Monday, July 22, 2013

Stoddard-Hamilton GlaStar, N130GS: Accident occurred July 22, 2013 in Independence, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA336 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 2013 in Independence, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2014
Aircraft: WESTER/STEIGER GLASTAR, registration: N130GS
Injuries: 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 on final approach, the engine experienced a total loss of power and that he unsuccessfully attempted to restart it. He initiated a forced landing to a field, and, during the landing, the left float folded underneath the fuselage. Postaccident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Fuel was found on board, and it was not contaminated. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examinations did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

On July 22, 2013 about 1440 Pacific daylight time, an amphibious float equipped experimental-amateur built Wester/Steiger Glastar, N130GS, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in a field about 3 miles south of Independence State Airport (7S5), Independence, Oregon. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The cross-country flight originated from Charles M. Shultz-Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa, California, at 1100 with an intended destination of 7S5.

The pilot reported in a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) that while he was on a straight and final approach to runway 34, about 1,300 feet, the engine lost power. The pilot moved the throttle, turned the fuel boost pump on, and executed the emergency checklist. Despite his efforts, he could not restart the engine and initiated a forced landing to an open cropped field. During the landing, the left float folded underneath the fuselage and the airplane came to rest upright. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, and revealed the left wing upper surface was buckled and the fuselage was damaged near the float to fuselage attach points. Continuity was obtained from the cockpit engine controls to the engine. Fuel samples from both wing tanks tested negative for contaminates and debris. The fuel was blue in color and was consistent with Avgas. Both the fuel boost pump and fuel transfer pump were turned on and both made audible indications of normal operation. The engine cowling was removed and revealed no signs of fuel or oil leakage. No anomalies were noted during the visual inspection of the engine. The propeller assembly was rotated by hand and had a resistance consistent with cylinder pressure. 

According to the FAA inspector, the pilot reported that he had planned a 3 hour 30 minute flight and had a total of 50 gallons of fuel onboard. The pilot estimated a fuel burn rate of about 10.5 gallons per hour, totaling 36.75 gallons of fuel. 

During the wreckage recovery process, 7.5 gallons of fuel was drained from the wing tanks. The fuel selector was found in the OFF position.

According to the airplane logbooks, on March 30, 2002, a header tank system was installed on the airplane which would make all fuel within the wing fuel tanks usable.

http://registry.faa.gov/N130GS

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA336
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 2013 in Independence, OR
Aircraft: WESTER W G/STEIGER E R GLASTAR, registration: N130GS
Injuries: 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 July 22, 2013 about 1440 Pacific daylight time, an experimental-amateur built Wester W. G./Steiger E. R. Glastar, N130GS, sustained substantial damage after a forced landing in a field about 3 miles south of Independence State Airport (7S5), Independence, Oregon. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Santa Rosa, California with a destination in the Seattle, Washington area.

According to the pilot, the airplane was equipped with amphibious floats. He was about 2,000 feet above the ground, flying a straight in approach to runway 34 at 7S5, when the engine experienced a loss of power. The pilot subsequently made a forced landing to a field where during the landing roll, the left float folded underneath the fuselage. The left wing sustained substantial damage and had buckled skin at the wings upper mid-section.



 A California man and his 16-year-old son were uninjured when their plane crashed into a wheat field in Independence Monday afternoon, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert DeHoney left Santa Rosa, Calif. Monday morning with plans refuel at the Independence Airport on his way to the San Juan Islands.

Around 3 p.m., DeHoney was making his approach into the airport when his 1999 Glastar Experimental lost power. He told deputies he circled the area looking for a body of water large enough for him to land. When he couldn’t find one, he landed the wheat field.

The plane sustained minor damage.

DeHoney and his son were given a ride to the Independence Airport where they made arrangements to continue their trip.

Air Tractor AT-802A, N86BM: Accident occurred July 19, 2013 in Huntingburg, Indiana

http://registry.faa.gov/N86BM

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA424
 14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, July 19, 2013 in Huntingburg, IN
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-802A, registration: N86BM
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 July 19, 2013, about 1030 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-802A airplane, N86BM, impacted terrain after striking a pair of suspended power lines during low altitude maneuvering near the Huntingburg Airport (KHNB), Huntingburg, Indiana. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by Milhon Air, Inc under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from KHNB at an unknown time.

The pilot was on his final application run and was flying on an easterly heading. According to witnesses, the airplane struck two suspended power lines and subsequently impacted terrain about 1 ½ miles east of KHNB. After the airplane impacted terrain, it continued towards and came to rest in a group of trees located next to a lake.

Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the scene and retained the wreckage for further examination. The inspectors noted that the power lines ran north-south across the flight path on the east side of the field.

The automated weather reporting station located at KHNB reported at 1035: wind from 230 degrees at 11 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 82 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 72 degrees F, and a barometric pressure of 30.07 inches of mercury.



 HUNTINGBURG, Ind. — The pilot of a crop dusting plane, which crashed Friday near the Huntingburg Conservation Club lake, 8727 W. 100 West, has been identified as 53-year-old John A. Layne of Danville, according to Indiana State Police.
Layne remained at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville on Monday, where he was listed in fair condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The conservation club has remained closed since the accident.

The wreckage of the single-engine Air Tractor AT-802A registered to Martinsville-based Milhon Air, Inc. was removed Saturday, according to club board member Leonard Gehlhausen Jr. Soil at the site containing spilled fuel and pesticide was to have been removed as well, but the work was delayed.

Members of the private club southeast of Huntingburg are concerned that weekend rains may have caused contaminants to run into the lake.

As a safety precaution, the club is closed until the results of tests on the water are learned, possibly Friday, Gehlhausen said.

The club does not have an estimate of the damage caused to the property, Gehlhausen said. The plane took out several small trees and left a gash in the earth.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.


Source:  http://www.courierpress.com


Widow of skydiver speaks out against extreme sports


Tatiana Zaitsev speaks with CTV's Dana Levenson about the danger of extreme sports. On Sunday July 21, Zaitsev's husband Igor fell to his death in a skydiving accident.
 (CTV News)


Dana Levenson speaks with the family of a 42-year-old skydiver from Etobicoke, who left behind a 3-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son.

The grieving widow of an Etobicoke man who fell to his death during a skydiving accident on Sunday is warning people about the risks of extreme sports.

Igor Zaitsev, 42, was an advanced parachute student who had already completed 12 skydives this season. He fell to his death during a 5,500 foot skydive in Georgina, Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m.

“Please don’t use extreme sports,” Zaitsev’s wife said. “It’s very dangerous and think about the people who are behind you -- kids, mothers, fathers, people who love you.”

Zaitsev left behind a three-year-old daughter, a 19-year-old son and wife Tatiana.

Zaitsev’s family members said he loved extreme sports. In addition to skydiving, he also skied in winter.

Dimitry Zaitsev, 19, says he’s not blaming anyone for his father’s death.

“He was a hard working guy. He loved to read, he loved learn new things,” Zaitsev said.

Adam Mabee, president of the Parachute School of Toronto, said that when he saw Zaitsev’s jump, his parachute was turning in a circle and the lines of the parachute were twisted.

“He didn’t have control of the parachute so getting back to the landing area here wasn’t really in the cards,” Mabee said.

Mabee said he had radio contact with Zaitsev right up to the very end and added that Zaitsev did not pack his own parachute.

According to the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association’s website, “every student shall receive a safety check by an instructor or coach prior to boarding the aircraft.”

Police are investigating to determine why he failed to make his landing properly and say it could be weeks before the investigation is concluded.

Story, Photos and Video:  http://toronto.ctvnews.ca

Woman accused of taking $35,000 in parts from Hiatt Airport (N97), Thomasville, North Carolina

A 17-year-old woman has been charged with stealing pieces of an airplane from an airport located south of Thomasville.

Correy Rae Prince of 336 Myrtle Drive, Apt. B., Thomasville, has been charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, felony obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor larceny. She was given a $10,000 unsecured bond and a court date of Aug. 28.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office alleges in an arrest warrant that Prince stole mufflers, fuel tanks, nose gear, electrical wire, steel plates and other miscellaneous metals all valued at $35,000 from the Hiatt Airport at 701 Myrtle Drive. 


Deputies further allege Prince sold miscellaneous items as scrap metal for $510.24 from a recycling center in Thomasville.

Source:   http://www.the-dispatch.com

Southwest Airlines Plane's Nosegear Collapses During Landing at LaGuardia: WSJ

Updated July 22, 2013, 7:31 p.m. ET

By PERVAIZ SHALLWANI  And  TED MANN


The Wall Street Journal


The landing gear of a Southwest Airlines jet collapsed after it landed at New York's LaGuardia Airport Monday evening, injuring at least 10 passengers and temporarily closing one of the nation's busiest airports, authorities said.

The Boeing 737, with 149 people onboard, including the crew, had just landed at LaGuardia around 5:45 p.m. and was taxiing when a front wheel apparently popped off, said a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. Photographs and video showed the plane resting on its nose, its tail in the air, with emergency crews gathered around it.


Six passengers were transported to a hospital, and four were treated at the scene for back and neck pain, the spokesman said. Four others suffered anxiety attacks. Authorities said the plane didn't catch on fire.

The flight's crew reported possible landing-gear issues before landing, after a roughly 3½ hour flight from Nashville International Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information about the incident. Southwest Airlines issued a statement confirming the incident but provided no details.

The incident caused delays for dozens of flights in and out of La Guardia, with delays rippling out across the country, authorities said. By about 7:06 p.m., authorities had opened one of the airport's two runways.

Matt Lewis, 48, a software salesman from Matthews, N.C., said he was on a US Airways flight that was about to take off for Charlotte when his plane was grounded and more than a dozen other planes were brought to a dead halt in and around the runway. "It looked like it just crumbled on impact," Mr. Lewis said of the airliner's nose landing gear.

—Jon Ostrower contributed to this article.


Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, JLS Aviation, N61954: Accident occurred July 22, 2013 in Fredericksburg, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA330
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 2013 in Fredericksburg, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N61954
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.

About 30 minutes before the flight, the pilot reserved the airplane to complete “pattern work.” The pilot's fiancée arrived at the airport as the pilot was walking toward the airplane, and, following a brief altercation, the pilot boarded the airplane and took off. About that time, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the airport because they had been notified by the pilot’s fiancée that she believed the pilot intended to commit suicide. The deputies, fiancée, and flight instructor subsequently observed the airplane maneuver erratically before climbing to an altitude of about 3,000 feet. The airplane then pitched down into a near-vertical descent. The witnesses reported hearing the engine increase to “full” power. The airplane impacted the ground at high speed and then burst into flames. Although the wreckage was significantly fragmented and fire-damaged, no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation were observed. The pilot had been diagnosed with “severe recurrent major depression” about 7 weeks before the accident and was subsequently prescribed an antidepressant and advised to seek counseling. The medical examiner determined that the manner of death was “suicide.” Postmortem toxicological testing of the pilot’s remains revealed the presence of ethanol; however, the investigation was unable to determine if preflight ethanol ingestion played a role in pilot’s decision-making.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's intentional descent into the ground to commit suicide.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 22, 2013, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N61954, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while maneuvering near Shannon Airport (EZF), Fredericksburg, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was operated by a flight school located at EZF. A flight instructor who worked for the flight school stated that he had met the event flight pilot about 3 months prior, and had performed a checkout flight with the pilot so that he could rent the flight school's airplanes. The pilot had subsequently flown the school's airplanes several times between the date of the checkout and the event flight.

About 1754 on the day of the flight, the pilot utilized the flight school's internet-based computerized scheduling system to reserve the flight in the airplane, with the stated intention of completing "pattern work." He arrived at the airport shortly thereafter. The flight instructor who had previously flown with the pilot was at the flight school at the time, preparing for an upcoming flight with another student. According to the flight instructor, he and the pilot had a brief conversation about work, their recent flying activities, and the current weather conditions. The flight instructor reported that the pilot seemed to be in good spirits and was not otherwise behaving abnormally. After retrieving the paperwork required to check-out the airplane, and obtaining the keys from where they were normally secured, the pilot said goodbye to the instructor and proceeded to the airplane.

About that time, local law enforcement had been advised by the pilot's fiancée that she believed he intended to commit suicide, based on her previous interactions with him and a note she discovered in her home. The pilot's fiancée arrived at the airport as the pilot was walking to the airplane, and following a brief altercation, the pilot boarded the airplane and took off. Sheriff's deputies then arrived at the airport, and observed the brief flight along with the pilot's fiancée and the flight instructor.

After taking off, the pilot performed a low pass down the runway and then began maneuvering erratically in the vicinity of the airport. The pilot then climbed to an estimated altitude of 3,000 feet before he pitched down and descended in a near-vertical attitude. During the descent, the engine sounded as if it were producing "full" power, and the airplane subsequently impacted the ground about 200 feet northwest of the runway and erupted into flames.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 22, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. According to records provided by the operator, the pilot had accumulated about 165 total hours of flight experience as of May 2013. The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration first-class medical certificate was issued on February 19, 2011 with the limitation, "must wear corrective lenses."

According to personal medical records, the pilot had been diagnosed with "severe recurrent major depression" about 7 weeks prior to the accident. The pilot was subsequently prescribed an anti-depressant and advised to seek counseling.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather conditions reported at EZF at 1835 included, 10 statute miles visibility, scattered clouds at 3,700, 4,400, and 6,000 feet, a temperature of 32 degrees C, a dew point of 23 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.77 inches of mercury. The winds were not reported.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest inverted and a post-impact fire consumed the fuselage. The engine was embedded approximately 4 feet in the ground. The left and right wings were crushed aft, uniformly along their entire span. Both fuel tanks had ruptured, and the upper wing skins covering the fuel tanks were found approximately 60 feet in front of the fuselage.

Partial control cable continuity was established due to fragmentation of the wreckage and cable cuts made by recovery personnel. The left and right aileron bell crank assemblies were separated from the wings which were impact and fire damaged. The aileron cables remained attached to the bell cranks and were continuous to the forward floor assembly area where they had been cut by first responders. The aileron carry through cable remained continuous from the left to the right aileron bell crank. Elevator control cable continuity was established from the forward bell crank assembly, which was impact separated from the base of the control column, to the aft bell crank assembly; one elevator cable was fractured in tension overload in the forward floor assembly area. Rudder control cable continuity was established from the aft rudder bell crank assembly to the forward floor assembly area where the cables had been cut by first responders. Elevator trim control cable continuity was established from the aft tail cone to the forward drive chain assembly, which was separated from the fire-damaged control wheel. One of the elevator trim cables had been cut by first responders in the forward floor assembly area.

The left and right fuel tanks displayed hydraulic deformation. The fuel selector handle was separated from the fuel selector valve. The fuel selector detent ball created a metal smear witness mark on the top of the fuel selector valve indicating the valve was in the "Both" position at the time of impact.

The engine sustained significant impact-related damage. The top four spark plugs were removed and exhibited normal color and wear. The starter ring gear was bent aft and wrapped around the crankcase, which prevented manual rotation of the crankshaft. 

The propeller had separated from the crankshaft propeller flange at its mounting points. One propeller blade was fractured and separated from the hub. Both propeller blades exhibited twisting, leading edge damage, and chordwise scratches. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Virginia. The listed cause of death was "blunt force trauma." The manner of death was determined to be suicide.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing on the pilot. The testing detected the presence of ethanol in the muscle and liver samples submitted in concentrations of 67 and 31 milligrams per deciliter, respectively. The testing also detected an unquantified amount of Citalopram and Di-N-desmethylcitalopram in the liver and muscle samples submitted.

http://registry.faa.gov/N61954

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA330
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 22, 2013 in Fredericksburg, VA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N61954
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 July 22, 2013, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N61954, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while maneuvering near Shannon Airport (EZF), Fredericksburg, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The local personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The accident airplane was operated by a flight school located at EZF. A flight instructor who worked for the flight school stated that he had met the accident pilot about 3 months before the accident, and had performed a checkout flight with the pilot so that he could rent the flight school’s airplanes. The pilot had subsequently flown the school’s airplanes several times between the date of the checkout and the accident flight.

About 1754 on the day of the accident, the accident pilot utilized the flight school’s internet-based computerized scheduling system to reserve a flight in the accident airplane. He arrived at the airport shortly thereafter. The flight instructor who had previously flown with the accident pilot was at the flight school at the time, preparing for an upcoming flight with another student. According to the flight instructor, he and the pilot had a brief conversation about work, their recent flying activities, and the current weather conditions. The flight instructor reported that the pilot seemed to be in good spirits and was not otherwise behaving abnormally. After retrieving the paperwork required to dispatch the airplane, along with the keys from where they were normally secured, the pilot said goodbye to the instructor and proceeded to the airplane.

The flight instructor next saw the accident airplane as it performed a low pass down the runway and then began maneuvering erratically in the vicinity of the airport. The airplane then climbed to an estimated altitude of 3,000 feet before it pitched down and descended in a near-vertical attitude. During the descent, the engine sounded as if it were producing “full” power, and the airplane subsequently impacted the ground about 200 feet northwest of the runway.


 UPDATE: National Transportation Safety Administration Air Safety Investigator Dennis J. Diaz arrived at Shannon Airport this morning. He discussed his probe into the plane crash on Monday that killed 22-year-old Spotsylvania County resident Edwin G. Hassel. 

Anyone who witnessed Monday’s crash is asked to contact the National Transportation Safety Board.  People can email their contact information or provide a statement to witness@NTSB.gov.






 



 





Virginia State Police this morning named Edwin G. Hassel, 22, of Spotsylvania County, as the person killed in a single-engine plane crash just off the runway at Shannon Airport in Spotsylvania County on Monday.

The plane crashed shortly before 6:30 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have investigators on scene today as the investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the crash of the Cessna 172M plane.

The plane was flying in the air near the airport when it made a rapid descent and crashed to the ground, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. The impact of the crash caused the plane to catch fire.

“State police are looking into suicide as being a factor in the cause of the crash,” Geller said in a statement this morning.

That fits with reports from the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office on Monday. Capt. Jeff Pearce said dispatchers had received a call about a pilot threatening suicide. Deputies were on the scene by the time the plane crashed.

The investigation is continuing today.
========
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. (WTVR) — Virginia State Police are investigating suicide as a factor in a deadly plane crash Monday night in Spotsylvania County.

Police were called to the Shannon Airport just after 6:30 p.m. after a  Cessna 172M flying near the airport made a rapid descent and crashed to the ground.

The impact of the crash caused the plane to catch fire. The pilot, 22-year-old Edwin G. Hassel of Fredericksburg, died in the crash.

The smoldering debris and mangled metal in front of two trooper cruisers was all that was left of a small Cessna.

“He was about 2000 feet up and took a nose dive straight into the ground,” said an eyewitness and flight student named “Charlie” who didn’t want to reveal his last name. “I’m just in shock, man.” 

[READ MORE: Pilot dies in fiery Spotsylvania plane crash]

State police said Tuesday that suicide may have been a factor in the crash. The FAA and NTSB are also investigating the crash. 


BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE-STAR 

James Stover was in a Cessna 172 with a student pilot flying back to Shannon Airport shortly before 6:30 p.m Monday when he spotted an identical plane taking off.

He had heard nothing on the radio from the other pilot beforehand, which was odd, he said, since pilots warn of what they’re doing near airports.

Stover, owner of JLS Aviation Flight School, then called out to the pilot over the radio but got no response.

 “At that point, I knew something was profoundly wrong,” Stover said.

He took the controls of his Cessna from his student to change course to evade the other plane.

When it looked like the other plane had left the area, Stover let his student land their plane. They were safely on the runway and had turned around their aircraft when the other plane suddenly crashed—apparently intentionally.

Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said dispatchers got calls about someone threatening suicide, shortly before the crash.

Deputies were on scene before it happened and fire and rescue units were en route when the single-engine aircraft with a 40-gallon fuel capacity burst into flames. Wreckage stretched from the hayfield on Slaughter Pen Farm, onto the runway and across to the other side.

Stover said he realized the other plane crashed when he saw the flames off to his right.

Only one person was aboard the four-seat plane that crashed, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

She withheld the man’s identity as of press time as police sought to notify his nearest relatives. People on the scene said he had lived in the Fredericksburg area.

A woman witnesses described as the man’s fiancée was at the airport before the crash and for hours afterward speaking to police.

Virginia State Police were heading the investigation into the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Administration were also notified.

RECENT FATALITIES

The last fatal crash near Shannon Airport occurred in September 2012.

Two Stafford County residents, a 48-year-old FBI employee and his 13-year-old son, were killed Sept. 29, 2012, when their single-engine Cessna crashed shortly after takeoff from Shannon. The plane crashed into the River Heights mobile-home park, located just across Tidewater Trail from the airport runway. No one on the ground was injured, and no homes were damaged.

A preliminary report said the plane nosedived “following an in-flight loss of control during initial climb from Shannon Airport.”

The cause of that crash remains unclear. The NTSB has not issued its final report. Those reports can take 12 to 18 months to complete.

According to The Free Lance–Star’s archives, the 2012 accident was the first fatality at Shannon Airport since 2006, when William Mitchell Strother crashed his single-seat plane into an adjacent field. Although there have been several other crashes at the airport since 1990, the next-most-recent fatality was a skydiving accident in 1980.

WITNESSES TO TRAGEDY
Charlie, a Spotsylvania resident and recent graduate of Liberty University who did not want his full name used, arrived at the airport for his evening flight lesson about 6:25 p.m. Monday.

He saw the Cessna flying erratically and, like Stover, immediately knew something was wrong.

He hopes to become a Marine aviator and realized that career could put him face-to-face with death but never expected to see it so soon.

He couldn’t find sufficient words for what he witnessed.

Stover leased the plane that crashed to the pilot. He said the aircraft had recently been overhauled and everything was working properly.

He said it was checked out before the man took it for a flight.

He said the pilot called earlier that evening to reserve the plane for a flight.

The man had gotten his pilot’s license last year and had flown out of Shannon before, Stover said.

“There was nothing abnormal about the checkout or anything prior to that that led us to believe there was anything suspicious,” Stover said.

But Monday evening, witnesses saw that pilot “buzz the runway” and make other erratic moves.

When Stover found himself on an “intersecting course” with the plane, he knew there was trouble.

“That’s when I said something is terribly wrong.”

Within minutes, he’d witnessed the tragedy.

“It’s never good to watch somebody die,” he said.

It was even harder knowing it was someone from within the small community of pilots.

He estimated that only about 20 percent of people who seek to become a pilot succeed.

Why Monday’s tragedy happened, he couldn’t say.

All he knew was “it’s heartbreaking.”

—Editor Betty Hayden Snider contributed to this report.

Story, photos, comments/reaction:  http://news.fredericksburg.com


Spotsylvania County firefighters douse the smoking wreckage of a small plane that crashed at Shannon Airport Monday evening. At least one person was killed.
Photo Courtesy/Credit:  Reza A. Marvashti / Free Lance-Star




Little is left of the plane that crashed at Shannon Airport Monday evening. 
PHOTO  COURTESY/CREDIT:  PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE-STAR




7:55 p.m. update:   The Virginia State Police say a single-engine plane was flying in the air near the airport when it “crash landed” near a runway at Shannon Airport Monday evening. 

The plane caught on fire upon impact. 

The pilot, the plane’s sole occupant, was killed. His name will be released after his family has been notified.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the crash. 


The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

7:30 p.m. update: The wreckage is in a field just south of the runway at Shannon Airport.


Spotsylvania County authorities and fire and rescue crews and Virginia state troopers are on the scene. 

State police will be taking the lead in the investigation. A medical examiner has arrived at the scene.

A man was killed in a single-plane crash near Shannon Airport this evening, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said.

Deputies had responded to the airport after dispatchers received a call about someone threatening suicide, Pearce said.

Deputies saw the plane take off and make a couple of passes before  they saw it go straight up and straight down,  Pearce said.

The call came in about 6:25 p.m. and the crash happened shortly afterward, Pearce said.

Pearce did not know whether more than one person was on board.

Two Stafford County residents, a 48-year-old FBI employee and his 13-year-old son, were killed Sept. 29, 2012, when their single-engine Cessna crashed shortly after takeoff from Shannon Airport. The plane crashed into the nearby River Heights mobile home park, but no one on the ground was injured, and no homes were damaged.

A preliminary report said the plane nose-dived “following an in-flight loss of control during initial climb from Shannon Airport.” What that loss of control was and what caused it remains unclear. The NTSB has not issued its final report, and those can take 12 to 18 months to complete.

According to The Free Lance–Star’s archives, the 2012 accident was the first fatality at Shannon Airport since 2006, when Mitchell Strother crashed his single-seat plane into an adjacent field. Although there have been several other crashes at the airport since 1990, the next-most-recent fatality was a skydiving accident in 1980.

Bell UH-1H Iroquois, Billings Flying Service, N775AR: Accident occurred July 16, 2013 in Dove Creek, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA415 
 14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Dove Creek, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: BELL UH-1H, registration: N775AR
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 helicopter pilot flew inbound to a seismic survey location hoisting a basket load with a long-line rope. The pilot overshot the intended drop site, and the basket load and long-line impacted the ground after the pilot likely initiated a load release. The helicopter then entered a right bank, followed by a steep left bank, and subsequently impacted the ground.

Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed evidence consistent with a loss of hydraulic fluid from the flight control system due to a hydraulic leak of a check valve fitting near the tail rotor servo. As the pilot approached the survey location, the loss of hydraulic pressure most likely resulted in very-high collective control forces and pilot-induced oscillations. The director of maintenance stated that the pilot and a mechanic were aware of the hydraulic fluid leak and had ordered replacement parts; however, they had not yet been installed. He stated that they did not expect the leak to cause a significant issue. Thus, it is likely that they did not foresee the leak causing a significant flight hazard.

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

Pilot-induced oscillations caused by the loss of hydraulic assist of the flight controls due to an excessive loss of hydraulic fluid during a critical phase of flight, which resulted in ground impact. Contributing to the accident was an inadequate analysis of the hydraulic fluid leak by the pilot and mechanic.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 16, 2013, about 0955 mountain daylight time, a Tamarack UH-1H helicopter, N775AR, was substantially damaged after a loss of control and ground impact near Dove Creek, Colorado. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to BVDS Incorporated and operated by Billings Flying Service under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 during a seismic survey operation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan from a staging area near Dove Creek, Colorado, about 0953.

According to ground witnesses at the survey location, the pilot flew inbound to their location from the left seat, hoisting a basket load with a long line rope. The pilot overshot the intended drop site and the basket load impacted the ground, followed immediately by the 150 foot long line falling straight down onto the basket load. At about the same time, the helicopter entered into a right bank, followed by a left bank. The helicopter subsequently impacted the ground in a steep left bank.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 27, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single and multiengine land, airplane instrument, and rotorcraft-helicopter ratings. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate, with airplane single and multi-engine and rotorcraft-helicopter ratings, as well as a mechanic airframe and power plant certificate. On June 24, 2013, the pilot was issued a Class 2 medical certificate, with no restrictions. A review of the pilot's flight records indicated that he had logged over 5,000 hours total flight time, with over 1,800 hours in the make and model of the accident helicopter. During the seven days prior to the accident, the pilot had flown the accident helicopter about 15 flight hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident helicopter, originally manufactured in 1965 by Bell Helicopter, Inc., was equipped with a Lycoming T53-L-13B engine, composite main rotor blades and BLR Aerodynamic Solutions Tailboom Strakes and Fast Fin System. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the helicopter to be flown from the left seat and issued a restricted type certificate (TC) to Tamarack Helicopters, Inc., which authorized agricultural, forest/wildlife, and external load operations.

Following extensive maintenance and refurbishment by Billings Flying Service, the helicopter was released for maintenance test flights on June 5, 2013. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had flown a total of 14,798 hours, which included 41 flight hours after completion of the refurbishment.

The helicopter was operating about 700 pounds (lbs.) below performance limit capability for a 50 foot out of ground (OGE) hover as the pilot approached the survey location. The basic helicopter weight, as documented in the Form B aircraft weighing record, was 5,240 lbs. Total helicopter weight was about 8,000 lbs., based on an estimated 2,000 lbs. basket load, 500 lbs. fuel load, 180 lbs. pilot weight, and 80 lbs. of miscellaneous tools/personal gear. As calculated with the FAA-approved operator manual supplement hover chart, the maximum weight for a 50 foot OGE hover was about 8,700 lbs.

METEORLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather observation station at Cortez Municipal Airport (KCEZ), Cortez, Colorado, located about 21 miles to the south of the accident site, reported the following conditions at 0953: wind 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 8,500 feet, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 12 C, altimeter setting 30.25. Density altitude (DA) conditions at the accident site location were about 9,500 feet, based on an accident site elevation of 7,630 feet and a standard temperature lapse rate from the KCEZ observation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The helicopter impacted into relatively flat, bush covered terrain and was found resting on its left side. The main fuselage had significant crushing to the nose section and left side. The skids exhibited bending to the left forward crosstube consistent with a left bank nose down attitude at ground impact.

Both composite main rotor blades were attached to the main rotor hub through blade bolts and drag braces. Each blade exhibited damage consistent with ground contact while rotating. The main rotor hub was intact except that the pitch horn from one main rotor blade had separated from its main rotor grip consistent with ground impact forces. The mast remained attached to the main rotor hub assembly and to the transmission. The main transmission chip detector was removed and exhibited no debris or chips. No pre-impact anomalies were observed with the main rotor hub, composite blades, or mast.

The flight controls and hydraulics system exhibited extensive damage from impact. The helicopter was equipped with dual flight controls. The pilot was flying from the left seat, with instrumentation on the left pilot door for external load operations. The pilot's cyclic stick and collective stick exhibited fractures consistent with overload near their mounting locations. The rotating controls exhibited continuity to the stabilizer bar and to each pitch change link and pitch horn. The hydraulic pump was removed from the hydraulic drive quill on the sump case and the splined driveshaft was intact. The splined driveshaft was rotated with pliers and minimal resistance occurred.

Engine examination revealed compressor shroud metal spray on the aft side of the 2nd stage power turbine, consistent with operation at the time of impact. Evidence of engine rotation at the time of impact included rotational scoring and tearing on the inner diameter of the particle separator housing assembly, as well as first stage axial compressor blades either broken from the drive hub or exhibiting rotational scoring/leading edge damage.

A follow on airframe examination was conducted at the salvage location. The left and right hydraulic servos were intact and the frame mounts exhibited multiple fractures consistent with overload. Due to the airframe structure damage, many hydraulic lines were fractured due to overload forces. No chafed hydraulic lines were observed.

The hydraulic switch was observed in the ON position. This hydraulic switch, located on the far right side of center pedestal, is out of immediate reach for a pilot flying from the left seat.

Light bulb filaments from the cockpit main annunciator panel, instrument panel annunciators, and pilot's auxiliary annunciator were examined for filament stretch with a USB connected microscope. Both of the bulb filaments for the hydraulic pressure annunciator light, as well as the single bulb filament for the auxiliary master caution light, appeared to be stretched. The remainder of the annunciator system bulb filaments did not appear to be stretched. Filament stretch of the hydraulic pressure annunciator and auxiliary master caution light bulbs was confirmed by the Bell Helicopter engineering laboratory.

Several hydraulic fluid drips were observed on hydraulic lines. A hydraulic check valve near the tail rotor control actuator servo could be rotated by hand between solid hydraulic lines and fittings. The hydraulic check valve and proximate hydraulic pressure line were intact and connected to undistorted walls in the aft belly compartment. In this same compartment, several rags were found soaked with hydraulic oil.

The external cargo hook was tested and responded accordingly when commanded to release both electrically and mechanically. The cargo hook electrical switch and manual cargo hook release could not be tested, due to damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On July 27, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by a forensics pathologist at the Ertel Mortuary, Cortez, Colorado, as authorized by the Dolores County Coroner. The cause of death was attributed to blunt force injuries. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. No carbon monoxide, ethanol, or drugs were detected during testing.

The pilot was wearing a headset, vice a helmet, during the accident sequence. The left seat, which the pilot was flying from, was equipped with a seat belt and shoulder harness. The seat belt right side attachment fitting was fractured. The shoulder harness was not connected to the seat belt and the straps were not restrained within the guide at the top of the seat.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Hydraulic system components were examined and tested at the Bell Helicopter engineering laboratory, with oversight by FAA and NTSB personnel. Hydraulic bench testing revealed that the right cyclic, left cyclic, and collective hydraulic servos operated normally and did not exhibit evidence that would preclude normal operation prior to the accident. Testing of the hydraulic control panel, filter, and pump revealed no anomalies or leakage. Of the various hydraulic fixed lines and flexible hoses that were in a condition that allowed for testing, none exhibited evidence of leakages with the exception of two components: a leak was observed with one hydraulic return line near the transmission, as well as a leak to the hydraulic check valve/pressure line to the tail rotor control actuator servo near bulkhead station 211.

The hydraulic return line located near the transmission had 45 degree shear laps in the flareless fitting due to removed tubing material that allowed the sleeve to lap over itself during tightening. It could not be determined if ground impact opened one of the sleeve laps, or if a noticeable 10 degree bend in the tube adjacent to the leak was impact-related.

The hydraulic check valve exhibited longitudinal cracks at both threaded ends. The cracks were a result of stress corrosion cracking, as evidenced by intergranular features, crack branching and corrosion. No material discrepancies were noted. Evidence of Teflon tape was present at the outlet end of the threads. Teflon tape is commonly used in plumbing applications to seal threads from leaking, but is not an approved material to be used with the hydraulic system.

The hydraulic line containing the hydraulic check valve near the tail rotor servo was pressure tested. The check valve exhibited a leak at a rate of about 100 cubic centimeters (cc) per minute at both 850 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) and 1,000 psig. At 1,000 psig, when the line was slightly cocked, the valve exhibited a leakage rate of about 300 cc in 45 seconds.

The hydraulic system has a total capacity of about 8 pints, including fluid within the reservoir, servos, and lines. The hydraulic reservoir has a capacity of about 5.3 pints. One pint is equivalent to about 473 cc.

TEST FLIGHT INFORMATION

In July 1988, US Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity completed an airworthiness and flight characteristics evaluation report for the UH-1H with composite main rotor blades (CMRB) installed. Included in the report were the following conclusions:

"Hydraulic system failure characteristics were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated … during approaches to running landings. A slight nose-down pitching moment upon failure was controlled by an approximate 15 pound aft longitudinal force. Increased right lateral control forces coupled with the onset of some control feedback required moderate pilot compensation to prevent pilot-induced oscillation (PIO) tendencies, causing an increase in control activity."

"The hydraulic system failure characteristics of the UH-1H helicopter with the hub spring and CMRB installed are acceptable; however, high altitude operations could be compromised due to the high collective control force encountered without hydraulics assist, thereby restricting control travel."

Following the accident, without FAA or NTSB awareness, two pilots from Billings Flying Service conducted an informal UH-1H flight test at high altitude. The flying pilot notified the NTSB of his findings during an interview. During a simulated long line profile with the hydraulics system turned off, the flying pilot observed a high amount of force was required to apply collective. While making his "hard pull" of the collective with his left arm, the pilot observed that he had a tendency to "brace" himself and push the cyclic to the right, causing a right bank. This tendency to bank right was not immediately recognized, since he was leaning left to simulate sighting for a long line operation. As he attempted to return to a level attitude (with the hydraulics system turned off) he overcorrected and entered into nearly 90 degrees of left bank. The pilot was very startled by the dramatic left bank and immediately directed the other pilot in the right seat to restore hydraulics system pressure to assist with recovery of the helicopter.

MAINTENANCE INFORMATION

The helicopter mechanic stated that hydraulic leaks had been a long-term challenge with the accident helicopter and that most of the hydraulic lines had been replaced as the helicopter was rebuilt and brought up to certification standards. While deployed to the Dove Creek location, a hydraulic line had been replaced six days prior to the accident, due to a leak near the transmission filter.

The mechanic, director of maintenance at home station, and accident pilot were aware of a slow, "weeping" hydraulic leak in the aft belly of the fuselage, but did not foresee the leak causing a significant issue. Replacement components for the hydraulic system near the leak, to include hydraulic lines, fittings, and a check valve, had been requested from home station, and were expected to arrive to the Dove Creek location within days of the accident. Information concerning a weeping hydraulic leak was not entered into the maintenance records.

On the day prior to the accident, the pilot told the mechanic that the cyclic appeared "notchy", as if it would "bump" a little during movement. The pilot thought the cyclic issue may have been associated with winds. Based on the pilot's comment about cyclic, the mechanic inspected for loose hardware, the main rotor hub, main rotor dampeners, and pitch change linkages on the controls in the vicinity of the swashplate. He did not observe any anomalies.

The mechanic stated that he added one or two cups of hydraulic fluid to the reservoir within a day or two of the accident. On the morning of the accident, the mechanic noticed the check valve fitting was not tight. He tightened several fittings in the surrounding area, utilized Teflon tape in an attempt to help the check valve fittings 'grab' more effectively, and used rags to soak up hydraulic fluid in the aft belly of the main fuselage.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Billings Flying Service personnel described the operating environment at the Dove Creek survey location as 'tense'. About three days prior to the accident, an owner of Billings Flying Service terminated a contract pilot after the accident pilot informed the owner of this pilot's aggressive flying at the Dove Creek location. Following the termination, the accident pilot informed the owner that survey personnel were dissatisfied with losing the other pilot and blamed the accident pilot for the termination. According to the owner and the mechanic, survey personnel had 'timed' how long the accident pilot was taking to perform long line operations. A survey supervisor had informed the owner that the accident pilot was taking "50% longer" than the terminated pilot in performing these operations. The owner stated that the accident pilot was very concerned with losing the survey contract and told him that the work environment felt hostile. The mechanic stated that he also felt pressure to ensure flights were completed. The director of maintenance stated that the accident pilot and mechanic were concerned that any "maintenance down time" on the helicopter would result in a contract penalty.


http://registry.faa.gov/N775AR

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA415
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in Dove Creek, CO
Aircraft: BELL UH-1H, registration: N775AR
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 July 16, 2013, about 0955 mountain daylight time, a Bell UH-1H helicopter, N775AR, was substantially damaged after ground impact near Dove Creek, Colorado. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to BVDS Incorporated and was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 during a seismic survey operation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan from a staging area near Dove Creek, Colorado about 0953.

According to ground witnesses at the survey location, the pilot flew inbound to their location, hoisting a basket load with a long line rope. The pilot overshot the intended drop site and the basket load impacted the ground, followed immediately by the 150 foot long line falling straight down onto the basket load. At about the same time, the helicopter began a series of abrupt maneuvers. The helicopter subsequently impacted the ground in a steep left bank.

The weather observation station at Cortez Municipal Airport (KCEZ), Cortez, Colorado, located about 21 miles to the south of the accident site, reported the following conditions at 0953: wind 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 8,500 feet, temperature 21 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 Celsius, altimeter setting 30.25.


 http://www.kaj18.com

Subcontractors for CO₂ producer Kinder Morgan will continue seismic studies on the Doe Canyon project area.

However helicopter use for that project has been halted, a nearby seismic study area is under review for air support following a fatal crash last week near Dove Creek.

“All flight activity is grounded at this time due to the accident and tragic death of the pilot,” said Bob Clayton, a Kinder Morgan field supervisor. “It has been a real shock to everyone. The workers have gone through some counseling to help them deal with the tragedy.”

The helicopter crashed from a low altitude last Tuesday while assisting in seismic study operations east of Dove Creek. The pilot, A.J. Blain, of Montana based Billings Flying Service, died on impact, and the crash debris narrowly missed nearby ground crews.

An investigation into the crash by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board is just beginning, and no time line for results has been announced.

“We’re also conducting an in-house investigation,” Clayton said.

Work will finish up at the Doe Canyon seismic study area where the accident occurred, but without air support, said Wayne Whitner, CEO of Tidelands Geophysical Company, (TGC).

The Plano, Texas, company is one of the project’s seismic contractors.

“We’re aware that this industry is a strong employer in the area, and we will be carrying on with our Doe Canyon phase,” Whitner said.

He said a nearby seismic project called the Cow Canyon 3D Survey is under review by Kinder Morgan as a result of the accident.

“That project is being studied to determine if there will be helicopter support there. If we use them, there will probably be even more equipment testing than the strict protocols already in place,” Whitner said.

The Bell UH-IH owned by Billings Flying Service was inspected by the FAA 12 hours before being deployed to the construction site. Whitner said the craft passed and had been cleared to operate.

“We don’t think it was pilot error,” Whitner said.

The Cow Canyon study area encompasses 93 square miles of mostly private land on the west side of Highway 491 near Pleasant View and Cahone. It is scheduled for review by the Montezuma County planning commission July 25, at 6 p.m.

Planning assistant LeeAnn Milligan said private landowners in that area prefer helicopter use for seismic studies because it cuts down drastically on truck and vehicle traffic.

“They won’t like it (without helicopters) because it would mean a lot of back and forth of trucks hauling equipment,” she said, adding the plan may have to be revisited if helicopters are not used, to try to mitigate additional traffic impacts.

Helicopters are a key component for modern seismic studies because they are efficient, can access rugged areas, and are less invasive than truck traffic. Often their use is a requirement by the BLM and the Forest Service to reduce a project’s impacts on roads and natural or cultural resources.

Geophysical seismic studies use a series of sensors and strategically placed explosives to record underground geology.

Three heli-portable drills rigs are positioned around a target area. Explosives are inserted into bore holes up to 45 feet deep. When the charges go off, pre-set receiver units crisscrossing the target area pick up sonar echoes from below, and the data is recorded on a computer. The receivers are collected and loaded onto the chopper into huge bags, and the heli-portable rigs are flown to the next location.

It is not uncommon for up to three helicopters to leapfrog each other carrying the portable drilling rigs to different positions. For the Cow Canyon proposal, documents show 27,000 receiver positions are planned. A combination of specialized-seismic vibe trucks and explosives create the underground 3D image.

Kinder Morgan engineers then analyze the data.

“It is the number-one technology right now,” Clayton. “The 3D image is very beneficial, it is like having eyes underground showing where the rock is more porous and capable of sustaining good production.”

Source:   http://www.cortezjournal.com

Beechcraft V35 Bonanza (N5938S) and Piper PA-44-180 Seminole (N3062H), Accident occurred October 25, 2011 in St. Paul, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA020A 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in St. Paul, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-44-180, registration: N3062H
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA020B

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in St. Paul, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: BEECH V35, registration: N5938S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured. 

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.


A Beech V35 and Piper PA-44-180 collided in flight in a common practice area for airwork. The flight instructor in the Piper reported that at an altitude of about 7,500 feet mean sea level (msl), he told the pilot receiving instruction to conduct a simulated emergency descent. The instructor stated that the pilot receiving instruction executed the simulated emergency descent and recovered to cruise flight at an altitude of about 4,500 feet msl before they continued toward a local airport. As the flight continued, the instructor observed a single-engine airplane that appeared to be on a converging course, and he transmitted a position report on the intended destination airport's common traffic advisory frequency. The instructor stated that after making a slight heading change and descent, he re-established visual contact with a single-engine airplane, which was then behind and above the Piper’s position. He then scanned the area ahead of the Piper’s position from left to right. The instructor said he then felt a jolt along with a violent shudder in the airplane followed by an uncommanded left roll and yaw. The instructor took control of the airplane and made a forced landing to a nearby open field. 


Review of recorded radar data revealed that the Piper was on a northwesterly heading at 7,700 feet msl when it initiated a right descending turn. Meanwhile, the Beech was traveling on a continuous northeasterly heading at an altitude of about 2,400 feet msl. The last recorded radar target for each airplane before the collision showed that the airplanes were on converging paths; the Piper was at 2,800 feet msl on a northeasterly heading and maneuvering west of the Beech, which was at an altitude of about 2,400 feet msl on a north-northeasterly heading. During examination of the recovered wreckage, transfer marks were identified consistent with the radar-derived collision angle. Both airplanes were operating in visual conditions when they collided.

Based on relative positions of the airplanes, and given the other airplane traffic in the area, it seems likely that the single-engine airplane the Piper instructor observed before the collision was not the Beech with which the collision occurred. It could not be determined if either pilot could see the other just before the collision; however, based on the airplanes’ relative positions and flight attitudes, it seems unlikely. The Piper was maneuvering in a left bank at the time and it is likely that the Piper’s wing and engine blocked the Beech from the Piper pilot's field of vision. Additionally, the Beech pilot’s view of the Piper, which was above and to the left of his flight path, would likely have been blocked by the airplane’s door post and cabin roof structure.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot was unable to see the other aircraft to avoid a collision.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On October 25, 2011, about 1610 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-44-180, N3062H, registered to and operated by Hillsboro Aviation, Hillsboro, Oregon, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight and a Beech V35, N5938S, registered to and operated by a private individual as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided midair about 5 miles northeast of St. Paul, Oregon. The Beech was destroyed and the Piper was substantially damaged. The airline transport rated pilot in the Beech sustained fatal injuries. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot receiving instruction in the Piper were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The local flight for the Piper originated from the Mc Minnville Municipal Airport (MMV), Mc Minnville, Oregon, about 1536, destined for the Aurora State Airport, Aurora, Oregon. The local flight for the Beech originated from the Stark's Twin Oaks Airport, Hillsboro, Oregon, at 1539. 

In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the CFI onboard the Piper reported that following an uneventful departure from MMV, they climbed to an altitude of about 5,500 feet mean sea level (msl), and conducted a series of maneuvers including slow flight, steep turns, and stalls, prior to climbing to an altitude of about 7,500 feet msl. He then briefed the pilot receiving instruction on the procedures for a simulated emergency descent while conducting various clearing turns and announcing their intentions on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for the practice area (122.75 mhz) and UAO (122.7 mHz). The CFI stated that the pilot receiving instruction then executed the simulated emergency descent, and recovered to cruise flight at an altitude of about 4,500 feet msl. The flight then proceeded on a northerly heading towards UAO with the intent of entering the airport traffic pattern. The CFI added that while on a northerly heading, he switched to the UAO CTAF and announced their location, altitude, and intentions. 

The CFI further reported that while maintaining an altitude of 4,500 feet msl, he was scanning the area for traffic and observed a single-engine airplane at the 5:30 to 6 o'clock area and above their altitude. The CFI stated that the traffic was on a convergence course towards their location and appeared to be in a slightly steeper than average descent. He instructed the pilot receiving instruction to initiate a left descending turn in an effort to avoid the observed traffic and transmitted a position report on the CTAF for UAO. Following an approximate 10 to 20-degree heading change, the CFI re-established visual contact with the single-engine aircraft that was behind and above his position. The CFI then looked forward and scanned from the 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock position. Subsequently, he felt a jolt along with a violent shudder in the airplane followed by an un-commanded left roll and yaw. The CFI immediately took control of the airplane, and thought they had possibly struck geese. He then initiated an emergency forced landing to a nearby open field.

Witnesses located in various aircraft adjacent to the accident site reported that prior to the collision; they observed the Beech V35 on a northerly course in cruise flight. 

Review of recorded radar data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 2208:15, the Piper was traveling in a northwesterly heading at 7,700 feet msl until 2308:39, where a descent was observed. The data depicted the Piper continuing a descent and initiating a right descending turn while the Beech was traveling on a northeasterly heading at an altitude of 2,400 feet msl. The last recorded radar target at 2310:03 for each airplane prior to the collision depicted both airplanes on a converging path over the Champoeg State Heritage Area. The Piper was observed at an altitude of 2,800 feet on a northeasterly heading located west of the Beech, which was at an altitude of 2,400 feet msl on a north-northeasterly heading. Further review of the radar data revealed a third airplane located south of both accident airplanes at an altitude of 3,900 feet.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

Piper PA-44-180

The certified flight instructor of the Piper, age 31, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He also possessed a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. A first-class airman medical certificate was issued on July 1, 2011, with no limitations. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 1,600 total flight hours. 

The pilot receiving instruction in the Piper PA-44-180, age 23, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. A first-class airman medical certificate was issued on July 29, 2010, with no limitations. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 55 total flight hours. 

Beech V35 

The pilot of the Beech, age 58, held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane multiengine land ratings and a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He also possessed a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on March 19, 2011, with the limitation "must have available glasses for near vision." The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 2,250 total flight hours. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION 

Piper PA-44-180

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear, twin-engine airplane, serial number (S/N) 44-7995165, was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360-E1A6D (serial number L-152-77T) and Lycoming LO-360-E1A6D (serial number L-430-72T) engines, rated at 180 horse power. The airplane was also equipped with a Hartzell model HC-C2YR-2CLEUF and HC-C2YR-2CEUF adjustable pitch propellers. The paint theme on the airplane was predominately a maroon red color along the bottom of half of the fuselage and engine nacelles, with white along the upper portion of the fuselage, engine nacelles, and wings.

Beech V35

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear, single-engine airplane, serial number (S/N) D-8145, was manufactured in 1966. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-520-B (serial number D-8145) and, rated at 285 horse power. The airplane was also equipped with a Hartzell three-bladed adjustable pitch propeller. Review of photographs prior to the accident indicated that the paint theme on the airplane was predominately in white color with blue and green stripes along the fuselage from the nose to the empennage. The leading edge of the wings and bottom portions of the wing tip tanks were blue in color. The ruddervators were white in color, and the elevators and trim tabs were blue in color. Review of FAA records revealed that the V35 was equipped with pulsating high intensity lighting.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

A review of recorded data from the Aurora State Airport, Aurora, Oregon, automated weather observation station, located about 5 miles east of the accident site, revealed at 1553, conditions were wind from 360 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 14 degrees Celsius, dew point 4 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.37 inches of mercury. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage of the two airplanes were scattered over an area of about 2 miles. Various debris including the empennage, tail cone, and rear seat, from the Beech and nose cowling from the Piper were located throughout campgrounds A and B within the Champoeg State Heritage Area.

The Beech came to rest upright within a heavily wooded area about 0.3 miles north of the Champoeg State Heritage Area and was mostly consumed by fire. The Piper came to rest upright in an open field about 1.5 miles west of Champoeg State Heritage Area. An approximate 6 foot portion of the roof and fuselage structure of the Beech was located about 120 feet southeast of the main wreckage of the Piper.

Wreckages of both aircraft were recovered to a secure location for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The Oregon State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on the pilot of the Beech on October 26, 2011. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was “blunt force injuries.”

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, volatiles and drugs were tested, and had negative results.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Review of the accident area on both the FAA Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Sectional Chart and FAA Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) revealed that the accident site was located about 7 miles southeast of an outlined high intensity flight training area, as noted within the AFD. In addition, numerous airports with various CTAF frequencies were located within 15 miles of the accident site.

On October 28, 2011, at the facilities of Garmin AT, Salem, Oregon, the Garmin 430 GPS/Radio unit and Garmin SL30 radio were removed from the Piper. Both units were installed on a test bench with power subsequently applied. The primary active radio frequency observed on the Garmin 430 was 122.700 Mhz. and the secondary non active frequency was 123.000 Mhz. The Global Positioning System (GPS) position captured within the Garmin 430 was N45 15.03', W122 52.64'. The primary active radio frequency on the Garmin SL30 was 135.670 Mhz, and the non-active secondary frequency was 118.520 Mhz. The radios from the Beech were not tested due to the extensive impact and fire damage sustained and an active radio frequency could not be determined. 

Examination of the recovered wreckages of both the airplanes was conducted on July 25, 2012, at the facilities of Nu Venture Air Services, Dallas, Oregon. 

Examination of the recovered Beech wreckage revealed that the inboard areas of both the left and right wings and forward fuselage structure exhibited thermal and fire damage. The separated approximate 6-foot portion of fuselage structure that was located near the wreckage of the Piper exhibited scratches and maroon paint transfer marks along the upper roof structure and above the upper left and right side window cutouts. The scratches and paint transfer marks were measured at an approximate 59 degree angle from left to right along the centerline of the fuselage. 

The right aft side of the fuselage, associated roof structure, which included the area of the registration number, aft and upper areas of the right baggage door frame was separated from the fuselage. The forward upper area of the baggage frame structure exhibited an area of displaced structure in an outward bend (from left to right when looking forward from the tail of the airplane) with a material black in color smeared within the fracture surface. An area of maroon paint transfer, oriented on an approximate 59 degree angle from the airplane centerline (from left to right) was observed on the white upper portion of the separated structure. 

Examination of the recovered Piper wreckage revealed blue paint transfer located on the bottom side of the fuselage about 5 inches aft of the aft spar. 

The forward portion of the fuselage from the nose cowling bulkhead exhibited inward crushing at an approximate 45 degree angle, which extended about 8 inches inward along the right side of the fuselage, and contained embedded organic debris (dirt and grass). Two antennas on the bottom side of the fuselage (one forward near the nose cowling bulkhead and one aft) were separated from their mounts and not located. An area of white paint transfer was observed on the right side of the fuselage just aft of the nose cowling bulkhead. When looking along the fuselage from forward to aft, the nose structure appeared to be displaced slightly towards the left wing.

The left wing remained intact, and the engine remained secure via its mounts. The flap and aileron remained attached via their respective mounts. The left propeller assembly remained attached to the left engine and left wing. A maroon paint transfer was observed on the left propeller spinner. One blade exhibited a leading edge gouge with some slight blue paint noted about 7 to 10 inches from the root of the blade, and the propeller blade tip was separated. The opposing blade exhibited a leading edge scratch and maroon paint transfer about 16 to 17 inches outboard of the propeller blade root, and the propeller blade tip was separated. Both separated portions of the propeller tips were located within the wreckage of the Beech. The left main landing gear was separated from the strut assembly. The strut assembly and landing gear assembly had organic debris (dirt, grass) embedded within them. The pitot tube located on the outboard portion of the wing was pushed upward into the wing structure.

The right wing remained intact, and the engine remained secure via its mounts. The flap and aileron remained attached via their respective mounts. Upward bending and damage was noted to the right flap and aft portion of the right engine nacelle. A small area of blue paint transfer was observed on the right main landing gear strut.


 20-month investigation finds no fault in fatal midair collision over Champoeg

A midair collision of two planes in October 2011, followed by a fatal crash west of Wilsonville, likely occurred because neither pilot could see the other aircraft. 


That's the conclusion of "probable-cause" reports issued late last week by the National Transportation Safety Board, following a 20-month investigation. 


The final reports, and the supporting documents, do not assign blame for the collision, saying that one pilot's view likely was blocked by his plane's wing and engine while the other pilot's view was obstructed by his plane's door post and cabin roof. 


Joshua Cawthra, the investigator who led the inquiry, said Monday that probable cause was determined by analyzing the courses, positions, speeds, angles and attitudes of the planes, as well as by examining the aircraft, debris, radar readings, radio transmissions and interviewing the survivors, air-traffic controllers and witnesses on the ground.

"Unfortunately, we don't have records on small planes to put together the exact way they collided," Cawthra said. "But we do know that both pilots had a lot of structure in their view."

The area where the collision occurred is not under formal air traffic control, but pilots are required to fly by visual flight rules.

After the Oct. 25 collision, flight instructor Travis Thompson, 31, of Beaverton and student Henrik Murer Kalberg, 23, of Holmestrand, Norway, managed to land their damaged twin-engine Piper PA-44 –180 Seminole in a field adjacent Champoeg State Heritage Area, west of Wilsonville. Both men walked away uninjured.

The other plane, a single-engine Beech Bonanza V35, broke apart midair, sending pilot Stephen L. Watson of Beaverton to his death. Watson, 58, a retired Oregon State Police sergeant with airline-transport flight rating, had taken off that afternoon from Twin Oaks Airpark in Hillsboro.

Thompson and Kalberg had taken off from McMinnville Municipal Airport for training maneuvers, intending to land at Aurora State Airport. They climbed to an altitude of about 5,500 feet, then practiced slow flight, steep turns and stalls before climbing to about 7,500 feet, heading northwest. The Piper then began a simulated emergency descent, banking left.

Meanwhile, Watson's Beech Bonanza was heading northeast at about 2,800 feet.

"It could not be determined if either pilot could see the other just before the collision," the probable-cause reports say. "However, based on the airplanes' relative positions and flight attitudes, it seems unlikely."

The reports also conclude that a small plane spotted in the area by the Piper's crew likely was not Watson's Beech, as previously suspected.

Weather apparently did not play a factor.

Neither did the much-debated handling characteristics of the Beech V35. Detractors say the V-shaped tail makes the plane difficult to control. Fans applaud the high-performance plane, while acknowledging that it should be flown only by highly rated pilots -- such as Watson.

The reports did not in any way implicate Hillsboro Aviation, which provided flight instruction in the company-owned Piper. Max Lyons, Hillsboro Aviation president, did not return a message requesting comment.

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