Thursday, July 25, 2013

Green laser pointed at Denver International Airport (KDEN) aircraft

DENVER - A pilot leaving Denver International Airport Wednesday night reported that he saw a green laser shine his way twice.

The pilot of the twin-engine Beechcraft B190 was climbing southbound at around 9:15 p.m. when he saw the laser. No injuries have been reported.

This isn't the first time green lasers shot across at a Colorado airport this year. A Frontier Airlines crew reported seeing a green laser shooting from the ground on March 29 from Grand Junction. The crew reported that the laser illuminated the entire cockpit.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly told the Associated Press in March that incidents are common around DIA but rare in Western Colorado.

Story and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.9news.com

Sterling Municipal Airport (KSTK) gets flag pole

 
Members of the Sterling VFW and other local patriots who contributed to the project, pose for a picture next to the new flag pole they recently put up at Sterling Municipal Airport. 
 Callie Jones/Journal-Advocate



STERLING — There's something new greeting airplanes that fly into Sterling Municipal Airport -- a flag pole, with an America flag blowing proudly in the wind. 

The new flag pole, which is the first one the airport has ever had, was donated by the Jake Uhrig VFW Post 3541, of Sterling, and local patriots.

The project, which was finished just last week, started last fall, when VFW Commander Dan Torres learned the airport didn't have a flag pole or a flag flying.

“I was very surprised,” he said.

Being a veteran is one of the things Torres is really proud of and as a veteran he has great respect for the flag. So, he set out to see if he could get a flag pole and flag put in.

The  first thing he did was approach the VFW, to see if they would be interested in taking it on as a project.

“I took it to the club and the members decided, 'Let's do it,'” Torres said.

Then he went to some local patriots, all pilots, to see if they wanted to help and they did. They contributed between one-third and half of the total cost.

Among the contributors are Randy Anderson, of Home Depot; Paul Schrade of Luft Machine; Chris Dinsdale; Darrel Mertens; Pat Klinzmann; Curt Penny; and Bohler Well Service.

Schrade did research on poles, to figure out what kind of pole would be the best to put up, because they wanted one that would last for a long time, and Torres spent a lot of time working with Pat O'Brien, the airport manager, to figure out where to place the pole.

The flag pole sits next to a tower near the front of the airport, which the city of Sterling installed lights on, because for a flag to fly 24 hours a day it has to be under light.

While it was important for the flag to have lighting, they made sure that it won't distract pilots who are coming into the airport, by having the lights shine downward onto the flag.

For the finishing touch, the group worked with Sterling Monument, who gave them a good deal on a plaque that sits next to the flag pole, with information about who donated the pole.


Story and Photos:  http://www.journal-advocate.com

Environmental Protection Agency to test toxins at Avionics site near Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (KCHO), Virginia

 
THE DAILY PROGRESS/ANDREW SHURTLEFF 
The EPA is conducting an assessment of long-term risks related to contaminants found in the soil at the abandoned Avionics aircraft production facility near the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.


Federal environmental regulators are investigating the discharge of a carcinogen and other toxins into soil and groundwater at a shuttered avionics plant in Earlysville officials said. 

Five toxic chemicals have tested positive at the former Avionics Specialties, Inc. site just west of Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Among those toxins is tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE, which has been linked in medical studies to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bone marrow tumors and increased risk of spontaneous abortion. Known for its sharp, sweet odor, the compound is used in dry cleaning and metal degreasing, according to government websites.

Other chemicals found at the plant site include methyl chloroform, trichloroethene, ethylidene dichloride and vinylidene chloride, the EPA said.

“We only started the investigation, so we don’t even know the entire universe of contaminants that may be present,” EPA Project Manager Donna McCartney said. “But before anything else, the extent of the contamination needs to be delineated, defined and remedied.”

The investigation is expected to take 18 months, McCartney said. Field work is expected to end in August, McCartney said.

The toxins first were identified as part of standard closure activities when Avionics shut down the plant in 2010, McCartney said. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality alerted federal regulators to the problem, McCartney said.

Avionics Specialties, now known as Aerosonic Corporation, purchased the plant in 1993 and operated it until 2010. The company has expressed interest in selling the site, McCartney said.

Officials at Aerosonic’s Clearwater, Fla., headquarters declined to comment.

While all five substances are considered toxic, only tetrachloroethylene is potentially carcinogenic.

McCartney said her agency will not know the extent of the risk until the investigation is complete, but nearby homeowners already are concerned.

“We’ve informed them of what’s going on and they’re as anxious to get these results as we are,” McCartney said.

Reo Hatfield, who has lived in the nearby Walnut Hill community for nearly five years, said he was unaware of the dangers posed by the toxins at the site less than five miles from his home.

“I still don’t know exactly what they found,” Hatfield said. “There’ve been some rumors, but all I know is that it’s carcinogenic and I don’t even know that to be accurate.”

Homes in the community were fit with carbon filters in 2007, but Hatfield said neighbors still were unsure about the level of threat. The EPA has informed homeowners of the latest problem, but not of the risks the chemicals could pose, Hatfield said.

“All of us out here have water wells. It’s obvious that someone needs to verify this,” Hatfield said. “Most the people here are intelligent people, they would recognize the sincerity of being truthful and we could address any issues known. Addressing the unknown is the greatest fear.”

Officials said the troubles at the Avionics site are unrelated to another point of contention for Hatfield and neighbors in Walnut Hill — blasting at the airport as part of a runway extension project.

Airport Executive Director Melinda Crawford said officials there have been in close communication with the EPA.

“We are aware of the situation,” Crawford said, “and we are monitoring it closely.”

Albemarle County supervisors Chairwoman Ann H. Mallek said officials were made aware of possible problems at the site in the late 2000s, but the EPA investigation raises deeper concerns.

“I’m certainly looking forward to hear more from the environmental folks about what they’re planning to do,” Mallek said. “I would think there should be zero tolerance for something like this. They need to clean it up.”

The plant sits on 12 acres adjacent to the southwest corner of the airport. The facility was built in 1954 by Teledyne, Inc., later known as Teledyne Industries, Inc., as an aircraft instrumentation production plant, McCartney said.

Teledyne owned and operated the facility from 1966 to 1992 before selling to Avionics.

Last year, the EPA reached a settlement with both companies to investigate the chemicals discharge and evaluate cleanup alternatives.

The vacant plant, several other empty buildings and a chemical storage garage sit on the site, according to the EPA.


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

Airport downgraded: Seward (PAWD), Alaska

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix Log
 Runway 13/31 at the Seward Airport was shut down June 19 by its State of Alaska management due to flooding and concerns over the condition of the pavement. The runway has been reopened but is restricted to light planes which has resulted in loss of access to the airport by commercial flights including jet traffic as well as loss of business for airport vendors.



After closing the main runway at Seward Airport on June 19 due to flooding, the Alaska Department of Transportation reopened it on July 5 with significant restrictions. In making his report to Seward City Council on Monday, City Manager Jim Hunt noted that DOT reduced the aircraft weight limit to 12,500 pounds, resulting in the airport turning away traffic and business over the past few weeks amounting to more than $30,000.

Denny Hamilton, who operates the airport fuel service, reported losses to his business in excess of $20,000 due to the closing and subsequent downgrade of the runway. The airport lost the ability to field jet aircraft including five cancelled charters since the initial closing. Although the shifting channel of the Resurrection River threatens the embankment paralleling the runway and some overflow flooding occurs occasionally, the pavement itself appears unaffected.

Hunt said that the area’s state legislators were alerted to the situation and city administration will continue to follow up on the issue. 


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

Airport authority moves forward with hangar plans: Stillwater Regional (KSWO), Oklahoma

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Regional Airport Authority reviewed and approved an updated proposal from LBR Inc., for site development of the southeast hangar area.

This process will include surveys and geotech testing which will provide property dimensions for private developers.

The airport authority budgeted approximately $125,000 for this project. Hangars will be  built on a B-2 standard, which is for aircraft with a 59-foot or less wingspan.

The authority has been talking to other airports and looking at their ideas for hangar development areas. After review of some airports, it seemed the leasing terms depend on the square footage of the privately owned hangar. For example, if the hangar was 15,000 square feet, the lease could be for 40 years.

The surveying will also separate the area into lots, which will make it easier for private developers to come in and know what they need to do to create a hangar.

The authority passed this project 5-0.

Source: http://www.stwnewspress.com

Two couples take Brussels Flying Club’s airplane on month-long trip to Alaska

 
In the front, pilot Bert Hodgins, of Bervie and Frank Hardy, of Lucan and in the back, their wives Maria Hodgins and Carol Hardy are all smiles as they land in McKillop from a month-long trip to Alaska using the Brussels Flying Club’s 182 Cessna four-seater airplane.


By SUSAN HUNDERTMARK, QMI Agency 

Thursday, July 25, 2013 3:00:12 EDT PM


Brussels Flying Club’s 182 Cessna airplane has just returned from one of its longest trips ever when member Bert Hodgins, of Bervie, along with his wife Maria and friends Frank and Carol Hardy, of Lucan, came home July 17 from a month-long flying trip to Alaska.

Packed into the close quarters of the four-seater airplane, the two couples got the chance to see much of Canada from the air on their way to and from an Alaskan Air Tour organized by the Canadian Owners’ and Pilots’ Association (COPA).

“Bert wanted a plane that could do a big trip and our plane is easily capable of doing what they did,” says Brussels Flying Club vice-president Al Murray, who adds that while he and president Ken Campbell flew together to Yellowknife once, no one’s gone to Alaska with the plane until now.

“We tried to get to Tuktoyaktuk but the weather turned against us and we were on a timeline. Bert and his partners got to Tuktoyaktuk - this trip’s been inspiring for the rest of us,” says Murray of the 15 members, six or seven of them active pilots, of the Brussels Flying Club. Tuktoyaktuk is a small community of 200 people on the Beaufort Sea in the Northwest Territories.

The four emerged smiling from the Cessna after touching down on the airstrip on Murray’s McKillop farm last Wednesday, praising the plane and awed by the beauty of the remote Canadian landscape they’d seen over the past month.

“It was a very unique holiday,” says Hodgins, a recent member of the Brussels Flying Club who got his pilot’s licence close to three years ago. “We saw a lot of Canada and met a lot of great people. We aimed for the small towns where we got to talk to the local people.”

“It was so amazing. We went from civilization to where people were trapping and offering us their food,” adds his wife Maria.

Travelling an historic route discovered by early bush pilots and developed during the Second World War as part of a pivotal supply route to ferry aircraft to Russia, the four flew over glaciers and through mountains, ate caribou soup and dried whale meat, went fishing and caught pickerel on Slave Lake and panned for gold at Dawson City.

“Panning for gold is overrated. We didn’t get much. You might as well stay farming,” jokes Hodgins.

With very little room in the plane for luggage or camping supplies, the four stayed in cabins, motels and even the homes of the residents of the small, remote communities they visited. In Inuvik, they stayed in a cabin at the home of a man with 31 huskies and got to watch him training the dogs to pull sleds in the winter. They also toured a new school where Inuit culture combined with high tech equipment, such as iPads for every student.

In Fort Good Hope, they slept in the airport manager’s home since the community was so small that it didn’t have a motel or a restaurant. In Tuktoyaktuk, the two men descended 30-feet into an eight-room ice freezer where meat is stored in the permafrost. In Atikokan, Ont., they had to wait for deer to leave the runway before they could take off. 

The recent flooding in Alberta and the forest fires in Alaska changed some of their plans during the trip.

“We were going to visit relatives in Alberta but the flooding in Calgary changed our plans. They have enough to deal with. And, there were 55 forest fires in the Yukon and Alaska where the roads were closed. The original plan was to fly to Fairbanks, Alaska but we didn’t get there,” says Hodgins, adding the four took a train to Skagway, Alaska from Whitehorse.

While the Hardys had very little experience flying in small airplanes, both Frank and Carol say they had a fabulous time.

“I have wanted to go to Alaska for a very long time and I didn’t want to go on a cruise ship. This trip fit the bill for me,” he says, adding that it was a way of celebrating the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary on Aug. 3.

Carol says that apart from a queasy stomach during the first day of flying, she loved the experience.

“For the first week, you think you’re living in a dream since it’s so beautiful. We flew through places you would never get to see otherwise,” she says, raving about the beauty of Virginia Falls in the Northwest Territories, a place inaccessible to anything but airplanes and canoes or kayaks.

Hodgins says the trip gave him a real appreciation for small communities that maintain airports since small planes would never be able to make the trip without them.

“Without them, we couldn’t have had an adventure like this,” he says.

“If you get a chance, you should take this trip. Canada is a wonderful country and you should see it,” adds Maria.

Her friend Carol agrees.

“Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world – it’s so huge with mountains, water and tundra. I loved seeing the little farms in Ontario compared to the big sections of farmland in Saskatchewan with the golden and green fields – it’s just remarkable. I have such an appreciation for Canada that I never had before,” she says. 

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

Fundraiser set for families of officers killed in plane crash: 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 police officers Tommy Geoghegan (left) and Josh Adickes died June 30 when Geoghegan's small plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. 


The last of four local fundraising events for the families of two Ocean City, Md., police officers who died in a plane crash is scheduled for Friday from 3 to 10 p.m.

The nonprofit motorcycle club Hogs and Heroes is splitting all money raised at the Hooters of West Ocean City between the families of officers Tommy Geoghegan and Josh Adickes, who were killed June 30 when Geoghegan’s plane crashed in the water off 130th Street in Ocean City.

“When we found out, when the news broke of the plane crash, we decided to hold a fundraiser. We originally were going do the first Friday in July, but then they decided to make it for every Friday in July,” said Mike Sandoe, events coordinator and road captain for his Delaware 1 chapter of Hogs and Heroes. The group supports public safety, military, veterans and wounded warriors.

Sandoe said this one event is the culmination of all four Friday events. He said while the first three were to mourn, “this one will be a celebration of life.”

“Hogs and Heroes is pulling out all the stops,” he said. “We’re going to have a jam-packed house. We’re ending it on a positive note — who they were, their family life, their hobbies, what they did outside of the OCPD.”

As a nonprofit organization, Hogs and Heroes can’t give money directly to another individual. The group instead partnered with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10, the group that represents Ocean City police officers. Sandoe said all the money they raise will be donated to the police union to be directed to the two families as they wish. He said Hogs and Heroes hopes to hand over that donation in a formal presentation next month.

“It’s truly humbling to see such a tremendous response from our community,” said Shawn Jones, an Ocean City police sergeant and president of the Lodge. “I think this experience, as tough as it has been for many of us, has reaffirmed to our organization that the people of our community are just as committed to lifting us up during our time of need as we (the FOP) are to them when tragedy strikes in their lives.”

The fundraiser will include live music, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Sandoe said they’re hoping also for a large turnout of classic cars and motorcycles. Guest bartenders will serve drinks, and their tips also will go toward the cause.

Sandoe said the Hooters of West Ocean City already has “generously” donated to the cause, and will be extending happy hour specials until 10 p.m. for the event.

“They have been beyond description as far as their financial contribution, but also, they’re giving us the venue to raise the money and do these fundraisers,” he said.

IF YOU GO

What: Hogs and Heroes night to celebrate the lives of Ocean City Police Department officers Josh Adickes and Tommy Geoghegan

Where: Hooters of West Ocean City, U.S. 50 at Keyser Point Road

When: Friday July 26, 3-10 p.m.

Source:   http://www.delawareonline.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.

Bell 206B JetRanger II, Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters Ltd, C-GLQI: Accident occurred March 30, 2012, Loder Peak, Alberta - Canada

Kananaskis helicopter crash blamed on pilot inexperience: Transportation Safety Board releases report 

 
Matthew Goodine
 (Facebook )

Transportation Safety Board investigator Jon Lee has the details from a report that suggests pilot inexperience was a big factor in last year's helicopter crash in Kananaskis:   LISTEN  --The Eyeopener's David Gray chats with Jon Lee about flying 

http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/Report

http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/Report.pdf   

A Bell 206B helicopter operated by Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters crashed during a sightseeing tour on March 30, 2012. The pilot died, but the passengers from the United Kingdom survived.


The father of a pilot who was killed last year in a helicopter crash near Kananaskis agrees with a federal report’s findings that his son’s inexperience and lack of training in mountain flying were contributing factors in the incident.

But the reason 28-year-old Matthew Goodine had travelled from his hometown of Prince George, B.C., to Kananaskis was to gain that much-needed experience, said the man’s father.

“(His instructor) there said you should have a minimum of X number of hours in the mountains because the most dangerous place to fly is in the mountains. That was his mission, to get this,” Michael Goodine said Wednesday in a phone interview.

Goodine died on March 30, 2012, after the Bell 206B helicopter he was piloting crashed on a mountain side. The four passengers from the United Kingdom aboard the sightseeing tour were injured.

Goodine was qualified and certified as a pilot but had no previous mountain-flying training or experience, according to a report released by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on Tuesday.

“There was a high likelihood had he had better mountain training and more flying experience in the mountains, he would have been able to better recognize some of the hazards,” said Jon Lee, western regional manager with the board, though he added such training is not a regulatory requirement for flying in the mountains.

The report also showed Goodine had opted to fly through a route with steeper and more rugged terrain rather than the usual “gentler” route next to the mountains.

At the time, weather conditions were good, the helicopter was certified and properly equipped, and the pilot had had a “normal sleep-wake pattern” the days before, the report said.

The tour, operated by Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters for Kananaskis Heli Tours, was supposed to be a 20-minute flight with a stop at Brokenleg Lake for an hour of snowshoeing.

However, 13 minutes after departure, the helicopter ran into turbulence at Loder Peak, made a left turn and lost control. The aircraft spun six to 12 times, hit the mountain slope three times, and landed on a snowpack in an avalanche corridor.

Investigators believe either a loss of airspeed or a rotor clipping the side of the mountain caused the aircraft to lose control.

The passengers managed to get out, and pulled the pilot out onto the snow. He had not been wearing a helmet and was drifting “in and out of consciousness due to serious head and neck injuries,” the report said.

As temperatures dipped below zero, the passengers staked snowshoes upright in the snow to build a wind shield around Goodine, who was lightly dressed and not wearing a winter jacket. They covered him with blankets and a tuque. The passengers, who were wearing light winter clothing, then dug a pit in the snow to keep warm.

Help did not come immediately as the chopper’s emergency locator transmitter was not activated upon impact, and there was a delay in receiving the signal due to where the aircraft and satellite were positioned.

The helicopter was equipped with satellite tracking, but no one at the base was monitoring the screen and the chopper’s path at the time.

And while pilots who fly to Brokenleg Lake are expected to notify the base about their stop, sometimes the transmissions don’t work, so no red flags were raised when a transmission on this particular flight was not received.

The passengers were also unable to get cell reception to call for help.

A search and rescue helicopter from Canmore was eventually dispatched more than an hour after the crash, but severe weather prevented it from landing. It wasn’t able to safely reach the crash site until several hours later, at which point everyone was rescued via heli-sling.

Goodine died en route to hospital. An autopsy concluded the cause of death to be a combination of head and neck trauma, with hypothermia as a contributing factor.

The report said a helmet likely would have “reduced or prevented the injuries sustained by the pilot.”

The document added if the aircraft had been equipped with some sort of flight recorder, it would have been able to capture what had happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

“Companies can look at reams of data, and make changes before an accident or a serious incident happens,” Lee said.

Following the crash, Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters adopted some safety measures including requiring all of their pilots to wear helmets, inquiring into pilots’ accident history before hiring, and updating the pilot-training syllabus to emphasize mountain-flight training, the report said.

A man who was reached at a number listed for Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters declined to comment on the report, adding the company ceased operations a few months ago, giving no reason.

Corporate registration documents show Kananaskis Mountain Helicopters is still listed as being active.

Goodine’s father didn’t want to get into the details of the report but insisted he blames no one for the crash. He said his son died “a hero.”

“I believe the reason four of them walked away was because he put them first like a good captain of a ship would do. The way he turned, manoeuvred his chopper into the mountain first on his side, he took the brunt of everything,” Michael said.

“My son would not have been able to carry on if four people died and he walked away. That’s just the type of person he was.”


Source:  http://www.ottawacitizen.com

Michigan Department of Transportation: We didn't break rules with state planes usage -- Agency says use of planes by Michigan State University athletics within regulations

Documents MDOT sent to FAA by LansingStateJournal

Michigan Department of Transportation officials contend they haven’t been violating federal regulations by allowing Michigan State University coaches to use the state’s passenger planes for recruiting trips.

MDOT’s defense is laid out in documents it sent the Federal Aviation Administration this month in response to the agency’s investigation into MDOT’s management of the state-owned planes.

The investigation was prompted in early June after the State Journal published articles about the state planes, how they’re used and who rides in them.

The target of the FAA probe is still unclear. FAA officials don’t comment on open investigations, and MDOT spokesman Jeff Cranson will not answer specific questions about it.

However, a letter to the FAA from MDOT transport and safety manager Rick Carlson suggests two concerns from the FAA — that the MSU Athletics Department isn’t eligible to use the state planes because it is a self-sustaining division of the university, and that MDOT erred by not obtaining a certificate to provide services for hire outside state government.

Carlson refuted any wrongdoing by the state.

“MDOT does not agree with the assertions that we have been providing air commerce without an appropriate operating certificate,” Carlson told the FAA in his July 3 letter, obtained by the State Journal.

He wrote that it has been a longstanding practice to provide air transportation to state agencies and that all Michigan universities and their auxiliary operations, such as athletics, are part of state government.

“MDOT does not hold out its services to the public,” Carlson wrote. “State colleges and universities and their discretionary unbudgeted fund accounts (are) an arm of state government. We, therefore, conclude that state colleges and universities are eligible to use state aircraft on college and university business.”


Court ruling

 
Carlson also pointed to a federal court ruling he said specifically establishes MSU’s status as part of state government.

Cranson would not answer questions Wednesday aimed at clarifying Carlson’s letter and the scope of the FAA inquiry.

“We aren’t prepared to speculate,” Cranson said.

State-owned aircraft, such as Michigan’s four passenger planes, are classified as “public aircraft,” which by federal law cannot be used as transportation for hire outside government. Aircraft used for commercial purposes must have certification.

MDOT makes the state-owned planes available to all state employees and employees of Michigan’s 15 four-year public universities who can justify the cost of traveling in them for work purposes. Any state department that uses the planes, including MSU, reimburses MDOT for the expense of operating the flights, a practice which conforms with federal regulations.

However, according to Carlson’s letter, the FAA is suggesting that MSU athletics could be outside the scope of state government, which would make those flights “commercial” in nature and require MDOT to have a proper certification.

In June, the State Journal reviewed five years’ worth of trip logs for the state-owned planes and reported that MSU men’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo and MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio were among the most frequent fliers.

In all, MSU employees and guests used the state planes at least 150 times during the five-year period analyzed by the State Journal. That was third-most among any state entity, behind MDOT and the Michigan State Police. At least two-thirds of the passengers on the MSU trips were affiliated with the university’s athletics department, the State Journal found.

MSU spokesman Jason Cody said the athletics department is one of several “auxiliary services” within MSU. Others include the residence hall system, the MSU Union and the convenience stores — all of which are self-sustaining through the revenue they generate for themselves, Cody said.

“That doesn’t mean they are outside the scope of the university financial system,” Cody said. “They’re not separate. They don’t maintain their own accounts. Any money that goes through the university is considered public money and that includes athletics.”

MSU, though not a target of the FAA investigation, also has turned over documents to the federal agency, including billing invoices, Cody said.

The State Journal filed a Freedom of Information Act request on July 15 to obtain the documents from MSU. The university’s FOIA officer told the State Journal on Tuesday the university is requesting additional time to process that request. A response is due by Aug. 6.


Specific documents


Cranson said the FAA did not ask for any specific documents from MDOT, but documents given to the State Journal show the state agency turned over billing invoices and receipts for 14 flights associated with state universities:

• A November 2012 flight by four academic employees of Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula,

• A September 2012 flight by five faculty and staff members associated with MSU’s Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders,

• And a dozen flights taken in February and March involving Dantonio, Izzo and MSU head women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant.

Cranson called those flights “representative examples” to show the FAA. Carlson also wrote to the FAA that MDOT has not accepted any flight requests from state universities since the FAA’s inquiry began nearly two months ago.

“We do not believe we have operated outside of (federal regulations),” Carlson said. “In the best interest of the universities and our operation, we will continue to decline state university flight requests and fully cooperate with your office until the matter is resolved.”


Story, Documents,  Photo, Comments/Reaction:  http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

Golf course to add driving range: Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (KLAW), Lawton, Oklahoma

Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport's governing board is looking at a new source of income, even as it deals with a reduction in a traditional source of revenue.

This week, members of the Lawton Metropolitan Area Airport Authority approved a request from the new golf course operator to add a driving range to the facility, a proposal that will bring the airport $350 more a month in revenue. However, airport officials want more details on the proposal and some control over the appearance of the office/shop that will serve the driving range.

Local businessman Joe English assumed control of the Municipal Golf Course earlier this year and Airport Manager Barbara McNally said the business has thrived, noting the parking lot "is packed on good days." English, at the request of his customers, wants to expand services by providing a driving range, in the same area that a driving range ran under the previous operator.

English asked for a 2-year lease, with two 2-year options, and would pay $350 a month for the property adjacent to King Road and South 11th Street (the airport had offered a rent of $300 a month if English would mow the entire area, but English indicated he would maintain only the area he is leasing).

Authority members liked the idea of a driving range, but said they wanted input into the office/shop. A structure that already exists in the area is being used as a maintenance building by the airport staff and English plans to put a portable building on the site, McNally said.

The trailer is expected to be only large enough to contain the supplies that customers might need, but McNally said that because that trailer will be placed along the airport's primary access point, there are concerns about the building's appearance. Airport Authority Chairman Bob Milner said the contract with English will specify the appearance of the portable building must be acceptable to the airport authority, while other board members wanted specific details about the building. As a compromise, the board approved the driving range lease, but specified English must work with authority committees on the appearance and must comply with city building codes that might govern placement of a portable building.


Source:   http://www.swoknews.com

Raleigh County native, commercial pilot named manager of Mercer County Airport (KBLF), Bluefield, West Virginia

 
Clint Ransom stands in front of a Beech Baron aircraft at the Mercer County Airport Wednesday. Ransom, who served as a commercial pilot in New Mexico, was hired to be the new airport manager. 
Photo Courtesy/Credit  Bill Archer


BLUEFIELD — A local pilot with experience with a commercial airline out West has landed the job as manager of the Mercer County Airport.

Clint Ransom, a native of Raleigh County, and 2004 graduate of Shady Spring High School, started working as the airport manager on Monday, and will get the opportunity to meet the rest of the members of the Airport Authority this morning at 9 a.m. during their monthly meeting.

Ransom, 27, was most recently TSA (Transportation Security Administration) inspector at the Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg, but prior to that, he was a commercial pilot flying Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft for New Mexico Airlines.

“I got laid off in the poor economy out there and came back home to work for Jerry O’Sullivan, the airport manager at the Greenbrier Valley Airport,” Ransom said. “I received letters of recommendation from both Jerry and Tom Cochran, the airport manager at the Raleigh County Airport in Beckley.”

Ransom was drawn to flying at an early age. “I went for my first airplane ride when I was 8 years old,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t know that anyone could fly, but I learned that you could.”

After graduating from high school, Ransom attended West Virginia University for one semester. “I was studying to be a lawyer, but I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do.”

He learned that Fairmont State College had some courses in airport management so he enrolled there. “I took classes in airport management, airport design and aviation history. I think those classes will help me in this position.”

Although he has only been on the job a few days, Ransom was already talking about his hopes to get a car show to the airport and perhaps even an air show sometime in the future. “What the airport’s purpose is that we are here for the community,” Ransom said. “One big thing we have here is the Civil Air Patrol. Anyone can join, and the annual fees are inexpensive,” he said.

“One thing I really like about the Civil Air Patrol is that it gets young people an extensive introduction to pilots and aviation,” he said. “They also have a new facility here at the airport and their own aircraft based here. I have talked with Steve Antolini about it, and hope to work with them.”

Ransom and his wife, Brittany, a cosmetologist who works at Harvey’s in Beckley, have one son, Cayden, 3, and another on the way. The Ransoms live in the Daniels-Shady Spring area.

Ransom said that he has survived a lightning strike while piloting a plane. “I was flying in a storm and I was blinded momentarily,” he said. “We landed OK and the passengers were OK, but it put burn spots on the aircraft. It’s not that uncommon for commercial pilots.” He said that commercial pilots must complete more training hours than private pilots, and added that becoming qualified on instrument flying is the most challenging step in the process to qualifying as a commercial pilot.

“I see a lot of potential here at the Mercer County Airport,” Ransom said. “It’s well-equipped, has good lighting for instrument landing and fuel available,” he said. “We just want to expand and bring more pilots and aircraft into the airport.”

Story and Photo:  http://www.register-herald.com

Security Badge Breach at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA), Washington, District of Columbia


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


Tilahune Engida appeared in Arlington District Court Wednesday to face charges of trespassing and breaking and entering. He used to work for Flight Services and Systems as a ramp agent, unloading bags and cleaning aircraft at Ronald Reagan National Airport. 

On Engida's Facebook page you'll find pictures of him hanging out inside an airplane. But the former FSS employee got in trouble for being in the wrong place July 7. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police arrested and charged him with trespassing and breaking into an airplane.

According to an internal letter obtained by the News4 I-Team from Airport Manager Paul Malandrino to Flight Services and Systems, "Engida's badge expired March 31 and he was removed from FSS's payroll on June 14th, but FSS never collected and returned his badge."

The letter says Engida violated airport security "rules and TSA regulations each time he entered any of these restricted areas" without a valid badge.

And even after his termination "an FSS employee, on at least two occasions ... provided access … to Mr. Engida.”

A spokesperson for the Airports Authority tells us it "takes this matter very seriously and is continuing its investigation."

They've already taken action after finding "the badges of at least 21 other FSS employees have been deactivated and have not been returned.”

The Airports Authority says all of FSS's identification badges at Reagan have now been disabled and the company's permit terminated, meaning the airline servicing company “is no longer operating at the airport.”

We reached out to FSS President Robert Weitzel but did not hear back. In a letter we obtained from him to the airport, he apologizes for the violations committed, saying, "the disregard for the security of the Airport is seriously unacceptable to me.”

He says the company has taken action to prevent this from happening again and is working to track down the former employees who have not returned their badges.

FSS provides services at 26 different airports and has contracts with more than 70 airlines or airport groups.

As for Engida, the lesser charge of trespassing was dismissed in court Wednesday, but he now faces a felony charge of breaking into an airplane next month.

The Airports Authority released the following statement:

“On Sunday, July 7, Tilahune Engida, 31, was arrested by MWAA police on charges of trespassing and burglary after he accessed a restricted area at Reagan National Airport without authorization. The individual is a former employee of an airline servicing company that is no longer operating at the airport.

The Airports Authority takes this matter very seriously and is continuing its investigation.”

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