Sunday, April 7, 2013

Castle Airport (KMER), Atwater, California: No one hurt after plane's landing gear collapsed

 
No one was hurt after the front landing gear of this aircraft collapsed while landing at Castle Airport on Sunday, according to Cal Fire. 
PHOTO: Merced County Fire Department/Cal Fire.


ATWATER -- No one was hurt Sunday afternoon after the front landing gear of a plane collapsed after landing at Castle Airport. 

 The incident was reported shortly after 3 p.m. after the small twin-engine aircraft landed at Castle, according to Gabriel Santos, spokesman for Merced County Fire Department/Cal Fire.

After landing, the landing gear collapsed and the plane traveled for about 100 yards before coming to a stop. The plane came to a rest with its nose pointing downward, Santos said.
 

Firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene, but the two instructors traveling in the plane weren’t hurt. No fire was reported during the incident.

Santos said the incident is an example of why the tower is necessary at the airport. Santos said the tower was able communicate with two planes in the air, to notify them about the situation on the ground.

The tower was also able to quickly notify firefighters and emergency personnel. "Thankfully the tower was staffed and available to assist with reporting the incident," Santos said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Traffic Safety Board were both notified about the incident, Santos said. Castle's tower is on a list of 149 control towers at small airports nationwide that are slated to be closed because of federal government-wide spending cuts.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday announced it was putting off the closure of the airport towers until mid-June. FAA officials said they need more time to deal with legal challenges to the closures.

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

Refurbished plane destined for medical relief work

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Church of Chattanooga has had a long-standing tie to the organization 'Mission Aviation Fellowship,' with its pastor serving as an officer. 

 Sunday, donors and supports of 'MAF were able to get an up close look at the latest plane to join its fleet.

Two years ago the Cessna Grand Caravan was nearly destroyed by a tornado.

MAF bought the plane and was able to refurbish the $2 million aircraft.

In the coming weeks it will be heading to the east Congo to deliver much-needed supplies.

"This aircraft is going to do so many amazing things. It's going to help fly in medical supplies, medical teams, missionaries and provide relief in an area that's so torn by civil war and disease and so many horrible things, but this aircraft is going to bring hope and joy to people in a very desperate situation," says Pastor Morty Lloyd.

This plane is just one of more than 100 planes that are a part of the MAF fleet.


Story:  http://www.wrcbtv.com

Mooney M20J 201, N57672: Fatal accident occurred Sunday, April 07, 2013 in Collinsville, Oklahoma

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N57672

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA221 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 07, 2013 in Collinsville, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2014
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N57672
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 pilot and passenger were on the return leg of a cross-country flight. Before departing from his home airfield, the pilot filed the outbound and return legs for the instrument flight rules flight as, “GPS direct.” The surface wind was reported as 17 knots gusting to 24 knots with a ceiling at 2,000 feet. Shortly after departure, the pilot contacted air traffic control and was given a clearance to 6,000 feet and an amended flight routing. About 5 minutes later, the airplane disappeared from radar, and the pilot did not respond to the air traffic controller’s radio call. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane at a steep angle and at a high rate of speed before it impacted terrain. The wreckage was largely fragmented, and a postcrash fire consumed a large portion of the airplane. The airplane’s bottom skin panel was located about 1.4 miles from the accident site; because of its location, it is likely the airplane’s skin panel separated during the high-speed descent. Review of radar data revealed the airplane climbed to about 4,300 feet and then entered a right descending turn before disappearing from radar. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the pilot’s loss of control could not be determined. An autopsy was not conducted; therefore, it would not be determined whether a medical or physiological issue contributed to the accident.

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

The pilot’s loss of control of the airplane for reasons that could not be determined because an examination of the airplane did not find an abnormality that would have precluded normal operations. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 7, 2013, about 1800 central daylight time, a Mooney M20J, airplane, N57672, impacted terrain near Collinsville, Oklahoma. The commercial rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Tulsa International Airport (KTUL), Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1747, and was en route to the Manhattan Regional airport, Manhattan, Kansas (KMHK).

A review of the air traffic control communications and radar data revealed that the pilot contacted the TUL departure controller; which cleared him to climb to 6,000 feet and to the "DELAT" intersection. About 5 minutes later, the aircraft disappears from the controller's radar, and the pilot does not respond to the controller's radio calls. 

Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane descending at a high rate of speed, before it impacted terrain, in a small lot behind a vacant house. 

PILOT INFORMATION 

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument-airplane. The pilot held a third class medical certificate that was issued on January 9, 2013, with the restriction, "must have available glasses for near vision". At the time of the exam the pilot had reported 3,686.7 total flight hours and 150.8 hours in the preceding six months. A pilot logbook was located among the wreckage; however, additional flight time entries could not be read, due to the condition of the logbook.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a Mooney M20J which is a low-wing, single-engine airplane, with retractable tricycle gear, powered by a reciprocating engine driving a constant speed propeller.

A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the airplane's last annual inspection was conducted on April 1, 2012, with a Hobbs meter reading of 4,818.6 hours. At the time of the inspection the engine had a total time of 3,650.5 and 551.6 hours since overhaul. 

The airplane was equipped with a fiberglass belly panel, installed per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), SA3252NM.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1753, the automated weather observation facility located at KTUL, reported wind from 160 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 24 knots, with a peak wind recorded at 1743, at 170 degrees at 29 knots, visibility 9 miles, overcast ceiling at 2,000 feet, temperature 66 Fahrenheit (F), dew point 61 F, and a barometric pressure of 29.72 inches of mercury.

Prior to the pilot's departure from MHK, he telephoned flight service and received a weather briefing for this planned flight. He filed two IFR flight plans, one for the flight to TUL, and one for the return trip back to MHK; the route of flight for each trip was filed as GPS direct. About 1706 the pilot telephoned flight service, and received an abbreviated weather brief for the return flight from Tulsa to Manhattan. 

COMMUNICATIONS and RADAR INFORMATION

A review of air traffic communications revealed that the pilot was transferred from the KTUL tower controller to the departure controller. The departure controller then issued instructions for the pilot to climb to 6,000 and proceed direct "DELAT". The accident pilot acknowledged the controller instructions, with the read back as 6,000 and what sounded like, "direct vlap". Approximately five minutes later, the controller tried to contact the pilot; the pilot did not respond and there was no further communication or distress calls from the pilot.

RADAR

A review of the radar data revealed the airplane departed TUL on a northward heading. The data revealed the airplane, climbed to about 4,300 feet, before a descending right turn was depicted. No other radar points from the aircraft were observed and the last radar point was near the accident site. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

The National Transportation Safety Board, inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and a technical representative from Lycoming aircraft engines examined the airplane wreckage on site. 

The airplane's impact left a crater approximately 10 feet in diameter and about 4 feet deep. The airplane's engine and part of a propeller blade was visible in the crater; the left wing, empennage, were just outside the crater. One end of a narrow ground scar contained pieces of a fiberglass wingtip and a green navigation light, the other end of the scar was at the impact crater. A postcrash fire consumed part of the fuselage and rear stabilizer. The remainder of the airplane wreckage was fragmented. 

The airplane impacted the backyard of a vacant house, in a residential area. All major components of the airplane were accounted for on scene. Fragmented pieces of the airplane were located within yards of the neighboring houses. 

The fiberglass belly skin panel was located away from the main crash site, on a heading of about 346 degrees and approximately 1.4 miles from the main impact point.

The airplane's artificial horizon (attitude indicator) was located; the instrument had heavy impact damage. The unit was disassembled, and the gyro had scoring consistent with rotation at the time of impact.

The engine was located in the center of the crater and had received extensive damage. The aft accessory case and sump were shattered and separated from the main case. Pieces of the accessories; fuel pump, magneto, and vacuum pump were found scattered around the accident site. Three blades of the constant speed propeller were located; each blade had separated from the hub. The blades each had a wave type bend, leading edge polishing, and had leading edge damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Due to extensive trauma, an autopsy on the pilot was not conducted.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, did not perform toxicological tests on the specimens for carbon monoxide or cyanide. The specimens were negative for ethanol and tested drugs.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The wreckage was examined on May 22, 2013 at a salvage facility, near Lancaster, Texas, by the NTSB and a technical representative from the engine manufacturer. The main wing spar was fractured into several sections; the exam noted that the deformation and damages were consistent with the wing being intact at the time of ground impact. The left horizontal stabilizer, left and right elevator, vertical stabilizer, and rudder remained attached to the empennage. The right horizontal stabilizer was separated and was fire damaged. The left elevator counterweight was not located in the wreckage; however, damage to the outboard stabilizer and elevator was consistent with the counterweight being attached at impact.

All of the examined fracture surfaces exhibited features consistent with overload failures and no evidence of fatigue or flutter.

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA221 14 
CFR Part 91: General Aviation  
Accident occurred Sunday, April 07, 2013 in Collinsville, OK
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N57672
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 7, 2013, about 1800 central daylight time, a Mooney M20J, airplane, N57672, impacted terrain near Collinsville, Oklahoma. The commercial rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Tulsa International Airport (KTUL), Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1747, and was en route to the Manhattan Regional airport (KMHK).

Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane before it descended into a small lot behind a vacant house.

The airplane’s impact left a crater approximately 10 feet in diameter and about 4 feet deep. The airplane’s engine and part of a propeller blade was visible in the crater; the left wing, empennage, were just outside the crater. One end of a narrow ground scar contained pieces of a fiberglass wingtip and a green navigation light, the other end of the scar was at the impact crater. Other pieces of the airplane were scattered around the area. A postcrash fire consumed part of the fuselage and rear stabilizer. The remainder of the airplane wreckage was fragmented.

A preliminary review of air traffic control and radar data was done. Communications with KTUL tower were normal, with the last acknowledgement from the pilot was that the airplane was cleared to 6,000 feet. There were no emergency or distress calls from the pilot. A review of radar information had the airplane tracking northward, in a shallow climb. The airplane reached 4,100 feet before a descending, right turn on the radar was observed. During the turn, the airplane disappeared from the radar.



MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW)-- A retired Manhattan doctor and Kansas State University employee were killed in a deadly plane crash near Tulsa Sunday. 

Chris Gruber, 40, the Director of Development for K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, was one of the victims. Gruber was an employee of the KSU Foundation who played an integral part in fundraising for research, projects, scholarships, equipment, etc. He had been with the staff of the KSU Foundation for 8.5 years.

K-State officials said Monday that grief counselors were being made available for his co-workers.

Gruber posted a photo of a plane on Twitter Sunday with the message, "My ride to Tulsa." Click here to see the post.

“He led a team of people who are the public face of our college in many ways…He was very much a family man. He has three young children and a wonderful wife. His sister is actually a veterinarian and is on our faculty as a pathologist so there’s a lot of closeness with Mr. Gruber and the College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, dead of K-State’s College of Veterinary medicine. “It’s hard on everybody. People liked Chris. They admired him. He looked out for them so it’s hard. We have people that are grieving; we have people who are feeling loss…. But we’re going to take one day at a time and we’re going to honor Chris’ memory.”

The plane was registered to Dr. Ronald Marshall, 71, a well known retired physician from Manhattan who specialized in obstetrics & gynecology, but officials hadn't confirmed him as a victim in the crash as of Monday afternoon.

Marshall's family members and friends were mourning his passing at his home Monday but told WIBW that they had not yet received any official notification of his death from authorities. They declined an interview but confirmed that it was Dr. Marshall's plane that went down and that he was the pilot.

"Any time a life is lost, it’s going to touch the lives of others. Dr. Marshall was a long term physician in the Manhattan community and I’m sure he was loved by many, many people. I’ve already spent time talking with people who said, ‘Yes, he delivered our child. Yes, he was my doctor.’ So it hurts the whole community when something like this happens," Dr. Richardson added. He said the victims were family friends.

According to the FAA, the single-engine aircraft departed Tulsa International Airport around 5:50 Sunday night en route to Manhattan, where it was scheduled to land just after 7 PM. The plane crashed inside the city limits of Collinsville, a suburb about 30 minutes northeast of Tulsa. It dropped off of FAA radar at 5:52 p.m.

The plane reportedly crashed into a house neighbors say was vacant and caused a small fire. No one on the ground was injured.

"We saw it in the air when it popped, a couple of things fell off and the wings really looked strange, like they folded in and it nosedived right behind the house," a witness told News On 6, the CBS affiliate in Tulsa.

The FAA is investigating the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board. The FAA indicated Sunday that at least three people were killed when the plane went down. Dr. Marshall's family members, however, told 13 News that they believe only two people were on board.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that it has received two bodies from the crash site. Spokeswoman Amy Elliot told WIBW Monday that the dead have yet to be scientifically identified.

Dr. Ronald Marshall's twin brother, Rod Marshall, told the Omaha World-Herald that he had been in the Tulsa area Sunday attending a gun show with his brother. The two had dinner after the show, then Rod Marshall got in his car to return home to Beatrice, Nebraska and Dr. Ronald Marshall- known as Dr. Ron- boarded his plane with Gruber to fly back to Manhattan.

Ronald Marshall registered his plane in Nebraska, where he owned farm land, his brother said.

At Kansas State University, Dr. Richardson said he expects a memorial service to be held at some point to honor Chris Gruber.

Story, Video, Photos, Reaction/Comments:  http://www.wibw.com


COLLINSVILLE, Okla. - Multiple fatalities were reported after a plane crashed in Collinsville Sunday evening. The aircraft was a Mooney that had just departed from Tulsa and was headed to Manhattan, Kansas, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.   "I look up and I see the plane coming down in a dive," said Debra Thompson. "I hear it, and it was going really fast and then it hits the ground and flames shoot up. It was a big explosion."   Air traffic controllers lost radio contact and the planes radar signal nine miles north of Tulsa, FAA officials said. The NTSB is investigating. 


 Scene of a small plane that crashed in Collinsville, Oklahoma
~

Photo courtesy of Rachelle Gordon.
Rachelle says her husband took this shot about 7 minutes after the plane crashed in Collinsville, Oklahoma on April 7, 2013.
~



Debris from the plane crash.
 Photo Credit:   Rick Heaton/Owasso Reporter 






A plane crash in Collinsville Sunday evening rocked this community with an immediate explosion that reportedly has taken the life of at least one individual and possibly three, Collinsville Police Chief Jimmie Richey told the News Sunday evening. 

While details about the crash may not be known for several days, the small private plane went down sometime between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Richey stated that the plane took off from Tulsa headed north and may have been north of Collinsville when it developed problems. It is believed that the plane was headed back south when it started losing altitude.

Richey believes that the plane was a small plane, possibly a four-seater. It is believed the plane clipped the top of a house between 13th and 14th on the south side of Broadway and then crashed into a chain-link fence and exploded. The explosion did some damage to at least one home and possibly two.

Collinsville Fire Department personnel made quick work of putting the fires out. 
Police say that there's not much left of the wreckage and they will secure the area after Broadway is cleared and await the arrival of official investigators.

Law enforcement officials and fire department personnel from Collinsville and Owasso and beyond were on the scene immediately securing the area until investigators can arrive to determine the cause of the accident. No identities of the victim or victims was available Sunday evening.

Story and Photos:  http://thecollinsvillenews.com
 
Authorities are on the scene of a small plane that crashed just before 6:00 Sunday night.

Witnesses tell KRMG at the crash site they saw the plane go down in a nose dive near 14th and Broadway in Collinsville.

A homeowner, who lives four blocks away, says it felt like a bomb went off near their house.

The medical examiner showed up on the scene just before 8:00.

They tell the KRMG team on the scene one person was killed in the crash.

No one on the ground was killed.

Chief Meteorologist Steve Piltz with the National Weather Service in Tulsa says winds were moderate at the time of the crash with gusts up to 20 m.p.h.

Piltz says the winds aren't great for flying, but not high enough to cause a plane to crash.

Our crews are on the scene gathering more information from witnesses and investigators.


COLLINSVILLE, Okla. - Collinsville police confirmed a plane crashed near 14th and Broadway Streets Sunday evening.

Witnesses tell 2NEWS they saw a single engine plane crash just before 6 p.m.

"I look up and I see the plane coming down in a dive," said Debra Thompson. "I hear it, and it was going really fast and then it hits the ground and flames shoot up. It was a big explosion."
 
At least one person was killed in the crash, authorities say.

We have a crew on the scene and will continue to update this story here and on 2NEWS at 10.

Story and Photos: http://www.kjrh.com

State troopers confirm one death after a small plane crashed on Sunday near 14th and Broadway in Collinsville. According to troopers, the plane crashed in the backyard of a Collinsville home.

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N92804: Plane crash in Craig County, Virginia, pilot suffered minor injuries

Craig County, Va.—  A North Carolina pilot escapes with minor injuries after crashing a plane Sunday in Craig County.

It happened at the Glider Port off of Rt. 311.

State Police say the aircraft was trying to take off but didn't have enough speed to do so.  The left wing struck the ground, causing the landing gear to collapse.

Two other passengers were on board, but were not hurt.

The FAA is investigating.

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

The Virginia State Police are continuing their investigation into a small plane crash that occurred on Sunday afternoon around 2:50 p.m. at the Glider Port located at 170 Glider Drive (off Rt 311) in Craig County.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 1973 Cessna 172M aircraft was attempting to take off when the aircraft lost flight capability due to lack of airspeed and it then nosed over which made the left wing strike the ground causing the landing gear to collapse.

The aircraft then rolled off to the right.

The pilot, Kenneth Ray Gwyn of Ararat, North Carolina, sustained minor injures and the two other passengers on board were not injured in the crash.

The plane is owned by Mayberry Aviation Inc. out of Mt. Airy, North Carolina.

The FAA was notified of the incident.


http://registry.faa.gov/N92804

http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo

Federal Aviation Administration considers decommissioning navigation device at Block Island State Airport (KBID), Rhode Island

The Federal Aviation Administration has recommended a study to possibly decommission a navigation device at the Block Island Airport, citing concerns that the proposed Deepwater Wind project would “have a significant impact to the related signal” of the device.

The FAA, in a memorandum dated Feb. 1, makes it clear that while a study is needed, the services provided by this device “will be evaluated and retained, if necessary.”

The navigation device is known as the “Sandy Point” VOR/DME, and is located just south of the runway at the Block Island Airport. It looks like a white cone and transmits radio signals that are received by an airplane’s radio system and helps pilots determine their position to land safely.

One local pilot, along with the national Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the town of New Shoreham, oppose the move to decommission the device.“This is really important for people who are flying in bad weather to be able to land,” said pilot Henry duPont, an island resident. Without the Sandy Point VOR, pilots without more advanced GPS technology would not be able to fly to Block Island legally, duPont said.

The AOPA, which represents more than 400,000 members nationwide, also wrote a letter to the FAA opposing the decommissioning.

“AOPA opposes this decommissioning due to the lack of justifiable need for decommissioning, the substantial impact on general aviation flight operations, and the absence of replacement facilities and procedures,” its April 1 letter stated.

A FAA memorandum states: “This is a proposal to decommission the SANDY POINT VOR/DME located in Block Island, R.I. The DME services of this VOR will be evaluated and retained, if necessary. A wind farm proponent has proposed the construction of 5 large wind turbines approximately 4 miles from the SEY VOR/DME. The proposed construction of these wind turbines would have a significant impact to the radiated signal of the VOR.”

The AOPA disagreed with this. In its April 1 letter, AOPA Aviation Technical Specialist Aaron Pifer wrote that the “proposed construction of a wind farm 4 miles from the VOR/DME … is insufficient justification for decommissioning a navigational facility. The AOPA urges the FAA to harmonize the obstruction evaluation process with navigation aid (NAVAID) decommissioning.”

The Town Council also opposes the decommissioning. “The loss of the VOR instrument at the airport will make it impossible for the usual traffic of small planes to conduct an instrument approach if they do not have the latest — and expensive — GPS technology,” said the letter written by the Town of New Shoreham.

“Very few people have GPS equipment,” said duPont, who estimated that just 30 percent of private pilots who fly to Block Island have this equipment.

New England Airlines owner Bill Bendokas said that the technology is expensive to install, and many private pilots may choose to not upgrade to GPS technology.

“This may affect visitors to Block Island and, in general, affect the tourism,” said Bendokas. The letter submitted by the Town of New Shoreham said that the Block Island Airport is the second busiest small airport in Rhode Island. New England Airlines, which operates commercially-scheduled flights between Block Island and Westerly, R.I., has GPS navigation.If Sandy Point were decommissioned, New England Airlines would not be immediately affected, but the company would have to purchase some additional equipment, said Bendokas.

“Having the facility [Sandy Point] rounds out the resources for navigating to and from Block Island,” said Bendokas. “Everything in flying has backups, and right now we’re using a combination of VOR and GPS. To use GPS alone would require significant expense to double up on GPS-specialized radios.”

Henry duPont also argued the importance of keeping the Sandy Point device. It “is one of the most important NavAids in our region. It is the basis for two [separate] instrument approaches to Block Island and provides fixes for instrument approaches at six other nearby airports including Westerly, Newport, and Quonset,” said duPont in a letter he wrote to the FAA, which he provided to the Block Island Times.

Henry duPont is a pilot and former private flight instructor. He has owned his Cessna C177-RG plane at the Block Island Airport for 30 years.

“In my plane, I have an instrument that tells me what direction I can fly toward,” said duPont. “I can fly to or from the VOR. As I fly toward it, the needle [on the instrument] centers and takes me right over the runway.”

According to a Federal Register Notice released by the FAA, the FAA plans to reduce the number of VOR devices across the country. The national network of VORs costs “nearly $110 million per year to operate and maintain and recapitalization costs are estimated at over $1 billion. The FAA can no longer afford to support an entire network of legacy VORs,” said the notice.

Story and Photo:  http://block-island.villagesoup.com

Holocaust survivor fulfills dream to fly

Decades after dreaming of the Holy Land as an infant in Budapes, Holocaust survivor realizes dream to fly across Israel; NGO helps make survivors' wishes come true 

Ephraim Leichter, a 71-year-old Holocaust survivor, got to realize his dream to see Israel from above on Sunday.

Leichter has never been on a plane until Sunday, when a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Holocaust survivors make their wishes come true, put him on a plane that took him flying across the Israeli sky.

Ever since he was three, a Jewish infant in post WWII Hungary, Leichter dreamed of Israel, hoping to see it from a bird's eye view.

"I think of the orphan Jewish boy; the rejected boy I used to be in Hungary – and here I am flying over those beautiful houses and the amazing coastline of my country," he said Sunday, sitting in the cockpit. "I can't believe I was fortunate enough to experience it."

Leichter was born in war-stricken Budapest in 1942. He and his family – his parents and brother – survived shipments to concentration camps and remained in the Budapest Ghetto until the war was over.

After his mother passed away, he was put in an orphanage, but when he turned 16 he and his brother decided to escape to Austria, from which they boarded a ship to Israel. The two brothers lived together in Bat Yam, until Ephraim's brother passed away.

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

Two Dominican Air Force crew die in air show crash

Santo Domingo.- Two Dominican Air Force crew died after their Pillan plane stalled and crashed around 3pm during a maneuver with one of three aircraft taking part in an air show Sunday afternoon, amid horrified spectators.

The Chilean-made plane went down around 500 meters south from the shore of Santo Domingo’s Malecon, near the Hotel Santo Domingo, and according to witnesses, sank in less than one minute after hitting the water and crumpling its wings.

The plane's registry number is reportedly FAD11807.

Air Force general Ramon M. Hernandez identified the pilots as Second lieutenants Rafael Eduardo Sanchez,27, and Carlos Manuel Guerrero, 25.

He said the area of the crash is "quite deep."

John Vargas, the show's  organizer, confirmed that the two bodies had been recovered.

Pablino Gutierrez Hummel Bird, N9001N: Accident occurred May 09, 2012 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA326
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2012 in DeFuniak Springs, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/07/2014
Aircraft: GUTIERREZ PABLINO HUMMEL BIRD, registration: N9001N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

Witnesses reported observing the airplane porpoising along its longitudinal axis during its climb after takeoff. About 300 feet above ground level, the airplane pitched up to a nose-high attitude and rolled to the right; it subsequently impacted the ground in a right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. Postaccident examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation. However, the weight of the airplane (not including fuel) plus the weight of the pilot exceeded the airplane’s maximum gross takeoff weight and the center of gravity (CG) was aft of the most rearward limit. Although any fuel would have moved the CG forward of the most rearward limit, it also would have increased the airplane’s takeoff weight. The pilot reported to his aviation medical examiner (AME) that the airplane was having “great” difficulty with longitudinal stability. He also noted that his weight gain caused the airplane to be “over gross,” most likely causing the control problems. The AME advised the pilot to stop flying the airplane.
Because the airplane was at or aft of the rear CG limit, it would have been very sensitive in pitch control and may even have been at or near a dynamically unstable flight regime in terms of pitch handling. Accordingly, the airplane would have required more nose-down trim adjustment. Additionally, because stall speeds increase as gross weight increases, the airplane would have stalled at a higher airspeed. Therefore, it is likely that, during the climb, the airplane stalled at a higher airspeed than the pilot would have expected due to its exceedence of the maximum gross weight and that it subsequently entered a spin.
A review of the pilot's logbook indicated that he had accumulated only 4.4 flight hours in the 2 years preceding the accident flight with only 0.3 hour in the accident airplane. It is likely that the pilot's lack of experience in the airplane make and model contributed to his decision to take off with the airplane in an overweight condition and his inability to understand the seriousness of the situation. Although the postmortem toxicology testing was positive for three drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, none of the medications should have been impairing and were unlikely to have contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control due to the airplane’s exceedence of its maximum gross weight and center of gravity’s most rearward limit and his lack of familiarity with the airplane make and model, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to knowingly operate the airplane over the maximum allowable gross weight with reduced longitudinal stability.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 9, 2012, about 1110 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built, Gutierrez Hummel Bird airplane, N9001N, registered to, and operated by, the commercial pilot, impacted the ground in a nose-down attitude at the DeFuniak Springs Airport (54J), DeFuniak Springs, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to eyewitness reports, the pilot was observed performing maintenance to the airplane prior to the flight. One of the witnesses stated that he observed the pilot conduct a lengthy preflight before starting the engine by hand, followed by a ground engine run-up, and then taxi to runway 27. Witnesses observed the airplane accelerate, roll down the runway, rotate, and climb about 30 to 40 feet above the runway when the airplane started varying its altitude. They watched as the airplane porpoised a few times as it continued to climb. When it reached an estimated altitude of 300 feet above ground level (agl), it pitched nose high and rolled to the right. The airplane nosedived and collided with the ground in an approximate 80 degree nose-down attitude. The airplane came to rest on its main gear in the upright position facing 120-degrees from the departing runway.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 77, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine land. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on April 10, 2012, with the limitation of a special time limited; however, in a letter mailed to the airman on May 5, 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) withdrew his medical certificate. A review of his pilot logbook revealed the most recent entry was dated March 15, 2012 and at that time he had 527.5 total hours of flight experience, of which 0.3 of those hours were in the accident airplane make and model. The most recent recorded flight review was dated August 22, 1997; however, in February and March of 2012, there were three entries with a flight instructor signature associated with them that listed a variety of training, including; "takeoff and landings, emergency procedures, failures" to list a few.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-seat, low wing, all metal construction, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 001, was manufactured in 2012. It was powered by a 37-hp, 2-cylinder Hummel Engine, which consisted of 1/2 of a Volkswagen engine, and a Culver 2-bladed wooden propeller. Review of photographs of the airframe maintenance records revealed a conditional inspection was recorded by the accident pilot on January 9, 2010. The airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate on January 10, 2010. The most recent airframe maintenance logbook entry was dated April 12, 2012, with a recorded tachometer time of 7.7 hours and stated, "Adjusted horizontal stabilizer = increase nose-down pitch." The entry was signed by the accident pilot. The most recent engine maintenance logbook entry was dated March 24, 2010, with a recorded tachometer time of 3.0 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A review of the 1125 recorded data from the Bob Sikes Airport (CEW), Crestview, Florida, 19 miles west of the accident site included variable wind at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,200 and 3,000 feet agl and a broken cloud layer at 11,000 feet agl; temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, and altimeter 29.89inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE and IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground in a nose and right wing low attitude. It came to rest upright and the nose exhibited crush damage in the positive and aft direction which correlated to an eyewitness report of an almost 80 degrees nose down attitude. The airplane came to rest on a heading of 030 degrees. The initial impact location was identified by an approximately 2 feet deep crater, and one of the two wooden propeller blades was located within the crater. The other blade was located near the initial impact crater. The right wing outboard approximate one-half of the leading edge exhibited crush damage which was more pronounced at the wing tip.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Florida State Medical Examiner's Office, Pensacola, Florida conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot. The cause of death was "blunt impact to the head and neck."

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) conducted toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The tests were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. The drug test was positive for Norverapamil, Verapamil, Losartan, in urine and blood, which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina, and hypertension, all of which had been reported by the pilot.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to fuel records provided by the airport, the most recent fuel purchase by the pilot was for 1.94 gallons of fuel on April 16, 2012.

A review of the pilot's FAA medical records showed that on May 5, 2012, a letter was issued to the pilot that withdrew his medicate certificate issued on April 10, 2012; due to a recent change in the medication the pilot was consuming for his medical condition. The certified letter was delivered to the pilot's residence on May 10, 2012.

According to information provided by the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine, a letter from the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) reported that during the most recent medical exam the pilot told the AME that "…he was having great difficulty with longitudinal stability, and was unable to complete even one pattern after multiple attempts. More than one of these attempted test flights ended with forced landings, and damage to the aircraft such that it had to be carried back to his hangar for repair. He noted his weight gain caused him to be 'over gross' most likely causing his control problem." The AME further reported that he had "advised the pilot, as did other friends, to stop trying to fly this plane and simply get a larger aircraft capable of carrying him."

According to documentation located with the airplane maintenance records, a center of gravity calculations form was located. The form, dated June 2, 2011, indicated that the empty weight of the aircraft was 333 pounds, and that weight did not include the weight of the pilot or the fuel. The form also indicated that the center of gravity (CG) limits were 8.25 – 11.25 inches rear of datum and a maximum gross weight of 530 pounds. When calculating the weight, utilizing the pilot's most recent medical information and 2 gallons of fuel, the takeoff weight was 561.2 pounds with a CG of 11.14 inches rear of datum. When calculating the weight, as above, except with full fuel the takeoff weight was 588 pounds and a CG of 10.216 inches rear of datum.

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A)

Chapter 4, "Aerodynamics of Flight," states in part "Generally, an aircraft becomes less controllable, especially at slow flight speeds, as the CG is moved further aft. An aircraft which cleanly recovers from a prolonged spin with the CG at one position may fail completely to respond to normal recovery attempts when the CG is moved aft by one or two inches…"

Chapter 8, "Weight and Balance," states in part "Compliance with the weight and balance limits of any airplane is critical to flight safety. Operating an airplane above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of the airplane and adversely affects its performance…an overloaded airplane may not be able to leave the ground, or if it does become airborne, it may exhibit unexpected and unusually poor flight characteristics…excessive weight reduces the flight performance of an airplane in almost every respect. The most important performance deficiencies of the overloaded airplane are…higher stalling speed." The chapter goes on to state, in reference to CG "…if the CG is displaced too far aft on the longitudinal axis, a tail-heavy condition will result. It is possible that an unfavorable location of the CG could produce such an unstable condition that the pilot could not control the airplane…"


http://registry.faa.gov/N9001N

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA326
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2012 in DeFuniak Springs, FL
Aircraft: GUTIERREZ PABLINO HUMMEL BIRD, registration: N9001N
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 9, 2012, about 1110 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur built, Gutierrez Hummel Bird airplane, N9001N, registered and operated by an individual, sustained substantial damaged from ground impact at the DeFuniak Springs Airport (54J), DeFuniak Springs, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91, personal flight. The flight was originating at that time.

According to witnesses, they observed the pilot performing maintenance to the airplane prior to the flight. One of the witnesses stated that he observed the pilot conduct a lengthy preflight inspection before starting the engine by hand, followed by a ground engine run-up, and then taxi to runway 27. Witnesses observe the airplane accelerate, roll down the runway, rotate, and climb about 30 to 40 feet above the runway and then the airplane started varying its altitude. They watched as the airplane porpoise a few times as it continued to climb. When it reached an estimated altitude of 300 feet above the ground, it pitched nose high and rolled to the right. The airplane nose dived and collided with the ground nose first. The airplane came to rest on its main gear in the upright position facing 120 degrees from the departing runway.



Mary Gutierrez remembers her father as the intelligent, hardworking, kind man she knew him to be.

As the anniversary of 77-year-old Pablino Gutierrez’s death nears, she said she has begun to reflect on the type of life he lived before he was killed in a plane crash at DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport on May 9, 2012.

The crash is still under investigation.

 “He could have built anything and I would have gotten into that plane myself,” Mary Gutierrez said. “It was just his time, I guess. But people should know what a wonderful person he was.”

Pablino Gutierrez of Fort Walton Beach was killed in his single-engine Hummel Bird experimental aircraft he built in 2010.

Mary Gutierrez said her father had a passion for flying since he was a child, a strange love for the grandson of an Army man and the brother of a Navy man. She said he was unable to pass his eye exam, so his dream of being an Air Force pilot turned into a career as a weapons mechanic.

When he retired, he had earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 21 Air Medals.

On the day of he died, Gutierrez was testing the plane to fly in an air show a few weeks later. His daughter said he died doing what he loved most.

“He embraced flying from an early age and he instilled that passion in his family,” Gutierrez said. “The day of his accident, I got a call from my sister saying he’d been in an accident … Then she told me ‘he’s gone.’

“It was so unexpected. I mean, we had plans. It was like running into a brick wall going 60 mph. It knocks the wind out of you.”

Almost a year later, Mary Gutierrez and her family are still waiting for the National Transportation Safety Board’s final report.

According to the preliminary report, the plane took off and reached an altitude of about 300 feet when it nose-dived hit the ground. Gutierrez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mary Gutierrez said an autopsy revealed there was no medical emergency.

“It was not him physically, so it had to be something with the airplane,” she said. “I keep thinking, ‘Just give us the report, let us know what happened so we can assimilate that and move forward.’ ”


In Memory of Pablino Gutierrez:  http://obits.dignitymemorial.com

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

Smith Reynolds Airport (KINT), Winston Salem, North Carolina: Collapsed gear

(Taresh Moore/WXII) 


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —For the second time in two days, a small plane has crashed at a Triad airport.

The latest crash happened around 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.

No one was injured. It's unclear how many people were on board.

The Piper PA-28 Cherokee was forced to crash on runway 33, the main runway, due to issues with the landing gear, airport officials said.

The runway was closed Sunday afternoon.

Another small plane crashed Saturday morning at Piedmont Triad International Airport also due to landing gear issues. No one was injured in that crash.

Cessna 182C, N8721T: Accident occurred April 06, 2013 in McCone County, Montana

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA183
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 06, 2013 in Circle, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 182C, registration: N8721T
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot departed the private airstrip in visual flight rules conditions and proceeded south for 27 miles toward a small town. While near the town, he made a mobile phone call to a family member and reported that there was fog near the river (along his route of flight) but that it was clear on the other side. The mobile phone connection then dropped, and the pilot made no further communications. The airplane wreckage was located 22 miles south of the town where the pilot made the phone call. 

Examination of the airplane wreckage revealed damage and ground scars consistent with a high-energy vertical impact, and no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures was found that would have precluded normal operation. The local meteorological observations and satellite imagery indicated that the airplane likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), low clouds, and restricted visibility throughout the area about the time of the accident. The pilot had recently received his private pilot certificate, had accumulated 93 hours of total flight time, and did not hold an airplane instrument rating. The IMC combined with the pilot’s lack of instrument flight experience likely led to his becoming spatially disoriented, which resulted in the loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to continue flight into low visibility conditions. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 6, 2013, about 1045 mountain daylight time (MDT), a Cessna 182C, N8721T, collided with terrain 27 miles northwest of Circle, Montana. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Prarie Sky Inc, and was operated by the private pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91, personal flight. The airplane departed from a ranch airstrip located approximately 10 miles east of Lustre, Montana, about 1030, in visual meteorological conditions, and was destined for a private airstrip in Acton, Montana.

The pilot told his wife over the phone before he took off that it was a foggy morning but the fog was lifting, visibility had increased to 5 miles, and the weather was supposed to get better in the south. The pilot departed the private ranch air strip about 1030. At 1045, while near Wolf Point, Montanan, he made an airborne mobile phone call to his wife. Just before the mobile connection was dropped he told her that there was fog "just over the river" but it was clear on the other side. 

At 1430, concerned family members reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the airplane had never arrived at its intended destination of Acton, Montana. About 1830, the wreckage was located 27 miles northwest of Circle. There were no witnesses to the accident, and no reports of a distress call. Initial examination of the airplane wreckage revealed damage and ground scars consistent with a high energy vertical impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 38, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single engine land issued February 8, 2013, and a third-class medical certificate issued January 21, 2013, with no limitations. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had 93 hours of total flight time, and 27.5 hours in the accident airplane make and model. A flight review was completed on January 25, 2013, and high performance endorsement entered on February 16, 2013. The pilot did not hold an airplane instrument rating.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed landing gear airplane, serial number 52621, was manufactured in 1960. It was powered by a Continental Motors O-470-L(9)F, 230-hp engine equipped with a two blade McCauley constant speed propeller, model 2A34C203-C. A review of maintenance records showed that the most recent annual inspection was dated June 28, 2012, at a total aircraft time of 7,523.4 hours, and tach time of 100.4, and the engine time since major overhaul (TSMO) was 994.4 hours. The tach reading observed during the wreckage examination was 130.9. At the time of the accident the total airframe time was 7,553.9 hours, and the engine TSMO was 1,024.9 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Synoptic conditions: The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 0900 MDT on April 6, 2013, depicted a low pressure system over western Montana at 1007-hectopascals (hPa) with a stationary front extending southeastward across eastern Montana and into the Dakota's. The accident site was located immediately north of the frontal boundary, with a weak pressure gradient area over the area. The station models north and east of the front depicted northerly winds at 10 knots or less, with temperatures in the mid to upper 30's degrees Fahrenheit (F), with temperature-dew point temperatures of 4° or less. South and west of the stationary front winds were from the west, visibility unobstructed, with temperatures in the mid to upper 40's.

An Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) located at L.M. Clayton Airport (KOLF), Wolf Point, Montana, elevation of 1,989 feet mean sea level (msl), and a magnetic variation of 9° E, reported the following conditions: Wolf Point automated special weather observation at 1028 MDT, wind from 350° at 5 knots, ceiling was overcast at 1,500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 3° Celsius (C), dew point -1° C, altimeter 29.83 inches of mercury (inHg).

Wokal Field/Glasgow International Airport (KGGW), Glasgow, Montana, was located 42 miles west of KOLF at an elevation of 2,296 feet, and also had an ASOS and reported the following conditions:

0853 Instrument flight rules (IFR), wind from 010 degrees at 4 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast at 700 feet agl, temperature 03C, dew point 02C, altimeter 29.81 inHg

1053, IFR, wind from 020 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast at 700 feet agl, temperature 04C, dew point 02C, altimeter 29.82 inHg.

1153, IFR, wind from 280 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast at 900 feet agl, temperature 04C, dew point 02C, altimeter 29.82 inHg


Mesowest Data: An unofficial observation from a citizen weather observation program was obtained. An observation from Circle (D0807) located at 47.6012° N, 105.9653° W, or approximately 6 miles south of the accident site provided the following information at 0958 MDT: wind from the north at 5 knots, temperature 37° F, dew point 35.2° F, relative humidity 93 percent, and a sea level pressure 29.77 inHg. The close temperature-dew point spread and high relative humidity implied low visibility and/or cloud cover over the area.

Sounding: The closest sounding was from Glasgow. The 0600 MDT sounding depicted a surface based temperature inversion and another immediately above it to approximately 4,000 feet. The sounding indicated a relative humidity greater than 80 percent from the surface to 4,000 feet and supported low stratiform type clouds. The freezing level was identified at 4,900 feet agl or 7,200 feet msl. The wind profile indicated light surface wind, which increased above the temperature inversions to the west-northwest at 20 knots and greater. The mean 0 to 6 kilometer (18,000 feet) wind was from 302° at 25 knots. The wind profile supported the later development of mountain wave activity above 6,000 feet.

NWS In-Flight Weather Advisories: The following AIRMET was current over the area:
.
AIRMET, IFR, Montana, from 70 miles south of Swift Current, Canada (YYN), to 50 miles NNW Williston, ND (KISN) to 60 miles SSW Williston, ND (KISN) to 70 miles SW Glasgow (KGGW), to 70 south of Swift Current (YYN), ceiling below 1,000 feet agl, visibility below 3 statute miles and mist. Conditions end between 1200 and 1500. 


The observations and satellite imagery supports visual flight rules (VFR) flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) due to low clouds and restricted visibility. The NWS had an AIRMET current for IFR conditions with conditions improving between 1200 to 1500 MDT.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located on a gently sloped area of undisturbed prairie grass. Wreckage debris were spread along a 300-degree magnetic bearing line originating from the main wreckage area and extending out 141 feet. The debris along this line consisted of cockpit overhead structure, left and right wing skins, and portions of wing main spar. The cabin and fuselage structure were completely compressed into itself, and the tail remained the only airframe structure extending above the ground. The engine was embedded vertically in to the Montana gumbo clay soil all the way to the firewall, so that only the firewall wrapped accessory section was all that was identifiable above ground. 

All airplane components were located within the accident site. Wing skins from both the left and right wings in addition to spar sections were distributed along the 300-degree magnetic bearing line from the main wreckage, consistent with the direction of travel. The leading edges of both the left and right wings were crushed accordion style. The leading edge damage and the wing skin separation were consistent with the effects of hydraulic deformation of the fuel tanks and overload. All flight control cables were secured at their respective bell crank attach points. Control cables had been cut at multiple locations by first responders. Both ailerons were attached to their respective wing structure; both flaps were attached to their tracks; both elevators were attached to the horizontal stabilizer; and the rudder was attached to the vertical stabilizer. The elevator trim cables were pulled off their sprockets, resulting in unreliable elevator trim measurements.

A Garmin GPSMAP 396 unit was recovered from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination. Track log data dated from May 5, 2102, to March 31, 2013, was recovered from the unit. No track log data was identified correlating with the date of the accident. The GPS Factual Report is available in the official docket of this investigation.

On May 15, 2013, the engine was examined under the supervision of an FAA inspector. The engine was a rebuilt and zero timed by Teledyne Continental Motors on September 18, 1996. The last annual inspection was completed on June 28, 2012, at an engine time of 994.0 hours since rebuilt. The propeller governor and oil cooler were fractured free of the engine and not observed. The magnetos were fractured from their mount pads, but remained attached via the ignition harness. The engine and engine accessories exhibited impact damage. The inspection did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation and production of power.

Overall, the wreckage examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane or engine.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot April 9, 2013, by Forensic Medicine and Pathology, PLLC, Billings, Montana, as requested by the McCone County Sheriff. The cause of death was determined to be by severe acute blunt trauma. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Forensic Toxicology Research Team CAMI performed toxicology on the specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, ethanol, or selected drugs. Testing for cyanide was not performed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMAITON

Spatial Disorientation

Inadvertent VFR flight into IMC is discussed in the Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A).

"A VFR pilot is in IMC conditions anytime he or she is unable to maintain airplane attitude control by reference to the natural horizon, regardless of the circumstances or the prevailing weather conditions. Additionally, the VFR pilot is, in effect, in IMC anytime he or she is inadvertently, or intentionally for an indeterminate period of time, unable to navigate or establish geographical position by visual reference to landmarks on the surface. These situations must be accepted by the pilot involved as a genuine emergency, requiring appropriate action.

The pilot must understand that unless he or she is trained, qualified, and current in the control of an airplane solely by reference to flight instruments, he or she will be unable to do so for any length of time. Many hours of VFR flying using the attitude indicator as a reference for airplane control may lull a pilot into a false sense of security based on an overestimation of his or her personal ability to control the airplane solely by instrument reference. In VFR conditions, even though the pilot thinks he or she is controlling the airplane by instrument reference, the pilot also receives an overview of the natural horizon and may subconsciously rely on it more than the cockpit attitude indicator. If the natural horizon were to suddenly disappear, the untrained instrument pilot would be subject to vertigo, spatial disorientation, and inevitable control loss."

 
Darin Ray Brown


Obituary: Darin Ray Brown, age 38, of Acton, MT.  

July 2, 1974 – April 6, 2013
Darin Ray Brown, 38, of Acton, MT went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday April 6, 2013 as he was flying home from the Wolf Point farm.  He was born on July 2, 1974 to Dennis and Evonne Brown in Wolf Point.

Darin grew up on the family farm as the second of three boys and lived life with the motto of working hard and playing just as hard.  He loved to build and create which resulted in many learning experiences, many of which ended him up in the ER and on the prayer chain.  Darin loved farm life, riding motorcycles, driving fast, basketball and especially the cattle and animals.  He fell in love with flying and at age 16, earned his pilot’s license.  In spite of his adventuresome spirit, he had a tender heart especially towards the Lord and asked Jesus to take away his sins at the age of four.

He graduated from Lustre Christian High School in 1992 as valedictorian and went on to Montana State where he majored in Ag Tech. and minored in computers.  At college, he fell in love with his future farm girl, Sarah Kelm, and they were married on Nov. 23, 1996.  After graduation, he took her home to continue farming with his brothers and dad, with his main area being cattle. There, he started the bull sales for Brown Angus Ranch.   Darin was especially skilled in mechanics, welding, building, family relations and jobs that were high and dangerous. In 2007, Darin left the cattle and made the transition to farming in Acton, MT where he enjoyed more time working along side his dad.

Darin was blessed with his five kids and loved to include them in his everyday work, especially working with and training his boys in farm responsibilities and in being young men of Godly character.  Darin was always ready for wrestling with his kids, games, playing ball and snuggling with his girls.  He loved reading, days on the lake skiing, visiting with friends, skiing, a good debate and anything competitive.  Sarah and his kids were blessed first hand by his integrity, deep love for them and his joy in life.

Read more:  http://stevensonfuneralhomes.com


The pilot of a small plane was killed when the aircraft crashed Saturday in the northern part of McCone County on private land.

In a Sunday news release, the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death of Darin Ray Brown, 38. It said Brown did not survive the crash of his Cessna 182.

Officials said Saturday that Brown departed Brown Farms from a rural airstrip near Wolf Point at 10:30 a.m. and was last heard from between 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. when he talked to his wife while flying over Wolf Point.

Brown was expected to arrive at his destination at a farm near Acton in Yellowstone County at about 1:30 p.m., officials said. He was reported missing at 2:45 p.m.

Brown’s flight plan indicated that he intended to fly toward Circle, then west to Coakley Road near Acton, 15 miles northwest of Billings.

The McCone County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the crash but did not provide more details of the crash on Sunday morning.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, registration is pending for the fixed wing, single-engine Cessna at an address in Acton. The plane's owner is not listed due to the pending registration.

McCone County Sheriff Davis Harris and sheriff's deputies, the Redwater Valley Ambulance Service and the McCone County Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene of the crash


http://registry.faa.gov/N8721T

http://billingsgazette.com 

UPDATE: The McCone County Sheriff's Office says it is responding to reports of a crashed plane in the county. They could not release any further information at this time.
____________________________________________________

BILLINGS-The Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office is seeking the assistance of the public in locating a missing airplane.

The plane, piloted by 38-year-old Darin Ray Brown, took off from a rural airstrip northwest of Wolf Point on Saturday morning for a planned trip to Yellowstone County, but did not reach its destination.

According to the Roosevelt County Sheriff's office, a flight plan indicated that Brown intended to fly towards Circle, Montana then west to a farm near Acton about 15 miles northwest of Billings.

The sheriff's office says Brown took off from Brown Farms at 10:30 a.m. and was last heard from between 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. when he talked to his wife in Acton while flying over Wolf Point.

The plane is described as being a blue Cessna 182 with a white tail. The tail number of the airplane is N8721T.

The plane was officially reported as missing shortly before 3 p.m.. After the report was taken, a search for the plane and Brown began by air.

Brown is described as being 5'10", 180 lbs. with brown hair and blue eyes.

Residents in the area of the indicated flight plan are asked to check their property for the plane and Brown.

If you do happen to find the plane or Brown, have information regarding the plane's whereabouts or remember seeing the plane earlier in the day you are asked to call Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office Deputy Clay McGeshick at 406-652-6240.


http://www.ktvq.com