Friday, November 23, 2012

Cessna 182D Skylane, N61LN: Fatal accident occurred November 17, 2012 in Bondurant, Wyoming

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA053
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 17, 2012 in Bondurant, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 182D, registration: N61LN
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 noninstrument-rated pilot departed on a visual flight rules cross-county flight. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area around the time of the accident. Review of recorded radar data provided by the FAA (which did not record altitude) and recovered GPS data depicted the flight departing and proceeding on a south, southeasterly course then turning left to an easterly heading toward the intended destination; the last recorded radar return was about 1.5 miles northwest of the accident site. Throughout this timeframe, recorded GPS altitudes varied between 8,000 and 12,300 feet, however, an ascent to 13,450 feet mean sea level (msl) was recorded just before the end of recorded GPS data, about 22 miles west of the accident site. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted trees and mountainous terrain on a southwesterly heading just below the top of a ridgeline at an altitude of about 10,030 feet msl. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
AIRMETs for instrument meteorological conditions, mountain obscuration, and moderate icing conditions were in effect throughout the area about the time of the accident. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) imagery indicated that clouds with tops of 16,700 feet msl were within the accident area, however, the cloud bases could not be determined. There was no evidence that the pilot obtained a weather briefing for the flight. Wreckage impact signatures and radar data were consistent with a right turn away from the flight’s intended destination just before the accident. It is likely that the pilot did not maintain sufficient altitude above the mountainous terrain while attempting to maneuver around the instrument meteorological conditions at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The noninstrument-rated pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering around weather.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 17, 2012, about 1345 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182D, N61LN, was destroyed when it collided with terrain south of Bondurant, Wyoming. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the route of flight and a flight plan was not filed. The cross-country flight originated from Stevensville, Montana, about 1130 with an intended destination of Pinedale, Wyoming.

Information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the family of the pilot contacted the FAA on the evening of November 17, 2012, after they became concerned when the pilot had not arrived at his intended destination. The FAA subsequently issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT). The Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force, and local law enforcement, commenced search and rescue operations throughout the area of the pilot's intended flight path. The wreckage was located by aerial units on the afternoon of November 24, 2012.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted mountainous terrain approximately 35 miles west of the flight's intended destination. The wreckage debris path was about 133 feet in length and oriented on a magnetic heading of about 200 degrees at an elevation of about 10,150 feet. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the debris path.

FAA personnel reported that the purpose of the flight was to return the airplane back to the pilot's home airport following maintenance in Stevensville. Law enforcement personnel reported that the family of the pilot reported that his son and daughter-in-law were leaving the country on a prolonged trip out of the country and he was traveling back to take care of their ranch.


Review of radar data provided by the FAA depicted the flight departing from Stevensville and proceeded on a south, southeasterly course until reaching Freedom, Wyoming, where the data depicted a left turn to an easterly heading. The easterly track continued until about 1.5 miles northwest of the accident site. The radar data contained no altitude data for any of the recorded plots.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 63, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating which was issued on January 24, 2008. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on March 1, 2012, with the limitation stating "must wear corrective lenses." The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 160 total flight hours. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of the most recent entry, dated February 7, 2012, the pilot had accumulated 159.3 hours of total flight time of which 91.9 hours were in the accident make/model airplane. The pilot's most recent flight review was completed on May 3, 2011.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) 18253398, was manufactured in 1961. It was powered by a Continental P. Ponk O-470-50 engine, serial number 291076-R. The airplane was also equipped with a McCauley D3A34C401-C adjustable pitch propeller.

Review of the aircraft maintenance logbooks revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on June 28, 2012, at an airframe total time of 1,884.1 hours and an engine time since major overhaul of 126.1 hours. The most recent airframe logbook entry, dated November 17, 2012, at an airframe total time of 1,886.8 hours, stated that the right hand outboard landing gear support was replaced with a serviceable part.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) staff meteorologist prepared a factual report for the area and time frame surrounding the accident.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1400 depicted a regional high-pressure center of 1018 hectopascals (hPa) in northwestern Colorado. Station models in the region of the accident site generally depicted a light and variable wind; however some stations reported wind magnitudes of 10-15 knots. Southwest of the accident site, stations were reporting cloudy conditions, while stations northeast of the accident site were reporting relatively clear sky conditions.

A regional Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD) mosaic for 1345 did not identify any areas of reflectivity close to the accident location.

Unofficial weather observations were retrieved from the Bridger Teton National Forest Avalanche Center station DEABT, which was located about 4.5 miles to the west of the accident site at an elevation of approximately 10,350 feet. Data recorded at 1345 was temperature -2.8 degrees Celsius, dew point -3.4 degrees Celsius, relative humidity 94 percent, wind from 217 degrees at 7.8 knots, gusting to 13.9 knots.

Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Jackson, Wyoming, was located approximately 37 miles north-northwest of the accident site at an elevation of 6,451 feet. At 135, JAC reported a wind from 190 degrees at 6 knots, visibility of 8 miles, snow showers between 5 and 10 miles from the airport, few clouds at 3,500 feet above ground level (agl), ceiling broken at 5,000 feet agl, overcast cloud base at 8,000 feet agl, temperature of 4 degrees Celsius (C) and dew point temperature of -1 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.06 inches of mercury.

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-13 and GOES-15 visible and infrared data indicated that there were clouds in the accident area. While it can be difficult to discriminate meteorological cloud from snow-covered terrain in individual visible images, an animation of the visible imagery surrounding the accident time assisted in identifying the meteorological clouds in the area. GOES-13 infrared data indicated cloud-top brightness temperatures near the accident site at 1345 were approximately -16 degrees C, which, when considering the NAM model sounding, corresponded to cloud-top heights of about 16,700 feet. GOES-15 infrared data indicated cloud-top brightness temperatures near the accident site at 1330 were approximately -15 degrees C, which, when considering the NAM model sounding, corresponded to cloud-top heights of about 16,100 feet. Cloud bases for the area surrounding the accident site were not determined.

An Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisories issued at 0745 for areas of Wyoming that included the accident site. The AIRMETs advised of mountain obscuration and moderate icing between the freezing level and flight level 220. At 1345, two AIRMETs were issued for areas of Wyoming that included the accident site. The AIRMETs advised of mountain obscuration and moderate icing between the freezing level and flight level 220. For further information, see the weather study report within the public docket for this accident.

It was not determined if the pilot obtained a weather briefing for the flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted mountainous terrain on a heading of about 200 degrees magnetic at an elevation of about 10,030 feet mean sea level (msl). The wreckage debris path was oriented on an approximate heading of 200 degrees magnetic and was about 133 feet in length. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a group of freshly topped trees about 15 feet in height. Extending from the FIPC was portions of both the left and right wings, and elevators, partially submerged within 12 to 24 inches of snow. The aft portion of the fuselage behind the baggage bulkhead came to rest upright on a heading of about 309 degrees magnetic. The forward portion of the fuselage was found inverted underneath the aft portion of the fuselage.

Both wings were separated from the fuselage. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage. The outboard portions of the left and right elevators and horizontal stabilizers were separated. The top portion of the rudder and vertical stabilizer were separated. Numerous instruments were displaced from the instrument panel and located adjacent to the main wreckage.

The flap cables were separated. The rudder and elevator flight control cables were intact from their respective flight controls forward to the aft baggage bulkhead where the fuselage was folded over.

The engine was submerged within snow. The propeller assembly was separated from the engine. One of the three blades was separated from the propeller hub. The remaining propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub, however, rotated freely within the hub.

All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path.

The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was removed by Search and Rescue personnel. Review of photo documentation revealed that the ELT switch was in the "OFF" position and that both the remote switch cable and antenna cable remained attached. The ELT switch was placed in the "ON" position by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) and was found to function normally.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Sublette County Coroner conducted an autopsy on the pilot on November 28, 2012. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "…multiple blunt force trauma..."

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs were tested, and had negative results.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A portable Garmin handheld GPS unit was located during wreckage recovery. The GPS was subsequently sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination. The data recovered from the GPS unit showed that following departure from Stevensville, the flight ascended to about 9,500 feet mean sea level (msl), and remained between 9,000 and 10,000 feet for about 25 minutes. The data depicted a climb to about 10,500 feet over a 2 minute time frame, before descending about 8,000 feet and remaining between 8,000 feet and 9,500 feet for about 27 minutes. The data further depicted that the flight climbed to about 12,300 feet over a 12 minute time frame before a descent was observed to about 8,700 feet across 19 minutes. The remaining 27 minutes of recorded GPS data depicted that the flight climbed from 8,700 feet to an altitude of 13,450 feet at the last recorded data point near Freedom, Wyoming, about 22 miles west of the accident site.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Examination of the recovered airframe revealed that the forward portion of the fuselage from the rear seats forward was fragmented. The aft portion of the fuselage from the rear seats was crushed aft to about 12 inches aft of the baggage door. The upper half of the vertical stabilizer and rudder were separated. The outboard halve of the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator was separated. The right horizontal and elevator remained attached; however, was impact damaged on the inboard leading edge and bent upwards about mid span. Both wings were fragmented into multiple pieces. The instrument panel was fragmented into multiple sections with numerous instruments displaced. The tachometer was located and displayed 1,700 rpm and 889.4 hours.

Control cable continuity was established from the empennage to the rear doorpost bulkhead. Both aileron control cables were located and exhibited signatures of tension overload. The left flap cables exhibited tension overload. The right side flap cables were cut by recovery personnel. The fuel selector was in the "right fuel tank" position. The flap bar was in the stowed position.

Examination of the Continental P-Ponk Aviation O-470-50 engine revealed that it was separated from the engine mount structure via all its mounts. The starter, right magneto, propeller, oil cooler, external oil filter, and carburetor were separated from the engine. The top spark plugs, starter adapter, and the vacuum pump were removed. The crankshaft was rotated by hand using a hand tool attached to the engine crankshaft. Continuity was established throughout to the rear of the engine and valve train. Thumb compression and suction was obtained on all six cylinders. All six cylinders were inspected using a borescope; all of the cylinders, valve faces, and pistons displayed normal operating signatures.

The left magneto remained attached to the engine and was intact. The magneto was removed and the magneto drive shaft was rotated by hand. Spark was produced on all six terminals. The right magneto was separated from the engine and was intact. The magneto drive shaft was rotated by hand. No spark was produced on all six terminals. The right magneto was installed on a magneto test bench and produced spark on all six posts.

The carburetor was impact damaged to the bottom portion of the float bowl. The mixture arm was separated. The throttle arm moved from stop to stop freely by hand. The fuel screen was removed and found free of debris. The carburetor bowl was removed. The floats were intact and as the bowl was removed, one float separated. The needle valve was intact.

The vacuum pump drive coupling was intact and undamaged. The drive coupling would not rotate by hand. The vacuum pump was disassembled and the vane and rotor assembly was damaged.

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.



 NTSB Identification: WPR13FA053 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 17, 2012 in Bondurant, WY
Aircraft: CESSNA 182D, registration: N61LN
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 November 17, 2012, about 1345 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182D, N61LN, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain south of Bondurant, Wyoming. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the route of flight and a flight plan was not filed. The cross-country flight originated from Stevensville, Montana, about 1130 with an intended destination of Pinedale, Wyoming.

Information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the family of the pilot contacted the FAA on the evening of November 17, 2012, after they became concerned when the pilot had not arrived at his intended destination. The FAA subsequently issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT). The Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force, and local law enforcement, commenced search and rescue operations throughout the area of the pilot's intended flight path. The wreckage was located by aerial units on the afternoon of November 24, 2012.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted mountainous terrain approximately 35 miles west of the flights intended destination. The wreckage debris path was about 133 feet in length and oriented on a magnetic heading of about 200 degrees at an elevation of about 10,150 feet. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the debris path.

The wreckage will be recovered to a secure location for further examination.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 61LN        Make/Model: C182      Description: 182, Skylane
  Date: 11/17/2012     Time: 0000

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

LOCATION
  City: BONDURANT   State: WY   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS 
  FATALLY INJURED, SUBJECT OF AN ALERT NOTICE ISSUED 11/17/12, WRECKAGE 
  LOCATED 15 MILES FROM BONDURANT, WY

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: CASPER, WY  (NM04)                    Entry date: 11/26/2012 
 

After five days of searching, a private plane piloted by a lone LaBarge rancher remains missing. 

Teams from the Sublette County sheriff’s office and Tip Top Search and Rescue on foot and snowmobiles were aided Thursday and part of the day Wednesday by search planes from the Civil Air Patrol and the Teton County Search and Rescue Helicopter as the area from the Upper Hoback region south was combed for any sign of the plane or 63-year-old Myles McGinnis. 

McGinnis and his plane vanished from radar about 4:00 pm Saturday afternoon as he was returning from a trip to Stevensville, Montana. Searchers report going through waist-deep snow as they comb the search area.

http://jacksonholeradio.com

Coot A amphibian, N8VS: Fatal accident occurred November 23, 2012 in San Andreas, California

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N8VS

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA050     
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 23, 2012 in San Andreas, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2013
Aircraft: Sater Coot A-Amphib, registration: N8VS
Injuries: 1 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 observed the airplane in a steep bank (estimated at between 60 and 80 degrees) while turning from the base leg to final approach in the traffic pattern. He then observed the airplane enter a spin and stated the airplane was in a near vertical nose-down attitude when the right wing separated from the airframe. Another witness reported that after the airplane’s first spin revolution, the leading edge came off of a wing and that during the second spin revolution the other wing separated. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that both wings had separated from the airplane about the same spanwise location (about 17 inches outboard of the wing attach points). The right wing’s front spar fracture face showed areas of tension and compression failures of the wood fibers that were consistent with the wing failing in a downward direction. Both the leading edge and front spar of the left wing had diagonal cuts through them that were consistent with having been struck by the airplane’s propeller. The inboard front spar fracture face was examined, but the fiber failures were destroyed by the ground impact, so a directionality of failure could not be determined. However, the propeller strike on the leading edge and front spar could only occur if the left wing failed upward into the propeller. There were no obvious signs of rot or preexisting conditions in the wood spars examined, and none of the wing attachment bolts failed. The witness reports indicating that the airplane was in a continuous steepening turn from the downwind leg to final approach immediately before the accident and the observed damage suggest that the pilot’s control inputs stressed the airplane’s wings beyond their design capabilities.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's excessive flight control inputs, which led to flight that exceeded the structural limits of the airplane and resulted in structural failure of both wings.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 23, 2012, about 1530 Pacific standard time, a Sater Coot A-Amphibian experimental amateur-built airplane, N8VS, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and impact with terrain while maneuvering near the Calaveras County-Maury Rasmussen Field Airport (CPU), San Andreas, California. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. The personal flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which had departed CPU about five minutes prior to the accident.

During the course of the investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) received statements from three witnesses. Two of the witnesses were friends of the pilot and had flown with him on the day of the accident, and just prior to the accident flight.

Witness #1, who is also a rated pilot, reported that he occupied the rear seat on the first flight of the day. He stated that during the flight the landing gear was left extended, the canopy was off, and that the accident pilot commented about how much more rudder was required to turn the airplane; the witness agreed, after he momentarily took control of the airplane. Subsequent to landing uneventfully and refueling, witness #1 stated that the accident pilot then flew a second flight at about 1420 with witness #2; he observed that the canopy was attached for this flight, but the landing gear remained extended. The witness revealed that the flight was uneventful, with the exception that the [traffic] pattern was wider with an extended downwind, the turns appeared to be of 20 to 30 degrees [of bank], smooth, and there was no visible overshoot [of the runway] on final. The witness reported that the accident pilot stated that he felt that the airplane handled poorly with the landing gear down, and that he was anxious to see how it handled with the gear up; the accident pilot then decided to fly the airplane once more to see how it handled with the gear up. The witness added that the accident pilot stated that he was going to do a flyby over the runway with the landing gear retracted and that they could tell him how everything looked after he returned. The witness observed the takeoff and noticed instantly that the climb rate had accelerated, and then watched it climb to about 1,500 feet above ground level (agl); the landing gear was never extended after it was retracted following the takeoff. The witness revealed that the airplane then flew about 2 miles before making a turn to [right] downwind, and that when established on downwind he noticed that the airplane was traveling much faster than on the other flights. The witness further revealed that when the airplane was abeam the numbers he observed it make a base leg, but it did not square up on base leg, and that the bank angle increased in an effort not to overshoot the final approach leg. The witness added that when the airplane was [turning] from base to final the bank angle had increased to about 60 degrees, and at about 800 feet agl the airplane nosed down, appearing to stall. The witness stated that he then heard the power being applied and observed the airplane in a more nose down attitude and going into a spin. The witness added that after the first revolution of the spin he observed the leading edge come off of a wing, and after the second revolution and approaching a third, it appeared as if the other wing had separated. The airplane then went out of view.

Witness #2, who is also a rated pilot, reported that the accident pilot decided to take a second flight and asked him if he would like to go along, to which the witness accepted. The witness stated that after putting the canopy on and taking off, the accident pilot made right traffic before landing uneventfully. The witness reported that after they had returned the accident pilot said that he would go up again to cycle the landing gear; [he had not done this on the two previous flights]. The witness revealed that he observed the airplane depart and the landing gear retract without any negative issues. He added that at this time everything appeared to be normal as the airplane turned on to base leg . Then, at about the point where he should have started his turn from base leg to final the aircraft went into about a 75 to 80-degree descending left bank and about a 90-degree left turn, at which point the aircraft continued to roll inverted. The witnesses reported that he then observed the airplane in a near vertical [nose down] attitude when the right wing [separated], at which time it started to spin vertically. The witness added that the left wing was still attached to the airplane as it went out of sight, and that he did not recall hearing any change in the throttle or rpm during the entire flight, although after the airplane turned to the left the engine noise did increase.

Witness #3 was driving south on the main highway which borders the airport when he observed an airplane that he characterized as flying erratically in a right to left direction. The witness stated that he observed a relatively small piece separate from the body of the airplane, followed by it going into a vertical, straight down dive. The witness added that another pale-yellow piece separated completely away from the airplane early into the dive. He then lost sight of the aircraft behind a hill.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 68, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate was issued on December 1, 2010.

A review of the pilot’s two most recent logbooks, #6 and #7, revealed that he had accumulated 5,138 hours of total flying time. There was not an accurate breakdown of flights time in single-engine and multiengine airplanes, as the only time forwarded from the previous logbooks was the total time. The last logbook entry was dated July 24, 2012; there was no recorded time in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot’s most recent flight review in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 61.56, was dated April 27, 2008, and his most recent instrument proficiency check in accordance with FAR 61.57(d), was dated September 13, 2009.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, a Sater Coot A-Amphibian, (serial number, Sater Coot #1), was a low wing, tricycle gear, propeller driven, two-seat amphibious homebuilt airplane. It was powered by a single Franklin 6A&6V335 engine, rated at 210 horsepower, and was mounted on a pedestal behind the cockpit in a pusher configuration. The airplane was designed with wing roots to act as sponsons to stabilize it in the water. No current maintenance records were recovered during the investigation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1555, the automated weather reporting facility located at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK), Stockton, California, about 35 nautical miles (nm) southwest of the accident site, reported wind 290 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.18 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site, which was located about 1.25 nm south of the approach end of runway 31 at CPU, was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector assigned to the Sacramento Flight Standards District Office, Sacramento, California. The inspector reported that the main wreckage consisted of the remains of the fuselage, engine, and empennage in an inverted position. The right wing was located about 90 feet north-northwest of the main wreckage. Additionally, a large section of the left wing minus the leading edge was found about 40 feet south of the main wreckage and the left wing leading edge was found about 20 feet west of the right wing. The inspector reported that the site varied in slope from 10 to 20 degrees from the location of the right wing to where the fuselage came to rest. The tail section of the airplane was observed intact and inverted. The cockpit was destroyed with only the belly skin remaining, and the nose tip area of the cockpit was identified as the initial impact point. The inspector stated that one side of the cockpit was recovered with the glass intact, while the opposite side of the frame was partially intact with pieces of shattered glass observed throughout the accident site. Strips of fabric and splinters of wood frame were scattered throughout the area as far as 200 yards downhill from the main wreckage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On November 27, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Calaveras County Office of The Coroner, Angels Camp, California. The pilot’s death was attributed to multiple traumatic injuries.

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report revealed that testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed, no ethanol was detected in either muscle or liver, and no listed drugs detected in liver.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A detailed examination of the wreckage was performed by the Airworthiness Group assigned to the accident, which consisted of a NTSB structures engineer and a FAA airworthiness aviation safety inspector. The group reported that the entire airplane was accounted for in the wreckage. The main focus of the examination centered on the left and right wings, as they were both recovered away from the main wreckage site.

A review of the NTSB Group Chairman’s Factual Report revealed:

Right wing

The right wing was recovered about 90 feet north-northwest of the main wreckage. The wing was essentially intact from the side-of-body out to the tip with the exception of the lower, inboard trailing edge aft of the rear spar that was recovered separately. The aileron remained attached to the wing. The fabric covered aluminum leading edge was intact with no apparent damage. The fabric was intact on both the upper and lower surfaces of the wing. The front and rear spars were fractured about 17 inches outboard of the wing attach points. The two forward and one rear attach bolts remained installed and intact. The front spar fractured through the outboard bolt holes for the upper and lower finger straps. The front spar fractured about 3 inches outboard of the point where the spar transitions from a rectangular cross section to a more conventional upper and lower cap with web cross section. The spar was also fractured spanwise through the center of the rectangular cross section area. Examination of the fracture showed areas of splintered fibers normally consistent with tension failure and areas of in-plane or flat fracture normally consistent with compression failure. The front spar fractures on the inboard and outboard portions matched. There were no obvious signs of rot or pre-existing conditions in the wood spars examined.

Left wing

A large section of the left wing minus the leading edge was found about 40 feet south of the main wreckage, and the leading edge was found about 20 feet west of the right wing. Most of the left wing was recovered in three main pieces. The largest piece included the rear spar, wing ribs, upper and lower fabric skins, and attached aileron. A section of the front spar, about 15 feet 8 inches long that extended from the wing tip inboard, was separated from the wing. The fabric covered aluminum leading edge skin was also recovered separated from the wing. The leading edge ribs were separated from the front spar and remained attached to the leading edge skin by the wing tip light wire. The front and rear spars were fractured about 17 inches outboard of the wing attach points. The two forward and one rear attach bolts remained installed and intact. The front spar fractured through the outboard bolt holes for the upper and lower finger straps. A portion of the front spar, about 38 inches long, that included the attach points, a portion of the center section, and the inboard section of wing front spar was recovered separated near the main wreckage site. The left wing inboard fracture face was caked in dirt and mud that destroyed most of the fracture features. The left wing front spar had a diagonal cut that extended from the upper spar cap down and inboard about 18 inches to the lower spar cap. There was a matching U-shape cut area in the leading edge skin. The skin around the cut was curled inward. The area of the front spar between the inboard fracture and the cut was not conclusively identified in the wreckage. There were no obvious signs of rot or pre-existing conditions in the wood spars examined. (Refer to the Group Chairman’s Factual Report, which is attached to the public docket.)


NTSB Identification: WPR13LA050 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 23, 2012 in San Andreas, CA
Aircraft: Vernon D Sater Coot A-Amphib, registration: N8VS
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 23, 2012, about 1530 Pacific standard time, a Vernon D. Sater Coot A-Amphib experimental amateur-built airplane, N8VS, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and impact with terrain while maneuvering near the Calaveras County-Maury Rasmussen Field Airport (CPU), San Andreas, California. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. The personal flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which had departed CPU about five minutes prior to the accident.

According to a witness who observed the accident, this was the pilot’s third flight of the day in the accident airplane, which had just recently been renovated. The witness stated that after the first two flights, both of which were uneventful, the pilot said that he wanted to take the airplane up one more time by himself to check the operation of the landing gear. The witness further stated that as he watched the airplane turn right base for final approach, it suddenly rolled over and pitched down prior to impacting terrain. The witness added that he thought both wings had separated during the descent, however, he was not entirely certain.

The airplane was recovered to a secure storage facility for further examination.


 









Dr. Russell Hackler, known to Castro Valley residents through his work at Grove Way Veterinary Hospital, died Friday when his home-built plane crashed near the Calaveras County Airport, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times.

The family have been notified. Hackler, 68, lived in Danville.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Hackler was flying alone when the crash occurred.

If you knew Dr. Hackler through his veterinary work or his flight hobby and would care to leave a memorial, please use the comments here.


CALAVERAS COUNTY -- A Danville man was killed Friday afternoon after his homemade plane crashed just south of the county airport. 

 Russell Hackler, 68, was killed after his Coot A Amphibian crashed into the hillside near the Calaveras County Airport.

Fire crews arrived around 3:45 p.m. to find the plane "in total wreckage," according to Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant.

Hackler, who was the only person on board the plane, was declared dead at the scene.

An investigation is being conducted by the Calaveras County Sheriff and the Federal Aviation Administration to find out what caused Hackler to crash.

A Coot A Amphibian is built through a kit and can land and take-off from water.


CALAVERAS COUNTY (CBS13) – A pilot has died after his single-engine plane crashed under unknown circumstances near Highway 49.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant confirmed that the wreckage was discovered south of the Calaveras County Airport around 3:45 p.m. Friday in Altaville.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane, a homebuilt Coot A-Amphibian, was inbound to the airport when the crash occurred.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.

Authorities say, the pilot was the only one on board the plane, but has not been identified at this time.

SAN ANDREAS- A small aircraft crashed just to the south of Maury Rasmussen Field in Calaveras County Friday afternoon. 
 

The pilot, the only person on board, was killed in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol and Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department.

The CHP says the plane went down near 3600 Carol Kennedy Drive in San Andreas. They are helping direct traffic in the area.

Ian Gregor, a communications manager with the Federal Aviation Administration  said the crash happened at about 3:40 p.m.

The FAA and NTSB have taken over as the main investigating agencies, with NTSB taking the lead. Neither will confirm the plane’s tail number or pilot’s identity until the next of kin have been notified.

The FAA added that the plane was inbound.


CALAVERAS COUNTY (CBS13) – A pilot has died after his single-engine plane crashed under unknown circumstances near Highway 49.

 Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant confirmed that the wreckage was discovered south of the Calaveras County Airport around 3:45 p.m. Friday in Altaville.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane, a homebuilt Coot A-Amphibian, was inbound to the airport when the crash occurred.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.

Authorities say, the pilot was the only one aboard the plane, but has not been identified at this time.

SAN ANDREAS - A person died in a plane crash Friday in San Andreas, authorities said.

The plane went down about a mile south of the Calaveras County Airport in San Andreas, officials from the Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue Protection District said, killing the pilot.

The first report of the plane crash came in at 3:46 p.m., the Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue Protection District said.

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department was investigating at the scene Friday evening.


 CALAVERAS COUNTY, CA - Cal Fire and Calaveras County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a plane crash just south of the county airport Maury Rasmussen Field Friday afternoon.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, was dead.
The emergency call came in at 3:40 p.m., according to Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Gregor said the aircraft was a home-built, single-engine, Coot A-Amphibian on approach to the airport when it went down.

A photo of the scene showed the plane in pieces.

The Coot Amphibian is designed for water take-offs and landings.

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA will be investigating, Gregor said.

Layoffs for First Air pilots: Airline says planes 'over-crewed'

First Air is laying off 13 pilots and flight engineers from crews operating the Northern airline's Yellowknife-based fleet of 737 jets and Hercules aircraft, Yellowknifer has learned.

First Air announced last week that it was relocating its Yellowknife jet base to Edmonton. It's now confirming that the consolidation of its operations will come with layoffs - five from flight crews operating jet aircraft and eight from its fleet of two Hercules airplanes.

"That's an efficiency decision based on scheduling," said Jennifer Alldred, manager of marketing communications for First Air.

"On the Herc side of the business it's more a result of taking a look at the overall of how planes operate and what crews and support crews are needed to manage the operation ... We're basically over-crewed on our flight operations. So the crew is now going to more closely match the business demand."

Devin Lyall, Yellowknife Herc pilot and chair of the bargaining unit representing First Air pilots and flight engineers with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), stated in a news released Wednesday that First Air management issued the layoff notices after "failed conciliation talks between the company and the ALPA, which have been at the bargaining table for two years."

He stated during that time First Air has had three different chief executive officers and three different flight operations vice-presidents.

"The planes have always been marketed to go anywhere at any time and get the job done. One would think this would make it significantly harder to do that," Lyall told Yellowknifer prior to issuing the news release. He noted that each Herc requires one captain, one co-pilot, and one flight engineer to operate.

"They really haven't told us very much and we're pretty annoyed because they're playing with our lives obviously."

Lyall also stated that the company is laying off pilots and flight engineers for economic reasons.

"No. No," said Alldred. "The pilots are just being consolidated based on where the planes are based and how the schedule operates. We've looked at it and said, 'Hey, this can be done more efficiently if they're based in Edmonton.' On the Herc side it's looking at the trends and how we've been flying and what the schedule looked like and making adjustments to more closely align with the business."

Alldred notes that First Air service to the public and Northern businesses will continue as usual.

For now, Lyall said the union will try to find jobs for the 13 laid-off crew members with other airlines in Canada.

"We're going to support our members as well as we can ... The company is saying their doing this for economics and there's nothing much we can do about it."

Other than the military, First Air is the only airline in Canada that flies Hercules aircraft, according to the Department of Transportation. 

http://nnsl.com

First Air Confirms Yellowknife Layoffs

Yellowknife N.W.T.  -  First Air is now confirming more than a dozen job losses in Yellowknife. 

Company spokesperson Jennifer Alldred said the layoffs come after a consolidation of the jet pilot base to Edmonton and restructuring in their Hercules department.

"Unfortunately these changes are resulting in five jet pilot losses, five Herc pilots and three flight engineer positions lost."

Alldred said customers of First Air should NOT notice any changes in service. 

"We continue to be committed to the North, our customers and our employees.  And it's important for everyone to know that the flight service in Yellowknife is not changing for our customers.  We're operating the same flight schedule and providing the same service that First Air is known for."

First Air issued a news release last week about the jet pilot base moving to Edmonton, but the company wasn't entirely clear about how many layoffs there would be in Yellowknife. 

CJCD Mix 100 News

http://www.firstair.ca

Drug Enforcement Administration shuts Hilo office, airport hangar to cut costs

Federal cutbacks in the U.S. Department of Justice have caused the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to close its office and hangar that were located at Hilo International Airport.

The DEA facilities were closed on Oct. 1, without the knowledge of local police.

Hawaii County Police Department Maj. Randy Apele in the Vice Section said he was aware that the DEA had been considering removing its air operations for some time but he was unaware that the agency had left the island.

“We didn’t get any details,” he said.

DEA Special Agent Sarah Pullen, a media contact in the agency’s Los Angeles office, said last week that the “(t)he closure of the Hilo office was part of a DOJ mandate to reduce DEA’s footprint by closing some offices and saving money. All DOJ components had to identify some offices for closure.”

“With the closure of DEA’s enforcement office in Hilo … the Aviation Division, which principally supports DEA offices and investigations, closed down its aviation component there,” Pullen said. “The Aviation Division will continue to provide aviation support with resources from Honolulu, (and)… will continue to conduct investigations and to assist local law enforcement throughout Hawaii using resources from our Honolulu District Office.”

Apele said the closing “doesn’t impact any of our operations.” HPD no longer conducts aerial marijuana enforcement operations on Hawaii Island and Apele was not concerned with how the move might affect future HPD operations.

“They assist us at times, but we’ll be able to make adjustments,” he said.

The DEA website for its Los Angeles office still lists Hilo as a “post of duty” and lists a telephone number that is no longer in service. A Google search also indicates that the DEA has an office at 349 Kapiolani St., Hilo, the location of the Police Department. However, a source in the Police Department said that while office space is available for the DEA in both the Hilo and Kona offices of the department, no DEA agents have been assigned to the offices.

Meanwhile, a local medical marijuana activist bid good riddance to the drug enforcement agency.

“Joy, joy,” said Wolf Daniel Braun upon learning the news. Braun is former president of the Peaceful Sky Alliance, a now-disbanded marijuana advocacy group.

“The DEA has been no friend of mine,” Braun said, “or of the medical marijuana community.”

Hawaii Island residents with drug-related inquiries or needing information about the DEA should call the Honolulu office at 808-541-1930, said a DEA spokeswoman in Honolulu.


Source:   http://hawaiitribune-herald.com

Vernon Inman celebrates 50 years of flying

 
 Stephen Brun/Journal Pioneer 
 Vernon Inman displays his 1969 Champion Citabria airplane, which he keeps in a storage shed at his home in North Tryon. In 2012, the 82-year-old celebrated the 50th anniversary of obtaining his pilot’s license
~



The aircraft, a single-engine, two-seat, 1969 Champion Citabria, would be the smallest plane I’d ever flown in. It was also sitting, not in an airport hangar, but in a potato field across the road from the pilot’s house in North Tryon. 

Given the circumstances, the thought crossed my mind that I could die.

But considering my pilot was 82-year-old Vernon Inman, who’s been taking off from the grass runway of his field for more than 50 years, I agreed immediately.

“I have roughly 2,200 hours of flying,” Inman tells me.

“I always had a liking for aircraft. During the war, I’d stand out and watch aircraft doing acrobatic flying. I’d be building (model) aircraft as a kid, so it started from that I guess.”

It was on Jan. 3, 1962, when Inman, a potato farmer by trade, obtained his pilot’s license. Although he lived through the time of the Second World War, he was too young to enlist in the Air Force.

Needless to say, he still caught the flying bug.

Three years after becoming licensed, he bought his first plane, a Piper Cruiser, in Quebec City. Four years after that, he purchased the Citabria brand new from a Toronto manufacturer for $13,000.

In the way that most Islanders would hop into their car for their morning commute, Inman casually fires up the plane’s noisy engine and taxis across the field, lifting off over the rural landscape as if he were piloting a 747.

Since it’s such a small aircraft, I feel the dips and banks in the pit of my stomach, but it’s more from the thrill than from motion sickness.

That’s also what Inman still loves about flying, even after half a century.

“Just the thrill of it, the scenery,” he said. “On my 80th birthday, I was scheduled for surgery at Prince County Hospital… at nine o’clock. I got up that morning and went for a half-hour’s flight.

“I just wanted to celebrate my birthday.”

We make the brief journey to the skies above Borden-Carleton, the entire length of the Confederation Bridge visible across the Northumberland Strait. Later, we pass over the scenic views of Victoria-By-the-Sea.

Although he usually flies by himself these days, Inman and his wife, Thelma, have often taken plane trips to the United States or to Grand Manan Island, N.B.

The Citabria is in remarkable condition for its age – even the original paint job hasn’t faded much – because Inman keeps it in a windowless building next to the field, his own personal hangar. He’s taken an acrobatic flying course and assures me he still does the occasional loop or barrel roll.

“The red paint is hard to stop from fading, but it’s kept good,” he said. “I think (the plane) will last me out if I don’t damage it.”

He had the Citabria out back on Jan. 3 of this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of earning his license.

As far as Inman knows, he’s the oldest licensed pilot on P.E.I., and has also held a license for the longest length of time. He said he’s never had any serious mishaps in the air.

There is a mandatory medical exam every two years that must be performed by a doctor certified to examine a pilot’s capability to fly. Inman has always passed with – pun intended – flying colors.

Still, he knows accidents or health problems could happen out of the blue, no matter the pilot’s age.

Story, photo and video:  http://www.journalpioneer.com

Flydubai keeps expanding as market grows

Flydubai celebrates a number of route anniversaries in its Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) network this month, reaffirming its commitment to expansion and connectivity while highlighting its growth in the UAE’s aviation market.

Three years since launching operations to Baku, Azerbaijan on Nov. 22, 2009, Dubai’s innovative airline has established flights to 16 destinations across 11 countries in the CEE and CIS region. It also has the most comprehensive network of all Middle Eastern carriers to this area and is the only scheduled operator flying direct to Dubai from Belgrade, Skopje, Bishkek, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Tbilisi.

Key to the airline’s growth has been its strategic approach to drive expansion. Through adding new aircraft and destinations each year, flydubai has opened up previously under-served markets, bringing affordable travel to more people, more often. New figures that highlight its remarkable regional development include:

flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “More than 40 percent of our route development this year has taken place in CEE and the CIS. The geographical prioritization of these markets has been key to flydubai’s continued growth and highlights our commitment to offering real choice and excellent quality service for passengers while boosting tourism and trade between our regions. flydubai has also been instrumental in increasing air traffic between the UAE and Russia by 85 percent; and the UAE and Ukraine by 112 percent.”

Passenger traffic from the CIS and Russia climbed 54.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2011, in large part due to flydubai’s on-going expansion in this region. Developments in the past 12 months include launching a twice-weekly service to the Russian cities of Kazan and Ufa late last year, along with starting the first ever direct service to Kharkiv, Ukraine from Dubai in addition to Kiev and Donetsk. flydubai continues to increase its frequency to the region with adding a fourth weekly flight to Yerevan Nov. 29, 2012. — SGOffering 58 regular flights per week, flydubai’s CEE and CIS network includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine providing an array of destinations appealing to the leisure, business travellers and those visiting friends and family.

Elsewhere, flydubai recently announced that flights to Malé, the capital the Maldives will begin in 19 January 2013. The latest addition to flydubai’s expanding network has proven particularly popular among travelers from Russia and CIS with figures revealing a 15.7 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2011.

In parallel to its expansion plans, flydubai has also grown its fleet to 27 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft to cater to increasing demand from the business and leisure passengers across its route map. With the January 2012 launch of flydubai Cargo, the carrier has also established an affordable and reliable freight network. 

 http://www.saudigazette.com.sa

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: Staff still travels in style - Tightened policy in 2009 only covered board members

During a business trip to Singapore in May, county airport authority president and CEO Thella F. Bowens ordered a $91 steak, a $37 salad and a $23 bottle of water at dinner on the public agency’s tab.
 

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority paid $9,765 for Bowens’ trip to Singapore, where she was speaking at an industry conference.

The bill included $6,956 for Bowens’ business-class plane ticket, four nights in a $569-per-night hotel room, and meals including her $177 steak dinner and $56 breakfast buffet.

Board members at the airport authority, which oversees and operates Lindbergh Field, said amid a public outcry in 2007 that they would make policy changes to rein in travel spending.

They said it again after another round of public scrutiny in 2009, and voted unanimously to cap board members’ out-of-town hotel, meal and related expenses at the maximum daily reimbursement set by the federal government. The caps did not extend to agency staff.

“Ultimately, the board decided that being able to maintain flexibility for the staff in terms of all the kinds of travel they do — particularly related to route-development and travel regulation — did not merit imposing the per-diem cap on the staff,” said board Chairman Robert Gleason. “At the time, there had been public attention to board expenditures, and that was the main topic of our discussions.”

Public records obtained by The Watchdog show that, since 2009, the authority has paid to send employees to conferences at resorts in Hawaii, and to fly business-class to conferences and meetings in destinations including Morocco, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland and Denmark.

Employees stayed at luxury hotels including the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, India; The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., where rooms are “playgrounds filled with palatial pleasures,” according to the hotel’s website.

In the first nine months of this year, the airport authority spent more than $50,000 on Bowens’ travel alone.

Airport officials said employee’s travel was critical to advancing the business interests of the airport, which derives its budget from users of Lindbergh Field. Revenue includes rent, concessions and fees that passengers, airlines and vendors pay.

“Airports are a self-supporting competitive businesses and we compete among other regions and among airlines for air service and for passengers,” Gleason said. “So a lot of what our out-of-town travel is about is route-development.”

Because the airport industry is global, employees must sometimes travel to distant destinations where important meetings about regulations are held, officials said. They said the benefits of sending employees to build business relationships and act as the airport’s voice more than covers the employees’ travel costs.

The cost of travel was small when considered in context, airport officials said.

The authority set aside about $300,000 for travel in its most recent fiscal year, less than 1 percent of its $151 million operating budget, Gleason said. He said the travel budget had decreased by 46 percent since the board changed its policies in 2009.

Even so, public officials should avoid making extravagant purchases with public money, experts said.

“It’s probably a very minor portion of the budget, but still, you want to have a perception that the staff is trying to adhere to good taste,” said William Sannwald, a professor in the School of Business at San Diego State University. “People lose trust in the institution if the organization has a reputation for lavish spending.”

The more often people see officials spending public money on extravagances such as an $11 mini-bar soft drink or $69 laundry bills, the less confident they feel that officials are protecting the public’s money when spending for big-ticket purchases and projects, Sannwald said.

Bowens and other airport authority employees did not respond to requests for comment, leaving answers to authority spokeswoman Diana Lucero.

Policy changes

 
Since breaking off from the Port of San Diego in 2003, the airport authority has incrementally tightened spending policies amid repeated public scrutiny of top officials’ business and travel costs.

One round happened in 2007 after a U-T article described the authority’s use of about $466,000 in public funds for top officials’ meals, alcohol, first-class plane tickets, San Diego Padres tickets, gifts to industry experts and trips to conferences in Bermuda, Hawaii, New Zealand and Paris.

In 2009, the Voice of San Diego website described continued lavish travel by top officials, and possible violations of policies against first-class seats on domestic flights and reimbursements for alcohol. Amid a resulting public outcry, board members voted unanimously for per-diem caps on their own spending.

About two months later, board members voted 6-1 to further increase documentation and oversight of travel and business spending. Gleason cast the dissenting vote. He argued the tighter policies didn’t go far enough. He noted then that recently-imposed per-diem spending caps didn’t apply to Bowens or her executive staff.

Airport officials ultimately decided allowing employees more flexibility to travel was justified by the business they bring in.

A single new flight can be worth more than $10 million to the region’s economy each year, while a nonstop international flight can be worth more than $100 million annually, Lucero said in a written response to questions.

“At the end of the day, the authority’s travel is a relatively small investment with an enormous return,” Lucero wrote.

When airport authority employees went to Las Vegas in May 2011 to discuss air service with officials at Spirit Airlines, the flying public paid for their $312-per-night hotel rooms, and picked up their $161 tab for dinner at Jean-Georges Steakhouse. The bill included $40 steaks and a $14 baked potato.

The two employees were the only guests at dinner, Lucero wrote. It was not part of the meeting with Spirit Airlines officials.

The approximate cost for each employee’s lodging and dinner was $392 — a little more than twice the federal government’s per-diem rate of $170 for lodging, food, and other expenses in Las Vegas.

As a result of the employees’ presentation to officials at Spirit Airlines, the airline launched four new routes from Lindbergh Field, Lucero said.

Not every trip has a specific, measurable return because it often requires several trips to develop business, Lucero said.

“It takes years of planning, cultivation and negotiation to bring new air service to an airport,” Lucero said in a written response to questions. “The ‘sales cycle,’ so to speak, is long and complex, due to the extremely high cost to an airline to bring just one new flight to the airport. The authority must develop those business relationships over a series of meetings and interactions.”

For example, Bowens’ attendance at the conference in Singapore was a valuable opportunity to build business relationships that could serve the airport authority’s long-term goal of expanding service to East Asia and Southeast Asia, Gleason said.

He said the airport is slated to add a flight to Tokyo in December, marking the start of Asia-Pacific air service at Lindbergh Field.

“We know there is consumer demand for flights to different parts of Asia,” Gleason said. “Making connections with people who might not travel to the U.S. but would travel for a conference there (in Singapore) is important.”

The Watchdog has requested copies of any notes, presentations, emails or other documents that might show Bowens’ work product during the Singapore trip, and is awaiting response.

Bowens spent up to $803 on her lodging and meals in a single day during the trip — nearly double the federal government’s $454 maximum per-diem rate for travel to Singapore, according to public records. The maximum per-diem rate allowed up to $309 for lodging and $145 for food.

As for the $177 Bowens spent on dinner at the conference, Gleason said it was reasonable. He said Bowens stayed at the conference hotel at the group rate, and she dined at the Marina Bay Sands restaurants because the resort was not close to other dining options.

Overall, policy changes to limit travel spending have been successful, Gleason said.

“I think the changes resulted in meeting the goals we had for them,” Gleason said. “I think we’re more effective than we’ve ever been in our history in terms of marketing, and we’ve been able to do it at less cost.”

In changing spending policies, the board wanted to “provide accountability and oversight for how things are being done in a way that was transparent to the public and, most importantly, continue to allow the staff the flexibility it needs to market the airport and to attract and maintain service,” Gleason said.

Authority officials said board members and employees have adhered to rules that ban reimbursements for alcohol — unless the purchase of alcohol has been preapproved — and reimbursements for domestic flights in excess of “prevailing applicable coach rate.”

Employees are allowed to fly business class on international flights that last more than six hours, according to the authority’s policies.

Airport authority documents show that employees have flown business- or first-class for domestic flights or domestic legs of international flights, but officials said the authority paid coach rates. Officials said employees sometimes used frequent flier miles or personal money to upgrade seats, and in other cases the airline gave them the better seats in consideration of their frequent flier status.

The balance of flexibility and limits in the airport authority’s travel policies have allowed the airport to continue developing business effectively, Gleason said.

“At the same time we’ve been able to produce really positive results from returns on those trips, we’ve been able to effect really positive results in terms of meeting the public trust,” Gleason said.


Story and reaction/comments:   http://www.nctimes.com

Air New Zealand unveils Hobbit plane

Ahead of the first film premiere, the cast of Hobbit are primed to begin jetting around the world - on the side of an aeroplane. 

Air New Zealand today unveiled its official Hobbit aircraft, which depicts characters from the upcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in the Hobbit trilogy. 

It will fly between Auckland, Los Angeles and London - and will also make an appearance at the Hobbit premiere in Wellington this coming week. 

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe called the 73-metre long image ''simply stunning''. 


"This aircraft is going to excite passengers and fans of Sir Peter Jackson's award-winning cinema fantasies alike. 

"New Zealand is the home of Middle Earth and the Hobbit movies will be hugely important to New Zealand's tourism industry in the next couple of years." 

The film-inspired 777-300 is also scheduled to make a brief appearance at the red carpet event in Wellington, just before the premiere on November 28

"It will be fantastic to show this spectacular aircraft off to a global audience at what is certain to be one of the most highly-anticipated movie events of the year." 

Sir Peter Jackson said the aircraft was eye-catching. 

"It's wonderful to see such a stunning image to celebrate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on one of Air New Zealand's largest international aircraft.  

''It's a unique representation of the innovation and creativity of New Zealanders and a great opportunity to show off the incomparably beautiful landscape of this country." 

Earlier in the month, the airline released its in-flight safety video An Unexpected Briefing, which was created by the Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop and starred cast and crew members from The Hobbit. It has had almost 10 million views on YouTube. 

Air New Zealand will launch a second flying billboard next year utilising another of its long haul aircraft to celebrate the second movie in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 

Story and photo:  http://www.stuff.co.nz

Elder wants Parasi airfield reopened

A villager elder of Liwe, South Malaita Ishmael Ouou has called on Clement Honiola and his party to stop disputing the operation of Parasi airfield.

Mr Ouou said it is sad to see after more than ten years, the airfield has been upgraded only to be disputed again by Mr Honiola and his party.

“If Mr Honiola who claimed ownership of the land did not want to open the operation of the airstrip, we kindly ask him to destroy the airstrip so that we can replace it with our land.

“Such attitude towards national development which benefits our people is not welcomed.

“I believe God is the owner of the land and we are only custodians. Therefore we should not start a dispute over land,” Mr Ouou said.

This ministry of communication and aviation has confirmed the closure of the airstrip due to dispute.

But they said they hoped to resolve the issue with the two disputing parties and reopen the airstrip before the end of the year.

http://www.solomonstarnews.com

Poland wants Kaczyński’s plane crash photos deleted from sites hosted in Russia, Germany, and the United States: Tupolev 154M, Polish Air Force, Accident occurred April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia

The public prosecution office of Warsaw has demanded law-enforcement authorities of the United States, Germany, and Russia block access to photos made after the plane crash that killed the country’s president Lech Kaczyński. The websites where photos are published are allegedly hosted in these three countries, RIA Novosti reports.

Graphic images of the crash scene with burned remains of the plane’s passengers, including Kaczyński, leaked to the Internet in September and triggered strong resentment in Poland.

In October, the head of Polish Foreign Ministry asked mass media not to distribute such photos “out of ethical considerations,” reports Russian newspaper Vzglyad. At the same time Polish security services reached out to Russia, Germany, and the United States, asking them to block access to the published photos. However, only Russian authorities have agreed, while American and German representatives refused to take photos down, saying that it would be illegal in their countries.

Second attempt  

The new request was filed by the prosecution office of Warsaw. It will be sent to Germany directly and passed to the United States and Russia through official channels.

“[Our] requests contain the servers’ addresses. If the content is already deleted, we’re waiting for information about it in the answers to our request,” the prosecution office’s representative Renata Mazur told RIA Novosti.

The first photos of the crash had been reportedly posted by Russian bloggers, Vzglyad reports. Access to their blogs was blocked very soon, but by the time it was, images were already reposted by many others.

 --------------

 WARSAW, November 23 - RIA Novosti, Eugene Bezeq. Warsaw prosecutor's office to the law enforcement bodies of Russia, Germany and the U.S. request to remove photos from the servers of the dead in the crash of the Polish Tu-154 crash near Smolensk, said the official representative of the military prosecutor's office in Warsaw Praga district Renata Mazur. 

Photos of the charred remains, in one of which the body of President Lech Kaczynski, appeared on the Internet in late September, the blog of one of the Russian users. 

"We have sent an appeal for legal aid for the removal of these materials from servers in Russia, Germany and the United States. Statements contain the addresses of servers. If they have already been removed, we expect the relevant information in response to our request," - said Mazur.Request to colleagues in Germany was sent directly, and in Russia and the U.S. will be sent through official channels by the Prosecutor General of Poland, said Mazur. 

Publish photos provoked outrage in Poland. Foreign Ministry demanded from Russia to find the source of the leak. Poland's Internal Security Agency, in turn, asked his colleagues to block access to these materials. 

Polish presidential TU-154 crashed April 10, 2010 near Smolensk while landing. Killed 96 people - eight crew members and 88 passengers, including President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and part of the leadership of Poland. The Interstate Aviation Committee in 2011 issued a final report on the results of the technical investigation, according to which the direct cause of the crash crew acknowledged the decision not to go to the alternate, and systemic reasons - gaps in provision and training of flight crew.

 http://ria.ru/world/20121123/911979938.html

Польша просит РФ удалить с серверов фотографии тел жертв аварии Ту-154 Смотреть позже Фотографии обгоревших останков, на одной из которых тело президента Леха Качиньского, появились в интернете в конце сентября в блоге одного из российских пользователей. 

ВАРШАВА, 23 ноя — РИА Новости, Евгений Безека. Варшавская прокуратура направила в правоохранительные органы России, Германии и США просьбу удалить с серверов фотографии тел погибших в авиакатастрофе польского Ту-154 под Смоленском, сказала официальная представительница военной прокуратуры варшавского района Прага Рената Мазур.

Фотографии обгоревших останков, на одной из которых тело президента Леха Качиньского, появились в интернете в конце сентября в блоге одного из российских пользователей.

Запрос коллегам в Германию был направлен напрямую, а в Россию и США будет передан по официальным каналам через Генеральную прокуратуру Польши, сказала Мазур.

Публикация фото вызвала возмущение в Польше. МИД потребовал от России найти источник утечки. Агентство внутренней безопасности Польши, в свою очередь, попросило своих коллег заблокировать доступ к этим материалам.

Польский президентский борт Ту-154 разбился 10 апреля 2010 года под Смоленском при заходе на посадку. Погибли 96 человек — восемь членов экипажа и 88 пассажиров, в том числе президент Лех Качиньский, его супруга и часть руководства Польши. 

Межгосударственный авиационный комитет в 2011 году обнародовал окончательный отчет о результатах технического расследования, согласно которому непосредственной причиной крушения признано решение экипажа не уходить на запасной аэродром, а системными причинами — недостатки в обеспечении полета и подготовке экипажа.

Читайте далее: Польша просит РФ удалить с серверов фотографии тел жертв аварии Ту-154 | РИА Новости



NTSB Identification: ENG10RA025 
14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Saturday, April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia
Aircraft: TUPOLEV TU154, registration:
Injuries: 89 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.


On April 10, 2010, about 0656 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Tupolev Tu-154M, Tail Number 101, operated by the Polish Air Force as flight PLF101, crashed during approach to the Military Aerodrom Smolensk "Severnyi", Russia. All 89 passengers and 7 flightcrew were killed, including the President of Poland. The airplane was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire.

Following the accident, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Poland concluded a bilateral agreement that the regional international independent safety investigation organization, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), would conduct the investigation. Although the airplane was operated as a "state" aircraft, by the mutual agreement, the investigation was conducted following the guidance provided in ICAO Annex 13 Standards and Recommended Practices. As the United States was state of design and manufacture for the TAWS and FMS units, the NTSB was requested to support the investigation activity.

Saskatchewan, Canada: Flights resume at Regina International Airport after plane slides into snowbank

 
A plane got stuck at the Regina airport on November 23, 2012.



 
Snow Maulers clear the runway at the Regina International Airport after heavy snowfall in Regina on November 22, 2012


 
Regina International Airport ended up sliding on the runway and getting stuck in a snowbank.




A cargo plane waited for nearly three hours on Runway 13 at the Regina International Airport Friday morning after what it called a “minor incident”.  The light twin engine aircraft slid off the edge of the runway upon arriving. Reports suggest it slid over 100 feet off the runway.

Two people were on board but weren’t injured.  

The runway was closed until staff removed the plane at about 10:40 a.m. The airport authority had warned of potential delays for a brief time because weather had affected surface conditions of the secondary runway.  The extent of the damage to the plane isn’t known.


REGINA — A cargo plane is stuck on the runway at Regina International Airport,causing major delays for travellers.

Just after 10 a.m., a passenger on another aircraft, Chris Tessmer, told the Leader-Post he had been sitting in his seat on a stationary plane for more than two hours.

He said he could see another aircraft surrounded by emergency and airport vehicles, and passengers have been told by the pilot that plane is stuck.

According to a statement from the Regina Airport Authority, that plane slid off Runway 13 just before 8 a.m.

Nobody was injured in the incident, which involved a light twin engine aircraft with two people on board.

Tessmer said passengers on his flight have been told by the pilot that a second runway is too icy to be used.

The authority confirmed the second runway was unavailable due to weather and runway surface conditions.

“The pilot told us that runway is covered 80 percent in ice,” Tessmer said.

“It doesn’t seem as though there was a lot of foresight there ... and personally I wonder if they’re trying to save money or something.”

Tessmer said the most disappointing thing was the lack of information passengers were getting.

“We were supposed to leave at 7:45 a.m. and our flight was on time until we got on the plane to leave,” he said from his seat on the aircraft.

“People are getting pretty antsy and it ... means a lot of people are going to be missing connecting flights.

“My friends and I were trying to get away from the snow, but we’ve spent the last two hours sitting here staring at it.”

The authority said it is monitoring the situation and delays can be expected.