Saturday, September 1, 2012

Veteran pilot still excels in flight

Scott Ferguson and his twin engine Cessna 310L. Ferguson took first place as the most outstanding Cessna 310 at the recent Oshkosh air show. 

By MARTIN MULL - The Billings Outpost

In 1958, newlyweds Edward “Scott” and Marian Ferguson hopped in a back-to-back two-seater Beechcraft T-34 Mentor airplane at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C., and flew east toward the Atlantic Ocean. Once over water, First Lieutenant Ferguson banked the training plane right, maintained a bird’s eye 500-feet altitude view, and the couple motored on down the coast to Key West, Fla. for their honeymoon, stopping overnight in Sea Island, Ga.

“When we taxied on the runway down in Georgia, a fellow comes and rolls out a red carpet for us,” Scott Ferguson reminisced with a smile. “And Marian, well, she has kind of liked airplanes ever since that day.”

Yes, the young, handsome Air Force officer chalked up some good romance points coordinating that trip 54 years ago. Back then he belonged to the base’s Aero Club for military pilots, where he could rent the retired Air Force trainer for $5 a flying hour.

The couple have flown together since then, going through about a half-dozen family planes beginning in 1964 when Ferguson purchased his first aircraft, the now-popular Beechcraft Staggerwing, a biplane.

Nowadays, the 81-year-old escorts Marian in their award-winning twin engine 1967 Cessna 310L, which seats six.

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

Johnston Douglas S SAFARI, N70415: Accident occurred September 01, 2012 in McVeytown, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA541
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in McVeytown, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: JOHNSTON DOUGLAS S SAFARI, registration: N70415
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

A witness who spoke with the pilot before the flight reported that the pilot had checked the fuel before departure and intended to "make a couple of laps" before proceeding to a local airport to purchase more fuel. Another witness observed the helicopter perform two 180-degree turns before it descended and impacted the ground. Examination of the accident site confirmed a vertical impact, and the helicopter damage was consistent with low or minimal rotor speed at the time of impact. Inspection of the fuel system revealed no fuel in the right fuel tank and about 2 pints of fuel in the left fuel tank. No contamination was observed in the fuel on board, and no obstructions were observed in the fuel system.

The experimental amateur-built helicopter was constructed from a kit and received its airworthiness certificate in 2003. The pilot purchased the helicopter about 4 months before the accident through the kit manufacturing company, which was brokering the sale of the helicopter for the builder’s estate. The pilot did not hold a pilot certificate and did not register the helicopter with the FAA. Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that about 2 years before the accident, he had received 3.2 hours of helicopter instruction. Interviews revealed that when the pilot acquired the helicopter, he flew an additional 15 hours with the owner of the helicopter kit manufacturing company (in the accident helicopter and another company helicopter). However, these flights were limited to hover practice.

It is likely that while the pilot was maneuvering the helicopter at a low altitude, it experienced a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. At this point, the pilot needed to immediately enter an autorotation. However, given the pilot’s limited flight training and his lack of pilot certification (he would have had to demonstrate an autorotation in order to become a certificated helicopter pilot), he almost certainly was not proficient in performing autorotations. The helicopter’s vertical impact with low rotor rpm is consistent with the pilot failing to make the control inputs necessary to enter an autorotation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's lack of proficiency and certification, which resulted in his failure to enter an autorotation when the engine lost power. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate fuel planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent loss of engine power.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT


On September 1, 2012, at 0900 eastern daylight time, N70415, experimental amateur-built Safari helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground while maneuvering in McVeytown, PA. The non-certificated pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal, local flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a witness, he observed the helicopter flying away from him, and then made a 180-degree turn toward the hangar it was kept in. The helicopter then made another 180-degree turn and "started to go down." The witness observed a puff of smoke as the helicopter disappeared from his view.

PILOT INFORMATION

A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database revealed the pilot did not hold a pilot certificate.

According to a pilot logbook provided by the pilot's wife, he logged three flights on: August 14, 2010, August 21, 2010, and October 9, 2010. The total flight time for these flights was 3.2 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The helicopter was built from a kit, by the previous owner, and received its first airworthiness certificate on April 10, 2003. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320, 160-horsepower engine.

The accident pilot purchased the helicopter in March 2012; however, there was no evidence that he attempted to acquire an airworthiness certificate or register the helicopter with the FAA.

A review of the helicopter and engine logbooks revealed the most recent condition inspection was completed on June 30, 2011 by the previous owner/builder. No anomalies were noted in the entry, and a tachometer time of 395 hours was noted.

The tachometer time at the accident site was 442 hours.

According to the kit manufacturer, they brokered the sale of the helicopter between the accident pilot and the widow of the previous owner/builder. After the accident pilot purchased the helicopter, the kit manufacturer performed some maintenance on it to assure it was in a flyable condition. The work they performed included: replacing the main rotor spindle, and performing an annual condition inspection. This work was completed on May 11, 2012.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather recorded at the nearest airport, at 0853, included wind from 280 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, a broken cloud layer at 7,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.13 inches mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site confirmed the helicopter impacted the ground in a vertical attitude with minimal forward speed. Inspection of the main rotor blades and tail rotor blades revealed damage consistent with low or minimal rotor speed (RPM) impact with terrain. Main and tail rotor control system continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the control surfaces. Inspection of the fuel system revealed no fuel in the right fuel tank and approximately 2 pints in the left fuel tank. A sample of fuel from the left tank was found to be free of contamination and consistent with 100LL aviation fuel. The carburetor bowl drain was opened and fuel was observed. No obstructions were noted in the fuel system, or the air induction system. The fuel selector was in the ON position.

The engine crankshaft was rotated at the propeller flange and thumb compression and valve train continuity was confirmed on all four cylinders. No mechanical anomalies were noted during the engine examination. [Additional information regarding the on-scene helicopter examination can be found in the FAA Inspector Statement located in the public docket.]

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Mifflin County Coroner performed an autopsy on the pilot on September 1, 2012. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. No drugs or alcohol were noted in the testing.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A witness who spoke with the pilot prior to the flight reported that the pilot had "five and a half inches" of fuel in the helicopter prior to departure. He reported the pilot intended to "make a couple of laps," and then they were going to fly to the local airport to purchase more fuel.

According to the kit manufacturer, when the pilot arrived at their facility to acquire the helicopter in May 2012, the owner of the kit manufacturing company flew with the pilot for about 15 hours (both in a company helicopter and in the accident helicopter). The purpose of these flights was for the pilot to practice hovering the helicopter. Because the pilot did not have a pilot's license and was not familiar with this type of helicopter, the company owner told him not to lift the helicopter more than 2 feet off the ground, once he arrived home, until he received instruction in it.

According to the pilot's wife, she believed the pilot flew the helicopter for the first time after it arrived at their home from the manufacturer's facility, on July 4, 2012. She estimated the pilot flew approximately every other weekend since then (three times in July and two in August).The pilot's wife believed the flights only included the pilot practicing lifting the helicopter off the ground and setting it back down again. He may have circled the field where he kept the helicopter, but she believed that would have been the longest duration of a flight. The pilot's wife was not aware that he intended to fly the helicopter on the day of the accident.

A review of the Height-Velocity diagram contained in the Safari Helicopter Flight Manual revealed that operations below an altitude of 400 feet and below airspeeds of 50 knots should be avoided.

According to the FAA Rotorcraft Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-21, the height/velocity (H/V) diagram depicts critical combinations of airspeed and altitude should an engine failure occur. Operations in crosshatched or shaded areas of the H/V diagram may not allow enough time for the critical transition from powered flight to autorotation.



 NTSB Identification: ERA12LA541
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in McVeytown, PA
Aircraft: JOHNSTON DOUGLAS S SAFARI, registration: N70415
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On September 1, 2012, at 0900 eastern daylight time, N70415, experimental amateur-built Safari helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground while maneuvering in McVeytown, PA. The non-certificated pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal, local flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot was maneuvering over his property when witnesses heard the engine "skip." The helicopter subsequently descended vertically and impacted a field.

Examination of the accident site confirmed the helicopter impacted the ground with no evidence of forward speed. A preliminary examination of the helicopter revealed cyclic, collective, and tail rotor control continuity.

The helicopter was removed from the scene and secured for a subsequent examination.

The weather recorded at the nearest airport, at 0853, included wind from 280 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, a broken cloud layer at 7,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.13 inches mercury.



 Johnston Douglas S SAFARI, N70415:   Accident occurred September 1, 2012 in McVeytown, Pennsylvania

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 70415        Make/Model: EXP       Description: SAFARI HELICOPTER
  Date: 09/01/2012     Time: 1400

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

LOCATION
  City: MCVEYTOWN   State: PA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  EXPERIMENTAL HELICOPTER CRASHED IN A FIELD, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, NEAR MCVEYTOWN, PA

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: HARRISBURG, PA  (EA13)                Entry date: 09/04/2012 

http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/N70415.html

http://registry.faa.gov/N70415

McVEYTOWN — A McVeytown man was killed Saturday morning when his helicopter crashed into a farm field in Wayne Township, Mifflin County. County Coroner Daniel Lynch identified the victim as Kenneth M. Smith, 61. Smith was piloting the 2-seat helicopter when the engine shut off and the aircraft crashed. He was killed on impact, Lynch said. State police and the Federal Aviation Administration also are investigating. Read Full Article 
 
Kenneth M. Smith

McVEYTOWN - Kenneth M. Smith, 61, of 90 Pine Hill Road, McVeytown, Pennsylvania, died at 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, as a result of injuries sustained in a helicopter accident near his home.

Mr. Smith was born on June 27, 1951, in Wayne Township, Mifflin County, a son of James M. Smith and the late Thelma J. (Ranck) Smith, of McVeytown. He married Carol J. Pollicino on April 24, 1992, in Winchester, Va. She survives at their home.   He also is survived by: children, Tracey L. Carolus and husband, David, of Milroy, and Ken J. Smith, of Dillon Beach, Calif.; a stepson, Nathan E. Longacre, of Mount Union; a granddaughter, Katelyn S. Carolus; and siblings, Dorothy Gearhart, of McVeytown, Peggy Souders and husband, Sam, of Newton Hamilton, Sandra Scott and husband, Eric, of McVeytown, Tammy Worthy and husband, Neal, of Shirleysburg, and Tina S. Smith, of Warfordsburg.

Mr. Smith was the owner of K M Smith & Son Logging and Land Clearing, a business that started with his father, with whom he worked, even as a child, and continued to operate after his father's retirement.

He was a 1969 graduate of Mount Union Area High School.

Mr. Smith was a member of the F & AM Lodge 688, Mount Union.

He was well known as a sprint car owner and driver and raced for many years primarily at Port Royal Speedway. He was also involved in drag-racing, particularly at Beaver Springs, and raced go-karts in his younger years at area tracks.

Mr. Smith will be remembered for his strong work ethic and his generosity to others. He also was proud of his special bond with his granddaughter Katelyn and his constant companion, his dog Belle.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at the Robert D. Heath Funeral Home, Mount Union, with Pastor Brian Myfelt officiating. The interment will be in the Atkinson Mills Methodist Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, and from 9 a.m. until the time of the service, on Wednesday.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Huntingdon County Humane Society, 11371 Schoolhouse Hollow Rd, Huntingdon, PA 16652, or the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Source: http://lewistownsentinel.com

Battle of Britain memorial Spitfire set to display over Lossiemouth

Spitfire will visit Moray base on Friday, September 14 for one night only. 

Moray aircraft enthusiasts are in for a treat next month when RAF Lossiemouth receives an elderly and distinguished overnight guest.

The base will be host for one night only to a legendary Spitfire flown by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

While details of the visit are yet to be confirmed the famous second world war fighter will arrive in Lossiemouth on Friday, September 14 and conduct a display over Moray on the same evening.

A spokesman for RAF Lossiemouth said: “More details and confirmation will be announced as soon as we know them, but we expect that the sound of a Merlin engine flying around RAF Lossiemouth for the Battle of Britain celebrations will be very impressive.”

Spitfires first came into RAF service with 19 Squadron almost a year before the start of the second world war in August, 1938, with over 20,000 being build in 22 variants over a 12-year period.

The most successful fighter aircraft design ever created and without doubt the most charismatic, the distinctive sound of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine remains one of the most popular attractions at air displays around the world.


http://local.stv.tv

In Pictures: Plane built by Mohamed Mahmed, 22, in Berrechid near Casablanca - Jovem constrói avião em casa e vira atração em cidade marroquina

 Moroccan villagers look at a plane built by a 22-year-old Mohamed Mahmedin in Berrechid, near Casablanca, on Friday. According to the builder, the plane can fly up to 120 kms with a speed of 200km/h, at 33 meters altitude. (AFP)

 http://www.arabnews.com

 http://www.eastnews.pl


Airline services company Regional Elite closes its Roanoke location

Regional Elite, an airline services company, is closing its Roanoke location. 

About 38 employees will be affected, according to a notice filed last week by the company with the Virginia Workforce Network under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The WARN website says the cuts will take effect Oct. 30.

Calls to Regional Elite's headquarters in Minneapolis and its Roanoke location were not returned Wednesday.

Regional Elite, a Delta Air Lines subsidiary that provides ground handling and customer service for regional carrier flights, is shutting down, Delta announced this month.

According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, most of Regional Elite's 4,000 employees are expected to get jobs with a second subsidiary.

A phone recording at the company's Roanoke location says it provides services to Delta and United Airlines.

Roanoke Regional Airport spokewoman Sherry Wallace said passengers wouldn't notice any changes.


http://www.roanoke.com

His story told, pilot at peace

A CHANCE meeting has led to buried memories being unearthed - and a new book.

Never Been Hit tells the story of Rye man Les Streete and his experiences as an Australian flying officer with the RAF during World War II.

He was one of the many thousands who journeyed to Canada to train as a fighter pilot, later joining 66 Squadron RAF in Belgium at the end of November 1944.

Mr Streete's logbook became a lasting record of his war service, but preferring to forget the often painful memories, on his return to Australia he put the journal away. 

More than 60 years later, during a casual meeting with peninsula aviation enthusiast Peter Fitton, he was encouraged to lay some demons to rest and talk about his experiences.

Fitton says Never Been Hit, his first book, is the remarkable story of a country boy from New South Wales who found himself involved in defence of Britain and Holland against a German onslaught.

He was a part of the infamous Battle of the Bulge, Germany's last stand against the Allies and the defeat of the Russian army. 

The book details Mr Streete's flight training and combat experience and includes photographs and campaign maps.

Fitton said writing Never Been Hit had not only brought peace to Mr Streete, but given new generations the opportunity to learn more about Australia's war history through an extraordinary memoir.

"Writing this book has been a challenge and a privilege," he said.

To purchase a copy of Never Been Hit, call 1800618969 or go to amazon.com, xlibris.com.au or barnesandnoble.com.

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

Cessna 152, N70FT Inc., N48869: Accident occurred June 09, 2011 in Vero Beach, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA332 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 2011 in Vero Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N48869
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The flight departed on a visual flight rules personal flight and did not return to the operator’s home base at its scheduled time. The operator began calling other airports trying to locate the airplane and cell phone companies in an attempt to locate the pilot by her cell phone. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an Alert Notice; after several hours of searching the wreckage was located. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Review of radar data revealed that in the last few minutes of flight the airplane made several maneuvering turns. The reason the pilot chose to maneuver in that location is unknown. The final maneuvers included a 70-degree right turn to a heading of 180 degrees. About 2 minutes later, the airplane made a 360-degree left turn, and radar contact was lost. The radar data was consistent with cruise speed throughout the flight, except for the last return, which indicated that the airplane had slowed significantly. Postaccident wreckage signatures were consistent with a spinning descent and impact, indicating that the airplane likely entered an aerodynamic stall from which the pilot did not recover.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 9, 2011, about 1014 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N48869, registered to N70FT Incorporated, and operated by Space Coast Aviation, collided with the ground after a loss of control in flight, in Vero Beach, Florida. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane departed from Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida, about 0930. There were no reported witnesses to the accident.

According to personnel at Space Coast Aviation, the flight was due back at COI at 1400. About 1500, they began calling other airports trying to locate the airplane, and contacted cell phone companies in an attempt to locate the pilot by her cell phone. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) and a search was initiated at 1920.

At 2130, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was notified of the missing airplane and obtained a mission briefing. The Incident Commander (IC) contacted the flight school at COI and was given the airplane’s probable flight path. He was informed that no flight plan was filed and no flight plan was left at the flight school. The IC launched aircraft on a probable flight path from COI to OBE at 2230, based on information from the flight school. A law enforcement detective called and informed the IC that a phone company had found a cell tower location, at the Yeehaw Junction Tower, located at N27 40.29, W080 48.35. The detective notified the Osceloa County Sheriff concerning a possible search area for the missing aircraft. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) then informed the IC of a location and probable flight path, based on radar data. At 00:30, the AFRCC sent an email to the IC of radar returns. The path started at COI and terminated at the southern edge of Blue Cypress Lake, just northeast of the Yeehaw Junction Tower and on a flight path between COI and OBE. Civil Air Patrol aircraft made radio contact with the Indian River Sheriff’s helicopter about 0115 and had acquired a weak emergency locator Transmitter (ELT) signal. The Indian River Sheriff's aircrew located the wreckage about 0154.

Review of radar data revealed that at 10:12:02, the airplane made a right 70-degree turn to a heading of 180 degrees. At 10:14:26, the airplane then made a left 360-degree turn. The last radar return was at 10:14:26.

A FAA inspector, who interviewed an FAA radar specialist that obtained radar data from a facility located 10 miles from the accident site, stated the radar specialist informed him the airplane's altitude information was missing and the airplane had a ground speed of approximately 90 to 95 knots for almost the entire time of the flight. In addition, he stated, "The ground speed gets very slow right at the very end of the flight path; that is, on the very last radar return."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION


The private pilot, age 21, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, issued on May 2, 2011 with the limitation, "Airplane single engine land limitation: English proficient, issued on the basis of and valid only when accompanied by United Kingdom Pilot License. All limitations and restrictions on the United Kingdom Pilot License apply." The pilot held a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Joint Aviation Authorities Class 1 medical certificate, issued on August 13, 2009, with no restrictions. In addition, she held an FAA third-class medical certificate, issued on April 26, 2010, with the restriction, "Not valid for any class after." Review of the pilot’s logbook revealed the pilot had 165 total flight hours of which 117 hours were in make and model and as pilot in command. The pilot had flown 89 hours in the last 90 days, 79 hours in the last 30 days and 1 hour in the last 24 hours prior to the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
The Cessna 152 was a two-place high-wing airplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear, serial number 15281014, manufactured in 1977. A Lycoming O-235-L2C, 118-horsepower, horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder engine powered the airplane. Review of the airplane logbooks revealed the last annual inspection was conducted on July 20, 2010, at a recorded tachometer time of 2505.0 hours. The total time on the airframe at the annual was 10345.0 hours. The last 100-hour inspection was conducted on June 1, 2011 at a recorded tachometer time of 2804.3 hours. At that time, the airframe had 10745.3 hours and the engine had 7459.3 hours. The propeller had 2552.3 hours. The total airframe hours at the time of the accident were 10767.6 hours. The airplane had flown 422.6 hours since the last annual inspection. The airplane had flown 21.7 hours since the last 100-hour inspection.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB) Vero Beach, Florida, 1053 surface weather observation was: wind 100 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds, 2,400 feet, temperature 29 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 22 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 30.03 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was located .20 mile southwest of Blue Cypress Lake in the vicinity of Vero Beach, Florida. Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with trees and a swamp in a nose down attitude left wing low and came to rest on a heading of 320 degrees magnetic. There was no crash debris line. The propeller spinner was crushed. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange by one propeller bolt. The remaining bolts were unbroken, but the propeller flange bushings were fractured. The propeller flange was bent. One propeller blade exhibited paint scuffing on the leading edge. The remaining propeller blade was bent aft about 20 degrees at about 18 inches outboard of the hub. The engine cowling was damaged and remained attached to the engine. The engine assembly remained attached to the engine mounts and the firewall. The propeller assembly and engine assembly and accessories were buried 3 feet below the surface of the ground with the accessory case level with the ground.

The windshield was destroyed. The cabin doors were opened and remained attached at their hinge points. Both door windows were broken and both door latches were in the latched position. The instrument panel was fragmented. The attitude indicator indicated 5 degrees pitch up, and 5 degrees left wing low. The vertical speed indicator indicated 2,000 feet-per-minute down. The stall warning horn was an aural device. It was checked and functioned. The fuel selector valve was in the on position. The throttle and mixture control was full forward. The left and right cabin seats remained attached to the seat tracks. Both seatbelts and shoulder harness were in use. Continuity of the flight control surfaces was established from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The rear baggage compartment window was shattered. The left and right main landing gear remained attached to the fuselage and was buried below the surface of the ground.

The right wing remained attached at the wing root. The leading edge of the right wing sustained accordion crush damage from the wing root, extending outboard to the wing tip. The right wing tip remained attached but was damaged. The upper wing skin sustained minor damage. The lower skin sustained accordion wrinkles from the leading edge to the rear spar. The right main fuel tank was ruptured with evidence of hydraulic action. The right main fuel cap was removed and had a tight seal. No browning of vegetation was present at the crash site. The right flap remained attached sustained minor damage and was in the retracted position. The right aileron remained attached at all hinge points and sustained minor damage. The right wing strut remained attached to the wing and the fuselage.

The empennage was displaced to the right and downward from cabin area at the baggage compartment. The horizontal stabilizer sustained minor damage. The vertical stabilizer sustained minor damage and remained attached to the empennage. The rudder sustained minor damaged and was attached at all hinge points. The rudder balance weight was intact. Review of the wreckage indicated that the rudder stop modification, Service Bulletin SEB 01-1 and Service Kit SK 152-24A was improperly complied with. Specifically, the nut plate at the accident site was attached to the doubler on the inner surface of the tail cone bulkhead. It should have been attached to the outer side of the tail cone skin. The vertical tail and adjacent portion of the empennage was sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination. The examination revealed the fracture was consistent with a shearing over stress separation. No indication of corrosion or preexisting cracking such as fatigue was observed. The right horizontal stabilizer was damaged and remained attached to the empennage assembly. The elevator remained attached to the stabilizer by the inboard and center hinge locations. Upper bending was present on the right stabilizer near mid-span. The elevator trim tab remained attached to the right elevator. The right elevator trim tab actuator was observed in the near neutral position. The right elevator balance weight was intact. The left horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the empennage and sustained minor damage. The elevator remained attached by all three hinge points. The balance weight was intact.

The left wing remained attached at the wing root. The leading edge of the left wing sustained accordion crush from the wing root extending outboard to the wing tip. The left wing slide down the side of a tree and the forward and rear spars were broken. The left forward wing tip separated from the wing. The upper and lower wing skins sustained minor damaged between the forward and rear spars. The left main fuel tank was ruptured with evidence of hydraulic action. The left main fuel cap was removed and had a tight seal. No browning of vegetation was present at the crash site. The left flap was damaged and was in the retracted position. The left aileron remained attached at all hinge points and sustained minor damage. The left wing strut remained attached to the wing and separated at mid span.

The engine was partially disassembled. The carburetor was fractured across the throttle bore and partially separated from the engine. The carburetor bowl screw safeties were intact. Fuel stains were not observed on the outside of the carburetor bowl. The carburetor was disassembled and a small amount of blue liquid with an odor consistent with that of aviation gasoline was present. No debris was present in the carburetor fuel inlet screen. Compression was noted on the outboard sides of the brass floats. A check of the liquid with water finding paste revealed no indication of the presence of water.

The left magneto remained attached to the engine and was not damaged. The right magneto mounting flange was fractured and the magneto was partially separated from the engine. Both magnetos were removed and rotated by hand. Both magnetos produced spark from all ignition towers. The ignition harness was damaged. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited light gray coloration of the electrodes and worn normal condition when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The lower were removed and exhibited light gray to light brown coloration and worn normal condition. Lead deposits were noted in the electrode wells of the lower. The electrode gaps were inconsistent.

The starter and alternator remained attached to the engine. Radial score marks were noted on the starter nose case. The alternator was damaged. The alternator belt remained in place and was broken. The vacuum pump remained attached to the engine and was removed and disassembled. The carbon rotor, carbon vanes and the drive coupling were intact. The screw holding the internal drive spline to the carbon rotor drive was fractured and observed in the center cavity of the carbon rotor.
Oil drained from the engine when it was lifted for examination. The oil filter was examined and no metallic debris was noted in the folds of the filter media. No debris was noted in the oil suction screen. The oil cooler remained attached to the rear baffle and the oil cooler hoses remained attached to the oil cooler.

The engine was rotated by hand using a tool inserted in the vacuum pump drive pad and continuity of the crankshaft to the rear gears and to the valve train was confirmed. Compression and suction were confirmed from all four cylinders. The interiors of all four cylinders were examined using a lighted bore scope and no anomalies noted.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Medical Examiner of District 19 of St Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties in Florida conducted the autopsy on the pilot on June 11, 2011. The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma. The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory performed toxicology testing on specimens from the private pilot. No carbon monoxide, cyanide or drugs were detected in the blood. Ethanol was detected in the muscle, blood and brain due to putrefaction.

The Office of the Medical Examiner of District 19 of St Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties in Florida conducted the autopsy on the passenger on June 13, 2011. The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma. The Weusthoff Reference Laboratory, Melbourne, Florida, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the passenger. The specimens were negative for basic, acidic, and neutral drugs. Caffeine and acetaminophen was present in the urine.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Cessna 152 Pilot's Operating Handbook states in Section 5, Performance, STALL SPEEDS, at a weight of 1,670 pounds, with a 0-degree angle of bank and flaps retracted, the airplane will stall at 36 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). At a 30-degree angle of bank the airplane will stall at 39 KIAS. At a 45-degree angle of bank the airplane will stall at 43 KIAS. At a 60 degree angle of bank the airplane will stall at 51 KIAS.




 
Carly Beattie, 21, was at the controls of the Cessna 152 aircraft when it plummeted into a Florida swap on June 9, 2011 killing her and her 24-year-old brother Daniel





 

A SCOTS trainee pilot who died alongside her brother in a plane crash last year was at fault for the tragic accident, the American authorities have ruled.
Carly Beattie, 21, was at the controls of the Cessna 152 aircraft when it plummeted into a Florida swap on June 9, killing her and her 24-year-old brother Daniel.

Although initial reports suggested the plane might have suffered technical problems, a year-long investigation into the tragedy has determined that pilot error was the most likely cause.


The findings will come as a further blow to the siblings' devastated parents, Thomas and Elaine Beattie, from Penicuik, Midlothian.


The family were visiting Miss Beattie, who was studying in the US as part of her pilot degree, at the time of the ill-fated flight last year.
A report by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states the "probable cause" of the crash was Miss Beattie's "failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin".

The siblings hired the Cessna from the Space Coast Aviation flying school on Flordia's Merritt Island but never returned.


It took the authorities several hours to find the wreckage of the plane, which had "nose-dived" into a wooded swamp near the Blue Cypress resort, 50 miles away.


The inquiry found that the plane issued a distress signal shortly before the crash and the investigation focused on part of the Cessna's rudder which was said to be incorrectly fitted.
News reports last year suggested that a second crash involving another aircraft leased from the same flying school could indicate the planes had suffered technical problems.

The report, published on Friday, reads: "Review of radar data revealed that in the last few minutes of the flight the airplane made several maneuvering turns. The reason the pilot chose to maneuver in that location is unknown. The final maneuvers included a 70-degree right turn to a heading of 180 degrees.


"About two minutes later, the airplane made a 360-degree left turn, and radar contact was lost. The radar data was consistent with cruise speed throughout the flight, except for the last return, which indicated that the airplane had slowed significantly.


"Post-accident wreckage signatures were consistent with a spinning descent and impact, indicating that the airplane likely entered an aerodynamic stall from which the pilot did not recover."


Bill Walker, a family friend and Miss Beattie's former athletics coach, told the Sunday Express that he was "surprised" by the verdict.


"Carly had quite a bit of experience, she had studied flying down in England and had travelled to America to get even more experience with commercial planes. She had been passing all of her exams.


"I'd be surprised if Carly was at fault here - I've heard that the [leasing] company had experienced crashes in the past and they had been down to problems with their planes.


"I think that hearing the findings will be quite distressing for her parents but I can't see them challenging the decision - I don't think that they'd want to drag this out any longer."


In April the Sunday Express revealed that Edinburgh Athletic Club, where Carly trained as a sprinter, had decided to hold a special annual event in tribute to her, whilst Morningside School of Music launched an award in memory of Daniel, who was a keen guitarist.


Speaking at the time Mr Beattie admitted the tragedy was "too tender" to revisit, adding: "I've lost my kids, and that is never going to go away."


And Mr Walker, who too has experienced his own tragic losses within the past year, explained that the couple have tried to spend time away from home in an attempt to deal with their grief.


"I lost my daughter last year and my wife last month so I've been spending time with them both. On Carly's birthday we went out for a meal together.


"They seem to be coping, they have been on quite a lot of holidays. I think it makes it easier not being around the family home." http://www.express.co.uk

Burkhart Grob G103 Twin II glider, N5489X: Accident occurred September 01, 2012 in El Paso, Texas

http://registry.faa.govN5489X

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA605  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in El Paso, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/2013
Aircraft: BURKHART GROB G 103 TWIN II, registration: N5489X
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 glider club was launching gliders via a mechanical ground winch. On the first launch attempt, the glider overflew the tow cable and it automatically disconnected when the glider was low to the ground. The glider was able to make a safe landing on the runway. The pilot was overheard saying that the first launch failed because he should have initiated the climb sooner. On the second attempt, the glider once again overran the tow cable. Before the tow cable released, the pilot lowered the nose to pick up the slack in the cable and he instructed the winch operator to go faster. These two steps appeared to have corrected the problem, and the pilot initiated a climb. Shortly after, the glider began to overfly the cable again and it disconnected. The glider entered free flight just above stall speed about 75 feet above the runway. A witness saw the glider nose over and thought the pilot was going to land. Instead, the glider descended rapidly and drifted to the left toward a taxiway. The witness saw the wings of the glider rock back and forth before it impacted the ground hard. Examination of the glider and release hook revealed no mechanical anomalies. The ground winch's engine was reportedly running rough and most likely was unable to produce enough speed to launch the glider.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot‘s failure to maintain glider control while attempting to take off using a ground winch, which resulted in an inadvertent stall low to the ground. Contributing to the accident was the ground winch, which was unable to produce enough speed for a successful glider launch.


On September 1, 2012, about 1100 mountain daylight time, N5489X, a Burkhart Grob G103 Twin II glider, sustained substantial damage when it landed hard during an attempted takeoff using a ground winch at the Horizon Airport (T27) near El Paso, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The glider was registered to and operated by the El Paso Soaring Society Incorporated, El Paso, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The El Paso Soaring Society was using the ground winch to launch gliders because their tow airplane was down for maintenance. The winch was set up on the overrun area on the east side of Runway 08.

According to a witness, a week before the accident, he attended a class on how to launch a glider using the ground winch. The class was given by the pilot and the person who operated the winch on the day of the accident. The witness said the class was taught from both a pilot and winch-operating perspective.

The following weekend, the witness returned to the airport to assist with the glider launches. He said that on the first launch attempt, he ran alongside the glider's wing until it got airborne. When the glider was approximately 15 feet above the ground, it overran the winch cable and the center of gravity (CG) hook automatically disconnected. The glider landed straight ahead without incident.

While ground-towing the glider back to the takeoff area, the witness heard the pilot telling the winch operator to do the same exact thing with the winch as he did on the first attempt. The pilot felt the first launch had failed because he didn't initiate a climb soon enough.

During the second attempt, the witness said the glider once again overflew the winch cable. He said, "According to the class [the pilot] gave the previous week, he performed the correct procedure - he lowered the nose to let the slack out of the cable. As this happened, he also came on the radio and directed the winch to go "faster". Then, once it started pulling him again, he raised the nose up as he was supposed to do in order to initiate a climb. After he did this, the cable once again seemed to develop some slack and the glider out ran it." The witness said the cable disconnected and the glider was in free-flight approximately 75 feet above the ground and appeared to be traveling just above stall speed. He then saw the glider nose over as if the pilot was preparing to land. But the glider began to sink rapidly as it drifted to the left toward the taxiway. The witness then saw the wings of the glider rock back and forth before it hit the ground "very hard."

According to an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the glider came to rest just north of the taxiway. The area was damaged and the tail had separated from the airframe. Examination of the CG hook revealed no mechanical deficiencies and functioned normally when tested. The inspector also said the ground winch utilized a 350-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine with a two-speed automatic transmission. Club members reported the winch had only been used about 9 times in the last 4 years. The pilot's son, who was standing behind the winch on both launch attempts, said the winch engine sounded as if it was producing a high RPM, but was running rough.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land and glider. He also had a certified flight instructor certificate for gliders. The pilot's last FAA Third Class medical was issued on December 28, 2011. At that time, he reported a total of 1,500 flight hours.

Weather at El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas, approximately 9 miles northwest of T27, at 1051, was reported as wind from 150 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 30 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 6 degrees Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.16 inches Hg.


 NTSB Identification: CEN12LA605 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in El Paso, TX
Aircraft: BURKHART GROB G 103 TWIN II, registration: N5489X
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 1, 2012, around 1100 mountain daylight time, N5489X, a Burkhart Grob G103 Twin II glider, sustained substantial damage when it landed hard during an attempted takeoff using a ground winch at the Horizon Airport near El Paso, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The glider was registered to and operated by the El Paso Soaring Society Incorporated, El Paso, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The glider club was using the ground winch to launch gliders on the day of the accident because their tow airplane was down for maintenance. The winch was set up on the overrun area on the east side of Runway 08.

According to several witnesses, the glider's first launch attempt ended in the glider over-flying the winch cable. The pilot released the tow cable and made an uneventful landing. During the second attempt, the glider again overflew the winch cable and had to release at an approximate height of 75-feet-above the ground. Due to a crosswind, the airplane drifted to the north of the runway and landed hard on it's belly damaging the tail section.

According to an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the ground winch utilized a 350-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine with a two-speed automatic transmission and coupled to a modified auto differential. Club members reported the winch had only been used about 9 times in the last 4 years. The pilot's son, who was standing behind the winch on both launch attempts, said the winch engine sounded as if it was producing a high RPM but was running rough.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. In addition, he had a certified flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine land. The pilot's last FAA Third Class medical was issued on December 28, 2011. At that time, he reported a total of 1,500 flight hours.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 5489X        Make/Model: GLID      Description: GROB G 103 TWIN II GLIDER
  Date: 09/01/2012     Time: 1800

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

LOCATION
  City: EL PASO   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, HORIZON AIRPORT,  NEAR EL PASO, TX

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: LUBBOCK, TX  (SW13)                   Entry date: 09/04/2012 
 





HORIZON CITY -- A pilot was seriously injured after complications from a takeoff caused his glider to crash into the Horizon Airport runway Saturday. 

 The El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Public Safety responded to several calls about a glider plane crashing about 11 a.m.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot, who was only identified as a man, was attempting to take off when his plane crashed into the runway after it failed to gain enough altitude.

The pilot was airlifted to University Medical Center, and the plane, a G-103 Twin II, received substantial damage.

FAA officials are investigating the crash, said Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the agency.

Officials would not release the identity of the pilot, but according to the FAA registry, the plane was owned by the El Paso Soaring Society.

Members of the El Paso Soaring Society did not return calls for comment.

A witness at the airport said he and other pilots who had seen the crash were instructed not to speak to news reporters by Horizon Airport officials.

The Horizon Airport, at 12787 Taxiway Drive, is a private airport owned by Marjorie Barrett and managed by Pat Barrett, according to FAA documents.

Officials with Horizon Airport would only confirm what the FAA had reported and would not comment further on the crash or the pilot.

This is the second aviation accident this year in the area.

In June,  strong winds caused a Robinson R-44 helicopter to crash onto its side after takeoff at the Doña Ana County Airport in Santa Teresa. The three people aboard the helicopter were not injured.

http://www.elpasotimes.com


Emergency vehicles surrounded glider which crashed at the West Texas Airport Saturday.
 (Victor Calzada)



EL PASO, TX —  Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety said one man was injured after the glider plane he was in crashed at the Horizon Airport on Saturday morning.

The crash happened around 11.am.  at the Horizon airport that is located off Pelicano in Horizon.

Officials said the plane crashed after the pilot had problems during takeoff.  The pilot who was only described as a male, was airlifted to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Source:   http://www.kfoxtv.com

A glider plane, which was expected to take off from a runway in Horizon City, has crashed. 

Officials at the Horizon Airport said the pilot was attempting to take off when his plane crashed in the runway. 

The plane is damaged and its pilot is injured. 

No other information was immediately available. 

http://www.elpasotimes.com

Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, Private (Warbird Education Foundation), N139GS: Accident occurred September 01, 2012 in Davenport, Iowa

http://registry.faa.gov/N139GS  

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA602
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Davenport, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/13/2014
Aircraft: AERO VODOCHODY L39C, registration: N139GS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 accident airplane was one of three airplanes in an airshow performance. After overflying the spectators and while flying away from the flight line, the airplanes executed a “crossover break” maneuver, at the beginning of which the accident airplane was in the left wing position. As planned, the lead airplane would climb while the left wing position airplane would enter a right turn and the right wing position airplane would enter a left turn with adequate longitudinal spacing. During the maneuver, the accident airplane entered the right turn as planned, but then descended and impacted the terrain. A postimpact fire ensued. No evidence of an in-flight collision with either of the other airplanes was observed. Witnesses reported that they did not observe any movement of the airplane's flight control surfaces before the airplane impacted terrain, which would be inconsistent with the pilot attempting to recover from the descent. The postaccident examination did not reveal any preaccident 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 loss of airplane control for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded operation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 1, 2012, approximately 1330 central daylight time, an Aero Vodochody L39C single-engine turbo-jet airplane, N139GS, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering during an air show performance at the Davenport Municipal Airport (DVN), Davenport, Iowa. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the Warbird Education Foundation, Frisco, Texas, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an air show flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from DVN approximately 1315.

Video and witness information documented the flight of three L-39 airplanes during their air show performance. According to the lead pilot, the three airplanes were traveling in a westerly direction away from the spectators and were executing a crossover break maneuver, which the accident airplane was in the left wing position. During the crossover break maneuver, the lead airplane first entered a climbing maneuver, the left wing position airplane entered a right turn and then the right wing position airplane entered a left turn with adequate longitudinal spacing. During the maneuver, the accident airplane entered the right turn, descended, and impacted the terrain. A post-impact fire ensued. No evidence of any in-flight collision with the other airplanes was observed. No communication or distress call were received by either the lead or right wing position pilot from the accident pilot.

Witnesses reported that they did not observe any movement of the airplane's flight control surfaces prior to the airplane impacting terrain.

Review of several videos showed that after the crossover break maneuver turns were performed, the lead and right wing position airplanes turned off their smoke and the left wing position airplane's smoke continued to remain on until the impact. According to a team representative, the right wing position airplane pilot calls for the break and smoke on/off.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 59, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot held type ratings for L-39, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 and MiG-17 airplanes.

His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second class medical certificate was issued on May 29, 2012, without limitations.

The pilot's logbooks were not located during the investigation. According to a friend of the pilot, he had accumulated approximately 2,500 total flight hours and 600 hours in jet airplanes.

Friends of the pilot reported he was in excellent health, rarely consumed alcohol, and exercised regularly.

A friend noted the pilot had a history of G-tolerance issues. The friend reported the pilot blacked out momentarily during a formation flight and may have experienced G-related issues on two other occasions. The pilot attended ground school training on G awareness and also reviewed United States Air Force documentation on G training.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross was a high-performance tandem seat jet trainer aircraft serial number 432833, manufactured in 1984. The airplane was powered by a single turbo fan Ivchenko AI-25TL 3,792-lb thrust engine.

The airplane was issued an experimental exhibition special airworthiness certificate on January 14, 2009. The airplane was registered to the owner on December 31, 2008.

The airplane logbooks were not located during the investigation. The most recent inspection and total aircraft times could not be determined. According to friends of the pilot, the airplane was in immaculate condition and there were no recent maintenance issues.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1347, the DVN automated surface observing system reported the wind from 070 degrees at 14 knots, visibility 9 miles, decreasing rain, scattered clouds at 2,300 feet, sky overcast at 4,000 feet, temperature 22 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors showed the airplane was severely fragmented and consumed by fire. The main wreckage came to rest 1.2 miles from DVN in a field. The airplane was recovered from the field and brought to a secure location for further examination.

Examination of the airplane by FAA inspectors and representatives familiar with L-39 airplanes revealed several disconnects in the flight control system due to impact and postaccident thermal damage. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site and no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were noted with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Two small video recorder devices were found at the accident site. The recorders were recovered and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders laboratory in Washington, DC, for data extraction. Due to damage, no information was recovered from the video recorder devices.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On September 3, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, Ankeny, Iowa. The pilot's death was attributed to multiple blunt force and thermal injuries.

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report revealed that testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed. Ethanol was detected in the liver, spleen, muscle, and heart. N-Propanol was detected in the spleen. These volatiles were consistent with postmortem production of alcohols.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On February 29, 1984, the FAA released Advisory Circular 91-61, A Hazard In Aerobatics: Effects Of G Forces On Pilots. The document stated in part:

"...One little known, but important, aspect of tolerance of G's is the effect of rapid changes from +Gz to -Gz, or vice versa. Because aerobatics induce such rapid changes, tolerance to changes could be highly significant. It is known, for example, that when one is subjected to -Gz, blood pressure receptors in the head and chest respond to the increased pressure and cause a reflex slowing of the heart. A rapid change to +Gz (for example, when the pilot executes a half-roll during a maneuver) would suddenly drop blood pressure in these receptors and there would be a rapid speeding up of the heart to maintain pressure; but because the reflex system requires some time to sense the need, the heart could be delayed in responding to this demand and blood flow to the brain might suddenly decrease...anything that reduces blood volume or cardiovascular response may reduce G tolerance. Dehydration, excessive sweating, severe sunburn, low blood pressure, prolonged standing or sitting, hypoxia, infection (even minor illnesses), and medications all lower G tolerance. Alcohol and hangovers will reduce your ability to perform aerobatic maneuvers. Make sure you are as fit as your aircraft...."

G Induced Loss of Consciousness (GLOC)

The average threshold of a pilot to blackout is 4.7 g's and laps in to unconsciousness at 5.4 g's. The rate of g on-load is a significant factor in establishing the amount of g load a pilot can withstand (AC-91-61).


 NTSB Identification: CEN12LA602 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Davenport, IA
Aircraft: AERO VODOCHODY L39C, registration: N139GS
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 September 1, 2012, approximately 1330 central daylight time, an Aero Vodochody L39C single-engine turbo-jet airplane, N139GS, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering during an air show performance at the Davenport Municipal Airport (DVN), Davenport, Iowa. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the Warbird Education Foundation, Frisco, Texas, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an air show flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from DVN approximately 1315.

Preliminary video and witness information revealed the flight of three L-39 airplanes during their air show performance. Shortly before the accident, the three airplanes were traveling in a westerly direction away from the spectators. According to the lead pilot, the airplanes were executing a crossover break maneuver, which the accident airplane was in the left wing position. During the crossover break maneuver, the lead airplane first entered a climbing maneuver, the left wing airplane entered a right turn and then the right wing airplane entered a left turn with adequate longitudinal spacing. During the maneuver, the accident airplane entered the right turn, descended, and impacted the terrain. A post-impact fire ensued. No evidence of any in-flight collision with the other airplanes was observed.

Examination of the accident site by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors showed the airplane was severely fragmented and consumed by fire. The main wreckage came to rest 1.2 miles from DVN in a field. The airplane was recovered from the field and brought to a secure location for further examination.

At 1347, the DVN automated surface observing system reported the wind from 070 degrees at 14 knots, visibility 9 miles, decreasing rain, scattered clouds at 2,300 feet, sky overcast at 4,000 feet, temperature 22 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury.





 
Glenn “Skids” Smith was flying as a member of The Hoppers flight team when his plane crashed at the Quad City Air Show Saturday, September 1, 2012.

The crash happened just after 1 p.m. in an alfalfa field southwest of the Davenport Municipal Airport at Mount Joy, Iowa.

See more about the crash, including video and photos at this link:  http://wqad.com/2012/09/01/plane-goes-down-at-quad-city-air-show/

The Hoppers website said Smith was the newest member of The Hoppers team and he was working on becoming a certified lead formation pilot. 

Smith was from Frisco, Texas. 

 Smith had more than two decades, and more than 2,000 hours, of flying experience and held a commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating. 

“The Hoppers quickly became close and trusted friends. They are a special group of aviators dedicated to aviation safety and proficiency; and we use the excitement of aviation as a message to motivate kids to succeed,” the site said, quoting Smith.

Smith flew as First Officer on the crew for the Grace Flight Around the World Mission 2010.  He and two other aviators flew around the world in the summer of 2010 to raise awareness and funding for Grace Flight of America, which relies on donations and volunteer pilots to give free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.  

Smith was also a certified scuba diver and licensed sailor who enjoyed snow skiing and golf.  He was 58 years old.

 http://wqad.com

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 139GS        Make/Model: EXP       Description: AERO VODOCHODY L39C
  Date: 09/01/2012     Time: 1830

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

LOCATION
  City: DAVENPORT   State: IA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, NEAR DAVENPORT, IA

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: DES MOINES, IA  (CE01)                Entry date: 09/04/2012 
 

 
Glenn Smith, 58, of Frisco, Texas, was killed when his jet crashed Saturday at the Quad-City Air Show. (Photo from Hopperflight.com.)



http://qctimes.com


Update: 11:48 a.m.: Authorities have released the name of the pilot. He is Glenn A. Smith, 58, of Frisco, Texas. He also is listed as the director of the foundation, Warbird Education Foundation, that owned the plane.

Smith, whose nickname is “Skids” was a technology entrepreneur who founded a company in 1981 that provides information technology services to local governments, according to the Hoppers team website.

He started flying about 24 years ago and earned his commercial pilot’s license.

The website said Smith is the newest member of the team and flies a PT-17 Stearman, T-37 Tweet, MiG-17, L-39 and Super Cub, according to the site.
Glenn also was a certified scuba diver, licensed sailor and enjoyed sking and golf, the Hopper site said.

Shortly after 8 a.m., a squadron of planes flew over the crash site in missing man formation.

Investigators are mapping the scene and will take aerial photos of the crash site this morning. The plan is to be done and out of the field today.

Pilot dies in plane crash during Quad-City Air Show

Updated 9:12 p.m.: A pilot flying in formation with two other retired military jets failed to come out of a 45-degree bank during a Quad-City Air Show performance, crashing Saturday afternoon into a field just north of Interstate 80.

The pilot, part of the Hoppers Flight Jet Team, died in the crash about 1:25 p.m.

The impact sent a huge fireball into the sky just southwest of the Davenport Municipal Airport, where thousands of spectators were watching the annual air show.

Davenport Assistant Police Chief Don Schaeffer told reporters the plane went directly into the ground.

“He never had an opportunity to come out of it,” Schaeffer added.

No one on the ground was injured.

Schaeffer said the Davenport Police Department was the lead agency investigating the crash Saturday afternoon. Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, officials, who were stationed at the air show, were also at the crash scene in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center off Northwest Boulevard.

An FAA spokesman, Lynn Lunsford, said that because it was a fatal crash, the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. He did not know when officials from that agency would be on-site.

As the air show continued and planes roared overhead, investigators began setting up a grid system to organize the search for pieces of the wreckage.

The air show is scheduled to continue today.

Schaeffer said the plane crashed in an alfalfa field, but the wreckage was widely scattered. He estimated that parts of the plane were strewn over an area that measured about 75 by 220 yards. The crash occurred a few hundred yards from buildings in the industrial park, but they were not damaged.

The pilot was the only person in the plane and his body was removed from the wreckage. The person’s name will not be released until today because not all relatives had been notified as of Saturday night, but Schaeffer said “this portion” of the air show was not from the Quad-City area. Schaeffer also said he did not know the names of the two other pilots, both of whom landed safely.
Schaeffer had no information about what may have caused the crash.

The plane that crashed was a 1984 single-engine fixed-wing Aero Vodochody L-39C. That model was originally a military training jet, used mainly in Europe, Lunsford said. Over the years, a number of them have been purchased by private owners and used for weekend flying and for air shows, he said.

FAA records show that the plane, which had the tail number N139GS, is owned by the Warbird Education Foundation, based in Frisco, Texas. The plane was built in 1984 and has a turbo-jet engine. The foundation’s 2010 tax return said that Glenn Smith of Frisco is the organization’s president. David Mills of Moline is listed as a director. The return listed a 1984 Aero Vodochody L-39C with a fair market value of $550,000.

Mills also is a member of the Hoppers Flight Jet Team and was at the air show Saturday.
An L-39C crashed in May near Boulder City, Nev., killing two people, according to a report in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. And a website for enthusiasts of the plane listed 20 crashes of the aircraft since 1998. The website said more than 2,800 of the aircraft were built and 300-plus were flying in private ownership. The plane was developed in Czechoslovakia and was used by the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries, according to the site.

At the time of the police briefing Saturday afternoon, Schaeffer said there were a number of canisters scattered about the field with the valves broken off, raising the possibility of toxic fumes in the area. He said, however, that the fire department was on hand and authorities were ensuring the safety of the scene before officers began processing it.

Schaeffer said authorities would guard the crash scene at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center throughout the night. Investigators are expected to return there this morning.

Six of the police department’s crime scene technicians were on the crash scene Saturday, as were many Scott County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters. The large contingent of investigators walked the field, looking for debris. The plane’s ejection seat mechanism was found intact. The Quad-City Bomb Squad was called to the scene to detonate the explosives package that powers the ejection seat since it was believed to be a potential danger to anyone in the area.

Schaeffer said investigators who return to the field today will “identify the location of each piece of debris we find.”

“We’re going to photograph it and then remove it to a hangar at the airport,” he said. The crash site will be mapped using the police department’s crime scene mapping equipment.

“There are literally hundreds of pieces of debris scattered across the field,” he said. “We want to collect and catalog each piece so that if the FAA or some other investigating body wants to rebuild the plane, they can do it.”


Updated 3:44 p.m.: Davenport police and federal investigators were preparing to comb a field north of Interstate-80, where a retired military plane failed to come out of a 45-degree bank at the Quad-City Air Show and crashed about 1:25 p.m. today, killing the pilot, authorities said.

Assistant Davenport Police Chief Don Schaeffer briefed reporters about 3 p.m. Schaeffer said the plane went directly into the ground.

“He never had an opportunity to come out of it,” Schaeffer said.

Nobody on the ground was hurt by the crash.

The pilot was not identified and is “not from around here,” Schaefer said.

This afternoon, authorities were preparing to search what Schaeffer believed to be an alfalfa field for wreckage, but it was widely scattered. He estimated parts of the plane were strewn over an area that measured 75 yards to 220 yards.

Schaeffer had no information about what may have caused the crash. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene, but they did not take part in the briefing.

At the time of the briefing, Schaeffer said there were cannisters, presumably from the plane, that were scattered about the field with the valves broken off. He said the fire department was on hand, and that authorities were ensuring the safety of the scene before officers began processing it.

“So far, we’re in great shape,” he said.

Schaeffer said that authorities would be combing the field at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center for much of the afternoon and would guard the site throughout the night. The crash investigation is expected to resume Sunday morning.

Updated: 3:23 p.m.: The pilot was killed, Davenport Assistant Police Chief Don Schaeffer said. The pilot’s name was not released, pending notification of his family.

Schaeffer indicated the flying team was not from the area and presumed the next of kin was not as well.

Updated 2:47 p.m.: A Soviet-era training jet flying in formation crashed and burst into flames at the Quad-City Air Show about 1:25 p.m. today.

The pilot is feared dead, and the rubble from the crash fell into a field at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center in northern Davenport adjacent to Interstate 80.

Officials at the scene told spectators to not go to their cars because the area near the air show at the Davenport Municipal Airport in Mt. Joy was being cordoned off to let emergency vehicles in and out.

The other two L-39 fighter jets returned safely, and flights continued soon after the crash, according to witnesses at the scene.

Two other L-39 planes have crashed this year, according to a website devoted to the planes made in Czechoslovakia beginning in 1966. The site, L39.com, listed fatal crashes on May 18 in Boulder City, Nev., where two people were killed, and Jan. 20 in Rainbow City, Ala.

Earlier today, an official at the air show said flights would continue in the rain, but would be suspended if conditions became unsafe. The National Weather Service reported rain in the area, but no storm activity “within 50 miles miles of here all day,” according to meteorologist Brian Pierce at the National Weather Service in the Quad-Cities.

The airshow official earlier today said the Federal Aviation Administration was onsite and was overseeing the situation and making those decisions.

The L-39 website said that more than 2,800 were made and that an “unknown number” are still in military service, and 300 are “flying in private ownership.”

Updated 2:08 p.m.: A plane at the Quad-City Air Show crashed into the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center in northern Davenport about 1:23 p.m. today.

There is a preliminary report that one person was killed.

Officials at the scene told spectators to not go to their cars because the area near the air show at the Davenport Municipal Airport in Mt. Joy was being cordoned off to let emergency vehicles in and out.

Flights continued soon after the crash, according to witnesses at the scene.

Earlier today, an official at the air show said flights would continue in the rain, but would be suspended if conditions became unsafe. The National Weather Service reported rain in the area, but no storm activity “within 50 miles miles of here all day,” according to meteorologist Brian Pierce at the National Weather Service in the Quad-Cities.

The airshow official earlier today said the Federal Aviation Administration was onsite and was overseeing the situation and making those decisions.

Posted 1:35 p.m.: A plane at the Quad-City Air Show crashed into the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center about 1:23 p.m.