Sunday, August 19, 2012

Socata TB10 Tobago, N5542Z: Accident occurred August 12, 2012 in Shirley, New York

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA514
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 19, 2012 in Shirley, NY
Aircraft: SOCATA TB 10, registration: N5542Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 19, 2012, about 1155 eastern daylight time, a Daher Socata TB10, N5542Z, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and a construction dumpster during a forced landing after takeoff from Brookhaven Calabro Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York. The certificated private pilot/owner and a passenger were fatally injured, and the pilot-rated passenger, a prospective buyer for the airplane, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The purpose of the accident flight was a pre-purchase demonstration of the accident airplane; a Daher Socata TB10 "Tobago." The buyer said that he intended to examine and photograph the maintenance logbooks and the Airworthiness Directives log, then fly the airplane around the airport traffic pattern with the owner. If he was satisfied with the maintenance logs and the performance of the airplane, he was going to order a pre-purchase examination of the airplane from a maintenance facility that specialized in the Socata.

In a postaccident interview, the buyer said he and his wife arrived at Brookhaven Airport, and asked the owner for the maintenance logbooks to examine and photograph. The owner pointed to a table where the logbooks were sitting, but insisted that they fly the airplane first, and examine them afterward. The buyer then placed his camera tripod on the table next to the logbooks, and walked with his wife and the owner to the airplane.

The buyer explained to the owner that he was unfamiliar with the Socata TB10, and asked the owner to perform the engine start and preflight checks. Once the engine was started and the checks completed, the owner stated that the mechanic had just informed him that the tachometer was “unreliable.” The owner then proceeded to taxi the airplane to the runway for takeoff.

The buyer performed the takeoff roll and stated that the airplane’s acceleration was unusually slow, and that the airplane used significantly more runway than he anticipated. At 65 knots indicated airspeed, the buyer attempted to rotate the airplane for takeoff. The airplane lifted off, but immediately settled back onto to the runway. The buyer then relinquished the flight controls to the owner, who continued the takeoff.

The buyer stated that, after lifting off the runway, the airplane “didn’t leave ground effect.” He stated that the airplane would not climb, and was “skimming the treetops.” After reaching an altitude of about 150 feet, the airplane then “broke to the right and entered a classic stall/spin.”

The buyer believed that he was ejected from the airplane during the collision with the trees and the dumpster, and described how he found himself and his wife outside the airplane and on fire.

When asked if he thought to abort the takeoff, he said he started to, and at the same time, he gave the flight controls to the owner. When asked if he thought the owner would abort the takeoff at that point, he said he had no expectation of whether the owner would abort or continue, because he felt that the airplane’s lack of performance was due to his possibly “doing something incorrectly.” As the owner continued the takeoff, another pilot announced over the airport’s common traffic advisory frequency, “Tobago on takeoff, check your carb[uretor] heat.” The buyer said he looked and confirmed that the throttle, mixture, propeller, and carburetor heat controls were all in the “full forward” position.

According to witnesses, their attention was drawn to the airplane during its takeoff roll. The pace was described as "slow" and "anemic" as the airplane used almost the entire length of the 4,000-foot-long runway to become airborne. They described the airplane as it climbed slowly to tree-top height, in a nose-high pitch attitude, and disappeared from view. Moments later, a large smoke plume appeared out of the trees a short distance beyond the airport boundary.

A witness who was standing on his back porch facing northeast, about 1.5 miles from the airport, said the airplane appeared above the trees at the back border of his property, flying directly toward him, and that the sound of the engine was "really loud." The airplane descended over his backyard and below the height of his one-story house in a 30-degree left bank. The airplane then pitched up, climbed over the house, and struck a tree and a construction dumpster in front of the house, where it burst into flames. The witness then described his efforts to extinguish the fire and assist the occupants of the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot/owner held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on August 1, 2003. He reported 18 total hours of flight experience on that date. His pilot logbooks were not recovered.

The buyer held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on December 12, 2011. Examination of his logbook revealed the pilot had logged 189.8 total hours of flight experience, none of which was in the accident airplane make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1991 and was issued a ferry permit on June 20, 2012, in order to relocate the airplane and perform an annual inspection and other maintenance at HWV. Although the maintenance records were not recovered, the investigation revealed a two-page handwritten list of discrepancies for the airplane, prepared by the mechanic who relocated the airplane to HWV and was performing the maintenance on it. He stated that there were no anomalies with the performance and handling of the airplane on the ferry flight to HWV, but that the tachometer was "intermittent" and appeared to work properly only at high rpm engine settings.

Item number 27 on the mechanic's list was "Carb[uretor] has sediment in bowl – disassemble & clean." The item was checked in the margin and 3 hours of labor was annotated and billed.

The buyer stated that the airplane had been posted on the internet for sale, but that the owner did not reply to several requests to see the airplane and its records. He and his wife flew to Mattituck, New York, where the airplane had been parked for several years, to examine the exterior of the airplane. Afterwards, they continued to try to contact the owner. After several months, the owner finally responded to the buyer and informed him that the airplane had been flown to HWV for an annual inspection and correction of maintenance discrepancies in preparation for its sale.

Prior to the buyer’s examination and test flight of the airplane at HWV, the owner represented to him in emails, text messages, and over the telephone that the annual inspection was completed, that there were no outstanding discrepancies, that the airplane was airworthy, and that it was ready for sale.

FAA inspectors, who responded immediately to the accident site, visited the mechanic at his facility the same day. The inspectors requested the maintenance records of the accident airplane, but the mechanic insisted that he did not possess them, and that he had surrendered them to the owner to "make copies." In a series of interviews with the FAA, as well as a statement submitted through his attorney, the mechanic stated that he did not complete the annual inspection because of the faulty tachometer, and because the pilot had complained about a lack of engine power following a flight in the accident airplane on August 16, 2012, 3 days prior to the accident. He stated that he made no effort to troubleshoot the engine power issue, because the airplane’s tachometer was not operational.

The owner had a friend accompany him on the flight 3 days before the accident. In an interview, the friend explained that the airplane "would not climb properly" and never reached an altitude above 300-400 feet. The friend heard the owner complain to the mechanic that the tachometer was inoperative and that there was "something wrong with the power" that prevented the airplane from climbing normally. A witness to that flight reported to the FAA that he saw the airplane "struggling to get into the air." He described the airplane as "extremely" nose-high and tail-low, "barely" clearing the trees, "struggling" around the traffic pattern, and finally completing a "hard landing." The same witness observed the accident flight, and said that the airplane used the full length of the runway and again had "trouble" taking off.

According to his lawyer, the mechanic brought the airplane into the hangar on the day of the accident for the buyer's inspection, and then subsequently moved the airplane back outside for the owner, and told the owner the airplane "should not be flown." He also briefed the buyer about the features of the "new tach[ometer]" at the request of the owner because the tachometer was inoperative. The owner, the buyer, and his wife then left the hanger, and the airplane was heard to start and taxi away. The mechanic told his lawyer he "never thought" the owner would fly the airplane.

After the accident, the FAA inspectors who responded to the maintenance facility recovered the buyer’s camera tripod from the bed of the pilot/owner's pickup truck. The buyer stated that he placed the tripod next to the maintenance logbooks on a work table in the hangar just prior to the accident flight.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1156 weather conditions reported at HWV, at 81 feet elevation, included clear skies, visibility 10 miles, temperature 23 degrees C, dewpoint 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. The wind was from 140 degrees at 7 knots.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on August 20, 2012. The airplane was largely consumed by post-crash fire. The airplane struck a tree and a commercial construction dumpster that was parked on a residential street. Several pieces of angularly cut wood were found along the wreckage path.

A review of video footage revealed that, immediately after the crash, the airplane rested inverted on top of the dumpster. As the fire progressed, the remains of the wings, fuselage, empennage, and tail section fell into the dumpster. The cockpit and engine, with propeller attached, fell to the street, inverted, outside the dumpster.

Control cable continuity was established from the cockpit to components identifiable with the flight control surfaces. The cockpit was severely damaged by fire, and no usable evidence was gathered from it. The engine compartment forward of the firewall sustained minor fire damage. The engine cowlings were removed, and the engine displayed soot coatings on external components. Closer inspection revealed that the mixture control cable was disconnected from the carburetor mixture control arm. The cable displayed a light coating of soot, with no damage or fraying of the cable. The cable grip hardware on the mixture control arm was also undamaged, and the cable grip hole was completely open and unobstructed by the cable grip hardware.

The engine was recovered from the scene and examined at HWV. The engine was rotated by hand and continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section. Compression was confirmed on all but the number 1 cylinder, due to impact damage to the exhaust pushrod and the valve rocker. The single-drive, dual magneto was removed; rotated by hand, and produced spark at all terminal leads. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed, actuated by hand, and pumped fluid. The carburetor was removed, disassembled, and revealed heat damage to the carburetor floats. Further examination revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical deficiency.

The carburetor mixture control cable was sectioned several inches from the carburetor end. The sectioned cable and the carburetor mixture control arm were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed the toxicological testing for the pilot. The following Tested-for-Drugs were detected:

Nicotine detected in blood and urine. Nicotine is an alkaloid found in tobacco products and is used as an insecticide.


Cotanine detected in blood and urine. Cotanine is a metabolite of nicotine.

A 12 percent concentration of carbon monoxide was detected in the pilot's blood. Up to 13 percent concentration can be detected in the blood of heavy smokers. The pilot was also exposed to significant post-crash fire.

The Office of the Medical Examiner, Suffolk County, New York, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was the result of multiple blunt force and thermal injuries.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

On April 12, 2013, an NTSB Senior Materials Engineer examined the carburetor mixture control arm and cable section. According to his report, examination of the cable revealed that the cable had experienced clamping and sliding forces in the clamping area of the cable at some time during its service life, and that the associated contact areas of the attachment hardware similarly displayed signatures consistent with sliding forces. When measured, the minimum diameter of the cable was 0.001 inch less than the clamping space between the washer and the bolt shoulder on the control arm as found at the crash site.



 NTSB Identification: ERA12FA514 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 12, 2012 in Shirley, NY
Aircraft: SOCATA TB 10, registration: N5542Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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


On August 19, 2011, about 1155 eastern daylight time, a Daher Socata TB10, N5542Z, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and a construction dumpster during a forced landing after takeoff from Brookhaven Calabro Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York. The certificated private pilot/owner and a passenger were fatally injured, and a pilot-rated passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, their attention was drawn to the airplane during its takeoff roll. The pace was described as "slow" and "anemic" as the airplane used almost the entire length of the runway, which was 4,222 feet long, before it took off. They described the airplane as it climbed slowly to tree-top height, in a nose-high pitch attitude, and disappeared from view. Moments later, a large smoke plume appeared out of the trees a short distance beyond the airport boundary.

A witness who stood on his back porch, said the airplane appeared above the trees at the back border of his property, and that the sound of the engine was "really loud." The airplane descended over his back yard and below the height of his one-story house in a left 30-degree bank. The airplane then pitched up, climbed over the house, and struck a tree and a construction dumpster in front of the house, where it burst into flames. The witness then described his efforts to extinguish the fire and assist the occupants of the airplane.

Preliminary radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed the airplane climbed to 200 feet mean sea level (msl) and accelerated to 63 knots groundspeed before the radar target was lost in the vicinity of the crash site.

The pilot/owner held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on August 1, 2003. He reported 18 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1991. More recently, the FAA issued a ferry permit on June 20, 2012, in order to relocate the airplane in order to perform an annual inspection and other maintenance at HWV. The mechanic who ferried the airplane stated that there was nothing wrong with the performance and handling of the airplane on the ferry flight to HWV.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on August 20, 2012. The airplane was largely consumed by post-crash fire. Control cable continuity was established from the cockpit to components identifiable with the flight control surfaces. The cockpit was severely damaged by fire. The engine was recovered from the scene and examined at HWV. The engine was rotated by hand and continuity, compression, and ignition spark were all confirmed.


 
Photo credit: Handout
David J. McElroy, 53, of Orient, owner of of the single-engine Socata TB10 and Jane Unhjem, 60, an assistant school superintendent from upstate Goshen were killed Sunday August 19, 2012.

Obituary: David J. McElroy

Visiting hours for David J. McElroy will take place Friday, August 24, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Bayport-Blue Point Funeral Home, 683 Montauk Highway in Bayport.

A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, August 25, at 10 a.m. at St. Lawrence R.C. Church on Montauk Highway in Sayville. Interment will follow.

Donations may be made to McElroy Children’s Fund, c/o Bridgehampton National Bank, P.O. Box 1567, Southold, NY 11971.


 
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.
 
Jane Unhjem, right, a Goshen School District assistant superintendent, died in a fiery plane crash Sunday afternoon on Long Island. Unhjem's husband, Erik, left, was critically injured. 
Photo via Facebook Facebook

 
BRIAN HARMON PHOTO
 Chris Melendez and Kimberly Pastore, witnesses to the crash and its aftermath.

 
KAYLA CHIARAMONTE COURTESY PHOTO
 Burning wreckage from the Shirley plane crash that took the life of David McElroy Sunday.


Police confirm Suffolk Times report of Orient man killed in crash

 In his heart, Chris Melendez believes he and his neighbors are alive today because of a pilot’s quick thinking in the cockpit.

Mr. Melendez said he was just about to hop in the shower Sunday morning when he heard a thunderous crash outside his Helene Avenue home in Shirley. His fiancée, who had just pulled out of the driveway on her way to take his children to a petting zoo, phoned him frantically.

“She just kept yelling, ‘Get out of the house! Get out of the house!’” Mr. Melendez, 42, recalled a day later.

As he reached his front yard, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

A single-engine plane owned by David McElroy, a 53-year-old pilot from Orient, had taken off from Brookhaven Calabro Airport shortly after 11:30 a.m. before crashing into a dumpster right outside Mr. Melendez’ home a mile from the airport. As the Shirley resident began his sprint to the crash, the plane exploded.

“All I could see were 30-foot high flames,” Mr. Melendez said.

He grabbed a garden hose and immediately began spraying into the cockpit in an attempt to save Mr. McElroy, who was burning about four feet away, just out of reach.

“He reached out to me,” Mr. Melendez said. “Then I saw him take his last breath.”

Suffolk police confirmed Monday that Mr. McElroy, who FAA records show is the owner of the plane, died in the crash. The crash also killed passenger Jane Unhjem, 60, of Goshen, N.Y., who died eight hours later. Another person aboard the plane, Erik Unhjem, 61, was listed in critical condition at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

A licensed pilot, Erik Uhnjem was also in the cockpit when the plane crashed, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson told the media Monday.

It is not yet clear to investigators who was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

Mr. Melendez said he and his fiancée, who saw the plane touch ground, believe there would have been more victims if not for the pilot’s ability to navigate the plane away from the houses on their street.

Mr. Melendez said his fiancée, Kimberly Pastore, watched as the pilot steered away from high tension wires near their home. The plane then closely navigated around several homes before landing perilously in a dumpster on Mr. Melendez’ property line, 30 yards from his living room, he said.

Mr. Melendez added that if Mr. McElroy was flying the plane, he “paid with his life” to save others.

“I believe [the pilot] did everything he could to avoid hitting any houses,” Mr. Melendez said.

NTSB Investigator Brian Rayner said the engine of the Socata TB10 was in “surprisingly good shape” and will be examined further after removal from the aircraft.

Investigators do not know where the plane was headed, officials said.

Louie Cruz of Shirley was doing yard work when he heard what he thought was a car crash on William Floyd Parkway. He ran around the bend to see the fire and smoke from the plane crash, the second he’s witnessed in his Shirley neighborhood.

He said he saw his neighbors pulling the Unhjems from the plane. Like Mr. Melendez, he said Mr. McElroy couldn’t be reached.

“No one could get to him,” Mr. Cruz said. “He just burned right up.”

Mr. Melendez said he was forced to stay at his parents’ home nearby last night, as Helene Avenue remained closed outside his house. He was hoping to be let back into his home this afternoon.

He said he’s having a hard time shaking thoughts of Sunday’s crash from his head.

“I wish there was more I could do for [Mr. McElroy],” he said. “It was just horrible. I’ll never be able to forget him.”

Source:   http://suffolktimes.timesreview.com


Friends remember Goshen educator's love for children 

Jane Unhjem, assistant superintendent in Goshen, died in a fiery plane crash Sunday

Jane Unhjem, a Goshen School District assistant superintendent, died in a fiery plane crash Sunday afternoon on Long Island. A man believed to be the pilot also was killed in the crash, and Unhjem's husband, Erik, was critically injured.

Officials at Stony Brook University Hospital Medical Center said Jane Unhjem, 60, was declared dead at the hospital several hours after the plane plummeted into a residential street in Shirley, on eastern Long Island, at about noon. Erik Unhjem, 61, the sole survivor of the crash, was being treated for burns, hospital officials said.

People who knew Jane Unhjem through her civic activities offered heartfelt testimonials on Monday, breaking down with emotion at times as they described Unhjem as a selfless, sunny person who devoted herself to her community and inspired people who came in contact with her.

“She really had an incredible knack with and love for kids,” said Doris Obremski, president of the Rotary Club of Goshen, for which Unhjem coordinated an annual leadership program and international exchange program for students.

“She just had this warmth and smile,” Obremski recalled.

Lynn Cione, executive director of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, called Unhjem “an exceptional human being” and “probably the most authentic person I ever met.”

“People were excited to be around her,” said Cione, who knew Unhjem through chamber events and other interactions. “There was always joy in her face and joy in her voice.”

“She was genuine,” Cione added. “What you saw was what you got. And what you got was all good.”

Grief counselors from the district and BOCES are available at the Goshen High School Monday for any staff members or students who need support, according to the district's website. The counselors will also be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 21, and their time in the district will be extended if necessary. The website said Jane Unhjem is survived by her husband, Erik, her children, Gayle and Matthew, and her parents, Val and Ray Walesky. Services are unknown at this time.

“Jane was deeply loved and respected within our district and community, not only as an educator but as a friend,” Goshen Superintendent Daniel Connor said in a statement on the district's website. “She was a tremendous force in our district and the mark she has left will not soon fade. Words can't express how sorely she will be missed.”

The district website posted this description of Jane Unhjem: "Jane was a vibrant educator and leader with an infectious energy that affected everyone around her. She took tremendous pride in her work and her warmth and enthusiasm for learning was evident each and every day she spent at Goshen Schools. During her time with the district, she touched the lives of countless students, parents and faculty members. The entire Goshen community is deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend."

Jane Unhjem, who lived with her husband in Goshen, had a long history as a leading mid-Hudson educator and worked in a number of local school districts, going back to the mid-1980s.

She was the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Goshen School District. She also served as director of staff development in the Monroe-Woodbury District, as assistant director of special education in the Pine Bush School District and as a special education teacher in Pine Bush. She also taught at Orange-Ulster BOCES.

In local education circles, Unhjem was known for encouraging students to become active members of their communities.

In November 2010, speaking at an assembly encouraging students to get involved in Rachel's Challenge, a program to counteract violence, she urged parents to get involved, saying, "Our parents are a powerful catalyst in the effort to increase kindness and positive behaviors in our students' everyday lives."

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the single-engine propeller plane went down shortly after taking off from Brookhaven Calabro Airport near Shirley.

The front of the plane landed on a tree-lined street flanked with homes - ending up about 100 feet from the nearest house and several hundred from half-a-dozen others - and its tail plunged into a nearby construction trash bin, said Jeff Litwin, who lives near the crash site.

A neighbor "was trying to put out the fire with a garden hose, but it was too hot and he couldn't get to a person trapped inside," Litwin said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.


 
 
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 5542Z        Make/Model: TB10      Description: SOCATA TB 10
  Date: 08/19/2012     Time: 1600

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

LOCATION
  City: BROOKHAVEN   State: NY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE WERE 3 PERSONS ON  
  BOARD, 2 WERE FATALLY INJURED, 1 SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, BROOKHAVEN, NY

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   3     Fat:   2     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: FARMINGDALE, NY  (EA11)               Entry date: 08/20/2012
 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N5542Z

A small plane crashed in a fireball on a Long Island street yesterday, killing the pilot and a woman on board and critically injuring her husband.

Neighbors armed only with garden hoses tried to save the victims from 20-foot flames.

“I watched a man burn to death in front of my eyes. This man fought to live, and there was just nothing we could do. It was awful,” said former Navy aviation mechanic Darnell Lee, 26, who braved 20-foot flames to try to save the pilot.

People living near the crash site in Shirley said the pilot steered his plane away from the houses.

“This man is a hero. You could see that he tried to avoid hitting my house,” said Lee. 

“I respect this man. He died fighting. I wish I could meet his family and tell them this.”

Another neighborhood resident, Dan Tooker, 29, used a hose to spray water on the pilot through a sheared-off door.

“The plane was upside down, so his feet were pinned,’’ Tooker said. “He was struggling to get himself out of the plane. He was on fire.’’ 

Lee watched in horror, helpless, as the pilot died. “You could see him give up. It was heartbreaking. It’s something I can’t get out of my head.”

An Orange County woman and a pilot were killed Sunday after a single-engine plane crashed into a residential neighborhood on Long Island, authorities said, and another passenger -- the husband of the female passenger -- was critically injured. 

 Witnesses said the two passengers emerged from the plane in Shirley appearing dazed and severely burned before they were taken to the hospital. 

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - One person was confirmed dead after a small plane carrying three people crashed in the eastern Long Island town of Shirley Sunday morning, authorities said. 

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported that the pilot was trapped in the fiery wreckage and killed.

Neighbor Ed Finnegan told D’Auria he was reading his morning newspaper when the plane went down.

“I heard the crash and then I hopped in my truck, drove over there, and it was completely engulfed in flames,” Finnegan told D’Auria.

Neighbors used garden hoses to put out the flames coming off the plane, D’Auria reported.

Finnegan said he knew the plane was flying too low, but credited the pilot for preventing greater catastrophe.

“The plane somehow managed to go between two houses and not hit them and hit the tree in front of the house, and came down on the street. It’s unnerving,” he said.

Riding in the plane at the time of the crash were Erik Unhjem, 61, and his wife Jane, 60, of Goshen, New York. The couple was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Authorities said the small plane was a Socata TB10, registered to an Orlando, FL man.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane went down in a vacant lot near a residential area about a mile north of Brookhaven Calabro Airport.

The FAA reported that the accident happened on departure from Brookhaven Airport.

Neighbors told CBS 2′s Steve Langford that they did their best to save the pilot.

“We were trying so hard to get him out and we couldn’t, we kept him wet, he was trapped,” said Darnell Lee. 


Authorities investigate the scene where a small plane carrying three people plummeted into a residential Long Island street in Shirley, N.Y., Sunday, Aug 19, 2012. The fiery crash killed one person aboard as neighbors tried to douse the flames with fire extinguishers and garden hoses. The single-engine, propeller plane went down around noon, shortly after taking off from nearby Brookhaven Calabro Airport, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said.
 (AP Photo/Newsday, John Roca) NYC LOCALS OUT


Boulder, Colorado, to ask voters, again, to extend lease terms for city properties: Local institutions say longer leases necessary to procure investments

 
Jim Polstra, senior engineer at Avidyne, pumps gas into an experimental airplane on August 17, 2012, at the Boulder Municipal Airport. Avidyne is working to build a safer autopilot system and is using the airplane as a test plane. The airport is one of the city properties negatively impacted by the short leases offered to tenants by the city of Boulder. Photo by Jeremy Papasso. 
( JEREMY PAPASSO )

Four years ago, David Rubin had a $5 million loan lined up for a complete redo of A Spice of Life Event Center at the Flatirons Golf Course. Rubin, president of the catering and events company, wanted to make it the greenest building in Boulder and a facility that the golf course's clientele "deserves." 

 Those plans went on the shelf when Boulder voters narrowly rejected a charter amendment that would have allowed the city to offer leases of up to 40 years. The charter currently limits the city to leases of no more than 20 years. However, many investors and banks balk at putting money into facilities that don't have longer leases.

The Boulder City Council plans to present a similar charter amendment -- this time for 30 years instead of 40 -- to voters this fall. The City Council will vote on the final ballot and ordinance language on Tuesday.

Approving leases longer than 20 years would require a two-thirds majority of the City Council, according to the proposed ballot language. Longer leases also would have to show they offered a "public benefit," like generating revenue for the city, creating jobs or providing important services not offered by the city.

City leaders have asked the voters twice before to allow longer leases on city property. In 2007, nearly 61 percent of voters said no to a charter amendment that would have allowed 40-year leases. In 2008, the vote was much closer, with 51 percent rejecting the proposal.

The restrictions on lease lengths affects a number of community institutions, including the Boulder Municipal Airport, the Colorado Chautauqua Association, the Dairy Center for the Arts, A Spice of Life Event Center and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

At the airport, tenants lease land from the city and build structures that become property of the city at the end of the lease.

Because of the shorter lease terms, several potential tenants have decided not to locate at the Boulder airport, said city spokeswoman Jody Jacobson.

"We've had about a dozen potential tenants out there who looked into building new structures but decided they couldn't recoup their costs," she said. "Some of those could have added jobs to Boulder County, and instead, they moved on to other airports."

The Dairy Center has the capacity to have a 100-kilowatt solar power system on its roof, but solar systems typically pay for themselves in 25 years.

"It's hard to justify putting in that kind of money with a 20-year limit," said Joe Castro, the city's facilities manager.

The Dairy ended up installing a 34-kilowatt system instead, paid for with a federal grant.

Richard Polk, chairman of the Dairy's board, said it's also an issue when trying to solicit large donations.

"People want it to mean something that they were alive, but they want to give money to places that are going to be around for a long time," Polk said. "To give real money, people need to have confidence that you're going to be around."

Polk said that ideally, for cultural institutions like the Dairy, the city would offer 50-year leases. However, a 30-year lease would at least make lenders more comfortable.

Boulder Parks and Recreation Director Kirk Kincannon said public-private partnerships allow the city to leverage private financing to offer services the city cannot afford on its own.

Investors in a tennis facility were interested in locating at Valmont City Park, but they passed because of the shorter lease terms.

A Spice of Life's Rubin said some cities offer 99-year leases. The lease terms are structured so that bad operators who don't generate revenue or maintain facilities would lose their lease.

He would prefer something above 40 years but said 30 years would be a good start.

Rubin said the complete renovation he imagined doesn't make sense with a 20-year term.

"By the time it's paid off, you lose the land lease," he said. "Why would any entrepreneur invest in a business like that?"

He's continued to put money into the event center -- hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said -- but the building's 40-year-old plumbing and electric systems needs constant attention.

"It looks great right now but it could be amazing if we completely redid it," Rubin said. "It works, but they do not have and cannot offer their clientele the facilities they deserve."


Story and photo:   http://www.dailycamera.com
 
If you go  -

What:   Boulder City Council meeting
When:  6 p.m. Tuesday
Where:  Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway
More information:  bouldercolorado.gov

All 31 Passengers, Including Minister, Killed in Sudanese Plane Crash

A Sudanese civil plane carrying a ministerial delegation crashed early Sunday in Sudan's South Kordofan State, killing all 31 passengers, including a minister, an aviation official told Xinhua. 

"The plane, Antinov, belonging to a civil aviation company, left Khartoum at 6:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) carrying a ministerial delegation of 31 people," said Abdul-Hafez Abdul- Rahim, spokesperson of Sudan's Civil Aviation.

Among the killed was Minister of Guidance and Religious Endowments Ghazi al-Sadiq, the spokesman said.

"The plane flew over Taloudy airport in South Kordofan. An explosion was heard inside the mountains surrounding the area," he said, stressing "The plane crashed, killing all the people on board."

South Kordofan State has been recently witnessing armed clashes between the Sudanese army and rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)/northern sector.

Abdul-Rahim did not exclude the assumption that the plane was exposed to a hostile act, but said "there are ongoing investigations to know the facts about the incident."

"We cannot tell exactly what happened now," he said.

Sudan has seen several plane crashes in recent years.

On June 20, 2012, a Sudanese military training aircraft crashed at the air base in Port-Sudan city in eastern the country, leaving its two-member crew killed.

On December 30, 2011, six crew members were killed when a military helicopter crashed in the western region of Darfur.

In 2008, at least 11 were killed in two cargo plane crashes in Sudan. 


http://english.cri.cn


 A Sudanese government minister was among up to 31 people killed after a plane crashed in southern Sudan. 

 Guidance and Religious Endowments Minister Ghazi al Sadiq Abdel Rahim was on board the flight, which came down in mountains in war-torn South Kordofan state.

It was landing at Talodi for a function marking the Muslim Eid holiday when it crashed.

Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, a spokesman for the Sudan Aviation Authority, said: "All people on board were killed."

He added that the aircraft was landing this morning when "an explosion was heard and the plane was destroyed" and that 31 people including the flight crew were killed.

Oil-producing South Kordofan borders South Sudan, which seceded more than a year ago. The border state has been the site of an insurgency since shortly before South Sudan's independence.

A spokesman for the main rebel group in the area, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North, said it had nothing to do with the plane crash.

More follows...

Piper PA-28-140, N7301F: Aircraft force landed on a dirt road, near Riverside, California

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 7301F        Make/Model: PA28      Description: PA-28 CHEROKEE, ARROW, WARRIOR, ACHER, D
  Date: 08/18/2012     Time: 2346

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

LOCATION
  City: RIVERSIDE   State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A DIRT ROAD, NEAR RIVERSIDE, CA

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

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: RIVERSIDE, CA  (WP21)                 Entry date: 08/20/2012
 
 http://registry.faa.gov/N7301F

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N7301F

http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo

Photo Credit: FRANK BELLINO 
The pilot of this airplane had to make a hard landing in a field off Hillside and Central avenues just short of the Riverside Municipal Airport.


Photo Credit:  FRANK BELLINO 
Two men look for the fence from the Riverside Municipal Airport side at a airplane that made a hard landing in a field off of Hillside Ave and Central Ave just short of the Riverside Municipal Airport in Riverside, 
August 18, 2012.

A small passenger plane made a hard landing just outside of the Riverside Municipal Airport on Saturday afternoon, August 18. 

 No one on board was harmed and the plane suffered no visible damage, according to passenger Jim Cooper.

The plane, which carried the pilot, Cooper and another passenger, was blown off course to the runway by strong crosswinds. It landed in the drainage ditch of a nearby industrial complex.

According to Cooper, a friend of the pilot, he was not too afraid when he noticed the plane veering off course. He would not disclose the pilot’s name. The other passenger did not give his name.

“You’re just kind of along for the ride,” Cooper said, laughing. “You can get scared later. My life didn’t flash before my eyes or anything. I just noticed there was no power and there was no way we would make the runway.”

Story and photos:   http://www.pe.com

FLEET 16B, N343SF: Aircraft on landing, flipped over, Bayport, New York

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 343SF        Make/Model: FLEE      Description: 1940 FLEET 16B
  Date: 08/18/2012     Time: 2100

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

LOCATION
  City: BAYPORT   State: NY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, FLIPPED OVER, BAYPORT, NY

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

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: FARMINGDALE, NY  (EA11)               Entry date: 08/20/2012
 
 http://registry.faa.gov/N343SF

http://www.russellw.com/photoalbum/photo_drilldown.asp?ID=1728&qModel=e16B

 
Photo credit: Chuck Christophersen 
A single-engine plane flipped over during landing Saturday afternoon at the Bayport Aerodrome, Suffolk County police said. No injuries were reported.
 (August 18, 2012)

No injuries were reported after a single-engine plane flipped over during landing Saturday afternoon at the Bayport Aerodrome, Suffolk County police said. 

Fifth Precinct Sergeant Michael Tavares said the 1940 Fleet 16, an antique biplane, was carrying the pilot and one passenger when it skidded on landing and then flipped over about 5 p.m.

Tavares said neither the pilot, 54-year-old Steve Martin of Huntington Station, or his passenger, 67-year-old Tom Paradise of Alexandria, Va., complained of any injuries. But the plane's landing gear tail fin and one of its wings were damaged in the bumpy landing.

The plane's landing gear could be to blame, police said. Tavares said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.

Story and photo:   http://www.newsday.com