Sunday, June 30, 2013

Virginia Beach aviation museum owner: We're fine for now

A gleaming silver and banana-yellow B-17, a vintage bomber from World War II, rolled past the window behind David Hunt. It's up for sale.

Seated at his desk inside the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Hunt, the museum's director, reiterated Saturday that the business is fine - for now. Although the museum won't close soon, some of the facility's planes, worth anywhere between $20,000 to $7 million each, may have to go to keep the operation aloft.

Last Monday, Gerald Yagen, owner of the museum and one of the world's largest collections of World War I- and World War II-era planes, announced that he no longer can afford to keep the collection and the museum. The four vocational schools he owns, including the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College and Tidewater Tech, are being sold. No details were disclosed.

"A lot of people see it as the glass half-empty as opposed to being half-full," Hunt said. "But we are still open for business and business is normal."

The museum, which opened in 2008, was a way for Yagen to share his passion for the old planes, Hunt said.

"The money that was provided to buy and refurbish the planes came from the success of his colleges," Hunt said. "But the way we see things are at the moment, we see frustration with government cutbacks.

"Some of the out-of-state colleges might have to close. It is our hope that we can stop some of that bleeding by selling some of the planes.

"We have lived off of the generosity of Mr. Yagen and what the colleges have made over the years," he said. "And now it's payback time. It's time to sell some of those assets to support other parts of his business."

The hope is that the entire collection won't be sold off. It includes planes in Virginia Beach and around the world, Hunt said. He didn't divulge exactly how many planes are in Yagen's collection. It's been reported that the inventory is around 50 planes.

"The grounds and buildings are owned by Mr. Yagen, and even if we sold, like, 10 or 12 planes, we'd still have 30 or 40 planes stored elsewhere," Hunt said. "I still believe we have one of the finest collections covering the first 50 years of aviation."

The museum's schedule is packed with events through 2015, Hunt said. Thirty of them - weddings, car shows and private parties - are booked through the end of the year.

Rentals for the space, including the 15,000-square-foot Navy Hangar, run from $2,200 to $3,300. At $10 a pop, not including military discounts and free admission for WWII vets, the aviation museum is among the most affordable tourist attractions in Virginia Beach, Hunt said.

About mid-morning Saturday, a crowd of roughly 200, mostly senior citizens, had come to hear Norwood Thomas Jr., a former WWII sergeant whose appearance was part of the museum's "Warbirds Over the Beach" series.

The crowd sat among the aircraft as Thomas recounted how he parachuted into Normandy, France, in the summer of 1944.

Hunt said the museum typically draws up to 500 visitors on Saturday, its busiest day of the week.

Because the runway was slick with rain Saturday, a flight of the Hawker Hurricane, a WWII plane reportedly worth $3 million and also up for sale, was canceled.

"It would be very sad to lose these planes," Hunt said. "The positive side is that they can go to other collections.... But we're not looking to close the museum doors anytime soon - not at all."

Story, Photos, Comments/Reaction:  http://hamptonroads.com

Questions remain in 'driveway-gate' scandal: Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut

Published 11:22 pm, Saturday, June 29, 2013

Brian Lockhart,  CT Post

 

BRIDGEPORT -- Can one city official on his own get around all the usual checks and balances to give a $400,000 taxpayer-funded driveway to a business partner, then hire that same buddy to build it?

"I would find it pretty much impossible," said John Gomes, who as former head of Mayor Bill Finch's CitiStat agency was charged with making government more efficient.

"The top echelon has to look at it, approve it."

But that "rogue employee" defense is exactly what some worry the mayor's office will use as the administration tries to explain why it built a 1,000-foot-long, no-bid gravel driveway to controversial developer Manuel "Manny" Moutinho's waterfront mansion and hired Moutinho's Mark IV construction to do it.

"I've been in Bridgeport politics long enough to know how it rolls," said Councilman Andre Baker, D-139, one of several council members who say they were never told about the driveway work. "They ain't taking the fall."

The City Council is scheduled to discuss the controversy with the administration at Monday's regular meeting. Members will also begin looking at changes to Bridgeport's purchasing rules.

When Hearst Connecticut Newspapers first reported on the project, completed this month, the mayor's office said the expense was legal and necessary for a long-sought safety upgrade at the city-owned Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford. The administration said the airport work will close a dirt right-of-way used by Moutinho and three neighboring property owners, so Bridgeport owed them a driveway to their land on Stratford's shoreline.

Then the mayor pleaded ignorance when Hearst asked what Finch knew of veteran airport manager John Ricci's decades-long friendship with Moutinho. Finch suspended Ricci with pay pending an internal probe.

"That's nonsense," said Jeff Kohut, a Democrat like Finch and one-time mayoral candidate who served on the city's Ethics Commission from 2005 to 2010. "The mayor's been around way too long. He knows all the players."

Ricci has run the airport, part of the city's public facilities department, since the early 1990s. Ricci could not be reached for this story but had told Hearst the Airport Commission -- whose members include Finch and City Council President Thomas McCarthy, D-133 -- as well as the city's law department knew of his ties to Moutinho.

"I've known John Ricci to tell the truth," said former Mayor John Fabrizi, Finch's immediate predecessor.

Ricci's fate is uncertain. He is a member of a union and would have the opportunity to fight any disciplinary action, from a warning to termination. That could pose more complications for Finch by protracting the scandal.

"I think if John Ricci feels that he's being thrown under the bus. He's not going to go without a fight," Fabrizi said. But Kohut said he believes deals will be cut to give all sides some cover.

"They could get rid of him, but it will cost us a lot of money," Kohut said. "My hunch is they won't even get rid of him. The union will protect his job, people will forget about it and things will be as they are."

Baker and other council members want to launch their own investigation.

"We've got constituents asking questions and the `I don't know' doesn't do it anymore," said Councilman Carlos Silva, D-136.

Much of the skepticism stems from a belief that it was impossible for everyone in Finch's inner circle -- many long-time public servants and political operatives -- to be in the dark over Ricci's affiliation with Moutinho.

And the Ricci-Moutinho relationship seems to have been one of the worst-kept secrets in Bridgeport.

"They were close friends; that's common knowledge," said Fabrizi.

As Hearst has reported, in 1986 Ricci -- then a former mayoral aide -- was selling housing units for Moutinho.

Public land records show several transactions between Ricci and Moutinho, his family and other associates over the years, including in 2012, when the driveway deal was being negotiated by Ricci and Finch's legal staff.

And the pair sometimes eat lunch together at Lancers Cafe on Harral Avenue, according to employees there.

Both Moutinho and Ricci have contributed to Finch's campaigns.

"It's hard to say you were not aware that Ricci knew Mr. Moutinho," said Gomes. "Perhaps they've been in the same environment as the mayor himself or people affiliated with the mayor -- fundraisers and other things."

The driveway deal is not the first opportunity Ricci had to clarify a relationship with Moutinho. The Airport Commission in 2011 was poised to sell Moutinho 5.5 acres for Mark IV Construction's rock crushing operation.

Moutinho submitted what was supposed to be a non-refundable $35,000 deposit, then in December demanded it back, plus other expenses, writing in a letter to the commission there was "substantially less usable property."

On Jan. 3, 2012, commissioners, including Finch and McCarthy, huddled with Ricci behind closed doors over the matter, emerging to vote on returning Moutinho's deposit in exchange for a promise Mark IV would not sue.

Nancy Hadley was director of Bridgeport's economic redevelopment office under Fabrizi in the mid-2000s and is a city resident. Fabrizi's predecessor, former Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, was convicted on federal corruption charges for accepting kickbacks and bribes in exchange for awarding city contracts.

"I was always harping on, `I need to know the relationships first, guys. I need to understand the relationships because I work for a mayor who took over for a guy who wound up going to jail,' " Hadley recalled.

Lennie Grimaldi, a longtime friend of Finch's who ran the mayor's successful 2000 race for state Senate, as recently as 2011 mentioned Ricci's friendship with Moutinho on his local website, Only in Bridgeport.

Moutinho was planning to build the driveway himself for $200,000, obtaining the necessary land use permits from Stratford last summer. So it is unclear whether the city was legally obligated to do it for him.

And if Finch's law department did conclude it owed Moutinho and his neighbors a driveway, did the city need to replace their dirt right-of-way with a gravel one, plus pay for 1,200 feet each of buried electrical, gas, sewer and water lines, plus two fire hydrants? Those bells and whistles were on Moutinho's original plans filed in Stratford.

And why wasn't the driveway work properly bid, since, according to the mayor's office, the City Council approved the $400,000 last September, but Stratford records show the city only took over Moutinho's permits in March.

Then Ricci was allowed over a few days in April to obtain three quotes from city contractors. Moutinho's was the last. It was also the cheapest.

Those quotes only showed up in the city's Purchasing Department two weeks ago.

"I don't know if heads are supposed to roll, here," Hadley said. "I do expect every dollar paid by every single resident of this city for taxes needs to be spent with the highest possible ethical standards."

Source:  http://www.ctpost.com

Federal Aviation Administration investigating use of Michigan's state-owned planes

June 29, 2013 8:43 PM  

Written by  Kristen M. Daum



The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the state of Michigan’s practice of leasing its passenger planes to officials at Michigan State University.

The federal inquiry comes less than a month after a Lansing State Journal series on the taxpayer-funded planes, which focused on how the aircraft are used and who uses them.

Officials from the FAA, the Michigan Department of Transportation and MSU confirmed a preliminary probe is under way by the federal agency’s branch office in Grand Rapids. The initial review could trigger a formal investigation by the FAA.

MDOT and MSU officials said the review relates to the university’s use of the state-owned planes by top athletic officials for recruiting trips.

MDOT spokesman Jeff Cranson said the FAA is seeking financial documents such as billing, invoices and proof of payments, including “receipt and check-stub copies from MSU.”

Cranson said MDOT was first contacted by the FAA on Monday.

“MDOT aeronautics officials are happy to cooperate with the FAA,” Cranson said. “The MDOT Office of Aeronautics treats MSU the same as they treat every other customer state agency.”

MDOT is responsible for the state’s four passenger planes and manages the flight schedule. The aircraft are available to all state employees and those who work for Michigan’s 15 four-year public universities who can justify the travel costs for them for work purposes.

The State Journal reviewed five years’ worth of trip logs for the planes and reported earlier this month that MSU head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo and MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio were among the most frequent fliers.

Izzo had traveled at least 55 times in the five-year period, or nearly once a month.

Dantonio had used the state planes slightly less, with at least 47 trips in five years, the State Journal found.

Flights for their recruiting trips are paid for out of MSU’s athletics department budget, which is self-sufficient and does not receive taxpayer funding. The athletics department pays MDOT a per-hour fee to use the planes, officials have said, and the state planes are one of several charter options that the athletics department uses.

In all, MSU employees and guests used the state planes at least 150 times during the five-year period analyzed by the State Journal. That was third-most among any state entity, behind MDOT and the Michigan State Police.

At least two-thirds of the passengers on the MSU trips were affiliated with the university’s athletics department, the State Journal found.

By comparison, academic professionals at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula used the planes five times over the five years, and one University of Michigan administrator used a plane last fall. Neither university appears to be involved with the current FAA inquiry.

Cranson and MSU spokesman Jason Cody said they are complying with verbal requests from the FAA for documents and information.

“At this point, this is an informal investigation by the FAA Flight Standards District Office in Grand Rapids,” Cranson said. “Their findings will determine whether it becomes a formal investigation by (the Office of) FAA Chief Counsel in Chicago.”

Cody acknowledged the FAA is seeking “records pertaining to those flights” that involved athletic coaches and staff, but he declined to elaborate on MSU’s involvement in the investigation.

Regional FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory confirmed the review of MDOT’s “use of aircraft” but she declined to provide further details — such as what the probe was specifically targeting, when it began and when it might be resolved — because the FAA “does not discuss open reviews.”

The State Journal has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the FAA seeking records pertaining to the investigation.

Under federal open records laws, the FAA has 20 business days to provide an initial response to the request but can take longer to actually provide the requested information.


Story, Videos, Photos, Comments/Reaction:  http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

Save Yeager: Huge Charleston loss

June 29, 2013

Opinion/Editorial



A couple of months ago, retired Adjutant Gen. Allen Tackett warned that the National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing at Yeager Airport might be eliminated -- costing 1,000 jobs and inflicting an $89 million annual loss on the local economy -- if a new bridge isn't built into Coonskin Park, enabling closure of the current road past the Guard's armory complex.

That prospect was dismaying. But now it's even worse. Yeager Director Rick Atkinson says airline service at the hilltop airport could be lost if Yeager is forced to pay $1.2 million for fire-and-rescue protection, which the 130th now provides free. This would require the airport to nearly double its landing fees for airlines.

The current landing fee is $3.67 per thousand pounds. But Atkinson told the Yeager board that losing the Guard's fire service would boost the rate to $6.33.

"If we had a landing fee in the $6 to $7 range, there wouldn't be an airline flying here," he told board members.

He added that loss of the Guard help also would force Yeager to raise terminal rents charged to airlines, another burden that would drive carriers away.

This nightmare must be avoided. The bridge into Coonskin must be built in an attempt to save the Airlift Wing.  Here's the background:

Eight years ago, the U.S. Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended closure of the 130th, partly because its security is difficult to maintain. The road to Coonskin passes the National Guard headquarters and its link to the airport military site.

In a massive effort to save the 130th, county, state and federal leaders drafted a plan to erase federal objections. One item was creation of a new Coonskin entrance with a bridge across Elk River at Mink Shoals. This would allow closure of the current road into the park, thus securing the Guard units.

Since then, all parts of the 2005 agreement were met -- except construction of the bridge entrance.

BRAC is scheduled next year to choose another list of military bases to be closed. Unless the Coonskin bridge is built, Gen. Tackett fears that the federal commission will target the 130th again. He suggested bonds and other methods to pay the bridge cost to save the Airlift Wing.

Tackett, a member of the airport board, asked Director Atkinson to assess losses that closure of the unit would inflict on Yeager. The director's response included the ominous prospect of losing airline service.

Losing 1,000 jobs, $89 million yearly economic boost and airline service would be a terrible blow to the Charleston region. Such a setback must be prevented. Regional leaders should arrange funding and build the new Coonskin bridge in an attempt to avoid calamity.


Source:  http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editorial

Saturday, June 29, 2013

WWII aircraft will fly in for Pan-O-Prog festival in Lakeville

When pilots fly in for the first-annual fly-in breakfast during Lakeville’s Pan-O-Prog celebration, they’ll receive a free breakfast. 

 Or, well, not exactly.

“It’s $100 worth of fuel to fly 75 miles to get an $8 breakfast for free,” said Gary Stinar, who worked to get the breakfast, a benefit for the Lakeville Lions Club, off the ground this year. It will be held next Sunday, the fourth day of Pan-O-Prog.

“It’s just an excuse to go flying,” said Stiner, who enjoys buzzing around in his own little Cessna and hitting fly-in breakfasts around the state.

He said he’s unsure how many aircraft will fly in to the Airlake airport for the event. “Everything is based on weather,” said Stiner. “If it’s a nice day, you want to go flying.”

See more here:  http://www.startribune.com

'Women Can Fly' Event in Lynchburg Encourages Girls to Become Pilots

WSET.com - ABC13 


Lynchburg, VA - Amelia Earhart once said, "The most effective way to do it, is to do it," and that call to action was echoed by the group "Women Can Fly" at an aviation event in Lynchburg Saturday. 

The group teamed up with Liberty University's School of Aeronautics to put on the Hill City's first ever Women Can Fly event at the Lynchburg Regional Airport.

Women Can Fly is a volunteer-run organization whose mission is to encourage women to become pilots. Currently, about 6 % of active pilots are female, and the group hopes events like this one will inspire more women to get involved in aviation.

See more here:  http://www.wset.com

Hooks Airport Manager to offer ‘The History and Future of David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport,’ July 12

TOMBALL, Texas -- The Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce First Friday Networking Luncheon is set for its summer location at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 715 E. Carrell St. in Tomball. This month the date of the luncheon has been moved to July 12.  

Since 1963 David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport has grown to be one of the most respected names in airport and ASO services, with more than 40 years of experience in developing, operating and maintaining first class facilities and providing first class services. Join us July 12 as Airport Manager Antonio Merritt presents the history of the airport as well as how Hooks Airport will serve a vital role in the future growth of our greater Tomball area. 

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

CK's, a landmark Tampa restaurant, closes today: Tampa Airport Marriott

The View at CK's restaurant still spins, but there is no evidence of the hundreds of engagements, proms and anniversaries celebrated there through the years.  The restaurant, perched atop the Tampa Airport Marriott hotel, isn't what it was in its heyday, when hundreds of people waited for a seat on Friday nights and staff kept spare jackets to lend to gentleman guests who came without one.

See full article:    http://tbo.com/south-tampa/cks-a-landmark-tampa-restaurant-closes-today-20130629/

Airport needs work; opinions are not facts

I just read another article in The Gazette about the airport here in the Colorado Springs losing money. Oh, I've seen the new ads. And now the people in charge are going to build a new lovely facility for people to enjoy at the airport. The first time I came to Colorado Springs, I flew in. What a lovely airport, I thought. 

Read more:  http://gazette.com/airport-needs-work-opinions-are-not-facts/article/1502938

New airport terminal for Durango-La Plata County (KDRO) on table

With the skyrocketing, double-digit growth in passengers, it’s not inconceivable that Durango-La Plata County Airport could have direct international flights to Mexico or Canada within the next five years, Aviation Director Kip Turner said Friday. And with that growth could also come the need for a new terminal, Turner said, which “ballpark” estimates put at $25 million to $30 million. 

See more here:   http://durangoherald.com/article/20130628/NEWS01/130629492/-1/s

Questionable use of sheriff's 'copter conjures memories

The recent flap over the use of a Stanislaus County sheriff’s helicopter for a private fund-raiser calls to mind the interesting revelations of eight years ago. Deputies, along with a helicopter and other hardware owned by the Sheriff’s Department, were photographed for a July 2005 catalog of 5.11 Tactical, a private business that sells uniforms and apparel for law enforcement personnel.

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/06/28/2785290/questional-use-of-sheriffs-copter.html#storylink=cpy

Owner Wants Airport Expanded For Private Jets: Mount Snow (4V8), West Dover, Vermont

Jim Barnes purchased the Mt Snow Airport on June 6th. Barnes, who also owns the Hermitage Inn and Haystack Ski Area, says expanding the airport will bring more visitors, more often, to the Mount Snow region and the Deerfield Valley. Barnes bought Haystack in 2011 and revived an earlier plan to turn the defunct Wilmington resort into an exclusive, members-only club. 

Story and Audio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/owner-wants-mt-snow-airport-expanded-private-jets

Strong winds rip hangars, damage planes ... Aircraft owners are inspecting destruction: Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (KSPA), South Carolina

SPARTANBURG, S.C. —Friday night's strong winds in Spartanburg left behind a trail of destruction at the downtown airport and in neighborhoods. Darwin Simpson, director of Downtown Memorial Airport, told WYFF that about 10 hangars and seven airplanes were damaged. Simpson said strong winds struck the airport between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. 
 
Read more: http://www.wyff4.com/news/local-news/spartanburg-cherokee-news/strong-winds-rip-hangars-damage-planes/-/9324158/20770940/-/qtkx6w/-/index.html#ixzz2XcHNnmYS

Top ethics professor accused of sexually assaulting woman on plane

A top academic has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a plane to Scotland. Professor Bernd Wannenwetsch, who is president of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, is charged with touching the woman on her breast and thigh during the flight from Amsterdam to Aberdeen.

See full article:   http://news.stv.tv/north/231263-bernd-wannenwetsch-accused-of-sexual-assault-on-flight-to-aberdeen/

Aviation camp in south-central Kentucky may be canceled

Somerset — Time is running out to be a part of a one-of-a-kind experience that will help the futures of area children to take flight. A youth aviation camp, made possible by the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, is scheduled for July 22 and 23. It won’t be able to get off the ground, however, unless as many as 30 kids sign up. Any less, and it’s a no-go.

See more at:  http://www.kirotv.com/news/ap/travel/aviation-camp-in-south-central-ky-may-be-canceled/nYZDL/

Pilots bring 'smash and swagger' to aerobatic competition

Straight lines and round curves. Positive and negative G forces. Pilots grunt to prevent a vision blackout, the result of too much blood draining from the heads and eyes. They relax to ensure their vision doesn’t turn red, which can happen with a surge of blood.

See full article:   http://journalstar.com/news/local/pilots-bring-smash-and-swagger-to-aerobatic-competition/article_27f1090d-01a6-5a43-bd1d-6ad5325f266e.html

Wings and Wheels event raises more than $5,000 for Gerry’s Food Pantry: Skyhaven Airport (KDAW), Rochester, New Hampshire

ROCHESTER — The Wings and Wheels event, held earlier this month at Skyhaven Airport, raised more than $5,000 for Gerry’s Food Pantry. Approximately 3,000 people turned out on June 8 for the second annual Wings and Wheels event. Admission to the family-friendly event was a donation to the pantry.

Read more:   http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130629/GJNEWS_01/130629150/-1/rocnews

Big money for small airports: Feds split $500,000 for Mansfield Municipal (1B9) and Taunton Municipal/King Field (KTAN), Massachusetts

MANSFIELD - Airports in Mansfield and Taunton will receive more than $500,000 in federal grants to make improvements to their facilities, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III announced Friday. Kennedy said the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $255,000 to Mansfield Municipal Airport and $295,000 to King Field in Taunton. 

See more here:  http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/big-money-for-small-local-airports/article_86b8c0d5-d05c-5170-92d2-28baf18f8ac7.html

DOGGY ON BOARD: Shelter pets fly to new homes

ELKO — The dogs shuffled in their kennels as they were being loaded onto the private airplane. “I wish I had a Tetris-solver,” laughed Dr. Peter E. Rork, president of Dog Is My CoPilot Inc., as he struggled to fit seven dog kennels into the plane’s small cargo space.

See full article:  http://elkodaily.com/news/doggy-on-board-shelter-pets-fly-to-new-homes/article_97fbf190-e070-11e2-be3b-001a4bcf887a.html

'Broken' plane delays yacht search

The search for seven people missing on the historic schooner Nina was delayed this morning because an airplane was "broken".   "There's been a bit of a delay because the airplane that they were going to take isn't able to fly," a Maritime New Zealand spokeswoman said this morning. 

See full story:  http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/262967/broken-plane-delays-yacht-search

Crowds turn out for first night of air show at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport (KCGI), Missouri

The line of people waiting to see the 2013 Cape Regional Air Festival on Friday was already a long one even before the gates opened at 5 p.m. While the number of people attending Friday's portion of the air festival has yet to be determined, there were some who came to the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport from outside the local area to witness the spectacle. 

Read more:  http://www.semissourian.com/story/1982303.html

Airshow grounded due to loss of money: Fort Scott Municipal Airport (KFSK), Kansas

Because the Fort Scott Municipal Airport lost money from last year's airshow, the Airport Advisory Board voted during its April 4 meeting to not hold the event this year. On Thursday, board members discussed the event, and stated that the airport lost $2,600 from the show last year and the city made up for the loss by paying expenses from the city budget. 

See more here:  http://www.fstribune.com/story/1982311.html

Renovation bids continue for Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (KBQK), Brunswick, Georgia

Glynn County Airport Commission officials are closer to embarking on an extensive runway rehabilitation project. Problems arose during the original bidding when 41 contractors were invited to bid on the project, but only one responded. And its bid was for $24 million, twice the $12 million cost anticipated by the commission.

Read more:  http://www.thebrunswicknews.com/open_access/local_news/AIRPORT-062913-hr#

Monroe Regional Airport, Louisiana: Airplane destroyed on tarmac, reported by KMLU tower observer

Severe thunderstorms along a cold front produced wind gusts of 77 mph at Monroe Regional Airport near 8:30 PM Friday evening.  The Shreveport National Weather Service reports that an airplane was destroyed on the tarmac of the airport.  Also, trees and power lines were reported down around Monroe.

Source:  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/shv/lsr/

Plane was at Iwo Jima

The OY-1/(L-5) Sentinel now at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot was at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It is one of 11 planes belonging to the Texas Flying Legends Museum based in Houston. The planes spend a portion of the year in Minot and also in Maine before returning to Houston for the winter months.

See more here:  http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/576599/Plane-was-at-Iwo-Jima.html?nav=5010

Avantair intends to 'restructure its affair'

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - Avantair Inc., a Clearwater-based company that sells shares in its twin-engine turboprop aircraft to patrons who can schedule flights instead of flying on a commercial airline, told its fractional owners Friday it must "restructure its affairs in order to emerge healthy."

Read more:   http://tbo.com/news/business/avantair-intends-to-restructure-its-affair-20130629/

Williston aircraft company teams with Bolivian Air Force

It takes two to tango, and after a recent agreement between the Bolivian Air Force and a Williston aircraft company, the two partners are collaborating. Team Tango, a local business that specializes in building experimental airplane kits, is negotiating contracts and training technicians in Bolivia. 

Read more:   http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130628/ARTICLES/130629606

Warbirds will take to Daytona's skies for Coke Zero 400

DAYTONA BEACH — Coke Zero 400 fans won't hear the roar of high-powered military jets over the Speedway at the end of the national anthem, but they will be entertained with vintage warbirds. As the sequester budget cuts continue to keep military jets grounded, Daytona International Speedway has secured a group of eight World War II-type aircraft to perform the pre-race flyover at the July 6 race. 

Read more: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130628/NEWS/306289980?Title=Warbirds-will-take-to-Daytona-s-skies-for-Coke-Zero-400

Friday, June 28, 2013

Helicopter will be filming Nebraska

Nebraska landmarks from east to west and north to south will be captured on high-definition (HD) video by air and used to showcase the state's diverse landscapes, monuments, resources and attractions for future productions to benefit Nebraska. Residents across the state may see a low-flying helicopter July 3-10 as Skyworks, the largest aerial HD footage resource in the world, will be filming Nebraska from the air. 

Read more:  http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1982180.html

Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, Charles B. Yates, N60BT: Accident occurred October 06, 2000 in Edgartown, Massachusetts

Law360, New York (July 02, 2013, 5:40 PM ET) -- The son of a former New Jersey lawmaker and banker who died in a 2000 plane crash on Martha’s Vineyard has launched a suit in New Jersey federal court alleging Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and others mishandled trusts containing his $5 million inheritance.

Sergei S. Yates, the adopted son of former New Jersey legislator Charles B. Yates and his wife, Anya Yates, claims Skadden and the firm’s of counsel Robert J. Del Tufo negligently represented him in litigation and other matters connected to the establishment of several trusts totaling $5 million that benefited Sergei Yates, according to the June 26 complaint.

Sergei Yates also contends that trustees, including his half brother, Roy D. Yates, co-trustee Winifred “Wendy” Benchley, and PNC Bank NA, improperly administered his trust funds by making unauthorized payments to a former Wyoming attorney, Jody M. Vannoy, a trustee for one of those funds, that were for her personal use, according to the complaint.

“Because of the trustee defendants’ lack of care in performance of their fiduciary duties, Vannoy absconded with an as yet undetermined amount of trust funds belonging to Sergei, some or all of which was released to her by the trustee defendants,” the complaint said.

He contends that Skadden and Del Tufo, a former New Jersey attorney general, failed to communicate with Sergei on important matters related to the administration of his trusts, the suit says.

According to the complaint, Sergei Yates was 16 when the plane his father was piloting crashed on Martha’s Vineyard, killing his father, mother and two other siblings in October 2000, setting off a legal fight between Sergei and Charles Yates’ five other children from a previous marriage over how the businessman's estate would be divvied up.

Charles Yates' will had stipulated that half of his estate would go to his wife, Anya, and the other half would go to his seven natural-born children — two from his marriage to Anya and the five from his previous marriage, according to the complaint. The will also provided that if Anya did not survive him, the half of his estate that was supposed to go to her would instead go to their three children together, William, Elena and Sergei, according to the complaint. But the will didn't have a contingency for if two of Charles and Anya's three children died in the same accident. William and Elena died in the 2000 crash with Charles and Anya, according to the complaint.

Sergei Yates, as the sole surviving child of Charles B. Yates and Anya Yates, was the beneficiary of trusts totaling $5 million that were funded by his parents’ life insurance proceeds as well as the estate of his mother, who had died without a will, according to the complaint. Skadden had represented Sergei since 2003, helping to set up the funds that came out of settlements from the legal fight with the half siblings, but breached their duty of care by not watching out for his interests, the suit says.

Representatives for Skadden were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday. A PNC spokesman declined to comment and the other defendants could not be immediately reached for comment.

The plaintiff is represented by Danielle M. Weiss of Haines & Associates.

Counsel information for the defendants was not immediately available on Tuesday.

The case is Sergei S. Yates v. Roy D. Yates et al., case number 3:13-cv-03951, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.


http://www.law360.com


The prop from the Yates's  Mitsubishi MU-2B airplane at the crash site in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest on Martha's Vineyard.


NTSB Identification: NYC01FA005.  
 The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, October 06, 2000 in Edgartown, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/07/2002
Aircraft: Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, registration: N60BT
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.

The pilot departed on a night cross-country flight without obtaining a weather briefing or flight plan. Arriving in the area of the destination airport, the weather was reported as, 2 statute miles of visibility and mist; overcast cloud layer at 100 feet. The pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from the approach controller, and was vectored and cleared for the ILS 24 approach. The clearance included an altitude restriction of 1,500 feet msl, until the airplane was established on the localizer. As the pilot contacted the control tower, the tower controller issued a low altitude alert to the pilot. The pilot replied that he was climbing and the tower controller cleared the pilot to land, which the pilot acknowledged. No further pertinent radio transmissions were received from the airplane. The airplane came to rest in a wooded area about 3/4-mile from the runway threshold, and about 50 feet right of the extended centerline. Review of the approach plate for the ILS 24 approach revealed that the minimum glide slope intercept altitude at the beginning of the final approach segment on the precision approach was 1,500 feet. The glide slope altitude at the final approach fix for the non-precision approach, which was located about 4 miles from the approach end of the runway, was 1,407 feet. The glide slope altitude at the middle marker, which was located about 0.6 miles from the approach end of the runway, was 299 feet. Review of radar data revealed that the airplane was observed at 700 feet, about 4 miles from the airport, and at 300 feet, about 1.5 miles from the airport. The pilot had accumulated about 1,946 hours of total flight experience, with about 252 hours in make and model. The pilot had attended initial and recurrent training for the make and model airplane; however, did not complete the training.

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

The pilot's failure to follow instrument flight procedures resulting in a collision with a tree. A factor related to the accident was the low cloud ceiling.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 6, 2000, about 2158 eastern daylight time, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, N60BT, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while conducting an instrument approach to the Vineyard Haven Airport (MVY), Edgartown, Massachusetts. The certificated commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control transcripts and radar data, the airplane had departed the Trenton Mercer Airport (TTN), Trenton, New Jersey, about 2101, and proceeded in an easterly direction. The last communication from the airplane to the TTN air traffic control tower was about 2103. The next radio communication from the airplane was received by Cape Approach Control, about 2138, in the vicinity of MVY. The pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from the approach controller, and was vectored for the ILS Runway 24 approach at MVY. The approach controller issued the pilot an approach clearance about 4 miles from BORST intersection. The clearance included a left hand turn to 230 degrees, and an altitude restriction of 1,500 feet msl, until the airplane was established on the localizer. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and requested the approach controller to repeat the heading for the left turn. The approach controller replied "continue left turn heading of" 220 degrees.

About 7 miles from the airport, the pilot was instructed to contact the MVY air traffic control tower. The pilot contacted the MVY control tower and announced that he was on the ILS 24 approach. The tower controller replied to the pilot to report BORST intersection inbound, which the pilot acknowledged. At 2153:14, the approach controller contacted the tower controller to issue a low altitude alert warning for the accident airplane. The tower controller advised the pilot, "and uh six zero bravo tango approach advises low altitude alert check your altitude immediately altimeter two niner eight seven." The pilot replied "bravo tango climbing up." The tower controller then queried the pilot about what type of aircraft he was, and how long he would be staying on the island. The pilot replied that he was a Mitsubishi and that he would be staying until Monday. At 2154:54, the pilot stated that he was "crossing" BORST intersection. The tower controller cleared the pilot to land, which the pilot acknowledged. No further radio transmissions were received from the airplane.

The airplane came to rest in a wooded area about 3/4-mile from the runway 24 threshold, and about 50 feet right of the extended centerline.

The accident occurred during the hours of darkness, at 41 degrees, 24.40 minutes north latitude, 70 degrees, 35.90 minutes west longitude, at an elevation of 55 feet.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for multi-engine land and single-engine land airplanes. The pilot was also instrument rated. His most recent application for a FAA second-class medical certificate was dated on December 9, 1999.

According to the pilot's logbook, he had accumulated about 1,946 hours of total flight experience, with about 252 hours in make and model. The pilot had also accumulated about 178 hours of night flying experience and about 209 hours of actual instrument flight experience. His last instrument competency check was completed on January 2, 1999.

Further review of the pilot's logbook revealed a remark, entered during the month of April 1999, stating that the pilot had "completed flight safety MU-2 initial course." A certified flight instructor signed the entry.

A flight instructor, who was employed by the Flight Safety (FS) Houston Learning Center, Houston, Texas, stated that the pilot had attended MU-2 ground school and simulator training early in 1999. At that time, the flight instructor estimated that the pilot arrived at FS with about 1470 hours of total time, and his only experience with turbine aircraft was in a Vampire Jet. During the ground school, the pilot had a positive attitude, but did not meet the minimum standards of FS during the simulator sessions and left without completing the course.

The pilot returned to FS about August 1999, for recurrent training. The flight instructor was tasked with conducting the simulator portion of the training with the pilot. During the simulator training, the pilot needed to be "spoon fed" procedures and techniques, "step by step," in the simulator. He was not near the minimum standards set by FS. The pilot was able to fly the simulator if the weather was VFR and no emergencies occurred. However, when the weather was low or an emergency occurred, the pilot "could not keep the airplane right side up." As the simulator sessions progressed the flight instructor observed the pilot improving in his abilities; however, "he was still a 100 knot pilot in a 300 knot airplane." The pilot did not complete the recurrent training, and departed FS. The flight instructor advised the pilot prior to his departure that he should secure a second qualified pilot to fly with him, and avoid flying in bad weather.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not recovered during the investigation.

According to records from a maintenance facility in Rhode Island, the airplane was last maintained on October 4, 2000. The maintenance included a 100-hour inspection, and the repair of the turn and bank indicator. The owner of the maintenance facility stated that the pilot picked up the airplane on October 5, 2000. The maintenance facility owner advised the pilot that the pilot's side horizontal situation indicator (HSI) was still inoperative and suggested that it be removed for repair prior to departing. The pilot replied to the maintenance facility owner that he would have it fixed by another maintenance facility, and that he would fly the airplane as it was. The pilot also added that the upcoming weekend was very important and he did not want the problem with the HSI to ruin it.

An individual, who sold the accident airplane to the pilot, stated that he had conversed with the pilot about 1 week prior to the accident. The conversation included the subject of the pilot's side HSI installed in the airplane. The pilot stated to the salesman that the HSI had been inoperative for about the last 4-5 trips and he was utilizing the instruments on the right pilot's side to fly the airplane during inclement weather conditions. The salesman advised the pilot of several facilities that could fix the HSI, but the pilot replied that he would have the maintenance facility in Rhode Island check it the next time maintenance was performed.

Copies of discrepancies, or "squawks," which were in the pilot's handwriting, outlined problems that included, "Pilot's side HSI does not slave to fluxgate. (Right side HSI slaves fine!) (Pilot's HSI works fine except slaving.) Pilot side ball and needle is frozen inop. (I would prefer a turn coordinator anyway but it sits in a 2 ½ hole." "Autopilot no problems at all."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather reported from MVY, at 2153 was, winds from 340 degrees at 12 knots; 2 statute miles of visibility and mist; overcast cloud layer at 100 feet; temperature and dew point of 55 degrees Fahrenheit; and an altimeter setting of 29.86 inches of mercury.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

About 3 minutes prior to the accident, a "Citation X" jet airplane landed uneventfully at MVY, after conducting the ILS Runway 24 approach. According to an FAA inspector, the runway 24 ILS system was "flight checked" the day after the accident, and no abnormalities were noted.

Review of the approach plate for the ILS Runway 24 approach revealed that the minimum glide slope altitude at the beginning of the final approach segment on the precision approach was 1,500 feet. The glide slope altitude at BORST intersection, which was located about 4 miles from the approach end of the runway, was 1,407 feet. The glide slope altitude at the middle marker, which was located about 0.6 miles from the approach end of the runway, was 299 feet.


WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site on October 7, 2000, revealed the terrain consisted of low-lying brush, in addition to evergreen and hardwood trees that reached a height of about 40 feet. The evergreen trees, which predominantly surrounded the accident site, had branches of varying diameters, which were cut at 45-degree angles and displayed black paint transfer. The cut branches were located on the ground and snared in other trees along the wreckage path. The first tree strike area was located about 210 feet prior to the main fuselage. The wreckage path was oriented on a 358-degree heading, with the main fuselage coming to rest on a 180-degree heading.

About 22 feet from the first tree strike, a 51-inch section of the left horizontal stabilizer and a 28-inch piece of the left elevator, were located. A large section of an 11-inch diameter tree was found lying on the ground about 13 feet past the horizontal stabilizer. About 4 feet in front of the fallen tree, were the right wing fuel tip tank and an estimated 6-foot section of the outer right wing. The right engine propeller assembly was found about 20 feet beyond the right wing fuel tank, followed by the empennage section, which came to rest 195 feet from the initial tree strike point. The left wing and main fuselage, which came to rest against a hardwood tree, were located about 15 feet beyond the empennage. The right wing inboard section, with the right engine attached to it, came to rest about 10 feet beyond the main fuselage.

Beyond the right wing were large patches of burned grass and fallen leaves, which extended forward about 30 feet.

When the wreckage was examined, the left horizontal stabilizer had an 8-inch deep "u"-shaped dent on the leading edge; about 14 inches from the inboard attach point.

The right wing inboard section sustained damage from a post-crash fire. The right engine remained attached to the inboard section. Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller assembly had separated at the hub assembly, and the two hub locking pins were sheered. The complete engine air intake duct was filled with dirt, leaves, soft broken tree branches, and evergreen tree branches that were cut at 45-degree angles. Examination of the forward compressor impeller revealed damage to seven blades, which were bent opposite to the direction of rotation. The impeller also exhibited leading edge nicks and gouges on all blades.

The right engine propeller assembly exhibited chordwise scratching and curled tips to all four blades. Two propeller blades were bent rearward and the other two were bent forward. The propeller spinner cap remained attached to the assembly, and was crushed upward and inward.

The right horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the empennage, and exhibited leading edge damage and crushing. The rudder was deflected to the left, about 10 degrees. The cable controlled rudder trim tab was deflected to the right about 20 degrees. The right elevator was deflected downward about 12 degrees. The emergency locator transmitter was recovered from the empennage section, and found in the off position.

A post-crash fire consumed the main fuselage cabin area. The pilot's altimeter was recovered, but had sustained impact and heat damage. No other flight instruments, which could provide any useful information for the investigation, were located in the wreckage. Impact forces and fire damage destroyed all engine instruments. The "Run Crank Stop" switches, located in the forward section of the main fuselage wreckage, were observed selected to the "Run" position. The throttle quadrant of the central pedestal was recovered and examined. The two power levers were found in the full forward or "TAKEOFF" position. The two condition levers were found in the full forward or "TAKEOFF LAND" position.

The left wing was located parallel and adjacent to the right side of the fuselage. The left engine and propeller assembly remained attached to the wing, but sustained heat damage from the post crash fire. Examination of the left engine propeller blades revealed chordwise s-bending and scratching to all four blades. Two propeller blade tips were bent rearward, one propeller blade tip was melted off, and the fourth propeller was buried in the soil. Examination of the forward compressor impeller on the engine revealed damage to two blades, which were bent opposite to the direction of rotation. The impeller also exhibited leading edge nicks and gouges on all blades.

Continuity of the control cables from the inboard section of the left wing to the spoilers, and trim surfaces was confirmed. Control cable continuity for the right wing was confirmed from the wing separation point to the spoiler and trim surface. The control cable continuity for the rudder, elevator, and trim surfaces located on the tail section of the airplane, were confirmed from the separation point. All cable ends were examined with a 10-power magnifying glass. The cable end strands were cut at 45-degree angles, which were consistent with tension overload, and no corrosion was observed at the separation points.

The landing gear was confirmed in the fully extended position, by noting the jackscrews positioned to the full retract position. The flap position was determined to be 20 degrees, by the position of the left and right flaps and the cockpit flap selector. The mechanical rudder trim indicator in the cockpit was aligned with the 10 degrees nose left position. The rudder trim tab was offset to the right of the rudder, full deflection.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Pocasset, Massachusetts, performed an autopsy on the pilot, on October 7, 2000.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The pilot's altimeter was retained and sent to the Safety Board's Materials Laboratory for examination.

According to the Metallurgist factual report, the instrument was fire damaged, and the indicated altitude and the altimeter setting number drums could not be observed on the front face of the instrument.

When the instrument was disassembled, and the number drums were removed from the instrument housing, the numbers displayed on front of the altimeter setting drum were "2983."

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Radar

Radar information was obtained from the Cape 8 Radar facility, Otis ANGB, Massachusetts. A target identified as N60BT, was observed:

At 2142:08, at an altitude of 7,500 feet, about 16 miles southwest of MVY.

At 2146:03, the target was observed crossing the MVY VOR at 3,000 feet.

At 2148:57, the target was observed at 2,900 feet, on a heading of 088 degrees, about 8 miles east of MVY.

At 2150:08, the target was observed at 1,700 feet, on a heading of 044 degrees, about 10 miles east of the MVY VOR.

At 2150:41, the target was observed at 1,500 feet, on a heading of 331 degrees.

At 2151:42, the target was observed at 1,500 feet, on a heading of 306 degrees.

At 2152:06, the target was observed at 1,400 feet, on a heading of 299 degrees.

At 2152:29, the target was observed at 1,300 feet, on a heading of 233 degrees.

At 2153:02, the target was observed at 900 feet, on a heading of 195 degrees.

At 2153:21, the target was observed at 600 feet, on a heading of 243 degrees.

At 2153:30, the target was observed at 700 feet, on a heading of 250 degrees.

At 2153:40, the target was observed at 700 feet, on a heading of 239 degrees.

At 2153:49, the target was observed at 600 feet, on a heading of 251 degrees.

At 2153:59, the target was observed at 800 feet, on a heading of 244 degrees.

At 2154:32, the target was observed at 900 feet, on a heading of 235 degrees.

At 2154:41, the target was observed about 4 miles from MVY, at 700 feet, on a heading of 245 degrees.

At 2155:00, the target was observed at 700 feet, on a heading of 242 degrees.

At 2155:10, the target was observed at 600 feet, on a heading of 214 degrees.

At 2155:24, the target was observed at 400 feet, on a heading of 229 degrees.

At 2155:38, the target was observed at 400 feet, on a heading of 241 degrees.

At 2155:47, the target was observed at 300 feet, on a heading of 230 degrees.

At 2155:52, the target was observed at 300 feet, on a heading of 207 degrees.

At 2155:57, the target was observed at 200 feet, on a heading of 228 degrees.

There were no further radar contacts.

According to the Aeronautical Information Manual chapter on Navigation Aids, Instrument Landing System (ILS), it stated that "Make every effort to remain on the indicated glide path." It also cautioned the pilot to, "Avoid flying below the glide path to assure obstacle/terrain clearance is maintained."

Wreckage Release

The airplane wreckage was released on October 8, 2000, to a representative of the owners insurance company.

Pavement work to temporarily close Sea-Tac’s
center runway this summer: Construction period scheduled for July 8 - August 2

The Port of Seattle is alerting area residents to a scheduled temporary center runway closure for pavement work this summer at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. During the closure, airport neighbors may notice changes in runway use as the two outside runways will be used more frequently.

Read more:  http://www.highlinetimes.com/2013/06/28/news/pavement-work-temporarily-close-sea-tac%E2%80%99s%E2%80%A8center-

Man Charged For Allegedly Stealing From Estate Of Father Who Died In Plane Crash: Aero SP AT-4 LSA, N8549S, Accident occurred July 28, 2010 in Delaware, Ohio

A Delaware County grand jury indicted a man for allegedly stealing $46,000 from his deceased father's estate. According to the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, Lance C. Moore stole the money over the course of 16 months. "This individual wrote himself checks and took cash out of his father's estate," said Prosecutor Carol O'Brien in a release on Friday.

Read more:  http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/06/28/worthington-man-charged-for-allegedly-stealing-from-estate-of-father-who-died-in-plane-crash.html

NTSB Identification: CEN10LA470

Airport volunteers thanked for community service: Ells Field-Willits Municipal (O28), Willits, California

The Willits City Council recognized the airport commission and airport volunteers June 12, thanking them for their dedicated service and many contributions. Those present to accept were airport commission president Dave Shelton and member Banning Galten. Mayor Holly Madrigal also recognized commission members Gary Miner, Ken Smith and Mike Smith as well as Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1027.

Read more:  http://www.willitsnews.com/community/ci_23562532/airport-volunteers-thanked-community-service

Taking time to fly: Amdor, 71, receives commercial pilot’s license with leisurely approach

After decades of hoping and practice, John Amdor on Friday, June 21, finally obtained his commercial pilot’s license. Amdor, a retired veterinarian who helps with upkeep of the grounds at the Denison Municipal Airport, developed his dream to fly as a high school student. Throughout high school and into college at Iowa State University, Amdor saved money to take flight lessons.

Read more:   http://www.southwestiowanews.com/denison/news/local_news/taking-time-to-fly/article_da7e383e-e025-11e2-9ba7-0019bb2963f4.html

State Lawmakers Call for Study of Aircraft Noise

Local and state representatives detailed the next steps that are needed to quiet local airplane noise during a press conference Wednesday at the New Hyde Park Village Hall. Wednesday's conference came on the heels of the passage of a bill last week in the New York State Legislature to address the concerns of aircraft noise in local communities in western Nassau County and Queens over which airplanes pass on their way to and from JFK and LaGuardia airports.

Read more:  http://rockvillecentre.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/state-lawmakers-call-for-study-of-aircraft-noise_1e4111e9

Multimillion-dollar compensation air crash trial stalls

The multimillion-dollar compensation case in the United States involving the families of 15 people killed in one of Australia's worst civil aviation disasters has stalled. All passengers and the two pilots on board a Transair twin-engine plane were killed when it crashed into a mountain near Lockhart River on May 7, 2005.

Read more:  http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2013/06/29/244591_local-news.html

Soaring lineup for the 2013 Pensacola Beach Air Show

The July air show over Pensacola Beach is the tent pole weekend for this area’s summer season, and in spite of one notable setback, this year looks to be as big as ever. The obvious absence of the Blue Angels this year is as much of a disappointment to the show’s organizers as the rest of us, but Robbie Lofty with the Santa Rosa Island Authority says they’re not dwelling on the no-Blues blues.

See more here:  http://www.splashpensacolabeach.com/news/2013-07-01/Happenings/Soaring_lineup_for_the_2013_Pensacola_Beach_Air_Sh.html

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Air show in Redlands

Redland is celebrating its 125th anniversary this summer and sticking with its traditions for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. But the aerial portion of the celebration will be a little different.

Read more here:   http://www.pe.com

Steubenville, Ohio: Runway bid sought anew

Changes to the runway extension project at the Jefferson County Airport were discussed by the Jefferson County commissioners during Thursday's meeting. In a letter to commissioners from the Jefferson County Airport Authority board, the board recommended commissioners reject bids for two phases of the planned project, including rejecting the electrical and paving portions of extending Runway 14-32. 

Read more:  http://www.hsconnect.com/page/content.detail/id/587838/Runway-bid-sought-anew.html?nav=5010

Update given on Price County Airport projects

A number of projects that aim to improve Price County Airport facilities are beginning to take flight on the north end of Phillips. Work to create a parallel taxiway along runway 1/19 has begun as have electrical updates in the terminal, according to Price County Airport Manager Brian Ernst. 

Read more:  http://www.pricecountydaily.com/news/local/article_89614684-ddc9-11e2-9463-001a4bcf887a.html

Air ambulance service operating illegally, says Auditor General

The local Air Ambulance Services is operating illegally, according to Auditor General, Alistair Swarbrick. Mr Swarbrick, in a report entitled, Air Ambulance Provision in the Cayman Islands, Public Interest Report, released to the press this past Tuesday, said that the operator was not licensed nor authorized for ground handling services for air ambulances at the airport.

Read more:   http://caymannetnews.com/2013/06/28/air-ambulance-service-operating-illegally-says-ag/

Metal Clipboard With Aviation Documents Mysteriously Falls from Sky on Long Island

A Long Island, New York, man is still shaken after he says a metal object plummeted from the sky and slammed into the pavement just feet from where he was standing outside his home Thursday. Gus Binos was washing a van outside his home at about 3:30 p.m. when he heard the startling noise. 

Read more: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Falling-Metal-Object-Long-Island-Aviation-Documents-Mystery-213433311.html

Lyndhurst, Ohio, resident has spent 55 years collecting assorted airplane memorabilia

When Werner “Bud” Lindquist was a young boy in 1958, his family arrived at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to pick up a relative.  Some incorrect information regarding flight times that day lead to a delay that turned out to be the beginning of a hobby that boy has enjoyed ever since.

See more here:  http://www.cleveland.com/lyndhurst-south-euclid/index.ssf/2013/06/lyndhurst_resident_has_spent_5.html

Federal Aviation Administration Aids Worcester Regional Airport Vegetation Removal

The federal government is giving Worcester Regional Airport nearly $500,000 to help pay for the removal of trees and other vegetation from the ends of the facility's runway, according to the Massachusetts Port Authority, or MassPort.

Read more:  http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20130628/NEWS01/130629945

Mercy Flight Central to end airplane program in the north country Monday

It appears there is not enough room in the skies over Northern New York for dueling air medical services.  Because of the increased competition between Mercy Flight Central and LifeNet, the Marcellus-based nonprofit Mercy Flight will offer its last fixed-wing flight in the north country on Monday.

Read more:   http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130628/NEWS03/706289773

Different flight paths benefit birds, jets: expert

Imagine if birds could be saved from possible extinction just by flying airplanes on an altered schedule. Dr. Yossi Leshem, a renowned ornithologist, made this happen in his home country of Israel. He will be in Manitoba this weekend as a guest of the International Jewish Fund of Canada, to talk about this and other conservation innovations based on his 38 years of research.

Read more:   http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/different-flight-paths-benefit-birds-jets-expert-213463621.html

Barnstable Municipal Airport manager defends budget

In presenting his annual budget to the town council last week, Barnstable Airport Manager Bud Breault took issue with comments and criticisms of his budget reporting by the Comprehensive Financial Advisory Committee.

Read more:   http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/home2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33310&Itemid=39

The Runway Restaurant at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport Abruptly Closes

An ABC40 viewer tells us The Runway Restaurant at Barnes Airport in Westfield has been completely gutted of everything including tables, chairs and equipment. The viewer says it was open for business Wednesday because she ate there, but when she went back Thursday with her gift certificate it was closed.

Read more:  http://www.wggb.com/2013/06/27/the-runway-restaurant-at-barnes-in-westfield-has-abruptly-closed-down/

Experts fixing buggy Richmond International Airport thermometer

Two National Weather Service experts checked Richmond’s temperature sensor on Thursday and found three possible reasons for some strange readings from the high-tech thermometer. Bugs, grass and dirt. 

Read more:   http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/experts-fixing-buggy-richmond-airport-thermometer/article_dfcdc6b6-c930-5c79-b29b-a28f17431259.html

Four lonely hounds took a trip up north Wednesday

Volunteers with the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue and Pilot N Paws flew four dogs to Pennsylvania to find permanent homes. Members of the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue group get the animals out of the shelters.

See more here:  http://www.wect.com/story/22705422/dogs-take-one-way-flight-up-north

Budget cuts keep military from Freedom Fair air show

Tacoma’s Freedom Fair air show next week will fill the skies over Commencement Bay with aerobatic planes — just not Raptors, Hornets and anything called Stealth. 

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/06/27/2656646/budget-cuts-keep-military-from.html#storylink=cpy

Minister charges aviation authority to regain Federal Aviation Administration

Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor has urged the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to intensify efforts to regain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards to enable airlines fly directly from Ghana to the United States of America. 

Read more:   http://www.businessghana.com/portal/news/index.php?op=getNews&news_cat_id=&id=186023

Appropriation bills include money for air traffic control towers

Stillwater Regional Airport and five other small Oklahoma airports moved closer Thursday to landing federal funding to keep their air traffic control towers staffed through Sept. 30, 2014.

See more at: http://www.stwnewspress.com/local/x1763646699/Appropriation-bills-include-money-for-air-traffic-control-towers#sthash.HrHyGab3.dpuf

Back in the Air: Rockford Memorial Unveils New React Chopper Following Deadly Crash

It's a new beginning for the Rockford Memorial flight nurse team. They unveiled their new helicopter Thursday, replacing the one that crashed just more than six months ago. It was back in December the React chopper was en route to pick up a patient in Mendota. The helicopter hit bad weather and the pilot lost control. The crew of three crashed and died in Lee County. 

See more at: http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=405902#sthash.ESRUla8p.dpuf

Incidents involving birds, plane crashes common

A bird that may have brought down a fighter jet after it struck the aircraft near Luke Air Force Base is not the first such incident in the state and won’t be the last, federal data suggests.

Read more:  http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20130627incidents-involving-birds-plane-crashes-common.html

Flight Bound for Germany Diverted to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington

SEATTLE — Lufthansa Flight 459 bound for Munich, Germany from San Francisco was diverted to Sea-Tac Airport Thursday night due to what is being described as an electrical odor in the cabin.

Read more:   http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/flight-bound-germany-diverted-sea-tac/nYYKX/

Flight in his blood: Pilot gets all fired up for balloonfest

Landing a 62-foot hot-air balloon at a gas station off M-59? Denny McGuire has been there, done that. The Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy Airport instructor has taken an estimated 300 hot-air balloon flights in his 10 years as a balloon pilot, with a 30-year background as a flight teacher. 

Read more:  http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20130626/NEWS01/306260004/1002/rss01

Nevada County emergency agencies attend briefing

The Nevada County Air Park was teeming with emergency personnel and vehicles Thursday morning for an aviation operational briefing. The briefing is an annual refresher course to ensure clear communication and coordination between emergency agencies and to expose new members to the various vehicles and procedures. 

Read more: http://www.theunion.com/news/7098163-113/fire-emergency-aircraft-cal

New flight to link Reno and Portland

Come November, Reno’s link to the Pacific Northwest will become even stronger. On Thursday, Alaska Airlines announced it will begin daily nonstop service on Nov. 8 linking Reno-Tahoe International Airport with Portland, Ore.

Read more :  http://www.rgj.com/article/20130628/BIZ03/306280020/New-flight-link-Reno-Portland

Tiny Allegiant Air thrives on low costs, high fees

There are no sure things in this city....  with one exception: Allegiant Air. While other U.S. airlines have struggled over the past decade from the ups and downs of the economy and the price of jet fuel, Allegiant has been profitable for 10 straight years. 

Read more:  http://www.postbulletin.com/business/national/tiny-allegiant-air-thrives-on-low-costs-high-fees/article_7e4b31b4-f0d3-52f1-b39f-15daffb3f43e.html

Stanislaus County sheriff's use of copter wrong?

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson is facing questions again about the use of a department helicopter for purposes other than law enforcement — this time for a charity fund-raiser outside the county.

Read more:  http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/06/27/3088147/stanislaus-county-sheriffs-use.html

Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/06/27/3088147/stanislaus-county-sheriffs-use.html#storylink=cpy

Boeing to lay off 266 more workers in the Puget Sound area

Boeing issued layoff warning notices to 266 more workers in the Puget Sound area Thursday bring to more than 1,500 the number of workers it has told they will be losing their jobs this year. 

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/06/28/3071789/boeing-to-lay-off-266-more-workers.html#storylink=cpy

Boeing's state layoffs notice brings recent total to 1,557 jobs cut

Washington state officials released Boeing’s fourth official layoff notice in two months Thursday. The number of workers affected by the most recent series now totals 1,557.

Read more here: http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2013/06/27/new-boeing-warn-layoff-notice-brings.html

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New TIMCO hangars have plenty of suitors: Piedmont Triad International Airport (KGSO), Greensboro, North Carolina

GREENSBORO — TIMCO Aviation Services said this week it hasn’t made its final commitment to build two new hangars at Piedmont Triad International Airport because it has a problem.

A good problem.

Several banks and businesses have jumped at the chance to help it finance the two hangars it may build at its Radar Road location for about $30 million, TIMCO Vice President Kip Blakely said.

“It was my inexperience and naivete,” Blakely said. “I didn’t know we would have people coming out of the woodwork.”

So the company’s wading through offers with its best poker face before it commits to Greensboro or one of the locations in other states it’s considering.

Several states have already lined up to recruit the hangars and the 400 jobs TIMCO would bring, Blakely says.

“I’m not ready to stipulate it’s here and nowhere else,” Blakely said.

TIMCO is already at the heart of a thriving aviation industry at PTI, with a major Cessna Citation maintenance center and Honda Aircraft Co. employing hundreds just down the road.

And the region’s business recruiters say they want to build a stronger aviation community because companies typically bring hundreds of well-paying jobs.

The Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Commissioners have each approved $400,000 in incentives to make sure TIMCO doesn’t go anywhere else.

PTI has offered $1 million and the state is offering $4 million for the project.

Now, he said, TIMCO is considering its financing options. That includes traditional loans, investors and even developers who would own the hangars and lease them to TIMCO.

“What’s slowing us down is there is so much interest,” said Blakely, whose company has been planning to build a new hangar in one of several locations since April.

TIMCO already employs 1,500 workers in 700,000 square feet at PTI.

Five other states are seeking the company’s expansion Blakely said.

He said several states approached TIMCO earlier this month at the annual air show in Paris.

TIMCO maintains, overhauls and repairs passenger airliners, military cargo and tanker planes.

There’s been such a demand for its services, it has had to turn away clients, Blakely said.

The new hangars would allow the company to take on more business.

TIMCO expects to add 85 new employees a year from 2015 to 2018 and another 64 jobs in 2019, according to the city. The company will hire machinists, sheet metal workers and technicians, Blakely said.


Source:   http://www.news-record.com

Cessna P337H Pressurized Skymaster, N337LJ: Accident occurred June 24, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA289
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 24, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA P337H, registration: N337LJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot/owner had recently purchased the multiengine, high-performance, complex airplane. He had obtained his private pilot certificate 15 years before the accident and had limited flight experience, having amassed a total of about 118 hours of flight time. He had obtained his multiengine rating 5 weeks before the accident, and his total flight experience in multiengine airplanes was about 40 hours. Of that time, 18 hours were logged in the accident airplane of which 3 hours were while acting as pilot-in-command.

On previous flights, the airplane's rear engine had been "stuttering" as the throttle was advanced. The pilot was able to forestall the problem by advancing the throttle slowly; however, the symptoms had been getting worse. A maintenance facility at the departure airport attempted to troubleshoot the engine problem but was not able to resolve the issue. Thus, the pilot intended to reposition the airplane to another airport where a different maintenance facility had agreed to continue the diagnosis. He planned to fly the airplane in the traffic pattern, perform a touch-and-go landing, and proceed to the other maintenance facility if the airplane performed correctly. He had also made plans to depart that night on an important and time-sensitive business trip to Europe from an airport close to the second maintenance facility.

The departure for the initial flight appeared uneventful; however, during the approach for the touch-and-go landing, the pilot seemed distracted, missing multiple landing clearances issued by an air traffic controller. The airplane landed and used the full runway length for the ground roll, while making "popping" sounds similar to an engine backfiring, indicative of at least a partial loss of engine power. Having reached the end of the runway, the airplane lifted off and climbed to about 150 feet above ground level, and a short time later the pilot issued a mayday transmission. The airplane maintained the runway heading and the same altitude for about a mile and then began a descending right turn, striking a set of power distribution lines and a building. The length of the runway and its overrun area would have provided ample stopping distance for the airplane after the landing. Further, the area between the runway and accident site was comprised of level fields which would have been adequate for an emergency landing.

The majority of the airplane's structure was consumed by postimpact fire. The front engine's propeller displayed considerable rotational damage, consistent with it producing power at the time of the accident. The rear propeller exhibited less significant rotational damage signatures, consistent with it operating at a reduced power level. The rear engine sustained thermal damage, which precluded a determination of the reason for the loss of power.

Postaccident examination of the front engine revealed that the right magneto was set to an incorrect timing position. The left magneto had broken free during the impact sequence, so its timing position could not be ascertained. If the left magneto had been set to the correct timing position, the incorrect timing of the right magneto would have resulted in a minimal loss of engine power. Additionally, although no damage was noted to the right magneto, it is possible that it became misaligned during the impact sequence. Lastly, because the engine was producing power at the time of impact, it is unlikely that both magnetos were misaligned.

Performance charts indicated that at the airplane's takeoff weight, a total loss of engine power from the rear engine should have allowed for an adequate takeoff profile, assuming the emergency procedures detailed in the Pilot's Operating Handbook for the airplane had been followed. However, examination revealed that the procedures had not been followed because at the time of impact, the flaps were not completely retracted, and the rear engine's propeller was not feathered. Although the pilot had the minimum experience required to fly the multiengine airplane, he had only acted as pilot-in-command of this airplane for 3 hours; and when he was faced with an emergency, he likely did not have the proficiency and confidence to readily deal with it. The pilot was likely distracted during the landing (as supported by the missed radio calls), failed to abort the landing and continued with his original plan to takeoff despite the loss of engine power, and was unable to appropriately configure the airplane for flight with only one engine operable after the takeoff.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Loss of engine power from the rear engine for reasons that could not be determined because of the postimpact thermal damage to the engine. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's decision to continue flight with a known deficiency, his failure to abort the takeoff during the ground roll, his failure to follow the correct emergency procedures following the loss of power, and his lack of experience in multiengine airplanes and the specific airplane make and model.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 24, 2013, at 1255 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna P337H, N337LJ, collided with a power distribution line, building, and delivery truck following takeoff from San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, San Luis Obispo, California. The airplane was registered to CSC Solutions LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot/owner sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post impact fire. The cross-country personal flight departed San Luis Obispo at 1254, with a planned destination of Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

According to a friend of the pilot, during the month leading up to the accident, the rear engine was "stuttering" as the throttle was advanced from idle to full power. The pilot reported that he was able to forestall the problem by advancing the throttle slowly. The friend had not experienced this problem, having flown with him on a number of occasions; however, the pilot stated to him that it had been getting worse during the 2-week period leading up to the accident.

PCF Aviation, at the pilot's home base of San Luis Obispo, began troubleshooting steps on the rear engine about 1 week prior to the accident. Although they could reproduce the problem, they could not definitively determine its cause, and the pilot asked them to discontinue the diagnosis.

Another mechanic at a maintenance facility (Advantage Aviation) located at Palo Alto Airport, stated that the airplane was brought to him about 2 weeks prior, and that he had attempted to diagnose the same problem. He briefed the pilot on the most likely cause, and was subsequently approached again by the pilot, who agreed to fly the airplane back to his facility on the day of the accident for further diagnosis.

The pilot had also made plans to depart on an international commercial flight from San Francisco International Airport (20 miles from Palo Alto by automobile) at 1925 later that evening. According to his wife, the reason for the flight was so that he could attend a time sensitive business meeting in Europe.

According to the pilot's friend, the pilot planned to fly the airplane in the traffic pattern, and if all was well, continue the flight to the maintenance facility in Palo Alto.

The airplane departed uneventfully and flew a single circuit in the traffic pattern. The pilot requested a touch-and-go landing, and while on the final approach leg for runway 29, an air traffic controller issued landing clearances to the pilot on three different transmissions. The pilot responded to the last transmission, accepting the clearance for the touch-and-go.

A series of security cameras were located at various positions along the length of runway 29. They captured video of various segments of the flight sequences. The recordings revealed that during the touch-and-go, the airplane appeared to utilize almost the full runway length for the ground roll. As it reached the runway overrun, it climbed to about 70 feet above ground level (agl) with the landing gear retracted. The climb progressed to about 150 feet agl and a short time later, the pilot transmitted, "Mayday Mayday". The tower controller responded, and a broken transmission of, "uh" was then received.

A camera located at a tire service center, about 1 mile west-northwest of the departure end of runway 29 recorded the airplane's departure path. The camera was facing northeast, and recorded the airplane flying on a northwest track at an altitude of about 150 feet agl. The airplane remained level and then began to descend out of view, and 4 seconds later, power to the camera was lost. About 20 seconds later power was restored, and a plume of smoke was seen in the vicinity of the airplane's descent path. The airplane collided with a power distribution line during the descent, temporarily shutting off power to multiple local businesses.

Multiple witnesses located at various locations within the airport perimeter recounted observations similar to the video recordings. They recalled that their attention was initially drawn to the airplane because it was producing an unusual sound during the departure roll of the touch-and-go. An air traffic controller reported that she heard the sound of a "bang," and looked below towards the airplane as it passed the control tower at midfield. Another witness described the airplane as making a "popping" sound, with another stating the sound was similar to a radial engine. A witness located at an FBO at midfield, stated that he looked up when he heard the sound of "propellers out of sync" and when he did so, he observed the airplane traveling northwest along the runway.

A witness who was in an airplane holding short of runway 29 was cleared to "line up and wait" by air traffic control personnel just after the accident airplane passed him on the runway after landing. The witness stated that as he looked up he perceived that the airplane was continuing on the runway for a long time. It finally rotated as it approached the runway end, and continued at a low altitude, flying in what he described as ground effect. It eventually transitioned to a shallow climb, with a steep angle of attack such that he could see the entire upper wing surface. The airplane then began to "mush" back down, remaining in the nose-high attitude, and rocking from side to side. It then began a rapid descent, followed a short time later by a flash.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 44-year-old pilot was originally issued a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land in 1998. In May 2013, about a month before the accident, he was issued an additional rating for multiengine land. At that time he reported his total flight experience in airplanes was 82 hours, of which 23 hours he acted in the capacity of pilot-in-command, primarily in a Cessna 152. He also reported 29 hours of rotorcraft experience, with 1.1 hours as pilot-in-command.

The pilot's logbooks indicated his multiengine training utilized about 22 hours of flight time, and occurred in a Piper PA-44 during the period from April 6, 2013, through to his check ride on May 16, 2013. Over the following month he received about 14 hours of dual instruction in the accident airplane culminating in his high performance and complex-airplane endorsements. His last logbook entry was dated June 3, 2013, and indicated a total flight experience of 118 hours, of which 2.8 hours was logged as pilot-in-command time in the accident airplane.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued in March 2013 with no limitations.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The pressurized, high-wing, centerline-thrust multiengine airplane was manufactured in 1978, and purchased by the pilot 2 months prior to the accident. It was powered by two Continental Motors Incorporated TSIO-360 series turbocharged-engines and equipped with McCauley two-blade constant-speed propellers.

The last entry in the airplane's maintenance logbooks was a 100-hour/annual inspection, which was recorded as being completed on March 22, 2013. At that time, the airframe had accrued 2,096.2 total flight hours. The front and rear engines had accumulated 1,110 and 616 hours, respectively, since their factory rebuild.

A work order dated 1 week before the accident was provided by PCF Aviation, which documented the diagnosis of the rear engine. The order indicated that the engine stuttered at 2,000 rpm, and that maintenance personnel could duplicate the problem, but were unable to resolve the discrepancy. The "Action Taken" section of the order specifically stated:

"Adjusted aft idle mixture and check aft engine fuel pressures per Teledyne Continental SID97-3E. Fuel pressures satisfactory. Swapped fuel pump and flow divider from forward to aft engine. No change in aft engine. Returned fuel pumps to original configuration. Inspected aft engine for induction leaks, no discrepancies found. Stopped troubleshooting at owners request.... Found excessive play in prop governor assembly linkage. Notified owner that prop governor needed to be sent out for repair/overhaul."

The owner of PCF Aviation stated that he informed the owner that the airplane had not been repaired. The pilot stated that the problem was, "manageable" and that he would take it to another repair facility. The airplane then remained on the ramp, and was not flown again until the day of the accident.

In a post-accident interview, the mechanics at PCF Aviation who performed the diagnosis stated that the propeller blade pitch angle did not change while the engine was stuttering, and they therefore discounted a governor problem as the cause. They further stated that if the throttle was rapidly advanced the engine speed would reach 1,900 to 2,100 rpm, and then stutter and "oscillate" but not reach full speed.

A mechanic from Advantage Aviation in Palo Alto stated that he had performed troubleshooting steps about 2 weeks prior to the accident for the same problem, and that he recommended the governor control be sent to a repair facility for overhaul. Work orders for that visit indicated that the tachometer for the front engine was providing intermittent readings, and that this discrepancy was resolved by repairing the right-hand magneto ground. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Runway 29 at San Luis Obispo Airport was 6,100 feet long, by 150 feet wide, and comprised of asphalt. A 600-foot-long blast pad/stopway projected beyond the runway's departure end, and the area from the runway to the accident site was comprised of level open fields, transected by a two-lane road.

Following the accident, the runway was examined for remnants of foreign objects or recent propeller strike damage; none were found.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the San Luis County Sheriff-Coroner's Office. The cause of death was reported as the effect of multiple blunt force trauma injuries, with significant contributing conditions including smoke inhalation, and extensive thermal injuries.

Toxicological tests on specimens recovered from the pilot were performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. The results were negative for all screened drug substances and ingested alcohol. With the following findings for carbon monoxide, and cyanide:

18 (%) CARBON MONOXIDE detected in Blood
0.41 (ug/ml) CYANIDE detected in Blood

Refer to the toxicology report included in the public docket for specific test parameters and results.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage came to rest adjacent to a building in a business park, 1 mile beyond, and directly in line with, the departure end of runway 29. The initial point of impact was characterized by damage to a series of three power-distribution lines located on the border of the street, which divided the building and a strawberry field. Two of the lines had become separated from their insulator supports on top of the 35-foot-tall wooden power pole. Two pine trees adjacent to the distribution lines were topped at the 35-foot level. A second tree, 50 feet to the northwest, exhibited a 40-foot-wide swath of cut branches at an angle 45 degrees relative to the ground. The debris field, consisting of tree branches and limbs, continued another 25 feet to the building. The building's east-facing wall was about 30 feet tall and constructed of cement blocks. The right wing was located on the roof of the building, just above a series of diagonal white, blue, and black paint transfer marks on the face of the wall. Additionally, the debris field, consisting of the rear engine's turbocharger inlet wheel and shroud, as well as cowling fragments, continued to the main wreckage, which had come to rest impinged against the front of a truck. The entire cabin area was consumed by fire and a fuel odor was present at the site.

The entire cabin structure and wing center section was consumed by fire, with burnt wire remnants, seating structure, and lower frame components remaining. The flap actuator jack screw displayed 2.9 inches of thread between the screw and actuator housing, which corresponded to 10-degree (1/3) flap deployment. The main and nose gear were in the stowed position. The engine controls within the cabin were in the full forward position, with the exception of the rear engine mixture control, which was about 10 degrees short of full forward.

The horizontal stabilizer had separated from the tailbooms and sustained crush damage along the entire length of its leading edge. The elevator and associated trim tab remained attached to the stabilizer; the elevator trim tab actuator position could not be determined accurately due to its cabling having been pulled through the structure during the impact sequence.

The propeller for the front engine remained attached to the crankshaft and exhibited leading edge gouges, chordwise scratches, and tip twist to both blades. The spinner along with the propeller hub dome sustained radial gouge marks.

The rear engine's propeller had separated at the crankshaft and was located behind the truck. Both blades remained attached to the hub; one blade exhibited 15 degrees bending along its entire length, the second blade had twisted about 60 degrees forward and exhibited chordwise scratches at the tip.

Both propeller domes contained markings consistent with the counter weights making contact with it during impact. The orientation and position of the markings were consistent with the propeller blades being at a flat pitch (power) setting.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine Examinations

Both engines were removed from the airplane and transported to the facilities of Continental Motors Incorporated (CMI) for examination by the NTSB investigator-in-charge and representatives from the FAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and CMI. A complete examination report is contained within the public docket.

Rear Engine

The rear engine sustained thermal discoloration and sooting throughout.

Both magnetos remained attached to the crankcase; the spark plug leads were thermally damaged and continuous to the spark plugs. The propeller governor remained attached to the forward crankcase, with its control linkages continuous through to the firewall. The propeller synchronization motor and gears remained attached. The governor unit was removed and the input shaft rotated smoothly by hand. A brown-colored oil flowed from the passages of the unit and the screen was noted to be free of debris. The control arm moved freely. Disassembly revealed the pump gears, fly weight, and drive gear to be intact.

The engine driven fuel pump remained attached to the forward crankcase. An external examination revealed that it appeared undamaged, was coated in black soot, and all fuel lines were firmly attached at their fittings on the pump. The mixture control arm was bent; its control cable and eyebolt remained attached and continuous through to the firewall.

All upper ancillary components, including the fuel manifold valve, induction manifold risers, and fuel metering unit exhibited black discoloration. All lines to the fuel injection nozzles were intact with their fittings tight. The fuel pump and metering unit exhibited thermal damage to all internal components consistent with post-impact fire.

Due to the thermal damage sustained, an engine test run could not be performed. As such, the engine core was disassembled and the turbocharger examined; no anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

Front Engine

The front engine remained partially attached to its mounts and had sustained varying degrees of impact damage to the sump, left magneto (which had broken away from the pad), both magneto harnesses, starter motor, and the number one cylinder.

The right magneto remained attached to the engine case, and did not display any obvious indications of damage. Its timing to the engine was tested utilizing a magneto synchronizer. The test revealed that the magneto points opened at 1 degree after top dead center (TDC) instead of the nominal 20 degrees before TDC. According to representatives from CMI, a 20-degree change in crankshaft angle corresponds to a circumferential change of 0.5 inches at the magneto flange, which equals about 16 degrees of angular rotation to the magneto.

The engine was installed in a test cell and an engine run was performed with the right magneto remaining in its as-found position of one degree after TDC. A replacement left magneto was attached and set to the same 1 degree after TDC position in an effort to gauge engine performance with two incorrectly timed magnetos. The engine started after two attempts and was run at 1,000 rpm for 5 minutes at which point the oil reached its standard operating temperature. The throttle was then advanced to a fully open position and the engine speed increased. The maximum speed that could be attained was 1,850 rpm at an indicated manifold pressure of 38.5 inHg; with the throttle in the full open position, the engine should have been able to reach a speed of at least 2,400 rpm. A magneto check was then performed in accordance with the Cessna P337H Pilots Operating Handbook (POH), and the engine speed was observed to drop 200 rpm for each magneto. According to the POH, the rpm drop should not exceed 150 rpm on either magneto, or 50 rpm differential between magnetos.

The left magneto was then set to the correct ignition timing of 20 degrees before TDC and another engine run was performed. The engine started immediately and responded smoothly to throttle inputs. A magneto check was performed at 1,800 rpm, and a drop of 20 rpm was observed when the left magneto was selected, and a drop of 240 rpm with the selection of the right magneto. The engine appeared to run normally and was capable of reaching maximum rpm.

A final series of engine runs were performed with both magnetos set to 20 degrees BTDC. The engine operated smoothly throughout its rpm range, and was able to achieve its maximum speed at a corresponding nominal manifold pressure.

A post engine test cylinder leakage test was performed in accordance with the latest revision of CMI Service Bulletin SB03-3 and normal pressure readings were attained.

The right magneto was subsequently removed and examined; the internal timing was correct, and no anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation. The original left magneto was installed on a test stand and operated at speeds varying between 500 and 2,100 rpm. All leads produced a spark in proper firing order and the impulse coupling triggered appropriately.

ADDITIONAL INFO

The airplane's POH documented the following emergency procedures for continuing a takeoff with an engine inoperative:

1. Throttles -- FULL FORWARD.
2. Propeller Controls -- FULL FORWARD.
3. Mixture Controls-- FULL FORWARD.
4. Inoperative Engine -- IDENTIFY from manifold pressure, RPM, fuel flow and EGT (if installed) indications....NOTE Verify inoperative engine by momentarily closing throttle and noting power response to throttle movement.
5. Windmilling Propeller-- FEATHER PROMPTLY.
6. Wing Flaps -- RETRACT slowly.
7. Airspeed-- 89 KIAS (80 KIAS with obstacles ahead).
8. Landing Gear -- RETRACT (after immediate obstacles are cleared).
9. Inoperative Engine -- SECURE.

Furthermore, a single engine rate of climb of 440 feet per minute would have been possible at sea level, with a temperature of 20 degrees C, under the following conditions:

-Weight 4,400 pounds
-Inoperative Propeller Feathered
-Flaps Up
-Gear Up
-2800 RPM
-37 Inches Hg
-Mixture Set at 140 PPH
-Cowl Flaps Open on Operating Engine
-Cowl Flaps Closed on Inoperative Engine

The sea level landing distance under similar conditions and utilizing the short field landing technique would have been about 810 feet.



NTSB Identification: WPR13FA289 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 24, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA P337H, registration: N337LJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 24, 2013, at 1255 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna P337H, N337LJ, collided with power distribution lines, a building, and a delivery truck following takeoff from San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, San Luis Obispo, California. The airplane was registered to CSC Solutions LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post impact fire. The cross-country personal flight departed San Luis Obispo at 1254, with a planned destination of Palo Alto Airport of Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The NTSB investigator traveled in support of this investigation.

According to air traffic control personnel located in San Luis Obispo Control Tower, the pilot reported that he intended to perform a high speed taxi, followed by a circuit in the traffic pattern, a touch-and-go landing, and then finally a departure. A series of security cameras located at a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) adjacent to the midfield of runway 29 recorded various segments of the flight sequences. The recordings revealed that during the final departure, following the touch-and-go, the airplane appeared to utilize almost the full runway length for the ground roll, then climbed to an altitude of about 150 feet above ground level (agl). A short time later, the pilot transmitted, “Mayday Mayday” over the tower frequency; the tower controller responded, and a broken transmission of, “uh” was then received.

A security camera located at a tire service center, about 1 mile west-northwest of the departure end of runway 29 recorded the airplane's departure path. The camera was facing northeast, and recorded the airplane flying on a northwest track at an altitude of between 100 and 200 feet agl. The airplane remained level as it passed from the right side of the camera's view to the center. It then began to descend out of view, and 4 seconds later, power to the camera was lost. About 20 seconds later power was restored, and the camera recorded a plume of smoke in the vicinity of the airplane’s descent path.

Multiple witnesses located at various locations within the airport perimeter recounted observations corroborating the camera recordings. They all recalled that their attention was initially drawn to the airplane because it was producing an unusual sound during the departure roll. A tower controller reported that she heard the sound of a bang, and looked over towards the airplane as it passed the tower at midfield. Another witness described the airplane as producing a “popping” sound, with another stating the sound was similar to a radial engine. A witness located at an FBO at midfield, reported that he looked up when he heard the sound of “propellers out of sync” and when he did so, he observed the airplane traveling northwest along the runway.

According to friends of the pilot, the airplane had been experiencing a problem with the rear engine during the month leading up to the accident. He left the airplane with a maintenance facility at San Luis Obispo Airport about 1 week prior, where a series of troubleshooting steps were performed. Work orders indicated that the engine was, "stuttering at 2,000 rpm." Maintenance personnel were unable to resolve the discrepancy, and the pilot requested that they discontinue the work. The airplane remained on the ramp, and was not flown again until the day of the accident. Another mechanic at a maintenance facility located at Palo Alto Airport reported that the airplane was brought to him about 2 weeks prior, and that he had attempted to diagnose the same problem. He briefed the pilot on the most likely cause, and was subsequently approached again by the pilot, who agreed to fly the airplane back to his facility on the day of the accident for further diagnostic evaluation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main wreckage came to rest adjacent to a cement-block building in a business park, 1 mile beyond, and directly in line with, the departure end of runway 29. The initial point of impact was characterized by damage to a series of three power distribution lines located on the border of the street, which separated the building from a strawberry field. Two of the lines had become separated from their insulator supports on top of the 35-foot-tall wooden power pole. Two pine trees adjacent to the distribution lines were topped at the 35-foot level. A second tree, 50 feet to the northwest, exhibited a 40-feet-wide swath of cut branches at an angle 45 degrees relative to the ground. The debris field, consisting of tree branches and limbs, continued another 25 feet to the building. The building’s east-facing wall was about 30 feet tall, and constructed of cement blocks. The right wing was located on the roof of the building, just above a series of diagonal white, blue, and black paint transfer marks on the face of the wall. Additionally, the debris field, consisting of the rear engine’s turbocharger inlet wheel and shroud, as well as cowling fragments, continued to the main wreckage, which had come to rest impinged against the front of a delivery truck. The entire cabin area was consumed by fire, and the odor of fuel was present at the site.





Updated: June 27, 2013, 3:30 PM

Source: SLO Sheriff's Department

Type of Incident: Death Investigation

Date and Time of Incident: 6-24-13, Approximately 12:55 PM

Place of Occurrence: 277 Granada Drive, San Luis Obispo

Victim Information: Scott Morgan Metzger, 44, San Luis Obispo

Suspect Information: N/A

Details of News Release:  The Coroner's Unit of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim involved in a plane crash on 6-24-13 in San Luis Obispo. The man has been identified as 44-year-old Scott Morgan Metzger of San Luis Obispo. Because of the extent of the injuries suffered, it was thought that DNA analysis would have to be utilized to make a positive identification. An autopsy was performed on 6-26- 13. During the course of the autopsy, a tattoo was discovered and confirmed by the family. Based on information gathered during the course of the investigation along with identifying information found during the autopsy, coroner's investigators were able to identify the victim.


Prepared By: tcipolla

Released: Thursday 06/27/2013 2:03:31 PM 

Watch Commander: Cipolla 

Source:  http://www.slosheriff.org
























SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A plane crashed near the San Luis Obispo County Airport Monday afternoon, according to deputies. Investigators say they are unable to identify the body of the person in the plane due to the extensive injuries. 
 
The Department of Justice says they will have to confirm the identity through DNA analysis.

Witnesses said the plane crashed into a FedEx truck around 1 p.m. then crashed into the Promega Bio Sciences building on the 200 block of Granada Drive. Authorities said the pilot was killed instantly. The chemical warehouse building was evacuated, as well as surrounding buildings and businesses. The name of the pilot hadn't been released as of Monday night.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was recently purchased in Napa and is registered to a business in downtown San Luis Obispo, but the owner of the building declined to comment on who the plane might be registered to.

The National Transportation Safety Board was on scene Monday night investigating the cause of the crash. Officials plan on spending the rest of evening combing through the wreckage as they continue to search for clues as to why this plane went down.

"Shortly after departure, the pilot declared 'may day', declared an emergency with air traffic control and the airplane crashed about a mile and a half northwest," said NTSB investigator Elliott Simpson.

Officials said the Cessna went through a power line, a tree and then clipped the chemical warehouse building. Once the plane hit the ground, it stopped and landed on a parked FedEx truck. The driver had walked away from the truck only moments before the crash.

"This building houses several chemicals so we were very fortunate none of the containers were comprised," said Fire Chief Charles Hines with San Luis Obispo Fire Department.

The plane will be transferred to a warehouse in Los Angeles Tuesday for further investigation and officials said it could take months before they know the exact cause of the crash.