Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lauderdale Air Show canceled for 2014: Promoters plan to have it back in 2015

Next year's Lauderdale Air Show has been canceled because Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport would have to shut down all its flights during the performances to accommodate it. 

Promoters expect the show to be back in 2015 after the airport's current runway expansion project is completed and the airport has more than one runway for flights to use.

It's been one headache after another for the two-day annual spring air show that came to the city in 2012 — replacing the hugely popular Air & Sea Show that had gone away five years earlier.  

It had to cancel its Sunday show last year because of bad weather. This year, federal budget cuts forced the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to bow out of performing just weeks before the show. Now, it's the runway construction that has scuttled plans completely.

"We know we can bring it back," air show president Bryan Lilley said. "We've just got to get Mother Nature and the government and everything else to cooperate."

Promoters don't expect a one-year hiatus to hurt the show.

"We can get and we've been able to get the best of the best of what is available to fly," Lilley said. "Fort Lauderdale is a marquee destination."

The performing jets require a five-mile no-fly zone from the center of the show when they perform. That zone crosses the airport's main runway, Lilley said

In the past, the airport has been able to shut down that runway and use a secondary one during the air show, Lilley said. That secondary runway is no longer available because of the construction project. The new runway won't be finished until September.

To accommodate the air show, the airport would have to stop all incoming and outgoing flights for more than an hour each day of the show — and for shorter periods on other days for the teams to practice and prepare.

One option would have been to move the center of the show north, from Sunrise Boulevard to Oakland Park Boulevard. That would move the heaviest crowds into a mostly residential section of the barrier island and away from the main beach area.

"Where are you going to put the crowds? Where are you going to put the traffic?" Mayor Jack Seiler said. "It's not even a realistic discussion."

If not for the runway construction, Lilley said the show had a "soft commitment" from one of the military teams to appear next year.

Branson Airport (KBBG), Missouri: Airport payment OK’d

Branson aldermen voted 5-1 earlier this week to pass a bill on first reading to appropriate money from the tourism fund to pay a $261,000 Branson Airport pay-for-performance bill due Dec. 15.
In the past, the payment procedure has been a point of discussion and concern for the airport, and this most recent bill was no exception.

“The payment to the airport has always been under this cloud of uncertainty because the city has not properly budgeted for these payments,” said Branson Airport Executive Director Jeff Bourk. “In our opinion, this is no way to manage the city’s finances, and no way to run an airport.”

The pay-for-performance agreement, established in 2006 and re-written in 2010, instituted a $8.24 payment per passenger from the city to the airport for bringing tourists to the area.

The majority of the points made by those in favor of the city budgeting for the airport commented on the budget and not the whether the city would appropriate the funds when the bill was on an agenda.

Since the agreement was established, the city has paid $1.8 million to the airport, not missing a payment.

Despite the commentary from Bourk and other citizens urging the city to include the airport payments in the 2014 budget, the board passed the bill without an amendment. The board also passed a bill immediately after approving the appropriation for the $261,000 payment to the airport using tourism tax funds.

The tourism tax is generated from hotels, motels, condominiums, timeshares, food and drinks, and tickets for admission or participation for attractions or shows inside city limits. Three-quarters of the money is used for infrastructure, while the remaining 25 percent of the money is dedicated for marketing.

In the past, the infrastructure portion of the tourism tax has been used on sidewalks and trails, road projects, major water and sewer capital improvements and the Missouri 248/U.S. 65 interchange.

The city’s position on the airport payments has been and remains to be one of consideration upon billing. Alderman Mike Booth elaborated on his thought process.

“In the past, the reason it hasn’t been in the budget is because it has been subject to appropriation and if we had an instances where we couldn’t pay it, we wouldn’t have paid it,” Booth said. “But we’ve done everything we could to find places to pay it from.

“‘Subject to appropriation’ is still there, and I’m not saying that in the future it will never ever be in a budget, but in times where our budget is this tight, I don’t know that you’re going to see it in the budget in 2014.

“Does it mean it’s not going to be paid? It doesn’t mean that at all. But it does mean that if we have to watch how much money we have, if we’re not giving our employees a pay raise, if we’re not buying some of the capital items that we have, does that mean that we’re concerned about how much income and expenses that we’re going to have in our city, the answer is, ‘Yes, we are.’”

Alderman Rick Todd expressed his distaste for the negativity and criticism from the airport, considering the city has made every payment.

The lone vote against the appropriation was from Alderman Rick Davis, who opposes the legal opinion that money from the infrastructure portion of the tourism fund may be used to pay for a project outside city limits.

The final reading of the bill for the appropriation of money for the $261,000 Branson Airport pay-for-performance bill is Dec. 10.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Ohio company awarded $423K in Oxford Aviation suit: Cessna 441 Conquest II, N383SS

OXFORD — A U.S. District Court judge has awarded more than $423,000 in damages to an Ohio company in its lawsuit against Oxford Aviation.

Collecting the money is complicated by the possible bankruptcy of Oxford Aviation owner and President James Horowitz. Earlier this month, Horowitz transferred the company to himself and promptly filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Joseph Skilken and Co. filed its complaint against Oxford Aviation in August, alleging it failed to properly put a company-owned Cessna together after painting it, resulting in a harrowing emergency landing in May when a tail piece broke off in mid-flight near Colorado Springs, Colo.

At the time, the plane was piloted by Steven Skilken, the company's president,with his wife, Karen Skilken, her parents and the Skilken's two daughters as passengers. Karen Skilken also filed a lawsuit against the company.

Oxford Aviation and its President, James Horowitz, never responded to the complaint and the court entered a default against the defendant in September.

An attempt to reach Horowitz at the Oxford Aviation offices off Number Six Road in Oxford on Friday was unsuccessful.

 In a Nov. 18 judgement, Judge John A. Woodcock ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Oxford Aviation to pay $423,295.77 in damages, plus interests and costs, less than the amount requested by the company in October.

Skilken and Co. asked for more than $518,000 to cover repairs to Cessna, a complete refund for the "unacceptable"  work Oxford Aviation did on the plane and diminution of the aircraft's value.

Almost $94,750 of the requested damages were for expenses Skliken and Co. said it was owed because it was unable to use the Cessna for business trips and was forced to buy airline tickets and rent other planes and vehicles.

Skilken and Co. rents property in West Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to its website.

Woodcock, in a Nov. 15 judgement, expressed concern with the damages, noting that Skilken and Co. did not give enough detail to convincingly prove it was owed the money because it was unable to use the Cessna.

The judge ordered Skilken and Co. to further explain its claims, but in a notice filed Nov. 15, Daniel Nuzzi, the Lewiston attorney representing Skilken and Co., waived the claims and requested the court issue the remaining damages.

 It is unclear, however, when and how Skilken and Co. will collect the damages now that Oxford Aviation's assets have been transferred to Horowitz and he has filed for bankruptcy.

On Friday, Steven Skilken said he was unsure what course the case would take moving forward. The damages awarded to his company might be caught up in the bankruptcy proceedings or Skilken and Co. may need to sue Horowitz personally, he said.

Skilken's attorneys are also trying to determine if Horowitz was insured at the time of the emergency landing and if so, which insurance company he might direct a claim to, Skilken said. 

Despite the complications brought by the bankruptcy and rising legal costs, Skilken is committed to pursuing his case against Horowitz and Oxford Aviation.

"Justice needs to be served here," he said.

According to court records, no judgement has been ordered in Karen Skilken's lawsuit, although Oxford Aviation is also in default in that case. Karen Skilken is asking for $156,065 to cover medical expenses and emotional distress caused by the emergency landing.

Oxford Aviation is also facing forcible entry and detainer complaints from Oxford County and Community Concepts Finance Corp.

Oxford County is attempting to evict Oxford Aviation from the buildings it leases from the county at the Oxford County Regional Airport. Community Concepts is looking for $62,500 in company assets Horowitz put up as collateral to secure a loan back in 1996. 



Oxford Aviation defaults on lawsuit, court rules 

Ohio couple sues Oxford Aviation

Plaintiffs ask for more than $674,000 in Oxford Aviation suit

FAA restores Oxford Aviation’s repair license

According to lawsuits filed against Oxford Aviation, the tail section of the Cessna 441 aircraft piloted by Steven Skilken, 63, of Columbus, Ohio, came off as he, his wife, Karen, their two daughters and Karen Skilken’s parents were flying to Las Vegas for Karen’s 50th birthday, causing the family to make an emergency landing in Colorado Springs, Colo., on May 31.

 Steven and Karen Skilken of Columbus, Ohio, stand in front of the Cessna 441 aircraft owned by his real estate business, Joseph Skilken & Co.

Seaplanes could soon be operating on the Swan River

Seaplanes could soon be operating out of Perth for the first time in decades.

The State Government has approved a 12-month trial allowing seaplanes to land on the Swan River near South Perth, and take up to 10 passengers to W-A tourist hotspots like Rottnest Island and Margaret River.

The operators, Catalina Airlines, still need final approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority but expect to start operating early next year.

Business owner Mack McCormack says the approval process has been drawn out and difficult, and he is pleased the project has now been given the green light.

"We're a little bit over-awed, it's taken us about 12 months to finally get the approval so we're delighted," he said.


Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority adopts $46 million capital plan - Most big-ticket projects are delayed until after the airport repays its current debt

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority has adopted a 5-year, $46 million capital projects plan that pushes most of the expensive projects beyond 2016 so it first can repay its debt.

That means for the next three years, the airport will be focused on necessary minor maintenance like runway repairs and vehicle purchases, while more than $35 million of big ticket items like main terminal renovations are put off until 2017 and 2018.

It is the reality for a struggling airport that must spend the next three years focused on paying off the remaining $14 million of a $26 million court judgment against it for taking a developers land in the mid-1990s.

"We really had no choice but to back-load the capital plan," authority Executive Director Charles Everett Jr. said. "You can see that most of the spending is delayed until after we've paid the judgment."

The airport is scheduled to make a $3 million payment this week to WBF Associates, the development group that won a $26 million judgment against the airport when a Lehigh County judge determined that the airport effectively condemned 632 acres of development land around the airport in the mid-1990s.

That payment must be followed by payments of $5 million in 2015 and $6 million in 2016. It's caused the airport to begin selling unneeded assets, including all that WBF land, and has limited how much it can spend on capital projects.

As a result, only $1.5 million of the $46 million capital spending plan will be spent in 2014 for such things as computer upgrades, vehicle purchases and roadway repairs. The biggest chunk — more than $200,000 — is the airport's match for a federally-funded project underway to install a collapsible section of roadway at the end of the main runway. The runway extension, called an Engineering Materials Arresting System, is designed to safely stop a plane that has run off the end of the runway.

Another $2.8 million is scheduled to be spent in 2015 for such things as completing that EMAS project, security system upgrades and nearly $300,000 in improvements at Queen City Airport, the small-plane airfield in a south Allentown.

Roughly $6.3 million slated to be spent in 2016 for projects includes more upgrades at Queen City and the replacement of the terminal building at Braden Airpark, the small-plane airfield in Forks Township. The authority is trying to sell Braden, which means that work may not need to be done.

But the bulk of the money is scheduled to be spent in years four and five, and Everett admits some of that may never happen. Included in that is $15 million in main terminal renovations designed to improve the baggage-handling system, and to expand the security area for arrivals and departures.

Both changes were expected to be necessary to improve security and relieve congestion, but unless the airport's passenger traffic doesn't rebound, it may not be justified. After hitting the 1 million passenger mark several years ago, airline mergers and a difficult economy have caused passenger counts to fall. The total number of passengers is projected to drop to just more than 600,000 this year — the lowest mark since the mid-1980s.

A second project slated for 2018 is a $10 million parking garage, a parking expansion that is currently unnecessary because the airport's existing surface lots aren't close to capacity. Everett explained that those projects have been on the airport's capital plan list for years, and will again be pushed back if the airport's passenger traffic doesn't improve. Everett said he is still hopeful that can still happen, particularly if the facility can attract new airlines.

For example, though its parking lots are not currently full, expansion would have been necessary if the airport had been successful in attracting the popular Southwest Airlines into the main terminal last year. At it turned out, after months of consideration, Southwest declined.

"Obviously we'll be reassessing this plan annually," Everett said. "The only projects set in stone for now are those in 2014."


Southwest Airlines jet forced to make unexpected landing in Manchester, New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A Southwest Airlines passenger jet was forced to make an unexpected landing in Manchester, N.H., Friday after it struck a flock of birds during takeoff, according to the airport’s spokesman. 

Flight 4055, a Boeing 737, departed Manchester-Boston Regional Airport for Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 8:46 a.m. when in came into contact with the birds in mid-air, spokesman Thomas Malafronte said. 

As a precautionary measure, Southwest elected to cancel the flight and return to the airport until a thorough inspection could be completed. 

The 142 passengers on flight 4055 were taken off the plane and then moved to another aircraft which took them to BWI, according to Malafronte. “It is rare for an aircraft to land because of a bird strike, but as always, safety is the first priority,” the spokesman said. 


LAM Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique Embraer ERJ-190, C9-EMC, Flight TM 470: Accident occurred November 29, 2013 in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

The Namibian Police on Saturday found the burned wreckage of a missing Mozambican Airlines plane in a remote area in the northeastern part of the country, saying none of the 33 people from several countries aboard had survived the crash.  

“My team on the ground have found the wreckage. No survivors. The plane is totally burned,” said Willie Bampton, a regional police coordinator in the Kavango region.

The plane, en route from Mozambique to Angola, went down in remote terrain in the Bwabwata National Park, where Namibia turns into a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Botswana and Angola.

In Maputo, Mozambican Airlines, LAM, had issued a statement revising the passenger list down to 27, rather than the 28 earlier reported, along with the six crew members.

The statement said the 33 included 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French national, one Brazilian and one Chinese.

LAM flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 09H26 GMT Friday and had been due to land in the capital Luanda at 13H10 GMT, but never arrived.

Last contact with the place came around 1130 GMT when it was over north Namibia.

Namibia police sent a search team to the area after Botswana officials alerted them of a plane crash in the area.

“Botswana officials informed us that they saw smoke in the air and they thought the crash happened in their country, but when they came to the border they realised that it was in Namibia,” Bampton said.

Villagers in the area told police they had heard explosions.

Namibian authorities have not yet said as to the possible cause of the crash and the country’s cabinet was on Saturday holding an emergency meeting over the accident.

The search for the plane was hampered both by the rough terrain and torrential rains pounding the area where the plane, a Brazilian-made Embraer 190, went missing Friday, Bampton told AFP.

“There are no proper roads, you have to go through the bush, slowly and its making our job difficult,” he said.

Before confirmation of the crash, people close to those on board gathered at Maputo airport, many frustrated at what they said was the lack of information.

“They told us it was a forced landing. I know it’s a crash,” said Luis Paolo, a friend of one of what were said to be two Portuguese businessmen on board the flight.

The Bwabwata National Park, a 6,100-square-kilometre (2,355 square mile) reserve, is a sparsely-populated area covered by wetlands and dense forests.

The European Union banned the Mozambican airline, known by the acronym LAM, from flying in its airspace in 2011.

“Significant safety deficiencies” led to the blacklisting of all air carriers certified in Mozambique, the EU said at the time.

The concern was about Mozambique’s civil aviation authority, rather than the track record of the various airlines.

Comunicado: TM470 Maputo - Luanda (Actualização: 10:30h)  

 A LAM  - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique, S. A. informa que no voo TM 470 do qual ainda estão em curso acções de busca seguiam 27 passageiros, dos quais:

    10 Moçambicanos;
    09 Angolanos;
    05 Portugueses;
    01 Francês;
    01 Brasileiro;
    01 Chinês.

A LAM continua empenhada na coordenação com as autoridades aeroportuárias e aeronáuticas da Namíbia, Botsuana e Angola com vista a localizar o avião e
inteirar-se da situação.

Maputo, aos 30 de Novembro de 2013


LAM - Mozambique Airlines, S. A. informs that its flight TM 470 departed from Maputo International Airport at 11:26 hours today, November 29, 2013, to Luanda, the Angolan capital, scheduled to arrive at 14: 10H, local Angola time has not arrived at its destination as scheduled.

Information obtained indicates that the flight has landed in a location in Northern Namibia, bordering Angola and Botswana near a place called Rundu. On board flight TM470 were 28 passengers and 6 crew members.

Currently LAM, Aeronautical and Airports authorities are establishing contacts with the authorities close to the location in order to confirm this information. LAM will provide updates as more information is obtained

For more information contact LAM Corporate Communications, Mr. Norberto Mucopa: 82 7846815 and Mrs. Irina Matos: 825777946

Maputo, 29th of Novembro 2013


Forgotten aircraft reborn at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (KSTS), Santa Rosa, California

This may be closest that the Sonoma County aviation buffs come to unearthing buried treasure.

A letter from out of the blue advised Christina Olds of the Pacific Coast Air Museum that a woman in Marin County wished to donate her airplane.

The other day, Olds and several members of the private airplane museum at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport received a set of keys from the donor, 85-year-old Marcia Dunn.

One key unlocked a hangar at the airport that no one in PCAM had ever seen open. They rolled the door away to spy Marcia's plane.

Shrouded in more than 40 years of dust was a nearly like-new silver and blue, four-seat, 1954 Cessna 170B. Marcia told Olds, PCAM's Director of Museum Operations, that she'd bought it in 1955 and flown it all over the country before she wheeled it into the hangar in 1971 and locked the door.

For 42 years, there it sat.

Olds has been wanting to add more civilian aircraft to the PCAM collection, long heavy with warbirds. She's eager to get this sweet little bird cleaned up and its few blemishes repaired, then put it out on display.

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China: General aviation 'set for takeoff'

The general aviation industry in China is poised for a boom, with the authorities encouraging its development, but the money pouring into the sector may lead to a bubble, industry experts said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China and the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army jointly released regulations on Nov 18 concerning general aviation, a move that's giving a lift to these flights.

General aviation consists of non-scheduled civilian flights.

Under the regulations, general aviation flights that don't affect national security will be subject to approval by the CAAC, not the military. In some cases, operators will only need to file a flight plan rather than seek specific approval.

"The regulation will improve the development of general aviation, but we are still waiting for the real opening of low-altitude airspace, which means more space for general aviation aircraft based only on filing flight plans, no approvals," said Gao Yuanyang, director of the general aviation industry research center at the Beihang University.

Contracts worth 22.9 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) were signed during the China International General Aviation Convention 2013, which was held from Oct 17-20 in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as China's general aviation industry is expected to exceed 1 trillion yuan per year eventually.

Some local governments are already seeking a piece of the action by building general aviation industrial parks.

Statistics from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China show that as of July 30, there were 116 cities above the county level that were building or planning general aviation industrial parks.

That's in addition to the 10 State-level aviation high-tech industrial bases approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner.

However, some experts warn that investment is already overheated, and some general aviation parks without any advantage in technology, facilities or staff will end up being just more real estate projects.

"The industry has a critical shortage of general aviation airports, but it's not necessary to develop airports into industrial parks," said Gao. "Reckless construction of the parks will have an adverse effect on the industry."

He Liang, director of the Xi'an Yanliang National Aviation Hi-tech Industrial Base's administration committee in Shaanxi province, also expressed concern.

"Like the booming in the vehicle industry in the early 1990s in China, overheated construction of general aviation parks will also lead to a downturn, and some facilities without the necessary technological and industrial conditions will fall into disuse," He told China Daily.

He's base, established in 2004, aims to create an entire industry chain, including the major industry of aircraft manufacturing, production of aircraft engines and aviation activities, He said.

More than 500 aviation enterprises and supporting companies have been established at the base.

Private capital is surging into the industry, with 178 general aviation enterprises around the country as of June, 32 more than at the end of 2012.

But some general aviation aircraft manufacturers said that their business isn't yet improving.

"Our sales have even gone down recently, since new operators only need one or two planes for appearances," said the marketing director of a helicopter builder, who declined to be identified.

It's quite possible that some companies are only trying to gain something from various governments' preferential policies for the general aviation industry, he said. Some companies are even just trying to get land in the industrial parks, he added.

"We'll need to wait for a long time before the industry really booms," he said, adding that he remains optimistic about the outlook for the sector.

As of June 30, there were 1,610 registered general aviation aircraft in China. The total flight time of general aviation will be more than 600,000 hours in 2013, 80,000 hours more than last year, according to the CAAC.

Compared with some 230,000 general aviation aircraft in the United States, there's huge market potential in China, said Gao.

The State Council, China cabinet, issued a document on promoting the development of civil aviation industry in July 2012, which said that emerging general aviation services such as private and business flights should be greatly developed.

"The total number of general aviation aircraft is expected to be more than 10,000 within five to 10 years," Gao said.

Some experts suggested that more general aviation airports should be built, while controlling the number of industrial parks.

China only has some 100 general aviation airports at present, and 70 of these are registered with the CAAC, said Wang Xia, deputy dean of the general aviation college of the Civil Aviation University of China.

These airports can't meet the huge market demand, Wang said. The small number of general aviation airports is a major constraint on the industry, she said.

"China now has no national standard for the construction and management of general aviation airports, and it urgently needs to develop uniform standards for the industry's management," Wang added.

He Liang, the director of the industrial base in Shaanxi, said that his base will work jointly with other government departments to build five or six general aviation airports in the province. The base also aims to establish a low-altitude network with more than 10 airports for general aviation in the province in the coming decade.

"We plan to open a general aviation air route from Neifu airport in Pucheng county in eastern Shaanxi to Hengshan airport in northern Shaanxi in 2015, which could be a commuter route or tourism route," He said.


Aviation: Too Regulated, Too Expensive - Capt. Daniel Omale

By: Capt. Daniel Omale on November 30, 2013 - 1:48am

Without the intervention of the Senate Committee on Aviation, non- schedule operators would have been paying the most exorbitant levy in the history of aviation. The reason for such hefty levy is unknown, but one thing is certain: it can only happen in Nigeria, irrespective of the negative effect it will have on the industry.

A few years ago, the United States government proposed a $50 levy for corporate jet, and it was quashed by the Congress because, according to the lawmakers, such a levy would have impeded the freedom associated with air transportation.

Corporate jet owners, including heavyweights like Dangote and TY Danjuma woke up one day, without forewarning, and got bombarded with extortion of $3000 per trip. The danger posed by the government's action is that any of the agencies, at will, can increase charges without due process of the law governing the aviation industry in this country. It also shows that an investor is constantly at the mercy of the agencies.

Those who risk their body and soul to borrow funds and invest in the industry do so at extreme perils. It's becoming overly expensive to engage in airline business in Nigeria because it is 1000% more costly than anywhere else.

Just two weeks ago, a friend and I were lamenting at the associated costs to Dana Air, the prolonged grounding of its operation. If there is a justifiable cause for suspending the airline's operating permit, there wouldn't have been a cause for alarm, but, out of the blue, a suspension letter came from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). This undefined action of the government has, appropriately, plunged the airline and its financiers (some local banks) in a huge financial mess.

Chanchangi and IRS airlines, two enterprises of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), will forever remain huge liabilities to AMCON, if they are forced to stay on the ground because of a single aircraft operation dilemma.

The future of aviation industry in Nigeria is precarious; it is also disturbing for those who have no other choice but to hang in there. This fear is genuine as the majority of investors borrowed at exorbitant interest rate.

Airline business, generally, is unprofitable with uncertain return on investment. But it is even harder to maintain focus if an investor is unprotected from arbitrary, draconian, and selfish misuse of the guiding rules/legislation.

Aviation remains the most regulated of all our economic sectors. It is appropriate if safety is the surrounding issue of this intense over-regulation but when economic effects are added, aircraft operation in either private or commercial category becomes unbearable.

It's practically unjustifiable to exclude stakeholders (investors and workers) from the scheme of how aviation development/underdevelopment should be shaped.

Without the stakeholders, there will be no industry for the agencies to heavily feed on. This is the reason why a country like the United States recognizes the absolute importance of those who operate aircraft in all categories. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gives ample time for stakeholders' input in all intended policies.         

Rule-making by the FAA

It comes as no surprise to anyone that the primary function of the FAA is to regulate civil aviation. In so doing, it proposes, promulgates, and enforces certain titles of the Code of Federal Regulations. A Federal Aviation Regulation is changed or originated when the FAA issues a document known as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making.

Everyone has had high school civics lessons regarding how the government is organized. The function of the legislative branch, namely Congress, is to pass laws; the job of the executive branch and its many agencies and administrations is to enforce those laws; and the function of the courts is to interpret and apply those mandates. The entire body of administrative law is a special area unto itself.

Administrative agencies often act as rule makers, rule enforcers, and, to a great degree, arbiters of conflicts that come about as a result of persons operating in spheres of activity controlled by those rules. The FAA is not an exception.

The law requires that when the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is issued, the administrative agency must allow a particular period of time for comment upon that rule, unless certain emergency conditions exist. Therefore, when the FAA wants to either originate a new regulation or change an existing one, it issues the NPRM and allows the industry a reasonable period of time in which to comment.

Quite often, the comment period appears short, and various industry sources petition the FAA to extend that comment period, which is frequently accomplished. After the comment period closes, the agency is then supposed to consider the comments of the public and those to be affected by the rules proposed and deliberate and consider the same in its process of rule making. Quite frequently, a large outpouring of comment does in fact influence the FAA. Several proposed rules over the past few years have been abandoned or significantly modified after the consideration of public comments. When this process has run its course, the agency then issues its Final Notice of Rule Making, which sets forth the rule as it will be adopted, and gives an effective date for it.

There is absolutely no doubt that public comment is a most important stage of the rule-making process and is, frankly, the only one in which the average person to be affected by the rule has any real voice.

Although trade associations and other relevant groups frequently meet with representatives of the FAA to discuss upcoming rules, average people on the street have an opportunity to make their feelings known through the public comment process.

Nigeria must embrace this rational system or aviation industry will remain under developed, no matter how much lipstick we put on the pig.


Piper PA-28-161 Cherokee Warrior II, G-BOHA: Accident occurred July 17, 2013 at Lee-on-Solent Airfield, Hampshire (UK)

A light aircraft  veered off a runway after a student pilot made an attempt to land on only his second solo flight.

The 1970s propeller plane left the landing strip “with significant power applied” amid 10 knot crosswinds at Lee-on-the-Solent airfield.

The 37-year-old pilot was eventually able to bring the Piper Cherokee Warrior to a rest after the nose leg collapsed.

A report into the incident, on July 17, says that despite the pilot applying the right rudder pedal, the aircraft travelled 80metres to the east before it came to a stop.

A probe by the Air Accident Investigation Branch said he student “acknowledged that his inexperience was a probable factor” – but could not account for the aircraft’s failure to respond to his use of the rudder pedal. 

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The student pilot was making a second attempt at landing in a 10 kt crosswind on his second solo flight. He had rejected the first landing after having directional control difficulties on touchdown. He experienced similar difficulties on his second landing, and was not able to correct the situation with full rudder pedal. An attempt at a further go-around was not successful and the aircraft left the hard runway with significant power applied. The pilot eventually brought the aircraft to rest after the nose leg collapsed.

Cafe business hours, flight times changing at Riverton Regional Airport (KRIW), Wyoming

The board says new Federal Aviation Administration rules have resulted in a pilot shortage in Riverton.

Passengers flying in and out of Riverton soon will see a few changes in flight schedules and business hours at the Airport Cafe, reported Riverton Regional Airport division manager Paul Griffin during a board meeting Friday.

Flight schedule changes will begin Sunday.

A majority of the changes are for Riverton departure flights. Most Saturday and Sunday flights will remain the same, and the airport will continue to conduct three incoming and outgoing flights per day. Most flight times will only change by a few minutes.

The Airport Cafe hours also are changing to 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. The changes were made to reflect the business's busiest hours.

Fewer pilots

During the meeting, the airport board directed Griffin to draft a letter to Chuck Howell, the chief executive officer of Great Lakes Airlines, which operates at Riverton Regional Airport. The board said it wanted to address the pilot shortage in Riverton, which has been attributed to new Federal Aviation Administration pilot qualification standards.

"It's not just a Great Lakes issue, it's statewide, and there's no quick fix on the thing," Griffin said. "It's frustrating in our part, because they're calling us telling us their flights are canceled."

The new rule requires first officers or co-pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight time. Co-pilots previously were required to have only 250 hours. Great Lakes lost many of its pilots to bigger airlines after implementation of the new rule. Griffin said Great Lakes would hire pilots right out of flight school and train them, and when those pilots reached 1,500 hours, they usually moved on to other airlines.

"We have seen other carriers aggressively recruiting our qualified pilots, and attrition has been more than double the normal rate," Howell wrote in a letter to Great Lakes employees. "To further aggravate the situation, there are limited pilots looking for work that meet the new qualifications."

Howell said the board will inform the FAA of the effects the rule has on small communities and request an exemption.

Peranteaux said lawmakers may not have been fully aware of how the changes in flight hours would affect small communities and airlines.

"Fundamentally it needs to be dealt with on the legislative level," he said.

Board member Cindy Olson suggested that instead of re-stating that there's a problem, the letter should ask how the airport can assist Great Lakes to better the situation and provide other solutions.

"You know it is the industry, the industry is in a state that it's never been in before," she said.

Cancellation notices

Board member Dean Peranteaux said the lack of communication might be more of a problem than the canceled flights. If there's a delayed or canceled flight, he said the information is slow to reach passengers. By the time they find out, the remaining options -- such as renting a vehicle, rebooking a flight or making other arrangements -- costs much more. If notifications were more immediate, a lot of trouble and frustration could be avoided, Peranteaux said. He added that he has experienced that scenario and suggested adding that concern to the letter.

"You'd think that in this age of technology with fairly instant communication, a system can be implemented that can address that fairly easily, inexpensively," he said. "That's truly the mismanagement portion and it's truly detrimental to the smaller communities."

Landing log

Griffin also provided the board with a report showing the types of aircraft that land at the Riverton Regional Airport. Under the general aviation category were local aircraft, in-transit aircraft passing through the region, multi-engine aircraft or twin engine aircraft (which can include life flight and local aircraft), small corporate jets, and life flight and search and rescue helicopters.

From January to October, roughly 3,100 of those aircraft landed at the airport. Under the military category, only five military aircraft had been counted, all in January 2013.

Around the state

The Wyoming Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division also presented its set of statistics for commercial air service for the state.

As of September, roughly 858,000 passengers had passed through Wyoming's airports, roughly 43,000, or 5.3 percent, more than the same time in the previous year.

Laramie Regional Airport saw the greatest increase. Riverton Regional Airport had a 3 percent growth while airports in Worland, Rock Springs, Gillette and Cheyenne showed no gain. The Jackson Hole Airport had the most passengers, with a 6 percent increase in enplanements.


Beechcraft 400 Beechjet, Dewberry Air LLC, N428JD: Accident occurred September 18, 2012 in Macon, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA567
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Macon, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/23/2014
Aircraft: BEECH 400, registration: N428JD
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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 was seated in the left seat and was the flying pilot. The pilots reported that prior to departure, there were no known mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities with the airplane, including the brakes, flaps, anti-skid, or thrust reversers. The copilot, who was the pilot monitoring, calculated a Vref speed of 108 knots for the landing weight. Postaccident analysis determined that a more precise Vref based on weight would have been 110 knots. Both pilots reported that they set their airspeed index bugs to 108 knots about 11 miles from the airport. 

The pilot reported that the airplane touched down about 1,000 feet from the approach end of the runway. Both crewmembers reported that, although they used maximum thrust reversers, brakes, and ground spoilers, they could feel a “pulsation” in the brake system and that the airplane hydroplaned. The airplane overran the wet runway with standing water and came to rest 283 feet beyond the paved portion of the runway in a treed area off the airport. 

Postaccident examination of the airspeed index bugs revealed that the pilot’s was set to 115 knots and that the copilot’s was set to 105 knots, which correlated with their calculated and reported V1 and V2 departure speeds. It is likely that they did not move the airspeed bugs during the approach to landing. Postaccident testing of the brake system components did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation.

Based on radar data, the airplane was likely 15 to 19 knots above the reference speed of 110 knots when it crossed the runway threshold. The data further revealed that the approach was flown with about a 4-degree glideslope approach angle instead of the recommended 3-degree glideslope angle. The pilots reported that the precision approach path indicator lights, which would have provided an approximate 3-degree approach, became inoperable shortly after activation. Although the touchdown location could not be accurately determined, given the approximate glideslope and the excessive speed, the airplane likely floated before touching down. 

It is also likely that the pilots, familiar with landing at their home airport, which is configured with a grooved runway that mitigates wet runway conditions more effectively, relied on their past wet runway experience and failed to calculate their landing distance using the appropriate performance chart for the contaminated runway. Based on the airplane’s performance charts, on a contaminated runway, an airplane with a Vref of 110 knots would need a 4,800-foot runway; at Vref + 10 knots, the airplane would need 6,100 feet to land. The runway was 4,694 feet long. Hence, the lack of a clear understanding of the actual wet runway landing distance necessary to stop and the excessive approach speed resulted in the airplane crossing the approach end of the runway at a speed and flight profile unsuitable for the wet runway condition and without sufficient distance available to stop. Further, the pilots exhibited poor crew resource management by not using the appropriate chart for the contaminated runway, not recognizing the runway was too short based on the conditions, failing to reset their airspeed bugs before the approach, and not recognizing and addressing the excess approach speed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed, which resulted in the airplane touching down too fast on the wet runway with inadequate runway remaining to stop and a subsequent runway overrun. Contributing to the landing overrun were the flight crewmembers’ failure to correctly use the appropriate performance chart to calculate the runway required to stop on a contaminated runway and their general lack of proper crew resource management. 


On September 18, 2012, about 1003 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Beech 400, N428JD, was substantially damaged when it overran runway 28 during landing at Macon Downtown Airport (MAC), Macon, Georgia. The airplane departed from Charleston Air Force Base/International Airport (CHS), Charleston, South Carolina, about 0930. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. Both Airline Transport Pilots (ATP) and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was owned by Dewberry, LLC and operated by The Aviation Department. The corporate flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

According to an interview with the pilots, they arrived at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia, which was their home base airport, about 0400, and then drove about 4 1/2 hours to CHS for the 0930 flight. The flight departed on time, the airspeed index bug was set on the co-pilot's airspeed for a decision takeoff speed (V1) of about 102 knots and a single-engine climb speed (V2) on the pilot's side of 115 knots. The flight climbed to 16,000 feet prior to beginning the descent into MAC. When the flight was about 11 miles from the airport the flight crew visually acquired the airport and cancelled their IFR clearance with the Macon Radar Approach controller and proceeded to the airport visually. The second-in-command activated the runway lights utilizing the common traffic advisory frequency for the airport. Both crewmembers reported that about 3 seconds following activation of the lights and the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights, the PAPI lights turned off and would not reactivate. During the approach, the calculated reference speed (Vref) was 108 knots and was set on both pilots' airspeed indicator utilizing the index bug that moved around the outside face of the airspeed instrument. The landing was within the first 1,000 feet of the runway and during the landing rollout the airplane began to "hydroplane" since there was visible standing water on the runway and the water was "funneling into the middle." Maximum reverse thrust, braking, and ground spoilers were deployed; however, both pilots reported a "pulsation" in the brake system. The airplane departed the end of the runway into the grass, went down an embankment, across a road, and into trees. They further added that the airplane "hit hard" at the bottom of the embankment. They also reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane prior to the landing.

According to an eyewitness statement, a few minutes prior to the airplane landing, the airport experienced a rain shower with a "heavy downpour." The witness reported observing the airplane on approach, heard the engine thrust reverse, and then observed the airplane "engulfed in a large ball of water vapor." However, he did not observe the airplane as it departed the end of the runway. Another witness was located in a hangar on the west side of the airport and heard the airplane, looked outside and then saw the airplane with the reverse thrusters deployed. He watched it depart the end of the runway and travel into the nearby woods.



According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records and the operator, the pilot, age 43, held an ATP certificate with a rating for multiengine land airplane, a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, and held a type rating in the make and model of the accident airplane. He held a first class medical certificate, which was issued on August 21, 2012, that contained no waivers and no limitations. The pilot's most recent training in the accident make and model airplane was completed on December 7, 2012. The pilot reported that he had 7,350 total flight hours, of which 6,700 were as pilot in command. He reported having 4,600 total flight hours in the accident aircraft make and model, of which the entire amount was as pilot in command. He accrued 80 hours in the last 90 days of which 76 of those hours were in the accident airplane make and model, and 25 hours in the preceding 30 days. 

The pilot reported during a postaccident interview that he was notified of the trip the day prior and that the flight was scheduled to depart CHS at 0930. The evening before he completed some preliminary work by obtaining weather information, notices to airman (NOTAMS) for both airports, and filed a flight plan for the flight. On the morning of the flight he woke up about 0330 and he and the copilot met each other at PDK at 0400 and drove to CHS. The pilot drove approximately 2 hours at which point they stopped, got some coffee, and then switched drivers. After arriving at the airplane, they performed their preflight inspections and about 0905 they received a text message from the passenger that he was about 5 minutes away. After loading up the passenger, his dog, and some golf clubs he had notified the passenger there was some weather in the Macon area over the airport; however, at the time of arrival, the "weather should be good." He was seated in the left front seat for the flight, which departed at 0930.


According to FAA records, the co-pilot held an ATP certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and also held a type rating in the make and model of the accident airplane. He held a first class medical certificate, which was issued on November 2, 2011, and it contained no waivers and no limitations. He reported 2,536 total flight hours, of which 1,485 of those hours were as pilot in command. He reported having 425 total flight hours in the accident aircraft make and model and none as pilot in command. He accrued 31 hours in the preceding 90 days, 8 hours in the last 30 days, of which 6 were in the accident airplane make and model, and 1 hour in the preceding 24 hours.


The airplane, a Beech BE-400 model, serial number RJ-13, was a low-wing, twin-engine, tail-mounted jet aircraft certificated in the transport category. According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate on June 24, 1986, and was registered to the corporation on April 26, 2004, as N3113B and was changed to N428JD on November 23, 2004. It was equipped with two Pratt and Whitney JT15D-5 engines. According to maintenance records, both main tires were replaced on June 5, 2012 with a recorded Hobbs reading of 2155.7 hours and total cycles of 5747. Both left and right brake assemblies was overhauled and reinstalled on August 11, 2012, with a recorded time of 5387.6 total airframe hours and a Hobbs recording of 2177.6 hours, and at that time the airplane had 5771 total cycles. On June 15, 2011, a recorded "A" airframe inspection was accomplished with a reported total time of 5187 flight hours.

The airplane was equipped with electrically controlled hydraulically actuated fowler flaps that ran approximately the full span of each wing, and had 3 positions; 0, 10, and 30 degrees. Flap position transmitters located on the flap operating system sent a signal to the alternating current (AC) powered flap position indicator, and also to a flap asymmetry detector to stop flap operation if a 5 to 7 degree discrepancy occurred between the left and right flaps. The flap on each wing consisted of a main and aft flap, which were hydraulically actuated with one actuator per side. The main flap drove the aft flap; the left and right side of the flaps were interconnected by a cable system to ensure symmetric flap extension.

The airplane was equipped with hydraulically actuated retractable tricycle landing gear; each main landing wheel was equipped with full powered multiple segmented brakes operated by toe action of the pilot or co-pilot's rudder pedals. Application of the brake pedals at either seat position delivered pressure to the directly connected master cylinder, which transferred it to a power brake valve through mixing valves. The power brake amplified the master cylinder pressure thereby increasing the pressure to the respective main landing gear brake. An electrically controlled anti-skid system was also incorporated in the power brake system. A stationary wheel speed transducer was mounted inside each main gear axle, and it electrically sensed any change in wheel rotation speed. By design, with the system on, as a skid is detected by the stationary wheel speed transducer, an electrical signal was supplied to the system which releases brake pressure. The system continued to operate as long as the brake pressure was sufficient to result in the skidding condition, but not below approximately 10 knots.

A ground safety system was also installed, which allowed for safe operation of several systems either in flight or on ground, including thrust reverser application for ground use only. Control was accomplished by the left and right squat switches that connected or removed an electrical ground from the coils of ground safety relays, which in turn enabled or disabled their respective systems according to the position of the safety switches.


The 0953 recorded weather observation at Middle Georgia Regional Airport (MCN), located approximately 9 miles to the south southwest of the accident location, included wind from 180 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 7 miles due to light rain, broken clouds at 11,000 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 22 degrees C, dew point 21 degrees C and barometric altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury.


The airport was a publically owned airport and at the time of the accident and it did not have an operating control tower. The airport was equipped with two runways designated as runway 10/28 and 15/33. Runway10/28 was reported as "in good condition" and runway 15/33 was reported as "in fair condition." Runway 10/28 was a 4,694-foot-long by 150-foot-wide non-grooved runway and runway 15/33 was a 2,614-foot-long by 75-foot-wide runway. The airport elevation was 437 feet above mean sea level. The airport was not equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS) approach but was serviced with 5 non-precision approaches.

In 2008, Runway 10/28 was resurfaced; the runway edge markings were painted at 50 feet from the centerline, which allowed an actual runway width of 100 feet with 25 feet on each side paved but not available for use during takeoff or landing. On June 10, 2011, the Georgia Department of Transportation conducted an airport inspection. During the inspection, Runway 28 was noted as meeting the minimum state licensing requirement but failed to meet federal requirements of a 34:1 obstruction-free non-precision approach surface. The obstructions were noted as trees 510 feet from the threshold and 200 feet to the left of the extended runway centerline. There were also trees and brush located about 250 feet from the centerline near the approach and along the bank.

Runway 28 was equipped with a 4-light PAPI located on the left side of the runway. The PAPI system consisted of four identical light units, installed in a single row. Each unit produced a beam of light split horizontally, with aviation white light in the top sector of the beam and aviation red light in the bottom sector. The PAPI provided the pilot with glidepath information that could be used for day or night approaches. Maintaining the proper glidepath provides the pilot with adequate obstacle clearance and allowed the airplane to touchdown within a specified portion of the runway. At the time of the accident, the pilots reported to the NTSB Investigator in Charge that shortly after activation of the runway lights, the PAPI lights ceased operation. At the request of the NTSB, the Airport Authority investigated the PAPI lights and issued a notice to airman that the PAPI lights were not operational. Subsequent investigation of the lights revealed a blown circuit breaker. Four days following the accident the circuit breaker was repaired and the lights were considered operational.

Home Base Airport

According to the flight crew, they departed and landed regularly at PDK. At the time of the accident PDK had 4 runways, one of the runways was designated 3R/21L and according to the pilot this was the primary runway they utilized. The runway was 6,001 feet-long and 100 feet-wide, was concrete, grooved, and considered in good conditions. The landing distance available (LDA) on runway 21L was 4,801 feet and the LDA on runway 3R was 5,411. According to a postaccident interview with the pilots, the normal stopping distance at PDK when the runways were wet was between 3,000 and 4,000 feet.


The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC for readout. The CVR was a Fairchild GA-100, serial number 01572. The thirty-minute recording consisted of four channels of audio information. Good quality audio information was recorded from both pilots mircrophones. The unit was undamaged and audio content was extracted without difficulty. A CVR group was not convened. 

The entire recording was not transcribed and in agreement with the investigator-in-charge, a summary of key events recorded on the CVR was transcribed. The transcription began at 09:37:37 (hh:mm:ss) and the recording contained events from cruise, descent, landing, and the accident sequence. 

At 09:39:30, the pilot monitoring (PM) stated that he ran the approach/descent checklist down to engine syncs item.

About three minutes later, air traffic control (ATC) cleared the flight to descend to 11,000 feet followed five minutes later with a clearance to descend to 8,000 feet.

At 09:48:44, ATC informed the crew that rain was over the field and cleared the flight to descend to 4000 feet.

During the next, approximately 8 minutes, the flight was cleared to descend to 3,000 feet and then 2,200 feet.

At 09:59:52, the crew reported the airport in sight and was cleared for the visual approach.

At 10:00:10, an increase in background noise similar to the landing gear being extended was noted.

At 10:00:14, the crew canceled their IFR flight plan.

At 10:00:27, the pilot flying (PF) called for flaps 20.

At 10:00:37, the PM called three green, no red.

At 10:01:11, the PF called for flaps 30

At 10:01:38, the PM reported that winds at "other airport" were "220 at 4 knots."

From 10:01:50 to 10:02:20, there were three distinct recordings of several microphone "clicks." 

At 10:02:41, a 500 foot automated call out was recorded.

At 10:03:11, the PM called "ref and 10."

At 10:03:19, a sound similar to touchdown on the runway was recorded.

At 10:03:20, the PF called for speedbrakes and the PM confirmed.

At 10:03:23, the PM called "hydroplaning."

At 10:03:26, a sound of increasing engine thrust similar to thrust reverser operation was recorded.

At 10:03:42, a sound similar to the airplane exiting the runway was recorded.

At 10:03:57, a power interruption was recorded. 

One second after the power was restored the aircraft movement stopped and 14 seconds after the power restoration the sounds similar to an engine being shutdown was recorded.

The CVR stopped recording about 4:47 minutes after the power restoration.

For additional information on the CVR and its audio recording, refer to the "Cockpit Voice Recorder Specialist's Summary Report," located in the public docket for this accident investigation.

An examination of the Garmin GPS 500 reported that the battery was too depleted to record and save data.

The pilot had a Garmin 496 GPS, which was downloaded at the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory. The unit included a built-in Jeppesen database and was capable of receiving XM Satellite radio information. The unit was examined, power was applied, and the recorded point, route and tracklog data was successfully downloaded. The last recorded data point was about 5 minutes prior to the accident; at that point, the airplane was at a recorded altitude of 2,946 feet and approximately 16 nautical miles to the east of MAC. The XM radio subscription was current when the unit was tested and downloaded; however, no historical information was recorded.


The airplane came to rest upright on a heading of 292 degrees, at the base of a tree that was approximately 7 inches in diameter, 283 feet from the paved portion of the runway. The wreckage was also located at 412 feet above mean sea level.

Examination of runway 28 revealed evidence of tire tracks, beginning approximately 1,000 feet from the departure end of the runway. The tire tracks were lighter in color than the surrounding pavement. The tire track associated with the right main landing gear tire was located 10 feet, 8 inches to the left of centerline and subsequently located to right of centerline, consistent with the inability to maintain directional control associated with hydroplaning. The tire tracks that crossed over white painted runway markings were white in color, consistent with the "steam cleaning" phenomenon associated with various types of hydroplaning. Subsequently, the tracks exited the end of the runway into the grass, continued 76 feet to the crest of an approximate 25 foot embankment, across a two-lane paved highway, which exhibited a gouge across the entire width of the road, through some brush, and came to rest in a wooded area. In total, the airplane traveled 123 feet, 6 inches past the end of the pavement, prior to coming to rest. The tire tracks were measured at 9 feet 5 inches from the center of the left tire track to the center of the right tire track. From the center of the right tire track to the center of the middle tire track was 4 feet 9 inches, which correlates to the dimensions of the accident airplane's tire tracks.

Nose Section

The nose of the airplane exhibited impact damage, which resulted in a breach of the avionics compartment. The nose gear was impact damaged and remained attached by an electrical bundle and two hydraulic lines. The nose gear tire pressure was tested and was noted as 110 psi. The nose strut oleo exhibited a slight bend to the right approximately 4 inches from the base of the strut. 

Right Wing

The right wing exhibited minimal impact damage. The main flap exhibited deformation in the positive direction on the outboard approximately 2 feet. The flap was extended to the approximate full flap position, which was verified by the flap actuator. The right main landing gear was extended, was locked, and secure in the down position. The right main landing gear oleo strut was extended 3.75 inches. The right main tire pressure was noted at 104.5 psi and had a tread depth of 0.08 inches.


The empennage exhibited crush damage on the underside aft of Station 251.09. Both engines remained attached to their respective nacelles, and were free of debris. One N1 fan blade on the No. 2 engine exhibited soft damage; however, all other N1 fan blades exhibited no damage and rotated freely at the compressor. The thrust reversers were in the stowed position. The crush damage exposed the rudder control cables and associated pulleys. The cable was routed properly over the pulleys; however, due to the binding of the cables it could not be actuated. The cables aft of the pulleys were actuated and continuity was confirmed to the rudder. The cargo door was in the open position and the floor to the cargo bay was deformed in the positive direction, which correlated to the crush damage on the underneath side of the empennage. The hydraulic level was visually checked after repositioning the airplane to a level surface and a slight nose down attitude revealed the hydraulic fluid was slightly over half full quantity. The hydraulic shut off valves were in the closed position. 

The horizontal stabilizer trim actuator was examined and 27 threads were exposed on the upper portion of the drive and 5 or 6 threads were exposed on the lower portion of the drive, which correlated to a negative 9.88 degree leading edge angle or almost a full nose up trim. 

Left Wing

The left wing exhibited minimal impact damage to the leading edge, with slight dents similar in dimension to the brush and small sapling trees located in the vicinity of the accident site. The flap actuator was measured at 3.55 inches which correlated to a 30 degree or full flap position. The left main landing gear was extended, was locked, and secure in the down position. The main landing gear oleo strut was extended 1.5 inches. The left main landing gear had 109.5 psi in the tires and a tread depth of 0.09 inches. 


The fuselage remained intact with breech deformation located at Station 251.09 and buckling continued aft of that breech to the empennage. The right side emergency exit was opened and the door was located on the ground, forward of the right wing. The door pins were operated and serviceable. The main cabin door was found opened, remained attached at the hinge, and operated smoothly. The locking mechanism was operational. The main cabin door was utilized as the point of egress for the occupants.


The cabin appeared to be unbreeched and consisted of 9 passenger seats and 2 tray tables. The tray table on the right side, as viewed from the tail looking forward, remained extended and secured to the side of the cabin wall. The forward facing seat on the right side was utilized by the passenger, it remained attached, the seat belt was unbuckled and a water bottle was located in the associated bottle holder. No seats exhibited signs of the deformation and no seat belts exhibited signs of webstreching.


The cockpit remained intact; however, the floor was buckled in the positive and aft direction and the instrument panel was bowed inward toward the cockpit. Both seats remained intact, no deformation was noted, and the four-point, seat belt and shoulder harness, were unbuckled with no evidence of webstreching. Roll control continuity was confirmed from the control yoke to the left and right wing spoiler-speed brakes. It was noted that there was full roll authority to the right with normal travel and the left side had full down authority but only was able to maintain about one-half up authority due to binding. The left throttle lever was free to move in normal operation; however, continuity could not be confirmed to the hydro mechanical unit (HMU). The right throttle lever was jammed and could not be moved due to impact damage. Both airspeed indicators remained intact and the index bug on each instrument remained attached. The airspeed index bug on the pilot side indicated 115 knots and the index bug on the co-pilot side indicated 105 knots.


Systems Group Report

The condition of the braking system was documented on scene. In addition, the power brake valve, wheel speed transducers, antiskid control box, and brakes were removed for further examination. Examination of the removed items did not reveal any abnormalities or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. For further information on the examination of the braking system, see the "Systems Group Chairman Report" located in the docket associated with this accident.

Performance Study

Airplane performance information provided by the manufacturer in the Airplane Flight Manual
(AFM) and its supplements were utilized to determine landing distance. The landing distances published in the AFM supplement assumed the airplane was 50 ft. high and at Vref when it crossed the runway threshold. Higher heights above the runway, or speeds faster than Vref, could result in a "long" landing and longer landing distances. A steep approach (flight path above PAPI 3° glide slope) could result in excessive height over the threshold, faster than nominal approach speeds, or both. Radar data indicated that the landing was long and the airplane may have been 15 to 19 knots fast relative to a reference speed of 110 knots. About 1.25 nm from the runway threshold radar data indicated that the airplane was aligned with the runway, and flew an approximate 4° glide slope approach angle. Although radar data indicated that the ground speed was decreasing, the approximate speed while crossing the runway threshold was about 125 knots. However, due to uncertainty in the wind direction and speed, an exact speed could not be ascertained. 

According to the performance chart titled "LANDING DISTANCE WET OR COMPACTED SNOW," which was located in the AFM in the section titled "Non-FAA Approved," the correlated approach reference speed for a 13,500 pound airplane would have been 110 knots. That chart revealed that the required landing distance at an approach speed of Vref would have been about 4,800 feet and a landing distance of about 6,100 feet if the approach speed was flown at Vref+10 knots.


Weight and Balance

According to numbers obtained from the airplane, pilots, and the FAA, the landing weight of the airplane was 13,683 pounds and the center of gravity (CG) was located 20.91 inches aft of the datum. At the time of the accident the airplane was considered to be within the CG envelope.

CFR Part 91.103

CFR Part 91.103 stated in part, "Preflight Action Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include –
For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC:
For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the following takeoff and landing distance information:
For a civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required, the takeoff and landing data contained therein"


FAA publication FAA-H-8083-3A, "Airplane Flying Handbook" defined hydroplaning as "A condition that exists when landing on a surface with standing water deeper than the tread depth of the tires. When the brakes are applied, there is a possibility that the brake will lock up and the tire will ride on the surface of the water, much like a water ski. When the tires are hydroplaning directional and braking action are virtually impossible. An effective anti-skid system can minimize the effects of hydroplaning."

In Chapter 8, "Approaches and Landings, " it stated in part, "…The three basic types of hydroplaning are dynamic hydroplaning, reverted rubber hydroplaning, and viscous hydroplaning…Dynamic hydroplaning is a relatively high-speed phenomenon that occurs when there is a film of water on the runway that is at least one-tenth inch deep. As the speed of the airplane and the depth of the water increase, the water layer builds up an increasing resistance to displacement, resulting in the formation of a wedge of water beneath the tire. At some speed, termed the hydroplaning speed (Vp), the water pressure equals the weight of the airplane and the tire is lifted off the runway surface. In this condition, the tires no longer contribute to direction control and braking action is nil. Dynamic hydroplaning is related to tire inflation pressure. Data obtained during hydroplaning test have shown the minimum dynamic hydroplaning speed (Vp) of a tire to be 8.6 times the square root of the tire pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI)…It is important to note that the calculated speed referred to above is for the start of dynamic hydroplaning…Reverted rubber (steam) hydroplaning occurs during heavy braking that results in a prolonged lock-wheel skid. Only a thin film of water on the runway is required to facilitate this type of hydroplaning. The tire skidding generates enough heat to cause the rubber in contact with the runway to revert to its original uncured stated. The reverted rubber acts as seal between the tire and the runway, and delays water exit from the tire footprint area. The water heats and is converted to steam which supports the tire off the runway. Reverted rubber hydroplaning frequently follows an encounter with dynamic hydroplaning…Viscous hydroplaning is due to the viscous properties of water. A thin film of fluid no more than one thousandths of an inch in depth is all that is needed. The tire cannot penetrate the fluid and the tire rolls on top of the film. This can occur at a much lower speed than dynamic hydroplane, but requires a smooth or smooth acting surface such as asphalt of a touchdown area coated with the accumulated rubber of past landings. Such a surface can have the same friction coefficient as wet ice. When confronted with the possibility of hydroplaning, it is best to land on a grooved runway (if available). Touchdown speed should be as slow as possible consistent with safety…"

AFM Section VI Performance

According to the definitions located at the beginning of the section, "landing field length" was defined as "the distance from a point 50 feet above the runway surface to the point at which the airplane can come to a full stop under the existing conditions. Assumes a dry, hard-surfaced runway." During the postaccident interview, with the pilot, co-pilot, and a representative of the operator, the pilot stated there "is not an FAA approved wet runway chart." The representative for the operator stated that "Hawker Beech put out a contaminated runway performance chart but it was never FAA approved… and not one that you can legally use." Review of Federal Regulations revealed that the FAA does not require nor restrict the use of wet and contaminated runway performance data. However, the manufacturer developed and approved the data for international operators who have a regulatory requirement to utilize that data. That data is supplied as manufacturer approved performance data. 

Advisory Circular (AC) 91-79, "Runway Overrun Prevention"

According to AC 91-79, its purpose was to "provide ways for pilots and operators of turbine-powered airplanes to identify, understand, and mitigate risks associated with runway overruns during the landing phase of flight. It also provides operators with detailed information that may be used to develop company standard operating procedures (SOP's) to mitigate those risks." Item 6, "Hazards Associated with Runway Overruns" references a study of FAA and NTSB data associated with runway overruns and indicated that in part "…that the following hazards may increase the risk of a runway overrun: 
• nonstabilized approach
• excess airspeed
• landing beyond the intended touchdown point
• failure to assess required landing distance to account for slippery or contaminated runway conditions or any changed conditions existing at the time of landing."

In Appendix 1 of AC 91-79, Item 4, "Landing Performance and Standard Operating Procedures" stated in part "…Landing performance is influenced by a multitude of variable. Airplane weight and configuration, use of deceleration devices, airport elevation, atmospheric temperature, wind, runway length, runway slope, and runway surface condition (i.e. dry, wet, contaminated, improved, unimproved, grass, etc.) are all factors in determining landing performance… landing distances determined during certification tests are aimed at demonstrating the shortest landing distances for a given airplane weight with a test pilot at the controls and are established with full awareness that operational rules for normal operations require the addition of factors to determine minimum operational field length…Therefore, the landing distances determined under § 23.75 and 25.125 are much shorter than the landing distances achieved in normal operations…" 

Table 2, "Rule of Thumb" on Landing Distance Calculations of the AC 91-79 indicated in part that "a Non-stabilized approach is unpredictable on determining the landing distance…that for every 10 knots of excessive airspeed add 500 feet of landing distance for a wet runway… to add an additional 2,500 feet per 10 knots of excessive airspeed to account for floating during an extended flare."

Advisory Circular (AC) 120-51E "Crew Resource Management Training"

According to AC 120-51E, "CRM [Crew Resource Management] training focuses on situation awareness, communication skills, teamwork, task allocation, and decision making within a comprehensive framework of standard operating procedures (SOP)." Paragraph 7 "Background" stated in part that "investigations into the causes of air carrier accidents have shown that human error is a contributing factor in 60 to 80 percent of all air carrier accidents and incidents. Many problems encountered by flightcrews had very little to do with the technical aspect of operating in a multi-person cockpit, rather, problems are associated with poor group decision making, ineffective communication, inadequate leadership, and poor task or resource management." Paragraph 16(a) "Crew Monitoring and Cross-Checking" stated in part "Several studies of crew performance, incidents, and accidents have identified inadequate flightcrew monitoring and cross-checking as a problem for aviation safety. Therefore to ensure the highest levels of safety, each flight crewmember must carefully monitor the aircraft's flight path and systems and actively cross-check the actions of other crewmembers. Effective monitoring and cross-checking can be the last line of defense that prevents an accident because detecting an error or unsafe situation may break the chain of events leading to an accident. This monitoring function is always essential, and particularly so during approach and landing…."

Advisory Circular 150/5300-13A "Airport Design," provides guidance and specific standards for airport geometric and design criteria. Some of the specific standards required traverse grades. However, the 10/28 runway rehabilitation project that was accomplished, was funded with state and local funding, therefore the airport was not required to use the guidance set forth for the runway paving segment.

On February 25, 2013, runway laser scan data was collected by a private company commissioned by the airport authority. Noted from the survey was that the contour for runway 10/28 had no crown section, most of the transverse grades on the 100-foot-wide runway sloped in one direction, and several areas indicated little to no slope. It was further noted in the FAA advisory circular standards that transverse slopes should be adequate to prevent the accumulation of water on the surface. Water will pond in flat areas and in some areas with transverse grades of less than 1.0%.


An insurance company contends that a bad runway built by the city of Macon caused a corporate jet to crash after it skidded at Macon Downtown Airport, then rolled across Ocmulgee East Industrial Boulevard.

Old Republic Insurance Company sued the city this week, hoping to recoup the $1 million it paid to the owners of the 1986 Beech 400 jet. The aircraft reportedly hydroplaned when it was landing on Sept. 18, 2012.

The lawsuit claims the city rebuilt the runway improperly, letting rainwater build up on the runway because the sides didn’t slope away enough.

The insurance company maintains that Macon narrowed Runway 10-28 in 2008, but it didn’t tell pilots about that work. Though the runway was actually narrowed to 100 feet, it was advertised as 150 feet.

The lawsuit also said the runway is actually 4,506 feet long, but was listed as 4,696 feet, nearly 200 feet longer.

The Federal Aviation Administration lists the runway as 4,694 feet long and 150 feet wide in its Airport/Facility Directory and in other locations.

The city has not been served with a copy of the lawsuit. Interim City Attorney Judd T. Drake said the city would respond in due course to protect the city’s interests.

The insurance company said the city failed to warn pilots about how dangerous the runway got when it rained, and it also didn’t have a big enough runway safety area, which is designed for airplanes that overshoot the runway.

All of those problems “proximately caused the hydroplaning and crash” of the airplane, the insurance company claimed in the suit.

The company is seeking all damages, including legal fees, from a jury. Attorneys Edward C. Bresee Jr. and Arthur J. Park of Atlanta are pursuing the case.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported last year that it talked to the pilots, who said they saw water in the runway. They touched down within 1,000 feet of the near end and applied maximum reverse thrust, brakes and spoilers, but felt a pulsation in the braking system.

“The airplane departed the end of the runway, traveled into the grass, went down an embankment, across the road, and into the trees. They further added that the airplane ‘hit hard’ at the bottom of the embankment,” the agency reported.

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NTSB Identification: ERA12FA567
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Macon, GA
Aircraft: BEECH 400, registration: N428JD
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 September 18, 2012, about 1003 eastern daylight time, a Beech 400, N428JD, was substantially damaged when it overran runway 28 during landing at Macon Downtown Airport (MAC), Macon, Georgia. The airplane had departed from Charleston Air Force Base/International Airport (CHS), Charleston, South Carolina about 0930. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed. Both Airline Transport Pilots and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The corporate flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to an interview with the pilots, during the approach the calculated speed was 108 knots. They reported the airport in sight to Macon Air Traffic Control (ATC) Approach Radar Control and canceled the IFR flight plan. The landing was within the first 1,000 feet of the runway and there was water visible on the runway. Maximum reverse thrust, braking, and ground spoilers were deployed; however, both pilots reported a "pulsation" in the brake system. The airplane departed the end of the runway, traveled into the grass, went down an embankment, across the road, and into the trees. They further added that the airplane "hit hard" at the bottom of the embankment.

Examination of the paved portion of the landing runway revealed that beginning approximately 1,000 feet from the departure end of the runway, evidence of tire tracks were visible. The tire tracks were observed veering to the left of the centerline and then veering to the right of centerline. Subsequently, the tracks exited the end of the runway into the grass, traveled to the crest of, and subsequently down an approximate 25-foot embankment, traveled across a two-lane paved highway, through some brush prior to coming to a rest. The airplane came to rest upright and at the base of a tree 283 feet from the paved portion of the runway and on a heading of 292 degrees.

The cockpit voice recorder, Garmin 500 global positioning unit, Power Brake Valve, Antiskid unit, both wheel speed transducers, brake units, and hydraulic valve package, were retained by the NTSB for further examination.

John Dewberry credits a pilot for saving his life and says things could have gone much worse had his plane flipped as it crashed into woods.

Former Georgia Tech Quarterback John Dewberry. 
 Beechcraft 400A Beechjet (N428JD) is owned by Dewberry Capital, a real estate company headquartered in Atlanta.



The wreckage of the private jet that crashed off the end of the runway at the Downtown Macon Airport on Tuesday is loaded onto a flatbed trailer near where it left the runway Wednesday afternoon. 

Investigators from the NTSB and FAA, as well as aircraft salvage experts, look over the wreck of the private jet that crashed off of Ocmulgee East Boulevard while landing at the Downtown Macon Airport in bad weather the day before. 

Beechcraft 400A Beechjet, N428JD 

 A Beech 400 Jet owned by the Dewberry Air Corporation was attempting to land at the Herbert Smart Airport during a heavy down pour of rain. It hydroplaned, went over an embankment, crossed Ocmulgee East Blvd, and stopped in a wooded area, approximately 30 yards away, carrying Brian Landers, Joel Perkins, and John Dewberry. (Photo: Sean DeFoe/Bibb Sheriff's) 

 First responders on the scene of the crash at the Macon Downtown Airport. 
(Photo courtesy of Eddie Lamberth)

First responders on the scene of the crash at the Macon Downtown Airport.
 (Photo courtesy of Eddie Lamberth)

First responders on the scene of the crash at the Macon Downtown Airport. 
(Photo courtesy of Eddie Lamberth)

First responders on the scene of the crash at the Macon Downtown Airport.
 (Photo courtesy of Eddie Lamberth)

First responders on the scene of the crash at the Macon Downtown Airport. 
(Photo courtesy of Eddie Lamberth)

Satellite view of the Macon Downtown Airport from Google Maps.

The damaged nose section of the jet.

An investigator from the FAA carries the box carrying the flight data recorder, often called the black box, past the embankment the jet dropped from after failing to stop on the Downtown Macon Airport runway. 

Three (3) Videos: Authorities Remove Crashed Plane

 Officials have removed the corporate plane that crashed Tuesday morning at Herbert Smart Airport.   Becky Beaman, spokeswoman for the Charleston International Airport, says the plane took off from Charleston at 9:24 a.m. She cites the cause of the crash as hydroplaning as it attempted to land at the Macon Downtown Airport.

Bibb County Sheriff's Office says the plane was piloted by Brian Landers, with co-pilot Joel Perkins, and one passenger; John Dewberry, who also owns the jet.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator has started examining the corporate jet that hydroplaned Tuesday after touching down at the Macon Downtown Airport. 

 The plane crossed an embankment and Ocmulgee East Boulevard before crashing into a wooded area at about 10:05 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Although firefighters had to cut the pilot out of the plane, the pilot, co-pilot and passenger were not seriously injured.

Shawn Etcher, a NTSB air safety investigator, said the cockpit voice recorder and a GPS box already have been removed from the jet and are on the way to a lab in Washington, D.C. for downloading and analysis.

Although the nose of the jet is quite damaged, the rest of the plane is in good enough condition to check for mechanical problems, he said.

“Overall the airplane is actually in not too bad a shape,” Etcher said, “It’s good enough to give us a lot of information that we need.”

Etcher said he’ll document the plane’s condition before it’s moved.

As part of his investigation, he also will check weather conditions, he said.

The plane landed during a heavy downpour and struck a puddle of water, according to the sheriff’s office.

Etcher said logistics for the airport, including the runway length, will be compared with performance numbers for the jet.

“That’s going to be in the days and weeks to come,” he said.

A salvage company is making plans to move the plane to a secure facility in Griffin for further examination, Etcher said.

The jet likely will be moved Thursday, he said.

The section of Ocmulgee East Boulevard near the airport will be closed for the move, according to the sheriff’s office.


Watch Video:

The pilot of the Beech 400, Brian Landers, of Atlanta, was trapped and had to be cut out by firefighters. The co-pilot, Joel Perkins, also of Atlanta, suffered minor injuries. Landers and Dewberry, who authorities said was in Macon on a business trip, were taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia for evaluation.

 Dewberry, 47, on Thursday described the incident this way to WXIA, “It would be like driving a car off a 40-foot embankment at 100 miles an hour then basically hitting the highway and falling off the other side.”

He told WXIA he feels fortunate following the incident.

“If you think about what could have happened, right, if one of the wings' tips hits and you start flipping, we’re not having this interview…”

Dewberry credits the pilot with saving his life and added that he had, in fact, requested the same pilot for a flight he planned to make Thursday night on another leased plane to Charleston.

MACON, Ga. -- John Dewberry talks to 11Alive's Jeff Hullinger for the first time since his plane went down in Macon. 

 One of Atlanta's most prominent businessmen and former Georgia Tech quarterback was involved in a small plane crash Tuesday morning in Macon.

47-year-old Dewberry was on the Beech Jet 400 Twin Engine plane that crashed at Macon's Herbert Smart Airport.

He was not seriously injured.

Airport official Matthew Singletary says the plane ran off the runway and crashed into the woods shortly after 10a.m.

Becky Beaman, spokeswoman for the Charleston International Airport, says the plane took off from Charleston Tuesday morning at 9:24 a.m.  She cites the cause of the crash as hydroplaning as it attempted to land at the Macon Downtown Airport.

Beaman says there were three passengers on-board the plane, which is owned by a company registered in Delaware.

Sheriff's office spokesman Sean DeFoe told 13WMAZ's Austin Lewis that the plane is owned by the Dewberry Air LLc and that the passengers were in town for a business trip.

The National Transportation and Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Watch Video:

 UPDATED - Wednesday morning, September 19, 2012:   A National Transportation Safety Board investigator has started examining the corporate jet that hydroplaned Tuesday after touching down at the Macon Downtown Airport.  The plane crossed an embankment and Ocmulgee East Boulevard before crashing into a wooded area at about 10:05 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Although firefighters had to cut the pilot out of the plane, the pilot, co-pilot and passenger were not seriously injured.

Shawn Etcher, a NTSB air safety investigator, said the cockpit voice recorder and a GPS box already have been removed from the jet and are on the way to a lab in Washington, D.C. for downloading and analysis.  Although the nose of the jet is quite damaged, the rest of the plane is in good enough condition to check for mechanical problems, he said.

“Overall the airplane is actually in not too bad a shape,” Etcher said, “It’s good enough to give us a lot of information that we need.”  Etcher said he’ll document the plane’s condition before it’s moved. As part of his investigation, he also will check weather conditions, he said.   The plane landed during a heavy downpour and struck a puddle of water, according to the sheriff’s office.

Etcher said logistics for the airport, including the runway length, will be compared with performance numbers for the jet.  “That’s going to be in the days and weeks to come,” he said.   A salvage company is making plans to move the plane to a secure facility in Griffin for further examination, Etcher said.  The jet likely will be moved Thursday, he said.  The section of Ocmulgee East Boulevard near the airport will be closed for the move, according to the sheriff’s office.

MACON, Ga. — One of Atlanta’s most prominent businessmen and former Georgia Tech quarterback was involved in a plane crash Tuesday morning in Macon. 

 47-year-old John Dewberry was on the Beech Jet 400 Twin Engine plane that crashed at Macon’s Herbert Smart Airport.

He was not seriously injured.

Airport official Matthew Singletary says the plane ran off the runway and crashed into the woods shortly after 10a.m.

Becky Beaman, spokeswoman for the Charleston International Airport, says the plane took off from Charleston Tuesday morning at 9:24 a.m. She cites the cause of the crash as hydroplaning as it attempted to land at the Macon Downtown Airport.

Beaman says there were three passengers on-board the plane, which is owned by a company registered in Delaware.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sean DeFoe told 13WMAZ’s Austin Lewis that the plane is owned by the Dewberry Air LLc and that the passengers were in town for a business trip.

A corporate jet hydroplaned while landing at the Macon Downtown Airport Tuesday morning, crossed an embankment and Ocmulgee East Boulevard and crashed in a wooded area, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

 The jet, a Beech 400, attempted a landing at about 10:05 a.m., said Lt. Sean DeFoe.

“There was a heavy downpour of rain that caused a pocket of water to stand on the roadway,” he said.

The pilots engaged the brakes, but “just like you would do driving a car, the brakes wouldn’t work,” DeFoe said.

The pilot was trapped and had to be cut out of the plane by firefighters. The co-pilot sustained minor injuries. The pilot, co-pilot and a passenger were taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia for evaluation, he said.

Ocmulgee East Boulevard was blocked near the wreck site for nearly three hours. It reopened at about 12:45 p.m., but will close again after a Federal Aviation Administration investigator surveys the wreckage, likely later Tuesday, DeFoe said.

Eddie Lambert said he went to the Dollar General on Ocmulgee East Boulevard to buy a light bulb Tuesday morning and returned home to find a bunch of people standing in the road.

A neighbor told him that the jet had crashed in woods about 300 yards from his home, he said.

FAA records show the jet, a 1986 model, is registered to Dewberry Air LLC of Dover, Del.

The jet is owned by Dewberry Capital, a real estate company headquartered in Atlanta.

The passenger, whose name has not been released, was traveling to Macon for business, DeFoe said.

The nine-seat jet left Charleston, S.C. at 9:24 a.m., according to the Flight Aware flight-tracking website.

Traffic crashes slowed morning commutes in Bibb County following crashes on Eisenhower Parkway at Fulton Mill Road, Riverside Drive, just north of Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard and at Interstate 75 in the northbound lanes near mile marker 164, according to local law enforcement.

Rain pooling on Interstate 75 south also slowed traffic Tuesday morning.

In Baldwin County, storms toppled trees and downed power lines, according the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

Georgia Power reported 1,400 power outages in Middle Georgia Tuesday morning. Of those, 1,300 were in Baldwin County.

Power is expected to be restored between noon and 1 p.m., said Carol Boatright, a Georgia Power spokeswoman.

Writers Linda Morris and Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report. Photographer Jason Vorhees contributed to this report.


 An official at the Macon Downtown Airport says a plane ran off the runway and crashed into the woods.

 There are no known casualties and the pilot is communicating with the tower, says Matthew Singletary of Fixed Base Operations at the Macon Downtown Airport. It happened around 10:05 a.m.

Becky Beaman, spokeswoman for the Charleston International Airport, says the plane took off from Charleston this morning at 9:24 a.m. She cites the cause of the crash as hydroplaning as it attempted to land at the Macon Downtown Airport.

Beaman says there were three passengers on-board the plane, which is owned by a company registered in Delaware.

Sheriff's office spokesman Sean DeFoe told 13WMAZ's Austin Lewis that the plane is owned by the Dewberry Air corporation and that the passengers were in town for a business trip.

The aircraft is a Beech Jet 400 Twin Engine plane, Singletary says.

The Macon-Bibb Fire Department and Bibb County Sheriff's Office are on the scene.

The National Transportation and Safety Board is expected to arrive today to investigate the crash.

Stay tuned to 13WMAZ for updates as they become available.

 MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A plane landing at the Macon Downtown Airport hydroplaned, went over an embankment and Ocmulgee East Boulevard, and landed in a wooded area nearby.

The plane was coming into Macon from Atlanta. The Bibb County Sheriff’s office says there were three people on the plane and had to be removed from the plane. They were able to walk away. The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is on the scene.

  Regis#: 428JD        Make/Model: BE40      Description: 400 Beechjet 
  Date: 09/18/2012     Time: 1415

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: MACON   State: GA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   3     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   3     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: COLLEGE PARK, GA  (SO11)              Entry date: 09/19/2012