Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boeing's Screamliner

The Wall Street Journal
January 20, 2013

Globalization has led to globule-ization for Boeing.

Lithium-ion batteries in its new 787 Dreamliners have been smoking and spewing corrosive liquids. Aviation authorities around the globe grounded the planes last week until Boeing can prove its melting batteries safe.

Such a grounding hasn't happened since 1979, when engines came loose from McDonnell Douglas DC-10s.

The 787 Dreamliner represents Boeing's future, but now it's stranded on the tarmac.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney promised to return the plane to service: "We stand behind its overall integrity."

He has been in charge since 2005. Before him, an ethics-preaching Phil Condit was forced to resign after a corruption scandal involving inflated government contracts. Before Mr. Condit, a married Harry Stoncipher was forced to resign after a tryst with a female underling.

This is costing untold millions of dollars a day. Did you hear the one about the Polish airline? On Wednesday, the same day authorities grounded the Dreamliner, LOT Polish Airlines was planning to inaugurate Dreamliner service between Chicago and Warsaw.

Tomasz Balcerzak, vice president at the state-controlled airline, wasn't laughing. He said LOT would seek a lot of compensation from Boeing.

No one knows whether Boeing has a little bug to address or a major flaw that could take months to correct.

The Dreamliner is a Toyota Prius in the sky. It's made of carbon composite parts so it's lighter and uses 20% less fuel. Its electrical system replaces heavier mechanical and hydraulic systems of typical jets. Lighter, faster-charging, lithium batteries are essential. Boeing must find a way to keep them from burning and forcing emergency landings like one All Nippon Airways made in Japan last week. If the batteries must be replaced with heavier ones, the switch could force a costly redesign.

The Dreamliner is already years late to market. It's been plagued with cost overruns and other glitches such as fuel leaks. Its parts are outsourced from suppliers around the world and assembled by a company that's grown too-big-to-fail.

U.S. taxpayers supply billions to foreign airlines buying Boeing planes through the Export-Import Bank. And when Boeing isn't gorging on federal pork, it's shaking down cities for economic-development plums.

"Boeing is a poster child for corporate tax incentives," Kansas state Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, complained to Bloomberg News in January 2012—after Boeing decided to shut down its 80-year-old Wichita plant. Kansas officials had helped Boeing land a fat U.S. Air Force contract and had lavished the company with billions in municipal-bond funding and tax incentives.

In 2001, Boeing pitted Chicago, Dallas and Denver against each other in a contest to see which city would cough up the most loot for its corporate headquarters. The company had been based beside its workers in Seattle since 1917. Now Chicago is stuck with it.

In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board accused Boeing of opening a plant in South Carolina as an illegal retaliatory strike against its union workers in Washington. This highly politicized spat was resolved, but it was no morale builder.

Boeing's melting batteries may be a sign the company has grown too big since its megamerger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Globule-ization is what happens when a bloated, corporate bureaucracy tries to innovate.


2 injured in separate skydiving mishaps on North Shore, Hawaii

A 26-year-old man was transported to a trauma center in serious condition today after being injured while skydiving on the North Shore, Emergency Medical Services said.

The man is a visitor and was flying alone, a Honolulu Fire Department spokesman said. His parachute became tangled as he approached for his landing around 1:15 p.m., and he went slightly off course, landing in the Camp Mokuleia area, the spokesman said.

The skydiver told emergency responders that he hit a few Ironwood trees on his way down and complained of pain in his left thigh before being treated and transported by EMS.

In a separate incident, a 40-year-old woman was seriously injured when she collided with another skydiver about 3 p.m., also on Oahu’s North Shore.

EMS said the woman was transported to a trauma center, and the second diver was not injured.

Food processor recalls meat sent to airlines, restaurants

BOISE, Idaho -- Boise-based food processor B and D Foods is conducting a voluntary recall on all of its pre-cooked frozen meat products made in early December because of possible bacterial contamination.

The recall is for all chicken, beef and pork products produced on Dec. 6 due to potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes, often linked to undercooked foods.

B and D Foods specifically issued a recall on their boxes of Royal Tempura Chicken, Blings! Chicken Breast with Parmesan Flavoring, Steakhouse Tempura Seasoned Beef, Kettle Cooked Chicken and Fully Cooked Pork Strips. 

While the meats are not sold in grocery stores, B and D said that the listed products were sold to restaurants and airlines in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Montana, California and Ohio. 

On Dec. 6, workers conducted a routine microbiological sampling of the 33,500 pounds of meat included in those products. Initially the test came back negative for Listeria monocytogenes.

One of B and D's clients also conducted a test, which came back positive for the bacteria in the "Kettle Cooked Chicken Breast Pieces".

 B and D Foods sent some of their additional samples of that batch of chicken for further processing to an outside lab, where one of eight test samples came back positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

 B and D Foods reported that they immediately contacted the USDA and all the distributors that purchased the affected meats made on Dec. 6.

Tim Andersen, president of B and D Foods, said that the company has a zero tolerance policy for listeria in its food, and will continue its intense testing process.

“Quality assurance and safety tests are taken daily and analyzed by an independent laboratory. B and D Foods is taking these precautionary recall measures to assure that products are healthy and safe for our customers and consumers,” Andersen said.

None of the 850 pounds of new chicken product was released for public consumption.  However, to be proactive and ensure the safety of its product and consumers, B and D Foods has identified all products that were manufactured on Dec. 6 that could have been cross contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and asked its clients to return all products manufactured on that specific date.

This is an isolated incident. B and D Foods has never had a recall in its 30 year history.  The family owned company has strict internal standards, policies and procedures, as well as complies with all USDA guidelines and standards.  B and D Foods takes this issue very seriously and it will be working with the USDA and its clients to resolve this issue as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Products subject to the recall include:

10-lb. boxes, containing 2, 5-lb bags of “ROYAL “THE TEMPURA KING” ROYAL TEMPURA CHICKEN, Fully Cooked Tempura Chicken Breast,” bearing an identifying code of “A-4615.” This product was distributed to food service and/or institutional customers in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

  • 10-lb. boxes, containing 2, 5-lb bags of “BLINGS! CHICKEN BREAST WITH PARMESAN FLAVORING,” bearing an identifying code of “A-4844.” This product was distributed to foodservice and/or institutional customers in Idaho and Montana.
  • 10-lb. boxes, containing 2, 5-lb bags of “STEAKHOUSE TEMPURA SEASONED BEEF & BINDER STRIPS,” bearing an identifying code of “A-1070-10.” This product was distributed to foodservice and/or institutional customers in Idaho and Montana.
  • 30-lb. boxes of “KETTLE COOKED CHICKEN BREAST PIECES,” bearing an identifying code of “A-3900.” This product was distributed to an industrial customer in Ohio.
  • 30-lb. boxes of “FULLY COOKED PORK STRIPS,” bearing an identifying code of “A-3025-30.” This product was distributed to an industrial customer in Arizona and California.
  • ‘Bodies of Dana pilots lost in crash inferno’

    The bodies of the two pilots of Dana Air’s MD-83 plane which crashed in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State on June 3, 2012 were not found as they might have been completely incinerated by the post-crash inferno.

    The Chief Medical Examiner and Consultant Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. John Obafunwa, said this in his testimony at a Lagos State coroner court sitting in Ikeja on Friday.

    The American pilot, Mr. Peter Waxtan, 55, and his Indian co-pilot, Mr. Mahendra Rathore, 34, were among the six crew members of the plane; 147 passengers and uncertain number of others on the ground, who were killed in the crash.

    Obafunwa, who coordinated series of post-mortem tests, apart from the DNA analysis, on the bodies recovered from the crash site, said a total of nine persons among the 153 persons aboard the plane, could not be identified.

    He said, “I had a manifest of 153 persons. Out of the 153, we were able to identify 144, leaving nine.

    “I must say from the manifest, at the end of the day, we could not identify the bodies of the pilot and the co-pilot and that was after exhaustive deliberation and consultation.

    “Bodies of other crew members were identified.”

    He said apart from Waxtan and Rathore, who were certain to be on the plane, the other seven names of passengers on the manifest whose bodies were not found might actually not have boarded the plane.

    He said among the 148 bodies identified with their names, three of them, through the DNA analysis carried out on the bodies in the United Kingdom, were discovered to be among the bodies of those who died on the ground.

    He, however, told the court presided over by Mr. Oyetade Komolafe that the bodies of other crew members, apart from those of Waxtan and Rathore, were identified.

    Obafunwa, who was appearing before the coroner court for the second time to give a report of the DNA analysis on the victims of the crash, said his team received 152 body bags from the crash site.

    Led in evidence by the counsel for the state’s Attorney-General, Akinjide Bakare, the pathologist said three unidentified bodies were still being kept in the mortuary.

    Giving insight into why the bodies could not be identified, Obafunwa, who is also the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, said some of the bodies were so burnt that blood and urine could not be extracted from them for certain tests.

    Oyetade adjourned till January 25 for lawyers representing other parties to cross-examine the pathologist.

    Story and Reaction/Comments:

    Oroville, Washington: Missing out on airport business

    Posted January 10, 2013 in  Letters to the Editor

    Dear Gary,

    As a member of the local area, I have to wonder about what is going on about our airport.

    I understand that the pilots who gas up at the airport pay for the gas. Also those who park their planes there pay a fee for whatever type space they use. Aircraft fuel is expensive and they have been paying for it. Where’s the money paid for that gas gone? Plain and simple….

    Also, as of now our airport is closed to border-type crossing or any aircraft other than helicopters and only if the chopper has it’s own gas. The runways are not plowed. We are not getting any of the business we would get from layovers of Canadian planes or otherwise…they have to land other places that are accredited for border flights.

    In God I trust,

    Betty Roberts



    Puppies take a flight toward a new life

    LARRY MAYER/Gazette Staff
     Pilot Jerry Cain, of Lincoln, carries Labrador puppies to his airplane, as Pilots N Paws volunteers transport the dogs in a relay across several states Saturday. The rescued dogs are headed to Colville, Wash., for training as service dogs.

    Nine eight-week-old puppies made a pit-stop in Billings on Saturday afternoon on their way to a better life. 

     The squirmy, affectionate black, brown and blond Labradors flew into Billings Logan International Airport on one Cessna 182 and flew out on another, all in about a half-hour.

    They started the day in Monroe City, Mo., and would end it in Missoula. In between, they made stops in Valentine, N.D., and Billings, all thanks to pilots who belong to Pilots N Paws.

    The national nonprofit connects animal rescue groups with pilots and others dedicated to saving animals' lives. It was founded in 2008 and now has 2,466 pilot volunteers and 8,281 rescuers.

    The Labrador puppies were rescued from what’s called a kill shelter in Monroe City. That’s a shelter where animals are kept for a specific period and then, if not adopted, they are euthanized.

    The puppies will go by ground transportation from Missoula to Colville, Wash., north of Spokane. There, they will be trained by Shepherds for Lost Sheep Inc. as service dogs for veterans dealing with physical and psychological injuries.

    In other cases, the rescued dogs, cats, pigs, reptiles, rabbits and other animals are transported from kill shelters to foster or permanent homes.

    Different groups arrange the rescues. Saturday’s mission was coordinated by Quailwings Transports. Headquarters for the group of air and ground transporters is in Cut Bank.

    Saturday was the maiden flight for Billings pilot Brandie Emmett, a new Pilots N Paws volunteer. She flew the puppies from North Dakota to Billings, more than 300 miles round-trip.

    She’s been a member for about four months. A friend told Emmett to check out Pilots N Paws on Facebook, and she was hooked.

    “It doesn’t get any better than this, to take what you love doing, which is flying and helping animals,” she said, sitting on a couch in her hangar at the airport.

    Emmett works in marketing for a State Farm Insurance agent in Billings. She took up flying as a hobby four years ago.

    A pet owner, she has two adult labs and a cat. So she was equipped to transport the puppies in one of her large kennels.

    She was a little nervous at the start of her flight in Valentine.

    “They were really kind of yelping when we took off, so I did not think this was probably a good thing,” Emmett said. “But within 10 minutes they had calmed down, went to sleep and I did not hear another word from them until we turned on the taxiway.”

    Once Emmett landed in Billings, she taxied to her hangar, powered down the plane and hopped out to unload her noisy cargo. Pilot Jerry Cain of Lincoln, Mont., another Pilots N Paws volunteer, was waiting to load them into his plane.

    He’s been part of the nonprofit for “three or four years” and enjoys doing the charitable flights. Cain also ferries humans through the nonprofit Angel Flight West program.

    Cain, his co-pilot Jerry Hover, Emmett and pilot Scott Newpower moved the puppies from one plane to the other. The dogs couldn’t be let down to run around, Emmett said, because they had just received their parvo vaccinations and could be vulnerable if exposed to the virus.

    Cain provided bowls of fresh water to the puppies and got them settled in two crates in his plane. Emmett signed off on some paperwork, and then Cain taxied to the runway and took off.

    Because of the weather, Cain tends to make fewer rescue trips in the winter. But in the summer, he may fly a couple of times a month or more.

    His rule of thumb is that he will fly a 500-nautical-mile round trip from Lincoln. This particular flight totaled 484 miles, he said.

    Cain, who had sled dogs he runs in the winter, has a soft spot for pets. So it just makes sense for him to be involved in rescuing them.

    “I love animals, dogs, cats and horses,” he said. “And it’s a good excuse to fly.”

    Story and Photos:

    Beechcraft B55 Baron, J S Leasing LLC, N143E: Accident occurred January 19, 2013 in Mangum, Oklahoma

    NTSB Identification: CEN13FA137
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Saturday, January 19, 2013 in Mangum, OK
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/06/2014
    Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55 (T42A), registration: N143E
    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 pilot conducted a taxi test down the runway, stopped to pick up two passengers, and then departed on the local flight in the twin-engine airplane. Two witnesses reported hearing the airplane, which made them notice it flying toward them. They stated that it sounded like it "sputtered" and that they then saw the airplane nose dive into a spin. They indicated that the airplane appeared to flatten out before it collided with terrain.

    Review of radar data revealed that the airplane conducted various maneuvers before the accident, including a 360-degree left turn about 5 to 6 miles from the airport. The track then turned east before turning north away from the airport. The radar data indicated that the airplane slowed as it turned north. Only one of the radar plots indicated the airplane's altitude, and it indicated that it was at 3,600 feet (about 2,000 feet above ground level [agl]). 

    A mechanic reported that he had performed an annual inspection on the airplane before the airplane's departure; however, the inspection was not noted in the airplane's maintenance records. The last recorded annual inspection was conducted about 17 months before the accident. Further, the postaccident examination revealed that the engines were missing their respective dataplates and that the altimeter and static system test was last conducted 25 months before the accident. Despite these discrepancies, examination of the airplane and engines did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation. On the basis of the evidence, the airplane slowed and then entered a stall/spin. However, it could not be determined whether the pilot was performing an intentional maneuver or if there was a loss of engine power. According to the airplane's Pilot's Operating Handbook, stalls should be recovered no lower than 3,000 feet agl.

    A review of the pilot's logbooks revealed that he had last flown a multiengine airplane about 7 months before the accident and that he had flown only about 30 hours in multiengine airplanes in the 2 years before the accident. The pilot's last flight review, which was conducted in the accident airplane, occurred about 27 months before the accident. 

    The pilot's toxicological report noted the presence of a therapeutic level of amitriptyline, an antidepressant, which was not declared in his medical history. It could not be determined whether the pilot was impaired by the amitriptyline or the underlying condition for which it was prescribed at the time of the accident.

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

    The airplane's aerodynamic stall/spin at low altitude and subsequent impact with terrain for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examinations. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of currency/proficiency.

    On January 19, 2013, about 1700 central standard time, a Beechcraft Baron 95-B55, airplane, N143E, impacted terrain near Mangum, Oklahoma. The commercial rated pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by JS Leasing, LLC, Mangum, Oklahoma, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Scott Field Airport (2K4), Mangum, Oklahoma.

    According to persons familiar with the flight, the airplane had its annual maintenance inspection completed prior to the flight. They reported that the pilot started the airplane and did a taxi test down the runway, then stopped and picked up the two passengers before departing. 

    Witnesses reported hearing the sound of an airplane, so they turned and watched the airplane. They added that it sounded like the airplane "sputtered," before it nosed dived into a spin, which appeared to flatten out before the airplane collided with the ground. 


    The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane, single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument-airplane. A third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical was issued on November 20, 2012 with the restriction of "holder shall possess glasses for near/intermediate vision". A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had recorded a total of 2,170.1 hours, with 919. 3 hours in single-engine airplanes and 1,170.5 in multiengine airplanes. For calendar year 2011 he had 1.9 hours in single-engine and 16.0 hours in multiengine airplanes; for calendar year 2012 he had 7.2 hours in single-engine airplane and 14.4 hours in multiengine airplane; which was in the accident airplane. His last recorded flight in the accident airplane was on June 1, 2012, and last logbook entry was on January 12, 2013 in a single engine airplane. According to the logbook, the pilot's last flight review was on September 21, 2010, which was conducted in the accident airplane.

    The right seat passenger held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and flight engineer (turbojet). Additionally, he held a mechanic certificate, with airframe and powerplant ratings. The passenger was issued a third class medical certificate on March 6, 2012, with the limitation; "must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision". At the date of the application, the passenger reported his flight experience as 54 total flight hours with 5 hours in last six months.


    The Beechcraft B55, Baron, is a twin-engine airplane powered by two Continental IO-470 reciprocating engines. The airplane is typically configured for four to six-seats including pilots, has retractable landing gear and flaps, and full-feathering propellers. 
    A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the recent annual inspection, which was reported to have been completed on the day of the accident flight, had not been entered into the airplane's paper maintenance log books. The last recorded annual inspection was done on August 5, 2011 with a Hobbs time of 5193.9 hours. In addition, the airplane's altimeter and static system were last tested on December 7, 2010.


    At 1655, the automated weather observation facility located at Altus Air Force Base, Altus, Oklahoma, located about 30 miles southeast of the accident site, reported calm wind, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, temperature 61 Fahrenheit (F), dew point 35 F, and a barometric pressure of 30.12 inches of mercury.

    At 1915, the automated weather observation facility located at Altus/Quartz Mountain Regional Airport Altus, Oklahoma, located about 25 miles southeast of the accident site, reported calm wind, visibility 10 miles, a clear sky, temperature 50 Fahrenheit (F), dew point 34 F, and a barometric pressure of 30.18 inches of mercury.


    Scott Field Airport (2K4) is a non-towered airport and the pilot was not in communication with air traffic control; there were no reported distress calls from the pilot. 

    A review of radar information revealed a radar track consistent with the accident airplane leaving the Mangum airport about 1644. The track heads north-northwest towards the Sayre Municipal Airport (3O4), located about 18 miles away. The radar track disappears as it nears 3O4, then reappears with the airplane heading south. About 5-6 miles from 2K4, the track depict the airplane performed a large, 360 degree, left turn, before resuming the southward heading. The track then turns east, before a turn to the north away from 2K4. The radar also indicated that the airplane slowed down, as it turned northward. The track ends near the accident site at 1701. Only one of the radar plots showed the airplane's altitude; 3,600 feet (approximately 2,000 feet above ground level), otherwise the airplane's altitude (mode C) was not received by radar.


    The National Transportation Safety Board and an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the airplane wreckage on site. 

    The airplane came to rest upright in open ranch land approximately five and a half miles northwest of 2K4. The airplane remained relatively intact; both propellers had separated and were approximately 3 feet in front of their respective engines. The surrounding area was absent any ground scars, consistent with the airplane impacting terrain with little forward velocity. According to the mechanic, who performed the annual, the airplane's main fuel tanks were almost full and the auxiliary tanks were full prior to departure. First responders reported fuel on site and a post-impact fire erupted when they attempted to cut the battery cable. The fire was extinguished, before it could consume the wreckage.

    The fuselage sat flat on the ground and had sustained heavy impact damage; the cabin top had been cut and removed by first responders. The fuselage back to the empennage had heavy bending and buckling. The instrument panel was pushed up and back slightly into the cockpit area.

    The empennage exhibited damage to the both sides of the horizontal stabilizer; the elevator remained attached to the stabilizer. The vertical stabilizer remained partially attached to the aft section of the fuselage; the rudder was located on the ground aft of the empennage. The rudder and trim tab were bent aft. Both wings exhibited buckling and crushing signatures; each aileron and flap remained attached to their respective wings. The flaps appeared in the retracted position and the landing gear extended. The landing gear handle on the panel was broken; however, the landing gear bellcrank was in the extended or down position. The fuel selectors received impact damage and were pointing at the auxiliary fuel tanks. The airplane's Hobb's meter read 5203.4 hours. The leading edge of the left wing received fire damage; both nacelle areas had also received slight thermal damage from the post-crash fire. 

    The both engines remained in their respective nacelle. Both propellers were separated from their respective crankshaft flange, with the bolts being stripped from the crankshaft flanges. 


    The Board of Medicolegal Investigations, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted autopsies on the pilot and pilot rated passenger. The cause of death on both occupants was determined to be "multiple blunt force trauma". In addition to traumatic injuries, the pilot's autopsy identified thickening of the walls of the heart. The pilot had told the FAA he was being treated for high blood pressure on his last aviation medical exam. He and had been issued a third class medical certificate with a limitation for wearing corrective lenses.

    The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. These tests were negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. The test identified amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and nadolol in liver and amitriptyline (0.069 g/ml), nortriptyline, and nadolol in heart blood. 

    Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is also used to treat a variety of chronic pain syndromes. Its therapeutic range is 0.005 ug/ml to 0.200 ug/ml and it carries an FDA warning: "may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." Nortriptyline is the primary metabolite of amitriptyline. Nadolol is a beta-blocker used to treat hypertension.


    The airplane wreckage was transported to a salvage facility where both engines were examined by the NTSB, FAA, and a technical representative from the engine manufacturer. Both engines were missing their respective dataplates. Continuity was established from the front of the crankshaft to the rear gear drive section of the engine, and through the valve train. Each cylinder was borescoped and produced suction and compression during a thumb test. The left magneto on the left engine had separated on impact; the other magnetos were removed from each engine and rotated. The magneto's rotated freely and produced a spark at each terminal. Both fuel screens were not plugged, but contained a small about of unidentified contaminate on the screens. The engines fuel flow divider and the engine driven fuel pumps were examined; no abnormalities were noted.

    The engine inspection did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation.


    A review of the airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) on Stall, Slow Flight and Training stated that: "Training should be accomplished under the supervision of a qualified instructor-pilot, with careful reference to the applicable sections of the FAA Practical Test Standards ….."

    NTSB Identification: CEN13FA137 
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Saturday, January 19, 2013 in Mangum, OK
    Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55 (T42A), registration: N143E
    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 19, 2013, about 1700 central standard time, a Beechcraft Barron B55, airplane, N143E, impacted terrain near Mangum, Oklahoma. The commercial rated pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to JS Leasing, LLC, Mangum, Oklahoma and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and operated without a flight plan for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated from the Scott Field Airport (2K4), Mangum, Oklahoma, at an unknown time.

    According to persons familiar with the flight, the airplane had just completed its annual maintenance inspection. The pilot started the airplane and did a taxi test down the runway, before stopping and picking up the two passengers; the flight then departed.

    Witnesses reported hearing a pitch change in the sound of an airplane so they turned, and saw an airplane. They added that it sounded like the airplane “sputtered” , before it nosed over and entered a spin, which appeared to flatten out before the airplane collided with the ground.

    The airplane came to rest upright in an open ranch land approximately five and a half miles northwest of 2K4. The airplane remained relatively intact; both propellers had separated and were approximately 3 feet in front of their respective engines. The surround area was absent any ground scars, consistent with the airplane impacting terrain with little forward velocity. First responders reported fuel on site and a post-impact fire erupted when they tried to cut the battery cable. The fire was extinguished, before it could consume the wreckage.

    After documentation of the site, the wreckage was recovered for further examination.

      Regis#: 143E        Make/Model: BE95      Description: 95 Travel Air
      Date: 01/19/2013     Time: 2325
      Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
      Damage: Destroyed
      City: MANGUM   State: OK   Country: US
    INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   3
                     # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                     # Pass:   2     Fat:   2     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                     # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
      Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER
      FAA FSDO: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  (SW15)             Entry date: 01/22/2013 
    Men who died in Mangum plane crash loved flying Friends and family of two of the three people killed in a plane crash Saturday in Mangum said the men were doing what they loved when they died — flying. 

    The remnants of a 1964 Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron that crashed near Mangum on Saturday. Pilot Stephen Scott, 53, of Mangum and passengers John Hall, 45, and Edi Ortega, 20, both of Altus, were killed in the crash.

    MANGUM — John Hall was doing what he loved Saturday when he and two other men were killed in a plane crash near Mangum in Greer County.

     photo - The remnants of a 1964 Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron that crashed near Mangum on Saturday. Pilot Stephen Scott, 53, of Mangum and passengers John Hall, 45, and Edi Ortega, 20, both of Altus, were killed in the crash.

    Hall, 45, and Edi Ortega, 20, both of Altus, were passengers in the plane flown by Stephen Scott, 53, of Mangum. Family and friends of Hall and Scott say they do not know how the three men knew each other or why they went out flying together. The plane crashed about 5:10 p.m.

    Jake Hall, John Hall's 14-year-old son, said flying was his father's passion. He was both a pilot and a flight engineer in the Air Force.

    “He loved flying; if there was an opportunity to go flying, he was there,” Jake Hall said.

    Tony Molinaro, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Chicago, said the plane took off from Scott Field Municipal Airport in Mangum and crashed about 10 miles north of the airport. The cause of the crash is unknown.

    According to FAA records, the plane was a 1964 Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron, a twin-engine propeller plane owned by J S Leasing LLC of Mangum.

    “It's a tragic loss, and our family is just getting through it,” Jake Hall said. “As the days go by, it's going to totally set in, and we'll find out how we're going to live with it.”

    Hall worked as a training support manager at CAE, a civil aviation, military and helicopter training company. During the 20 years he served in the U.S. Air Force, Hall worked as a mechanic on the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, and as a flight engineer and pilot for the C-5 Galaxy cargo jet.

    “His love for flying came from God,” said his wife, Lynn Hall.

    John Hall also nurtured his children's passions, such as Jake Hall's love of baseball.

    “He was devoted,” Lynn Hall said. “There was a talent that he felt that God had placed in those kids, and he did what he could to support them to get better.”

     Obsessed with safety

    Scott was known in his hometown as a “kind and giving fellow,” family friend John Hobbs said.

    “He was so giving with his time; there are so many people in our community that Stephen had helped every day, every month, every year,” Hobbs said. “When you get to be Stephen's age, everybody knows you're the guy to help.”

    Scott was active at First United Methodist Church in Mangum. He was a member of the Mangum Chamber of Commerce, past-president of the Mangum High School Alumni Association and active with water conservation efforts in southwest Oklahoma, among other things, Hobbs said.

    “Stephen was an extremely soft-spoken man, but he led by example, and people say they were truly inspired by him,” he said.

    Scott learned to fly while he attended Oklahoma State University. He loved to fly and was obsessed with safety, Hobbs said.

    “That's why it was so shocking that Steve Scott would perish in a plane accident,” Hobbs said. “You know they say the good die young, but the Lord took a great man.”

    Hobbs said Scott's family is horrified that the crash not only killed Scott but two other men.

    “Their hearts go out to those other families. It was a truly great loss for them as well,” he said.

    Attempts to reach Ortega's family by telephone Monday were unsuccessful.

    Funeral information

    Scott's funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Mangum. Memorial donations can be made to the church, the Mangum High School Alumni Association or the Mangum Education Foundation.

    Hall's family will hold visitation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home, and his funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Lowell-Tims Chapel in Altus.

    F-35B grounded following fuel leak during takeoff

    F-35B aircraft under evaluation were grounded Friday after a fuel line part failed and caused a Wednesday testing takeoff to be aborted.

    The Pentagon’s official “red stripe” suspends flight operations until an engineering investigation is complete for the short take off and vertical landing version of the plane being developed to replace most Marine Corps aircraft.

    According to information provided from NAVAIR by the military legislative adviser for Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-Farmville, “The takeoff was safely aborted with no secondary damage. Updates will be provided once further information is available or corrective action is established.”

    A nozzle for the “fueldraulic line failure… resulted in a significant fuel leak during the takeoff roll of a UK-owned, Eglin-based F-35B.”

    The email forwarding the advisory to area officials and community leaders interested in successful development the Joint Strike Fighters’ most complex version, was prefaced with “Bad news, but as all of you know, new aircraft are going to experience problems, e.g. V-22, Dream Liner, etc.”

    Harry Blot, retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and a former program manager with Lockheed Martin’s JSF development, said, “I wish it hadn’t happened but it is the type of thing that comes as part of the analysis. It’s good that if something was going to break, nobody got hurt and the airplane wasn’t damaged.”

    “The part is made by Rolls Royce under contract to Pratt and Whitney,” he said. “It is actually the tail pipe which rotates down to get the thrust you need for swivel operations. It failed. Now they have to figure out why. It just came out of maintenance. Was it something somebody did wrong or something wrong with the design or manufacture apt to recur? They have to sort it out.”

    “NAVAIR is responsible for technical help for all of these aircraft and when they get an incident, they look at it and say ‘Stop flying the airplane until I get a chance to see what happened,’” Blot said. “It could be a one-of-a-kind incident and you go on. It could mean this has to be fixed. Some evaluations take less than a day. Others take much longer.”

    “The F-35B has come off probation and right now is in the middle of the pack with the others,” he said, guessing there are about 20 F-35B’s built including those at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, three at Yuma, Ariz., and four or five at Patuxent River, Md.

    Aircraft at Cherry Point air station are supposed to be replaced with mostly the F-35B variant of the Lightning II, but production of the aircraft in a contract with Lockheed was in 2001 is more than 70 percent over original budget, now at about $395.7 billion.

    While Cherry Point is last on the list to receive F-35B squadrons with none expected to be based here before about 2022, the Navy aircraft rework facility Fleet Readiness Center East has been tapped to work on the planes. If development and procurement stays on track, one could arrive there for modification as early as 2014.


    Boeing 787 grounding highlights Federal Aviation Administration's struggles with new technology

    DALLAS (AP) - After two separate and serious battery problems aboard Boeing 787s, it wasn't U.S. authorities who acted first to ground the plane. It was Japanese airlines.

    The unfolding saga of Boeing's highest-profile plane has raised new questions about federal oversight of aircraft makers and airlines.

    Some aviation experts question the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to keep up with changes in the way planes are being made today - both the technological advances and the use of multiple suppliers from around the globe. Others question whether regulators are too cozy with aircraft manufacturers.

    Even as they announced a broad review of the 787 earlier this month, top U.S. transportation regulators stood side-by-side with a Boeing executive and declared the plane safe - saying that they would gladly fly in one. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood repeated his endorsement Wednesday.

    A few hours later, the FAA issued an emergency order grounding the planes.

    Despite their concerns, many safety experts still believe that the current regulatory process works - the 787s were grounded before any accidents occurred.

    The Dreamliner is the first airliner whose structure is made mostly from composite materials rather than aluminum. The plane relies more than previous airliners on electrical systems rather than hydraulic or mechanical ones, and it's the first airliner to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries to power cabin-pressurization and other key functions.

    Such technological advances may force the FAA to re-examine the way it does its job.

    "We've gone from aviation to aerospace products that are much more complex," said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the Teal Group. "The FAA is equipped for aviation. Aerospace is another matter."

    Former National Transportation Safety Board member Kitty Higgins said the FAA must consider whether changes in its certification process would have turned up the problems in the Dreamliner battery systems.

    "They need to make sure the certification process stays current with the industry and the new technology," she said.

    An FAA spokeswoman declined to comment for this article, referring instead to statements made during a news conference last week. Officials said then that the review of the 787 wouldn't be limited to the Dreamliner's batteries. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said that the agency would "make sure that the approved quality control procedures are in place and that all of the necessary oversight is done."

    The FAA has said that its technical experts logged 200,000 hours testing and reviewing the plane's design before certifying the plane in August 2011. Boeing defended the process and the plane.

    "We are confident in the regulatory process that has been applied to the 787 since its design inception," said Boeing Co. spokesman Marc Birtel. "With this airplane, the FAA conducted its most robust certification process ever."

    A week ago, FAA's Huerta and Transportation Secretary LaHood endorsed the Dreamliner's safety even as they ordered a new review of its design and construction following a fire in a lithium-ion battery on a 787 that had landed in Boston. Then, this past Wednesday, after a battery malfunction on a second plane resulted in an emergency landing, they grounded Dreamliner flights in the U.S.

    In certifying new planes, the FAA relies heavily on information from the manufacturers. That system has worked - the U.S. commercial airline fleet is safer than ever - but it is coming under renewed scrutiny after the 787 incidents.

    Experts say that FAA officials have no choice but to rely on information from aircraft manufacturers as key systems of the plane are designed and built.

    "As a practical matter, they can't do the testing," said longtime aviation consultant Daniel Kasper of Compass Lexecon. "They don't have the expertise in aircraft design, and they don't have the budget - it would be too costly. They would have to be involved in every step."

    Thomas Anthony, director of the aviation-safety program at the University of Southern California, said many new planes have flaws that are only discovered once they go into service, and that the regulatory process worked the way it was supposed to with the Dreamliner.

    "The FAA used to be accused of 'blood priority'" - acting only after a disaster, Anthony said. "In this case, it's not true. The regulators are taking their job seriously. There were no accidents, there were no injuries, there were no fatalities."

    That has not always been the case. In 1979, authorities grounded the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 for five weeks after an engine tore loose from the wing of an American Airlines plane, causing a crash that killed 273 in Chicago. And there were other incidents that occurred after the DC-10 was introduced in 1971, including cargo-door problems that forced one emergency landing and caused a Turkish Airlines crash that killed 346 in 1974.

    Boeing, based in Chicago, is racing to find a fix to the Dreamliner's battery systems and get the planes back in the air. It is still producing 787s but has stopped delivering them to customers.

    Bloomberg News reported that Boeing has tried to persuade FAA to end the groundings by proposing a variety of inspections and having pilots monitor electronic signals from the batteries to prevent fires. The FAA has been reluctant to approve those steps without a clear idea of what caused the defects and how they can be prevented.

    Story and Reaction/Comments:

    Puerto Rican Singer Noelia Wants Private Plane Seized by Venezuela Returned

    Photo: Puerto Rican Singer Noelia
    Puerto Rican singer Noelia complained that her private plane was “arbitrarily seized” at an airport in Venezuela and asked the nation’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro to take steps to resolve the case.

    The artist told Efe Friday that the aircraft was in Venezuela for its possible sale, which in the end never went through. It was scheduled to be back in Florida on Wednesday to fly the artist to California, but was detained at Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas.

    The private aircraft with United States registration, belonging to the artist and her husband, Jorge Reynoso, was “arbitrarily seized,” the songstress said.

    “I publicly request the honorable government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to intervene in the injustice imposed by some officials who are holding the private jet,” Noelia said.

    She said they had fulfilled all the requirements laid down by Venezuelan law and that the plane’s two pilots were “the object of extortion by officials at all levels.”

    Noelia said that “directors of the Anti-drug and Customs Agency certified the inspection of the plane and distanced themselves from the seizure,” while pointing to the president of Venezuela’s National Institute of Civil Aviation,” or INAC, Francisco Paz Fleitas, as “the sole authority in the matter.”

    The vocalist of songs like “My Everything” and “Enamorada” (In Love) suspects that behind the seizure is the hidden intention to “keep the aircraft and they’re trying to work up some justification.”


    Rigger a 'bloody hero' in Christmas tree chopper crash


    A rigging supervisor who narrowly escaped death when a helicopter crashed from directly above him is fighting to overturn official findings that hold him partly responsible. 

    This week, the Civil Aviation Authority is expected to publish its findings into the causes of a spectacular helicopter crash at the Auckland Viaduct, indicating the crash was partly caused by experienced rigger Scott Anderson.

    The helicopter was lifting a 21m tower for the Telecom Christmas tree, when its rotor clipped a cable Anderson held.

    Anderson challenged the CAA's initial findings, published a month after the crash, which said he pulled the cable which hit the chopper's blades.

    The CAA told the Herald on Sunday the initial findings were likely to be upheld and would be the basis of the final report.

    Neither Anderson nor the pilot Greg Gribble, owner of South Auckland-based Helisika Helicopters, will be charged.

    "The CAA has decided not to prosecute me," Gribble told the Herald on Sunday.

    "They are also not prosecuting the other guy (Anderson), which surprises me. I have had no correspondence with the rigger since, nor do I really want to."

    Gribble said he had no interest in what the final report said.

    "Everyone's out to blame somebody else but, regardless of who's to blame or the outcome of the report, we're pushing on.

    "It's been a hard time but as far as I'm concerned it's history."

    Cameraman Murray Job, who filmed the accident, said the rigger was not at fault.

    "I'm very much on Scott's side. There was a briefing and Scott has told me the briefing was not followed.

    "Scott was meant to climb up the tower to unhook the cable. That was the plan and that was why he had the harness on.

    "Scott stuck to the plan and attempted to unhook the cable, what else could he do?"

    Job said everyone could see what would happen if the cable was left attached.

    "Even if he didn't reach up to grab the cable, it was going to hit the rotor anyway.

    "I could see what was going on and that's why I started to walk away.

    "I was thinking, 'what the hell is this? But these guys must know what they are doing'. Next thing I hear the 'crack' of the rotor striking the cable and I swung around to film what was happening."

    He said his other camera on the other side recorded the whole thing. Job said an observer some distance away should have directed the helicopter to remain aloft as the rigger climbed the tower to unhook the cable.

    "You've got a tower that's seven storeys high with one end of a cable attached to the top and the other end attached to the chopper. Something bad was going to happen unless the cable was unhooked and that would have been clear to everyone who was there.

    "Scott tried to fix it. When the cable struck he ducked for his life, rolled into a run and sprinted straight into the chopper to shut the machine down. He's a bloody hero in my eyes."

    Anderson, from the firm Uni-Rig, was not available to comment.


    Boeing unlikely to suffer Japan fall-out over 787 woes

    (Reuters) - Decades of deep business ties between Boeing Co and Japan and the thousands of jobs that depend on them mean Japan will likely keep rewarding U.S. manufacturers with the bulk of its aviation spending.

    Boeing's 80 percent share of commercial airline sales in Japan is unrivalled. In every other major market, including the United States, the U.S. planemaker's share is around half, with the rest going to European rival Airbus.

    The health of Japan's aerospace industry - dismantled by the United States after Tokyo's defeat in World War Two - has long been intertwined with the fortunes of Boeing's commercial jetliners and the 787 Dreamliner in particular.

    The Dreamliner, grounded globally this week after a series of mishaps including an emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways domestic flight, is around one third made-in-Japan.

    "If you've been driving on the right, you don't want to shift to the left," said an aerospace industry official in Japan who didn't want to be named due to the issue's sensitivity. He said that, unless it became really serious, the 787's problems were unlikely to decouple Japan from Boeing.


    Flag carrier Japan Airlines Co Ltd has never bought an Airbus plane, and ANA was the first to fly the 787. ANA was also a launch customer for Boeing's 777 and is the biggest international operator of the U.S. firm's 767 passenger jets.

    Those Japan-Boeing ties were initially spurred by trade diplomacy when Japan was the target of U.S. protectionist ire two decades ago because of Tokyo's massive trade surplus. Japanese airlines buying a few 747 jumbo jets could help re-tilt some of that balance.

    Now, however, with Japan's trade surplus erased by a strong yen and the fading competitiveness of its exporters, Tokyo's "Buy American" incentive has shifted from soothing trade friction to protecting Japanese jobs.

    "In the past, diplomatic relations likely influenced purchases. Now Japan is putting its effort into building (the planes)," said Hiroyuki Kobayashi, an aviation consultant who was a JAL pilot for 42 years.


    Japan's share of the build - and of the profit - has grown with each successive Boeing model, from below a fifth for the 767 and a quarter for the 777 to more than a third for the 787.

    Among the key Dreamliner components made in Japan are the technically complex wings built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, the maker of Japan's wartime Zero fighter. It is the first time a foreign firm has built wings for a Boeing jetliner - part of a global supply chain linked by upsized 747 cargo jets, dubbed "Dreamlifters", that ship the 787 parts for final assembly by Boeing in Washington State and South Carolina.

    Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of Subaru cars, builds the 787s wing box that connects the wings to the fuselage, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, best known for its motorbikes, makes part of the fuselage wing flaps and landing gear. The plane's toilets are supplied by Jamco Corp.

    More than five dozen Japanese firms are among the suppliers for Boeing's civilian and military divisions, providing 22,000 jobs - around 40 percent of Japan's aerospace industry. Any switch to Airbus planes would, therefore, be bad news for Japan Inc, said an official at one of Boeing's suppliers in Japan.

    "Japanese companies don't have much presence in the Airbus supply chain," he told Reuters, declining to be identified.

    Also hurt could be Japan's bid to break into the commercial regional jet market.

    Mitsubishi Heavy makes the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a fuel-efficient, 90-seater due to make its maiden flight this year, and designed by engineers who learned their trade working on Boeing planes.

    Toyota Motor Corp owns a 10 percent stake in the MRJ venture, a reflection of the historical ties linking Japan's aviation and auto firms. After Japan's aircraft industry was closed down after World War II many of the country's aeronautic engineers ended up in car companies.


    Beyond the commercial considerations, Japan's military insecurity is another reason to stick with the "Made in America" policy.

    Bound in a security pact under which the United States must defend Japan, Boeing and other U.S. defence contractors including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Co remain in pole position for military contracts from a nation that will spend $52 billion on its military in the year to March - despite the restraints of a pacifist constitution.

    Last year, Lockheed Martin became the most recent U.S. beneficiary of Japan's defence spending, winning a $7 billion contract to supply Japan with its F-35 fighters, beating a competing bid from the Eurofighter consortium.

    The practical case for buying at least some Eurofighters was strong, but senior bureaucrats and politicians have yet to be convinced to buy European equipment beyond a few howitzers and helicopters, said Masahiro Matsumura, a professor at St Andrews University in Osaka, western Japan.

    "When you get to strategic items like jet fighters and AWACs, the question is political - how to manage the alliance with the U.S.," he said. "When the security situation aggravates over the Korean peninsula or the Taiwan Straits, we are not very sure the Europeans can assure supplies."

    The return to power in Japan of the more hawkish Liberal Democratic Party under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month will likely mean Japan will seek to bolster rather than weaken those ties to the United States, experts say.

    As the authorities pore over the Dreamliner's batteries, the focus of ongoing investigations, Japan's leading airlines are having to juggle flight schedules and use older planes. For ANA, that's a tough task as the Dreamliner accounts for a tenth of its fleet.

    "We don't know how long this will last, but this is an accident, not a crisis," said Nomura analyst Masaharu Hirokane. "For the Japanese carriers there's no merit to abandon Boeing." 


    Air India’s bad dream

    After a day’s delay Air India has finally grounded its six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which were expected to be the stars of its turnaround story. AI acted only after the DGCA, as per a directive from the US Federal Aviation Administration, ordered that the planes be grounded. There had been two incidents of “smoking batteries” in two weeks and despite Japan, Europe and South America grounding Dreamliners, AI continued to keep them airborne obviously out of necessity.

    The Dreamliners were star-crossed from day one not only for AI but for Boeing too. The aircraft billed as a design marvel, was bogged down by delays, cost overruns and technical problems. There is a theory that in its hurry to make up for lost time Boeing neglected some aspects.

    It had to compensate Air India for delivery delays and now it may have to pay more compensation. Poland has already asked for compensation and it is hoped that India loses no time in doing so. Aviation minister Ajit Singh is in wait-and-watch mode while Air India is losing with each day’s delay. AI was planning new flights but will have to put them on hold until Boeing rectifies the faults in the batteries that reportedly contribute to making the plane 20 percent more fuel-efficient than its competitors.


    Atlantic City Airshow / Keep ’em flying

    A new report by Atlantic Cape Community College's Center for Regional and Business Research confirms the importance of the Atlantic City Airshow.

    The report by the center's director, Richard Perniciaro, said the 2012 show drew a crowd of more than 900,000 people, making it the largest airshow in the tri-state area and one of the largest in the country.

    Of those attendees, 289,095 were people from outside the area who otherwise would not have been in Atlantic City on the day of the show, the study said. They brought with them money for food, lodging and gambling. Using the most conservative crowd estimates available, the report credited the show with pumping $42.5 million into the local economy.

    Perniciaro's report puts numbers to something we've all known - that the airshow is one of the most important and successful events the city has.

    And it continues to grow. The last time an economic impact analysis was done, in 2008, it showed that the show drew 180,000 people from outside the area who came specifically for the show.

    Last year, organizers moved the show to a Friday to accommodate the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. This year, the show will return to midweek - when special events have more of an impact - and will move from August to late June. The other big change this year is that the Thunderbirds were unavailable and will be absent for the first time since the airshow was revived in 2003.

    Here's hoping that the date change and the lack of a headlining precision military jet team won't slow the airshow's momentum, especially since it is the best example of the kind of family-friendly events Atlantic City needs. As the report points out, aside from its economic impact, the airshow is a great way to showcase the city, its Boardwalk and its beaches.

    Two years ago, the city piggybacked on the airshow's success by creating the Atlantic City Salutes the Armed Forces Parade as a lead-in event.

    The Greater Atlantic City Chamber, which organizes the airshow, plans to deal with the absence of the Thunderbirds by reinventing the show a bit - offering more full demonstrations of many of the aircraft, rather than just fly-bys.

    That seems like a great idea. Full demonstrations will include a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier - an attack jet that can take off vertically - and an F-22 Raptor - a stealth jet considered the ultimate fighter plane, as well as other planes and the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team.

    These demonstrations will give returning attendees something new and should help the airshow meet its goal of getting better every year.


    Pilatus PC-12/45, LabCorp., N68PK: Accident occurred January 16, 2013 in Burlington, North Carolina

    NTSB Identification: ERA13FA115
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Burlington, NC
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2016
    Aircraft: PILATUS PC-12/45, registration: N68PK
    Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

    The pilot departed in night instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions on a medical specimen transport flight. During the climb, an air traffic controller told the pilot that the transponder code he had selected (2501) was incorrect and instructed him to reset the transponder to a different code (2531). Shortly thereafter, the airplane reached a maximum altitude of about 3,300 ft and then entered a descending right turn. The airplane’s enhanced ground proximity warning system recorded a descent rate of 11,245 ft per minute, which triggered two “sink rate, pull up” warnings. The airplane subsequently climbed from an altitude of about 1,400 ft to about 2,000 ft before it entered another turning descent and impacted the ground about 5 miles northeast of the departure airport. The airplane was fragmented and strewn along a debris path that measured about 800-ft long and 300-ft wide. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded the pilot from controlling the airplane. The engine did not display any evidence of preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. An open resistor was found in the flight computer that controlled the autopilot. It could not be determined if the open resistor condition existed during the flight or occurred during the impact. If the resistor was in an open condition at the time of autopilot engagement, the autopilot would appear to engage with a mode annunciation indicating engagement, but the pitch and roll servos would not engage. The before taxiing checklist included checks of the autopilot system to verify autopilot function before takeoff. It could not be determined if the pilot performed the autopilot check before the accident flight or if the autopilot was engaged at the time of the accident. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with the known effects of spatial disorientation. Dark night IFR conditions prevailed, and the track of the airplane suggests a loss of attitude awareness. Although the pilot was experienced in night instrument conditions, it is possible that an attempt to reset the transponder served as an operational distraction that contributed to a breakdown in his instrument scan. Similarly, if the autopilot’s resistor was in an open condition and the autopilot had been engaged, the pilot’s failure to detect an autopilot malfunction in a timely manner could have contributed to spatial disorientation and the resultant loss of control.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control due to spatial disorientation during the initial climb after takeoff in night instrument flight rules conditions.


    On January 16, 2013, about 0556 eastern standard time, a Pilatus PC-12/45, N68PK, operated by LabCorp, Inc., as Skylab 53 (SKQ53), was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for the Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. The corporate flight was transporting medical specimens and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

    Review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) audio data revealed that at 0541, the pilot contacted Greensboro (GSO) clearance delivery, while on the ground at BUY, and requested an IFR clearance to MMU. The pilot was advised that there was no flight plan stored in the ATC system. His original flight plan had a proposed departure time of 0315 and the flight plan was only good for 2 hours. The pilot subsequently requested to file an IFR flight plan and provided the routing details.

    At 0550, GSO ATC provided an IFR clearance to SKQ53 from BUY to MMU, which included an initial altitude of 3,000 feet. ATC subsequently provided a transponder code of 2531, an altimeter setting of 30.01, an initial vector of a left turn to 360 degrees after takeoff, and a clearance void time of 0600, at 0551:30. The pilot acknowledged, read back the assigned transponder code as 2501, and stated that he would be airborne in about 30 seconds.

    At 0554, the pilot advised GSO ATC that he was "climbing through thirty." The pilot was asked to "ident" and responded that he was turning to a heading of 360 degrees at 3,000 feet. The pilot was then directed to reset his transponder to code 2531, which he acknowledged with "531."

    At 0555, ATC advised the pilot that his transponder indicated a code of 2501 at an altitude of 2,000 feet. The pilot did not respond and ATC made numerous attempts to contact SKQ53 without success. The airplane was not radar identified by ATC.

    The airplane was subsequently found fragmented in an athletic field that was located about 5 miles northeast of BUY.


    According to FAA and company records, the pilot, age 57, held an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on November 19, 2012.

    According to the pilot's most recent logbook entry, as of January 11, 2013, he had accumulated about 6,370 hours of total flight experience, which included about 315 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He had also logged about 600 hours of flight experience in actual instrument meteorological conditions, and about 3,245 hours as night flight experience. In addition, he had accumulated about 45 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane during the 90 days preceding the accident, which included about 25, and 20 hours logged in night and actual meteorological conditions; respectively.

    According to the company chief pilot, the accident pilot had been flying the PC12 approximately 4 days per week since September 2012. His current schedule called for morning flights with "show times" at 0330. On the day prior to the accident, the pilot flew from BUY to Charleston, West Virginia (CRW). He took a nap at CRW before flying to Columbus, Ohio (OSU), and returned to BUY about 0940. His duty time ended at 1015, on January 15, 2013.

    According to company records, in November 2012, the chief pilot arranged for an evaluation flight for the accident pilot in a Pilatus PC12. The chief pilot asked the instructor pilot conducting the evaluation flight to not allow the accident pilot to use the autopilot and preferred that the flight be conducted without flight director programming.

    Following the evaluation flight, the flight instructor noted that the accident pilot seemed to get behind the airplane because of lack of trim usage. This was usually masked when using the autopilot, which would input the correct trim for the airplane and was magnified when only using, or not using at all, the flight director. The instructor pilot made some suggestions to the accident pilot that included engine power settings and trim verification, which markedly improved his handling of the airplane. The instructor pilot added that the last two-thirds of the evaluation flight were satisfactory to FAA standards for an instrument rating and commercial pilot single-engine land privileges.


    According to FAA records, the low wing, T-tail, retractable-gear airplane, serial number 265, was issued an airworthiness certificate on July 6, 1999. It was constructed primarily of aluminum and powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B, turboprop engine, with a takeoff power rating of 1,200 shaft horsepower that was equipped with a Hartzell four-bladed hydraulically actuated, constant-speed propeller assembly.

    According to the airplane flight manual, the flight control system utilized push-pull rods and carbon steel cables and were equipped with electric trim systems. Each wing contained a single piece fowler-type flap that was electrically actuated. The airplane was also equipped with a stick shaker-pusher system to improve handling in the low speed flight regime by preventing the airplane from inadvertently entering a stall condition.

    According to maintenance records, the airplane's most recent inspection was a "300-hour mini inspection" that was performed on January 14, 2013, at a total airframe time of 4,637 hours. A crack on the underside of the left flap was repaired on January 15, 2013. At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 4,650 total hours.


    The 0554 recorded weather observation at BUY included wind from 040 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken cloud celling at 700 feet, overcast at 1,700 feet, temperature 4 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 3 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

    The 0700 Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina upper air sounding depicted a frontal inversion extending immediately about the surface to 3,533 feet agl. While the surface temperature was 4 degrees C, the freezing level was identified at 11,553 feet. No icing was indicated on the sounding due to the frontal inversion.


    Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport was a non-tower-controlled airport with a common traffic advisory. It was equipped with single runway designated as runway 06/24. Runway 06/24 was constructed of asphalt, 6,405-feet-long, and 100-feet-wide. The field elevation for the airport was 616 feet above mean sea level (msl).


    The airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder.


    The elevation at the accident site was 531 feet msl and the majority of the wreckage was located strewn in a field. All major portions of the airplane, including all flight control surfaces and associated counterweights were located at the accident site. A debris path that was about 800 feet long, and 300 feet wide, was observed on a magnetic heading about 140 degrees. The right wing pitot tube was located about 10 feet from the initial impact point. Various sizes of wing spar segments were located in an impact crater. The crater was located on a berm, extended about 50 feet, and varied in depth to about 3 feet. The propeller hub, two propeller blades and the front reduction gear box were located in the crater. The third propeller blade was located about 200 feet along the debris path. The spinner was located in the vicinity of the third propeller blade. The fourth propeller blade and the propeller overspeed governor were located about 400 feet along the path. All four propeller blades exhibited S-bending damage.

    The cabin area, just aft of frame 24 and forward of the aft pressure bulkhead, was located about 300 feet along the debris path. The right aileron and about one-third of the right flap were located with the cabin and with the nose landing gear. The empennage was located in the vicinity of the cabin. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers were impact damaged. The horizontal stabilizer came to rest inverted. The vertical stabilizer was fractured and came to rest on the horizontal stabilizer. The left wing was located on the right side of the debris path, about 350 feet from the initial impact point. Signatures on the bottom on the left wing, similar to fence impressions were noted. The cockpit was located about 350 feet from the initial impact point. Both cockpit seats and the throttle quadrant were located in the vicinity of the cockpit.

    Flight control continuity was confirmed for the aileron, elevator, and rudder. Mechanical trim control continuity was confirmed for the horizontal stabilizer, aileron, and rudder trim systems. Measurement of the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator corresponded with a trim setting consistent in the takeoff range. Measurement of the aileron trim actuator corresponded with a neutral trim setting. The rudder trim actuator measured 1.125 inches, which was near the full right trim position of 1.18 inches. Examination of the inboard and outboard flap actuators corresponded to the retracted flap position. All 3 landing gear were in the up position.

    The engine was located within the debris path. In the vicinity of the engine, there was evidence of a small postcrash fire. There was no soot staining or thermal damage observed on the wreckage that would have been consistent with an in-flight fire.

    The engine sustained impact damage and was partially dissembled at the accident site. Rotational scoring was confirmed at both the compressor and power turbines, and mechanical continuity was confirmed from the compressor to the accessory gearbox. The engine displayed compressive deformation to the exhaust duct and the gas generator case. The compression was more pronounced on the front and bottom sections of the case and duct. The front and rear reduction gearboxes were separated at their respective mating flanges. The power turbine shaft was fractured consistent with torsional overload. The rear reduction gearbox and the power turbine shaft housing were separated from the engine. Rotational signatures on the compressor turbine, the 1st stage power turbine, and the 2nd stage power turbine from contact with their adjacent components were consistent with the engine producing power at the time of impact. Subsequent testing and examination of the fuel control unit and the fuel pump did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented normal operation. The engine did not display any indications of any pre-impact anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation.


    An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Raleigh, North Carolina. Review of the autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was identified as "Massive blunt force trauma due to plane crash."

    The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report was negative for all drugs in the screening profile. In addition, the report stated that no ethanol was detected in muscle or liver. A carbon monoxide test was not performed.


    Autopilot Flight Computer

    The airplane was equipped with a KFC-325 autopilot system. Several components of the autopilot system were forwarded to their manufacturer, Honeywell, Olathe, Kansas, for examination under the supervision of an FAA inspector.

    Examination of the KCP-220 flight computer revealed no physical damage to the circuit cards. A return to service test was conducted for the applicable airframe, which required replacement of the personality modules. The unit powered up and passed the self-test; however, the "AP CLU" lamp indicated there was no drive voltage to the Autopilot Roll and Pitch Servo clutches. Subsequent troubleshooting revealed that the R-259 resistor, which did not contain any obvious signs of physical damage, was open. The resistor was manufactured by Ohmite. It could not be determined if the open condition existed during the flight or was the result of impact forces. It could also not be determined if the autopilot was engaged at the time of the accident.

    According to Honeywell, during autopilot operation, a drive voltage is applied to the "AP Clutch Engage" solenoid when the autopilot is activated. This drive voltage enables the roll and pitch servos by engaging the clutches. If the autopilot is not engaged, the open R-259 resistor would have no effect on the flight control system. If the resistor is in an open condition at the time of autopilot engagement, the autopilot will appear to engage with a mode annunciation indicating engagement, but the pitch and roll servos will not engage. If the R-259 resistor becomes open while the autopilot is engaged, the pitch and roll servos will disengage and an aural warning would sound. The unit passed all return to service tests after the R-259 resistor was replaced.

    According to Honeywell, any failure of the R-259 resistor would not affect a pilot's ability to manually control the airplane. In addition, the before taxiing checklist of the airplane flight manual (AFM) included checks of the autopilot system to verify autopilot function prior to takeoff, and section 4.20.1 Autopilot Operation Summary, included a warning which stated, in part: "The pilot in command must continuously monitor the autopilot when it is engaged, and be prepared to disconnect the autopilot and take immediate corrective action – including manual control of the airplane and/or performance of emergency procedures – if autopilot operation is not as expected or if airplane control is not maintained…."

    During March 2015, Honeywell issued service bulletin KCP 220-22-A0017, which included an inspection and replacement of the R-259 resistor on certain KCP-220 Flight Computers, if the resistor was manufactured by Ohmite or if the manufacturer could not be determined.

    Central Advisory and Warning System

    The airplane's Central Advisory and Warning System display unit was examined for filament analysis by the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC. The "INERT SEP" (Inertial Separator), "PROBES DEICE", "FLAPS" and "WSHLD HEAT" were found to have hot coil filament stretching on one or both bulb filaments. With regards to the "FLAPS" caution, while it was noted that all 4 flap actuators were in a position consistent with the retracted position, a Pilatus representative noted that if the flap computer detected a flap malfunction which was not resettable, the flaps would not have been available for landing and appropriate procedures were provided for such a condition in the airplane flight manual.

    Flap Control and Warning Unit

    The airplane's Flap Control and Warning Unit (FCWU) was initially examined by the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, and subsequently downloaded by its manufacturer, EMCA Electronic Ltd., Horw, Switzerland, under the supervision of an investigator from the Swiss Accident Investigation Board (AIB). The download revealed no error codes stored in the FCWU's non-volatile memory unit.

    Elevator and Stick Pusher Assembly

    Portions of the elevator and stick pusher assembly consisting of a section of the elevator control cable and the entire length of the bridle cable were examined at the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, and then tested at Pilatus, Stans, Switzerland, under the supervision of an investigator from the Swiss AIB. Bridle cable displacement from its original manufactured position was noted. On the forward cable clamp, the extension of the bridle cable past the end of the clamp was 29mm (29 millimeters), in accordance with the airplane maintenance manual. On the aft clamp, only the bead on the end of the bridle cable extended past the end of the clamp approximately 1mm (1 millimeter). The length of the bridle cable between the forward clamp and turnbuckle was 5 mm (5 millimeters). Examination of the capstan pulley revealed mechanical damage to the periphery of the pulley with no anomalous wear. A tensile load test of the clamp assemblies revealed that both the forward and aft cable clamps resisted slippage on the control cable beyond the expected operational force of 600N (600 newtons); however, the force that resulted in the displacement of the aft clamp from its manufactured position could not be determined. [Additional information can be found in Materials Laboratory Factual Report No. 15-031 located in the public docket.]


    Airplane Flight Path

    Radar data obtained from FAA revealed a radar target at 0553:36 consistent with the accident airplane about .75 mile from the departure end of runway 6, at 1,800 feet and climbing. The airplane flew on northeasterly heading and reached an altitude of 3,200 feet at 0554:50.

    The accident airplane was equipped with a KMH 820 Multi-hazard computer. According to Honeywell, when an enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) alerting event occurs, an alert history record will be created in non-volatile memory. Each alert record contains a history of EGPWS signals from 20 seconds prior to the event to 10 seconds after the event. The KMH-820 was sent to Honeywell, Redmond, Washington, and successfully downloaded under the supervision of an NTSB investigator.

    The takeoff time recorded in the status log was about 2 minutes prior to the beginning of recorded flight data, which began about 0554:46. At that time, the airplane was at an altitude about 3,200 feet, a ground speed about 208 knots, and a heading about 030 degrees. The airplane was in a right turn and reached a maximum recorded altitude of about 3,326 feet about 10 seconds later, before entering a descending right turn. About 0555:05, a descent rate of 11,245 feet per minute was recorded which was followed by a "sink rate" and "pull up" warning. Shortly thereafter, the GPS signal was lost. A second "pull up" warning was recorded about 0555:13, at an altitude of about 1,400 feet. Shortly thereafter, the recorded altitude indicated a climb to about 2,000 feet, which was the last recorded altitude on the KMH-820.

    Radar data indicated that the airplane was at altitude of 2,000 feet, and a heading of about 065 degrees at 0555:46. Approximately 4 seconds later, the airplane was at an altitude of 1,900 feet, and a heading of about 140 degrees, which was followed by the last recorded radar target at 0555:55, at an altitude of 1,400 feet and a heading of about 100 degrees.

    Spatial Disorientation

    According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15A), flying in instrument meteorological conditions can result in sensations that are misleading to the body's sensory system. FAA-H-8083-15A further stated:

    "…Orientation is the awareness of the position of the aircraft and of oneself in relation to a specific reference point. Disorientation is the lack of orientation, and spatial disorientation specifically refers to the lack of orientation with regard to position in space and to other objects.

    Orientation is maintained through the body's sensory organs in the three areas: visual, vestibular, and postural. The eyes maintain visual orientation. The motion sensing system in the inner ear maintains vestibular orientation. The nerves in the skin, joins, and muscles of the body maintain postural orientation. When healthy human beings are in their natural environment, these three systems work well. When the human body is subjected to the forces of flight, these senses can provide misleading information. It is this misleading information that causes pilots to become disoriented…." 

    NTSB Identification: ERA13FA115
     14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Burlington, NC
    Aircraft: PILATUS PC-12/45, registration: N68PK
    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 January 16, 2013 about 0557 eastern standard time, a Pilatus PC-12/45, N68PK, operating as Skylab 53, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground in Burlington, North Carolina. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight departed from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina at 0553, and was destined for Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. The business flight transporting medical specimens was operated by LabCorp, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

    Review of preliminary air traffic control radar and communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Greensboro Approach Control, revealed that the airplane departed from runway 06 at BUY and made initial contact while climbing to the assigned altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level. The pilot was told to reset his transponder and no further communications were received from the accident flight.

    According to FAA records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple ratings, including airplane single-engine land, as well as a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on November 19, 2012, at which time he reported 6,279 total hours of flight experience.

    The accident site was located in a park approximately 5 miles northeast of BUY. The initial impact location was identified by a ground impression with various parts of the right wing and also a crater that measured about 3 feet deep. The wreckage debris field was 793 foot-long and 298 foot-wide, oriented on a 140 degree heading. Various sizes of wing spar segments, the propeller hub, two propeller blades, and the front reduction gear box were located in the crater. The engine was located about 100 feet from the impact point. Fragments of the airplane, including a section of the cabin area, empennage, left and right wings, and cockpit were located along the wreckage path. The two other propeller blades were located about 200 and 400 feet from the impact point, and exhibited some S-bending damage. All major flight control surfaces and associated counter weights were located in the debris field.

    The 0554 recorded weather observation at BUY, included wind from 040 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 700 feet above ground level (agl), overcast at 1,700 agl, temperature 4 degrees C, dew point 3 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury.

      Regis#: 68PK        Make/Model: PC12      Description: PC-12, Eagle
      Date: 01/16/2013     Time: 1055
      Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
      Damage: Destroyed
      City: BURLINGTON   State: NC   Country: US
    INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                     # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                     # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                     # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
      Activity: Business      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER
      FAA FSDO: GREENSBORO, NC  (SO05)                Entry date: 01/17/2013 

    GREENSBORO — David Ford Gamble, 57, of Greensboro, NC died on January 16, 2013. He was born on May 29, 1955 in Kingstree, SC to Eunice and JP Gamble. David was a graduate of Clemson University and was employed as a pilot by LabCorp, Inc. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia Cranford Gamble, sons Stuart Ford Gamble of Vero Beach, FL, Andrew William Gamble, of Charlotte, NC and Christopher Lee Gamble of Ft. Campbell, KY. His parents, Eunice and JP Gamble of Lane, SC, Brothers, Jay (Jane) Gamble of Sunapee, NH, Larry (Edith) Gamble of Franklin, WI and Catherine Gamble of Lane, SC and numerous nieces and nephews. 

    David loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman and gardener. His favorite times were spent with his family and friends. He loved flying, grilling on the deck, participating in Revolutionary war re-enactment with his family, pulling for the Denver Broncos, and fishing at the beach. He was a volunteer for CAP for many years as a search and rescue pilot and was a devoted father and husband, who never met a stranger. He was always concerned about taking care of others, putting the needs of others before himself. 

    A service of celebration of his life will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Sunday, January 20 at 3 p.m. The family will receive friends at the Gamble home after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the mission fund at Centenary United Methodist Church or to Greeleyville United Methodist Church in Greeleyville, SC. 

    Guest Book - Please offer condolences at: