create 25 to 30 years ago. The airline has shrunk considerably, and now, workers fear it may close in the next few months.

For 35 years, Comair has been a hometown, homegrown air carrier. For travelers, it's been air service to dozens of destinations. For hundreds of others, it's been a lot more. "Employment, a 30 year career. You know, that type of thing."

This afternoon, flight attendants from Local 513 held their regular union meeting at an Erlanger hotel. Many were curious about their future with Comair. Internal memos shared by employees paint an uncertain future.

Last Friday, President Ryan Gumm told workers a "final decision" on Comair's future would come from Delta by the end of the month. This followed a memo in June cutting crews for August.

Delta.com shows few changes in Comair flights, but pilots and flight attendants privately expect few, if any, by mid-fall.

It's a far cry from the airline's heyday in the '90's when it was a high flier. The headquarters built then now sits empty. They've moved back into their original airport space. Flight attendants were hoping for some answers this afternoon. Comair Flight Attendant Jeanine Martin says, "Be honest with you, I don't know what I'll find out. I hope it's good news that what we would stay in business. But, I don't have my hopes up."

Comair Flight Attendant Tamara Gabbard says, "I've been a flight attendant for almost 12 years. This has kinda been my home town. I'm just concerned what I'm going to do and what's going to happen."

We haven't had a chance to follow up with the flight attendants to see if they got any information. So far, 618 captains and first officers are scheduled to fly in August and so are 414 flight attendants, 299 based here in Cincinnati.

No one from Comair would comment on camera today. They referred us to Delta spokespeople in Atlanta. we did receive a statement from Delta today. It says, "In view of significant changes in the economic and competitive conditions in the regional airline industry in recent years, Delta continues to explore strategic alternatives for Comair, as previously announ ced. Until a final decision has been made, we cannot comment further."

http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/Memo-Hints-At-End-For-Comair-Airline/X6bF6M60ukaFzX_EIPdnyQ.cspx

New Gulfstream program emphasizes flight safety

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has enrolled more than 140 aircraft in its new Flight Operations Risk Management Service — or FORMS — program, providing operators unique access to data that has been proven to reduce hazards in airline operations.

 The service, modeled after airline programs that have become widely used to analyze operational data and improve flight training, is now migrating to business aviation.

Among its benefits, the data can be used to analyze airport-specific approach procedures that can challenge pilots. The larger the program database becomes, the better Gulfstream is able to identify trends and implement corrective measures through education and training, according to Randy Gaston, the company’s vice president for flight operations.

Gulfstream’s FORMS database includes operational details on more than 25,000 flights, 15,000 of which were conducted in 2011 alone. It is available worldwide.

“Many airlines use quality assurance technology to improve consistency and safety in operations, and Gulfstream is at the forefront of bringing this discipline to business aviation,” Gaston said.

According to Gulfstream’s recent analysis of its FORMS database, the most frequently used airports by Gulfstream operators are Teterboro, N.J., Dulles International outside of Washington, D.C., and Westchester County in White Plains, N.Y.

These airports, and others in congested airspace, can provide unique challenges due to air traffic control handling, including control-tower-requested speeds, altitudes and spacing on instrument approaches. The data can identify arrival procedures most likely to contribute to delays in configuring and slowing an aircraft for final approach.

The program collects data from a quick-access recorder and compares the data to defined parameters for takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach and landing. It identifies when certain criteria have been exceeded and provides operators with reports on specific events that exceed parameters, as well as quarterly reports reflecting their specific operations.

These reports identify key parameters for flight department review. Gulfstream also receives consolidated fleet data, which is used to enhance pilot training

FlightSafety International, a leading provider of flight training for Gulfstream operators, uses FORMS data to refine its programs.

“FlightSafety and Gulfstream continue to work closely together to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of the FORMS program,” said David Davenport, manager of the FlightSafety International center in Savannah.

“The data collected has enabled us to further tailor our training programs to the specific needs of Gulfstream aircraft operators and has helped to increase safety among those who have taken advantage of the program,” Davenport said.

Every operator in the Gulfstream fleet has access to the annual fleet report, which consolidates all the results from FORMS-enrolled aircraft. This data can be used to modify techniques, procedures and training as necessary, even for operators not enrolled in the program.

The program is available for the Gulfstream G550, G450, G350, G400, G300, G200, G150, GV, GIV-SP and GIV.

Gulfstream aircraft constitute the largest base of business aircraft participating in any flight operations quality assurance/ flight data management program.

The 2011 FORMS annual report is available for all Gulfstream operators to download via MyGulfstream.com, the password-protected Gulfstream operator portal.

There are approximately 1,100 program-eligible Gulfstream aircraft currently flying, according to company spokeswoman Heidi Fedak.
 
Read more here:  http://savannahnow.com

Cirrus SR20, Marion Pilots Club Inc., N223CD: Fatal accident occurred November 26, 2011 in Crystal Lake, Illinois

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA083 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 26, 2011 in Crystal Lake, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2012
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N223CD
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

The noninstrument-rated pilot was conducting the accident flight under visual flight rules (VFR) without a flight plan. The pilot contacted the tower air traffic controller at the intended destination airport and inquired about landing. The controller informed him that the airport was currently under instrument flight rules (IFR). About 30 seconds later, the pilot informed the controller that he had inadvertently flown over the airport. The controller ultimately cleared the flight to land; however, the pilot decided not to land, informing the controller that he did not want to get delayed at the airport due to the weather. The pilot subsequently told the controller that the flight was “in and out of the clouds.” After asking the pilot if he was IFR qualified (and learning that the pilot was not), the controller transferred the flight to the local radar-equipped approach control facility for further assistance. That controller advised the pilot of several airports in the vicinity that were under VFR. After initially indicating that he would divert to one of those airports, the pilot told the controller that he did not want to “mess with the weather” and did not want to “get stuck in here,” and he declined to proceed to that airport. Radar data depicted that, shortly after the pilot’s radio transmission, the airplane entered a gentle right turn. About 90 seconds later, the right turn tightened abruptly, consistent with the airplane entering a steep spiral. The last 19 seconds of radar data depicted the airplane entering a climb of about 2,500 feet per minute (fpm) followed by an approximate 3,600-fpm descent. Witnesses reported hearing an airplane overhead, but they were not able to see it due to the cloud cover. They described the sound as similar to an airplane performing aerobatics. The witnesses subsequently observed the airplane below the clouds in a steep, nose-down attitude before it struck the ground. Based on reported weather conditions in the vicinity of the accident site, the flight encountered instrument meteorological conditions. A postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The noninstrument-rated pilot's decision to continue flight in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disorientation and loss of control of the airplane.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On November 26, 2011, at 1026 central standard time, a Cirrus Design SR20, N223CD, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree and terrain near Crystal Lake, Illinois. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to Marion Pilots Club and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site. The personal flight originated from Marion Regional Airport (MZZ), Marion, Indiana about 0830. The intended destination was DuPage Airport (DPA), West Chicago, Illinois.

The line service representative at MZZ reported that the airplane was fully fueled prior to departure. The pilot informed him that they were going to Chicago. When asked, the pilot commented that he was aware of the weather west of Chicago and that conditions were forecast to be visual flight rules (VFR) at their estimated time of arrival.

Radar track data depicted the airplane on a 1200 (VFR) transponder code approaching DPA from the southeast. At 0942, the airplane was located approximately 3 miles east of the Chicago Heights VHF Omni Range (VOR) navigation facility at 2,400 feet mean sea level (msl). The airplane maintained a northwest course at 2,400 feet msl until about 0957. About that time, the airplane turned right and became established on a north course. The aircraft was located about 5 miles south of DPA, approximately 1,600 feet msl, at that time.

At 0958:05 (hhmm:ss), the pilot contacted DPA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and inquired about landing at DPA. Radar data indicated that the airplane was approximately 2 miles south of the airport at that time. The controller advised the pilot that the airport was under instrument flight rules (IFR). About 30 seconds later the pilot informed the controller that he had inadvertently flown over the airport. At 0959:40, the controller authorized the pilot to reverse course and land at DPA. The pilot acknowledged this transmission. About 1000, radar data indicated that the aircraft began a turn to an east course. At 1002, the pilot informed the controller that he no longer had the airport in sight. The controller provided a suggested heading to DPA.

At 1004, the pilot asked if there was another airport with better visibility because he did not "want to get in there and get stuck all day." The controller noted that Chicago Executive Airport (PWK), located about 20 miles northeast of DPA, was reporting VFR conditions. The controller asked if the pilot would like to be transferred to Chicago approach for assistance navigating to PWK. The pilot replied, "I'm still trying to decide if I want to try to land at DuPage or not . . . would you think that's a good idea or not." The pilot subsequently informed the controller that the flight was "in and out of the clouds." When the controller asked the pilot if he was instrument flight rules (IFR) qualified, the pilot replied that he was in "IFR training and I've let this get around me." At 1008, the DPA controller provided the pilot with a frequency for Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON).

At 1012:39, Chicago TRACON initiated contact with the pilot. The controller subsequently provided weather conditions at airports in the vicinity of the accident flight. At 1015:28, the pilot advised the controller that he would proceed to PWK. However, at 1022:49, the pilot advised the controller that he did not "want to mess with the weather . . . I'm gonna get out . . . and I don't want to get stuck in here." The pilot confirmed that the flight was no longer inbound to PWK. At that time, the flight was approximately 2.5 miles west-northwest of Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK). The controller subsequently transmitted, "frequency change is approved." The pilot acknowledged that transmission at 1024:23. No further communications were received from the accident flight.

At 1021, the airplane was established on a north course at approximately 1,800 feet msl. About 1023:03, the airplane entered a left turn to momentarily become established on a west course. About 1024:03, the airplane entered a right turn from the west course at 1,800 feet msl. The right turn continued until the final radar data point. About 1025:08, the airplane was established on an approximate east course at 2,000 feet msl. At 1025:31, the airplane was on an approximate southeast course at 2,400 feet msl, and 18 seconds later, the airplane was on a south course about 2,100 feet msl. At this point, the right turn appeared to tighten. At 1025:58, the airplane was established on a west course about 1,800 feet msl. The final radar data point was recorded at 1026:22. The airplane appeared to be on a south course about 1,800 feet msl. The final data point was located approximately 0.4 miles northwest of the accident site.

A witness located within 1/2 mile of the accident site reported hearing an airplane in the area; however, he was not able to see it because of the cloud cover. He noted that it sounded like the airplane was doing aerobatics, with the airplane climbing and descending. Less than 1 minute later, he observed the airplane south of his position in an approximate 70-degree nose down attitude. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground. He noted a faint fuel smell when he responded to the site shortly after the accident. He reported weather conditions as misty, with a light rain at the time of the accident.

A second witness at the same location also heard an airplane that sounded like it was performing aerobatic stunts; however, he was unable to see it because of the low cloud cover. About one minute after hearing it, he observed that airplane exit the clouds in a 60 to 70-degree nose down attitude. He estimated the visibility at 1/2 mile in light rain and mist at that time.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating issued on April 22, 2010. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot did not hold an instrument rating. He was issued a third-class airman medical certificate, with a restriction for corrective lenses, on June 28, 2011.

The pilot had logged about 207 hours total flight time, with approximately 114 hours flight time in the accident airplane. The pilot's logbook included a high performance airplane endorsement, and he met the requirement for a flight review (14CFR61.56) based on successful completion of the private pilot practical test within the preceding 24 months.

The pilot had logged 153.7 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC) and 78.7 hours as dual instruction received. Of that flight time, 42.0 hours were logged as both PIC and dual received, which is permitted under regulations when a current, certificated pilot is receiving flight instruction. However, of the 42.0 hours logged as PIC and dual instruction received, 38.1 hours were not endorsed by a flight instructor, which is required by regulations.

The pilot had logged 3.1 hours of simulated instrument flight time. He had also logged 28.6 hours of actual instrument flight time. However, for each flight in which actual instrument flight was logged, the actual instrument time entered was equal to the total time for the entire flight. Regulations (14 CFR 61.51) permit pilots to log instrument flight time only when they are controlling an aircraft solely by reference to the flight instruments.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
The accident airplane was a Cirrus Design model SR20, serial number 1110. It was a four-place, low wing, single engine airplane, with a tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was issued an FAA normal category standard airworthiness certificate on December 30, 2000. The airplane was powered by a 210-horsepower Continental Motors IO-360-ES six-cylinder, reciprocating engine, serial number 827771-R. The engine was manufactured in August 2008.

The airframe had accumulated 1,758.7 hours total time in-service at the time of the accident. Maintenance records indicated that the engine was installed on the airframe in December 2008. At the time of the accident, it had accumulated 459.8 hours since new. The most recent annual inspection was completed on April 5, 2011, at 1,604.4 hours airframe time.

According to maintenance records, the most recent maintenance action was accomplished on November 21, 2011. The engine spark plugs were replaced and the fuel injectors were cleaned. In addition, both main landing gear tires were replaced, and the right main landing gear brake pads were replaced. There were no subsequent entries in the maintenance logbooks.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS
The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart, valid at 0900, depicted a low pressure system over Wisconsin, with an occluded front extending southward. The occluded front extended into a cold front across eastern Iowa and into Missouri. The NWS Weather Depiction Chart, valid at 1000, depicted an extensive area of IFR conditions over northern Illinois.

A review of DPA surface weather observations indicated that marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions prevailed until approximately 1 hour prior to the accident. MVFR conditions are defined as cloud ceilings of between 1,000 feet and 3,000 feet above ground level (agl), and /or visibilities of between 3 and 5 miles. After that time, instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions prevailed at DPA. IFR conditions are defined as cloud ceilings below 1,000 feet agl and/or visibility below 3 miles.

Weather conditions recorded by the DPA Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located about 22 miles south of the accident site, at 1029, were: wind from 170 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 1-3/4 miles in light rain and mist, overcast clouds at 900 feet agl, temperature 10 degrees Celsius, dew point 8 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury.

Prior to the accident, at 0852, the DPA observation included overcast clouds at 1,300 feet agl and 9 miles visibility. At 0935, the DPA observation included overcast clouds at 900 feet agl and 10 miles visibility. At 0952, weather conditions at DPA had deteriorated to 900 feet agl overcast, with 3 miles visibility in light rain and mist.

Weather conditions recorded by the Chicago Executive Airport (PWK) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located about 23 miles east of the accident site, at 1024, were: wind from 200 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 7 miles in light rain, overcast clouds at 1,300 feet agl, temperature 10 degrees Celsius, dew point 9 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.88 inches of mercury.

Weather conditions recorded by the Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located about 40 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1051, were: wind from 200 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 6 miles in light rain and mist, broken clouds at 1,700 feet agl, overcast clouds at 3,000 feet agl, temperature 12 degrees Celsius, dew point 9 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury.

An Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisory warning of possible IFR conditions was valid at the time of the accident flight. AIRMET Sierra (update 3) was issued at 0845 and was valid until 1500. The area specified in the AIRMET included northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and southern Wisconsin.

The DPA Terminal Area Forecast (TAF), in effect from 0600, expected weather conditions at 1000 to be: wind from 200 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots; visibility 6 miles in light rain showers and mist; broken clouds at 2,500 feet agl, and overcast clouds at 3,500 feet agl. The DPA TAF was amended at 0915. The amended forecast expected weather conditions at 1000 to be: wind from 190 degrees at 12 knots; visibility 5 miles in light rain, drizzle, and mist; and overcast clouds at 800 feet agl.

The current Area Forecast (FA) was issued at 0545. Between 0900 and 1100, the FA expected a broken to overcast cloud layer from 1,500 to 2,500 feet agl, and an overcast cloud ceiling at 4,000 feet agl with cloud layers to 26,000 feet mean sea level over northern Illinois. It also forecast scatter light rain showers. The outlook was for IFR conditions due to cloud ceilings, with rain showers and mist.

There was no record that the pilot had contacted flight service for a formal preflight weather briefing related to the accident flight. In addition, there was no record that the pilot logged into the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS) to obtain weather or flight information.

A pilot and flight instructor reported that they were en route from Rockford (RFD) to 3CK on an IFR training flight at the time of the accident. They were in solid instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) at their cruise altitude of 5,000 feet msl. They both recalled breaking out of the clouds at 1,300 feet msl (approximately 400 feet agl) during the instrument approach into 3CK. They encountered light rain; but they did not encounter any icing during the flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane impacted a tree and an open agricultural field about 4 miles north-northwest of Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK). Multiple tree limbs up to about 4 inches in diameter exhibiting fresh breaks were distributed over an approximate 45-foot by 45-foot area immediately north of the tree. The wreckage path was oriented on a bearing of approximately 009 degrees magnetic. The debris field was about 400 feet long by 85 feet wide originating at the tree struck during the accident sequence.

The main wreckage came to rest approximately 97 feet north of the tree. The engine was separated from the airframe and the engine mount was fragmented. The engine came to rest inverted about 155 feet from the main wreckage. The propeller assembly separated from the engine aft of the propeller flange and came to rest approximately 131 feet from the main wreckage. The vertical stabilizer, with the rudder attached, separated from the fuselage. It came to rest about 30 feet north of the main wreckage.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, right wing, and horizontal stabilizer. The cabin area was compromised and the fuselage was fragmented. The right wing was separated from the fuselage. Portions of the fiberglass wing structure were separated and delaminated. The right aileron remained attached to the wing. The right flap was separated and located within the debris field. The horizontal stabilizer was separated from the fuselage. The fiberglass stabilizer structure was delaminated and fragmented. The left and right elevators had separated from the stabilizer and were located within the debris field.

The left wing had separated from the fuselage. The outboard section, from the wing tip to about midspan, came to rest approximately 55 feet east of the main wreckage. A section of the lower left wing structure, including the left main landing gear strut and wheel assembly, was located about 30 feet west of the main wreckage. The remainder of the inboard portion of the left wing was fragmented. The left aileron was separated from the wing and came to rest about 275 feet north of the main wreckage. The left flap had separated from the wing and was located within the debris field.

Postaccident examinations did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the McHenry County Coroner's Office, Woodstock, Illinois, on November 28, 2011. The pilot's death was attributed to injuries received in the accident.

Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. Testing results were negative for all substances in the screening profile.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A review of radar track data for the accident flight indicated that it was operating in Class E airspace while in the Chicago metropolitan area, with the exception of the vicinity of DPA. Within approximately 5 miles of DPA, the flight was operating in Class D airspace. Regulations require pilots operating under basic VFR in Class D and Class E airspace to remain at least 500 feet below and 2,000 feet horizontally from any cloud formation. Visibility of at least 3 miles is also required for such operations.

In order to takeoff or land at an airport located within Class D airspace under VFR, any cloud ceiling must be at or above 1,000 feet agl and the visibility must be at least 3 miles. In the case of weather conditions that are less than basic VFR, a pilot may request a special VFR clearance from air traffic control. Regulations pertaining to special VFR operations (14 CFR 91.157) require pilots to remain clear of clouds, with no additional cloud clearance distance requirements. The flight visibility must be at least 1 mile.

FAA procedures for air traffic control (Order 7110.65U) allow controllers to authorize special VFR operations for aircraft operating in class D airspace. However, special VFR may only be initiated by the pilot [§7-5-1 (a)(3)]. The order makes no provision for the controller to suggest special VFR operations to a pilot or to initiate special VFR operations on behalf of a pilot.

A ticket for an Indianapolis Colts football game, valid for Sunday, November 27, 2011, was located in the accident debris field.


 
Ray Harris, Ramie Harris, Shey Harris and friend Chris Backus were killed in an airplane crash near Crystal Lake on November 26, 2011. 
(Facebook, family hand out)



 Wreckage/crash site of Cirrus Design SR20, N223CD
Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 



Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 



Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 


 Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 




Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 



Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 




Image provided courtesy of Matt Berg. 


A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board reveals the plane crash that killed local businessman Ray Harris and three others was caused from the pilot becoming disoriented and losing control of the plane.

More specifically, the safety board states the reason for the crash was, “the non-instrument rated pilot’s decision to continue flight in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disorientation and loss of control of the airplane.”

The single-engine plane crashed Nov. 26, 2011, in a field near Crystal Lake, Ill. Pilot Ray Harris of Marion, Ind., died with his daughters Ramie and Shey Harris and their friend 22-year-old Chris Backus of Eau Claire, Wis.

The Chronicle-Tribune reports the National Transportation Board ruled the 46-year-old Harris became disoriented and lost control of the plane. Investigators found no plane malfunctions.

Harris was flying his daughter Ramie back to Wheaton College when he flew into low clouds. The NTSB says instrument flight certification was needed for those conditions, which Harris hadn't received.

Americans on no-fly list allowed to learn to fly

WASHINGTON — U.S. citizens who are on the government's list of people banned from flying because they're considered terror threats are not prevented from learning how to fly in schools around the country, according to government regulation. 

 Such a person may have to drive across the country to learn how to fly a plane because he or she would likely be stopped from boarding a commercial airliner. But the security checks put in place after the 9/11 attacks will not keep the person from receiving pilot training.

The security loophole was raised during a hearing Wednesday to examine the Homeland Security Department's programs to screen foreigners who want to attend flight schools in the U.S. Some of the 9/11 hijackers were able to learn to fly in the U.S. while living in the country illegally. The government put in several more layers of security after the attacks, and foreigners now receive criminal background checks and are screened against terror watch lists before they are allowed to begin training. U.S. citizens, however, are not subject to the same scrutiny.

"I was stunned. That just caught me completely off guard, and I'm pretty angry about it," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., said after the hearing. "Everybody should be concerned."

The government has other screening requirements for someone to receive a pilot's license or other certificate to fly a plane which include criminal background checks and screening against terror watch lists. But Rogers said if the government doesn't want someone on an airplane because he or she is a terror threat, there's no reason why that person should be allowed to learn how to fly.

Kerwin Wilson, the Transportation Security Administration official who oversees the flight school screening program, said he did not know whether an American on the no-fly list has actually undergone flight training in the U.S. in the past 10 years.

"Keep in mind, the way the program is set up, there's layered security in place," Wilson said, adding that once someone receives a flight certificate, he or she is screened against other criminal and terrorism databases regularly. Wilson also cautioned that putting U.S. citizens through these additional security checks could cost more money.

This did not allay concerned lawmakers.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security committee, said the only thing the government does not do for a U.S. citizen on the no-fly list is give him or her a license to fly a plane.

"We've trained them to do it. That's my concern," Thompson said.

Rogers, chairman of the subcommittee that held Wednesday's hearing, said he plans to raise this with the head of the TSA, and if the agency can't fix the problem, he plans to introduce legislation that would.

As it is, the TSA's program to screen foreigners has its own security loopholes, according to the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency.

The TSA screening program does not automatically determine whether a prospective flight student is in the U.S. legally, said Stephen Lord, who heads GAO's homeland security and justice programs. In 2010, law enforcement investigated a flight school in the Boston area and found that eight people at the school approved for flight training by TSA were in the country illegally, and 17 more had stayed in the country longer than they were allowed, Lord told lawmakers. The owner of the flight school was in the country illegally as well.

The TSA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have agreed to share more information with each other, officials from those agencies said.

Hawaiian Airlines aims to create subsidiary carrier

Kapalua, Molokai and Lanai airports are "absolutely all on the list" of places Hawaiian Airlines is considering to fly as it takes its first steps in the process of forming a subsidiary airline, a Hawaiian official said Tuesday.

Hawaiian's parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, has signed a letter of intent to acquire turbo-prop aircraft "with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve routes not currently in Hawaiian's Neighbor Island system," a news release from the company said. This would include expanding capacity with daily flights into rural areas.

Peter Ingram, Hawaiian's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said that the letter of intent, which is not contractually binding, is a "first step" in the process. Due to the nature of the negotiations and confidentiality agreements, Ingram could not give many details but did say that the aircraft the airline is eyeing is a "sub-50 seater."

Hawaiian's current fleet of Boeing 717-200s, with 123 passenger capacity, flies in and out of the major airports in Hawaii but cannot serve some of the smaller airports, he said.

When asked if Kapalua, Molokai and Lanai airports would be served by the planned subsidiary airline, Ingram said: "Those three are definitely the places we are considering operating out of. . . . Those are absolutely all on the list."

Ingram said nothing is firm at the moment; he said it is too early to talk about when the subsidiary will be up and flying.

Hawaiian's intent to begin the formation of a subsidiary airline was part of a news release about a new fare structure for Neighbor Island travel, which lowers ticket prices across all fare classes from 4 to 25 percent.

The lowest fare for a one-way, nonstop ticket (including taxes and mandatory federal fees) is $65 for travel from Honolulu to Kahului and Lihue. The three lowest fares from Honolulu to Kahului, Lihue, Hilo and Kona are all lower than previously published Web fares.

Some fare highlights:

* Kahului-Honolulu, $65 (a new fare), $73 (down from $80.30) and $79 (down from $88.30).
* Kahului-Hilo, $78 (new), $90 ($97.30), $99 ($106.30).
* Kahului-Kona, $79 (new), $91 ($97.30), $100 ($106.30).
* Kahului-Lihue, $85 (new), $98 ($97.30), $104 ($106.30).

The new fare structure compliments the 13 percent increase in Neighbor Island flight capacity for the airline over the past year. This included the creation of a Maui hub to increase service between Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

"We are pleased with what we are seeing now" with the Maui hub, said Ingram.

They have tinkered a bit with the times to accommodate passengers' flying schedules since the hub concept at Kahului Airport began in January.

It's also been "a positive development" for Maui, providing more opportunities to bring visitors to the island, which is good for the hotel industry and the island economy in general, he said.

Passenger surveys indicated that they would fly more if there were greater availability of fares, Ingram said. With that in mind, the airline has been experimenting with lower fares to see if that would stimulate demand during less full flight periods, he said. The airline has offered the "Hawaiian Saver" fare sales, which has some restrictions, over the last several months.

Encouraged by results, the airline developed the idea of "readjusting the entire Neighbor Island price structure," he said.

"By offering a greater variety of pricing options across our flight schedule every day, we hope to make it easier for people to take the extra trip they might not have taken if the lower fares weren't available," Ingram said.

Early returns on the new fare structure, which went into effect Tuesday, "are quite positive," he said.
The airline was selling twice as many tickets Tuesday than a normal Tuesday in July, he reported.

For information on the new fares, go to www.hawaiianair.com.

Source:  http://www.mauinews.com
~

KingAir Dropouts




July 16, 2012 by lamartini31 

"King Air Dropouts... kind of a short video, ...but before these 4, 10 others jumped out.   My first plane ride Experience!!!!
"

Cat found cut in half at Spruce Creek Fly-In

Workers setting up party items at a Spruce Creek Fly-In home on Sunday found half the body of a cat in the yard, sheriff's investigators said. 

 The cat's owner, Teresa Monda, 50, told deputies the partial remains of the cat were found in her front yard on Roscoe Turner Trail at the Spruce Creek Fly-in near Port Orange and it appeared to have been cut in half, according to a sheriff's report.

Monda said her cat usually roamed the neighborhood at night but returned home in the early morning hours. Monda could not look at the cat and provided a deputy with a photo which was similar to the cut-up cat, the report states.

Monda said she recently had a dispute with a neighbor but asked deputies not to question the neighbor, a report said.

Deputies checked in with security at the gated and exclusive Spruce Creek Fly-In neighborhood and were told that a report of a dismembered cat was made six months to one year ago but no suspects were developed.

Monda said she only wanted a police report to be made and did not want any law enforcement action taken due to insufficient evidence, the report said.

http://www.news-journalonline.com

Hang glider rescued after crashing on East Ridge near Butte

Emergency responders rescued a hang glider who crashed on the East Ridge Sunday evening.

Brad Belke of the 15/90 Search and Rescue team said the Whitehall man was found uninjured just north of the Our Lady of the Rockies statue and about 500 feet below the statue. He survived the crash with just a small cut to his chin after having to parachute from the out of control glider.

“He’s the luckiest guy I’ve ever seen,” Belke said.

The incident was reported about 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. when several witness claimed to have seen a hang glider crash on the East Ridge. Butte police contacted the search and rescue team that evening.

A team member used a spotting scope to find the downed craft and rescuers were sent to the area. Belke said the man was found in treacherous area that was very steep that had much rock fall. They were able to safely help the man out of the area.

Belke said the man was testing out a new tandem-rigged hang glider on the East Ridge when he lost control of the craft and had to bailout. The man had a parachute and was able to land safely.

The team finished the search and rescue by 11 p.m.

Cirrus SR-22, N9523P: Accident occurred January 18, 2003 in Hill City, Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CHI03FA057. 
 The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, January 18, 2003 in Hill City, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/05/2004
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR-22, registration: N9523P
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The Cirrus SR-22 aircraft was destroyed upon impact with trees and terrain following a loss of altitude during a turn. The accident site was located in relatively level, wooded terrain. The surrounding area was sparsely populated and heavily wooded. The accident occurred prior to civil twilight and marginal VFR weather conditions were reported at the departure airport. FAA radar data depicted an aircraft proceeding from the departure airport to the south, roughly paralleling a two-lane roadway. The aircraft initially leveled at 2,500 feet pressure altitude. The altitude gradually increased to 3,200 feet. Shortly afterward, the aircraft entered a descending left turn to reach a minimum altitude of 2,400 feet. This resulted in an average descent rate of 2,000 fpm. The aircraft immediately began a climb, as the radius of the left turn decreased noticably. Final radar contact was at 2,900 feet pressure altitude, 0.21 nautical miles, on a course of 278 degrees magnetic to the accident site. The rate of climb averaged 2,500 fpm between the final two radar data points. Several witnesses reported seeing an aircraft flying southbound shortly before the time of the accident. They reported the aircraft was relatively low and was traveling at a high rate of speed. None of the witnesses reported noticing any problems with the aircraft or engine. Witness reports of the weather conditions varied from mostly cloudy to clear, depending on their location. Impact angle was approximately 15 degrees nose down, based on observed tree strikes. The debris path was approximately 500 feet long and the aircraft was highly fragmented. A post accident examination of the aircraft and engine did not reveal any anomalies. The aircraft had logged 35.7 hours since new. The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with a single-engine land rating. He had logged 248.0 hours total time, including 57.0 hours of instrument time and 18.9 hours of night flight time. The pilot was the owner of the aircraft and had taken delivery nearly six weeks prior to the accident. He had completed a flight training program specific to the SR-22 aircraft. This resulted in a VFR-only completion certificate and a high-performance aircraft endorsement. The pilot had logged a total of 19.0 hours in the SR-22. This included 0.3 hour of actual instrument time and 2.3 hours of night flight time. The remaining flight time logged, with the exception of 1.0 hour, was in a Cessna 172 aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Spatial disorientation experienced by the pilot, due to a lack of visual references, and a failure to maintain altitude. Contributing factors were the pilot's improper decision to attempt flight into marginal VFR conditions, his inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions, the low lighting condition (night) and the trees.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 18, 2003, at 0638 central standard time, a Cirrus SR-22, N9523P, owned and piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed following an in-flight collision with terrain near Hill City, Minnesota. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot and single passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane departed the Grand Rapids/Itasca County Airport (GPZ), Grand Rapids, Minnesota, at 0630, with an intended destination of St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC), St. Cloud, Minnesota.

An individual representing N9523P contacted the Princeton Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) at 0455 on the morning of the accident. The individual requested a visual flight rules (VFR) weather briefing from GPZ to STC, departing at 0600. The caller was advised of the current and forecast conditions along the proposed route of flight, as well as of the Aeronautical Meteorological Information (AIRMET) in effect at the time.

An individual representing N9523P requested an abbreviated weather briefing from Princeton AFSS at 0541. Proposed departure time was stated as 0600. During his initial statement to the briefer, the caller noted that conditions at GPZ were marginal at the time. He noted that current conditions at GPZ were about 2,800 feet overcast and that he was "hoping to slide underneath it and then climb out." He requested current conditions at STC and any pilot reports. He was advised of the STC conditions and that no pilot reports were on file across the state at that time.

Several witnesses reported seeing and/or hearing the aircraft shortly before the accident. An individual who resided approximately 4-1/2 miles south of Grand Rapids reported seeing an aircraft flying southbound past his residence. He stated the aircraft appeared to be following the road. He estimated the aircraft's altitude as 100 feet above the trees, and its speed as 150 miles per hour. He noted the engine sound was smooth, it "wasn't laboring." He added: "That thing was moving." He recalled the weather conditions at his location as clear and moon lit.

A second individual who resided at the north end of Hill Lake stated that he stepped outside and saw an airplane come over a hill northeast of his home. The aircraft's flight path appeared to be northeast-to-southwest, passing slightly east of his location. He remarked that he thought the aircraft was "too low" and the pilot "better pull that thing up." He recalled weather conditions at his location as partly to mostly cloudy, with a fair amount of moonlight.

A third individual, located in Hill City at the time, reported seeing an aircraft similar to the accident aircraft fly over. He stated the airplane "seemed to be following the highway." He added, "If he'd been two blocks east, he'd have hit the water tower," estimating the aircraft's altitude as 100 feet agl. He noted the engine seemed to be at full throttle and that it "wasn't missing." "He was going fast," he added. He recalled weather conditions at his location as clear and cold.

A fourth individual, located about ½ mile south of the accident site, heard the aircraft fly over. He stated that it "sounded like the prop wasn't catching any air. It was just screaming." Approximately 3-4 seconds after the aircraft flew over, he stated that he heard what he considered to be the impact. He noted that as he was looking out his window, he saw a "fireball" up over the trees. He recalled the weather conditions at his location as clear, with a full moon.

Initial 9-1-1 calls were received by local authorities approximately 0640. The accident site was located at 0738 with the assistance of an emergency medical helicopter affiliated with a local hospital.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 47, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He held a third class medical certificate issued on October 28, 2002, with a limitation of "Must wear corrective lenses."

The pilot's logbook was recovered at the scene. Some pages were damaged and partially unreadable. According to the logbook, he had logged 248.0 hours total time. Of these, 18.9 were in an SR-22. Except for 1.0 hour in a simulator, the remaining flights logged were in a Cessna 172 aircraft.

He had logged a total of 57.0 hours of instrument flight time and 19.0 hours of night flight time. Instrument and night flight time in the SR-22 totaled 0.3 and 2.3 hours, respectively.

According to Cirrus Design/University of North Dakota records, the pilot completed the SR-22 training course on December 12, 2002. The course consisted of 4 flights for a total of 12.5 hours of dual flight instruction and 5.3 hours of ground instruction.

The record indicates a ground lesson, which included "Brief on VFR into IMC procedures", was completed on the last day of the course. The flight lesson entitled "IFR Flight (Non-rated)" was not conducted.

A VFR-only completion certificate and High Performance aircraft endorsement were awarded on December 12th. The endorsement was limited to SR-22 aircraft only, according to the training record.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane involved in the accident was a 2002 Cirrus SR-22, S/N 0399. An airworthiness certificate was issued on November 26, 2002. The pilot took delivery of the aircraft on December 9, 2002. Total time on the airframe and engine at the time of the accident was 35.7 hours.

Maintenance logbook entries noted minor discrepancies were repaired after delivery. On December 5, 2002, an entry indicating removal, rebalancing and reinstallation of the left elevator was completed. According to Cirrus Design records, the item was related to the elevator tip being replaced due to some cosmetic defects noted on delivery. Cirrus Design procedures require rebalancing of the flight controls after repair or repainting.

Logbook entries also indicate an engine pre-heater was installed after delivery. This was completed on December 27, 2002, at 30.2 hours.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Routine aviation weather reports (METAR's) for airports in the area on the morning of the accident were as follows:

Location: Grand Rapids (GPZ) -- 20 nautical miles north of the accident site;
Time: 0635;
Wind: 320 degrees magnetic at 17 knots, gusting to 22 knots;
Visibility: 7 statute miles;
Sky condition: Few clouds at 300 feet agl, broken clouds at 1,400 feet agl, and overcast
clouds at 2,700 feet agl;
Temperature: -16 degrees Celsius;
Dew point: -21 degrees Celsius;
Altimeter: 29.85 inches of mercury.

Location: Aitkin Municipal (AIT) -- 21 nautical miles south of the accident site;
Time: 0635;
Wind: 310 degrees magnetic at 9 knots, gusting to 17 knots;
Visibility: 10 statute miles;
Sky condition: Scattered clouds at 2,500 feet agl;
Temperature: -14 degrees Celsius;
Dew point: -17 degrees Celsius;
Altimeter: 29.88 inches of mercury.

Location: Brainerd Lakes Regional (BRD) -- 37 nautical miles south-southwest
of the accident site;
Time: 0636;
Wind: 310 degrees magnetic at 10 knots, gusting to 16 knots;
Visibility: 10 statute miles;
Sky condition: Broken clouds at 2,300 feet agl;
Temperature: -16 degrees Celsius;
Dew point: -19 degrees Celsius;
Altimeter: 29.91 inches of mercury.

AIRMETs for IFR conditions and turbulence were in effect at the time of the accident. AIRMET Sierra for occasional ceilings below 1,000 feet agl and/or visibilities below 3 statute miles in light snow showers and blowing snow was issued at 0245. IFR conditions along the GPZ-STC route of flight were expected to continue beyond 0900, ending around 1200.

AIRMET Tango for occasional moderate turbulence below 8,000 feet msl was issued at 0245, and was forecast to exist through 1500.

According to data obtained from the National Climactic Data Center, the winds aloft in the vicinity of Minneapolis (the closest reporting station to the accident site) at 0600 on January 18th were from 325 degrees magnetic at 31 knots, at an altitude of 914 meters (2,999 feet).

According to data published by the U.S. Naval Observatory, civil twilight in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on the morning of the accident began at 0720. Sunrise was at 0754. A full moon occurred at 0448 that morning.

The Aeronautical Information Manual defines marginal VFR weather conditions as a ceiling of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and/or a visibility of 3 to 5 miles.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The NTSB on-site investigation began on January 19, 2003, approximately 0900.

The location of the accident site was determined to be 46 degrees 53 minutes 28 seconds North latitude and 93 degrees 35 minutes 48 seconds West longitude by a global positioning system receiver.

The aircraft impacted into level wooded terrain. The site was located approximately 3/4 mile east of Minnesota Highway 169 and 1/4 mile south of 610th Street in Aitkin County. The surrounding area was sparsely populated and heavily wooded.

The entire debris path was approximately 500 feet long. It was oriented on a 280-degree magnetic heading.

Beginning at the initial tree strikes, the debris pattern observed was fan shaped. It measured a maximum width of approximately 40 feet over a distance of about 320 feet. The area continued to a distance of approximately 370 feet from the initial impact strikes and included the cabin area of the aircraft. The engine, with the hub and propeller attached, was found approximately 500 feet from the initial impact strikes, completely separated from the aircraft structure.

The angle formed by the tree strikes, from initial tree contact to terrain impact, was approximately 15 degrees (relative to the terrain).

The aircraft was fragmented. Wing and empennage structure was spread throughout the "fan shaped" area. The left and right wing tips were found 85 feet from the initial tree contact. The left tip was 22 feet left of the debris path centerline. The right tip was 8 feet right of the debris path centerline.

The rudder and vertical stabilizer spar, with hinges attached, was located along the debris path centerline. Vertical stabilizer skin surfaces were located near the rudder. The horizontal stabilizer was separated from the aircraft and was also found along the debris path centerline. The elevators were separated from the horizontal stabilizer.

The ailerons were separated from the wings. Although they were found in multiple pieces, each aileron was accounted for in its entirety at the accident site.

Hinges were separated from their respective control surfaces and mating spars. A section of spar remained attached to the hinge fittings, however, the spars themselves were fragmented. The hinges, although damaged, were still intact. Attachment hardware was secure. No pre-existing defects in the spars were observed.

The flap actuator was recovered. The jackscrew portion of the actuator was broken approximately 11.75 inches from the housing. According to Cirrus Design, the actuator extension observed corresponded to a flaps up (zero degree deflection) configuration.

The cabin area was damaged. It was located along the debris centerline, approximately 330 feet from the initial tree strikes. It was contained within a 10-foot diameter area.

The engine was found sitting inverted, separated from the engine mount and cowling, and was located approximately 150 feet from the main cabin area. The propeller was still secured to the engine. The three-blade Hartzell propeller exhibited S-shaped bending and multiple leading edge gouges. Two of the blade tips were sheared from the remainder of the propeller. One blade was bent through approximately 100 degrees, beginning about 9 inches from the hub.

An engine examination was conducted. Engine continuity was verified through crankshaft rotation. Compression was present on all cylinders. Cylinder five exhibited less compression than the others.

The magnetos were damaged and produced a spark when the drive shaft was rotated. The spark plugs were removed. They were light gray in appearance and appeared to be gapped correctly.

The fuel manifold was removed and disassembled. The diaphragm was intact and fluid consistent in appearance and odor to aviation gasoline was present. A small amount of debris, including a partial pine needle, was present.

The fuel pump was separated from the engine and the drive coupling was missing. No fuel was present in the pump. The pump vanes were intact. The oil pump was free to rotate by hand.

The exhaust muffler was disassembled. The muffler was partially crushed, however it was not perforated.

The artificial horizon was disassembled. The gyro assembly was intact. Score marks were found on the gyro case.

Portions of the cabin area and several wing skin fragments, as well as localized ground cover and trees within the debris area, exhibited evidence of a post-impact fire.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, St. Paul, Minnesota, on January 19, 2003.

A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report concerning the pilot was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The following findings were reported:

EPHEDRINE present in the Kidney and Liver;
PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE detected in the Kidney and Liver;
PSEUDOEPHEDRINE detected in the Kidney and Liver.

According to the report, no blood was available for testing.

Ephedrine is the active ingredient found in over-the-counter decongestants, allergy medications, asthma medications, and diet pills.

Pseudoephedrine is the active ingredient found in common over-the-counter decongestants, such as Sudafed.

Phenylpropanolamine is a metabolite of Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine. It is an over-the-counter decongestant and appetite suppressant. Phenylpropanolamine is currently not commercially available in the United States.


RESEARCH AND TESTING

Radar data was obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). Review of the data indicated a single "1200" VFR transponder beacon code in the vicinity of GPZ about the time of the accident. The target's ground track was plotted using a commercially available computer program and is appended to this report.

The initial radar contact was at 0630:16 over GPZ at 1,700 feet pressure altitude. The aircraft associated with the beacon code proceeded southbound, paralleling Minnesota Highway 169, and reached a maximum of 3,200 feet pressure altitude.

At 0636:51, the target began a descending left turn, reaching a pressure altitude of 2,400 feet at 0637:27. This was an average descent rate of 1,166 feet-per-minute (fpm). From this location, the target entered a climb while the radius of the continuing left turn decreased.

Final radar contact was at 0637:39; 2,900 feet pressure altitude. This was an average climb rate of 2,500 fpm from a pressure altitude of 2,400 feet at 0637:27. The coordinates of this contact were 46 degrees 53 minutes 26 seconds North latitude and 93 degrees 35 minutes 30 seconds West longitude.

Final radar contact was 0.21 nautical miles from the accident site, as calculated by the plotting program. The magnetic course from the last radar location to the site was 278 degrees.

The aircraft's average ground speed, true airspeed and climb/descent rate were computed based on the raw radar data and measured winds aloft. The aircraft's true airspeed averaged 191 knots over the final one minute of radar data. The rate of climb averaged 2,500 fpm between the final two radar data points. This followed an average descent rate of 2,000 fpm, 36 seconds earlier, between 0636:51 and 0637:03. Plots of the aircraft's ground speed, true airspeed and climb/descent rates are appended to this report.

The SR-22 Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) denotes airspeed limitations and performance capabilities for the aircraft. The handbook specifies a "Never Exceed Speed", VNE, of 204 knots calibrated airspeed. The "Maximum Structural Cruising Speed", VNO, is denoted as 180 knots calibrated airspeed. It also lists a rate of climb of 1,428 fpm at a sea level (zero foot) pressure altitude and -20 degrees Celsius air temperature.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Parties to the investigation included the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - Minneapolis Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cirrus Design, Duluth, Minnesota; Teledyne Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama; and Ballistic Recovery Systems, South St. Paul, Minnesota.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Supreme Court says Duluth-based Cirrus Design Corp. had no legal duty to provide a flight lesson to a Grand Rapids man whose plane crashed in 2003, killing him and his passenger. 
 
Wednesday's opinion upholds an April 2011 appeals court decision that vacated a more than $16 million award for families of pilot Gary Prokop and passenger James Kosak.

The justices say suppliers have a duty to warn of dangerous products if it's reasonable that someone could get injured. They say Cirrus did that by providing instructions, but training on safe use of a product is not required.

Justices Paul Anderson and Alan Page disagreed, saying the majority overstepped its authority and essentially said consumers can't hold suppliers of dangerous products liable for injury due to defective non-written instructions.

http://www.keyc.tv