Thursday, October 31, 2013

Future of Thunder on the Lakeshore Up In The Air: Manitowoc County Airport (KMTW), Wisconsin

Manitowoc - For more than 20 years, big crowds have turned out for "Thunder on the Lakeshore" high above Manitowoc County airport. But the future of the show is uncertain after its headline military acts were grounded last year due to the federal sequestration budget cuts. 

Thunder on the Lakeshore producer Curt Drumm says he is concerned about the show being able to continue without the important military acts.

"It's a great show for the community. But when you have a big show with a lot of expenses and the people don't come and you lose a lot of money, you can't continue," Drumm said "Our attendance was down 70 and 80 percent last year primarily due to the military not showing up."

Drumm estimates the show lost close to $60,000 last year.

He says for now things are in a holding pattern as the air show waits to hear back from federal officials about whether military acts will resume at events across the U.S. including Manitowoc.

"We have to decide what we're going to do, when we find out what the military is going to do," he said.

While Drumm is holding out hope the show will take to the skies again, he expects the Thunder on the Lakeshore board to make a final decision in December.

"If we get the air show back that's great, we're looking forward to it. If it doesn't, maybe we have to skip a year and see what 2015 brings," he said.


Source:   http://www.wbay.com

Bell 206B JetRanger II, N16673: Accident occurred October 28, 2013 in Milo, Oregon

http://registry.faa.gov/N16673

NTSB Identification: WPR14CA052 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 28, 2013 in Milo, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/05/2014
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N16673
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was for the two passengers, who were both biologists, to conduct a low-level river/land survey. Prior to departure, the pilot discussed the route of flight with the passengers and they all reviewed the maps and sectionals for possible hazards with an emphasis on wire crossings. After departure, the pilot attempted to facilitate the biologists' view out the windows by maneuvering the helicopter in a crab angle with the flight path tracking down the riverbank and the nose pointing left. The pilot maintained an altitude just above tree-top level and about an hour into the flight the pilot observed the first high power line crossing. Approximately 20 minutes thereafter, one of the passengers called attention to another line crossing, which was equipped with marker balls.

The pilot stated that as they continued, the river divided into numerous channels and one of the passengers advised him which path to follow. After surveying one of the channels, he maneuvered the helicopter in a 90-degree turn to circle back and then it was decided they did not need to return to the channel's origin. The pilot then made a left turn to adjoin the river and immediately observed blue sparks and a wire contact on the upper windscreen bubble. The helicopter was substantially damaged after it descended and came to rest in 4.5 feet of water about 50 feet from the power line. 

The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to see and avoid wires while maneuvering at a low-altitude, which resulted in the main rotor blades striking the wires.

A Rogue River pilot injured in a helicopter crash near Days Creek earlier this week has been downgraded from fair to serious condition.

Fred Wittlake, 55, suffered a broken arm and ribs after the helicopter he was flying hit power lines and crashed into the South Umpqua River Monday. He was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, where he was listed in fair condition Tuesday. But by Wednesday, a hospital spokesperson said his condition was listed as serious.

The crash also injured two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists who were conducting fish surveys along the Umpqua. Holly Huchko, 34, remains in serious condition at Sacred Heart with a broken back, according to officials.

Biologist Eric Himmelreich, 35, was listed in good condition Wednesday morning at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The Bell 206B JetRanger crashed into the river at about 11:40 a.m. within feet of the Tiller Trail Highway in the 13000 block. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but an accident notification posted Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration noted the helicopter struck power lines before it fell into the river.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Hollow said he had no new information Wednesday about the crash.

Huchko has been with ODFW for 10 years, and Himmelreich has worked for the agency for just more than a year. Both work out of the Roseburg office of the Umpqua Fish District.

The helicopter is registered to Robert Ferreira of Ashland, according to the FAA. Siskiyou Transportation and Timberland Helicopters also are listed as owners. Ferreira is president of T L Forest Products on Dead Indian Memorial Road, according to state business records.


http://www.dailytidings.com


http://www.nrtoday.com

 
A Bell JetRanger helicopter crashed shortly before noon Monday into the South Umpqua River in the 13000 block of Tiller Trail Highway.

Cape Air to open office in Owensboro's new Hampton Inn

 

 Guests at Owensboro's soon-to-be-built Waterfront Hampton Inn will be able to book their next trip to Owensboro before checking out.  Cape Air plans to move its downtown office from its current location at the Crème Coffee Shop to Owensboro’s new Hilton property, the Waterfront Hampton Inn and Suites, by early January.

“We’ve had a wonderful experience with the Crème Coffee Shop,” said Linda Fitzgerald, Director of Call Center Support at Cape Air.  However, our local ticket office also handles overflow from our corporate call center, and call volume has reached the point where we need our own space.”

The Waterfront Hampton Inn is currently under development by The Malcolm Bryant Corporation and is slated to open this winter.  The property will be located adjacent to the new Owensboro Convention Center.

The new location will be open to the public and will give customers the opportunity to book their travel in person, rather than online or over the phone.  Cape Air reservations agents will also be available to answer questions about the service.  “Having an onsite Cape Air location will be a great opportunity for guests to learn about the commercial air service available in Owensboro, and hopefully get them thinking about their next trip back,” said Malcolm Bryant, President of the Malcolm Bryant Corporation.

Cape Air will join a number of other local vendors with locations in the hotel, including Lure Seafood Restaurant, Changes Spa and Salon, and Blossom's Boutique.  


Source:  http://owensboro-daviesscounty.14news.com

New South Wales, Australia: Pilots beware

Essential Energy is reminding pilots and property owners to be aware of the potential dangers of overhead powerlines after two incidents in Cowra this week where aircraft contacted the electricity network.

Essential Energy's regional manager Southern, Steven Ilitch, urged pilots and farmers to adopt safe work practices and identify the location of the overhead electricity network before taking to the air.

"This week local crews have responded to two separate incidents where aircraft have made contact with high voltage overhead powerlines," Steven said.

"In both instances, crews were able to isolate supply, make the site safe and restore power to affected customers as quickly as safety allowed.

"I remind anyone engaging in aerial activities such as aerial application or mustering, that the smallest contact between a plane and powerlines can be fatal.

"As the height of overhead powerlines can vary significantly with changing topology, pre-flight planning and briefing is essential to safe air travel."

Farmers and pilots should remember to stay alert while in the air as powerlines can be difficult to see from above, especially at dawn and dusk, and on rainy or overcast days.

"You have to keep your wits about you when flying near the overhead electricity network," Steven said. "Essential Energy maintains around 200,000 kilometres of powerlines across 95 percent of New South Wales and safety is our highest priority."

Essential Energy recommends farmers install line markers to increase the visibility of powerlines on their property. Flag markers are lightweight, are visible both day and night and flap in the breeze to attract attention. They can be fitted by Essential Energy for a small cost.

"We cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the location of overhead powerlines on properties and surrounding areas - the information could save your life," Steven said.

Maps detailing the location of Essential Energy's overhead electricity network are available on request for individuals and companies involved in aerial activities. Contact Essential Energy on 13 23 91 or visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/content/overhead-electricity-network-maps.

To report an incident involving an overhead powerline, contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.


Source:   http://www.cowraguardian.com.au

Light plane hits tree after wind gust




A pilot has walked away largely unscathed from a light plane crash near Burra, in the state's Mid North. 
 
The plane crashed while trying to land near Braefoot Rd at Hanson, about 15km southwest of Burra, about 1pm yesterday.

A gust of wind pushed the Cessna 172 four-seat plane off course and into a tree.

The pilot, a Mid North man, 43, suffered only minor injuries and went to the Clare police station to report the crash.

He was the only person on board.

The plane was a write off and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.


Source:   http://www.news.com.au

Victoria Regional Airport (KVCT), Texas: Online survey under way to evaluate region's travel needs

Crossroads travelers can now weigh in on the region's air service needs.

The Victoria Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday emailed the link to a 15-question online survey asking about travelers' airline preferences, business travel budgets, travel frequency and more.

It's all part of an ongoing marketing study by Seabury Airline Planning aimed at presenting a clear picture of Victoria's travel needs, Victoria Regional Airport Manager Jason Milewski said.

"It's to help us build a better case to attract more air service to our area," he explained.

The airport has faced issues with air carrier Sun Air International regarding baggage troubles, plane size, cancellations and delays, the Advocate previously reported.
 
Randy Vivian, president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said the survey has already seen positive results. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 50 percent of those who had opened the email took time to fill it out.

"We're very appreciative of that," he said. "The more information we get, the better we know the public's opinion."

The survey will be available online for about a week.

Milewski encouraged people to respond as soon as possible and to do so regardless of whether they use the Victoria airportt.

"Nine out of 10 people, or maybe even greater than that, don't use the airport, for good reasons," he said. "This is to make the airport more usable."

Source:   http://www.victoriaadvocate.com

La Crosse Regional Airport (KLSE), Wisconsin: Cashiers lose jobs to automated pay stations


LA CROSS, WI (WXOW)— Doug Gourley has loved coming to work as a cashier at the airport for the last four years. 

 "I thought I'd grow old at this job. We'll see what happens," Gourley said.

On December 9, the La Crosse Airport is letting their contract expire with Standard Parking, the company that operates the parking lot pay booths.

Eight employees, that run one booth, will be replaced with two automated pay stations.

"Lots of words come to mind," Gourley said. "I don't know what I can say. It bites."

Clint Torp, Airport Manager said their existing gear is aging.

"It was time to replace equipment," Torp said. "The same move the rest of the industry is moving towards automating these systems."

Ultimately, the decision came down to customer experience.

"Right now we are only able to keep one booth open," Torp said. "So when a flight lets go we get significant backups."

"I think for the business people it will be great because they'll be able to credit card. 80-percent of business here is credit card they'll be able to zip in zip out," Gourley said. 


People wanting to pay cash will have to go inside the airport.

Anyone with problems out at the booths can get help with the touch of a button.

"That person is going to be looking through a little camera trying to figure out what your problem is. Where as I know what your problem is and I can fix it right now," Gourley said.

But there is nothing he can do about it besides counting down the days and hitting the job boards.

"It took me two years after I got hurt on another job to get this job," Gourley said. "So I don't know how long it's going to take me to find another job. Who wants to hire a 53-year-old with health problems?"

Torp said the airport will be posting two part time jobs to help with maintaining the new automated systems.

He said people currently working in the booth are able to apply.


Source:  http://www.wxow.com

Masters Week airport reservation system going online: Augusta Regional, Daniel Field, Thomson-McDuffie Regional and Aiken Municipal

 


Private aircraft landing at four Augusta area airports during Masters Week 2014 will use a new online reservation system. 

 Augusta Regional, Daniel Field, Thomson-McDuffie Regional and Aiken Municipal airports have asked a consultant to tweak the reservation system that underwent a major overhaul for this year’s tournament. Mike Gunn, of Wexford Consultant Group, will help the airports book aircraft parking using an automated software system, largely replacing phone calls.

“Now, they will be able to do it on the Internet through a secured Web site,” Gunn said.

The software will help avoid double bookings and no-shows of private jets and planes, Gunn told the Augusta Aviation Commission on Thursday.

A reservation system was implemented for the 2013 Masters to help spread out aircraft to all the regional airports. For several years, heavy air traffic at Augusta Regional Airport caused the Federal Aviation Administration to issue ground stops, or prohibitions on landing and taking off. Private aircraft were diverted to nearby general aviation airports.

Although Gunn was not ready to discuss full details of the new program, he said after the meeting that customers can receive a reservation confirmation via text message and e-mail. Reservations can still be made by phone or walk-in at the airports where staff can use the reservation software, he said.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the commission began a 12-to 16-month process of writing a new master plan for the airport that will be led by consulting firm Mead & Hunt.

The master plan, the airport’s first since 2002, will lay out long-term physical development for new buildings, said Mark McFarland, of Mead & Hunt. A committee will meet several times in the next year to help tie the improvement plan to the airport’s strategic goals for growth.

 
Source:  http://chronicle.augusta.com

City To Challenge Federal Aviation Administration In Court Over Future Control Of Santa Monica Airport

The City of Santa Monica has sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish the City’s right to control future use of the Santa Monica Airport property, which the City has long owned. 

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, asks the court to declare that the City holds clear title to the land. And, it also challenges, as unconstitutional, the FAA's claim that the City must continue to operate the Airport indefinitely, even after contracts establishing the City's Airport obligations expire.  

In 1984, the City and FAA entered into a Settlement Agreement with the FAA that obligates the City to operate the Airport until 2015. 

In anticipation of the expiration of that contract, the City undertook a three-year Airport Visioning Process, intended to identify options for the Airport's future. 

Hundreds of community members participated in this three-phased process – the largest ever conducted by the City. In April of this year, the Council received a comprehensive report on the results.

After considering the report and conducting a lengthy public hearing, the City Council directed City staff to report back in March of 2014 for further public discussion and a decision about the future use of the Airport land. 

Meanwhile, the Council also directed staff to continue to explore any and all possibilities for a voluntary agreement with the federal government that might modify Airport operations so as to significantly curtail adverse impacts on the community.

Since then, City representatives have continued to meet with FAA representatives in Washington. 

City Manager Rod Gould explains, "We met in Washington many times, and conveyed community concerns and proposed possibilities for changes, including operational changes, that could significantly reduce many of the Airport’s adverse impacts. The FAA representatives were polite and respectful.  But, they were simply unwilling or unable to agree to any changes that could bring significant relief to Airport neighbors.  They believe that the City is legally obligated to continue operating the Airport as it now operates and to keep operating it forever because of the post-War transfers."

The City has owned and operated the Airport since the 1920's. 

During World War II, the City leased it to the federal government for a nominal amount in support of the war effort. 

During the War, the City and the federal government worked together to expand and improve the Airport; and, after the war, when the federal leases expired, the Airport was returned to the City through an Instrument of Transfer. 

The federal government claims that the Instrument of Transfer obligates the City to operate the Airport "in perpetuity" (forever) or forfeit its ownership interest to the federal government. 

The City disputes this claim based, in part, on the City's near 100-year ownership of the Airport land, the fact that the Airport was merely leased (not sold), and constitutional guarantees that prohibit commandeering property without compensation and forcing local governments to perform the federal government's work.

Speaking of the lawsuit, Santa Mayor Pam O'Connor said, "We need to get these legal questions answered. The community expects us to protect their health, safety and welfare.  And, of course, the community’s demands for relief from Airport impacts have only increased since last month's terrible crash. We need the court to decide whether the City has control over its land so that, next year, we can make a decision about the Airport's future.  Because this dispute is unique and incredibly important, the City Council directed the City Attorney and her staff to partner with the best outside legal team they could find."

The City Attorney and senior members of her office conducted a competitive process that resulted in the City hiring Morrison & Foerster – a global firm with 16 offices and more than 1,000 attorneys.

Explained City Attorney Marsha Moutrie, "We were particularly impressed with the Morrison & Foerster team's litigation credentials, aviation experience, and appellate expertise.  I'm certain that they will provide excellent representation in this singularly important case.  And we look forward to working with them to resolve the dispute about the City's authority to control the use of its Airport land."

The case will be heard in Federal District Court in Los Angeles.

Federal rules give the federal government 60 days to respond to the City's complaint.

Source:  http://www.smmirror.com


 
Santa Monica officials taken the Federal Aviation Administration to court in a bid to gain control of the city's airport, shown above in a file photo. Local groups want to turn the airport into a park. 
Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Time

Sumner County Regional Airport (M33), Gallatin, Tennessee: Board voids airport manager's contract - Sudbury to stay on with same pay, reduced duties

Steve Sudbury / FILE



The Sumner County Airport Authority board classified the airport’s only worker — its manager — as an independent contractor rather than an employee, and deemed a five-year contract for that worker passed by a former board in February invalid.

The 9-2 vote Monday was taken because the new board was “concerned about federal liability with the IRS and taxes and things that aren’t being paid,” said Treasurer Dianne Denson.

The contract of airport manager Steve Sudbury passed at the beginning of the year included a 50 percent pay raise, which the board did not reduce Monday out of concern that the move could result in legal action. Sudbury will continue to earn $3,750 per month, which was approved by a unanimous vote. The contract was approved by a slate of old board members who were replaced in June after a long-running legal battle with the county.

The board also unanimously approved a four-part recommendation of an ad hoc audit committee that took accounting and financial transaction duties away from Sudbury. The committee was created as one of the first orders of business of the new board.

As part of classifying the management position as an independent contractor, the board directed its attorney, Mark Smith, to negotiate with Sudbury’s son, Josh Sudbury, who has represented his father since September. The two will aim to work out a mutually acceptable independent contractor agreement, though over the past month they have failed to do so.

The board refused to look at or even consider Josh Sudbury’s proposed rewrite of the contract to define the position as an independent contractor that retained a term of five years.

Steve Sudbury had worked as an independent contractor since 2005 without a contract. At the old board’s last meeting in February, before they were replaced, the members unanimously approved an employment agreement that has since been in dispute because Sudbury took the stance that he was not an employee and paid his own taxes.

The new board, with 10 out of 11 members taking office since March, spent hours at its last three meetings expressing concern over tax problems that could arise from the employment agreement.

The authority’s audit committee submitted a four-part recommendation to the full board to change software, transfer accounting and financial duties from Sudbury to a bookkeeper or accountant, submit three years of back records to an audit firm in Nashville and ask for funding from the county for a forensic audit if needed. A forensic audit applies evidence in civil and criminal legal matters and may include courtroom testimony on accounting and auditing standards by expert witnesses.

The committee’s report said Denson had looked through the financial documents and found “nothing alarming.” Its chairman, Ben Williams, said Sudbury should not have been handling the airport’s finances and that doing so did not follow “best business practices.”

“That’s not a normal duty,” he said.

The possibility of litigation regarding Sudbury’s status and contract arose repeatedly.

“We may still have the specter of the feds coming in and saying, ‘Folks, he said he’s an employee. You’re not withholding. You’ve got to pay back until February or possibly even further,’ ” Smith said.

Josh Sudbury urged board members to “reform the language” of the contract but was rebuffed. After the contract was canceled, he tried to introduce a rewritten contract but was advised it was not on the agenda.

Dan Downs, the old board’s only remaining member, and newest board member Camden McConnell were the two recorded “no” votes.


Loan approved

As the new airport board moves forward, it made progress Wednesday in shoring up its finances when the state Comptroller’s Office of State and Local Finance approved the county government’s request to provide an internal loan to the cash-strapped Airport Authority.

“We were pleased that the state would give its blessing to put the airport back on a sound financial footing,” County Budget Chairman Jerry Stone said.

Stone, County Executive Anthony Holt, County Attorney Leah Dennen, County Finance Director David Lawing and Airport Authority Chairman Jim Egan met with four representatives of the comptroller’s office Wednesday. State Sen. Ferrell Haile and Rep. Courtney Rogers attended the meeting in support of the county’s request. Rep. William Lamberth was unable to attend but made calls on the county’s behalf in advance.

The plan approved by the County Commission last week is an interest-only loan of $800,000 at 3 percent to pay off about $430,000 of bank loans and wrap in an outstanding county loan of $197,500. The rest would cover matching grant money needed to fix runway grading in order to use all 6,300 feet.

The new monthly loan payments of $2,000 will be significantly less than the $3,700 a month the airport currently pays for bank loans and $2,500 a month owed to the county.

County officials consider it a win-win situation because the hospital capital fund that will be used currently earns only about a quarter of a percent in interest.

Paperwork must be filed with the state to make the loan legal. The term is for nine years in three 3-year periods with two renewals.

The loan must be approved by the Airport Authority board and by its attorney, Egan said.

Story and Photos:  http://www.tennessean.com

Courtesy Car: Retired Dodge Charger Police Squad Car at Milaca Municipal Airport (18Y), Minnesota



The Milaca Airport now has a new service it can boast to its pilots and potential users. Thanks to some collaboration, the municipal airport can offer land-based transportation as well as one of the nicest grass landing strips in the state. 

The city of Milaca has donated the retired Dodge Charger police squad car to be used as a Milaca Airport Courtesy Car.

Local pilots and volunteers cleaned and serviced the car and helped develop a use policy. The car is provided on a first-come basis for use by pilots to travel locally to the city of Milaca for business or other authorized business.

“This is another asset we can use to attract people to the airport and to Milaca,” City Council Member and airport commission chair Ken Muller said at a recent meeting.

City Manager Greg Lerud said Milaca typically puts retired squad cars up for public sale.

The airport courtesy car remains the property of the city and will be maintained by the Milaca airport manager, Steve Burklund, or another authorized representative.

At times, corporate executives, real estate agents, attorneys and others fly to Milaca for various business reasons and could use a lift to their nearby destinations. Muller said a corporate executive from the new Dollar General store called to inquire if Milaca had a courtesy car available so he could visit their new store.

Now, the city and the airport tell those travelers that they do offer courtesy car service, which may increase interest in using the local facility.

To further boost the attractiveness of the Milaca Airport, the commission is also looking for a fixed-base operator to service general aviation. A fixed-base operator, or FBO, is a commercial business granted the right by an airport to operate on the airport and provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangaring, tie-down and parking, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance or flight instruction. In common practice, an FBO is a primary provider of support services to general aviation operators at a public-use airport.

For more information about this opportunity, contact Burklund at 320-492-8246. 


Story and Photo:  http://millelacscountytimes.com

Federal Aviation Administration Says Fliers Can Use Devices During All Phases of Flight: WSJ

The Wall Street Journal

By  Jack Nicas and  Andy Pasztor


Updated Oct. 31, 2013 12:47 p.m. ET

 

Federal aviation regulators on Thursday unveiled steps to lift restrictions on electronic devices in flight, saying that fliers generally should be allowed to use tablets, e-readers and other gadgets during all phases of flight by the end of this year.

The Federal Aviation Administration's decision, embracing recent recommendations by a high-level advisory group, effectively ends years of safety debates over the use of the devices. The FAA said it is providing airlines with guidelines to carry out the new policy.

Current rules require passengers to turn off all electronic devices on planes below 10,000 feet. Under the new rules, passengers will be able to use hand-held devices such as tablets and e-readers from gate to gate. Larger items like laptops will have to be stowed during takeoffs and landings.

Passengers will be able to use smartphones below 10,000 feet to watch movies, listen to music or access the onboard Wi-Fi system, if available, but the cellular signal must be turned off.

"We believe today's decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer's increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

Before airlines can allow their customers to use electronics below 10,000 feet, they must comply with a new five-step process for proving their aircraft can tolerate any electronic emissions from fliers' devices. The FAA said specific implementation plans and timetables will vary, but that it expects many carriers to be able to allow their fliers to use devices gate to gate by year-end. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told reporters that the FAA aims "to promote consistency for passengers" traveling on different airlines. He said he anticipates "expanded use will come very soon."

Airlines are already racing to be the first to allow their customers to use devices from gate to gate, giving the carriers a marketing advantage and expanding the window when they can sell content and connectivity.

Delta Air Lines Inc., for instance, said it has already completed tolerance testing and "is ready to allow its customers to be the first to use their portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet as early as Nov. 1," pending FAA approval.

JetBlue Airways Corp., meanwhile, said it has already completed step one of the five-step process "and is well under way" on step two.

"We intend to be the first commercial airline in the United States to allow gate-to-gate use of personal electronics devices," Robin Hayes, JetBlue's chief commercial officer, said Thursday. "To support that goal, we began the certification process with the FAA today."

While virtually all U.S. carriers are expected to eventually allow fliers to use their devices, the industry differs greatly on the ability to offer Wi-Fi during all phases of flight.

JetBlue, Southwest Airlines Co. and United Continental Holdings Inc.  may emerge as winners, as their Wi-Fi providers said their systems generally function at all altitudes.

But Gogo Inc., which provides Wi-Fi to roughly three-quarters of the approximately 2,100 connected commercial aircraft in the U.S., said its Wi-Fi isn't designed to function below 10,000 feet, largely because it connects via cell towers on the ground, rather than via satellites like its rivals. That means its airline clients, including Delta, AMR Corp.'s  American Airlines, US Airways Group Inc. and Alaska Air Group Inc.  will still be unable to offer Internet to their passengers during takeoffs and landings.

As expected, the new FAA guidelines still won't' allow passengers to use cellular phones to make phone calls, as in-flight cellular signals remain banned by the Federal Communications Commission.

But the FAA's policy shift encompasses basically everything that many passengers and manufacturers and marketers of devices wanted.

Noting that the previous rules have been in place largely unchanged for five decades, FAA chief Michael Huerta told reporters "the world has changed a lot" in that time and "I did feel it was important" to take a fresh look at the restrictions.

FAA officials estimated that perhaps on 1% of all flights, passengers may be asked to turn off devices below 10,000 feet to avoid potential interference with instrument-landing systems in low-visibility conditions

What won't change, according to the FAA, are announcements by flight attendants instructing passengers to stop reading or talking and listen to emergency evacuation procedures.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Home near Hazel Green, Alabama, has airplane hangar, four-story silo

Home with a hangar built around a silo owned by Joyce & Peter Pryor. 



HAZEL GREEN, Alabama - Being 250 feet from a runway wouldn’t be a typical selling point, but that’s exactly why Peter and Joyce Pryor bought their house near Hazel Green. Peter was reading The Huntsville Times one Sunday morning last spring when he saw a classified ad for the house, which came with its own hangar and access to the runway that is the Hazel Green Airport. The couple has flown for years and currently owns a two-seater CTLS Light Sport airplane.

Joyce had just walked in with her cup of coffee when Peter asked her “’Do you want to decorate a new house,’” she said, remembering that conversation. “I said, ‘why, are you leaving me’?”

Peter made a call and arranged to meet the real estate agent down the country road that leads to the house early that afternoon. That’s when the couple discovered they didn’t just have a hangar to consider, but a house that ended up being one pretty cool space.

The house, it turned out, was built around a silo the original owner’s father had built many years ago in the Midwest. He had the large, cast-concrete blocks that made up the silo disassembled and shipped to Alabama. He then reconstructed the silo, adding Sheetrock and windows to create spacious, sunny, round rooms.

“He must have really loved his father,” Joyce said, to be willing to move the massive blocks that made up the silo to their current Madison County site.

To build the silo, the slabs of concrete, or staves, are stacked together and then bound by steel rods, Peter Pryor said of the construction technique. Think about how a barrel is built, for instance.

“If you look up concrete stave silo on the internet, you’ll see ,” he said.

While the silo is four stories tall, the original owner, Billy Bernard, added a two-story addition that includes a kitchen, a large family room, and a bedroom. That addition is typical two-by-four construction with right-angled rooms.

It’s the silo that makes it cool, Joyce said. “I had never been in a house with round rooms, or at least that many round rooms.”

The Pryors don’t live in the house at the airport. They already have a beautiful home on Green Mountain in South Huntsville. They have spent the night there and have used it as a guest house. Joyce has also brought her bridge group out for lunch and a few rounds of cards.

The couple is looking forward to Joyce’s sister, Tina, moving in soon. She’s selling her house in Florida and has already brought up a lot of her things in preparation for the move. She plans to use one of the silo rooms for her master bedroom and another for her office. The bottom floor of the silo is the dining room, which Joyce has furnished with a round table and other antiques.

On a nice day, the top floor of the silo would be the place to be, if you don’t mind climbing the steep, spiral staircase that leads to the room full of windows that look out on the trees that surround the house. On any day, though, the house is situated on a quiet lot near farmland and down the road from other homes with their own hangars.

“Almost everybody who lives along here are pilots,” Joyce said. “They have get-togethers once a month and do a pot-luck.”

“Cool Spaces” is a weekly feature looking at interesting rooms in Huntsville-area homes. Do you have a suggestion for a cool space? Email Pat Ammons at pammons@al.com.


Story, Photo Gallery and Video:  http://www.al.com

Plane completed just in time for Halloween

 
PHIL ANDERSON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL 
Evan Roberts, 1 1/2 years of age, sits in a wooden vintage airplane built by his father, Justin Roberts, just in time for Halloween.




No doubt about it, little Evan Roberts had one of the coolest rides in town for Halloween. 

Evan, who is 1 1/2 years old, was making the trick-or-treat rounds Thursday in a vintage wooden airplane built by his father, Justin Roberts, just in time for trick-or-treating.

No, the plane didn’t fly, but it did have wheels and easily could be pushed and steered with a specially made metal pole that fit into a slot on its back side.

Little Evan was right at home as he sat in the pilot’s seat.

The plane is about five feet from one wing tip to the other, and about six feet from tip to tail. Its wooden wings are on hinges, allowing them to fold up so it can fit through doorways.

Roberts said it took him about three weeks to build the plane, noting that Evan was a curious observer at nearly every step along the way.

“I like tinkering around,” Roberts said. “I like working with my hands.”

He credited his wife, Jessica, with coming up with the idea for the plane.

Jessica and Evan went to the Warbirds and Legends antique plane show in August at Forbes Field, which featured about 75 aircraft from the 1930s and ‘40s.

“They spent a few hours looking around at the planes,” Roberts said. “Evan really liked them and thought they were cool.”

Soon thereafter, Jessica -- who enjoys Halloween -- “commissioned” Roberts to build the miniature plane for Evan.

Roberts looked on the Internet for similar small “planes,” some of which had pedals were in the neighborhood of $600 to $800.

After looking at several of items, and seeing the price tags, Roberts said he thought he could make one of his own.

His wife painted the plane in Air Force fashion, including “EVR” lettering on its side to signify the abbreviation of Evans’s name -- Evan Joseph Roberts.

Capping off the Halloween getup, Jessica found a bomber jacket and cap that Evan wears while he is in the plane.

Roberts said he was taking Evan to his wife’s workplace on Thursday afternoon for a Halloween party.

Then, on Thursday evening, Roberts and his wife were planning to take Evan trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.


Story and Photo:  http://cjonline.com


 

My ex-wife . . . .

My ex-wife started taking flying lessons about the time our divorce started and she got her license shortly before our divorce was final, later that same year.

Yesterday afternoon, she narrowly escaped injury in the aircraft she was piloting when she was forced to make an emergency landing in Southern Tennessee because of bad weather.

Thank God our kids were with me this weekend.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a preliminary report, citing pilot error: Judy was flying a single engine aircraft in IFR (instrument flight rules) conditions while only having obtained a VFR (visual flight rules) rating.

The absence of a post-crash fire was likely due to insufficient fuel on board.

No one on the ground was injured.

The photograph below was taken at the scene and shows the extent of damage to her aircraft.

She was very lucky.


 
















Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Maule M-5-210C Strata Rocket, N17PR: Accident occurred March 09, 2013 in Woodinville, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA141 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 09, 2013 in Woodinville, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2014
Aircraft: MAULE M5, registration: N17PR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 passenger reported that he could not remember if the pilot checked the fuel before the flight, but he remembered that, during the engine start, the engine turned over several times before it started. About 30 minutes into the flight, the engine started to sputter, and then it stopped; the pilot was unable to restart the engine, and the airplane began to lose altitude. The passenger recalled that he observed the stall warning light illuminate and that the airplane was in a turn, but he did not recall the impact.

One witness reported that he observed the airplane circle and that it appeared very low. Another witness reported hearing a "pop" sound and then a "puff" or a "sputter" and then seeing that the propeller had stopped. A third witness reported that he saw the airplane in a hard banking turn and that he could tell that the airplane "was going down." The airplane impacted a single-family residence about 16 nautical miles northeast of the departure airport.

GPS data revealed that the airplane made several course heading changes at varying altitudes and airspeeds during the flight. During the last 16 seconds of the flight track, the airplane turned left, which was likely indicative of the pilot attempting to make a forced landing to a nearby pond. The last GPS data were recorded when the airplane was at an altitude of 650 feet mean sea level and a groundspeed of 40 knots.

The airplane's previous flight occurred 102 days before the accident. During this period of inactivity, the airplane remained parked outside on an airport ramp exposed to inclement weather conditions conducive to the formation of condensation in the airplane's partially filled fuel tanks. No records were found indicating that the airplane had been refueled before the accident flight. Fuel was recovered from the airplane at the accident site. Analysis of a fuel sample revealed the presence of water. The fuel contamination likely resulted in the loss of engine power and the pilot's inability to restart the engine after the power loss. The pilot likely failed to maintain adequate airspeed following the loss of engine power. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed following a total loss of engine power due to fuel contamination, which resulted in a stall/spin and subsequent impact with terrain.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 9, 2013, about 1445 Pacific standard time, a Maule M-5-210C, N17PR, was substantially damaged after it impacted a residential house following a loss of control while maneuvering at a low altitude near Woodinville, Washington. The certified private pilot sustained fatal injuries, while the sole passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the local flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed. The local flight departed the Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington at 1431.

In an interview conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, the right seat passenger who survived the accident, reported that prior to the flight he could not remember if the pilot had checked the fuel or not. The passenger stated that during the initial starting of the engine, the engine did not start right up, but that it turned over several times before it started; he said this was different from the other times he had flown with the pilot. The passenger further stated that after taking off and flying around for what he thought was about 30 minutes, the engine started to sputter, and then it completely stopped. He added that the pilot attempted to restart the engine, but it wouldn't start and that they were losing altitude. The passenger opined that he observed the stall warning light illuminate and that the airplane was in a turn, however, he did not recall the impact or the altitude they were at when the engine quit.

Several witnesses who lived in the residential area where the accident occurred submitted statements to a local law enforcement agency. One witness reported that he observed the airplane circle and that it appeared very low. A second witness stated that she heard a pop sound, then a puff or a sputter, and then nothing. She added that she could see that the propeller had stopped and then heard a thud. A third witness reported that he observed the airplane traveling in a northeast direction and in a hard bank and knew that it was going down. Another witness revealed that he observed the airplane in the distance make a right turn and appeared to be losing altitude; he did not hear or see the airplane impact the terrain.

According to data downloaded from the pilot's handheld GPS device that was recovered from the accident site, the airplane departed RNT at 1431, exited the traffic pattern on a left downwind, and proceeded to the northwest for about 12 nautical miles (nm). It then turned toward the southeast for about 7 nm, made a left turn to the north for about 4.5 nm, then another left turn to the northwest for about 3 nm. This was followed by a right turn to a heading of north, which it flew for about 4 nm. The airplane's cruising altitude during this portion of the flight, which was about 18 minutes in duration, was between 1,500 to 1,700 feet mean sea level (msl), with an average groundspeed of about 107 knots (kts). The recorded data indicates that about 1449, the airplane made a left turn from heading of north to the southwest, which was in the direction of the departure airport (RNT). At 1449:43, the airplane's heading, altitude, and groundspeed were 245 degrees, 1,400 feet msl, and 92 kts, respectively.
The airplane proceeded on the southwesterly course for about 3.3 nm at an altitude of about 1,500 feet msl, and an average groundspeed of about 95 kts. At 1451:36, while still heading southwest, the airplane's groundspeed had decreased 5 kts to 91 kts, and at 1451:41, 5 seconds later, its groundspeed decreased further to 69 kts; the airplane then began a slow descending turn to the right. The airplane completed the right turn to a northeast heading of 030 degrees, now at an altitude of 1,421 feet msl, and a groundspeed of 62 kts. The airplane then proceeded northeast for about 0.5 nm, having descended to an altitude of about 1,000 feet msl, or about 573 feet above ground level (agl) at 1452:31; its groundspeed was now recorded as 56 knots. At this time the airplane was about 200 feet west laterally of a clearing, which was mostly occupied by a fish pond. The clearing was about 2,150 feet in length (east to west) and about 700 feet in width (north to south). Additionally, at this time that the airplane started a left turn from a heading of 070 degrees, which resulted in the following: at 1452:35, the airplane was 591 feet agl on a heading of 029 degrees, and a groundspeed 57 kts; at 1452:38, altitude 584 feet agl, heading 345 degrees, groundspeed 57 kts; at 1452:41, altitude 579 feet agl, heading 300 degrees, groundspeed 52 kts; at 1452:44, altitude 573 agl, heading 259 degrees, groundspeed 43 kts, and at 1452:47, which was when the final data was recorded, the airplane's altitude was 569 feet agl, its heading was 202 degrees, and its recorded groundspeed was 40 kts.

The main wreckage was located with its engine and cockpit partially inside the garage of a residential home. The airplane initially impacted a van that was parked on the west side of the home's driveway with its left wing. The wing subsequently separated from the fuselage and came to rest about 20 feet west of the main wreckage. The aft fuselage came to rest oriented upwards at about a 30-degree angle oriented in a northwesterly direction, the same direction from which the airplane had approached the residence prior to impact. The aft fuselage was only slightly damaged. The forward cabin and cockpit areas sustained extensive impact damage. The right wing remained attached to the airplane and was found positioned upward at about 45-degree angle and oriented toward the northeast. All airplane components necessary for flight were identified and accounted for at the accident site.

The airplane was recovered to a secured salvage facility for further examination.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 45, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. He was issued a third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certificate on September 25, 2012, without limitations.

A review of the pilot's personal pilot logbooks revealed that as of November 27, 2012, which was the date of the last entry, the pilot had accumulated a total of 946.3 hours, of which 897.3 hours were as pilot-in-command, 110.7 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane, and 668 hours of tail wheel time. The pilot successfully completed his most recent flight review on September 7, 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-engine, high-wing, airplane was manufactured in 1975, and was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-360-D fuel injected engine. It was also equipped with a McCauley constant speed propeller.

A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was performed on July 26, 2011, at an engine total time of 1,802.2 hours, a time since major overhaul of 153.0 hours, and a tachometer time of 3,107.6 hours. At the time of the accident the tachometer read 3,143.7.

The investigation revealed no record of the pilot having flown the accident airplane from the date of his last pilot logbook entry, November 27, 2012, until the day of the accident, March 9, 2013; this accounts for 102 days inactivity. On November 27th, according to the pilot's logbook, he made a local flight of 1.3 hours. A search of fueling records during the investigation revealed that the pilot did not refuel subsequent to the previously referred to flight. It was additionally reported by a family member that the airplane was not stored in a hangar, and remained tied down outside on the ramp at RNT where it was based.

METEROROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1453, the RNT weather reporting facility, which was located about 16 nautical miles (nm) south-southwest of the accident site, reported wind 170 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 13 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 0 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.44 inches of mercury.

At 1453, the weather reporting facility located at Paine Field (PAE), Everett, Washington, which was located about 14 nm northwest of the accident site, reported wind 290 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, temperature 9 degrees C, dew point 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.43 inches of mercury.

It was revealed during the investigation that the total monthly rainfall for the months of November 2012 through March of 2013 were as follows:

November 2012 - 8.28 inches
December 2012 - 6.85 inches
January 2013 - 4.16 inches
February 2013 - 1.58 inches
March 2013 - 2.74 inches

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest partially inside a garage in a residential area, which was located about 16 nm north-northwest of RNT, the departure airport. The airplane's initial impact was with a personal van that was parked on the adjacent driveway; the airplane had impacted the van with its left wing, which was separated during the impact sequence. The airplane's measured magnetic impact and at rest heading was 110 degrees. The airplane came to rest inverted and partially laying on its right forward cabin area, with the aft fuselage and empennage being supported by the airplane's left elevator and left horizontal stabilizer.

The left wing, which separated from the airplane after impacting a vehicle parked in the residence's driveway, was observed lying inverted about 20 feet west of the main wreckage. The outboard one-third of the wing was observed to have impacted the vehicle, and the leading edge of the wing section was crushed aft. The associated flap remained attached at both attach points, while the inboard 18 inches of the flap was observed bent inward and downward. The flap was also observed deformed at the mid-span area. The left aileron remained attached to the trailing edge of its associated wing at both attach points. The fuel tank was destroyed. The outboard fuel cap was observed in place and secure, while the main fuel cap was not observed.

The right wing, which remained attached to the fuselage at all root attach points, was observed wrinkled on both the top and bottom surfaces. The associated flap and aileron both remained attached to the wing at all attach points, and exhibited minimal damage. The right wing tip was bent and twisted due to impact forces. Neither the inboard fuel tank nor the outboard auxiliary fuel tank were breached. Both fuel caps were secure and in place. About 5 gallons of fuel was captured from the fuel tanks for analysis.

The airplane's empennage sustained only slight damage. The left elevator remained attached to the left horizontal stabilizer at all attach points, and the stabilizer remained attached to the fuselage at all attach points. Additionally, the right elevator remained attached to the right horizontal stabilizer at all attach points, and the stabilizer remained attached to the fuselage at all attach points, with no damage observed to any of the components. The airplane's rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and was not damaged. There was also no damage noted to the vertical stabilizer. The rudder trim tab was observed deflected full right, not damaged, and attached to the rudder at all attach points. The tail wheel assembly was observed intact and not damaged.

The airplane's engine came to rest just inside the garage of the subject residence, upright and laying slightly on its left side. The engine was subsequently recovered and examined at a secured storage facility

An onsite examination of all control cables revealed that each remained attached to their respective control surfaces. Control continuity from the control surfaces to the cockpit controls was confirmed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the King County Medical Examiner's Office, Seattle, Washington. The cause of death was attributed to blunt force injury to head, torso, and extremities.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens obtained from the pilot by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team CAMI, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report states that tests for cyanide were not performed. No ethanol was detected in urine, no carbon monoxide detected in blood, and no drugs detected in urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine Examination

The engine was recovered from the accident site, and examined by the NTSB IIC and a representative from Continental Motors, Inc. The examination revealed the following:

The accessory end of the engine was displaced aft into the aircraft firewall. All accessories remained attached to the accessory section though they sustained varying degrees of impact-related damage. The oil sump sustained impact-related scraping damage. The oil cooler remained intact and attached to the aft end of the engine. The oil filler cap was found free from the filler neck but remained attached to the connecting chain. The filler neck was displaced forward due to deformation damage to the cooling baffling. Removal of the oil quantity dipstick revealed about 4 quarts of oil remained in the oil sump. There was no evidence of a pre-impact oil leak on the engine or the airframe.

All of the cylinders remained attached and secured to the engine crankcase. The #6 cylinder
sustained impact damage to the cylinder head exposing the intake and exhaust valve springs. The exhaust riser for the #6 cylinder was also separated from the cylinder. The left side exhaust system displayed impact-related deformation.

There was no external evidence of a catastrophic damage. Rotation of the propeller resulted in
thumb compression in all six cylinders; confirming crankshaft continuity. Rotation of the propeller also resulted in camshaft continuity as all of the rocker arms and valves operated normally, with the exception of the #6 cylinder's exhaust and intake valves. A borescope examination of each of the cylinders revealed no evidence of operational anomalies.

The fuel system, from the gascolator filter to the fuel manifold, was examined. The gascolator drain was fractured from the base of the gascolator bowl. The bowl was removed and a fine, sand-like debris was adhering to one side of the cylindrical wall. The laminated disk filter element was intact and did not show any visual signs of blockage. When electric power was supplied to the electric boost pump, the pump could be heard operating and a residual spray of fuel could be observed exiting the pump outlet. The fuel line between the electric boost pump and the engine-driven fuel pump was empty. The engine-driven fuel pump remained attached and secured to the front right side of the crankcase. The mixture cable was separated from the mixture control lever on the fuel pump and the mixture lever was in the idle-cutoff position. Blue discoloration was noted at the base of the low pressure relief valve adjustment screw. Fuel was present in the line between the fuel pump and the fuel metering unit on the throttle body; the fuel was drained into a glass jar. Fuel was also present in the line between the metering unit and the manifold valve. Fuel was also found in the manifold valve. A water detection paste was placed in the fuel found in the manifold valve, with no change in paste coloration noted. The manifold valve plunger and plunger seal contained a small amount of beige sludge. The screen was not covered with the sludge.

The fuel recovered from the engine fuel supply lines was tinted blue, but also displayed a fine, charcoal grey sedimentation that did not settle out of the fuel sample. There was also a small drop of beige water found in the fuel sample.

The engine-driven fuel pump was removed from its mounting pad and its drive coupling was found intact. Manual rotation of the coupling while installed in the fuel pump resulted in rotation of the pump with no binding noted. The bronze mixture control lever remained secured to its control shaft.

The throttle body remained intact and attached to the topside of the engine crankcase. The manifold pressure reference line to the cockpit instrumentation remained intact. The metering unit remained attached to the throttle body and the throttle control lever remained connected to the control cable and to the throttle shaft. The throttle valve was found in the full open position. Manual manipulation of the throttle control cable resulted in a corresponding movement of the throttle valve.

Fuel Testing

About 5 gallons of aviation fuel was recovered from the right wing's fuel tanks for analysis. The fuel testing was performed by an independent, third-party laboratory. A copy of the fuel test report for a fuel sample from the accident airplane was submitted to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for review by an NTSB chemist. The chemist's analysis revealed the following:

All tests were found to be within specification with three exceptions: 1) Potential Gum (ASTM D873) which was found to be higher than the specification; 2) Reid Vapor Pressure (ASTM
D5191) which was found to be lower than the specification and 3) Distillation (D86) temperature at 10% evaporated volume was found to be higher than the specification. These out-of-range results are consistent with aged fuel or fuel that had been exposed to air for a period of time (i.e. sitting in an aircraft fuel tank). The low Reid vapor pressure could also have been a result of the sample container.

In addition, the fuel was tested for interstitial (absorbed) water using ASTM D6304
(Water by Karl Fischer). This test does not have a pass/fail range. The result for the
accident sample found 113 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of water present within the fuel sample. The presence of water within fuel can become an issue when the
absorbed water separates from the fuel. Changes in temperature can cause absorbed
water to separate out and can lead to icing within the fuel system under the certain
environmental conditions. (Refer to Materials Laboratory Factual Report No. 13-077 for the fuel testing review and attached reports, which is appended to the docket for this accident.)

Garmin GPSMAP 496 Device

The device was taken into custody by the NTSB IIC at the accident and subsequently sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division, Washington, D.C., for examination by a Vehicle Recorder Specialist. The Specialist reported the following:

The Garmin GPSMAP 496 is a battery-powered portable 12-channel GPS receiver. A flight record is triggered when groundspeed exceeds 30 knots and altitude exceeds 250 feet, and ends when groundspeed drops below 30 knots for 10 minutes or more.

The Specialist reported that upon arrival, an exterior examination revealed that the unit had sustained impact damage which compromised the LCD screen. Data was extracted using the manufacturer's software normally and without difficulty.

The Specialist's report indicated that the recorded data ended at 1452:47 PST, at 650 feet GPS altitude. Local altitude at the last recorded GPS position location was 569 feet as reported by Google Earth. Groundspeed was computed by the download software using time-tagged position location information. The average groundspeed between the last two recorded GPS track points was 40 knots. Ninety seconds prior to the last recorded position update, and just after the track crossed a road named Tolt Pipeline Train, aircraft ground speed began decaying from a steady cruise speed of approximately 97 knots.



 

CHENEY, Wash.--It has not even been one year since a Cheney teenager plunged from the sky in a devastating plane crash. The young man said miracles are the only reason he is alive today. 

WATCH: Cheney teenager recovers from plane crash 

Aiden Hubbard and his uncle crashed into a house in Western Washington in March of 2013. His uncle did not survive. Aiden told KREM 2 News that his uncle sacrificed himself so that Aiden could live. 

Hubbard attends Cheney High School and carries a kind of awareness most 15-year-olds can not imagine. His uncle was in the cockpit piloting in their small plane when the engine died. His uncle threw himself over Hubbard to absorb the deadly impact.

 "To know that somebody willingly took their own life to save mine, it's a hard thing to understand sometimes. But it's also what gets me through sometimes,” said Hubbard.

Aiden has made up all the school credits he lost during his recovery from a compound back fracture and a traumatic brain injury. He is slowly getting back to the physical activities he missed for months.

"I've been biking, It's how I get around town, to my studies, and other things,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard’s recovery has been inspiring to everyone around him.

“The fact that he even walks is such a miracle. Even through the pain I know he goes through. It makes me want to be a stronger person,” said his friend Kelsey Schwendiman.

Hubbard was even nominated to the Cheney High School homecoming court.  

“We as a family have had tremendous support, but it's so nice to know that he comes into this school and this environment, with the students, and the teachers are ready to lift and support,” said his mother Heather Hubbard.

Aiden admits he is still processing the crash on the inside.

“My uncle's loss, what he's done for me, like you said. And also my own loss, in that I'm not the same as I was before,” said Hubbard.

“We move forward, knowing that we have that legacy of love that my brother was selfless in. And it makes you live your life differently. It does,” said Heather Hubbard.

Hubbard and everyone around him agree that it has never been more obvious that there is a higher power at work.
     
“He has a purpose for me. We don't know what it is. I don't know what it is yet. But I'm here for a reason,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard said he is not sure what he wants to do with his life but he is thinking of doing something in the medical field. He said part of the reason for that is because of all the doctors and paramedics who helped him after the crash. He said the other part of the reason is because he wants to help others.

Story, Photos and Video:  http://www.krem.com

 
 

 NTSB Identification: WPR13FA141
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 09, 2013 in Woodinville, WA
Aircraft: MAULE M5, registration: N17PR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 March 9, 2013, about 1445 Pacific standard time, a Maule M-5-210C, N17PR, was substantially damaged after it impacted a residential house following a loss of control while maneuvering at a low altitude near Woodinville, Washington. The certified private pilot sustained fatal injuries, while the sole passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the local flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed the Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington at 1431.

Several witnesses who lived in the residential area where the accident occurred submitted statements to a local law enforcement agency. One witness reported that he observed the airplane circle and that it appeared very low. A second witness stated that she heard a pop sound, then a puff or a sputter, and then nothing. She added that she could see that the propeller had stopped and then heard a thud. A third witness reported that he observed the airplane traveling in a northeast direction and in a hard bank and knew that it was going down. Another witness revealed that he observed the airplane in the distance make a right turn and appeared to be losing altitude; he did not hear or see the airplane impact terrain.

The main wreckage was located with its engine and cockpit partially inside the garage of a residential home. The airplane initially impacted a van that was parked on the west side of the home’s driveway with its left wing. The left wing separated from the fuselage and came to rest about 20 feet west of the main wreckage. The aft fuselage came to rest oriented upward at about a 30-degree angle oriented in a northwesterly direction, the same direction from which the airplane had approached the residence prior to impact. The aft fuselage was only slightly damaged. The forward cabin and cockpit areas sustained extensive impact damage. The right wing remained attached to the airplane and was found positioned upward at about a 45-degree angle and oriented toward the northeast. All airplane components necessary for flight were identified at the accident site.

The airplane was recovered to a secured salvage facility for further examination.

Biggest Air-Crash Danger? Flying Into a Hillside: 'Controlled Flight Into Terrain' Accounts for Four of the Five Large Jet Crashes This Year

The Wall Street Journal

By  Andy Pasztor

 
Oct. 30, 2013 9:59 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Despite record-low airliner crash rates world-wide, flying into mountains or hills has reemerged as the deadliest threat to commercial aviation in 2013.

Data released Tuesday at an air-safety conference here indicates that such accidents, in which confused pilots typically fly a perfectly functioning aircraft into a hillside, are now the biggest global killers of passengers and crews on jetliners and turboprop aircraft. So far this year there have been at least a dozen fatal accidents around the world in this category—called controlled flight into terrain—versus an annual average of six crashes since 2009, according to Jim Burin of the Flight Safety Foundation.

The hazard was supposed to be sharply reduced by adoption of enhanced ground-collision technology and years of industry-wide training efforts. But on Tuesday, Mr. Burin told conference participants that such accidents are "making a very unwelcome comeback," partly because many of the turboprops that went down in 2013 weren't equipped with collision warning devices. Even when anti-collision devices were available, pilots disregarded their warnings.

Controlled flight into terrain accounts for four of the five large jet crashes since the beginning of 2013, including an Asiana Airlines  777 that slammed into a seawall in July while trying to land at San Francisco International Airport, killing three passengers and injuring dozens of others.

The latest crash rates, according to safety experts, underscore the apparent cyclical nature of some commercial-aviation dangers even as overall fatal-accident rates continue to improve. In this environment, industry leaders must be mindful that "it takes continuous pressure and continuous effort" to maintain safety advances," Earl Weener, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, told the conference.

"Some accident causes that were considered to be adequately addressed seem to recur, often unexpectedly," according to Mr. Weener. So "should the industry be prepared to readdress old and familiar causes of accidents?"

Since 2003, more than 1,000 people have died in commercial-aircraft accidents classified as controlled flight into terrain, the top cause of fatalities in earlier decades.

But the "paradox of accident prevention," according to Mr. Weener, is that when airlines get good at training pilots to avoid certain hazards, crash rates drop and "the apparent need for (stepped-up training) goes away."

Kevin Hiatt, chief operating officer the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Alexandria, Va., said: "We must not let our guard down. Complacency is our enemy."

In his keynote address, Mr. Weener also said that more training and improved simulators are required to combat aerodynamics stalls—or events in which aircraft suddenly lose lift—the other leading cause of major commercial-aircraft crashes world-wide.


Source:   http://online.wsj.com

N179AB: Aircraft experimental Cub, force landed in a field, near Chenango, New York

Photo Courtesy: New York State Police



The pilot of a single engine experimental plane was able to land safely in a field in Chenango, New York after experiencing trouble in the air.

 62-Year old John Sherman of Lisle, New York was flying from Chenango Bridge to Georgetown, New York when the engine failed over the Chenango Forks area. 

 Sherman was able to land the plane in a field near Mix Road in Chenango.

A propeller broke upon landing but Sherman was apparently not injured. 

State Police say that the Federal Aviation Administration released the plane and the plane was towed from the scene. 
==========

Town Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A small plane made an emergency landing in the Town of Chenango.

Troopers responded Tuesday to an open field adjacent to Mix Road.

They say John Sherman, 62, of Lisle was flying his single engine experimental Cub from Chenango Bridge to Georgetown, New York when the plane's engine started to fail.

He landed safely in the field without injuring himself.

The plane's propeller was damaged.

Crews contacted the Federal Aviation Administration.

Sherman towed the aircraft away.

http://www.wbng.com

http://www.asias.faa.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N179AB

Airport manager says he was libeled: Kalispell City Airport (S27), Kalispell, Montana

Kalispell’s part-time airport manager Fred Leistiko alleges he was libeled, slandered and defamed by Phil Guiffrida III, a member of the Kalispell City Council.

The complaint against Guiffrida was filed Tuesday in Flathead District Court by attorney Connie Leistiko, Fred’s wife.

“If you want to win an issue or an argument on the merit with facts, that’s a good thing, go for it,” Connie Leistiko said. “But if you want to do it through character assassination, that’s over the line and that’s why we filed the lawsuit.”

The complaint alleges that Guiffrida — acting as a private citizen and not in his capacity as a council member — made false, defamatory and malicious statements about Leistiko with reckless regard for the truth, in part accusing Leistiko of giving false and deceitful information to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2005 for the purpose of misappropriating federal funds.


See full article:
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North American TF-51D Mustang, Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, N4151D: Fatal accident occurred October 23, 2013 in Galveston, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Galveston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P 51D, registration: N4151D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The pilot and passenger departed on the flight in a vintage warbird airplane. After departure, radar tracked the flight along a bay in a southwestern direction. A witness reported that he heard the airplane overhead heading south and that he then saw the airplane slowly turn north and appear to descend at a high rate of speed before it impacted the water. The airplane was largely fragmented upon impact. 

The flight was recorded by an onboard video recording system. A review of the video revealed that, a few minutes into the flight, the pilot asked the passenger if he’d like to fly the airplane. The passenger replied he was not a pilot, but he’d like to try it. The video showed that, with the passenger at the controls, the airplane steeply banked right to about 90 degrees, and the nose dropped; the pilot explained that back pressure was needed on the stick during turns to prevent the loss of lift. The conversation continued as the airplane was rolling to wings level and as the pilot was encouraging the passenger to pull back on the stick. During this time, the video showed the airplane descending toward the water. Neither the pilot nor passenger acknowledged the impending collision. It is likely that the pilot’s focused attention on instructing the passenger contributed to the his lack of recognition of the impending collision. It could not be determined if the water’s smooth surface contributed to the pilot’s loss of situational awareness. The accident is consistent with the pilot’s loss of situational awareness resulting in controlled flight into the water.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of situational awareness while instructing the passenger, which resulted in the controlled flight of the airplane into the water.
On October 23, 2013, about 1130 central daylight time, a North American P-51D airplane, N4151D, impacted the waters of Galveston Bay near Galveston, Texas. The airline transport rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Galveston, Texas, and operated by the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the flight. The flight originated from the Scholes International Airport (KGLS), Galveston, Texas, about 1120.

A review of air traffic control (ATC) communications, revealed routine radio communications between ATC and the pilot. Shortly after takeoff, the KGLS tower controller queried the pilot if he wanted to contact Houston Center after leaving the control tower's airspace or remain on the tower frequency. The pilot reported that they would be airborne for 25-30 minutes and would remain on the tower controller's frequency. There was no further communication between the pilot and ATC.

A witness, who was on a fishing boat, reported that he heard the airplane overhead heading south. The airplane made a slow turn to the north. The witness added that it appeared the airplane was descending and traveling at a high rate of speed. The engine sounded like it was at full throttle and the wings were level before impact with the water.

A review of radar data for the accident flight depicted the airplane departing KGLS and climbing. The airplane's track showed the airplane maneuvering and generally heading southwest, over the water of West Bay. The airplane reached an altitude of 3,500 feet, and then descended to 2,800 feet with airspeed about 200 knots, before the radar data ended.

The accident site was located about 13 miles southwest of KGLS, in shallow water between West Bay and Chocolate Bay. The winds at the time of the accident were reported as light. 

The airplane fragmented upon impact with the water. The engine, propeller, both wings, pieces of the fuselage, and a majority of the empennage were recovered; the remainder of the wreckage was not recovered.

The airplane was equipped with an on-board video recording system. The system records two camera views along with audio. One fish-eye lensed camera is mounted in the vertical stabilizer and captures a view of the airplane and horizon. The fish-eye camera view is looking forward, with the cockpit canopy in the center; images of the surrounding terrain can generally be seen in the background. The second camera is mounted in the cockpit and captures a view of the rear seat occupant. The system records an inset image of the passenger in the lower right portion of the airplane view.With the assistance of the Galveston County Sheriff Office, Marine Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Evidence Response Team, the video recording unit with SD card was located in the wreckage, and recovered from the bay. The unit was shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)'s Vehicle Recorder Laboratory in Washington, DC.

A video file was recovered from the SD card that captured the accident flight. A video group that consisted of representatives from the NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration and the operator was convened in at the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, to view and document the video. The video depicted the airplane's departure and flight over the bay; the video also captures the conversation between the pilot, air traffic control, and the passenger. After leveling off, the pilot demonstrated several turns. After a few minutes, the pilot asked the passenger if he'd like to fly the airplane. The passenger stated he was not a pilot, but he'd like to try it. With the passenger on the controls, the pilot explained left and right turns. The airplane was viewed maneuvering with reference to the conversation between the pilot and passenger [A full detailed transcript of the video and audio is available in the NTSB public docket]. With the passenger still at the controls, the airplane was seen steeply banking to the right to almost 90 degrees, with the nose of the airplane dropping; the pilot explained that back pressure is needed during turns, to prevent the loss of lift. The conversation continued as the airplane was rolling wings level and the pilot was encouraging the passenger to pull back on the stick. During this time, the video depicted the airplane in a descent towards the water. Neither the pilot nor passenger acknowledged the impending collision. The review of the video also noted that the surface of the bay's water appeared smooth, almost glass like. The video did not capture the actual impact with the water, due to a delay in the recording to the SD card and the interruption of power to the unit. 


The pilot of the Galveston Gal Keith Hibbett, 51, of Shady Shores


A father of two on a twenty-minute ride in a Second World War fighter plane was killed in a high-speed crash just moments after he took control of the wheel.

John Stephen Busby, 66, was on holiday in Texas when he was allowed to take control of the P-51 shortly before smashing into the sea, an inquest heard this week.

Mr Busby had paid more than £1,000 for the flight in the plane at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston.

The plane’s on-board video was analysed and the pilot, Keith Hibbert, 51, asked John if he wanted to fly the plane. Geophysicist John, from Woldingham, Surrey, said: “Yes I do, if you guide me through it. I’m not a pilot.”

The plane was then seen by fisherman Randall Groves descending towards the water at speed.

Mr Groves said: "The Mustang disintegrated on contact with the water. Two unopened parachutes were in the water."

In a statement, widow Pauline said her husband had always wanted to fly in a spitfire, and the Mustang was the next best thing.

The couple had been celebrating their 41st wedding anniversary on the trip to the US.

Woking Coroner Simon Wickens said investigations had concluded there was nothing wrong with the Mustang and there was no suggestion the pilot had consumed any alcohol or drugs before the fatal flight, in October 2013.
Mr Wickens said the "glass-like" quality of the water beneath them may have fooled the pilot into not realising just how low they were flying.

Concluding the death of Mr Busby was accidental, he added: "Neither the pilot or Mr Busby seemed to acknowledge the impending collision.

"It was probably due to the pilot's loss of situational awareness while he was instructing his passenger."




NTSB Identification: CEN14LA015 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Galveston, TX
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P 51D, registration: N4151D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On October 23, 2013 about 1130 central daylight time, a North American P-51D airplane, N4151D, impacted water near Galveston Bay near Galveston, Texas. The airline transport pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Galveston, Texas, and operated by Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. The flight originated from the Scholes International Airport (KGLS), Galveston, Texas, about 1120.

According to preliminary review of air traffic control communications, the radio communications were normal.  Shortly after takeoff, the controller queried the pilot if he wanted to contact Houston Center after leaving the control tower’s airspace or remain on the tower frequency.  The pilot reported that they would be airborne for 15-20 minutes and would remain on the tower controller’s frequency.   There was no further communication with the pilot.

A witness, who was on a fishing boat, reported that he heard the airplane overheard heading south.   The airplane made a slow turn to the north. The witness added that it appeared the airplane was descending and traveling at a high rate of speed.   The engine sounded like it was at full throttle and wings were level before impact with the water.

The accident site was located about 13 miles southwest of KGLS, in shallow water between West Bay and Chocolate Bay.

After initial documentation of the wreckage site, the wreckage will be recovered for further examination.  



HOUSTON -- Search crews worked Tuesday to recover the wreckage from an historic P-51 Plane that crashed last week near the Chocolate Bay.

Two people died when the World War II era aircraft plunged into the water.


The passenger was 66-year-old John Stephen Busby, a United Kingdom resident who was visiting Texas with his wife to celebrate their 41st wedding  
anniversary.

He had paid nearly $2,000 to ride on the plane. The pilot was 51-year-old Keith Hibbett, of Denton. Coast Guard crews recovered the victims’ bodies from Halls Lake near Chocolate Bay last Wednesday afternoon.

The P51 Mustang, a World War II era fighter, took off from Scholes International Airport shortly before crashing.


Witnesses on a charter boat reported seeing the plane go down around 11:40 a.m. on Oct. 23 near Galveston’s West End in Brazoria County.


The FAA was investigating the cause of the crash.