Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cessna 150G, N3257J: Arkansas judge dismisses lawsuit over plane crash

 
Spencer Tirey 
Aaron Cooper, left, watches as Garrett Bradley empties a gasoline tank Feb. 15, 2011, on a single-engine 1966 Cessna 150G that crashed on the lawn of the Jones Center. Cooper and Bradley of Dawson Aircraft in Clinton were hired to take the plane to their facility.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Washington County judge has dismissed a lawsuit over an airplane crash in Springdale on procedural grounds. 

The Northwest Arkansas Times (http://bit.ly/P1S09S) reports Circuit Court Judge Joanna Taylor threw out the case on Thursday, saying plaintiff Barry Gilbow's attorneys didn't present evidence of what caused the crash during the trial.

Gilbow was seeking $250,000 in damage from Jimmy Crawford. At issue was whether Gilbow or Crawford was responsible for the accident.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation determined the plane ran out of fuel Feb. 12, 2011, but neither side put the agency's report into evidence.

Gilbow's attorney, Mark Ford, asked Taylor to allow him to reopen his case and present more evidence, but she said there was no basis in state law that would allow her to do that.
 

Information from: Northwest Arkansas Times, http://www.nwaonline.com 

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA188
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 12, 2011 in Springdale, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 150G, registration: N3257J
Injuries: 2 Minor.

While on final approach to the destination airport, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power. The airplane impacted terrain in a nose low attitude and came to rest adjacent to a fence, several hundred yards short of the runway, resulting in substantial damage. During the recovery of the airplane a total of 1.75 gallons of fuel was recovered from both wing fuel tanks. The fuel tanks had not been compromised and had an unusable fuel total of 3 gallons. The commercial pilot reported to law enforcement personnel that they had not refueled prior to the return flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

 Full narrative available

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza, ZS-TVR: Cato Ridge, in KwaZulu-Natal - South Africa

Durban - The three people killed in a light aircraft crash near Nagle Dam in KwaZulu-Natal were identified by Agri SA on Friday. 

 President of Agri SA Johannes Möller identified the victims as Jannie Boshoff, Jannie Kemp and Theuns van Rensburg who were all members of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) - an affiliate of Agri SA.

“They had attended the congress of Kwanalu. I spoke to them during the congress and their death is not only a loss for Kwanalu but also for Agri SA,” said Möller.

They were killed on Thursday after their plane crashed in bushes and caught fire.

ER24 said the incident happened at around 5.30pm.

After arriving on the scene, three paramedics and a firefighter set out on foot to locate the aircraft, said ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson.

“After about an hour of walking up the mountain through dense bush, they arrived at the crash site, where they found the wreckage of a light fixed wing aircraft, extensively damaged...”

It was still unclear what caused the crash. - Sapa




Three Newcastle farmers died yesterday afternoon when their light aircraft crashed outside Cato Ridge.
Statements issued by ER24 spokeswoman, Vanessa Jackson, said that the crash occured on September 13 at around 5.30pm.

"Paramedics from Durban and Pietermaritzburg immediately set off to find the scene, which was explained as being in the Valley of a Thousand Hills," she said.

It took paramedics close to an hour to reach the crash site, she added, as they had to walk up the mountain through dense bush. The bodies of the victims were burnt beyond recognition, continued Ms Jackson.

National media coverage explained that witnesses had reported seeing black smoke coming from the plane shortly before it crashed in dense bush and mountainous terrain in the vicinity of Nagle Dam.

The plane, which was believed to have been a Beechcraft F33 Bonanza, was apparently on its way to Newcastle after taking off from the Pietermaritzburg airport.

However, it has been confirmed that the three victims were from Newcastle, and were well known farmers in the community.

Updates to follow.


Cape Town - Emergency personnel on Thursday made a grisly discovery when they responded to reports of a plane crash in the vicinity of Cato Ridge, in KwaZulu-Natal.

After reports came in around 17:30 that an aircraft crashed in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, paramedics from Durban and Pietermaritzburg rushed to the scene, ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said.

The scene was inaccessible by vehicle, and the paramedics and a fire official had to hike for half an hour up the mountain where they found the wreckage of a light aircraft, extensively damaged and ablaze, Jackson said.

"All that they could make out was the charred remains of three people, and due to their extensive burns, it was not possible for them to be made out as adults or children, men or women," she said.

"It is not clear as to what caused the aircraft to crash, but locals who were the first to find the wreckage said that it appeared that black smoke was coming from the plane before it crashed."

She said thorough investigations will need to be conducted into the cause of the crash.

This is the second light aircraft crash in the KZN area this week, after a plane crashed near Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.


American Airlines posts new 'Behind the Scenes' video on delivery of plane

 
September 12, 2012 by American Airlines

Behind the Scenes @AmericanAir video series: Our employees answer customer questions in this in-depth and genuine view of our airline.

Aviation dean discusses future of industry

ENTERPRISE, Ala. --

Aviation is a strong and steadily growing industry in the area, but may manifest itself a little bit differently in the next few years, an expert said Wednesday.

Speaking to the Enterprise Lions Club, Tucson Roberts, dean of Aviation and Workforce at the Alabama Aviation Center, said aviation has been a longtime staple in southern Alabama’s economy with Fort Rucker’s presence. With impending defense spending cuts and the announcement of Airbus’ new plant in Mobile, the aviation industry may move more to the private sector.

“With impending cuts -- and there will be cuts -- (aviation) defense will remain stable at best,” he said. “What’s happened in aviation is the civil/commercial side slowed during the recession. As we come out of the recession, I think there will be more opportunities (there).”

In July, Airbus announced plans to build a Mobile plant that will be used to build jets, a move that is expected to generate 3,000 jobs, according to a Mobile Press-Register report.

Read more: http://www2.eprisenow.com

New Vancouver Seaplane Terminal Means More Cost to Island Travelers

 

 NANAIMO - The price for convenient travel off Vancouver Island just got a bit more expensive. Earlier this week, Harbour Air and the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre finally reached an agreement that will move Harbour Air to the newly constructed floatplane terminal attached to the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Canada's largest seaplane company had disputed making the move to the new terminal, citing increased rental fees and safety concerns. But with an expiring lease on its existing facility, the company finally agreed to move its ticketing and administrative operations to the new terminal.

In order to help subsidize the cost, the airline will be forced to increase the price of all tickets in-and-out of Vancouver's Downtown Harbour by $9.50.

The fee increase will take place as early as next Monday, September 17th with Harbour Air hoping to move into the new terminal by the end of the year.

Orlando, Florida: Temporary flight restrictions during high profile political visits have one small business taking a financial hit every time

ORLANDO –  It’s common knowledge that Central Florida is crucial to winning the presidential election.

The area has been playing host to visits from the president, Mitt Romney and many others.

But one small business is taking a financial hit from all of the high profile visits.

It’s called a TFR, or temporary flight restriction, and it works like a roadblock for the skies.

“We get the same type of thing in flying in that they are going to close down airspace that’s over the area where the president is, whether it is flying into and landing or as we saw this past weekend where they are traveling along the ground as well,” said Jeff Alungseth, with Flight Instruction Air Orlando.

It goes into effect whenever someone important enough, like the president, visits Central Florida.

And lately that has been happening a lot, and when it does, it means one thing for Air Orland at the executive airport.

“We close the doors, send everybody home. Pack it up and that was it,” said Air Orlando CEO Mike Terfur.

The school trains pilots and offers charter flights, but lately political and VIP visits have triggered many airspace shutdowns, inevitable stalling the business bottom line.

“A lost day is $10,000 revenue, so,” said Terfur.

Read more: http://www.baynews9.com

Flight Design CTLS, N566FD: Incident occurred July 16, 2012 in Marysville, Ohio

NTSB Identification: CEN12IA451
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Marysville, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N566FD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that before the accident, he landed without incident and taxied back for takeoff. During the subsequent takeoff roll, he felt a "jolt" and heard a "thumping" sound from the left main wheel. The airplane immediately veered to the left and departed the runway pavement. A postincident examination revealed that a section of the outboard half of the left main wheel assembly had failed. Airplane damage was limited to the left main landing gear, engine cowling, and propeller assembly. Metallurgical examination of the left outboard wheel revealed that it failed as a result of fatigue.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:
Fatigue failure of the left main wheel assembly on takeoff, which resulted in a loss of directional control and runway excursion.

On July 16, 2012, about 1855 eastern daylight time, a Flight Design Gmbh model CTLS, N566FD, sustained minor damage during a runway excursion on takeoff at Union County Airport (MRT), Marysville, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was registered to B S Aviation LLC and operated by New Flyers Association under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a solo instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Ohio State University Airport (OSU) about 1805.

The pilot reported that after departing OSU, he proceeded to the local practice area and completed several training maneuvers. He then flew to MRT in order to practice takeoffs and landings. After entering the traffic pattern, he landed on runway 27 (4,218 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) without incident and taxied back for departure. During the subsequent takeoff roll, the pilot reported feeling a "jolt" and hearing a "thumping" sound from the left main wheel. The airplane immediately veered to the left and departed the runway pavement. The airplane came to rest about 20 yards from the edge of the runway, after striking a Precision Approach Path Indicator light. The left main landing gear collapsed.

A postincident examination revealed that outer half of the left main wheel assembly had failed. Airplane damage was limited to the left main landing gear, engine cowling, and propeller assembly.

The operator reported that the right main wheel had failed on this airplane in a similar manner on December 6, 2011. Both the left and right wheel components were submitted for further examination.

Metallurgical examination of the left and right outboard wheel halves revealed a crack adjacent to the rim, extending about three-quarters of the circumference in the case of the left wheel half, and about two-thirds of the circumference in the case of the right wheel half. Fracture surface features were consistent with fatigue cracking extending through the thickness of the component, with multiple origins along the outer surface. No unusual features such as deep machining marks were observed at the fatigue origin areas. The material thickness varied over the cross-section of both wheel halves, measuring about 0.083 inch at the formed radius adjacent to the rim. The specified material thickness was 0.118 inch. The measured material properties, such as conductivity, harness, and composition, were consistent with the specified material.

The operator reported that at the time of the incident, the airframe had accumulated 1,396 hours total airframe time (980.3 hours tachometer time). Maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on May 30, 2012, at 907.6 hours tachometer time. Records indicated that the left landing gear leg had been replaced after repair on November 4, 2011, at 702.1 hours tachometer time, subsequent to a hard landing inspection. The right main wheel outer half was replaced on December 7, 2011. An airframe maintenance time was not recorded with that logbook entry.

Weather conditions recorded by the MRT Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), at 1853, were: calm wind, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 33 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.


 NTSB Identification: CEN12IA451
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Monday, July 16, 2012 in Marysville, OH
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N566FD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On July 16, 2012, about 1855 eastern daylight time, a Flight Design Gmbh model CTLS, N566FD, sustained minor damage during a runway excursion on takeoff at Union County Airport (MRT), Marysville, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. The aircraft was registered to B S Aviation LLC and operated by New Flyers Association under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a solo instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Ohio State University Airport (OSU) about 1805.

The pilot reported that after departing OSU, he proceeded to the local practice area and completed several training maneuvers. He then flew to MRT in order to practice takeoffs and landings. After entering the traffic pattern, he landed on runway 27 (4,218 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) without incident and taxied back for departure. During the subsequent takeoff roll, the pilot reported feeling a “jolt” and heard a “thumping” sound from the left main wheel. The airplane immediately veered to the left and departed the runway pavement. The airplane came to rest about 20 yards from the edge of the runway, after striking a Precision Approach Path Indicator light.

A postincident examination revealed that a section of the left main wheel flange had failed, compromising the assembly and allowing the tire to deflate. Airplane damage was limited to the left main landing gear, engine cowling, and propeller assembly. The pilot reported a similar failure of the right main wheel on this airplane. A detailed examination of the left main wheel assembly is pending.

http://www.zoneaviation.com/forsale_n566fd.html

http://registry.faa.gov/N566FD

http://www.flickr.com/photos

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, XB-LLD: Accident occurred November 2011 near Booby Bird Road on the Bluff, near Cayman Brac - Cayman Islands


Click here to see full crash report

NTSB Identification: ERA12WA072
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial

Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2011 in Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: XB-LLD

Injuries: 2 Fatal.

 
On November 14, 2011, at 0525 universal coordinated time, a Cessna 210, registered in Mexico as XB-LLD, was substantially damaged when it struck wires and trees under unknown circumstances at Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands. The pilot and his passenger were fatally injured.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the United Kingdom. Further information may be obtained from:

Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Berkshire Copse Road
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 2HH, United Kingdom


This report is for informational purposes only and contains information released by or obtained from the Government of the United Kingdom.







Click here to see full crash report

 http://www.cayman27.com

The UK Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued their findings on the aircraft accident that occurred on Cayman Brac on Sunday 13th November 2011. Two men died in the crash. The report says the aircraft probably suffered an electrical failure.

One of the men killed was Jose Santos Castaneda Castrejon, 35, from Mexico. The other man was Fernando Duran Garcia, 56, from Colombia.

While the report does not provide the identity of the pilots, one can easily figure it out. One of the pilots was issued his Commercial Pilot’s License by the state of Columbia in 1976. Due to the age of the pilots, Fernando Duran Garciais is the only one that could have received his license in 1976.

Post-mortem examinations conducted on behalf of the Cayman Island’s Coroner revealed Castrejon was positive for the presence of cocaine metabolites with associated compounds and chlorphenamine, a substance commonly used in anti-histamines. Garciais’ results were negative.

Castrejon was listed as the pilot in command, according to a flight plan recovered from the aircraft.

The AAIB’s report “There was insufficient evidence to determine the purpose of the flight, but there were indications that it was intended to be clandestine, including the modified fuel system, the intended route and the unidentified flight plan destination.”

“Both pilots were commercial pilots from their respective countries of Mexico and Columbia,” said RCIPS Air Operations Commander Steve Fitzgerald.” Therefore, they would have been fully aware of the International requirements of flight planning and the risks associated with unauthorised fuel modifications, together with flying a single engine aircraft over a 1,000 miles over sea and at night. The addition into the cabin of plastic open fuel containers is an incredible risk that both pilots must have been aware of.”

The AAIB’s report concluded, “The aircraft probably suffered an electrical failure which prevented use of the modified fuel system intended to provide additional range. The aircraft then deviated from its original flight path, possibly because the crew intended to divert to Cuba, and its track passed over Cayman Brac. Evidence indicates that the pilot attempted to land on a road. The aircraft was destroyed when it encountered obstacles, including poles, beside the road.”

It also states, “The manner of operation of this aircraft, including extended flights over water and the modified fuel system, introduced risks to the flight of which the crew must have been aware.”

There was evidence pilots using these GPS Units in the weeks prior had made long distance flights from Central America into Venezuela, returning into unrecognized landing sites in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. At no time was there any evidence that previous or intended routes included the Cayman Islands, or passing close to the Islands.

“Following liaison with all the RCIPS partner agencies in the region including those in the United States, the RCIPS investigators conclusion is that the aircraft’s intended destination was not Cayman Brac but, as indicated in the AAIB report, was as a result of technical problems and the need to reach land. As both pilots died instantly, it will always be a matter of conjecture the reason for the deviation, and indeed the purpose of the flight,” a police spokesperson said.  A full search of the scene and the aircraft at the time confirmed that no cargo, other than the fuel containers, was found at the scene.

Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3, N221DV: Accident occurred September 01, 2012 in Falmouth, Massachusetts

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA540
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Falmouth, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N221DV
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious.

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

During the cross-country instructional flight in the side-stick airplane, with the student pilot on the controls in the left seat and the flight instructor in the right seat, the airplane entered the landing pattern. During the final approach, witnesses saw the airplane drifting to the left while descending at a relatively high sink rate. Witnesses heard the power being adjusted, and, close to the ground, the engine went to high power. The airplane’s nose rose, and the airplane veered to the left. The airplane touched down left wing down off the runway in grass, heading about 40 degrees left of the runway centerline. It then entered woods, where it hit numerous trees and came to rest upside down and on fire. The student pilot stated that he thought the instructor was on the flight controls with him as had happened during previous flights. He also recalled the instructor pointing to the airspeed indicator on final approach and took it to mean that the airplane was slow. Although the instructor had previously used positive passing of controls on other flights, neither the student pilot nor the passenger recalled hearing him say anything during the final approach. The student pilot indicated that at some point he was not sure who was flying, although, after the accident, witnesses heard him saying multiple times that he was sorry he “did that.” Examination of the wreckage revealed no preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Wind, as recorded at a nearby airport, was from slightly left of runway heading at 15 knots, gusting to 18 knots. Five of the instructor’s seven private pilot candidates failed their initial practical test, which went unnoticed by his flight school. However, none of the failures were due to poor landings, all the candidates passed on their second try, and all interviewed had positive words about the instructor. One of the instructor’s previous students indicated that he had ridden the controls with her as well. The instructor had been known to work extra hours, but there was no evidence that he was fatigued during the flight. The instructor likely also had a discussion with a principal of the flight school that resulted in him arriving late for the flight, but there was no indication that it distracted him during the approach. The instructor was responsible for the safety of the flight and, as such, should have effected positive remedial action before the student pilot was able to put the airplane in an unrecoverable position. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor’s inadequate remedial action. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s poor control of the airplane during the approach. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 1, 2012, about 1105 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N221DV, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees during a landing attempt at Falmouth Airpark (5B6), Falmouth, Massachusetts. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) was fatally injured, and the student pilot and the passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Due to the extent and severity of his injuries, the student pilot first provided a statement through his attorney on March 31, 2013. At that time, he stated that on the day of the accident, "the flight was conducted in the same manner as previous occasions." The student pilot had earlier advised the flight school that he and his wife wanted to fly to 5B6 to spend Labor Day weekend. When they arrived at the flight school, they met the CFI, who did the flight planning while the student pilot performed the airplane preflight inspection. 

When the CFI was ready, they boarded the airplane with the student pilot in the left seat, the CFI in the right seat, and the student pilot's wife in one of the rear seats. The student pilot was manipulating the controls and performing radio communications at the direction of the CFI. 

The flight to 5B6 was uneventful. The student pilot remembers obtaining weather information approaching Falmouth from, he believes, Hyannis, south of Falmouth. The CFI directed that he enter the landing pattern at 5B6 by flying over the airport at 3,000 feet and then descending to enter the downwind for a right traffic pattern to runway 7. They conducted the landing checklist before turning onto the base leg. 

As in the past, the student pilot was flying the airplane with the CFI's hands and feet on the controls. The student pilot remembered making a right turn to enter the base leg of the approach and turning onto final. The airplane cleared the trees at the approach end of runway 7 when the CFI said that the airplane was "low and slow." The student pilot did not remember much thereafter other than then being "jounced around a bit" in the airplane. He did not remember "seeking" the runway or touching down on or near the runway. He did not know if the CFI took control of the airplane, or if he continued to fly it, nor did he recall the CFI saying anything else to him other than they were "low and slow." The next thing the student pilot remembered was the airplane hitting trees, breaking up and coming to rest. He did not realize that there was a fire until he saw the skin on his hands was coming off. He could not unfasten his seat belt but his wife had been able to do so and had left the airplane. He called for help and she returned and unbuckled him and pulled him from the burning wreckage.

In response to additional questions posed through his attorney, and after his release from the hospital, the student pilot recalled that the CFI had not said that they were low and slow. Instead, the CFI had pointed to the airspeed indicator, "to indicate a slower than desired landing approach speed. He did not verbalize any words; he just pointed at the electronic display which I understood to mean that he wanted me to note our speed which was 69 knots, a slightly low speed. I corrected that condition…I was still in the hospital and heavily medicated when I initially spoke to [my attorney], and do not recall our exact conversation." 

The student pilot further noted that his wife was also wearing headphones, and did not recall any conversation between himself and the CFI. 
According to the student pilot's wife, her first awareness of something unusual was the crash itself. She realized that she was standing in fire in the airplane on the ground. She recalled unbuckling her husband and pulling him out of the plane with her right hand. The fire was so intense that they had to exit the airplane, and she shouted that the CFI was still in the airplane to the people who began arriving at the site.

The wife also believed that her husband was flying the airplane, with the CFI providing instruction. She did not know if the CFI had his hands on any of the airplane's controls at any point that day, but in the past had seen him do so. 

According to several witnesses, the airplane completed a right downwind for runway 7. The final approach over trees was described as "unstable, with rocking wings," and one witness asked another if he thought the airplane was going to go around. 

Exact recollections differed, but in general, witnesses recalled that as the airplane neared the runway, the airplane's rate of descent increased, and there were some additions and reductions in power. The airplane started veering to the left, there was an addition of power, and the left wing almost hit the ground. The airplane then touched down in the grass to the left of the runway, went through the last section of a wooden fence, entered some woods and burst into flames. 

In an email, one witness stated, "Subject aircraft was on a short final when he came in over the trees…he was low and slow…he got in to a high sink rate and he went to full power and pulled the nose up abruptly about 30 to 40 degrees nose up and the plane veered to the left and went in to the trees and exploded on impact." 

In an interview, one witness stated that at the crash site, the student pilot repeatedly said that he was "sorry I did that." 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The CFI, age 24, held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument-airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single engine land, multi-engine land and instrument-airplane ratings. The CFI's latest FAA first class medical certificate was dated May 1, 2012.

The CFI completed "Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot" training on September 29, 2011.

A copy of the CFI's logbook entries through August 13, 2012, listed 1,519 total flight hours, with 1,407 hours of single engine flight time, and 1,002 hours of instructor time. 

The CFI's fiancée, who had moved to the local area in preparation for their wedding, was asked about the CFI's recent history leading up to the accident. According to the fiancée, she worked as a nurse during the night shift, and because of their differing schedules, and not wanting to disturb each other's sleep, she was sleeping on the couch while he slept in the bedroom. She saw the CFI on the morning of the day before the accident, but because of their work schedules, she didn't see him that night. The day of the accident, he had left for work prior to her waking up.

CFI Employer

According to the employer's attorney, "Robinson Flight, LLC ('Robinson Flight'), and Robinson Aviation, Inc. ('Robinson Aviation'), are two separate and distinct entities with their own legal status. Robinson Flight is a subsidiary company of Robinson Aviation – it is a single-member limited liability company with its single member being Robinson Aviation [Flight?]. Robinson Aviation is a C-corporation with [one person] serving as the President and Treasurer. Those who actually manage Robinson Aviation are not necessarily the same as those who manage Robinson Flight. Robinson Flight maintains its own separate payroll, has its own checks, and pays rent to Robinson Aviation. [The CFI] was employed by and paid by Robinson Flight."

"All of the time that was billed for the [student pilot's] flights was for instructional purposes." In addition, "Robinson Aviation was unaware of the passenger onboard. Officers of Robinson Flight also were unaware that there was to be a passenger on board."

CFI Student Pass Rate

According to FAA records, seven of the CFI's student pilots attempted the private pilot practical (flight) test. Of the seven, five failed the test on their initial try, but all of those passed their test on their second try.

Four of the five former students who initially failed were able to be contacted. None of the four indicated any instructional lapses for their initial failures, and none of the failures involved landing pattern work or normal landings. Two of the pilots attributed their initial performance to nerves, one due to fatigue because a family member had returned home the night before, and one included weather as a factor and was off required altitude. Most involved navigation. The designated examiner for the fifth student pilot confirmed that his failure also did not involve landing pattern work or normal landings.

When asked about the CFI's low initial pass rate, or if any corrective actions were taken, the attorney for the flight school responded, "Robinson Flight disagrees with the above characterizations. Robinson Flight is interested in seeing the basis for these conclusions. Robinson Flight saw no reason to take corrective action." 

CFI – Students' Perceptions

From the four student pilots previously noted and one additional student who switched to another airplane make and model in the midst of training (she didn't continue with the CFI because he wasn't qualified in that airplane at the time):

"Very mellow and relaxed in the cockpit. He was a good pilot, a good instructor, good instincts, who always had a plan, while other instructors would just show up to fly. He always had something he wanted to accomplish during the flight." He was also always alert; and the student pilot felt safe with him.

"The best of all of them." He was the best rounded, patient, and made the student pilot feel comfortable; "very thorough and meticulous." 

Always professional in the airplane; "encouraging," and loved to fly; always at the airport.

A "very good instructor" who knew what he wanted to do, how to do it, and then did it. The student pilot enjoyed flying with him, felt no fear with him and was comfortable with him as an instructor. 

He was a "pretty good instructor," especially compared to another instructor, and he had a lot more confidence in the student pilot. She felt very comfortable with him; he explained everything very well. 

CFI and the Destination Airport

According to the attorney for the flight school, when asked if the CFI expressed any concerns about flying to 5B6, particularly in regards to the winds/crosswinds, the response was "Not to the knowledge of Robinson Flight."

The accident student pilot was asked the same thing through his attorney and responded, "He did not express any concerns whatsoever." 

CFI Workload

According to the attorney for the flight school, "[The CFI] did not have a set schedule or general hours for Robinson Flight; he was responsible for setting and managing his own schedule including flights, ground school, and office hours. [The CFI] very rarely worked more than 40 hours per week." 

When asked if there was a contract to confirm the working arrangement, the attorney replied, "There was no written contract or written instruction explicitly stating that [the CFI] was responsible for setting and managing his own schedule. That was the practice that was acceptable to both Robinson Flight and [the CFI]."

In addition, "[the CFI] was permitted to, and from time to time did, voluntarily stay in the office on his own accord to answer phones in an attempt to garner more business. Such voluntary office hours, however, were not reflected in [his] hours or pay." 

When asked about the CFI's work schedule, his fiancée stated that he worked as many hours as he could during the week to maximize his opportunities to fly. His normal work schedule was 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sometimes he would fly and sometimes he would not. When asked if there were any fatigue issues, the fiancée stated that there were none that she knew of. She also stated that she would say to him that he was getting worked too hard, but he never complained. 

When asked if there were any other issues at work, the fiancée stated that there were no issues that she knew of.

CFI – Accident Student Pilot Relations 

According to the fiancée, the CFI had a good rapport with all his students. 

When asked about the relationship between the CFI and the student pilot/owner of the airplane, she stated that it was a very good one. She did not hear anything negative about student pilot and even if there was something, the CFI was professional in that he never said anything about any of his students. 

The fiancée also stated that the CFI had a "great" relationship with the student pilot. In fact, the student pilot let the CFI use his airplane when he wanted, as long as he put fuel in it. About 2 weeks prior to the accident, the CFI and fiancée flew together in the airplane to Ohio to get their wedding license. 

Accident Student Pilot

The student pilot, age 55, stated that he had 117 hours of flight time at the time of the accident, and that his logbook was destroyed in the postcrash fire. His FAA third class medical certificate was issued on February 7, 2012.

He also stated that he stated that he started taking flight training at "Robinson Aviation," and was introduced to a Cirrus SR20 as well as other types of airplanes. Since he was interested in buying an airplane, he researched what was available and decided on a Cirrus SR22 based on its performance, load carrying ability and utility. When he purchased the accident airplane, he had accumulated about 17 hours of dual instruction and continued to take flight instruction at Robinson, where he was assigned the accident CFI as his primary instructor.

The student pilot further noted that most of his flight instruction began with a ground briefing where the CFI would explain what they would be doing, including the maneuvers to be performed. The student pilot would perform the preflight inspection of the airplane. 

The student pilot would sit in the left seat, and the CFI in the right seat. Throughout each lesson, whether they were maneuvering or flying in the traffic pattern, the CFI would keep his hands on the controls while the student pilot flew the airplane, "meaning he would keep the right-hand side stick in his right hand, his feet on the rudder pedals and his left hand on the throttle below my hand." During the lessons there were many occasions where the CFI would take control of the airplane if he felt he should do so, then would typically explain the reason for doing so and, if appropriate, have the student pilot perform the maneuver again.

On occasion, the student pilot and his wife would want to go somewhere overnight or for a weekend, and the only way they could use the airplane was to hire "Robinson Aviation" to transport them. The accident CFI would fly those trips. They would meet at HVN at Robinson facilities where the CFI would take care of all flight planning duties, and the student pilot would typically perform the preflight inspection. During the flight, the student pilot would sit in the left seat with the CFI in the right seat and the student pilot's wife in one of the rear seats. Upon arrival at the destination airport, the student pilot would fly the traffic pattern and make the landing, again with the CFI providing direction and keeping his hands and feet on the controls.

After deplaning at the intermediate destination, the CFI would then fly the airplane back to HVN, and when the student pilot and his wife were ready to return home, the CFI would return to pick them up. The flight back would then be conducted in the same manner as the outbound flight. The student pilot paid Robinson for each of the flights.

The student pilot's wife confirmed that there had been a number of occasions where the CFI had flown with them to a destination, then fly the airplane back to HVN and return to pick them up again for the return trip home. It was her understanding that the CFI was providing instruction to her husband and that his credit card was billed by Robinson Aviation.

When asked why, with 117 hours of flight time, the student pilot had not taken his private pilot test yet, he replied through his attorney, "He was not in a rush to obtain his private pilot certificate and believed that the additional time and instruction would only make him a better, safer, pilot. He also advises that a substantial amount of his flight hours, perhaps 30 hours, were conducted in a manner similar to the day of the accident where he was being taken to a location by [the CFI] and was not devoted to instruction. He also advises that he had not completed several areas of required instruction that was needed before he could obtain his license, including night flying and cross country solo work."

When asked if there were any problem areas that the CFI suggested needed more work, the student pilot responded through his attorney, "[The CFI] suggested no areas to focus on during the flight that day." The student pilot also stated that the CFI had not advised him of any areas that needed special attention in the recent past leading up to the accident flight. Before an instructional flight, the CFI would usually tell the student pilot what area they would focus on that day, such as landings or stalls, "although on occasion, he would just suggest that they go out and fly, or something to that effect." 

CFI on the Controls

Because the student pilot indicated that the CFI would be on (ride) the controls with him at times, the question of riding the controls was asked of the other five student pilots who were interviewed. Three said he did not ride the controls, one said that he would be on the rudders and one, who was only with the CFI before her solo, said he did. All but one of the student pilots flew with the CFI in a conventional, yoke-configured airplane. The one who flew with him in a side-stick Cirrus was also one of the student pilots who said the CFI did not ride the controls, but further noted that he had about 60 hours' experience in a Cirrus while taking previous training in California. 

CFI Distractions

On the morning of the accident, another flight instructor spoke with the CFI as he was walking out to the accident airplane. The CFI seemed upset and for the first time ever, made disparaging remarks about the president of Robinson Aviation. The other CFI did not ask about what brought about the remarks. 

The student pilot also stated that they were delayed about an hour in waiting for the CFI, and that he appeared "normal but slightly distracted," but said something like, "ready to have some fun." During the flight, the CFI "seemed to be his normal self but somewhat casual." 

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The airplane, which was manufactured in 2008, was purchased by the student pilot in 2012 from a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company. A pre-buy inspection was completed on March 28, 2012, at 768.2 flight hours, 842.0 Hobbs hours; an annual inspection was completed April 10, 2012, with the same number of flight hours noted; and the student pilot accepted the airplane on April 15, 2012.

Additional maintenance logged by Robinson Aviation included a change of the batteries on August 28, 2012, and an alternator change on August 31, 2012, at 875.9 flight hours, 965.3 Hobbs hours. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Falmouth Airpark had a single runway, 7/25, that was 2,298 feet long and 40 feet wide. Runway 7 elevation threshold was 38 feet. There was no control tower or recorded communications. 

METEROROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather, recorded at an air national guard base 4 miles to the north, at 1055, included a few clouds at 1,600 feet, visibility 10 statute miles, wind from 050 degrees true (066 degrees magnetic), at 15, gusting to 18 knots, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.02 inches Hg. 

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

An examination of the accident site revealed skid marks in the grass to the left of the runway, with the mark attributed to the position of the left main landing gear appearing first. The marks commenced about 80 feet left of the runway, 300 feet from the approach end, and headed about 030 degrees magnetic, toward the woods. The airplane's left wing was found separated from the rest of the airplane at the first large tree in the woods, and the airplane came to rest about 80 feet beyond that tree, upside down.

The airplane was mostly consumed by fire. Evidence of all flight control surfaces was found at the scene, and continuity was confirmed from the cockpit along the lengths of all flight control cables. The flap actuator indicated that the flaps were at 50 percent. 

The engine exhibited severe fire damage, and the crankshaft could not be rotated. Two of the three metal propeller blades exhibited torsional bending, and one blade could be rotated in the hub. The third propeller blade was straight, but had cut into the propeller spinner toward the direction of rotation. The spinner also had a large concave indentation in it, similar in shape to a tree trunk. 

Data chips were not recovered from the primary flight display and multifunction display, which were charred and jelled together. The tail-mounted remote data module was recovered and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory; however, the unit was thermally damaged internally, and no data extraction was possible. 

MEDICAL AND TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION 

An autopsy was conducted on the CFI by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Boston, Massachusetts. Cause of death was listed as, "inhalation of heated gases and thermal injuries."

Toxicological testing, which was performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, included 10 percent carbon monoxide saturation in heart blood, and no drugs detected. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Advisory Circular 61-115, "Positive Exchange of Flight Controls Program," states that, "Numerous accidents have occurred due to a lack of communication or misunderstanding as to who actually had control of the aircraft, particularly between students and flight instructors." In addition, "During flight training, there must always be a clear understanding between students and flight instructors of who has control of the aircraft."

FAA-H-8083-25, "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge," notes that, "To the pilot, 'torque' (the left turning tendency of the airplane) is made up of four elements:"

1. Torque reaction from the engine and propeller, which, for most U.S. engines that rotate the propeller clockwise as viewed from the pilot's seat, tend to make the airplane roll left.
2. Corkscrewing effect of the slipstream, which at high propeller speeds and low forward airplane speed, produces a compact spiraling rotation of the slipstream that exerts a strong sideward force on the airplane's left side of the vertical tail surface.
3. Gyroscopic action (precession) of the propeller, that produces yawing and pitching.
4. Asymmetric loading of the propeller (P Factor), that, during high angles of attack, results in the downward propeller blades moving faster than the upward blades, creating more lift from the downward blades which tends to pull (yaw) the airplane's nose to the left.

 http://registry.faa.gov/N221DV

http://www.flickr.com/photos


NTSB Identification: ERA12FA540 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Falmouth, MA
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N221DV
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 1, 2012, about 1100 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N221DV, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees during a landing attempt at Falmouth Airpark (5B6), Falmouth, Massachusetts. The flight instructor was fatally injured, and the student pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight from Tweed-New Haven Airport (NVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

While the student pilot and a passenger survived the accident, due to the extent of their injuries, they could not be interviewed. According to several witnesses, the airplane completed a right downwind for runway 7. The final approach over trees was described as "unstable, with rocking wings," and one witness asked another if he thought the airplane was going to go around.

Exact recollections differed, but in general, witnesses recalled that as the airplane neared the runway, there were some additions and reductions in power. The airplane started veering to the left, there was an addition of power, and the left wing almost hit the ground. The airplane then touched down in the grass to the left of the runway, went through the last section of a wooden fence, entered some woods and burst into flames.

An examination of the accident site revealed skid marks in the grass to the left of the runway, with the mark attributed to the position of the left main landing gear appearing first. The marks commenced about 80 feet left of the runway, 300 feet from the approach end, and headed about 030 degrees magnetic, toward the woods. The airplane's left wing was found separated from the rest of the airplane at the first large tree in the woods, and the airplane came to rest about 80 feet beyond that tree, upside down.

The airplane was mostly consumed by fire. Evidence of all flight control surfaces was found at the scene, and continuity was confirmed from the cockpit along the lengths of all flight control cables. The flap actuator indicated that the flaps were at 50 percent.

The engine exhibited severe fire damage, and the crankshaft could not be rotated. Two of the three metal propeller blades exhibited torsional bending, and one blade could be rotated in the hub. The third propeller blade was straight, but had cut into the propeller spinner toward the direction of rotation. The spinner also had a large concave indentation in it, similar in shape to a tree trunk.

Data chips were not recovered from the primary flight display and multifunction display, which were charred and jelled together. The tail-mounted remote data module was recovered and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory; however, the unit was thermally damaged internally and no data extraction was possible. The unit's memory chip was then extracted and attempts to restore it are ongoing. 



IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 221DV        Make/Model: SR22      Description: SR-22
  Date: 09/01/2012     Time: 1502

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

LOCATION
  City: FALMOUTH   State: MA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE WERE 3 PERSONS ON 
  BOARD, 1 WAS FATALLY INJURED, 2 SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, NEAR FALMOUTH, 
  MA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   3     Fat:   1     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: BOSTON, MA  (EA61)                    Entry date: 09/04/2012



  

Aaron Mentkowski


Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 9:10 AM 

By Bruce Geiselman, Sun News
 

BAY VILLAGE - Aaron Mentkowski, a 2006 Bay High School graduate, died September 1 while doing what he loved — flying.

Aaron’s goal was to become an airline or a corporate jet pilot. In the meantime, the 2010 Bowling Green State University graduate was working as an instructor for an East Haven, Connecticut, flight school.

He had temporarily relocated to Connecticut, his family said.

Aaron, 24, died in a single-engine plane crash at Falmouth Air Park in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The plane had two other people on board, a 55-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman. The two, who are from Guilford, Conn., survived the crash but were taken to Boston-area hospitals with serious injuries, including severe burns, according to Falmouth police.

The aviation company for which Aaron worked stated on its Facebook page that one of the survivors was a flight student.

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


 
Cirrus SR22 GTS X G3, N221DV: Accident occurred September 01, 2012 in Falmouth, Massachusetts

   

F-15: Fantastic video!


2012 Raytheon Award Video  from Jersey on Vimeo.

This video was created to commemorate the 67FS winning the 2011 Raytheon Trophy for outstanding aerial achievement, given to the top air-to-air squadron in the USAF.

The footage was shot over 1 year of flying with a Sony HD Handycam and GOPRO Hero. The footage was shot entirely by pilots, no combat camera personnel were used. The video was edited with Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD over 2 weeks by Jersey. Footage includes flying and aircraft from both the 67FS "Fighting Cocks" and the 44FS "Vampire Bats", entirely on location at Kadena AB, Japan. Most of the over water footage was filmed while we were raging like demons from hell in the skies over the pacific ocean like our brothers did 70 years before us.

Credits.
-All Tower footage filmed by Jersey
-Unrestricted Climb ground view camera: Wreck and Switch
-Backseat Unrestricted climb pilot: Egg
-GO Pro captains: Blue, Hozen,Egg
-Go Pro Majors: Jersey, Lips, Crusher
- 2 ship BFM footage pilots: Jersey, Hozen, Snizzler, Trip, Wreck
- Large Force Engagement Radio Voices: Cock 1: Jersey, Cock 2: Match, Cock 3: Flash, Cock 4: Blaze
- BFM radio voices: Guano and Jersey