Monday, October 15, 2012

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, C-GKPD, Pacific Rim Aviation Academy Inc: Fatal accident occurred October 15, 2012 at Pitt Lake, BC - Canada



The staff at Pitt Meadows’ Pacific Rim Aviation Academy are mourning their colleague, instructor James Stevens this week, after the 71-year-old was killed in a float plane crash Monday afternoon. 

 “James Stevens was a man among men and a gentle giant whose instructional capabilities, were beyond exception. He loved to fly,” flight school owner Chris Georgas said in a statement to the media Thursday.

Stevens was killed when the Cessna 172 he was flying in with a 55-year-old male student flipped in Pitt Lake Monday just after 4 p.m. The cabin was submerged under water. His student survived with only minor injuries and was treated and released from hospital Monday evening.

Bill Yearwood, the Transportation Safety Board’s regional manager for aviation accident investigations said the float plane had been doing touch and go — consecutive touch down and take off manoeuvers — in gusty wind conditions at the time of the crash.

Pacific Rim staff called Stevens “Arizona Jim,” Georgas recalled, for his yearly habit of heading south for the winter. He was admired as a “respected colleague, dedicated co-worker and ... pilot instructor whose diligence, pre-flight planning, quiet and decisive cockpit management skills and general knowledge of his ‘water world’ environment could easily be described as being without equal.” Georgas explained.

Now, his colleagues are left reeling from his tragic loss.

“It has taken these past few days for all of us to come to grips with the fact that he won’t be showing up at the Fraser River Float Ramp,” Georgas wrote. “What a smile our Jim has. Standing there in his Tilley hat, black jacket, life vest and lunch box and those ‘god awful’ rubber gum boots he always wore when one of his float plane students was about to solo in that shiny, bright Cessna 172 office he loved to fly.”

On the company website, Stevens is described as a veteran pilot. “Many people at our airport were trained by Jim decades ago,’ it states. “Some now have white hair or no hair at all. With thousands of hours of bush flying and float plane experience, Jim is the instructor of choice for seaplane ratings and taildragger conversion. His vast experience, knowledge and his caring attitude are a safe flying asset to our school.”

Georgas and the company extended their thoughts to Stevens’ “immediate family of wife, sons and daughters and grandchildren who knew and loved him as ‘Grandpa Jim,’ our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.”

And Georgas stressed that his legacy of teaching will continue with his students. “To the group of youthful, highly trained and caring Instructors who are struggling with the loss of a dear friend and respected colleague,” he concluded, “the lesson is not over by a long-shot.”



 
A coast guard dive team returns a body to the Grant Narrows Regional Park dock area Monday afternoon after a plane crashed into Pitt Lake The plane would be retrieved later.


A 71-year-old flying instructor from Surrey is dead, while his 55-year-old passenger was treated in hospital following a float plane crash on Pitt Lake, Monday. 

Police said the two were in a Pacific Rim Aviation Academy Cessna 172 float plane from Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.

The plane flipped over on the lake at about 4:30 p.m. during stormy conditions.

“They were carrying out touch-and-go landings for training. During the sixth touch-and-go the aircraft tipped over,” said Bill Yearwood, with the Transportation Safety Board.

“The student was able to get out, but tragically the instructor was not.”

Yearwood said when a plane over turns in water it can be challenging even for an uninjured person to get out. Many people have died in such instances, he added.

“It is a risk when an aircraft upsets and submerges.

“The student made an attempt to help the instructor, but the aircraft was filling up with water fast. He was unable to help him.”

About an hour later, a passing boater rescued the student, who had been sitting on the plane’s pontoons.

Yearwood pointed out that both were wearing lifejackets.

“There’s no information to suggest any medical issues.”

The coroner will determine cause of death, whether from injuries caused in the accident or from drowning or both.

Weather conditions were challenging at the time incident. “The winds strong and gusty.”

Yearwood said another pilot in the area at the time returned to the airport because of the strong winds.

Canadian Coast Guard brought its hovercraft to the south end of Pitt Lake while members of the RCMP and Coast Guard dive teams went to the accident site and retrieved the body at about 6:30 p.m.

The student pilot was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, then released that night and interviewed Tuesday by Transportation Safety Board staff.

The wreck of the plane was barged down the Pitt and Fraser rivers Tuesday to the Pitt Meadows airport so that TSB staff could inspect it today.

Tom Drybrough with Island Coastal Aviation, was also instructing at Pitt Lake that afternoon.

The lesson ended about 3:30 p.m., but the weather was starting to close in, said Drybrough.

Conditions were getting turbulent, “but there was nothing out there that was abnormal.”


One person is dead and another taken to hospital after a float plane crashed Monday afternoon in Pitt Lake.

 Capt. Erik Niemi, an air controller with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, said the Cessna 172, which took off from Pitt Meadows airport with two people on board, was found in the southern part of the lake by a boater.

One man managed to get out of the plane and was rescued by the boater. He was taken to hospital and is expected to survive.

However, Niemi said the other person in the plane – who he had no information about - was not responsive after a rescue hovercraft and Cormorant helicopter attended the scene.

The person who died was reportedly trapped in the upside-down plane, but Niemi couldn't confirm that.

Niemi also said he didn't know if the plane crashed during takeoff or landing, and that it might have been a training flight.

He said Transport Canada will be conducting an investigation.


One person has been killed and another is in hospital with undetermined injuries after a small plane crashed late Monday afternoon into Pitt Lake, east of Vancouver.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says the plane had taken off shortly before the crash from the nearby Pitt Meadows airport.

It's unclear at this time what caused the aircraft to go down.

Weather conditions were overcast at the time of the crash.


One person is dead and another taken to hospital after a float plane crashed Monday afternoon in Pitt Lake.

 Capt. Erik Niemi, an air controller with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, said the Cessna 172, which took off from Pitt Meadows airport with two people on board, was found in the southern part of the lake by a boater.

One man managed to get out of the plane and was rescued by the boater. He was taken to hospital and is expected to survive.

However, Niemi said the other person in the plane – who he had no information about - was not responsive after a rescue hovercraft and Cormorant helicopter attended the scene.

The person who died was reportedly trapped in the upside-down plane, but Niemi couldn't confirm that.

Niemi also said he didn't know if the plane crashed during takeoff or landing, and that it might have been a training flight.

He said Transport Canada will be conducting an investigation.

 One person has been killed and another is in hospital with undetermined injuries after a small plane crashed late Monday afternoon into Pitt Lake, east of Vancouver.   

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says the plane had taken off shortly before the crash from the nearby Pitt Meadows airport.

It's unclear at this time what caused the aircraft to go down.

Weather conditions were overcast at the time of the crash.


 METRO VANCOUVER -- A rescue hovercraft and Cormorant helicopter were heading to the scene of a floatplane crash on Pitt Lake late Monday where a person was possibly trapped inside.

Capt. Erik Niemi, an air controller with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, said the Cessna 172, which took off from Pitt Meadows airport and was apparently upside down in the water, crashed at about 4 p.m. Monday and that a passenger escaped.  A vessel on the lake discovered the plane.

de Havilland DH.82a Tiger Moth, G-ANFV: Accident occurred August 12, 2012 at Shempston Airfield, Duffas, Scotland - United Kingdom

The pilot initiated a go-around after a bounced landing.As the aircraft turned crosswind, it encountered an increasing tailwind and its performance deteriorated rapidly. The pilot steered the aircraft to an area of low crops with the intention of regaining lost airspeed but was unable to prevent it from striking the ground.  

http://www.aaib.gov.uk


 
  Photo Courtesy:  Pam Sheldon
A picture taken of the plane in flight just prior to the crash.


   Photo Courtesy:  Pam Sheldon
Emergency services attended the scene, but the male pilot was thankfully unhurt.



 
   Photo Courtesy:  Pam Sheldon
Another view of the damage, with grass embedded in the broken propeller.


 
   Photo Courtesy:  Pam Sheldon
A close up of the damage caused to the plane.


http://www.aaib.gov.uk 

Discuss this post with fellow wrexhamites our Wrexham Forums

Pilot error was to blame for the loss of an iconic Moray biplane after crashing into a field earlier this year.
 

Doubts have been cast on if the historic bright yellow Tiger Moth that had become such a popular sight in the region in recent years would ever take to the air again following the accident.

The aircraft, described as the "pride and joy" of members at the Shempston Flying Group near Lossiemouth, crashed when attempting to land on August 12.

Now the UK Air Accidents Branch (AAIB) has published a report that includes an admission by airline pilot Jim Lachendro, who was at the controls that day, that his failure to fully take account of weather conditions was the cause of the accident.

Mr Lachendro, 57, was accompanied by his son on the flight. Both survived with only minor injuries but the 70-year-old aircraft was badly damaged.

The AAIB report said: "The pilot steered the aircraft to an area of low crops with the intention of regaining lost airspeed, but was unable to prevent it from striking the ground. The pilot believed that he had focused too much on the ground-handling characteristics of the aircraft and not taken into account how the prevailing conditions would affect other phases of flight."

Mr Lachendro said that he had been concerned the Tiger Moth might crash into a small wooden knoll so had chosen to turn towards an open barley field. The report added: "He thought the aircraft had encountered a tailwind as it climbed out of the relative shelter at ground level and then had stalled when he initiated the right turn.

"All three emergency services attended the scene and the pilot and his passenger were taken to hospital but had suffered only minor injuries."

Immediately following the accident flying club member John Farquhar, 66, said he was "heartbroken" at the loss of the aircraft. He said: "My emotions have fluctuated between despair and depression and then into anger. Aircraft in similar condition have been repaired to flying condition - but at great expense."

Piper PA-18A 150 Super Cub, N444LZ: Accident occurred October 13, 2012 in Kenai, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N444LZ

NTSB Identification: ANC13FAMS1  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Kenai, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N444LZ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The solo student pilot likely departed during dark night conditions on a personal, visual flight rules, cross-country flight between two Alaskan communities. An Alaska state trooper said that, during his initial investigation, he learned that the pilot was asked by security personnel to leave a bar after a disturbance with other bar patrons. The bar security guard stated that the “very intoxicated” individual left in a taxicab about midnight. The taxicab driver reported that, just after midnight, he drove the pilot to the airport. The taxicab driver stated that the pilot told him that he intended to sleep in the airplane overnight, which was something that he had done many times before.
A review of archived radar data revealed that, about 0137, an unidentified aircraft, believed to be the missing airplane, departed from the airport. After departure, the radar target initially proceeded southeast of the airport before it turned and flew west, then northeast, before making a series of erratic turns, along with several changes in speed, heading, and altitude. Eventually, the radar target proceeded northwest over a saltwater inlet, before turning back to the northeast. The last position of the radar target was recorded about 0248, roughly mid-channel, while in a descent over the inlet, about 30 miles north of the departure airport. The area of the presumed crash site experiences extreme tides and strong currents, with reduced visibility due to turbidity. An extensive search was conducted, but the airplane has been declared missing and is presumed to have crashed; the student pilot is presumed to have received fatal injuries.

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

Undetermined. The airplane and pilot were not found.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 13, 2012, at an undetermined time, a tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N444LZ, went missing and is presumed to have crashed, at a location between Soldotna, Alaska, and Palmer, Alaska. The student pilot, who was also the airplane owner, is presumed to have received fatal injuries, and the airplane is presumed to have been destroyed. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules cross-country personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Dark night, visual meteorological conditions likely prevailed at the point of departure, and no flight plan was filed. The flight is presumed to have originated at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, at 0137 and was reportedly en route to the private Wolf Lake Airport in Palmer.

An Alaska State Trooper who participated in the search reported that the missing airplane was one of two airplanes that arrived at the Soldotna Airport on the afternoon of October 12. He said that the two pilots parked their airplanes in the transient parking area with plans to stay overnight in Soldotna and return to Palmer the next day. The State Trooper added that, during his initial investigation, he learned that both pilots went to local bar in Soldotna, and that the pilot of the missing airplane left the bar in a taxicab about midnight.

In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), dated November 2, the pilot of the second airplane, a longtime friend of the missing pilot, reported that after arriving in Soldotna the pair attended a local hockey game together. After the game, they met a group of friends and visited a few local bars in Soldotna. He added that just after midnight, on October 13, his friend was asked by security personnel to leave a bar, so he walked his friend to an awaiting taxicab. He reported that, once his friend was in the back of the taxicab, he instructed the driver to take him to a local hotel, and that was the last time he saw him.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on October 30, a bar security guard reported that, just after midnight on October 13, he escorted an individual matching the description of the pilot to an awaiting taxicab after the individual had a brief disturbance with other bar customers. The security guard stated that the individual was very intoxicated.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on October 30, a taxicab driver reported that, just after midnight at the bar, two individuals placed an intoxicated person (later determined to be the missing pilot) in the back of his taxicab and instructed him to take the pilot to a local hotel. The taxicab driver said that, after he drove the pilot to the hotel as instructed, the pilot refused to get out of the taxicab. The driver stated that the pilot first asked to be taken back to the bar but subsequently insisted to be taken to the Soldotna Airport. After the taxicab driver reluctantly agreed to take him to the airport, and when he asked the man about his intentions, the pilot reported that was going to sleep in the airplane, something he had done many times before. The taxicab driver said that after arriving at the Soldotna Airport, the pilot got out, but he did not see which way he went, and he did not see an airplane nearby.

A review and forensic analysis of archived radar data was done by the National Radar Assessment Team, along with technicians for the U.S. Air Force 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron, commonly known as RADES, which revealed that, on October 13, about 0137, an unidentified aircraft, believed to be the missing airplane, departed from the Soldotna Airport. After departure, the radar track initially proceeded southeast of the airport before it turned and flew west, then northeast, before making a series of erratic turns, along with several changes in speed, heading and altitude. Eventually, the radar track proceeded northwest over the waters of Cook Inlet, before turning back to the northeast. The last position of the radar target was recorded about 0248, roughly mid-channel, while in a descent over the Cook Inlet, about 30 miles north of Soldotna, or about 25 miles north-northeast of Kenai, Alaska. A copy of the radar flight track map overlay is included in the public docket for this accident.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 27, held a student pilot/third class medical certificate that was issued on April 11, 2011. The medical certificate contained no limitations. A student pilot certificate, for an individual under 40 years old, is valid for 60 months.

No personal flight records were located for the student pilot, and the aeronautical experience listed on page 3 of this report was obtained from FAA records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On his application for medical certificate, dated April 11, 2011, he indicated that his total aeronautical experience was 15 flight hours, all of which were accrued in the previous 6 months.

A review of the student pilot’s third class medical certificate, dated April 11, 2011, revealed that in section "V" of the application for airman medical and student certificate, FAA form number 8500-8, the accident pilot checked "No," indicating that he had never been convicted or arrested on any charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI).
According to information provided by the Alaska State Troopers, the pilot was charged, and he was convicted to a DWI charge in June of 2002.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest weather reporting facility was at the Kenai Municipal Airport, about 25 miles south-southwest of the last position of the radar target. At 0153, a weather observation from the Kenai Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 020 degrees (true) at 3 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; cloud and sky conditions, clear; temperature, 25 degrees F; dew point, 23 degrees F; altimeter, 29.11 inHg. Dark night conditions prevailed at that time.

COMMUNICATIONS

There were no reports of communications with the missing airplane.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The presumed crash site is the Cook Inlet, a saltwater inlet off the Gulf of Alaska. According to nautical charts, at the last known location of the airplane, the water is less than 100 feet deep during mean low tide. The several rivers that terminate at the inlet are glacier fed, and visibility in the water is often less than 1 foot due to turbidity. The Inlet is an area with strong tidal influence, and strong currents.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The sole occupant has not been recovered, and no medical or pathological information is available.

SEARCH AND RESCUE / SURVIVAL ASPECTS

After the airplane did not arrive in Palmer the following day, family and friends of the missing pilot reported the airplane overdue. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert notice on October 14 at 0923 Alaska daylight time. Search personnel from the Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard, along with several volunteers, were dispatched to conduct an extensive search effort. The official search was suspended on October 21. Family members and volunteers continued to search for the missing airplane.

No emergency transmitter locator (ELT) signal was received by search personnel. The missing airplane was not equipped with, nor required to be equipped with, a digital, 406 MHz ELT that instantly transmits a distress signal to search and rescue satellites, thereby alerting rescue personnel within minutes of the location of the crash. As of February 1, 2009, analog, 121.5 MHz ELT's stopped being monitored by search and rescue satellites, and the installation of the 406 MHz has been voluntary. The missing airplane had an older generation 121.5 MHz ELT installed. Both types of ELT’s can be turned on manually, or automatically, by impact forces.

Search personnel reported that survival time, in water less than 40 degrees F, is typically less than one hour.


NTSB Identification: ANC13FAMS1 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Kenai, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N444LZ
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.

u7
On October 13, 2012, at an undetermined time, a tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N444LZ, went missing and is presumed to have crashed, possibly at a location between Soldotna, Alaska, and Palmer, Alaska. The student pilot, who was also the airplane owner, is presumed to have received fatal injuries, and the airplane is presumed to have sustained substantial damage. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules cross-country personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the point of departure, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, at an unknown time and was reportedly en route to the Wolf Lake Airport in Palmer.

After the accident airplane did not arrive in Palmer, family and friends of the missing pilot reported the airplane overdue. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert notice on October 14 at 0923 Alaska daylight time. Search personnel from the Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard, along with several volunteers, were dispatched to conduct an extensive search effort. No emergency locator transmitter signal was detected. The official search was suspended on October 23. Family members and volunteers have continued to search for the missing airplane.

A review of archived radar data revealed that, on October 13, about 0137, an unidentified aircraft, believed to be the accident airplane, departed from the Soldotna Airport. After departure, the radar track initially proceeded southeast of the airport before it turned and proceeded west then northeast over land before making more turns and eventually proceeding over the waters of Cook Inlet. The last position of the radar target was recorded about 0248, mid-channel over the Cook Inlet, about 30 miles north of Soldotna, or about 25 miles north-northeast of Kenai, Alaska.

The closest weather reporting facility was at the Kenai Municipal Airport, about 25 miles south-southwest of the last position of the radar target. At 0153, a weather observation from the Kenai Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 020 degrees (true) at 3 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; cloud and sky conditions, clear; temperature, 25 degrees F; dew point, 23 degrees F; altimeter, 29.11 inHg. Dark night conditions prevailed at that time.

Search efforts were unsuccessful, and the airplane and the sole occupant remain missing.


http://registry.faa.gov/N444LZ




PALMER, Alaska — A pilot and his plane have been missing since Saturday afternoon, according to pilot's friends.

Brendan Mattingly of Palmer was last seen at the Soldotna Airport between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. He was flying east to Palmer, a flight that generally takes an hour and a half.

Mattingly's friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, notified officials that Mattingly's flight was overdue.

Civil Air Patrol and the Alaska State Troopers are leading the search, but a few private pilots have joined the official search efforts today. The focus areas of the private search party are Chickaloon Flats and the Soldotna Game Refuge between Soldotna and Cook Inlet.

Mattingly has been a pilot for two years. He was flying a green, red, and white PA 18 Super Cub.

Piper PA-28-151, N151SV: Accident occurred October 14, 2012 in Marana, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA010
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 14, 2012 in Marana, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-151, registration: N151SV
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 14, 2012, about 1910 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-151, N151SV, collided with desert terrain near Marana, Arizona. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. The personal cross-country flight departed from Benson Municipal Airport, Benson, Arizona, about 1830, with a planned destination of Imperial County Airport, Imperial, California. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the intended route of flight, and the pilot was receiving visual flight rules (VFR) flight following services; he had not filed a flight plan.

The pilot had flown his spouse to Benson earlier in the day and the accident flight was his return flight back to his home base. Fuel receipts indicated that in Benson he added about 28 gallons of fuel at 1216, and then added about 14 gallons at 1804. Recorded radar data and Air Traffic Control (ATC) recordings were obtained and reviewed by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator.

Recorded radar data covering the area of the accident was examined for the time frame, and a discreet secondary beacon code target was observed that matched the anticipated flight track of the airplane en route from Benson to Imperial. The radar data, consisting of returns from 1838:02 to 1907:22, was consistent with the airplane flying in a northwesterly direction and gradually climbing from about 6,600 feet mean sea level (msl) to peak altitude of 8,600 feet msl.

A review of the data disclosed that about 1850 the track was over Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Arizona, cruising at an altitude around 8,500 feet msl. The track continued another 30 miles with a majority of the radar returns spaced uniformly and following a track of about 300 degrees true. The track made a left turn and headed west for a mile and then turned back to the northwest direction for about 2 miles. The course turned southwest for 2 miles and began to descend. The returns then made a 360-degree turn from 1906:03 until the last hit at 1907:22, during which time the altitude descend by 1,700 feet.

The main wreckage was approximately 2 miles north of the last radar return at an elevation of about 2,365 feet msl. The accident site was located in the desert, with the debris stretching over 470 feet from the first impact marking to the farthest debris found (right main landing wheel); the main wreckage was situated at the end portion of the path. In character, the terrain was comprised of dirt and rocks, populated by scattered brush and cactus typical of the southern Arizona region.

 TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County Sheriff's deputies tell KGUN9 On Your Side a small plane crashed on the far northwest side of town, near the Tucson Mountains, killing one man.

 Deputy Tom Peine with PCSD tells KGUN9 that James Lloyd Thompson, 57, was killed in the crash. He was from El Centro, Calif.

A Customs and Border Protection Blackhawk helicopter found the wreck site after the FAA lost radar contact with the airplane early Sunday night.

The crash site was found late Sunday night.

Deputies responded to the remote desert area four miles south of Avra Valley Road and Agua Dulce Ranch Road to investigate the crash.

They learned that the plane was a Piper Model and that Thompson has dropped off family members in Las Cruces, N.M. and then stopped in Benson, Ariz.

He planned to return from Benson to El Centreo.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA.


UPDATE:  The Pima Co. Sheriff's Office has confirmed the pilot died in a plane crash outside the Tohono O'odham Nation northwest of Tucson.

It happened around 8:30 Sunday night five miles west of Pump Station Road and Avra Valley Road.

The wreckage is scattered over a wide area.

We have learned the plane was registered out of California, and it was heading west.

The Federal Aviation Administration contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection after the FAA lost contact with the plane.

CBP sent up a Blackhawk helicopter, and the crew located the wreckage.

Deputies believe the male pilot was the only person on board.

They have not yet released where the plane took off from, or where it was going.

Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive on scene sometime Monday.


http://registry.faa.gov/N151SV

TUCSON, AZ - Authorities say a pilot died in a small plane crash late Sunday night in the Tucson area.

According to KGUN9.com, it happened near the Tucson Mountains on the northwest part of Tucson.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department said the pilot was the only person on the single-engine plane, reported KGUN9.
 
The cause of the collision is unknown at this time.





MARANA - Deputies from the Pima County Sheriff's Office are at the scene of a single-engine airplane crash that happened late last night. 

 We're told one person, likely the pilot, has died.

It all began some time shortly after 9 pm, when Border Patrol agents were asked by the FAA to search for a privately owned airplane it had lost communication with.

Border Patrol found the plane crashed in a remote area on the far north-west side off of West Avra Valley Road.

This morning additional crews responded to the area to investigate.

Father and son survive Bangholme glider crash

 
The glider crash at Bangholme. 
Photo: Channel Nine

A FATHER and son have escaped with minor injuries after their motor glider flipped over during an emergency landing in long grass south-east of Melbourne's yesterday. 

 The man, 50, and his son, 13, from Canterbury, had taken off from Mansfield in Victoria's north-east heading for Moorabbin airport.

Police say the pilot encountered problems with his engine over Healesville just after 4.40pm and made the emergency landing in a paddock at Bangholme, east of Chelsea. The pair escaped with cuts and bumps to the head and were taken to hospital for observation.

Photographer Dallas Goldburg who was on the scene soon after the crash, said the MFB, CFA and police all attended.


The father walked from the wreckage to an ambulance and the son was put on a stretcher. ''It was lucky that they survived and there was no power lines nearby,'' Mr Goldburg said.

http://www.theage.com.au

Airborne Windsports Pty Ltd XT-912, N811RW: Fatal accident occurred October 14, 2012 in Winter Haven, Florida

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA020 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 14, 2012 in Winter Haven, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/10/2015
Aircraft: AIRBORNE WINDSPORTS PTY LTD XT-912, registration: N811RW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

A witness reported observing the experimental ultralight aircraft conducting touch-and-go landings before the accident. He recalled that it seemed “a bit windy” for an ultralight to be operating. He estimated that the wind was between 10 and 15 knots, but he could not judge the wind gusts. Immediately after takeoff for the accident flight, the aircraft made a hard right bank, with a bank angle of between about 60 and 90 degrees, about 100 feet above the ground. The witness reported that the aircraft’s motor sounded as if it was at full power and not malfunctioning. The aircraft impacted the ground about 100 to 150 yards from where witnesses were standing. According to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, the maximum crosswind component for the airplane was 12 knots. Airport weather information indicated the wind was 080 degrees at 12 knots about 20 minutes before the accident. It is likely that the aircraft encountered crosswind conditions and that the pilot then failed to maintain aircraft control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control during takeoff in crosswind conditions, which resulted in collision with terrain.

On October 14, 2012, about 1116 eastern standard time, an experimental Airborne Wind Sports XT-912, N811RW, was substantially damaged following a collision with the ground at Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport (GIF), Winter Haven, Florida. The sport pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Funwings Incorporated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to witnesses, they watched as the aircraft was conducting touch-and-go landings prior to the accident. They stated that nothing seemed abnormal with the aircraft but did recall that it was very windy for an ultralight to be operating. One of the witnesses estimated the winds to be between 10 and15 knots, and could not judge the wind gusts. At the time of the accident the aircraft was on its final touch-and-go from runway 5, when it made a hard right bank immediately after takeoff, at approximately 100 feet above of the ground. They watched and recalled that the bank angle seemed excessive, approximately 60-90 degrees. The motor sounded as if it was at full power and not malfunctioning. The aircraft immediately impacted the ground approximately 100-150 yards from where the witnesses were standing. The witnesses assisted in extricating the occupants from the aircraft and waited for emergency personnel to arrive.

According to information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot was not in radio contact with air traffic control at the time of departure and no radio transmissions were recorded. The aircraft came to rest on its side, on the airport ramp adjacent to a hangar. 

The pilot, age 60, held a sport pilot certificate for weight-shift-control-land, issued August 2, 2012. A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records revealed that the pilot had never been issued a medical certificate; the sport pilot was medically eligible to fly as a light sport pilot as long as she has a valid driver's license. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for review. A review of the aircraft's flight log revealed that the pilot had approximately 62 flight hours in the aircraft.

The two-seat, tricycle gear weight shift controlled aircraft, serial number XT-912-094, was manufactured in 2006. It was powered by a Rotax Bombardier model 912 UL 2, 100-hp engine. On June 17, 2012, a 50-hour inspection and oil change on the aircraft was accomplished at a total time 291.2 hours. According to an aircraft log that was located in the aircraft, it showed that the aircraft had 301.45 flight hours.

At 1053, the GIF automated weather observation station reported the following weather conditions: wind 080 degrees at 12 knots, visibility of 10 miles, cloud conditions few at 3,500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 29 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, and altimeter setting 30.11 inches of mercury.

Examination of the aircraft by a FAA inspector revealed that the fiberglass body was ripped and distorted in several places. The frame was slightly damaged, but the right wheel suspension was destroyed and the left suspension was pulled away from the vertical strut at the axle. The front wheel and ground steering assembly was not damaged. 

Examination of the engine revealed that it was impact-damaged and the carburetor was dislocated. The oil reservoir rotated and some oil, coolant and gas spillage occurred. 

Examination of the wing revealed that it was impact-damaged and the batten tips were broken off. The King Post (top wire support) was in place and all Luff Lines and Kiel brace cables were still in place. The front flying wires were both broken at the down tube connection and the right wire had a broken loop at the swan catch (nose of the wing) with a loop separated due to friction on the pavement. The rear flying wires were still connected in the correct configuration. One side of the control bar was disconnected for transport and the other was bent and broken apart at the connection. The right cross tube and down tube was also bent on the side of impact.

A review of the pilot's operating handbook section 2.6.10: Other Limitations revealed that the maximum cross wind component was 12 knots.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on October 15, 2012, by the Office of the District Medical Examiner, Winter Haven, Florida, as authorized by the Winter Haven Police Department. 

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the passenger with negative results for drugs and alcohol and positive for rosuvastatin.

An autopsy was performed on the passenger on October 15, 2012, by the Office of the District Medical Examiner, Winter Haven, Florida, as authorized by the Winter Haven police Department. 

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for ethanol. Amlodipine was detected in the liver and blood.

http://registry.faa.gov/N811RW

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA020 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 14, 2012 in Winter Haven, FL
Aircraft: AIRBORNE WINDSPORTS PTY LTD XT-912, registration: N811RW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On October 14, 2012, about 1116 eastern standard time, an experimental Airborne Wind Sports XT-912, N811RW, was substantially damaged following a collision with the ground at Winter Haven’s Gilbert Airport (GIF), Winter Haven, Florida. The sport pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Funwings Incorporated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to witnesses, they watched as the aircraft began its take off run down runway 5. The aircraft appeared to climb to an altitude of approximately 50-75 feet before the right wing banked at an estimated 80 degree downward angle. The nose of the aircraft pitched downward and the engine rpm increased as the aircraft continued to turn right. The witnesses lost sight of the aircraft and they heard it impact the ground. They called 911 and emergency services arrived to assist the victims.

According to preliminary information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot was not in radio contact with air traffic control at the time of departure and no radio transmissions were recorded. The aircraft came to rest on its side, on the airport ramp adjacent a hangar. The aircraft was recovered for further examination.


Authorities say Susanne Broadbelt of Zephryhills died from her injuries at the scene of the crash.


WINTER HAVEN, Florida -- On Monday, James and Arthur Tyler wanted to be at Winter Haven Municipal Airport. They wanted to sit at the same table inside the airport's restaurant as their sister, Susanne Broadbelt, did before she was killed in a small plane crash at the airport on Sunday. 

 "She died doing what she loved best and she was flying, and now she's flying wrapped around the angels' wings," said James.

On Sunday, the twin brothers were at an air show, wondering how strong wind gusts were affecting the pilots. They didn't know that, at the same time, their sister was doing touch and go maneuvers in a lightsport aircraft when it hit the ground, flipped, then skidded 168 feet. Right now, investigators believe the crash may have been caused by a wind gust of up to 35 miles an hour. The man inside the aircraft with her, Gary Lawrence, was also killed.

"I asked her if she had made her bucket list and she said she was working on it and wanted to fly," James recalled. "I said 'You have a hard time finding your way around on the planet while driving, and you're going to fly?' But I was really proud of her. She got her certificate and her license. She's been a thrillseeker ever since she retired."

Broadbelt retired after working in Pasco County schools for 36 years. Then two months ago, around the same time she got her FAA sport pilot certification, she returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher, according to the school district.

"She was a very flamboyant, energetic, outgoing sister," said Arthur. "Loving, caring, a great person altogether."

To fly the lightsport aircraft that Broadbelt was in, you have to be a certified pilot, and the FAA has stricter rules than it would for an ultralight aircraft.

"[The rules are] much closer to the certified large airplane world than it has been compared to the ultralights," said Dr. Pat Anderson, professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the director of the Eagle Flight Research Center. "The consensus is that the safety record of these planes is not significantly different from the other categories of airplanes."

Broadbelt's family hopes this tragic crash won't stop people from following their dreams of flying.

"They are safe. It's just, sometimes, God takes you when you don't expect it," James said.

"Susanne, we love you," Arthur added. "We miss you."

According to the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation.


http://www.wtsp.com




Photographer: Mike Dixon

ERNST PETERS | THE LEDGER
 Investigators look over an ultralight aircraft that crashed during takeoff at Winter Haven Municipal Airport on Sunday. Two people were killed.


WINTER HAVEN | Two people died after their ultralight aircraft crashed Sunday morning at Winter Haven Municipal Airport, officials said. 

 Susanne Broadbelt, 60, of Zephyrhills, died at the scene and Gary Lawrence, 61, of Inverness, was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he died, according to Winter Haven police.

Winter Haven police spokeswoman Jamie Brown said she couldn't confirm which of the two was controlling the aircraft at the time of the crash.

They were doing touch-and-go maneuvers and were taking off about 11:20 a.m. when the Airborne Windsport aircraft hit the ground, flipped and slid about 168 feet, police said.

Debbie Murphy, the airport's director, said the pair had eaten at Pappy's Grill at the airport and were taking off when the crash happened. She said Broadbelt and Lawrence had eaten at the restaurant several times this week.

Bernice Williams, 86, of Winter Haven, was checking on her aircraft in a nearby hangar when the crashed happened.

After the crash, people rushed to help the pair and performed CPR.

"The plane didn't stall, it looked like something got under the wing," Williams said. "I knew it was going to crash and it went ‘boom.'?"

She said the aircraft had been making a gradual decline when it looked like something, possibly a gust of wind, got under the left wing causing the right wing to go down.

Williams has lived in the area for about 20 years and is a pilot.

She didn't recognize or know the pair as being part of the Winter Haven aviation community.

On Broadbelt's Facebook page, she is seen in a photo smiling near an ultralight aircraft. She listed Pasco County Schools as her previous employer.

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

Brown said 30 to 35 mph wind gusts were reported in the area and that could have been a factor in the crash.

Murphy has worked as the director for the airport for the past two years and said she doesn't remember a fatal crash such as this one happening in those years.

The airport is open to the public, and on a daily basis there are about 100 to 150 aircraft using the runways.

Murphy said there isn't a fee to land on the property, and many pilots fly in to eat at the restaurant.

The south ramp of the airport was closed Sunday afternoon while officials investigated the crash. Aircraft in other parts of the airport continued to fly in and out as the investigation continued.

Brown described the aviation community as a tight-knit group and said the crash was unfortunate.

Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester said in a prepared statement that, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families as they endure the realization of losing their loved one."


http://www.theledger.com


 WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) - Two people were killed Sunday morning when an ultra-light plane crashed at the Winter Haven Municipal Airport – Gilbert Field.  The incident occurred just before 11:30 a.m.

According to a Winter Haven Police Department report emergency service personnel were dispatched to the scene after receiving a 9-1-1 call that a Airborne Windsport experimental aircraft impacted the ground, flipped over and slid over 150 feet.

The plane was conducting touch and go maneuvers witnesses say.

Susanne Broadbelt, a 60-year-old Zephyrhills resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gary Lawrence, a 61-year-old Inverness man, was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he died a short time later.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families as they endure the realization of losing their loved ones," said Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester.

A reported wind gust of at least 30 miles per hour may have played a role in the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene and the National Transportation and Safety Board will conduct a full investigation.

The airport is located at 2073 Highway 92 West in Winter Haven.


http://www.myfoxtampabay.com

 WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A man and a woman were involved in a fatal ultralight aircraft crash Sunday morning, Winter Haven police say. 

Winter Haven police arrived on scene at the Winter Haven Municipal Airport at 11:20 a.m.

Upon arrival they found Susanne Broadbelt, 60, dead at the scene and Gary Lawrence, 61, suffering from serious injuries.

According to Jamie Brown, Winter Haven police spokeswoman, the pair had been practicing touch and goes in their Airborne Windsport.

Officials say that while they were practicing the touch and go maneuvers the aircraft hit the ground, flipped over and slid 168 feet before coming to a stop.

Lawrence was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where he died a short time later due to his injuries.

Strong wind gusts of 30 to 35 miles per hour where reported at the time. It is believed the wind gusts could have played a role in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board are currently investigating the scene.

Cief of Winter Haven police, Gary Hester, commented on the crash saying, “Our thoughts and prayers go out ot both families as they endure the realization of losing their loved ones.”

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

WINTER HAVEN — A man and woman were killed Sunday when an ultralight aircraft crashed during takeoff and landing maneuvers at Winter Haven Municipal Airport.

Susanne Broadbelt, 60, of Zephyrhills died at site of the accident at Gilbert Field. Gary Lawrence, 61, of Inverness, died a short while later at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Police said the Airborne Windsport experimental aircraft the two were riding in hit the ground, flipped over and slid 168 feet.

Broadbelt and Lawrence were reportedly practicing touch-and-go maneuvers, a procedure where aircraft briefly touch down and take off again, when the crash occurred about 11:20 a.m.

Police said a sudden wind gust may have contributed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating to determine the cause.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families as they endure the realization of losing their loved ones," Winter Haven police Chief Gary Hester said.

http://www.tampabay.com
 


WINTER HAVEN, Florida -- An ultralight plane has crashed at Winter Haven Airport, according to the Winter Haven Police Department.

Authorities say one person died at the scene. Another person was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, but later died as well. Their identities are being withheld until next of kin are notified.

 -------------
Federal aviation officials are investigating a small plane crash in central Florida that killed two passengers.

The ultralight plane crashed before noon Sunday at the Winter Haven Municipal Airport. Police say the pilot of the Airborne Windsport experimental aircraft was performing touch and go maneuvers when the plane hit the ground, flipped and slid almost 200 feet.

Police say a wind gust may have played a factor in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash in the city about 40 miles southwest of Orlando.

Police say a woman passenger died in the crash and a man was pronounced dead at the hospital.


 http://abcnews.go.com

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 811RW        Make/Model: EXP       Description: AIRBORNE PTY LTD XT-912
  Date: 10/14/2012     Time: 1518

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

LOCATION
  City: WINTER HAVEN   State: FL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, CRASHED, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY INJURED, 
  WINTER HAVEN, FL

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: ORLANDO, FL  (SO15)                   Entry date: 10/15/2012 

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, N4309E: Accident occurred October 13, 2012 in Corona, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N4309E

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Corona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N4309E
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After flying for about 1 hour, the pilot prepared the airplane for the landing approach. As he entered the downwind leg of the approach, the engine lost all power. Unable to restart the engine, the pilot performed a forced landing into an adjacent field, where the airplane sustained substantial damage.


A wasp was found in the carburetor fuel bowl, and a wasp head was located wedged within the inner sleeve of the carburetor metering valve. The head was adjacent to the fuel channel hole, blockage of which would have resulted in a loss of fuel flow to the engine and subsequent loss of engine power. Both fuel tank vent ports were also found completely blocked with mud that was likely deposited by the wasp. However, the blocked fuel tank vent ports were unlikely to cause fuel starvation because fuel was present in all the supply lines and the fuel tanks were equipped with venting fuel caps, which were operational.
The only path for a wasp-sized insect to access the carburetor fuel bowl was via the atmospheric bowl vent, the opening of which was located at the carburetor's air inlet. The vent leads directly to the fuel bowl and is wide enough for a wasp to pass through. The wasp most likely accessed the vent through either a hole in the air induction system, a gap in the carburetor-heat door seal, or through the carburetor-heat door opening (assuming the door had not been fully closed on the ground).


It is not known when the wasp entered the fuel system. The airplane’s last annual inspection was performed about 2 1/2 years prior to the accident; however, it is unlikely the wasp would have been discovered during an annual inspection because the carburetor is not an inspection item. The insect would also be difficult to detect during preflight inspection.

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

Total loss of engine power during the landing approach due to insect debris in the carburetor metering valve, which resulted in fuel starvation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT


On October 13, 2012, about 1215 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-38-112, N4309E, collided with terrain following a loss of engine power during landing at Corona Municipal Airport, Corona, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the accident sequence. The local flight departed Corona about 1115. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that during the landing approach he performed his pre-landing checks, and that shortly after turning on the auxiliary fuel pump, the engine lost all power. He performed troubleshooting procedures, with no increase in engine power. The airplane was on the left downwind leg of runway 07, and the pilot was concerned that he did not have enough altitude to turn towards the runway; he elected to land the airplane in a field directly ahead. During the approach, the right wing struck a tree, and the airplane descended underneath a power line, striking the airport perimeter fence and coming to rest in a field.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, firewall, and tailcone during the accident sequence.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The low-wing, single-engine airplane, was manufactured in 1978, and equipped with a Lycoming O-235-L2C engine, serial number L-16453-15. Maintenance records indicated that the engine was overhauled and installed on the airplane in 2004. At the time of the most recent annual inspection, dated March 3, 2010, the engine had accrued a total flight time of 115 hours since overhaul. At that time, the airframe had accrued 2,021 flight hours. The engine tachometer indicated 2,075.06 hours at the accident site.

The pilot reported that he kept the airplane stored at an outdoor tie-down spot at Corona Airport.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Fuel Supply System

Aircraft recovery personnel reported draining about 2 gallons of fuel from the left tank during the recovery operation. The right tank was breached, and a 6-foot-long by 2-foot-wide stain was present on the ground surrounding the tank. During the subsequent airframe examination by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, an additional 2 gallons of fuel was observed in the left tank.

The fuel lines from the tanks to the carburetor inlet were full with fuel and free of obstruction. The gascolator bowl was full of light-colored fluid consistent in color and odor with aviation gasoline, and its filter screen was free of debris. The fuel selector valve was observed in the right tank position. The valve could be moved through its detents by hand, but crumpled airframe structure had become impinged against the selector shaft, preventing smooth operation of the handle. The electrically driven fuel pump issued fuel when engaged.

Examination of the wing tank vent ports, located underneath each wing, revealed that they were completely plugged by a mud-like substance. The ports were removed, and the obstruction appeared consistent with Mud Dauber (wasp) debris. The fuel tank filler caps were of the vented type. Examination revealed that the vent flapper valve was intact, and that the vent opened appropriately with the application of low air vacuum.

Carburetor

The Precision Airmotive Carburetor, model MA-3A, remained undamaged, and firmly attached to the intake manifold. The fuel mixture, throttle, and carburetor heat linkages were intact and continuous to their respective cabin controls, and moved smoothly when operated. The airbox and filter assembly sustained crush damage. Although the forward surface of the filter element was coated in a wax-like substance, the filter was able to pass air when blown. The fuel inlet screen was free of debris.

The carburetor was removed and opened for examination. The bowl was about half full with clear, blue-colored fuel. The float was of the brass type, and appeared intact and free of leaks. The float valve was intact, pliable, and along with the valve seat, free of contamination.

A wasp-like insect was at the bottom of the bowl, adjacent to the bowl drain plug and mixture metering sleeve. Further examination of the metering valve revealed the head of a wasp-like insect wedged within the valves inner sleeve. The position of the head was adjacent to the fuel channel hole in the carburetor body.

The design of the carburetor bowl allows for two direct paths to atmospheric pressure. The first is the drain plug, which, when removed, allows fuel to be drained through two, 3/32-inch-wide drain channels. The second path is that of the atmospheric bowl vent. The opening for this vent is 1/4-inch-wide, and located at the carburetor air inlet, adjacent to the throttle flange, and upstream of the fuel nozzle outlet. The vent channel continues through the carburetor body, and into the roof of the fuel bowl, where it reduces in size to a 3/16-inch orifice.

Carburetor induction air enters a chin scoop intake in the lower airbox cowling, and flows directly through the filter, and into the carburetor airbox. The airbox incorporates a positive shut off (door) heat intake, so that when carburetor heat was selected, unfiltered induction air was drawn through a hose attached to a muffler shroud.

Engine

The engine sustained minimal damage during the accident sequence, and post impact examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.


 NTSB Identification: WPR13LA009 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2012 in Corona, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N4309E
Injuries: 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 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 1215 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-38-112, N4309E, collided with terrain following a loss of engine power during landing at Corona Municipal Airport, Corona, California. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certificated commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the accident sequence. The local flight departed Corona about 1115. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that during the landing approach he performed his pre-landing checks, and that shortly after turning on the auxiliary fuel pump, the engine lost all power. He performed troubleshooting procedures, with no increase in engine power. The airplane was on the left downwind leg of runway 07, and the pilot was concerned that he did not have enough altitude to turn towards the runway; he elected to land the airplane in a field directly ahead. During the approach, the right wing struck a tree, and the airplane descended underneath a power line, striking the airport perimeter fence and coming to rest in a field.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, firewall, and tailcone during the accident sequence.


 
A small plane crashed near a little league field across from Corona Municipal Airport on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.



 A Corona man escaped with what were initially believed to be minor injuries when his small plane crashed at Corona Municipal Airport early Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, a police lieutenant said.

Corona resident Alan Sinman, 49, was coming in for a landing about 12:11 p.m. when his single-engine Piper Tomahawk lost power and clipped some trees at the southern edge of the airport before coming down in a field just short of the runway, Corona police Lt. Neil Reynolds said. Though the plane suffered major damage, Sinman was taken to a Riverside hospital with complaints of pain to his neck and chest, Reynolds said.

No one else was reported injured.

Sinman had flown in from John Wayne airport in Orange County. The plane also appeared to have hit a fence before coming to rest on airport property near the north side of Butterfield Driver, witness Jackson Shaw said.

Corona Municipal Airport supervisor Mike Word believes that Sinman handled the crash well.
“He’s a good pilot who spends quite a few hours in his plane,” he said. “I talked to him afterward, and he said he was okay.”

The plane had been towed away by 2 p.m. to a storage site. The National Transportation Safety Board had been notified and planned to take over the crash investigation, Reynolds said.

The Piper Tomahawk has a wingspan of 34 feet and can comfortably seat two people, according to pipertomahawk.com, a website for the plane’s enthusiasts. 
======
CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- A pilot is lucky to be alive after his light plane crashed near a little league field across from Corona Municipal Airport. 

 Airport officials say the plane was en route from John Wayne Airport when it lost power.

Witnesses say the plane was very low when it flew over the Corona Butterfield Park Baseball Field where several games were going on. It clipped some tree branches, began to cartwheel, crashed near the edge of the park and skidded across the street.

The pilot, identified as 49-year-old Alan Sinman of Corona, was taken to the hospital. There was no word on his condition.

Stumpfhauser Richard F SLIPSTREAM, N454RS: Aircraft force landed into a field - Fresno, California


The pilot of an ultralight aircraft escaped injury Saturday morning when he was forced to make an emergency landing in a field along the San Joaquin River.

The pilot collapsed the landing gear of the plane when he brought the plane down near Milburn Avenue and the river in northwest Fresno. The crash happened about 10 a.m. and sent firefighters and other emergency workers speeding to the area.

Battalion Chief Chuck Tobias said the pilot "did a very good job of bringing the plane down."

At the crash site, a man who said he was the pilot but declined to identify himself said he took off from nearby Sierra Sky Park just a few minutes before the engine began cutting out, forcing him to make the landing. He said damage to the aircraft appeared to be limited to the landing gear.

 http://www.fresnobee.com


 http://registry.faa.gov/N454RS

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 454RS        Make/Model: EXP       Description: SLIPSTREAM
  Date: 10/13/2012     Time: 1723

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

LOCATION
  City: FRESNO   State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED INTO A FIELD, NEAR FRESNO, CA

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: FRESNO, CA  (WP17)                    Entry date: 10/15/2012 

Drunk Pilot Crashes Aircraft

 
Drunk Pilot Crashes Aircraft © Photo 
Emergency Situations Ministry press service, Krasnodar Territory 16:03 01/10/2012 KRASNODAR, October 1
 (RIA Novosti)

The pilot of a light aircraft that crashed into a Black Sea estuary near the town of Anapa on Sunday evening was drunk and operating the aircraft without permission, prosecutors in Krasnodar Territory reported on Monday.

The aircraft crashed into the Kiziltash estuary 500 meters from shore. The pilot, who was flying solo, was rescued and hospitalized in serious condition.

“The plane was being operated without permission. In addition the pilot was under the influence of alcohol,” prosecutors said in a statement.

According to preliminary information, during an attempted water landing the aircraft hit a sand bank and broke apart.

The Novorossiysk transportation prosecutors are investigating the incident.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121001/176337671.html


Piper PA-28-151 Warrior, G-BCTF: Accident occurred March 25, 2012 at the Durham Tees Valley Airport, North Yorkshire

Report name:  Piper PA-28-151 Warrior, G-BCTF
Registration:  G-BCTF
Type:  Piper PA-28-151 Warrior
Location:  Durham Tees Valley Airport, North Yorkshire
Date of occurrence:  25 March 2012
Category:  General Aviation - Fixed Wing


Summary:  Following a normal landing the right main gear leg separated from its wing spar attachment. Two of the bolts which had secured the leg were found to have failed due to fatigue. The root cause of the fatigue failure could not be established.

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/sites/aaib/publications/bulletins/october_2012/piper_pa_28_151_warrior__g_bctf.cfm


 Download report:
PDF icon Piper PA-28-151 Warrior G-BCTF 10-12.pdf (1,983.23 kb)

Robinson R44 Raven II, Eric A Spitzer LLC, N474FA: Accident occurred October 11, 2012 in Blanco, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA010
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Blanco, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/17/2015
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N474FA
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

According to track data recovered from a handheld GPS receiver found in the wreckage, the helicopter was on the final leg of a cross-country flight that had originated earlier in the day. According to fueling documentation, the helicopter was refueled, and the flight departed and proceeded on a southeast course toward the intended destination. According to the plotted GPS data, while enroute, about 600 feet above ground level (agl), the helicopter entered a descending left turn to an east-northeast course. About 30 seconds later, after descending about 100 feet, the helicopter entered a climb while on a northeast heading.

During the climb, the helicopter’s groundspeed decreased from 73 knots to 27 knots. The final GPS data point, recorded about 1 minute after the initial turn from the intended course, showed the helicopter about 800 feet agl at 27 knots groundspeed and about 0.2 mile north-northwest of the accident site. The helicopter wreckage was located in a sparsely populated area with hilly terrain. The debris path was orientated on a south-southeast heading, and the length and distribution of the debris path were consistent with the helicopter impacting rising terrain at cruise speed. Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no evidence of a preimpact failure or malfunction that would have precluded normal operation.

A postaccident review of meteorological data established that marginal visual flight rules conditions likely existed in the vicinity of the accident site at the time of the accident. The weather data supported increasing low-level cloud development and scattered light rain showers. No strong outflow winds or severe storm signatures were associated with the observed rain showers. The accident flight was conducted in dark nighttime conditions with minimal illumination from ground light sources. The helicopter’s flight path during the last minute of GPS data was consistent with the pilot becoming spatially disoriented due to the lack of a discernible horizon that he could use to maintain control of the helicopter. 

Although the helicopter was equipped with basic attitude instrumentation and avionics, it was not certified for flight under instrument flight rules (IFR). Additionally, although the pilot held an instrument rating for helicopters, his IFR currency could not be verified from available logbook data. According to FAA correspondence, about 5 months before the accident, the FAA had notified the pilot that he was ineligible to hold any class of medical certificate because of his multiple alcohol-related offenses. Although he had been advised multiple times of his ineligibility to hold a medical certificate, flight documentation established that the pilot continued to exercise the privileges of his commercial and flight instructor certificates. Toxicological test results for the pilot were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

The helicopter operator reported that the accident occurred during an instructional flight; however, a review of available evidence did not support that the front-seat passenger was receiving flight instruction on the accident flight. According to FAA records, the front-seat passenger had never applied for a student pilot certificate or an aviation medical certificate. Additionally, a pilot logbook was not recovered during the investigation for the front-seat passenger. According to a business associate of both passengers, the front-seat passenger had coordinated the flight to attend a business appointment.

According to photographs recovered from the front-seat passenger’s mobile phone, on earlier flight legs, he had been seated in the left front seat. According to the helicopter manufacturer, the flying pilot typically would be seated in the right front seat, especially during initial flight instruction. Additionally, a review of the front-seat passenger’s mobile phone established that he had been exchanging text messages with a business colleague in the minutes preceding the accident. Specifically, the final outgoing text message was sent about 26 seconds before the helicopter deviated from the direct course toward the intended destination. Therefore, it is unlikely that the passenger was operating the helicopter at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of helicopter control as a result of spatial disorientation due to dark night conditions and marginal visual flight rules weather conditions.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 11, 2012, about 1958 central daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter Company model R44 II, N474FA, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during cruise flight near Blanco, Texas. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated by Veracity Aviation LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas, about 1942, and was en route to Huber Airpark Civic Club LLC Airport (E70), Seguin, Texas.

According to recovered GPS data, the roundtrip cross-country flight, from the operator's home base at E70, located in Seguin, Texas, to Midland International Airport (MAF), in Midland, Texas, originally departed at 1241. The helicopter landed at MAF about 1503. According to fueling documentation, the accident helicopter was fueled with 37.7 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel before the return flight. The return flight departed MAF at 1735 and landed at T82 to refuel about 1936.

There were no witnesses to the helicopter arriving at T82 nor while it was being refueled at the self-serve fueling stations. According to fueling documentation, at 1936, the accident helicopter was fueled with 15.92 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel.

According to GPS data, the flight departed T82 at 1942. A witness, who was also a helicopter pilot, reported seeing a Robinson R44 helicopter depart toward the southeast; however, due to the dark night conditions he was unable to discern the helicopter's registration number or paint color. He noted that the helicopter had departed from the self-service fueling station near the main airport building.

The plotted GPS data indicated that the flight proceeded on a southeast course toward the intended destination (E70). According to the data, the helicopter maintained an average ground speed of about 80 knots while in cruise flight. At 1956:50 (hhmm:ss), the helicopter entered a descending left turn from a southeast course to an east-northeast course. The helicopter was at 2,517 feet GPS altitude, about 610 feet above ground level, and had a ground speed of 72 knots when it entered the descending left turn. At 1957:19, the recorded GPS altitude was 2,396 feet, about 500 feet above ground level, and the helicopter's ground speed was 73 knots. The helicopter then began to climb on a northeast heading. The GPS data indicated that, during the climb, the helicopter's ground speed decreased from 73 knots to 27 knots. The final GPS data point associated with the accident flight was recorded at 1957:49 and a GPS altitude of 2,643 feet, about 800 feet above the terrain, with a ground speed of 27 knots. The final data point was located about 0.2 miles north-northwest of the accident site.

At 2006, the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, received a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal assigned to the accident helicopter. About 18 minutes later, the AFRCC was received their first of several triangulated positions for the active ELT signal. The accident site was subsequently located, with the assistance of airborne and ground units, at 0824 the morning following the accident. The wreckage was located in a sparsely populated area that was comprised of hilly terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 35, held a commercial pilot certificate with helicopter and instrument helicopter ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with helicopter and instrument helicopter ratings. His last aviation medical examination was completed on March 31, 2011, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate without limitations.

The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using a partially completed pilot logbook, a spreadsheet flight history that was provided by the pilot's employer, and GPS flight data that was recorded on the day of the accident. A review of the pilot's flight logbook revealed that his last recorded flight was completed on May 24, 2012. At that time, he had accumulated 1,410.9 hours total flight experience, of which 1,348.1 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. All of his logged flight time had been completed in helicopters. He had accumulated 63.6 hours in simulated instrument conditions and 109.5 hours at night. According the spreadsheet flight history, the pilot had flown an additional 111.7 hours since his final logbook entry. According to recovered GPS data, the pilot had flown 4.7 hours on the day of the accident. The pilot's total flight experience was estimated to be about 1,527.3 hours, of which 543.7 hours were completed in the same make/model as the accident helicopter. He had accumulated 1,464.5 hours as pilot-in-command and 644.4 hours as a flight instructor. He had accumulated 422.6 hours during the past year, 149.4 hours during the prior 6 months, 95.0 hours during previous 90 days, and 27.4 hours in the last 30 days. The pilot had flown 5.6 hours within the 24 hour period before the accident.

The pilot's employer, Veracity Aviation LLC, provided flight instruction, local air tours, on-demand air taxi services, and external load operations. The accident pilot was employed as a flight instructor and assistant chief pilot for their 14 CFR Part 141 flight school. According to FAA documentation, on November 7, 2011, the pilot demonstrated the skill and knowledge to operate as pilot-in-command for external-load helicopter operations. On November 8, 2011, the pilot passed a FAA regulatory checkride to become an assistant chief pilot for the 14 CFR Part 141 flight school. The pilot was not authorized to act as pilot-in-command for Veracity Aviation LLC's on-demand air taxi service under 14 CFR Part 135.

On March 15, 2012, the pilot received a letter from the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division informing him that he was not eligible to hold any class of medical certificate because of multiple alcohol related offenses. The pilot had two arrests that were associated with driving while intoxicated (DWI). The first arrest, dated October 16, 2004, resulted in a DWI conviction. The second arrest, dated November 18, 2011, was not prosecuted by the State of Texas as a DWI offense. On March 19, 2012, the pilot replied to the FAA letter, stating that he intended to work with the FAA to regain his eligibility to hold a medical certificate. The pilot also wrote that he had included his current medical certificate with the correspondence; however, FAA documentation indicated that the pilot had not included his medical certificate with his response. On March 27, 2012, the FAA replied to the pilot in the form of another letter that identified the specific regulations by which his eligibility to hold a medical had been revoked. The FAA response also detailed what documentation was required to be sent to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division for additional review before his eligibility could be reconsidered. On June 25, 2012, the pilot replied to the FAA in the form of another letter in which he described the circumstances of both alcohol related driving arrests. He wrote that he continued to provide "ground instruction" to his former students. Additionally, the pilot wrote that the State of Texas had declined to prosecute the November 2011 arrest for the charge of driving while intoxicated; however, he had pleaded not-guilty to the charges of speeding and being in possession of an open alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle. On October 9, 2012, the FAA sent another letter to the pilot that reiterated his ineligibility to hold a medical certificate until all of the previously requested documentation had been received and reviewed by the Aerospace Medical Certification Division. (The pilot had not received the latest correspondence from the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division when the accident occurred)

The owner of Veracity Aviation LLC told the NTSB investigator that although he knew of the pilot's November 2011 arrest, he was unaware that the FAA had revoked his medical certificate. Additionally, he was unaware that the pilot had been working with the FAA to reestablish his eligibility to hold a medical certificate. According to flight documentation provided by Veracity Aviation LLC and the pilot's personal logbook, the pilot had accumulated 218.1 hours since March 15, 2012, when he received the initial letter from the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division notifying him of his ineligibility to hold a medical certificate. Additionally, the flight records indicated that the pilot continued to act as pilot-in-command and as a flight instructor during the same time period. (Federal regulation 14 CFR Part 61.23 required a flight instructor to hold at least a third-class medical certificate if they acted as the pilot-in-command of any instructional flight)

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident aircraft was Robinson Helicopter Company model R44 II, serial number (s/n) 12517. The helicopter was a four-seat, single-engine helicopter that was equipped with a skid type landing gear. The FAA type certificate required one flight crew member (pilot) and permitted operations under day or night visual flight rules (VFR). Although the cockpit was equipped with flight attitude instrumentation and avionics, the accident helicopter was not certified for flight under instrument flight rules. The helicopter was equipped with dual cyclic controls and anti-torque pedals located at both the right and left cockpit positions. The helicopter was powered by a 245-horsepower Lycoming model IO-540-AE1A5, s/n L-33161-48E, reciprocating engine.

The helicopter was issued a Standard Airworthiness Certificate on October 14, 2008. A review of the maintenance records revealed that the helicopter had undergone an annual inspection on October 3, 2012, at 993.5 hours total time. At the time of the accident, the airframe and engine had accumulated 1,003.0 hours in service. The helicopter had accumulated 9.5 hours since the last maintenance inspection. A review of maintenance documentation did not reveal any unresolved airworthiness issues.

According to maintenance documentation, the accident helicopter had a basic empty weight of 1,530.5 pounds (lbs), a center-of-gravity location of 106.9-inches, and a useful load of 969.5 lbs. According to autopsy data, the pilot weighed 200 lbs, the front seat passenger weighed 325 lbs, and the rear seat passenger weighed 200 lbs. According to the Robinson R44 II Pilot Operating Handbook, the seats were limited to 300 lbs. According to GPS flight data and refueling documentation, the accident helicopter had about 36 gallons of fuel onboard when it departed on the accident flight. The additional personal property and cargo found onboard the helicopter weighed about 30 lbs.

According to postaccident weight and balance calculations, the helicopter weighed about 2,501.5 lbs and had a center-of-gravity location of 91.85-inches when it departed on the accident flight. As such, at the time of departure, the helicopter likely exceeded the maximum gross weight limitation of 2,500 lbs and had a center-of-gravity located forward of the allowable limit.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1900, a National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart depicted a low pressure system over eastern Kansas with a cold front extending southwest through Kansas and into the Oklahoma panhandle. A warm front extended southeast from the low into eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. A high pressure region was located over Alabama. The resultant pressure gradient resulted in a general southeasterly wind flow that supported a warm moist air mass originating from the Gulf of Mexico.

At 2000, the NWS Weather Depiction Chart depicted a small area of marginal visual flight rule (MVFR) conditions in the vicinity of the accident site. The observed conditions near the accident site supported increasing low-level cloud development and scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.

A review of weather radar data revealed that, between 1956 and 1958, the helicopter's recorded GPS flight track bordered an area of very light intensity echoes. During the same time period, there was an area of light radar echoes that had developed immediately south of the accident site. The radar images revealed the potential of lower clouds and restricted visibility with light rain. Following the accident, several small areas of moderate-to-strong rain showers developed about 2 miles south of the accident site. These rain showers moved northward at 10 knots with time. No strong outflow winds or severe storm signatures were associated with the observed rain showers.

The closest weather observing station was located at the Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas, about 22 miles northwest of the accident site. At 1955, the automated surface observing system reported: wind 140 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 1,900 feet above ground level, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 22 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

The United States Naval Observatory reported that the sunset and end of civil twilight at the departure airport was at 1908 and 1932, respectively. At the time of the accident, the moon was more than 15 degrees below the horizon and, as such, did not provide any illumination. Additionally, the accident site was located in a sparsely populated area with minimal illumination from ground light sources. As such, dark nighttime conditions existed at the time of the accident.

The owner of the property where the accident occurred reported that it had been overcast a majority of the day with a noticeable lower cloud layer at the time of the accident. Between 1910 and 1915, as he was driving east on Farm-To-Market Road, approximately 2 to 4 miles west of his property and approximately 4 miles north of the accident site, he observed a dark cloud to the south and southeast, which he thought was associated with an area of rain. He did not recall seeing any lightning at that time. After arriving home, about 2030, it began to rain lightly to the point where it was necessary to close his house windows.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The helicopter wreckage was located in a sparsely populated area that was comprised of hilly terrain. The initial point-of-impact was identified by recently disturbed terrain near the summit of a hill. A wreckage debris path originated from the initial point-of-impact and consisted of fragmented airframe and flight control components. The debris path was orientated on a south-southeast heading. Portions of both landing gear skids were located between the initial point-of-impact and the main wreckage. The main wreckage was located about 160 feet from the initial point-of-impact. The engine, which had separated from the airframe, was located about 300 feet from the initial point-of-impact.

A postaccident investigation confirmed that all airframe structural components were located at the accident site. A majority of the airframe and flight control systems were fragmented during the impact sequence. There was no evidence of an inflight or postimpact fire. Flight control continuity could not be established due to multiple separations; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress fractures. The hydraulic control servos moved freely when manipulated by hand. Examination of the four V-belts did not reveal any preimpact separations. The entire circumference of the forward face of the upper sheave exhibited scoring. Additionally, an upper fuselage frame tube exhibited scoring adjacent to the forward face of the upper sheave in the direction of sheave rotation. The observed scoring was consistent with the engine operating at the time of impact. The main rotor and tail rotor drive systems exhibited impact damage and several overstress separations. The main rotor hub had separated from the upper portion of the mast; however, the main rotor blades remained attached to their respective blade grips. The main rotor blades exhibited spanwise bending, fractures, and delamination consistent with ground impact. The main rotor gear box rotated freely by hand without any anomalies. The tail rotor hub remained attached to the tail rotor gearbox output shaft. The tail rotor blades remained attached their respective blade grips. One tail rotor blade exhibited spanwise bending and was fractured near the tip. Both tail rotor blades exhibited chordwise scratches. The tail rotor gear box rotated freely by hand without any anomalies. Both fuel tanks had been damaged during impact and did not contain any recoverable fuel. There were numerous separations within the fuel system; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress fractures. The fuel selector valve was found in the "ON" position. The airframe examination did not reveal any evidence of a preimpact failure or malfunction of the helicopter structure, drive train, flight controls, hydraulic system, fuel system, and main and tail rotor systems that would have precluded normal operation. All observed airframe fractures were consistent with overload forces that were encountered during the impact sequence.

The engine had separated from the helicopter airframe during the impact sequence. The left magneto, engine-driven fuel pump, and oil filter had separated from the engine. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. A borescope inspection of the cylinders revealed no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The ignition harness and both magnetos exhibited impact damage that precluded a functional test of the ignition system. The fuel injection servo, induction system, and exhaust were not obstructed. Fluid consistent with the appearance and odor of 100 low-lead aviation fuel was observed in trace amounts at the fuel flow divider, engine-driven fuel pump, and the fuel injection servo filter screen. The right side of the oil cooler exhibited numerous impact marks adjacent to the starter ring gear. The left side cooling panels, adjacent to the starter ring gear, also exhibited scuff marks. The postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal engine operation.

Following the accident, a fuel sample was collected from the self-service fueling station that was used to fuel the accident helicopter before the accident flight. The fuel sample was blue in color, consistent with 100 low-lead aviation fuel. Additionally, the fuel sample did not contain any particulate or water contamination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On October 13, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office, located in San Antonio, Texas. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries that were sustained during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The two passengers were employed by Venture Energy Services. According to a company representative, the purpose of the flight was to fly to Midland, Texas, so that the passengers could interview a potential employee. Venture Energy Services owned and operated their own airplane for business flights; however, on the day of the accident, the airplane was not available because it was undergoing maintenance. The owner of the company had other personal aircraft that were often used for business flights; however, those aircraft typically were not made available unless the owner was also going on the business flight. As such, one of the passengers had arranged the accident flight through Veracity Aviation LLC.

According to the owner of Veracity Aviation LLC, the passenger who arranged the accident flight was an established customer who had previously obtained helicopter flight instruction. According to invoices, dated between May 2012 and September 2012, the passenger had completed 5 instructional flights in a Robinson R44 helicopter, totaling 7 hours of flight time. The owner of Veracity Aviation LLC reported that the passenger did not have a logbook in which the dual instruction had been recorded. Additionally, the passenger had reportedly paid for two of his friends to have introductory helicopter flights.

According to FAA records, the passenger who arranged the accident flight had never applied for a student pilot certificate or an aviation medical certificate. A pilot logbook was not recovered during the investigation for the passenger. Beyond the 5 invoices for the instructional flights with Veracity Aviation LLC, no additional information was recovered during the investigation that indicated the passenger had been actively pursuing flight instruction.

According to fueling documentation for the accident flight, the passenger who arranged the flight had used his company credit card, issued by Venture Energy Services, to purchase fuel at Midland International Airport (MAF) and Gillespie County Airport (T82). According to the owner of Veracity Aviation LLC, the advertised rental rate for the accident helicopter included the cost of fuel. He further stated that he did not know why the passenger would have paid for the fuel, but that he would have credited any fuel that had been purchased by the passenger. According to a Venture Energy Services company representative, the passenger who had arranged the flight told him that Veracity Aviation LLC had discounted the hourly rental rate for the helicopter if they agreed to purchase any required fuel.

The passenger who had arranged the accident flight had a mobile phone that contained several text messages and photos which were aviation related. On September 22, 2012, the passenger and the owner of Veracity Aviation LLC discussed having a "charter" the following morning. The passenger noted that he had an investor in town that wanted to go on an aerial observation flight to "count his exotic animals." On September 23, 2012, the passenger sent a text message to his investor that read "We're getting the doors off and fueling up. I'll text you when we take off and I'll pick you up by the tennis court by the lodge." The passenger's mobile phone contained several photos that were taken on September 23, 2012, during a helicopter flight. Two of the photos established that the photographer was seated in the forward right seat of a Robinson R44 helicopter. The photographer's feet were flat on the floor; they were not positioned on the helicopter's anti-torque pedals. According to invoices provided by Veracity Aviation LLC, the flight on September 23, 2012, was invoiced as an instructional flight and the owner of Veracity Aviation LLC was listed as the flight instructor.

On October 9, 2012, the passenger and the owner of Veracity Aviation LLC exchanged multiple text messages about another potential flight; however, the discussed flight was subsequently canceled by the passenger due to a scheduling change.

On the day of the accident, the passenger's mobile phone had several text messages that were associated with the accident flight. At 1016:47, the passenger mistakenly sent a text message to an unintended recipient that read "Also I need your weight??? Lol its for fuel purposes." At 1034:41, the pilot sent the passenger a text message concerning a temporary airspace flight restriction (TFR), which ultimately was determined not to be active on the day of the accident. Between 1049:32 and 1050:28, the passenger and pilot exchanged 3 text messages about meeting at the airport, and the final message from the passenger read "it will be me and 187 lbs person." After landing in Midland, Texas, at 1529:08, the pilot sent a business related message that indicated that they had landed at Midland. At 1859:38, the pilot sent a text message that read "In helicopter headed back to Seguin from Midland I'm about 1 hr out." Between 1951:00 and 1956:24, the pilot and a colleague exchanged 5 text messages concerning a business related topic. The final 2 text messages of that conversation were sent by the passenger at 1956:17 and 1956:24. According to the recovered GPS track data, which was obtained from another handheld device, the passenger's final outgoing text message was sent about 26 seconds before the helicopter began the left descending turn, and 1 minute 25 seconds before the final recorded GPS data point.

The passenger's mobile phone also contained several photos that were taken at various times on the day of the accident. At 1449:33, while the helicopter was en route to Midland, Texas, a photo was taken looking forward from the front left seat of a Robinson R44 helicopter. At 1503:47, shortly after the helicopter had landed at Midland, Texas, a photo was taken of an airport ramp, looking forward from the front left seat of the helicopter. At 1818:17, while the helicopter was en route to Fredericksburg, Texas, a photo was taken looking forward from the front left seat of the helicopter. At 1926:36, another photo was taken looking forward from the front left seat of the helicopter. At 1926:52, another photo was taken from the front left seat of the helicopter, and depicted the left edge of the instrument panel, the left cockpit floor, and the left cyclic control stick. In the photo the photographer's feet were positioned on the helicopter's anti-torque pedals, which were in a neutral position. Although the photo did not capture entire length of left cyclic control stick, there were no hands visible on the upper 1/3 of the control stick. At 1935:35 and 1935:44, two photos were taken of a dark airport ramp with runway and taxiway lights illuminated. At 1940:05 and 1940:08, two photos were taken while the photographer stood outside the helicopter. The photos were focused on the left side of a Robinson R44 helicopter that was sitting on an airport ramp. Although the horizon was still discernible in the photos, the ramp area was already dark. The helicopter's red beacon lights were illuminated and the main rotor was rotating at the time of the photographs.

According to the helicopter manufacturer, the flying-pilot typically would be seated in the right cockpit position. Additionally, during flight instruction, the pilot-receiving-instruction typically would be seated in the right cockpit position and the flight instructor in the left cockpit position.


http://registry.faa.gov/N474FA

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA010
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 2012 in Blanco, TX
Aircraft: Robinson Helicopter Company R44 II, registration: N474FA
Injuries: 3 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 11, 2012, about 2006 central daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter Company model R44 II, N474FA, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during cruise flight near Blanco, Texas. The flight instructor, passenger-receiving-instruction, and one additional passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated by Veracity Aviation LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight, which departed Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas, approximately 1956, enroute to Huber Airpark Civic Club LLC Airport (E70), Seguin, Texas.

According to the operator of the helicopter, the purpose of the flight was a roundtrip cross-country flight from the operator’s home base at E70, located in Seguin, Texas, to Midland International Airport (KMAF), in Midland, Texas. The return flight from KMAF to E70 had departed shortly after 1716, according to fueling documentation obtained from the fix-based operator that serviced the accident helicopter with 37.7 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel.

There were no witnesses to the helicopter arriving at T82 or while it was being refueled at one of the airport’s self-serve fueling stations. At 1936, the accident helicopter was fueled with 15.92 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation fuel, according to fueling documentation and credit card receipts. A witness, who was also a helicopter pilot, subsequently reported seeing a Robinson R44 helicopter depart toward the southeast; however, due to the dark night conditions he was unable to discern the helicopter’s registration number or paint color. He noted that the helicopter had departed from the self-service fueling station near the main airport building.

At 2006, the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, received a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal assigned to the accident helicopter. About 18 minutes later, the AFRCC received their first of several triangulated positions for the active ELT signal. The accident site was subsequently located, with the assistance of airborne and ground units, at 0824 the morning following the accident. The wreckage was located in a sparsely populated area comprised of hilly terrain.

The closest weather observing station was located at the Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas, about 22 miles northwest of the accident site. At 1955, the automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 140 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 1,900 feet above ground level, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 22 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 30.10 inches of mercury.

The United States Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department reported that the sunset and end of civil twilight at the departure airport was at 1908 and 1932, respectively.


 Two men and a woman died Thursday night when their helicopter crashed in far northern Kendall County as it flew from Fredericksburg to its base in Seguin.

The wreckage was found about 9 a.m. Friday, in rugged terrain between Fredericksburg and Blanco — far from any road.

“We’re securing the scene and awaiting the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board,” Department of Public Safety Spokesman Jason Reyes said.
FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford in Fort Worth said the team led by the NTSB, which oversees all fatal aircraft investigations, was expected to arrive at the scene today.

The victims’ names were being withheld as authorities sought to notify their families, Reyes said.
Kendall County Chief Deputy Matt King said the four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter, owned by Veracity Aviation, crashed on the last leg of a flight from Midland to Seguin.

Officials at the company, a flight school based at Huber Air Park in Seguin, declined comment.
After leaving Midland, King said, the copter had stopped about 7:30 p.m. Thursday to refuel at Gillespie County Airport, then left for Seguin.

Its emergency beacon activated about 8 p.m., King said, leading a company official to alert authorities, who tried to locate the downed craft using the beacon.

“We searched through the night with the DPS, game wardens, firefighters and EMS personnel,” King said.

A Veracity Aviation helicopter crew spotted the wreckage off Ranch Road 1888, King said, and emergency personnel dispatched to the site on foot found no one alive.

David Smith, owner of Fredericksburg FBO, a fuel facility at Gillspie County Airport, said the helicopter refueled at a self-serve fueling terminal after his business had closed for the night.
“We had no interaction with them at all,” he said of the helicopter’s occupants.

Upon learning of the crash late Thursday, Smith suspended fuel sales to test the fuel and inspect the system. He said no problems were discovered.

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

UPDATE: NewsWest 9 has just learned that Venture Energy Services Inc., out of Bridgeport, rented the helicopter involved in the crash in Kendall County. They tell us two of their employees were lost in the crash along with the pilot who was employed with the company they chartered the helicopter with.

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — Three people have been killed in a helicopter crash in Kendall County.

The crash happened around 8:00 p.m. Thursday on a private ranch in the 4600 block of Ranch Road 1888 in Far North Kendall County.

According to the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, a call came in from the owner of the helicopter in Seguin around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night. The owner said he had received a call from an OnStar-like company saying an emergency beacon had gone off on the chopper.

The helicopter was traveling from Midland to Seguin and had stopped in Fredericksburg to refuel. The chopper left Fredericksburg around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The emergency beacon then activated about 30 minutes later.

Department of Public Safety officials said emergency crews were unable to locate the crash site until Friday morning. All three people onboard were killed. Their identifies have not been released.