Thursday, February 7, 2013

$82M Airport Recommended for Google Execs... Google Airport would be a part of Mineta San Jose International

San Jose should accept an offer by a major airport operator to build an $82 million private airport for executives of Google Inc. at Mineta San Jose International Airport, a city official said.

Signature Aviation, a British firm, wants to construct an executive terminal, hangars and ramp space "accommodating the largest business jets" for Mountain View-based Google at the San Jose airport, William Sherry, the city's director of aviation, wrote in a memo.

Currently Google leases hangar space from NASA Ames' on Moffett Field and and its subsidiary H211 pays NASA about $1.4 million a month.

A five-member evaluation panel of San Jose airport and other officials has chosen Signature's plan, after giving it a rating of 991 out of a possible 1,000 points, over two other proposals deemed not acceptable, Sherry wrote in the memo, which recommended that the city select the offer.

Under its proposed 50-year lease with San Jose, Signature would build the airport as a partner with Blue City Holdings San Jose LLC, a company that represents the private jets owned by Google executives, according to Sherry.

"Signature was found to be a financially stable company with strong financial indicators and will likely be a significant economic asset for the city of San Jose," Sherry wrote.

"The Signature proposal offers a strong likelihood of creating construction and permanent jobs, revenues for the airport and the (city's) General Fund, and providing high quality corporate aviation services to the general aviation customer," he wrote.

San Jose airport officials intend to consult with Signature further about the proposed pact, discuss it with the city's Community and Economic Development Committee and Airport Commission next month and prepare a plan for the City Council in the spring, Sherry wrote.

Signature's proposed development on the west side of the San Jose airport would bring annual revenues of $2.6 million in rent, $400,000 in fuel flow fees and $70,000 to $300,000 a year in new taxes to the city, according to Sherry.

He wrote that the Signature plan would generate about 376 direct and indirect jobs, plus 150 to 200 others during construction, and would qualify for a gold LEED certification for green building standards, Sherry said.

The proposed private airport would use 29 acres of the 44 acres on Mineta San Jose International Airport's western side that the city last year announced it wanted to lease for aviation-related development and put out a request for proposals.

The firm would develop a 17,000-square-foot terminal, a 33,000-square-foot building for offices and retail shops, a 66,000-square-foot hangar, 18.5 acres for aircraft parking and a 300-space car parking lot.

Sherry said that Signature is the world's biggest operator of fixed base airports and has private air facilities in 113 locations, including San Francisco, Chicago O'Hare and Boston Logan international airports.

Source:   http://losaltos.patch.com

Guthrie County Regional Airport (KGCT), Guthrie Center, Iowa

Tuesday morning, supervisors were visited by members of the Guthrie County Regional Airport Board and numerous other supporters, including Bill McCarty, President and CEO of Brokers International, and two members of Snyder and Associates airport planning team.

The regional airport, located three miles east of Guthrie Center, is home to a 3,400' paved runway, four hangars for 17 private planes, and two additional hangars for Brokers International planes.

There are currently 19 planes hangared at the field.

 Supervisors approved $20,000 in taxpayer funding for the airport in last year's budget.

  McCarty, who employs 110 workers, opened the meeting explaining the importance of the airport to Brokers.

"We fly approximately 400 business trips in and out of the airport per year," stated McCarty. He explained that flying agents in and out of Des Moines would not only cost his company valuable time and money, but that it would also keep passengers and flight crew from spending money locally.

"The airport is extremely important to us. We bring quite a bit of business into Guthrie County through it," concluded McCarty.

 Supervisors did not question whether the airport should once again receive funding, but Mike Dickson did question the current funding method.

Dickson pointed out county tax dollars come 100% out of the rural levy.

"I believe the money should be pulled from the general fund," argued Dickson, "because it is not just rural taxpayers who benefit from the airport. Everyone does."

Dixon also questioned taxpayers subsidizing airplane owners for hangar construction, stating, "If I build a machine shed on my farm, I have to justify a 10 year payback."

A new four-plane hangar recently completed at the field cost $460,000. Current rental fees are $125/month/plane, which means a total payback of $6,000 per year. That equates, in Dickson's terms, to a 77 year payback.

 However, board member David Ahrens explained the airport received "90/10" grant funding from the government for the hangar, meaning the airport actually provided only a 10% match for the project - $46,000 - not the full $460,000 cost.

Ahrens told supervisors, "We do a good job running the airport for you for free. Your money is well spent, because we donate all our labor simply because we love what we do. You couldn't afford my hourly rate if I didn't."

 The Snyder and Associates planning team discussed proposals to lengthen the field an additional 600' to 4,000,' a move which would allow larger business planes to use the field. One member of the team explained, "Build a mile of road and you can travel one more mile. Build a mile of runway and you can fly anywhere in the world."
   
Members of the airport board stated they would like to lengthen the runway in the next five years.

 Supervisors will finalize the airport budget Thursday at 9:20 a.m. 

Source:   http://www.zwire.com

Rutland - Southern Vermont Regional (KRUT), Rutland, Vermont: Airport project scheduled for summer

Work around the runway at the Rutland airport is slated for the summer.

The proposed FY 2014 budget includes $5,360,000 for the expansion of the runway safety area and associated relocation of Airport Road. The project will provide more flat terrain surrounding the runway.

“If a plane lands long — or short — this level turf provides a safe area for the plane to come to a rest with minimal structure damage,” said Jason Owen, project manager for the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

The change brings the airport closer to FAA design standards, Owen said, and should help upgrade the airport’s safety rating from “fair” to “excellent.”

“In a perfect world, in airports like Rutland, they would like 1,000 feet,” he said. “That’s not practical, but we’re going to double what’s there. Right now, it’s about 300 feet and we’re going to make it 600 feet.”

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N7581Y: Aircraft landed gear up at Essex County Airport (KCDW), Caldwell, New Jersey


FAIRFIELD, NJ - The Essex County Airport was temporarily closed Thursday morning after an incident with a Piper aircraft whose landing gear malfunctioned. The plane was piloted by private pilot Vinicius Pivetta Bouvier of Hillside, NJ who was accompanied by his instructor, Walid Khallaf of Century Air. Pivetta Bouvier was able to land the aircraft by sliding down the runway and Fairfield Police and Fire departments were on hand, ready to assist if necessary.

Fairfield Police Deputy Chief Anthony Manna released a statement:
On February 7, 2013, at approximately 11:08 A.M. the Fairfield Police Department was contacted by operations personnel of the Essex County Airport and advised that a 1964 Piper PA-30 fixed wind, multi-engine airplane was attempting to land when the plane’s landing gear apparently malfunctioned. The plane continued with its landing, sliding down the runway and then coming to a stop. Fairfield police and fire units were immediately dispatched to the scene. 
Preliminary investigation revealed that the plane was being piloted by a student, identified as Vinicius Pivetta Bouvier (25) of Hillside, N.J. Also in the plane was an instructor from Century Air identified as Walid Khallaf. Neither individuals reported being injured. The plane is owned by Sherman Aviation LLC which is based at the airport.  
At press time, the airport remains closed pending the arrival of officials of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Fairfield Fire Department remains at the scene.  Manna commented that the Fire Department was there only as a precaution.


According to their website, Century Air is an FAA Part 141 Approved flight training school, which has been in business since 1975 and is located at the Essex County Airport. Their flight academy offers simulator and aircraft training programs for Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, TBM, and Mooney aircraft and also provide "professional aircraft management and pilot services for personal aircraft owners."

Student pilots at Century Air are trained in Cessna 172’s and advanced training is conducted in a variety of aircraft including the Cessna 172RG, Cirrus, or Piper Twin Comanche.

Video: National Transportation Safety Board Chairman’s Comments on Boeing 787

 

The National Transportation Safety Board has posted a video of Chairman Deborah Hersman’s press conference today during which she questioned the process that aircraft giant Boeing Co. and the Federal Aviation Administration used to certify the safety of the lithium ion batteries used aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The webcast of her remarks was interrupted by a technical glitch.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N328SP: Accident occurred February 06, 2013 in Minden, Nevada

http://registry.faa.gov/N328SP

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA116
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013 in Minden, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N328SP
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 owner of the fixed-base operator (FBO) at the airport reported that the pilot stated to him that he wanted to go flying before it got dark. He added that the pilot had the airplane fully fueled and that he saw the airplane taxiing away from the FBO’s hangar. An FBO employee who was monitoring the airport’s UNICOM frequency reported hearing the pilot call for taxi then takeoff. The following day, the operator and FBO personnel noted that the airplane had not returned to the airport. A search was initiated, and the wreckage was located in the mountains 14 miles east of the airport.

Radar data showed the airplane at 8,600 ft mean sea level (msl) and then continuing on an easterly course while climbing to 11,400 ft msl. Ten minutes later, the airplane turned 180 degrees and then proceeded in a westerly direction. About 1 1/2 minutes later, the airplane entered a rapid descent. The final radar return was at 10,500 ft msl in the immediate vicinity of the airplane wreckage. The airplane collided with terrain in a nose-down attitude. Postaccident airplane wreckage examination did not reveal any mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot’s radio transmissions were routine. Although the pilot had recently returned from Afghanistan to address a personal situation, and, therefore, was likely experiencing some fatigue and emotional strain during the period preceding the accident, there was insufficient evidence to determine the extent to which these factors affected the pilot’s performance or ability to maintain airplane control. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering over mountainous terrain.

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On February 6, 2013, about 1710 Pacific standard time (PST), a Cessna 172S, N328SP, impacted mountainous terrain 14 miles east of Minden, Nevada. The airplane was registered to an individual, and operated by Flying Start Aero, as a rental under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated at Minden-Tahoe Airport, Minden, about 1645.

The pilot stated to personnel at the Minden-Tahoe Airport that he wanted to go flying before it got dark. He had the airplane fully fueled and was seen taxiing away from the fixed base operations (FBO) hangar. FBO personnel monitoring the airport UNICOM frequency recalled hearing the pilot call for taxi then take off at 1645. The following day it was observed by the operator and FBO that the airplane had not returned to the airport. A search was initiated and the Douglas County Sheriff located the wreckage at 1500, in the mountains 14 miles east of the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

A review of a recording of the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), 123.05 MHz, Minden-Tahoe Airport, during the time period of 1630 to 1701 PST revealed that the pilot of N328SP called for taxi at 1646, and at 1649 transmits that he is taking runway 34 departing to the east. The final radio call occurs at 1651, when he transmits that he is departing runway 34 for a left downwind departure.

Radar data obtained from the 84th RADES Unit, Hill Air Force Base, was compiled to plot ground track and altitude profiles. The plots depict the airplane being acquired by radar at 1657, at 8,600 feet mean sea level. The airplane's track continues on an easterly course in a climb to 11,400 feet. At 1707, the track turns 180 degrees and proceeds in a westerly direction. At 1708:24, the airplane enters a rapid descent. The final radar return was at 1708:48, at 10,500 feet in the immediate vicinity of where the airplane wreckage was located.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 46, held a commercial pilot certificate issued on November 28, 2007, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, rotorcraft-helicopter, instrument airplane and helicopter. He also held a flight instructor certificate issued on September 9, 2011, with ratings for airplane single and multiengine, rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument airplane and helicopter. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate with no limitations issued on July 21, 2011. The pilot's flight logbook was not located by investigators. The pilot reported on his July 21, 2011, medical certificate application that he had 1,550 hours of flight experience. 

The pilot was employed by a military security contractor and specialized as a K9 handler. His current contract was a security job for US forces in Afghanistan. On Monday, February 4, he had returned from Afghanistan on leave to spend some time with his wife. His wife stated to the Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy that their relationship "was not as smooth" as it normally was in the past. She said that she did not have much contact with the pilot after Monday other than text messages, and on Wednesday he sent her a message that he'd spend the night in a hotel.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 172S8256, was manufactured in 1999. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A, 180-hp engine and equipped with a McCauley fixed pitch propeller model 1A170EJHA7660. Review of copies of the maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection completed on January 15, 2013, at a total airframe time of 6,355.5 hours and a tach time of 3,214.5 hours. The engine total time since major overhaul was 1,870.1 hours. The tach time observed at the accident site was 3,234.2 hours.

METEOROLOGY

The nearest weather reporting station was located at the Carson Airport approximately 19 miles northwest of the accident site. The aviation weather observation system (AWOS) reported at 1715 PST that the sky was clear, visibility was 10 statute miles, and the wind was from 100 degrees at 4 knots.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located on an 8-degree slope about 1.5 miles below and west of Rice Peak, at an elevation of 6,674 feet msl, 14 miles east of Minden. The terrain was populated with 20-foot-tall pinion pines and juniper trees. The ground was snow covered. The initial point of impact with terrain was identified by fiberglass fragments, a wing tip position light with red lens fragments, and freshly broken tree branches. Trees on either side of the initial impact point appeared undisturbed with no broken branches or evidence of being topped. The main wreckage was located on a bearing of 088 degrees magnetic, 63 feet from the initial impact point. About halfway between the initial impact point and the main wreckage was the propeller hub and one propeller blade imbedded into the ground with disturbed earth surrounding it. The main wreckage consisted of the engine, airplane cabin, left and right wings, empennage, and tail. The tail was elevated in the air and bent over the cabin in scorpion fashion. On-scene examination of the wreckage established control continuity of all flight control surfaces to the cockpit by tracing control cables through multiple separations that were consistent with overload. The flap actuator was in the full retracted position (flaps up). Elevator trim actuator was measured extended 1.5 inches.

The engine was examined on February 11, 2013, at a recovery facility in Pleasant Grove, California, by technical representatives of Lycoming Engines and Cessna Aircraft Company under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC). The engine was a Lycoming IO-360-L2A, serial number L-30896-51A. The propeller and crankshaft flange had separated from the crankshaft and the fracture surfaces were granular with 45-degree shear angles. All four cylinder jugs were attached to the engine case, all push rods were present, and all valves were present on the cylinders. Both left and right induction tubes and exhaust manifolds were present, with the left side exhaust manifold exhibiting plastic deformation and crushing. The top spark plugs were removed and no evidence of mechanical damage was observed. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand using the vacuum pump drive gear. Thumb compression was achieved on all cylinders and the valves moved in sequence. The fuel pump was removed and disassembled; the diaphragm was present, pliable, and undamaged. 

The 2 blade fixed pitch McCauley propeller had one blade separated from the hub at the shank. The remaining blade exhibited leading edge polishing, chordwise scratches, and a leading edge gouge at the tip. The separated propeller blade's tip was curled aft, deformed in a single s-bend with evidence of a slight twist, and the outboard third of the blade was bent slightly forward. The separated blade also exhibited chordwise scratches across its entire face.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on February 8, 2013, by the Washoe County Medical Examiner, Reno, Nevada. The medical examiner's noted opinion was that the cause of death was total body blunt trauma.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, ethanol, or listed drugs. 

TESTS & RESEARCH

The pilot's Apple iPhone 4 was recovered on-scene and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination. The iPhone 4 is a touch-screen operated smart-phone capable of voice calling, text messaging, email, photo/video recording, audio playback, and numerous other specialized functions depending on configuration. Application data is stored in non-volatile memory and may include call logs, text messaging logs, image, video, and position location information.

Upon examination of the phone by laboratory technicians the iPhone was found to start normally, and was examined by browsing the user interface and through a forensic download of content. Review of email and text messages revealed that the pilot had departed for Afghanistan in late November, 2012, and he had initially canceled his scheduled leave for February with leave planned for 2 weeks in May. On January 31, 2013, the pilot had email correspondence with his wife related to their marriage. The same day the pilot requested and received emergency personal leave to return to Nevada. The pilot left Kabul, Afghanistan, on February 3, 2013, and traveled by way of Dubai, Paris, and Salt Lake City, to arrive in Reno about 1743 on February 4th. On February 5th numerous text messages were exchanged with his wife. On February 6th the pilot sent an email to his Afghanistan work supervisor requesting return from emergency leave on February 10th, and also exchanged texts relating to his marriage during the day with both his wife and separately with a friend. Text messages relating to the accident flight began around 11:29, with the pilot inquiring of his wife about personnel at the airport and later stating he wanted to go to the airport when no one was around. About 14:15, the pilot and wife exchanged texts about key and building access at the airport; and at 1518, they exchanged greetings. No further text messages were sent by the pilot.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA116
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013
in Minden, NV
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N328SP
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 February 6, 2013, about 1710 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N328SP, impacted mountainous terrain 14 miles east of Minden, Nevada. The airplane was operated by Flying Start Aero as a rental under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated at Minden-Tahoe Airport, Minden, about 1645.

The pilot stated that he wanted to go flying before it got dark. He had the airplane fully fueled and was seen taxing away from the fixed base operations (FBO) hangar. FBO personnel monitoring the airport UNICOM frequency recalled hearing the pilot call for taxi then take off at 1645. The following day it was observed by the operator and FBO that the airplane had not returned to the airport. A search was initiated and the Douglas County Sheriff located the wreckage at 1500, in the mountains 14 miles east of the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

The nearest weather reporting station was located at the Carson airport approximately 19 miles northwest of the accident site. The aviation weather observation system (AWOS) reported at 1715 PST that the sky was clear; visibility was 10 miles; and the wind was from 100 degrees at 4 knots.


http://www.recordcourier.com

http://www.nevadaappeal.com

http://www.ktvn.com

http://carsonnow.org
 

The pilot of a missing aircraft is feared dead after searchers discovered wreckage in the Pine Nut Mountains on Thursday afternoon. The red and white Cessna 172 piloted by Minden resident Keith Jorgenson, 46, took off from Minden-Tahoe Airport for a local flight 5 p.m. Wednesday. No flight plan was filed.

“They found the wreckage and they don't think it's a survivable crash,” Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said Thursday

Washoe County's Raven Helicopter spotted the wreckage in the Pine Nuts southwest of Mount Como.

Members of Douglas County Sheriff's Search & Rescue spent Thursday calling surrounding airports and checking for emergency locator transmitter signals after Jorgenson was reported overdue from Minden-Tahoe Airport.

“It is reported that Jorgenson had planned to return to the airport by dark, however he never returned,” Sgt. Jim Halsey said. “A check of surrounding airports in Carson City and Mono County revealed that Jorgenson did not land there either.”

The Cessna 172 is owned by Gardnerville resident James McFadden, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The tail number is N328SP.

Jorgenson and his wife purchased Flying Start Aero flight training school last year.

Jorgenson has worked as an independent security contractor in Afghanistan, and enjoyed flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.   

--------------------------

UPDATE - 3:30PM - FAA Pacific says search crews found the aircraft wreckage around 2:40 p.m. in the Pinenut Mountains about 10 miles east of Minden.  

 The aircraft was destroyed.

FAA says there is no confirmation yet on the fate of the pilot, who was the only person on board.
 

UPDATE - 12:10PM - The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident of an overdue plane from the Minden Airport.

A Cessna model 172, red & white in color, bearing tail number N328SP, left the Minden Airport last night, 02/06/13, at around 5:00 pm.

The Sheriff's Office say the plane was piloted by 46 year-old Keith Jorgenson of Gardnerville. Jorgenson was the only person on the plane.

It is reported that Jorgenson had planned to return to the airport by dark, however he never returned. A check of surrounding airports in Carson City and Mono County revealed that Jorgenson did not land there either. Lyon County is currently checking.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team has been deployed to assist in the search. They will be utilizing an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) device to search for any signals from a distress radio beacon.


UPDATE - 11:25AM - According to the Manager at Minden-Tahoe Airport, the aircraft that is missing belongs to Flying Start and is a Flight School Aircraft.

The manager says it is unknown if the one who is registered to the plane (James D. McFadden) is the pilot or owner of the flight school.

MINDEN, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - A Cessna 172 departed from the Minden-Tahoe airport last night for what was supposed to be a local flight. The plane did not return to the airport.  Sources tell News 4 the airplane left the airport at about 5:00pm.

The FAA tells News 4 they have alerted the Douglas County Sheriff's Office of the unaccounted airplane.

The airplane is registered to James D. McFadden of Gardnerville and used by the Flying Start flight school, but it is not immediately clear who was in the airplane during the flight.


 Douglas County sheriff's officials say they've located the wreckage of a missing airplane and a body inside believed to be the pilot in the mountains about 14 miles southeast of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Sgt. Jim Halsey said Thursday they have not yet confirmed that the victim is 46-year-old Keith Jorgenson of Gardnerville. Jorgenson took off from the airport about 5 p.m. Wednesday and hadn't been seen since.

An aircrew on a Washoe County sheriff's helicopter spotted the wreckage Thursday afternoon in the Mineral Valley area of the Pinenut Mountain Range. Halsey says Joregnson was the only person on the plane when it took off and he had planned to return by nightfall.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane is owned by James McFadden of Garnerville. (AP)

Yampa Valley Airport (KHDN), Hayden, Colorado: Aircraft on landing fuel exhaustion and rental car slid off road

Steamboat Springs — A pilot cut it a bit close Wednesday night after the plane he was flying immediately ran out of fuel upon landing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, according to airport Manager Dave Ruppel.

Emergency responders first were informed about a possible aircraft emergency at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday. Ruppel wrote in an email that the private plane was bound for Steamboat Springs Airport but was unable to land because of weather and was diverted to YVRA in Hayden. The plane made a powered landing at YVRA but ran out of fuel while taxiing off the runway. The runway was closed momentarily, but the pilot was able to restart the plane and taxi off the runway.

“The whole process only took a few minutes,” Ruppel said.

The pilot’s night became a little more eventful after he picked up a rental car. Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said he contacted the man after his car subsequently slid off the road.


Source:  http://www.steamboattoday.com

Pilot of 'Free Payton' plane kills his children, canine, himself

Slaying victims Alex and Macaila Marshall with their father, Phillip Marshall.





A man who last year flew a plane with a "Free Payton" banner over the New Orleans area was involved in a murder-suicide in California, according to WWL-TV, which cited media reports. CBS13 in Sacramento reported that Phillip Marshall, 54, shot and killed his two teenage children and the family dog before turning the gun on himself at the family's home in San Andreas, Calif.

The WWL report went on to say Marshall was the pilot of the aircraft that pulled a "Free Payton" banner across the city and over the New Orleans Saints' training facility last year. The banner was in reference to Saints head coach Sean Payton's suspension after the bounty scandal.

Friends of the two children -- 14-year-old Micaila Phillips and her 17-year-old brother Alex -- found their bodies when looking through the windows of Marshall's home in Calaveras County. Both children had a single gunshot wound to the head.

"They were great kids," said one friend.

The reason for the murder-suicide is under investigation, but authorities say Marshall's estranged wife filed a domestic violence report against him in December 2008.

Story and Reaction/Comments:   http://www.nola.com
 
August 15, 2012 -  METAIRIE, La. – Philip Marshall and Alex Luhrman were enjoying cocktail hour at a local establishment two nights ago an idea popped into their heads – someone should fly a plane above the New Orleans Saints facility towing a “Free Payton” banner.

On Wednesday, their brainstorming came to fruition.

Marshall, a 54-year-old United Airlines pilot based in California who grew up a Saints fans and attended the very first game, flew a small private plane from St. Tammany Parish to Metairie carrying a banner with big block letters spelling FREE PAYTON behind it.

It took 21 days but fans finally had their say about Sean Payton’s year-long suspension during training camp.

“It’s pretty sweet,” starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “It kind of caught us off guard. I was over there taking a knee after our repos and I seen it kind of just flying around. That’s kind of neat.
 
“You’ve got a city that’s going to back their coach and their players.”

The plane circled the two practice fields more than eight times before heading east towards downtown and back to St. Tammany Parish.

Marshall said air traffic control at Armstrong International Airport was “very accommodating” and dubbed his plane Who Dat 1.

The plane almost didn’t make it to its primary destination, Marshall said, after the plane ran hot. He piloted the plane through a rain storm to cool the engine down.

Seconds after the plane left the airspace, Saints safety Roman Harper turned to fans, jokingly saying he bought the banner. Quarterback Drew Brees, meanwhile, made it clear that there was a possibility the players would get together for just such an act.

“If there’s a team something that we want to do, yes, I’ll always chip in,” Brees said, before adding, “(and) not what people would probably twist that to mean. If it’s a legal and funny thing like that, then yeah, I’d do it.”

The duo started a website called FreePayton.org, on which it says the group “will be initiating our indefinite air campaign in support of Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints who have been wrongfully persecuted by the National Football League.”

Marshall and Luhrman paid a total of $2,100, a cost that included aviation fuel and the banner, for the three-hour flight. And they’re hoping it’s not the last time the $700-an-hour banner flies. They'll be posting buzz updates on Twitter @PaytonAir

Already they’ve received queries about flying the banner over NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s home in New York, to which Marshall responded, “We can do that.”

Source:  http://www.wwltv.comNFL-Aug15-2012-166297776.html

Jackson Hole (KJAC): Airport seeks Wyoming cash

Jackson Hole Airport wants $5 million from the state to get its new $18 million baggage system off the ground.

Town and county officials agreed Monday to back the airport’s application to the Wyoming Business Council for a $2 million grant and a $3 million loan.

The support didn’t come without doubts, though. New councilman Jim Stanford questioned the cost.

The upgraded baggage claim will take up more than 13,000 square feet of a new 30,000-square-foot building and include four 140-foot conveyor belts. The existing system is nearly 20 years old.

The business council program funds public infrastructure projects that support businesses and economic development.

Teton County developers and government agencies working on several projects were initially going to seek business council funds this spring.

The Town Council has voted to support two and delayed two. One has been withdrawn.

Town council members agreed Monday to support Vertical Harvest’s bid for $1.5 million to help build a three-story green-house downtown.

Two other plans are still on the table. Council members asked Imagine Jackson and Snow King Mountain Recreation to come back with more detailed plans. They also wanted to give residents time to review the proposals, which are available on the town’s website.

Imagine Jackson, run by former councilman Mark Obringer, is seeking $2.3 million to buy property next to Miller Park and build a business campus with shared workspace for entrepreneurs.

Snow King Mountain Recreation investors want to add mountain bike trails and more snowmaking machines to the town hill.

One group has withdrawn its proposal: Center Management Inc., operators of the Snow King Sports and Events Center, has delayed its request for $1.5 million to build an ice rink.

The nonprofit needs more time to nail down cost estimates, President and Chief Executive John Valiante said.

The Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project’s board will decide at its next meeting whether to apply for up to $1 million to buy the equipment needed to help start a compressed natural gas filling station in Jackson.

Teton County commissioners also will decide in two weeks whether to apply for money to connect the Adam’s Canyon area south of Jackson to the town’s sewer line.

Approval of the airport’s project came after Stanford questioned the spending.

“To me, when we look at a pathway project, we sometimes are micro-managing the handrail of a bridge” to control costs, Stanford said.

It’s different with the airport, Stanford said.

“No sooner than we finish one $20 or $30 million project than we are on to the next. When are we going to get to the point when this is it?”

But others believe the upgrade is necessary.

“That’s the number-one complaint my parents have had at Inn on the Creek — waiting on baggage,” Councilwoman Hailey Morton said.

Both boards voted unanimously to support the airport’s application.


Story:   http://www.jhnewsandguide.com

Sterling Municipal Airport (KSTK), Colorado: On-site fuel OK, but self-serve pumps up in the air -- Updated study results discussed at work session

After discussions Tuesday about lofty future plans for Sterling Municipal Airport, the Sterling City Council was weighed down by one key question: To self-pump or not to self-pump?

Council members unanimously agreed at a work session Tuesday that storing fuel on-site would benefit the airport, but they weighed the pros and cons of constructing self-serve gas pumps for aircraft.

The council has been looking into the possibility of pairing the airport with a fixed-base operator (FBO) – a business that's granted rights to provide services at the airport – or making improvements to make it more competitive in the area.

Opinions split largely between the positive views of Michael Dye, an FBO consultant, and airport manager Pat O'Brien. Dye thinks the self-serve gas pumps would draw more aircraft to the area, while O'Brien says he doesn't think they're necessary.

“We're trying to make products and services available. We're trying to make the airport more attractive to people who aren't here now,” Dye said.

He added that the $11,000 it would cost to add self-serve pumps – added to the roughly $200,000 to $220,000 it would take to install on-site fuel tanks – would work out to about an extra 1.3 cents per gallon of fuel over six to eight years.

“It's not a $50,000 to $100,000 investment,” Dye said. “It's going to be there and it's going to serve you, and it's going to serve the pilots.”

The alternative would be for pilots to call airport staff whenever they fly in after work hours, and some would have the option of refueling their planes on their own during the day. And some pilots on transient flights, Dye said, might be attracted to an airport where they can refuel at 11:30 at night.

Companies interested in an FBO might also become interested if the airport has self-service.

But O'Brien said he and the pilots he talked to wouldn't use the self-service pumps, so they'd go to waste.

“I don't think it'd be beneficial. A fuel farm itself, yes, but pilots don't like to use self-serve,” O'Brien said. “I don't see how it would pay for itself in any time frame. … I think it is money best spent somewhere else.”

Another man at the meeting who claimed he'd been a pilot for 37 years said he'd never used a self-serve pump, either.

O'Brien said if anything, a lot of traffic comes to the airport because of its fuel prices, which are “very competitive, if not much lower” here than in Nebraska or other neighboring areas.

Mayor Heather Brungardt said they could price out fuel used at self-serve pumps and compare the differences in price. Council member Randy Brigham suggested getting figures of prices for self-serve fuel at other airports.

Regardless, the council decided to put on-site fueling and airport improvements on their short list of projects for 2013.

“If we don't, we're going to be talking about this a year from now,” Brigham said.

The $200,000-plus needed for the addition would only cover equipment costs, according to City Manager Joe Kiolbasa, but Dye said there were grants available.

One in particular Dye had heard about would pay 90 percent of the costs, but he said the grant cycle starts in September and applications have to be submitted by October.

“There's not a lot of time if we want to put our name in the hopper,” he said. He later added that having plans for improvements in place might boost the city's chance of receiving a competitive grant.


Story:  http://www.journal-advocate.com

Fairbanks, Alaska: Cool, moist weather caused contrail behind testing helicopter

Sam Harrel/News-Miner

A helicopter sits on the tarmac at the Fairbanks International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Two companies have been conducting cold weather testing for the past month and a half at the airport.


FAIRBANKS — A helicopter flying test runs above Fairbanks on Tuesday stirred up an unusual phenomenon — fog. 

 The helicopter belongs to a company conducting cold-weather tests out of Fairbanks International Airport.

It flew back and forth across the flatlands south of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus Tuesday afternoon, said Jake Sirevaag, the visitor services supervisor at the UA Museum of the North on West Ridge.

“You could see a small trail behind the rotor of the helicopter,” Sirevaag said. “Then it started heavily condensing in a trail behind it. It left a dense wake.”

Rick Thoman, with the National Weather Service, said conditions for the phenomenon were set up by the presence of higher levels of moisture in the air, which was sometimes visible Tuesday as a thin fog.

As the moist air passed over the helicopter’s rotors, the pressure dropped. That drop cooled the air enough that the water vapor condensed, Thoman said. He didn’t see the helicopter wake Tuesday but saw the photograph in Wednesday’s Daily News-Miner.

“The rotors in effect cause the fog,” Thoman said.

That’s certainly what it looked like to Sirevaag. “It hung in the air for a very long time, spread out and became the fog,” he said.

Cool moist air flowing rapidly across a wing will cause the phenomenon, Thoman said.

“You see this actually not infrequently if you have a window seat and you’re landing or taking off at Sea-Tac,” Thoman said, referring to the notoriously damp climate in Seattle. “You would more or less never see this flying out of Phoenix.”

Even though temperatures were below freezing, the fog formed Tuesday was not frozen, Thoman said. Rather, it was composed of supercooled water droplets. “That’s the normal state of fog until you get well down into the minus 30s,” he said.

The helicopter’s abnormal shape also caught Sirevaag’s attention. It was “large and unusual,” he said.

Tim Hill, aviation supervisor at Alaska Aerofuel, said he has hosted helicopters from two companies that have conducted cold weather tests for the past month and a half at the airport. Hill said he couldn’t provide any more information at this point. Companies often avoid publicity while conducting such tests.

Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, said three helicopters have been involved in the testing this month and last.

Story and Reaction/Comments:  http://www.newsminer.com

Hiller UH-12B, N5072R: Accident occurred February 06, 2013 in Merritt Island, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA127
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013 in Merritt Island, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/13/2014
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12B, registration: N5072R
Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that, during the initial climb, when the helicopter was about 75 feet above ground level, he heard a “pop” noise, and the engine then lost total power. The pilot performed an autorotation, and the helicopter subsequently landed hard on a taxiway. A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed that the fuel supply line from the gascolator to the mechanical fuel pump was not attached and that the fuel supply line and fitting were broken where they attached to the gascolator. Examination determined that the fuel fitting separated due to overstress. It is likely that, when the fuel supply line fitting broke off of the gascolator, it resulted in a loss of fuel supply to the engine, subsequent fuel starvation, and a total loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which resulted from an overstress failure of a fitting on the fuel supply line and led to an autorotation and hard landing. 

On February 6, 2013, about 1810 eastern standard time, a Hiller UH-12B, N5072R, impacted a taxiway after the helicopter experienced a total loss of engine power after takeoff from the Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. One passenger sustained minor injuries, and the commercial pilot and another passenger were not injured. The helicopter was owned by a corporation and operated by Florida Biplanes under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a sightseeing flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. 

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight and engine run up with no anomalies noted. In addition, he performed five sightseeing flights prior to the accident flight. On the sixth flight, during the initial climb, about 75 feet above ground level, the pilot heard a "pop" noise just prior to the loss of engine power. He performed an autorotation and the helicopter impacted a taxiway. 

A postaccident examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the helicopter incurred substantial damage to the engine mounts, main rotor blades, tail rotor, and tail boom. The inspector disconnected the fuel supply line from the electric fuel pump to the carburetor and operated the fuel pump; however, no fuel was observed in the fuel line. He disconnected the fuel supply line from the gascolator to the electric fuel pump and noted no fuel in the supply line and removed the fuel filter and examined it with no debris or obstructions noted. He verified fuel was in the gascolator drain. The inspector then discovered the fuel supply line from the gascolator to the mechanical fuel pump was not attached and that the fuel supply line and fitting was broken where it attached to the gascolator. The fuel fitting was inspected by the NTSB materials laboratory in Washington, D. C. Microscopic analysis of the part revealed that both ends of the fitting failed due to overstress. 

According to the helicopter maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was performed on May 1, 2012. At that time, the helicopter had a total tachometer time of 75.2 hours. At the time of the accident, the tachometer indicated 114.6 hours. According to the Hiller Helicopters Model UH-12B Flight Manual, the fuel system consists of a fuel tank, an engine-driven fuel pump, an electrical auxiliary fuel pump, a fuel quantity gauge, strainer, shut-off valve, and the necessary lines and fittings. 

  http://registry.faa.gov/N5072R

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA127 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013 in Merritt Island, FL
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12B, registration: N5072R
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

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

On February 6, 2013, about 1810 eastern standard time, a Hiller UH-12B, N5072R, impacted a taxiway after the helicopter experienced a total loss of engine power after takeoff from the Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. One passenger sustained minor injuries, and the commercial pilot and another passenger were not injured. The helicopter was owned by a corporation and operated by Florida Biplanes under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a sightseeing flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to witnesses, the helicopter took off and climbed about 70 feet above ground level where the helicopter lost engine power. According to the pilot, he heard a “pop” noise just prior to the loss of engine power. He performed an autorotation and the helicopter impacted a taxiway.

Initial examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the helicopter incurred substantial damage to the tail rotor and tail boom.

The engine was retained for further examination.



Raw video shows a helicopter in flight moments before crashing on taxiway at Merritt Island Airport. 

 

The helicopter involved is a Hiller UH-12B, registered to a private individual in Punta Gorda. 



Three men escaped serious injury after the helicopter they were flying in crashed at Merritt Island Airport on Wednesday evening, according to Lt. Jeff Taylor of Brevard County Fire Rescue. 

 When crews arrived to the crash a few minutes after 6:10 p.m., the pilot and his two passengers had exited the 1953 Hiller UH-12B. The pilot said the helicopter had just taken off when it suddenly lost power at about 75 feet off the ground. The aircraft was largely intact after the crash, though it did lose its tail rotor.

Investigators found a small oil leak which firefighters quickly stopped.

One passenger – a man in his 60s – was taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated. The pilot and second passenger declined to be taken to a hospital.


Story, photo, video:   http://www.floridatoday.com

Lagunans buzzing angry over jet noise

When the clock strikes 7 a.m. every morning, Keri Barriga has her earplugs in, clicks on her Dohm white-noise sound conditioner and wraps her down pillows around her head. This has been her routine since March 2011, when she said jets started flying over her Canyon Acres home.

The flights come as frequently as every couple of minutes between 7 and 8 a.m. but then taper off to every 15 minutes throughout the rest of the day, she said.

"I can almost tell you who is sitting in 6F," she said. "They're that close."

Some Lagunans are saying airplane noise and flying altitudes are different from what they were before – to the point that it's affecting their quality of life. Several spoke at a Laguna Beach City Council meeting Jan. 15, leading the council to organize a committee to address the noise issue.

Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who leads the new committee, said she hopes to get "piles of letters" from those affected.

COMPLAINTS SINCE 2011

About 30 residents in Canyon Acres, Arch Beach Heights, Top of the World and South Laguna have complained to the city since April 2011.

The city reported that it has contacted John Wayne Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration, which controls flight paths, and both assert there have been no changes in flight patterns or in the number of aircraft in the area.

Mayor Kelly Boyd and Councilman Bob Whalen both agreed with residents who spoke in protest of the planes.

"We sit out there with our cup of coffee and say, 'Name that airline,'" Boyd said. "We get them over our home all day and night."

Whalen said he sets his watch to 7:04, then "boom, boom, boom" – he hears the planes rush over his Holly Street home.

Residents with flying experience also addressed the council at the January meeting, speaking about the complexity of controlling an aircraft's flight path – which can be dependant on a number of safety factors, including weather and air traffic.

Scott Roberts, a retired pilot who lives in Temple Hills, said he didn't understand all the commotion about airplane noise. He hasn't noticed low-flying planes or an increase in noise.

Wolfram Blume, a Laguna Beach resident, flies a small plane out of John Wayne Airport.

"The issue is simply, 'What altitudes do those planes fly at?'" he said.

If planes are at 10,000 feet, you won't hear them, but at 4,000 feet, they will wake you up in the morning, he said.

The issue is a "real-time" problem, Blume said, meaning that air traffic control gives quick directions once planes take off. Because of the amount of planes that fly out at 7 a.m., right when the curfew is lifted, routes likely are redrawn because of increased air traffic, he said. John Wayne Airport restricts overnight flights from departing or arriving until

7 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays).

"I don't know what you can do about this," Blume said.

FAA SAYS NO CHANGES

Around the same time complaints started, the FAA implemented a departure procedure called STREL, which centers the aircraft over the Back Bay in Newport Beach, minimizing fanning and keeping departures on a tight track. STREL affects flights heading east of Las Vegas. Approximately 50 percent of the flights leaving John Wayne use these types of departures.

Laguna Beach asked the FAA to review flights – departures from John Wayne Airport and arrivals at Los Angeles International Airport – on specific dates in 2011 and 2012. The agency reported no significant increase in traffic volume or planes flying at lower altitudes. There also has been no significant increase in arrivals or airplanes flying lower at LAX, the aviation administration reported.

The FAA noted that weather, traffic volume, wind and runway availability can influence the airplane's route to the airport and affect the probability of flying over Laguna.

The FAA says no flight paths have changed. That doesn't mean planes don't fly over Laguna Beach.

"The FAA has not changed any operating procedures for air traffic in this area," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. "Air traffic controllers all over the county occasionally vector aircraft off standard procedures to keep them safely separated from other aircraft. However, FAA radar data shows flight tracks over Laguna Beach were virtually the same in 2012 as they were in 1999."

NOISE TO BE EXPECTED

Barriga grew up in her Canyon Acres home and now raises her four children there. She bought her parents' house, knowing it's a stone's throw from Laguna Canyon Road, but she wasn't prepared for the barrage of jets. She and her husband considered selling their home in the past 22 months, but they have decided against it.

"You've finally realized your dream – then the FAA moves in," she said with a laugh.

Like Whalen, Carl Klas sets his clock to 7:04a.m. every day. Klas, a retired firefighter who lives in Canyon Acres, acknowledges the noise but said it is the price one pays for living near an airport.

"We lost El Toro, which was a big victory for everybody in Orange County," he said. "I guess everybody in Orange County has to deal with the fact that John Wayne has to be there."

His sister, a pilot, told him that turning planes earlier could be because of cost or time.

In the days following the Jan. 15 council meeting, Barriga said the frequency of planes flying over her home has slowed. She didn't know what to attribute it to, but she remains optimistic.

"I'm appreciative. ... (The city isn't) just saying, 'This is a problem,' but, 'What are we going to do about it,'" she said.

The first meeting regarding airplane noise and flight pattern traffic, led by Iseman, was Tuesday.

For information on future meetings, visit lagunabeachcity.net.

Source:   http://www.ocregister.com

Beech E-90 King Air, N555FV: Accident occurred February 06, 2013 in Casa Grande, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA115 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013 in Casa Grande, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2014
Aircraft: BEECH E90, registration: N555FV
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The lineman who spoke with the pilot/owner of the accident airplane before its departure reported that the pilot stated that he and the flight instructor were going out to practice for about an hour. The flight instructor had given the pilot/owner his initial instruction in the airplane and flew with the pilot/owner regularly. The flight instructor had also given the pilot/owner about 58 hours of dual instruction in the accident airplane. The pilot/owner had accumulated about 51 hours of pilot-in-command time in the airplane make and model. It is likely that the pilot/owner was the pilot flying.

Several witnesses reported observing the accident sequence. One witness reported seeing the airplane pull up into vertical flight, bank left, rotate nose down, and then impact the ground. One witness reported observing the airplane go from east to west, turn sharply, and then go north of the runway. He subsequently saw the airplane hit the ground. One witness, who was a pilot, stated that he observed the airplane enter a left bank and then a nose-down attitude of about 75 degrees at an altitude of about 300 feet above ground level, which was too low to recover. 

It is likely that the pilot was attempting a go-around and pitched up the airplane excessively and subsequently lost control, which resulted in the airplane impacting flat desert terrain about 100 feet north of the active runway at about the midfield point in a steep nose-down, left-wing-low attitude. The airplane was destroyed by postimpact forces and thermal damage. All components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site. A postaccident examination of the airframe and both engines revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Additionally, an examination of both propellers revealed rotational scoring and twisting of the blades consistent with there being power during the impact sequence. No anomalies were noted with either propeller that would have precluded normal operation. 

Toxicological testing of the pilot was negative for drugs and alcohol. The flight instructor’s toxicology report revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Given the elevated levels of metabolite in the urine and kidney, the absence of quantifiable THC in the urine, and the low level of THC in the kidney and liver, it is likely that the flight instructor most recently used marijuana at least several hours before the accident. However, the effects of marijuana use on the flight instructor’s judgment and performance at the time of the accident could not be determined.

A review of the flight instructor’s personal medical records indicated that he had a number of medical conditions that would have been grounds for denying his airman medical certificate. 

The ongoing treatment of his conditions with more than one sedating benzodiazepine, including oxazepam, simultaneously would also likely not have been allowed. However, none of the prescribed, actively sedating medications were found in the flight instructor’s tissues, and oxazepam was only found in the urine, which suggests that the flight instructor used the medication many hours and possibly several days before the accident. The toxicology findings indicate that the flight instructor likely did not experience any impairment from the benzodiazepine medication itself; however, the cognitive effects from the underlying mood disturbance could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s loss of control of the airplane after pitching it excessively nose up during a go-around, which resulted in a subsequent aerodynamic stall/spin.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On February 6, 2013, about 1135 mountain standard time, a Beechcraft E-90, N555FV, was destroyed following a loss of control during an attempted go-around and impact with terrain at the Casa Grande Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, Arizona. The certified private pilot, who was the registered owner and occupied the left pilot seat, and the airline transport pilot/certified flight instructor (CFI) who occupied the right pilot seat, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The reported local instructional flight was conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The flight departed the Marana Regional Airport (AVQ) , Marana, Arizona, about 1030.

In a statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the Chief of Line Service at the fixed based operation where the airplane was based reported that after pulling the airplane out of the hangar, the CFI indicated that the airplane would not need to be fueled. The CFI stated that there was enough fuel on board, and that they were only going to be out for an hour. The lineman said that shortly thereafter, the pilot/owner arrived and began a preflight of the airplane. The pilot stated that he and the CFI were just going out to practice for an hour or so, and then asked that ground power be applied. The pilot added that they had plenty of fuel for what they were going to do. The lineman stated that the airplane departed AVQ between 1015 and 1030.

Four witnesses to the accident provided written statements to the IIC relative to their observations of the accident sequence:

Witness #1, a local fire fighter, reported that upon hearing his partner yell an expletive, he looked up and saw a white airplane with blue or dark green stripes pull up into a vertical flight, bank left, then rotate down nose first. The witness stated that he heard the engines as it banked up and over, and it sounded as if [they were] under full power. The witness opined that the airplane impacted the ground in a vertical fashion and burst into flames. 

Witness #2, a captain/paramedic for the local fire department, reported that while on the second story balcony at the CGZ fire station and looking to the west, he observed the belly of a twin propeller airplane banking straight up, going from west to east, turning sharply, and then going down to the north of the runway. The witness stated that the plane hit the ground and burst into flames, which was followed by a huge explosion.

Witness #3 stated that he was riding his bicycle at the airport, and as he looked toward the direction of runway 5 he observed a twin engine aircraft in a left hand bank and a nose down attitude of about 75 degrees, at an altitude of about 300 feet [above ground level]. The witness, himself a pilot, felt the aircraft was too low to recover, and subsequently watched it crash, after which he reported the accident to the CGZ fire department.

Witness #4 reported that she watches many airplanes perform "touch down and take off" practice, and that the accident airplane did not appear to be anything different until she noticed something in the sound of the engine. She stated, "It became too quiet, as if the engine had stopped completely." The witness stated that the airplane seemed to be on a normal route for touchdown, then the dirt flew up and she thought the plane went off the runway. She added that while she watched the dirt clear she heard a pop like a tire blowing, then saw the explosion. 

A postaccident on-site examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane was destroyed following impact with flat, dirt-covered terrain located about 150 feet west of runway 5 (5,200 feet in length by 100 feet in width), and about 120 feet south of the 2000-foot distance remaining marker. Impact orientation was on a measured magnetic heading of about 050 degrees. The airplane came to rest on a measured magnetic heading of about 135 degrees at an elevation of 1,452 feet mean sea level. The wreckage area measured about 175 feet east to west, and about 75 feet north to south. The airplane, which was destroyed by a combination of severe impact forces and thermal damage, was recovered to a secured storage facility for further examination.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot #No. 1

The left-front seat pilot, age 65, possessed a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. His most recent FAA third-class airman medical certificate was issued on November 13, 2012, with the limitation "must wear corrective lenses." 

A review of the pilot's personal logbooks revealed that the most recent entry was made on December 15, 2012, about two months prior to the accident flight. The last entry, which was in the accident airplane, totaled 2.2 hours of dual instruction received from the accident CFI. The logbook review further revealed that the pilot had accumulated a total time of 1,079 flight hours in all aircraft, 663 flight hours in multiengine airplanes, and 112 flight hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot listed about 51 hours as pilot in command of the accident airplane. It was also revealed that prior to the purchase of the accident airplane, the pilot had owned a Cessna 414 multiengine airplane, in which he had accumulated a total of 551 hours. According to an aviation insurance application, the pilot indicated that his most recent biennial flight review was completed on October 19, 2012. 

Pilot #No. 2

The right-front seat pilot, age 51, possessed an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane multiengine land, commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, a certified flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine and multiengine, and instrument airplanes, and a basic ground instructor certificate. His most recent FAA second-class airman medical certificate was issued on October 22, 2012, with the limitation "must wear corrective lenses." 

A review of the pilot's personal logbooks revealed that the last entry was made on October 25, 2012. As of this date, the logbook review revealed that the pilot had accumulated a total flight time in all aircraft of 8,552 hours, 2,787 hours in multiengine airplanes, 325 hours in the accident airplane make and model, 58 hours of dual instruction given to the left-seat private pilot in the accident airplane. The pilot's logbook also revealed that he had completed his most recent flight review on November 8, 2012.

Training records supplied to the NTSB IIC by SIMCOM Training Centers of Scottsdale, Arizona, revealed that the pilot had completed his most recent Beechcraft King Air B200 Recurrent course with C90 Differences training on November 9, 2012. Total simulator time was recorded as 3 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Beech E90 twin-engine airplane, serial number LW-248, manufactured in 1977, was a high performance, low wing, of semi-monocoque construction. The airplane was equipped with dual controls for the left and right pilot positions.

The airplane was powered by two 750-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engines (left engine serial number RB0274; right engine serial number RB0186). The most recent inspection of both engines, performed in compliance with a Phase 1-2 per the Beechcraft Maintenance Manual, occurred on December 6, 2012. At that time records revealed a time since new (TSN) of 1,013.0 hours for the left engine, a TSN of 1,491.7 hours for the right engine. At the time of the inspections the aircraft's total airframe time was 8,345.4 hours, and a Hobbs time of 2,418.4 hours.

The airplane was equipped with 3-bladed, Hartzell HC-B3TN-3B propellers. Both propellers underwent their most recent maintenance on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Phase 1-2 of the Beechcraft Maintenance Manual.

The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on September 6, 1977.

METEROROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1835, the CGZ Automated Weather Observation System reported, wind 190 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, temperature 17° Celsius (C), dew point 7° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted terrain in a steep nose down, left wing low attitude, and was destroyed by impact and thermal damage. A post-recovery examination of the wreckage by representatives from Beechcraft, Pratt & Whitney, and Hartzell Propellers, overseen by the NTSB IIC and representative from the FAA revealed the following:

Airframe Examination

The aft fuselage and empennage sections had separated from the main fuselage section by impact forces and postimpact fire. The empennage remained attached to the aft fuselage by flight control and flight trim control cables only. The right stabilizer and elevator were consumed by postimpact fire. The elevator and rudder bellcranks and assemblies were visible and exhibited thermal and impact damage. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, left elevator, left stabilizer and the aft fuselage area remained attached and displayed postimpact fire and impact damage. All control cables were intact and were cut during the retrieval process.

The right elevator trim actuator remained attached by control cables only and remained attached to a fragment of the rear spar. The right elevator trim actuator extension measured 0.75 inches in length, which equates to 14 degrees tab down (nose up trim). The right elevator trim control rod was fractured. The cables remained attached to the drum. The right elevator balance weight was found in the main wreckage and was exposed to postimpact fire and was partially melted.

The left elevator trim actuator remained attached to the stabilizer and elevator. The control cables remained attached to the drum. The left elevator trim actuator extension was 0.75 inches in length, which equates to 14 degrees tab down (nose up trim). The leading edge boot was burned away, and the paint was burned and bubbled. The elevator remained attached at all hinges. The elevator trim surface remained attached at the piano hinge. The left elevator balance weight remained attached and was not fire damaged.

The rudder remained attached to the rudder bellcrank and the two mounting hinges. The rudder trim actuator rod extension measured 8.875 inches, which equates to a near neutral tab position. The rudder trim actuator remained attached to the rudder and the rudder trim actuator rod remained attach to the rudder trim tab. The rudder trim chain remained attached to the actuator gear, and the chain remained attached to the control cables. Both primary rudder control cables remained attached to the rudder bellcrank. Both rudder return springs remained attached to the bellcrank. The vertical stabilizer was mostly consumed by postimpact fire and remained attached to the aft bulkhead. The forward spar of the vertical stabilizer was burned through, and the aft spar remained attached.

The inboard portion of the right wing was consumed by postimpact fire, while the outboard section of the wing remained attached to the airframe by the aileron cables only; the cables were cut for retrieval purposes. The right wing was burned away with about 12 feet remaining of the outboard section. The outboard portion of the aileron was thermally damaged. Sixty-six inches of the aileron remained intact. The aileron control rod remained attached to the aileron, and the aileron control cables remained attached to the bellcrank. Both aileron control cables were pulled by hand and actuation of the bellcrank and the aileron were observed. The aileron remained attached to the center and outboard hinges. The inboard hinge remained attached to the rear spar. The ground adjustable tab remained attached to the aileron. The leading edge of the right wing tip displayed compression damage measuring 42 inches in length. The right flap was not observed.

The outboard 7 feet of the left wing, excluding the wing tip, was thermally damaged. The left aileron had separated from the wing. It was intact with impact damage, and displayed leading edge compression damage at all three hinge points. Spanwise compression damage was displayed on the outboard end. The mounting structure of the wing remained attached to all three hinges; each hinge remained attached to the aileron. The aileron trim tab actuator separated from the trim tab and was found in its relative position on the left wing. The trim cable remained attached to the drum. The actuator rod extension measured 1.25 inches, which equated to about 2.8 degrees tab up (roll right). According to the HBC representative, neutral aileron trim would measure 1.17 inches on the actuator rod, and 5 degree deflection would measure 1.31 inches. The left flap was not observed.

The cabin and cockpit areas were both destroyed, with extreme fragmentation observed. Both of the pilot's outboard yoke control horns were observed separated and exhibited impact and thermal damage. Both yokes were loose in their sleeves and were removed easily from the console. The left yoke control column shaft had separated and was about 19 inches in length. The left horn of the left yoke had also separated. Additionally, the right horn of the right yoke had also separated. The right yoke control column shaft was observed separated, and was about 5 1/2 inches in length. Both control column sleeves were deformed to the left and forward in direction. Both left and right control horns were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for examination and analysis in an effort to determine the failure mode of each. All cockpit panel instrumentation was destroyed by thermal and impact damage.

The landing gear handle was bent to the left and appeared to be midway between the extended and retracted positions. The flap selector was in the full flap extended position. The elevator trim wheel had thermal discoloration and deformation. The indicator read about 14 units on the side scale. The indicator arrow was burned away and the indication was estimated by rivet placement on the surrounding structure. The aileron trim wheel indicator read about zero. The rudder trim wheel indicator read about 1 unit yaw left.

The power control quadrant was observed, with the left power lever and left propeller lever positioned aft of their associated right power lever and propeller lever. Both left and right condition levers were observed in the full forward position.

The right main landing gear had separated from the fuselage and was found lying to the left front of the wreckage area. The left main landing gear remained attached to the fuselage and was observed to be in the down and locked position. 

The examination of the airframe revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Engine Examinations

Both the left and right engines displayed contact signatures to their internal components characteristic of engines producing symmetrical power at the time of impact, likely in the mid to upper power range.

Left Engine 

The engine was a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 model, serial number PCE RB0274. The engine was attached to the engines mounts and partially attached to the firewall. The engine was consumed by post impact thermal damage and the propeller assembly and portion of the front reduction gearbox had separated from the core. The propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches, twisting and bending to the aft. One propeller blade was separated at the hub. The propeller spinner was partially attached and the propeller and over speed governor were attached by engine tubing. The exhaust duct was crushed inward and partially deformed on the bottom portion. The exhaust stacks were deformed and crushed aft and the left exhaust stack exhibited a small outward penetration on the upper portion. The gas generator case exhibited compression deformation and all of the inlet case struts were fractured.

The engine was separated at the C flange. The upstream and downstream faces of the compressor turbine discs and blades exhibited deformation and rubbing. The power turbine and baffle exhibited rubs on both sides from contact with the power turbine and compressor turbine discs and blades. The power turbine exhibited fractured blade surfaces of varying heights. Only seven blades remained in the blade fixings. No rotational continuity could be established due to impact damage. The fuel lines were intact. The only engine accessories that remained attached were the fuel control unit and fuel pump. The oil filter was removed and was clear of contamination, and the residual oil was clean. The fuel filter was not removed due to thermal damage. At least one quart of oil was observed to have leaked out during the examination.

The examination of the left engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Right Engine

The engine was a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 model, serial number PCE RB0186. The engine was attached to the engines mounts and partially attached to the firewall. The engine was consumed by post impact thermal damage. The propeller assembly and portion of the front reduction gearbox were separated but remained attached by airplane tubing and wiring. The exhaust duct was crushed inward and partially deformed. The exhaust left stack was compressed and both stacks were deformed. A small outward penetration on the upper right portion of the exhaust duct was observed. The propeller blades exhibited chord wise scratches, twisting and bending to the aft. One blade exhibited thermal damage and only about 18 inches of the blade remained from the hub. One blade tip was bent aft. The propeller spinner was partially separated. The overspeed governor was attached and the propeller governor was attached by engine tubing. 

The engine was separated at the C flange. The upstream and downstream faces of the compressor turbine discs and blades exhibited deformation and rubbing. The power turbine vane and baffle exhibited rubs on both sides from contact with the power turbine and compressor turbine discs and blades. The power turbine exhibited fractured blade surfaces of varying heights. Four blades had liberated from the disc. The engine was rotated by hand through the compressor turbine disc and mechanical rotation continuity was established to the accessory gear box. The fuel lines were intact with the exception of several fuel nozzle transfer tubes that were thermally damaged. All engine accessories remained attached with the exception of the fuel oil heater that was fractured at its mount. The oil filter was removed and was clear of contamination and the residual oil was clean. The fuel filter was not removed due to thermal damage. A small amount of oil leaked out during the exam.

The examination of the right engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Propeller Examinations

The right propeller remained attached to the gearbox; however the gearbox had separated from the engine due to a fractured engine shaft. The propeller had extreme thermal damage and was missing the spinner dome, and the bulkhead had melted away from around the edges. 

The left propeller remained attached to the gearbox; however the gearbox had separated from the engine due to a fractured engine shaft. One blade was fractured off the hub and the upper half of the spinner dome was missing.

Both propellers exhibited rotational scoring and twisting to the blades, which is indicative of power ON during impact. 

There were no discrepancies noted that would preclude normal operation. All damage was consistent with impact damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On February 8, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the left-seat private pilot at the Forensic Science Center, Tucson, Arizona. The findings of the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

The Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeronautical Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the private pilot. The report indicated no Carbon Monoxide detected in Blood (Heart), testing for Cyanide not performed, no Ethanol detected in Vitreous, and tests were negative for drugs in Urine.

On February 8, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the right-seat airline transport pilot/certified flight instructor (CFI) at the Forensic Science Center, Tucson, Arizona. The findings of the autopsy revealed that the cause of death was as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

The Forensic Toxicological Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeronautical Medical Institute for the CFI. The report indicated testing for Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide were not performed, and no Ethanol detected in Urine. Tests for drugs indicated the following values:

Oxazepam NOT detected in Liver
0.086 (ug/ml, ug/g) Oxazepam detected in Urine
Rosuvastatin detected in Liver
0.0035 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana) detected in Lung
0.0026 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana) detected in Kidney
0.1216 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in Urine
0.0298 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in Kidney
0.0158 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in Liver
0.0042 (ug/ml, ug/g) Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in Lung
Valproic Acid detected in Urine
Valproic Acid detected in Liver

A review of the CFI's FAA medical records by the NTSB Chief Medical Officer revealed the following: reported a hospital admission for an episode of severe vertigo in 1992; reported having had surgery to remove a benign tumor (a cholesteatoma) from the left ear in 1990; reported intermittent use of an intranasal steroid spray used to decrease swelling and congestion in 2010, and reported using Crestor, a cholesterol lowering medication in 2011. 
Toxicology testing conducted by a private laboratory found that the CFI had oxazepam (0.127ug/ml) and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (0.160ug/ml) in his urine, as well as 0.0096 ug/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid and 0.069 gm/dL of ethanol in splenic tissue.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA revealed oxazepam (0.086 ug/ml) in urine but not in liver tissue. Rosuvastatin was detected in liver. Valproic acid was detected in urine and liver. In addition, tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) was detected lung (0.0035 ug/ml) and kidney (0.0026 ug/ml) and its primary metabolite, tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid was found in urine (0.1216 ug/ml), kidney (0.0298 ug/ml) liver (0.0158 ug/ml, and lung (0.0042 ug/ml).

A review of the CFI's personal medical records revealed diagnoses of high cholesterol, hypertension, hypothryroidism, insomnia, dysthymia, obesity, sinus disease, and chronic headaches. Over the period of available records from 2006 to 2012, in addition to the rosuvastatin he reported to the FAA, the pilot was treated with olmesartan medoxomil (an angiotensin II receptor antagonist marketed under the trade name Benicar and used to treat hypertension), temazepam (a benzodiazepine sedative used to treat anxiety marketed under the trade name Restoril), lorazepam (a benzodiazepine sedative used to treat anxiety and seizures marketed under the trade name Ativan), diazepam (a long acting benzodiazepine sedative used to treat anxiety, seizures, and muscle pain, marketed under the trade name Valium), levothyroxine (synthetic thyroid hormone, used to replace it when treating hypothyroidism, marketed under the trade name Synthroid), and divalproex sodium (an atypical anti-epileptic typically used to treat seizures, manic episodes associated with bipolar disease, and to prevent migraines; marketed under the trade name Depakote). According to the CFI's personal medical records, the physician was using divalproex sodium to treat chronic tension headaches.

A copy of the NTSB chief medical officer's factual report is included in the public docket for this accident.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Two sections of the pilot's control column grips were submitted to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for examination of the failure mode of each. During the investigation the IIC determined that portion #No. 1 was identified as having been separated from the left control column, and portion #No. 2 was identified as having been separated from the right control column.

During the examination of the components described above, an NTSB Fire and Explosion Investigator reported the following:

Portion #No. 1 exhibited characteristics of exposure to a high temperature environment. There is evidence of deformation and sagging of the aluminum. Additionally there are small cracks in the aluminum oxide layer on the surface, indicative of incipient melting of the aluminum underneath. The fracture surface is granular with smoothed over edges consistent with having fused and then resolidified. 

Portion #No. 2 exhibited characteristics of exposure to a high temperature environment but to a lesser degree than portion #No. 1. The black coating material on the exterior of portion #No. 2 exhibits evidence of charring and melting. Some areas of the black coating also exhibit small craters from outgassing due to thermal decomposition. There are wires on the interior of this portion with their insulation intact. The appearance of the fracture surface is granular with sharp edges. No evidence of preexisting damage or corrosion was observed on the fracture surface. The fracture is consistent with overstress. (Refer to Materials Laboratory Factual Report No. 14-004, which is appended to the docket for this accident.)

During the on site investigation it was discovered that the airplane was equipped with both a Multifunctional Display (MFD), and a Primary Functional Display, both of which contain non-volatile memory data. However, due to the condition of both components as a result of significant impact and thermal, both units were deemed too badly damaged to produce any relevant data pertinent to the investigation.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA115 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 06, 2013 in Casa Grande, AZ
Aircraft: BEECH E90, registration: N555FV
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 February 6, 2013, about 1135 mountain standard time, a Beech E-90, N555FV, sustained substantial damage when it collided with the terrain while maneuvering at the Casa Grande Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, Arizona. The private pilot, who occupied the left pilot seat, and the certified flight instructor, who occupied the right pilot seat, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan was not filed. The reported local instructional flight was conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The flight departed the Marana Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona, about 1030.

In a conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), a line service person who assisted the pilot in preparing the airplane for the flight reported that the pilot mentioned to him that he and the flight instructor were going up to practice some maneuvers. Additionally, a family member reported to the IIC that the pilot was going to CGZ to practice touch-and-go takeoffs and landings.

Several witnesses reported that they observed the airplane over runway 05 in an extremely steep bank angle to the left and in a severely nose down attitude prior to impact with terrain. Two witnesses reported that the airplane was about 200 to 300 feet above the ground when it entered the steep descent.

An onsite examination of the wreckage by the NTSB and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the initial point of impact occurred about 100 feet north of the mid-field point of runway 05. After initial ground contact with the left wing, the airplane then cartwheeled in a northwesterly direction for about 50 feet before coming to rest upright and oriented on a southeasterly heading, which was perpendicular to and facing runway 05. A fire, which erupted immediately following impact, consumed various sections of the airplane. The examination further revealed that all major components necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site.

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



CASA GRANDE, AZ - Pinal County officials have identified two victims killed in a Casa Grande plane crash earlier this week. 

The Pinal County Medical Examiner identified them as 65-year-old Del V. Steinbronn of Tucson and 51-year-old Stephen J. Stafford of Green Valley.

The plane crashed around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday as it was landing at the Casa Grande Municipal Airport.

The aircraft was destroyed by fire.

Pinal County officials said Steinbronn was a retired private practice urologist who had many years of flight experience.

Stafford was a certified flight instructor with many years of flying experience, officials said.

Casa Grande Assistant Fire Chief Jim Morgan said the plane went back up about 200 feet when it was landing, and then came right back down before exploding.



CASA GRANDE, AZ (CBS5) - Officials at Tucson Aeroservice Center have told CBS 5 that one of the persons killed Wednesday in a plane crash has been identified as Steve Stafford. Stafford worked as a salesman for the company and was an accomplished pilot. 

 No one has survived a small plane crash at Casa Grande Municipal Airport late Wednesday morning.

No one survived the small plane crash at Casa Grande Municipal Airport.

The crash happened as a Beech E-90 King Air  was landing at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at 3225 N. Lear Ave. in north Casa Grande.

Two people on board died when the two-engine turbo prop plane crashed and burst into flames upon impact.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

Gary Couch was with some friends at the airport at the time of the crash.

"We turned around and looked and there was a fireball and black smoke coming up off the plane that had crashed on the runway."

Couch said the wreckage burned for quite a while.

While the FAA is involved in the investigation, the NTSB will take the lead in trying to determine a cause.



Medical examiners are working to identify at least two people who died after  a plane crashed near the runway at Casa Grande Municipal Airport on Wednesday morning.

It is still unclear how many people were in the Beech E-90 King Air that crashed shortly after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, just north of the runway.

The plane was destroyed by fire, said Jim Morgan, assistant fire chief of the Casa Grande Fire Department.

The charred remains of the two people were visible at the crash site. It is possible that more remains could be found in the crash, Morgan said.

The medical examiner is working to identify the bodies at this time.

The plane is registered to a Tuscon company, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which sent an inspector to the site.

Additional information was being withheld until officials notify relatives of the deceased.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be the lead agency in the investigation, although it could take months to determine the cause of the crash, Gregor said.

The plane was flying from west to east as it began to land, Morgan said.

“The airplane made a sudden ascent and a sudden descent where it crashed,” Morgan said.

A firefighter working outside a nearby fire station told investigators that as the plane approached the runway, it went straight up about 200 to 300 feet, made a sharp left turn and crashed.

“It could have been what is known as a stall,’’ Morgan said.

One witness apparently saw the plane, which looked like a six-seater, try to land on the runway when it kicked up and flipped over. Gary Couch, a retiree, was at the airport having coffee with friends when he heard the crash and saw the aftermath.

“We saw a lot of black smoke and a lot of flames,” Couch said. “You just feel sorry for the people in the plane.”

Morgan said it’s been several years since an accident like this occurred in Casa Grande.

Officials said several flight schools around Phoenix use the airport for training. The airport is often used as a halfway point between Tuscon and Phoenix. It does not have a control tower, so instrument landing rules are in effect.

Instructors and their students often practice touch and go drills, where they land and take off without coming to a full stop.


Story and Video:   http://www.azcentral.com



IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 555FV        Make/Model: BE9L      Description: 90, A90 TO E90 KING AIR (T-44, VC-6)
  Date: 02/06/2013     Time: 1835

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: CASA GRANDE   State: AZ   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, CRASHED, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY INJURED, 
  CASA GRANDE, AZ

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ  (WP07)                Entry date: 02/07/2013