Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Atlantic City, New Jersey: Authorities investigating laser lights pointed at medevac helicopters


View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.


It’s a danger that pilots who fly over the Jersey Shore are all too familiar with. 

“It’s not a joke,” said Lieutenant Justin Gordon, a U.S. Coast Guard Pilot. “It’s illegal. It’s unsafe. It’s dangerous.”

Officials say a medical helicopter was about to land at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with a patient on board Tuesday night when someone pointed a green laser at the chopper several times. Police say the Medevac crew believed the light came from a spot near a motel on South Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City. When officers checked the location however, they couldn’t find anything. They continue to search for suspects.

While no one was hurt during Tuesday night’s incident, Gordon says that wasn’t the case a few weeks ago when someone on the ground pointed a laser at his chopper as he was flying over the Shore. According to Gordon, his flight mechanic had to undergo medical treatment as a result of the laser’s glare.

“He was experiencing headache and pain in his eyes,” Gordon says.

The
Federal Aviation Administration says the glare from a laser pointer can completely incapacitate a pilot. Pointing one at an aircraft is a federal offense, carrying a prison term of up to five years.

“Every single summer it just keeps going up and up and up,” Gordon said. “If we’re close enough it can cause short or long-term damage to our eyes. The time they’re most likely to affect us is going to be the time when we need to be paying attention the most."

The
Federal Aviation Administration says there were more than 3400 laser incidents reported nationwide last year with 66 of those taking place in New Jersey.

Source:   http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com

Sounds Air takes flight with another aircraft

Commuter airline Sounds Air is growing.

The Cook Strait operator which serves Nelson has added another Cessna Grand Caravan to its fleet, which now stands at four aircraft.

Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said the aircraft was previously operating with Salt Air in Kerikeri, and the company bought it in May.

The past two months have been spent repainting the aircraft in the Sounds Air fleet colours.

It is now in service and took its first commercial flight on Monday, when 12 passengers boarded at Blenheim for a flight to Wellington, Mr Crawford said. "Each passenger was given a bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion," he said.

The new aircraft will complement the fleet on flights from Wellington to Picton, Blenheim and Nelson and will allow Sounds Air the opportunity to offer more charter flights and extra flights at peak times as demand increases at weekends and over the summer season, Mr Crawford said.

"With the extra capacity we will also be adding a daily return freight flight across Cook Strait to enhance service to our existing customers and provide options to new freight clients."


Source:   http://www.stuff.co.nz

Plane crashes into trees; no injuries reported -- Hiatt Airport (N97), Thomasville, North Carolina

No injuries occurred Wednesday when a small plane trying to take off from Hiatt Airport did not clear the runway and ended up in some trees, said Larry James, director of Davidson County Emergency Services.

The incident at 701 Myrtle Drive was reported at 11:16 a.m., said Dwayne Condrey, assistant supervisor at the 911 Center.

Condrey said there was a fuel leak as the single-engine airplane was carrying 130 gallons of fuel. James said Wednesday afternoon that the leak was small and the leak had been contained. The emergency services director said one person was on the plane. Information regarding what may have caused the incident was not available from James.

Firefighters with Fair Grove, Pilot and the Holly Grove volunteer fire departments, as well as officials with Davidson County Emergency Management, were on the scene. The Davidson County Sheriff's Office also responded.

Source:   http://www.the-dispatch.com



de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver , Promech Air, N4787C: Accident occurred July 25, 2013 n Thorne Bay, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC13LA068
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 24, 2013 in Thorne Bay, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/2015
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND BEAVER DHC 2, registration: N4787C
Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that, while the float-equipped airplane was in cruise flight about 1,200 ft above ground level, the engine made a loud noise and lost partial power, so he maneuvered the airplane to land on a nearby lake. During the approach, the engine lost total power, and the airplane descended into an area of trees before reaching the lake, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage. 

The operator reported that the engine had been overhauled (zero-timed) 31 hours before the accident. A postaccident engine examination revealed metal fragments and heavy gouging damage to the rotating components within the crankcase. The bottom portion (crankshaft end) of the No. 1 linkrod and its respective bushing were missing from the No. 1 linkpin; the oil sump contained metal debris consistent with heavily damaged remnants of these (and other) components. The No. 2 cylinder barrel and linkrod and the No. 3 linkrod showed deformation to the left (in the direction of engine rotation). Based on the damage observed in the engine, it is likely that the event that initiated the engine failure involved either the the No. 1 linkrod bushing or the bottom portion of the No. 1 linkrod; however, the extensive damage to these components precluded determination of the failure mode.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the No. 1 linkrod bushing or the bottom portion of the linkrod, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

On July 24, 2013, about 1140 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped de Havilland DHC-2, N4787C, collided with trees following a loss of engine power near Lake Galea, about 15 miles northwest of Thorne Bay, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island. The airline transport pilot and two passengers received serious injuries, one passenger was uninjured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The on-demand air taxi flight was operated by Promech Air, LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 with a company visual flight rules flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight departed Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base (5KE), Ketchikan, Alaska, at 1100 and was destined for Shipley Bay, Alaska.

According to the pilot, the airplane was in cruise flight at an altitude of about 1,500 feet above mean sea level (msl), which he estimated was about 1,200 feet above ground level (agl) in the area over which he was flying, when he heard a loud "boom" and a series of loud and continuous "pop-pop-pop" noises. The pilot said that he reported to the company via the radio that he had lost an engine cylinder and was going to land. The pilot said that everything was shaking and that he did an immediate 180-degree turn to land on the lake that he had just overflown. The pilot stated that, as he turned the airplane on a base leg for the lake, he put in two pumps of flaps, and, about that time, the engine lost power completely. The pilot estimated that the amount of time that elapsed from when he first heard the loud "boom" to the time that the engine lost power completely was less than 1 minute. The pilot stated that, once the engine lost power completely, the airplane was soon colliding with trees. According to the operator, the airplane came to rest in a wooded area about 300 yards from the lake, sustaining substantial damage to the wing, fuselage, and empennage. 

The pilot stated that he and two passengers were able to exit the airplane but the passenger in the right seat was unable to exit the airplane until more help arrived. The pilot located the airplane's 406-MHz emergency locator transmitter and flipped the switch to the "on" position to be sure that it was transmitting. According to the operator, the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) telephoned the operator and provided coordinates for the downed airplane. The pilot also located the airplane's survival kit, and he and a passenger positioned a piece of wing wreckage in a marsh area to try to make the accident site visible to overflying aircraft. The pilot established cellular telephone contact with the operator, which had dispatched another company airplane to assist. The pilot said that he heard the other company airplane approaching and used a flare from the survival kit to signal his location. The other company airplane landed on Lake Galea, and company personnel hiked to the accident site to assist the pilot and passengers. A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter from Air Station Sitka soon arrived. The USCG transported the pilot and all three passengers from the scene two at a time.

Aircraft recovery personnel who retrieved the wreckage and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors who observed reported that engine cylinder damage was visible. According to the operator, the Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B engine had accumulated 31 hours since major overhaul.

Subsequent disassembly examination of the engine under the authority of the NTSB revealed that the No. 1 cylinder head showed both vertical and horizontal cracks, and the top of the No. 1 piston was visible through the cracks. The No. 1 piston was positioned abnormally high within the cylinder barrel. The vertical crack in the No. 1 cylinder head extended over the top of and bisected the cylinder head, and a horizontal crack extended around the circumference, such that the bisected halves of the cylinder head could be lifted off by hand, exposing the piston top.

Internal damage to the engine precluded the removal of any cylinders using typical engine disassembly techniques. The No. 1 cylinder barrel and the No. 1 piston could not be removed. Removal of the Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9 cylinders (accomplished by prying the cylinder barrels and applying force) and removal of their respective pistons allowed for a view inside the crankcase. The top (piston end) of the No. 1 linkrod was attached to the piston pin (established by feel), but the bottom portion (crankshaft end) of the linkrod and its respective bushing were missing. The linkpin for the No. 1 linkrod was attached to the crankshaft assembly.

The remaining visible linkrods (Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9) all exhibited gouging damage. The No. 2 linkrod and No. 2 cylinder barrel showed pronounced deformation to the left (in the direction of engine rotation). The No. 3 linkrod also showed deformation to the left. The underside of the removed pistons (Nos. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9) all showed heavy gouging damage, and the No. 2 piston also was cracked on the bosses for the piston pin. A piece of a separated crankshaft counterbalance weight was found inside the crankcase with fragments of its attachment bolts present in the separated piece. The separated counterbalance weight piece showed heavy gouging damage. Metal fragments and heavy gouging damage were visible inside the crankcase. The oil sump contained metal debris, including fragments that appeared visually consistent with the color of bushing material, fragments that appeared visually consistent with the shape of piston ring pieces, and other metal debris. 

A maintenance record for the airplane dated July 16, 2013, recorded the installation of engine SN JP206275 at an engine time since overhaul of 0.0 hours, an engine total time of 6,029.5 hours, and an airframe total time of 33,326.1 hours. The engine's authorized release certificate and airworthiness approval tag from the FAA-certificated repair station that performed the overhaul was dated June 6, 2013. A record dated May 28, 2013, documented that the engine's ground test run was 5 hours. A repair station record dated May 15, 2013, (which documented the engine's "inspection, reconditioning, and assembly in accordance with Pratt & Whitney Manual No. 123440") noted that the engine's linkrods were serviceable, and the linkpin bushings were replaced. A record dated January 23, 2013, documented the magnetic inspection of the linkrods. During a telephone interview, a representative from the facility that had performed the engine overhaul stated that the facility had experienced no changes in its linkpin bushing supplier and no differences in its techniques or procedures for performing engine overhauls with regard to the overhaul of the accident engine compared to others.


=========

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

Two people were seriously injured Wednesday when a flightseeing plane with four people on board crashed on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The U.S. Coast Guard told AST at about noon Wednesday that an emergency locator transmitter from a de Havilland Beaver -- flown by Ketchikan-based tour operator Promech Air -- had been activated near Thorne Bay, troopers wrote in a Wednesday dispatch.

“Investigation determined (the plane) went down in the trees near the southern end of Lake Galea due to engine complications,” troopers wrote. “Two of the four people on board were flown via a USCG helicopter to the Ketchikan General Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”

AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen says troopers weren’t immediately aware of the extent of the injuries Wednesday afternoon. She says the helicopter crew had to leave the plane’s other two occupants with minor injuries at the crash site, with a return flight planned to pick them up.

“It was at capacity, because it was a helicopter and they had weight restrictions, so they flew the two injured and came back for the other two,” Ipsen said.

Promech Air didn’t have immediate comment on the incident Wednesday afternoon.

Troopers say the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the crash.

===========
A floatplane crash injured four people Wednesday on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, operated by Ketchikan-based Promech Air, went down in some trees near Thorne Bay and Lake Galea, troopers said. The crash occurred about 11:40 a.m. and triggered an emergency locator transmitter, according to the Coast Guard. Promech Air personnel -- who had received radio communication from the pilot saying the plane's engine was dying -- also called for help, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two of the plane's four occupants and returned to get the final two just before 5 p.m., a Coast Guard spokesman said. All were expected to survive.

The pilot was identified as Charlie Kenlin, 65, of Florida. The passengers were Martin Lakey, 37, Michael D. Lakey, 65 and Rich Webster, 65, all of Washington, according to an online dispatch.

Promech Air offers flight-seeing and charter service. A woman who answered the phone at the company's office said the plane that crashed was not providing either service but declined to comment further.

Cessna 177RG Cardinal, N34226: Aircraft force landed on a highway median, near Sutherlin, Oregon

 

ROSEBURG – A small airplane that lost power made an emergency landing Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 5 between Roseburg and Sutherlin. 

 After landing, the red-and-white Cessna single engine aircraft came to a stop in the median between the two lanes and did not block traffic. The incident was reported about 1:45 p.m.

According to those on the scene, the plane was southbound at the time and touched down in the southbound lanes before turning into the median strip.

The owner of the single-engine Cessna 177 Cardinal RG, Marc Girardet, 38, of Tenmile, said he left the Roseburg Municipal Airport at 1:30 p.m. for Portland with copilot Doug Denham, 56, of Portland. Just north of Roseburg the plane began to lose power.

Girardet turned the plane back toward Roseburg, but the engine kept dying. He contacted air traffic controllers in Eugene and said he planned to land in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. That's where the plane touched down, around milepost 131.

Denham kept an eye out for power lines while Girardet guided the aircraft down the highway, with traffic, to an emergency vehicle pullout in the median, where he pulled in.

"Nobody stopped," Girardet said. "All the other motorists just kept driving."

The pair then waited for a mechanic to arrive and remove the wings so it could be trailered back to Roseburg for repairs. Girardet, part of the family that owns Girardet Winery, said the plane had never let him down like this before.

"Fifteen seconds after we landed, the engine died," Denham said. "We were pretty much at the end of our rope."

OSP, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Sutherlin Police Department, ODOT and local fire personnel responded. There were no reports of injuries.

OSP said traffic continued to move in both directions.

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N34226

Woman pays for private helicopter for help off Mount St. Helens

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. — The Skamania County sheriff's office says an injured Texas woman paid for a private helicopter to speed her rescue off Mount St. Helens.

The sheriff's office says 48-year-old Nancy Allen of Katy, Texas, and her 18-year-old daughter had climbed to the summit of the southwest Washington volcano on Tuesday but lost the trail on the way down. She reported she fell and was unable to walk.

A sheriff's search and rescue coordinator and the Volcano Rescue Team from Fire District 13 out of Yacolt responded and started carrying her out on a stretcher called a Stokes litter.

The sheriff's office says at 5:20 a.m. Wednesday Allen decided to hire the helicopter. The helicopter arrived at 6:30 a.m. transported her and her daughter off the mountain.

The 18-year-old wasn’t injured, and her mother didn’t suffer serious injuries – she was just unable to make it down the mountain under her own power.

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

Piper PA-32-301 Saratoga, Cavu Flying Club Inc., N8374P: Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE), Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Officials are investigating what caused a plane to skid off the runway in Northeast Philadelphia. 

The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon at the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, located at 9800 Ashton Road.

According to authorities, a private, single-engine airplane skidded 50 feet off the runway into grass.

Officials say the airport was closed for a short amount of time as a precaution, but has since reopened.

No injuries have been reported.

The incident is under investigation.

Story and Video:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com


http://registry.faa.gov/N8374P


Woman Charged with driving under the influence after driving on runway: Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (KCHO), Carlottesville, Virginia

Christina Jewell
A Charlottesville woman faces drunk and reckless driving charges after police say she crashed her car onto an airport tarmac. The accident shut down air traffic into Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) early Wednesday morning.

Crews are working to permanently repair the security fence surrounding the airport after police say Christina Jewell, 33, slammed through it. 

Officers say Jewell drove off Dickerson Road and through the airport fence. Airport police say they stopped Jewell in her car driving around in the grassy area just downhill from the end of the runway. Air traffic control made sure no flights were inbound during the incident.

"That was a priority right off the bat and then our officers were able to respond relatively quickly to make sure the scene was secure," said Carter Johnson, spokesperson for the Albemarle County Police Department.

Albemarle County police arrested Jewell around 1 a.m. and charged her with second-offense driving under the influence and reckless driving.

The crash took down four sections of fencing. Crews quickly put up a temporary fix for security.

"It's an airport, so there are lots of interesting things that take place here. But, I would say this probably ranks up there with the best of them," said Jason Burch, spokesperson for CHO.

Jewell was not injured during the incident and was taken to Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail and released on a $2,500 bond.


Story, Photo, Comments/Reaction:  http://www.nbc29.com

Historic WWII aircraft restored at North Little Rock Airport

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A pair of pilots in North Little Rock are chasing their dream of restoring a historic DC-3 aircraft. 

The WWII prisoner of war transporter was purchased at a 2006 auction from the State of Arkansas. After bringing it back to the North Little Rock Airport, aviators Bob Partyka and Harry Barrett began work on the plane with the goal of restoring it to original condition.

The plane's history dates back to the mid-1940's when it was built for the Canadians in WWII. It was loaned to the British towards the end of the war and was later used to charter passengers to and from the North Pole in the 60's and 70's.

"We've taken most of the interior out, and we've still got a lot of work to do to get it back to the way it looked in World War 2," said Barrett, who also manages Barrett Aviation at the airport.

The owners said their main goal is to one day showcase the plane for the public. Barrett said he would like to try to form a museum with it and get some donations and keep it flying.

"It's a part of our history," Barrett explained.

At the very least, Partyka said he wants to bring it up to
Federal Aviation Administration standards, so they can take passengers up in the air.

"I wanna see it fly again," he hoped. "That's what this airplane was born to do is fly."

Story, Video, Photos:   http://www.thv11.com

Bremerton National Airport (KPWT) to briefly close for re-striping next month

 
Photo Courtesy/Credit Larry Steagall 
 Fred Salisbury, director of airport operations for the Port of Bremerton, walks on a runway at Bremerton National Airport on Wednesday. The runway at the airport will close for a day or two on Aug. 19. Stripes and numbers on the runway will be repainted.



BREMERTON — It’s pretty unusual for the runway at Bremerton National Airport to shut down. 

But that’s exactly what will happen next month as new stripes are painted.

After the last corporate jet departs on Monday, Aug. 19 — it’s usually the daily United Parcel Service jet — the runway will completely shut down at 7 p.m.

As night approaches, the airport beacon won’t light up as it customarily does. Nor will the runway lights. The switch on the airport’s instrument-landing system will stay in the off position, too.

Using only the lights on their trucks, workers will fan out across the darkened runway, using giant hoses to water-blast away old paint stripes and numbers used to guide aircraft in and out.

Two giant reflective yellow “X’s,” each 60 feet in diameter, will quickly be painted on the north and south ends of the 6,000-foot-long runway. That’s the universal sign for “Sorry, we’re closed. Come back again.”

Any pilot who didn’t read the memo and shows up anyway will have to turn around.

Re-striping at Bremerton National Airport next month won’t impact helicopters, which will continue to land at a pad next to the terminal.

“Too bad, so sad,” intoned Fred Salisbury, director of airport operations. “Once the airport’s closed, the airport’s closed.”

Some planes are expected to use Tacoma Narrows Airport instead.

Once the old paint is blasted off, the nocturnal workers will step back and drum their fingers until the runway surface dries.

With luck, that will happen by the next morning, when they’ll again fan out — this time with rollers and brushes and some on trucks outfitted to do striping — onto the vacant and silent runway.

They’ll apply some 102,000 square feet of reflective white paint. Then comes a night of watching the paint dry.

Here’s comes the interesting part:

For the first time in many decades, they’ll paint new navigational numbers at both ends of the runway to realign it with magnetic north.

Currently, the south end of the runway has a 60-foot-tall “1” painted on it. That signifies a 10-degree reading on the compass. At the north end, is the giant “19” number, which signifies 190 degrees.

Back decades ago, that was the approximation of magnetic north, important to pilots as they adjusted their navigational gear to land and take off.

But the molten iron at the core of the earth continually shifts, causing true magnetic north to follow along with it.

Today, true magnetic north at Bremerton National Airport is closer to 20 degrees at the south end and 200 degrees at the north end. That means a giant “2” will replace the “1” at the south end, and a “20” will replace the current “19” at the north end.

That change hasn’t happened at least since 1963, when the port took over the airport, according to Salisbury.

“It’s something to get used to,” said Salisbury, who is helping the Federal Aviation Administration notify everyone.

The $127,000 worth of work is required by the FAA, which is footing most of the bill.

Besides the magnetic realignment of the runway, painters will redo stripes that girdle the runway every 500 feet, which serve as markers for pilots. Turn lanes also will be freshened up.

The runway apron next to the terminal will remain open, so helicopters can continue to land.

Barring a rainstorm, the work will be completed by 7 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. That’s when the runway will reopen, 36 hours after it closed, according to the plan.

The airport doesn’t expect to lose much money during the closure, since it doesn’t charge landing fees anyway. Avian Flight Center, which has a fueling facility and offers flight classes, stands to lose a day of business.

The work is being done by Stripe Rite, Inc. which has a location in the port’s industrial park.

The last time Bremerton National Airport closed was in 2009, when the runway was resurfaced. But that was only a partial closure, for the most part.

Come 2014, additional upgrades on the apron and taxiway are slated.

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

New Fire Boat Wasn't Used During Deadly Plane Crash, Some Ask Why: China Nanchang CJ-6A, N116RL, Accident occurred June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, Maryland

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA309 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/2014
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
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.

Witness accounts and on-board video recordings of the accident flight revealed that the pilot initiated and performed a series of aerobatic maneuvers with the airplane before initiating a stall, rolling the airplane inverted, and entering a steady-state spin to water contact. The airplane completed 22 revolutions in the spin, with the engine running smoothly, and the stick held fully aft. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Review of the pilot's flight records revealed no evidence of formal aerobatic training. However, the records indicated that he had conducted aerobatic maneuvers, including, on at least one occasion, a flat spin.

The on-board video recordings showed no signs of pilot distress or incapacitation and indicated that the pilot was actively engaged in controlling the airplane and was providing control inputs to maintain the spin to impact. There was no indication of any distracting event or of the pilot attempting to diagnose, troubleshoot, or respond to a perceived in-flight control, system, or engine anomaly. There were multiple cues available to the pilot that the maneuver should be terminated, including an increasing ground presence/perspective from the out-the-window view and the rapidly decreasing altitude indicated on the altimeter in the panel. However, the pilot failed to terminate the maneuver at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Therefore, it is most likely that the pilot lost situational awareness during the aerobatic maneuver/prolonged spin and did not recover from the spin before impact.

Given the fact that this was a sustained aerobatic maneuver, it is possible that the pilot lost situational awareness due to target fixation, a phenomenon that can occur at varying levels ranging from a breakdown in an instrument scan to failing to pull out of an aerial application run. In these cases, the pilot has cues that a response is required and has the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform the response. However, because of the narrowing of attention resulting from the goal-directed activity associated with this phenomenon, a loss of overall situational awareness occurs and the appropriate response is not commanded/input. The circumstances of this accident are consistent with the loss of situational awareness due to target fixation. The pilot appears to have focused on the performance/sustainment of the spin maneuver and therefore misjudged or lost awareness of his exit altitude.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to terminate the intentional aerobatic spin at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's loss of situational awareness due to target fixation during the prolonged aerobatic maneuver.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to local law enforcement, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as "slow," "lazy," and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn't notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he'd never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, "He has never been that low, or that close to the shore." When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down, spiraling descent, and added that the airplane's attitude was nearly flat. The airplane finally "pancaked" into the water with a slapping sound, "like your hand slapping against the water."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. 

Examination of the pilot's flight records revealed that he had recorded his flight experience in two logbooks, and then transitioned his recordkeeping to a computer-based spread sheet. Because of gaps, overlaps, and anecdotal evidence of flights taken after the last logged in the records, his total flight experience could not be reconciled. 

The pilot first logged flights as a student pilot in 1996 and took extended breaks from flying before he was issued his private pilot certificate on October 5, 2007. His log book entries ended on June 30, 2011, however; his spreadsheet entries predate that, and his most recent entry was April 14, 2013 which was 2.5 months prior to the accident.

The pilot logged 859 total hours of flight experience, of which 231 were in the accident airplane make and model. All of the 231 hours in the accident airplane were annotated on the spreadsheet. In the remarks section the pilot annotated Formation and Safety Team (FAST) formation flight training. There were brief or one-word entries such as "practicing rolls," "roll," and on November 11, 2012, "flat spin" , but no dual instruction in aerobatic maneuvering was noted anywhere in the pilot's flight records.

In an email exchange with his insurance agent, the pilot stated that the 10 hours of dual instruction he received in the accident airplane as required by his policy was not performed by flight instructors. The response explained that exceptions were often granted for "warbirds" in order to meet the requirement. In the pilot's logbook, three pilots were noted as having provided "CJ training." Of the three, only one was a flight instructor. All three were interviewed, and each said that they only provided familiarization training to the pilot specific to his Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane. At no time did they provide aerobatic training to the pilot. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental exhibition category. It was a two-place, tandem-seating, basic military trainer. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on April 2, 2013, at 3,485.3 total aircraft hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2013. All major components were recovered with the exception of the left wing, and the vertical stabilizer. 

Examination of the airplane revealed that the engine was still attached to the firewall, but the upper two engine mounts were fractured due to impact. The firewall-mounted oil tank was crushed. The underside of the fuselage was compressed due to impact with water (hydraulic deformation) and the fuselage was fractured between the fore and aft cockpit stations. The left wing was separated due to impact and was not recovered. Recovery personnel cut the right wing. 

The empennage was fractured, torn, and separated from the fuselage due to impact, but remained attached by cables. Recovery personnel cut the cables to affect recovery. The vertical stabilizer was separated due to impact and was not recovered. The rudder, horizontal stabilizer, and the left-side elevator remained attached. The right-side horizontal stabilizer was cut to affect recovery, and the elevator was removed.

Control continuity was established from both cockpits, through cable, tube, and bellcrank cuts and breaks, to the flight control surfaces. 

The engine was separated from the airplane, and was rotated by hand at the propeller. Continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section with one exception. The pushrod for the number 4 cylinder exhaust valve was displaced due to impact, and would not actuate the rocker arm for valve movement.

The examination revealed no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical anomalies of the engine or airframe.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland, performed the autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report indicated that each died as a result of "multiple injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the pilot. The testing was negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

On July 8, 2014, two GoPro Hero self-contained video recorders and one Garmin Aera hand-held global positioning system (GPS) receiver were examined in the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

The GPS receiver was damaged by impact and salt water immersion. Removal and download of the data chip revealed that no track data was recorded on the day of the accident.

The GoPro Hero video recorder was a high quality self-contained battery powered video and audio recorder. One camera was damaged and the flash memory card was wet from salt water immersion. The memory card was dried and data was recovered using the laboratory's file recovery software. The second camera was undamaged, and the memory card was downloaded normally.

The video recovered from the first memory card consisted of the entire accident flight from taxi, takeoff, enroute maneuvering and the start of the accident spin sequence. The portions of the accident flight captured by the second memory card consisted of the events that occurred just prior to the accident spin sequence through water impact. The angle of each video suggested that the first camera was mounted on the aft glareshield facing aft, and the second camera was hand-held by the passenger in the aft seat. 

A Recorder Laboratory Specialist reviewed the video and prepared a transcript of the events from each camera. Video from the first camera revealed that after takeoff the airplane climbed to about 5,000 feet and performed a series of maneuvers that included barrel rolls, banks of 60 degrees, as well as positive and negative pitch angles of 80 degrees or more. The passenger was seen holding a GoPro camera facing forward, and rudder movement was evident throughout the flight.

Beginning about 1604:00, video from the second camera showed the airplane pitched up through 70 degrees, roll through 120 degrees of bank and eventually rolled inverted, before it entered a steady-state, nose-down spin. The video showed the airplane stabilized in a 30-degree nose down attitude, wings level, the inclinometer (trim ball) displaced 1-2 ball widths to the right, and a 600 feet-per-minute rate of descent. As the airplane descended in the spin, the nosed-down pitch attitude decreased to about 20 degrees. The pilot's head was upright and faced forward, the control stick was fully aft, and the pedals moved somewhat, but remained generally neutral. The pilot and the airplane maintained this attitude through 22 complete revolutions before water contact at 1605:00. The pilot never released aft pressure on the control stick, and no evidence of remedial action was observed. The propeller was rotating and the engine sound was smooth and continuous without interruption all the way to water contact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A friend of the pilot provided a written statement as well as video footage of flights he had taken with the accident pilot. The witness was not a pilot, but interested in taking lessons at some point in the future. He said that the accident pilot was not his instructor, but offered him advice with regards to study guides, practice tests, and map reading. During flights, he was given the flight controls, and allowed to practice navigation and steep turns. 

The pilot would assist him in donning a parachute, and go over "bail-out" procedures prior to each flight. The flights would depart to the east over the water, and then turn north and travel between 5 and 30 miles to perform aerobatic flight "as a safety precaution to any one on the ground should something go wrong." He said that during the flights, the pilot would perform loops, rolls, and on one occasion, "went vertical and put the plane into a stall."

A review of the video footage provided by the witness revealed views from a wingtip-mounted camera pointed back towards the fuselage, as well as a rear-facing view from a camera mounted on the aft-cockpit glareshield. The footage showed the airplane operating at low altitude over the ocean, as well as climbs that penetrated clouds. The airplane would be surrounded, and the ground would be completely obscured by clouds, for several seconds. The aerobatic maneuvers were also as the witness described them. The vertical climb, stall, and spin entry captured in the video provided by the witness was consistent with the accident spin entry.

The airframe and powerplant mechanic who maintained the accident airplane was interviewed by telephone and provided a written statement. He held an airline transport pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, and had approximately 14,000 hours of flight experience, with 1,300 hours in the accident airplane make and model. He provided instruction and a "check-out" in the accident airplane to the pilot/owner after it was purchased. The instructor did not provide any aerobatic instruction to the pilot/owner, and said he did not think any formal aerobatic training had been provided to him. When it was explained that there was video evidence of the pilot/owner performing aerobatics in the accident airplane during several flights previous to the accident flight he said, "If I had known that, I would have put a stop to it."

When asked about the stall/spin characteristics of the accident airplane, the instructor said that the airplane had very predictable handling characteristics. The instructor stated, "You have to hold the airplane in a spin. The airplane will recover from a spin by itself. The second you release the stick, it will come out of the spin. The airplane will recover by itself from a fully developed spin in less than one turn. Once it is in the stall and spinning, you must hold the stick fully aft to maintain the spin." The instructor volunteered and stressed that "aerobatics over water is dangerous. It's disorienting." 

Among the Federal Aviation Regulations that address aerobatic flight, 
"…no person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight—
(b) Over an open air assembly of persons;
(e) Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface."
According to U.S. Army Field Manual 3-04.301 (1-301) Aeromedical Training for Flight Personnel:
9-31. Fascination, or fixation, flying can be separated into two categories: task saturation and target fixation. Task saturation may occur during the accomplishment of simple tasks within the cockpit. Crew members may become so engrossed with a problem or task within the cockpit that they fail to properly scan outside the aircraft. Target fixation, commonly referred to as target hypnosis, occurs when an aircrew member ignores orientation cues and focuses his attention on his object or goal; for example, an attack pilot on a gunnery range becomes so intent on hitting the target that he forgets to fly the aircraft, resulting in the aircraft striking the ground, the target, or the shrapnel created by hitting the target.


OCEAN CITY, Md.- Last month, a plane crashed into the ocean off of 130th street in Ocean City. That same week, authorities searched the Isle of Wight Bay for a missing gun used in a shooting. Also in June, there was a boat accident in the Assawoman Bay. In all three cases, police said Ocean City's new fire boat was not used. Some people like, retired Emergency Services Planner Richard "Buzzy" Bayles is asking why.

"I asked about the fire boat because a lot of people in Ocean City, a lot of the residents, know that we have a fire boat but it hasn't been utilized," said Bayles, of Ocean City.

The town of Ocean City paid $540,000, with the help of a grant, for the vessel. But the boat's absence at recent events has not gone unnoticed.

"The fire boat was not utilize during the aircraft incident," said Emergency Services Director Joseph Theobald. "So it's an asset assigned to Ocean City. It's under the housing of the fire department but it's there for anyone in public safety."

WBOC reached out to the Ocean City Fire Department for some answers.

"The Fire Boat was not used during the plane crash in Ocean City because the Fire Boat was not in service," said Fire Chief Chris Larmore. He added, "additionally, sufficient resources were on scene from allied agencies."

The fire chief would not speak to us on-camera. But town officials say there is a reason why the boat wasn't in service. They tell WBOC firefighters are still training on the new boat.

"As soon as the boat is fully functional from the manufacturer, we will complete the remaining skill evaluations for the operators to verify that we can safely and efficiently operate the vessel, and the boat will be in-service," said Fire Chief Larmore.


Source:  http://www.wboc.com

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA309
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
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 June 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a China Nanchang CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to the Ocean City Beach Patrol, the Maryland State Police, and the OCPD, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as “slow” and “lazy” and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn’t notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he’d never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, “He has never been that low, or that close to the shore.” When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, and he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down descent and added that the airplane’s attitude was nearly flat, and that it “pancaked” into the water with a slapping sound, “like your hand slapping against the water.”

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. No pilot logbook was recovered, but on his most recent insurance application, he reported 819 total hours of flight experience, of which 204 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental category. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on September 12, 2012, at 6,576 total aircraft hours.

The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2014 and examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date. Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The left wing was lost during recovery.

A video camera was recovered from the cockpit, and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC, for download.

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.

 
 

Potty Break: St. Johns River near Federal Point in Florida

A seaplane landed in the St. Johns River near Federal Point this afternoon, causing at least one person to call authorities.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Dylan Bryan said the plane landed and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the scene.

The pilot landed the plane because of a mechanical issue, but he told an officer on scene he did not need help, Bryan said.

However, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation spokeswoman Joy Hill, officials were told the pilot landed because someone on the plane needed to use the restroom, and there were no mechanical issues.

Around 4 p.m., the plane was still in the river.

Story, Photos, Comments/Reaction:   http://staugustine.com


Photos and Video:  http://www.actionnewsjax.com

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/mediacenter

Cessna 560XL, N510FS: Middle Georgia Regional Airport (KMCN), Macon, Georgia

The day after a crash landing injured nearly a dozen people in New York, Macon-Bibb County firefighters were on alert for an emergency landing at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

About 40 minutes after takeoff from Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany, a pilot radioed in that he was having problems with the landing gear sensor and was not sure whether the gear was fully extended.

Five people on board the Cessna 560XL were on the way to Florence, S.C., when the plane circled the Macon airport.

Fire Lt. Lance Trice said crews on the ground could see the landing gear was extended and the pilot decided to make his approach in the fixed wing jet based in Macon.

“They wanted to get us out there just in case there was an accident,” Trice said.

With air rescue trucks in position near the runway, the pilot decided to land, and did so safely shortly after noon.

Macon-Bibb’s Air Rescue 1 and other fire trucks followed the plane after landing, which is standard procedure in case something happens.

“Everything turned out okay,” Trice said. “They’re actually going to have a mechanic check things out per FAA rules before they can get clearance to fly.”

Lowe Aviation’s Henry Lowe said the pilot had access to another plane at the airport and took off in it shortly before 1 p.m. and headed to Florence.

“The landing gear was working, it might have been just a light bulb or something,” Lowe said.

As is protocol, an ambulance was also standing by in the event of a crash landing or other problem on board the fixed wing, multi-engine aircraft.

Nearly a dozen people were hurt Monday evening when front landing gear collapsed on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at La Guardia Airport in the New York City borough of Queens.

Watch Video: http://www.macon.com


 http://registry.faa.gov/N510FS


Plane touches down with landing gear not working at Peterborough Municipal Airport, Ontario, Canada

PETERBOROUGH -- A two-seater Amphibian/Searay plane had to make an emergency landing at the Peterborough Airport on Tuesday (July 23).

The lone pilot radioed into the airport controls just shortly after 2:30 p.m. indicating the aircraft's landing gear had malfunctioned and only one wheel had opened up. 

The plane circled the airport for more than an hour, burning off fuel until a decision was made to land the plane on one wheel as lightning and rain began to fall. The plane cruised in for a smooth landing.

The pilot was not injured and the plane did not receive any damage as a result of the emergency landing.

Watch Video:   http://www.mykawartha.com




Bankruptcy court takes bids for Commander Premier Aircraft assets

The former quarters of Commander Premier Aircraft Corp. at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport are still locked up tight after a failed attempt to establish a small plane production company nearly eight years ago, but news of some action from recent bankruptcy court hearings has given city officials some hope the debacle could come to an end as early as next spring.

The city of Cape Girardeau evicted the company from a 52,000-square-foot hangar at the airport in October 2011 after Commander failed to make lease payments going back to 2007. The company began business at the airport in 2005, but never produced any aircraft after announcing plans to hire 100 people within three years to build single-engine planes to sell for $600,000 apiece.

A Texas court has handled bankruptcy proceedings for the company since 2011. At a hearing last week, the court accepted several bids for Commander's assets, which city officials say is another significant step toward a final disconnect with the company. Until the court is done with the bankruptcy case, the city cannot market, lease or sell the hangar. The court, according to city attorney Eric Cunningham, now has to decide which creditors have rights to assets and which bids for assets to accept. An attorney representing the city in the case has advised officials that the case could wrap up by April.

City manager Scott Meyer said the city wants the hangar freed up as soon as possible, but officials' hands are tied. That will only come through a judge's decision.

"We are pushing for it to go faster, because we would love to be done with it, but the wheels of justice roll at their own pace," he said.

A growing consensus among city officials is that the hangar should be sold instead of leased once the bankruptcy proceedings are finished so as to avoid the problems seen in the past.

"It's certainly been my position for some time that we would prefer to sell," Meyer said.

Airport manager Bruce Loy said the leasing of hangars at the airport is a common setup and often works without issue, but the particular situation the city has experienced with Commander is not one he prefers to see repeated.

"If we did lease, I do think we would ask for money in advance, and other things. We really don't want to go through this again," Loy said. The sale of city property would require the approval of the city council. The city is unable to sell the land that contains the hangar because of Federal Aviation Administration rules. If the hangar were sold, the land would still be involved in a lease agreement.

The city sold $2.6 million in bonds in 2001 to finance the hangar's construction and associated extension of utilities. The bonds were paid off by the city in 2011 with $1.69 million received from the purchase of property by Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. Debt problems associated with the hangar began in 2004 when another company, Renaissance Aircraft, had possession, but folded and failed to pay off the bonds per a contract with the city.

As of this week, city officials do not yet know who submitted bids to the bankruptcy court. Jason Searcy, a Longview, Texas, attorney representing Commander, did not return messages left by phone seeking information about the bankruptcy case.

At least one company showed interest in purchasing assets of the Commander earlier this year. In March, the Airport Advisory Board reported several tours of Commander assets were organized for interested companies, and an unnamed Chinese company, according to the report to the board, "seemed to be more interested than the others and stated they have plans to make an offer to the bankruptcy trustee."

Source:   http://www.semissourian.com

Dania loses federal lawsuit fighting airport expansion: Another case against county heading to court on December 9

DANIA BEACH—

The city has lost another battle in its long-running dispute over the expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

U.S. District Judge James Cohn dismissed Dania's lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday, saying the agency did not violate environmental laws when it granted a permit to fill wetlands for the south runway.

"This was not a big surprise," said Mayor Walter Duke, referring to an earlier ruling by Cohn critical of the city's case.

A few years ago, the city lost its lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration for approving the expansion.

Another lawsuit against Broward County is pending, with trial set for Dec. 9.

"This lawsuit is not about trying to stop the runway," said Neal McAliley, an outside attorney handling the Dania lawsuits. "This lawsuit is about getting the flight restrictions that were agreed to. You have thousands of people right underneath the flight path. They're going to have jets right overhead. Broward made promises in the 1990s and they are trying to renege on it."

By 2020, more than 500 flights are projected to use the south runway each day, with large and heavy jets coming every 4 minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to FAA projections.

Dania's lawsuit alleges the county disregarded a 1995 agreement with the city in which it agreed to certain restrictions before moving forward with the expansion project. Those conditions included limiting night flights on the new runway along with the size of jets and directions of takeoffs and landings.

But the FAA rejected the idea of flight restrictions when it approved the expansion in December 2008, McAliley said.

Construction of the $790 million runway began in January 2012.

Expected to open in September 2014, the new landing strip will accommodate bigger commercial jets and increase the number of takeoffs and landings. It will also expose 2,000 Dania homes to sound levels deemed by the FAA to be incompatible with residential use.

Commissioners plan to meet in private Aug. 27 to decide whether to appeal Cohn's ruling. The city has until Sept. 20 to file with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"It's disappointing, but it's not surprising," said Neal McAliley, an outside attorney handling the Dania lawsuits. "A year ago he indicated he was going to rule for the Army Corps of Engineers."

Duke could not say if the city might appeal the case against the Army Corps.

"I probably shouldn't speak on behalf of the commission," he said. "But there is the political will to do what is best for the impacted residents."


Source:   http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Quad City Challenger II, N1519: Accident occurred July 21, 2013 in Mill Creek, Indiana

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA428
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 21, 2013 in Mill Creek, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/2015
Aircraft: COOPER, DAVID W. CHALLENGER II, registration: N1519
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 accident airplane and another airplane were en route to an airport as a flight of two airplanes. When the accident airplane did not arrive at the destination airport, a search was conducted, and it was subsequently found in a cornfield. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel tank and carburetor fuel bowls were empty. No evidence of fuel spillage was found at the accident site. Examination did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical anomalies. The pilot did not hold a pilot certificate but had received flight training. He had an instructor's solo endorsement and had soloed; however, he had not received instruction or an endorsement to solo in the accident airplane model. Based on the available evidence, it is likely that the airplane's fuel supply was exhausted, which resulted in a loss of engine power. Subsequently, the pilot lost control of the airplane during the ensuing forced landing due to his limited experience in the airplane model.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noncertificated pilot's improper fuel planning, which led to fuel exhaustion and a loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to obtain adequate instruction or an endorsement to solo in the accident airplane model, which led to his loss of airplane control during the forced landing.

On July 21, 2013, about 0700 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Cooper Challenger II airplane, N1519, impacted terrain near Mill Creek, Indiana. The non-certificated pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft 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 for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport (3TR), Niles, Michigan, about 0630 and was en route to the Plymouth Municipal Airport (C65), Plymouth, Indiana.

The airplane departed 3TR along with another airplane en route to C65. When the accident airplane did not arrive at C65, a search was conducted and the airplane was found in a corn field near Mill Creek Indiana. There were no known witnesses to the accident.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that there was no fuel in the fuel tank and no fuel was found in the carburetor bowl. No evidence of a fuel spill was detected at the accident site. Further examination of the airplane did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies.

The pilot held a second class medical certificate issue on March 27, 2013. The limitations section of the medical certificate noted that the pilot must wear corrective lenses. There was no record of the pilot having been issued a pilot certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

A pilot flight logbook was recovered and indicated that the pilot had received flight training in Cessna 172 airplanes between March 14, 2013 and April 27, 2013. During that time the pilot had accumulated 14.1 hours of flight time in Cessna 172 airplanes and had soloed a Cessna 172 airplane on March 30, 2013. The logbook also indicated that the pilot had flown the accident airplane about 11 hours between May 5, 2013, and May 25, 2013. The May 25, 2013 entry was the most recent completed entry in the logbook. The logbook contained an instructor's endorsement for solo operations in Cessna 172 airplanes, but no endorsement for solo operation in the accident airplane was found. There were no logged flights indicating that the pilot had received any flight training in the accident airplane or in a like model airplane.

http://registry.faa.gov/N1519

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA428 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 21, 2013 in Mill Creek, IN
Aircraft: Cooper, David W. Challenger II, registration: N1519
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 21, 2013, about 0700 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Cooper Challenger II airplane, N1519, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground near Mill Creek, Indiana. The pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft 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 for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport, Niles, Michigan, about 0630.




 
Benjamin Hubbard



 La PORTE — "As a pilot, we know the risks, but we do what we love."

That's what recreational pilot Phil Knox, who discovered the wreckage after an airplane crash near La Porte on Sunday, said about his passion of taking to the skies.

Knox, who resides in the Mishawaka area and has been flying planes for years, said that while he only met pilot Benjamin Hubbard once — a few weeks ago at a pancake breakfast — he thought he was a nice guy.

Hubbard, 36, of South Bend, left Niles, Michigan, early Sunday morning and was flying to Plymouth to have breakfast with a fellow pilot.

Hubbard's plane was found in a field approximately 2,100 feet east of 600 East, south of Division Road. Officers found Hubbard, the lone occupant of the single-engine plane, dead at the scene.

"I think it is terrible," said Knox about the accident. "I feel sad that I found the site but at the same time, I would want people to look as hard as they could for me as we have done."

According to Knox, he arrived Sunday at the Niles airport and was informed a plane was missing.

He said Hubbard had been flying behind a Cessna plane, which was being flown by the pilot Hubbard was set to have breakfast with. When the Cessna pilot landed in Plymouth and Hubbard did not arrive, the pilot called the Niles airport to see if Hubbard had turned around.

Knox and another man piloted a plane across the area for hours, searching for Hubbard's plane. Then Knox heard a crop duster crash was reported near La Porte. Knox and the other pilot went back to the Niles airport and made calls to the La Porte emergency departments and received a general location.

Once again, Knox got into a plane and went looking for Hubbard's plane. What he saw was "a red airplane against the green corn."

"I then called for rescue and had to explain where the plane crashed specifically. The corn was so high that you could not see the crash from the road," Knox explained.

Knox called the La Porte County Regional 911 at around 11:50 a.m. Sunday and described for rescuers on a map where the ultra-light plane was located in the 10-foot-tall corn stalks.

Officers had originally been dispatched at 7 a.m. Sunday to Division Road and 600 East where a local resident told officers a small aircraft had crashed. The La Porte County Sheriff's Department report stated the resident said at approximately 5:30 a.m. he began hearing and seeing a crop duster flying low to the area when he heard a loud popping noise.

The incident is still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating why the plane crashed.

Spirit Aerosystems expected to lay off 300 employees, union says

(Reuters) - A union leader said on Wednesday 300 layoffs were expected at Spirit Aerosystems, a major supplier of fuselages, wing pieces and other parts to Boeing, Airbus and other aircraft makers.

The layoffs are due to be announced on Thursday and it may include management, engineers and information technology workers, said Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), which represents employees at Spirit.

Spirit, based in Wichita, Kansas, declined to comment. "We have no announcement to make at this time," said spokesman Ken Evans.


Source:   http://www.reuters.com

Light bulb sparks Hamilton airport hangar fire

An electrical fire on the roof of a hangar at Hamilton's airport sparked thousands in damage.

Emergency crews were called to Airport Road at 4 a.m. Wednesday after sparks were seen at Hangar 5 near Glanford Aviation.

Twelve trucks were dispatched to the rural location, including four water tankers.

"We didn't know what we were up against," said Hamilton Fire Safety prevention officer Bob Simpson.

The fire however, which started near the edge of the roof near the eavestrough, was already under control by airport staff by the time crews arrived.

"We completed the extinguishment," Simpson said.

The location has since been cleared.

No one was injured. Damage is estimated at $10,000.

Fire officials say a faulty light blub is to blame.

The Hamilton Spectator

Bees delay US Airways Express flight from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (KCLT), North Carolina

 

 CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bees swarmed part of a US Airways plane Wednesday afternoon, preventing it from departing from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a passenger tells NBC Charlotte. 

US Airways says Flight 2690 was set to depart to Indianapolis until it was held at the gate.

Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Utter was on board the plane. He tells NBC Charlotte the pilot told passengers bees were preventing them from taking off. The airport says the swarm surrounded the tug, a piece of equipment.

"Just as we were getting ready to pull off the gate, the pilot comes on and says we can’t pull off because bees have swarmed at the front of the plane. I have yet to see a single bee. I don’t know if anyone else has. It’s just really strange. We’re not allowed to get off the plane. I mean, go buy a can of Raid or something. This is ridiculous. It’s hot on this plane, they won’t let us off, this is ridiculous,” he said.

Utter tweeted around 3:45 p.m. that the plane was “bee free.”

The airline says no one was ever in danger, but the fire department reported responding to one bee sting.

Story, Video, Photos:  http://www.wcnc.com

Aerolite 103, N2549W: Accident occurred March 16, 2013 in Immokalee, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA171
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Immokalee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/27/2015
Aircraft: MCNULTY JOHN S AEROLITE 103, registration: N2549W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

According to the pilot, he was descending the airplane from 3,000 to 1,000 ft above ground level toward his destination airport. After he leveled off the airplane, he encountered heavy turbulence and a strong wind gust. The airplane began to descend, and, in an attempt to climb, the pilot added power. However, the airplane did not climb, and a wind gust rolled the airplane right. He subsequently lost control of the airplane, and it collided with trees. Although the pilot did not report that the engine lost power, an examination of the engine revealed evidence of seizure marks on the intake and exhaust side of the magneto cylinder walls; the magneto piston’s seizure likely led to the loss of engine power and contributed to the airplane’s inability to climb.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of engine power due to the seizure of the magneto piston.

On March 16, 2013, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental Aerolite 103, N2549W, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain near Immokalee, Florida. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight departed from Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM), Immokalee, Florida at 0900.

According to the pilot, he was returning to IMM after a short local flight. The pilot reported that he was at 3,000 feet agl and started a descent into IMM. He went on to say that he leveled off at 1,000 feet agl and had the airport insight. As he approached the airport he encountered heavy turbulence, followed by a strong gust of wind. The airplane began to descend rapidly, and he added full power in an attempt to fly out of the turbulence and climb. He did not recall if the engine's rpm increased, but stated that the airplane did not climb or perform as expected. The airplane rolled to the right, continued to descend and collided with the trees.

An examination of the airframe revealed that all of the tubing was buckled due to impact damage. Examination of the flight controls revealed continuity to the flight control surfaces. The elevator control cable was broken, and was examined by the NTSB material laboratory. The examination revealed that it was broken in overstress.

The recorded weather at the Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers, Florida (RSW), revealed that at 0953, conditions were wind 170 degrees at 6 knots, cloud conditions clear, temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 11 degrees C; altimeter 30.21 inches of mercury. According to the Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB): CE-09-35; these conditions were favorable for serious carburetor icing at glide power.

A review of the ROTAX installation manual section 16) carburetor subsection 16.1) Carburetor air intake, states that "If the aircraft is to be operated in climatic conditions where carburetor icing is likely to occur, a heating system must be fitted." During the examination of the carburetor and intake system it was noted that this Rotax engine was not equipped with a carburetor heat system.

Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller blades exhibited signs of rotational damage on two of the three blades. One blade was broken off at the root and was not located.

Further examination of the engine revealed that the fuel system was breached between the primer bulb and the fuel tank. An examination of the carburetor revealed that it was impact damaged. Further examination of the carburetor system revealed that the air filter was found dirty. An examination of the spark plugs revealed that they were covered with oil deposits on the electrodes and insulator. The fuel bowl was removed and did not contain any fuel. There was evidence of water contamination but no water was within the bowl at the time of examination. The carburetor was further dissembled and the main jet was free of obstructions or blockages. The jet needle was installed correctly and was in good condition. Examination of the fuel pump revealed that it was in good condition but was mounted incorrectly according to the Rotax manual. Examination of the fuel lines revealed that they were secure to their fittings on the engine. No fuel was found between the carburetor and the fuel pump. 

An examination of the cylinders revealed that there were seizure marks on the magneto piston. Metal transfers were found on the intake and exhaust side of the magneto cylinder wall. Examination of the power take-off cylinder revealed no metal transfer and no evidence of piston seizure.
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 For nearly two hours, Tony Radelat was pinned upside down in his ultralight plane, while he talked on his cell phone with a Collier County Sheriff’s Office emergency dispatcher who reassured him help was on the way.

“All through the ordeal he just kept me going,” Radelat said of CCSO Senior Dispatcher Richard Swink. “He kept saying, ‘We have you. We have your position. We’re coming for you.’ It kept me from passing out.”


While he was on the phone with Radelat, Swink was trying to guide emergency responders to the injured pilot who was bleeding from the head and didn’t know his location.


“I just remember thinking that I just had to keep him awake because I knew if he would have passed out it would have been infinitely harder for us to find him and the result might not have been the same,” Swink said.


On Thursday, July 25, Radelat will meet Swink, along with the deputies, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders who rescued him, at the CCSO Communications Center, the nerve center for the rescue effort.


“I just want to tell them thank you,” said Radelat, who requested the meeting. “It’s a small token for what they did.”


The 67-year-old part-time Cape Coral resident also plans to bring before-and-after photos of his plane and X-rays of his injuries to share with his rescuers. He suffered a broken left leg, broken back, dislocated hip, and a punctured lung in the ordeal. He said he underwent several surgeries and can now walk without the assistance of a wheelchair or cane. The father of two said he has also given up flying at the request of his wife.


“It was a life-changing event for me,” said Radelat. “I didn’t think I would make it. Anything I do now is a plus.”


On the morning of March 16, Radelat flew his ultralight plane from Immokalee Regional Airport to Fort Myers Beach. It’s a trip the experienced pilot has made many times.


But on his way back, he encountered strong turbulence, which caused his single-engine plane to crash.


Radelat said he typically doesn’t take a cell phone when he flies because reception is usually poor, but this trip he did.


“My situation was dire,” Radelat recalled “I was pinned down and couldn’t get out. My plane radio didn’t work. I was lucky I had my cell phone in my jacket pocket. That saved my life.”


He dialed 911. Swink picked up the phone and was able to obtain a general location for Radelat on the southwest side of Lake Trafford in Immokalee using GPS on the pilot’s cell phone. That turned out to be more than a half mile from where the plan was eventually found.


For the next hour and 58 minutes Swink stayed on the phone with Radelat, while using the satellite map on his computer to direct emergency responders in helicopters and on all-terrain vehicles through acres of thick brush and trees.


The search became a game of hot or cold, using the sounds of the CCSO and EMS helicopters to try to pinpoint his exact location. When it appeared rescuers were getting closer, Swink conferenced in a call to the cell phone of one of the deputies on the ground. The deputy was able to judge Radelat’s location by the sound of the helicopters coming from the pilot’s phone. Eventually as the deputy got closer he could hear Radelat’s cries for help.


Rescuers found Radelat upside down in his plane in a tree about 20 feet above the ground.


Radelat said he remembers thanking Swink at the end of the call, but little else about being rescued. He passed out soon after help arrived.


When the call was over more than a dozen dispatchers and radio operators in the room gave Swink a standing ovation.

“They applauded Richard for sticking with him (Radelat)” said Communications Supervisor Bob Finney II. “It takes a special kind of person to keep talking and not have dead air and to keep calm and ask questions.”

Swink, 28, shrugged off the praise.

“I’m fully confident that anyone who answered the phone would have done the same thing and would have gotten the same result. I just happened to be the one who answered the phone.’’

This story is contributed by a member of the Naples community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Naples Daily News

Source:  http://www.naplesnews.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N2549W

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA171
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Immokalee, FL
Aircraft: MCNULTY JOHN S AEROLITE 103, registration: N2549W
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 March 16, 2013, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur built, Aerolite 103, N2549W, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain near Immokalee, Florida. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight departed from Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM), Immokalee, Florida at 0900.

According to the pilot’s spouse, he was returning from a local flight. She spoke to him prior to his departure and he stated that everything was “fine” with the airplane. This was the last time she spoke to the pilot. At approximately 1045, the pilot called 911 to advise them that he had crashed his airplane and needed assistance. First responders located the pilot, and he was transported to a local hospital.

Examination of the airplane by the local authorities revealed that it came to rest in a heavily wooded area, and exhibited substantial damage. The airplane will be recovered for further examination at a later date.