Friday, January 4, 2013

Flight Training At Naval Air Facility El Centro

It won't be just the Blue Angels filling the Imperial Valley skies.

A detachment of U.S. Navy T-45 "Goshawk " jet trainers will operate from Naval Air Facility El Centro from January 9 to February 1. 

The 18 aircraft are part of Navy Training Air Wing 2 based in Kingsville,  Texas. 

As part of the Wing's training program,  approximately 3 aircraft per day will fly to and from Palm Springs International Airport. 

Training Wing 2 is responsible for providing the fleet with newly winged Navy and Marine Corps aviators. 

The Air Wing consists of approximately 250 student aviators,  75 instructor pilots,  80 civilian personnel and 100 T-45A and T-45C aircraft.

http://kxoradio.com

Two men restoring 65-year-old Stinson aircraft: Roseburg Regional Airport (KRBG), Oregon

 
 Harry Baumgardner, left, and Dave Olson. 
Nicholas Johnson / Roseburg News-Review

Harry Baumgardner first flew a Stinson Flying Station Wagon as a young man after a chance encounter at a California airport.

He worked for an airplane mechanic in Taft, Calif., and washed and tended a Stinson. One day, the owner, to Baumgardner's surprise, offered to let him fly the small passenger plane.

"He said, 'I don't fly it as often as I ought to,' and I said, 'I don't know how to fly one of those things,' and he said, 'Let's go,' " Baumgardner said.

Baumgardner, who learned to fly while in the Navy, quickly got the hang of controlling the plane.

"Right then, I fell in love with that particular airplane, and I've wanted one ever since," he said.

In 1999, the Roseburg man got his wish when he purchased a 1947 Stinson in Colorado Springs, Colo. Now, at 86, he's helping return the plane to its former glory.

About a year ago, Baumgardner sold the plane to his flying buddy Dave Olson, 65, of Roseburg. The two have spent the past five months at the Roseburg Regional Airport restoring the plane to near original condition.

They painted the plane maroon to cover a garish yellow, recovered the seats, replaced aging wiring and refurbished the instrument panel.

"We're redoing the whole thing," Olson said.

The goal is to make the 65-year-old airplane appear new, he said.

"I decided this is a classic aircraft. You don't do something wild and crazy," Olson said. "The color is Stinson Maroon. It's an original color they put on the Stinson."

Olson said he was attracted to the plane and wanted to restore it because it's classy and more refined than a fast plane.

"I'm not interested in the 'zoomers.' I like the nostalgia of (the Stinson)," Olson said. "I'd get there, but it would probably take me an extra day ... but I'd get there in style."

The model is called a Flying Station Wagon because, along with four passengers, it can carry a bit of cargo, Baumgardner said.

It isn't the first plane on which Olson has worked. After 22 years as an Army helicopter pilot, he built a couple of experimental aircraft. But this is his first time restoring an older plane.

Parts for the airplane haven't been hard to find because he buys them from a man in California who collects Stinsons, Olson said. The challenging part has been getting undisturbed time, he said.

"It's just keeping people out of the hangar so you can work," Olson said. "Everybody that comes in the door has a suggestion."

Still, he's tinkered with the Stinson all winter, Olson said.

"Usually, you take the winters and not use your flying season, which is spring, summer and fall," he said.

Olson said he's not sure when the restoration will be complete.

"My only plan is to get it finished," he said. "I've got to get it together so we can get it up and we can get Harry up in it again. That's important to me."

Baumgardner said he's pleased Olson wanted to spruce up the Stinson in which they flew together many times.

"Dave and I have had a lot fun with this airplane," Baumgardner said. "He's a great guy."
 
After he took the plane apart, it started to feel a lot more like the kit planes he built in the past, Olson said.

There was a difference. "I got this guy to come with it," he said.

Story and Photo:     http://www.oregonlive.com

Police on lookout for ex-pilot over job fraud

GURGAON: Police are on the lookout for a Delhi-based former pilot for his involvement in a job fraud case in which he had promised a trainee pilot job in a private airline and duped him of Rs 25 lakh last year. The trainee pilot had registered a case of cheating against the accused with the police.

Cops from the Sadar police station recently swung into action after a city court issued a non-bailable warrant against the accused, O P Malhotra.

According to a senior police officer, "Simultaneous raids are being conducted to arrest the accused."

The case dates back to May 11, 2012 when the victim, Rahul Gahlot, had reportedly paid Rs 25 lakh to Malhotra for getting a job in a private airline company.

Malhotra, whose name also cropped up in the Delhi's fake pilot scam, has been evading arrest since the registration of an FIR against him. Meanwhile, in November 2012 Malhotra had approached Punjab and Haryana high court seeking anticipatory bail. His anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court and he's still evading arrest, added the senior cop. Police have gathered enough evidence of cheating by the accused.

Malhotra and his wife Mohini used to run a placement agency in Dwarka area of Delhi. According to police, Gahlot contacted Malhotra for taking up a pilot training course in the US. Investigations revealed that Malhotra was the India representative of the US school where the victim later went for training.

Refusing to divulge the name of the private airline, a cop said, "The accused had lied that he was in touch with a private airline company for getting Gahlot a job, which did not happen." Police said that Malhotra and his wife reportedly took Rs 25 lakh for getting the victim a job. Exchange of emails clearly establishes that the couple were offering a job to the victim with a private airline. In one such email dated dated February 4, 2012 by Mohini Malhotra to Rahul asking the victim for his resume and other documents. In a different email, the accused had informed the victim about the discussion with HR department of the airline company.


Source:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Eglin becomes ‘center of the universe’ for F-35 training

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE — 2012 was the year the F-35 finally took off at Eglin Air Force Base.

Not only did the military’s newest fighter jet soar into the sky over Eglin for the first and then the 700th time, but the 33rd Fighter Wing continued to ramp up its training center to become the hub for everyone learning to fly or maintain the plane.

“I think overall as a whole it was an outstanding year for the 33rd Fighter Wing and all the men and women and the accomplishments we had,” said Air Force Col. Andrew Toth, commander of the wing.

Although controversy over cost and production setbacks have plagued the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program for many years, the joint-command wing at Eglin finally was able to meet several significant milestones in 2012.

A pilot took off in an F-35 for the first time March 6. Since then, pilots have taken 739 flights, moving the jet from test flight mode to operational capacity, said Marine Col. Art Tomassetti, vice commander of the 33rd.

The base received its first Marine Corps variant, the F-35B, which was designed for short takeoff and vertical landing, early in 2012. The Marines then shipped off a crew to stand up their first F-35 operational unit in Yuma, Ariz., in November.

The first international students, from the United Kingdom, also started academic training this fall to fly and maintain their own aircraft.

The year culminated earlier this month with a visit from Air Force Gen. Edward Rice, who gave the school the official go-ahead to start graduating Air Force pilots and maintainers next year.

The program also grew dramatically at Eglin in 2012.

On Jan. 1, six Air Force variants of the plane, the F-35A, were parked in hangars. At year’s end, the fleet has grown to 22 planes: nine F-35As and 13 F-35Bs, including two UK jets.

About 26 pilots and 500 maintainers went through the program at the training center.

The program will continue to expand in 2013, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the new head of the nation’s Joint Strike Fighter program, said during a visit to Eglin earlier this month.

“We are on a very, very large growth path at Eglin here,” Bogdan said. “As a hub for maintenance and, at least for now, for pilots, this is the center of the universe for the F-35 in terms of training. This is stop one on the road to an F-35 capability.”

The 33rd Fighter Wing should double its fleet of jets and the number of pilots and maintainers going through the program next year, Toth said.

It also will receive its first F-35C, the Navy’s variant of the jet. Dutch students also are set to begin training in January.

The 33rd faced some unique challenges to achieve what it has with the F-35.

As production slowed and the program’s progress snagged, it fell on the wing to take on a lot of the operational testing and development of a training center to keep the program moving forward.

The 33rd worked to improve the processes and procedures of the F-35 as a whole, while also getting its training program up and running, Toth said.

Bogdan said the wing has done an extraordinary job. Now, his office and Lockheed Martin, the contractor developing the new jets, have a lot of work to do to lighten some of the load.

“We’ve asked them to do an awful lot in the past year where normally a program would have been a lot more mature,” Bogdan said. “We started building airplanes maybe long before we were ready to do that, and as a result we’ve asked the maintainers here and the operators and all the base support people here to do some extraordinary things to fly these airplanes.”

After a year-long negotiation, the Pentagon announced early this month a $3.8-billion deal with Lockheed to purchase 32 more F-35s. The Pentagon’s oversight office also is taking a look at the Joint Strike Fighter program, which could cost more than $1 trillion over several decades and make it the most expensive military weapons program in history.

Tomassetti said as the program has changed and delays in production occurred, the wing’s staff made adjustments and will continue to do so.

“The F-35 world will remain dynamic and we will adapt accordingly,” he said.

He said the wing is in a unique position to feed information back to program staff about what it takes in terms of resources and costs to operate the F-35 outside a test environment.

Toth said the biggest challenge for the 33rd over the next year will be turnover of almost all of the command staff that has been there since the first aircraft arrived and have seen the program through to what it is today.

He, Tomassetti, the maintenance group commander and the operations group commander all will leave for new positions by next summer, Toth said.

He said it will be a challenge, but could also bring some improvement to the wing.

“It brings the advantage of fresh eyes to see things a little different and to be able to keep the program on track,” he said.

In his two years at Eglin, Toth said he has been amazed to see the team of airmen, marines, sailors, contractors and civilians come together to focus on the single goal of running safe and effective flying operations.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the team and the way they’ve responded to the challenges that have been put before them,” he said. “Just to be a part of that makes me so proud.”


Source:   http://www.crestviewbulletin.com

Air Canada Dash 8: Emergency landing in Quebec City

A fire forced the emergency evacuation of an Air Canada Dash 8 aircraft in the area of Jean Lesage airport this afternoon in Quebec City.

The twin-engine turboprop propeller was arriving from Gaspe on its way to Montreal with a stop in the provincial capital.

But on approach to Quebec, a fire was reported on board.

The aircraft landed away from the airport, its passengers and crew rushed out.

The fire was quickly extinguished, no one was injured.

Aerospace firm donates 100K to museum

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - ATK, an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company, has committed $100,000 to the Air Force Museum Foundation , Inc. to support the expansion of the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The announcement made Jan. 4, 2013, said the funding will be used for the construction of a 224,000 square-foot LEED Silver certified building to house three galleries:  the Space Gallery, the Presidential Aircraft Gallery, and the Global Reach Gallery.


“We are thrilled to receive this generous gift from ATK," said Lt Gen Richard V. Reynolds, USAF (Ret.) and Chairman of the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Managers. "The addition of a fourth building will significantly enhance the Museum’s ability to tell the full Air Force story and will provide a platform to increase the education of students and teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  Donations like this one will help us expand our reach and inspire young people to consider education and careers in STEM fields.”  


“We are proud to support this important effort in the Miami Valley,” said Michael Pekar, leader of ATK’s Dayton site.  “ATK focuses on projects that support and honor our military service members and their families; increase student interest and achievement in STEM; and create better, stronger communities."


With ATK's donation, the Foundation has secured $38.7 million of the $48.7 million project goal. Plans call for construction to begin in 2013 and the new building to open in 2015.


Source:   http://www.wdtn.com

New Delhi Wants Kingfisher to Fly

For Kingfisher Airlines, 2012 ended on a sour note: it lost its license after it failed to convince the government that it has enough money to start flying again.

Its license to fly in India expired on Dec. 31. The question is how fast the cash-strapped carrier can hope to get it back.

The government says it’s open to make this happen fast. “Kingfisher can still apply for the same license and the procedure won’t be very lengthy. We wouldn’t want to shut the airline down. It just has to satisfy us with a proper revival plan and it will get the license back,” a senior official at the civil aviation ministry told India Real Time.

This means that Kingfisher can skip a lengthy application procedure. However, it will still have to convince India’s airlines regulator that it has a strong plan to revive its fortunes before it’s allowed to fly again.

India’s aviation regulator first announced the suspension of the airline’s license on Oct. 20. This came after Kingfisher employees, who had not been paid since March, stopped going to work.

Kingfisher isn’t in a much better place now. While it has paid salaries for the months of March to May, the company still hasn’t paid salaries for the months of June to December, according to three of its employees.

“Our May salaries only came on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4, while they were supposed to come by the middle of November,” said one of the employees.

Kingfisher’s spokesman Prakash Mirpuri was unavailable for comment. Earlier, Kingfisher has said that salaries for June to September would be paid once the airline manages to raise funds. Kingfisher told the aviation ministry it has pending salaries worth 1.2 billion rupees ($21.82 million.)

But salaries are just part of the problem.

Kingfisher is also facing pressure to return five leased planes due to non-payment of rentals, one of the employees said. But the airports where the planes are parked don’t want to let go of them until Kingfisher settles its payments with them as well, he added. As of late October, Kingfisher owed 3 billion rupees to the state-run Airports Authority of India, and more than 1 billion rupees to the privately-run Delhi and Mumbai airports.

“Serious recapitalization continues to remain an outstanding issue and is critical for any meaningful revival,” said Kapil Kaul, chief executive, south Asia at CAPA-Centre for Aviation.

Kingfisher has said it will need 6.52 billion rupees a year to pay salaries, refurbish planes and fund operations.  It plans to initially start limited operations with five Airbus planes and two ATR turboprop regional aircraft.

The airline has said the money will come from its parent UB Group but the methods of payment are still unclear to the government.

At the same time, it requires additional funds to at least partly reduce its debt of about $2.5 billion to save on interest payments.

Kingfisher is in a race with rival Jet Airways (India) Ltd. to sell a stake to Etihad Airways.

Although, Kingfisher would be valued less than Jet, its problems would make it a potentially less attractive player than Jet for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier.

Source:    http://blogs.wsj.com

Plane crash on celebrity Island: Light aircraft goes on down on Caribbean where Simon Cowell and co are taking a winter vacation

  • It is not known if anyone was injured in the crash earlier today 
  • St Barts airport is considered the third most dangerous in the world 
  • Landing involves a steep descent over a mountain on to a 650metre runway 
  • The average runway length for international airports is 5,500 metres 
  • The island is a favorite of celebrities with Lily Cole, Jon Bon Jovi, Ryan Seacrest and actress Naomi Watts all currently enjoying holidays there

A light aircraft has crashed into a mountain while trying to make the tricky descent on to the Caribbean island of St Barts - a popular holiday destination of the rich and famous. 

The island's Gustaf III Airport (TFFJ/SBH) is considered the third most dangerous in the world because pilots have to descend steeply down over a hilltop on to an extremely short runway - just 650 metres compared to the standard 5,500 metres at international airports - that ends on the beach.

Today there was high wind on the island - where celebrities such as Simon Cowell, Jon Bon Jovi, actress Naomi Watts and model Lily Cole are currently holidaying - making the landing even more treacherous.

The small plane crashed into the side of a mountain as it attempted the steep descent towards the runway. Emergency services were called to the scene but it is not known if anyone was hurt in the crash.

There are currently numerous famous faces sunning themselves on the beautiful island.

Simon Cowell has been spotted with greek actress Zeta Graff enjoying the sun on a luxury superyacht off the coast while Jon Bon Jovi has been making the most of the island's long white beaches with his family. 

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and his girlfriend Julianne Hough were also seen kicking off the New Year in style with a vacation in St Barts.
 

Story and Photos:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Niagara Aerospace Museum preparing for landing at former Falls passenger terminal

Niagara Gazette — It’s been years since supporters of the Niagara Aerospace Museum were able to show off pieces of Western New York’s aviation history to patrons in Niagara County.

Today, thanks to an agreement reached recently with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, museum organizers are preparing to re-open inside a Niagara County location with a very definite aviation feel — the former passenger terminal at Niagara Falls International Airport.

“We think it’s going to be a good fit for the museum,” said Hugh Neeson, development director for the aerospace museum. “Many aviation museums are (at) airports. It just kind of fits together. We hope to tap into the additional traffic the new Niagara Falls airport terminal is generating in and out.”

The aerospace museum last operated in the Falls area in 2008 when it was located inside the Seneca Office Building downtown. The museum’s board was forced to move out of that facility when the building’s owners — the Seneca Gaming Corp. — moved its offices into the space. Up until last year, the Aerospace Museum’s holdings were on display at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo. The museum’s exhibits have since been stored in the old Bell Aircraft Plant near both the former and current Falls airport passenger terminals in the Town of Wheatfield.

Neeson said museum officials will continue to use the Bell plant site for its main offices, research library and restoration facility where staffers have continued to work to preserve key aviation artifacts. For the past year, the Bell site has been open to the public by appointment only.

Neeson said museum officials are hoping to be ready to offer exhibits like those previously housed inside the old museum site in downtown Niagara Falls by May.

He said the new site puts the museum in what he described as an “aerospace neighborhood” where it will not only find good company in the new Falls terminal and the old Bell plant but the nearby Calspan research facility and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as well. Neeson credited state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, with helping to put officials from the museum and the NFTA together to broker the new lease agreement for the space at the former passenger terminal.

Maziarz and other elected officials have called a press conference for noon today to discuss aspects of the museum plan.

Earlier this week, Neeson said the museum inside the former passenger terminal will include many exhibits similar to those that were on display at the downtown location years ago. The museum’s collection boasts several pieces tied to aircraft development at Bell, including the Bell X-22, one of the last pieces of research aircraft developed in Wheatfield for the U.S. Navy.

“We hope that our presence will be an asset,” Neeson said of the new museum site.

NFTA officials are hoping so as well. NFTA spokesman Doug Hartmayer said the lease agreement, approved during a meeting of the agency’s board in November covers two years with two, one-year renewal options after the initial lease period expires. He said the agency has agreed to lease roughly two-thirds of the existing space inside the former passenger terminal for museum operations. The former facility has been empty since the new terminal opened in 2009.

“We’re very happy for a couple of reasons,” Hartmayer said. “It provides a use for part of the old terminal that’s aviation related and its specifically related in many areas to aviation items that were actually created and made right here at Bell (Aerospace), so you have that local flavor. You are able to showcase that aviation history that took place here in Niagara Falls.”

Story and Photos:   http://niagara-gazette.com

The time is right and we are ready: mission to find lost Spitfires of Burma launches

The British architect of an extraordinary hunt for a lost squadron of Spitfires thought to have been buried in Burma at the end of World War II today declared: "Everything is right and we are ready to go." 


 

Seventeen years after Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall launched his quest to find the buried treasure, he said conditions were finally right to lift the aircraft from the ground. 

"It has been 17 years, I've made 17 visits to Burma and found eight eye witnesses," he said.

"Ground penetrating radar have found images of aeroplane shapes and I can't take things any further without digging.

"I'm very excited because it has been an uphill struggle."

"The time is right, the politics is right, the temperature is right," Mr Cundall said.

 "Everything is right and we are ready to go."

Mr Cundall and a team of around 18 archaeologists, geophysicists and academics leave tomorrow from Britain for Yangon International Airport, where they hope to find a hoard of at least 36 Mark XIV Spitfires, tarred and neatly packaged in crates below the ground.

The discovery could "easily double" the number of Spitfires still flying. More than 20,000 were built in the 1930s and 1940s but only about 35 remain in the skies.

Accompanying the group will be Stanley Coombe, 91, from Eastbourne, who witnessed the burial of six aircraft at the end of the war.

Mr Cundall, 62, added: "I took him out there in 1998 and we stood two metres from the spot.

"He describes a Spitfire box similar to a double decker bus. It's amazing - I couldn't tell you what I was doing two weeks ago."

 Another witness, a Burmese man who was 15 at the time, remembers carrying timber to the site that has recently been found.

The archeological survey of the ground, which begins on Monday, is expected to take ten days.

After that, the team will begin digging and expect to take "a few days" to lift the first crate, buried up to 30ft deep, to the surface.

It is believed that up to 124 Spitfires were buried at three different sites in Burma and Mr Cundall said that if they were all found and returned "back to where they belong" in the UK, it could create 700 jobs.

"We do believe we could sell them all," he said. "They are much sought after aircraft and should be preserved."

The project's lead archaeologist Andy Brockman, a specialist in modern conflict, remains open-minded about what they may discover.

 But Mr Cundall is convinced that the Spitfires will be found "completely undamaged"

The aircraft are believed to have been wrapped in tar paper, put in crates and transported from the factory in Castle Bromwich, West Midlands, to Burma in August 1945.

Some were flown in while others were carried over in ships and protected against the harsh weather conditions.

When the war against the Japanese in Burma ended, they are thought to have been buried to ensure they could not be used by Burmese independence fighters.

Surveys at one of three sites identified in the country have shown large areas of electrically conductive material, suggesting the metal parts of the aircraft, around 30ft deep.

The treasure hunt has been described as a "story of British determination against all odds".

A breakthrough was made when sanctions forbidding the movement of military materials in and out of the country were lifted earlier this year following the intervention of David Cameron.

In October, Mr Cundall was given exclusive rights to the three sites.

Under his agreement with the Burmese authorities, he will be entitled to 30 per cent of the discovery, his Burmese partner to 20 per cent and the Burmese government to 50 per cent, which it is expected to put up for sale.

If the dig goes as planned, Mr Cundall expects his Spitfires to be brought home next year, where they will be restored and returned to the skies.

Story, video, photos:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Passenger On JFK-Bound Icelandair Flight Restrained After Getting Drunk

 

A passenger on an IcelandAir flight was reportedly so drunk that the crew had to tape him to his seat with duct tape and zip ties to subdue him.

According to the Reddit user who posted a photo of the man covered in tape, the man drank a full bottle of alcohol, then grabbed women, choked other passengers, screamed that the plane was going to crash, and spat on people.

Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið reported that Guðjón Arngrímsson, Vice President of Corporate Communication at IcelandAir, confirmed the man was acting dangerously, but would not comment on the photo.

Here's the full description from Reddit user Mezane, who posted the photo:

He drank an entire bottle of some duty free alcohol. Then he tried grabbing the women who were sitting next him screaming that we're going to crash. Finally he started chocking [sic] a guy next to him and that's when a huge crowd restrained him and tied him up. This was 2 hours into a 6 hour flight.

Edit: Did I mention that he was spitting on random people on the plane!

Based on the photo, the flight crew did an excellent job of restraining the man, but liability issues could arise. Commenters on the Reddit post note that had the man vomited, he could have choked, and that he would not be able to exit the plane in the event of an emergency.

Beechcraft H35 Bonanza, N375B: Fatal accident occurred January 04, 2013 in Palm Coast, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N375B 

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA105
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 04, 2013 in Palm Coast, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: BEECH H35, registration: N375B
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

The airplane departed under visual flight rules and was at an altitude of about 7,500 feet when the pilot reported vibrations and an “oil pressure problem.” Airports in the area were under instrument meteorological conditions with cloud ceilings of 900 to 1,000 feet above ground level (agl). An air traffic controller provided the pilot with radar vectors for an airport surveillance radar (ASR) approach to a nearby airport that did not have a published ASR procedure. The airplane was about 2.5 miles northwest of the airport, at an altitude of about 5,300 feet agl, when the pilot reported that the engine oil pressure was “zero” with “cool cylinders.” The controller did not obtain nor did the pilot provide any additional information about the engine’s power status. During the next approximately 7 minutes, the airplane continued past the airport to a point about 6.5 miles northeast before the controller vectored the airplane to the south and then west to the final approach course. The airplane subsequently struck trees and a residence about 3/4 mile from the approach end of the runway. A postcrash fire destroyed the airframe and engine.


Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the engine sustained a fractured No. 4 connecting rod due to oil starvation. The connecting rod punctured the crankcase, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. The crankshaft oil transfer passage at the No. 4 journal sustained mechanical damage during the accident sequence and contained displaced journal material. All other oil passages were unrestricted. The airplane’s maintenance logbooks were destroyed during the accident. Maintenance performed on the airplane about 1 month before the accident included the replacement of the Nos. 1 and 4 cylinders; however, it could not be determined if this maintenance played a role in the accident. The reason for the oil starvation could not be determined.


Review of the air traffic control transcripts and interviews with the controllers revealed that they vectored the airplane such that it was unable to reach the airport. This was likely due to the weather conditions and the controllers’ incomplete understanding of the airplane’s mechanical condition (complete loss of power), which the pilot did not provide.


At the time of the accident, the pilot was using medication for hypertension and had well-controlled diabetes. It was unlikely that either condition significantly affected the pilot’s performance at the time of the accident.

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

A total loss of engine power after the failure of the No. 4 connecting rod due to oil starvation, which resulted in a subsequent forced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to clearly state that the aircraft had lost all power and the air traffic controllers’ incomplete understanding of the emergency, which resulted in the controllers vectoring the airplane too far from the airport to reach the runway.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT 
 On January 4, 2013, about 1419 eastern standard time, a Beechcraft H35, N375B, owned and operated by a private individual, experienced a loss of engine power while in cruise flight and was destroyed when it impacted a house, while on approach to the Flagler County Airport (XFL), Palm Coast, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an en route instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance was obtained for the flight, which departed Saint Lucie County International Airport (FPR), Fort Pierce, Florida, and was destined for Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (DKX), Knoxville, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane arrived at FPR after flying from Stella Maris, Bahamas. The passengers cleared U.S. Customs about 1145. The airplane was subsequently refueled and departed for DKX under visual flight rules.

According to air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot contacted Daytona Approach control about 1407, and reported vibrations and an "oil pressure problem." The controller advised the pilot that the airports in the area were IFR with cloud ceilings of 900 to 1,000 feet above ground level. The pilot received radar vectors for an airport surveillance radar approach to runway 29 at XFL, which was about 8 miles north of the airplane's position. At 1411:06, the pilot reported that the engine oil pressure was "zero" with "cool cylinders." At that time, the airplane was flying at an altitude of 5,300 feet mean seal level (msl), and was located about 2.5 miles from the approach end of runway 11, at XFL. The airplane continued to be vectored to a point about 6.5 miles northeast of the airport and was provided headings to the south and then west, to the final approach course for runway 29. The airplane was subsequently cleared to land about 1416. Radar contact with the airplane was lost when the airplane was about 2 miles from the runway, at an altitude of 200 feet msl. At 1418:27, the pilot transmitted "…we need help; we're coming in with smoke." There were no further communications from the airplane.

The XFL airport director observed the airplane as it approached runway 29. He described the weather conditions as instrument meteorological conditions with a low ceiling and mist. He observed the airplane "break out" of the cloud layer, very low, just above the tree line. The airplane's wings were level as it descended and disappeared in the tree line.

Another witness, who was an airline transport pilot and flight instructor, reported that the airplane looked "slow" as it exited clouds, was in a nose high attitude, and appeared to "stall" prior to descending below the tree line, which was followed by smoke about 10 seconds later.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 58, held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot's logbooks were not recovered. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on December 31, 2012. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,300 hours, which included 30 hours during the previous 6 months. The pilot reported 1,100 hours of total flight experience, with 50 hours during the previous 6 months, on an FAA medical certificate application dated February 4, 2010.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, all-metal, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number D-5121, was manufactured in 1957. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-470-C1, 250-horsepower engine and equipped with a Beech 278 propeller assembly. According to Beechcraft, the airplane was originally manufactured with a Continental Motors O-470-G series engine, which could be modified post manufacturer with a fuel injected engine per Beech Kit 35-648, "Engine Conversion to Fuel Injection on the Beech Model H35 Bonanza." No documentation for the engine that was installed on the accident airplane was found.

The airplane was found to have been modified with the addition of 15-gallon fiberglass wingtip fuel tanks, which would have included a wingtip tank fuel transfer pump mounted in each respective wing's wheel-well, to allow fuel to be transferred from each wingtip fuel tank, to its respective wing. There was no record of a supplemental type certificate for the installation of wingtip fuel tanks found in the airplane's FAA airworthiness file.

According to FAA records, the pilot purchased the airplane on May 30, 2008.

The airplane's maintenance records were not located. According to an FAA inspector, it was reported that the pilot traveled with his personal logbook and the airplane's maintenance records onboard the airplane. Additional information obtained by the FAA inspector revealed that the engine's No. 1 and No. 4 cylinders were replaced due to low compression during early December 2012; however, no work orders or other associated documentation could be located.

A friend of the pilot reported that he believed that the airplane's last annual inspection was performed around September-October 2012. He stated that he was not aware of any previous engine issues with the airplane, except for a small oil leak.

In a written statement, the lineman who refueled the airplane at FPR reported that he noticed "visible oil leaks" on the airplane's nose gear strut. In addition, after he informed the pilot of a fuel imbalance prior to refueling, the pilot informed the lineman that the airplane's right fuel pump was not working.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather reported at XFL at 1350 was: wind 360 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 3 statute miles, ceiling 900 feet broken, 1,400 feet overcast, temperature 15 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 13 degrees C, and altimeter 30.22 in/hg.

COMMUNICATIONS

The following information, which contains excerpts of recorded communications, was obtained by an NTSB air traffic control specialist through interviews and review of communications and radar information obtained from the FAA:

At 1349:34, the pilot contacted Daytona Beach approach control and reported that he was at 4,500 feet. Eight minutes later, the pilot requested a climb to 6,500 feet. The approach controller informed the pilot that they had received a pilot report (PIREP) reporting that the cloud tops were at 7,000 feet. The controller advised the pilot to maintain at or above 7,000 feet, and remain in VFR conditions. The pilot complied and climbed to 7,500 feet.

At 1407:01, the pilot reported, "…we got a vibration in the prop, I need some help here." The approach controller informed the pilot that the closest airport was at his 12 to 1 o'clock position and 5 miles, and asked him if he was instrument flight rules (IFR) capable and equipped. The pilot stated, "I'm IFR, we're just getting a little vibration. We've got an oil pressure problem; we're going to have to drop quickly here." When asked to clarify the nature of the problem, the pilot stated, "…we got a propeller or something going, I'm backing it up here to see."

According to the approach controller, Ormond Beach Airport, which was located approximately 6 miles to the southeast of the airplane's position, was considered briefly, however, because runway 8/26 was closed for construction and there had been a strong tailwind for runway 17, that airport was not an option. The approach controller subsequently cleared the flight to XFL, instructed the pilot to descend and maintain 2,000 feet.

About 1408, the approach controller instructed the pilot to continue his present heading, and informed him that he would get him as close as he could to the Flagler airport for a runway 29 approach. He advised the pilot that the weather ceiling at XFL was 900 feet, and that an instrument approach was necessary. The controller subsequently asked the pilot if he could accept an airport surveillance approach (ASR) into XFL and the pilot replied that he was "…lovely with that" (An ASR approach was a type of instrument approach wherein the air traffic controller issued instructions, for pilot compliance, based on an aircraft's position in relation to the final approach course, and the distance from the end of the runway as displayed on the controller's radar scope).

Flagler County Airport did not have a published ASR approach. The controllers determined that to best handle the emergency it was necessary to offer the pilot an unpublished ASR approach to runway 29 at XFL using area navigation (RNAV) approach minimums. This determination was based on the information obtained from the pilot, and the need for the pilot to conduct an instrument approach into the airport due to the IFR weather conditions.

At 1409, the pilot checked in with the arrival controller and reported he was at 7,000 feet descending to 2,000 feet. The arrival controller instructed the pilot to descend and maintain 3,000 feet, and to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees. According to the arrival controller, he assigned the airplane 3,000 feet because he wanted to ensure the airplane was high enough to remain clear of an antenna that was located northwest of XFL.

About 1410, the controller advised the pilot to expect an ASR approach to runway 29 at XFL.

At 1411:06, the pilot reported, "…we got zero oil pressure, but we've got cool cylinder head temperature." The controller acknowledged the pilot's transmission and instructed the pilot to turn right to a heading of 090 degrees and to descend and maintain 2,000 feet.

At 1411:47, the controller informed the pilot that he would provide guidance along the RNAV runway 29 approach and that the straight in minimum descent altitude (MDA) was 560 feet.

At 1413:46, the controller instructed the pilot to turn right to a heading of 180 degrees and advised that the airplane was about 6 miles east-northeast of XFL on " a base leg for about a four and one-half to five mile final." The pilot acknowledged the turn and said "…we're starting to see some ground here."

At 1414:27, the controller instructed the pilot to descend to 1,600 feet and to turn right, to a heading of 200 degrees.

At 1415:01, the controller informed the pilot that the airplane 5 miles southeast of XFL. About 35 seconds later, the controller provided the pilot turns to intercept the final approach course and informed the pilot that he was 4 miles straight in for runway 29, which the pilot acknowledged.

About 1416, the controller informed the pilot that the airplane was three miles from the runway, asked him to advise when he had the airport in sight, and cleared the airplane to land on runway 29.

At 1417:25, the controller told the pilot that the airplane was below radar coverage, instructed him to contact the XFL tower, and provided missed approach instructions, "if you don't have the airport in sight, climb straight ahead to 2,000 [feet]."

At 1417:59, the pilot transmitted, "…do you read me?" The controller immediately responded that he had him loud and clear and asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight at his 12 o'clock and a mile. The pilot did not respond.

At 1418:27, the pilot transmitted, "…we need help; we're coming in with smoke." The arrival controller informed the pilot that Flagler Tower was waiting for him, and that he was cleared to land.

At 1418:55, the XFL tower controller called the arrival controller and informed him that the airplane did not make it to the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration order 7110.65, "Air Traffic Control," provides guidance and instruction to air traffic controllers when an emergency situation exist or is imminent. Paragraphs 10-1-1, 10-1-2, and 10-2-5 stated in part:

10-1-1: Emergency Determinations...Because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot be prescribed. However, when you believe an emergency exists or is imminent, select and pursue a course of action which appears to be most appropriate under the circumstances and which most nearly conforms to the instructions in this manual.

10-1-2: Obtaining Information…Obtain enough information to handle the emergency intelligently. Base your decision as to what type of assistance is needed on information and requests received from the pilot because he/she is authorized by 14 CFR Part 91 to determine a course of action.

10-2-5: Emergency Situations…Consider that an aircraft emergency exists…when any of the following exist:
a. An emergency is declared by either:
1. The pilot.
2. Facility personnel.
3. Officials responsible for the operation of the aircraft.

[For additional information, please see the NTSB Air Traffic Control Group Factual Report located in the Public Docket.]

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted trees and a residence about 3/4 mile from the approach end of runway 29, slightly left of the extended centerline. The initial impact point (IIP) was identified as a pine tree that was about 60 feet tall and contained broken limbs about 30 to 35 feet above ground level. Various components of wreckage extended from the IIP, on a heading of 288 degrees magnetic for 50 feet. The remainder of the airplane impacted the roof of a detached single family home and a large fire ensued, which destroyed most of the airplane and dwelling.

The airplane's left outboard wing, with about one-half of the corresponding aileron attached, displayed evidence of a tree strike and was found at the base of a tree located about 60 feet from the back of the house. The inbound portion of the left aileron was observed near the right wing, which was inverted and located along the back of the house. The empennage came to rest inverted on the backside edge of the roof alongside of a section of the right wing inboard leading edge. Other remains of the fuselage and left wing were found inside the house. Examination of the airplane's flight control cables did not reveal evidence of any preimpact failures. The right flap actuator remained intact and was observed in a flap retracted position. The landing gear actuator was not observed and the preaccident position of the landing gear could not be confirmed.

The engine was found inverted on the floor of the house. It sustained a significant amount of thermal and impact damage, which destroyed all accessories, with the exception of the propeller governor, which was intact, but fired damaged. A large hole was observed in the crankcase, which contained a portion of the No. 4 connecting rod. The engine was forwarded to Continental Motors Inc., Mobile, Alabama, for further examination.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. The spinner was dented and did not display spiral dents. Both propeller blades displayed light chordwise scratches. The outboard section of one propeller blade was missing about 4 to 6 inches of its tip. The propeller blade was cut inboard of the missing section and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination.

Subsequent teardown of the engine under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge revealed that the crankshaft exhibited lubrication distress, thermal damage, and mechanical damage at the No. 4 connecting rod journal. The crankshaft oil transfer passage at the No. 4 journal sustained mechanical damage and contained displaced journal material. The remaining crankshaft oil transfer passages were unrestricted. Only fragments of the No. 4 connection rod bearing were recovered and they displayed lubrication and thermal distress. In addition, the number No.4 connecting rod was fractured at the base of the I-beam and exhibited extreme thermal and mechanical damage consistent with a loss of lubrication. The oil galleys and passages in the left and right crankcase halves were intact, clear, and unrestricted.

Subsequent examination of sectioned propeller blade by an NTSB metallurgist revealed that it exhibited extensive evidence of exposure to elevated temperatures that approached the melting point of the blade. This included complete removal of the paint, a thick oxide skin, and internal slumping of the blade material. The blade fracture surface exhibited characteristics consistent with separation while at elevated temperatures. The blade also showed a gradual deformation toward the camber side adjacent to the fracture. The deformation was accompanied by transverse cracking and stretching of the oxide layer on the flat side of the blade indicating deformation after or during high temperature exposure.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Office of the Medical Examiner, District 23, St. Augustine, Florida. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "multiple blunt force injures."

Toxicological testing performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was positive for the following:

"Atenolol detected in Liver
Atenolol detected in Blood (Heart)
1949 (mg/dl) Glucose detected in Urine
149 (mg/dl) Glucose detected in Vitreous
7 (%) Hemoglobin A1C detected in Blood"

Review of the pilot's most recent FAA medical examination application (dated December 31, 2012) revealed "No" was selected to the question "Do you currently use any medication (Prescription or Nonprescription)."


NTSB Identification: ERA13FA105 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 04, 2013 in Palm Coast, FL
Aircraft: BEECH H35, registration: N375B
Injuries: 3 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 January 4, 2013 at 1419 eastern standard time, a Beechcraft H35, N375B, was destroyed when it impacted a house during a forced landing in Palm Coast, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Saint Lucie County International Airport (FPR), Fort Pierce, Florida, and was destined for Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (DKX), Knoxville, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary air traffic control voice communication information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot contacted Daytona Approach control, and reported vibrations in the propeller and engine. The FAA Daytona Approach controller advised the pilot that the airports in the area were instrument flight rules with cloud ceilings of 900 to 1000 feet above ground level. The pilot received radar vectors for an airport surveillance radar (ASR) approach to guide him to runway 29 at Flagler County Airport (XFL), Palm Coast, Florida. The ASR was not a published approach, however the pilot did hold an instrument rating. Several minutes later, the pilot reported that the engine oil pressure was zero with "cool cylinders." Radar vectors from Daytona Approach continued and the pilot was cleared to land. At 2 miles from runway 29, no further transmissions from the airplane were received.

According to witnesses, the airplane was visually observed on final approach at an unusually low altitude. About 1 mile from the approach end of runway 29, the witnesses lost sight of the airplane behind tall pine trees.

The accident site was located about 4,200 feet southeast of XFL. The initial impact point (IIP) was identified as a tree with broken limbs, with various components of wreckage extending from that point on a heading of 288 degrees magnetic for 50 feet. Following the IIP, the majority of the airplane impacted the roof of a detached single family home and a large fire ensued, which destroyed most of the airplane and dwelling.

The airplane wreckage was moved to a nearby storage facility for examination. An engine examination will be conducted at the manufacturer’s facility at a later date.


 
Dozens of neighbors gathered and sang songs and shared prayers at the vigil.


Neighbors surrounding the site of a plane crash organized a vigil to remember the three people killed Friday.

A woman, inside the home at the time, escaped by climbing out a window to safety.

A neighbor reflected on just how close his own home came to disaster.

He lives right behind the home that was damaged and said if the plane would have nosedived a few hundred feet that way, the plane would have crashed into his house.

The vigil was planned by those neighbors.

It was held outside the crash site around 6 p.m.

Organizers said they will be remembering the three victims:

  • 57-year-old Michael Anders, from Kentucky
  • 59-year-old Duane Shaw, from Kentucky
  • 42-year-old Charissee Peoples, from Indiana
 
Dozens gathered to sing songs and share prayers. Neighbors are glad the woman who lives in the home, Susan Crockett, made it out safely without a scratch.

“My wife and neighbors and everything are just shaking our heads and blessed that it wasn’t us. I feel for the people who lost their lives in the plane crash. I just don’t know what to say,” said neighbor Tom Arnold.

Investigators said a preliminary report about why the plane crashed will be released later this month.
   
Earlier Sunday, Crockett's church came together to help her. It was there, at Mt Calvary Baptist Church, friends said her survival was a miracle.

They also pulled out their checkbooks to help.

The plane crash set her house on fire, gutting everything inside.

A 911 call shows she was on the phone with her daughter during the moment of impact.


911 Operator: What's going on over there?

Daughter: I was on the phone with my mom and she says a plane crashed into her house.

911 Operator: Into her house?

Daughter: Yeah. I was on the phone with and the phone got really fuzzy. And she said call 911, a plane crashed into the house.

Crockett was rushed to the hospital, but was treated and released.


The Beechcraft H35 Bonanza, which was flying from Fort Pierce to Knoxville, Tennessee when the pilot Michael Anders from Kentucky experienced engine trouble and was diverted to the Flagler County Airport. 

Anders: “Daytona, this is 3-7-5. We got a, we got a vibration in the prop. I need some help here.”

 Tower: “3-7-Bravo-Roger the closest airport is, ah, 12 o’clock. 12 to 1 o’clock in 5 miles and uh, are you I-F-R capable and equipped?”


Anders: “Yeah, I’m I-F-R. I’m just- we got a little bit of vibration and we got oil pressure problems- we’re going to have to drop quickly here.”

He was about a half-mile from the runway when he crashed into a home on Utica Path, killing Anders, 59-year-old Duane Shaw and 42-year-old Charissee Peoples.


 
 Michael R. Anders, a 58-year-old Kentucky high school teacher, was killed when the plane he was piloting crash landed into a Palm Coast home, killing two others.



The pilot of a Knoxville bound plane that crashed Friday was a "an all around good guy," according to his boss. 

Michael Anders, 58, of Albany, Kentucky was killed after his Beechcraft H35 Bonanza crashed into a Florida house.  The crash also took the lives of his two passengers.

Anders taught Spanish at Clinton County High School in Albany, KY. He also volunteered as the school's golf and chess coach.  Albany is about 25 miles from Jamestown, TN. 

"He was type of teacher who would do anything for the kids," said Clinton County High School Principal, Sheldon Harlan. 

Harlan said he got certified to drive a school bus when he didn't have to, simply to save the school money and provide more opportunities for his students. Recently, he said, when students expressed interest in going to a play, he drove the bus on a Saturday, to give them that experience. He also volunteered to drive the pep bus to away games for athletic events. 

"We're definitely going to miss him when school starts back next week," Harlan said. 

Harlan said Anders always had a joke to tell. He said the "M & M" tie he wore in his official school photo is a good example of how he always "lightened the mood." 

He said he wore a tie everyday, a habit he picked up from teaching at the Cincinnati Day School for more than 20 years. But his tie always showed his personality. 

Before he came to Albany, he taught at a University in the Virgin Islands, Harlan said. 

Harlan said Anders lived in a fly-in community at the Spring Creek Airport.

His plane crashed on Friday into a Flagler County, Florida woman's home. She was not injured.

However, Anders and his two passengers did not survive. Authorities identified  them as Duane L. Shaw, 59, of Albany, KY and Charissee M. Peoples, 42, of Indianapolis, IN.

http://www.wbir.com

 


 
NTSB at site of plane crash

 
(PHOTO/Jason Wheeler)
 NTSB investigators at the crash site on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.





































 
Photo by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, David Tucker


The house was engulfed in flames almost immediately after the plane crashed into its back side. (c FlaglerLive)









 

A Kentucky high school teacher was identified Saturday as the pilot of an ill-fated plane that crash-landed into a Flagler County home in a ball of fire and killed two others, authorities said.

Michael R. Anders, 58, was flying his 1957 Beech 35 Bonanza aircraft from Fort Pierce on his way to Knoxville, Tenn., when he ran into trouble near Palm Coast and tried to make an emergency landing.

Investigators said Anders and his two passengers — Duane L. Shaw, 59, of Albany, Ky., and Charissee M. Peoples, 42, of Indianapolis, Ind. — nose-dived into Susan Crockett's home about 2:20 p.m. one mile short of the Flagler County airport runway.

Crockett escaped through her bedroom window as her Utica Path home went up in flames, killing all those inside the single-engine aircraft, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said Anders reported engine trouble was causing the plane to vibrate and smoke was emanating from the cockpit.

The blaze nearly consumed the entire plane, save the wing, and Crockett's house.

WFTV.com reported that Anders told air traffic controllers in a transmission that there were "three souls on board," they were experiencing vibrations in the propeller and "oil pressure problems."

Weather, they reported, may have played a factor in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Anders was flying under visual flight rules. The regulations allow pilots to use sight to guide their planes in good weather rather than rely on instruments.

However, the pilot reported that he had flown into rain and fog, authorities said.

NTSB officials said they plan to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. to provide more information.

According to the Clinton County School District website, Anders taught Spanish at Clinton County High School. He was killed on his 58th birthday, records show.

"We are absolutely devastated," said his ex-wife Patti Anders, who said she and her two adult children are trying to understand what happened.

Anders was known as an energetic and innovative teacher, who taught many years at a Cincinatti private school, said friends Dave and Sue Walsh of Indiana.

"He was a dear, just unique and funny and always had a lot of good ideas," Sue Walsh said Saturday.

Dave Walsh met Anders when he interviewed for a job at the school and they worked side-by-side for more than a decade.

There, Anders developed a chess program, coached the golf team and organized an event that invited veterans to speak to students about their experiences, he said.

"He was always doing things like that," Walsh sad. "He was a very kind man and passionate about flying."

Anders regularly flew ultralight planes and studied for his pilot license while living in Ohio, his friend said.

He traveled often to St. Croix in the British Virgin Islands where he lived for a time after leaving the U.S. Navy, Walsh said and records confirm.

Story, Photo, Reaction/Comments:   http://www.orlandosentinel.com

PALM COAST, Fla. — Investigators with the NTSB are working to figure out what caused a plane to crash into a Palm Coast home Friday afternoon, killing three people. 

 National Transportation Safety Board investigators were out at the home Saturday morning. Officials said they will look into several factors in hopes of determining what exactly caused the deadly crash.

"For the machine, we're going to look at aircraft records, maintenance, if there was any that was recently done. For the environment, weather conditions," said NTSB investigator Terry Dupree.

Officials said three people died when the small plane they were in crashed into the Palm Coast home. A woman in the home was able to escape without serious injury, officials said.

Saturday afternoon, officials identified the three victims as 57-year-old Michael Anders, of Albany, KY, 59-year-old Duane Shaw, of Albany, KY and 42-year-old Charissee Peoples, of Indianapolis.

According to investigators, Anders, the pilot of the plane, declared an emergency at 2:10 p.m. Friday and reported the plane was shaking severely.

The Beech Bonanza was en route to Downtown Island Airport in Knoxville, Tenn., when Anders reported the mechanical problem, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft was diverting to Flagler County Airport when it crashed into a house on Utica Path about 2:22 p.m.

“It felt like a rumble in the ground when it hit,” said neighbor Jeff Seely.  “After, it was fully engulfed in flames."

The FAA said there were only the three individuals on board at the time of the crash, and all three were killed, officials said.

"The challenges are, as always, what happened?" said Trooper Justin Asbury of the Florida Highway Patrol. "And that's going to be our goal, to find out what exactly happened."

Susan Crockett was the only one in the house at the time of the crash. She was in her bedroom when the plane hit and  escaped by climbing through a window.

“They took the mom to the hospital. She was pretty shaken up,” said Seely.

Crockett's 20-year-old daughter said her mother's survival was nothing short of a miracle.

"It's nothing but God, the fact that my mom survived, the fact that she was able to get out," said Jessica Crockett.

She said that because of their proximity to the Flagler airport, her mother knew immediately that it was a plane that struck the house.

"The planes get really loud because they fly really low, but you never thought it would actually happen," said Crockett.

Her mother was treated and released from Florida Hospital Flagler.

According to air traffic control transmissions obtained by WFTV, mechanical problems and weather may have played a factor in this crash.

"Daytona this is three five seven bravo, we've got a vibration in the prop. I need some help here," the pilot tells air traffic controllers in a radio transmission.

"Are you IFR capable and equipped?" the controller asks.

"Yeah, I'm IFR. We're getting a little vibration, we've got oil pressure problems, we're going to have to drop quickly here," the pilot said.

"November three five seven bravo is clear to Flagler via radar vectors. Descend and maintain 2,000 on your present heading," the controller said.

The Flagler County airport is only a few miles from the crash site in the Seminole Woods subdivision.

"Three five seven bravo, how many people are on board and how much fuel you got?" the controller asked.

"Three souls on board and we've got plenty of fuel," said the pilot.

According to radio traffic, the pilot had limited visibility and as air traffic controllers tried to guide the plane they lost contact.

"Three seven five bravo heading three two zero, two miles from runway (pause) five bravo you still with me? (pause) Three seven five bravo, Daytona?" a controller said.

Then, other pilots were told about an emergency in progress.

"Expect further clearance in 10 minutes. We have an emergency going on in Flagler. I'll get back to you just as quick as I can," the controller said.

NTSB investigators continued to comb through the wreckage on Saturday.


Story, photos, videos, reaction/comments:   http://www.wftv.com