Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fort Worth mechanic tried to broker $136.5 million deal with Iran, prosecutors say: He could face 20 years in prison, $1 million fine

 
Diocenyr Ribamar Barbosa-Santos, 52, of Texas, has been accused of violating federal trade restrictions. If convicted, the penalties include 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 
(Broward Sheriff's Office/Handout / November 28, 2012)


For anyone — let alone a middle-aged airplane mechanic from Texas — the plan to smuggle seven jetliners into Iran was audacious and risky.

It involved planes in China, Swiss funds and a blacklisted Iranian airline. Federal prosecutors say Diocenyr Ribamar Barbosa-Santos, 52, of Fort Worth, tried to broker the $136.5-million deal from Broward County.

But it failed this month before a single Airbus A300 left the ground.

"It's not every day that someone walks into your office with a charge like this," said R. William Barner III, the Sunrise attorney representing Barbosa-Santos, who has been accused of violating federal trade restrictions. If convicted, the penalties include 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

In Iran, where aging civilian planes fall from the sky with alarming frequency, the demand for commercial jets is becoming urgent, and the tentacles of a black market for aircraft have seeped into places close to home.

 South Florida is a hotbed of illicit transactions of all kinds, investigators said, but lately many have involved Iran.

Among them: In 2009, an Iranian woman was sentenced in Fort Lauderdale for trying to broker a deal for 3,500 night-vision goggles. Then in 2011, Felipe Echeverry, now a defendant in U.S. District Court, led undercover agents to a Miami warehouse where he was storing 22 F-5 fighter jet engines awaiting export to Iran.

Barner is quick to distinguish between these cases and the charges Barbosa-Santos faces.
 
"I've seen nothing suggesting that it's anything related to military, nothing related to terrorism," he said.

The United States outlawed dealings with Iran in 1995, before recent concerns about the nation's nuclear program. But government officials say sanctions on civilian aircraft buttress the security efforts.

How Barbosa-Santos found his way into the fabric of a major international struggle is unclear. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and agents at Homeland Security Investigations declined to talk specifics of the case.

The federal complaint says Barbosa-Santos was born in Brazil in 1960 and is now a U.S. citizen. The only crime on his record was disorderly conduct and trespassing in 1997, when he was living in Fort Lauderdale. And he wasn't prosecuted, records show.

In 2001, Barbosa-Santos registered a business called Aerojet Engineering, based a few hundred yards away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Three years later, he registered Aerobraz Aircraft Marketing Corp. out of the same office. Barbosa-Santos signed paperwork as the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. His mailing address was listed in suburban Fort Worth.

Meanwhile, in Miami, Barbosa-Santos obtained a mechanic license to work on airplanes from the Federal Aviation Administration.

At some point between his beginning in the aviation industry and January 2012, Barbosa-Santos apparently started talking to people involved in a network of Chinese government officials and suppliers eager to tap into the Iranian market.

For companies inside Iran, "it's been very difficult for them to engage in a legitimate financial transaction," said Alfred DeAngelus, a senior special agent for Homeland Security Investigations who specializes in counter proliferation.

Moving seven commercial airplanes is easier than it may seem. According to federal court filings, Barbosa-Santos was planning to pay a Chinese source $19.5 million apiece for seven airplanes to then sell to Iran Air.

Getting them into Iran would have involved complicity among high-ranking Chinese officials, said investigators and a veteran aviation consultant.

"The customs services of many nations and the police services of many nations, they're paid so poorly that there's a lot of corruption," DeAngelus said. "It's easy to pay somebody to turn their head."

In February, a federal agent, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, arranged a meeting with Barbosa-Santos in Fort Lauderdale, prosecutors said in a federal complaint. Barbosa-Santos warned the undercover agent that they could both go to jail for the deal, and then added that he hoped to sweeten it with a C-130 cargo plane.

Investigators took Barbosa-Santos into custody on Nov. 2.

As tensions boil between Israel and Iran, the topic of sanctions is largely uncontroversial. In South Florida, home to the second-largest American Jewish population, lawmakers have pushed for crippling restrictions.

"Iran Air has been sanctioned by the United States for facilitating arms shipments on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard," said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton. "It is unfortunate that time and time again, the Iranian regime has refused to live up to its international obligations and thus subjected the Iranian people and their economy to the consequences of sanctions. While the United States has offered to protect civilian travel by helping Iran Air complete aircraft repairs outside of Iran, the Iranian government has thus far refused this assistance."

The sanctions "are definitely having an impact. There's no question about that," said Steve H. Hanke, professor of applied economics at The Johns Hopkins University.

But safety anxieties are rising among Iran's flying public. Since 2001, 1,017 people have died in Iranian plane crashes, the National Iranian American Council said last year.

One celebrated pilot, Capt. Houshang Shahbazi, who successfully landed a 40-year-old plane without front landing gear has taken up the fight for American reform.

In an interview with The New York Times this summer, he told a reporter: "Each flight can be our last."

Story, photo, reaction/comments:    http://www.sun-sentinel.com

KBWI faulted for handling of $38m in contracts: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland

A Maryland state auditor faulted the agency overseeing the Baltimore airport for its handling of contracts worth $38 million.

The report by the Maryland General Assembly's Office of Legislative Audits found that the Maryland Aviation Administration failed to adequately monitor spending on architectural and engineering contracts, among other issues.

But Paul Wiedefeld, executive director of the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, said the agency has already corrected four of the eight problems the auditor cited and will correct the rest over the next two months.

"It's process-related things that we should be doing. We're going to do training to make sure people understand the processes. Some things we just have to put in place. We just didn't have the mechanical capabilities of doing that. But no one was doing anything unethical. It wasn't that type of issue," Wiedefeld said.

In addition to the lack of oversight on the contracts, auditors found that "internal control and record keeping deficiencies" allowed employees to make purchases without supervisor approval and created problems with inventory records. Though eight employees had the ability to make unapproved purchases, the audit did not find that they bought anything inappropriate.


Read more:   http://washingtonexaminer.com

New float planned at Kiana Lodge

SUQUAMISH — The Suquamish Tribe has been granted approval to remove an old float on the Kiana Lodge dock and replace it with a grated steel float attached to steel pilings.

The new float, designed for tour boats and float planes, received a shoreline variance by Kitsap County Hearing Examiner Kimberly Allen.

Kiana Lodge, located on Agate Passage near the Agate Passage Bridge, is owned by the tribe and used as a center for conventions, retreats and weddings.

The tribe plans to remove six concrete pontoons that support the old float, along with several creosote pilings. The new float would be supported by a steel pontoon and steel pilings, allowing the float to better withstand wind and waves. Overwater coverage would be reduced from 806 to 573 square feet, according to engineers for the project.

The float would be 20 feet shorter but 2 feet wider than the existing float. Grating is required by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow light to penetrate into the water. Agency officials may require other mitigation measures as conditions for a hydraulics permit required for the project.


 http://www.kitsapsun.com

Proposals would reduce jet noise over Fort Myers Beach



 FORT MYERS BEACH - The people have spoken and they are tired of the air traffic noise over parts of Lee County. After more than a year of listening to complaints, a committee is ready to make some recommendations. 

 The changes proposed would reduce the noise on the beach by about 6 decibels.

Flights in and out of the Southwest Florida International Airport come from all over the world; and many of them fly over Fort Myers Beach to get there.

The noise bothers Fort Myers Beach Town Councilman Alan Mandel. For nearly two years, he's worked with a special committee to reduce aircraft noise on the beach.

The committee has six recommendations - including raising the altitude over Fort Myers Beach to 3,000 feet.

Right now, the planes go over at about 1,600 to 2,000 feet.

Other proposals include changing the path of the planes and lowering the engine settings - making the plane more of a glider as it comes into RSW.

Some airlines are already making these changes - finding them more fuel efficient.

The Board of Port Commissioners will meet in January to decide whether to ask the FAA to implement these changes.

The FAA will have six months to make its decision. But no matter what, the pilot in command will keep the final authority to fly the plane safely

This isn't the first time people have complained about the noise and gotten results.

In 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration changed arrival routes into Southwest Florida, creating noise for people who hadn't heard it before.

After the change, residents spoke up and got the FAA to raise the height of approaching aircraft by 1,000 feet and divert some routes.


Story and video:   http://www.abc-7.com

Mexican sentenced in plot to fly immigrants to San Antonio

BROWNSVILLE — A Mexican man was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to fly five Mexican immigrants — who authorities say were in the country illegally — to San Antonio on a charter plane.

Federal officials at the McAllen-Miller International Airport spotted Jorge Luis Gallegos-Avila, 39, of Tampico, Mexico, dropping the immigrants off at the airport on June 20, and officials then boarded the plane and detained the immigrants.

The immigrants identified Gallegos as one of the men who picked them up after they crossed the Rio Grande. They said he maintained them in stash houses before driving them to the airport with instructions to say they were U.S. citizens if questioned.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa sentenced Gallegos-Avila on Wednesday.


http://www.mysanantonio.com

Disabled-access floatplane suit dropped: Former Warrensburg supervisor says he can’t afford to keep fighting state

Citing the cost of the litigation, Maynard Baker has dropped his federal lawsuit against the state that sought floatplane access for the disabled to more than three dozen remote ponds and lakes in the Adirondacks.

"I just can't afford it anymore," the former Warrensburg town supervisor told the Enterprise Wednesday. "I had to quit."

A stipulation of discontinuance was filed in the case on Nov. 21. It is signed by Baker's attorney, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid, and state Assistant Attorney General Susan Taylor.

"It is not a settlement. It is dismissal with prejudice," Taylor told the Enterprise in a phone message this morning.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 against the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Adirondack Park Agency by Baker and five other disabled men who claim the state's ban on the use of floatplanes, motorized vehicles and bicycles to access a list of 38 lakes and ponds in wilderness, primitive and canoe areas - including Lake Lila, Clear Pond, Round Pond and Silver Lake - violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Unlike wild forest areas, where some motorized use is allowed, motors are generally prohibited on state land that's classified as wilderness, canoe or primitive.

"I was hoping the state would realize they have discriminated against disabled American veterans and the mobility-impaired people of our nation by closing those 38 lakes to seaplanes," said Baker, who's also a licensed pilot.

The state argued that the ADA doesn't require it to provide motor vehicle access to each and every location on state-owned land but requires "meaningful access to the Adirondack Park as a whole.

"A substantial portion of the entire Adirondack Park is accessible to the plaintiffs, including many lakes and ponds on which floatplanes are permitted to land and from which they are permitted to take off," the state wrote in its response to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit sought a permanent injunction prohibiting the state from restricting floatplane access to the lakes. Baker and the other plaintiffs also sought an award of attorney fees and costs incurred in bringing the complaint.

In June of this year, U.S. Northern District Chief Judge Gary Sharpe tossed out some of the claims, some of the plaintiffs and some of the defendants in the lawsuit. He allowed the case to move forward under the lead plaintiff, Baker, but limited its scope to only one of his arguments: that the state failed to make him a "reasonable accommodation" to access the lakes.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial sometime next year, but in a Nov. 20 filing, Norfolk wrote that the parties "are discussing the potential of having the action discontinued by agreement."

Baker told the Enterprise Wednesday that he's accumulated $31,000 in attorney fees, has already paid $25,000 out of pocket and can't afford to pay any more.

"I just can't compete dollar-wise with the state," he said.

Norfolk said the decision to drop the lawsuit was based "solely on the substantial amount of money and other resources that this case would have required to properly present a colorable challenge under the ADA.

"My hat goes off to Maynard Baker for his valiant efforts," Norfolk said. "But, as I said to him, no person of modest means, like many of us in the Adirondack Park, can singlehandedly challenge the state on such issues. Help from deep pockets is needed."

Norfolk added that the decision to drop the case doesn't compromise or undermine any similar challenge under the ADA in the future.

While he can't afford to continue the litigation, Baker said he hopes someone else will. He said he's going to ask the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Seaplane Pilots Association to get involved.

"If they want to take this fight on, I'll stay with them," Baker said. "I've got over $30,000 worth of material I can give them that will save them a lot of mileage. Is this going to happen? I don't know."


 http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com

Piper PA-28-180, N7746W: Accident occurred November 17, 2011 in Perryville, Arkansas

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA072 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Perryville, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N7746W
Injuries: 4 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.

About 2 hours after departure, radar data tracked the airplane at 7,000 feet before the airplane then initiated a right, descending turn before disappearing from radar. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying low, descending, making several turns, before impacting terrain. Impact signatures were consistent with a steep, nose-low attitude. An examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies. The reason for the pilot's loss of control could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control in flight.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 17, 2011, about 1610 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N7746W, impacted the ground near Perryville, Arkansas. The commercial rated pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Stillwater Regional Airport (SWO), Stillwater, Oklahoma, about 1415, and was destined for North Little Rock Municipal Airport (ORK), North Little Rock, Arkansas.

The purpose of the flight was to transport two Oklahoma State University (OSU) coaches to Little Rock, Arkansas, in order to support the Oklahoma State University (OSU) athletic recruitment program. The coaches are hereafter referred to as passengers for the report.

Employees at SWO’s fixed base operator (FBO) reported that the airplane landed approximately 1345, picked up two passengers, and departed for ORK. The airplane did not receive any services at SWO.

About 2 hours after departure, radar data showed the airplane level at 7,000 feet mean sea level on a southeasterly heading. At 1610:49, the airplane entered a right turn and descended. The airplane disappeared from radar shortly after. There were no air traffic control communications with the airplane.

Witnesses, who were near the accident site, reported seeing the airplane flying at a low altitude and making turns. They then observed the airplane enter a steep nose-low attitude prior to descending toward the terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot

The pilot, age 82, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a certificated flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine airplanes. He was issued a third class medical certificate on April 1, 2010, with a restriction for corrective lenses for near and distant vision. A review of the pilot’s log book revealed that the pilot had accrued over 2,200 hours total time, with over 350 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot’s last flight review was flown on April 9, 2010, and his most recent night time was on April 25, 2011, at which time he had logged night landings. The last entry in the pilot’s log book was on October 20, 2011.

The pilot was a graduate of and contributor to OSU. He volunteered his flight services to assist with the athletic department’s recruiting efforts, was not compensated for his flight time, and was not contracted by the university.

Pilot rated passenger

The passenger seated behind the pilot, age 79, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. She was issued a third class medical on Aug 26, 2011, without restrictions. A review of her log book revealed that she had accrued over 1,145 hours, a majority of which in the accident airplane. Of note, her most recent night time was logged on November 10, 2007. The last entry in the log book was on October 21, 2011.

On the previous flight, the pilot rated passenger had flown with the accident pilot from Ponca City, Oklahoma, to SWO. For the accident flight she was seated behind the accident pilot.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The single engine, low wing, fixed landing gear, four seat airplane, N7746W, serial number 28-1756, was manufactured in 1964. It was powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360-A3A, serial number L-7030-36. A review of maintenance records found that the last annual inspection was completed on November 8, 2011, at a total time of 5,800.8 hours. During the annual inspection, the mechanic noted that the muffler was inspected, removed, weld repaired, and reinstalled.

An aircraft flight log was found in the wreckage. It contained flights on October 25, 2011, November 16, 2011, and a partial entry on November 17, 2011. Prior to the accident flight, the airplane had about 5,802 hours total time. It is unknown if the pilot flew another airplane between October 25 and November 16.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1553, an automated weather reporting station at the Russellville Regional Airport (KRUE), Russellville, Arkansas, located about 22 nautical miles north-northwest of the accident site, reported wind from 200 degrees at 3 knots, 10 miles visibility, a clear sky, temperature 52 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 19 F, and a barometric pressure of 30.35 inches of mercury.

There were no associated hazards forecasted along the airplane’s route of flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in a heavily wooded area of the Ouachita National Forest, about 8 miles southwest of Perryville, Arkansas. The initial ground impact scar was consistent with the airplane’s right wing leading edge contacting the ground. An impact crater, about 10 feet in diameter and about 3.5 feet deep contained most of the airplane. Ground scars and witness marks to trees surrounding the accident site were consistent with the airplane being approximately 50 to 60 degrees nose low at the time of impact. Wreckage debris was distributed in a “V” from the impact site between 280 degrees to 310 degrees with a field about 80 yards long. Numerous trees throughout the debris field exhibited signs of impact damage.

Examination of the wreckage revealed several of the flight control cables were fractured in multiple places. Each fracture was consistent with overload. Most of the cockpit instrumentation sustained impact damage, was unreadable or unreliable, or destroyed. The engine case and engine components were impact damaged. The blades of the fixed-pitch, two-bladed propeller displayed signs of leading edge polishing, chordwise scratches, and S-bending. The propeller hub was fractured in torsional overload. The airplane’s muffler was disassembled and displayed no sooting or preimpact anomalies. No preimpact anomalies with the airframe or engine were found which would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, Little Rock, Arkansas, on November 18, 2011. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The manner of death was ruled an accident. The autopsy noted that the condition of the remains did not allow for identification of any medical conditions which may have contributed to the crash.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Specimens submitted were not suitable for the detection of carbon monoxide and cyanide. No ethanol or drugs were detected in the muscle.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Selection of seats for the flight

Personnel at the SWO fixed base operator’s office recalled the airplane’s arrival to fly the passengers to their destination. Due to a hearing condition, the pilot spoke loudly, so personnel could hear his conversation with the passengers. The pilot decided that the male passenger would ride in the right pilot seat for the flight to Little Rock. The female passenger and pilot rated passenger would sit in the rear seats. The pilot rated passenger sat behind the male pilot.

Seat belts

A review of the occupants’ seat belts at the accident site, found that the forward two occupants restraint buckles remained latched. The rear occupants’ seat belt restraint buckles were found unlatched. Neither latch plate showed any gouging or deformity. In addition, neither belt exhibited signatures of loading of the clasps. The rear left occupants belt containing the buckle and the rear right occupants belt containing latch plate remained secured to the fuselage. The left belt containing the latch plate and the right belt containing the buckle were fractured in overload at the belt to fuselage cable.

Night time flight requirements

Neither pilot had documentation in their logbook supporting that the currency requirements to land at night with passengers had been accomplished in accordance with 14 CFR Part 61.57. Although not relevant to the accident flight, the planned itinerary for the roundtrip flight would have included a night landing, about 2300.

Donor flight program

Prior to the accident, the Oklahoma State University had limited oversight of the donor flight program. Coaches and staff were allowed to arrange travel directly with the donors without notification to the university. There was no requirement to verify pilot qualifications and airplane inspections; in this case, the pilots did not have documentation supporting the completion of currency requirements for a night landing with passengers. Although the athletic department had an oversight program for student athletes, coaches and staff were exempt from the requirement. OSU's travel policy has since been modified to include coaches and staff into a program similar to the oversight provided to student athletes. The new policy would include a review of pilots and aircraft by an aviation consultant.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma State's governing board is set to vote Friday on policy changes that were recommended after women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and three others were killed on a recruiting trip last year.

The policy will require aviation consultants to pre-approve any private aircraft to be used by university staff, not just coaches. 


It prohibits anyone from flying on official university business on any plane that hasn't been approved through a process that will include reviewing the aircraft's history and inspections.

It expressly forbids employees from conducting university travel on home-built or light sport aircraft.

The crash that killed Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna, pilot Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula Branstetter, was the second plane crash tragedy to affect Oklahoma State in 11 years. 


http://www.foxnews.com

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA072 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Perryville, AR
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N7746W
 

Injuries: 4 Fatal.

 

McDaniel RV-6-CH, N424D: Accident occurred November 26, 2012 in Scio, Oregon


NTSB Identification: WPR13FA056 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 26, 2012 in Scio, OR
Aircraft: MCDANIEL RV-6-CH, registration: N424D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 26, 2012, at 1537 Pacific standard time, a McDaniel RV-6-CH, N424D, collided with terrain after its right wing departed the airplane 5 miles south of Scio, Oregon. The airplane was operated by the owner under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and the commercial pilot were both fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated at the Lebanon State Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, at 1531.

A witness described the airplane as being halfway through a turn at 1,000 feet above ground level (agl) when one of the wings folded up on the airplane. The airplane then rapidly descended to the ground. The Linn County Sheriff’s office reported that the airplane's right wing was located on Highway 226, and the main airplane wreckage was located in a pasture 1,000 feet south of the wing.





Timothy Dean Carter 

 Obituary

Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Beaverton, Ore., escaped the mortal bondage of life on Nov. 26, 2012, from injuries sustained in an aircraft accident.

Tim was born in Emmett, Idaho, to Carl and Goldie Carter in 1966 and was the youngest of seven children.

Tim met the love of his life and future wife Kristine Dedrick in Emmett where they were high-school sweethearts before their marriage in 1985. Tim and Kristi made their way to the Portland area in 1989 where they raised their five wonderful children. Tim was a journeyman plumber who owned and operated Carter Mechanical for the last 14 years. Tim was introduced to aviation 11 years ago and was immediately enthralled. Tim was always happiest when speaking about his family or his "mistress" (his airplanes). He was a cancer survivor who faced challenges with optimism and lived life with a zest and vigor that most people couldn't help but admire.

Tim was a generous man, a devoted husband and a caring, kind-hearted father. He will be missed, he will be remembered and he will always be loved.

Tim is survived by his wife, Kristine; daughter and son-in-law, Valerie and CJ Tillia; grandson, Jim Tillia; daughter, Anna; and sons, Don, Cameron and Will.

Those close to Tim knew him to be a courageous, hopeful and trusting man. Tim would not have wanted anyone to mourn his passing but instead would have rejoiced at the opportunity for those who loved him to gather and celebrate his life. Please honor Tim by joining his family to share your memories of him on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at Kuan Colorado's, 4708 N.W. Bethany Blvd., Portland, Ore., between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m
.


 
 Jeff Kropf
 Jeff Earl Kropf, 45, of Halsey and Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland died in the crash


Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf 

Birth:     Aug. 28, 1967
Death:     Nov. 26, 2012
Crabtree
Linn County
Oregon, USA

JEFF EARL KROPF: 1967-2012;
Throng bids Tebo farewell

Pilot. Musician. Jokester. Faithful Christian.

Jeff "Tebo" Kropf, 45, of Halsey, was all this and more.

So it seemed fitting that, at one point during his memorial service Saturday, an "Uncle Tebo" YouTube clip showed Kropf performing a gospel song in four different parts.

Inside Fairview Mennonite Church, four images of him harmonized as an a capella quartet.

"Weep not friends, I'm coming home. Up there we'll die no more," Kropf sang.

He wore a different baseball cap or cowboy hat in the four sections of the video.

It was goofy but reverent.

It was sad but marvelous.

It was undeniably Tebo.

He recently wrote that he loved the song, "Gloryland," and wanted it played at his funeral.

Kropf died in a plane crash Monday afternoon near Crabtree, but his voice filled the church Saturday.

Six of his songs were played, and family and friends chuckled at his antics, and praised his big heart.

"I'm going to miss being silly with you. ... I wish you could come back for one minute so I could have one more hug and we could pray together," wrote his niece, Stephanie Kropf, 21, in a letter that was read to the crowd.

More than 500 attended the service. Another 500 family and friends were listening in Pennsylvania and other states, and nearly 100 watched the memorial service online.

Several speakers at the event used flying as a metaphor for heaven.

Tebo, they said, surely still is soaring above.

"If we remain faithful and true to our faith, we will be flying in formation with him someday," said Pastor Stephen Wilcox of the Spirit of Hosea Fellowship. Kropf belonged to the international group.

Tebo was something of a local celebrity because of his involvement with the Young Eagles. In the program, he served as pilot during the first airplane ride for more than 400 kids.

Kropf "loved to see the joy and sheer delight in their faces," said brother-in-law Alvie Shrock.

The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to discover the cause of the crash that claimed Kropf's life, including why a wing detached from the plane before it tumbled from the sky. An initial report should be released in the next few days.

Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland also died in the crash.

The RV6 kit plane, which was owned by Carter, had been highly modified, said the manufacturer.


Burial:
Alford Cemetery
Harrisburg
Linn County
Oregon, USA


http://www.findagrave.com


 
Jeff "Tebo" Kropf was killed when the plane he was flying in crashed near Crabtree Monday afternoon. Kropf, also known as Tim Corban had flown hundreds of first-time flyers out of the Lebanon airport in the Young Eagles flight program.



Family remembers Jeff ‘Tebo’ Kropf

The plane crash that killed Jeff “Tebo” Kropf of Halsey left his family staggering with grief and shock, too overcome to have a memorial plan yet, brother-in-law Alvie Shrock said Tuesday. 
 
As the investigation into the Monday afternoon crash continues, they cling to faith and to the many memories they share.

“This doesn’t change my view of flying or safety of planes,” said Shrock, who is married to Tebo’s sister, Sheila. “I don’t know why, except God called him home. I don’t know why things happen. We can either shake our fist at the sky or accept that things happen.”

It isn’t the first time members of the Kropf family have had to cope with an aircraft tragedy. Tebo’s grandfather Donald Headings, also a pilot, died along with another passenger and the pilot, distant cousin Ray Kropf, in a low-altitude crash near Yoncalla some 65 years ago.

As an adult, Tebo inherited his grandfather’s log book and used it to track down a plane his grandfather had partly owned. He and Shrock traveled north a few years ago to find the plane, a Piper Cub that now belongs to a pilot who lives near Tacoma, Wash.

The pilot took them all up, one at a time, Shrock remembered, and then Tebo took a picture of the little yellow canvas-covered plane. He digitally inserted a photograph of his grandfather into the finished photograph.

Tebo loved most to fly, but he was also an accomplished photographer. Some of his landscapes can be seen on the walls of Samaritan Albany General Hospital, where he was once in charge of the phone system.

Tebo also was a technical wizard who worked at one time for Hewlett-Packard’s Inkjet division and could fix just about any computer issue you brought to him, Shrock said.

Wiring jobs, hacked Facebook pages, hardware troubleshooting, he could do it all — and willingly did. He built websites for his church, Fairview Mennonite, for local businesses and for others who asked.

“He was a man who constantly did for others,” Shrock remembered.

He held a variety of jobs over his 45 years. In addition to the hospital and HP, he worked for a time for J&J Truck in Halsey. This was after he became estranged from his wife and four children, the oldest of whom is now in his early 20s.

He had started going by Tim Corban at the time, as part of his break from his previous life, Shrock said. The nickname “Tebo” evolved from that.

A self-taught musician, Tebo could play guitar, banjo and bass. Google “Uncle Tebo” on YouTube and you’ll see more than 100 videos of him playing and singing, much of it his own work, Shrock said. He put together two albums with niece Stephanie Kropf.

Tebo lived with the Shrocks for a few years, but he spent so much time at the Lebanon Municipal Airport that Larry and Danna Knox, owners of Lebanon Air Aviation, eventually invited him to stay in the spare quarters there, Shrock said. He had been there for the past couple of years.

The Knoxes couldn’t be reached this week, but Shrock said Tebo loved the job.

He oversaw day to day operations, arranged the fly-ins, and devoted all his spare time to encouraging children to learn about aviation through the free Young Eagles program. He flew more than 200 youngsters last year and had just gone up with his 197th Young Eagles flight of the year this past Friday.

“He loved to fly and he loved to share,” Shrock said. “He was a truly great man who truly cared about others and showed it every day.”


Source:  http://democratherald.com




Firefighters mark wreckage debris east of Brester Road after a plane crash east of Crabtree.



 
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived Tuesday at the scene of a small plane crash that killed two men Monday afternoon.


Investigators from the FAA and NTSB examine the remains of a RV6 two-seat airplane Tuesday morning Nov. 27, 2012, that crashed into a field near Crabtree, Ore., after apparently losing a wing inflight Monday afternoon. The wing was found on highway 226 several thousand feet from the crash site. Commericial pilot Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf of Halsey, Ore., and aicraft owner Timothy Dean Carter of Portland, Ore., were killed in the crash. 





















PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The crash of a two-seater experimental airplane this week in the Willamette Valley has shocked people who build their own aircraft from kits or plans. 

 They consider the plane designed by an Aurora company, Van's Aircraft, one of the most popular experimental aircraft in the U.S., saying it's fast, versatile, fuel-efficient and relatively easy to build and fly.

"The performance is great in terms of being able to go both reasonably slow and reasonably fast and to land and take off reasonably short," said Skip Lawson, former president of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Eugene. "They're also known as being over-engineered — they're very strong airplanes."

Witnesses reported that the plane, known by its model number, RV-6, lost a wing when it plowed into a field south of Scio on Monday afternoon, said Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley.

The plane's owner, Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland, and his passenger, Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf, 45, of Halsey, died.

"I've never heard of a wing coming off an RV aircraft," Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Wisconsin-based Experimental Aircraft Association, told The Oregonian.

Carter's plane had passed its air worthiness test and was registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, records show. Carter purchased it fairly recently, perhaps in the past year or two, said his oldest daughter, Valerie Tillia. It's not clear whom Carter bought the plane from.

"The nice thing about experimental aircraft is you can modify and change them pretty much at will," said Bob Duncan, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Hillsboro. "But if you buy an airplane from someone else, you need to do the due diligence."

Gus Funnell of Van's Aircraft said the crashed plane appeared to be highly modified and built from plans with custom components, not from a company kit, citing differences in fuselage, cowling and canopy. He said the motor was not the one the plane was designed for.

"We've never had a structural failure in an RV-6," he toldthe Albany Democrat-Herald. "This plane is an RV-6 in name only."

It's easier to use a kit, but people can save money getting their own raw materials, and builders get the satisfaction of creating something themselves, he said.

There are about 33,000 homebuilt planes registered under the Federal Aviation Administration's experimental category. Van's designs account for about 20 percent of the amateur market, with the RV-6 its most popular model. About 6,000 plans and kits for the plane were sold until 2001, when the next model came out.

The accident rate for amateur-built aircraft is up to three times higher than for lightweight manufactured planes, said Loren Groff, safety analyst for the National Transportation Safety Board. The fatality rate is four times higher.

The agency said 86 people have died in RV-6s in the past two decades. Carter and Kropf were the first this year.
___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com


Story, video and photos:  http://www.kval.com

 
 The experimental aircraft that crashed Monday afternoon near Crabtree killing two men “was not built from one of our RV-6 kits,” said Gus Funnell, who provides support for builders at the airplane’s kit manufacturing plant in Aurora.

“It possibly could have come from some plans we had a while ago, but this plane was a highly modified version of the RV-6,” he said Wednesday. “When you compare the plane that crashed to our standard, there are a number of differences.”

In Monday’s crash, a wing from the plane broke off and then the aircraft rammed into a field about a quarter mile to the south of where the wing was found near the intersection of Highway 226 and Brewster Road.

Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley said Wednesday that what was left of the plane was removed Tuesday afternoon and taken to a hangar in Dallas, where officials are continuing their examination.

Investigators hope to learn the cause of the crash sometime next week.

Jeff “Tebo” Kropf, 45, of Halsey and Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland were killed.

Investigators still do not know who was piloting the aircraft that went down shortly after taking off from Lebanon Municipal Airport. Riley said Carter flew the plane to Lebanon but no one knows who the pilot was when it took off about 3:30 p.m. “We may never know who was at the controls,” he said.

Funnell, who works at Van’s Aircraft, said “we’ve never had a structural failure in an RV-6. This plane is an RV-6 in name only.”

The RV-6, he said, has an “excellent safety record and it is one of the safest homebuilt planes out there.”

If photographs of an RV-6 and the crashed plane were placed side by side there would be some similarities but “you would see there were differences in the fuselage, cowling and canopy,” he said. “I don’t think the plane was built from kit components, rather it looks like it was built from components someone built himself.”

It’s easier to use a kit but people can save money getting their own raw materials, and builders get the satisfaction of creating something themselves, Funnell said.

He could not say anything concerning what he knew about the investigation because his company is helping to find the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigating agency, assisted by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Van’s Aircraft General Manager Scott Risan spent two days at the crash site.

“He was out there looking for failure points,” Funnell said. “He was looking to see what broke and where. You can tell a lot about why something broke by looking at the broken portion of the plane. Under a microscope you can see if there is corrosion or wing spar overload. This is a forensic sort of thing.”

Determining the cause of a crash can be a long process. “An investigation is an exacting science and some testing can take a long time,” he said.

Every homebuilt plane must pass a Federal Aviation Administration pre-flight inspection to receive an air worthiness certificate, Funnell said.

“The inspections are not as thorough as those for a commercial airliner,” he said. “Experimental aircraft are for personal use and you are not selling seats in it so there is a lesser degree of oversight. Yearly inspections after that are required but those are not done by the FAA but usually by a certified airplane mechanic or the guy who built the plane.”


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

 http://registry.faa.gov/N424D


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 424D        Make/Model: EXP       Description: RV6
  Date: 11/26/2012     Time: 2330

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

LOCATION
  City: SCIO   State: OR   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, 5 MILES FROM SCIO, OR

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR  (NM09)                  Entry date: 11/27/2012 

Study: Private airport towers as safe as FAA ones ... Contract towers cost $537,000 less on average annually

WASHINGTON (CNN) -  Air traffic control towers staffed by private contractors are cheaper and provide the same level of safety as towers staffed by government controllers, a new government audit concludes.

Contract towers, as they are known, cost on average $537,000 a year to operate, compared with $2 million for comparably busy towers staffed by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General. In addition, the contract towers had a "significantly lower number and rate of safety incidents," the report said.

Currently, 251 of the nation's 374 towers are staffed by contractors who must meet FAA standards and are overseen by FAA managers. Restricted to lower-volume airports, contract towers nonetheless handle 28 percent of all domestic airport operations.

The OIG report likely will give ammunition to Republican lawmakers who favor the privatization of everything from airport control towers to security checkpoints. But it is unlikely to result in an expansion of tower contracting, coming on the heels of the re-election of a president with strong public sector support.

The current hybrid system of contract- and government-staffed towers is a result of the decision by President Ronald Reagan to fire the striking Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization controllers in 1981. After they were fired, the FAA moved its staff and managers to the busiest control towers, leaving smaller towers vacant.

The next year, the FAA started the Federal Contract Tower Program, placing contractors at five low-activity towers. The program expanded gradually. Of the 251 contract towers in operation today, about half were previously staffed by FAA controllers, and half are new towers built by communities, typically to promote economic development.

The new OIG audit compares 30 randomly selected contract towers to 30 comparable "low activity" FAA towers.

The report notes a large difference in operating costs mainly due to lower staffing and salary levels at contract towers. Contract towers had an average of six controllers, while FAA towers had 16. A typical contract controller near Tampa, Florida, received a base salary of $56,000 per year compared with a base salary ranging from $63,000 to $85,000 a year for an FAA controller in Sarasota, Florida, the study said.

Contract towers also had a "significantly lower number and rate of safety incidents," the report says. For example, 240 contract towers referenced in the review had 197 safety incidents, compared with 362 incidents at 92 similar FAA towers.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents FAA controllers and controllers at 63 contract towers, said it is wrong to conclude that the lower rate of safety incidents at contract towers means those towers are safer. FAA controllers fall under a non-punitive reporting system that encourages controllers to voluntarily report errors.

"The FAA has a true safety culture, where all controllers and employees are encouraged to report all safety issues, including errors, while contract towers are dictated by a punitive culture that discourages controllers and their supervisors from reporting errors," said Sarah Dunn, a spokeswoman for the NATCA.

An advocate for contract controllers disagreed that contract controllers were less likely to report errors. "The culture is that you're fired if you don't report and it's found out," said J. Spencer Dickerson, executive director of the U.S. Contract Tower Association.

But he also said it is "a stretch" to conclude that contract towers are safer. He said the two systems have "comparable levels of safety."

"The irony of the program is a lot of controllers are retired FAA controllers," Dickerson said. FAA controllers must retire at age 56, but contract controllers have no such mandatory retirement age. "So it's a great opportunity for FAA controllers who do their 20 years and want to stay in the business," he said.

The "vast majority" of contract controllers are former FAA or former military controllers. They must be certified by the FAA and must meet the same medical requirements and are subject to the same drug testing.

But contract towers are "definitely more cost-effective to the taxpayers," Dickerson said. Airports that have contract towers "are very positive of the program," he said. "The reports are that it's seamless. Pilots will tell you they can't tell the difference between an FAA tower and the contract towers, and that's our goal."

Source:    http://www.kjct8.com

Oklahoma Highway Patrol uses plane in crash reduction effort



MURRAY COUNTY, OK - Troopers in Oklahoma use the sky and the ground to catch drivers violating the law. 

 "The aircraft will circle an area from the air and monitor traffic for speeding, following too closely and improper lane changes," Trooper Jay Clary said.

We boarded a Cessna 182 with Trooper Jim Thompson Wednesday afternoon and with a little mathematics, were able to help troopers on the ground issue nearly thirty warnings and violations in two hours.

"We use half mile marks with stop watches and it's just time over distance," Thompson said. "We don't get them at their slowest speed you get them at an average through the half mile."

Fifty years ago, OHP was the first highway patrol in the nation to use aircraft speed law enforcement. Clary said they use this crash reduction effort monthly.

"Some drivers are surprised that we have an airplane out working traffic with us," Clary said. "Some of them know about it." 


Story and video:  http://www.kxii.com

NextGen Air System Jeopardized by Lawmaker Interference

Benefits from the planned $42 billion investment in a new United States air-traffic control system depend on being able to combine and move hundreds of radar rooms that are obsolete or can’t accommodate new equipment.

That modernization effort is at risk because U.S. lawmakers have blocked several attempts to merge such Federal Aviation Administration facilities, according to agency data compiled by Bloomberg and interviews with former FAA officials.

“You tell a congressman that you’re pulling a center out of his or her district, you’re going to have a gigantic scream,” said George Donohue, a former FAA associate administrator. “When you talk about consolidating big, expensive, redundant facilities, Congress just won’t let it get done.”

The program known as NextGen involves using global- positioning satellite technology to replace radar to track aircraft and giving controllers better communication tools including an e-mail-like link to pilots. The FAA projects NextGen will save airlines $24 billion in fuel, delays and other expenses by 2020 by letting planes fly more direct routes and closer to each other.

The agency has come under congressional criticism for delays and cost overruns on some early parts of NextGen, including a new computer system to monitor traffic and serve as a backbone for much of the new technology. The bricks-and-mortar network of more than 500 radar rooms and towers form the low- tech side of the system.

Patchwork System

The radar rooms -- which range from small facilities at rural airports to centers overseeing thousands of miles of airspace -- were located based on 1950s technology, Donohue said.

That created a system in which jets flying into congested airspace near Chicago or New York might have to follow serpentine routes dictated by facility boundaries. Air-traffic centers must be merged for those routes to become more efficient, said Donohue, who is an emeritus engineering professor at George Mason University in Virginia.

More than half of those facilities were more than 30 years old, which is beyond their useful lifetime, according to a 2008 study by the Transportation Department’s inspector general. An unspecified number are so old they can’t accommodate the new NextGen equipment, it said.

Political Pressure

“The FAA’s ability to meet the future needs of the aviation system, including the implementation of NextGen, fundamentally relies on the agency’s ability to optimize our facilities and workforce,” David Grizzle, the FAA’s air-traffic chief, said in testimony at a May 31 congressional hearing.

Logs of contacts between members of Congress and the FAA obtained under public records requests by Bloomberg show at least 26 cases of lawmakers from both parties lobbying the agency on controller staffing levels or the location of air- traffic facilities from 2010 through May 2012.

The pressure included a 2010 letter from 16 of Ohio’s 18 members of Congress opposing an FAA plan to merge local Terminal Radar Approach Control rooms, or TRACONs, into a newer, centralized facility. The FAA put the effort on hold, according to an inspector general report.

Representative Alcee Hastings, a Florida Democrat, fought off the FAA’s attempt to close a TRACON at Palm Beach International airport in his district and move it to Miami. TRACONs oversee traffic in a radius of about 40 miles (64 kilometers) around an airport and as high as 17,000 feet (5,182 meters).

Safety Concerns

The move would have created a safety hazard and wasn’t adequately planned, Hastings said in an interview.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union representing more than 15,000 members, has also opposed some FAA consolidations. The union, which hasn’t objected to all such plans, wants to be consulted in merger proposals and believes they often prove costlier than first thought, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said in an e-mail.

The FAA could do a better job of selling consolidations if it had more reliable data on how many controllers were needed at each facility and by involving union members in decisions, said James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat who headed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee until his defeat in 2010.

“These are big-hit, very visible issues,” Oberstar said. “You have to make the case for that and they haven’t.”

‘Flawed’ Estimates

Former FAA officials have acknowledged the agency has underestimated costs of merging facilities. A 2010 inspector general review of a proposal to move a radar room from Boise, Idaho, to Salt Lake City found cost estimates were “flawed and lacked transparency.”

Another example of a consolidation marred by surprise costs occurred in 2001, when the FAA merged several Georgia facilities into a TRACON around Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, the world’s busiest airport.

Ninety-four percent of the controllers transferring from smaller locations couldn’t qualify to work the more complex traffic at their new facility. Under an agreement between the FAA and the union, those workers kept raises they’d received to transfer even after moving back to smaller TRACONs, according to the inspector general. Costs of the move were 53 percent above estimates, most of which was due to the pay raises, the report said.

Cost Increases

Though the FAA hasn’t completed plans for relocating or merging facilities, the process could involve most of the U.S.’s more than 15,000 controllers, according to a July 17 inspector general’s report. Preliminary plans to merge 51 TRACONs and en- route centers, which oversee traffic outside TRACON boundaries, from Illinois to Maine into four facilities would effect almost 3,000 controllers and more than 1,000 managers and technicians, according to the report.

Merging that many facilities presents many hurdles, according to the inspector general. The agency must persuade the controllers, some of whom are eligible to retire, to move and must negotiate with the union over retraining, moving-related bonuses and moving expenses.

Congress in a law passed Feb. 14 ordered the FAA to come up with a list of air-traffic facilities to merge. If lawmakers don’t vote down the plan, the FAA must move forward.

“The FAA continues its work to develop a comprehensive plan for the consolidation and realignment of some of the agency’s 500 existing air traffic facilities,” the agency said in an e-mailed statement.

Article, reaction/comments:    http://www.businessweek.com

McDaniel RV-6-CH, N424D: Accident occurred November 26, 2012 in Scio, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA056
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 26, 2012 in Scio, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/20/2015
Aircraft: MCDANIEL RV-6-CH, registration: N424D
Injuries: 2 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 purpose of the flight was for the pilot-rated passenger to show the owner/pilot how to perform rolls in the experimental kit-built airplane. A witness reported observing the airplane in level flight about 1,000 feet above ground level before it entered a steeply banked turn. The airplane was halfway through the turn when the right wing folded up over the fuselage. The wing departed the airframe, and the airplane rapidly descended to the ground. The right wing was located about 1,090 feet from the main wreckage. 

The owner/pilot was not the builder of the airplane, and he had no record of aerobatic flight experience. The pilot-rated passenger's logbook indicated that he had made a single 0.5-hour flight in another RV-6 that included performance of rolls and wing-overs. 

The operating limitations document for the airplane noted that aerobatic flight was prohibited unless such flights were satisfactorily accomplished and recorded in the aircraft logbook during its flight test period. No entries were found in the logbook that would satisfy this requirement. 

Postaccident examination of the separated right wing determined that the upper and lower spar-caps had failed in buckle and overload. Although the airplane was registered with the Federal Aviation Administration by the builder as an RV-6-CH model, the design of its spar caps was found to be substantially different from the kit manufacturer's design for the RV-6 model airplane, a model which can be approved for aerobatic maneuvers. Rather the design was similar to the wing cap spar design for the older RV-3 model airplane, a design which was found to be susceptible to failure in buckle when exposed to aerobatic flight. Following a number of inflight wing failures in RV-3 airplanes during aerobatic flight, the kit manufacturer recommended that no aerobatic maneuvers be performed in RV-3 model airplanes until wing spar modifications that increase the spar's stiffness and resistance to buckling have been accomplished. Because the purpose of the flight was performance of an aerobatic maneuver (rolls) and because the airplane's wing spar cap design was not suitable for aerobatic flight, it is likely that at some point during the flight, an aerobatic maneuver was performed that weakened the wing, and the final steep turn was then sufficient to overload the wing.

Toxicology results showed that the owner/pilot had therapeutic levels of diphenhydramine, a sedating antihistamine, in his system; however, it could not be determined if he was flying at the time of the accident or if this impairment contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to perform aerobatics in an airplane that was prohibited from aerobatics as stated in its operating limitations document, which resulted in the failure of the right wing spar.

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On November 26, 2012, at 1537 Pacific standard time, a McDaniel RV-6-CH, N424D, collided with terrain after its right wing departed the airplane 5 miles south of Scio, Oregon. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The private pilot and the commercial pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The personal flight originated at the Lebanon State Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, at 1531.

A witness described observing the airplane at 1,000 feet above ground level (agl). When the airplane was halfway through a turn, one of the wings folded up. The airplane then rapidly descended to the ground. The Linn County Sheriff's office reported that the airplane's right wing was located on Highway 226, and the main airplane wreckage was located in a pasture 1,090 feet south of the wing.

The Fixed Base Operator (FBO) proprietor at Lebanon State Airport stated that the pilot and commercial pilot-rated passenger were acquaintances. The pilot arrived earlier that day at Lebanon State Airport and met up with his passenger. The passenger had a set of portable remote cameras that he was going to mount onto the foot step on the airplane to video record the flight. Additionally, the pilot-rated passenger intended to show the pilot how to perform rolls.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 46, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane, issued June 4, 2010. He additionally held a third-class medical certificate with the limitation that he wear corrective lenses, issued April 2, 2012. Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of November 25, 2012, he had accumulated 1,005.0 total flight hours of which 48.5 hours were in the accident airplane. On June 8, 2012, he received a tail wheel endorsement, an endorsement to act as pilot-in-command in a Vans RV-6 or RV-7 series aircraft, and a flight review. No record of aerobatic instruction was found in his logbook.

The passenger, age 45, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating issued June 26, 2012, and a second-class medical certificate with the limitation that he wear corrective lenses issued on May 22, 2005. Examination of his logbook revealed that he had accumulated 590 total flight hours as of November 23, 2012, and his most recent flight review was on February 8, 2012. The logbook showed a single entry dated November 5, 2012, for 0.5 hours in a RV-6A, and the comment line states, "Rolls & wing overs." No other entries were found that included experience in Vans RV model of airplanes or of aerobatic instruction.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The two seat, low wing, fixed gear, tail-wheel configured airplane, serial number AC-3, was an experimental amateur-built airplane manufactured in 1996. The majority of the airframe was designed and built by an individual that was previously employed at Van's Aircraft. A second party bought the partially constructed airplane and completed the construction. The airplane was purchased by the pilot on May 29, 2012. The date of manufacture that is recorded on the FAA registration is 1996. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) letter defining N424D's Experimental Operating Limitations was dated May 17, 1996. Under Phase II of the Experimental Operating Limitations, subsection titled "The Following Limitations Apply Outside of Flight Test Area", line 4 states, "This aircraft is prohibited from acrobatic flight, unless such flight were satisfactorily accomplished and recorded in the aircraft logbook during the flight test period." Examination of the airplane's maintenance logbooks did not include any such entry that would satisfy this requirement.

The airplane was powered by a Continental IO-346-A, 165-horsepower engine, and equipped with a wooden fixed-pitch propeller. A review of copies of the airplane maintenance logbooks revealed that the most recent conditional inspection was performed on May 25, 2012, at a total airframe time of 557 hours. 

Although the airplane was designated an RV-6-CH and closely resembled the Van's RV-6 model of airplane, there were numerous differences between the accident airplane and the kit design that Van's Aircraft produces. The wing span of the accident airplane, as measured after the accident, was 22 feet. In contrast, the Van's RV-3 wing span is 20 feet, and the Van's RV-6 is 23 feet. There were additional differences in the wing spar construction. The wing spar construction of the accident airplane utilized the same materials and general design as the Van's RV-3 series of designs and the wing appeared to be a modified and extended version of the RV-3 wing. The original Van's RV-3 wing spar design consists of a 0.040 aluminum channel web with a build-up of seven 0.125 by 1.25-inch bars riveted together on to form the upper and lower spar caps. The accident airplane's spar consisted of a build-up of 4 pieces of aluminum channel web with nine 0.125 by 1.5-inch aluminum bars for the upper and lower spar caps. In contrast, the Van's RV-6 uses 2 pieces of 0.040 2043-T3 aluminum channel web with a build-up of four 0.250 by 1.5-inch aluminum bars plus one 0.125 by 1.5-inch bar.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on November 11, 2012, by the Oregon State Medical Examiner, Clackamas, Oregon. The cause of death was listed as "blunt force injuries of head and chest."

The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team performed toxicology on specimens from the pilot with positive results for diphenhydramine detected in blood (0.604 ug/ml), and ethanol detected in muscle (20 mg/dl), no ethanol was detected in the brain. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. It is available over the counter under various trade names including Benadryl and Unisom. Diphenhydramine carries the following warning: may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). There was an insufficient specimen amount to test for carbon monoxide, and the test for cyanide was not performed.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot-rated passenger November 27, 2012, by the Oregon State Medical Examiner, Clackamas. The cause of death was listed as, "Craniocerebral and chest trauma." The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team performed toxicology on specimens from the passenger with negative results for carbon monoxide, screened drugs, or ethanol.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The right wing was located on a highway paved with asphalt. The wing root and 2-3 rib bays had been crushed longitudinally into the wing. The inboard portion of the main wing spar, in the vicinity of the longitudinal crushing, was buckled in the shape of a double-S. Located in the center of the highway there was an indentation in the asphalt that was consistent with wing impact, and in the adjacent area was the odor of aviation fuel and fuel stains were observed. The wing's aft spar doubler plate was not present on the spar. The upper and lower spar caps were bent aft and outward, pointing down the wing span towards the wing tip. The lower spar-cap of the rear spar, at the attach bolt-hole location, was missing a section of material originating at the bolt hole. The aileron and flap were present on the wing, the aileron control rod was connected to the aileron, and the control rod had separated at the wing root. The wing skin did not exhibit any wrinkling or buckling.

A debris field extended from the right wing to the main wreckage and mostly consisted of Plexiglas fragments, and small cockpit items. The reported remote video camera that may have been mounted to the foot step was not located. Blister packs of Nicorette (4mg/piece) and Benadryl Allergy (25mg Diphenhydramin HCl liquid-gels) were identified in the debris.

The main wreckage was located about 1,090 feet to the south of the right wing, in a grass pasture, resting on its right side. It was oriented from tail to nose on a bearing of 138 degrees magnetic. The wreckage consisted of the left wing, fuselage, cockpit, tail, engine, and propeller. Flight control continuity was established on-scene by manually moving the aileron and elevator control surfaces and observing movement of the control stick in the cockpit area. Control continuity from the rudder to the cockpit was established by tracing the rudder cables from the rudder control surface attachment point to the rudder pedal cable anchors on the rudder pedals. The left horizontal stabilizer and vertical stabilizer appeared undamaged; the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator exhibited crush damage from ground impact. The left wing laid on top of and in line with the fuselage. The left wing main spar was continuous through the cabin and extended 14 inches into the right wing spar where it was fractured completely at the upper and lower spar caps. In the region of the fracture surfaces the spar ends were bent aft. The upper and lower spar caps were a buildup of 9, 0.125 thick aluminum bars and bolted together with through-bolts positioned every 1.25 inches. The fracture surface of each bar appeared bright and angular, with shear lips. The aft spar of the left wing remained attached to the carry through. The right side of the aft wing spar carry though contained the right wing aft-spar doubler plate and spar attach-bolt.

The cockpit cabin had been completely compromised, and the right side of the engine had imbedded about 2 feet into the ground. The right underside of the engine's case and oil pan had been broken and torn laterally. The right case-half contained a crack at the no. 3 cylinder location. The two magnetos had been displaced from their mounting pads. The right magneto produced spark at three terminals when rotated by hand; the left magneto was seized and could not be rotated by hand. The upper spark plugs were removed. The spark plugs were dark gray in color, all gaps were similar, and no mechanical damaged was observed. The engine was seized and could not be rotated by hand. The fuel distribution valve was intact, no debris was observed in the filter screen, and fuel was observed in the valve. The wood propeller was attached to the propeller hub. One blade was fractured at the hub, the other blade extended out 20 inches from the hub. A majority of wood blade-fragments were recovered with the engine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The right-wing spar was sectioned out of the wing, and the wing carry through spar was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory for a detailed examination. The entire Materials Laboratory Factual Report is contained in the official docket for this investigation.

The right wing separated approximately 1 foot from the centerline of the center section. The left wing remained attached to the center section. The wing structure was disassembled on-site from the fuselage to facilitate shipping, handling, and examination. The wing section contained a forward and aft spar. The forward spar at the fracture location contained a total of four reinforcement pieces for the web; nine reinforcement strips (1.5 inch by 0.125 inch) for the upper spar cap; and nine reinforcement strips (1.50 inch by 0.125 inch) for the lower spar cap. Examination of the forward spar revealed that the fracture faces of the lower spar cap at the inboard side contained less mechanical damage compared to those on the upper spar cap pieces.

The aft spar contained an attachment plate with two holes (about 0.75-inch diameter, each). When intact, the attachment plate extended between the aft spar of the center section and the aft spar of the right wing. The attachment plate is designed to be attached by rivets to the upper and lower brackets of the aft spar for the right wing. The inboard end of the plate is designed to be attached by two bolts and corresponding nuts to the aft spar of the center section. Examination of the attachment plate revealed the attachment rivets between the center section and right wing fractured at the shank. The fracture faces of the rivets exhibited metal flow consistent with ductile separation in shear mode. The outboard end of the attachment plate was deformed up and aft relative to the aft spar of the center section. The upper and lower brackets remained attached to the aft spar of the right wing.

Microscope examination of the fracture faces on the forward and aft spar sections of the wing structure and those on the center section showed gray-granular rough features on a slant plane consistent with overstress separation with no evidence of fatigue cracking.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RV-3 History

Van's Aircraft Service Bulletin SB-96-3-1, dated March 25, 1996, states in the synopsis, "After a number of in flight wing failures in RV-3 and RV-3A aircraft. Studies were initiated to identify any possible design deficiencies. These studies resulted in a recommendation by Van's Aircraft and the FAA to limit aerobatic flight of affected aircraft until main wing spar modifications have been accomplished."

The RV-3 wing spar design utilized a spar-cap stack up of 0.125-inch bar stock. This design was found to be susceptible to failure in buckle when exposed to aerobatic flight or high g-loading. An extensive discussion regarding this issue was addressed in Van's Aircraft RV-3 Safety Alert, dated March 25, 1996.

The Van's RV-6 wing spar design resolves the RV-3's spar failure issue by increasing the spar stiffness and resistance to buckling by increasing bar stock thickness from 0.125 to 0.25-inch bar stock in the wing spar stack up and construction.

http://registry.faa.gov/N424D

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA056 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 26, 2012 in Scio, OR
Aircraft: MCDANIEL RV-6-CH, registration: N424D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 26, 2012, at 1537 Pacific standard time, a McDaniel RV-6-CH, N424D, collided with terrain after its right wing departed the airplane 5 miles south of Scio, Oregon. The airplane was operated by the owner under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and the commercial pilot were both fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated at the Lebanon State Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, at 1531.

A witness described the airplane as being halfway through a turn at 1,000 feet above ground level (agl) when one of the wings folded up on the airplane. The airplane then rapidly descended to the ground. The Linn County Sheriff’s office reported that the airplane's right wing was located on Highway 226, and the main airplane wreckage was located in a pasture 1,000 feet south of the wing.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 424D        Make/Model: EXP       Description: RV6
  Date: 11/26/2012     Time: 2330

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

LOCATION
  City: SCIO   State: OR   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, 5 MILES FROM SCIO, OR

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR  (NM09)                  Entry date: 11/27/2012 

 
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived Tuesday at the scene of a small plane crash that killed two men Monday afternoon.


Investigators from the FAA and NTSB examine the remains of a RV6 two-seat airplane Tuesday morning Nov. 27, 2012, that crashed into a field near Crabtree, Ore., after apparently losing a wing inflight Monday afternoon. The wing was found on highway 226 several thousand feet from the crash site. Commericial pilot Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf of Halsey, Ore., and aicraft owner Timothy Dean Carter of Portland, Ore., were killed in the crash. 



 
 Jeff Kropf
 Jeff Earl Kropf, 45, of Halsey and Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland died in the crash 


























PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The crash of a two-seater experimental airplane this week in the Willamette Valley has shocked people who build their own aircraft from kits or plans. 

 They consider the plane designed by an Aurora company, Van's Aircraft, one of the most popular experimental aircraft in the U.S., saying it's fast, versatile, fuel-efficient and relatively easy to build and fly.

"The performance is great in terms of being able to go both reasonably slow and reasonably fast and to land and take off reasonably short," said Skip Lawson, former president of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Eugene. "They're also known as being over-engineered — they're very strong airplanes."

Witnesses reported that the plane, known by its model number, RV-6, lost a wing when it plowed into a field south of Scio on Monday afternoon, said Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley.

The plane's owner, Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland, and his passenger, Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf, 45, of Halsey, died.

"I've never heard of a wing coming off an RV aircraft," Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Wisconsin-based Experimental Aircraft Association, told The Oregonian.

Carter's plane had passed its air worthiness test and was registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, records show. Carter purchased it fairly recently, perhaps in the past year or two, said his oldest daughter, Valerie Tillia. It's not clear whom Carter bought the plane from.

"The nice thing about experimental aircraft is you can modify and change them pretty much at will," said Bob Duncan, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Hillsboro. "But if you buy an airplane from someone else, you need to do the due diligence."

Gus Funnell of Van's Aircraft said the crashed plane appeared to be highly modified and built from plans with custom components, not from a company kit, citing differences in fuselage, cowling and canopy. He said the motor was not the one the plane was designed for.

"We've never had a structural failure in an RV-6," he toldthe Albany Democrat-Herald. "This plane is an RV-6 in name only."

It's easier to use a kit, but people can save money getting their own raw materials, and builders get the satisfaction of creating something themselves, he said.

There are about 33,000 homebuilt planes registered under the Federal Aviation Administration's experimental category. Van's designs account for about 20 percent of the amateur market, with the RV-6 its most popular model. About 6,000 plans and kits for the plane were sold until 2001, when the next model came out.

The accident rate for amateur-built aircraft is up to three times higher than for lightweight manufactured planes, said Loren Groff, safety analyst for the National Transportation Safety Board. The fatality rate is four times higher.

The agency said 86 people have died in RV-6s in the past two decades. Carter and Kropf were the first this year.


Story, video and photos:  http://www.kval.com


 
By Lynne Terry, The Oregonian on November 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM, updated November 29, 2012 at 6:29 AM  

The two-seat airplane that crashed near Scio on Monday, killing the two men onboard, is one of the most popular experimental aircraft in the United States.

Designed by Van's Aircraft in Aurora, the RV6 is considered something of a hot rod in the air. It's fast, versatile, fuel-efficient and relatively easy to build and pilot, making it a hit when it first came out in 1986.

The company sold  kits and plans of the plane to amateurs to build themselves.

"The performance is great in terms of being able to go both reasonably slow and reasonably fast and to land and take off reasonably short," said Skip Lawson,  former president of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Eugene. "They're also known as being over-engineered -- they're very strong airplanes."

Witnesses reported that the RV6 was banking left and had lost a wing when it plowed into a field south of Scio Monday afternoon, said Linn County Undersheriff Bruce Riley. The plane's owner Timothy Dean Carter, 46, of Portland, and his passenger, Jeff Earl "Tebo" Kropf,  45, of Halsey, died on impact.

» The Linn County crash victims loved flying


Federal aviation officials cleared the accident site on Tuesday. It could take months for officials to determine what happened.

The accident rate for amateur-built aircraft is up to three times higher than for lightweight manufactured planes, said Loren Groff,  safety analyst for the National Transportation Safety Board. The fatality rate is four times higher.

The NTSB said 86 people have died in RV6s in the past two decades. Carter and Kropf were the first this year.

The accident appears to be unique.

"I've never heard of a wing coming off an RV aircraft," said Dick Knapinski,  spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association, headquartered in Wisconsin. "It's a very good aircraft."

The accident has shocked experimental airplane enthusiasts, who often spend several years poring over plans, drilling holes and driving in rivets to construct the planes.

There are about 33,000 homebuilt planes registered under the Federal Aviation Administration's experimental category. Van's designs account for about 20 percent of the amateur market, with the RV6 its most popular model. About 6,000 plans and kits for the plane were sold until 2001, when the next model came out.

"It's a fun airplane to fly," said Knapinski. "It's efficient, has good flying characteristics and is very responsive to what the pilot wants to do."

They're even used for aerobatics.

The airplane, 21 feet long with a wingspan of 23 feet, can fly 180 mph. Made mostly out of aluminum, the plane is engineered withstand a stress load -- or gravitational load -- nine times its weight.

That's much more than a human body can withstand without a flight suit. 


 Like all experimental aircraft in the skies, Carter's RV6 had passed its air worthiness test and was registered with the FAA, records show. Carter purchased the plane fairly recently, perhaps in the past year or two, according to his oldest daughter, Valerie Tillia, 26.

It's not clear who Carter bought the plane from. FAA records show it was first registered in 1996 by builders in Amity. David McDaniel confirmed that he made the plane with his father but declined to comment further, saying the plane was sold a long time ago.

Van's Aircraft has no record of selling an RV6 kit or plans to the McDaniels, said Gus Funnell,  a technical expert for the company.

The plane is designed for a Lycoming motor, but Carter's RV6 was equipped with a Continental. Using different engines is not uncommon in the kit airplane world, enthusiasts say.

"The nice thing about experimental aircraft is you can modify and change them pretty much at will," said Bob Duncan, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Hillsboro. "But if you buy an airplane from someone else, you need to do the due diligence."

Tillia believes this was her father's first homebuilt plane.

Carter flew the craft to the Lebanon Municipal Airport on Monday to fill up with fuel and go out on a pleasure ride with Kropf, who worked at the airport and was like a son to the facility's operator, Larry Knox.

"He flew down here and asked (Knopf) to go up with him to do some rolls," Knox said.

Knopf, who earned his commercial pilot's license this spring, had more experience than Carter, Knox said.

Knox said Knopf mounted a camera on the plane before it took off a little before 3:30 p.m. in crisp, sunny weather. The plane crashed about 10 minutes later. A large chunk of the wing landed on Highway 226, nearly 2,000 feet from the fuselage.

It's not clear who was piloting. The RV6 has dual controls.

Though the accident jolted amateur airplane fans, it's not likely to dampen their enthusiasm.

"When you get in a car there's a risk" said Bruce Rose, president of the Hillsboro EAA chapter. "When you cross the street there's a risk and when you get in an airplane there's a risk. Accidents happen." 

Story, photos, reaction/comments:    http://www.oregonlive.com