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.

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.

  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

  City: ROANOKE   State: TX   Country: US


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:    

  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.

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.

Bell 206B, N333DR: Accident occurred October 10, 2012 in Crowley, Louisiana

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA009 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 10, 2012 in Crowley, LA
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N333DR
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 10, 2012, approximately 1155 central daylight time, a Bell 206B, N333DR, was substantially damaged when it impacted a guy-wire on a broadcast tower and then terrain, near Crowley, Louisiana. The private pilot was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to Pintail Lodge and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Broussard, Louisiana, approximately 1135 and was en route to Beaumont, Texas.

According to a witness performing maintenance on the broadcast tower, he initially observed the helicopter ½ mile to the east of the broadcast tower, flying towards the broadcast tower. When the helicopter was approximately 60 feet from the broadcast tower, the helicopter banked to the left, as if to avoid hitting the broadcast tower and subsequently struck the No. 4 guy-wire on the south side of the broadcast tower. When the helicopter struck the wire the helicopter veered back to the right and started to descend towards terrain. The witness did not observe or hear anything abnormal with the helicopter prior to the impact with the wire.

Debris from the helicopter extended several hundred yards to the west of the broadcast tower. The main rotor assembly and the aft portion of the tail boom, to include the tail rotor and vertical fin, were located in a crawfish pond between the broadcast tower and a service road between two ponds. The main wreckage, to include the cabin, fuselage, engine and transmission assembly, the forward portion of the tail boom and both horizontal fins, came to rest on the service road between the two crawfish ponds on an approximate heading of west.

UPDATE:   Funeral arrangements have been made for a Beaumont helicopter pilot who died in an accident earlier this week.

Hugh Clifton Kelley, 66, of Beaumont, died in a helicopter crash Wednesday.

A gathering of Mr. Kelley's family and friends will be from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., Sunday, October 14, 2012, at Broussard's located at 2000 McFaddin Avenue in Beaumont.  His funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 15, 2012 at Wesley United Methodist Church located at 3810 North Major Drive in Beaumont

Internment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.

According to our affiliate at KATC, officials say Kelley's helicopter crashed into guy wires near a radio tower.  He was the only person on board the helicopter during the accident.

Officials also say the helicopter was registered to Pintail Lodge of Beaumont. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. 

LYONS POINT - A helicopter apparently flying too low crashed in a field near Lyons Point Thursday morning killing the Texas pilot and cutting a guidewire that was attached to an antennae belonging to KSIG radio.

“We received a phone call of at helicopter down at 10:44 a.m. this morning,” said Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Information Director Maxine Trahan. “Witnesses said the helicopter was flying too low and hit a guidewire which was one of several helping to hold up the antennae.”

Several people along Benton Rd. were worried that the antennae may fall due to the wire being cut. However, Trahan said that nobody in the area was in any danger.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) are currently on the way,” said Trahan. “Until then we are securing the area simply for safety purposes.”

“I heard the copter fly over and it did sound like it was right over my house,” said an area resident. “Then I heard a thud and a sound that may have been the chopper blades hitting the ground. I thought that don’t sound right”

  Regis#: 333DR        Make/Model: B206      Description: BELL 206B HELICOPTER
  Date: 10/10/2012     Time: 1710

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

  City: CROWLEY   State: LA   Country: US


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

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: BATON ROUGE, LA  (SW03)               Entry date: 10/11/2012 

Corkum Reginald Lightning, N290AL: Accident occurred October 11, 2012 in Chuckey, Tennessee

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: 

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Aviation Accident Data Summary:

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Chuckey, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/24/2014
Aircraft: ARION LIGHTNING, registration: N290AL
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 experimental amateur-built airplane accelerated normally during the takeoff roll for the Phase 1 test flight before pitching up sharply and beginning a slow climb to about 50 to 60 feet above the ground. The wings rocked back and forth as it drifted off the left side of the runway. Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared out of control and off center. The airplane was heading toward trees and a residence when the pilot-rated passenger, who was on board to record information during the test flight, took control of the airplane, lowered the nose, and turned away from obstructions; however, the nose abruptly dropped and the airplane struck the ground. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The flaps were found in the fully extended position and, given reports of the airplane’s behavior after the takeoff, were likely fully extended during takeoff and at the time of impact. The owner/builder reported that the normal takeoff procedure called for a 10-degree flap setting and that the airplane did not have a pretakeoff checklist, which would be developed during the flight testing. An estimated weight and balance calculation for the accident flight placed the airplane about 30 pounds over its published maximum gross weight and about a 1/2 inch from its aft center of gravity limit; however, the maximum gross weight is about 75 pounds below the general specifications listed by the kit manufacturer. The owner and pilot-rated passenger stated that they did not discuss or perform weight and balance calculations before the accident flight.

The airplane had been operated for about 15 hours since new and since its most recent condition inspection, which was performed about 1 month before the accident. The pilot’s total flight experience in make and model consisted of about 3 hours with a flight instructor and about 4 hours of solo flight experience. Given the lack of a pretakeoff checklist and the pilot’s minimal flight experience in the airplane make and model, it is likely that he began the takeoff with flaps fully extended, which combined with the airplane’s high gross weight and near-limit aft center of gravity, resulted in the loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in an attempted takeoff at a high gross weight, near the limit of its aft center of gravity, and with the airplane incorrectly configured with fully extended flaps. Contributing to the accident was the lack of a pretakeoff checklist and the pilot’s lack of total flight experience in make and model.


On June 22, 2013, at 1247 eastern daylight time, a Boeing IB75A, N450JW, impacted terrain at the Dayton International Airport (KDAY), Dayton, Ohio. The commercial pilot and wing walker were both fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Jane Wicker Airshows under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an airshow performance. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from KDAY about 1235.

The flight was performing for the 2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show, which was located at KDAY. The performance was the fourth act scheduled on June 22. Video and photos submitted by spectators, who witnessed the accident, captured the airplane during the performance. The evidence showed the airplane completed a left "tear drop" style turn as the wing walker positioned herself on the lower left wing. The airplane then rolled left to fly inverted. While flying from the southwest to the northeast in front of the spectators, the airplane's nose pitched slightly above the horizon. The airplane then abruptly rolled to the right and impacted terrain in a left wing low attitude. A post impact fire ensued and consumed a majority of the right wing and forward portion of the fuselage.

Statements gathered by the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the pilot and wing walker had practiced the performance the day prior to the accident. Following the practice, neither the pilot nor the pilot-rated wing walker, reported any mechanical anomalies with the airplane to the air show crew.



The pilot, age 64, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane single engine sea, and glider. On August 30, 2012, he was issued a second class medical certificate with the restriction that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported his use of Lisinopril and Triamterene to control hypertension with no reported side effects. On September 16, 2012, the pilot was issued a statement of acrobatic competency. He was authorized to perform solo aerobatics, fly wing walker maneuvers, and "circle the jumper." His altitude limitation was level 1 restricted and he was authorized to perform these events in all variants of the Extra 300, Boeing Stearman, and Pitts Special. A review of the pilot's log book revealed that the pilot had 1,190 hours, 95 hours in make and model, and about 11 hours in N450JW. The pilot did not log any flights from October 20, 2012, until April 13, 2013, which could be attributed to the air show off season. From April 13, 2013, he logged 16 hours of total time, 4.5 hours in make and model and about 1.5 hours in N450JW. The last airshow that the pilot performed with the accident wing walker was August 21, 2012.

The pilot practiced the aerial routine the day prior without incident. Members of the airshow crew ate dinner with the pilot the night prior, between 1900-2100. The pilot consumed about 1.5 beers with his meal. The pilot and crew went back to their hotel. They met the following morning from 0745-0830 the crew ate breakfast and the pilot ate a bagel with cream cheese. At 1100 the pilot ate lunch. Throughout the day the crew recalled that the pilot stayed out of the sun and was drinking water. Prior to flight, the pilot sat in an air conditioned truck for at least 10 minutes. Interactions with him where uneventful and his behavior was described as normal.

Wing walker

The wing walker, age 45, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The wing walker had about 6 years of experience and had been performing the planned routine for the previous 3 years. The wing walker was also the owner of the accident airplane.


The Boeing-Stearman IB75A, serial number 75-789 was manufactured in 1941 as a model A75N1. In 1950, modifications were made to the airplane and the model type changed to IB75A. A 450-horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 fuel-injected engine drove a two bladed, metal, Hamilton Standard 2D30 propeller. On December 8, 2009, the pilot purchased the airplane and on May 3, 2010, the airplane was registered with the FAA under the experimental exhibition category. On September 26, 2011, the airplane was last registered under the restricted category for the purpose of wing walking. The airplane was modified with an inverted fuel and oil system, and a four aileron system.

A combined 100 hour and annual inspection were accomplished on April 23, 2013, at a tachometer time of 260.7 hours, and 597.5 hours since the engine's last major overhaul.


Weather at the time of the accident was wind from 220 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 9 miles, a broken ceiling at 3,500 feet, temperature 86° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 72° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.18 inches of mercury.


The air show airspace was orientated along runway 6L/24R. The scheduled wing walking performance was flown by the accident pilot with events being performed by the wing walker. The designated airshow area was 12,000 feet long and 2,700 feet wide. The accident airplane was assigned to the Category III performance area which provided a 500 foot airspace buffer between the performance and the spectators. The wreckage came to rest over 500 feet from the fence line of the spectator area within the assigned performance area. A document depicting the airshow's layout is included in this report's docket.

The airport's elevation is 1,009 feet. Utilizing the barometric pressure, the pilot would have set about 29.09, in order to achieve "QFE" or a reading of 0 feet on the airplane's altimeter.


The crash site was a grass area south of the intersection of taxiway R and taxiway Z. The debris field followed a 050° heading and was about 145 feet long. The first ground scars were two parallel scars consistent with the left wing's impact. About 40 feet from the beginning of the ground scars was the impact crater. The crater was 11 feet long, 6 feet wide, and at least 13 inches deep. The main wreckage came to rest 105 feet from the impact crater.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by the NTSB and FAA. Rudder and elevator control continuity was established from the rudder to the aft seat rudder pedals and the elevator to the control stick. The ailerons controls were broken and torn in multiple locations. The breaks and tear patterns were identified on each opposite surface. Thermal damage was sustained to the right aileron's connecting rod from the inboard connector to the outboard hinge. However, each of the rod ends remained attached and secured in their respective hinges.

The cockpit instrumentation sustained minor damage. The following readings, in part, displayed:
Altimeter: 300 feet
Kollmans window: 29.09
Manifold pressure: 30 inches
Tachometer hour: 284.9

The two metal propeller blades were labelled A and B for documentation purposes only. Blade A displayed leading edge polishing, nick and gouges, and chord wise scratches. From the blade's mid-span to the blade tip, the blade was curled rearward. Blade B displayed leading edge polishing, nicks and gouges, and chordwise scratches. The blade displayed an S-bend along its entire length. Cylinders number 2, 3, and 4 were found separated from the engine. No preimpact anomalies were detected with the airframe or engine.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. The coroner ruled the cause of death as the result of multiple trauma. The manner of death was ruled an accident.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Testing was negative for presence of carbon monoxide and ethanol. Triamterene was detected in urine and blood. The pilot's use of triamterene was previously reported to the FAA.


Accident sequence

Several videos and photographs were taken of the accident sequence by the airshow spectators. The description of the deflection of the flight controls are described using the airplane's upright orientation and the direction is not reversed when describing the flight control position when the airplane is inverted.

The accident maneuver began with the pilot climbing up and away from the crowd in order to allow the wing walker to position herself under the right lower wing. During the maneuver, the airplane is turned and aligned parallel to and behind the Category III show line. The accident sequence climb out was gradual as the airplane completed the teardrop maneuver and turned to position along the show line. At 8 seconds prior to impact, the airplane pitched nose up and began a left roll. As the airplane rolled left through 45°, the pilot applied right rudder and the rudder would remain deflected right throughout the accident sequence. At 6 seconds prior to impact, the airplane rolled through 90°, the airplane's elevator is near neutral with a slight deflection downward toward the "nose-down" position, and the rudder deflected right. The airplane did not reach a completely inverted positions and stops turning about 150°. At 2 seconds prior to impact and nearly inverted, the ailerons deflect to command a right roll and the elevator deflects upward, trailing edge up relative to the fuselage. The airplane pitched toward the ground and begins a descending right roll. The control inputs continued as the airplane collided with terrain.

Video study

A study of videos submitted to the NTSB was conducted in order to better under the airplane's flight parameters prior to the accident. Of the numerous videos submitted, five were selected for the study based on their location, duration, and image quality. The accident maneuver began with the airplane flying away from the crowd to the west in a climbing teardrop turn to align itself with show line parallel to runway 6L. As the airplane turned toward the crowd it began descending. The wing walker was hanging inverted by her legs from the leading edge of the lower left wing. About 9 seconds prior to the accident the airplane pitched up and rolled left. The airplane passed through 90° of roll about 6 seconds prior to the accident; a still image captured the airplane with a slightly trailing edge down elevator position. The airplane continued its roll until it was nearly inverted, but stopped at 156°or 24° short of fully inverted flight. The wing walker remained seated on the leading edge of the lower right wing. About 1.86 seconds prior to the accident, an extracted frame from a video showed the elevator was in a neutral position and the rudder was deflected trailing edge right. The airplane's flightpath prior to the right roll was toward hangers and in the proximity of a parked Boeing 757. About 1.40 seconds prior to the accident with the airplane still nearly inverted, the elevator deflected trailing edge up with the rudder still deflected trailing edge right. The airplane then pitched toward the ground at an estimated rate of 55° per second. About 0.10 second later, the aileron on the lower left wing was deflected trailing edge down and the airplane rolled to the right as it pitched toward the ground. The positions of the other ailerons were not visible in the frame. During the final 2 seconds, the airplane's groundspeed reduced from about 106 knots to 84 knots.

Airspeed Calculations

The video study indicated that the ground speed during the final maneuver slowed from 106 knots to 84 knots. Correcting for the prevailing wind, the true airspeed decreased from about 96 to 74 knots and the calibrated airspeed decreased from about 92 knots to 71 knots (106 mph to 82 mph). Of note, the maneuver's target airspeed is reported to be 110 mph.


Planned "On Top of the World" maneuver

The wing walker's ex-husband was one of her regular pilots and was very familiar with the accident routine. He estimated that he flew the maneuver with the wing walker between 300-350 times. He stated the accident maneuver flown follows a maneuver where the wing walker is suspended by her ankles at the end strut. At the end of the pass she repositions herself on the wing for the next maneuver. The pilot flies a 270° re-positioning turn. The re-positioning turn has two purposes: position to perform in front of the crowd's field of view and gain altitude to aid in picking up speed for the maneuver's entry. During the turn the airspeed is reduced between 70-80 mph indicated airspeed to reduce the airflow against her body as she moves along the wings. After completing the turn and the wing walker sitting in position, the pilot notifies the wing walker that he is beginning the maneuver. The pilot adds engine power, dives the airplane down, and the wing walker extends her body beneath the wing. The airplane's is dived to reach a minimum of 100 mph before the pilot pitches the nose of the airplane between 25-30° nose high and rolls inverted. The airplane should stabilize inverted, wings level at 110 mph and 150 feet AGL. Engine power is reduced to about 1/3 throttle setting, which maintains the 110 mph and allows a margin of power sufficient to climb inverted if needed. To exit the maneuver, the pilot pushes the stick forward to get the airplane's nose above the horizon and the airplane is rolled to the left. The left roll ensures that the wing walker's body remains in a positive G condition, and therefore in contact with the wing throughout the maneuver.

Review of the accident maneuver

The ex-husband/regular pilot was not in attendance at the airshow, and was provided video to review the accident sequence. When asked about to review the maneuver flown on the day of the accident, he stated that he has never seen the accident pilot fly that way and had never seen the planned maneuver flown in that manner. He described the re-position turn as shallow with little climb. In addition, the airplane didn't appear to gain much airspeed. When repositioned for the maneuver, the airplane was not dived at a steep angle to gain airspeed and the wing walker began extending later than normal. The airplane pitch up was lower than normal and as the pilot rolled towards the inverted position, the airplane never got inverted. The airplane's roll toward inverted was stopped short of expected and appeared to stop with bank taking the airplane towards the crowd line. The airplane seems to have a predominant sink rate throughout the maneuver and the pilot likely pushed forward stick to arrest the sink rate, but this would have altered the flight path more towards the crowd line. During the maneuver, there was a moment when the regular pilot perceived that the airplane's descent was arrested and the airplane was tracked level. He described this condition as key to an aerobatic pilot since the airplane is in a stable condition. To exit the inverted maneuver, a pilot should apply power and either perform a climb away from the ground, or allow for enough energy for a coordinate turn. He described the pilot's next action as a reversed right turn which appeared to be a quick, "knee-jerk" reaction. He theorized that the pilot may have been "spooked" perhaps by a potential collision conflict with a parked airplane on the ramp or other obstruction. The pilot rolled right and pulled back on the stick to perform a "dish out" maneuver, but performed this maneuver into the ground.

Perceived collision potential

On the day of the accident, there was a parked Boeing 757-200 on runway 36/18 adjacent to the intersection of taxiway C and taxiway V, over 700 feet behind the spectator line. The height to the top of the fuselage is 20 feet, 7 inches and the height to the top of the vertical stabilizer is 44 feet, 6 inches. The 757 was parked about 0.3 miles east-southeast of the accident site. In addition, about a 1/2 east-southeast to south of the accident site, there were several aircraft hangers and buildings ranging in heights from 35-50 feet.

Crew prebrief

During the morning prebrief, a crew member overheard the wing walker talking with the pilot. She commented that the pilot did not reduce power enough prior to her getting into positions around the wings. The crew member commented that the pilot listened closely and appeared to be deep in thought after the conversation.

Emergency Response

Due to a prior accident in 2007, aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles were prepositioned for a quick response to an emergency. On the day of the accident, two ARFF vehicles were prepositioned, one at taxiway M near the terminal apron (vehicle 22) and one at the intersection of taxiway V and C (vehicle 23). About 1 minutes and 5 seconds after the accident, vehicle 23 arrived on scene and began firefighting efforts. The main fire was extinguished within 20 seconds. Vehicle 22 arrived on scene 1.5 minutes later to provide assistance.

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA017 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Chuckey, TN
Aircraft: Arion Lightning, registration: N290AL
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 11, 2012, about 1350 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Arion Lightning, N290AL, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground during takeoff from Hensley Airpark (04TN), Chuckey, Tennessee. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and a pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was based in a residential aviation community at 04TN.

The owner\builder of the airplane reported that it was purchased as a kit 3 or 4 years ago and he took it to the Arion Lightning factory, Shelbyville, Tennessee, to participate in a builder assist program over the summer. The airplane was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) special airworthiness certificate on September 14, 2012, and was flown for about 20 hours in Shelbyville, before returning to 04TN, about 1 week prior to the accident.

The airplane’s operations limitations called for the airplane to be flown for 40 hours for Phase 1 flight testing. On the day of the accident, the pilot, who was a friend of the owner/builder, was planning to conduct a local flight to practice maneuvers such as slow flight and stalls, while the passenger recorded information during the flight. A preflight check of the airplane’s fuel level revealed about 15.5 gallons.

Witnesses observed the airplane taking off from runway 1, a 2,900-foot-long, 50-foot-wide, asphalt runway. Several witnesses reported that the airplane’s engine sounded as if it was developing full power, and the nose gear lifted off the runway, then settle back onto the runway, before the airplane "pitch-up sharply." The airplane began to slowly climb, with its wings "wobbling" back and forth, and it drifted to the left of the runway. One witness stated that the airplane looked "slow" and was in nose high attitude when its right wing dipped, struck the ground, and the airplane cartwheeled.

The passenger reported that the airplane lifted off the runway, slowly climbed to an altitude of about 50 to 60 feet and was "wallowing." The airplane had drifted off the left side of the runway and was near trees and a residence when he elected to assume control of the airplane, which the pilot relinquished. The passenger started a right bank toward an opening in the tree line; however, shortly thereafter, the airplane’s nose abruptly dropped to 45 to 60 degrees, and the airplane struck the ground.

The airplane came to rest on a heading of about 250-degrees, on the grass, about 150-feet left of and just prior to the northern end of the runway. A ground scar was observed about 100-feet south of the main wreckage. All major portions of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The canopy and the portion of the fuselage forward of the cockpit seats were separated and the left and right wing assembly was canted downward about 45-degrees. The nose gear and engine were located about 25 feet south of the main wreckage.

Initial examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane’s flaps were observed at or near the fully-extended position of 40-degrees, which was consistent with the position of the flap actuator. The passenger reported that the flaps were in the retracted position during taxi and he did not recall the pilot adding flaps prior to the flight.

The airplane was equipped with a Grand Rapids Technologies, electronic primary flight instrument, which was forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division, Washington, DC for data download.


GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. -  Two people were sent to the hospital after the plane they were flying crashed in Greene County, Tennessee.

An airplane that's made for the sky ends in complete destruction on the ground in Greene County, Tennessee.

"When I arrived on scene, I had a small, single-engine, two-passenger aircraft that had taken off," said Robert Sayne, the Greene County EMS director.

We learned the crash happened around 2:00 Thursday afternoon inside the the fly-in community of Hensley Airpark off Chuckey Pike.

Sayne told us it appears there was a mechanical problem shortly after take-off.

"There was some type of problem with the aircraft, and it immediately started coming back down, and they were able to crash it into an open field next to the runway," Sayne added.

Sayne confirms the passengers of the experimental plane are 66-year-old Jack Cooper and 50-year-old Marcel Bravo. He said it's unclear who was flying.

Sayne told us crews had to contain a small fuel leak, and both men were taken to the hospital one of them with a serious back injury.

Nearby resident Trish Carter told me she heard some of the chaos and knew one of the passengers.

"There was all kinds of sirens and everything," said Carter. "I was scared, because I don't want anybody to be hurt. My understanding is they had worked on the plane and were just test driving it."

The plane crashed just about 50 yards away from a residential home, leaving emergency workers thankful it wasn't worse.

"I think they took a lot of care in making sure that they put the aircraft where they put it at," said Sayne.

"I'm just thankful it didn't hit any of those [homes], because there could've been some fatalities, because it would've been awful," said Carter.

We checked with Johnson City Medical Center officials and learned both men were in stable condition.  We also found out members of the NTSB and the FAA are likely to be on site Friday to investigate.

Update at 10:23 p.m.: We just found out that Jack Cooper, the pilot of the plane, is listed in critical condition at Johnson City Medical Center. A hospital spokesman said passenger Mark Bravo is not a patient at the facility. 

 CHUCKEY –– A plane carrying two passengers crashed near the runway at Hensley Airpark Thursday, according to a crash report from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. One man was reportedly critically injured.

According to the report, the pilot, Jack Cooper, 50, 101 Kitty Hawk, and his passenger Marc Bravo, 50, 275 Mitchell Road, were in the plane, which did a run on the south end of the runway around 2 p.m. It then turned around and started to take off on the north end.

Gene Cutman told the sheriff’s department that he saw the plane go to the left of the runway and take off, but said it looked as if the pilot did not have control of the aircraft. The plane crashed in a field left of the runway, the report said.

Cooper was listed in critical condition Thursday night at Johnson City Medical Center.

Information on Bravo’s condition was unavailable.

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. -    UPDATE 6:11 p.m.: The men involved in the crash have been identified as 66-year old Jack Cooper and 50- year old Marcelino Bravo.

UPDATE 3:56 p.m.: A spokesperson for Johnson City Medical Center said both patients are listed in stable condition.

The Greene County Sheriff's Department said an experimental plane crashed on Chuckey Pike around 2 p.m. Thursday.

Robert Sayne, the Director of the Greene County Emergency Management, said the plane had taken off and was coming back around to land in the fly-in community when something went wrong with the controls.

The plane crashed in a grassy area near the runway.

Sayne said two people were taken to Johnson City Medical Center. One person with serious back injuries and the other person had scrapes and bruises.

The crash is under investigation.

CHUCKEY — An experimental plane crashed on takeoff at about 2 p.m. this afternoon at Hensley Airpark.

According to airstrip owner Ted Hensley, two persons were injured in the crash.

Transported to Johnson City Medical Center were pilot Jack Cooper and passenger Marc Bravo, both residents of the airport community.

The two men were listed in stable condition late Thursday afternoon.

According to a witness, Donnie Shipley, the pilot was heading south on the runway, turned around to head north to take off and then veered off the runway while taking off.

The aircraft crashed on the left of the runway in a field, Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Stewart said he was told.

“We’ve never had anything serious before,” said resident Virginia Merrill.

Hensley Airpark is on Skyway Drive off Chuckey Pike.

Johnsons file lawsuit calling for appeal of helistop denial in Tewksbury, New Jersey

TEWKSBURY TWP. - James Johnson has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Flemington calling for the appeal of the Land Use Board's decision to deny a helistop for his family's 2,000-acre farm, located on Homestead Road in Oldwick.

The lawsuit argues that the board's findings used in reaching its decision were "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious" and that the denial is "tainted" due to the board's "lack of quasi-judicial demeanor in this matter."

Following 19 months of hearings, in May the board denied the application filed by the Johnson family, of Johnson and Johnson health products fame, for a helistop in a 4-3 decision. The case stirred significant controversy in the community; more than 40 area residents took to the podium during the public portion of the hearings, with a slight majority speaking out against the proposal.

Last month, the Johnsons filed an application for a helistop license with the state Department of Transportation. In a 2-1 decision, the Tewksbury Township Committee agreed to submit comments in opposition to the application, with committee members Shaun Van Doren and William Voyce voting "yes" and Committeeman Peter Melick voting "no." Mayor Dana Desiderio was asked to recuse herself from the vote and Committeeman Louis Di Mare was absent.

In the lawsuit, filed by the Johnsons' attorney, Miles Winder, on Oct. 5, the plaintiff argues that several board members' recusal from the case was unnecessary, and their absence from hearing the case unfavorably impacted the Johnsons' application.

The complaint also argues that the helistop would be located far from neighboring homes and that trials proved that noise from a landing or departing aircraft would have little to no affect on area residents. The board made an "erroneous determination" by including excessive noise generated by the helicopter as a factor in its decision, Winder argues, especially because board members were preempted from basing their decision on noise by a federal limitation.

Also erroneous was the board's reliance on "materially flawed" testimony from non-expert witnesses opposed to the stop, the complaint maintains.

The lawsuit is particularly critical of board Attorney Dan Bernstein and board Chairman Blake Johnstone. Winder maintains the two prevented him from asking hypothetical questions about the impact of the helicopter's flight path, which the Johnsons promised would always come from the south over their own land so as not to disturb neighbors, "because they knew that the answer would be that there would be no impact on the surrounding neighborhood."

In addition, the board attorney and chairman demonstrated an "adversarial demeanor" to the plaintiff throughout the course of hearings, the lawsuit maintains.

Even then, the township does not technically have authority to regulate aircraft and landing sites, according to the complaint. Rather, that authority lies at the state and federal levels, Winder writes.

Finally, Winder argues that the board's determination that, because the farm has few foreign buyers, the helistop would not significantly benefit the farm's cow and cattle embryo business is flawed -- the farm would have more buyers if it had a helistop, he says.

"To not permit a farmer to attempt to earn a living by selling cattle embryos to foreign (and domestic) buyers for income that could be in the millions is to deny the farmer the right to make the farm profitable and earn a living," the attorney writes.

He adds, "A profitable farm is a self-sustaining farm and inures to the protection and preservation of farmland. Clearly, the best program for farmland preservation is to have profitable farms."

The deadline for submitting comments on the Johnsons’ DOT helistop application to the state agency is tomorrow, Oct. 12. Should the DOT receive enough comments and deem the application a “contested case,” it may schedule a public hearing on the issue in the future.

Petitioning Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters, dba Leland Fly Fishing Ranch

This petition will be delivered to:
Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters, dba Leland FLy Fishing Ranch        
Leland Fly Fishing Ranch: IMMEDIATELY Remove the Solid Log Fence & Trees Across SVAs Runway Overrun

"Josh Frazier, Leland Fly Fishing Ranch, with reckless disregard for public safety egregiously erected a solid log fence/obstacle across 65 year old Sonoma Valley Airport's Runway 17/ 35 safety overrun. The California Department of Transportation, DIv. of Aeronautics, wrote a letter in July 2012 pointing out the dangers, but Leland would rather argue, through lawyers, if in-fact, the fence poses a danger. They want the public to be put at risk while they challenge DOT if a solid log fence will maim or kill a person should an aircraft roll out just a little too far. Please tell these Aggressors - PUBLIC SAFETY FIRST. TAKE DOWN the fence-to-nowhere now!"

Read more:

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport windows being replaced (PHOTOS)

Construction crews at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport are working to replace large windows in the Airport’s air traffic control tower—replacing the existing windows that are almost 30 years old. Each of the new windows weighs approximately 850 pounds. The windows are about 106 inches wide at the top, 98 inches wide at the bottom, and 99 inches high.

See photos:

Canadian heritage plane on the auction block

Surviving war and time, a Canadian flyer that's roamed the skies for 70 years -- losing some heritage along the way -- is about to find a new home.

But it would take top dollar to get the veteran back to the place it first protected.

A rare Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft that flew along Canada's East Coast during the Second World War -- possibly helping to protect convoys from German U-boats -- is going up for auction and bids could reach a lofty $2.6 million.

Sholto Gilbertson, with the London, England-based Bonhams auctioneers, which is selling off the Hurricane Mk XIIa 5711 -- fully equipped with 12 Browning .303 machine guns -- said little is known of how the now fully restored fighter spent the war.

Built in 1942, it could have been used as a trainer for Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots in Nova Scotia, or may have seen action during patrols over the Atlantic coast.

But what is known is the iconic monoplane Hurricanes, which protected London during the Battle of Britain, are disappearing.

"They are very rare with only a handful flying worldwide," Gilbertson said.

Back in 1947, after its service with the RCAF, a Canadian syndicate out of Saskatchewan bought it. Then in 1989, it was restored for flight, before being bought by a British vintage aircraft agency in 2002.

In 2005, it became the first Hurricane to return to the Mediterranean island of Malta since the Second World War and flew in Russia this year for President Vladimir Putin.

But time has robbed the Canadian flyer of some of its citizenship.

Gone is the original Canadian paint scheme, replaced by Battle of Britain colours, and much of its auction legend is of how Hurricanes secured U.K. skies.

The warbird now waits for the December auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England.

Among those who would like to see it back home is David Rohrer, CEO of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, near Hamilton, Ont.

In 1993, the museum lost its own Hurricane in a fire.

There's only one other known version, located in Quebec, that's still flying in Canada.

"There aren't many of them left with a Canadian history," said Rohrer, who's looking at putting together a possible consortium bid.

"It would be a tremendous aircraft to have back in Canada."

If that happens, our lost Hurricane would likely stay here. Designated as cultural property, it would be restricted from being lost again.


Four alleged traffickers, including airline owner, get 6 months in prison to await trial

Santo Domingo. - A National District Permanent Attention judge sent four men to spend six months at Najayo prison to await trial, in the case involving alleged international drug traffickers and money launderers.

Judge Jose Alejandro Vargas handed down the rulings against Sergio René Gómez Díaz, Cristian Antonio Javier Suarez, Home Errol Outram and Rafael Rosado, charged with laundering money from drug trafficking and other crimes.

The judge ruled for the prosecution on its evidence, such as taped telephone conversations, photos of meetings between the accused, and testimony by agents, among others.

Investigators say Gomez Diaz, owner of several businesses including bars, "Passion Night Club" and the mall "Plaza Gómez Díaz," planned the transport of 500 kilos of cocaine from South America in his twin engine plane.

The National Drugs Control Agency (DNCD) said it confirmed Gomez Diaz’s close ties with drug traffickers, Dominicans and Colombians and Europeans.

The DNCD said co-defendant Rosado, owner of the airline CaribAir, had sold a CESNNA 310 aircraft to Gomez Diaz, whom he met several times, as the prosecution’s photos show.

American Air Says Performance Is Improving


The Wall Street Journal

AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, beset by a spike in flight delays and cancellations in September, said in an internal memo Thursday that it is seeing encouraging improvement in its performance metrics so far in October, but "we are not yet back to the levels our customers deserve and expect."

An increase in pilot sick calls and maintenance write-ups in the second half of September, along with emergency inspections of some aircraft after seats came loose in three planes when they were aloft, contributed to the poor showing., a flight-tracking service, said American's flights arrived on time only 59% of the time in September, compared with percentages in the 80s for most of its rivals.

During September, American canceled 1,391 flights outright, nearly the equivalent of a full day's schedule of nearly 1,800 flights, a much higher proportion than its peers, FlightStats said.

American said in the memo Thursday that it has seen a 16% increase in its punctuality in the first nine days of October, and it has reduced its cancellations by 27%. data indicate that American is turning the corner. On Tuesday, for instance, 66% of its flights arrived on time, defined as within 14 minutes of schedule. That compared with 81% for the entire U.S. industry. And American canceled 18 flights, or 1% of the total. On Wednesday, FlightStats said, 64.5% of American's flights arrived punctually, compared with 79% for the industry, and 11 flights were canceled, or 0.6% of the schedule.

American spokesman Bruce Hicks said the company and its Allied Pilots Association union have resumed negotiations aimed at reaching a new labor contract. A majority of the 10,000 pilots rejected a proposed pact in August, and in September the bankruptcy judge overseeing AMR's restructuring granted the airline's motion to jettison the pilots' old contract and impose concessionary terms on the group. At that point, American said, an abnormal number of pilots called in sick and there was a marked increase in minor maintenance write-ups by the aviators.

In response, American said it was cutting its schedule by 1% to 2% through October and threatened to seek a judicial injunction to stop the disruptions. On Thursday, it said it would extend the capacity reduction to mid-November to help ensure that its operations resume a more normal pattern. The cuts won't affect holiday travel, it said. The company is also offering overtime and additional hours to its airport and reservations employees to better accommodate customer needs, and it's trying to move customers to other flights earlier if there is going to be a delay or cancellation.

The Allied Pilots Association has insisted that it isn't encouraging or condoning a job action. Now that the union and management are back at the bargaining table, the APA said it is seeking "an industry-standard" contract that would provide midcontract pay increases to reflect the superior terms enjoyed by pilots at Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL -0.61% and an agreement being firmed up to be considered by pilots at United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL -1.29% The union said earlier that it planned to meet with American managers every day this week.

Crash over Coombe Abbey could have been avoided - inquest is told

A PLANE crash over Coventry could have been prevented, an air traffic controller has claimed.

Gary Smith made the split-second decisions moments before the crash back in 2008, which saw five people killed when two aircraft collided in mid-air.

He said priorities might have changed had he been made aware of the nature of one of the plane's flight.

Mr Smith was giving evidence today (Wednesday) on the third day of a jury inquest at Leamington Justice Centre into the deaths in 2008.

Killed in the crash, over Coombe Abbey on Sunday, August 17, were pilots Sophie Hastings and Sybille Gautrey, and passengers John Antrobus and James Beagley on board a Cessna 402, and Brian Normington, 70, from Blackdown near Leamington, who had piloted a Rand KR-2.

The Cessna crew, all employees of Baginton-based Reconnaissance Ventures Ltd (RVL), had been carrying out specific training which saw their plane travel 40 knots faster than usual.

However, when the crew had informed air traffic control of their intention the night before, the information was incorrectly categorised by a staff member.

Mr Smith said the airport was going through a difficult time with staffing and a previous manager had left just prior to the crash.

He claimed he had been informed the Cessna would travel at high speed, but not specifically 160 knots, during a staff handover.

Mr Smith, who now works at a different airport, described the safety assessment carried out as 'erroneous' and said he would normally expect six weeks notice.

He said he only had an 'inkling' of the plane's extra speed during an earlier approach.

"I believe the accident would have been resolved if safety had been better managed," he said.

"There could have been more restrictions on the circuit and the aircraft could be dealt with in a different priority."

It also emerged Mr Normington's plane was not fixed with a transponder device which could have helped avoid tragedy.

On Monday, the jury heard from Geraint Herbert, senior inspector of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, who said probable reasons for the crash included the pilots not seeing each other or having enough time to avoid a collision when they did. 

He showed how Mr Normington's plane, which he said was 'notoriously difficult to see', could have been in a blindspot from the cockpit of the Cessna 402.

The inquest is to hear from further witnesses including experts in flight safety and a boss from RVL, as well as Mr Herbert.

The inquest is expected continue into next week. See for updates.

GE Aviation to start hiring workers in March

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — GE Aviation will begin taking applications Nov. 5 for its new Ellisville, Miss., composites factory.

The unit of General Electric Co. made the announcement Thursday as Gov. Phil Bryant visited the nearly completed plant.

The company expects to hire 250 workers within five years to make composite parts for aircraft engines and systems.

Positions will be posted with the state's WIN Job Center in Laurel. GE Aviation plans to hire people in waves starting in March.

General Electric says it's investing $56 million in the Ellisville plant to meet growing aerospace demand. The state is providing $8 million in incentives. Connecticut-based GE expanded the plant from 300,000 square feet to 340,000 square feet before construction started.

The company has run a 450-employee composite plant in Batesville since 2008.


1Time cuts planes, routes, warns on jobs

Cape Town - 1Time has cut two aircraft from its fleet and the airline’s CEO says there will have to be a number of staff cuts.

Blacky Komani, 1Time-CEO, says the numbers of staff cuts have not been finalized.

“We’re working with the unions to see what we can do. No-one wants staff cuts but we’re working with 8 planes instead of 10.”

The airline is currently under business rescue and is working on a rescue plan under the stewardship of Komani. The airline has been reported to be in debt of around R300m.

In April the airline reported a loss of R157m.

Komani says the creditors need to vote on the final business rescue plan and will do so within the next 14 days.

“The plans include the necessity for new aircraft,” Komani said.

1Time aircraft are among the oldest in commercial service in South Africa and known as fuel guzzlers of note.
With record oil prices, the airline is taking strain with the old aircraft.

Some of the routes 1Time has cut include all routes to and from Lanseria and flights to Mombasa have also been suspended.

“Zanzibar is still going strong as well as other routes that remain profitable.”

Florida Memorial University is flying high: Aviation program buys new plane

OPA LOCKA – The Florida Memorial University (FMU) Aviation and Safety Department ushered in a new era of excellence on Sept. 28 when more than 100 guests joined university officials and students at the Opa-Locka Airport to help dedicate the newest addition to the South Florida skies.

On a windy, blue-sky day, the new aircraft was taxied around to the canopy at Miami Executive Aviation where Dr. Henry Lewis III, FMU president, hopped out and addressed the enthusiastic crowd of elected officials, university representatives, airport executives, flight school personnel and FMU aviation students.

‘Dreams take flight’

“We are here to serve notice that Florida Memorial University is a place where dreams also take flight,” declared Lewis. “This new airplane allows our students to gain experience on state-of-the-art equipment and provides the greater community with stellar aviation professionals.”

The orange-and-blue Cessna 172 SP with top-level avionics is a single-engine, four-passenger aircraft that will allow students to earn various pilot licenses and instrument ratings. Mychal Martin, a recent FMU aviation graduate, was at the controls. He is now a certified flight instructor at Endeavor Flight Training, Inc.

Read more:

Clarity Aerial Sensing Takes Delivery of First Diamond DA42 MPP Guardian Surveillance Aircraft

Bozeman, MT (PRWEB) October 11, 2012 

Clarity partners Ben Walton and Bryan O'Leary were on hand to accept the aircraft from Martin Scherrer from Diamond Airborne Sensing. The DA42 MPP GUARDIAN is the new generation of the twin engine Diamond surveillance and mapping aircraft that utilizes innovative and fuel-efficient Austro Diesel engines and burns only 7 gallons per hour while patrolling.

Clarity partner Loren Poulsen, Ph.D. comments, "After we received such an overwhelming response to this aircraft from our customers, we recognized that we needed to immediately purchase our first aircraft to get ahead of demand. There is really no other certified aircraft that offers so much capability at such a low cost to purchase and operate. We are confident that this aircraft will go on contract shortly."

Diamond Airborne Sensing Head of Sales for North America, Martin Scherrer says, "This is a great commitment by Clarity Aerial Sensing to the DA42 MPP aircraft and our partnership. It also demonstrates our joint effort in marketing the system to government and civilian customers, and the enthusiastic response we have received in just a few short months."

Clarity Chief Pilot Ben Walton, "The DA42 is a wonderful aircraft to fly, we have now demonstrated this aircraft to a number of organizations and our most common response has been "I love this aircraft". When you combine the twin-engine-digital control reliability, significant fuel savings with the silenced engines it can't be beat."

Clarity Aerial Sensing LLC is a Diamond Airborne Sensing Authorized Reseller specializing in low-cost aerial surveillance, mapping and photography solutions for law enforcement, border patrol, military, media, pipeline and power line patrol and aerial imagery and mapping. Clarity Aerial Sensing partners have sold 24 surveillance aircraft in the past three years, and over forty general aviation aircraft. In addition to sales, they provide turn-key contract and lease solutions, complete systems integration and training. They also operate eleven Diamond aircraft as part of an FAA Part 141 Flight School and FAA Part 135 Charter operation.

Diamond Airborne Sensing is based in Wiener Neustadt, Austria and a 100 per cent subsidiary of Diamond Aircraft Industries. The company provides total multi-mission aerial solutions based on the all-weather proven DA42 MPP airframe, which is also available as an unmanned and/or optional piloted version for three years. Diamond Airborne Sensing provides aircraft sales, complete integrated sensor solutions, training and global support to a fleet of 108 DA42 MPP aircraft in 28 countries.

F-15 has problem landing at Kingsley Field - Klamath Falls, Oregon

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A jet fighter had a problem landing at the Oregon Air National Guard base in Klamath Falls.

Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar says the pilot was unhurt after arresting cables were used to help stop the F-15C when it came in for a landing Tuesday afternoon after a routine training flight.

She says a board of investigating officers is looking into the incident. Details of the damage to the aircraft or the cause of the incident have not been released.

Shirar says they are not yet releasing whether the pilot was regular Air Force or Air National Guard.

Kingsley Field is home base to the Oregon Air National Guard's 173rd Fighter Wing, which trains jet fighter pilots.

VIDEO: Martinaire Aviation, Cessna 208 Caravan, N9761B - West Branch, Michigan - October, 10, 2012


Whistler, BC Canada: Helipad upgrades not one size fits all

It seems the issue with the Whistler’s Health Care Centre helipad is far from over.
This week The Question received information from an anonymous source that raised this topic we thought was resolved at the beginning of the summer. Yes the helipad is open, but not for all types of helicopters.

It appears the nuances between single-engine and twin-engine helicopters will continue to be a thorn in the side of emergency services in Whistler.

The two types of aircraft understandably have two sets of standards with Transport Canada, the regulatory body that oversees everything airborne. When Vancouver Coastal Health underwent changes to the helipad, it only set out to meet the standard for the larger, twin-engine aircraft, which coincidentally is what B.C.’s entire fleet of air ambulances operates.

So the safety regulations for single-engine helicopters were left unfixed, and for those of us who had to Google the difference between the two, it went unnoticed.

Not everybody in the helicopter industry has been keen to make the costly upgrade from singles to twins; the latter purported to provide better safety in the event of an engine failure. Therefore, not everybody flies them like the air ambulance service.

Blackcomb Aviation is often called out to rescue situations with injured people on the ski hill, in the backcountry and involved in motor vehicle accidents in the highway. Their fleet has 11 single-engine aircraft out of 16.

If they are in a situation where they only have a single engine to respond to a call out, it will have to fly to the Municipal Heliport past Emerald Estates and the injured person takes an 11-minute ambulance ride to the medical centre. It’s not like, in emergency situations, time is of the essence or anything of that sort. We’re sure the injured person will chalk up the added time and transfers from aircraft to ambulance to medical clinic as part of the overall visitor experience.

It seems that considering all possible emergency scenarios and planning to accommodate them while undergoing extensive and time consuming upgrades to the helipad and the surrounding area was too much to ask. Likely it would have added more delays to a process already criticized for taking to long.

The issue, it appears, is the trees in the surrounding area. The regulations would require extensive removal for an acceptable flight path. The helipad can handle the landing of both types of aircraft, just not the landing and approach of the single-engines.

VCH contends that tree removal is not its jurisdiction and it is up to the municipality to undertake that work. True enough, but it would have been nice to know that fact and its obvious implications for local rescue operations two years ago when this process began.

In situations like this, with government departments practicing the politics of omission when it comes to issues of public safety, that gets us a bit riled up here at The Question.

VCH’s handling of the upgrades to the helipad has been confusing, time consuming, and now it appears they also failed to accommodate all possible emergency situations and aircraft.


Air crash report: Businessman Mark Weir 'not qualified to fly at night'

A Cumbrian entrepreneur who was killed in his helicopter last year was 'not qualified to fly at night', a report has found.

Mark Weir, 45, from Cockermouth, died on 8 March 2011 after his helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the Honister Slate Mine that he owned in the Lake District.

A report by the Air Accident Investigations Branch has found that Mr Weir did not hold a night-flying qualification and had taken off in 'challenging circumstances' with reduced visibility and low cloud.
The report said:
" A number of serious airworthiness issues were identified with the helicopter during the course of the investigation. None of these could be directly linked to the cause of the accident but did raise concerns regarding the way the helicopter was operated."
– Air Accident Investigation report

Mr Weir flew regularly between his home and the mine, which attracted 60,000 visitors a year.

The report also said there was no evidence of mechanical failure and that it was "not possible to determine the mechanism by which control was lost or disorientation occurred".

The full report follows:

Miramar Air Show Gets Off The Ground This Week


 The Miramar Air Show is touted as the largest military air show in the United States. This year, the show takes place from October 12-14. 

Here's a link to the schedule of events.

The theme for the 2012 show is "Marines in Flight: Celebrating 50 Years of Space Exploration."

General admission to the show is free, as is parking and blanket seating. But you can also buy preferred seating for the grandstand, or even check out the show from the fancy-sounding "Flying Aces Club Chalet." Click here to find out about prices and venues.

But before you head out to MCAS Miramar have your mind blown by the Blue Angels and Robosaurus, the Marine team leaders at Miramar have a message for you, posted up top.

2013 Vectren Dayton Air Show to fly in June

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The Vectren Dayton Air Show will take to the sky a month earlier next year.

The 2013 show will be held on June 22 and 23 at the Dayton International Airport, air show officials said in an announcement Oct. 10, 2012.

“We thought we might experiment with holding the show in June when it's a little cooler,” said Michael Emoff, Chairman of the USATS Board of Trustees, the governing organization of the event.  “These dates also position us well to attract the best aviation talent to the show in 2013.”

2013 marks the 39th consecutive year for the show.    

Details on the lineup will be made public in December and announced on the show’s website . .

Alaska Airlines orders 50 Boeing jets worth $5 billion

Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. carrier Alaska Airlines said on Thursday it will buy 50 737 single-aisle jetliners, worth $5 billion at list prices, from Boeing Co in its largest order yet.

The order includes 37 of Boeing's upcoming 737 MAX, the new-engine variant of the popular 737 that offers better fuel efficiency. Alaska is also taking 13 Next-Generation extended-range 737 jets.

Alaska Airlines, whose parent is Alaska Air Group Inc , currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 120 737s, and signaled in a statement that it intends to have only Boeing jets for many years. It said the newest planes, most of which will replace older aircraft, are to be delivered between 2015 and 2022.

The 737 MAX is Boeing's answer to the Airbus A320neo jet, a revamp of the A320 family that will have more efficient engines. Airbus, a unit of Europe's EADS, and Boeing compete for the lion's share of a jet market estimated at $100 billion a year.

Earlier this month, Boeing reported an increase in orders for its third quarter, helped by the MAX.

It said the Alaska Airlines order brought the total number of MAX orders to 858 to date.

Boeing's shares were up 1.1 percent to $71.10 in morning trading, while Alaska Air was down 0.2 percent to $36.51.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Airline hits turbulence

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The chief executive of South Africa's embattled national airline and two senior managers quit their jobs Monday, a week after the chairwoman and seven board members walked out, the company said.

South African Airways (SAA) would not divulge the reason for CEO Siza Mzimela's resignation.

"The airline views these resignations as a turbulence of a temporary nature which must not be allowed to affect its ability to discharge its core function in a responsible and prudent manner," said a statement.

Mzimela joined the company in 2010, after the removal of former chief Khaya Ngqula, who was investigated for financial mismanagement.

In a letter to her staff, seen by local radio station 702, Mzimela said her resignation was not "a random move".

She said: "I have given this decision careful thought and feel that now is the best time to relinquish my position as your CEO and allow somebody else to pilot the company into future."

The two general managers who tendered their resignations are Theunis Potgieter and Sandra Cotzee.

The ailing airline, which was last week granted a $600-million cash backstop by the government to stay afloat, is expected to post a $149-million loss this year, according to the Business Day daily.

The release of the airline's financial results had been delayed.

Former chairwoman, Cheryl Carolus attributed her resignation to a breakdown in the relationship with the government, the airline's main shareholder.

The government announced her replacement and that of the board members on the same day after her resignation.

The newly appointed chairman Vuyisile Kona will handle the running of the airline until a new CEO is found.