Monday, March 11, 2013

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II: Caution Light Causes New Fighter Jet to Make Unscheduled Landing in Lubbock (With Video)

The plane, part of the Air Force's new fleet of fighter jets that have been plagued by problems, was en route to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada from a Lockheed Martin factory near Dallas when it made the unscheduled stop.

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin tells us that during a routine delivery flight today an F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft landed at the Lubbock International Airport after experiencing an in-flight caution warning. 

They say the pilot, following standard operating procedures, landed the aircraft without incident. 

The pilot is safe and the aircraft is secure at this time. The aircraft took off from the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth at approximately 12:42pm for a flight to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. 

After the caution warning occurred, the jet landed at Lubbock IA at 1:40 p.m.  They tells us a maintenance team from Lockheed Martin is being dispatched to the Lubbock IA to determine the cause of the incident and repair the jet for flight.

The plane was seen parked on the ramp at Lubbock Aero for several hours.

We're told movement on the ramp was restricted and ramp workers tried to limit photography of the top-secret plane.

Watch Video:

Cirrus SR20, East Pole Aviation LLC, N427GE: Accident occurred March 11, 2013 in Kernville, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA145 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 11, 2013 in Kernville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2015
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N427GE
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, while in the landing flare with the flaps configured full down, the airplane drifted right, and he then decided to execute a go-around. After he added power for the go-around, the left main wheel contacted the runway, and the airplane then veered left, continued off the left side of the runway, and impacted a ditch. 

Flight data from the primary flight display showed that the airplane had a high engine rpm and a 9-degree left bank with a 17-degree nose-up pitch attitude and was at an airspeed of 56 knots during the attempted go-around. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook states that, during a go-around, the best angle-of-climb airspeed (between 81 and 83 knots indicated airspeed [KIAS]) should be set and maintained and that the flaps should then be retracted. It also states that, if the airplane is configured with full flaps in a 15-degree bank angle, it will stall between 55 and 57 KIAS. It is likely that the excessive pitch angle and low airspeed during the go-around attempt resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s application of excessive pitch and his failure to achieve adequate airspeed during the go-around attempt, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

On March 11, 2013, at 1501 Pacific daylight time, a Cirrus SR20, N427GE, veered off the left side of the runway and into a ditch at the Kern Valley Airport, Kernville, California. The airplane was registered to East Pole Aviation, and operated by Justice Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The private pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at Bakersfield, California, about 1438.

The pilot stated that while in the landing flare with the flaps configured full down, the airplane drifted right so that the right main landing gear was no longer over the runway. The pilot decided to execute a go-around. After he added power for the go-around, the left main wheel contacted the runway; the airplane veered left, continued off the left side of the runway, impacted a ditch, and came to rest inverted. The pilot indicated in the NTSB Pilot/Operator Accident Report (Form 6120.1) that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures prior to the accident.

The Avidyne Primary Flight Display (PFD) was removed from the airplane and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for data download and review. The Avidyne PFD unit includes a solid state Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) and displays aircraft parameter data including altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and heading. The PFD unit has external pitot/static inputs for altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed information. The PFD has a data logging function, which is used by the manufacturer for maintenance and diagnostics. Maintenance and diagnostic recordings consists of system information, event data, and flight data. The data extracted from the PFD contained the accident flight and other flights on March 11, 2013.

The following data was extracted from the Avidyne PFD for the accident sequence of events.

At 1501:24, the data indicated that the airplane's roll was 7 degrees left, the pitch was 2 degrees nose down, and the airspeed was 69 knots.

At 1501:28, the data indicated that the airplane's roll was 3 degrees right, the pitch was 5 degrees nose up, and the airspeed was 66 knots.

At 1501:30, the data indicated that the propeller rpm was 1,350, the airplane's roll was 2 degrees left, the pitch was 2 degrees nose up, and the airspeed was 62 knots.

At 1501:30 and 1501:36, the propeller rpm was 1,350 and 2,400, respectively. During this time period, the pitch, roll, and airspeed were sampled at a higher frequency. As such, determining when power was applied relative to pitch increase is limited by the sampling rate differences. However, during this period the pitch increased from 2 degrees nose up to 12 degrees nose up, the roll increased to 9 degrees left, the airspeed decreased to 56 knots, and by 1501:32, the longitudinal acceleration began to increase. Also during this period, the magnetic heading changed left from 351 degrees to 327 degrees.

At 1501:38, the pitch reached a maximum value of 17 degrees nose up when the airspeed was about 56 knots.

Between 1501:38 and 1501:41, the pitch decreased to 16 degrees nose down, and the aircraft rolled to 31 degrees right, before rolling back to the left through 20 degrees.

After 1501:41, the vertical acceleration increased to a full scale value of XYZ, the left roll angle increased to a full scale value of 180 degrees left, and the airspeed decreased to 0 knots.

The Cirrus SR20 Pilot Operating Handbook contains stall speeds for a gross weight of 3,000 pounds, flaps configuration, and angle of bank factors. The accident airplane configuration was flaps at 100% (full down), and for this configuration the stall speed at 15 degrees angle of bank is between 55-57 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS).

The Pilot Operating Handbook lists the following procedures for a Balked Landing/Go-Around.
1. Autopilot – Disengage
2. Power Lever – FULL FORWARD
3. Flaps – 50%
4. Airspeed – Best Angle of Climb (81-83 KIAS)
After clear of obstacles
5. Flaps – Up (0%)

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA145 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 11, 2013 in Kernville, CA
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N427GE
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 March 11, 2013, at 1450 Pacific daylight time, a Cirrus SR20, N427GE, veered off the left side of the runway and into a ditch at the Kern Valley Airport, Kernville, California. The airplane was registered to East Pole Aviation, and operated by Justice Aviation as a rental under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The private pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at Bakersfield, California, about 1438.

The pilot stated that while in the landing flare with the flaps configured full down, the airplane drifted right so that the right main landing gear was no longer over the runway. The pilot decided to execute a go-around. After he added power for the go-around, the left main wheel contacted the runway, the airplane veered left, continued off the left side of the runway, and impacted a ditch causing the airplane to come to rest inverted.

KERNVILLE, Calif. - One man suffers from minor injuries after an airplane accident west of Bakersfield. 

On March 11, at about 3:00 p.m., Kern County Sheriff’s deputies from the Kern Valley Sub Station went to Kernville Airport in Kernville regarding an airplane accident.

When deputies arrived they said they were able to contact the pilot of the airplane, 53-year-old Andreas Schippert, and two passengers, 36-year-old Thomas Kiff and 37-year-old Adrian Mohr.

The airplane was at rest upside down on the roof of the plane on the runway.

Schippert reported that he had been flying from Bakersfield to the airport in Kernville.

As he began landing the airplane, Schippert said the engine stalled, and as he attempted to restart the engine the airplane flipped and came to rest on the runway upside down.

He and the two passengers were able to exit the plane after the accident.

Schippert sustained a minor head injury as a result of the accident, according to officials. He was taken to Kernville Hospital for treatment.

Kiff and Mohr were uninjured.

The FAA requested the Sheriff’s Office secure the crash site.

An FAA Investigator will respond to the crash site on March 12 to initiate an investigation into the accident.

Story and Photos:

A pilot suffered minor injuries and his passengers were uninjured in the crash of a single-engine plane at the Kern Valley Airport Monday afternoon.

The pilot, Andreas Schippert, 53, told deputies he had been flying from Bakersfield to Kernville and as he was landing the engine stalled. He tried to restart the engine and the plane flipped and came to a stop upside down on the runway.

Deputies said Schippert suffered a minor head injury in the 3:06 p.m. crash, and passengers Thomas Kiff and Adrian Mohr were uninjured.

A Federal Aviation Administration investigator will respond to the crash site Tuesday.


Aurizon coal train driver reports near miss with crop duster plane east of Dalby

A coal train driver has reported a near miss with a plane in Queensland.

The Aurizon train was travelling between Blaxland and Koomi east of Dalby about 8.40am Tuesday when the crop duster flew within 15m of the fully-laden train at eye level.

A collision was avoided, but the two drivers were quite shaken by the unexpected incident.

The drivers reported the incident to the control centre operated by Queensland Rail, who alerted Dalby Police.

An Aurizon spokeswoman said they were investigating whether the incident was a "Queensland Transport reportable offence".

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said officers had been out to the scene but had been unable to locate the crop duster.

He said it would be up to Queensland Rail to decide whether to report the matter to aviation authorities.

Paso Robles Municipal Airport (KPRB), California

The pilot of a small plane walked away unhurt when the aircraft crashed Monday afternoon at Paso Robles Municipal Airport, according to the Paso Robles Department of Emergency Services.

According to a news release from the city, the single-engine civilian aircraft crashed at 1:38 p.m. while attempting “touch and go” maneuvers on Runway 19. The aircraft suffered “significant damage,” the department said.

Two companies of Paso Robles firefighters and one battalion chief responded to the scene. CalFire/SLO County Fire, the California Highway Patrol, and the Paso Robles Police Department helped.

Authorities did not release the pilot’s name, or any other details.

Continental Airlines flight 1404, Boeing 737-500, N18611: Accident occurred December 20, 2008 in Denver, Colorado

DENVER — Passengers and crew on a Continental Airlines flight that went off a runway in Denver in 2008 have reached settlements with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to one of the lawyers involved.

About 60 people sued, claiming air traffic controllers didn’t tell the pilot about wind gusts when giving him wind speeds before takeoff.

Bruce Lampert said Monday the pilot, whom he represented, was the last to settle. He said the settlements, first reported by KMGH-TV, totaled “several million dollars”, with amounts ranging from under $100,000 for most to “considerably more” for the injured.

The FAA referred questions to the U.S. Department of Justice, which didn’t return calls seeking comment.

The NTSB said the air traffic control system and inadequate crosswind training in the airline industry contributed to the crash.

Story and Reaction/Comments:

NTSB Identification: DCA09MA021
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES INC
Accident occurred Saturday, December 20, 2008 in Denver, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/2010
Aircraft: BOEING 737-524, registration: N18611
Injuries: 6 Serious,41 Minor,68 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-10/04.

On December 20, 2008, about 1818 mountain standard time, Continental Airlines flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500, N18611, departed the left side of runway 34R during takeoff from Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado. A postcrash fire ensued. The captain and 5 of the 110 passengers were seriously injured; the first officer, 2 cabin crewmembers, and 38 passengers received minor injuries; and 1 cabin crewmember and 67 passengers (3 of whom were lap-held children) were uninjured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight, operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, was departing DEN and was destined for George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas. At the time of the accident, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, with strong and gusty winds out of the west. The flight operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The captain’s cessation of right rudder input, which was needed to maintain directional control of the airplane, about 4 seconds before the excursion, when
the airplane encountered a strong and gusty crosswind that exceeded the captain’s training and experience. Contributing to the accident were the following factors: 1) an air traffic control system that did not require or facilitate the dissemination of key, available wind information to the air traffic controllers and pilots; and 2) inadequate crosswind training in the airline industry due to deficient simulator wind gust modeling. 

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-10/04.

Aero Med helicopter downdraft damages Muskegon vehicle in freak accident

MUSKEGON, MI – Aero Med helicopters based out of Grand Rapids are often flown to the scene of vehicle accidents, but rarely are the helicopters themselves the cause of one.

However, police believe the helicopter was the cause of a freak accident in the parking lot at Mercy Health Partners Hackley Hospital in Muskegon. 

The incident was reported at 1:54 p.m. on Thursday in a parking lot at 1700 Clinton St. in Muskegon.

According to a Muskegon Police Department report, a downdraft from the rotors of the helicopter caused the trunk of a vehicle parked in the lot to fly open.

The trunk lid then flew back and smashed the back window of the vehicle, police said.

No one was injured during the incident. The vehicle was empty at the time, police said.

Mercy Health Partners Public Relations and Communications Manager Joan Kessler said she’s never heard of such an incident occurring at the hospital.

“We never had anything like that happen before in the past,” she said.

Kessler said it hasn’t yet been determined as to who is liable for the man’s vehicle damages.

The car belonged to someone who worked at the hospital, according to a Spectrum Health hospital official. Spectrum Health owns Aero Med.

Painful Coolangatta plane crash memories 64 years on

Imagine witnessing a plane dropping from the sky like a stone and exploding into a fiery inferno.

Beryl Phippard of Tweed Heads doesn't have to imagine.

On March 10, 1949 a Lockheed Lodestar plane bound for Brisbane took flight from the Coolangatta Airstrip and reached a height of 90m before turning nose up, stalling and crashing down to Earth with 21 people onboard.

All 18 passengers and three crew died as a result of either the collision, or the fire that ensued for 25 minutes after the crash until Coolangatta fire fighters were able to extinguish the twisted fuselage.

Mrs Phippard was sweeping the front steps of her Auntie's house at Rutledge St, Coolangatta that day and was unlucky enough to witness the tragedy.

"I looked up and all of a sudden the plane dropped down out of the sky and burst into flames," she recalled.

 "I knew there wouldn't be any survivors. I knew that nobody could've got out of it."

"Never to be forgotten."

Mrs Phippard had lived in the Tweed all of her life and at the time was amazed to see the giant metal masterpieces of human ingenuity take flight from Coolangatta's unfinished airstrip.

"There weren't many planes around back then, that's why I looked up when a plane left. I looked up and couldn't believe what unfolded," she said.

"The areas grown so much and people have moved on. The airport is nothing new to us now."

Long time local 84-year-old Peter Winter was working on the airstrip at the time for the Department of Works and Housing, but avoided the incident on the day.

"It was bad. There were little kids in there, it was a real tragedy," he said.

"I reckon the real hero was the fire chief from Coolangatta who stood on the wing and used a stirrup pump on the fire."

Crash investigations at the time pointed out that the plane was improperly loaded and an incorrect centre of gravity contributed to the crash.

"The report came through that it was badly loaded. They used to load them up any way so when he went up he was unbalanced and he went up and then down like a helicopter," Mr Winter said.

The planes elevator trim tab, which helped control pitch, was set for landing instead of takeoff and when combined the two crucial oversights would have made the plane uncontrollable.

At the time the plane crash was the worst civil aviation crash in Queensland's history and the second worst accident in Australia. 

Grumman EA-6B Prowler, 158815, US Navy VAQ-129: Accident occurred March 11, 2013 in Lincoln County, near Harrington and Odessa, Washington

SAN DIEGO — The Navy identified three crew members that died in a Navy EA-6B Prowler jet crash Monday in Eastern Washington. 

It is the Department of Defense’s policy to withhold the names of service members killed until 24 hours after their families are notified. The notifications were completed Monday.

All three were stationed on Whidbey Island. Their names are:
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Valerie Cappelaere Delaney; Naval Aviator; 26; from Ellicott City, Md.
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade William Brown McIlvaine III; Naval Flight Officer, 24; from El Paso, Texas.
  • Lieutenant Commander Alan A. Patterson; Naval Flight Officer, 34; from Tullahoma, Tenn.
The aircraft was conducting a routine training flight prior to the crash.

Cappelaere’s husband, Sean Delaney, said on Tuesday he is still trying to process the reality of losing his wife.

Delaney also works at NAS Whidby Island.  The couple just got married last year in Maryland. The couple moved into a home in the Anacortes area not too long ago and close friends say Cappelaere was both beautiful in the inside and out. They say she was one of those people who was always smiling and positive.

Friends also said they new her job as a Navy pilot was  dangerous. But when tragedy actually hits, the grief is hard to take in.

“That morning I didn’t want to believe it was her I mean I actually texted her immediately I said I hope you are OK I am praying for you I am sure it is someone you know but then to find out it was actually her you don’t want to believe anything terrible is going to happen to anyone you know in the military,” said close friend Alyssa Clawson.

“We are doing everything we can in a time of loss like this there is nothing we can do that is adequate so we are there for anything they need,” close friend Benjamin Clawson said.

Other neighbors said their thoughts are with the other two pilots who lost their lives. Neighbors said Mcilvaine was not married but had a girlfriend and also lived in the Anacortes area.

Experts said the crash investigation could take up to a year. 

Story, video, photos:


SPOKANE, Wash. -- The pilot and two crew members aboard the EA-6B Prowler Monday are part of the only electronic warfare combat team in the entire military system.

The squadron is a highly-specialized team of pilots known as the Electronic Attack Squadron 129, or the “Fighting Vikings.” They regularly perform training exercises in Eastern Washington, including touch-and-go landings are Fairchild Air Force Base.

Western Washington’s Whidbey Island is home to the only electronic attack weapons school in the military. The pilots are extensively trained to enter hostile territory and intercept enemy communications, weapons or intelligence.

Crews usually consist of a pilot and two or three electronic countermeasures officers. Their task is to jam enemy radar systems and gather radio intelligence. Their plane also has the capability of carrying and firing anti-radiation missiles.

The team is a close-knit one. On their Facebook page Monday, comments showed sincere grief for the ones lost and pride in the squadron’s ongoing missions.

The Navy says names of those killed will not be released until Tuesday at the earliest. Protocol allows for at least 24 hours after the families are notified before the information is released to the public.

Navy investigators responded to the scene Monday to try to piece together exactly how the crash happened. Still, there is little of the plane left to examine what happened.

Story and Video:


SPOKANE, Wash. -- The particular aircraft that crashed down in Lincoln County is exclusive to the Whidbey Island “Fighting Vikings.” 

The EA-6B Prowler is a four-seat attack aircraft, which routinely flies in the area. This includes monthly touch-and-go landings at Fairchild Air Force Base. Local authorities say that’s to make sure pilots are familiar with the runways around Spokane in case they ever need to land here.

It’s part of the routine for the military aviators, who train in this region.

The Prowler is one of only two tactical aircraft in the entire U.S. Military capable of performing an electronic attack. It’s sent into hostile territory and is able to intercept and scramble enemy signals, weapons and communication. Both of the planes with these capabilities are stationed out of Whidbey Island and routinely train on this side of the mountains.

The Prowler is considered an attack plane, so it carries heavy fire power. It’s able to carry and fire anti-radiation missiles.

The plane has been used in conflicts dating back to the Vietnam War through Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. None have ever been lost in combat. However, the aircraft did crash in Umatilla County in Eastern Oregon in 2006. It was also a remote area used for training purposes. In that crash, all four crew members were able to eject safely.

It’s still unknown what caused Monday’s crash, nor why the pilot and passengers were unable to escape.

On the Fighting Vikings’ Facebook page, friends and family members expressed great sorrow for those who lost their lives.

Story and Video:

EA-6B Prowler on routine training flight at time of crash

(Photo: Stan Dammel)

EA-6B Prowler on routine training flight at time of crash 

NAS Whidbey jet crash west of Spokane

Credit: HaLee Walter, neighbor

Photo courtesy: The Spokesman Review

Photo courtesy: HaLee Walter

Credit: US Navy Navy 
EA-6B Prowler

Video:  Footage from front cockpit of an EA-6B Prowler on the first half of the VR-1355 low-level route through the Cascade Mountains in Western Washington. Aircraft is flying 500 feet above the ground at an average speed of 420 kts. 


ODESSA, Wash. - A Whidbey Island-based EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft has gone down in Lincoln County and officials believe all three personnel on board were killed in the crash. 

 Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers confirmed that three people were on board and all are believed dead. The US Navy has not confirmed the deaths of the aircrew but did confirm the aircraft involved was assigned to VAQ-129 "Vikings," the Navy's training squadron that teaches new aircrew in flight operations of both the Prowler and the EA-18G Growler.

The Prowler typically has a four-person aircrew consisting of a pilot and up to three electronic countermeasures officers.

The Prowler reportedly went down just after 9 a.m., near Coffee Pot Lake Road and Duck Lake Lamona Road west of Harrington and northeast of Odessa, according to Scott McGowan, fire chief for Lincoln County Fire District No. 6.

HaLee Walter lives near the scene where the aircraft went down and said she heard what she described as a sonic boom and then her whole house shook.

"My kids and my dog ran upstairs, and then I had gone outside and I could hear another a military aircraft because they fly all the time down here and they're very loud and we're used to them, and I could hear the aircraft and I'm like 'Oh you know maybe it was just a sonic boom,'" she said.

 "I called my husband and I'm like 'Did you just feel that? Did you hear that?' and he's like yeah, he's like 'I think an airplane just went down, I just saw a huge plume of smoke north of the house.'"

"I went outside and of course I could see the smoke and then I took my son and we drove other there because it didn't look like it was very far from our house, and the ambulance and police and fire trucks were all there and [the] plane had gone down and there was still another military aircraft circling," she added.

A crew from the National Transportation Safety Board is heading to the scene and should be there around 11 a.m.

Whidbey Island NAS is home to the U.S. Navy's tactical electronic warfare squadrons, which fly the EA-6B Prowler and the EA-18G Growler. The Growler is based on the F/A-18 Hornet fighter attack aircraft and carries a two-person crew. The Growler is being phased into service to replace the Prowler, which carries a four-person crew.

Navy aircrews fly across Eastern Washington for training exercises, according to Kim Martin, a public information officer for Whidbey Island, who confirmed an overflight of two pair of Growlers over the Spokane area in September 2011.

"It was a routine training session. That's a designated military training route part of their flight training curriculum," Martin said in 2011.

In addition to being home to the Navy's electronic warfare squadrons, the Navy's Electronic Attack Weapons School is based at Whidbey Island NAS. The school trains aircrews in the tactical operations of the Navy's Prowlers and Growlers.

The last mishap involving an EA-6B Prowler in our area was in March 2006, when a Prowler with VAQ-135 "Black Ravens" went down during a training exercise in a remote area of Umatilla County in northeastern Oregon. All four crewmen aboard the aircraft ejected safely.

KXLY's Aaron Luna reports that crews at the crash scene are also dealing with hazardous materials from the rockets that propel the aircrew's ejection seats. 

The EA-6B is equipped with the Martin-Baker GRUEA-7 ejection seat, which allows the aircrew to eject from the aircraft from zero altitude and a minimum of 80 knots. The seats contain explosive cartridges and rockets which fire the seats through the canopy of the aircraft.

The Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler is based on the A-6 Intruder platform and was first introduced into the fleet in 1970. While they have served in combat in conflicts ranging from Vietnam to Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan, none have ever been lost in combat.

However, numerous EA-6Bs have been lost during peacetime, In 1998, Whidbey Island NAS dedicated a memorial to 44 aircrew who have died in Prowler crashes. Monday's crash is the first fatal mishap involving a Prowler since 1998.

One of the most significant peacetime mishaps involving a Prowler was in 1998, when a Marine EA-6B flying low over terrain cut the cable line for a gondola in Cavalese, Italy. Twenty civilians in the gondola were killed when the cable snapped. The aircraft sustained damage but was able to return to Aviano Air Base in Italy.
KHQ Right Now

Airport fire department waiting, ever waiting: Deer Lake Regional, NL, Canada

 Airport technician John Ryan checks the chemical levels on one of the fire trucks at the Deer Lake Airport’s fire department.

DEER LAKE - Zipping down the runway at 120 km/hour in a 50-ton fire truck is the stuff of a little boy’s dream, as well as some girls. It’s interesting that the truck is built by the same company that probably made that little boy’s clothes. 

 The new fire truck owned by the Deer Lake Regional Airport was built by the Oshkosh Corporation in Wisconsin. Don’t let the name fool you. Oshkosh builds some tough vehicles.

The $850,000 vehicle was purchased by the airport last year. It’s a 2012 Striker model that holds massive amounts of water, chemicals and foam for any kind of fire. It has hoses on top and at the front, packs more safety gear and equipment than you can imagine and it’s fast.

Man, is it fast.

Airport technician John Ryan is burning down the runway at a speed approaching 130 km/hr with what looks like a little smile on his face. He turns the wheel slightly and a light that looks like a graph goes off on the dashboard, accompanied by an alarm.

“That’s the tilt monitor,” he said, voice slightly raised over the 700-plus horsepower 12-cylinder engine.

“With so much liquid on board, if you turn you could tip over pretty easy. You don’t want to tip these over.”

Indeed. Several years ago the United States government made it a requirement for airport fire trucks to be this fast, and here in Canada we can see the rewards.

Not that our airport has seen much in the way of fires or crashes (you can almost hear the collective knocking on wood from firefighters reading that sentence), but the Deer Lake Regional Airport still has to maintain a comprehensive list of equipment for any scenario. Most plane crashes take place within either take-off or landing, and firefighters have to be on standby every time a plane is in the vicinity of the airport.

It’s not just crashes they’re looking for. They need to be on alert when planes are refueling. Regular gasoline is flammable enough, but jets take a kerosene mixture. They need to be prepared if a plane has a potential landing gear issue. They help cut down on animal strikes by clearing birds and animals out of the way.

The Transportation Safety Board divides airports into categories depending on the type of flights they receive. The Deer Lake facility is considered a category six because of the size of planes and amount of passengers it receives each year. By comparison Toronto’s Pearson Airport, Canada’s busiest, is a category nine.

Deer Lake’s facility can take planes meant for category seven airports with some notice, meaning firefighters, also called airport technicians, end up looking after larger planes with much more fuel on board, like two weeks ago when three airplanes were rerouted from St. John’s due to bad weather.

“We have to be prepared for anything here,” said Ryan. “We have to keep our equipment and training up to date and just hope that we’re not needed.”

The airport has two of those big trucks, the other one a couple of years older, along with a third smaller vehicle. Technicians aren’t just performing firefighting duties, they’re doing various maintenance duties as well. In fact, according to technician Rod Reid, they’ll do whatever needs to be done.

“We’re also mechanics, welders, whatever it takes,” said Reid. “The ideal person for this job is someone who can do everything and is qualified for everything.”

Ryan said it would be more difficult and much more expensive to run the airport if technicians could only do one thing. The Deer Lake Regional Airport has expanded massively over the last decade, he said, a part of that is the fact that most jobs can be done in-house by people with various skills.

Displaced by Sukhoi 22 plane crash, Ma’een residents receive government compensation

SANA’A, March 10 — A committee assigned by the Ministry of Public Works and Highways began a survey Saturday of the Sukhoi 22 aircraft crash site near the Change Square of Ma’een District to verify the reports made by the Secretariat Compensation Committee.  

Over six houses were damaged by the military aircraft, which plummeted to the ground on February 22, killing 11. The Secretariat agreed to compensate those whose homes were damaged by the crash and so far has made good on his promise, granting an initial YR500,000 or about $2,300 in compensation to 15 families, Mujahid Al-Khalidid, the general manager of Ma’een said.

The Compensation Committee assigned Waleed Rafe and Abdulraqeeb Ata, managers of the public works office, to hire local contractors. The buildings will be repaired as soon as possible, Al-Khalidi said, but did not specify when that reconstruction would begin. In the meantime, the compensation is expected to sustain those displaced by the damages for up to six months.

Abdulkhaleq Mohammed’s three-floor house sustained damages. He is content with the compensation.

“The Secretariat cooperated with us,” Mohammad said, “I’m optimistic that my house will be repaired.”

Mustafa Al-Shamiri, another displaced tenant, agreed that the Secretariat has been cooperative—and he, too, received compensation—but remains skeptical that his home will be rebuilt.

“I wish the government would fulfill its pledges of rebuilding and repairing the houses,” he said.

Yahia Taj Al-deen has not received any compensation. He said the first floor of the six-storey building, where he is the landlord, was damaged.

“The sewer pipes in my house were completely destroyed,” Al-Deen said. His tenants left. He’s lost all of the money that he would otherwise have collected from their rent, he said.

The Russian-made aircraft that fell to the ground last month was running routine military operations over this residential area when a technical malfunction caused the pilot to lose control of the plane, a recent fact-finding committee found. Three months prior, another military plane crashed in the Hasaba area of Sana’a.

Despite the fact that Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has issued statements calling on the military to find alternative areas for training, far from residential areas, no new plans have been announced. 

Remembering Georgia's Worst-Ever Plane Crash -By Lisa Cooper

The crash of Flight 242 at New Hope was the first crash in Georgia involving a scheduled airline flight since 1941, and had the most fatalities regarding a crash within the state boundaries.

By Lisa Cooper

I grew up about three miles from the runways of Hartsfield, so it’s rather an understatement for me to say that the airplanes flew low over my childhood home or that I did hear airplane noise as I watched my favorite cartoons.

We lived under a major landing pattern. The planes were so low my mother would joke that the pilots could get a glimpse of her through the window in her “gown-tail” washing the breakfast dishes at the sink.

Yes, the planes flew close – and they were loud – and from time to time I played the “what if” game.

What if a plane got into some trouble and crashed into our house? If could happen – it was a possibility, and after the events of Monday, April 4, 1977 it was even more of a real possibility.

During the spring of 1977 I had other things on my mind. I had recently transferred to a new school and suddenly found myself covered with several hours of homework each afternoon.

Another concern was the weather. It had been a busy storm season, and Monday, April 5, 1977 was no different.

You know the drill….wave after wave of winds, rain, lightning and hail. In fact, during the last week of March, 1977 Douglas County had had so much rain the folks here experienced severe flooding.

The afternoon of Monday, April 5, 1977 started off normally enough. I had arrived home around 4 p.m. lugging several thick textbooks and bulging notebooks and had just settled down to my afternoon of assignments when a “special report” broken into the television show I was watching.

It was 4:20 p.m. – and while my afternoon was about to be taken up with something much more dramatic than homework there were folks forty-five minutes from me experiencing life and death. For those who survived or witnessed the events and the aftermath in Paulding and Douglas Counties their lives would be forever altered.

One of my worst fears had come true – for them.

Read more here:

Toia Matthew J SEAREY, N77MT: Davenport, Polk County, Florida

A SeaRey plane lands after losing power for an unknown reason.

DAVENPORT | An experimental aircraft made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon on a street near Interstate 4 and U.S. 27, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

The unexpected landing caused one lane of Home Run Boulevard to be shut down temporarily, officials said. Sheriff's deputies were called to direct traffic.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood said the single-engine airplane, a SeaRey ELSA (experimental light sport aircraft), was flown by Sam Lewis, 73, of Winter Garden.

Janice Norris, 74, of Oakland, Fla., was a passenger in the plane.

Neither was injured, according to reports.

According to Wood, sometime between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m., the plane lost power for unknown reasons and was forced to land.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane's left wheel hit a curb upon landing, causing it to partially collapse.

The FAA's website lists S E Lewis LLC as the owner of the amateur-built aircraft, and Samuel E. Lewis is listed as the owner of the company on the Florida Department of State website.

Wood said the one lane that had been closed was reopened, but the plane remained alongside the road Sunday night.

Wood said the owner of the plane will retrieve it today.


Piper PA-46 JetPROP DLX (conv. #119), N71DH: Accident occurred March 10, 2013 in Rogers, Arkansas 

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA198  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 10, 2013 in Rogers, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/24/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-350P, registration: N71DH
Injuries: 1 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.

While on approach, ice accumulated on the wings’ leading edges. The pilot stated that the airplane was flying and handling well but that the air was turbulent during the descent. According to the pilot, when the airplane was about 75 to 100 feet above ground level, he encountered “severe turbulence” and a “downdraft,” which resulted in his inability to control the airplane's descent. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard on the runway. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The sudden loss of control was consistent with inadequate airspeed for the weather conditions and leading edge ice buildup on the wings, which led to an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control due to a sudden turbulence encounter while on final approach. Contributing to the accident was ice buildup on the wings’ leading edges.

On March 10, 2013, about 1955 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46-350P airplane, N71DH, made a hard landing at the Rogers Municipal Airport (KROG), Rogers, Arkansas. The airline transport pilot and 3 passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from Chattanooga, Tennessee at 1800 eastern daylight time and was destined for KROG.

In a statement provided by the pilot, he reported about one quarter inch of ice buildup on the wings during the approach. He recalls that the automated weather report at KROG reported the wind from 280 at 12 knots and gusting 22 to 30 knots. He stated that the airplane was flying and handling well, but the air was turbulent during the descent. He broke out of the clouds about 800 feet above the ground and was using the rudder to point the nose of the airplane 20-30 degrees right of the runway heading. He then encountered severe turbulence and a downdraft about 75 to 100 feet above ground level (AGL) so he applied full power to stop the decent. When he realized the decent wasn’t going to stop, he tried to flare the airplane. The airplane landed hard on the runway and sustained substantial damage to the wings. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

At 1957, the aviation routine weather report for KROG reported wind from 290 degrees at 13 knots, gusting at 21 knots, 7 miles visibility, clouds overcast at 600 feet above ground level (AGL), temperature 0 degrees Celsius (C), dew point negative 1 degree C, and a barometric pressure of 29.89 inches of mercury.

Pictures of the airplane following the accident revealed ice on the wings and leading edges.

ROGERS — An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration was in Rogers on Monday to determine what caused a Sunday night single-engine airplane to crash, according to airport officials. 

 None of the four people aboard were injured, authorities said.

Police and firefighters were called to the Rogers Municipal Airport-Carter Field at 7:54 p.m.

Pilot Rodney Graham, 53, of Fyffe, Ala., told police at approximately 2,800 feet, he felt a lift under the plane, then felt the plane sink back down.

As he was preparing to land, he was trying to hold the plane steady at 500 feet facing south, according to a police report. Graham reported at approximately 100 feet above the ground, the nose was up and the landing gear down. He said he felt an “external atmospheric force” that pushed the plane straight down to the ground. Graham said he believed he hit a micro-burst, according to the report.

Atmospheric conditions at the time were 32 degrees, rainy and 15 mph wind from the west, according to the police report.

A microburst is a downdraft (sinking air) in a thunderstorm that is less than 2.5 miles in scale, according to the National Weather Service website. Some microbursts can pose a threat to life and property, but all microbursts pose a significant threat to aviation. Although microbursts are not as widely recognized as tornadoes, they can cause comparable, and in some cases, worse damage than some tornadoes produce. Wind speeds as high as 150 mph are possible in extreme microburst cases.

Police identifited the other occupants as Michael Tripp, 51, of Pisgah, Ala., Robert Yoe, 62, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Heather Lingerfelt, 38, of Athens, Tenn.

The FAA website identified the airplane as a Piper PA24 with the tale number N71DH. shows that plane to be owned by Robert H. Yoe of Chattanooga. The single-engine craft could seat six.

The police report said the craft sustained heavy damage to both wings and the landing gear.

Airport Manager David Krutsch said Monday the airport’s runway was closed from 8 p.m. Sunday until 2:30 a.m. Monday while debris was removed.

Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said firefighters used foam to contain an unknown amount of fuel that leaked from the plane. About 40 gallons were in the fuel tank, he said.