Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N5129R

 Pilot Gordon Davis explains the instrumentation of a plane during the “Celebration of Flight” hosted by Tehachapi, Calif., Association of Pilots at Tehachapi Airport in Sept. 2012. Davis and his plane went down Sunday near Saratoga. Search-and-rescue teams found the plane and Davis’ body Tuesday morning.

Pilot error.

Mechanical error.

Southeastern Wyoming winds.

Whatever sent 63-year-old Gordon Davis’ Cessna 172 into the southeast side of Pennock Mountain and a deep canyon about two-thirds of the way up its side sometime Sunday is a determination that remains the province of a pending National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

And whether the injuries he sustained in the crash caused Davis’ death, or subzero temperatures, or a combination of both, remains the province of an autopsy scheduled for Thursday in Loveland, Colo.

What can be determined is that the former U.S. Air Force pilot didn’t give up without a fight.

The Cessna’s wreckage was located Tuesday at approximately 11 a.m. by a helicopter flying out of Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. Rappelling down to the accident site from the chopper, the military medic aboard determined Davis was dead … but his body was not in the airplane.

Davis had survived the crash, according to both the helicopter crew and the search team that recovered his remains.

The pilot with 35 years in the air had made it out of his wrecked airplane. He died under his own wing, where he had sought shelter.

Kenneth Hetge, a fellow businessman at the Tehachapi, Calif., airport where Davis’ Mountain Hawk Aviation was based, told the Rawlins Daily Times his friend was a “professional” who “worked to make his business and our airport a friendly place for everyone who stopped by.”

“Every day was spent working on airplanes or giving flight instruction to someone wishing to learn the trade. Gordon was very thorough with everything he did and will truly be missed,” Hetge said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Gordon’s family, both in Tehachapi and in Wyoming.”

Davis began the fateful last leg of his last flight Sunday morning at the Bryce Canyon, Utah, airport, headed to Laramie for a visit with his father – a route he had navigated many times.

Carbon County Sheriff Jerry Colson first learned of the downed plane after the military notified him Sunday at 5 p.m. that an emergency locating transmitter had been activated, indicating it had crashed.

That evening, search-and-rescue teams from Hanna, Encampment, Saratoga, Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Forest Service targeted the area about five miles east of Saratoga near Pennock Mountain, Colson said. The teams worked into the early Monday morning hours and resumed their efforts at 7 a.m.

Searchers used snowmobiles, four-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicles and hand-held radio receivers, hoping to track the signal.

A fixed-wing plane and a helicopter were initially deployed, but had to turn back due to high winds. The eyes in the sky returned Tuesday, eventually locating Davis and the wreckage of his aircraft.

“It’s a very perilous area,” Sheriff Colson said Monday. He called the flight path over the Elk Mountain range “treacherous” in the winter.

*In October 2012, searchers found a Piper Turbo in pieces on the south face of Laramie Peak in Albany County. None of its four passengers, all from Texas, survived.

*In February 2004, a plane crashed near the summit of Elk Mountain, killing the pilot and injuring the two passengers. Rescuers mounted out a daylong effort in bitter weather that got the survivors off the mountain.

*In January 1946, a United Airlines transport en route from Boise, Idaho, to Denver, Colo. crashed near the top of Elk Mountain. All 21 occupants of the aircraft were fatally injured – including 12 redeploying soldiers, six civilians and three crew – and the Douglas DC-3 was demolished by impact and fire. Search parties had originally turned back from the 11,125-foot peak, reporting their faces were freezing.

Airports See Few Problems Thus Far: WSJ

Updated March 5, 2013, 12:13 a.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal
Major airports reported smooth operations Monday after the Obama administration called attention to delays at two big airports over the weekend, adding to other early indications that the impact on air travel from forced government spending cuts may be less abrupt and in some ways less dramatic than many feared.

The Department of Homeland Security said Monday that freezes to overtime pay that are part of the $85 billion in so-called sequester cuts left customs and immigration checkpoints understaffed Saturday at Miami International Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, causing two- to three-hour waits.

he waits were "150% to 200% as long as we would normally expect," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "We will see these effects cascade over the next week."

On Monday, however, officials representing a dozen major airports said there were few if any unusual flight delays or lines at security or customs checkpoints. Since the sequester started Friday, "we haven't seen any delays out of the ordinary," said Bob Rotiski, duty manager at San Francisco International Airport.

A Miami airport spokesman confirmed the customs delays on Saturday, but a JFK airport spokesman said he hadn't received any reports of unusually long lines since Friday. Both said there were no issues on Monday.

Airport delays likely will increase, though probably not for some time, as the freeze on hiring and overtime gradually reduces staffing among federal airport workers, according to federal officials who have pledged to ensure that the cuts don't materially affect safety.

Throughout Monday, the Democratic National Committee emailed copies of news reports citing harmful effects of the sequester, including one that said the Pentagon would furlough about 15,000 military school teachers and support staff around the world.

At the same time, Republicans called attention to instances in which administration warnings appeared to be overblown.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last month warned that furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration could lead to eventual 90-minute flight delays at some of the nation's largest airports.

The Transportation Security Administration, which has more than 45,000 airport screeners, said a hiring freeze it put in place would result in up to 1,000 vacancies by Memorial Day and 2,600 by Sept. 30 because of attrition. Wait times could eventually double during busy travel periods at security checkpoints, the agency said.

The FAA has said it is considering cutting air-traffic-controller training, hiring and overtime. Overtime is important to keep traffic flowing at many busy airports, and training is important for staffing because some tasks can't be done by trainees.

The FAA also has said it might eliminate overnight shifts at control towers at 72 medium-size airports and cut funding for towers at 238 small airports on April 1. Those cuts could create delays, as major control towers dealing with their own staffing issues pick up more flights in the wake of other tower closings.

But some of the cuts are likely to have little direct impact on the average flier. The tower closings at the 238 small airports—including those at Ithaca, N.Y., Santa Fe, N.M., and Hilton Head, S.C.—represent nearly half of the control towers in the U.S., according to the American Association of Airport Executives. But many of those airports don't have commercial air service, and several of the dozens that are served commercially said they don't expect to lose any service.

Airlines technically don't need to have an air-traffic controller guide them to a landing. And many of the airports that could lose tower staffing already keep them open only part time, while others operated for years without them.

"It's obviously safer when you have a tower controlling separation between faster jets" and slower, smaller aircraft, said James Parish, assistant director of the airport in Punta Gorda, Fla., which has about three commercial flights a day and added a tower last year. But without a tower, "we would continue as we had before."

The airport in Des Moines, Iowa, which could lose funding for its tower's overnight shift, has very few if any operations between midnight and 5 a.m., said airport director Don Smithey. If a plane needed to land in Des Moines in the absence of a controller, the pilot would be guided to that city by a controller in Minneapolis, who would deliver the plane to the Des Moines approach about five miles from the field. The pilot would use the instrument-landing system to touch down.

"All commercial pilots are trained to land at uncontrolled airports," Mr. Smithey said.

Executives of five major airlines who spoke at an investor conference on Monday hardly mentioned concerns about impacts from the sequester.

—Andy Pasztor, Peter Nicholas and Damian Paletta contributed to this article.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Fort Worth Police Air One: Helicopter Audio From Escaped Florida Inmate Search Released

Listen to audio from Fort Worth Police Air Onehttp://dfw.cbslocal.com

GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s been nearly six weeks since a prisoner stabbed a Miami-Dade police detective in the neck with the leg from a pair of eyeglasses and escaped. Today audio recordings from the Fort Worth Police Department helicopter tell more about the minutes before Alberto Morales was located, shot and killed, in a wooded are near Grapevine Lake.

Morales escaped from the parking lot of a Grapevine Wal-Mart while two Miami-Dade police detectives waited for a third officer to arrived and assist with Morales’ transport to Nevada.

After a four-day manhunt police received a tip that Morales, a convicted serial rapist, may have been the person who broke into a home near Grapevine Lake.

On February 16, the Fort Worth Police Department helicopter was dispatched to the scene to try and locate the escapee from the air. After scanning the area with a spotlight the pilot radioed. “I’ve got somebody in the woods here.” Then later called out, “I’ve got this guy on view, I’ve got somebody on view and I don’t think it’s an officer.”

After following Morales, pinpointing his location and giving a description of his clothing the pilot said, “If you can have the officers direct their search toward our search light I’ve got him. He’s laid down in these big trees somewhere. “I do have a visual on him, he’s at the edge of the tree line now.”
At some point the prisoner apparently tried to get away from the helicopter, but the pilot radioed, “He is not moving right now. He’s pretty much laying up trying to stay away from us, in the trees. But he’s showing up real good in infrared.”

Seconds later the one Grapevine police officer and two U.S. Marshals were so close to the escapee that the helicopter pilot advised them to hold communications to a minimum and turn down their radios because they were close enough that Morales could possibly hear.

Communication from the helicopter was that Morales was at the edge of a tree line. “I’ve got him up against a tree. I’ll direct you once you get close to him,” the pilot said. “Right up against a tree… he’s hugging it tight.”

The pilot then radioed, “There have been shots fired. Suspect is down.” Officials said Morales was shot while officers attempted to apprehend him. “Once they [law enforcement] had him [Morales] in sight, he refused to obey their verbal commands to surrender, obscuring his hands from view,” Officer Sam Shemwell, with Grapevine police, said hours after the shooting. “At that point, he made a movement, or what officers characterized as he lunged towards them to within a matter of feet. At that point they had no choice but to fire upon him.”

The investigation into the attack on the Miami-Dade officer, who is expected to make a full recovery, and subsequent escape, continues.


Georgia House OKs tax break for Gulfstream

A state tax break primarily for the benefit of Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. sailed through the Georgia House of Representatives Tuesday.

Lawmakers voted 169-3 to extend a sales tax exemption on the purchase of airplane parts and equipment until June 2015.

Gulfstream’s Savannah plant produces luxury aircraft for customers from around the country. The legislation would apply to parts and equipment used in the repair or maintenance in Georgia of aircraft not registered in this state.

“It’s very narrowly tailored in both scope and size,” said Rep. Alex Atwood, R-Brunswick, the bill’s chief sponsor.

Read more here:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Bell Helicopter lays off 15 workers in Tarrant County, Texas

FORT WORTH -- Fifteen hourly workers have been laid off from Bell Helicopter operations in Tarrant County, a union has confirmed.

The layoffs on Friday affected dispatchers and experimental and electrical assemblers, said Gary Livingston, former president of UAW-218. The individuals were included in a factory "surplus" list or layoff list, he said.

"It's been relatively slow at Bell as far as layoffs for a number of years,'' Livingston said. 'We've had some small ones. This is probably the largest one we've had in a good while."

Bell has about 6,000 employees in Tarrant County.


Flying Food Fare plans to layoff 87 employees

Skokie, Illinois: More than 1,200 employees statewide will lose their jobs in coming months, according to local media reports.

 Flying Food Fare Midway, LLC, 5370 South Cicero Avenue in Chicago, plans to layoff 87 employees by April 28. 

Read more here:   http://skokie.patch.com

Cirrus SR22, N504MD: Fatal accident occurred April 28, 2009 in Mayfield Village, Ohio

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

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

NTSB Identification: CEN09FA267
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 28, 2009 in Mayfield Village, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N504MD
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 instrument certified airplane climbed into instrument meteorological conditions about 30 seconds after takeoff. Radar track data showed that the airplane entered a right turn shortly after takeoff and entered the cloud base. The airplane remained in that right turn until it completed nearly 1-1/2 complete turns. The airplane rolled out and subsequently climbed 1,500 feet over next 17 seconds. The airspeed decreased to 50 knots and the airplane’s heading abruptly transitioned from the south to the north-northwest which could have represented an aerodynamic stall. The airplane then descended before beginning another climb. The airplane completed two additional descent and climb oscillations with minimum airspeeds of 60 knots and 50 knots, respectively. Maximum pitch angles of 50 degrees nose up and nose down, and bank angles of 75 degrees were recorded during the flight. The duration of the accident flight was approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

The airplane impacted a wooded area located about 3 miles from the departure airport and was destroyed by impact forces and a postimpact fire. An examination of the airframe and engine did not revealed preimpact anomalies. No flight display and/or autopilot system faults were recorded during the accident flight. Further review of the flight data did not reveal inconsistencies within the data itself. The data indicated that the pilot initially engaged the autopilot about 5 seconds after lifting off when the airplane was approximately 61 feet above ground level. The autopilot bugs were set to the assigned heading and initial altitude prior to takeoff. However, after takeoff the pilot failed to properly engage the autopilot altitude preselect mode; the altitude hold mode was entered instead. As a result, the altitude and vertical speed bug settings were reset automatically to maintain the airplane’s altitude. At that point, the airplane’s altitude was above that specified by the autopilot bug. Subsequent attempts to engage the vertical speed/altitude pre-select mode caused the system to begin a descent to intercept the inadvertent altitude set in the autopilot.

About 1 minute into the flight, the pilot reset the altitude bug above the airplane’s current altitude at that time. The data suggests that the pilot never adequately regained control of the airplane. The pilot purchased the accident airplane about 7 months prior to the accident. He completed visual flight rules transition training at the time he took delivery of the airplane. The training did not include an instrument proficiency check. Prior to the transition training, the pilot reported a total flight time of 1,344 hours, which included 20 hours flight time and 4 hours instrument flight time within the one-year period preceding the training.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while operating in instrument meteorological conditions due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inattention to basic aircraft control while attempting to program the autopilot system.

On April 28, 2009, at 1615 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N504MD, piloted by an instrument rated private pilot, was destroyed during a collision with trees and terrain near Mayfield Village, Ohio. The flight was being conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot and sole passenger on-board sustained fatal injuries. The cross-country business flight departed Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF), Cleveland, Ohio, at 1612, with an intended destination of Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF), Buffalo, New York.

The pilot and passenger flew from BUF to CGF earlier in the day, arriving at CGF about 1319. According to personnel working at the fixed base operator (FBO) at the time, the pilot and passenger attended a meeting at the airport and then left the airport for approximately 1 hour, before returning for the accident flight. The pilot requested that the airplane be fueled to capacity ("topped off") prior to departure and FBO personnel fueled the airplane with 40 gallons of aviation gasoline.

The CGF air traffic control tower (ATCT) issued a takeoff clearance for the flight from Runway 6 at 1611, instructing the pilot to fly the runway heading and climb to 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The controller observed the airplane takeoff and enter the clouds. Takeoff and initial climb appeared to be normal. At 1612, the controller instructed the pilot to contact departure control. The pilot acknowledged the instruction; however, the pilot never established communications with the departure controller. At 1614, the pilot transmitted “were having trouble getting” on the CGF tower frequency. At 1615, the pilot transmitted “having trouble mike delta.” There were no subsequent transmissions from the pilot. At 1616, the departure controller relayed a low altitude alert in the blind to the accident flight.

Flight track data recovered from the on-board avionics indicated that the airplane entered a right turn shortly after takeoff. It remained in that right turn until it completed nearly 1-1/2 complete turns; 540 degrees of heading change. The airplane subsequently rolled out on a south heading, and began to climb from 1,200 feet msl to 2,700 feet msl over the next 17 seconds. The airspeed decreased to 50 knots and the airplane’s heading transitioned from the south to the north-northwest. The airplane subsequently descended to about 1,600 feet msl before beginning another climb.

Over the next 30 second time period, the altitude increased again to about 2,900 feet msl, and the airspeed decreased to about 60 knots. At this point, the airplane’s heading transitioned from the east-northeast to the west-northwest. The airplane subsequently entered a right turn ultimately reversing course. It then climbed approximately 1,300 feet, to a maximum altitude of 3,200 feet msl before descending again. The airspeed decreased to 50 knots during this time. The final data point was recorded at 1615:44. At that time, the airplane’s position was approximately 0.20 miles north of the accident site, at 2,000 feet msl. (Detailed information regarding the airplane’s flight attitude is included later in this report.)

A witness located 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the accident site reported that he was outside and heard the airplane for about 1 minute. He noted that it “sounded like it was circling around and . . . doing tricks in the air.” However, he was unable to actually see the airplane. About 20 seconds after the sound faded he heard a “boom.” At the time he thought it might have been thunder but later realized it was likely the impact.

A witness located in a nearby residential subdivision approximately one-tenth mile from the accident site, reported that the airplane flew over his car about 150 feet above ground level (agl). He stated that it banked to the left and dove toward the ground. He responded to the accident site; however, the airplane was engulfed in flames when he got there.

The accident site was located approximately 3 miles east of CGF in a wooded area adjacent to a church.

The pilot, age 51, held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a third-class airman medical certificate on June 27, 2007, with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported a total flight time of 1,350 hours, with 50 hours in the previous 6 months. The pilot’s logbook was not available to the NTSB.

The pilot completed Cirrus Aircraft transition training at the time he took delivery of the accident airplane. Records indicated that the pilot completed visual flight rules (VFR) transition training from October 6, 2008 through October 8, 2008. The course consisted of 15.0 hours of flight time, 0.8 hours in a flight training device (simulator), 3.0 hours of ground instruction, and 5.0 of pre and post flight instruction. All of the course flight time was with a flight instructor (dual instruction).

The pilot provided information to Cirrus regarding his flight experience prior to the transition training course. He noted that his most recent flight review was completed on March 23, 2007, and that his most recent instrument proficiency check was completed 10 months prior to the training. He reported a total flight time of 1,344 hours total flight time, with 1,280 hours as pilot-in-command, 1,250 hours in high performance/complex airplanes, and 400 hours instrument flight time. He reported 20 hours flight time within the one year period prior to the training, with 4 hours of instrument flight time. Within the 90-day period prior to the training course, he reported accumulating 5 hours total time, with no instrument flight time. He reported experience in Beech model 60 (Duke), Mooney, and Cessna 172 airplanes.

The accident airplane was a 2007 Cirrus Design SR22, serial number 2695. It was a four place, low wing, fixed tricycle landing gear configuration; primarily of composite (fiberglass) construction. The airplane was powered by a 310-horsepower Teledyne Continental Motors IO-550-N50B engine, serial number 691346, and installed with a Hartzell PHC-J3YF-1N/N7605B propeller, serial number FP6011B.

A normal category, standard airworthiness certificate was issued for the airplane on September 12, 2007. The accident pilot purchased the airplane on October 7, 2008. The maintenance log entry for the most recent annual inspection was dated the same day. The airplane had accumulated 224.1 hours at the time of last maintenance entry dated October 9, 2008. The logs did not contain a record of any unresolved maintenance issues.

The minimum published power off stall speed for the accident airplane with the wing flaps retracted was 67 knots calibrated airspeed. This speed corresponded to a wings level (zero bank angle), maximum gross weight, and aft most center-of-gravity flight condition.

The closest weather reporting facility to the accident site was located at the departure airport. At 1545, weather conditions at CGF were recorded as: Wind 360 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 4 miles in light rain and mist; overcast clouds at 300 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 6 degrees C, altimeter 30.38 inches of Hg.

At 1616, wind 010 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 4 miles in light rain and mist; overcast clouds at 200 feet agl; temperature 7 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 30.38 inches of Hg.

At 1645, wind 010 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 4 miles in light rain and mist, overcast clouds at 300 feet agl, temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 6 degrees C, altimeter 30.40 inches of Hg.

The Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF) was served by a single runway. Runway 6-24 was 5,102 feet long by 100 feet wide. Runway 6 was supported by non-precision runway markings, Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL), and a Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) set to a 3-degree approach path angle. Runway 24 was supported by precision runway markings, a Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System (MALSR), and a Precision Path Lighting System (PAPI) set to a 3-degree approach path angle. The published airport elevation was 879 feet.

Instrument approaches to CGF included the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 24, the Localizer Back Course (LOC BC) Runway 6, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) Runway 6 procedures. The decision altitude (DA) for the ILS Runway 24 approach was 1,079 feet msl (200 feet agl). The minimum descent altitudes (MDA) for the LOC BC Runway 6 and GPS Runway 6 approaches were 1,380 feet msl (507 feet agl) and 1,360 feet msl (481 feet agl), respectively. The FAA Airport Facility Directory noted that the runway 24 localizer was unusable below 3,000 feet msl beyond a range of 10 nm.

The accident site was located approximately 3 miles east of CGF in a small wooded area adjacent to a church. The debris field was oriented on an approximate magnetic heading of 300 degrees and extended approximately 60 feet. The initial ground impact scar was about 15 feet long by 6 feet wide and up to 3 feet deep. Fresh breaks in the tree limbs were observed about 40 feet southeast of the impact point. The heights of the initial tree breaks were estimated to be 65 feet.

The main wreckage, which included the fuselage and wings, was located about 45 feet from the initial ground impact. The fuselage was destroyed by impact forces and post-impact fire. The engine was separated from the fuselage and came to rest approximately 5 feet from the fuselage. The propeller hub remained attached to the engine. However, all three propeller blades had separated from the propeller hub near the blade root. Two propeller blades were located in the initial impact ground scar. The third propeller blade was located in the debris field near the engine.

The wings were reduced by the post impact fire. The wing spar was located in position relative to the fuselage. Both the ailerons and flaps were separated from the wing. They were located in the debris field between the impact ground scar and the main wreckage. Aileron control cable continuity was confirmed with one exception. The left aileron control cable was separated between the actuator pulley and the crossover cable turnbuckle. The cable strands were frayed at the separation point consistent with an overload failure. The aileron (roll) trim motor was observed to be in approximately the neutral position. The flap actuator shaft was extended approximately 4 inches, which was consistent with a full UP (0-degree) flap position. The landing gear assemblies with sections of the mating support structure were separated from the wing. The nose landing gear was located at the initial ground impact scar. The left and right main landing gear assemblies were located in the debris field near the ground scar.

The horizontal stabilizer was separated from the airframe and located near the impact scar. It was deformed consistent with impact damage and discolored consistent with thermal exposure due to the post impact fire. The right elevator and the inboard section of the left elevator remained attached to the stabilizer. The outboard section of the left elevator was located in the debris field. Elevator control cable continuity was confirmed from the elevator control torque tube to the bellcrank at the fuselage station 306 bulkhead and continuing to the forward pulley gang. The elevator (pitch) trim motor was observed in approximately a neutral position.

The vertical stabilizer exhibited thermal and impact damage. The upper section of the vertical was separated from the empennage. The rudder, which exhibited thermal and impact damage, remained attached to the empennage at the lower hinge. Rudder control cable continuity was confirmed from the rudder pedal torque tube to the rudder bellcrank at the fuselage station 306 bulkhead and continuing to the forward pulley gang.

The engine crankcase was fractured consistent with impact. The crankshaft exhibited signatures consist with a spiral fracture aft of the propeller flange near the forward thrust bearing. The cylinders remained secured to the crankcase. Examination of the cylinders, pistons, and valve faces using a lighted borescope did not reveal any anomalies. Appearance of the cylinders and pistons was consistent with normal operating signatures. The spark plugs appeared intact and the electrodes exhibited a light gray appearance consistent with normal operation. The magnetos were partially disassembled and produced a spark at the magneto points. The fuel pump exhibited operation when the mixture control was operated through its full range of travel. The oil filter element appeared free of debris.

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) components were located with the fuselage wreckage. The parachute remained packed in the deployment bag and the activation handle was observed in the stowed position relative to the activation handle holder. The CAPS ground safety pin was not installed. (Pre-flight procedures specify removal of the safety pin prior to flight in order to ready the system for use in the event of an in-flight emergency.)

No anomalies consistent with a pre-impact failure or malfunction associated with the airframe or engine were observed.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted on April 29, 2009, at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio. The cause of death was attributed to blunt impact sustained in the accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aero Medical Institute toxicology report was negative for all substances in the screening profile.

The autopilot and PFD in the accident airplane were integrated. The pilot selected and armed autopilot modes on the autopilot unit. Heading and altitude selections were made on the PFD. In addition, autopilot status and mode information was displayed to the pilot on the PFD, as well as on the face of the autopilot unit.

The autopilot was capable of maintaining a set heading or tracking navigation signals such as an instrument approach course. In addition, the autopilot can maintain a preset altitude, or a specified climb or descent rate (vertical speed) to intercept a preset altitude. Heading, altitude and vertical speed settings are input by the pilot via the PFD. They are referred to as “bug” settings.

The altitude hold mode is selected by pressing the ALT button on the face of the autopilot unit. When pressed, the autopilot will capture airplane’s current altitude in the altitude bug and will set the vertical speed bug to zero. These are displayed to the pilot on the PFD.

The vertical speed mode is selected by pressing the VS button on the face of the autopilot unit. When pressed, the autopilot will capture and attempt to maintain the current vertical speed bug setting. The pilot is able to adjust the climb/descent rate by adjusting the vertical speed bug setting.

In addition, the autopilot has ability to maintain a specified climb or descent rate and intercept a pre-set altitude; known as the altitude pre-select mode. The pilot enters the desired altitude and vertical speed values into the corresponding bug settings via the PFD. Once entered, the pilot will press and hold the VS button on the autopilot unit, followed by the ALT button. This button combination will engage the vertical speed mode and arm the altitude hold mode. In the event that the altitude pre-set mode is selected with the altitude bug set below the airplane’s current altitude, the autopilot will set a descent rate into the vertical speed bug in order to intercept the pre-set altitude.

Flight and engine data was recovered from non-volatile memory contained in the primary flight display (PFD). In addition, the unit recorded autopilot mode information.

The takeoff roll began at 1611:34 on runway 6 and the airplane appeared to liftoff at 1611:55. Five seconds later, at 1612:00.52, the autopilot heading mode was recorded on. The airplane’s altitude was about 940 feet msl (61 feet agl). About 1 second later the autopilot vertical speed mode was recorded on. [The autopilot altitude and vertical speed bugs had previously been set at 3,000 feet and +850 feet per minute (fpm), respectively.]

However, within 0.5 seconds, the pitch attitude mode changed to altitude hold and the autopilot captured the current altitude of 940 feet msl. The vertical speed bug was automatically reset to zero with the change to altitude hold mode. (Note: Heading, altitude and vertical speed settings are input by the pilot via the PFD. They are referred to as “bug” settings.)

About 1612:13, the autopilot vertical speed bug changed to 700 fpm, while the altitude bug remained at 940 feet. At this time, the recorded autopilot modes were heading and altitude hold. About 5 seconds later, at 1612:18, the autopilot vertical speed mode was annunciated and the vertical speed bug was reset to -400 fpm. The autopilot altitude bug remained at 940 feet, while the airplane’s altitude was about 1,100 feet msl at that time. The airplane’s heading was 064 degrees.

About 1612:28, the airplane entered a right turn from a heading of about 060 degrees, at an altitude of approximately 1,275 feet msl. The right turn continued for about 1 minute 20 seconds. The airplane ultimately rolled out on an approximate heading of 210 degrees, at an altitude of about 1,300 feet msl. The airplane’s altitude varied from 1,275 feet msl to 1,820 feet msl during that time. During the final 11 seconds of the turn the airplane’s roll attitude reached 70 degrees right wing down. The airspeed increased to 172 knots.

At 1612:39, the recorded autopilot bug values are 058 degrees heading, 940 feet altitude, and -50 fpm vertical speed. Thirteen seconds later, at 1612:52, the vertical speed bug value was -550 fpm. Over the following 2 seconds, the vertical speed bug was reset to zero fpm. The altitude bug remained at 940 feet during this time period. Two seconds later, at 1612:57, the vertical speed mode was recorded off. However, at 1613:04, the autopilot heading, vertical speed and altitude hold modes were selected on. The vertical speed bug was at -250 fpm and the altitude bug was at 1,450 feet. The airplane’s altitude was 1,520 feet msl and it was on a heading of about 207 degrees.

About 1613:50, the airplane rolled wings level at approximately 1,200 feet msl. The pitch attitude began to increase from about 9 degrees nose down, continuing until reaching 54 degrees nose up. At that time, the roll attitude was 29 degrees left wing down, and the airspeed was 65 knots and decreasing. About 1614:09, the airspeed reached approximately 50 knots, at which time it began increasing again. The altitude was about 2,700 feet msl. The airplane’s pitch attitude transitioned from 50 degrees nose up to 60 degrees nose down, and the heading transitioned from approximately 200 degrees (south-southwest) to about 045 degrees (northeast).

During this time, about 1614:09, the recorded autopilot modes for heading, altitude hold, and vertical speed changed to off. In addition, the autopilot and flight director were recorded off.

About 1614:17, the airplane’s descent stopped at an altitude of about 2,000 feet msl , before it began to climb again. The airspeed was about 150 knots and began decreasing. Between 1614:34 and 1614:40, the airplane’s pitch attitude transitioned from 19 degrees nose up to 44 degrees nose down. It remained in a left bank attitude with a maximum roll angle of 76 degrees (left wing down). The recorded airspeed was approximately 60 knots, and the airplane’s heading transitioned from about 070 degrees (east-northeast) to 300 degrees (west-northwest).

At 1614:24, the autopilot heading mode was recorded on. However, it returned to off 10 seconds later. The last bug settings were recorded at 1614:36. The altitude, heading, and vertical speed bugs were recorded at 12,000 feet, 058 degrees, and +700 fpm, respectively.

About 1614:55, the airplane entered a right turn. At that time, the airplane’s altitude was approximately 2,500 feet msl, airspeed about 115 knots, the pitch attitude was 12 degrees nose up, and the roll attitude was 75 degrees right wing down. The airplane remained in this right turn for approximately 25 seconds until it reversed course to a south heading. At that time, the autopilot heading mode was recorded on.

About 1615:20, the airplane’s altitude was about 2,950 feet msl, airspeed about 75 knots, and heading about 180 degrees. The pitch attitude was approximately 50 degrees nose up. It appeared to be rolling through a wings level (zero bank angle) attitude, as it transitioned from a left bank to a right bank. Over the next 10 seconds, the airspeed decreased to 50 knots before beginning to increase again. The altitude peaked at 3,200 feet msl before beginning to decrease again. The pitch attitude decreased to about 55 degrees nose down and the roll attitude reached about 75 degrees left wing down.

At 1615:22, the autopilot heading mode was recorded off. The autopilot ready indication began cycling for about 5 seconds consistent with the autopilot not being engaged.

The final data point was recorded at 1615:44. At that time, the airplane’s position was approximately 0.20 miles north of the accident site, at 2,000 feet msl. The pitch attitude was 30 degrees nose down and the roll attitude was 120 degrees right wing down.

In addition to flight and autopilot mode information, the PFD also recorded any fault indications associated with the flight display and autopilot system. Review of the available data indicated that no flight display or autopilot system faults were recorded during the accident flight.

The Pilot's Operating Handbook noted that the accident airplane incorporated a conventional flight control design, which utilized a combination of push rods, cables and bell cranks to manipulate the flight control surfaces. Pitch and roll trim were provided by adjusting the neutral position of a compression spring cartridge in each control system by means of an electric motor. The electric roll trim is also used by the autopilot to position the ailerons. The handbook noted that, "It is possible to easily override full trim or autopilot inputs by using normal control inputs."

The pilot and passenger flew from BUF to CGF about 3 hours prior to the accident flight; arriving at CGF about 1319. The inbound flight was operated on an IFR flight plan and assigned the ILS approach to runway 24. The decision altitude for the ILS runway 24 approach was 1,079 feet msl (200 feet agl). During that time frame, weather conditions at CGF were recorded as 200 to 300 feet agl overcast, with 3 to 3-1/2 miles visibility in light rain showers and mist.

Data recovered from the primary flight display also included the inbound flight into CGF. The pilot executed 3 missed approaches in an attempt to land at CGF. He was able to successfully land following the 4th approach. The first approach began about 1234. On each approach, the autopilot successfully captured the localizer course inbound to the runway.

On the first approach, glideslope was never captured and the airplane maintained the initial altitude of 3,000 feet msl throughout the procedure. On the second approach, the airplane drifted right of course and high on the glideslope within 1 mile of the runway. The tower controller recalled observing the airplane descend from the overcast cloud layer north of the runway centerline. The airplane turned toward the runway apparently in an attempt to correct; however, the pilot elected to execute a missed approach. On the third approach, the airplane was high on the glideslope and remained above the decision altitude for the approach. On the fourth approach, the airplane tracked the glideslope and the pilot landed successfully.

 Read more here:   http://law.justia.com

By Denise M. Champagne
Posted: 6:55 pm Mon, March 4, 2013

The executors of the estates of two Buffalo attorneys killed in a 2009 plane crash in Ohio can proceed in their suit against a training foundation.

Erie County Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Walker has denied a motion by the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation, one of the defendants, to dismiss the suit with respect to the foundation.

Hugh M. Russ III, of the Buffalo office of Hodgson Russ LLP, represents the estates of Michael H. Doran, co-founder of the firm Doran & Murphy, and associate Matthew Schnirel, who died in 2009 when the small plane Doran was piloting crashed near Cleveland, shortly after taking off from the Cuyahoga County Airport.

Russ is co-counsel with Jared L. Watkins, of the New York City firm Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, in a suit against Cirrus Design Corp., UND Aerospace Foundation, Garmin Ltd. and Avidyne Corp. Russ and Watkins claim the crash was caused by faulty equipment and inadequate training.

UND Aerospace Foundation, which provided training for the new Cirrus SR22 aircraft Doran had purchased from Cirrus Design Corp. in October 2008 in White Plains, Westchester County, moved to be dismissed from the suit. UND Aerospace Foundation claimed the plaintiffs could not assert personal jurisdiction by showing the foundation was doing business in New York, but Justice Walker disagreed, citing their interactive website.

“I think it’s a good decision,” Russ said. “The decision is significant for our case because we are now allowed to proceed in New York against the defendant, who we feel is involved. But, the decision probably has greater significance for all New York litigants because it takes another step in conferring jurisdiction over parties who are not residents in New York, but who take active steps electronically to be present in New York.”

Read more here:  http://nydailyrecord.com

Murphy v Cirrus Design Corp. 
 [*1] Murphy v Cirrus Design Corp. 2013 NY Slip Op 50293(U) Decided on February 8, 2013 Supreme Court, Erie County Walker, J. Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports. 

Decided on February 8, 2013 
Supreme Court, Erie County

 Christopher M. Murphy, as Executor of the Estate of Michael H. Doran, and on behalf of all lawful beneficiaries of the Estate of Michael H. Doran, deceased. KEVIN SCHNIREL, as Administrator of the Estate of Matthew Schnirel, in his own right, and on behalf of all lawful beneficiaries of the Estate of Matthew Schnirel, deceased, Plaintiffs, against Cirrus Design Corporation, et al., Defendants.

Read more here:   http://law.justia.com

TORA! TORA! TORA! is coming to the Jasper Air Show: Jasper County Airport-Bell Field (KJAS), Texas

On the morning of Sunday, December 7th, 1941, American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were crippled by a surprise attack by Japanese planes. Although it won't be a surprise, a fleet of Japanese planes are poised to attack the Jasper Air Show on Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th at Jasper's Bell Field Airport.

The group known as TORA! TORA! TORA! is coming to town with their posse of Japanese attack planes, and they'll perform their signature act, which is a favorite at air shows across the country.

As the crowd begins to hear the drone of radial engines in the distance, they'll look to the north, and in the sky coming across Highway 190 will be a formation of Japanese Kates, Vals and Zeros. The drone of engines will quickly become a roar as the air show spectators hear the sounds and see the sight in the air that was seen in the sky over Pearl Harbor.

It's part of the 9th Annual Jasper Air Show, which will also feature one of the longest running air show acts in the world; The Gene Soucy & Theresa Stokes Aerobatic Wing Walking Act.

Soucy has been performing aerobatics at air shows since 1968, and Stokes is currently the top wing walker in the country.

This year's show, which Air Show Organizer Debbie Foster says will be non-stop heart stopping action, will also feature James Bond 007's Micro-Jet, along with Skip Stewart, who is a thrilling aerobatic performer at air shows across the country in his custom built Pitts S-2S "muscle bi-plane" named "Prometheus".

Also coming to Jasper will be "The Flight of Phoenix - Escadrille", featuring T-6 aircraft in tight formation as they perform combat maneuvers, many of which are now used by aerobatic pilots around the world.

During the static display portion of the show each morning, fans will be able to get up close to World War II Stearman bi-planes and T-6 trainers, along with a Piper Cub and a Super Cub, an L-19 "Bird Dog" from the Vietnam era, and much much more.

Those are just a few of the many planes and pilots that will be in the 9th Annual Jasper Air Show.

Each morning of the show, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1356 of Leesville, LA will give FREE flights to children ages 8-17 - on a first come-first serve basis - in their Young Eagles Program.  ***Parent or guardian must sign a waiver***

On the ground will be Air Show Announcer Vandy Anderson, who is loved and respected by the air show fans.

~ ~ ~ 9th Annual Jasper Air Show & Fly-In ~ ~ ~

Saturday, March 16th
~ Gates open at 9:00 a.m. for static display & Young Eagles flights
~ Air show starts at 12:00 noon

Sunday, March 17th
~ Gates open at 9:00 a.m. for static display & Young Eagles flights
~ Air show starts at 1:00 p.m.
Admission (arm bands)
~ Adults (13 and up) $15.00
~ Children (4-12) $5.00
~ Children (3 and under) FREE
~ Arm bands available at KJAS (765 Hemphill Street) or at the gate

FAA & DOT Rules & Regulations
~ Ice chests, large bags, back packs, containers, and animals/pets are not allowed on the airport grounds



Waste Watch: Federal Bureau of Investigation spends millions on jets

BALTIMORE --   Our investigative media partner, the Washington Guardian, discovered the directors of the FBI and the Department of Justice have taken taxpayers for a high-altitude ride in the weeks, months and years leading up to forced budget cuts.

The FBI has spent millions since 2001, leasing two corporate-style Gulfstream V jets.

The planes are equipped with the most sophisticated communications equipment and considered plush by most standards.

The FBI originally leased the planes to take counterterrorism agents to global hot spots in a moments notice, but as the Washington Guardian discovered, about 60% of all flight hours used since 2007 were taken by FBI Director Robert Muller, Attorney General Eric Holder and Holder's predecessor, Michael Mukassey, for business and personal trips.

The cost off all of those trips nears $11.5 million.

For security reasons, the attorney general and FBI director are required to use government aircraft for all travel.

However, the Washington Guardian found there are cheaper travel options and you can read about that by clicking here http://www.washingtonguardian.com/


Air traffic controllers reject wage freeze: Jamaica

The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers’ Association has rejected the Government’s wage freeze.

The association and officials from the Ministry of Finance met last week to discuss the group’s 2012-2014 wage claim.

Air traffic controllers say they have been holding strain without a wage increase since 2010 and now need a reprieve.

Association President Kurt Solomon says during the discussions it was said that it would be unfair to grant an increase to air traffic controllers while imposing a wage freeze on civil servants.

However, Solomon pointed out that controllers are not paid from tax dollars but from fees collected by their employer, the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.

He noted that it has been the practice of the Authority to apply the wage agreements reached between the government and unions representing public sector workers on air traffic controllers.

However, the association president says the group will not support a unilateral wage freeze being imposed on its members.

Solomon says the association will be seeking a meeting with the Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Horace Dalley to discuss what he hopes will be a more amicable solution.

At the same time, he says air traffic controllers are prepared to embark on action to resist any attempts to impose a wage freeze.

The air traffic controllers rejection of the wage freeze comes hours after news emerged that the Jamaica Civil Service has agreed not to seek a salary increase for public sector workers until 2016.

It is understood that the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Union will also forgo a wage increase.


Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, N125WC: Accident occurred May 01, 2021 near Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL), Polk County, Florida

T-Flight Aviation LLC

Lakeland Police Department
May 01, 2021 

Emergency responders from LakelandPD and Lakeland Fire Department are on the scene of a plane crash that occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. at 4150 South Pipkin Road, an industrial park area just off of airport property.

The crash involved a single-engine plane with two adult occupants.

Both occupants were airlifted for medical treatment with serious injuries. 

No persons on the ground were injured. 

Both the FAA and NTSB have been notified and will be overseeing the crash investigation.

Renegade Light Sport, Fort Pierce jobs: Aircraft manufacturer creating 75 jobs in Fort Pierce


FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Renegade Light Sport, a light sport aircraft manufacturer, will hire 75 and commit $1.7 million in capital improvements in Fort Pierce, the company announced Monday.

Renegade now has a 70,000 square foot facility at the St. Lucie County International Airport, where the company will build small two-passenger airplanes and train pilots of such craft. The company previously had a facility in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

“It’s an absolutely tremendous facility,” said Philip Wyatt, the company’s sales, marketing and public relations director.

The average wage for the jobs has not been determined, Wyatt said, but the jobs must be at or greater than the county’s average wage of $15.38 per hour, or $32,000 per year, and the people must be hired within three years.

St. Lucie County has offered a job growth incentive grant and tax abatement for the project as part of a letter of intent, but the Board of County Commissioners has yet to formally approve the incentives, Business and Strategic Incentives Manager Michael Brillhart said.

The tax abatement is expected to save the company about $57,104 based on current rates, while the job growth incentive grant is worth up to $146,250 over five years.

“Given all the choices that an employer like Renegade has, this is a vote of confidence in St. Lucie County as a good place to grow business,” St. Lucie County Administrator Faye Outlaw said in a statement released through the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie.

The local workforce was a major consideration for the company’s relocation, Wyatt said.

“The skilled fiberglass workers, the avionics guys, the electronics guys, they’re here already,” Wyatt said.

Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County President Larry Pelton said the company does lots of business overseas and will bring money into the community.

The county has long sought tenants for its airport, and the addition should help the county obtain other tenants, Pelton said.

“I think it enhances the attractiveness of the airport,” Pelton said. “For one thing, this company will be selling internationally, so it could certainly increase the activity at the airport.

“It just will be a benefit to the airport and get more exposure for the airport as well.”

Pelton said the Economic Development Council is working on several projects that involve manufacturing companies.

“That bodes very well for Fort Pierce because Fort Pierce has always traditionally been a location for manufacturing,” Pelton said. “The workforce has the skill set. There will be some training involved, but the workforce in the Fort Pierce area has skill sets in manufacturing, so it’s all attractive. It all works very well for the city and the county to bring in more manufacturing.”

The company is taking part in a Wounded Warrior Project program to help injured veterans learn how to fly the small aircraft, Wyatt said.

Pelton said the aircraft are exciting to see, and the new manufacturing will create an interesting product for the area. He also said the company is interested in working with Indian River State College on certain programs.

“It’s just a quality aircraft, and they are very interested in this being a very long-term relationship,” Pelton said.

Source:  http://www.wptv.com

WASTE WATCH: Miracle Strip Aviation billing error (With Video)

OKALOOSA COUNTY  --  Okaloosa County is trying to collect almost 500,000 dollars in unpaid rent from a company at Destin Airport.

The county says Miracle Strip Aviation paid less than it owed for five years running.

How the county plans to get the money back.

Miracle Strip Aviation operates in this building leased from Okaloosa County.
They're a Fixed Base Operator or FBO.

They sell gasoline and offer other amenities to pilots and passengers.

County leaders say a 485,000 dollar shortfall in rent payments is the result of a billing error.
A rent increase was written into Miracle Strip Aviation's lease, but the county kept invoicing them for the lesser amount.  

Greg Fisher/Tripshock "With everything going on in our county, with the scandals and so-forth, it doesn't surprise me that there's been accounting errors like this."   
How the incorrect billing went on for five years is not completely clear.

Temporary Airports Director Dino Villani is one of the county leaders looking into it.

Dino Villani/Interim Airports Director "Well, we're not certain. We know that some of the money wasn't placed into an account that was earmarked for the specific project, and that could have delayed uncovering it"
After an audit uncovered the problem in 2011, the matter got tied up in court.
Miracle Strip Aviation has now been bought by new owners who are willing to clear the debt.
Greg Fisher from the vacation website Tripshock says it's a good business move.

Greg Fisher "There's a lot of CEO's and wealthy Americans living in the Southeast that will take advantage of coming into a local FBO on a private jet. So there's plenty of opportunity."
The county is asking the new company, Regal Capital, for a combination of a cash payment, renovations to the building, and the remaining 235,000 to be paid with interest over six years.

The interim airports director hopes to present a settlement to commissioners on the 19th.

The owner of Regal Capital didn't want to comment until negotiations are finished.

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

Cessna 182B Skylane, N2343G

The bodies of two adults and a 10-year-old girl were found in the wreckage of a small airplane that crashed Monday near the route of the Iditarod Trail sled dog race.  

Pilot Ted Smith, 59, Carolyn Sorvoja, 48, and Rosemarie Sorvoja, 10, died in the crash near Rainy Pass.

All were from Eagle River, a community on Anchorage's north side.

They had left Anchorage on Monday morning bound for Takotna, a village of 53 people about 27 kilometres west of McGrath and 378 kilometres northwest of Anchorage. The community is more than a quarter of the way into the 1,600-kilometre Iditarod.

The Sorvoja family referred questions to family spokesman David Morris, who said the Sorvojas were heading to Takotna to volunteer for the race.

The Cessna 182 left Anchorage from Merrill Field at about 10 a.m. and did not file a flight plan.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said by email that the airplane was supposed to drop off the Sorvojas and return to Anchorage to transport more passengers.

The Cessna 182 did not arrive in Takotna and was reported overdue around 4 p.m. when it had not returned to Anchorage.

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, just before 6 p.m., launched a search with a HC-130 airplane and a helicopter. The aircraft searched for about eight hours along the projected flight route, said the center superintendent, Senior Master Sgt. Robert Carte.

Smith was an experienced, well equipped pilot, said Kalei Brooks, spokeswoman for the Alaska National Guard. Smith was carrying a personal locator beacon in his vest and an emergency locator transmitter on his airplane. However, neither sent out a signal that was detected Monday by the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system.

On Tuesday morning, the search resumed with about 10 military, state trooper and private aircraft flying grids in an extended search.

Aerial searchers spotted the wreckage at 10:22 a.m. near the 4,000-foot level of Rainy Pass.

Iditarod racers reach an elevation of 3,200 feet at the pass, which divides south-central Alaska from the state's vast Interior north of the Alaska Range.

Searchers landed and confirmed that no one had survived. They recovered the bodies and flew them to Anchorage, where autopsies were scheduled.

CAMP DENALI, Alaska – An Alaska Air National Guard helicopter crew spotted the wreckage of an overdue aircraft March 5 with no survivors onboard.

The HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron with a Guardian Angel team onboard from the 212thRescue Squadron located the overdue aircraft at approximately 10:22 a.m. near the 4,000-ft level of Rainy Pass. All three people on board are deceased. Alaska State Troopers have notified next of kin.

The Guardian Angel team extricated the bodies from the wreckage of the plane. Because of incoming weather and the safety of the site, the Alaska Air National Guard removed the bodies from the scene and is bringing them back to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson where they will be turned over to Alaska State Troopers.

The 182 Cessna was reported overdue around 4 p.m. March 4 when Merrill Field Tower controllers reported to the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center that a Cessna 182 aircraft had not arrived in Takotna and was supposed to have done so around noon. The RCC began calling airfields in the area of the projected flight path to check if the aircraft had landed somewhere other than Takotna.  According to the RCC, the pilot did not file a flight plan.

“When pilots file a flight plan with the FAA, the FAA initiates a search for an overdue aircraft typically much sooner than when an aircraft is reported late by family or friends,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Carte, superintendent of the RCC.

After airfields in the area reported no sign of the overdue aircraft, the RCC tasked the Alaska Air National Guard to begin a search.

At approximately 5:50 p.m., an HC-130 refueling aircraft from the 211th Rescue Squadron and an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage with Guardian Angel pararescue teams aboard. They each searched for approximately eight hours before returning to JBER for crew rest.

“Nothing was spotted, nothing was heard last night,” Carte said. “Yesterday we conducted what is called a ‘hasty search,’ extensively looking in areas along the projected flight route known to cause problems for aircraft. Today, we have moved into the ‘extended search’ in which we have given grid assignments to search aircraft and are searching in a systematic manner.”

There were at least 10 coordinated aircraft searching for the overdue plane today.

An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter with a Guardian Angel team aboard launched around 8 a.m. An Alaska Air National Guard HC-130 aircraft with another Guardian Angel team aboard soon followed suit. An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 1-207th Aviation also joined the search this morning. In addition, the Birchwood and Merrill Field Civil Air Patrol were also involved, as well as several Good Samaritan pilots and Iditarod Air Force aircraft. The overdue aircraft was not part of the Iditarod.

The pilot had a personal locator beacon in his vest and a 406 emergency locator transmitter onboard. The Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking, or SARSAT system, has not picked up a signal for either beacon. According to the RCC, the pilot was experienced and traveled well equipped for emergencies.

Alaska State Troopers will release the names of those on board.

Mission accomplished, fond farewell

Steve Wehrly 
Volunteer flight instructor Bob Jamieson, right, receives a handshake and desk clock from Friday Harbor High School's Larry Wight, in a farewell tribute Feb. 20 after 10 years of teaching students to fly. 

Bob Jamieson loves everything about airplanes and flying. And he especially loves teaching kids to fly. 

For 10 years, he’s volunteered his time as an FAA-certified flight instructor to teach the private pilot ground school class to more than 50 Friday Harbor students. At the monthly School Board meeting on Feb. 20, he was recognized for his service with a desk clock, a plaque and a gift certificate for two at The Place restaurant.

He’s logged more than 25,000 hours in the sky; March 11 will mark the 50th anniversary of his pilot’s license. He’s often the night medical evacuation pilot for seriously sick or injured people who need to be flown to mainland hospitals. He’s built planes from plans, and restored classic aircraft.

But he says his greatest satisfaction has come from teaching hundreds of people to fly: he’s been an FAA-certified flight instructor for 40 years, teaching hundreds of people to fly at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in the U.S. military – and at Friday Harbor High School for the past ten years. Plus, he had a complete career as a commercial pilot for American Airlines.

“I had a great time teaching those kids,” he said. “They were all upstanding, high-character kids who were no trouble to teach. It’s been especially gratifying to watch maybe 15 local students, like Connor Johns, Blake Guard and Andrew Scheffer, become pilots.”

The hardest thing for kids to learn? “Patience,” Jamieson said. “Kids have no fear. I have to teach them to stay within their abilities.”

The most fun? Annual small airplane trips to Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight, where Jamieson assigned projects and reports to every student. “I have a small collection of truly wonderful drawings of planes by the students. Some of the kids are fantastic artists,” he said.

Jamieson clearly liked teaching at FHHS, and he’s trying to talk his daughter, Megan Jamieson, into following him as a volunteer ground school flight instructor at the school.

Which is just what Larry Wight, director of career and technical education at the FHHS, wants to see happen in other technical or career fields.

“Bob’s class was just excellent. He’s an example that I hope others with relevant skills will emulate,” Wight said. “A few more people like Bob can make us the best school in the state, if we aren’t already.”

Jamieson returned Wight’s praise, saying that Wight provided “everything necessary so the program was successful. He was so good to work with, and I hope he can continue the class and develop new ones.”

Except it will probably be difficult to find even one more person like Bob Jamieson.

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