Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fort Worth Meacham International (KFTW), Texas: Airport Damaged by Sunday's Storm





Numerous aircraft, several buildings and a hangar at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth sustained severe damage from Sunday evening's storm. 

The airport, and all runways, are open Monday even though the airport is currently operating on generator power.

City officials said about 15 planes, including several helicopters, were damaged in the storm. Two of the airplanes flipped over, including one that flew over a fence as 76 mph winds ripped through the airport.

Aviation Way, on the airport's north side, remains closed as debris from a destroyed hangar is cleared from the roadway.  Pieces of that hangar also came to rest on top of several nearby aircraft.  More than 10 other buildings also suffered damage.

While an official damage estimate has not been determined, aviation director Bill Welstead said damage could push into the millions of dollars.


Story and video:   http://www.nbcdfw.com

Fechtner KR-2, N37686: Accident occurred August 14, 2012 in Tehachapi, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N37686

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA359
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 14, 2012 in Tehachapi, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2013
Aircraft: FECHTNER KR-2, registration: N37686
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The pilot reported that he had recently completed extensive work on the engine, and the purpose of the flight was to build time. After departure, he maneuvered in the area of the airport for about 50 minutes and then began a descent to the airport; he later reported that this was his last memory of the flight, and he is unable to recall detailed events surrounding the timeframe of the accident.

A witness reported that he observed the airplane in a descending left turn near the airport and that the engine appeared to be sputtering. The airplane continued the descent until it impacted terrain.

Before the flight, the pilot affixed a video camera to the leading edge of the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer. The camera was recovered from the wreckage and the captured video showed, in part, the airplane in a descent toward the airport. As the airplane approached the runway, it entered a left banked turn. The banked turn and descent increased and the airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a left-wing-down, nose-low attitude. The video further showed that the airplane’s engine appeared to be operational during the entire flight with no anomalies noted.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during the approach to the airport.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On August 14, 2012, about 1605 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Fechtner KR-2 airplane, N37686 collided with terrain near Tehachapi Municipal Airport (KTSP), Tehachapi, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward portion of the fuselage and wings. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed from KTSP approximately 30 minutes prior to the accident. No flight plan was filed for the flight.

The pilot reported that he had recently completed extensive work to the engine, and the purpose of the flight was to build time. The day prior to the flight, he had completed a 40-minute engine ground run. On the day of the accident, the preflight, engine run-up, takeoff, and climb were normal. He climbed the airplane to 12,500 feet and maneuvered in the area surrounding the airport for about 50-minutes. The engine ran well and all associated instrumentation readings were normal. The pilot then began a descent to the airport; he later reported that this was his last memory of the flight, and is unable to recall detailed events surrounding the timeframe of the accident.

A witness reported that he observed the airplane in a descending left turn near the airport and that the engine appeared to be sputtering. The airplane continued the descent until it impacted terrain.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1555, the recorded weather observation at Tehachapi was, in part, winds from 330 degrees at 10 gusting to 19 knots; temperature 34 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 29.97 inches Hg.

The airport is located in open mountainous terrain at an elevation of 4,001 feet. The pilot reported that the calculated density altitude at the airport during the timeframe of the accident was approximately 6,880 feet.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in an open field about 1/2-mile from the approach end of runway 29. The surrounding terrain was relatively flat with areas of grass and scrub brush. All major airframe, engine and system components were located in the immediate area of the main wreckage. Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector from the Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office revealed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Prior to the flight the pilot affixed a GoPro camera to the leading edge of the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer. The camera was recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for data recovery.

The recovered SD memory card contained still pictures and movie files. The video of the accident sequence showed, in part, the airplane in a descent towards the airport. As the airplane approached the runway, it entered a left banked turn. The banked turn and descent increased and the airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a left wing down, nose-low attitude. Neither the pilot nor the cockpit instrumentation was visible from the camera.

The video further showed that the airplane’s engine appeared to be operational during the entire flight with no anomalies noted.



 NTSB Identification: WPR12LA359 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 14, 2012 in Tehachapi, CA
Aircraft: FECHTNER KR-2, registration: N37686
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On August 14, 2012, about 1605 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Fechtner KR-2 airplane, N37686 collided with terrain near Tehachapi Municipal Airport (KTSP), Tehachapi, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward portion of the fuselage and wings. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed from Tehachapi approximately 30 minutes prior to the accident.

A witness reported that he observed the airplane in a descending left turn near the airport. The witness reported that the engine was sputtering and the airplane continued the descent until impacting terrain.




The Tehachapi pilot whose experimental plane crashed into a field Tuesday afternoon completed a cross-country trip in the same airplane in June.

An article in the Bangor Daily Mail in Bangor, Maine, published in June tells the story of David Robins' flight.

According to the article, Robins made the flight from Mojave to Old Town, Maine, in his 700-pound, 14-foot-long KR-2 experimental plane — the smallest plane to ever land on the airstrip there.

He told a reporter in Maine that he bought the KR-2 in 2009 from someone who built the kit aircraft in a garage in 1981 and hadn't flown it since 1991.

The plane is two years older than Robins and it has spent about 300 hours, or roughly 39,000 miles, in the air at the time he landed in Maine.

According to the article, Robins has maintained and repaired unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan as a contractor for the military. While on a break from that job he planned to fly across the country, hitting "all four corners of the U.S."

The KR-2 runs on a Volkswagen engine and can travel about 800 miles on one tank of fuel. The wings can be pulled off the plane, allowing it to fit in a garage.

Robins has friends and former colleagues who work for Carter Aero Works, an aircraft maintenance and flight instruction company based at DeWitt Field, so the trip to Maine allowed him to visit them as well as one of the nation’s four corners.

The complete story about his flight can be found online HERE.

The Tehachapi News has been unnable to reach Robins, but according to reports he survived the crash with broken bones and some internal injuries.

http://www.tehachapinews.com


  
David Robins of Tehachapi survived the crash of his experimental plane on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 14. 

 The plane went down in a field near the intersection of Dennison Road and Tehachapi Boulevard just before 4 p.m. Witnesses reported Robins appeared to be headed toward the Tehachapi Airport.

"They found the pilot was conscious and talking, which is pretty unbelievable given the wreckage to the plane," said Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode. The pilot was transported to Kern Medical Center by helicopter following the crash and it has been reported that he has broken bones and possible internal injuries.

In an interview with KGET Channel 17, Susan Robins said her son David, who is 29 years old, has had his pilot's license for more than ten years.

"He has never had so much as a traffic accident, much less an aviation accident like this," she said on camera. "We have spoken often about the possibility, since you have the two dimensions in a car, but in a plane you add the third dimension. I think he started out flying when he was 14 and soloed at 16. He has just been very active in flying ever since."

Robins and his small experimental KR-2 aircraft recently returned from a cross-country flight that stopped in many cities, including stops on the east coast.

The aircraft ended up on the ground in a field at the southeast corner of Tehachapi Boulevard and Dennison Road. It is not known what caused the plane to crash. The National Transportaton Safety Board will investigate.



















 


TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A pilot was injured Tuesday when what was described as a two-seat experimental airplane crashed in Tehachapi. 

The plane reportedly took a nosedive while going in for the landing at Tehachapi Municipal Airport. 

The plane crashed in the area of East Tehachapi Boulevard and Dennison Road. 

The pilot, identified as David Robins, was reportedly incoherent when medical help arrived. 

 Authorities on scene said Robins might have suffered broken bones and internal injuries. He was flown to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield for treatment.

 A plane has crashed just short of the runway at the Tehachapi Airport.

The crash happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday.  Early reports indicate that the single-engine plane went down in the area of Dennison Road and East Tehachapi Boulevard.

That's the intersection just to the southeast of the runway at the airport. 

Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode said the pilot of the aircraft, David Robins, 29,  was attempting to land his plane and crashed.    

Officials said that Robins was breathing and awake.

A local man is very fortunate after surviving the crash of his experimental plane in Tehachapi on Tuesday. Susan Robins tells us her son, 29-year-old David Robins, has had his pilot license.

 According to witnesses, David Robins was headed back toward Tehachapi Airport when his plane went down in a field at the intersection of Dennison Road and Tehachapi Boulevard. After the crash, Robins was alert and talking with rescuers before he was taken to the hospital with possible broken bones. Looking at the wreckage, it's hard to believe anyone survived the crash.

The crash happened just before 4 p.m. Tuesday while Robins was attempting to land at Tehachapi Airport.

"They found the pilot was conscious and talking, which is pretty unbelievable given the wreckage to the plane. The pilot was taken by helicopter to Kern Medical Center," said Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode.

Robins and his small experimental KR-2 aircraft just returned from a cross-country flight that stopped in many cities, including stops on the east coast.

Flying runs in the family as his father used to fly, so the dangers of flying are nothing new to the family.

"He has never had so much as a traffic accident, much less an aviation accident like this. We have spoken often about the possibility, since you have the two dimensions in a car, but in a plane you add the third dimension." said Susan Robins.

According to his parents, David Robins has many years of flying experience.

"I think he started out flying when he was 14 and soloed at 16. And, he has just been very active in flying ever since." his mother continued. It is not known what caused the plane to crash. The NTSB will investigate.

Air Tractor AT-502, N1021D: Accident occurred August 14, 2012 in Hanley Falls, Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA546 
 14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 14, 2012 in Hanley Falls, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2012
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-502, registration: N1021D
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.

The pilot was conducting an agricultural application pass at the time of the accident. He was flying near a set of power line support poles on the edge of the field in order to establish a global positioning system reference line for subsequent application passes. He was looking to the left to maintain clearance with the support poles when he observed guy wires in his flight path. He immediately pulled up and rolled to the right; however, the left wing struck a guy wire. The airplane impacted the ground inverted, sustaining substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings. The pilot stated that there were no failures or malfunctions associated with the airplane before the accident. He noted that making the guy wires more visible and greater awareness on his part might have prevented the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from a guy wire during an agricultural application pass.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 1021D        Make/Model: AT5T      Description: AT-502/503
  Date: 08/14/2012     Time: 2110

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

LOCATION
  City: HANLEY FALLS   State: MN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT STRUCK POWERLINES AND CRASHED IN A FIELD, NEAR HANLEY FALLS, MN

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: Aerial Application      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: MINNEAPOLIS, MN  (GL15)               Entry date: 08/15/2012 

http://registry.faa.gov/N1021D

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A pilot was reportedly able to walk away from a plane crash Tuesday in Yellow Medicine County after the plane struck a power line and landed in a cornfield, authorities said. 

The Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office said the crash was reported shortly after 4 p.m. The caller said a plane was crop dusting west of Hanley Falls, Minn., when it went down.

The pilot, 47-year-old Bryce Orwick, of Clara City, was reported by another caller to be walking on a road after the crash, the sheriff’s office said. Orwick was later taken to the Granite Falls Hospital for treatment.

Authorities said the plane appears to have hit a high voltage power line and knocked it down.

The crash will be investigated by the FAA and the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office.
 

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com

Gulfstream Aerospace GV-SP (G550), N557H and Beech C90A, N928TT: Accident occurred August 14, 2012 at Nashville International Airport (KBNA), Tennessee

http://registry.faa.gov/N557H

http://registry.faa.gov/N928TT


 
A police officer talks on his radio at the scene where two airplanes collided on a ramp Tuesday afternoon at Nashville International Airport. No one was injured.




 


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two planes collided at Nashville International Airport Tuesday afternoon, causing a pile-up on a ramp at a private aviation facility.

The crash happened on the ground just before 3 p.m. Officials said the planes were a Gulfstream G550 and a Beechcraft King Air. No injuries were reported. No passengers were on board the planes when the collision occurred.

The Gulfstream Aircraft was corporate jet registered to the H.J. Heinz Company and owned by Bank of America. Heinz released a statement late Tuesday afternoon explaining that the incident occurred while the plane was being towed by Atlantic Aviation.

Officials made clear that there was no flight crew, or Heinz executives aboard the jet at the time of the towing incident. The plane had recently flown members of Heinz senior management team to Nashville.

“Heinz is launching a thorough investigation into the incident and we are cooperating fully with the FAA and officials. Safety is paramount at Heinz and we are taking this matter seriously,” the company said in an official release.

PHOTOS: Planes Collide At Nashville Airport 

The King Air plane was a private plane registered to West Air Holdings out of Memphis. The plane was in scheduled to depart Nashville Airport at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday headed to Memphis. West Air Holdings is a real estate investment firm.

This is the second such incident of planes colliding at an International Airport in less than a week. On Friday, a Lufthansa Airbus A330 and a United Express Bombardier Q40 clipped wings while taxing on a runway.  No injuries were reported in the crash, but there was some damage to the planes’ exteriors.
 
A Gulfstream G550 jet and a Beech 90 twin engine collided into each other at Nashville International Airport, while on a taxi way before 3 p.m. CT, according to Nashville's NBC-affiliate WSMV. 

Airport spokesperson Kim Richard told NBC News that the Gulfstream was being towed in the general aviation side of the airport when the accident happened. No passengers were aboard the two private planes. Both commercial and general aviation operations at the airport are unaffected, Richard said.  The FAA is investigating the incident,. WSMV reported that the Gulfsteam jet is registered to H J Heinz Co., while the twin engine plane is registered to West Air Holdings, LLC of Memphis, Tenn. 

The private planes - a Gulfstream G550 jet registered to H. J. Heinz Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, and a Beech 90 twin engine registered to West Air Holdings, LLC of Memphis - collided in the general aviation area before 3 p.m. 

A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said the Gulfstream jet was being towed on the Atlantic Aviation ramp when it apparently broke loose from the tug and collided into the parked Beech plane.  The nose of the Gulfstream jet wedged beneath the Beech plane, lifting the rear of the smaller Beech plane off the ground. 

Michael Mullen, Heinz vice president of corporate affairs, said the plane had flown Heinz employees to a customer meeting in Nashville, and no flight crew or Heinz executives were aboard the jet at the time of the incident.  An airport spokesperson said airport operations were not affected.  The FAA is investigating. Mullen said "safety is paramount at Heinz," and the company is "cooperating fully with the FAA."   

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, N2081U: Fatal accident occurred September 07, 2010 in Mountain Home, Arkansas

NTSB Identification: CEN10FA520 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 07, 2010 in Mountain Home, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA T210, registration: N2081U
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 airplane was in cruise flight at 6,700 feet mean sea level when the air traffic controller advised the pilot that a large area of heavy to extreme rain showers was ahead along his flight path for the next 180 miles. The pilot did not change course, and, about 6 minutes later, he requested a descent in order to remain operating under visual flight rules. About 4 minutes later, the controller lost radar contact with the airplane and tried to contact the pilot. There was no response. Witnesses on the ground reported that the airplane’s engine could be heard “revving up and down,” but the airplane could not be seen because of an overcast layer of clouds. Moments later the airplane appeared from the clouds and was observed descending in a nose down spiral. The witnesses added that, before the airplane descended out of sight, one of the wings “appeared to fold.” Postaccident examination indicated that the airplane experienced a positive overload failure of the left wing during the descent and subsequently broke apart. The examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions, anomalies, or failures before the wing separation that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s decision to continue flight into a known area of heavy rain and his subsequent failure to maintain aircraft control.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 7, 2010, about 1320 Central Daylight Time, a Cessna T210N, single-engine airplane, N2081U, sustained substantial damage following an in-flight break up and subsequent impact with trees and terrain near Mountain Home, Arkansas. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger on board the airplane were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Monterey Bay Aviation, Incorporated, Watsonville, California. No flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91 personal flight; however, the pilot was receiving radar flight following from the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The cross-country flight originated at Vermilion Regional airport, Danville, Illinois, about 0930 and was en route to Georgetown, Texas.

The pilot contacted Memphis ARTCC at 1245. The controller queried if the pilot could see the precipitation around the Flippin (FLP) VOR (very high frequency omnidirectional radio range) . The pilot replied “Roger.” The airplane was flying on about a 235 degree heading at an altitude of 6,700 feet mean sea level (msl).

At 1305, Memphis ARTCC told the pilot that there was a “very large area” of precipitation 30 miles ahead of him that extended south of Fort Smith Arkansas. The controlled added that it was “a very, very large area [of] moderate to heavy precipitation.” At 1307, the pilot was directed to another frequency.

The pilot checked in with Memphis ARTCC on the new assigned frequency. The pilot was given the current Mountain Home, Arkansas altimeter setting and was informed that weather radar was depicting an area of heavy to extreme precipitation 15 miles ahead of the pilot along his route of flight for the next 180 miles. The pilot responded with, “Thank you.”

At 1317, the pilot requested a descent to 4,500 feet “for VFR” (Visual Flight Rules flight). The control cleared the pilot to “maintain VFR” and would let the pilot know when he lost him on the controller’s radar.

At 1318:51, the airplane initiated a left turn to a heading of about 160 degrees. Two minutes later the airplane made a right turn back to toward the southwest. The turn continued until radar contact was lost at 1320:40. The airplane was at 7 nautical miles south of FLP at 6,600 feet msl when radar contact was lost.

At 1322, the controller broadcast to the pilot that he’d lost the airplane on radar. The pilot did not respond. Memphis made several attempts to contact the pilot. The pilot did not respond to any of them. 

According to witnesses in the area, the airplane’s engine could be heard “revving up and down” but the airplane could not be seen because of an overcast layer of clouds. Moments later the airplane appeared from the clouds and was observed descending in a nose down spiral. The witnesses added that before the airplane descended out of sight, one of the wings “appeared to fold.”

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 62-year old pilot in the left seat held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane rating. The pilot’s total flight time could not be determined from his logbook; however, the pilot’s logbook did show that he flew in the accident airplane with an instructor for 2.0 hours on July 18, 2010, and the logbook also indicated that he successfully completed a flight review on July 7, 2010.

The left seat pilot held a Third Class medical certificate dated June 15, 2010. The certificate had limitations that read “Holder shall possess glasses which correct near.” At the date of his medical examination, the pilot reported having 2,000 total flying hours and 20 hours in the previous six months. The pilot also reported that his previous medical certificate had been applied for on August 31, 1998.

The 32-year old pilot in the right seat held a private pilot certificate with single engine land airplane rating. No logbooks were found on the left seat pilot. The left seat pilot did not hold a current medical certificate. The last medical certificate the left seat pilot did apply for was November 23, 2005. At that time, the right seat pilot reported he had 120 total flying hours with no hours flown in the previous six months to the medical examination.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1982 Cessna Aircraft Model T210N, serial number 21064764. The airplane was powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520-R engine rated at 285 horsepower. 

According to the airplane logbook, the airplane underwent an annual inspection on November 20, 2009. The recorded tachometer reading at the time of the annual inspection was 87.2 hours. A logbook entry on October 18, 2009, where the airplane had been repainted, showed the airplane had an airframe time of 426.4 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1300 on September 7, 2010 depicted a stationary front extending across southeastern Missouri into northern Arkansas, Oklahoma, and into the Texas Panhandle. Tropical Storm Hermine was located to the southeast over southern Texas with a general moist-unstable air mass over the region. A general weak pressure gradient existed over Arkansas and a deformation zone was indicated by the wind flow over southern Missouri and Arkansas. The station models in the vicinity of the accident depicted an extensive area of rain along and south of the frontal boundary, with overcast clouds. 

The NWS Radar Summary Chart depicted a large area of intense to extreme echoes extended over Oklahoma and northern Arkansas along and south of the frontal boundary, and an extensive area of precipitation associated with T.S. Hermine.

The NWS Severe Storm Center’s Convective Outlook (AC) had a general risk of thunderstorms over the region with a slight risk of severe thunderstorms over southern Texas associated with the tropical storms landfall.

At 1253, the aviation routine weather report (METAR) for Baxter County Airport (BPK), Mountain Home, Arkansas, about 7 miles north of the accident site reported a wind from 170° at 5 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, ceiling broken at 2,900 agl, overcast at 3,800 feet, temperature 78° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 71° F, altimeter 30.12 inches of mercury (Hg).

BPK Special weather observation at 1315, wind 200° at 8 knots, gust to 14 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, ceiling broken at 3,300 feet, overcast at 4,700 feet, temperature 75° F, dew point 71° F, altimeter 30.13 inches of Hg.

BKP special weather observation at 1349, wind 200° at 5 knots, visibility 9 statute miles with light rain, a few clouds at 600 feet, ceiling overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature 73° F, dew point 72° F, altimeter 30.13 inches of Hg. Remarks: rain began at 1333, hourly precipitation less than 0.01 inch.

Harrison, Boone County Airport (HRO) located approximately 35 miles west of the accident site reported the following conditions surrounding the time of the accident:

Harrison special weather observation at 1328, automated observation, wind from 170 at 4 knots, visibility 2 ½ miles in moderate rain and mist, a few clouds at 1,300 feet, scattered at 2,700 feet, ceiling overcast at 3,400 feet, temperature 74 F, dew point 72 F, altimeter 30.15 inches of Hg. Remarks: automated observation system, hourly precipitation 0.13 inches.

The Springfield, Missouri (KSGF) WSR-88D weather radar located 78 mile northeast of the accident site base reflectivity image for 0.5° image at 1319 CDT showed a large east-to-west band of echoes extended over northern Arkansas with echoes between 35 and 40 dBZ or moderate to strong echoes over the accident site with maximum echoes of 50 dBZ located 12 miles east, and other echoes of 50 dBZ extending approximately 20 miles south through southwest and west of the accident site. Baxter County Airport (BPK) was located on the northern edge of the precipitation area with Harrison (HRO) located in echoes similar to those over the accident site.

FAA Advisory Circular AC00-24B identifies echoes between 35 and 40 dBZ as having possible moderate to severe turbulence with lightning. Air traffic control weather displays would have identified the precipitation areas as moderate over the accident site with heavy echoes embedded in the area surrounding the accident site.

NWS Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs) were issued for BPK for the surrounding time period. The forecast available for a preflight briefing was issued at 0623 and expected winds from 210 degrees at 9 knots, visibility better than 6 miles with showers in the vicinity of the airport, scattered clouds at 5,000 feet and a ceiling broken at 9,000 feet. There were temporary conditions between 1500 and 1900 CDT of visibility 4 miles in thunderstorms and light rain, ceiling overcast at 3,500 feet in cumulonimbus clouds.
The NWS Area Forecast (FA) for the route expected a cold front over the area with scattered clouds at 6,000 feet, broken ceiling at 10,000 feet with widely scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms over Arkansas, with tops between 38,000 to 40,000 feet during the period.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was located in a heavily wooded area 5 miles south of Mountain Home, Arkansas. 

The accident site consisted of the airplane main wreckage and a debris field that covered approximately 3,850 feet along a line beginning at the main wreckage and extending north on about a 001 degree magnetic heading. 

The airplane main wreckage consisted of the airplane’s cabin area and fuselage, the right wing, landing gear and engine. Also in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage was the propeller hub with one of the three propeller blades. The other two propeller blades were also nearby. The main wreckage was lodged within several trees. 

The airplane’s fuselage was oriented on a 262 degree heading. The cowling and cabin area, to include the instrument panel, glareshield and seats were broken open, charred and consumed by fire. The inboard portion of the right wing was charred and consumed by fire. The right aileron was bent forward and charred. An examination of the flight control system showed continuity from the control yokes to the control surfaces.

The engine was broken out, but intact and found resting on its left side. Most of the components were broken out. The propeller hub was broken at the flange mounting bolts. The hub and spinner were crushed and broken aft and inward. One propeller blade remained with the hub. It was curled forward and showed torsional bending, chordwise scratches and leading edge nicks and gouges. The other two propeller blades were located just forward of the engine. They were broken out from the hub. Both blades also showed torsional bending, chordwise scratches and leading edge nicks and gouges.

Airplane components extended to the north from the main wreckage. About 300 feet north of the main wreckage was the center section of the horizontal stabilizers and elevator. The section had been broken out with the most aft part of the fuselage. Both outboard sections of the horizontal stabilizers and elevators were bent downward and broken aft.

About 1,350 feet north of the main wreckage was the outboard portion of the right horizontal stabilizer. About 1,900 feet north of the main wreckage was the outboard portion of the left elevator.

About 2,300 feet north of the main wreckage and resting within tree branches was the vertical stabilizer. It was broken aft at the base. The rudder was broken out. About 2,350 feet north of the main wreckage was the top third of the rudder.

About 2,850 feet north of the main wreckage was the left wing. It was bent upward, twisted and broken aft at the root. The spars were broken upward and twisted aft. The left elevator was broken out. Aileron control cables showed unraveling and cup-cone breakages of the individual strands indicative of an overload failure. 

At the farthest extent of the debris, 3,850 feet north of the main wreckage was the outboard half of the left aileron.

The airplane main wreckage and the separated parts were collected and retained for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on both pilots by the Arkansas State Associate Medical Examiner in Little rock, Arkansas, on September 9, 2010.

Results of toxicology testing of samples taken from the 32-year old pilot were negative for all tests conducted.

Results of toxicology testing of samples taken from the 62-year old pilot showed volatile concentrations of Ethanol in muscle tissue at the level of 21 mg/dl, mg/hg. The Ethanol reported was from postmortem formation and not from ingestion.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The airplane was examined at Clinton, Arkansas on September 9, 2010. The examination of the engine did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation and production of rated horsepower. The examination of the other airplane systems did not reveal any preimpact anomalies.



Emergency personnel work the scene of a plane crash south of Mountain Home in this Sept. 7, 2010, photograph. The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a report regarding the crash in which two men died.



In a factual report issued recently, the National Transportation Safety Board does not say what caused a Sept. 7, 2010, plane crash 5 miles south of Mountain Home that claimed the lives of two men. A probable cause report expected to be released Friday may shed light on the cause of the crash.

 The pilot of the plane was 62-year-old Joseph Ross of Santa Cruz, Calif., while his 32-year-old son Michael C. Ross of Austin, Texas, was the passenger.

The flight originated in Danville, Ill., and was en route to Georgetown, Texas, when the crash occurred early that afternoon, according to the NTSB.

Joseph Ross checked in with the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center, and shortly after 1 p.m. personnel there informed the pilot of a very large area of moderate rain, according to the NTSB.

Ross told air controllers he was going to descend to 4,500 feet and requested to be placed on visual flight rules flight, a request that was granted, according to the NTSB report.

Shortly after that, air controllers informed the pilot they lost radar contact with him. The pilot did not acknowledge the transmission, according to the NTSB report.

Witnesses on the ground reported hearing the plane’s engine rev up and down before it broke through the low clouds in a nose-down spiral, the NTSB report said.

As the plane spiraled to the ground, witnesses told the NTSB one of the wings appeared to fold. When emergency personnel discovered the plane in a heavily wooded area, the debris path spread over approximately 3,850 feet, according to the NTSB report.

The left wing was found 2,850 feet from the where the main wreckage site was, according to the NTSB report.

The report goes into detail about the debris location, the weather and the medical history of the pilot. The report does not list or speculate as to the cause of the crash.

A small portion of the report discusses the plane’s mechanical condition, noting no known mechanical defects at the time of the crash.

The NTSB website indicates a probable cause report is expected to be released Friday


 A preliminary report shows weather played a role in the crash


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This week, the National Transportation Safety Board likely will release its final report on a deadly plane crash in Arkansas.  It happened in Baxter County nearly two years ago, killing Robert Ross, 62, of Santa Cruz, Calif., and his son, Michael Ross, 32, of Austin, Texas.

They were flying from Danville, Illinois to Texas when the plane went down near the Buffalo River.  A preliminary report shows weather played a role in the crash.

Helijet makes emergency landing on North Coast

There was a loss of power during a flight from Masset to the Langara Island Fishing Resort 

HAIDA GWAII (NEWS1130) - News1130 has exclusively learned that Helijet had an emergency landing on the North Coast last night.

The company says there was a loss of power during a flight from Masset to the Langara Island Fishing Resort at Haida Gwaii.


A pilot and fishing guide were not injured when the helicopter landed on water.


The aircraft is designed to float but is partially submerged right now, after tipping over when crews tried to tow it away. Fuel containment booms have been set up around it.  


http://www.news1130.com

Rockwell International S-2R, N8468V: Accident occurred August 14, 2012 in Royal City, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA356 
 14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 14, 2012 in Royal City, WA
Aircraft: ROCKWELL S2R, registration: N8468V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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


On August 14, 2012, about 0620 Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell International S-2R, N8468V, collided with a ditch during an off-airport forced landing following a loss of engine power during an aerial application flight near Royal City, Washington. The certified commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged as a result of a post impact fire. The airplane was registered to Royal Flying Service, Inc., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from a private airstrip about 2 minutes prior to the accident.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that just after taking off with 325 gallons of liquid fungicide, he detected a rough running engine. The pilot stated that not being able to maintain altitude and in order to clear a set of wires in front of him, he dumped the load, cleared the wires, and then attempted to land on a paved road. Subsequent to touching down the airplane veered off of the road and into a ditch, where it caught fire and was consumed.

The wreckage was recovered to a secured storage facility for further investigation.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 8468V        Make/Model: S2R       Description: AYRES/ROCKWELL S-2R THRUSH
  Date: 08/14/2012     Time: 1320

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

LOCATION
  City: ROYAL CITY   State: WA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED AND WENT INTO A DITCH, NEAR ROYAL CITY, WA

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: Aerial Application      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SPOKANE, WA  (NM13)                   Entry date: 08/15/2012

 
http://registry.faa.gov/N8468V

http://www.flickr.com/photo
 

EPHRATA, Wash. -- Grant County officials say a small airplane made an emergency landing on Highway 26 on Tuesday morning. 

Officials say around 6:30 a.m. a small airplane from the Royal Flying Service made an emergency hard landing on Highway 26 near Dodson RD, Royal City.

The 27-year-old pilot, Jared Felder, told investigators shortly after take off the plane experienced power loss and engine sputter. Felder said he dumped his load of fertilizer in hopes of clearing power lines.

After clearing the lines Felder negotiated the plane to Highway 26 where he landed the plane. Felder said the plane skidded into south portion of the ditch.

Felder exited the plane and it caught fire soon after.

Numerous agencies responded to the scene.

The roadway was shut down for a brief time but was later re-opened.

Felder received no injuries and the investigation will be handled by the FAA.

http://www.nwcn.com


http://registry.faa.gov/N8468V

http://www.flickr.com/photo

Missouri: St. Joseph Man's Love of Flying Ends in Tragedy

 
Submitted photo 
 Craig Combs gives his son, Justin Combs, his first radio-controlled airplane as a gift at the age of 10. Mr. Combs died in an ultralight aircraft crash in rural Buchanan County on Monday. 


A St. Joseph man’s love for flight ended tragically earlier this week as his family moves forward, honoring his passions.

“He was our risk-taker,” said Craig Combs’ daughter, Angie Losson, as she remembered her 55-year-old father who died in an ultralight aircraft crash Monday. “He was never afraid to try things he really wanted to do. No one could stop him.”

A St. Joseph native, Mr. Combs was piloting the aircraft near a private airstrip off Route JJ, about four miles south of the city limits, when a suspected gust of wind caused the landing gear to clip the top of a tree, which sent him to the ground. Mr. Combs was taken to Heartland Regional Medical Center in extremely critical condition and later died as a result of his injuries.

Known for his kind spirit, generosity and his mechanical know-how, Mr. Combs raised three daughters and one son and instilled his airplane enthusiasm into his family. His son, Justin, said he and his father shared a deep connection and friendship for radio-controlled planes.

“Dad was real particular about the way things had to be done, so when I started, it was basically just me watching him,” Justin said, adding that his father gave him his first radio-controlled plane around the age of 10. “It was good to have something that we could share a bond to. We were best friends.”

Mr. Combs, who was president of the St. Joseph Barnstormers’ Radio-Controlled Flying Club, only recently began to fly ultralight aircraft.

“The ultralight he was in when he (crashed) used to belong to me, until I sold it to him,” said Alan Beers, Mr. Combs’ friend of 23 years and fellow member of the St. Joseph Barnstormers. “He was our guy who would do anything we needed to be done. Fly anything, fix anything, or put anything together, just because he loved it all.”

Another daughter, Amy Combs, said her father would never have flown had he not inspected the plane before takeoff. He always wanted to be prepared for any situation, she said.

“He wouldn’t even let me go to school in Columbia without knowing how to change my car’s tire,” Ms. Combs joked. “He always wanted to make sure we were going to be taken care of, being safe. He was that way about everything in his life.”

Mr. Combs’ interests and generosity stretched outside the airfields.

“One of his neighbors lost their job and they weren’t going to have Christmas, so he left anonymous gift cards on their porch,” Ms. Losson said. “Or sometimes his friends wouldn’t have a washer or dryer, so he would go over and buy all the parts, just to fix it for them. He was just a good man.”

All four children agreed their father will be deeply missed.

“He died doing what he loved,” Ms. Losson said. “Although none of us were prepared for this, this is the way he would have wanted it to be — by him flying in the air.”

The family and members of the flying club plan to sponsor a scholarship fundraiser for aviation mechanics in honor of the late pilot. The event will be held Aug. 25 at the Field of Dreams, an aviation field about three miles east of St. Joseph on Missouri Highway 6 (Frederick Boulevard). Suggested donations are $1, and all funds will benefit the memorial fund.

For more information, visit http://www.stjoebarnstormers.net.

Read more and comments:    http://www.newspressnow.com



 
 Craig A. Combs
 1957-2012

Craig A. Combs, 55, St. Joseph, passed away Monday, August 13, 2012, at Heartland Regional Medical Center, due to injuries sustained in an ultralight aircraft accident.

 Craig was born on March 18, 1957, in St. Joseph, to Charles L. “Chuck” and Carole Ann (Buis) Combs.

He was a 1975 graduate of Central High School, President of St. Joe Barnstormers R\C Flying Club, and member of Experimental Aircraft Association.

Craig was most recently employed at Heartland Regional Medical Center in facility maintenance and worked part-time for Tron’s Goshen Auto Repair.

Through the years, Craig has been an auto mechanics instructor at Hillyard Technical School, an ambulance mechanic, Emergency Medical Technician and mechanic at McCarty Motors, Savannah, Mo.

Craig was preceded in death by his parents.

Craig is survived by his children, Amy Combs (Galen Cloud), Angie Losson (Brett), Justin Combs (Angela) and Andrea Keith (Aaron); two brothers, Curt and Chad Combs; sister, Cara Bergman; five grandchildren, Camden, Olivia, Drake, Nathan and Zoey and fiancé, Frances White.

Services: 2 p.m. Saturday, at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel.

Interment: Memorial Park Cemetery.

Visitation will begin after 9 a.m. Friday, at the Chapel, where the family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Friday evening.

Craig had a lifelong love for aviation, and recently achieved his dream of being a pilot.

Because of this love for flying, memorial contributions are suggested to the funeral home for creation of the Craig A. Combs Scholarship for aviation mechanics.

Read more and comments:   http://www.newspressnow.com/obituaries

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A 55-year-old St. Joseph man injured in a plane crash has died. Craig Combs was critically injured when his ultralight plane went down off highway JJ Monday night.

The airplane enthusiast shared his love for flying with KQ2 during an interview in 2009.
"[The radio-controlled planes] are just made from whatever junk we can find laying around," Combs said.

At the time, he was practicing with radio-controlled planes he built for the St. Joseph Barnstormers Flying Club.

Just a few months ago, Combs took his hobby to new heights by getting behind the lever of an ultralight aircraft.

His love for flying turned tragic Monday night. He crashed his aircraft near a private airfield off Highway JJ south of St. Joseph.

"It's just something that goes along with the territory of these smaller airplanes," Sgt. Sheldon Lyon, Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Sgt. Lyon said the ultralight trimmed the top of a tree before it crashed.

The property owner says Combs was likely attempting to land at about 25 mph.

Shortly after the crash, investigators were still trying to pinpoint how it happened.

"Maybe a gust of wind, we're not really sure at this point. His plane clipped the tree, and crashed to the ground. The tree is probably 40 or 50 ft. in the air," Jeremy Keener, Buchanan County Sheriff's Dept. said.

Combs was rushed to Heartland by helicopter, but he did not survive.

The 55-year-old was not a licensed pilot, but the FAA does not require aircraft operators to be licensed if they're flying planes that weigh less than 254 pounds.

He was flying alongside two others in similar aircraft when the crash happened.

The property owner said he's never seen an accident like this in his 35 years with the airfield.

A member of the Barnstormers said Combs was the president of the St. Joseph club, and that he spent many weekends flying radio-controlled planes on the "Field of Dreams" east of town.

Combs' funeral is set for Saturday at Heaton Bowman Smith and Sidenfaden Chapel. Family will receive friends Friday evening from 6-8.

Combs will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Watch Video:    http://stjoechannel.com/fulltext?nxd_id=291572




 (ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A St.Joseph man injured in a plane crash Monday night has died. 

 Authorities say the pilot, Craig Combs, 55, was critically injured when his ultralight plane went down near a runway off Highway JJ south of St. Joseph.

The Missouri Highway Patrol said the plane clipped a tree before it crashed.

Combs was rushed to Heartland by helicopter, but did not survive.

According to a report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Combs was the only person on board when the plane crashed.

Combs was the president of the St. Joseph Barnstormers R/C Flying Club. Combs had been flying ultra-light aircraft for about two months.

The owner of the airfield near where the crash happened said Combs loved flying and had taken lessons from registered pilots before he started flying ultralights.

An FAA spokeswoman said investigators will determine if the aircraft weighs enough for a full investigation by the FAA. If not, she said local authorities will conduct the investigation.


 http://stjoechannel.com

Bob Heater | Fox 26 KNPN 
 First responders load the victim of an ultralight aircraft crash into a LifeNet air ambulance Monday. The crash occurred shortly before 8 p.m. near a private landing strip off State Route JJ.


 One person was critically hurt after a small plane crashed in Buchanan County.

The ultra light plane went down near a private landing strip off JJ Highway near Dekalb Monday night.

Investigators say the man was flying with several other planes.

The accident happened when he was approaching the landing strip.

The man was the only one in the plane.

He was life flighted to the hospital in critical condition.

Authorities say the man had only been flying for a couple of months.

The name of the victim has not been released.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.


 http://stjoechannel.com

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: UNREG        Make/Model: ULTR      Description: UNREGISTERED ULTRALIGHT
  Date: 08/14/2012     Time: 0142

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

LOCATION
  City: SAINT JOSEPH   State: MO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  UNREGISTERED ULTRALIGHT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, NEAR SAINT 
  JOSEPH, MO

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # 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: KANSAS CITY, MO  (CE05)               Entry date: 08/14/2012 

Beechcraft G18S, Mid America Sport Skydive Club, Barron Aviation, N697Q: Fatal accident occurred, August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, Illinois

http://registry.faa.gov/N697Q

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA534
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2014
Aircraft: BEECH G18 - S, registration: N697Q
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 12 Uninjured.

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

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) with 12 parachutists seated inside the airplane on two rear-facing “straddle benches.” The airplane was flying at an indicated speed of 100 mph with the flaps retracted. The operator’s written guidance for “skydiving jump runs” indicated that the airspeed should be maintained at 110 to 120 mph and that the flaps should be set at 30 degrees. As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and moved farther aft in the airplane to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned aft of the straddle benches and were hanging onto the outside of the airplane, several of the other parachutists were standing in the door, and the remainder of the parachutists were standing in the cabin forward of the door. According to instructions on the operator's skydiver briefing card, no more than four jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area during exit. Several parachutists heard the sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system, and the airplane then suddenly rolled and began to descend. All 12 parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning and descending in an inverted nose-down attitude and then appear to briefly recover, but it then entered a nearly vertical dive, which is consistent with a loss of control event as a result of an aerodynamic stall and subsequent entry into a spin. 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidance indicates that the pilot-in-command (PIC) must know the weight and location of jumpers during each phase of the flight to assure that the aircraft stays within center of gravity (CG) limits and that the PIC must remain aware of CG shifts and their effects on aircraft controllability and stability as jumpers move into position for exiting the aircraft. Further FAA guidance indicated that, if a stall recovery is not promptly initiated, the airplane is more likely to enter an inadvertent spin, which can degenerate into a spiral. It is likely that the number of parachutists near the door area during exit shifted the CG aft and contributed to the aerodynamic stall/spin. The pilot suffered a serious traumatic brain injury in September 2005 as a result of colliding with a truck while bicycling; however, he did not report that injury during all subsequent FAA medical certificate applications. Persons with an injury of this severity will likely have long-term issues with cognition, attention, executive functioning, sleep disturbance, and impulsivity. However, without the results of any postinjury neuropsychological testing, the status of the pilot’s cognition and decision-making during the accident flight could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and use the appropriate flaps setting during sport-parachuting operations, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin and a subsequent loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to follow company guidance by allowing more than four passengers in the door area during exit, which shifted the airplane’s center of gravity aft.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 11, 2012, about 1124 central daylight time, a Beech Aircraft Company G18S multi-engine airplane, N697Q, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in a residential neighborhood in Taylorville, Illinois. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. Twelve parachutists on-board the airplane exited and were not injured. No persons on the ground were injured. The airplane was registered to Barron Aviation, LLC; Perry, Missouri, and operated by Barron Aviation Private Flight Services, LLC; Hannibal, Missouri, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a sport parachuting flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Taylorville Municipal Airport (TAZ), Taylorville, Illinois, about 1100.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and the parachutists were seated inside the airplane on two rear facing "straddle benches". As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and moved further aft in the airplane in preparation for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned hanging on to the outside of the airplane with several others standing in the door and the remainder were standing in the cabin forward of the door. Several parachutists reported that they were almost ready to jump when they heard the sounds of the airplane's stall warning system. The airplane then suddenly rolled and all twelve parachutists quickly exited the airplane. Several of those who were last to exit reported that the airplane was inverted or partially inverted as they went out the door. The pilot, seated in the left front cockpit seat, did not exit the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning and descending in an inverted attitude when the airplane appeared to briefly recover, but then entered a nearly vertical dive.

The airplane impacted a tree and terrain in the back yard of an occupied residence. Emergency personnel who first responded to the accident scene reported a strong smell of gasoline and ordered the evacuation of several nearby homes. There was no postimpact fire.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 30, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His private pilot certificate was initially issued on December 1, 1999, and his first rating as a commercial pilot was initially issued on January 7, 2003.

The pilot's two logbooks showed entries beginning on August 7, 1999, with the last entry in pilot's logbook number two on July 22, 2012. An endorsement showed a flight review was completed on June 26, 2012. A high-performance airplane endorsement was entered on March 11, 2000. A tail wheel airplane endorsement was entered on October 28, 2001. A complex airplane endorsement was entered on December 21, 2002. On December 8, 2003, the pilot successfully completed a practical test and was issued an additional rating for airplane multi-engine land on his commercial pilot certificate.

A review of the logbooks showed that as of August 22, 2012, the pilot had logged 1,425.1 hours of total flight experience in airplanes, with 33.7 of those hours in multi-engine airplanes, and a total of 255.1 of those hours in single engine airplanes with conventional gear. There was no record that the pilot had any experience prior to August 20, 2012, in any multi-engine airplanes with conventional gear.

The pilot's logbook showed that his most recent flight instruction in multiengine airplanes was logged on June 10, 2005. As of March 7, 2006, the logbook showed a total of 27.8 hours of experience in multiengine airplanes. During the period from 2006 until August 20, 2012, the pilot logged two flights in multiengine airplanes. On August 23, 2008, the logbook showed 1.3 hours of pilot-in-command experience in a Piper PA-23 multiengine piston airplane with the notation that it was a "check-out flight". Another flight, estimated to be in 2008, showed 1.0 hours of pilot-in-command experience in a Beech 99 multiengine turboprop airplane with the notation "fly right seat for multi/turbine time".

There were no other flights logged in multiengine airplanes until the pilot's first flight in the accident airplane, which was logged as a "familiarization and skydive checkout flight" of 0.5 hours of pilot-in-command experience on July 20, 2012. The last pilot logbook entry on July 22, 2012, showed the pilot flew the accident airplane for 3.1 hours on six skydiving flights.

Based on conversations with family members, the aircraft owner, skydiver load records, and billing records from the operator, it is estimated that the pilot flew the accident airplane for an additional 2.0 hours on August 10, 2012, and an additional total of 1.5 hours on August 11, 2012.

The pilot's flight experience in the accident airplane at the time of the accident was estimated as a total of 7.1 hours. There were no logbook entries or endorsements from a flight instructor, or any other evidence to show that the pilot had ever received any flight instruction in the accident airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The low-wing, retractable conventional landing gear, multi-engine airplane, serial number (s/n) BA-468, was manufactured in 1959. It was powered by two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney model R-985-AN-14B engines; s/n 89634, and s/n 203495. Each engine drove a Hamilton Standard; model 22D30, 2-blade metal alloy full feathering propeller.

The cockpit had a pilot station on the left seat and a co-pilot station or passenger seat on the right side, with each seat equipped with a 3-point shoulder harness system. The passenger cabin had been modified with two "straddle benches" which provided aft facing seating for a total of twelve parachutists.

The main cabin door had been modified for sport parachuting operations with the installation of an upward opening "roll-up" door. With the door in the open position it stowed on the inside surface of the cabin ceiling and the upper right side wall.

The original maintenance records were not recovered. The aircraft owner reported that all aircraft maintenance records and logbooks had been onboard at the time of the accident and were destroyed. After the accident, the aircraft owner provided unsigned copies of reconstructed maintenance record entries which showed that an annual inspection was completed on August 5, 2012, at an aircraft total time of 13,833.0 hours. Entries on that date also noted that both engines had accumulated a total of 46.9 hours since the most recent engine overhaul.

The operator estimated that the airplane had been operated for about 10 hours or less since the annual inspection was completed on August 5, 2012.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1115, the automated weather observation station at TAZ reported wind from 330 degrees at 9 knots; skies clear of clouds, temperature 24 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature 9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of Mercury.

A review of pilot reports (PIREPs) for the area showed no suggestion of turbulence in the altitudes below about flight level (FL) 290. A review of the wind aloft reports also did not suggest significant shearing of the horizontal flow below about FL300, and there were no thunderstorms nearby for gravity wave generation.

Further review of winds aloft reports for the area showed the wind at 10,250 feet pressure altitude was from 347 degrees true at 19 knots; the wind at 9,309 feet pressure altitude was from 348 degrees true at 22 knots; and the wind at 12,221 feet pressure altitude was from 348 degrees true at 27 knots.

COMMUNICATIONS AND RADAR AND ON-BOARD VIDEO

Following is a timeline of selected communications between the pilot of N697Q and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC). A summary of the FAA ATC radar contacts is included. Also included are selected observations from the three on-board parachutist helmet mounted video cameras.

1104: N697Q made initial contact with the ATC controller, and radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 2,200 feet.

1120: parachutist video camera panned toward the cockpit, the altimeter indicated 10,400 feet, the flap handle was up, the landing gear handle was up, and the indicated airspeed was about 100 miles per hour. The pilot was sitting in the left pilot seat, and was wearing glasses, a parachute, and a headset with a boom microphone. The pilot was wearing a single shoulder harness over his left shoulder. The pilot's feet were both flat on the floor.

1121:45: N697Q reported to the ATC controller "… one minute prior to jumper release"

1121:50: the ATC controller instructed N697Q to report jumpers away, and N697Q responded.

There were no further transmissions heard from N697Q.

1122:02: parachutist video camera showed a parachutist pointing at the aft bulkhead and a parachutist said "green light", two parachutists adjacent to the door rolled the jump door to the open position.

1122:17: parachutist video camera showed the left flap was retracted and the left aileron was neutral.

1123: parachutist video camera showed two parachutist started to move outside the airplane, three other parachutist were moving toward the door and all parachutists had started to stand up.

1123:09: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,200 feet.

1123:12: parachutist video camera showed the left flap deflected downward to an estimated deflection of less than 10 degrees.

1123:14: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,300 feet.

1123:18: parachutist video camera captured the sound of the engines decreasing, the propeller sound remained synchronized.

1123:19: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,400 feet.

1123:21: parachutist video camera showed the left flap returned to a zero deflection, five parachutists were on the exterior jump platform, and seven parachutists were still in the airplane.

1123:25: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,300 feet.

1123:29: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 11,200 feet.

1123:33: parachutist video camera captured the sound of a warbly, high pitch tone, similar to stall warning and several parachutists began to yell "go go go" "get out" … "go go go" "get out".

1123:33: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 10,700 feet.

1123:34: parachutist video camera showed parachutists began to jump with the airplane in a steep left bank, the left aileron was deflected down, and the left flap was zero.

1123:38: radar showed N697Q moving northeast at a transponder reported altitude of 9,600 feet.

1123:39: parachutist video camera showed the last parachutist exited the airplane. The airplane was in a left hand turn past inverted with the nose oriented nose down approximately 40 to 60 degrees.

1123:43: radar showed N697Q moving northeast – the transponder reported altitude was missing.

1123:43: parachutist video camera showed the airplane was oriented nose down of about 40 to 70 degrees and then exited the field of view of the camera.

1123:48: radar showed N697Q was at a transponder reported altitude of 7,400 feet.

1123:54: the last radar return from N697Q – the transponder reported altitude was missing.

Radar contact was then lost.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage location was about 1 and 1/2 miles northeast of TAZ, in the back yard of a private residence at an estimated elevation of about 620 feet mean seal level (msl). The residence about 30 feet east of the impact location, and several other buildings about 50 feet in all directions did not display substantial damage from the wreckage impact.

The large tree impacted by the wreckage had numerous broken branches and evidence of paint smearing on the branches and on the east side of the main trunk of the tree. The paint smears on the tree were the same color as the reddish orange color of the wreckage, and parts of airplane wreckage were lodged in several forks of the tree. A main impact crater about ten feet in diameter was immediately adjacent to the north edge of the trunk of the tree. Piles of impact compressed and fragmented aircraft wreckage were located on and next to that impact crater. Extensive impact crushing damage and fragmentation was observed on most of the components of the wreckage.

A prominent ground scar on the north side of the tree was oriented on a bearing of 197 degrees. Fragmented parts of the wing tip and broken pieces of red glass were found in the north end of that ground scar. Impact compressed and fragmented parts of the leading edge of the left wing were located nearby and corresponded to the ground scar. The ground scar and damage to the wreckage was consistent with the airplane being in nearly vertical nose down attitude with the top of the airplane oriented to the east at the time of impact.

The left wing was fragmented and was found at the main crash site with the left flap and aileron. The leading edge displayed compression impact damage and fragmentation along the entire leading edge that penetrated aft to the trailing edge of the wing.

Both wings, both flaps, both ailerons, both vertical fins, both rudders, the elevator, and all three landing gear legs were all observed at the scene. The position of the flaps, and the position of the landing gear could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage. The position of the trim tabs on the control surfaces could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage. Flight control continuity could not be determined because of the fragmentation and impact damage.

Useful documentation of cockpit instruments could not be determined because of fragmentation and impact damage. An emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was not identified at the scene.

Fragmented portions of the right wing were found with the main wreckage and displayed impact compression damage from the leading edge aft. Fragmented portions of the main fuselage and empennage were observed at the scene and displayed impact compression damage.

The fuselage was substantially compressed and fragmented. Both engines and both propellers were observed at the scene and had penetrated into the impact crater immediately north of the large tree.

During on-scene examination of the wreckage the main impact crater was excavated to a depth of about six feet and to a diameter of about eight feet. Both engines and both propellers were recovered from the impact crater. The position of the two engines in the crater was consistent with the airplane being in a slightly sideways attitude at the time of impact. Both engines were fragmented and impact compressed. Both propellers, including both spinners, both hubs and all four propeller blades were observed in the impact crater adjacent to the engines. Fragmentation and impact damage prevented a useful examination of the propellers.

During the retrieval and excavation of the main impact crater all retrieval participants had been briefed in advance to be particularly alert for the presence of any aircraft maintenance documents or for the presence of any personal effects. No aircraft maintenance documents and no personal effects were found at the scene.

Most of the wreckage components were observed within about a 25 foot radius from the main impact crater, however about 25 pounds of numerous pieces of small fragmented wreckage components were recovered as far away as about 300 feet to the west. An additional few other pieces of lightweight materials from the wreckage were recovered from about 100 feet to the northeast.

The on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the McLean County Coroner's Office Regional Autopsy Facility; Bloomington, Illinois. The cause of death was listed as "multiple injuries due to an airplane crash".

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA, Aeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The toxicology report stated that tests were not performed. Submitted samples were not suitable for analyses.

FAA records showed the pilot's most recent second class airman medical certificate, was issued on May 10, 2010, with a restriction: "must wear corrective lenses".

Personal medical records reveal the pilot had suffered a traumatic brain injury in September, 2005, as a result of colliding with a truck while bicycling. The pilot failed to report that injury during all subsequent FAA medical certificate applications.

The head injuries in 2005 included fracture of the frontal bone and bilateral temporal lobe contusions. The pilot had an initial Glasgow Coma Score of twelve (of a possible 15) but was combative as a result of the brain injury and required several days of a medically induced coma. After about a week in the hospital, he spent more than three weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation unit and several months in outpatient rehabilitation for his brain injury. In addition to balance and endurance problems, while in rehabilitation he had issues with attention, concentration, and executive functioning and the family reported impulsive, sometimes unsafe, behaviors.

Three months later, he had not been cleared to drive as a result of his impaired judgment. The available records incompletely document the outcome from the traumatic brain injury as the pilot moved away approximately three months after his injury. No records regarding follow up in-depth neuropsychological testing were identified by the investigation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the Beech Aircraft Corporation Model G18S Landplane Airplane Flight Manual; Part No. 18-001020, Revised: January 30, 1961: "… Stalling Speed with power at zero thrust is 89 mph with gear and flaps up and zero degrees angle of bank; maximum pitch angle during recovery is 25 degrees … maximum altitude lost during a stall is 600 feet … stall warning indicator is triggered at a minimum of 6 mph above stall speed".

According to the operator's cockpit checklist instructions for "Skydiving Jump Run"; the engine power should be slowly decreased to idle, the airspeed should be maintained at 110 – 120 MPH, and the flaps should be set at 30 degrees. While the jumpers are exiting the speed should be maintained at 110 – 120 MPH.

According to instructions on the operator's "Skydiver Briefing Card"; during exit no more than 4 jumpers should be allowed to occupy the door area.

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC No: 105-2D; Subject: Sport Parachuting; Section 8. c. "The PIC is solely responsible for assuring that the aircraft being flown is properly loaded and operated so that it stays within gross weight and CG limitations. The PIC must ensure that the aircraft is operated within the aircraft W&B limitations ... The PIC is also responsible for reviewing these records and the flight manual to be familiar with an aircraft's W&B procedures and flight characteristics.

Section 8. d. Computing W&B. "The PIC must include the following factors:

(4) The weight and location of jumpers during each phase of the flight in order to assure that the aircraft stays within CG limits. The PIC must remain aware of CG shifts and their effects on aircraft controllability and stability as jumpers move into position for exiting the aircraft and as they exit."

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC No: 61-67C; Subject: Stall and Spin Awareness Training: Chapter 1: " … The possibility of inadvertently stalling the airplane by increasing the load factor (i.e., by putting the airplane in a steep turn or spiral) is much greater than in normal cruise flight … Excessively steep banks should be avoided because the airplane will stall at a much higher speed … If the nose falls during a steep turn, the pilot might attempt to raise it to the level flight attitude without shallowing the bank. This situation tightens the turn and can lead to a diving spiral. …

The Center of Gravity (CG) … location has a significant effect on stability and stall/spin recovery. As the CG is moved aft, the amount of elevator deflection needed to stall the airplane at a given load factor will be reduced. An increased AOA will be achieved with less elevator control force. This could make the entry into inadvertent stalls easier, and during the subsequent recovery, it would be easier to generate higher load factors due to the reduced elevator control forces. In an airplane with an extremely aft CG, very light back elevator control forces may lead to inadvertent stall entries …

If recovery from a stall is not made properly, a secondary stall or a spin may result. A secondary stall is caused by attempting to hasten the completion of a stall recovery before the aircraft has regained sufficient flying speed ...

The primary cause of an inadvertent spin is exceeding the critical AOA while applying excessive or insufficient rudder and, to a lesser extent, aileron. Insufficient or excessive control inputs … could aggravate the precipitation of a spin … If a stall recovery is not promptly initiated, the airplane is more likely to enter an inadvertent spin ...

The spiral mode is an autorotation mode similar to a spin. The center of rotation is close to the centerline of the airplane but the airplane is not stalled … Many airplanes will enter a spin but the spin will become more vertical and degenerate into a spiral (and) the airspeed will increase as the nose goes down to near vertical. The side forces on the airplane build very rapidly and recovery must be effected immediately before exceeding the structural limits of the airplane".


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA534
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Taylorville, IL
Aircraft: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation G18S, registration: N697Q
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On August 11, 2012, about 1224 central daylight time, a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation G18S airplane, N697Q, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in a residential neighborhood in Taylorville, Illinois. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The twelve parachutists were not injured and no persons on the ground were injured. The airplane was registered to Barron Aviation, LLC; Perry, Missouri, and operated by Barron Aviation Private Flight Services, LLC; Perry, Missouri, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a sport parachuting flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Taylorville Municipal Airport (TAZ), Taylorville, Illinois, about 1200.

The airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and the 12 parachutists were seated inside the airplane on two rear facing “straddle benches.” As the airplane arrived at the planned drop location, the parachutists stood up, opened the door, and began to prepare for their jump. Five of the parachutists were positioned hanging on to the outside of the airplane with several others standing in the door and the remainder were standing in the cabin forward of the door. Several parachutists reported that they were almost ready to jump when they heard the sounds of the airplane’s stall warning system. The airplane then suddenly rolled and at least one of the parachutists yelled a “go, go, go” command. All 12 parachutists successfully exited the airplane and several of the last to exit reported that the airplane was at least partially inverted as they went out the door. The pilot did not exit the airplane. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane descending in an inverted attitude when the airplane appeared to briefly recover, but then entered a nearly vertical dive.

The airplane impacted a tree and terrain in the fenced back yard of an occupied residence. Emergency personnel who first responded to the accident scene reported a strong smell of gasoline and ordered the evacuation of several nearby homes. There was no postimpact fire.

Several of the parachutists on-board the flight had been equipped with helmet mounted video cameras and they have provided to the NTSB their video recordings which may have captured the accident event. The original recording media for those videos have been sent to the NTSB vehicle recorders laboratory and will be reviewed.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 697Q        Make/Model: BE18      Description: G18S
  Date: 08/11/2012     Time: 1710

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

LOCATION
  City: TAYLORVILLE   State: IL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, 5 MILES FROM TAYLORVILLE, IL

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Other      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SPRINGFIELD, IL  (GL19)               Entry date: 08/13/2012 



AUGUSTA, Ill. -- Brandon Scott Sparrow, 30, of Augusta, died Saturday (Aug. 11, 2012) in Taylorville as the result of an airplane accident.

He was born May 17, 1982, in Macomb to Terry and Rhonda Norris Sparrow. He married Angela Ellefritz on Oct. 22, 2009, in Negril, Jamaica. She survives.

Brandon was a 2000 graduate of Macomb High and attended Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, majoring in aviation flight. He was employed as a driver and planner for Burlington Trailways in Burlington, Iowa, and was an aircraft mechanic apprentice studying for his Airframe and Powerplant tests. He was building and approaching the covering phase of his Pitts S1-SS, which he hoped to complete and fly next year.

Brandon's love for flying began with his first air show at the age of 6. At a young age he was a member of the Bushnell "Flying Fools" radio controlled airplane club. He was a flight student of Roger Smith of Macomb, earning his private pilot's license at the age of 16. He was an avid skydiver and a member of the Mid-America Sport Parachute Club of Taylorville. He enjoyed golf and photography, and volunteered for HUGS of Hancock County, a cancer support group. He attended Augusta Christian Church. 


Continued ... read more here:  http://www.legacy.com

Guest Book:  http://www.legacy.com/guestbook

SERVICES:
Cremation rites have been accorded. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Augusta Christian Church, Augusta, with the Rev. Ryan Derr conducting.

 VISITATION:
4 to 7 p.m. Friday and because of Brandon's love for flying it will be held at Smith Airport, located on the east side of Macomb on U.S. 67, just south of Ill. 136.

MEMORIALS:
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Brandon Sparrow Memorial Fund, at Bank of Advance, Bowen Banking Center, in care of Bev Leasman, 415 W. Fifth St., Bowen, IL 62316.

ARRANGEMENTS:
Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta.
 

Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com.

 Autopsy Results for Fallen Pilot Brandon Sparrow:

 Autopsy results for 30 year old Brandon Sparrow of Augusta, IL the lone casualty and pilot from the recent plane crash in Taylorville were announced. According to Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans

Preliminary autopsy shows that Mr. Sparrow died from multiple injuries of the entire body due to an airplane crash, reportedly sustained as the pilot and sole occupant of the plane that crashed into the ground at a very high rate of speed.

The accident occurred on Rich Street in Taylorville at 11:25 on Saturday morning.

Source:  http://www.taylorvilledailynews.com


 
Brandon Sparrow, shown here before a flight July 20, 2012.
 (Photo courtesy of State Journal-Register/Brian Blythe)