Friday, August 24, 2012

Vaimoso, Samoa: Near mid-air collision investigated

An investigation has been launched into an incident where a Polynesian Airlines plane nearly collided with a Samoa Air aircraft above Vaimoso on 21 June this year.

The investigation is being carried out by the Civil Aviation division of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI), CEO of Polynesian Airlines, Taua Fatu Tielu confirmed.

“The near collision was the result of miscommunication,” Taua said adding that it’s the first time such an incident has surfaced.

“Both airlines have lodged reports with the Civil Aviation and the investigation has already started on the matter.”

Repeated attempts to get a comment from Civil Aviation yesterday were unsuccessful.

But Taua said a report filed by the Polynesian Airline pilot who manned the aircraft that day indicated that Samoa Air did not advise them about the path of its flight.

“But Samoa Air claims that they did advise us,” said Taua.

The miscommunication resulted in the two planes being on the same flight path.

Chief Pilot for Samoa Air, Peniata Maiava, who flew the airline’s plane that day, downplayed the incident. Mr Maiava said he was with a co-pilot during the flight.

He told the Samoa Observer they were flying out of Fagali’i Airport while Polynesian Airlines was heading to Fagali’i and both planes had no passengers on board.

“There are many stories being thrown around,” Mr Maiava said. “The incident was the result of poor communication with the tower and the other aircraft.

“We have already sent a report through the proper channel to get it investigated. Nothing happened, people just think it did and a lot of stories are made up to make others look bad.”

Mr Maiava is unsure when the investigation would be completed.

“It will take some time,” he said. “We’ve filed our report with Civil Aviation and we have left it to the Airport Authority and the tower to deal with it.”

Mr Maiava said the result of the investigation should improve the safety of flights for the two airlines.

Taua agrees. He said he has already written to Samoa Air pointing out certain procedures they need to follow.

“That they must advise us before departure and before landing,” said Taua.

The CEO said safety is paramount and its something Polynesian values highly.

“Lets make sure we work together for the safety of passengers and also for the smooth running of all operations”.

http://www.samoaobserver.ws

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N8218P: Accident occurred August 02, 2012 in Truckee, California

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA339 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 02, 2012 in Truckee, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N8218P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

Two witnesses who were onboard the airplane during an attempted takeoff before the accident flight stated that, during the takeoff, the airplane appeared to accelerate and lift off normally. However, as the airplane climbed about 20 feet above the runway, it wobbled to the left and right and drifted slightly to the left. The pilot subsequently aborted the takeoff. Upon returning to the terminal, the pilot had both passengers exit the airplane, and he then taxied back to the active runway.
During the second attempted takeoff, several witnesses observed the airplane begin a normal takeoff roll, lift off about one-third of the way down the runway, and enter a nose-high attitude. The airplane was observed rotating back and forth along its longitudinal axis before entering a steep right turn. Subsequently, witnesses observed the airplane descend into an unoccupied hangar. All of the witnesses reported that the engine sounded normal and appeared to be producing power during the takeoff and accident sequence.

Postaccident examination of the accident site and airplane wreckage revealed signatures consistent with a near-vertical impact with the hangar. Examination of the airplane, flight control systems, engine, and propeller revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. At the time of the accident, the airplane was within weight and balance limitations.

Review of the pilot’s personal primary care medical records revealed treatment for shift-work sleep disturbance with zolpidem and treatment of hypertension with valsartan. On each visit, the primary physician recorded that the pilot reported no use of drugs or alcohol. Postaccident toxicology testing revealed positive results for losartan (also used to treat hypertension), zolpidem, and buprenorphine, which is a controlled substance used to treat severe pain. The pilot’s primary care medical records did not mention acute or chronic pain or its treatment. Buprenorphine carries a warning from the Federal Drug Administration that it “may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery).” Further, opiates cause, in part, sedation, alterations in cognitive and sensory efficiency, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, headache, and sleep and concentration disorders. With chronic use, tolerance can develop, which mitigates the drug’s effects. Several issues made the interpretation of the toxicology report difficult. Opioids may undergo postmortem redistribution, which may result in postmortem levels not directly reflecting antemortem levels. In addition, depending on the pilot’s pattern of use, it is possible that he had some degree of tolerance for the drug’s effects. Further, his actual dosing interval may not have been the same as the dosing interval noted on the prescription bottle found in the airplane. Thus, it was not possible to determine the exact effects of the drug on the pilot at the time of the accident. In addition, the effects of the underlying chronic pain syndrome on the pilot’s performance are unknown. However, it is likely that the pilot was using a significant amount of opiate medication at the time of the accident, and, therefore, that he was impaired to some degree as a result.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during initial climb. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment by prescription pain medication. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On August 2, 2012, about 0814 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N8218P, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a hangar during takeoff initial climb from Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The airplane was registered and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight which was originating at the time of the accident. 

Representatives from Los Medicos Voladores reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) that the pilot was participating in a flight to Baja, Mexico for medical outreach along with two passengers. As part of their flight, they were transporting medical supplies.

Two witnesses, who were previously onboard the airplane reported that the accident flight was the second attempted takeoff by the pilot. Prior to the first takeoff, the pilot and passengers loaded baggage into the aft baggage compartment and rear seat area. After a normal taxi out and pre-takeoff checks, the pilot initiated takeoff on runway 19. The passengers stated that the airplane appeared to have accelerated and lifted off normally, however, as the airplane ascended through about 20 feet above the runway, the airplane wobbled to the left and right, and drifted slightly to the left. The pilot told the passengers that something did not feel right and that the airplane was not climbing. Subsequently, the pilot aborted the takeoff and landed uneventfully on the remaining runway. 

During the taxi back to the terminal area, the pilot and his two passengers discussed various ideas why the airplane was not climbing, including potential weight and balance issues and center of gravity issues. The witnesses further reported that the pilot told them that he was going to try and takeoff alone in order to troubleshoot. Upon returning to the terminal area, the pilot had both passengers exit the airplane while the engine was still running, and the pilot taxied back to runway 19.

The witnesses further stated that while observing the airplane takeoff a second time from runway 19, the takeoff roll seemed to be uneventful and the airplane lifted off about one-third down the runway and entered a nose high attitude. The witnesses said that the airplane seemed to wobble back and forth several times as it was ascending. One witness said that as the airplane was over the departure end of the runway, at an altitude of about 150 feet above the runway, it appeared to enter a right turn and bank. As the turn continued, the bank angle of the airplane increased beyond 90-degrees as it descended behind a hangar.

Additional witnesses located within the vicinity of the accident site reported that the airplane lifted off normally and entered a nose high attitude as if it was going to "stall." The witnesses continued to watch the airplane continue its takeoff initial climb and noticed that it began to wobble back and forth prior to entering a right turn. Subsequently, witnesses observed the airplane descend into a hangar. All witnesses reported that during the takeoff and accident sequence, the engine sounded normal and appeared to be producing power.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

The pilot, age 66, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land and an instrument rating. A second-class airman medical certificate was issued on February 13, 2012, with no limitations stated. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application; that he had accumulated 2,000 total flight hours. Review of the pilot's logbooks revealed that as of the most recent entry dated July 7, 2012, he had accumulated a total of 1,736 hours of flight time of which 339.3 hours were in the accident make/model airplane, 2.7 hours within the previous 30 days, 7.3 hours within the previous 60 days, and 24.1 hours within the previous 90 days to the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION 

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) 24-3471, was manufactured in 1963. It was powered by a Lycoming O-540-A1D5 engine, serial number L-5889-40, rated at 250 horse power. The airplane was also equipped with a McCauley model B3D32C412 adjustable pitch propeller. Review of the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) revealed that section IV, General Maintenance, part VI. Fuel Requirements, states in part "…Aviation Grade 91/96 Octane (minimum) fuel must be used in the Comanche. The use of lower grades of fuel can cause serious engine damage in a very short period of time." 

The POH further states in section II, part IV., Take-Off, Climb and Stalls:, that prior to takeoff, flaps should be in the "UP" position. Using the rate of climb vs. standard altitude performance chart for the PA24 with a 250 horse power engine, elevation of 5,900 feet msl, at gross weight, the calculated rate of climb was about 1,000 feet per minute.

Review of the airframe and engine maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on January 12, 2012, at a tachometer hour reading of 1,804.6 hours and engine time since major overhaul of 438.6 hours. 

The maximum gross weight for the airplane per Piper's operating limitations is 2,900 pounds. The maximum weight for the aft baggage area is 200 pounds. Various items removed from the accident site were weighed using a kitchen scale. The items located within the aft baggage area totaled 122 pounds and the items within the left rear seat totaled 18 pounds. Three bags, totaling 48 pounds were removed prior to investigational personnel arriving on scene by previous passengers on the airplane. The weight of the bags was not verified by the NTSB IIC. 

Using the last reported aircraft weight that was on file with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 1977 of 1,798 pounds (83.63 arm), 85 gallons of fuel, pilot weight of 190 pounds, weighed items within the baggage compartment and removed bags (170 pounds total), and rear seat baggage of 18 pounds, the airplane weighed about 2,709 pounds at the time of takeoff with a moment of 239345.4. This calculated to a CG of 88.33 inches, which was within the limits of the airplane.

Refueling records obtained from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport revealed that the airplane was topped off with 33.5 gallons of 100 low lead (LL) fuel. Samples of the fuel were taken by airport personnel following the accident and were found to be free of contaminants. Fuel samples were subsequently shipped to a laboratory for further examination. Analysis of the fuel samples revealed that the octane level of the fuel was 97.1. No additional anomalies were noted. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

A review of recorded data from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport automated weather observation station revealed at 0755 conditions were wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 6 degrees Celsius, dew point -4 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.33 inches of Mercury. Using the reported weather conditions and field elevation, the calculated density altitude was about 5,842 feet and a pressure altitude of about 5,523 feet.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Truckee-Tahoe Airport is a non-tower controlled airport with a reported field elevation of 5,901 feet. The airport was equipped with two asphalt runways, runway 10/28 (7,000 feet long by 100 feet wide) and runway 01/19 (4,630 feet long by 75 feet wide). Airport personnel reported that runway 10/18 was closed due to runway resurfacing and an active Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was in effect during the time of the accident. Investigative personnel noted that rising terrain was present in all quadrants of the airport, including the departure end of runway 19. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted an enclosed airplane hangar on row E, about 924 feet northwest of runway 19, and about 4,166 feet from the approach end of the runway. Wreckage debris was located within about 350 feet of the main wreckage. The fuselage came to rest inverted on a heading of about 351 degrees magnetic along with the left wing and engine, within the hangar. A small portion of the fuel bladder and associated wing structure remained lodged within the roof structure on top of the hangar. The outer portion of the right wing was located outside of the hangar about 50 feet to the east. Portions of the right wing structure were found about 75-feet on the northwest side of the main wreckage. A propeller tip was located northwest of the accident hangar about 350 feet from the main wreckage.

An impact crater was observed within the asphalt hangar floor which measured about 18 inches by 18 inches and was about 7 inches deep. Rotational ground scarring was observed extending from the crater. The hangar and ground impressions were found to be consistent with an almost vertical impact angle. The measured elevation of the accident site was about 5,901 feet.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the left wing was partially separated from the fuselage at the wing root area. The aileron remained attached to the wing via its respective mounts. The flap actuator jackscrew showed an extension of 15 threads which was consistent with a flap setting of about 10 degrees flaps down. Flight control continuity was established from the left aileron to the cockpit controls. However, the control cables were separated at an area near the control column. The separated control cables exhibited splayed signatures, consistent with overload. The left main landing gear was found in the extended and locked position. In addition, the landing actuator cable was found in the extended position. 

The right wing was separated in two main sections. One section separated outboard of the main landing gear. The inboard section including the main landing gear and fuel tank was found within the hangar adjacent to the fuselage. The outboard section of the right wing was found outside the hangar and exhibited a large impact impression on the leading edge about mid span of the flap. The impression extended aft to the flap structure. The flap actuator jackscrew exhibited an extension of 15 threads which is consistent with an approximate 10 degree flap down setting. The right aileron remained attached to its respective mounts. The aileron balance cable was separated near the center fuselage section and exhibited splayed signatures consistent with overload. The right aileron control cable was found secured to the bell crank and continuous to the wing root. The right main landing gear extension cable was in the extended position.

The fuselage was in an inverted position. The right door structure was damaged and separated from the fuselage. The fuselage structure surrounding the cabin area was compressed. 

The left and right stabilators, rudder, and vertical stabilizer remained attached to the empennage. The stabilator trim tab remained attached via respective mounts. The stabilator trim actuator was measured and found to be in a position consistent with slightly nose up. Control continuity was established from the stabilator balance tube to the cockpit controls. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were in place and secure. Continuity was established from the rudder bell crank to the cockpit controls. 

The engine remained attached to the fuselage via the two upper engine attachments mounts. The two lower engine mounts were separated. All engine accessories remained attached to the engine via their respective mounts with the exception of the carburetor. The top spark plugs were removed and exhibited light gray color deposits within the electrode area. The top spark plugs exhibited normal wear signatures when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison chart. 

The internal areas of the cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope. All of the piston heads, cylinder combustion chambers, intake, and exhaust valves were unremarkable. The rocker arm covers were removed. The crankshaft propeller flange was bent and a portion was cut in order to rotate the crankshaft by hand. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine and valve train. Thumb compression and suction was obtained on all cylinders. When the engine crankshaft was rotated by hand, equal movement of all of the intake and exhaust rocker arms was observed. 

The propeller hub assembly was fractured and all three propeller blades were separated. About 6 inches of the outboard tips of all three propeller blades. All three propeller blades exhibited blade twisting, chordwise scratching, and "S" bending.

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preexisting mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

During the on-scene examination of the wreckage, prescription bottles of Zolipdem, Losartan, and Buprenorphine prescribed to the pilot were located within the wreckage. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The Nevada County Coroner conducted an autopsy on the pilot on August 3, 3012. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "…Multiple blunt force injuries."

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs were tested with negative results, and had positive results for 0.046 (ug/mL, ug/g) Buprenorphine detected in Liver, 0.011 (ug/mL, ug/g) Buprenorphine detected in Blood (Aortic), Losartan detected in Urine, Losartan detected in Liver, 0.026 (ug/mL, ug/g), Norbuprenorphine detected in Blood (Aortic), Norbuprenorphine detected in Liver, Zolpidem detected in Liver, and Zolpidem detected in Muscle.

The FAA blue ribbon medical file, autopsy results, toxicology report, investigator's report, and personal medical records were reviewed by the Chief Medical Officer for the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the FAA blue ribbon medical file, this pilot was first medically certified in 1971, limited by a requirement for corrective lenses. In 1988, he returned his medical certificate to the FAA because of ongoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. The pilot participated in a diversion program for physicians which required routine drug and alcohol testing in addition to treatment and support group attendance, which ended 5 years later. By 1990 he had two years of sobriety and was again granted a second class medical certificate. In 1992, he reported having completed five years of sobriety in California's diversion program for physicians. In 2005 he reported treatment for hypertension and high cholesterol. His most recent medical certification was issued February 13, 2012; at that time he reported only using Diovan (Valsartan, a blood pressure medication).

The toxicology results from the Civil Aeromedical Institute revealed Losartan (marketed under the trade name Cozaar and used to treat hypertension) in liver and urine; zolpidem (marketed under the trade name Ambien and used to treat insomnia) in liver and muscle; 0.011ug/mL of buprenorphine in the blood and 0.046ug/mL in liver, and its primary active metabolite norbuprenorphine in blood at 0.026ug/mL. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic prescribed as a schedule III controlled substance and used in the treatment of severe pain (marketed under the brand name Subutex). The therapeutic range for buprenorphine is 0.0003 to 0.0080ug/mL and it carries a warning from the FDA: "may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." No ethanol was found in the vitreous.

Review of the pilot's personal primary care medical records revealed treatment for shift work sleep disturbance with Zolpidem and treatment of hypertension with Diovan (valsartan). His primary care records made no mention of acute or chronic pain or its treatment. However, records received from a second physician indicate the chronic use of prescribed buprenorphine for neck pain. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Two Apple iPads, one Stratus Foreflight GPS device, a handheld spot device and a spot connect device were shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination. No data was recovered from any of the recovered devices.

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA339 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 02, 2012 in Truckee, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N8218P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 2, 2012, about 0814 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N8218P, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a hangar during takeoff initial climb from Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The airplane was registered and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight which was originating at the time of the accident.

Representatives from Los Medicos Voladores reported that the pilot was participating in a flight to Baja, Mexico for medical outreach and was transporting two passengers and medical supplies.

Two witnesses, who were previously onboard the airplane during a first takeoff attempt reported that the accident flight was the second attempted takeoff by the pilot. Prior to the first takeoff, the pilot and passengers loaded baggage into the aft baggage compartment and rear seat area. After a normal taxi out and pre-takeoff checks, the pilot initiated takeoff on runway 19. The passengers stated that the airplane appeared to have accelerated and lifted off normally, however, as the airplane ascended through about 20 feet above the runway, the airplane wobbled to the left and right, and drifted slightly to the left. The pilot told the passengers that something did not feel right and that the airplane was not climbing. Subsequently, the pilot aborted the takeoff and landed uneventfully on the remaining runway.

During the taxi back to the terminal area, the pilot and his two passengers discussed various ideas why the airplane was not climbing, including potential weight and balance issues and center of gravity issues. The witnesses further reported that the pilot told them that he was going to try and takeoff alone in order to troubleshoot. Upon returning to the terminal area, the pilot had both passengers exit the airplane while the engine was still running and taxied back to runway 19.

The witnesses further stated that while observing the airplane takeoff a second time from runway 19, the takeoff roll seemed to be uneventful and the airplane lifted off about one-third down the runway and entered a nose high attitude. The witnesses said that the airplane seemed to wobble back and forth several times as it was ascending. One witness said that as the airplane was over the departure end of the runway, at an altitude of about 150 feet above the runway, it appeared to enter a right turn and bank. As the turn continued, the bank angle of the airplane increased beyond 90-degrees as it descended behind a hangar.

Additional witnesses located within the vicinity of the accident site reported that the airplane lifted off normally and entered a nose high attitude as if it was going to “stall.” The witnesses continued to watch the airplane continue its takeoff initial climb and noticed that it began to wobble back and forth prior to entering a right turn. Subsequently, witnesses observed the airplane descend into an airplane hangar. All witnesses reported that during the takeoff and accident sequence, the engine sounded normal and appeared to be producing power.

Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted an enclosed airplane hangar about 924 feet northwest of runway 19, and about 4,166 feet from the approach end of the runway. Wreckage debris was located within about 350 feet of the main wreckage. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. The wreckage was transported to a secure location for further examination.




TRUCKEE, Calif. — Additional laboratory testing on fuel sold to Truckee Tahoe Airport prior to a fatal single-engine plane crash earlier this month found it to be in compliance with international regulations, officials said Thursday.

World Fuels, Truckee Tahoe Airport’s Chevron distributor, recently had samples of its July 20 fuel shipment to the airport tested by Inspectorate, an independent laboratory in Torrance, Calif., after previous surveys by a separate company indicated the fuel had substandard octane levels.

The tests were made following the Aug. 2 plane crash at the airport that killed 66-year-old James R. Ungar of Yreka, Calif., the cause of which is still unknown. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, said Ian Gregor, a spokesperson for the FAA, in a previous story.

Shortly after the accident, Truckee Tahoe Airport contacted World Fuels for a lab recommendation on where to have the July 20 fuel shipment tested, which was sold at the airport between July 20 and Aug. 2, and was referred to Saybolt Lp, in Martinez, Calif.

“Fuel sampling and testing after aircraft incidents is standard airport operating procedure,” according to press release by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

Initial tests of the 100 Low Lead fuel on Aug. 5 indicated a “slight discrepancy” in its octane content, according to the airport. Octane content needs to be at a 99.7 rating in order to meet international regulations for aviation gasoline — results of a small sample of the July 20 delivery showed the content to be at a 97 octane rating.

Due to the discrepancy, World Fuels replaced the airport’s fuel on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7.

“They (World Fuels) were still maintaining that they didn’t feel anything was wrong with the fuel,” said Kevin Smith, general manager of Truckee Tahoe Airport, at Thursday’s airport district board of directors meeting in Truckee.

World Fuels is federally regulated, so before it ships any fuel, the company tests it to ensure it’s in compliance with international specifications and attaches a certificate of analysis stating as such.

“They swapped it out to get us going, and also they wanted to run their own tests,” Smith said.

While Truckee Tahoe Airport waited for World Fuels to get its own tests results from Inspectorate, the airport decided to contact its customers.

“The airport had an obligation to inform our customers that the fuel purchased between July 20 and Aug. 2 could have potential octane discrepancy,” Smith said. “Potential, because World Fuels was saying we need to do additional testing.”

Approximately 130 customers had the fuel in their airplanes, Smith said, including Ungar’s Piper Comanche 250. The airport began to notify customers early Aug. 8, after Saybolt re-tested its fuel sample, confirming its Aug. 5 findings.

“You did a good job,” Jim Morrison, an airport board member, told Smith and other airport staff, a sentiment echoed by other board members.

But one meeting attendee disagreed.

“My concern, to be honest with you, is my plane was fueled with that, and my wife’s plane, and we weren’t contacted on Wednesday (Aug. 8) or on Thursday (Aug. 9),” said Rob Lober, of Crystal Bay. “Only until I called the airport on Thursday and was told, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re on the list, we’re getting to you.’ I think there was a lack of urgency on this, so, sorry, I don’t go for the kudos on job well done.”

After the meeting, Smith discussed the issue in an interview.

“There’s a lot of people that said we didn’t call them, but that’s because they had heard — we did e-blasts and got word out,” he said. “The idea is that you get word out so people will know and then we’ll either call them or they’ll call us. So, yeah, we didn’t call him, but we didn’t call him because he called us and we told him the information.”

Smith said airport staff learned many lessons from this experience, among which: how to best notify customers in the event of a fuel quality control or safety issue.

As for how initial tests by Saybolt showed a discrepancy with the fuel’s octane rating, Smith said it could have been caused by several factors, such as how the samples were stored and the lab’s testing protocols.
 
“We’re confident in our fuel here now and we’re confident in the quality control in the airport,” Smith said.

http://www.sierrasun.com

http://www.flyingdocs.org

Photos from Jim’s May 2012 LMV Trip to San Pedro de la Cueva, Sonora, Mexico

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, Aviatour Air, RP-C4431: off Masbate, Philippines

 
The body of 22 year-old Kshitiz Chand (shown in photo) of the ill-fated plane that crashed on Aug. 20, 2012, off Masbate City, was retrieved by fishermen on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. 


Student pilot Kshitiz Chand may have panicked at the first sign of engine trouble and caused him to mishandle the ill-fated Piper Seneca aircraft that carried Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and his aide, Senior Insp. June Paolo Abrazado.

According to Cesar Lucero, special investigator 1 of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Capt. Jessup Bahinting, the owner of the aircraft and flying school Aviatours, would have faced a string of charges had he survived the plane crash.

“Nepalese pilot Chand was the one occupying the left side of the cockpit after Capt. Bahinting was found seated on the right seat when he was retrieved by the technical divers 180 feet beneath Masbate Sea,” Lucero said during a weekly news forum in Quezon City on Friday.

Citing the initial results of their probe, Lucero said that it seemed Bahinting was not the one flying the plane since being a highly-skilled and experienced pilot as he was, he could have switched on all the emergency buttons before gliding the plane to safety.

The CAAP prober added that had Bahinting been on the main pilot seat, he could have safely crash landed into the sea and radioed for rescue.

“Malamang nag-panic na yung Nepalese pilot dahil kulang pa sa experience [It seems the Nepalese pilot panicked because he lacked experience],” he said.

Double compensation

Lucero also disclosed that Bahinting could have made a double compensation from his last flight because a student pilot pays P27,500 for every flight hour on the main pilot seat which is on the left side of the cockpit. Besides, Robredo paid for their air fare.

“Double compensation yan. Kita ka na sa student pilot who is after to complete the 10-hours required flights to familiarize the Piper Seneca, kita ka pa kay Secretary Robredo na pasahero nya [It’s double compensation. He earned from the student pilot who paid to complete his 10-hours required flights to familiarize the Piper Seneca and from Secretary Robredo who was a passenger],” Lucero pointed out.

Bahinting was chief executive officer of Aviatours, which operates a flying school and air taxi.

Lucero said that Bahinting should not have allowed his co-pilot to occupy the left seat of the plane because it is exclusively for the senior pilot if the plane is being used as air taxi or during commercial flight.

He said that Aviatours violated Civil Air Regulations part 8 that prohibits any air taxi to allow student pilots to be on the pilot seat whenever the aircraft is being used for commercial purposes.

Lucero stressed that the same incident happened to another plane of Aviatours that crashed in Camiguin province earlier this year. Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd ordered the suspension of Aviatours but the company blamed the incident on the prevailing weather condition at that time.

Distress calls

According to Lucero, there were two distress calls made by the pilot, one received by the control tower at Cebu City minutes after they took off and the second was received by the control tower of Masbate airport.

Bahinting, who was also an aircraft mechanic, was known to have used second hand and reconditioned engines and plane parts.

Besides Lucero, an inspection by the three-man Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board investigating team of the CAAP indicated that the emergency location transmitter (ELT) of the Piper Seneca plane was in the off position, explaining why it failed to activate upon the plane’s impact off the waters of Masbate on August 18.

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss 3rd said that prior to the accident, the plane’s ELT was functioning well when they conducted, regular routine check.

An ELT is a plane device that automatically activates when a plane encounters emergency landing or any disaster. CAAP last checked the plane’s ELT on November 21, 2011 and is valid for operation within a year.

Missing engine

The ELT was found with the plane wreckage on Wednesday but the right engine of the plane is yet to be recovered. The plane wreckage is now under tight security at Masbate airport.

“The engine is a key part of our investigation. This will determine if indeed it was due to technical or mechanical problem that caused it to fail,” Hotchkiss said.

Hotchkiss also dismissed speculations that diluted aviation fuel was used by the plane that caused the fatal crash. He said that premature conjectures like this will not help CAAP’s investigation.

The Board is also reconstructing the flight path of the ill-fated plane including communication between control towers and the pilot. CAAP has also taken the statements of key witnesses and will issue subpoena to others to shed light on the incident.

Hotchkiss also said that CAAP will look into the unsafe practices of aviation firms that enable them in the past to continue operating in spite of getting involved in previous plane accidents.

PNP probe

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said also on Friday that it is ready to assist in the investigation.

Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, said that the police are ready to provide any kind of assistance to the CAAP.

Cerbo said that they will help in securing evidence and making available witness or witnesses in the accident.

“The PNP is ready to help in the investigation and we will ensure the available of Abrazado,” Cerbo told reporters in Camp Crame.

Cessna 150M, Dyer The Flyer Inc., N63672: Accident occurred August 24, 2012 in Arrow Rock, Missouri

http://registry.faa.gov/N63672

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA583  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Arrow Rock, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N63672
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot departed on a local flight with enough fuel for the planned 1-hour flight. However, he flew longer than planned and exhausted the usable fuel as he was returning to land. The engine lost total power, and the pilot performed a forced landing in a pasture, during which the airplane’s fuselage was substantially damaged. The pilot indicated that he purchased fuel at a local airport during his flight. However, personnel at that airport recalled that the accident airplane performed a touch-and-go landing, and the pilot did not stop or purchase fuel there. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no usable fuel in the fuel tanks or fuel strainer.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate fuel management and in-flight decision making, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.


On August 24, 2012, about 1030 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M airplane, N63672, impacted terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Arrow Rock, Missouri. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, reported that he was uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial fuselage damage. The airplane was owned and operated by Dyer the Flyer Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a VFR flight plan. The local flight originated from the Marshall Memorial Municipal Airport (MHL), near Marshall, Missouri, about 0830.

The pilot and operator were given accident reports to complete and return. The pilot's report was not returned with a history of the accident flight. However, the returned operator's report did contain a completed history of flight section. According to the operator’s accident report, the pilot asked to rent the accident airplane for a local flight. The operator asked the pilot how long he intended to fly and the pilot responded about an hour, which he "usually" did. The pilot pre-flighted the airplane and the pilot and operator both checked the fuel quantity. Both fuel tanks were "a little" over half full. The pilot performed three takeoffs and landings at MHL and departed to Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER), near Boonville, Missouri. On his return flight to MHL, the pilot conducted a forced landing on a pasture. The operator indicated that during his approach, the pilot stalled the airplane about 15 feet in the air and the airplane fuselage was torn open behind the rear window. The airplane traveled through a ravine where the nose landing gear separated. The Hobbs meter showed two hours of time elapsed.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the operator. The operator indicated to the inspector that the pilot stated he bought fuel at VER. The inspector contacted personnel at VER and they did not have any record of a fuel purchase by the accident airplane. The personnel remembered that the airplane made a touch and go. However, the airplane never stopped there.

The FAA inspector examined the wreckage on scene. The aircraft was sitting slightly nose low and left wing slightly low. The inspector checked fuel quantity using a universal glass fuel quantity level tester. He found approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch of fuel at the leading edge of the left tank and no fuel in the right tank. The fuel strainer located at the bottom of the firewall was not damaged. The nose of the aircraft was lifted and the strainer drain cable was pulled. Approximately two tablespoons of fuel came out of the strainer line.

At 1053, the recorded weather at the Sedalia Regional Airport, near Sedalia, Missouri, was: Wind 200 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 18 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 32 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury.

========

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA583
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Arrow Rock, MO
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N63672
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 24, 2012, about 1100 central daylight time, a Cessna 150M airplane, N63672, impacted terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Arrow Rock, Missouri. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, reported that he sustained minor injuries. The airplane received substantial fuselage damage. The airplane was owned and operated by Dyer the Flyer Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a VFR flight plan. The local flight originated from the Marshall Memorial Municipal Airport, near Marshall, Missouri, at time unknown.

At 1053, the recorded weather at the Sedalia Regional Airport, near Sedalia, Missouri, was: Wind 200 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 18 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 32 degrees C; dew point 12 degrees C; altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 63672        Make/Model: C150      Description: 150, A150, Commuter, Aerobat
  Date: 08/24/2012     Time: 1630

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

LOCATION
  City: MARSHALL   State: MO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO A FIELD, NEAR MARSHALL, MO

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: KANSAS CITY, MO  (CE05)               Entry date: 08/27/2012 



 
 (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

 
Some landing gear was located roughly 10 yards from a plane that landed in a Saline County field Friday morning, Aug. 24.
 (Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)


Authorities in Saline County said they were called to the scene of a small plane crash in the 20,000 block Poplar Avenue, in the eastern portion of the county.

Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk with Saline County Sheriff Wally George:

The plane reportedly went down near Highway 41, north of Arrow Rock. “Once at the site, deputies discovered a two-seat Cessna 150,” George said. “The pilot, Eugene Wayne Patty Jr., had engine trouble and went down in this field.”

When a plane ended up in a field rather than on a runway Friday morning, it had emergency responders arriving from around the county.

Although a Cessna 150 crash-landed on private property just south of Hardeman, the pilot was able to escape without injury, according to officials at the scene.

Eugene Pattie Jr., who piloted the aircraft, apparently wasn’t in need of medical attention as Saline County Ambulance crews were cancelled en route. As law enforcement officials investigated the incident, Pattie and the property owners waited the plane’s owner, Sam Dyer, to arrive.

Other officials, such as Saline County Sheriff’s Department, Arrow Rock Fire Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol were on scene.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

http://www.kmzu.com

http://www.salinecountysheriff.com

http://www.marshallnews.com

Stearman M-2, N9055: Accident occurred August 24, 2012 in Robbinsville, New Jersey

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA533  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Robbinsville, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/11/2012
Aircraft: STEARMAN AIRCRAFT M-2, registration: N9055
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, when the tailwheel-equipped airplane touched down during landing, it began to veer to the left. He attempted to straighten the airplane by applying right brake, but the airplane continued to the left, ground looped, and then came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane 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 directional control during the landing roll.

 
NTSB Identification: ERA12CA533 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Robbinsville, NJ
Aircraft: STEARMAN AIRCRAFT M-2, registration: N9055
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, when the tailwheel equipped airplane touched down during landing, it began to veer to the left. He attempted to straighten the subsequent landing roll by applying right brake, but the airplane continued to the left, ground looped, and then came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 9055        Make/Model: M2        Description: 1929 STEARMAN M-2
  Date: 08/24/2012     Time: 1625

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

LOCATION
  City: TRENTON   State: NJ   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, FLIPPED OVER, TRENTON, NJ

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: PHILADELPHIA, PA  (EA17)              Entry date: 08/27/2012 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N9055

 

1929 Stearman M-2 (N9055) flipped over while landing at Trenton-Robbinsville Airport (N87) on Friday. There were no serious injuries. 
Photo by Sean Lynch 


A vintage plane flipped after landing at the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport (N87), next to the Miry Run Golf Course on Friday afternoon, but the pilot was not seriously injured. 
Photo by Sean Lynch








 
 

ROBBINSVILLE – A restored 1920s U.S. Army mail delivery plane flipped while attempting to land at Trenton Robbinsville Airport after the pilot apparently lost control, police said. 

Pilot Alan Lopez suffered minor injuries, Lt. Scott Texidor said. He was alone in the bi-plane.

Fuel leaked from the plane after it came to a rest upside down, Texidor said. A HAZMAT team is on the scene cleaning the spill and a crane was en route to turn the plane back over, Texidor said.

Phil Schirmer, a pilot at the airport who witnessed the accident and was the first to respond, said Lopez had a cut over his right eye and a bump on his head but was conscious and seemed otherwise unharmed.

"I thought it was going to be really cool to get to watch this beautiful old plane land like that, but unfortunately, it turned into a disaster," Schrimer said. "He's really lucky."


 ROBBINSVILLE — A recently restored 1929 biplane flipped upside down after landing at Robbinsville airport Friday afternoon, but the pilot walked away from the crash with only a minor cut on his forehead.

   Township police, as well as firefighters from Robbinsville and surrounding communities, responded to the accident, which occurred on a runway near the 16th hole of the Miry Run Golf Course. There were no injuries on the ground.

   The pilot told a reporter after the crash that he was “fine,” but declined to give his name. Robbinsville police could not immediately provide additional information.

  The upside-down plane with its wheels pointed skyward drew a group of curious onlookers to the small airport on Sharon Road and required the closing of the runway to air traffic. Airport officials said the plane would not be moved from the runway until a Federal Aviation Administration investigator arrived later Friday afternoon.


http://www.centraljersey.com

Missing millionaire Peter John Elliott's wife flies to Indonesia to join search

Peter Elliott, the Perth businessman missing in Borneo, in happier times with wife Lita. 
Source: Supplied

The wife of the WA millionaire businessman missing in a plane crash flew to Indonesia last night to help search for her husband saying: "I have not lost hope."

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency in Jakarta yesterday confirmed Peter John Elliott was one of four people on a Cessna aircraft that lost radio contact while on a mapping survey trip on Borneo Island on Friday morning.

It left from Samarinda the provincial capital of East Kalimantan for a 90-minute flight.

Cuddling their two young sons Roydon, 11, and two-year-old Douglas, Mrs Lita Elliott, 37, said she had to remain strong and confident for the sake of her family.

"I want to remain focused and totally positive," she told The Sunday Times yesterday from their home in Kardinya.

"I have hope and believe he is alive.

"I will be flying to Jakarta in a few hours tonight and then go straight to Kalimantan. My husband's family are on their way here from Melbourne now.

"I am confident we will find him alive. I want to remain positive and do not even want to talk about anything else."

Dr Elliott, 57, is the general manager of Elliott Geophysics International, a Bibra Lake-based company that specialises in geophysics and geology for mineral, oil, coal and groundwater exploration.

Roydon said his father often carried out mining surveys from the air in Indonesia.

"Dad would stay home for one or two months then go to Indonesia for two or three weeks to work, then come home," he said.

"We are all praying he will be OK."

Mrs Elliott said her husband was happy because Friday marked the last day of his training using specialist geophysics equipment.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said a search and rescue mission had been undertaken on Friday, but stopped because of poor light.

An eight-member rescue team was sent to the area and the search resumed yesterday morning.

After the search and rescue mission was temporarily suspended, Dr Elliott's daughter, Amelia Edwina Robinson Elliott, posted a Facebook message yesterday saying wreckage had been found.

"The search and rescue think they've spotted the plane by satellite image and are sending men in, but it's difficult terrain. Fingers crossed," she wrote.

Earlier she had asked people to "please pray for him".

A pilot and two Indonesians are believed to have also been on the plane.

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta said it was aware of the incident and was providing consular assistance to the family.

http://www.perthnow.com.au

A small plane missing on the Indonesian island of Borneo had an Australian on board, the federal government has confirmed.

The Cessna aircraft failed to return from a surveying mission in Bontang, Temindung Airport chief official Rajoki Aritonang said last night.

It was chartered by Elliott Geophysics International, a Perth-based surveying company.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was aware of a plane missing in Samarinda, in the East Kalimantan province.

"We understand an Australian citizen was on board," a spokesman said.

Aritonang said the plane left Samarinda, the provincial capital of East Kalimantan, on Friday morning for a 90-minute flight to survey a coal mining site.

It was carrying the pilot, two other Indonesians and the company's Australian owner.

National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said an eight-member team was sent to search the area where the plane lost radio contact with the airport.

The DFAT spokesman said a search and rescue operation was cancelled because of poor light and was likely to resume this morning.

The Australian embassy in Jakarta is providing consular assistance.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au


NTSB Identification: WPR12WA374
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Bontang, Indonesia, Indonesia
Aircraft: PIPER PA31, registration: PK-IWH
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

 
On August 24, 2012, at 0551 universal coordinated time, a Piper PA-31-350, PK-IWH, operated by PT. Intan Angkasa Air Service under the pertinent civil regulations of Indonesia, collided with Mt. Tundung Mayang, near Bontang, Indonesia, at an elevation of 1,300 feet. The pilot and 3 passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged.


The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Indonesia. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of Indonesia. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

National Transportation Safety Committee
Ministry of Transportation Building 3rd Floor
JI. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 5 Jakarta – Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 3517606
Fax: +62 21 3517606
Email: www.dephub.go.id/knkt


Schweizer G-164B, N36289, Accident occurred August 15, 2012 in Kaplan, Louisiana

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA544 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Kaplan, LA
Aircraft: Schweizer, N36289 G-164B, registration: N36289
Injuries: 1 Serious.

According to the operator's accident report, the pilot was conducting an aerial application flight on a field about 3-1/2 miles from the airstrip. He had previously dispersed 4 loads of fertilizer on the field. During the application of the fifth load, the airplane struck an 80 to 90 foot-tall power line. The airplane nosed over and impacted the ground. The pilot was seriously injured and the airplane was substantially damaged.


Photographs taken at the accident site revealed no markers on the power line. An FAA inspector found no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal aircraft operation.



 KAPLAN - A crop duster crash north of Kaplan has brought together two families who never knew each other until that moment.


A week ago last Wednesday, Kristyn Abshire and Gary Noel had no idea each other existed.

Today, they are close friends because of a heroic act Abshire and another man did that may have saved Noel’s life after the crash.

Before the plane crash, Abshire was at her house debating when she should leave to go to her dentist appointment. The nursing student put leaving off for another five minutes and then she heard the noise of an airplane. Then the lights blinked on and off in her parents’ home.

She then heard the crash because it occurred just over two football fields away from her house. She looked outside and saw a yellow crop duster smashed in a field. She realized it crashed because it had clipped an electrical line.

Abshire quickly got in her car, drove to the accident to search for the pilot.

At the same time she arrived, two other men were on scene. The three saw smoke coming from the airplane, so there was a chance that Noel, the pilot, could be in danger.

Abshire said she told one of the men (no one knows who he was) to pull the pilot out of the plane and drag him to safety. Abshire, a brand new nursing student studying for her LPN license, saw the large cut on Noel’s head and realized it was bleeding.

She asked one of the men if they had a towel or rag to apply pressure to the cut. She said one of them took off his shirt and gave it to her. She wrapped the shirt around Gary’s forehead and applied pressure. She also knew not to let him lie down because of the bleeding.

She and another guy sat him up and tried to keep him awake until Acadian Ambulance arrived.

“It took about 25 minutes, but it felt like it was forever,” said Abshire, who is a 2010 graduate of Kaplan High School. Mr. Gary wanted me to call his wife. He also kept asking me what happened.”

She informed him his plane clipped a wire and crashed. The entire time they talked, Kristyn said Gary was in good spirits but he was also in pain.

“I should have left for the dentist five minutes earlier,” said Abshire. “But something kept me at the house. I think I was meant to be there.”

Well, fast forward eight days, and Abshire has not forgotten Gary Noel. She remains in contact with the Noel family.

She went to visit him Saturday when he was in a Lafayette hospital. Noel is slowly recovering from his broken bones and internal injuries. On Wednesday he had surgery to repair his right leg and collar bone. Next week doctors at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital will repair his left leg.

James Noel, his father, said his son has a long road to recovery and will be in Baton Rouge for a few more weeks.

Gary Noel, 45, has been a crop duster pilot for 17 years and was less than a month away from retirement.

Abshire said what occurred that Wednesday morning and how she handled the situation assured her nursing is what she is put on this Earth to do.

“I told myself, ‘This is what I was meant to do.’”

Gary Noel and his family are grateful she did. She said her parents, Frankie and Lou Abshire, are also proud of her.

Read more: Tangilena.com - Heroic action gets crop duster out of downed plane emergency treatment started

 

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA544 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Kaplan, LA
Aircraft: Schweizer, N36289 G-164B, registration: N36289
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 15, 2012, about 1115 central daylight time, the pilot of a Schweizer G-164B, N36289, struck a power line, made a forced landing in an adjacent field, and nosed over near Kaplan, Louisiana. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Vincent's Flying Service of Kaplan, Louisiana, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Kaplan approximately 1100.

Preliminary information indicates the pilot was conducting an aerial application when the airplane struck a power line. The pilot made a forced landing in a nearby field and the airplane nosed over.


Acro Sport II, C-GTXT: Plane in crash a nostalgic hobby … Homebuilt craft made of wood and sweat – Manitoba, Canada

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
 The plane that crashed in a lagoon north of the Manitou airstrip Thursday morning is loaded on a trailer.


Steel tubing, wood and fabric.

Those are the raw materials for a homebuilt plane like the kind that crashed in Manitou.

The Acro Sport II is a big step up from the wood-and-wire wings the Wright brothers fashioned for their historic flight, but there’s no mistaking the nostalgic appeal of this biplane.

This is the kind of plane with an open cockpit you see in old movies, where an aviator’s scarf flutters like a silk banner behind the handsome pilot as he lifts off.

The practical reality is the biplane hasn’t been available through an airplane manufacturer since the 1930s.

It can only be had by building one yourself or buying one second-hand.

For all that, it’s as safe as any aircraft that takes to the sky, aviation experts on both sides of the border insist.

“I’ve seen the fantastic workmanship of the homebuilt planes and I know a lot of homebuilders. They take great pride in good workmanship,” said Shirley Render, executive director of the Western Canada Aviation Museum. “If it’s properly built, it’s safe.”

Federal aviation regulations are strict for planes built under amateur construction.

“They’re built under strict regulations. You’re not allowed to fly them unless they’ve been inspected every step of the way by a Transport Canada inspector,” Render said.

That means before the plane’s ribs and struts are covered, every rivet gets an inspector’s gaze first.

The model of biplane in the Manitou crash is an Acro Sport II, designed in the 1970s by an American aviator famous for aircraft designs.

Paul Poberezny spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Second World War and in Korea flying more than 400 different types of aircraft. He started flying at age 16.

In 1953, he founded the Experimental Aviation Association in Oshkosh, Wis., for flyers who wanted to build their own planes.

Today, the EAA is home of the biggest private air show in the world.

Poberezny designed hundreds of planes in his lifetime but the biplane held a special appeal, said a technical specialist at EAA’s Oshkosh headquarters on Thursday.

“The big appeal is the nostalgia factor… You have an open cockpit. You can hear the wind whistling and in the homebuilt movement, the biplane remained the most popular style until the 1960s,” said Tim Hoversten, EAA’s technical aviation specialist.

The Acro Sport II is not a kit to assemble. The aviator had better be good with a plane and saw or have the money to buy from a builder who is.

“It’s not built from parts that are made. You have to make every part,” Hoversten said. “It’s made from steel tubing, wood and fabric. Those are the major construction materials.”

You can build an Acro Sport II for as little as $20,000 from scratch. New, an engine alone will set you back $20,000.

Acro Sport II

Basic dimensions for a Acro Sport II, a biplane with an open cockpit designed by American aviator Paul Poberezny:

Tandem two-seater
Weight: About 700 kilograms
Wingspan 6.6 metres
Length: 5.7 metres,
Height: About two metres
Range: 692 kilometres
Maximum ceiling: 6,000 metres
Maximum speed, 245 km/h
Cruising speed, 198 km/h

– source: Wikipedia, verified through the Experimental Aircraft Association.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com