Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peninsula airport disputes budget-cut warning

Leaders of Newport News' airport reject the assertion that the facility could be shut down for lack of air traffic controllers if federal budget cuts begin next year, an airport spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"That's ridiculous," said Jessica Wharton, marketing and public affairs director for Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. "There has to be solution on the budget, but shutting 106 airports is not the solution and we are not going anywhere."

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, who warned of the possible shutdown earlier this week, said Wednesday that the threat is real but can be avoided.

The Newport News Democrat said during a Norfolk forum on Monday that if Congress doesn't head off $1 trillion in automatic budget cuts set to begin in January, reductions in funding of the Federal Aviation Administration would mean the loss of air traffic controllers.

 He cited a study released earlier this month by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, that stated that Newport News airport, Roanoke Regional Airport and 104 other airfields could lose their controllers and be forced to close.

Wharton said Newport News airport operators don't accept the think tank's findings.

"This airport is not going to shut down," she said, noting that it contributes $350 million to the regional economy. "We are in Hampton Roads to stay."

Scott said in a statement Wednesday that the center's analysis "is an accurate assessment of the possible outcome" of the budget cuts. He said the American Association of Airport Executives has acknowledged the findings are a possibility.

The $1 trillion in automatic cuts over 10 years - known as sequestration - were set in motion last year when Congress failed to reach a compromise to reduce deficit spending.

Scott argues that the reductions in government services are so severe that Congress needs to allow all or most of the George W. Bush administration's tax cuts to expire to reduce the deficit without cutting federal programs.

In his statement, Scott said he thinks Congress will find a way around the sequester but noted that "elected officials have a responsibility to be open and honest" about the repercussions of the budget cuts on government services.

Read more here:   http://hamptonroads.com

Spirit Airlines to add daily service between Denver, Mesa

Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines says it plans to add daily non-stop service between Denver International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, starting Oct. 4.

Flights will leave Denver at 9:20 a.m. daily, arriving in Mesa at 10:13 a.m. Flights will leave Mesa at 11:05 a.m., arriving in Denver at 1:49 p.m.

Spirit began service from Mesa earlier this year, with routes to Las Vegas and Dallas that launched this spring. After an absence, the Miramar, Fla.-based airline returned to the Denver airport in May.

Spirit's fall/winter schedule from Phoenix-Mesa includes daily non-stop service to Denver and Dallas/Fort Worth, and seasonal service to Chicago O'Hare, as well as one-stop service to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In the West, Spirit also serves the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

Source:  http://www.azcentral.com

China Southern to fly Airbus SAS A380s to Paris

China Southern Airlines Co will fly Airbus SAS A380s on a Beijing-Paris route beginning in October, ending a yearlong wait to use superjumbos on international services from the Chinese capital.
 

The Paris route, which will require two A380s, will be operated with Air China Ltd, China Southern Chief Financial Officer Xu Jiebo said on Wednesday. The terms of the agreement with Air China are still being discussed, he said.

Air China, Beijing's biggest carrier, will stop flying its own planes to Paris, according to Citigroup Inc.

Using A380s on international routes may help China Southern narrow losses from the planes' operation, Citigroup analyst Vivian Tao wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. China Southern has so far only used the aircraft domestically because of delays in getting regulatory approval for overseas routes.

China Daily-Agencies

Piper PA-23-150 Apache, N1486P: Accident occurred August 29, 2012 in Canton, Missouri

http://registry.faa.gov/N1486P 

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA586 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 29, 2012 in Canton, MO
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-150, registration: N1486P
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On August 29, 2012, about 1800 central daylight time, a Piper PA-23-150, N1486P, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing when it impacted trees and terrain about 5 miles southwest of Canton, Iowa, after a partial loss of power. The pilot and passenger received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight, which was not on a flight plan, departed from Pinckneyville, Illinois, about 1600, and was en route to the Antique Airfield, a private airstrip near Blakesburg, Iowa.

At 1754, the surface weather observation at the Quincy Regional Airport-Baldwin Field (UIN), Quincy, Illinois, located about 20 miles southeast of the accident, was: wind calm; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 33 degrees Celsius; dew point 15 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury. 


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 1486P        Make/Model: PA23      Description: PA-23-150/160 Apache
  Date: 08/29/2012     Time: 2245

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

LOCATION
  City: CANTON   State: MO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, NEAR CANTON, MO

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   2     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: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: ST. LOUIS, MO  (CE03)                 Entry date: 08/30/2012 


Plane Crash: http://addins.whig.com/betweenthelens/plane-crash
  Piper PA-23-150, N1486P crashed late Wednesday night, claiming the lives of two people.
 (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)

Luke Barton, a deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff's Department, looks over the plane wreckage. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)

Deputies' shadows cast across a field pointing toward the plane wreckage. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)

Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish speaks about a plane crash that occurred Wednesday night in rural Lewis County. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)





CANTON, Mo. — Two southern Illinois men were killed in a small-plane crash Wednesday in a rural pasture about 3 1/2 miles southwest of Canton.

The plane crashed in an open field nearby a wooded area relatively close to 314th Ave.

John R. Johnson, 74 of Carbondale, and Carl S. Maiden, 47, of DuQuoin, died in the crash, believed to have occurred around 6 p.m. Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said Thursday morning it was not clear yet which man was piloting the plane.

The identities were confirmed Thursday morning in a joint statement by Parrish and Lewis County Coroner Larry Arnold. Arnold had pronounced the two individuals dead at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.
"The crash is believed to have been an accident," Parrish said. "The two men were believed to be on their way to Iowa for an antique air show, but that has not yet been confirmed."

Parrish said it is believed the plane took off from an airport in Pinckneyville, Ill. The crash site is about 10 miles from Lewis County Regional Airport, but it is not known if the plane was attempting the land at the facility.

Parrish said the time of the crash was determined by a report the Lewis County Sheriff's Department received from an individual who lives within a mile of the crash site.

"We also talked with someone who said he heard a plane at about 5:45 p.m. and a (possible) crash sound (shortly afterward)," Parrish said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to have representatives on the ground at some point Thursday. The FAA was in contact with the Lewis County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol throughout Wednesday evening.
Two local residents from near the site of the crash said Wednesday night the area where the plane went down is considered "haunted." Jacob Taff, 18, and Logan Cibert, 20, arrived around 10 p.m. after they had heard about the crash.

"This is referred to as Magic School Bus Road and has always been considered haunted," Taff said.
Cibert said there have been numerous accidents on the road in past years.


Parrish said this is the third plane crash he has had to deal with in Lewis County in his 12-year tenure as sheriff.

Stevens Lee Walker, 71, of Newark, Mo., was the pilot and sole occupant of a single-engine plane that crashed and burned Nov. 1, 2007, shortly after taking off from the Sharpe Farms Airport. The plane crashed nose-first about 2.5 miles southeast of the private airstrip in a yet to be harvested field of milo. The site was seven-tenths of a mile east of State Highway D, on Lewis County 245th Street. Walker, a retiree from the Missouri Department of Transportation, was piloting a Zodiac 601XL.

Sam E. Sparks, 40, of Casselberry, Fla., and his 11-year-old son, Justin Sparks, of Winter Springs, Fla., were killed in a plane crash two miles from the Taylor airport on May 26, 2000.  The plane went down in a soybean field in severe weather conditions. The single-engine Bellanca 17-30A landed about a mile east of County Road Z, 1 1/2 miles north of County Road V. The father and son were visiting family in the area.

Parrish said there was not yet any information on the make, model or other details involving the plane. According to information supplied by an individual who arrived at the scene before dark, the plane appeared to have been a relatively small craft and was "broken into pieces."

"At this point, we have no idea what may have caused the crash," Parrish said.

Also assisting at the scene were members of the Canton police and fire departments, and the Lewis County Ambulance District.

http://www.whig.com

CANTON, Mo. — Authorities are investigating the crash of a small plane in northeast Missouri that killed both men on board.

 Lewis County, Mo., authorities identified the victims Thursday as 74-year-old John R. Johnson, of Carbondale, Ill., and 47-year-old Carl S. Maiden, of DuQuoin, Ill.

The crash happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday a few miles from Canton. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the agency is trying to determine the cause of the crash. It wasn’t clear who was flying the plane. There was no rain or adverse weather at the time of the accident.

Molinaro said the 1956 Piper Apache plane did not have a flight plan. Relatives of the victims told the Missouri State Highway Patrol that the plane took off from an airport in Pinckneyville, Ill., and was en route to an antique air show in Blakesburg, Iowa.

Canton, a small Mississippi River town, is about 30 miles south of the Iowa border. The crash site is about 10 miles from Lewis County Regional Airport, but authorities weren’t sure if the plane was attempting to get there to land.

Though the FAA is investigating, Molinaro said information will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will determine the cause of the crash.


LA GRANGE, Mo. (WGEM) - Two men died Wednesday evening in a plane crash north of La Grange, Missouri. Lewis County Coroner Larry Arnold says authorities the two victims are not from the tri-state region. Arnold said the two men were pronounced dead at 9:20 p.m. 

Specific information regarding the victims and the plane is not being released at this time, pending notification of next of kin.

An autopsy will be performed on the pilot, Arnold said, per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations. 

Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish says crews are unsure at this time as to why the plane may have went down. Weather conditions were clear in the area Wednesday evening. Parrish said authorities responded to the scene after reports of a plane crash around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday. The plane was located at 314th Avenue, roughly 4.5 miles southwest of Canton.

However, initial investigations indicate that the plane could have crashed hours earlier.

"A farmer in the area that heard a plane at about 5:45 p.m. and recalled hearing the plane and hearing the sound of a soda can crunch," Parrish said. "He looked to the direction he thought it came from, but did not see smoke and did not think anything more about it."

"The people who actually found the plane were looking for deer, so it's kind of an unusual response," he added.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the crash and will be on the scene Thursday morning to begin an investigation.

Canton Police, Canton Fire Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Lewis County Ambulance Service all responded to the call.

 Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois 
CANTON, Mo. — Lewis County law enforcement officials confirmed late Thursday night the crash of a small plane in a rural pasture claimed the lives of two people believed to be from outside the Northeast Missouri and West-Central Illinois region.

The crash took place near 314th Ave., about 3 1/2 miles southwest of Canton sometime between 6 p.m. and dusk. 

 "The investigation is very preliminary at this point, but we can confirm two fatalities," Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said.   "Their identities are not being released until family members can be contacted. Both individuals are believed to be from out of state. I can confirm they are not Lewis County residents."

Lewis County coroner Larry Arnold pronounced both individuals dead at 9:20 p.m., Parrish said.
 

Two local residents from near the site of the crash said the area where the plane went down is considered haunted. Jacob Taff, 18, and Logan Cibert, 20, arrived around 10 p.m. after they had heard about the crash.

"This is referred to as Magic School Bus Road and has always been considered haunted," Taff said.
 

Cibert said there have been numerous accidents on the road in past years.

Parrish said this is the third plane crash he has had to deal with in Lewis County in his 12-year tenure as sheriff.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to have representatives on the ground at some point Thursday morning. The FAA was in contact with the Lewis County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol throughout Wednesday evening.

"The Canton 911 received a report at 8:20 p.m. of a possible plane crash," Parrish said. "We also talked with someone who said he heard a plane at about 5:45 p.m. and a (possible) crash sound (shortly afterward)."

Parrish said there was no information on the make, model or any other details involving the plane. According to information supplied by an individual who arrived at the scene before dark, the plane appeared to have been a relatively small craft and was "broken into pieces."

"At this point, we have no idea what may have caused the crash," Parrish said.

Also assisting at the scene were members of the Canton police and fire departments and the Lewis County Ambulance District.
 


Source:  http://www.whig.com

 
Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish has confirmed that two people lost their lives in a plane crash Wednesday night near LaGrange, Missouri. The first call came in at 8:20PM to the Lewis County 911 office. The names of the victims are not being released pending notification of family.  

Two people have died in a plane crash that happened in rural Lewis County Wednesday night. 

 Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said names are not being released at this time pending notification of the victims' families.

Parrish did confirm that the victims were out-of-state.

The crash happened near Sunflower Road and 314 Avenue about 4 1/2 miles southwest of Canton.

The call was reported to the Lewis County 911 dispatch center at around 8:20 p.m.
  
Parrish wouldn't release any details about the type of plane.

"We're still worried about getting ahold of next of kin," Parrish said. "We're not sure why they're in this area. We don't want them to find out about it on the news. Once we get the formal notifications done, then we'll release more of that information."

The FAA is expected to arrive at the crash site  sometime Thursday morning.

Parrish said this is his third plane crash he has seen during his years in office at the Lewis County Sheriff's office.




 


(Photos/Kendra Whittle, WGEM News)





(Photos/Kendra Whittle, WGEM News)




(Photos/Kendra Whittle, WGEM News)

 


Story, photos and video:  http://www.wgem.com


Story and comments:    http://www.connecttristates.com

Plane downed between LaGrange and Canton

From KHQA News: The Lewis County Sheriffs Department has confirmed to KHQA that Law Enforcement and Emergency First Responders are responding to plane crash in a rural section of Lewis County. 


UPDATE: KHQA has learned that the FAA has been called in by authorities to investigate a plane crash off of old US 61 near Lagrange.  The site of the accident is off of Sunflower Road between LaGrange and Canton in rural Lewis County.


Source:  http://quincyjournal.com

LEWIS COUNTY, Mo. (WGEM) -- Right now, authorities are on the scene of a plane crash in Lewis County, Missouri. 

 A WGEM News crew on the scene can see a pieces of a crashed plane. The plane went down north of La Grange, near Old Highway 61 by Sunflower Street.

Lewis County Sheriff David Parrish said authorities responded to the scene after reports of a plane crash around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

It is not yet known what type of plane it was, nor information on any possible passengers at this time.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the crash.
 

The Lewis County Sheriffs Department has confirmed to KHQA that Law Enforcement and Emergency First Responders are responding to a report of a possible plane crash in a rural section of Lewis County. 






Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, Hayward Aviation, N7774P: Fatal accident occurred August 24, 2012 in Milner, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA571 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Milner, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N7774P
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.

The student pilot departed on a cross-country flight and was not in contact with air traffic controllers; no flight plan had been filed. Log data recovered from the handheld global positioning system (GPS) unit depicted a flight track consistent with the accident flight and logged a maximum speed of 135 knots and a maximum GPS altitude of 18,379 feet. The airplane’s wreckage was located in a remote valley the following afternoon. An examination of the engine and airframe revealed no anomalies. Damage to the airplane and ground scars were consistent with the airplane being in a stall and flat spin at the time of impact. During the examination of the wreckage, marijuana and an opened six-pack of beer were found; the beer bottles were located in the front of the airplane, within the pilot’s reach. Toxicological testing found both alcohol and marijuana in the pilot’s system. The amount of alcohol in the pilot’s system would have significantly impaired the pilot’s performance. In addition, the amount of marijuana and its metabolite found in the pilot’s system indicated he was actively smoking in the hour before the accident; this would also have significantly impaired his ability to control the airplane. Both of these intoxicants may have impaired his judgment and contributed to the pilot’s decision to fly above 18,000 feet in an aircraft not equipped with oxygen. The resulting hypoxia also impaired his ability to control the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot’s impairment from alcohol, marijuana, and hypoxia, which adversely affected his ability to maintain control of the airplane.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 24, 2012, about 1445, a Piper PA-24-250, N7774P, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain northwest of Milner, Colorado. The student pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was being operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport (KGWS), Glenwood Springs, Colorado at 1359.

According to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, a sheepherder found the wreckage around 1000 on August 25, 2012. The airplane was not in contact with air traffic control. According to a family member, the airplane departed Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and was en route to Minnesota. The airplane was not reported missing by friends or family, and an Alert Notification for a missing airplane had not been filed.

Radar data, provided by Denver Center in en route radar intelligence tool (ERIT) format, depicted a flight path consistent with that of the accident airplane. The transponder in the airplane was off so the radar data did not depict the altitude of the flight.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 36, held a student pilot certificate issued on March 21, 2011. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate without limitations on March 21, 2011. At the time of application, the pilot reported that he had logged zero hours of flight time.

A personal logbook reflecting the flight experience of the pilot or instructor endorsements was not located.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane, a Piper PA-24-250 (serial number 24-2990), was manufactured in 1962. It was registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a standard airworthiness certificate for normal operations. A Lycoming O-540-A1-D5 engine rated at 250 horsepower at 2,575 rpm powered the airplane. The engine was equipped with a metal, 3-blade, McCauley propeller.

The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual, and was maintained under an annual inspection program. A review of the maintenance records indicated that an annual inspection had been completed on March 1, 2012, at an airframe total time of 7,303 hours. The airplane had flown 67 hours between the last inspection and the accident, and had a total airframe time of 7,370 hours. The airplane was not equipped with a supplemental oxygen system or a portable bottle.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station was Steamboat Springs Airport/Bob Adams Field (KSBS), Steamboat Springs, Colorado, located 8 nautical miles (nm) east of the accident site. The elevation of the weather observation station was 6,882 feet above mean seal level (msl). The routine aviation weather report (METAR) for KSBS, issued at 1453, reported, wind 040 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky condition, scattered clouds at 2,100 feet, broken clouds at 12,000 feet, temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature 4 degrees C, altimeter 30.08 inches.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

A Garmin GPSMAP 696 portable multi-function display and global positioning system receiver was found in the wreckage. The unit was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorders Lab in Washington, D.C., for data recovery. The unit was capable of recording flight track history when configured to do so. The unit was repaired and recorded waypoint, route, and tracklog data was successfully downloaded. The unit had been configured not to record tracklog data; however, flight history from May 24, 2012, through August 24, 2012, was recovered. The last flight log recovered was consistent with the accident flight and logged a maximum ground speed of 135 knots and a maximum GPS altitude of 18,379 feet, though the groundspeed and altitude values could not be validated.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage came to rest upright on a heading of 010 degrees in the bowl of a valley, surrounded by deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes, at a measured elevation of 7,070 feet msl. The main wreckage included the engine and propeller assembly, the fuselage, empennage, and the right and left wings. Paint chips, plexiglass, and small components surrounded the main wreckage. One ground scar, approximately 8 inches in depth, was located just forward of the engine. There were no other ground scars or points of impact noted.

The engine remained attached to the fuselage. The upper two engine mounts were bent, broken, and pushed aft, and the engine cowling was bent and crushed up and aft around the engine. The propeller remained attached to the engine at the propeller flange. The propeller blades were labeled “A”, “B”, and “C” for identification purposes in the report. Blade “A” was unremarkable. Blade “B” exhibited leading edge polishing, and was otherwise unremarkable. Blade “C” was bent aft 45 to 55 degrees under the engine. Blade “C” exhibited leading edge polishing but was otherwise unremarkable. The spinner on the engine was crushed aft.

The left wing included the left aileron and left flap and remained attached to the fuselage. The entire leading edge of the left wing was crushed up and aft in an accordion manner. Paint along the entire leading edge separated from the airplane. The main and auxiliary left wing fuel tanks were crushed down and the fuel bladders torn open. No fuel was present in either tank. The left aileron remained attached to the left wing and was impact damaged. Bending and wrinkling of the wreckage prevented full manipulation of the left aileron; however, both the primary and balance cables were continuous. The left flap remained attached, was impact damaged, and appeared to be extended several degrees.

The fuselage on the left side of the airplane, between the left wing and the empennage was buckled in several locations. The fuselage between the empennage and the right wing was unremarkable.

The empennage included the stabilator, rudder, and vertical stabilizer, and remained attached to the empennage. The left side of the stabilator was wrinkled along the entire control surface. The right side of the stabilator was wrinkled along the outboard trailing edge of the control surface. The vertical stabilizer was unremarkable. The upper portion of the rudder control was bent to the left. Bending and wrinkling of the wreckage prevented full manipulation of the rudder and stabilator; however, both the stabilator and rudder control cables were continuous.

The right wing included the right aileron and the right flap, and remained attached to the fuselage. The entire leading edge of the right wing was crushed up and aft in an accordion manner, with the extent of crushing decreasing in intensity toward the tip of the wing. Paint along the entire leading edge separated from the airplane. The main and auxiliary right wing fuel tanks were crushed down and the fuel bladders torn open. No fuel was present in either tank. The right aileron remained attached to the right wing and was impact damaged. Bending and wrinkling of the wreckage prevented full manipulation of the right aileron; however, both the primary and balance cables were continuous. The right flap remained attached, was impact damaged, and appeared to be extended by several degrees.

The fuselage included the forward and aft cabin, and the instrument panel. The front two seats remained in the seat track and were crushed down. The rear seat was crushed down and the floor of the airplane was crushed up. The forward portion of the fuselage, including the floor and the instrument panel was crushed up and aft. The upper portion of the fuselage was bent and wrinkled and the plexiglass windscreen separated and was fragmented. The roof of the cabin had been bent aft for the purpose of extracting the pilot. An auger, a chain saw, a backpack full of personal effects, a basket of clothing, food, six beer bottles, marijuana, and various other personal effects were located throughout the cabin. The beers bottles were in a cardboard container with a six pack configuration located in the front seat of the airplane and were broken.

The fuel selector valve was in the right auxiliary position.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by a Forensic Pathology Consultant as authorized by the Routte County Coroner’s office on August 27, 2012. A toxicology screen conducted by the Horizon Lab, LLC, detected amphetamine and cannabinoid in the blood, in addition to 0.110 g/dl of ethanol. The autopsy noted the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries and listed the specific injuries. It stated that “acute ethanol intoxication may have been a contributing factor in the events which lead up to the accident. Based on comparison of the ethanol levels in the blood with those in the vitreous fluid, it is likely that [the pilot] was consuming ethanol within 1 – 2 hours of the accident. Based on this behavior, suicide cannot be excluded as the manner of death.” The manner of death was listed as undetermined.

The FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy (CAMI Reference Number 201200176001). A sample of peripheral blood detected 104 mg/dL of ethanol, 0.072 ug/ml Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana), and 0.0174 ug/ml Tetrahydrocannabinol Caroxylic Acid (Marihuana). Amphetamines were not detected in these samples.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The wreckage was recovered and relocated to a hangar in Greeley, Colorado, for further examination.

There were no shoulder harnesses installed in the accident airplane. Neither of the forward lap belts were latched. The webbing of the buckle end of the left seatbelt was chaffed and the flat end webbing was unremarkable.

Approximately 5 ounces of fuel was recovered from the fuel bowl at the fuel selector valve. The fuel was clean, bright, and blue in color. Small particles were found in the fuel bowl and the fuel bowl screen was free of contamination. Approximately ¼ cup of fuel was recovered from one electric fuel boost pump and a trace amount of fuel was recovered from the other electric fuel boost pump. The filters were free of debris.

The position of the flap transmission assembly was consistent with retracted flaps. The jack screw exposed 8 threads which is also consistent with retracted flaps. Flight control continuity for the rudder and ailerons was confirmed from the center portion of the fuselage forward to the flight control yokes in the cabin.

The engine was removed from the airframe to aid in the examination. Both magnetos exhibited impact damaged and were removed for further examination. When actuated by hand, spark was observed at each lead. The vacuum pump was impact damaged and the shaft of the pump was intact and unremarkable. The engine driven fuel pump was dry and when actuated by hand, air movement/suction was produced.

The top bank of sparkplugs was removed and the leads on the sparkplugs were light in color consistent with a lean fuel mixture. The engine was rotated at the propeller flange. Air and valve movement was noted on all six cylinders. All six cylinders were examined with a boroscope and no anomalies were noted.

The oil pick-up screen, the propeller governor screen, and the carburetor fuel inlet screen were all clear of contaminations. No fuel was noted in the carburetor. The mounting flange was impact damaged and the carburetor was otherwise unremarkable. The throttle cable remained attached to the carburetor. The mixture cable separated from the mixture control arm, consistent with impact damage.



 
Peter N. Landherr of Glenwood Springs, Colorado and Walnut Grove, Minnesota


Peter N. Landherr, 36 

 Peter N. Landherr recently of Glenwood Springs, CO and Walnut Grove, MN area died Saturday, August 25, 2012 near Steamboat Springs. CO from injuries sustained from a single engine plane crash.

Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for on Saturday, September 1, at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Church, 810 Cedar Avenue South, Owatonna, MN. Friends may greet the family on Friday, August 31, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Brick - Meger Funeral Home, 1603 Austin Road, Owatonna, MN. The visitation will continue l be a one hour before the funeral liturgy on Saturday

Peter Nicholas Landherr was born to Nick and Teresa Landherr in Blue Earth MN on the Fourth of July 1976. He continued to be a fire cracker his entire life! He was baptized into the Catholic Church in Blue Earth using the blessed water from the flowing spring on the family acreage.

Pete moved with his parents to Lake City MN where his sister, Katie joined the family. From here they moved to Austin MN and, finally, to Owatonna when Pete was 13 years old. He was confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and graduated from Owatonna Senior High School in 1995. He still holds several track and field records for his pole vaulting activities. At the age of 16, he participated in the Junior Olympics in Los Angeles CA, coming in 17th in the nation in his age group. He also pole vaulted for Minnesota State University, Mankato from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

While attending school in Mankato, he met and later married Rachel Fritz of Tracy MN. They were married on October 24, 1998 in Currie MN at St. Mary's Church and were just recently divorced.

Their first child, Fritz Matthew was born in 2000. After college the family moved to the Walnut Grove MN area where Pete proudly restored and returned to life Rachel's ancestral homestead near the banks of Plum Creek. Here, Elsa Marie Autumn, Quinn Peter and Tellef Gregory joined the family.

Peter enveloped himself in his adopted acreage and community. He was a member of the Lucan Lions Club. He started a prairie wild flower seed business to preserve the native habitat and he built the largest an agama style kiln in Minnesota. Minnesota Pubic Radio featured Peter and the kiln in one of their "What's Happening in Minnesota?" series. Peter was quoted by MPR as saying " …melding his visions into clay is the best part of a day, apart from pushing his kids on the rope swing." He worked on the wind turbine sites on the SW Minnesota Buffalo Ridge. He was a proponent of using renewable resources to leave the smallest "footprint" possible. He and Rachel raised pasture-fed finished cattle. Peter used the family baby grand piano to teach himself to play by ear. With the kids on percussion, an impromptu family concert was always a joy. The family moved to Grand Lake CO in 2010 where Pete continued to pursue his passions which included becoming a pilot.

Peter is survived by his four children and their mother, all of Walnut Grove MN; parents, both of Owatonna MN; sister and brother-in-law, Katie and Brandon Weir of Owatonna MN; grandmothers Joan Rickerl of Austin MN and Barbara Landherr of Rose Creek MN. Also by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, large extended family, the loving Fritz family, and many, many friends.

Pete was taken too soon at the age of 36, as a result of a single engine plane crash. Peter lived each day to the fullest and touched many people through his passion for life. He was a bright star that burned out much too soon. He had such a love of life and his family.

We await the day we can join Pete and all rejoice in the presence of God.
 

Memorials preferred to the "Landherr Family Memorial" at Profinium Financial, 1080 West Frontage Road in Owatonna, MN 55060 (507-444-0111).

Read more here:   http://www.tributes.com/show/Peter-N-Landherr-94350250

Source:  http://www.brick-megerfuneralhome.com/peter-n-landherr

 Visitation
Friday, August 31
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM   

Brick Meger Funeral Home
1603 Austin Road
Owatonna, MN 55060-4021
(507) 451-1457
Get Directions 

Visitation 
Saturday, September 01
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM   

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
810 Cedar Avenue South
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 451-1588
Get Directions

Funeral Service
Saturday, September 01
11:00 AM   

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
810 Cedar Avenue South
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 451-1588
Get Directions

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA571
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation  
 Accident occurred Saturday, August 25, 2012 in Milner, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N7774P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On August 24, 2012, at an unknown time, a Piper PA-24 -250, N7774P, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain under unknown circumstances near Milner, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was being operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport (KGWS), Glenwood Springs, Colorado at an undetermined time.

According to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, a sheepherder found the wreckage around 1000 on August 25, 2012. The airplane was not in contact with air traffic control and no flight plan had been filed. According to a family member, the airplane departed Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and was en route to Minnesota. The airplane had not been reported missing by friends or family and an Alert Notification for a missing airplane had not been filed.

The wreckage came to rest upright on an heading of 010 degrees in the bowl of a valley, surrounded by trees and bushes. The main wreckage included the engine and propeller assembly, the fuselage, empennage, and the right and left wings. Paint chips, Plexiglas, and small components surrounded the main wreckage. One ground scar, approximately 8 inches in depth, was located just forward of the engine. There were no other ground scars or points of impacted noted.

The airplane was recovered and relocated to a hangar for further examination.


http://registry.faa.gov/N7774P
 
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 7774P        Make/Model: PA24      Description: PA-24 Comanche
  Date: 08/25/2012     Time: 1900

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

LOCATION
  City: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS   State: CO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, NEAR STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 08/27/2012 

Transportation Safety Board Warns Heat Poses Challenge to Safe Flying - Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, C-GLGJ; Accident occurred August 13, 2012 near Peachland - Canada

B-29 pilot recounts 35 missions: He may have been the luckiest pilot in World War II

In his 35 missions as a B-29 pilot, Col. Charles Chauncey said he never once took a hit in his B-29 “Goin’ Jessie.”

Chauncey, who won the Distinguished Cross, was guest speaker at the B-29 Museum open house at Pratt Regional Airport on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Chauncey spoke in the Pratt Army Air Field parachute building that is currently undergoing renovation to become a B-29 Museum on the airport.

The open house featured a variety of displays including period flight suits, a bomber tire, numerous pictures of PAAF as well as other B-29 and WWII events. Airplane models, a variety of historical books and other items were also on display.

While the display items got a lot of attention, visitors to the event were drawn to Chauncey who provided a living link to the B-29 bombing runs over Japan.

Chauncey flew 32 of his 35 missions in the B-29 “Goin’ Jessie” a name that means going very fast in WWII slang. Of all his missions, he flew 22 at nighttime. In all of his missions he never took a single lick.

In daytime missions, many planes could fly in formation and attack a target with multiple strikes from many planes.

Nighttime missions were different. Because the planes couldn’t fly with lights, it was impossible to have formation attacks so B-29s had to fly solo missions at night, Chauncey said.

The missions were 98 percent over water and the average mission lasted 14.8 hours, without refueling, with the longest mission at 17 hours and 20 minutes. Fully loaded the plane weighed 141,000.

Some missions covered 1,500 miles. They had very little fuel reserves to play with on these flights.

Their first large group mission included four targets: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe.

When the mission was announced, there was a big commotion in the room because the mission was scheduled at 5,000 feet and many crews figured it was a suicide mission.

During the Tokyo portion of the mission, the planes set fire to 16 square miles of the city with napalm bombs. It is estimated that 230,000 people died in Tokyo in that one raid.

That night a total of 32 square miles in the four cites were burned. By wars end, they had burned 70 cities in Japan.

While over Nagoya, he was flying at 6,500 feet on just three engines. He could actually see handgun fire aimed at the plane. But getting hit was not his biggest concern.

Read more here:   http://www.pratttribune.com

City chips in $100k to airline expansion

ST. GEORGE — Aiming to boost services and provide a lift for the local economy, the St. George City Council voted Wednesday to toss in $100,000 of city funds to support a new flight destination out of the new city airport.

The city was awarded a $550,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program in order to help get a new flight going to Denver, and possibly other western regional hubs, such as Phoenix or San Francisco.

Currently there are commercial flights to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles at the 19-month-old airport.

To get the grant, the city agreed to put $100,000 in cash toward the effort. There is also an agreement in place to get $100,000 of in-kind funding in the form of fee waivers and an advertising campaign through the St. George Convention and Tourism Bureau and State of Utah Tourism office. A program sponsored by the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce could be worth another $100,000 in pre-purchased tickets.

That gives city leaders $850,000 worth of incentives to lure airlines into bringing a new flight route to the airport.­ They can use the money to supplement any losses incurred by the airline as it tries to establish the new route, City Manager Gary Esplin said.

“The traveling public is using it more,” he said. “Is it enough to keep it going? We hope.”

Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager, said city leaders have initiated talks with several airlines on the topic, including SkyWest Airlines, the company that offers the airport’s current commercial flights.

SkyWest submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation voicing support of the grant, and Marissa Snow, company spokesperson, said SkyWest is committed to meeting the market demand, whatever that includes.

“Those are conversations that are being had based on what the market entails and what makes the most sense for the current market size,” she said.

Source:   http://www.thespectrum.com

United Airlines dissects slowdown

Faulty computer hardware and a defective backup system are being blamed for bringing down United Airlines' entire system Tuesday afternoon, delaying hundreds of flights and shuttering the carrier's website.
 

The Chicago-based carrier said Wednesday that the "network outage" that led to 580 flight delays was sparked by malfunctioning "communication equipment," which severed communication ties between its airports, website and reservation system.

The backup equipment that should have taken over also failed.

"We are working with the manufacturers to determine why the backup equipment did not work as it was supposed to," United spokesman Charles Hobart said in an emailed statement.

While working to get its systems back online, United instituted ground stops at its hub airports in Newark, N.J., and San Francisco and at Houston's Bush Intercontinental, its largest hub, where United flights were running about an hour behind Tuesday evening, according to the Houston Airport System.

United, which became the world's largest airline when it merged with Continental Airlines two years ago, has been grappling with technical issues since it switched to Continental's reservation system in March.

The problems have dragged down its on-time performance. However, Tuesday's computer hardware failure did not stem from glitches within the reservation system.

'Catastrophic failure'

The systemwide outage is something more unusual and serious, industry observers said Wednesday.

Analyst Henry Harteveldt, lead researcher and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group, which specializes in airline technology, described the outage as "nothing short of a catastrophic failure." He said he hasn't seen anything like it in the past few decades.

"It's one thing for the airport system to go down, but apparently everything became unavailable from this network outage … and that is a serious, grievous error, and it could cause some people to lose confidence in flying United," said Harteveldt, noting that systemwide failures usually last for a few minutes rather than a few hours.

Previous problems


According to FlightStats.com, United's computer system shut down for several hours in June 2011, "causing widespread cancellations." United also experienced a brief website outage earlier this summer.

United Continental Holdings' stock price dropped 1 percent for the day, to $18.33 per share.

Harteveldt said Tuesday's incident "brings to light the extremely complex, highly interconnected nature of airline technology systems," and technology teams at airlines usually go above and beyond to make sure that there are sufficient backups in place.

"To me, it shows that there is a lot of strain on the various United systems without an adequate amount of redundancy," said Harteveldt, noting United deserves credit for getting its system up again within a few hours. "In other words, if the primary servers for the website go out, you want to make sure there's something in a backup location at least to keep basic functionality going."

A 'nightmare'

Independent airline consultant Darryl Jenkins, also chairman of the American Aviation Institute, described the outage as a "nightmare" and said United needs to quickly get a handle on it.

"I think we've had so many problems with United … that I think it's at the point now where it's going to start costing them a lot of money in terms of losing passengers," Jenkins said.


Read more:    http://www.chron.com


JetBlue Offers $299 Unlimited Flights for Pets

Frequent fliers by the name of Fido, your time has come.

This fall, JetBlue will offer unlimited flights for cats and dogs accompanied by their owners for $299.

The "All Your Pet Can Jet" pass allows the purchaser to add one pet to an unlimited number of JetBlue flight bookings for travel between Sept. 7 and Dec. 31, 2012, without paying the JetBlue standard pet fee. There are no blackout dates, good news for those traveling over the holidays.

The pass allows pets to travel everywhere the carrier flies with the exception of Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbados.

The All Your Pet Can Jet pass went on sale Wednesday and will be on sale through Sept. 5, 2012 or "while supplies last." The carrier did not specify how many passes will be on sale.

Holding a pass does not guarantee your pet will get on the flight. The carrier allows only four pets per flight. The combined weight of the pet and carrier can't exceed 20 pounds, and the carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.

The fee for having a pet fly is typically $100 on one-way trips and $200 on round-trip flights. Passes can't be shared among travelers, but the pass holder may take different pets on multiple flights.

Also on sale today -- for humans -- is the JetBlue Go Pack. It allows people to pay one fare -- between $699 and $2,499, plus tax -- for 10 round-trip tickets among airports in Boston, New York, Long Beach, Calif., and San Juan, P.R.

The Go Pack is available for purchase now through Sept. 6 for travel through Dec. 19. Unlike the All Your Pet Can Jet pass, there are blackout dates -- Nov. 20-26, 2012.

http://abcnews.go.com

Mooney M20C, N557M: Accident occurred August 26, 2012 in East Hampton, New York



BOSTON (CBS) – A plane crash victim from Assonet says she’s alive today, thanks to the heroics of her fiance not a Good Samaritan. “I’m sure a lot of people helped us, and I want to thank them,” says Kimberly Brillo, “but Steven saw the flames, and got me out.”

It was Sunday afternoon, when the two took-off from East Hampton Airport on Long Island. Shortly after takeoff, the single-engine plane lost power, crashed into the woods nearby, then burst into flames.

A nearby bakery worker, Craig Schum, ran into the woods to help, and says he saved the two. “The pilot was conscious, covered in blood, and walking in circles,” says Schum. “Without thinking and the plane was on fire, I just grabbed her and ran towards the street.

But Brillo, who sustained a broken arm and numerous bruises and cuts, says that’s not completely true. “The plane was in flames,” she says. “Steven climbed in and got me out. No one could get to us. So he got us to a fence, where others showed up and he told them to get me as far away as possible.” 

Source:  http://boston.cbslocal.com


NTSB Identification: ERA12LA532
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Sunday, August 26, 2012 in East Hampton, NY

Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N557M

Injuries: 2 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 26, 2012, at 1715 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N557M, registered to a private owner, experienced a total loss of engine power on initial takeoff climb from East Hampton Airport (HTO) East Hampton, New York. The pilot attempted to return to the airport and the airplane collided with trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage due to impact and a postcrash fire. The private pilot and one passenger received serious injuries. The flight was operating as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed HTO at 1714.

The pilot stated he conducted a preflight inspection and no anomalies were noted. He completed an engine start, taxi, and engine run up. No anomalies were noted. He departed from runway 10. The airplane became airborne and he retracted the landing gear and flaps. The engine rpm decreased from 2,750 rpm to 2,400 rpm. He verified the carburetor heat was off, and the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were full forward. He declared an emergency with East Hampton Control Tower and turned left in an attempt to return to a closed runway. During the turn “the engine became quiet” and the airplane collided with trees.

The airplane has been recovered pending further examination.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 557M        Make/Model: MO20      Description: M20C
  Date: 08/26/2012     Time: 2136

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

LOCATION
  City: EAST HAMPTON   State: NY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO A WOODED AREA SHORTLY AFTER DEPARTURE, NEAR EAST 
  HAMPTON, NY

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   2     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: 08/27/2012

http://registry.faa.gov/N557M

Minister of Aviation denies banning foreign airlines from Abuja, Kano airports

The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, has denied reports that she stopped some foreign carriers, among them Emirates, Etihad and Turkish airlines, from flying into Abuja and Kano airports.

She explained that Emirate did not seek permission to operate into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, or the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

In a statement yesterday, her Special Assistant on Media, Joe Obi, said none of the airlines was denied entry or forced to operate at the Enugu International Airport.

The statement reads : “Our attention has been drawn to publications in some sections of the media to the effect that Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze- Oduah, ordered that some foreign airlines, particularly Emirates, Etihad and Turkish airlines be stopped, or prevented from operating into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

“There is no truth whatsoever to these publications as the Minister had at no time even attempted to prevent the said airlines from operating into the said destinations. To the contrary, the minister has been an advocate of allowing all the international airports in the country to operate direct international flights.”

She said Emirates Airline has never applied for any permit to operate into either Abuja or Kano international airports, adding that anyone, including the airline concerned with contrary documents, should make such available to the public.

Oduah also explained that Etihad was supposed to have started operations from Abuja in line with an old Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2003, but added that the UAE has refused to do so. Rather, it insisted on starting from Lagos, thereby necessitating an amendment of the MoU this year to accommodate their desire.

However, the statement said she has approved that Turkish Airline operates into Abuja and Kano airports, adding that there are efforts to ensure that KLM starts its operation into the Kano airport where it had earlier stopped functioning.

Meanwhile, she has directed all aviation agencies to automate their revenue collection.

Oduah listed the affected agencies to include Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

She said: “Before now, all revenues were collected manually, leading to huge losses as a result of the leakages inherent in the manual procedure. FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, working with experts and professional bodies, such as IATA, SITA, and Avitech, a software provider, among others, is to lead the collection process.

Avitech, which has a tripartite agreement with NCAA, the airline operators and their banks, is to provide the automation platform. It has been working with NCAA since December 2010.”

Heads of the agencies have expressed satisfaction with the new initiative, saying it would enhance their revenue profile. NCAA Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren, said: ‘’The manual process of revenue collection was fraught with a lot of challenges. Apart from the leakages, the agencies were being owed heavily by the airlines and other bodies we were providing service for. So, we are very pleased with the new development because every agency will now have its share of revenue deducted and remitted to it at source and automatically.

“Moreover, there is an automated window where every agency can view every transaction. The system is very transparent and efficient. Aviation agencies had literally been using baskets to fetch water and you know what you get when you use baskets to fetch water. The system was fraught with too much leakages. Fortunately, that era is behind us now’’.

Source: http://www.thenationonlineng.net

Bell 407, K-VA-T & W-L Aviation LLC, N407N: Accident occurred August 24, 2012 in Abingdon, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA527 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Abingdon, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N407N
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.

The pilot was transporting passengers across a lake and home from a race track at night. A witness who was boating on the lake across from the helicopter landing area watched the helicopter approach and land. He stated that the landing light was on during the landing. He watched the passengers exit the helicopter and then the helicopter lift off and turn toward the lake, descend down an embankment, and turn over the lake. The witness stated that the landing light was not on during the departure. The helicopter traveled about 150 yards when the bottom skids began to make the water spray. The helicopter then nosed over and impacted the water. The witness then directed his boat toward the impact area where he found the tail boom separated from the fuselage and the cockpit area submerged. 

Examination of the fuselage, including the top Plexiglas window and frame, revealed evidence of main rotor contact. The helicopter’s engine was torn from the fuselage and could not be located due to poor visibility in the water and its irregular bottom features. The engine control unit (ECU) was retrieved, and all of the data revealed that no engine operating exceedances occurred before impact, and no accumulated engine faults were recorded during the previous engine run. The ECU data and physical evidence are consistent with power being supplied to the main rotor at the moment of impact.

Security camera video footage revealed that the pilot had successfully conducted this low-level, rapid acceleration takeoff profile several times during the day when visual spatial references were plentiful. The available data and evidence, as well as the previous flights, are consistent with controlled flight into water while conducting a rapidly accelerating, low-altitude flight after takeoff over an unlit body of water in dark night conditions. The pilot’s decision to attempt a such a takeoff at night without the aid of ambient light or the use of helicopter lights denied him the visual spatial references needed to assure safe terrain and obstacle avoidance. Additionally, the conditions during the flight were conducive to a type of pilot spatial disorientation known as “somatogravic illusion,” in which aircraft acceleration may be misinterpreted by the pilot as an increasing nose-up pitch attitude and result in inappropriate nose-down control inputs. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper decision to make a low-level departure over water in dark night conditions without lights, which resulted in controlled flight into the water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s likely spatial disorientation due to a vestibular illusion caused by the rapid acceleration during takeoff.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 24, 2012, about 2230 eastern daylight time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N407N, collided into South Holston Lake during a night departure from a river bank in Abingdon, Virginia. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted the water. The helicopter was registered to and operated by K-VA-T&W-L Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual night meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating from a private field at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, while boating on the lake across from the helicopter landing zone, he watched as the helicopter came in and landed. He recalled that the landing light was on, and he watched as the passengers exited the helicopter. The helicopter then lifted and turned toward the lake, descended down an embankment and made a turn over the lake. The witness said that he noticed that the landing light was not on during the departure flight. The helicopter traveled approximately 150 yards when the bottom skids began to make the water spray on the side of the helicopter. The helicopter then nosed over and made a loud splash. The witness waited for a short moment and then turned on his spot light and moved towards the position of the helicopter. As he moved towards the helicopter, his boat bumped into the tail boom, which was floating away from the fuselage. He continued towards the helicopter and came upon the helicopter floating upside down with the skids upright approximately 2 feet above the water. The witness shined his light throughout the cabin and cockpit but did not see anyone. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 64, held an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter issued May 27, 2008, and a second-class airman medical certificate issued February 17, 2012, with limitations for corrective lenses. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for review. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot reported 26,000 flight hours on his last medical.

A review of the pilot's flight schedule for that day revealed that the pilot started the passenger flights at 1500 on the day of the accident. A review of the flight schedule times revealed that 10 passenger flights between Bristol Speedway to a private residence near South Holston Lake were made in a period of 1 hour and 20 minutes. After the pilot returned, he was informed that the next flight would start at 2100. During the flights, the pilot hot fueled at the landing site adjacent to the residence where he dropped off and picked up passengers. There is no record of the amount of fuel taken onboard the helicopter during the day. According to the wife of the pilot, he was well rested the night before and there was nothing abnormal about the day. She went on to say that the pilot was in good health. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The seven-seat, skid equipped helicopter, serial number 53077, was manufactured in 1996. It was powered by a Rolls-Royce model 250-C47B turbo-shaft 650-hp engine. 

Review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection was completed March 20, 2012, at a recorded airframe total time of 2,339.1 hours, and an engine time of 2,091.0 hours. The Hobbs hour-meter showed 2,427.8 hours at the accident site. The engine control unit recorded an engine total time of 2,771.06. 

Video footage from a security camera captured several daytime departures by the pilot earlier that day. In all the takeoffs, the helicopter was low enough to the surface of the lake to allow the main rotor to create a wake on the surface of the water. On the night of the accident, video footage showed the helicopter's anti-collision lights reflecting off of the lake's surface prior to the accident.

AERODROME INFORMATION

The intended landing site was in the backyard at the private residence of the owner of the helicopter, which is an area of turf grass. The landing site was elevated approximately 30 feet above the lake surface. The area is unlit and not a dedicated helipad and it was used frequently by the owner for helicopter operations.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A review of recorded data from the Virginia Highlands Airport, Abingdon, Virginia (VJI) automated weather observation station, elevation 2,087 feet, revealed that at 2235, conditions were wind 100 degrees at 4 knots, visibility of 10 miles, cloud conditions scattered at 11,000 feet above ground level (agl). 

On the day of the accident, official sunset was at 2007, end of civil twilight was at 2033, moonset was at 1917 with an elevation more than 29 degrees below the horizon, and moonrise would be 1519 on August 25, 2012. Moon phase was a waxing crescent with 51% of visible disk illuminated. The evening trip took place under nighttime VFR conditions.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

The fuselage of the helicopter was recovered on August 28, 2012, approximately 100 yards from the estimated location of the helicopter's original impact point on the water. The helicopter's engine was torn from the fuselage and could not be located due to poor visibility in the water and the irregular bottom features which rendered the search ineffective.

Examination of the cockpit area of the fuselage revealed that it had been breached during impact. The pilot and copilot's seat pans were broken away from their respective bases and deformed. The instrument panel was dislodged from its mount and held to the fuselage by wiring. A cursory examination of the instrument panel revealed that the landing light switch was found in the "both" position but the landing light circuit breaker was observed in the "out" position (turned off). Examination of the fuselage exhibited evidence of main rotor contact. The top Plexiglas window and frame exhibited evidence of main rotor contact. 

Examination of the flight controls revealed that all controls from the collective and cyclic to the vertical control tubes to the hydraulic actuators to the swash plate were intact and no notable damage was observed. The forward vertical firewall exhibited rotational witness marks from the engine to transmission shaft. Rotational witness marks were also present on the transmission shaft. The forward end of the transmission shaft remained attached to the main transmission; the K-Flex coupling on the aft end of the transmission shaft had failed in overload and was splayed outward. The main rotor mast had fractured in overload at its base but had not separated. Examination of the main transmission chip detector upper and lower was found clean of debris. The hydraulic reservoir was found full of hydraulic fluid and clean of debris.

Examination of the main rotor blades revealed that all four rotor blades were fractured consistent with a sudden stoppage. The blue, red, and green pitch change links were bent; the orange pitch change link was fractured in overload. All pitch link hardware was present, and all cotter keys were installed.

The tail boom was fractured at the aft bulkhead and the fracture surfaces were consistent with a main rotor strike. Strike marks were present on both of the top of the vertical stabilizers above the tail boom and the bottom of the vertical stabilizers below the tail boom. The foreword-most 4 feet of the tail boom was not recovered. The vertical fin was not damaged, and the anti-collision light remained intact. The tail boom drive shaft was fractured at the number 3 coupling. Examination of the 90-degree gearbox revealed that the chip detector was found clean and free of debris. The 90-degree gearbox rotated with no binding or grinding. Control continuity was confirmed from the forward fracture to the tail rotor control lever upper end. The tail rotor control lever attachment point showed signs of impact damage and remnants of the arm bearing were located in the lower end of the tail cone. No anomalies were found with the tail rotor which would have prevented normal operation and control. 

The engine bay showed evidence of contact by the main rotor. The mounts, engine controls, fuel, oil and electrical connections were all severed from the helicopter. The only engine components present were the Engine Control Unit (ECU), part of a throttle control arm, and a small fragment of the starter/generator mount. All engine mounts were fractured in overload and deformed. The engine oil reservoir, oil cooler, and fan were missing.

Due to extensive impact damage, control continuity could not be established from the cockpit to the engine bay. The collective was fractured at its base. The throttle twist grip was deformed and not movable by hand. The throttle was found in the full-open (fly) position. A piece of the throttle engine's throttle arm was present in the engine bay, still attached to a deformed section of throttle control linkage. The airframe-mounted fuel filter was present. The outlet fuel line to the engine had been severed, allowing water contamination of the filter bowl. The filter bowl was opened and examined. A small amount of silt was present, from the river bed but the filter was otherwise normal. The ECU baseplate was deformed due to impact damage. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION 

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 28, 2012, by the Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Roanoke, Virginia, as authorized by the medical examiner for Washington County.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for drugs and alcohol. 

TEST AND RESEARCH 

Examination of the recorded ECU data revealed that there were no engine operating exceedance prior to impact, and no accumulated engine faults were recorded during the previous engine run. No Incident recorder (IR) data had been written to file; however, a partial Snapshot trigger dataset had been recorded. The Snapshot trigger was caused by an Engine Torque Exceedance of 116%. Only seven sequential engine parameters were recorded in the Snapshot data. This is consistent with destruction of the helicopter occurring almost immediately after the initial over-torque event occurred. Electrical power was lost to the ECU before a full line of Snapshot data could be written or any IR data could be recorded. 

Due to the limited amount of data recorded on the ECU, very little analysis of engine performance could be achieved. The disparity between main rotor rpm (Nr) and power turbine speed (Np) is attributable to the rapid deceleration of the main rotor as it impacted the water. There is a 24 millisecond cycle time for the data write; however, the Nr signal first passes through a digital converter before the Np signal. During a rapid deceleration of the main rotor, the recorded value for Np will be lower than that recorded for Nr. The recorded Nr data was sampled a few milliseconds before the recorded Np data. The Np data was recorded during or immediately following the main rotor strike of the water.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Spatial Disorientation

According to Spatial Disorientation in Aviation (F.H. Previc and W.R. Ercoline), the otoliths (tiny organs of the inner ear), sense the acceleration of gravity and the acceleration associated with translational motions. Because the otoliths cannot distinguish between these two types of acceleration, they can only sense a combination of these two forces, the gravitoinertial force (GIF) vector. During coordinated, unaccelerated flight, the GIF vector is directed straight down through the pilot's seat. When an aircraft accelerates rapidly, however, the GIF vector is displaced aft, causing a false sensation of pitching up. This misperception, known as the somatogravic illusion, is normally dispelled when the pilot views the external horizon and/or the flight instruments. If no external horizon is visible and the flight instruments are not continuously monitored or are not correctly interpreted, the somatogravic illusion can persist, leading to an inaccurate understanding of aircraft orientation and direction of motion known as spatial disorientation, a condition that can lead to inappropriate pilot control inputs.

Spatial disorientation illusions are described extensively in FAA pilot training literature. For example, the 2012 Aeronautical Information Manual states, "A rapid acceleration during takeoff can create the illusion of being in a nose up attitude." Similarly, the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook states, "A rapid acceleration, such as experienced during takeoff, stimulates the otolith organs in the same way as tilting the head backwards. This action creates the somatogravic illusion of being in a nose-up attitude, especially in situations without good visual references." The Manual and the Handbook warn that, "The disoriented pilot may push the aircraft into a nose-low or dive attitude." Identical information is included in the FAA's Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. This particular illusion is so well recognized that information about it is included in the FAA's private pilot, instrument rating, and airline transport pilot knowledge test guides and the FAA practical test standards for private pilots. 
According to FAA Advisory Circular AC 60-4A, "Pilot's Spatial Disorientation," tests conducted with qualified instrument pilots indicated that it can take as long as 35 seconds to establish full control by instruments after a loss of visual reference of the earth's surface. AC 60-4A further states that surface references and the natural horizon may become obscured even though visibility may be above VFR minimums, and that an inability to perceive the natural horizon or surface references is common during flights over water, at night, in sparsely populated areas, and in low-visibility conditions.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA527
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 24, 2012 in Abingdon, VA
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N407N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On August 24, 2012, about 2230 eastern daylight time, a Bell 407, N407N, crashed into South Holston Lake during a night departure from a river bank in Abingdon, Virginia. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted the water. The helicopter was registered to and operated by K-VA-T&W-L Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual night meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness in a boat, he watched the helicopter land with the landing light on and the passengers exit the helicopter. The helicopter then departed without the landing light on and turned toward the lake, descended down an embankment, and made a turn over the lake. The helicopter traveled approximately 150 yards when the bottom skids collided with the lake. The helicopter nosed over and made a loud splash. The witness waited for a short moment and then turned on his spot light and moved towards the position of the helicopter. As he moved forward, his boat collided with the tail boom which was floating away from the fuselage. He continued forward and the cabin area was floating upside down.

The helicopter was recovered from the lake and is pending further examination by the NTSB.



 
Bill Rhea Starnes


Born in Sacramento, California on October  3, 1947

Departed on August 24, 2012 and resided in Blountville, Tennessee


Visitation: Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 

Service: Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012 

Cemetery: Tri-Cities Memory Gardens 

Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Read more:  http://www.hamlettdobson.com
 
Bill Rhea Starnes, 64, of Blountville, TN passed away Friday, August 24, 2012. 2LT Bill Starnes flight career started at the age of 14 when he was taught how to fly by his father Rhea. He graduated Flight School at Fort Rucker, AL, on March 23, 1971. He qualified in the UH-1A/B/D/H and the TH-55 helicopters. He qualified in the AH-1G Cobra on May 3, 1971, and was then assigned to C Troop, 7/17 Air Cavalry in Vietnam where he flew approximately 800 combat hours. He was transferred to Btry B, 4th BN, 77th FA, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, KY, in June 1972. In April 1974, he joined the TN Army National Guard as a 1LT, assigned to the Army Aviation Flight Facility in Smyrna, TN. In October 1978, he qualified in the UH-1M aircraft and was assigned to the Aviation Flight Facility #2, in Louisville, TN where he also qualified in the OH-58A/C, OH-6, AH-1F, and the OH-58D helicopters, commanding multiple line units, and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In addition to a tour in Vietnam, he also deployed with the Paladin Troop to Kosovo in 2005-2006.

Bill retired from the military on March 15, 2009 with 39 years of service having achieved the following awards:  Bronze Star , Meritorious Service Medal , 2- Air Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, 9- Army Achievement Medals, 5 – Army Reserve Components Achievement Medals, 3- National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, 3- Armed Forces Reserve Medals, Army Service Ribbon, Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, NATO medal, Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Medal w 60 Device, Vietnam Service medal with 4 campaign stars, 2- Overseas Service Ribbons, Master Army Aviator Badge, 7- TN National Guard Service Ribbons, TN National Guard Unit Commendation Ribbon, TN National Guard Volunteer Ribbon.

Bill was preceded in death by mothers, Louise Culpepper Starnes and Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Starnes.

He is survived by his adoring wife of two years, Lisa; sons, Jason Starnes and wife, Felicity, and Justin Starnes and wife, Rachel; step-children, Tyler Barnett, and Rikki Keaton and husband, Kenny; grandchildren, Harley Rhea, Christian, McKenzie and Austin; father, William Rhea Starnes; a cousin, more like a brother, Charles Richmond, wife Jane, Anthony and Caitlin; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members too numerous to mention, that were near and dear to Bill’s heart.

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 31st from 5-8:00 pm at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church Ministry Center.

Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, September 1st, at 2:00 pm at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church with Chaplain David Collins and Rev. Robert Burlingham officiating. The body will lie in state one hour prior to the service.

Burial will follow the service at Tri-Cities Memory Gardens. Military honors will be conducted by the Tennessee National Guard.

Read more:    http://www.hamlettdobson.com


Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an on-line condolence for the family. 

Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the family of Bill Rhea Starnes.

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

Bell 407, N407N, Accident occurred August 25, 2012 in Abingdon, Virginia
 
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 407N        Make/Model: B407      Description: Bell 407
  Date: 08/25/2012     Time: 0220

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

LOCATION
  City: ABINGDON   State: VA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N407N BELL 407 ROTORCRAFT CRASHED INTO A LAKE, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD IS 
  MISSING AND PRESUMED FATAL, NEAR ABINGDON, VA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   0
                 # 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: RICHMOND, VA  (EA21)                  Entry date: 08/27/2012

http://registry.faa.gov/N407N