Saturday, October 13, 2012

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec B, Island Birds, N5553Y: Accident occurred October 13, 2012 in Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands

http://registry.faa.gov/N5553Y

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA019
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Charlotte Amalie, VI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5553Y
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious.

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

The accident airplane departed over water on a dark night and flew toward its destination airport at an altitude of about 1,700 feet above the water. Radar data showed that the airplane began a gradual descent on about the same heading before it leveled off at 200 feet above the water. The airplane continued at 200 feet above the water for another 18 seconds before its radar target disappeared about 5 miles from the destination airport.

The surviving passenger stated that she had flown with the pilot on this flight many times before. She stated that during the en route portion of the accident flight, the pilot flew progressively lower to "get under the weather." The passenger stated that she could see lights on the shore near the destination airport, and could see that it was raining. She recalled light turbulence and observed the pilot make his "usual" radio call. She next remembered the airplane "hitting a wall," and the airplane filled with water. She said that the pilot broke the window on his side of the airplane, and that she and the pilot egressed through it. She did not see any of the other occupants of the airplane after that. When asked if she noticed anything unusual with the flight or if the pilot provided any warning before striking the water, the passenger said no, and indicated that everything was normal.

Examination of the wreckage revealed damage consistent with a high-speed, shallow-angle impact with water, and no evidence of preimpact mechanical anomalies.

Weather data and imagery were consistent with the passenger’s account of flying beneath outer rain bands associated with a developing tropical storm southeast of the accident site. There was little to no illumination from the moon. Based on a search of flight service and commercial vendor records, the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing or file a flight plan before the accident flight.

The destination airport was tower-controlled, but the tower was closed at the time of the accident. The runway was located along the shore, with the approach end surrounded by water on three sides. Multiple instrument approach procedures were available for the airport; however, those instrument approaches were not authorized while the tower was closed. A caution printed in the plan view of the approach charts stated, "CAUTION: Pilots may encounter false illusory indications during night approaches to Runway 10 when using outside visual cues for vertical guidance."

It is likely that the pilot descended the airplane to remain clear of the lowering clouds and descended into the water due to the lack of visual cues.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's attempted visual flight rules (VFR) flight into marginal VFR conditions on a dark night over water and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude, which resulted in the airplane’s controlled flight into water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight weather planning.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 13, 2012, about 0458 Atlantic Standard Time (AST), a Piper PA-23-250, N5553Y, was substantially damaged during a collision with water in cruise flight near Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.). The airline transport pilot was not found after the accident and is presumed fatally injured. Two passengers were fatally injured. One passenger survived the accident, and was found at sea with serious injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the business flight carrying newspapers which was operated by Rainbow International Airlines under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (TISX), Christiansted, U.S.V.I. about 0445 and was destined for Cyril E. King Airport (TIST), Charlotte Amalie, U.S.V.I.

Review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that a target identified as the accident airplane climbed to 1,700 feet after departure from TISX, where it leveled in cruise flight on a 330 degree heading for about 2 minutes. The airplane then entered a steady descent on the same approximate heading for the next 10 minutes until it leveled at 200 feet. The airplane cruised at 200 feet for the final 18 seconds of the flight until the radar contact was lost, approximately 5 miles from the destination airport.

The surviving passenger was interviewed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She stated that she was acquainted with the pilot and had flown with him on the newspaper carrying flights "many" times before. During the en route portion, the airplane flew progressively lower to "get under the weather." The passenger stated that she could see lights on the shore near the destination airport, and could see that it was raining. She recalled light turbulence, and observed the pilot as he made his "usual" radio call. She next remembered the airplane "hitting a wall" and "seeing a flash" before the airplane filled with water. She said the pilot broke the window on his side of the airplane, and that she and the pilot egressed through it. She did not see any of the occupants of the airplane after that. When asked if she noticed anything unusual with the flight, or if the pilot provided any warning before striking the water, she said no, and indicated that everything was "normal."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings. His most recent FAA first class medical certificate was issued June 1, 2012. He reported 17,000 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The pilot's most recent FAR Part 135 flight review was completed 12/30/2011.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1963 and was registered to Cardair, Inc. It's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on September 12, 2012, at 6,576 total aircraft hours.

The accident airplane was not listed in the operations specifications of the Rainbow International Airlines 14 CFR Part 135 operating certificate.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

An NTSB Senior Meteorologist provided a study of the weather surrounding the route of flight and the accident site at the time of the accident. A tropical storm advisory (Rafael) was in effect.

At 0453, the weather reported at TIST included few clouds at 3,300 feet, a broken ceiling at 4,600 feet, with 10 miles of visibility in light rain. The winds were from 070 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 15 knots.

The terminal area forecast for TISX in effect at the time of the accident expected northeast wind at 4 knots, visibility better than 6 statute miles with thunderstorms in the vicinity and a broken ceiling at 3,000 feet agl in cumulonimbus type clouds.

The terminal area forecast for TIST in effect at the time of the accident expected wind from the east at 8 knots with visibility better than 6 miles, showers in the vicinity of the airport, scattered clouds at 4,000 feet, and a broken ceiling at 10,000 feet.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite number 14 (GOES-14) infrared image at 0445 depicted an area of enhanced clouds associated with the developing Tropical Storm Rafael to the southeast of the accident site. In the vicinity of the accident site several towering cumulus type clouds were evident, and were associated with rain showers immediately east of the accident site, and over the route between TISX and TIST.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the moon was in the eastern sky, 9 degrees above the horizon, with 5 percent of the moon's visible disc illuminated.

The weather data and imagery were consistent with the passenger’s account of flying beneath outer rain bands associated with the developing tropical storm southeast of the accident site.

According to a search of Lockheed-Martin flight service and commercial vendor records, the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing nor file a flight plan prior to the accident flight.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Cyril E. King Airport (TIST) was located about 2 miles west of Charlotte Amalie, USVI, at an elevation of 23 feet. The airport was tower-controlled, but the tower was closed at the time of the accident. Runway 10/28 was 7,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, and was located along the shore, with the approach end of runway 10 surrounded by water on three sides. Instrument landing system and area navigation approaches were published for Runway 10, and a very high frequency omni-directional range approach was also published for the airport.

The instrument approach procedures were not authorized while the tower was closed. A caution printed in the plan view of the approach charts stated, "CAUTION: Pilots may encounter false illusory indications during night approaches to Runway 10 when using outside visual cues for vertical guidance."

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Examination of photographs taken by divers revealed the airplane came to rest inverted on the ocean floor. The right wing was partially separated but remained attached to the airframe. Both engines were in their respective nacelles, and the landing gear appeared extended and locked, or in transit. The photographs revealed that no landing gear doors remained attached to the airplane.

Hydraulic deformation and tearing of the left wing and the belly skin of the airplane was consistent with a high-speed, shallow-angle impact.

The airplane was recovered on October 20, 2012, and examined by a representative of the Piper Aircraft Company as well as FAA aviation safety inspectors. The examination revealed control continuity from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces, and no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical anomalies.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot was not recovered, and therefore no medical or pathological testing was conducted.


 NTSB Identification: ERA13LA019
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Charlotte Amalie, VI
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23-250, registration: N5553Y
Injuries: 3 Fatal,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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 13, 2012, about 0458 Atlantic standard time, a Piper PA-23-250, N5553Y, was substantially damaged during a collision with water in cruise flight near Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.). The certificated airline transport pilot and two passengers were lost, and presumed fatally injured. One passenger survived the accident, and was found at sea with serious injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cargo flight operated by Rainbow International Airlines under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The flight departed Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (TISX), Christiansted, U.S.V.I. about 0445 and was destined for Cyril E. King Airport (TIST), Charlotte Amalie, U.S.V.I.

Preliminary radar data revealed that the target identified as the accident airplane climbed to 1,700 feet after departure from TISX, where it leveled in cruise flight on a 330 degree heading for about 2 minutes. The airplane then entered a steady descent on the same approximate heading for the next 10 minutes until it leveled at 200 feet. The airplane cruised at 200 feet for the final 18 seconds of the flight until the radar target disappeared, approximately 5 miles from the destination airport.

The surviving passenger was interviewed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She stated that she was acquainted with the pilot and had flown with him on this flight "many" times before. During the en route portion, the airplane flew progressively lower to "get under the weather." The passenger stated that she could see lights on the shore near the destination airport, and could see that it was raining. She recalled light turbulence, and observed the pilot as he made his "usual" radio call. She next remembered the airplane "hitting a wall" and "seeing a flash" before the airplane filled with water. She said the pilot broke the window on his side of the airplane, and that she and the pilot egressed through it. She did not see any of the occupants of the airplane after that. When asked if she noticed anything unusual with the flight, or if the pilot provided any warning before striking the water, she said no, and indicated that everything was "normal."

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings. His most recent first class medical certificate was issued June 1, 2012. He reported 18,000 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The airplane was manufactured in 1963, and its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on September 12, 2012, at 6,576 total aircraft hours.

The airplane was recovered on October 20, 2012 and examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date.

At 0453, the weather reported at TIST included few clouds at 3,300, a broken ceiling at 4,600 with light rain. The winds were from 070 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 15 knots. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the moon was in the eastern sky, 9 degrees above the horizon, with 5 percent of the moon's visible disc illuminated.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 5553Y        Make/Model: PA23      Description: PA-23-150/160 Apache
  Date: 10/15/2012     Time: 1200

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: ST CROIX   State:      Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT REPORTED MISSING NEAR ST. CROIX, VI

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # 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 FLORIDA, FL  (SO19)             Entry date: 10/18/2012
 


Captain Kirby Hodge

 
ST. CROIX - What began as a search and rescue mission more than a week ago, ended Saturday when search and recovery crew members located the Piper Aztec aircraft that crashed Oct. 13 in waters south of St. Thomas.  

Sunday morning crews were brought in to remove the bodies of Rachel Hamilton and attorney Darwin Carr from the plane that had crashed just before sunrise with Hamilton, Carr, pilot Kirby Hodge and Valerie Jackson Thompson on board.

Hodge remains unaccounted for and Thompson, who was rescued hours after the crash, remains in stable condition at Schneider Hospital.

Government House spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said that the aircraft was located on the ocean floor, five miles southwest of the King Airport runway, a little more than one mile northeast of where the plane disappeared from the radar screen a week before.

Greaux said DPNR Commissioner Alicia Barnes made the official calls to notify the families that the two passengers were confirmed dead and the medical examiner will be contacting them to do the official identification of the bodies before an autopsy is conducted later this week.

Family and friends continued to grieve on Sunday, and Hamilton's mother, Ramona Hamilton, said finding the bodies brings a sense of closure for them.

No information has been made available as yet about funeral or memorial services.

Thompson continues to recover at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas, where families say she continues to be under close observation by her doctors and has been recovering slowly. She initially had been expected to be released after a few days last week, but took a turn for the worse, and is now also struggling after confirmation that her cousin, Hamilton, has been confirmed dead, according to Thompson's father, Valencio Jackson.

Despite Hodge still being missing, Greaux said the recovery mission has been officially suspended, but some consideration has been given by members of his family and the aviation community to do a few more independent missions, including sweeps of the many cays around the island in hopes that his body may have washed up in recent days.

Greaux said that situations such as this do not happen often and there is much to learn for all of the parties involved.

He said an official debriefing meeting will be held later this week that will include the government agencies, private entities and all of the volunteers who were a part of the search, rescue and recovery efforts.

"Through this, we found Capt. Cleo Hodge and the pilots of Ace Flight Center as very valuable resources," he said. "They provided essential information about the how, where, when and what, when it came to the flight information."

Saturday afternoon about 1 p.m. an area of oil sheen was discovered on the ocean's surface, and dive crews entered the water at that location in search for the missing aircraft, according to Greaux. Divers went into more than 100 feet of water and spotted the aircraft.

The aircraft was resting on its roof with one wing-tip separated and the other wing bent under the body of the aircraft; the engines were not separated from the wing.

Though scraped and dented, the fuselage, otherwise, was generally intact.

About four hours after the plane was located, the fuselage was floated and towed by Sea Tow Inc., using an inflatable air bag device. Divers secured the plane's openings and began the slow process of towing the aircraft to St. Thomas to facilitate removal of the bodies and securing the aircraft for investigations into the cause of the crash.

Greaux said recovery crews, including a number of local government agencies, a salvage company and a number of private boat operators had been involved in the search missions.

"At sunrise Sunday, the multi-agency team pulled the craft into a small jetty area and raised it more out of the water near UVI's marine center," Greaux said. "We removed the bodies at that time, and then proceeded to take the plane out of the water."

Neither of the two passengers had been fastened in their seats when they were found, Greaux said.

According to Greaux, a crane had been positioned from Saturday night and was used to lift the aircraft from the water and onto a waiting platform truck where it will remain for processing by the local and federal agencies handling the parallel ongoing investigations.

Eric Weiss, spokesman with the Transportation Security Administration Board, and Ronald Herwig, speaking on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration both have said that their agencies have launched investigations into the crash and will be deploying on-site investigation to the territory once the plane was located.

Greaux said Sunday the agencies are expected to have men on the ground as early as today.

A Coast Guard helicopter had located Thompson in the water around 2 p.m. - nine hours after the crash - and vectored in a marine unit from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to rescue her.

Thompson had been swimming and struggling to stay afloat in the water without out a life vest, according to her statement to authorities.

She said the flight from St. Croix to St. Thomas had appeared to be a normal one with just minor turbulence along the way until she felt the aircraft hit the sea.

She said she felt water rushing into the plane and someone held her and pushed her out of the plane and into the cold dark Caribbean Sea, but she did not believe that the others aboard the plane were able to make it out, because the plane was sinking fast and she never saw anyone again.

Hodge had delivered a shipment of The Daily News newspapers to St. Croix and was returning to St. Thomas about 4:40 a.m. with a shipment of St. Croix Avis newspapers and the three passengers when the plane went down. Searchers found a bundle of The St. Croix Avis newspapers about 3 miles west of Buck Island off St. Thomas the next day.

Hodge is the only occupant of the plane still unaccounted for as of early today.

Greaux said Friday night the search crews had initially been using plotted paths based on Hodge's most probable flight path and the fact that Hodge was located eight miles away from the airport when he last made contact with the St. Thomas tower. Greaux said searchers later received information from the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in Florida that gave a more specific location of where the aircraft was when it disappeared from the radar before the crash.

Hodge's plane fell off radar shortly thereafter at 4:57 a.m., more than 17 minutes into the 20 minute flight.

The U.S. Coast Guard led the rescue mission until they suspended the search and pulled their resources after three days. The mission of the remaining crews then shifted to that of recovery and was led by DPNR with the ultimate objective being to locate the aircraft and recover the missing passengers.

Greaux said the private and public multi-agency recovery team has also included: VITEMA; the Office of the Governor; St. Thomas Rescue; the V.I. Port Authority; and Sea Tow Inc. On Saturday, the Medical Examiner's Office and the V.I. Police Department's Forensics Unit joined the recovery efforts which were completed Sunday afternoon.

http://virginislandsdailynews.com


 
A crane lifting the plane from the waters adjacent to Cyril E King airport. 
Photo credit: The St. Thomas 
Source and Government House

 
The aircraft in water. 
Photo Credit: The St. Thomas 
Source and Government House

US Virgin Islands – A second body has been found aboard the Piper Aztec aircraft that crashed in the US Virgin Islands just over a week ago. 

 The St. Thomas Source is reporting that a crane lifted the bodies of Rachel Hamilton and Darwin Carr from waters adjacent to Cyril E. King Airport runway today (October 21).

Earlier reports indicated that the plane was spotted yesterday with one body aboard. However, when the aircraft was fully removed from the waters a second body also emerged.

Pilot Kirby Hodge is still missing.

The lone survivor, Valerie Jackson Thompson, was pulled from the water about nine hours after the plane crashed on October 13 during one of its usual newspaper delivery trips between St. Croix and St. Thomas.

On Thursday, the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Team in Florida provided local authorities with radar coordinates that were very instrumental in locating the plane early yesterday afternoon.

A search team found the aircraft after spotting oil sheen on the water relatively close to where the crash took place.

According to the St. Thomas Source, “the aircraft was lying on its roof with one wing separated but the fuselage generally intact”.

It took the search team several hours to remove the plane using an inflatable air-bag device as well as the crane.


http://bvinews.com


Philipsburg:--- Relatives of Anguillian Pilot Kirby Hodge and the passengers that were on board flight 5553Y-AZTEX are upset with the conflicting information they are being fed regarding the survival and search and rescue mission. 

Saturday evening relatives of Captain Hodge and other Anguillians were rejoicing when they were told that all six persons on board the aircraft were found alive. 

Hours later their joy turned into sadness when they learnt that the search and rescue mission was called off due to the inclement weather conditions and that only one female passenger that was on board flight 5553Y–AZTEX that left St. Croix en route to St. Thomas early Saturday morning crashed was rescued. 

The female survivor told rescue workers that all six of the passengers including her child exited the aircraft alive but they all got separated due to the bad weather conditions and high waves.

Information from San Juan Towers now states that the search and rescue was called off because of inclement weather and darkness of the night.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, SMN News received information from the Towers at PJIAE which stated that they were informed that all the passengers were found in a raft drifting while the pilot swam to a nearby key. SMN News also received the same information from the Towers in Martinique.

Late Saturday evening SMN News was told that the information they received remained the same. However, information from St. Croix Airport states that only one female passenger was rescued and up to press time the other five passengers were not located including well known Pilot Kirby Hodge. 


The passenger that was rescued SMN News learnt was taken to St. Croix while scores of family members of the victims and the pilot gathered at a beach in St. Thomas to see if the Coast Guard was going to show up with their loved ones.

Kirby Hodge is a well known pilot and businessman from Island Harbour Anguilla. He owns Rainbow International Airlines which is responsible for air evacuation within the region.

This latest crash came just one week after an aircraft crashed on the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua where three persons including the pilot lost their lives.


Story and comments:   http://smn-news.com

Related:
http://theanguillian.com/2012/03/anguillian-airline-offers-improved-air-ambulance-services/

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AN Anguillan pilot and five passengers who were earlier today (Oct. 13) involved in a plane crash and reported missing were found alive.
 

According to the St. Maarten News Network’s website the plane’s captain, Kirby Hodge, and passengers were found alive by rescue workers in St. Croix.
   
 Sources close to Hodge’s family in Anguilla suggest that the five passengers were found drifting in a raft that was prepared for them by Hodge while he swam to a nearby key.

 Reports circulated that Captain Hodge, who owns Rainbow International Airlines, and his passengers may have disappeared after taking off from St. Croix sometime after 6:00 a.m.
 

Hodge is a popular Anguillan pilot and well known entrepreneur, who is responsible for air evacuation within the region and delivering newspapers to the island of St. Croix from St. Thomas, was returning back to St. Thomas from St. Croix after picking up several passengers.
 

This morning, Air Towers in San Juan Puerto Rico contacted St. Maarten and Martinique to inquire if the flight manned by Captain Hodge had landed at any of the two airports.

 Shortly after rescue workers were dispatched in search of the aircraft.

  It was later understood that the wreckage of the aircraft was found but none of the passengers were located.

  Many family members and friends who prayed for Hodge and his passengers’ safe return rejoiced at the good news that they were all alive.

     This is the second plane to have crashed in the region over a seven-day period.

     On Monday (Oct. 8), Montserrat was in mourning following a crash of the national airline in Antigua late Sunday afternoon.
   
   Reports stated that shortly after 4:00 p.m. October 7, a British Norman Islander nine-seat aircraft operated by Fly Montserrat had crashed shortly after takeoff from the V.C. Bird International Airport.
   
    There were three passengers on board along with the pilot, Jason Forbes, who was pronounced dead on the scene. A woman, later identified as Annya Duncan, a Jamaican national and teacher at the Montserrat Secondary School also died in the aircraft. A 57-year old Guyanese woman was the other victim.

    The woman was said to have died shortly after arriving at the Mount Saint John Medical Centre and the sole survivor is a British national, who is said to have sustained bruises, lacerations and a broken ankle and that none of his injuries were life threatening, according to official reports.
   
   Fly Montserrat also resumed its regular scheduled service on Monday among Antigua, Montserrat and Nevis.



http://www.sknvibes.com

Airport do-it-all keeps 'em flying: Florence Regional, South Carolina ... Maurice Lemmond has fixed planes (and more) at KFLO for 43 years

Maurice Lemmond,  Director of Aircraft Maintenance

Director of aircraft maintenance Maurice Lemmond checks one of the engines...

By: Gavin Jackson | SCNow 

 Published: October 13, 2012

FLORENCE, S.C. --


He can fix and rebuild the engine, change oil filters big and small, figure out what’s making that rattling sound and even talk you through an emergency landing.

And, he can do it all day long and has been for more than four decades.

Tending to the needs of aircraft – all the needs – is all in a day’s work for Florence’s Maurice Lemmond, the mechanic (and more) extraordinaire. His career has spanned nearly half a century, 43 years to be exact. With it comes a wealth of knowledge and responsibility, including telling people that their single-piston Piper, twin turbo prop Cessna or
Learjet needs some work.

“It’s a bit like being a doctor,” Lemmond said. “You have to tell them there’s a problem and here’s what we have to do about it.”

For some of those problems Lemmond even uses medical tools, like a dental scaler to locate tiny holes or even a baroscope – a scientific device used for measuring atmospheric pressure – in a plane’s engine to see what’s going on inside.

“People kind of look at us funny when we use the baroscope, but it works,” Lemmond said.

Those are just some of the tools the soft-spoken and knowledgeable Lemmond – technically, the director of aircraft maintenance at Florence Aviation, which is the Florence Regional Airport’s Fixed Base Operator located on the west side of the airport’s grounds – uses every day.

Lemmond says his work requires knowledge, skill and even a bit of gumption.

“It’s a lot of responsibility,” Lemmond said. “Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night to think of stuff you need to do or take a look at. There’s always something going on.”

Round the clock

It’s a surprise he ever has time to sleep. When he’s not working in the Florence hanger where, on a recent afternoon, three aircraft sat in various states of repair, he’s at the Lake City Airport working on planes or helicopters, or he’s at various other airports around the state and region, working on planes or performing inspections.

If he does get a chance to sleep, he might get a call like he did the other day for a US Airways Express flight that hit a bird while landing. It wasn’t serious and it occasionally happens, but he needed to inspect the engine and make sure of it.

Lemmond, 61, is one of only a handful of mechanics that can inspect planes in the state. Since every plane needs annual inspections and charter planes need them even more regularly, he’s pretty busy. One of the planes he was working last week was Piper Cheyenne IIXL, a charter in for one of its semi-annual inspections.

“It’s a challenge and it keeps you on your toes,” Lemmond said looking over the turboprop Cheyenne, which seats up to seven people. “You’re dealing with peoples’ lives. If this thing quits, they can’t just pull over onto the side of the road like a car, so we try to keep everybody safe and compliant with regulations.”

No surprise

Lemmond’s vocation is no surprise. Even as a toddler, his parents tell him, he was a gearhead, taking apart things and putting them back together. Tinkering continued into his youth with his bicycle becoming a regular patient and then it was off to Florence-Darlington Technical College for a degree that took him to working on planes at 18.

Planes, not cars?


“I always liked to see airplanes,” said Lemmond. “As a child my parents would take me to the airport to see planes take off in Charlotte, and I love the mechanical side. And I like to fly, too; I’m a pilot so it all kind of worked together.”

He liked planes, but he does the car thing, too. In his spare time he rebuilds automobiles.

“Well I’ve always liked cars and still do and I’ve restored several old muscle cars,” Lemmond said. “I still got one, had an old Oldsmobile 442 and recently got an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser wagon a month ago that I’m working on in another hangar.”

Joey Rogers, president of Powers Aviation and a pilot, said Lemmond’s skill is like a security blank for the airport.

“The biggest thing is safety and the No. 1 thing in safety is to make sure your plane is maintained well, and we count on people like Maurice to do that,” said Rogers. “[Maurice] has been doing it for a long time.”

Rogers learned to fly 27 years ago in one of Lemmond’s planes.

When Lemmond was just 25, he took over the maintenance business at Florence Aviation after the owners basically threw up their hands and turned it over to him. From there he grew it, expanding to the current hanger he’s called his home—or operating room—since 1987. Since then he sold the FBO business to Powers Aviation in 2001, which allowed him to focus just on maintenance and not so much operations. Powers Aviation donated the property to the airport in 2008.

Lemmond, however, stayed put. And probably always will.

“I’m just going to keep on keeping on until I get tired of it and as long as I enjoy it and keep my health good like it is, I’ll keep on,” Lemmond said. “I don’t feel any different than I did 40 years ago.”

Story, photos and comments:  http://www2.scnow.com


 http://www.airnav.com/airport/KFLO

Sky show under way over Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH — Morton Parks looked out over the ocean, his bronze star and purple hearts and other ribbons prominently displayed on his shirt, as the Canadian Snowbirds Demonstration Team roared across the sky.
 

Parks, 86, was one of about 35 World War II veterans who got a sneak peak of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Wings and Waves Air Show Friday as performers practiced the schedule for this weekend's free event.

The show, which started off Saturday at 11 a.m. and continues through 4 p.m. today and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is centered in front of the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort and includes close to 20 performances including three jet teams — the Snowbirds, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Black Diamonds.

Parks, of Holly Hill, who survived D-Day in the 116th Army Infantry and was wounded twice during his service, was in awe of the performance.

"Wow. There they go. Look at that," Parks said as the Snowbirds flew out over the ocean. "Wasn't that beautiful?"

Rick Grissom, producer of the air show for Embry-Riddle whose father was a B-17 pilot in World War II, said he wanted to honor the veterans with a special viewing on a deck outside a banquet room at the Hilton. Bright House Networks sponsored a lunch for the event, Grissom said.

"We wanted to do it in a nice manner so they could leisurely watch it without fighting the massive crowds," Grissom said.

Read more here:  http://www.news-journalonline.com

Aeroplane thriller flies close to Nigeria’s reality: Last Flight to Abuja

 

It is perhaps an unlikely theme for a blockbuster film in a country with a dire air safety record: a near miss in which a pilot steers a smoke-filled aeroplane to safety. 

 In Nigeria, Last Flight to Abuja has become the first home-grown production to outsell Hollywood films this year. Crowds have been packing ­cinemas to see how the Nollywood fiction matches the reality of taking an internal flight in West Africa's most populous country.

The film took a record-breaking eight million naira ($50 400) in its first week of release in Lagos. It has toppled this year's box-office hits The Amazing Spider-Man and Ice Age: Continental Drift and has grossed  the ­second-highest income in West Africa after The Dark Knight Rises.

"Each time I fly in Nigeria, it's a nervy experience. All the shaking, the bumpy landings, the unexplained noises as the aeroplane starts off five hours after you're supposed to have arrived at your destination," said the director, Obi Emelonye. "The film was an accumulation of all those ­stories."

The timing of the film's release coincided with a Dana Air aeroplane smashing into a Lagos slum, killing 163 people. Relatives of the dead encouraged the director not to ­cancel the film's opening so as to keep aviation safety in the spotlight.

"The timing was spooky because it was supposed to be an era [that was] behind us. I felt I had a social responsibility to show [improvements] we could make with just a little change of attitude – being proactive," Eme-lonye said.

Bad experience
Audiences have given the fictional white-knuckle ride a positive reception. "When I watched it I thought that's how a country with big dreams like Nigeria should be able to handle an aviation disaster," said cinemagoer Daye Sola, who has spurned domestic carriers since a "bad experience" 12 years ago.

Yet not everybody is convinced by the fairy-tale ending in which emergency workers are at the scene before the aeroplane's dramatic touchdown.

Femi Alade, whose house is within sight of the spot where the Dana aeroplane crashed, is a rare person from the slum who has watched the film. "Someone like me, I have never entered an aeroplane and I will not do so. I enjoyed the film, but afterwards I remembered how people were looting and police were beating the crowds," he said.

"The emergency reaction wasn't realistic; it was just too prompt," said another filmgoer, Ohimide.

The reality is undoubtedly grimmer. June's accident marked the start of a tumultuous period in which half of Nigeria's domestic airlines have been grounded. Africa accounts for 14% of the world's aeroplane crashes, although it has only 3% of global traffic.

Whistle-blowers have claimed that heavy debts in the aviation sector routinely compromise safety. In some cases, insiders say, aeroplanes have been dangerously overloaded with fuel to avoid paying refuelling fees in each country.

Inquest
David Kolawole's seven-month-old daughter survived the initial Dana Air impact. But emergency services took 45 minutes to push through the crowds thronging the slum's narrow mud roads. At the local hospital, staff members were unable to save her amid electricity blackouts. "In a country where people are prepared she could have been saved," Kolawole said.

An inquest revealed other failings, including emergency staff who had not been trained to put out an aircraft fire with chemical foam rather than water. The aviation ministry has cleared Dana Air to fly again, although an inquiry continues.

Safety in Nigeria improved after two aircraft crashed within two months in 2005. But public distrust has returned since the country's most popular airline, Arik Air, was briefly grounded when aviation workers raided its offices, saying they had not been paid. Hailed for its fleet of new aeroplanes in a creaking industry, Arik had mopped up passengers in West Africa's thriving market as competitors floundered.

Accusations of financial mismanagement have threatened to engulf the sector, which has grown as air travel has become an alternative to being transported along the region's often poorly maintained roads.

"We had situations where some of our aircraft were flying with only one engine working rather than pay[ing] for the cost of maintaining two," said a former employee at the suspended Air Nigeria airline.
 

Source:  http://mg.co.za

Bonhams to sell example of aeroplane made famous as the hero of the Battle of Britain

A Hurricane fighter aircraft like one of the many that defended British shores during World War II's Battle of Britain will be the star attraction at the Bonhams sale of Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands – the spiritual home of the Hurricane – in Weybridge, Surrey, UK, on Monday 3rd December.

The Hurricane, the Royal Air Force's first monoplane fighter, had its finest hour during that battle, where it shot down more enemy aircraft than its famous service partner the Spitfire.

Brooklands, where the Bonhams sale will take place, has its own history with the aircraft: it was assembled and first flown in prototype form there in 1935, and altogether more than 3,000 Hurricanes were produced on site – one fifth of the total built.

Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 (G-HURI), equipped with 12 Browning .303 machine guns, was built in 1942 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force the following year, remaining in Canada for the duration of the war. Its service history has proved elusive, but it may have protected convoys on the east coast shore line from German U-boat activity, or been used as a training aircraft.

Struck off charge from the RCAF in 1947, it was bought by a Canadian syndicate. It was later restored to flight, making its first post-restoration flight in 1989, before being acquired by the Historic Aircraft Collection in 2002 and housed at the IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

Following extensive program of refinements including the fitting of the correct Merlin engine, G-HURI now flies as 'Z5140', with the code letters HA-C and in the Battle of Britain colors worn by a Hurricane IIB flown with 126 Squadron during the siege of Malta. During the Collection's ownership it became the first Hurricane to return to Malta since World War II, and this summer was the first to fly to Russia since that time, where it flew in the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Moscow Airshow.

At 32ft long and 13ft high, with a wingspan of 40ft, this half-ton aircraft is capable of a range of 900 miles and a maximum speed of 322mph. It is offered for sale with an estimate of £1.4 million - £1.7 million.

Tim Schofield, Director of the Bonhams UK Motor Car Department, said: "This Hurricane is one of only a handful of these iconic aircraft still flying today, and is presented for sale in highly original condition.

"We expect it will be a lot that will generate much interest among buyers at our December sale, and will complement the important motor cars we already have consigned for the sale."

The Hurricane joins a number of important motor cars consigned for the December sale, including:

- 1931 Invicta 4.5-liter S-Type Low Chassis Tourer (£500,000 -600,000)
- 1938 Jaguar SS100 3.5-liter Sports Two-Seater (£220,000 - 280,000)
- 1935 Ford Box Van used as Lance Cpl Jones's butcher's van in classic television series Dad's Army (£20,000 - 30,000)

Source:  http://www.bonhams.com/press_release/11532/

Miramar Air Show Inspiring Next Generation of Aviators


The largest military air show in the country is underway tonight at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. About half a million people are expected to watch the three-day show. It runs through Sunday and features the Blue Angles and hundreds of other aircraft and military personnel.

The clouds and wet weather are moving out of San Diego just in time for the Miramar Air Show weekend. Plan to get to the air show as early as you can, says Marine Lt. Col. Stefan Maroudis.

"We have more than enough stuff that you can see and do in a day, in fact you could probably come the entire weekend and not see everything fully," Maroudis said.

He says it's more than just flying acrobatics and a show of military might. The Miramar Air Show is also about recruiting the next generation of aviators and showing the public how their tax dollars are being spent.

"We have aircraft, we have ground vehicles, all kinds of military equipment and standing in front are the Marines who operate that equipment. We love interacting with the crowd, especially when a child will come up to you with big eyes and ask if you're a pilot, you can just see the joy on their face because they're so excited to meet you," Maroudis said.

Maroudis is a heavy lift aircraft pilot whose job is to transfer humvees and large artillery pieces on the field of battle. He's been a Marine for 17 years and says as a kid he was always interested in flying like the Blue Angels.

"I was big into models as a kid, my father was in the Signal Corps, so that was part of my interest as well," Maroudis said.

The theme of this year's show is "Marines in Flight: Celebrating 50 years of Space Exploration," because Marine Col. John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962. The gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Source:  http://www.kpbs.org

Rare mail service plane donated to Owls Head museum

Owls Head — A rare 1930 Pitcairn PA 7S Sport Mailwing has been donated to the Owls Head Transportation Museum by the estate of Stephen Pitcairn and the Pitcairn Trust Company.

"This is an exciting donation for the museum," said aircraft conservator ...

 

To continue reading, become a member. 

Already a member, please login: 

http://knox.villagesoup.com/place/story/rare-mail-service-plane-donated-to-owls-head-museum/909266

WestJet names its new regional airline 'Encore'

Calgary - WestJet’s new regional airline, which will compete with Air Canada in some of Canada’s smaller markets, now has a name.

Following a vote by WestJet employees Thursday, the Calgary-based company announced its new airline — which is expected to begin flying in the last half of 2013 — will be called WestJet Encore.

“We were looking for, as we developed a short list, something that related to WestJet and our proud 16-year history,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet’s executive vice-president of sales, marketing, and guest experience. “We brought low-cost travel to Canadians, and we’re now going to go into smaller communities and bring low fares to them.”

WestJet received a total of 842 suggestions after the company asked employees to weigh in on possible names. Eventually, company officials narrowed the list down to two, Echo and Encore, which were the names employees chose between on Thursday.

In June, WestJet formally unveiled the Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft it will be using for Encore. An order has been placed for 20 planes, with the option to purchase 25 more.

Since the company announced in January that it was considering launching a regional airline, the interest from small-and medium-sized communities whose residents feel underserved by their existing air service has been huge. Nanaimo, B.C., launched an extensive social media campaign to attract WestJet’s attention while Brandon, Man., collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition. Penticton, B.C., declared their city “WestJetville” for a day.

WestJet plans to announce which communities it has chosen for initial service in early 2013. Destinations will be added in stages over a period of several years.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/bombardieraerospace

http://westjet2.mediaroom.com

http://www.edmontonjournal.com

Chihuahuas take flight: Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ), Suffolk, Virginia

A Piper Saratoga airplane took off from Suffolk Executive Airport on Thursday afternoon with an unusual load of cargo.

Carriers full of live Chihuahuas — 24 dogs in all — were stacked Tetris-like into the plane’s tiny cargo hold and on top of unused passenger seats. Pilot Matthew Kiener and his friend Byron Hamby had flown to Suffolk earlier Thursday to pick up the dogs from Chihuahua Rescue and Transport Virginia/Carolinas coordinator Carla Johnson.

The dogs, originally 32 of them, had been rescued from a man in Gates, N.C. He and his wife had been raising Chihuahuas for many years, Johnson said. They were taken care of until she fell ill and died a couple years ago, she said. The man, too, began to get sick and learned after testing that he is highly allergic to the dogs.

The woman’s sister, who lives in New Jersey, contacted Chihuahua Rescue and Transport for help. She drove to North Carolina a couple weeks ago and picked up a few dogs she had found homes for among family and friends. Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey agreed to accept the rest of the dogs and try to find loving homes for them.

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

Leading Oregon’s Civil Air Patrol: Klamath Falls airport director will serve as Wing Commander

John Longley will soon be earning a lot of frequent flier miles. The Klamath Falls Airport director will travel from Portland to Brookings in the lead position for the largest civilian Air Force auxiliary in the state.

During the first weekend in October, Longley accepted the Oregon Wing Commander position for the Civil Air Patrol, a civilian volunteer group of aviators that is part of the United States Air Force Auxiliary.

He’s been involved with the organization since 1997, working with management for the Pacific Northwest.

“After a while, it becomes important to you,” Longley said.

His decision to seek the appointment had been on his mind for sometime. It became a concrete decision five months ago. 


Longley says he’s always had an interest in aviation. As a young man, he served in the U.S. Air Force and went on to a long career in city management. His work as a manager allowed him involvement with the Marina Municipal Airport, northwest of Monterey, Calif. He eventually moved to Klamath Falls, where he was introduced to the Civil Air Patrol.

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

Refurbished Vietnam-era chopper dedicated in South Carolina

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. --  Donna Pratt wasn't sure what to think when officials at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum told her a refurbished H-3 helicopter on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown would be dedicated in part to the memory of her husband.

Pratt was 24 when her husband went down with two other crewmen aboard an H-3 that was the only chopper lost from the carrier during Vietnam. She worried the dedication would reopen old wounds from the war.

"But it didn't turn out that way. It turned out to be a joyous memorial," she said.


Pratt, of San Tan Valley, Ariz., and her daughter, Eileen Pratt Owen, were among 100 people who gathered on the flight deck of the carrier Friday to dedicate the helicopter.

The H-3 was a Navy workhorse during Vietnam and also helped recover astronauts at sea during the early days of the space program.

The Yorktown chopper was dedicated to Pratt, an aviation anti-submarine warfare technician 1st class, and to pilots Lt. Thomas Vincent and Lt. Charles Moran, who were aboard an H-3 heading off on a night combat mission on Feb. 25, 1965. The chopper developed electrical problems and crashed at sea.

Their names are painted on one side of the fuselage, while on the other side are the names of two aviators who are still living, Dr. Art Schmitt and James Dorsey. Schmitt flew sorties from the Yorktown and trained astronauts to fly fixed-wing aircraft. Dorsey was a member of the H-3 crew that recovered Apollo 8.

Donna Pratt said what the dedication really means came into focus during the brief ceremony.

"Now he has a legacy. Schoolchildren will hear about them, and they will know what they did," she said. "We were believers back then. He believed everything about this country that was noble and honorable and he believed he was doing a very important job that he loved."

Pratt's daughter, 7 months old when her father died, grew up hearing about him.

"I heard that he was a loving husband and a loving father and a hard worker," she said. "Recently I got to meet some of his crewmen and I learned a different aspect of him. He was a leader. He was older and they looked up to him at 27."

Such dedications, she added, "honors that era and gives them the recognition that maybe they didn't get immediately after Vietnam."

Friday's dedication was the first by a new aircraft naming committee at Patriots Point. The committee receives nominations from veterans and aircraft associations for people whose names should be placed on aircraft at the museum.

Those honored must have flown the type of aircraft on display, and preference is now given to those who flew in combat and flew off the Yorktown.

http://www.lakewyliepilot.com

Aviation High School's exterior curves like an airplane fuselage

The Raisbeck Aviation High School building under construction near the Museum of Flight Airpark in Seattle is taking shape - an unusual shape.

SEATTLE —  The Raisbeck Aviation High School building under construction near the Museum of Flight Airpark in Seattle is taking shape - an unusual shape.

The building has an exterior skin of composite material shaped to resemble an airplane fuselage.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the three-story building is scheduled to open for the 2013-14 school year. Aviation High is part of the Highline School District but open to students across the area.

http://www.djc.com

http://seattletimes.com

Shuttle Endeavour Arrives at First Stop in Westchester

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- The space shuttle Endeavour is on the streets of Los Angeles, en route to its final home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. 

The massive spacecraft left the grounds of LAX at 2 a.m., rolling along at just 2 mph on the first leg of its 2-day, 12-mile trip.

It took up two of the four lanes as it traveled down Northside Parkway. A handful of vehicles led the procession, including a truck with an American flag fluttering behind it.

About 100 people gathered at Weschester Parkway and McConnell Avenue. Many had waited hours in the dark to get a glimpse of Endeavour.

The shuttle is being moved by four computer-controlled transporters that will help it negotiate complex turns and avoid streetside obstacles.

At points along the way, the 170,000-pound, 122-foot shuttle will be inches away from buildings and will protrude onto driveways and sidewalks.

Because of the shuttle's enormous weight, thousands of heavy steel plates have been laid down to protect city streets.

Endeavour made its first stop shortly before 6 a.m. Friday at Sepulveda and La Tijera in the Westchester, where it was greeted by crowds of admirers.

It will be there until about 1 p.m. while crews widen the computerized transporters carrying Endeavour so they can travel over medians on Manchester Boulevard.

People are welcome to go see the shuttle in Westchester, but it's not an official viewing site, so no special parking is being provided.

La Tijera Boulevard is expected to be closed between Sepulveda and Manchester until at least 5 p.m.

The shuttle will continue east on Manchester, passing into Inglewood at Glasgow Avenue, where it will gain stop for several hours for more power line work.

There, crews will also move the orbiter onto the dolly system that will tow it over the 405 Freeway beginning about 10 p.m. Friday.

Manchester will be closed from Sepulveda Boulevard to Aviation Boulevard from noon until 5 p.m. Friday.

Additionally, the La Cienega and Manchester off-ramps from the south 405 will be closed from 10 a.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday.

City officials warn that the public should anticipate traffic delays on the route and in surrounding areas throughout Endeavour's trip.

Instead of trying to catch the shuttle on the streets, people are being encouraged to go to one several dedicated public viewing areas.

The City of Inglewood is having an event on Saturday from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and Endeavour will be on display for half an hour, in front of the Forum.

There will be free parking at the Hollywood Park Race Track. There is no overnight staying ahead of the event. Parking lots will open at 4 a.m. Saturday.

At around 2 p.m. Saturday, Endeavour will stop for about a half an hour for an event at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

There is a dedicated area for the public to stand and view the stage, north on Crenshaw Blvd. from MLK. Space is limited, so you're encouraged to get there early.

Endeavour will reach its final destination at the California Science Center at around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Four large parking lots between Bill Robertson Lane and Vermont Ave., north of MLK, have been designated for public viewing.

Mass transit is recommended and available via the Expo Rail and bus line running along Exposition Blvd.

Interest in the shuttle has heightened since last month's flyover over Southern California atop a modified 747.

Since then, Endeavour has been in a United Airlines hangar at LAX, undergoing preparations for its trek across the city.

Crews have also been readying the route, including cutting down some 400 trees to make way for the shuttle, which did not sit well with many residents.

Officials have promised to replant twice as many trees as were removed -- and, in some cases, four times as many.

Workers will also have to raise overhead utility wires and temporarily take down hundreds of utility poles, street lights and traffic signals.

Southern California Edison says that about 400 customers will lose power temporarily as Endeavour rolls by.

The outages are expected to happen in the middle of the night or early morning, and won't last longer than four hours, Edison said.

The shuttle will be on display at the California Science Center starting on October 30.

Endeavour replaced Challenger, which exploded in 1986, killing seven astronauts.

Its name was chosen by schoolchildren after a ship built to cross the South Pacific in the 1700s.

Endeavour went on to fly 25 missions, including 12 to help construct and outfit the space station, and logged nearly 123 million miles in flight during 4,671 orbits.


Story and video:  http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-shuttle-endeavour-preps,0,131577.story

Whooping Cranes Follow Plane to Florida

GREEN LAKE, Wisconsin  - A group of young whooping cranes being led by small planes has started their long trek from Wisconsin to Florida.

The six cranes are the 12th group to take part in a project led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. It's an international coalition of public and private groups reintroducing the species in eastern North America.

One of the partners is Operation Migration, which is using two ultralight planes to lead the cranes.

The cranes left September 28 from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County. They were in Winnebago County in Illinois this week, where they were waiting out high winds before moving on.

The leader of the ultralight team, Joe Duff, says he hopes to arrive in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge by Christmas.

Source:   http://www2.wkrg.com

Phenom 100 off runway in Brazil

Returning from Argentina Phenom 100 PR-PNM sn 144 while landing at Salgado Filho Airport, Brazil - in rain and 70 mph winds - went off the runway Oct 10 2012. Damage is unknown, but no injuries to the five persons on board.

http://www.zulupa.com.br/noticias/variedades/2012/10/6828/aviao-de-pequeno-porte-sai-da-pista-no-aeroporto


http://g1.globo.com/rs/rio-grande-do-sul/noticia/2012/10/aeroporto-salgado-filho-e-reaberto-apos-aviao-sair-da-pista-no-rs.html


http://i845.photobucket.com/albums/ab20/bizjets101/PR-PNMPhenom1003.jpg


http://www.airfln.com.br/detalhe.php?id_foto=5478

http://www.ourairports.com/airports/SBPA/


(Thanks Rob!)

Gulfstream G650, Gulfstream Aerospace, N652GD: Accident occurred April 02, 2011 in Roswell, New Mexico

http://www.gulfstream.com

NTSB Identification: DCA11MA076
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 02, 2011 in Roswell, NM
Aircraft: GULFSTREAM GVI, registration: N652GD
Injuries: 4 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 2, 2011, about 0934 mountain daylight time, a Gulfstream GVI (G650) airplane, N652GD, was substantially damaged after impact with terrain during takeoff at Roswell International Air Center Airport (ROW), Roswell, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. The two flight crewmembers and the two technical crewmembers were fatally injured. The flight had originated from ROW about 0700 for a local area flight.

The airplane was operating under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Experimental Certificate of Airworthiness and was performing a take off with a simulated engine failure to determine take-off distance requirements at minimum flap setting.

Wingtip scrape marks beginning on the runway approximately 5,300 feet from the end of the runway lead toward the final resting spot about 3,800 feet from the first marks on the runway. Witnesses close to the scene saw the airplane sliding on the ground with sparks and smoke coming from the bottom of the wing, and described the airplane being fully involved in fire while still moving across the ground. The airplane struck several obstructions and came to rest upright about 200 feet from the base of the airport control tower. Several airport rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) units responded quickly and fought the fire.


 Opinion/Editorial

SavannahNow/Savannah Morning News
Gulfstream crash: The right approach
Posted: October 12, 2012 - 12:02am


FEDERAL SAFETY officials scolded Gulfstream’s management this week for actions they say contributed to last year’s crash of a new business jet that killed four company employees.

American businesses have a responsibility to protect their workers from harm. That’s a major challenge in some endeavors, such as testing expensive new aircraft in a highly competitive industry.

But it’s important to know what the limits are and to respect them, as opposed to pushing them too far. That’s when people can get hurt.

In the case of the fatal Gulfstream accident on April 2, 2011, experts with the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that Gulfstream officials failed to properly evaluate warning signs from previous test flights of the company’s ultra-high-speed G650 business jet.

That’s the new $64 million aircraft, manufactured in Savannah, that received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in September last year. The company said it expects to deliver its first G650s to customers later this year.

Deborah Hersman, NTSB chairwoman, chided Gulfstream’s management for decisions it made during the flight testing process and prior to the crash of the G650 during takeoff trials in New Mexico.

Killed in the accident were all four Gulfstream employees on board: experimental test pilots Kent Crenshaw and Vivan Ragusa and technical specialists David McCollum and Reece Ollenburg.

“Two prior close calls should have prompted a yellow flag, but instead of slowing down to analyze what had happened, the program continued full speed ahead,” Ms. Hersman said in her opening comments.

“In this investigation, we saw an aggressive flight test schedule and pressure to get the aircraft certified,” she said. “Assumptions and errors were made, but they were neither reviewed nor evaluated when review data was collected.”

That’s troubling. While mistakes happen and people make incorrect assumptions when pushing new aircraft to the limit, it’s important to look back and not rush things too quickly, especially when lives are on the line.

To its credit, Gulstream has taken full responsibility for the accident. Even better, according to Ms. Hersman, the company recognized that many changes needed to be made in its testing process. It has started to implement them, including the appointment of an aviation safety official who reports directly to the firm’s president.

“Safety is Gulfstream’s first priority,” the company said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “Since this accident, we have redoubled our efforts to strengthen the safety culture in flight test and throughout the rest of the company. We are committed to continuous safety improvement.”

That’s not just good business. It’s responsible management from one of this area’s largest, most valued and community-minded employers.

Improving safety is easier said than done in this line of work. Testing new aircraft involves pushing the envelope. It’s inherently risky. The test pilot’s job is to find the limits of an aircraft’s performance. At the same time, it’s the company’s job not to push their test pilots too hard in the competitive desire to bring a new product to market against fierce rivals.

Ms. Hersman is correct. She said no one can change what happened in New Mexico last year. “But we owe it to the four flight test professionals who lost their lives to make sure we learn from it,” she added.

Exactly. The NTSB is taking the right approach here, and so is Gulfstream, The entire aircraft industry should pay attention and become better educated.


Source:   http://savannahnow.com

Corvette-Size Electric Motor Seen Changing How Jets Taxi

Bloomberg News

By Thomas Black on October 12, 2012

 

As fuel prices continue to soar, airlines are studying new technology that may save more than $200,000 per jet every year. The breakthrough only sounds mundane: It’s all about how planes taxi.

Travelers are familiar with the sight of low-slung airport tugs pushing aircraft away from the gate so the main jet engines can crank up safely. Thrust from the kerosene-slurping turbofans then powers planes into position for takeoff.

Now, equipment makers such as Honeywell International Inc. (HON) are devising electric motors that weigh about as much as V-8s in Chevrolet Corvettes yet pack enough torque to move 180,000-pound (81,650-kilogram) jets, letting pilots taxi without relying on main engines or diesel tractors.

“You could have tug-less airports,” said Ian Davies, chief of engineering and maintenance for EasyJet Plc (EZJ), Britain’s largest discount airline. “It might fundamentally change how we operate in airports.”

Taxiing on electric power is an example of how technology, in this case motors so small they fit in the hub of a jet’s nose wheel, can revolutionize something as routine as an airliner’s journey between the terminal and the runway.

“It’s a simple concept, but it’s complex to integrate into an aircraft,” said Olivier Savin, chief of Safran SA (SAF)’s Green Taxiing System Joint Venture with Honeywell. “Integration is the key to success.”


Airbus, EasyJet

The prospect of annual savings topping $200,000 a jet from lower fuel use and less ground time has stirred interest from planemaker Airbus SAS and airlines such as EasyJet and Alitalia SpA. The first new aircraft with electric-taxi technology may be in production in as few as three years, and older planes may get the gear as soon as 2013.

Airlines face the highest sustained prices ever for jet kerosene, the industry’s largest cost, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), the world’s biggest carrier, says it burns $25,000 of fuel a minute. Jet fuel for immediate delivery in New York Harbor has averaged $3.12 a gallon in 2012, more than four times as much as a decade ago.

Taxiing on one engine has become a common fuel-saving practice for twin-engine jets in recent years, and planes already make electricity when they’re at the gate by running small turbine engines known as auxiliary power units.

What’s new today is the convergence of airlines’ hunger for more efficiency and recent advances in miniaturizing electric motors to propel a plane at the 20 miles (32 kilometers) per hour it may need for taxiing.

How Heavy?

The Honeywell-Safran team estimates its unit would weigh a maximum of 880 pounds, while startup WheelTug Plc said its electric-taxi technology is only about 300 pounds. Another entry, a venture between L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) and Crane Co. (CR), isn’t commenting on the heft of its system.

WheelTug’s motor fits in the hub of a jet’s front wheel and is just 5 inches wide, Chief Executive Officer Isaiah Cox said. That’s half as broad as two years ago, when the Gibraltar-based company still had to attach the motors outside the hub, he said.

“It’s like packaging an elephant into the nose wheel of an airplane,” Cox said.

That would eliminate the cost of a push-back from a tug, which runs $50 to $150, and the consumption of about 55 gallons of fuel taxiing before and after takeoff, based on average burn rates and ground times at U.S. airports, Cox said.

WheelTug says its system may save about $500,000 a plane annually, including benefits such as less wear on engines.


Eliminating Tugs

 
Honeywell and Paris-based Safran say the savings may exceed $200,000 per plane a year by paring fuel use and ground time, and eliminating charges for tugs’ services. Stamford, Connecticut-based Crane also says taxiing on electricity would cut noise, reduce emissions and shrink the risk of having a jet’s main engines ingest tarmac debris.

Meshing small electric motors and new cockpit controls won’t be the only challenge for Morris Township, New Jersey- based Honeywell and its rivals.

Suppliers will have to convince airlines that the savings will make up for the extra fuel burned in flight from the equipment’s added weight, said Tim Campbell, president of St. Paul, Minnesota-based Mountain Vista Consulting and the former chief of regional operations for Northwest Airlines Corp.

Airport tugs also would need to be on hand in case a plane’s APU fails, Campbell said in a telephone interview.

Boeing, Airbus


Boeing Co. (BA) isn’t “actively pursuing” electric taxi, Terrance Scott, a spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Airbus is talking with “potential suppliers” for an electric taxi system, Martin Fendt, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview, without identifying them. “It’s certainly something we’re keen to see where the potential is.”

WheelTug’s focus is to fit its electric-taxi system to existing jets, and it has installation agreements with Alitalia and El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (ELAL) The company has a target of late 2013 to get the first units onto planes.

The Honeywell/Safran and L-3/Crane groups are concentrating instead on persuading planemakers to adopt the technology for new aircraft. Their systems drive the main landing gear. Honeywell and Safran expect to run trials with a Safran-owned Airbus A320 by mid-2013. L-3 and Crane tested their team’s unit in December on a Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) A320.

Airlines have powerful incentives to act, said Scott Whitfill, who oversees about 70 tugs as North America maintenance director for Worldwide Flight Services.


‘Not Cheap’

 
“If airplanes were able essentially to back themselves out and I didn’t have to supply a push-back tractor, that would impact the cost of my handling for the airline,” Whitfill said in a telephone interview. “Push-backs are not cheap.”

Savings from the electric motors would be greatest on single-aisle jets such as the A320 and Boeing’s 737, whose frequent short-haul flights mean more time taxiing. Wide-bodies land and take off less often because they fly longer routes.

“It’s huge,” said Rick Jones, vice president of Crane’s aerospace unit. “It’s looking to us like it’s going to be a compelling value proposition for the airlines.”

Davies of Luton, England-based EasyJet is convinced. The carrier’s 215-plane fleet consists entirely of jets from the A320 family. That makes it one of the airlines that would benefit from electric taxi, and it’s preparing to test the Honeywell-Safran system.

“There’s no doubt to me that the technology is there. It will work,” Davies said. “Let’s say 40 years from now, maybe all aircraft will have this.”


Source:   http://www.businessweek.com

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meyer Little Toot, N848Z: Accident occurred October 11, 2012 in Roanoke, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA011
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Roanoke, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2014
Aircraft: MEYERS LITTLE TOOT, registration: N848Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

While on initial takeoff and about 200 feet above ground level, the airplane's engine experienced a total loss of engine power. The airplane was about midfield of the 3,500-foot runway, and the pilot landed on the remaining runway. The pilot could not stop the airplane in the distance remaining, and the airplane departed the end of the runway and collided with two fences before coming to rest inverted. Examination of the airframe revealed that the fuel lines were partially obstructed with sealant that had been used on an in-tank fuel gauge to create a gasket, which was found deteriorated. No further anomalies were detected with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The total loss of engine power due to partially obstructed fuel lines.

On October 11, 2012, about 1800 central daylight time, a amateur-built Meyers Little Toot airplane, N848Z, nosed over during a forced landing to a field at the Northwest Regional Airport (52F), Roanoke, Texas. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a statement provided by the pilot, shortly after takeoff and about 200 feet above ground level, the airplane's engine experience a total loss of engine power. The airplane was about midfield of the 3,500 foot runway so the pilot decided to land on the remaining runway and attempt to stop the airplane. The airplane touched down about 100 mph and the tailwheel touched down as the airplane slowed through 50 mph. The pilot attempted to perform a ground loop before it collided with a frangible fence at the departure end of the runway. The airplane continued through a barbed wire fence where the airplane nosed over. The upper wing forward spar and I Struts, the vertical stabilizer, and rudder were substantially damaged.

Examination of the airframe revealed that maximum fuel flow delivery to the engine was approximately 5 gallons per hour. The engine was removed for further examination and a test run. The examination discovered foreign debris and signatures of electrical shorting on the #3 spark plug, signatures of overheating on the left magneto, and a crack on the coil of the right magneto. Engine timing was different from the manufacturer's specifications. The engine was setup on a test stand and run with a fuel limit of 5 gallons per hour. The engine ran normally at idle. At the takeoff power setting, the engine lost power due to inadequate fuel flow. A subsequent examination of the airframe revealed obstruction of the fuel lines with RTV sealant. The sealant was used on an in-tank fuel gauge as a gasket and the gasket had deteriorated. No other anomalies were discovered with the airframe.


http://registry.faa.gov/N848Z


NTSB Identification: CEN13LA011 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Roanoke, TX
Aircraft: MEYERS LITTLE TOOT, registration: N848Z
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 11, 2012, about 1800 central daylight time, a Meyers Little Toot, N848Z, was substantially damaged when it nosed over during a forced landing to a field at Northwest Regional Airport (52F), Roanoke, Texas. The private pilot was not injured. The aircraft was registered to, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, the aircraft lost power shortly after takeoff. During the forced landing the airplane departed the remaining runway, traveled through a frangible fence, struck a barbed-wire fence, and nosed over. The substantial damage consisted of damage to the upper wing forward spar and I Struts, the vertical stabilizer, and rudder.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 848Z        Make/Model: EXP       Description: EXP- LITTLE TOOT
  Date: 10/12/2012     Time: 2315

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

LOCATION
  City: ROANOKE   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT LOST CONTROL ON TAKEOFF, RAN INTO A FENCE AND FLIPPED OVER. 

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: FORT WORTH, TX  (SW19)                Entry date: 10/12/2012 




 
Credit: WFAA viewer


 
Credit: WFAA 
A plane went down near Northwest Regional Airport in Denton County Thursday at approximately 6:10 pm


 



ROANOKE -- A plane went down near Northwest Regional Airport in Denton County Thursday at approximately 6:10 p.m. A DPS spokesman said a Meyers Special bi-plane was taking off when it lost power. The pilot, Philip Witt, tried to land but crashed through a fence at the end of the runway and flipped the plane. The pilot was strapped in and suffered only minor cuts and bruises. He was treated at the scene.


A single-engine biplane crashed into a cattle field after losing power on takeoff Thursday night at Northwest Regional Airport.

The Meyer Special lost power shortly after 7 p.m. The pilot attempted to put the plane back on the runway but the plane was moving too fast to stop.

It skidded through two fences before hitting a gully and flipping in an open pasture, said Trooper Lonnie Haschel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The pilot, Phillip Witt of Roanoke, walked away from the crash with minor cuts and bruises.

The plane crash wasn’t far from a fatal crash at the airport on September. 22, said Roanoke Fire Chief Mike Duncan.

There is a thick line of trains about 150 feet from the south end of the runway, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com


ROANOKE — Authorities have reported that a small plane crashed sometime after 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Northwest Regional Airport in Roanoke. The extent of the pilot’s injuries was not immediately available.

The Roanoke Fire Department responded to the crash. Several emergency vehicles responded to the scene and authorities found the small blue and white single-passenger plane at the end of a runway. A Roanoke fire fighter said the plane sustained minimal damage.

Officials directed further media inquires to the Federal Aviation Administration but FAA Spokesman Lynn Lunsford could not be reached. The Roanoke Fire Department spokesman also could not be reached for comment.

This is the third plane crash in three weeks involving planes from that airport.

Four people died when their small plane crashed Saturday morning after leaving the Denton County airport. The victims were identified as Leonard Ledet, 60, of Southlake; his two sons, Paul Ledet, 16, and Mason Ledet, 13; and his brother, Gregory Ledet, 62, of Keller.

Officials found the plane's wreckage in a pasture about a mile from FM90 on Van Zandt County Road 2702.

Pilot Christopher Pratt, 41, of Argyle was killed Sept. 22 when the plane he was in crashed in a wooded area near the airport shortly after takeoff. Passenger Charles Yates, 63, of Grapevine was airlifted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he died.


http://www.dentonrc.com