Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cessna 177RG, N1912Q: Accident occurred November 27, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA076
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in Lansing, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/24/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N1912Q
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot, he retracted the landing gear, raised the flaps, and then reduced power during the climb. The engine then lost all power. The pilot declared an emergency and attempted a forced landing on the runway. He tried to extend the landing gear; however, it did not have sufficient time to fully extend and subsequently collapsed when the airplane touched down. The airplane skidded down the runway until coming to rest at the departure end. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the engine could not be primed when the fuel tank selector valve was in the "both" fuel tanks position. However, when the fuel tank selector valve was in the "left" tank position, fuel flow was established, the engine primed, and it ran normally. The examination could not identify what caused the observed loss of fuel flow through the fuel tank selector valve while it was in the "both" fuel tanks position.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power due to the loss of fuel flow through the airplane's fuel tank selector valve.

On November 27, 2012, about 1904 eastern standard time, a Cessna 177RG airplane, N1912Q, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power on takeoff from runway 28L at the Capital Region International Airport (LAN), near Lansing, Michigan. The pilot and two passengers were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial empennage damage. The airplane was registered and was operated by Partners For Neighborhood Group, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a VFR flight plan. The flight was originating from LAN at the time of the accident flight and was destined for the Chicago Executive Airport, near Wheeling, Illinois.

According to the pilot’s accident report, he reported that he was given a clearance to taxi to runway 28L. No operational anomalies were detected during the engine run up. Flaps were set to 10 degrees for takeoff. The pilot was then given a clearance to fly the runway heading on takeoff. After takeoff and in the climb, he retracted the landing gear and flaps. The pilot reduced engine power to 25 inches of manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm. It was at that time the engine lost power. The pilot declared an emergency and attempted a forced landing on the runway. He lowered the flaps and landing gear and initiated a flare about six feet above the ground. However, during the forced landing, the landing gear did not have time to fully extend. The airplane touched down, the gear collapsed and it airplane skidded until coming to rest at the departure end of the runway.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane. The airplane was lifted and the main landing gear was extended. The airplane's fuel system and engine were examined. The airplane's fuel gauges indicated one-half full on the left tank and three-eighths full on the right tank. An examination of the firewall sump and main tank sumps showed no water. However, a “minimal” amount of water was drained from the right belly sump. The inspector could not prime the engine when the fuel valve selector was positioned on the "both" fuel tank setting. He subsequently turned the fuel tank valve selector to the "left" tank setting, established fuel flow, primed, and started the engine. The engine ran rich at first but cleared after running for about 1 minute. No fuel flow could be established until the selector was placed in the "left" position. Once fuel flow was established, the engine started and ran normally. The reason for why fuel flow could not be established when in the fuel selector was in the "both" fuel tank position could not be determined.


 NTSB Identification: CEN13LA076
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in Lansing, MI
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N1912Q
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On November 27, 2013, about 1904 eastern standard time, a Cessna 177RG, N1912Q, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power on takeoff from runway 28L at the Capital Region International Airport (LAN), near Lansing, Michigan. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The airplane sustained substantial empennage damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a VFR flight plan. The flight was originating from LAN at the time of the accident flight and was destined for the Chicago Executive Airport, near Wheeling, Illinois.

According to an initial interview, the pilot reported that he was given a clearance to taxi to runway 28. No operational anomalies were detected during the engine run up. Flaps were set to 10 degrees for takeoff. The pilot was given a clearance to fly the runway heading on takeoff. He retracted the landing gear and flaps during the climb. The pilot reduced engine power to 25 inches of manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm. At that time, the engine lost power. The pilot declared an emergency and he performed a forced landing to the runway. He lowered the flaps and landing gear and flared about six feet above the ground. The landing gear did not fully extend, the airplane skidded, and it came to rest at the runway departure end.

At 1853, the recorded weather at LAN was: Wind 250 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; scattered clouds 22,000 feet; temperature -2 degrees C; dew point -8 degrees C; altimeter 30.26 inches of mercury.


 A small plane made an emergency landing at Capital Region International Airport Tuesday evening. Airport spokeswoman Nicole Noll tells wilx.com the Cessna 177 lost power during takeoff on the main runway. It landed with the nose gear down on the west end of the runway at 7:10pm. The three people on-board were able to walk away from the plane, but later taken to a hospital to be checked out for back pain.

The plane was removed from the main runway about two and a half hours later. Small planes were able to use the other runways during while crews cleared the scene. A Delta flight from Detroit was delayed and then later canceled because the flight crew ran out of hours it could work in one day. A later Delta flight from Minneapolis and the nightly UPS flight were on schedule at last check.


http://www.flylansing.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N1912Q




IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 1912Q        Make/Model: C177      Description: 177, Cardinal
  Date: 11/28/2012     Time: 0004

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

LOCATION
  City: LANSING   State: MI   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY, LANSING, MI

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   3     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: GRAND RAPIDS, MI  (GL09)              Entry date: 11/28/2012 

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, N8314E: Accident occurred November 25, 2012 in Aurora, Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA061
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 25, 2012 in Aurora, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N8314E
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.

Family members reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that the airplane was overdue on the cross-country flight. One week after the initial notification, the wreckage was located in the upper end of a canyon about 11 nautical miles west of the departure airport at an elevation of 8,992 feet mean sea level (msl) in a grove of trees. A ridge, which was located directly in front of and on the airplane’s flightpath about 950 feet from the wreckage site, was measured at 9,186 feet msl. Evidence at the accident site indicated that the airplane initially impacted the trees on a southeasterly heading in a level attitude and that its left wing subsequently impacted a tree. The impact rotated the airplane counter-clockwise, and it subsequently came to rest upright on a northwesterly heading about 150 feet from the first point of impact. The airplane was found relatively intact except for the separation of the left wing. A postcrash fire consumed the cabin and cockpit areas; the pilot had refueled before departure. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Although no hazardous weather conditions were reported in the area at the time of the accident, unexpected turbulent conditions can occur in mountain canyons. Further, the density altitude was calculated to be 9,663 feet, which would have adversely affected the airplane’s performance. A family member, who was a pilot, reported that, before the accident pilot departed on the first leg of the three-leg flight, he assisted him in calculating the airplane’s weight and balance for each leg. He reported that, for each calculation, he used the estimated weight of each passenger, the baggage, the two dogs, a rifle, and full fuel and that, although the airplane was right at its maximum gross takeoff weight for each leg, it was within its weight and balance limits. He stated that the accident pilot had made this same cross-country flight three or four times previously but that he did not know the extent of the pilot’s mountain-flying experience. The pilot’s decision to fly in a canyon in high-density altitude conditions near the airplane’s maximum gross weight likely contributed to the accident. The airplane was likely equipped with a 121.5/243-MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT). Due to fire damage, it could not be determined whether the ELT switch was in the armed position or whether the ELT activated immediately after impact. Regardless, the 121.5-MHz signal would only have been detected by other aircraft flying in the remote area because satellite monitoring for 121.5-MHz ELT signals ceased in February 2009. Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, which commenced the day following the accident, took 7 days. During this time period, the Civil Air Patrol from three states flew a total of 86 missions, and local law enforcement agencies conducted additional SAR missions. SAR operations were protracted due to the lack of flight following services, ELT signal and radar data, and a digital emergency signal from a 406-MHz ELT or other satellite emergency notification device and the fact that the white airplane crashed and fragmented in a snowy, forested area, which made visual detection difficult. Two passengers initially survived the accident. They were found at the accident site wearing t-shirts and jeans; however, they were observed with warm weather coats before their departure on the day of the accident. It could not be determined whether any survival equipment was on board the airplane, but none was observed at the accident site; any survival gear may have been consumed by the postcrash fire. No evidence indicated that the survivors attempted to make an overnight shelter. The temperatures at the accident site, which was in a snow-covered area, were reportedly in the high teens to low 20s the night of the accident. The autopsy for both passengers indicated that the cause of death included hypothermia. Therefore, the two passengers did not survive the first night after the accident due to exposure to the cold temperature and the generally inclement weather conditions. It is not known whether an immediate 406-MHz ELT signal would have allowed SAR responders to reach the scene of the accident before the deaths of the two passengers; however, such a signal detection would have initiated an immediate search and greatly enhanced the opportunity for the accident site to be located more quickly.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with terrain while maneuvering in a remote mountainous region. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision to traverse the remote mountainous area in high-density altitude conditions with the airplane near its maximum gross weight. Contributing to the delay in the search and rescue (SAR) was the lack of a 406-MHz ELT signal, which would have allowed SAR responders to initiate a more timely search and find the accident site more quickly.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 25, 2012, about 1300 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181 airplane, N8314E, was substantially damaged following impact with remote mountainous terrain while maneuvering about 9 nautical miles (nm) west-northwest of Aurora, Utah. The certified private pilot, who occupied the left front cockpit seat, the certified student pilot, who occupied the right front cockpit seat, and the sole passenger who occupied one of the rear cabin seats sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Fillmore Municipal Airport (FOM), Fillmore, Utah, about 1245, with the Gillette-Campbell County Airport (GCC), Gillette, Wyoming, as its intended destination.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) 9 days after the accident, and 2 days subsequent to the airplane's wreckage being located, a family member of the pilot reported that the pilot and his 2 passengers had flown from GCC to the Shafter-Minter Field (MIT), Shafter, California, via Fillmore, Utah, about a week earlier to celebrate Thanksgiving; he also reported that the pilot had made this same trip over the same route 3 or 4 times previously, but had no actual knowledge of the pilot's mountain flying experience. The family member stated that the pilot had informed the 2 female passengers prior to their departure from GCC, that due to the additional weight of the two dogs that would be accompanying them, they would not be able to take their suitcases, but that they could take a back pack instead. The family member further stated that each of the airplane's three occupants had their own back packs and warm weather coats with them when they departed MIT, and that they had purchased additional clothing while in California.


Additionally, the family member, who was a pilot, stated that on the morning of the departure, when he noticed how much baggage the pilot was loading into the airplane, he used a program on his computer to assist the accident pilot with his weight and balance calculations. He said he estimated the weight of each passenger, the three back packs, the two dogs, a rifle that the pilot was taking with him, and used full fuel for the calculation of each leg of the flight. He said that the airplane was right at its maximum gross takeoff weight in each instance, and that the airplane was within its weight and balance limits.

The family member reported that the pilot departed MIT for GCC, but stopped at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport (TSP), Tehachapi, California, to refuel and visit with relatives prior to departing for FOM on their way to GCC; TSP is located 43 nm southeast of MIT. The family member further reported that the pilot and his 2 passengers arrived at MIT at 0540 Pacific Standard Time (PST), and departed for TSP at 0615 PST. He thought the flight arrived TSP about 0645 and departed for FOM about 0730 or 0800, but wasn't certain of the exact time.

When the flight failed to arrive at GCC on the evening of November 25, concerned family members contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for assistance in locating the airplane. An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued by the FAA at 1148 on November 26. Subsequent to a multi-state search and rescue effort, the airplane was located by a Utah State Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot on December 2, about 0800. The accident site was located in remote mountainous terrain, about 11 nm due east of the departure airport, at an elevation of about 9,000 feet mean sea level (msl).

On December 4, 2012, the airplane was recovered to a secured storage location for further examination.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Left seat pilot

The left seat pilot, age 37, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating, which was issued on December 6, 2011. The pilot held a third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certificate, dated January 11, 2010, with no limitations or restrictions. While the pilot's personal logbooks were not recovered during the investigation, a family member reported that he thought the pilot's total flight time was about 200 hours, or a little more.

Right seat pilot

The right seat pilot, age 33, held a student pilot certificate, and was issued a third-class FAA airman medical certificate on April 17, 2009. No pilot records indicative of the pilot's flight times or aircraft flown were recovered during the course of the investigation.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-engine, low wing Piper PA-28-181, serial number 28-8390016, was manufactured in 1982. Maintenance records revealed that the airframe and engine had accrued a total time in service of 3,916 hours as of its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on October 6, 2012. The Lycoming O-360 –A4M engine, serial number L-22551-36A, had accumulated a total 1,610.5 hours since its most recent major overhaul, which was performed on August 27, 1994.

During the investigation, the NTSB IIC was provided with fuel records by the city of Fillmore, Utah. The records revealed that the accident airplane was refueled at the FOM self-serve fuel station at 1233 on the day of the accident with 26.87 gallons of 100 Low Lead aviation fuel. There were no witnesses at FOM on the day of the accident who observed the airplane refuel or depart.

SURVIVAL FACTORS

A National Transportation Safety Board Survival Factors Specialist reviewed the Search and Rescue (SAR) data during the investigation and reported the following:

The first information in the AFRCC log regarding this accident was an Information Request (INREQ) received from the FAA at 1801Z (1301 EST, 1101 MST) on November 26, 2012. The INREQ contained information indicating the VFR flight with 3 occupants originated at Shafter Airport (MIT), Shafter, California, with expected stops at Tehachapi Municipal Airport (TSP) California, Fillmore City Airport (FOM), Utah, and Huntington Municipal Airport (69V), Utah. The final destination was Gillette-Campbell County Airport (GCC) in Wyoming, and the airplane was expected by family to land at approximately 2230Z (1530 MST) on November 25, 2012. The INREQ was apparently a result of a family concern phone call from the pilot's brother. After leaving a message for the pilot on his cell phone, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) contacted Fillmore City Airport (KFOM) and learned that one of the known passengers on the airplane had purchased fuel with a credit card at 1233 MST on November 25, 2012. The FAA issued an ALNOT for the airplane at 1848Z on November 26, 2012, and AFRCC contacted the Utah Department of Aviation (DOA). Utah DOA requested a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) mission be opened, which was done a short time later. At the same time, missions were also opened for CAP radar data review and cell phone forensics. AFRCC contacted and requested ramp checks of both 69V and GCC with negative results for the airplane.

About 4 hours after the INREQ was initially received, the CAP cell phone forensic analyst reported text message activity from the passenger's cell phone from FOM at 1152 MST on November 25, 2012. When the recipient of the message was contacted, it was learned that the message stated "In the air. Should be home in a few hours." (It was also learned that a second passenger on the airplane also was carrying a cell phone.) The timing and content of this communication did not match with the fuel credit card transaction information, leading to speculation about the exact time the airplane took off from FOM. Radar analysts could find no radar tracks of aircraft departing FOM near these times, leading investigators to believe the airplane's crash site was likely in the vicinity of the airport. Review of cellular data from the second passenger's phone indicated an arrival time at FOM of approximately 1116 MST.

By 2349Z on November 25, 2012, the Utah CAP had dispatched two airplanes to search for N8314E. No new significant information developed until 1454Z on November 27, 2012, when the CAP cell phone forensic analyst confirmed that by 1205 MST on November 25, 2012, the cell phones on the airplane were offline, indicating that the airplane likely took off from FOM between 1128 and 1152 MST on November 25, 2012. Speed/distance calculations from this data indicated that the airplane was likely within 26 miles of FOM.

The UTAH CAP daylight search continued on November 27, 2012, with negative results. On November 28, 2012, the Utah CAP requested assistance from both Wyoming and Colorado CAPs, both of whom joined the search. An AFRCC log entry on November 29, 2012, at 1117Z, indicated that both WY CAP and CO CAP were searching with 2 aircraft, while the Utah CAP was searching with 5 aircraft and 2 ground teams. They were searching various areas of the route with a focus of 50 to 60 miles distant from the FOM.

Daylight searches of the area continued until the airplane was located by a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter in mountainous terrain on December 2, 2012, at 1527Z (0827 MST).

A summary of CAP personnel, sorties, and hours flown is below:

UT CAP (11/26-12/2)
Personnel: Between 8-46 each day
Aircraft: Between 2-7 aircraft each day
Sorties: 62
Total aircraft search time: 94 hours

WY CAP (11/28-12/2)
Personnel: Between 10-12 each day
Aircraft: 2 aircraft daily
Sorties: 15
Total aircraft search time: 30 hours

CO CAP (11/29-12/1)
Personnel: Between 6-8 each day
Aircraft: 1 or 2 aircraft each day
Sorties: 9
Total aircraft search time: 11.6 hours

METEROROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1259, the FOM weather reporting facility, which was located about 11 miles west of the accident site, reported wind 290 degrees at 4 knots, visibility unlimited, temperature 12° Celsius (C), dew point -3° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. The density altitude was calculated to be 9,663 feet.

An NTSB meteorologist reported that after a review of the weather data in the vicinity of the accident site on the day of the accident, there was nothing to suggest that a significant weather hazard existed in the area at the time of the accident. The meteorologist opined that there were no AIRMETS or SIGMETS, no significant PIREPS, the radar was clear, and there appeared to be light winds. Additionally, the FOM airport manager stated that it was "a real nice day."

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On December 3, 2012, the NTSB IIC, accompanied by representatives from the FAA, Piper Aircraft, and Lycoming Motors, were escorted to the accident site by members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Department, Richfield, Utah, using multiple all-terrain vehicles.

An initial survey of the wreckage site revealed that the airplane had topped several trees about 50 feet tall on a southeasterly heading prior to impact with ground terrain. It was observed that after the airplane impacted the ground, it then rotated about 180 degrees counter-clockwise, before coming to rest oriented on a northwest heading. A postcrash fire erupted, which consumed both the cabin and cockpit areas of the airplane. It was determined that after examining the wreckage, all components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

The accident site was located within a stand of trees on the gentle slope of a canyon about 11 nm east of the departure airport. The initial impact point, which was evidenced by the topping of several trees about 40 to 45 feet high, was on a measured magnetic heading of 140° for about 150 feet, followed by the impact of the airplane's left wing with a tree. The impact rotated the airplane to the left, where it came to rest upright on a measured magnetic heading of 330°. The main wreckage was located at coordinates 38 degrees 57.244 minutes north latitude and 112 degrees 07.466 west longitude, at an elevation of 8,992 feet mean sea level (msl). About 790 feet directly east and in line with the accident site was the lowest point of the nearest ridge, located at an elevation of 9,186 feet msl, or 194 feet below the ridge line's low point.

A survey of the wreckage revealed that the airplane's center section sustained extensive postcrash fire damage and was almost entirely destroyed. The roof section of the airplane and side skins were mostly consumed. The tail section was separated forward of the vertical tail surface due to thermal damage.

The forward cockpit and instrument panel was separated from the fuselage due to fire. All flight instruments and avionics were destroyed. The forward cockpit controls sustained heat and impact damage. The aileron control chain remained intact and both aileron primary cables were attached to both ends of the chain. The horizontal stabilator cables remained attached to the tee-bar assembly. The rudder cables remained attached to the rudder tube assembly.

The throttle and mixture cables were observed separated from their mounting structures. Both cables were found to be in the full forward position, consistent with a full throttle and full rich condition. The carburetor heat control had separated from the panel due to fire. The control was in an intermediate position between heat on and cold.

The left wing was separated from the fuselage at the root but otherwise remained intact. The wing leading edge sustained aft crushing along its span, consistent with tree impact. Remnants of both the flap and aileron surfaces were present on site. The fuel tank was breached due to impact forces. The fuel cap remained secure to the tank. Both the primary and balance aileron cables remained attached to the bellcrank assembly.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The inboard section of the wing sustained fire damage but was otherwise mostly intact. The wing separated into two sections between the aileron and flap surface. The outboard section of the wing came to rest upside down. The wing leading edge sustained aft crushing along its span, consistent with tree impact. Both the primary and balance aileron cables remained attached to the bellcrank assembly.

The airplane's tail section had separated from the empennage just forward of the vertical stabilizer fin due to fire. The rudder surface remained attached to the vertical surface. Both rudder cables remained attached to the rudder bellcrank. Both the rudder and stabilator surfaces sustained heat and impact damage, but were otherwise mostly intact. The stabilator remained attached to the rear bulkhead assembly. The outboard left side horizontal surface exhibited an impact damage that was consistent with a tree impact. The right side horizontal surface was mostly intact.

The engine remained attached to the firewall by the engine mount assembly and came to rest in an upright position.

As a result of the fire which consumed the cockpit and cabin and areas of the airplane, it was not possible to discern the amount, type and weight of the baggage that was on board the airplane. Additionally, the gross weight of the airplane at the time of takeoff could not be determined.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Left seat pilot-in-command

An autopsy was performed on the pilot who occupied the left front cockpit seat on December 3, 2013, by the Office of the Medical Examiner, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah. The cause of death was reported as blunt force injuries.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy. Tests result revealed no carbon monoxide detected in Blood (Heart), testing for cyanide not performed, no ethanol detected in Urine, and no drugs detected in Urine.

Right seat student pilot

On December 3, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the student pilot who occupied the right front cockpit seat. The autopsy was conducted at the Office of the Medical Examiner, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah. The cause of death was attributed to a combination of hypothermia and blunt force injuries.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy. Tests result revealed no carbon monoxide detected in Blood (Heart), testing for cyanide not performed, no ethanol detected in Vitreous, and no drugs detected in Blood.

Rear cabin seat passenger

On December 3, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the sole passenger seated in the rear cabin directly behind the two forward cockpit seats. The autopsy was conducted at the Office of the Medical Examiner, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah. The cause of death was attributed to hypothermia. The report also included a Toxicological Final Report, which indicated that all substances screened for were negative.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Following recovery of the wreckage to a secured salvage facility located in Phoenix, Arizona, and under the supervision of representatives from the NTSB and FAA, personnel from Lycoming Engines and Piper Aircraft performed a detailed examination of the airplane on January 13, 2013. No evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure was found during a postaccident examination of the airplane and engine that would have precluded normal operation. The detailed examination summary report is contained in the public docket for this accident.

The airplane was equipped with a Narco ELT-10 emergency locator transmitter, which operated on a frequency of 121.5/243 MTz. Due to the damage that the ELT sustained as a result of the postimpact fire, it was not possible to definitively determine if the switch was in the ARMED position, nor if the ELT activated immediately after impact. Satellite monitoring for 121.5 MHz ELT signals ceased in February, 2009.

http://registry.faa.gov 

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA061 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 25, 2012 in Aurora, UT
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N8314E
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 November 25, 2012, about 1300 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181 airplane, N8314E, was substantially damaged following impact with remote mountainous terrain while maneuvering about 9 nautical miles west-northwest of Aurora, Utah. The certified private pilot and 2 passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Fillmore Municipal Airport (FOM), Fillmore, Utah, about 1245, with the Gillette-Campbell County Airport (GCC), Gillette, Wyoming, as its destination.

According to the fuel records provided by the city of Fillmore, Utah, the airplane was refueled at the FOM self-serve fuel facility on the day of the accident at 1233 with 26.87 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. There were no witnesses at FOM on the day of the accident who observed the airplane refuel or depart. When the flight failed to arrive at GCC, concerned family members contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for assistance in locating the airplane. An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued by the FAA at 1148 on November 26, 2012. The airplane was subsequently located by a Utah State Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot on December 2, 2012, about 0800. The location of the accident site was in remote mountainous terrain, about 11.2 nautical miles east of FOM, the departure airport.

On December 2, 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), accompanied by representatives from the FAA, Piper Aircraft and Lycoming Motors, were escorted to the accident site by members of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department using all terrain vehicles. A survey of the wreckage revealed that it had topped several trees about 50 feet tall on a measured magnetic heading of 140 degrees and had come to rest upright on a measured magnetic heading of 330 degrees. The main wreckage was located at coordinates 38 degrees 57.244 minutes north latitude and 112 degrees 07.466 west longitude, at an elevation of 8,992 feet mean sea level. The cabin and cockpit areas were both consumed by fire. It was determined that after examining the wreckage, all components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

At 1259, the FOM weather reporting facility, which was located about 11 miles west of the accident site, reported wind 290 degrees at 4 knots, visibility unlimited, temperature 12 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -3 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

The airplane was recovered to a secured storage facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination.



 
A piece of plane wreckage is found among the trees near the north fork of Chalk Creek in northwest Sevier County Sunday. The bodies of three people were found in the crash of the airplane, which had been missing since Nov. 25.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 8314E        Make/Model: PA28      Description: PA-28 CHEROKEE, ARROW, WARRIOR, ACHER, D
  Date: 11/26/2012     Time: 1750

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

LOCATION
  City: FILLMORE   State: UT   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 3 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, SUBJECT OF AN ALERT NOTICE ISSUED 11/26/12, WRECKAGE 
  LOCATED 9 MILES FROM FILLMORE, UT

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   3
                 # Crew:   3     Fat:   3     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: SALT LAKE CITY, UT  (NM07)            Entry date: 12/03/2012 
   
 
Searchers found the wreckage of an aircraft missing since Nov. 25 Sunday in northwest Sevier County. The crash site was located near the north forkof Chalk Creek, east of Fillmore.

The bodies of the pilot and the plane’s two passengers were found in the wreckage, according to information released by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.

Matthew Ahrens, 37, Bakers-field, Calif., was the pilot. The two passengers were Trista Meyer, 34, and Shyann Lenz, 9, both Rozet, Wyo. Their remains were transported to the Utah State Office of the Medical Examiner Monday.

The sheriff’s office is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration in the investigation of the crash.

“A UHP [Utah Highway Patrol] helicopter located the wreckage shortly before 8 a.m.,” said Sheriff Nate Curtis. He said the UHP pilot was able to land near the crash site and confirm there were three deceased victims in and near the debris.

The plane had taken off from Fillmore’s airport Nov. 25 after fueling and was headed to Wyoming.

“The plane did not have an ELT [emergency locator transmitter] transponder aboard and there was no flight plan filed,” Curtis said. He said since the plane had not been on radar, its last known point of contact was with the airport in Fillmore the day it lifted off, at approximately noon.

“The cause of the accident is unknown at this time,” Curtis said. “However the NTSB will be the investigating agency and will make the determination.”

The plane was a 1982 Piper Archer.

This is the second plane crash with fatalities in Sevier County in 2012.

In July, a Cirrus SR22, en route from California to Aspen, Colo., went down in Saleredas Canyon, killing the two people on board — Peter and Ramona Branagh, both Lafayette, Calif.


CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky.--- An experienced pilot, the love of his life, and her 9-year-old daughter are missing tonight for the fourth night in a row.  Relatives in the Local 6 area tell us the three took off in a private plane after a Thanksgiving celebration this weekend in Bakersfield, California.  

They stopped for fuel in Fillmore, Utah and they were heading home to Gillette, Wyoming, but never made it.


Meanwhile, an intense search is underway on the ground and from the air.


A representative from the Utah Civil Air Patrol says as of right now this is still considered a rescue mission. The plane, a 'Piper Archer II' is equipped with a device that sends out a signal if the plane crashes, but that signal was never detected.


Family members in Calloway County, Kentucky hope their loved ones are still alive.
This is the season of hope, and right now that's all Tamela Hayton has.
"We're hoping and praying they just kind of landed somewhere and they're just kind of stuck because of weather and can't get out.," Hayton said.
When Hayton's cousin and childhood friend Trista Meyer met the love of her life, pilot Matthew Ahrens, she also discovered a passion for the sky.
"She talks about how much peace she has when she's in the air, she just really enjoys it," Hayton said.
So much, she was working on getting a pilot's license herself.
But after refueling on sunday the three disappeared in a mountainous region of Utah.
 

A place 16-hundred miles away from extended family, here in Kentucky.
"We feel so powerless we've gotten on Google Earth just to look on there and we know it seems silly but it feels like the only thing we can do," Hayton said.
Rescuers are doing all they can do, searching from sky and ground.
"We can never thank them enough I mean, I'd be out there with them if I could it's people like them that give us hope," Hayton said.
Hayton constantly checks the "Prayers for Trista, Shy and Matt" Facebook page.
As candles are lit at a vigil in Wyoming, Hayton will do the same.
"I'll be lighting the candles and they'll stay lit until they come home," Hayton said.
A spokesperson for the Utah Civil Air Patrol also said rescuers from Utah, Wyoming,  and Colorado are all searching a 500 mile area. Most of them are volunteers.


If you'd like to visit the family's Facebook page, click here.



Searchers are looking for a small plane in central Utah that disappeared Sunday after taking off from Fillmore. The plane hasn't been heard from since Sunday.  The Campbell County Sheriff's Department in Wyoming identified the missing pilot as Matthew Ahrens, 37, and the passengers as Trista Meyer, 34, and her 9-year-old daughter, Shyann Lenz, all from Gillette, Wyoming 
Facebook.com


FILLMORE — The Utah Civil Air Patrol was looking for a plane that disappeared Sunday after taking off from Fillmore.

The single engine Piper Archer II took off Sunday from California en route to Gillette, Wyo., according to a prepared statement from the Civil Air Patrol. The plane made a stop in Fillmore to refuel just before noon, according to the statement.

The Campbell County Sheriff's Department in Wyoming identified the missing pilot as Matthew Ahrens, 37, and the passengers as Trista Meyer, 34, and her 9-year-old daughter, Shyann Lenz, all from Gillette.

Authorities were alerted to the situation when Lenz's father called to report the little girl was overdue.

Lt. Stephen Miller, spokesman for the Utah Civil Air Patrol, said planes from Salt Lake City, Provo, Logan and St. George were participating in the search Tuesday, flying potential routes the plane could have taken over the mountainous terrain between Fillmore and the Wyoming border.

Ground searches also are being coordinated with sheriff's departments in the area, Miller said.

All searchers with the Civil Air Patrol are volunteers, Miller added.

New Zealand not meeting air safety obligations - pilots

Wednesday, 28 November 2012, 9:10 am

Press Release: NZ Air Line Pilots' Association

New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association For Immediate Release 28 November 2012


1979 Erebus Accident:
New Zealand not yet fulfilling our international aviation safety obligations

33 years on from the Erebus Disaster, and the failure to submit the Mahon report to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) means New Zealand is not yet fulfilling its international aviation safety obligations we have to share the lessons learned with 191 other signatories to ICAO, says the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA).

“We cannot understand why the Ministry of Transport has not yet officially submitted this report to ICAO” says NZALPA President Glen Kenny. The New Zealand taxpayer funded an extensive investigation but officials in New Zealand have never felt the need to send the Mahon report to ICAO. Mr Kenny says “New Zealand should be prepared to stand by Justice Peter Mahon and the findings of the Royal Commission Report into the TE901 accident on November 28th 1979, and submit this to the ICAO to form part of the official ‘Annex 13’ record.”

At present, the only Annex 13 record that ICAO holds is the 1980 report submitted by Ministry of Transport’s investigator, Ron Chippindale. On 19 September 2012, the Secretary for Transport, Martin Matthews wrote to ICAO stating that the Government considers both the Chippindale report and the Mahon report to be “official government reports into the accident”. But that the Chippindale report “continues to be the official Annex 13 accident investigation report.”

“Until the Mahon report is submitted as an official Annex 13 record of the 1979 Mt Erebus accident, with equal status to the Chippindale Report, we are not fulfilling our international obligations. For the Ministry to attempt to argue otherwise is disingenuous,” he says.

“The 1981 Mahon report was officially tabled and accepted in Parliament in August 1999 by the then Minister of Transport Maurice Williamson” states Mr Kenny. “This investigation report into the loss of 257 lives on Mt Erebus holds many valuable safety lessons for the aviation community and travelling public worldwide and has been widely accepted as a groundbreaking investigation into accidents caused by systemic failure.”

The report findings have never been legally challenged, and have even been recognised by ICAO’s own team of safety specialists in the 1994 Dryden Report into another aircraft accident and in 1982 it even received special mention by the Law Lords during the Mahon Privy Council case. “Clearly by any standard the Mahon report into the causes of the TE901 accident stands up to critical scrutiny and is beyond reproach in terms of Government endorsement” says Mr Kenny.

Glen Kenny says that when the global aviation industry goes to ICAO to find out about an accident, the Annex 13 report is the go-to document. “Simply acknowledging the Mahon report as an “official” report is a different matter”.

END
S

http://www.scoop.co.nz

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz

Methane detector tracks pipeline leaks

 
UC Davis atmospheric scientist Ian Faloona shows a plastic tube that collects air samples. 
Photo: David Baker, The Chronicle / SF 


 
UC Davis atmospheric scientist Stephen Conley's laptop computer highlights areas of heavy methane. 
Photo: David Baker, The Chronicle / SF

Five hundred feet above the Central Valley, a line on Stephen Conley's laptop screen jumped. 

 Conley peered over from the pilot seat of his single-engine plane. The line showed methane levels in the surrounding air as he flew downwind from a natural gas pipeline buried in the green hills below. A sharp spike could mean that the pipeline had sprung a leak, venting gas into the sky. Methane is the fuel's main ingredient.

Conley studied the screen and shook his head. False alarm.

"That's not the shape you'd want," he said. The line, twitching as it updated every second or so, had leveled off into a plateau - probably just elevated background levels of the gas.

A few miles more, and it leapt again, sharper this time.

"Now, this could be interesting," Conley said, glancing from the screen to the ground, dotted with grazing cattle. "Or maybe not. Could just be the cows."

Conley, an atmospheric scientist, is part of a team at UC Davis that has developed a system to hunt pipeline leaks by plane. For utility companies, the benefits could be big.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which helped fund the project, operates roughly 6,000 miles of natural gas transmission lines. The deadly 2010 explosion of one of them, beneath San Bruno, forced the company to re-evaluate the safety of its entire network.

In the past, checking for leaks, particularly in California's vast rural spaces, often meant flying over buried pipelines and looking for vegetation killed by escaping gas. It's an imprecise method - especially in a state where most of the vegetation looks dead for half the year. Another approach uses lasers fired from hovering helicopters to detect methane. But helicopter flights are expensive.


Other potential uses

Conley and fellow UC Davis atmospheric scientist Ian Faloona developed their system with a $295,000 grant from PG&E and the Pipeline Research Council International, an energy-industry collaborative. That doesn't cover the cost of the plane but does include the methane-sniffing equipment, bought off the shelf for around $50,000.

"Our No. 1 goal at PG&E is the safety of the public, so we're always looking for ways to find and fix leaks in our pipelines, and we believe this technology can help," said Kevin Armato, a manager of asset engineering at PG&E.

The technology has other potential uses as well.

The growing use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas from shale has alarmed environmentalists, many of whom question whether the process releases too much methane into the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping heat much more effectively than carbon dioxide. Conley has already flown over fracking fields in Utah, where he found high methane levels, and Colorado, where he found very little.

"One of my thoughts was to just go across the country and see which fields are worth a serious look," Conley said. "Does fracking have a particular profile, or does it vary from field to field? That's the kind of thing we could look at."

The system developed by Faloona and Conley sucks in air through a small plastic tube beneath the plane's right wing. A small, portable spectrometer inside the plane uses light wavelengths to determine how much methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor the air contains.


Some locations difficult

 
A computer program developed by the UC Davis team displays the methane levels on one half of the laptop screen. The other half shows the plane's location and heading, as well as the path of the nearest pipeline.

The system constantly monitors wind speed and direction, using that information to calculate the best route to fly when hunting for leaks. The route, downwind of the pipeline, shows on the computer screen as a series of yellow dots.

PG&E has already run the UC Davis system through several tests, intentionally releasing methane along pipelines and asking Conley to spot the plumes. It works, although finding leaks can be easier in some locations than others. One test was located near Rio Vista, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, where methane from decaying plants regularly bubbles to the surface.

"It was so hard to see things there - so messy," Conley said.

Conley and Faloona are still fine-tuning the system but want to make it available for other people to customize and tweak.

"The idea is that it's a technology that anyone can take and improve on," Faloona said. "We have this great opportunity to do a service that can do real good for the industry and for the environment."
 

Read more:  http://www.sfgate.com

Freefall Adventures at Cross Keys Airport (17N), Willamstown, New Jersey: Skydiver never pulled cord in fatal fall in Gloucester County -police

The skydiver who was found dead in a field in Monroe Township, Gloucester County last week still had his parachute packed and never pulled the primary or emergency cords, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.

 Gloucester County Trial Chief Mary Pyffer said the man was identified as Donald Lawrence Morozin, 62, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa. He was a certified diver and a regular at Freefall Adventures, based out of the Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

"The man had hypertension and other medical issues that caused him to pass out," Pyffer said, explaining why he never pulled the cords.

Morozin was reported missing after an afternoon jump on Nov. 21. A New Jersey State Police helicopter located his body around 5 p.m. that day, in a field off Pitman-Downer Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene to investigate the incident, according to Pyffer. The FAA examined the parachute and "determined it to be packed correctly," according to Pyffer.

"The primary and emergency cords were never pulled," Pyffer added.

An autopsy conducted on Nov. 23 determined the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries and the manner of death was accidental, according to the Prosecutor's Office.


 http://www.nj.com

 The victim of a fatal skydiving accident last week in Monroe Township was identified by authorities today as Donald Lawrence Morozin of Bala Cynwyd. He was 62. 

 Morozin's death on Wednesday has been ruled accidental, the result of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. His body was found 300 feet from the parachute landing zone at the Freefall Adventures skydiving school, based in Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown, officials said.

Accident investigators found that the certified skydiver, who had performed more than 3,500 jumps, had not pulled the parachute's primary or emergency chords, said Mary Pyffer, trial chief with the Prosecutor's Office.

Morozin was "known to have hypertension and other medical issues that could cause him to pass out," Pyffer said.

The Federal Aviation Administration examined the parachute and determined that it had been packed correctly and was operational, she said.

The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Attempts to reach family members have been unsuccessful.

http://www.philly.com

Hughes 369D, N163PJ: Accident occurred November 27, 2012 in Sheridan, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR13CA057
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in Sheridan, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2013
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N163PJ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a Christmas tree harvest, the pilot was repositioning trees from the harvest field onto a truck bed using an 18-foot tag line. He had completed at least five loads before the accident load. During the accident load, the pilot had just released the load onto the truck when he thought the helicopter was encountering a settling with power condition. The pilot maneuvered the helicopter to land on the road in front of the truck. The pilot thought he was clear of the truck; however, the main rotor blades hit the truck just above the cab. The helicopter impacted the ground and the main rotor blades struck and separated the tailboom from the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter or engine that would have precluded normal operations.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to prevent the helicopter from entering a vortex ring state (settling with power) condition during an external load operation, which resulted in the helicopter’s main rotor blades impacting the truck.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 163PJ        Make/Model: H369      Description: HUGHES 369D
  Date: 11/27/2012     Time: 2330

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

LOCATION
  City: SHERIDAN   State: OR   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N163PJ HUGHES 369D ROTORCRAFT CRASH LANDED DURING LOADING, NEAR SHERIDAN, OR

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Other      Phase: Other      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR  (NM09)                  Entry date: 11/28/2012 
 

http://registry.faa.gov/N163PJ




Photo of crash site:  http://www.sheridansun.com

A Christmas tree harvesting helicopter crashed into a truck Tuesday afternoon on top of Cherry Hill, outside of Sheridan, injuring the pilot.

The pilot’s name had not yet been released at press time. Eyewitnesses said he was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with an injury to his head and a possible knee injury.

The land is owned by J Wrigley Vineyards and leased to Holiday Tree Farms, a Corvallis-based company established in 1955 that employs 600 people during the harvest season.

Jody Wrigley, who owns the property with her husband, said she had just returned home with her children from school when the helicopter crashed onto her driveway.

“It happened 10 minutes after my kids were safely home,” she said.

James Jackson, a worker helping with the harvest, spent a year in Iraq and was about 100 feet away when the helicopter came down.

“I knew the sound,” Jackson said. “I knew exactly what it was.”

This was not the first time he’d witnessed a helicopter crash, but the first at a tree farm. Jackson said his first response was to get the pilot out of the aircraft before anything else could happen. Jackson didn’t know the pilot’s name, but said he was coherent.

The pilot was transported to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville by a West Valley Fire District ambulance.

Multiple emergency vehicles responded to the scene as well as the West Valley medic and Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives.

LifeFlight was put on stand-by but was not needed.

The scene of the crash that Wrigley estimated happened at approximately 3:20 p.m. was cleared shortly after 4 p.m.


Story and photo:  http://www.sheridansun.com

A McDonnell Douglas MD 500D helicopter, civilian version of the military OH-6 Cayuse, crashed north of Sheridan about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

It was being used to load Christmas trees into trucks at a 164-acre Holiday Tree Farms tract at 19350 S.W. Cherry Hill Road. The tree farm operates on land leased from the adjacent J Wrigley Vineyards, situated atop the hill.

The 29-year-old pilot was conscious, alert and out of the helcopter when emergency services personnel began arriving. He was taken to the hospital, but was not believed to have suffered significant injuries.

Life Flight was placed on standby initially, but medics soon decided its services would not be neceesary.

The hill, encompassing about 375 acres in all, also features a rock quarry and timber stand. It lies about three miles due north of Sheridan on Cherry Hill Road, which intersects Highway 18 at the bottom.

An array of police, fire and medical personnel converged on the scene.Though no fire or fuel leakage was reported, Sheridan Fire District personnel laid out hose lines as a precaution.

The crash occurred just as school was letting out in Sheridan, putting school buses on the road simultaneously with fire trucks and ambulances. Due to congestion and safety issues, buses were unable to immediately deliver students living the vicinity of the crash.

Holiday Tree Farms, based in Corvallis, bills itselt as the largest Christmas tree grower and supplier in the world. It harvests trees on 8,500 acres in all, using a fleet of helicopters.

A blade from the craft that crashed struck a company truck, carving a large, highly visible gash. It was not immediately clear whether that caused the helicopter to come down or was merely a byproduct.

The MD 500D was produced in five- and seven-seat configurations from 1976 to 1982, when it was replaced by the more powerful 500E. Manufactured by Hughes Helicopters, it is also known as a Hughes 369D.

Federal aviation officials were planning to lauch an investigation.

 http://www.newsregister.com

Comox Air Show Confirmed for 2013

After a seven-year absence, the Comox Air Show is being revived to celebrate 70 years of Air Force history in Comox.

It will take place on August 17, 2013, with an Armed Forces Day (ADF) and Air Show, featuring military and civilian aircraft and performers from across North America.

Local residents are accustomed to seeing the Snowbirds and CF-18's practicing their tricks, but now the Comox Valley can look forward to the full demonstrations from both, as well as the Skyhawks parachute team. There will also be plenty of static aircraft to tour, as well as comprehensive displays from the Army and Royal Canadian Navy.

"Based on previous years' attendance, conservative estimates indicate that approximately 30,000 spectators will take in the sights," said 2013 Director, Major Dwayne Kerr. "We intend to present the region with an amazing and memorable Air Show."

19 Wing Base Commander, Colonel Jim Benninger, says the event is certain to attract visitors from across Vancouver Island and be a a true highlight of the summer.

"Interest in a renewed Air Show in Comox has been on a seady increase throughout northern Vancouver Island," said Col. Benninger. "The objective of this AFD/Air Show is to thank our surrounding communities for the support they give to our service members and their families year-round."

"The rich history of 19 Wing Comox began in 1942 when the Royal Air Force began construction of our air base to protect the Pacific coastline and train air crews for service during World War II," explained Maj. Kerr. "On June 12th, 1954, roughly 20,000 people attended the first ever Air Force Day and Air Show at Comox... The 2013 Air Show aims to continue this tradition."

Click here to keep up to date with the event on Facebook.

http://hqcomoxvalley.com

Waterloo Air Show a go for 2013

WATERLOO REGION — The Waterloo Air Show is going to have to make it on its own without cash from the Region of Waterloo — and it plans to.

Regional councillors voted unanimously Tuesday to turn down a request from organizers David White and Richard Cooper for more than $91,000 in funding assistance.

“It would be very, very difficult for us,” Chair Ken Seiling said. “It’s really in the hands of those who run it to decide where it goes or doesn’t go.”

Cooper and White appealed to council for help earlier this month, saying a $350,000 debt, bad weather, plus declining attendance and revenues were threatening to shut the air show down for 2013.

They asked for $16,000 in debt to the region for services be forgiven and asked an additional $75,430 to be granted to the group.

Organizers have no hard feelings and will go ahead with the 2013 air show.

“The Region has always been very good to us and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them,” White said. “Richard and I are going to continue to fund it.

“We’re playing the odds that we’re not going to have bad weather this year.”

The 2013 Waterloo Air Show is scheduled for June 1 and 2.

The Snowbirds will headline and the event which will feature other aerial acts, ground displays and activities.

The air show is operated as a business, not a non-profit or charitable organization, which played a role in council’s decision. Section 106 of the Ontario Municipal Act, which governs councils, prohibits cities from providing direct or indirect assistance to businesses.

There were concerns that the region providing cash to the air show could also set a precedent inviting other operations to ask for financial aid.

Cooper and White have operated the air show for two years.


http://www.therecord.com

Silence is not golden

To be told or not to be told? That is the question.

Do listed companies tell investors that their business may be at risk? Or do they save themselves the trouble because the possibility is so far fetched, it is almost laughable?

All prospectuses by companies going for a listing stress on informing investors of "every risk", whether imaginary or real.

If not, why would every prospectus talk about not only risks inherent to the industry the company is in, but also the country and world's economy?

The rule of disclosure after all is based on a very simple premise.

Timely and relevant information help investors make informed investment decisions.

But what qualifies as timely and relevant information is where it gets complicated.

There are guidelines for immediate disclosure by listed entities. Some are spelt out, while others are deliberately left vague to encompass a myriad of possibilities.

This is understandable considering that the stock exchange regulator governs many companies across various industries.

But one would expect this to work in favor of investors, not against it.

A case in point is AirAsia Bhd.

Last Friday, this paper reported that the low-cost carrier has been accorded only a six months right-to-fly due to shortcomings found in its flight operations procedures and practices. A renewal of its air operator's certificate (AOC) would have given it a two years right-to-fly.

Other news reports followed, but neither was AirAsia -- as a listed entity and a Kuala Lumpur Composite Index 30 Index stock -- queried by Bursa Malaysia on the matter nor was the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) compelled to explain the circumstances surrounding AirAsia's shortened AOC.

While no one really believes that the authorities will close down a corporate giant like AirAsia, investors and the flying public have a right to know the kind of risks it is exposed to.

And who better to give them the right information than the regulators?

AirAsia's excuse was that such matters are confidential, definitely not for public consumption. It said it was between the DCA and the airline to sort the matter out.

And the DCA? Well, the aviation regulator believes that silence is golden.

Then of course there's Bursa Malaysia, the regulator for listed companies.

While its rules are clear. Its practice is not.

Its rules stipulated that: "In the event that material information is or is believed to have been inadvertently disclosed to third parties or where the material information has become generally available through the media or otherwise, the listed issuer must immediately announce the information to the exchange."

But till today, no word has been forthcoming from AirAsia and not a query from Bursa Malaysia three market days after reports on the matter started appearing.

The argument that an airline's right-to-fly is not "material information" does not hold water because if an airline's right-to-fly is not important to its operations, what is?

And so, we wait. Possibly for nothing, because as members of the public and investors we do not have a right to information. Rather, we just have a right to know what they see fit to tell us.

 http://www.thesundaily.my

Malaysian Air Plans $1 Billion Rights Issue After Profit

Malaysian Airline System Bhd. (MAS), the nation’s largest long-haul carrier, plans to raise as much as 3.1 billion ringgit ($1 billion) from a rights issue after posting its first profit in seven quarters.

Malaysian Air will use part of the funds raised from the offer for working capital and to reduce debt, the company said in a stock exchange filing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. It has yet to decide on the issue price and entitlement basis of the rights, the carrier said.

The airline also plans to use the funds from the share sale to make pre-delivery payments to Boeing Co. (BA) and Airbus SAS in the next two years. Malaysian Air is cutting unprofitable routes and adding fuel-efficient planes as it contends with competition from budget operator AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA) and slowing travel demand.

“Revenue initiatives have started to gain traction,” Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a separate statement. “Our focus remains to increase revenue and manage our costs.”

The carrier, based in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, posted a net income of 37.1 million ringgit in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 477.6 million ringgit a year earlier, it said. Revenue fell 2 percent to 3.47 billion ringgit.

Malaysian Air closed unchanged at 1.01 ringgit in Kuala Lumpur trading before the announcements yesterday. The stock has lost 22 percent this year, compared with a 24 percent drop for AirAsia, the country’s biggest carrier by market value. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has gained 4.4 percent.

Par Value

The airline, which had accumulated losses of 8.2 billion ringgit as on Sept. 30, also proposes to restructure its capital by cutting the par value of its existing shares to 10 sen each from 1 ringgit, according to the filing. The carrier also plans to pare its share premium account.

The capacity reduction helped Malaysian Air cut its fuel costs by 9 percent, it said in the statement. Yields, a measure of average fares, rose 3 percent while passenger numbers fell 1.5 percent to 3.3 million in the quarter. Average jet fuel price was $131 per barrel in the period, or 4.4 percent lower, the company said.

The carrier started flying Airbus A380s to London in July. The superjumbos have helped lure lucrative business travelers, Duncan Bureau, senior vice president for sales, said in an October interview. 

http://www.businessweek.com

Prankster creates fake Jetstar Facebook page

The Jetstar imposter tells this NSW man to give up.



 
A woman is told not to expect sales and fork out for a full-priced airfare.

Jetstar has been forced to clean up a public relations mess after an internet prankster impersonated the budget carrier's Facebook page and turned on customers.

The prankster set up a fake but official-looking page for the airline and set about firing off blunt, condescending responses to customer queries.

Screenshots of some of the exchanges were captured around 7.30pm (AEDT) last night — but Jetstar caught on and posted an explanation around 11pm.

"Thanks for your message," the prankster wrote to one woman who posted a question asking if Jetstar planned to have a sale on Melbourne-to-Gold Coast flights.

"No. Dont (sic) be such a tight ass and pay the full price. Its cheap anyway."

A mother who posted a lengthy complaint after being incorrectly advised she could take her children's strollers "right up to the gate" was given a similarly dismissive reply.

She described being forced to check-in the prams and carry her two toddlers around the airport for two hours with her husband.

But the Facebook imposter was unsympathetic.

"This is a 'comment box' not 'write a long story' box. Please shorten it and send to someone who cares. Thanks."

Another Jetstar customer describing a problem was told to "give up", while another woman who lamented that her flight details had been changed was told her flight had now actually been cancelled.

Late last night Jetstar explained it had been the victim of a prank.

"Hi Everyone, You might have noticed that there have been some inappropriate responses to your feedback on our Facebook pages today," a statement on the airline's official Facebook page said.

"Unfortunately, someone has made a fake Jetstar Facebook and they've been impersonating us. We are currently working with Facebook to get this resolved."

Source: Facebook, Jetstar


http://news.ninemsn.com.au

Transport Canada admits to shortage in civil aviation inspectors

OTTAWA—Transport Canada admitted Tuesday it is short of nearly 100 inspectors whose job is to check for safety problems at air carriers.

Senior officials acknowledged the department is having a hard time filling all 880 positions, with vacancies currently standing at about 100 inspectors.

Meanwhile, Auditor General Michael Ferguson, also testifying before the House of Commons public accounts committee about oversight of Canada’s civil aviation system, complained Transport Canada’s own national human resources plan does not specify the number of inspectors and engineers that are needed. Ferguson noted the department agreed to provide these figures in response to his office’s 2008 audit, but Transport Canada has still not done so.

Associate Deputy Minister Anita Biguzs tried to downplay this, saying the department regularly updates its staffing plans.

“We feel like with the numbers that we have, that is sufficient to meet requirements of the program,” Biguzs said of the 880 inspection positions.

Opposition parties weren’t satisfied.

“Clearly, that puts the safety of Canadians in danger. We’re about 100 short and the response was unsatisfactory,” NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat.

“First off, they are short on the 880 and we don’t know what 880 is based on,” added Liberal MP Gerry Byrne.

When pressed by opposition parties on this question, Gerard McDonald, Transport Canada’s assistant deputy minister of safety and security, said the department will table by next year an analysis of staffing needs for civil aviation as part of its national human resources plan. He also defended Transport Canada’s recruitment efforts in the civil aviation branch.

“We have the same amount of positions, but in an organization this large, there’s a regular turnover of people, so the total number of positions are not always filled,” said McDonald, who appeared alongside Biguzs to respond to Ferguson’s latest audit on Transport Canada’s oversight of civil aviation, released earlier this year.

The latest audit notes that Canada compares favourably with many other countries in its aviation safety record. For example, last year, Canada saw the total number of accidents decline to the lowest recorded figure in modern aviation history, despite increases in air traffic; the accident rate in 2011 – fewer than six accidents per 100,000 hours flown – represented a 25 per cent improvement from a decade earlier.

Still, Ferguson’s 2012 audit found that the regulator failed to conduct planned inspections of hundreds of aviation companies designated as “higher risk” operations. The audit found that only 67 per cent of air carriers, maintenance companies and large airports were inspected, as they should have been, under annual surveillance plans in 2010-11. This represents about 500 companies.

Under Transport Canada’s surveillance plan, aviation companies designated as “high risk” must be inspected at least once a year.

“That is significant considering that only the companies and the operational areas of higher risk are to be selected for inspection in any given year,” Ferguson testified Tuesday.

Following this testimony, Byrne asked McDonald and Biguzs how many civil aviation companies are currently designated as “high risk.” On both occasions, the officials declined to answer.

After the meeting, Byrne called the non-response “contemptible.”

He added: “It’s an actual categorization that puts them in a slot — they must be inspected on an annual basis. That’s a pretty straightforward and simple answer to provide a Parliamentary committee. They refused to provide it.”

 http://www.montrealgazette.com

Military plane and helicopter crash on anniversary of Venezuela's air force

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) A Chinese-made training airplane crashed during an air force flying exhibition on Tuesday and the military helicopter sent to rescue the pilots also went down, authorities said.

The two pilots in the K-8 aircraft successfully ejected before the crash and none of the crew of the Cougar helicopter were injured, authorities said.

Venezuela's information minister, Ernesto Villegas, said the Chinese-made plane plummeted to the ground near a military parade at Libertador Air Base in the central state of Aragua.

He said in a message posted on his Twitter that the cause of the crash was mechanical failure and it occurred as pilots participated in an exhibition to celebrate the anniversary of Venezuela's air force.

Venezuela's Air Search and Rescue Service announced that a Cougar helicopter also crashed during an operation to rescue the pilots.

The crashes occurred five days after two Bronco airplanes collided near the same airbase, killing one of three pilots involved in the accident.


http://www2.wjtv.com

Aircraft on landing rollout went off the runway onto a taxiway: San Luis County Regional Airport (KSBP), San Luis Obispo, California


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 26TC        Make/Model: BE56      Description: 56 Turbo Baron
  Date: 11/27/2012     Time: 2144

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

LOCATION
  City: SAN LUIS OBISPO   State: CA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING ROLLOUT WENT OFF THE RUNWY ONTO A TAXIWAY, SAN LUIS 
  OBISPO, 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: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SAN JOSE, CA  (WP15)                  Entry date: 11/28/2012 

A plane had a rough landing at the San Luis Obispo Airport Tuesday afternoon.

Airport officials say a small twin engine plane landed on the runway but came in hard, veering off the runway during landing.

As a precaution, fire crews were called out to assist the plane.

There were no injuries to the pilot or damage to the aircraft. One of the airport's landing lights was broken during the accident.

The runway was closed for about 10 minutes before reopening just after 2:00 pm.


http://www.sloairport.com

http://www.airnav.com/airport/KSBP

http://www.ksby.com

Cost-cutting factor in fatal Air Force flight

Three airmen killed in an Anzac Day helicopter crash were on a one-hour flight in pre-dawn darkness partly because it was considered too expensive to accommodate them in a hotel the previous night, says a leaked report.

The doomed flight on the morning of April 25, 2010, would not have taken place if the crew had flown to Wellington, for dawn services, the day before.

Instead, the air force Iroquois helicopter, one of three flying in formation, took off from Manawatu early on Anzac Day, with the crew using night vision goggles - something for which they were later found to have been inadequately trained.

The helicopter crashed at 5.49am, 36 minutes into the flight, killing three men and seriously injuring another.

The air force's internal accident analysis report says: "The need to minimize accommodation costs incurred by 3 Squadron due to pressure on the accommodation budget was recognized and contributed to the ... decision (not to fly the day before)."

The Defence Force uses the Amora Hotel in Wellington, which last night had rooms available for $149 each.

The report cited training problems with instrument flying and night vision goggles.

It found there were no instructor manuals or guides because of "resourcing" issues.

This was "common with most RNZAF flying units".

The report said four of the six pilots in the three helicopters did not have adequate flying qualifications for the flight, and the lead pilot was not qualified to lead the formation.

It found widespread problems throughout the air force which meant it was unable to "adequately and reliably ensure safe and effective military air operations".

The report found knowledge of problems went to the top of the command chain.

The Chief of Air Force at the time of the accident, Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott, was last year promoted to be New Zealand's defence attache in Washington.

Wellington Airport rules restricting flights arriving or taking off before 6am were also cited as a factor, although the report said "permission could have been sought" for such an arrival.

The emergence of hotel costs as a factor in the accident led to calls last night for Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman to resign.

Labour defence spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said: "National's cost-cutting is clearly a factor in this tragedy, and the minister needs to be held accountable for that.

"It is abhorrent that air force personnel felt under such extreme pressure to save money they were willing to compromise safety to save $600." That figure is based on the cost of rooms for four crew members.

Green Party defence spokesman Kennedy Graham said the NZDF needed to give a public assurance over the safety of its staff.

"Obviously service in the defence force comes with risk - but not this kind of risk."

The air force last night refused to comment on the accident analysis report, saying to do so would "legitimize the unauthorized release of this evidence of the court".

The refusal is a contrast to advice from media specialists to defence chiefs before the official report into the crash was released last year.

They were told questions about the "defence force investigating itself" could be rebutted with reference to the accident analysis report.

Instructions included saying the official investigation was "based in large part" on the report which was "prepared by the RNZAF's most experienced air accident investigator".

Mr Coleman's office has previously said the report was "instrumental in shaping the court of inquiry findings and ... instrumental in shaping the response by the air force".

Last night he refused to be interviewed on the crash, but a spokesman cited two inquiries he had ordered.

The States Services Commission is investigating the air force response to safety recommendations, and the former Department of Labour's failure to carry out a workplace safety investigation.

The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen, 33, co-pilot Flying Officer Daniel Gregory, 28, and crewman Corporal Ben Carson, 25, died in the crash.

The survivor, Stevin Creeggan, is seeking permission from the courts to prosecute the air force under health and safety legislation. 


http://www.odt.co.nz