Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making Room For More Aircraft: Greater Binghamton Airport/Edwin A Link Field (KBGM), Binghamton, New York

 

Town of Maine, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Greater Binghamton Airport starts construction on a project that will bring in more company and personal aircraft.

They plan to knock down the existing T-Hangars and build two new structures that can hold five more planes.

"We're at 100 percent capacity, so the time is right to expand and be able to bring more aircraft into our market, and that better serves our community because we have aircraft owners who are simply unable to get into these T-Hangars," said Broome County Commissioner of Aviation Carl Beardsley.

The current ones are more than 30 years old.

The T-Hangars are for corporate travel, flight schools, and smaller personal aircraft that make up general aviation.

"General Aviation is extremely important to this airport, in fact, 60 percent of all aircraft operations going in and out of Binghamton are General Aviation-oriented," said Beardsley.

The Project is expected to cost $745,000.

$600,000 of that is funded by a NYS Grant, the rest will come from airport-generated funds.

Beardsley says the construction should be finished by the end of the year.


http://www.wbng.com

Canadians head to United States for cheaper flights

Changes in government funding policies for airports and greater competition in the air travel industry are essential to stem the annual flow of five million Canadians who cross the border for cheaper flights, said Windsor International Airport CEO Federica Nazzani.

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released Wednesday said lower airfares, fees, taxes, wages and aircraft prices make it 30 per cent cheaper to fly out of the U.S.

“Our industry, senate committees and now the conference board have essentially reached the same conclusion that we need changes if we are to become more competitive with U.S. airports and carriers,” said Nazzani. “Those five million Canadians who cross the border to seek cheaper flights represent $1.3 billion in GDP growth and 10,000 direct jobs.”

A report released by March by the Canadian Airports Council pointed out that U.S. fares on average are 55 per cent lower than in Canada and there’s also a greater selection of destinations, non-stop and direct flights from adjacent U.S. airports.

It’s big challenge for Windsor’s airport given the proximity of Detroit Metro and Detroit City airports.

Canadian airports have paid $3.3 billion in ground rent to the federal government over the past 20 years. Fees, taxes and surcharges are layered on top of ticket prices, encouraging many travellers to look elsewhere for cheaper flights.

Airports and navigational systems are paid for by user fees in Canada and government subsidies as in the U.S., said the conference board.

“We’re not looking to mirror the U.S. funding model because it’s not sustainable in the long run,” said Nazzani.

The conference board report says reducing fees and taxes would cut federal revenues in the short term but increase traffic through Canadian airports over the long term.

Since Porter Airlines joined the mix at Windsor the number of travellers flying to Toronto has increase from 13,000 to 58,000 in the past two years, Nazzani said.

The report also pointed out that when Canadian hub airports, such as those in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, lose traffic to cross-border rivals, it often leads to reduced flight frequencies, higher travel costs and poorer service.

 http://blogs.windsorstar.com

Alaska Airlines says dead pilot found near I-5 in Burbank 'highly respected' and in 'good health'

Courtesy Alaska Airlines 
Morris with grandsons Brady (left) and Bryce Helgeson.

Alaska Airlines released a statement Wednesday saying the company was “deeply saddened” by the death of a 55-year-old veteran pilot who was found dead along an off-ramp of the 5 Freeway in Burbank.

The man, Lee Clifford Morris of Richland, Wash., was a 26-year, “highly respected” pilot for the airline, Gary Beck, vice president of flight operations for Alaska, said in the statement.

Morris landed at Bob Hope Airport on Monday and was scheduled to fly out Tuesday morning 7 a.m., but didn’t report to work, Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy said.

“That’s very unusual,” he said. “That’s why we immediately contacted the hotel, then later, had to reach out to law enforcement.”

Morris’ body was discovered later that evening along the Scott Road off-ramp of the southbound I-5.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Morris,” Beck said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee’s fiancé and other loved ones. He will be greatly missed by fellow pilots and all employees of Alaska.”

Morris was pronounced dead at the scene after paramedics responded at 5:55 p.m. He had been staying at a hotel near the airport, police said.

There were no obvious signs of injury — no gunshot or stab wounds, and no evidence Morris had been struck by a car. His wallet and identification were also with him, indicating robbery was probably not a motive, according to police.

“But due to the location, we’re treating it as a suspicious death,” said Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn.

All Alaska Airline captains undergo a physical exam twice a year, McElroy said.

“They’re not allowed to fly if they don’t pass that medical,” he said. “As far as we know he was in good health. Again, we just don’t know what the cause of death was and aren’t speculating.”

Burbank police are in the process of interviewing Morris’ crew members and co-workers.

Meanwhile, an autopsy by Los Angeles County coroner’s officials was likely to be completed on Thursday, Ryburn said.

Morris had been engaged to be married at the time of this death.

“They’re pretty shaken as you can imagine,” McElroy said of his family.

Police urged anyone who may have been driving through the area on Monday or Tuesday to call detectives at (818) 238-3210.


http://www.burbankleader.com

Cirrus SR22 GTS G3 Turbo, Gandy Air LLC, N308PJ: Fatal accident occurred October 03, 2012 in Gary, Indiana

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA002
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 03, 2012 in Gary, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/16/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N308PJ
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The pilot was flying an RNAV/GPS approach when the accident occurred. The air traffic controller did not provide approach clearance to the accident airplane until it was inside the final approach fix (FAF) and 1,000 feet above the FAF crossing altitude. The controller also issued a late turn to intercept the approach coarse, and he did not issue a descent clearance because his attention was directed to resolving a separation conflict involving two other aircraft. According to data recorded by the airplane’s primary flight display, the pilot disconnected the autopilot after receiving the approach clearance, and the airplane then began a rapid descent. About 40 seconds later, the airplane rolled left and tracked left of the approach course. The airplane’s ground proximity warning alert activated, and the airplane subsequently rapidly reversed roll and pitch directions consistent with an attempt by the pilot to correct the airplane’s hazardous flight path. The airplane continued to roll right and pitch to a nose-high attitude before rapidly transitioning to a nose-down attitude of more than 85 degrees. As the airplane descended below a 900-foot cloud layer, the pilot rolled the airplane to wings level and made a high g-force pullup until ground impact. Given the pilot’s high workload due to deficient approach control services and possible distraction while operating in instrument meteorological conditions and the subsequent loss of airplane control, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation.

Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Toxicology testing indicated the pilot used cocaine, hydrocodone, and marijuana at some point in the recent past. However, the use of the cocaine and hydrocodone likely did not affect the pilot’s performance at the time of the accident, and the effect of the marijuana use could not be determined from the available evidence.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot’s loss of control during an instrument approach due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident were deficient approach control services and the pilot's loss of positional awareness.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 3, 2012, at 1116 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N308PJ, operated by a commercial pilot, collided with terrain while flying an instrument approach at the Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY), Gary, Indiana. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed from ground impact and postimpact fire. The flight was being operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed during the instrument approach portion of the flight and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Smyrna Airport (MQY), Smyrna, Tennessee, at 0925.

According to voice recordings provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot first contacted approach control about 35 miles southeast of GYY while in a descent to 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl). After receiving vectors and a further descent to 3,000 feet msl, N308PJ was cleared for the RNAV/GPS Y approach to runway 30 at GYY.

At the point of the first approach clearance by air traffic control (ATC), N380PJ was inside the final approach fix (FAF) and 1000 feet above the recommended FAF altitude. After no response was received from the pilot, ATC repeated the approach clearance to N308PJ. The pilot acknowledged this approach clearance, as well as a frequency change to the tower. No further radio transmissions were recorded on either approach or tower control frequencies.

After the pilot confirmed the approach clearance, radar returns indicated N308PJ in a descent and close to on course laterally. About 40 seconds after starting the descent, radar returns indicated N308PJ initiated a left, descending turn away from course centerline. The last recorded radar return indicated an altitude of 1,700 feet msl, about one mile southeast of runway 30 at GYY, almost overhead of the accident site.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 48, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, and instrument ratings. On May 18, 2012, the pilot was issued a FAA Class 2 medical certificate, which required corrective lenses be worn. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported having 1,100 hours of total flight experience, with 50 hours in the last six months. The pilot reported 650 hours of flight experience in the make and model of the accident airplane on his application for aircraft insurance, dated December 5, 2011.

A certified flight instructor (CFI), who flew training flights with the accident pilot, stated that the pilot often struggled to maintain instrument flying proficiency due to an active lifestyle. He stated that the accident pilot was challenged with accomplishing routine instrument flying tasks, such as changing a radio control frequency while conducting an instrument approach.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane, a 2007 Cirrus SR-22, was registered to Gandy Air LLC. A standard airworthiness certificate was issued for the airplane on August 8, 2007. The airplane was equipped with a Continental IO-550-N46B engine. The last annual inspection was performed on the airplane on September 17, 2012, with a total aircraft time of 566.4 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather observation station at GYY reported the following conditions at 1140: wind variable at 6 knots, visibility 5 miles, ceiling 900 feet overcast, temperature 17 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 13 degrees C, and altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A circuit card from the airplane's primary flight display (PFD) and an autopilot unit were recovered from the accident airplane and forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board's Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for evaluation. The autopilot unit was destroyed by fire and flight data was not recovered. Two flash memory devices were removed from the damaged PFD and read using a memory chip reading device.

The following summary utilized data from the PFD: The airplane departed MQY and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 10,000 feet msl. The GPS steering autopilot mode was used for lateral navigation during the cruise portion of the flight. At 1053 the airplane began a descent, leveling briefly at 8,000 feet msl, 4,000 feet msl, and 3000 feet msl. At 4,000 feet msl, the GPS steering mode deactivated and heading hold mode activated. At 1109, the next waypoint parameter switched from "KGYY" to "WASTU", which was the FAF. Autopilot vertical speed mode was used to descend from 4,000 feet msl to 3,000 feet msl.

The autopilot altitude hold mode was used to maintain 3,000 feet msl. At 1114:07, the autopilot switched from heading hold to approach mode. At 1114:32, the next waypoint parameter switched from "WASTU" to "RONOY", an intermediate stepdown fix on final (ATC transmitted the second approach clearance to N308PJ at 1115:09).

At 1115:25, inside the FAF and still at 3,000 feet msl, the autopilot disconnected. During two periods immediately prior to the disengagement of the autopilot a "TRIMMING" indication was sent by the autopilot. This indication is present when the autopilot has run the pitch trim for a period in excess of four seconds, which is consistent with pushing or pulling on the yoke while the autopilot is still connected.

After the autopilot disconnected, the airplane began a descent that reached 5,000 feet per minute. During this descent, the airplane rolled 37 degrees left and pitched down to 14 degrees nose low. At 1115:50, the airplane reversed both roll and pitch directions, commencing a roll to the right and a pitch up.

The altitude and vertical speed profile at which the roll and pitch reversed corresponded to the activation criteria for the enhanced ground proximity warning system (GPWS), which triggers aural voice and visual annunciator warnings. Initially, the voice alert "Sink Rate" is triggered and a yellow caution alert annunciator lamp illuminates. The pilot guide for the enhanced GPWS installed in the accident airplane is located in the NTSB public docket.

After reversing pitch and roll direction, the airplane continued rolling right and pitched up to a 15-degree nose up attitude. The airplane continued rolling right and transitioned to a nose down pitch of more than 85 degrees nose low and 170 degrees of right roll. As the airplane descended below 900 feet above ground level, a rapid roll to wings level and pitch up occurred. Centrifugal forces during the pitch up were recorded in excess of 4.5 Gs. The last data record was 48 degrees nose down, with a descent rate of about 7,000 feet per minute.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in a wooded area about one mile from the approach end centerline of runway 30 at GYY. The wreckage debris was scattered from the initial impact crater outward on a 164-degree heading. The debris field extended about 100 feet from the impact crater and was about 65 feet wide at its widest point. To the north of the impact crater, trees displayed freshly broken and cut tree limbs. The angle at which the broken and cut tree limbs made with respect to each other and the impact crater was measured as a 52-degree descent.

The airplane was fragmented and mostly consumed by fire. The aileron control cable was fractured on both sides of the console aileron actuation pulley and the right hand aileron actuation pulley. All three turnbuckles were present with safety clips installed. Elevator and rudder control cable continuity was confirmed.

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) parachute was located about 60 feet from the impact crater. The parachute remained partially packed in the deployment bag (D-bag) and exhibited thermal damage. The rocket motor was hanging in some small trees, still attached to the pickup collar, lanyards, and incremental bridle. The motor was determined to be expended. The incremental bridle remained in the sheath and had not "unzipped."

The D-bag straps were attached to the incremental bridle. The ends of the D-bag straps exhibited thermal damage where they separated from the bag. A portion of the suspension lines were hanging in the tree branches and exhibited thermal damage at both ends. The lines were hanging in a straight line between the parachute and the impact crater. Portions of thermally damaged risers were also present in the trees between the impact crater and the parachute.

The flight station bulkhead was located about 28 feet forward of the impact crater. The launch tube, base, and igniter assembly were present. Approximately two feet of the activation cable extended from the igniter assembly. The activation handle was out of the handle holder and approximately 93 inches of activation cable remained attached to the activation handle. The plastic sheath for the activation cable was not present, consistent with the thermal damage to the surrounding components. The safety pin for the activation handle was not observed.

The aluminum cross beam that bolts across the opening to the CAPS enclosure was bowed forward. The reefing line cutters were not observed. The CAPS enclosure cover was located 55 feet from the impact crater and exhibited impact and fire damage. Evidence at the accident site was consistent CAPS deployment due to ground impact forces.

The engine was examined off the accident site. A borescope inspection was conducted on all six engine cylinders. None of the cylinders, cylinder barrels, pistons, or valves displayed any sign of operational distress. The induction system, exhaust system, magnetos, oil sump, and fuel pump were examined, with no pre-impact anomalies noted. The ignition system was destroyed during the accident sequence and ensuring fire.

Examination of the airframe, engine and propeller did not reveal any anomalies associated with a pre-impact failure or malfunction.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On October 5, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Lake County Coroner. The cause of death was blunt force injuries. Toxicology testing of vitreous as part of the autopsy indicated past use of cocaine and hydrocodone. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot, which was limited by the lack of available blood or urine. No ethanol was detected in the muscle or liver. Trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) was found in lung and its metabolite tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid was detected in the lung and liver.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The air traffic controller stated that while vectoring N308PJ toward the final approach at GYY, he observed two aircraft east of GYY that were "becoming a conflict". A conflict alert (CA) alarm sounded and was displayed on his radar screen, which drew his attention away from N308PJ. After resolving the conflict, the controller stated that he was still a little flustered as he returned to provide approach service to N308PJ. He stated that if not for the loss of separation conflict, he felt he would have given better approach services to N308PJ.


 http://registry.faa.gov/N308PJ

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA002  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 03, 2012 in Gary, IN
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N308PJ
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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 October 3, 2012, at 1120 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N308PJ, operated by a commercial pilot collided with terrain while flying an instrument approach at the Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY), Gary, Indiana. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage from impact and postimpact fire. The flight was being operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Smyrna Airport (KMQY), Smyrna, Tennessee, at 0925.

The pilot requested and was cleared for the RNAV(GPS)Y RWY 30 instrument approach into KGYY. The pilot was issued vectors for the approach and was subsequently cleared for the approach by the Chicago TRACON. The pilot was subsequently issued a frequency change and instructed to contact the KGYY air traffic control tower. The pilot did not check in on the tower frequency. The airplane impacted trees and the terrain approximately 1 mile southeast of KGYY.

Weather conditions recorded at KGYY at 1140 were: wind variable at 6 knots, visibility 5 miles, ceiling 900 feet overcast, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury.


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 308PJ        Make/Model: SR22      Description: SR-22
  Date: 10/03/2012     Time: 1619

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

LOCATION
  City: GARY   State: IN   Country: US

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

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SOUTH BEND, IN  (GL17)                Entry date: 10/04/2012 #
=========== 


Patsy John Crisafi 
Obituary


Patsy John Crisafi, 48, of St. Augustine, Fla., formerly of Connellsville, died Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Lake County, Ind. He was born Jan. 11, 1964 in Allegheny County, Pa., a son of the late Patsy and Catherine "Kitty" Valvassori Crisafi. Patsy was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend.

Patsy was successful businessman and entrepreneur. Following a successful 18-year career with CSX Transportation, which included positions in Connellsville, Pa., Atlanta, Ga. and Jacksonville, Fla., he left to pursue other business interests in the railroad industry. Patsy served as executive vice president of Utilco Co., in Tifton, Ga. He was the co-founder, principal and executive vice president of Roadway Worker Training, Inc. (RWT), a successful railroad industry consulting, training and support company.

Among his other business interests were; Railroad Protective Services, Inc. (RPS), founder and president, C&C RWT, LLC, co-founder and partner, Crisafi-Maloy Development, Inc., Crisafi Services, Inc., National Pike Properties, LLC, VHMC, LLC and Gandy Air, LLC. Patsy was a commercially rated pilot. His special railroad expertise was railroad operating rules, safety and technical training and the development and implementation of railroad safety policies.

Patsy was a long-time member of St. Rita"s Roman Catholic Church, Elks Lodge, the NRC and AREMA. Patsy was a long-term sponsor and active supporter of Big Brothers and Sisters of St. Augustine, Fla. He was a member of the hunting group, Sugar Bottom in Montgomery, Ala., and a willing and generous contributor to many veterans and children"s causes. Patsy loved and lived for his family and legions of friends. Among his many joys were his dogs, airplanes, motorcycles, hunting, cars, flying and off shore fishing, diving, boating, cooking, entertaining and his passion for his work. Patsy graduated from Connellsville High School in 1981.

He is survived, loved and sadly missed by his sister, Lisa Crisafi Nudo and her husband Ken, and nephew, Devin Nudo, all of Connellsville, Pa.; his fiancŽe, Jackie Carter of St. Augustine, Fla.; and her son, Adam of Millwood, Ga.

Friends will be received from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday and 2-4;7-9 p.m. Thursday in the Brooks Funeral Home, Inc., 111 E. Green St., Connellsville, Pa., where a Blessing Service will be held Friday at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Rita"s R.C. Church, Connellsville. with the Rev. Robert Lubic as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Rita"s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Rita"s Cemetery Care Fund, the ASPCA, Humane Society or the Big Brothers of America in memory of Patsy John Crisafi.

To sign the guest registry, please visit www.brooksfuneralhomes.com

http://www.legacy.com

http://www.legacy.com/guestbook



VINCENT "VINNIE" VACCARELLO 
Obituary 

 VACCARELLO
VINCENT "VINNIE"


45, of St. Johns, FL, was delivered to God in Heaven along with his dear friend, Patsy Crisafi, on October 3, 2012. Vinnie was a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a die-hard Steeler fan! He was a graduate of Chartiers Valley High School and Duquesne University. He obtained a Masters degree in business at Jacksonville University. He was an appointed member of the NRC Board of Directors. Vinnie was a very successful entrepreneur and co-owner of All Rail Road Service of Jacksonville, FL. He was the all-time leading tackler (440) and a Hall of Fame member of the Duquesne Dukes football program. Larger than any personal accomplishments was Vinnie's HEART and the LOVE and GENEROSITY he gave to ALL. Our beloved Vinnie is survived by his wife, April; and two sons, Victor and Anthony; mother and father, Mary and John Vaccarello; brothers, John and Eric and their families; mother and father-in-law, Carol and Gene Piscopo; brother and sister-in-law and their families; dear friend and business partner, Mike Heridia; many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. 


Mass will be held on October 20, 2012 at Saint Simon & Jude Church, 1551 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 at 11:00 a.m. Following church services, all friends and family are invited to the "Celebration of Vinnie's Life" to be held at Hilton Garden Inn - Southpointe, 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted at San Juan Del Rio's "Building Fund", 1718 State Route 13, Saint Johns, FL 32259.

http://www.legacy.com



 
Photo Courtesy of Roadway Worker Training Inc. 
Plane piloted by Crisafi (right) crashed Oct. 3, killing him and construction business associate Vaccarello in Gary, Ind.

Two rail construction Execs die in private plane crash 

 (Indiana) -- Two veteran rail construction executives based in Florida died Oct. 3 when the private plane they jointly owned and was being piloted by one of them crashed near the Gary, Ind., airport. Killed were Patsy J. "PJ" Crisafi, 45, co-founder and executive vice president of Roadway Worker Training Inc., St. Augustine, Fla., and Vincent “Vinnie” Vaccarello, 48, co-founder and co-president of All Railroad Services Corp., also based there. Crisafi was believed to have been the pilot. . According to Baker, Crisafi’s funeral is set for Oct. 12 in Connellsville, Pa. Services for Vaccarello are set for Oct. 13 in St. Johns, Fla. and a reception will be in Jacksonville. 

 The cause of the crash was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, but witnesses reported either a small explosion or or some sort of engine failure on the plane while it was still in the air,” says Chuck Baker, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Rail Construction and Maintenance Association, of which both were current board members.

The group’s members include rail and transit construction contractors, engineers and suppliers, says its website.

Crisafi’s firm specializes in railroad consulting, employee training and track safety and support; Vaccarello’s serves short line, transit, and Class 1 railroads, providing pole line removal, tree trimming, maintenance of vegetation at railroad crossings and numerous other services, according to the firms’ websites.

Crisafi was an 18-year management veteran of CSX Transportation, while Vaccarello is a former vice president of operations for Balfour Beatty Rail. Vaccarello's current firm has about 135 employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to the firm.

“Vinnie and Patsy were both well-known and respected in the industry,” says John August, executive vice president of RailWorks Corp., New York City. He says the executives, who often worked together and co-owned the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, were en route to the Chicago area for a meeting with Canadian National Railroad engineering officials.

Both of the firms had been subcontractors to RailWorks on past projects, says August.


 According to Baker, Crisafi’s funeral is set for Oct. 12 in Connellsville, Pa. Services for Vaccarello are set for Oct. 13 in St. Johns, Fla. and a reception will be in Jacksonville.
http://www.aggregateresearch.com

The Lake County Coroner has identified the plane crash victims as Vincent Vaccarello and Patsy Crisafi, both of St. Augustine, according to a news release.   

The two men killed when a small airplane crashed into a wooded area about a mile short of Gary-Chicago International Airport in northwestern Indiana have been identified as being from St. Augustine, Fla.

Lake County coroner Merrilee Frey (fry) said in a news release she used dental records to identify the remains of Vincent Vaccarello and Patsy Crisafi. She didn't release any further information about the men.   A telephone message seeking further information was left Friday night by The Associated Press.
Aviation officials haven't yet released any information about what caused the crash. The single-engine plane was registered to Gandy AIR LLC in St. Augustine, Fla., according to the FAA. The plane last taken off from Smyrna, Tenn.
Previous version:
A St. Johns County businessman could be one of two men killed after a private plane his company owned crashed in Gary, Ind., on Wednesday.

The plane was registered to Gandy Air LLC of St. Augustine, but as of Thursday officials had not released the names of the two victims, pending notification of families.

Managing member of Gandy Air is Patsy J. Crisafi, according to business records. The company has an address on Ryan Road.

The Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane crashed into the woods behind West Gary Lighthouse Charter School around 11:18 a.m. on Wednesday and burst into flames.

The victims had not been identified as of Thursday, said Jessica Metros, administrative officer for the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

Ed Wuellner, executive director at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Johns County, confirmed that Crisafi has had a hangar at the airport since 2008, but he said he did not know Crisafi personally.

Crisafi is listed as the executive vice president for Roadway Worker Training of Jacksonville, president of Crisafi Services and director of Railroad Protective Services, according to business records.

Stephen Ramsey, who is listed as a business associate, declined to comment and would not confirm whether Crisafi was on the plane. Another person listed on the business records declined to comment.

The Cirrus SR22 left the Northeast Florida Regional Airport around 3 p.m. on Tuesday and was scheduled to arrive in Smyrna, Tenn., around 5:30 p.m., according to flight records.

Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Director John Black said he didn’t know who owned the plane or who might have been onboard, according to the Associated Press. He said the plane arrived at the airport Tuesday night and departed Wednesday morning.

The plane was enroute from Smyrna to the Gary/Chicago International Airport when it crashed, according to the Gary Police Department.

Investigators have said the plane did not send a distress signal before crashing, according to First Coast News.

Lake County Coroner’s Office officials removed the bodies of two men from the wreckage around 5:35 p.m. Wednesday.

Delores Hinton, who lives nearby and saw the crash, said the plane “exploded in the air” over her house, according to the Associated Press. “I said, ‘What was that?’ The next thing I know, it was down,” she said.

Gary Police Department spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said there was not an update to the investigation as of Thursday evening.

Cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.


http://staugustine.com



Tests Needed To ID Small Plane Crash Victims


GARY, Ind. (AP) - A coroner said it might be weeks before it positively identifies the two people killed when a small plane traveling from Smyrna crashed into a wooded area about a mile short of Gary/Chicago International Airport in northwestern Indiana.

Lake County coroner Merrilee Frey said investigators from her office spent hours at the scene soon after Wednesday's crash and returned the next day to complete their recovery work.

Frey told WLPR-FM that medical examiners will use dental records and DNA tests to confirm identities of the victims.

Aviation officials haven't yet released any information about what caused the crash. The single-engine plane was registered to a St. Augustine, Florida, group and had last taken off from Smyrna, Tennessee.


Story and comments:  http://www.newschannel5.com

Dental records could ID Gary plane crash victims this afternoon 


 CROWN POINT | Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said an examination by an expert in dental matching this afternoon could provide a positive identification on the two men killed in a plane crash in Gary Wednesday morning.

The move comes after the coroner's office was contacted by individuals believing the victims are their loved ones, Frey said.

"They believe their loved ones were on the plane and provided us with dental records," Frey said Friday afternoon.

Frey declined to provide further details about the families and their hometowns.

Frey said a forensic odontologist will be conducting the examination this afternoon, comparing dental records provided by loved ones believing the men are their family members. Frey and Chief Deputy Coroner David Pastrick will attend the examination, she said.

"We've worked very diligently on this case," Frey said. "I, myself, as coroner was out at the scene throughout the day Wednesday and returned yesterday morning."

Frey said she and her team of forensic pathologists worked at the scene until 3 p.m. Thursday gathering evidence to assist in positively identifying the victims.

If the dental records do not provide the information needed to positively identify the men, Frey said, her office may consider using DNA testing.

The men were traveling in a Cirrus SR22, registered to Gandry Air LLC of Florida, and were scheduled to arrive at the Gary/Chicago International Airport at 11:19 a.m. when they crashed in a wooded area near 7th Avenue and Clark Road.

No one else was injured in the crash.


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

 October 01, 2012 5:45 pm • By Susan Brown  CROWN POINT | Newly named Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey has wasted no time since her September 15 swearing-in, from revamping office protocol to replacing defective equipment to revising the budget methodology, she said Monday.

Frey and her top staff -- Chief Deputy David Pastrick and Administrative Officer Jessica Metros -- announced the host of changes, some immediate and some in the making, such as establishing closer ties with law enforcement to reduce costs.

Ten days in office, Frey has ordered the inventory of equipment and the immediate replacement of defective equipment, including autopsy carts, as identified by longtime staff.

In the last two weeks, the evidence room has been nearly emptied of stored personal belongings, now returned to families as a means of closure, she said.

Having lost two death investigators and a photographer to cutbacks, she found services to have been eroded, she said.

The remaining staff is limited and will be cross-trained to a defined standard of professionalism, she said.

Metros said she and Pastrick do not hold new positions, as rumored. Rather, they replace two individuals who were dismissed, she said.

A forensic nurse and working on her state certification as a coroner, Frey said a safe working environment will be provided to all employees. Employees are exposed to disease in both the transporting of the deceased and in the conducting of the autopsies, she said.

To minimize the cost of the new protocols, the office is partnering with the Lake County Health Department.

Frey also anticipates working closely with Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter and Sheriff John Buncich, both to work as a law enforcement team and to defray costs to taxpayers.

She has requested an audit by the State Board of Accounts to learn the situation of the office's accounts, she said.

Frey will rely on grants to help underwrite education and prevention services in such areas as SIDS and suicide, she said.

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


 A former Connellsville man was one of two men killed when a single-engine plane crashed Wednesday morning into a wooded area about a mile from the Gary/Chicago International Airport, in Gary, Ind., officials said.

Multiple sources confirmed that Patsy J. Crisafi, of Ryan Road in St. Augustine, Fla. and formerly of Connellsville, was killed when his Cirrus SR22 plane went down at 11:18 a.m. as it approached the Gary-based airfield.

Gary police Cmdr. Sean A. Jones said officials with the Lake County Coroner’s Office removed two bodies from the scene around 5:30 p.m.



ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Action News has learned a businessman from Saint Augustine is among the fatalities in a plane crash in Indiana.

The single-engine plane crashed Wednesday morning into a wooded area about a mile from the Gary Airport. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration the plane, a Cirrus SR22 aircraft, was registered to Gandy AIR LLC in St. Augustine, Fla.

The local man who owns that plane and company is Patsy Crisafi. A phone call to the business rang unanswered on Wednesday. Sources tell Action News, he is one of two people who died in the crash.

According to the FAA, the pilot of the plane was killed. They have not released that person’s identity.

Friends and coworkers of Crisafi tell Action News he is a pilot. They say he typically stores his plane at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport.

We still do not know if Crisafi was flying this plane.

The single-engine plane slammed into the ground about 400 yards from a school with hundreds of children inside.

GARY, Ind. — At least two people were killed Wednesday morning when their single-engine plane crashed into a wooded area east of West Side Lighthouse Academy in Gary. 

The Post-Tribune newspaper, which covers Gary, said the plane crashed around 11:20 a.m., breaking into multiple pieces and bursting into flames. Gary Fire Department Capt. Don Parker said there was heavy smoke and flames when Engine 8 arrived on the scene. 

The bodies were thrown from the wreckage and the Lake County Coroner's office was searching for body parts since some of the bodies were separated in the crash. 

Plane debris covered a 40-square foot area on the eastern edge of Brunswick Park. 

Federal Aviation Authority spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said in a recorded statement that "the local coroner will identify the deceased."

The Times of Munster reports the Lake County Coroner's office confirmed it was called to the scene but had no information to release immediately.

John Black with the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority told The Daily News Journal that the plane arrived in Smyrna last night and left this morning. It did not originate in Smyrna.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said a four-passenger plane from Smyrna was scheduled to arrive arrive at 11:19 a.m. at the Gary Jet Center. The Post-Tribune said the passengers were from Tennessee, but the Gary mayor did not want to release the names. The crash site is less than two miles southeast of the airport and south of the Commons shopping center.


Black said the plane was a Cirrus single engine plane, which is typically a four-seater.

Anthony McClinton a Gary Fire Department Division Chief at the airport, said neither radar nor the airport ever received a distress signal.

Residents said they heard a booming sound about 11:20 a.m., but they assumed it was a car crash or coming from the nearby train tracks.

The plane was said to be a Cirrus SR22, A four-passenger make. The company's website describes the SR22 as "luxury at its best." It's said to have a base weight of 2293 pounds, a useful load of 1107 pounds and cabin payload with a three-hour fuel and 45 minute reserve at 731 pounds.

The plane was registered to Gandy Air of Saint Augustine, Fla.

The crash site is less than 2 miles southeast of the airport and sout of the Commons shopping center

Lake City Coroner's office spokeswoman Messica Metros said her office had received a report about the plane crash, but she could not confirm a fatality.


http://www.dnj.com

Sumatran Tiger Dies On Board Flight to East Java Park


Banda Aceh. A Sumatran tiger died during a flight from Medan to Aceh on Tuesday, after an airline refused to fly the critically endangered cat and several other animals to their East Java destination.


The 7-year-old male tiger, along with a siamang (tailless gibbon) and two binturongs (Asian bearcats), left Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport in Aceh Besar on Tuesday and were supposed to be flown to a theme park in Kota Batu, East Java.

However, upon stopping over in Medan, the airline sent the animals back to Aceh, citing complaints from passengers.

“We were planning to fly the tiger, named Tuan Agam, to Jawa Timur Park II, on board a commercial cargo plane. But upon landing in Medan, the animals were sent back to Aceh because the passengers complained about their unpleasant odors,” Affan Absori, an official with the Aceh office of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said in Banda Aceh on Wednesday.

He added that the animals were returned to the airport in Aceh Besar on the same day, where the tiger was found motionless as the plane landed.

Affan said the tiger, initially thought to be only unconscious, was later determined to be dead.

Officials are still investigating the cause of death, as the four animals had been in good condition before the flights, he added.

Citing the preliminary results of an autopsy performed at Syiah Kuala University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Affan said there was a bruise on the tiger’s right cheek, its nose and mouth were bleeding, its tongue was bluish and its right front leg was injured.

Affan said the tiger was first captured in South Aceh district’s Panton Luas village in November 2010 after it allegedly attacked and ate a villager there.

It had been caged at the BKSDA office in Banda Aceh for two years before Tuesday’s ill-fated flight.

Antara

Airline owner, businessman formed Dominican Republic’s “toads cartel”

Santo Domingo.- The head of the National Drugs Control Agency on Wednesday affirmed having substantial evidence against Rafael Rosado, owner of the airline Carib-Air, who allegedly bought for planes to haul drugs and accused Sergio Rene Gomez Diaz was of heading the Los Sapos Cartel (toads) in the Dominican Republic.

General Rolando Rosado said though Rosado has managed to sidestep various to drug trafficking and money laundering cases, this time there’s hard evidence involving him.

"He was caught carrying drugs over there and other aircraft that he had bought were seized, confiscated with loads of drug in Honduras, he didn’t say that bit, because he should also add that other part."

The head of the DNCD chided that perhaps Rafael Rosado has a "magic wand" to wiggle out of every prosecution, "because obviously he has been very lucky so far."

As to Santiago businessman Gomez Diaz, the official said he was the Cartel’s coordinator in the country. "Sergio René Gómez Díaz was the brains, the fundamental structure in the Dominican Republic area of that office here, and his house was the center of operations."


http://www.dominicantoday.com

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, N711WX,  Constanza, Dominican Republic

Robinson R44, N8341W: Accident occurred September 30, 2012 in Nocona, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N8341W

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA669  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Nocona, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N8341W
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

The noncertificated pilot was flying the helicopter at an altitude of 40 to 50 feet. The pilot commented to the passengers that he was concerned about the amount of fuel remaining onboard, then the helicopter impacted the water. Although the pilot reported a flashing light on the control panel and a buzzer indicating there was a problem with the helicopter, neither passenger reported seeing any warning lights or hearing any alarms before the impact. According to Robinson Helicopters, the aural warning is loud enough that anyone in the helicopter would hear it. A postaccident inspection revealed that both fuel tanks were empty but it could not be determined if the fuel lines were intact. Both passengers reported drinking alcohol prior to the accident and the passengers provided conflicting reports to local authorities as to whether the pilot had consumed alcohol prior to the flight. The pilot was taken to his father’s residence immediately following the accident, prior to the arrival of local authorities. The pilot subsequently refused to speak with the local authorities when they arrived at the residence. Multiple cans and bottles of beer were recovered from the accident site. The pilot’s attorney reported that there was no reason to believe there was a failure or malfunction of the helicopter airframe or its engine prior to the impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The noncertificated pilot’s operation of the helicopter, which resulted in impact with the water.

On September 30, 2012, at 1845 central daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, N8341W, impacted Lake Nocona, Nocona, Texas. The non-certificated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. A second passenger was not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to the pilot and was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Montague, Texas, about 1745.

The non-certificated pilot reported to a Texas Parks and Wildlife officer that they were flying over the lake when the helicopter suffered a “complete engine failure.” He stated that a buzzer was sounding and a flashing light on the control panel was illuminated indicating there was a problem with the helicopter. The helicopter then struck the water. All three occupants were able to exit the helicopter and they were picked up by a boat and transported to the shore.

Following the accident, prior to the arrival of local authorities, the pilot had friends take him to his father’s home where he refused to speak with local authorities. The two passengers were transported to the hospital.

One of the passengers stated to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that he and the other passenger drove to a friend's house earlier in the day, and that the pilot flew the helicopter to this same friend’s house where he landed. He stated that he consumed about 6 beers. He stated that he did not see the pilot consume any alcohol; however, in a statement to local authorities he stated "they had all been hanging out together and drinking beer before they loaded up in [the pilot's] helicopter."

The passenger stated he was seated in the right rear seat during the flight. He stated they flew around for about one hour and they were at an altitude of 40 to 50 above the lake just prior to the accident. He stated that the pilot mentioned that they needed to head back in order to have enough fuel to drop the passengers off in Montague and get back to the airport. This passenger stated that he did not hear any warning alarms in the helicopter prior to impacting the water, but that something did sound different to him prior to impact.

The other passenger who was seated in the front of the helicopter stated to local authorities that he consumed about six beers prior to the flight and he estimated that the others drank about the same. He stated that he did not hear any “buzzers” sounding or lights flashing inside the helicopter prior to it impacting the water.

The non-certificated pilot did not provide a statement to either the NTSB or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); however, the pilot's attorney did provide a statement that he spoke with the pilot and there was no reason to believe that there was a failure or malfunction with either the helicopter or the engine. According the FAA, the pilot was issued a third-class airmen medical certificate in 2008. The medical certificate was subsequently revoked due to falsification of records.

A postaccident inspection of the wreckage revealed that the right fuel tank was intact, but was partially pulled away from the fuselage. The left fuel tank was intact and it remained attached in place. Both fuel tanks were empty. It was not determined if the fuel lines from the tanks to the engine were compromised.

Local authorities reported that multiple cans and bottles of beer were recovered as they floated out from the wreckage.


NTSB Identification: CEN12LA669
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Nocona, TX
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N8341W
Injuries: 2 Minor,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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 30, 2012, at 1940 central daylight time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N8341W, impacted Lake Nocona, Nocona, Texas. The non-certificated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. A second passenger was not injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to the pilot and was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Montague, Texas, about 1840.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 8341W        Make/Model: R44       Description: R-44 Astro
  Date: 10/01/2012     Time: 0040

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

LOCATION
  City: NOCONA   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N8341W ROBINSON R44 ROTORCRAFT CRASHED INTO LAKE NOCONA, THE 3 PERSONS ON 
  BOARD SUSTAINED UNKNOWN INJURIES, 10 MILES FROM NOCONA, TX

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: FORT WORTH, TX  (SW19)                Entry date: 10/01/2012 


— The recovery of a helicopter that crashed into Lake Nocona in Montague County will be a project of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Three men received minor injuries in the crash Sunday evening.

Texas Game Warden Chase McAninch said the crash was reported around 6:45 p.m. in what he described as the center of the lake. The helicopter was reportedly being flown by Darren Fenoglio, Nocona and carried two passengers, Josh Walterscheid, Muenster, and Derrick Morse, Saint Jo.

McAninch said the helicopter sank to the bottom of the lake. Cause of the crash will be determined by the FAA.

Toby Howard, a lake resident, said he was watching TV inside his lake home Sunday night when he got a call from a neighbor, Terry Don Roberts, about 7 p.m. Roberts said he had been contacted by someone asking who might still have a boat in the water who could help with the rescue of survivors.

Lake Nocona has closed some of its boat ramps due to the low level of the lake, Howard said most of the ramps are difficult or impossible to maneuver, but he has kept his pontoon boat in the water.
 
“Terry Don gave me a general location, but I did not have a line of sight. He called me again with a better location and added there was a crash with survivors. I took a few minutes and picked Terry Don up, because I was concerned if things were really bad, I would need help,” Howard said.
 
As they got close to the crash Howard said they saw a small boat and lots of debris. They found Dr. Stephen Kabisch and his son were in their kayak at the edge of the debris field and three people were clinging to the kayak. Moving the pontoon boat closer, they were all able to help the injured men into the larger boat.

“The sun was going down so there was still some light. We headed toward the beach at Boone Park where there were lots of emergency responders. The survivors had a hard time staying afloat, so they took off some of their clothing. There was some blood with one that had a pretty large cut on the head.  They were very cold from being in the water so long. They also were confused and a little in shock, I think,” said Howard.

The pilot and his two passengers were transported to Nocona General Hospital, where they were treated and released, McAninch said.

City of Nocona officials said they had been contacted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about possible concerns since Lake Nocona is a municipal water source, but that has been cleared said City Secretary Revell Hardison and TCEQ will not make a visit to the scene.

Howard played down his participation in the rescue effort, calling his actions “minimal,” adding the survivors may have been in more danger if Dr. Kabisch had not been around. A resident of Lake Nocona, Kabisch is a familiar figure on Lake Nocona using his kayak for exercise and to enjoy the lake.

http://www.timesrecordnews.com

Airport Protests Continue in East Hampton, New York

 
Photography by Michael Heller

Following a September 24 meeting of the multi-town helicopter noise committee, where representatives from the East End towns along with members of the Quiet Skies Coalition and the Federal Aviation Administration met to discuss airport noise and flight paths into the East Hampton Airport, this week a series of protests are planned. Next week, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst will speak to one of the most affected communities — Noyac — about air traffic noise. That talk will take place at a meeting of the Noyac Civic Council on Tuesday, October 9 at the Bridgehampton Community Center at 7:30 p.m.  

In an email sent to its followers, the Quiet Skies Coalition — a not-for-profit made up of East Hampton and Southampton residents — announced two new demonstrations at the East Hampton Airport, located on Daniels Hole Road. 

 Quiet Skies Coalition chairwoman Kathy Cunningham urged those affected by air traffic to converge for a peaceful demonstration this Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The coalition has also planned a march on East Hampton Village on Saturday, October 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. starting at the small park in front of the Ralph Lauren RRL store. The march will follow village sidewalks south along Main Street, looping around John Pappas Café and along the Reutershan lot and back to the park.

 
Source:    http://sagharboronline.com

Namibia: Air Crash Investigators to Get Immunity

Walvis Bay — The Director of Aircraft Accident Investigations, Ericksson Nengola, is optimistic that once the proposed civil aviation bill is enacted, it will protect aircraft accident investigators from potential legal action.

Such a move, he says, will definitely boost their confidence during investigations.

Nengola said the current Civil Aviation Act does not offer full protection to investigators as their findings from investigations can be used against them.

"In many cases our investigators are summonsed to testify based on the findings from their investigations. Often this demoralizes investigators and there are even fears they can develop low self-esteem," he said.

"The new bill will not allow our investigators to testify against their will. This is surely a step in the right direction."

Nengola says the new bill will also improve air accident investigation regulations. "It was about time that we look at an [amendment] bill since the [existing law] cannot match up to the latest developments in the aviation industry.

"The drafted bill looks at critical issues such as aircraft accidents and incidents and proposes a chapter dedicated to modernizing the provisions on air accidents and incident investigation services by establishing a new Directorate of Air Accident Investigation within the Ministry," he said.

The proposed draft bill also makes provision for precise information provision such as access rights and the privileges attached to on board recordings, privileged statements, powers and duties of courts and coroners.

The draft bill came under discussion at a meeting last week in Swakopmund, which was attended by Works and Transport Minister, Erkki Nghimtina, and various stakeholders, as part of the government's on-going efforts to upgrade aviation systems in order to bring about far-reaching improvements to the safety and efficiency of Namibia's civil aviation industry.

The new draft bill looks critically at key issues such as aircraft accidents and investigation, among others. The amended bill will probably be presented to parliament during the first half of 2013.

The proposed bill will be modern and comprehensive and most significantly make provision for the establishment of a new standalone Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The NCAA will be an autonomous body and as such will have the potential to move toward becoming largely self-funding.

The proposed NCAA will not be constrained to public service salary scales, but would be able to attract, develop and retain specialist aviation skills that are needed for the effective and efficient regulation of the industry.


http://allafrica.com

Sea-Tac aircraft fuelers authorize strike: Press conference to be held noon Wednesday - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Washington

SEATTLE—

Aircraft fuelers at Seattle Tacoma International Airport voted to authorize a strike after an employee reporting unsafe working conditions was suspended indefinitely, according to a statement by labor group Working Washington.


The vote involved aircraft fuelers hired by contractor Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG). The fuelers service planes for Alaska Airlines and other airlines, and could create delays at Sea-Tac airport if they strike.

According to Working Washington, airport workers claimed ASIG suspended indefinitely fuel technician Alex Popescu after his August testimony to the Port of Seattle describing faulty and unsafe equipment.

Popescu reported additional broken equipment in September, the labor group said.

Fuel workers are asking ASIG to reinstate Popescu and address workplace safety concerns.

Aircraft fueler Gary Yancey said the vote "is about our right to speak out about safety and fairness," according to Working Washington. "Trying to get rid of someone who was speaking out for all of us doesn't make the airport any safer."

The workers will reveal details at a press conference 12 p.m. Wednesday.


http://www.q13fox.com

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, RP-C4431: Robredo aide struggles to find peace of mind after surviving crash - Accident occurred August 18, 2012 - off Masbate, Philippines

NAGA CITY—Senior Insp. June Paolo Abrazado is still struggling to find peace of mind after surviving the plane crash that killed then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and their two pilots off the coast of Masbate City on August 18.

During the 40th day observance here of the death of the former secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Abrazado, 27, Robredo’s police aide, said he has to live with the “guilt” that came with being the lone survivor and the question why he has to be the one who survived.

Abrazado, who has since returned to his job at the Philippine National Police, was with his wife Lourvila, 24, and 2-month-old son Blaze.

Miracle

The impact during the crash kept on playing over and over in his mind, he said, and failing to understand how he survived, he could only say that it must have been a miracle.

He also felt conflicted after the media reported false accounts of how he survived, including a report that he jumped out of the plane which he found impossible to happen.

“There is nothing to explain to those who criticize me … I understand why they don’t even consider the injuries I suffered after the crash and the trauma it brought me,” he said.

He said it is a “mortal sin” for an aide like him, no matter how impossible the circumstances, to have failed to save the person he was sworn to protect.

“I was very willing and prepared to give my life for Sir Jess. When I accepted the job as his aide I knew very well my responsibility and the things I should sacrifice without any mental reservation … that includes my life,” he said.

He said he was thankful to the families of Robredo and his widow who supported and inspired him to move on and defended him from negative speculations.

He also wanted to thank his lifesaver, Joseph Delfin Beldaboy, the fishermen who plucked him from the sea shortly after the plane went down.

Abrazado said Beldaboy took the courage to rush to the crash site even as everyone was prohibited from going near the crashed plane because of the danger that it might explode.

He also extended his gratitude to his family, relatives, friends, the Masbate Philippine National Police, Coast Guard, local officials and other people who supported and encouraged him to be strong amid adversity.

Wish


“The first week after the crash I wished I didn’t wake up and things could have been easier for everybody. But the people who took care and supported me made me realize that there is more in life to live for, specially with my wife and child,” Abrazado said.

He recalled how Jesse treated him like his own son.

“I am alive today not because of my abilities, but by a stroke of luck that only God knows why. I do not know what God has planned for me. I have always believed that everything happens in God’s will. And if this is all God’s will, it is my great honor having been beside Sir Jess up to the last moment before God took him,” Abrazado said. 


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net

Piper PA-28-180, N7895W: Accident occurred October 02, 2012 in Beatty, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 02, 2012 in Beatty, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N7895W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The pilot reported that a temporary flight restriction (TFR) was in effect for his intended destination airport and that he was unclear on whether the TFR would prevent him from landing at that airport. The TFR stated that transit operations were allowed only if a discrete code was assigned by air traffic control (ATC) before the airplane’s departure. The pilot mistakenly thought he could pick up the discrete code while airborne. Because the pilot was unable to contact ATC at his intended destination during the flight and the airplane was running low on fuel, he diverted to an alternate airport. At the alternate airport, the pilot initiated a straight-in approach to the runway in darkness, over flat, featureless terrain; the pilot reported that the only airport lighting he saw was the airport beacon. During the approach, the airplane struck high tension power lines about 1 mile south of the runway. Further, according to an applicable notice to airmen, the airport that the pilot diverted to was closed when the accident occurred. The pilot most likely flew a lower than desired approach altitude due to the night time conditions and featureless terrain. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadequate flight planning, subsequent loss of situational awareness, and failure to maintain clearance from the power lines during a dark night approach to a closed, unlit runway.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 2, 2012, about 2024 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N7895W, sustained substantial damage when it struck high power tension lines near the Beatty Airport (BTY) Beatty, Nevada. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight which originated from the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS) Reno, Nevada at about 1520 with an intended destination of Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Henderson Nevada.

The pilot reported that he originally departed Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington with three planned fuel stops and a final destination of HND. The pilot stated that he was attempting to arrive at HND prior to a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) along his intended route of flight to become active. Prior to departure from RTS, the pilot was unclear on whether the TFR would prevent him from landing at HND. The TFR stated that Air Traffic Control (ATC) could authorize transit operations through the restricted area but the airplane must have a discrete transponder code assigned prior to departure. The pilot stated that about 40 miles west of the Las Vegas Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) he made several radio transmissions in an attempt to secure a discrete transponder code. The pilot received no response on two frequencies, one which was the recommended frequency for transit in the TFR. 

The pilot further reported that due to no response from ATC, and being low on fuel with darkness closing in; he diverted to BTY. The pilot said that he initiated a straight in visual approach to runway 34 and configured the airplane for landing. As he approached the airport, he saw the airport beacon but no other airport lighting despite his attempts to activate the airfield lighting. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

The pilot, age 69, held a commercial pilot certificate with a single-engine land and airplane instrument rating. A second-class airman medical certificate was issued on August 9, 2012, with no limitations stated. The pilot reported on the National Transportation Safety Board Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report, that he had accumulated 1,528 total flight hours. 

According to the pilot, besides this accident flight, he had only flown at night two previous times in the past two years. One flight was flown on November 11, 2011 and the other flight was flown on October 7, 2010. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION 

Refueling records obtained at RTS revealed that the airplane had topped off with about 28 gallons of 100 low lead fuel at about 1510, on the day of the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station (AWOS) at BTY revealed at 1952, conditions were wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 9 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.92 inches of mercury. Using the reported weather conditions and field elevation, the calculated density altitude was about 5,222 feet.

The United States Naval Observatory Moon data for Henderson, Nevada, for the day of the accident, indicated sunset at 1821 and the end of civil twilight at 1847. Moonrise was at 1943. The Phase of the Moon was waning gibbous with 93 percent of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.

COMMUNICATIONS

Review of the recorded conversation between the pilot and the Reno Flight Service Station (FSS) prior to his departure from RTS, revealed discussion about the TFR for the Las Vegas, Nevada area. The pilot stated that he was concerned about the TFR and getting into HND. He believed that he could fly into HND on the accident day and the TFR would be in effect the next day. Reno FSS advised him that the TFR was currently in effect and he needed to file the appropriate flight plan and squawk the proper code. The Reno FSS individual stated to the pilot that to get into HND he needed to be talking to ATC and squawking the code. The pilot inquired about getting the code while on the ground, however, the FSS individual advised him that ATC would want to talk to him in the air.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Beatty Airport is a non-towered airport with a field elevation of 3169 feet. The airport was equipped with a single asphalt runway 16/34 (5,615 feet long and 60 feet wide). Runway edge lights of medium intensity are installed and are not pilot controlled. No runway end identifier lights, no touchdown point lights, and no precision approach path (PAPI) lights or visual approach slope indicator (VASI) lighting, are installed. There are no published instrument procedures for the airport. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane struck the high tension power lines about 1 miles south of BTY. The power lines were about 50 feet in height and orientated in a north to south direction. The fuselage came to rest on its right side on a magnetic heading of about 225 degrees. Wreckage debris was located within about 175 feet from the main wreckage. The fuselage, engine, tail and left wing were located on the east side on the power lines. The right wing and remaining sections of the airplane were located on the west side of the power lines. The airframe, engine and inboard portions of the wings were consumed by fire. The measured elevation for the accident site was about 2,976 feet. 

TEST AND RESEARCH 

A post accident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical anomaly or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

Examination of the engine revealed that it remained attached to the mounting assembly and sustained thermal damage. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. Both propeller blades displayed scratches and were bent aft about mid span. Examination of the engine and its components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. The airframe exhibited thermal damage, buckling and crush damage of the cabin and fuselage areas. The empennage section separated from the fuselage however, it was mostly intact with minor damage to the top portion of the vertical stabilizer and rudder. The left stabilator sustained damage and was bent downwards at about mid span. All major structure components were accounted for. The flight control system exhibited no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (page 16-19) under the subject heading of night landing illusions; “Landing illusions occur in many forms. Above featureless terrain at night, there is a natural tendency to fly a lower-than-normal approach. Elements that cause visual obscurities such as rain, haze or a dark runway environment can also cause low approaches.” 

The featureless terrain illusion (page 16:9) states that “an absence of surrounding ground features, as in an overwater approach, over darkened areas, or terrain made featureless by snow, can create an illusion that the aircraft is higher than it actually is. This illusion is also referred to as the “black hole approach,” causes pilots to fly a lower approach than is desired.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) were issued under the number ZLA 2/9833 for the airspace surrounding the Las Vegas, Nevada area, effective September 30, 2012, through October 3, 2012. The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) defined the National Defense Airspace area and the associated prohibited flight operations. The inner core was defined as the 8 to 10 nautical mile radius (nmr) from the Boulder navigational VORTAC 322 radial at 7 miles. Only specific listed flight operations were allowed. The outer rings were listed as between the 8/10 nmr to 30 nmr. Workload permitting Air Traffic Control (ATC) could authorize transit operations. All aircraft must be on an IFR or VFR flight plan with a discrete code assigned by an ATC facility. Aircraft must be squawking this discrete code prior to departure and at all times while in the TFR.

The accident pilot did not secure a discrete code prior to his departure to HND.

At the time of the accident, a NOTAM for BTY was active stating that the aerodrome was closed from 1300 on September 24, 2012 until 0100 November 11, 2012.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA001 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 02, 2012 in Beatty, NV
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N7895W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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 October 2, 2012, about 2003 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N7895W, sustained substantial damage when it struck high power tension lines near the Beatty Airport (BTY) Beatty, Nevada. The airplane was registered and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which originated from Reno/Stead Airport (RTS) Reno, Nevada at an undetermined time.

According to the local law enforcement officer, the pilot reported that he planned to fly to a Las Vegas designation, however, due to darkness and being low on fuel, he diverted to BTY. The law enforcement officer stated that the airplane struck a power line about 35 feet in height approximately 1 mile east of BTY.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that the airframe and inboard portions of the wings were consumed by fire. The wreckage has been transported to a secure location for further examination.


BEATTY, Nev. (AP) - A pilot is seriously injured and his small plane destroyed by fire after crashing into power lines outside of Beatty.


Nye County Sheriff's Lt. Frank Jarvis says authorities responded to reports of a power outage and fire about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. They found the crashed plane about one mile southeast of the Beatty airport.


Jarvis says the male pilot was conscious and was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas with serious injuries.


Authorities with the Federal Aviation Administration say the man's Piper PA 28 plane was headed from Reno Stead Airport to Henderson.


The man's identity has not been released. Federal officials are investigating the cause of the crash.


A pilot is seriously injured and his small plane destroyed by fire after crashing into power lines outside of Beatty.

Nye County Sheriff's Lt. Frank Jarvis says authorities responded to reports of a power outage and fire about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. They found the crashed plane about one mile southeast of the Beatty airport.

Jarvis says the male pilot was conscious and was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas with serious injuries.

Authorities with the Federal Aviation Administration say the man's Piper PA 28 plane was headed from Reno Stead Airport to Henderson.

The man's identity has not been released. Federal officials are investigating the cause of the crash.

Beatty is about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Beatty, NV (KTNV) -- The pilot of a small plane was seriously injured in Beatty, Nev. on Tuesday night. 

 The incident happened when a Piper PA28 struck power lines when approaching the airport in Beatty at about 9 p.m., a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot was the only person on board.

The plane was completely destroyed by fire.