Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just an "entanglement" with aircraft inside hangar at Smyrna Airport (KMQY) - Tennessee

Around 9:30 Tuesday morning a call came to Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services about an airplane that hit a hangar at the Smyrna Airport.

The public information officer at the airport told WGNS News that it was not a serious situation. She said the incident involved small private aircraft that were being moved around by mechanics inside a hangar when the "entanglement" occurred. There were no injuries.

The Smyrna Airport is the third largest in Tennessee. Only Nashville and Memphis International Airports are larger. It also has the distinction of being the busiest general aviation in the state.

 Prior to March, 1971, it was known as Sewart Air Force Base and has capabilities to handle virtually any size of aircraft.

One of the two major runways is 8,048-feet and the other is 5,546-feet. The huge complex is on 1,700 acres of land.

Source:    http://wgnsradio.com

NTSB Calls for Cockpit Video Recorders in Helicopters, Faulting FAA

Federal air-accident investigators for the first time directly called on American and European helicopter makers to move toward putting cockpit video recorders on most models, bypassing U.S. aviation regulators and escalating a debate about privacy in the air.

The nonbinding recommendations released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board amount to an unusual rebuke to the Federal Aviation Administration, which the board faulted for failing to mandate a series of similar safety recommendations stretching back more than a decade. The recommendations cover most existing and newly manufactured helicopter models.

The absence of such devices has impeded NTSB experts from determining the probable cause of multiple helicopter crashes over the years, including the fatal accident that killed National Basketball Association superstar Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter and seven others in January near Los Angeles.

The NTSB’s move, which was in the works before Mr. Bryant died, also ratchets up a broader, long-running industry debate over the benefits of such equipment in pinpointing pilot actions in accidents. Many commercial helicopter and airline pilots have raised privacy and legal concerns against the installations, along with other critics of video recorders.

The NTSB has long promoted widespread use of video recorders—including on large passenger jetliners—but previously stopped short of calling for manufacturers to install them in the factory or enable operators to retrofit them on current fleets. Airline pilot unions have strongly objected to such devices on privacy grounds, and their opposition has carried significant weight within the FAA. Both pilot leaders and regulators, for example, have been worried about the premature release of images to the media that could improperly influence crash probes.

The NTSB recommendations to six major manufacturers also include devising ways to retrofit traditional cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders, commonly called black boxes, on most general purpose and passenger transport helicopters that aren’t now mandated to have such safety aids.

“The more information we have, the better we can understand not only the circumstances of a crash, but what can be done to prevent future accidents,” said Dana Schulze, director of the NTSB’s office of aviation safety.

The NTSB is an independent agency run by presidentially appointed members, who don’t have regulatory authority.

In a statement, the FAA said it requires flight-data recording systems for air-ambulance helicopters, and encourages other operators to also gather this data and analyze it for improving safety. The agency also said “certain large helicopter manufacturers have installed recording capability as standard equipment for about the last decade.”

According to the NTSB report released Tuesday, the FAA has rejected similar recommendations in the past. The FAA “repeatedly replied that it did not intend to take the recommended actions” partly because it wasn’t able to find reliable data demonstrating the likely safety benefits would exceed anticipated costs. Instead, the FAA has promoted voluntary installation of crash-resistant black boxes and emphasized that the industry already was embracing some of the equipment.

But as part of its latest recommendations, the NTSB said it concluded FAA efforts to encourage voluntary industry installations “have not been effective” and further action is required to “mitigate risks to public safety.”

On Tuesday the FAA said the helicopter industry is diverse, with operators flying anywhere from one aircraft to large fleets with many pilots. The agency added that over the past two decades, the rate of fatal U.S. chopper accidents has been cut in half, down to slightly more than one event in 200,000 flights.

The NTSB’s report said 86% of 185 turbine-powered helicopter accidents it investigated between 2005 and 2017 had no recording equipment of any kind on board.

Family hopes Folsom Lake drop reveals plane wreckage

FOLSOM - While the dramatic drop in the level of Folsom Lake is leading to unprecedented water restrictions downstream, it is also offering hope that the wreckage of a plane that crashed into the lake 49 years ago might finally be recovered.

"It has eaten away at me for a long time," said Frank Wilcox, whose brother, Glen, was among four people killed in the crash on New Year's Day in 1965.

Glen was a star athlete in his freshman year at Roseville High School and joined a friend for his first plane ride-- a sightseeing flight over Folsom Lake.

Glen was in a red and white Piper Comanche that took off from Phoenix Field in Fair Oaks.

Friday January 1, 1965 was an exceptionally clear day in Sacramento County, but at approximately 12:30 p.m. the Comanche collided with a Beechcraft Debonair, which was also on a sightseeing flight out of Sacramento Municipal Airport.

An official NTSB crash report blamed both pilots for failing to see one another.

The tail of the Debonair was damaged by the impact but the pilot managed to return for a safe landing in Sacramento.

The Comanche, however, lost most of its right wing and plunged into the lake from an altitude of about 2,500 feet.

The body of the pilot was recovered from the lake, but the wreckage with the three other occupants inside went to the bottom.

A Roseville Press-Tribune article from 1965 listed the victims as the pilot James Marshall, Ford Marshall, Helen Gotcher, and Frank's brother Glen.

Frank believes the wreckage is located about two miles north of the dam and he's made multiple trips to the site during periods of low water.

Frank and his 11-year-old son, Shane, drove to the water's edge Monday from the Granite Bay access to take a look.

"For the past two weeks it has consumed me," he said.

Predictions that the level could soon reach an historic low have given Frank hope that his brother and the other victims might finally be given a proper burial.

"It would be nice if we could bring some closure to it," he said.

Story and Video:    http://www.news10.net

NTSB Identification: OAK65A0047 
14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
Aircraft: PIPER PA24, registration: N5895P

 FILE    DATE          LOCATION          AIRCRAFT DATA       INJURIES       FLIGHT                        PILOT DATA
                                                               F  S M/N     PURPOSE
2-0001   65/1/1    FOLSOM LAKE CALIF   PIPER PA24          CR-  1  0  0  NONCOMMERCIAL             PRIVATE, AGE 56, 281
        TIME - 1230                    N5895P              PX-  3  0  0  PLEASURE/PERSONAL TRANSP  TOTAL HOURS, UNK/NR IN
                                       DAMAGE-DESTROYED    OT-  0  0  3                            TYPE, NOT INSTRUMENT
        TYPE OF ACCIDENT                                         PHASE OF OPERATION

NTSB Identification: OAK65A0047
14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
Aircraft: BEECHCRAFT 35-33, registration: N996T

 FILE    DATE          LOCATION          AIRCRAFT DATA       INJURIES       FLIGHT                        PILOT DATA
                                                               F  S M/N     PURPOSE
2-0001   65/1/1    FOLSOM LAKE CALIF   BEECHCRAFT 35-33    CR-  0  0  1  NONCOMMERCIAL             ATP,FLIGHT INSTR., AGE
        TIME - 1230                    N996T               PX-  0  0  2  PLEASURE/PERSONAL TRANSP  45, 15000 TOTAL HOURS,
                                       DAMAGE-SUBSTANTIAL  OT-  4  0  0                            500 IN TYPE, NOT
                                                                                                   INSTRUMENT RATED.
        TYPE OF ACCIDENT                                         PHASE OF OPERATION

Directorate General of Civil Aviation seeks six months for resolving US Federal Aviation Administration concerns

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sought up to six months' time from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resolve concerns that the US regulator had raised in its audits conducted in September and December.

The FAA had flagged the lack of full-time flight operations inspectors, inadequate training of DGCA staff.

DGCA risks the prospect of a downgrade, unless it is able to meet the US concerns to its satisfaction. The FAA would give its final report on the December audit to the DGCA in mid-January.

A senior DGCA official said that the agency is hopeful that it will not be downgraded. "There were concerns and we have sought a maximum of six months to resolve all the concerns. We are hopeful that they will give us more time, as we are working with a plan to address all of their concerns," said a senior DGCA official.

If downgraded, Indian airlines will not be able to increase flights to the US, and additional checks will be imposed on the existing flights of Air India and Jet Airways.

The DGCA has not been able to recruit full-time Flight Operations Inspectors (FOIs) due to its inability to pay them market salaries.

FOIs are former pilots, who are typically paid an annual compensation as high as Rs 1 crore. Government rules do not permit salaries of this magnitude, which is why FOIs are being hired on contract with official sanction.

"We have hired 20 FOIs and the process will continue till we reach complete hiring of 65 FOIs," said the official.

The issue of pay would be resolved once the Civil Aviation Authority is formed. The proposed authority would have powers of determining salaries.

On the issue of inadequate training, the official said that DGCA personnel are trained to handle aircraft types flown by scheduled commercial airlines. It is operators such as private jets that pose a problem as they have several types of aircraft.

The official added that the DGCA has formulated new rules where the onus of training its personnel for various aircraft types lies with the private jet operators. "The other concern on lack of on-the-job training to our employees have also been addressed, as we have prepared a training schedule and format for our employees and the training has begun," the official said.

In a related development, DGCA is sending a team of officers to Malaysia next week to inspect and certify cockpit and cabin crew training facilities of AirAsia India. The airline plans to set up similar facilities in India. 

Source:  http://www.indianexpress.com

Passenger alleges mustache ‘harassment’ at Sharjah airport: Passport confiscated as official disliked mustache and asked man to shave it off

Photo Courtesy Sujeev 
After stamping my passport, he kept looking at me and the picture in the passport. He asked me how I keep my mustache brushed and laughed, says Sujeev Kumar.

Sharjah: Officials at the Sharjah Department of Naturalisation and Foreign Affairs are investigating a case in which a passport control official allegedly retained a passenger’s passport because he did not like the latter’s mustache. 

Brigadier Dr Abdullah Bin Sahoo, Director-General of the department, said they will study CCTV images to check whether the passenger’s allegations are correct and will then take action.

Sujeev Kumar, a software engineer, who flew from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, in India arrived in Sharjah on Friday. Kumar said that the passport control officer told him he would return the passport if he shaved off his mustache.

He claimed that the officer stamped his passport, but did not return it.  “After stamping my passport, he kept looking at me and the picture in the passport. He asked me how I keep my mustache brushed and laughed,” said Kumar.

Serious joke

Assuming it was a joke, the passenger was surprised when the immigration officer continued to ask questions about his mustache in a serious tone, making comments to his colleagues and other passengers waiting in the queue. Kumar said he did not understand the comments as the officer, who was an Arab, was speaking in Urdu. He said he does not understand Urdu.

“He finally told me: ‘If you agree to shave off your mustache, I will let you to go’ and kept my passport with him,” said Kumar.  Taking even that as a joke, Kumar asked for his passport back again, but was surprised when he was ignored.

“He kept my passport and told me very seriously again to remove my mustache if I wanted it back and called the next person in line,” he said.

Confused and slightly embarrassed, Kumar told the officer that he would not comply with his request and asked to speak to a superior officer. “I started arguing with him and only after asking to speak to his superior officer he returned my passport and allowed me to proceed,” he said.

The incident, which the resident refers to as unnecessary harassment, left him humiliated and embarrassed, Kumar said. He said there is nothing unusual about the style of his mustache, which he keeps trimmed. “I have lived in the UAE for more than nine years, and I have never faced such a situation before — it was very unusual,” said Kumar.

Story and Comments/Reaction:   http://gulfnews.com

Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT), Charlotte, North Carolina: Airport police lawsuit claims mistreatment and low pay


Former Airport Director Jerry Orr officially retired from the newly formed airport commission after helping build Charlotte Douglas International Airport for the last four decades.

Orr announced his decision earlier this month.

In a letter, he said he hoped leaving his position will help resolve the ongoing dispute over who should run the city's airport.

Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle will take his title.

Eyewitness News uncovered claims in the legal battle over police protection at the airport.

In September, more than a dozen airport officers filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination and less pay.

Anchor Allison Latos dug through new documents that argue the city reneged on its plans to treat airport police as equals, once the state tried to take the airport away.

In new court documents, the attorney for airport police officers outlined new claims against the City of Charlotte.

More than a dozen airport officers are suing saying they've been mistreated and under paid.

They said it all stems from the fight between the city and state for control of the airport, especially since the airport officers worked for Orr who supported a regional commission in charge.

The filing claims since the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department took over airport security in 2012, there are, "...three tiers of pay for police officers working side-by-side doing exactly the same work... the city had announced its plan to fully credit plaintiffs' police experience on the CMPD pay scale and treat them as equal officers."

The documents state now the city won't recognize officers' work at the airport for their police experience.

One officer told Eyewitness News on Tuesday, he would be forced to attend the academy and start over as a cadet after more than a decade at the airport.

The city has defended the lesser pay by telling courts that Charlotte could save money by using airport officers, "To perform minor police-related or administrative functions similar to functions provided by TSA personnel."

The city wanted the lawsuit tossed, but the new filings fight to keep it alive.

The city's response to the new claims is due on Thursday.

Evergreen EAGLE closes as Delford Smith's aviation group hits tarmac

HOUSTON -- One of Evergreen International Aviation Inc.’s last viable divisions closed abruptly Sunday night, stranding air cargo nationally.

Evergreen EAGLE managers told customers they were ceasing operations, no longer providing ground-handling services for major airlines at numerous U.S. airports.

The closure came shortly after Evergreen founder and chief executive Delford Smith told The Oregonian that the subsidiary, Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprise Inc., was doing fine. 

EAGLE’s demise continues the collapse of Smith’s McMinnville-based aviation group as creditors drag its flagship Evergreen International Airlines Inc. into involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

“We received word from Evergreen EAGLE late last night that they were ceasing operations at all of their locations,” said Dan Landson, a Southwest Airlines spokesman in Dallas, in a statement e-mailed Monday.

The ground handling enterprise had continued generating income as Evergreen’s cargo airline parked planes and amassed debts and default judgments. Evergreen sold its helicopter division earlier this year to pay down debt. Smith has been selling off land from an agricultural subsidiary to raise cash.

Smith said Dec. 19 that another division -- Evergreen Trade, which carves up planes for parts sales -- had been doing well, along with Evergreen’s nonprofit aviation museum and water park. But an employee said that Mike Hines, head of the parent company, Evergreen International Aviation, told staff members in a conference call Monday that the Trade division would close Tuesday. Employees say the Trade division has been largely inactive, lacking money for aircraft purchases.

The museum and water park remain open, but creditors are selling two planes on display and the owner of the giant Spruce Goose wooden plane is seeking final payment for the flying boat. 

Therefore EAGLE’s closure leaves the privately held Evergreen group with few apparent assets for creditors, even as Smith tries to save the airline by converting the Chapter 7 liquidation into a Chapter 11 reorganization.

Smith has not returned repeated phone calls since Dec. 22 for comment. Hines did not return a call Monday concerning EAGLE and Evergreen Trade.

EAGLE provided ground handling services at more than 35 domestic airports such as New York’s JFK, Chicago’s O’Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and Anchorage. EAGLE handled mail cargo and baggage transfers and provided skycap and wheelchair services. It broke down incoming cargo for delivery and storage. It provided aircraft cleaning, towing and pushbacks, crew transport, de-icing, loading and unloading, lavatory waste disposal and vehicle and equipment maintenance

The company supported carriers including Evergreen, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, Singapore Airlines, Air India, Turkish Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Avianca, Emirates Cargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Air France, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Lufthansa and Korean Airlines.

Jens “Jay” Schulz, a former Evergreen International Airlines employee at New York’s JFK who works at a courier company, said he received an e-mail Monday from a Southwest Airlines cargo representative concerning EAGLE’s shutdown in Milwaukee.

“Very sorry for the trouble and inconvenience this sudden news causes,” the Southwest Airlines e-mail said. “Unfortunately Southwest Cargo management did not receive word from Evergreen until late last night that they were ceasing cargo handling operations at all locations including MKE.”
Schulz is a plaintiff in a federal class-action suit seeking back wages and benefits from Evergreen. He said Southwest Airlines informed customers that EAGLE had stopped accepting outbound freight.

“We are working towards resuming freight operations at MKE as soon as possible,” the Southwest Airlines cargo rep wrote.

Landson, the Southwest Airlines spokesman, said EAGLE provided cargo handling solely in Milwaukee for the airline, which had used the service for about 18 months.

Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche B, N8372Y: Accident occurred December 26, 2013 in Biglerville, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA077 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 26, 2013 in Biglerville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N8372Y
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

Before the flight, the pilot obtained weather information for an airport near the departure airport and for an airport about 275 miles south along his route of flight. He did not file a flight plan, did not receive any other services for the accident flight, and departed in night visual meteorological conditions. According to GPS and air traffic control data, the airplane was flying on a southwesterly heading before it turned right. It subsequently turned left and then right before it entered a descending left turn and impacted terrain. Examinations of the airframe and engines revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Further, there was no evidence of a medical impairment that would have affected the pilot's performance. A review of the plot’s logbooks revealed no entries for night or instrument flight in the year before the accident.

A National Weather Service observation from about 15 miles southwest of the accident site showed rapidly changing conditions with a band of snow moving across the region at the time of the accident. In addition, the next observation showed a lowering ceiling that was overcast to broken from 3,200 to 2,800 ft above ground level; snow started falling about 26 minutes after the accident. Considering the weather conditions around the time of the accident, it is likely that the pilot inadvertently encountered instrument meteorological conditions in light snow with no visible surface lights and, as a result, had to transition to relying solely on the instruments. Given these conditions, the pilot’s limited instrument and night experience, and the pilot’s maneuvering, it is likely that he experienced spatial disorientation and subsequently entered a descending left turn and lost control of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noninstrument-rated pilot's spatial disorientation after inadvertently encountering instrument meteorological conditions at night and his subsequent loss of airplane control.


On December 26, 2013, about 0530 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-30, N8372Y, was destroyed following an inflight break up, and impact with terrain near Biglerville, Pennsylvania. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from Bloomsburg Municipal Airport (N13), Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, around 0445, with an intended destination of Summerville Airport (DYB), Summerville, South Carolina. 

According to witnesses, the airplane was flying "low" and the engine noise was "loud." One witness reported that he heard the engine "miss" once, then the engine "revved up," and a few seconds later he heard the sound of impact. Another witness stated that when he heard the engine "spike."Radar tracking data that was obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Harrisburg Approach Control Radar facility located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The radar data indicated that, the airplane was flying on a southwesterly heading at an altitude around 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Then around 0525, the airplane descended to 7,400 feet msl. At 0527 the airplane entered a left turn and descended. A few seconds later the radar target completed a 180 degree turn and the data indicated a 2,000 foot per minute descent and a 7.5 degrees per second turn rate. The last radar data, located in/near the accident location indicated that the airplanewas at 2,700 feet msl and a recorded ground speed of 179 knots. 


According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and multiengine land, and a third-class medical certificate issued on October 31, 2013, which included a restriction of "must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision." 

The pilot's logbook was recovered from the accident site and it listed a total of 196.1 hours of flight time. It also indicated that the pilot recorded a total of 12.3 hours of flight time at night, 1.2 hours of flight in actual instrument conditions, and 3.8 hours of flight time in simulated instrument conditions. In addition, there were 4.5 hours of flight time is the past 12 months, of which 4 hours occurred between December 20, 2013, and December 25, 2013. 


According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate in 1967 and was registered to the pilot on June 18, 2012. It was equipped with two Lycoming IO-320-series, 160- horsepower engines. It was also equipped with two 2-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propellers. At the time of this writing, the maintenance logbooks had not been located. However, a receipt for maintenance performed on the airplane included an annual inspection that was dated November 18, 2014. 


An observation site from a National Weather Service source for Fountain Dale (RYT), Hamiltonban, Pennsylvania, located approximately 15 miles southwest of the accident site, at the time of the accident, showed rapidly changing conditions during the period with a band of snow moving across the region. 

The RYT weather observation at 0453 indicated wind from 220 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling overcast clouds at 7,000 feet above ground level (agl), temperature minus 4 degrees C, dew point minus 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting 30.22 inches of mercury.

The RYT weather observation at 0553 indicated wind calm, visibility 10 miles, ceiling overcast at 3,200 feet agl, temperature minus4 degrees C, dew point minus 9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches of mercury.

The RYT weather observation at 0608 indicated calm wind, visibility 3 miles in light snow, ceiling broken at 2,800 feet, overcast at 7,000 feet, temperature minus 4 degrees C, dew point minus 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of mercury. In addition, the remarks section stated that snow began at 0556.

According to the Astronomical Applications Department at the United States Naval Observatory, the official moonset was at 1224, the official beginning of civil twilight was at 0659, and official sunrise was at 0729. The phase of the moon on the day of the accident was waning crescent, with 38 percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. 

A search of Flight Service Station records revealed that the pilot requested weather information and Notice to Airman (NOTAMs) on the day of the accident for Williamsport Regional Airport (IPT), Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Farmville Regional Airport (FVX), Farmville, Virginia. The pilot did not file a flight plan and did not receive any other services for the accident flight.

The weather reported at IPT, which was approximately 27 miles northwest of the departure airport, around the departure time, indicated wind from 090 at 8 knots, visibility 1 ¾ statute mile, light snow, clouds overcast at 2,600 feet agl, temperature minus 4 degrees C, dewpoint minus 7 degrees C. 


The airplane impacted the ground and came to rest inverted. The wreckage path was oriented on a 179 degree heading and the debris path began about 2,350 feet prior to where the main wreckage came to rest. The main wreckage was oriented on about a 180 degree heading. Several pieces of airframe skin were located in the field leading up to the main wreckage. The first piece of airframe skin was located approximately 2,350 feet prior to the main wreckage. First responders reported an odor similar to 100LL in the field where the main wreckage was located.

The nose landing gear was located in the vicinity of and was separated from, the main wreckage. 

The left and right engines were separated from the main wreckage, embedded in the field, and located approximately 10 feet from the main wreckage. When they were removed from the ground, fuel and oil were present in the craters. 

One propeller blade was located in the field approximately 400 feet from the main wreckage and its associated propeller hub was located in the field approximately 500 feet from the main wreckage . The other propeller blade was not located. The second propeller was located about 50 feet aft of the main wreckage. Both blades remained attached to the propeller hub and flange. Both spinners were separated from the engines and located in the field along the debris path. 

The outboard 6 foot of the right wing was located along the debris path about 600 feet from the main wreckage in the field. The inboard approximate 10 feet remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited crush damage. The right wing tip, was separated and located approximately 50 feet from the outboard section of the right wing. The right aileron remained attached to the right outboard section of the wing through one attach point. The right flap remained attached to the right wing through all attach points. The right wing fuel cap remained intact and seated, however that section was separated from the right wing. The right main landing gear remained attached to the right wing in the retracted position. 

The aft section of the fuselage was separated at the aft pressure bulkhead. The rudder, vertical stabilizer, and inboard section of the left stabilator was located about 200 feet from the main wreckage. The right section of the stabilator was located approximately 675 feet from the main wreckage in an area of trees. The forward section of the left stabilator remained attached to the empennage. The main spar of the stabilator remained attached to the aft bulkhead. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer through all attach points and exhibited impact damage. 

The outboard approximate 6 foot of the left wing was found separated from the fuselage and located in a field about 600 feet from the main wreckage. The left aileron was located in the field approximately 200 feet from the left outboard section of the wing. The inboard approximate 10 feet of the left wing remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited crush and impact damage. The forward section of the left wing was separated from the left wing spar and located approximately 10 feet forward of the main spar. The left inboard section of the flap remained attached to the inboard section of the wing through the outboard attach point. Aileron control cable continuity was confirmed from the base of the control column to the associated fracture points out to the aileron attach point. The aileron cable exhibited tensile overload at all fracture points. The main landing gear remained in the up and in the retracted position. 

The cockpit exhibited extensive crush damage and was separated from the fuselage. The engine controls were intact. The throttle levers and propeller levers were in the midrange position. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces through the respective tensile overload breaks. The air driven attitude indicator was disassembled and the gyro and gyro housing exhibited rotational scoring, consistent with operating at the time of impact. The electric turn and bank indicator was disassembled and the internal gyro and housing exhibited rotational scoring, consistent with operating at the time of impact. 

The fuselage came to rest inverted in a corn field and it exhibited extensive impact damage The inboard section of the main wing spar remained attached to the fuselage. All seats were separated from the fuselage. The fuel selector valves were located in the fuselage and were disassembled. Both fuel selectors contained a fluid that tested positive for water using the water detecting paste. 


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on December 27, 2013, by Forensic Pathology Associates, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The autopsy findings included the cause of death as "multiple injuries."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol or drugs were detected in the liver. 


Engine Examinations

Both engines were examined at Anglin Aircraft Recovery in Clayton, Delaware. They were removed from storage and placed on pallets prior to the investigation team arrival. Upon arrival, the team determined which engine was the left and the right. The examination revealed that there were no mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation with either engine.

A detailed engine examination report for each engine are available in the official docket of this investigation. 

Electronic Devices

A Garmin GPSMAP 696, an iPhone, a Motorola Droid X, and an iPad were found in the main wreckage area, retained, and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Recorders laboratory for data download. Data was unable to be extracted from the iPhone nor the Motorola Droid X due to impact damage. 

The Garmin GPSMAP 696 contained data that was recorded at the time of the accident flight. The data began at 0439 and continued until 0528. The last recorded data points indicated that the airplane was on a direct course to DYB, made a slight right turn approximately 45 degrees away from the track toward DYB at 0524. Then, it made a turn back to the left approximately 90 degrees, to the right approximately 90 degrees, and finally, it banked to the left and continued the bank and began a descent until the data points ended. The last data point recorded a ground speed of 141 knots.


Spatial Disorientation

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3), "Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree.… Generally, at night it is difficult to see clouds and restrictions to visibility, particularly on dark nights or under overcast. The pilot flying under VFR must exercise caution to avoid flying into clouds or a layer of fog." The handbook described some hazards associated with flying in airplanes under VFR when visual references, such as the ground or horizon, are obscured. "The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation." 

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15), a rapid acceleration "...stimulates the otolith organs in the same way as tilting the head backwards. This action creates the somatogravic illusion of being in a nose-up attitude, especially in situations without good visual references. The disoriented pilot may push the aircraft into a nose-low
or dive attitude."

The FAA publication Medical Facts for Pilots (AM-400-03/1), described several vestibular illusions associated with the operation of aircraft in low visibility conditions. Somatogyral illusions, those involving the semicircular canals of the vestibular system, were generally placed into one of four categories, one of which was the "graveyard spiral." According to the text, the graveyard spiral, "…is associated with a return to level flight following an intentional or unintentional prolonged bank turn. For example, a pilot who enters a banking turn to the left will initially have a sensation of a turn in the same direction. If the left turn continues (~20 seconds or more), the pilot will experience the sensation that the airplane is no longer turning to the left. At this point, if the pilot attempts to level the wings this action will produce a sensation that the airplane is turning and banking in the opposite direction (to the right). If the pilot believes the illusion of a right turn (which can be very compelling), he/she will reenter the original left turn in an attempt to counteract the sensation of a right turn. Unfortunately, while this is happening, the airplane is still turning to the left and losing latitude.

Pulling the control yoke/stick and applying power while turning would not be a good idea–because it would only make the left turn tighter. If the pilot fails to recognize the illusion and does not level the wings, the airplane will continue turning left and losing altitude until it impacts the ground."


NTSB Identification: ERA14FA077 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 26, 2013 in Biglerville, PA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N8372Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On December 26, 2013, about 0530 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-30, N8372Y, was destroyed following an inflight break up, and impact with terrain near Biglerville, Pennsylvania. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from Bloomsburg Municipal Airport (N13), Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, around 0445, with an intended destination of Summerville Airport (DYB), Summerville, South Carolina.

The debris path was approximately 2,350-feet-long oriented on a heading of about 195 degrees. The main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, engines, and the inboard section of the wings, was oriented on about a 180 degree heading. The outboard section of the left and right wing, rudder, horizontal stabilizer, left and right stabilator, and left aileron were located in a field about 1,000 feet north of the main wreckage. The major components of the airframe were located and control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces. First responders noted an odor at the site of the main wreckage which they described as similar to 100LL aviation fuel.

Both propellers and spinners had separated from the engines. The engines were co-located with the main wreckage and were imbedded in the ground. The engines and propellers were retained for examination at a later date.

A Garmin 696 handheld global positioning system, an iPad, and two cell phones were located, removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for download.


Miranda Rose

Michael Chester Bronzburg

Michael Chester Bronzburg, age 46, 9 Hollow Road, Catawissa, died early December 26, 2013 in an airplane crash in Butler Township, Adams County, PA.

Born in Bloomsburg on July 27, 1967, he was the son of Lee E. and Linda (Linn) Bronzburg of Catawissa. His early life was spent in Catawissa and he returned one year ago after living  in a variety of places. He was a 1985 graduate of the Columbia Montour Vocational Technical School.

Mike was employed by Grand River Enterprises of Canada, as a technical consultant to cigarette factories. Earlier he was employed by the Phillip Morris Cigarette Co., in Virginia.

He enjoyed  restoring old vehicles, riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle, flying, watching movies, riding his four wheeler, fishing, skiing, traveling and kayaking.

Mike served with the US Navy.

Surviving in addition to his parents is his companion, Doreen (Artley) Rose, with whom he resided; three children: Michael Bronzburg, San Jose, Calif.; twins, Camden and Harley Bronzburg, Summerville, South Carolina; a brother, Lee E. Bronzburg, II, Berwick; a sister, Lori, wife of Larry George, Catawissa; and two nephews: Tyler Capece and Auston Capece, both of Catawissa. There are also several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held in the Dean W. Kriner, inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market St., Bloomsburg, 0n Monday, Jan. 6, 20124, at 11 a. m. with Msgr. Robert E. Lawrence, pastor of St. Columba Ctholic Church officiating.. Interment will be in New Rosemont Cemetery, Espy. There will be a time for visitation with family on Sunday from 3-6 p. m.

The family will provide flowers. Memorials may be sent to the Bronzburg-Rose Memorial Fund, c/o First Columbia Bank & Trust Co., 232 East Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 

Source:   http://www.krinerfuneralhomes.com

Miranda Rose 
Miranda Rose, age 17, 9 Hollow Road, Catawissa, died early Thursday, December 26, 2013 in an airplane crash in Butler Township, Adams County.

Born on August 10, 1996 at the Bloomsburg Hospital, she was the daughter of Doreen (Artley) Rose, with whom she resided and Michael Pegg, and his wife Kelley, White Haven.

Miranda was a student in the eleventh grade at Southern Area High School, Catawissa. In addition to attending school she had been employed by the Elysburg Rod & Gun Club and at the Arctic Igloo, also of Elysburg.

She was a member of St. Columba Catholic Church, Bloomsburg and a former Girl Scout.

Miranda was very active in her school where she played soccer and basketball. She also was in the school chorus, took part in Encore; the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA);  model United Nations; the yearbook staff; and  prom committee.

In addition to attending high school, she was currently taking college courses at Bloomsburg University and Luzerne County Community College.

Miranda was an animal lover and had a good heart. She also enjoyed four wheeling; kayaking; photography and shopping.

Surviving in addition to her parents, is a sister, Megan Rose, at home; her maternal grandfather, Kenneth Artley, and his companion, Mahala Valencik, Catawissa; her maternal grandmother, Virginia M. "Jean" Artley, and her companion, James Hunsinger, Mainville; her paternal grandparents, Thomas and Pat Mohr, Bloomsburg; several aunts and uncles ; and her boyfriend, Bryan Artman, Marion Heights.

Funeral services will be held in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market St., Bloomsburg, on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 at 11 a. m. with her pastor, Msgr. Robert E. Lawrence officiating.. Interment will be in New Rosemont Cemetery, Espy. There will be a time for visitation with the family on Sunday from 3 - 6 p. m.

The family will provide flowers. Memorials may be sent to the Bronzburg - Rose Memorial Fund, c/o First Columbia Bank & Trust Co., 232 East Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.

Source:   http://www.krinerfuneralhomes.com

BIGLERVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) - The Adams County coroner has identified two people who died in a plane crash near Biglerville last week. 
Coroner Patricia Felix said DNA results confirmed the victims are 17-year-old Miranda Rose and 46-year-old Michael Bronzburg, both of 9 Hollow Road in Catawissa, Pa.

Both died of multiple injuries, and their deaths were ruled accidental, according to Felix.

Investigators said the plane, a Piper PA-30 registered to Bronzburg, went down in a cornfield in the 800 block of Old Carlisle Road in Butler Township the morning after Christmas and scattered debris over a quarter-mile.

The plane had taken off from Bloomsburg Airport about 45 minutes earlier.

The News Item of Shamokin reported that Bronzburg and Felix, his girlfriend's daughter, were flying to South Carolina to pick up Bronzburg's 11-year-old twins for the holidays.

Neighbors in the area heard what sounded like engine trouble before the crash, according to police, but federal officials continue to investigate.

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to release a preliminary report this month, but a final report will take a year or more.

Michael Chester Bronzburg, 46, of Catawissa, is believed to be one of the victims from the plane crash Thursday near Gettysburg.

BIGLERVILLE, Pa. - Authorities in central Pennsylvania say it may take another week to positively identify the two victims of a plane crash in a fruit-farming region outside Gettysburg last week. 

Adams County Coroner Patricia Felix told The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise that an autopsy confirmed that the victims died of multiple injuries. 

She said relatives of two people whose IDs were found in the wreckage provided dental records to authorities last week, but DNA samples are being tested for positive identification. 

Officials said the plane went down near Biglerville about 45 minutes after taking off from Bloomsburg Airport early on the morning after Christmas. 

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to release a preliminary report in January, but a final report will take another 12 to 18 months.


GETTYSBURG - The two victims killed in a small plane crash early Thursday near Gettysburg are believed to have been Catawissa residents.

The families of Miranda Rose, 17, and pilot Michael Chester Bronzburg, 46, both of 9 Hollow Road, submitted brief death notices to The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise, saying they each died in "a plane crash near Biglerville, Adams County."

Miranda was a junior at Southern Columbia Area School District.

Investigators have not released the identity of the victims, even though autopsies were performed Friday; Adams County Coroner Pat Felix said she is awaiting the results of DNA testing.

However, since Thursday, condolences from friends and family have been pouring onto the Facebook page of Doreen Rose, who is Miranda's mother and Michael's girlfriend.

Efforts to reach Doreen Rose and Lori Bronzburg-George, the pilot's sister, were unsuccessful Sunday, but the women told The Press Enterprise Saturday authorities asked about Bronzburg's dental records and the coroner warned them it didn't look good.

"To see the pictures, you know there was no chance," Bronzburg-George told the Bloomsburg newspaper.

Picking up family

State Trooper Rob Hicks said the 5:30 a.m. crash scattered debris over a quarter-mile area, and the plane was destroyed.

The twin-engine Piper PA30 Twin Comanche took off from the Bloomsburg Airport at 5 a.m., traveled 80 miles and crashed into a field 1.5 miles east of central Biglerville 30 minutes later. The family told The Press Enterprise the two were traveling to South Carolina to pick up Bronzburg's 11-year-old twins, Camden and Harley, for the holidays.

According to reports from The Gettysburg Times, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) personnel placed bright pink flags along a trail of wreckage. No large pieces of debris were visible outside the perimeter authorities established around the crash site.

Autopsies conducted Friday at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown indicated the deaths were caused by "multiple injuries, at this point," Felix told The Gettysburg Times.

The deaths were likely instantaneous, Felix said Thursday. She said retrieval of remains was complete about 4 p.m. Thursday. There were no survivors.

No fire or explosions were reported and it is unclear if weather played a part in the crash.

'Anticipating the worst'

Southern Columbia Superintendent Paul Caputo said the school administrators will meet this morning to discuss the district's strategy when students return to school Thursday.

"As far as we're concerned, it is unconfirmed, but we're anticipating the worst and we want to make sure we have the proper support in place in the event the news is confirmed," Caputo said.

High School Principal James Becker said the school crisis team will likely include four district counselors, a social worker, a psychologist and several administrators who have personal experience with tragedies. They will be available for any student who needs to grieve during the school day.

"We'll have people available and try to make a horrible situation bearable until we get back to some kind of normalcy," he said. "It's not going to be easy."

Becker, who said he would only talk about Miranda's presumed death in an unconfirmed fashion, said the girl was artistic, was involved in school musicals and took photographs for the yearbook. She was a smart student who took honor courses and was taking college courses through Luzerne County Community College.

She was a "bright, young, energetic and lively person," he said. "She had a bright future. She was on her way to do some great things."

Her family told The Press Enterprise she wanted to work as a diplomat in a foreign country or become the first female president of the United States.

Becker said Miranda would always say "good morning" to him in the hallways.

"There was always a pleasantry about her," he said.

Bronzburg, a 1985 graduate of Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, got his pilot's license and bought his first plane two years ago.

Funeral arrangements for Bronzburg and Miranda have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market St., Bloomsburg, according to the Bloomsburg paper.

Cape Coral, Florida: Suspect allegedly shines laser at commercial aircraft pilot

Stephen Plock


Cape Coral police officers arrested a man for pointing a laser at a pilot over the weekend. 

Officers were dispatched to a home on the 3000 block of SW 26th Court in reference to a complaint of an unknown subject pointing a laser at an aircraft Saturday night.

Officer say a laser was pointed at a commercial aircraft which was inbound to Southwest Florida International Airport. While responding to the complaint, the Lee County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit said three people were outside a residence and had also pointed a laser at the unit's chopper.

Cape Coral Police Department officers then responded to the home and began questioning the subjects.

Initially, the suspect, later identified as Stephen Plock, told officers he wasn't aware of a laser at the home. The officer asked him if his nephew and son were playing with a laser -- to which Plock responded that he would ask them.

When questing Plock's nephew, he told the officer "uncle Stephen came out and began using a laser," according to reports.

Plock later admitted to pointing the laser at telephone poles and houses, and later added he had also pointed it toward the sky.

He was arrested and charged with pointing a laser at a driver or pilot.




Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY) report says charters first, airlines later

A market report on Gary/Chicago International Airport says charter and niche airlines hold the most promise for the airport's immediate future, with shuttling professional sports teams and ferrying oil rig roughnecks among the possibilities. 

The report, prepared in early 2012, also wades into the controversial discussion of rebranding the airport, possibly with a new name, and regionalizing the Airport Authority Board.

The Market Assessment and Strategy Development for the airport was prepared by international airport planning firm Landrum & Brown as a followup to a strategic business plan it developed in 2010, said Bill Hanna, executive director of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

"As the economy comes back, the whole Chicago aviation setup will be primed for realignment," Hanna said. "It will be time for us to take advantage as the economy comes back."

The market assessment maintains the Gary airport could tap into the big market for charters in the greater Chicago region, with other airports in the region flying a total of about 450,000 charter passengers per year.

Gary also could tap into unique niche markets within the charter industry such as professional and college sports teams and the transport of laborers and skilled workers to the Alberta oil sands in Canada, according to the market assessment.

The report states the prognosis is poor for now for attracting even the regional subsidiaries of legacy carriers like Delta Airlines or United Airlines. It also says traditional low-cost carriers like Southwest remain a stretch for the airport. But low-frequency niche airlines could find Gary attractive.

The market assessment when complete will cost the RDA about $210,000 to $230,000, with the money coming out of contingency funds available in a $30 million grant the RDA extended to the airport expansion project, Hanna said.

He said both the RDA board and the Airport Authority Board will be asked to approve the market assessment sometime in the future.

The marketing assessment was discussed by the previous Airport Authority Board, which was replaced by an entirely new authority board in September. Hanna said the new board has been focused on the runway expansion and public-private partnership effort, so he didn't know if they had yet reviewed the assessment.

Gary Airport Interim Director B.R. Lane could not be reached for comment.

Last week, the Gary Airport Authority voted 5-1 to approve terms of agreements with a Dulles, Va.-based company for operating the airfield and managing development there for the next 40 years.

Whereas the strategic business plan prepared in 2010 found the Gary airport was not ready for privatization, the marketing plan doesn't mention the subject.

The market assessment does state finishing the $166 million airport expansion project is absolutely critical to the airport's success, just as the strategic business plan did three years ago.

The market assessment states the timing is not right for renaming the airport or restructuring the airport authority board. But is spends many pages discussing the possible advantages of both.

The rebranding talked about in the market assessment does not necessarily call for renaming the airport, Hanna said. He acknowledged that has been a contentious issue. Rebranding could include other facets of the airport such as changing public perception.

In some ways the market assessment already has been overtaken by events on the ground.

It spends many pages extolling the virtues and synergies that Allegiant airline brought to the airport. It even describes the possibility of upgrading the twice-weekly Allegiant flights to Orlando-Sanford International into twice-daily flights and expanding service to destinations as far distant as Hawaii.

In August, Allegiant ceased flying from Gary, once again leaving the airport without regularly scheduled airline service.

Unruly North Port, Florida airline passenger Janet Dinardi arrested at Bangor International Airport (KBGR), Maine

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A North Port, Florida woman was arrested at Bangor International Airport on Sunday after police say she became unruly.

Investigators say on December 29 at about 3:30 p.m. there were a number of passengers at BIA who were waiting to be able to board an Allegiant Air flight to Florida that had been delayed due to weather.

Officer Chris Desmond was in the secure area and saw a woman throwing some personal items around and loudly spouting profanity about the delayed flight. He then observed other passengers get up and move away from her.

Officer Desmond told 54-year-old Janet Dinardi that she would need to stop calm down and stop swearing, as she was making other passengers uncomfortable.

She allegedly continued to use profanity -- now directed at Officer Desmond -- and was warned to stop or she would be arrested for Disorderly Conduct.

Police say Dinardi continued to be loud and verbally abusive. At that time, an Allegiant Air staff member informed Dinardi and Officer Desmond that due to Dinardi's level of intoxication and her unruliness, they would not allow her to board the flight.

Officers escorted Dinardi out of the secured area and to the first floor of the terminal, where they informed her she would need to leave the building.

Dinardi refused to leave the building despite several warnings, and was eventually placed under arrest for Criminal Trespass. She was also charged with Disorderly Conduct as she continued to be loud and disruptive.

Dinardi posted bail, and is scheduled to appear in court in February.

Source:   http://www.wtsp.com

Delta Flight Suffers Bathroom Leak, Tailpipe Fire: Mineta San Jose International Airport (KSJC), San Jose, California

Passengers on Delta Air Line flight awaiting take off from Mineta San Jose International Airport had a long Tuesday morning after fog, a leak in a bathroom, and an engine tail pipe burst delayed the flight scheduled to Minneapolis.

Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes said flight 1056 was initially delayed due to fog along with nearly a dozen other inbound and outbound flights throughout the early morning.

Following reports of a bathroom leak, the plane returned to Terminal A's Gate 7 when ground personnel observed an engine tailpipe fire.

San Jose Fire Capt. Cleo Doss said fire crews arrived to the scene just before 8 a.m.

"Upon arrival the fire was contained to the engine," and didn't spread to the plane's cabin, Doss said.

All three incidents are believed to be unrelated to each other.

Passengers were immediately evacuated from the flight, and no one was hurt, officials said.

A Delta representative said the aircraft is being evaluated by technicians while customers are being re-accommodated on other flights.

Source:  http://www.nbcbayarea.com

Zenair CH 601HD Zodiac, G-BVAC: Pilot's error may have led to plane crash at Gloucestershire Airport

The pilot of a light aircraft which crash-landed at Gloucestershire Airport shortly after take-off earlier this year has admitted he may have caused the problem that led the incident.

Almost immediately after the plane had taken off the pilot found himself wrestling to hold the cockpit canopy in place after it came loose, he told the official inquiry into the crash.

Now, an Air Accident Investigation Branch report into the incident says the pilot admitted he may have "left the canopy in the 'half latch' position prior to take off".

The 48-year-old pilot, who had 587 hours' flying experience, and his passenger in the 1995 Zenair Zodiac walked away from the incident on August 22 unhurt.

The pilot told the official inquiry that he had planned a short flight from the airport at Staverton to Oaksey Park, near Cirencester.

As the plane took off the canopy started to lift.

The pilot grabbed the canopy cord with his right hand to prevent it coming further undone.

He then looked to his passenger and asked him to hold the cord.

The pilot's left hand was holding the control column.

At that point, his attention was diverted and the aircraft entered a shallow dive and crashed into the runway. The nose gear collapsed, and the propeller disintegrated on impact with the runway.
The pilot said he was unable to close the throttle as both hands were occupied and he did not want to let the canopy break off as the plane could not fly without it.

The plane was owned by Stephen Wisedale of Walton Cardiff, Tewkesbury, and Jeffrey Alan Tyndall of Cam, near Dursley.



During takeoff, the cockpit canopy became unlatched and started to lift. The pilot grabbed the canopy pull cord to prevent it lifting further, but the aircraft entered a shallow dive, resulting in the nose and right hand landing gears striking the runway. The nose gear collapsed and the propeller disintegrated after striking the ground. 


Mooney M20M TLS, N1085S: Aircraft landed gear up - Pensacola International Airport (KPNS), Pensacola, Florida

A private airplane experienced a landing gear malfunction Monday night while touching down at Pensacola International Airport, causing officials to close the airport for about three minutes as well as close down the airport’s north to south runway for several hours, an airport official said. 

Pensacola International Airport Director Greg Donovan said that between 7:30 and 8 p.m. last night, the landing gear of a Mooney single-engine aircraft gave way as the airplane attempted to land.

The pilot, the only one onboard the aircraft, was uninjured, Donovan said. The plane skidded partway down the runway on its belly, causing minor damage to the aircraft and no damage to the runway.

Emergency responders were at the scene of the crash within minutes, and the airport was closed to air traffic for about three minutes while officials assessed the severity of the incident.

Officials determined that runway 17, the north to south runway, would have to be temporarily closed with the aircraft was removed. The east to west runway remained open.

“Everyone trains for this,” Donovan said. “We have teams on call 24 hours a day from the Pensacola Police Department, the Pensacola Fire Department, maintenance teams…They all did very well and responded very quickly.”

The plane cleared from the runway at 11:22 p.m., Donovan said.

He said it had been more than 10 months since a plane had landed at the airport with its gear up.

The Mooney aircraft was traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Houston.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the landing gear malfunction.



Cayman Airways emergency landing

On Saturday, December 28, 2013, Cayman Airways flight KX105, departed Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) for Cayman Brac at 6:40pm, and experienced an anomaly with one of the aircraft’s flight control systems approximately 10 minutes into the flight.

The crew remained in complete control of the aircraft at all times as the other flight control systems remained fully operative. As a cautionary measure however, Captain Timothy Grizzel elected to immediately return to ORIA, and requested that emergency services be on standby. The aircraft accomplished a normal approach and landed safely without incident. A replacement aircraft was positioned and prepared for service, and after the passengers and baggage were transferred, the flight then continued uneventfully to Cayman Brac.

Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms, said: ‎”As always, we at Cayman Airways place the safety of our operations and our passengers as our highest priority and we are thankful for the patience and understanding of our passengers. We know that the presence of emergency services for the landing has caused concern for our passengers and the community at large, but we would like to give an assurance that the emergency services requested to be on standby by the Captain, was purely to ensure the safest environment possible for landing. We commend Captain Grizzel and his crew for their professional and safe handling of the event.”


Emergency crews were on standby on Saturday evening after a Cayman Airways flight to the Brac was turned around because of a problem with one of the aircraft’s flight control systems.

Flight KX105 experienced issues around 10 minutes after take-off at 6.40 p.m, the airline said in a statement on Monday. The captain elected to return immediately to Grand Cayman as a “cautionary measure,” the statement added.

“The crew remained in complete control of the aircraft at all times as the other flight control systems remained fully operative.”

The aircraft made a safe landing at the Owen Roberts International Airport and the passengers were transferred to another plane, completing their journey to Cayman Brac shortly before 10 p.m.
Trilby Lingard, who was on board the plane, said passengers had heard an audible “pop” around 10 minutes into the flight.

“The pilot came on and said there was a mechanical problem and we were going back to Grand Cayman. Everyone was just quiet after that till we landed. It was horrifying,” she said.
Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms praised the pilot, Captain Timothy Grizzel, for his handling of the incident.

He said, “As always, we at Cayman Airways place the safety of our operations and our passengers as our highest priority and we are thankful for the patience and understanding of our passengers.
“We know that the presence of emergency services for the landing has caused concern for our passengers and the community at large, but we would like to give an assurance that the emergency services requested to be on standby by the captain was purely to ensure the safest environment possible for landing.”

Caren Thompson Palacio, of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, said there had been a standby of emergency crews at the airport as a “precautionary measure.” She said emergency services “stood down” when the plane landed without incident at around 7 p.m.

Safety alert as Cayman Airways flight turned around