Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beechcraft D55 Baron, Major Aviation LLC, N7641N: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2013 in Conway, South Carolina

A brief released by the National Transportation Safety Board on September 29 regarding a plane crash in Conway that killed three shows that the pilot didn't put the right amount of fuel in the airplane before taking off.

The report says that the right fuel tank had about five gallons remaining which was below the minimum required for takeoff.

Instead of landing after the approach, "the pilot chose to continue the flight and return to his home airport. While on final approach for landing and about 600 feet above the ground, the airplane made a steep, 270-degree right turn, departed controlled flight, and crashed at the entrance to a housing development."

The report says that the pilot likely did not follow the checklist procedures for a loss of single engine power and that he then lost control of the airplane.

The NTSB also looked at the pilot's medical records that revealed that he had been prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety, and toxicological testing the presence of a drug to treat depression in the pilot's liver and blood. However, based on the evidence, it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired by depression or the medication he used to treat it at the time of the accident.

The three killed in the crash were identified as James Major, 39, of Conway, Kenneth Piuma, 42, of Myrtle Beach and Donald Dale Becker, 16, of Conway.

NTSB Air safety investigator Jay Neylon said at the time of the crash that the plane took off at the Conway-Horry County Airport, went to the Myrtle Beach Airport and was returning to Conway when it crashed

Source: http://wpde.com


http://dms.ntsb.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N7641N

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA348

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Conway, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2015
Aircraft: BEECH D55, registration: N7641N
Injuries: 3 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.

After departing on the accident flight, the pilot performed a practice instrument approach to an airport located about 25 minutes away. Onboard video taken during the final portion of the approach showed that the right main fuel tank had about 5 gallons of fuel remaining (about 20 minutes of flight at the computed consumption rate), which was below the minimum fuel quantity specified for takeoff in the pilot's operating handbook (POH). Instead of landing after the approach, the pilot chose to continue the flight and return to his home airport. While on final approach for landing and about 600 ft above the ground, the airplane made a steep, 270-degree right turn, departed controlled flight, and crashed at the entrance to a housing development.

Examination of both engines and their propellers revealed evidence consistent with the left engine operating at high power and with the right engine operating at low or possibly no power at impact. Disassembly of each engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. Based on the limited fuel in the right main fuel tank on the previous approach and the lack of power at impact, it is likely that the right engine lost power due to fuel starvation.

All of the engine controls were found full-forward in their quadrants, and the right engine propeller was not feathered. The POH engine failure checklist stated that the controls on the inoperative engine should be closed and that the inoperative engine should be feathered. The POH also noted that, in the event of an engine failure, it is necessary "to maintain lateral and directional control" by operating the airplane above the single-engine minimum controllable airspeed (Vmca). The published Vmca for the accident airplane was 80 knots, and performance calculations revealed that the airplane slowed to below 80 knots. Based on the airplane's configuration at impact and the performance calculations, it is likely that the pilot did not follow the POH checklist procedures for a loss of single engine power and that he subsequently lost control of the airplane.

A review of the pilot's medical records revealed that he been prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety, and toxicological testing revealed the presence of sertraline, a medication used to treat depression, in the pilot's liver and blood. However, based on the evidence, it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired by depression or the medication he used to treat it at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of airplane control, which resulted from his failure to follow the loss of single engine power checklist procedures after a total loss of right engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper preflight fuel planning and in-flight fuel management.

***This report was modified on September 24, 2015. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.*** 


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 3, 2013, about 1254 eastern daylight time, a Beechcraft D55, N7641N, was destroyed by impact and fire following collision with a telephone pole and terrain near Conway, South Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight departed from Conway-Horry County Airport (HYW), Conway, South Carolina, about 1128. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to air traffic control (ATC) communication transcripts and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was issued an instrument clearance and performed a practice Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 18 at Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, then proceeded back to HYW under visual flight rules (VFR).

After performing a low approach to runway 18 at MYR he climbed the airplane to 3,500 feet on a northerly track. The pilot reported the destination airport in sight, and ATC issued the airplane a frequency change. The airplane continued several miles north of HYW, and approximately 1246, initiated a 180-degree descending turn back towards HYW. About 1252:50, while descending at a calculated rate of 800 feet per minute, the airplane turned and aligned with the final approach course to runway 22 at HYW.

While tracking inbound, aligned for runway 22 at HYW, about 2 miles from the runway threshold, the airplane leveled about 600 feet where it entered a 270-degree turn to the right. The last radar target was plotted at an altitude 700 feet, approximately over the accident site. The Beechcraft Aerodynamics Engineering Department performed calculations and plotted a graph, attached elsewhere to this report, which showed the altitude and airspeed changes along the radar track of the airplane. The calculations correlated to a right bank of approximately 30 degrees and airspeeds below 80 knots.

Witnesses heard the airplane approaching from the southwest and noticed it was "extremely" low. The airplane then executed a steep right turn, leveled its wings, and rocked side to side. The airplane departed controlled flight, struck a telephone pole, rotated approximately 180 degrees, impacted terrain, and caught fire.

According to one witness, "… I could hear the engine sputtering and stalling and at the same time I witnessed the plane banking toward the Southeast really hard, almost to the point I thought the plane was going to turn completely upside down.

Then all of a sudden it sounded like the plane went to full power and it was like he was trying to get altitude but the plane was still rocking side to side like it was not in control. All I can remember after that point is the plane losing altitude and clipping the power lines with the left wing and hitting the ground then exploding."

Another witness stated, "At no time did I witness any attempt to pull up and out of the rapid decent I do remember hearing lots of sputtering/choking…I did not see any landing gear exposed."

PILOT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 15, 2012. According to the pilot's most recent logbook entry, dated July 26, 2013, he had a total of 354 total hours of flight experience; of which193 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.
AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, twin-engine, low-wing, retractable landing gear airplane was manufactured in 1968 and was equipped with two Continental Motors IO-520, 285-horsepower engines. The airplane's maintenance and fuel servicing records were not recovered; however a copy of a maintenance log entry revealed that its most recent annual inspection was completed on September 10, 2012, at 4,352 total airframe hours. The right and left engines had accrued 1,313 and 135 total hours of operation since overhaul, respectively.

The main fuel tanks had a capacity of 40 gallons each, of which 37 gallons was usable. The auxiliary tanks had a capacity of 31 gallons each. The separate, identical fuel supplies for each engine were interconnected by crossfeed lines. During normal operation, each engine operated on its respective fuel tanks. During an emergency, fuel could be drawn from any or all tanks by either engine. Emergency crossfeed operations were limited to level flight only.

A one-eighth tank indication was approximately 5 gallons.

The manufacturer's published minimum controllable airspeed (Vmca) for single engine operation was 80 knots.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1255 recorded weather at HYW, included wind from 190 degrees at 4 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, and scattered cloud layers at 4,600 and 5,000 feet. The temperature was 31 degrees C, the dew point was 23 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.02 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

HYW was a non-towered airport that operated under class G airspace. The field elevation for the airport was 35 feet msl and the traffic pattern altitude was 1,035 feet msl. The airport was equipped with one asphalt runway. Runway 4/22 was 4,401 feet in length and 75-feet wide.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The accident site was located at the entrance of a residential neighborhood, about 2 miles to the north of the approach end of runway 22 at HYW. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The airplane impacted terrain in an approximately 25-30 degrees nose down, level attitude, and came to rest on about a 305 degree magnetic heading.

The airplane front cockpit area came to rest on the housing development entrance marque brick pillar. The forward carry thru structure was separated, and the outboard half of the left wing was separated. The airplane was otherwise intact. The left wingtip assembly was located to the left (outboard) of the left engine nacelle. The wingtip assembly had been exposed to post-impact fire. A section of the left outboard wing with the aileron attached was found about 25 feet to the left of the airplane. The separated outboard left wing was further separated into three pieces; two pieces of leading edge connected to each other by a piece of front spar hinge wire, and a wing panel piece with an aileron attached by the outboard hinge. The section of the left outboard wing with the aileron attached was only slightly exposed to the post-impact fire.

The inboard end of the right and left wing were partially consumed by post-impact fire. The remainder of the airplane, including the cockpit area, cabin, rear fuselage, and empennage, displayed varying degrees of exposure to post-impact fire. The engine nacelle assemblies were not exposed to post impact fire.

The airplane was equipped with a dual arm control column. The right aileron and empennage flight control surfaces remained attached to the airplane. The left aileron remained partially attached to the separated portion of the outboard end of the left wing. The left aileron pushrod was separated. The airplane flight control cable systems from the front carry thru to their respective control surface remained intact. Manipulation of the empennage flight control cables from a position aft of the front carry thru moved the elevators and rudder. The aileron flight control cables could not be manipulated to move the right aileron. The left aileron flight control cables could be manipulated to move the left aileron bellcrank. Forward of the front carry thru one rudder flight control cable remained intact. The other five flight control cables were separated at the bottom side of the front carry-thru structure. The cable separations were consistent with the cables being sheared in overstress. The flight control cable attachments to the cockpit flight control assemblies could not be confirmed due to crush damage behind the instrument panel. The rudder bellcrank mounted on the left side of the cockpit was not located. The rudder bellcrank mounted on the right side of the cockpit that was located. The push/pull tube that interconnects the two cockpit rudder bellcranks and the two output push/pull tubes to the copilot rudder pedals were separated.

The airplane trim tabs located on the left aileron, the rudder, and on each elevator remained attached. The aileron and rudder trim system knobs in the cockpit could not be manipulated, and the airplane pitch trim system, which could be activated either manually or by an electric trim servo, could not be manipulated from the cockpit. The trim actuator extensions were measured, and the actuators could be manipulated at the trim cable inputs to each actuator. The rudder trim actuator extension was measured and determined to be extended 3.5 inches, which corresponded to a rudder tab trailing edge 12 degrees right position. Both elevator trim actuator extensions were measured and each actuator was determined to be extended 0.875 inches, which corresponded to an elevator tab trailing edge 3 degrees up position. The aileron trim actuator extension was measured and determined to be extended 1.625 inches, which corresponded to an aileron tab trailing edge 3 degrees down position.

The flap handle was in the APPROACH position in the cockpit. The flaps remained attached to their respective wing trailing edge. The right flap had been partially consumed by the post impact fire. With the airplane sitting flat on the ground at the site, the flaps were observed to be in a near retracted position, and as such the actuator extensions could not be measured. The flap actuators were observed to have remained attached to their respective flap. Each flap drive cable/housing was separated from the flap drive motor drive/mount. The flap drive retainer coupling was observed to be attached to the right flap cable/housing.

The landing gear actuator with attached main landing gear extension rods were separated from the front carry thru, and was located on top of the left inboard wing. The landing gear was found collapsed with the landing gear strut assemblies positioned on the outside of the closed inboard landing gear doors. The landing gear selector handle was in the DOWN position.

The four fuel tanks were partially consumed by the post-impact fire. The four fuel caps remained seated and locked in their fuel cap receivers.

The left fuel valve was damaged. The selector handle and fuel output housing were separated from the left valve body. Low pressure air was applied to the left main tank input port mounted on the valve body and was felt exiting the fuel supply rotor port located on the bottom of the valve body. The fuel supply rotor port was observed to be aligned with an in-the-valve body port. Free passage of air through these two ports was consistent with the left fuel selector valve being selected to the left MAIN fuel tank.

The right fuel selector valve was damaged. The selector handle, the fuel supply rotor, and the fuel output housing were separated. Low pressure shop air was applied at the fuel return from the engine valve port located on the side of the valve body and was felt exiting the right MAIN RETURN port located on the side of the valve body. Free passage of air through these two ports was consistent with the right fuel selector valve being selected to the right MAIN fuel tank.

The left engine's propeller hub remained attached to the engine. The hub was shattered and the spinner was splayed open. All three blades were separated from the hub. One blade was located about 200 feet north of the airplane. The other two blades were found in close proximity to the left engine. The separated blades displayed varying degrees of tip erosion and tip curl, twist toward a lower pitch, and aft bending.

The right engine's propeller was separated from the engine crankshaft propeller mounting flange. All three blades remained attached to the propeller hub. The blades were slightly bent rearward, and one blade was buckled lengthwise. There was no visible blade tip damage, and light chordwise scratching on the blade leading edges along the majority of the blade's length visible. The blade leading edges displayed red brick dust along the full span of the blades. One blade rotated in the hub. The spinner was dented and displayed no visible rotational signatures.

Complete disassembly of each engine revealed normal wear and lubrication signatures. Crankshaft to camshaft timing was confirmed on each engine. The magnetos were tested on a test stand and each produced spark through the full range of test bench rpm.

The right engine-driven fuel pump was flow-tested and functioned properly through its full range of operation. The left engine-driven fuel pump displayed impact and thermal damage that precluded its testing.

There were no preimpact mechanical anamolies that would have precluded normal operation of either engine.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Horry County Coroner's Office, Conway, South Carolina, performed the autopsy on the pilot.

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report stated that no ethanol was detected in vitreous fluid and specimens were unsuited for carbon monoxide analysis.

Review of the toxicological report revealed:

Desmethylsertraline detected in Liver
0.531 (ug/mL, ug/g) Desmethylsertraline detected in Blood

Sertraline detected in Liver
0.137 (ug/mL, ug/g) Sertraline detected in Blood"

Sertraline was a prescription selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication used for the treatment of depression and was marketed as Zoloft. Although the medication has not been shown to impair the ability of normal subjects to perform tasks requiring complex motor and mental skills in laboratory experiments, drugs that act upon the central nervous system may affect some individuals adversely.

Desmethylsertraline is a byproduct produced by the body during normal elimination of sertraline from the body; it is less biologically active than the parent compound.

A review of the pilot's personal medical records revealed that he was prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety from February 2009 through April 18, 2013. On his application for FAA medical certification dated February 15, 2012, the pilot marked "no" in block 18m (mental disorders of any sort, depression, anxiety, etc.).

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A Samsung Galaxy SIII touch screen smart-phone, Apple iPad, Garmin Aero 560, BF Goodrich Stormscope, and a Garmin GTN 750 were recovered in the wreckage and examined in the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC. Exterior examinations of these items, except for the smart-phone, revealed extensive structural and/or fire damage. Recovery was attempted, but due to the damage, data could not be recovered.

Videos depicting portions of the accident flight were recovered from the Samsung Galaxy SIII. There were five separate videos of various lengths. The first was time-stamped at 1121:15, and the final video was time-stamped at 1244:41.

The videos began after the airplane's engines were started and the airplane then taxied, performed a run-up, and departed. All videos were recorded from the back/rear seat of the airplane. The camera direction changed frequently, such that the field of view varied between left and right views outside the airplane and internal cabin and cockpit views.

A review of the videos revealed the engines were running at 1121, and at 1127 during run-up, the left tank fuel quantity indicator was about one needle-width below the half-tank indication and the right tank fuel quantity indicator was about 3 needle-widths below half-tank indication. Takeoff was at 1128.

At 1231, about 300 feet altitude on approach to Myrtle Beach Airport, the left tank was one needle-width above one-quarter tank, and the right tank was showing one-eighth of a tank which was in the yellow range marking on the gauge.

The radar data showed the flight continued for 23 more minutes, which included a climb to 3,500 feet.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Interpolation of performance charts when plotting temperature, engine start, run-up, taxi, takeoff, climb and cruise profiles revealed that each engine would have consumed between 27 and 32 gallons during the estimated 90 minute flight, which was an approximate fuel consumption rate of 20 gallons per hour.

Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)

"Fuel quantity is measured by float type transmitter units which convey signals to two indicators on the instrument panel. They indicate the amount of fuel in either the main tanks or the auxiliary tanks for their respective wings. A two-position selector switch on the pilot's subpanel, to the left of the control console, determines the tanks, main or auxiliary, to which the indicators are connected." No images of the selector switch were captured in the on-board videos.

According to the pilot's operating handbook, Fuel Management, engine start, takeoffs, and landings should be performed "on main tanks only." It further states, "Do not take off if Fuel Quantity Gages indicate in Yellow Arc or with less than 13 gallons in each main tank."

According to the POH, the emergency procedure for ENGINE FAILURE AFTER LIFT-OFF AND IN FLIGHT, "Continued flight requires immediate pilot response to the following procedures.

1. Landing Gear and Flaps – UP
2. Throttle (inoperative engine) – CLOSED
3. Propeller (inoperative engine) – FEATHER
4. Power (operative engine) – AS REQUIRED
5. Airspeed – MAINTAIN SPEED AT ENGINE FAULURE (99 KNOTS (114 MPH) UNTIL OBSTACLES ARE CLEARED

After positive control of the airplane is established:

6. Secure inoperative engine:
a. Mixture Control – IDLE CUT-OFF
b. Fuel Selector – OFF
c. Auxiliary Fuel Pump – OFF
d. Magneto/Start Switch –OFF
e. Alternator Switch – OFF
f. Cowl Flap – CLOSED
7. Electrical Load – MONITOR (Maximum load of 1.0 on remaining engine)

NOTE:

The most important aspect of engine failure is the necessity to maintain lateral and directional control. If airspeed is below 80 kts (92 mph), reduce power on the operative engine as required to maintain control.

The FAA Airplane Flying Handbook defined VMC as: "Minimum control speed. The minimum flight speed at which the airplane is controllable with a bank of not more than 5 [degrees] into the operating engine when one engine suddenly becomes inoperative and the remaining engine is operating at takeoff power."

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA348 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Conway, SC
Aircraft: BEECH D55, registration: N7641N
Injuries: 3 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 August 3, 2013, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Beech D55, N7641N, owned and operated by a private individual, was destroyed by postimpact fire/explosion when it impacted a telephone pole and then terrain near Conway, South Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight departed from Conway-Horry County Airport (HYW), Conway, South Carolina, about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, they heard the airplane approaching from the southwest and noticed it was extremely low. The airplane then executed a steep right turn, leveled its wings, and begun to rock side to side. The airplane descended and its left wing impacted a telephone pole at an estimated height of 30 feet above ground level. The airplane then spun approximately 180 degrees and impacted terrain, exploding shortly after impact.

The accident site was located at the entrance of a residential neighborhood, about 2 miles to the north of the approach end of runway 22 at HYW. The wreckage was oriented about 305 degrees magnetic. All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene. A piece of the left wing spar and panel were found about 20 feet from the wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed for the elevator and rudder to the aft cabin area, but due to the postcrash fire continuity could not be confirmed for the ailerons. The right engine’s propeller blades exhibited postcrash impact damage with minimal leading edge and rotational signature damage. Two of the left engine’s propeller blades exhibited S-curve bending and tip curling. The third propeller blade was located about 190 feet north of the wreckage and exhibited S-curve bending.

A handheld GPS receiver, two smart phones, iPad mini, and a Garmin GTN 750, were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for data download. The two engines will be retained for further examination. 



 







 





 

 





CONWAY — Pilot Al Allen remembers when James Wayne Major Jr. joined the dozen or so close-knit pilots at the Conway-Horry County Airport. 

Allen remembers watching the 39-year-old Conway man earn his private pilot, high performance, multi-engine and instrument licenses within the last two years.

“He enjoyed it very much so,” he said of Major’s love for flying. “I think he had a lot of fun.”

Major was piloting his Beech D55 twin engine Saturday when it crashed into a utility pole above WoodCreek at Conway subdivision. Major died, along with student-pilot Kenneth James Piuma, 42, Myrtle Beach, and Donald Dale Becker, 16.

“It’s sad to hear,” Allen said, noting calls were being made among pilots within 20 minutes of the Saturday afternoon crash. “It shook my heart because I knew James. He was a nice guy. He was a good guy.”

The plane was removed over the weekend and taken to a salvage facility for investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board to continue their investigation, an official with the NTSB has said. It will take about 10 days before a preliminary report is available and then six to nine months for a factual report and up to a year before a probable cause and final report are released, according to the NTSB.

Services for Major will be at 2 p.m. today at Goldfinch Funeral Chapel. Services for Piuma will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Goldfinch Funeral Home, Beach Chapel. A memorial service for Becker will be at 5 p.m. Thursday at St. James High School.

Major held a private pilot certification that was reissued May 24 with ratings for single-engine and multi-engine planes as well as instrument airplanes, according to records with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Allen is an experienced pilot – sometimes flying as low as 6 feet off the ground at 150 mph, weaving under power lines at times. He said even the most experienced pilots find it difficult to speculate what happened in the crash without being a part of the investigation. Pilots at the airport believe circumstances make it sound like a mechanical issue with possible engine loss.

“Every situation will always be different and very unique,” he said.

The Beech D55 twin engine has a pretty good safety record, Allen said, and it is one of the more popular light twin-engine planes to fly. He said operating the plane is not as complex as other planes.

Allen is an agriculture pilot and spends a lot of time at the airport at dawn and before dusk when he sprays neighborhoods for mosquitoes. He said he saw Major often at the airport.

“He would actually spend a lot of time on his airplane from the average so-called private pilot,” Allen said. “He was definitely acclimated probably a whole lot more than some.”

Major was technically inclined, as well, Allen said. Major owned LowCountry Machine, LLC, a domestic full-service machining company, doing business as Major Machine Inc. A call to the business Tuesday was not returned.

Allen said it has been past practice to have a memorial service for pilots who die. He said a memorial will be planned at a later date with family members.

Allen said being a pilot is a balancing act of fear and execution, and it takes a passion to not only fly a plane, but own one as well.

“We are willing to balance those risks,” he said. “If you ever have an opportunity to fly... if that bug ever bites you... there’s nothing else that will ever settle your stress like you flying your own aircraft.”

Source:  http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com



 CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) - Federal officials are on scene investigating a deadly plane crash in Conway. The plane crashed early Saturday afternoon in the Wood Creek subdivision just off Dunn Shortcut Road. 

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jay Neylon said the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft manufacturer and the engine manufacturer are all at the scene examining the wreckage.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler says all three people aboard the plane died in the crash. Fowler identified them as 39-year-old James Major of Conway, 42-year-old Kenneth Piuma of Myrtle Beach and 16-year-old Donald Dale Becker of Conway. Fowler says Major is believed to have been the pilot.

Neylon explained that they plan on moving the aircraft sometime Sunday afternoon and having the crime scene reopened to the public and so a few neighbors can get back to their homes.

He added that the aircraft will be moved to a salvageable facility where the investigation will continue.

NTSB officials are now collecting info from the FAA, witness statements, police and first responders.

Neylon says they have been able to retrieve a GPS and an iPad that will be going back to Washington, D.C. for investigation. He added that because it was a smaller aircraft, it did not have a black box recording device.

The plane took off at the Conway-Horry County Airport, went to the Myrtle Beach Airport and was returning to Conway when it crashed, Neylon added.




CONWAY — Three men died shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday after a plane they were flying in crashed in the Wood Creek neighborhood.

 James Major, 39, Conway, was the pilot of the plane and his passengers were Kenneth Piuma, 42, Myrtle Beach, and Donald Dale Decker, 16, Conway. The plane, which left Conway-Horry County Airport earlier in the day, was flying the direction of the runway of the airport. The crash occurred less than three miles from the airport.

James Major Sr. said his son was an experienced pilot who had flown helicopters and planes for years. Not only did James Majors Jr. fly in and around Conway, but also in a home the family owns in the Bahamas.

“Something happened with that plane,” Major Sr. said.

The crash occurred on Dunn Short Cut Road at the intersection of Warm Springs Lane. Video, taken by nearby resident Jessica Scott, shows more than a dozen people swarmed around the plane after it crashed to try and assist the victims. Some brought fire extinguishers from their homes and others got as close to the cockpit as the heat from the flames and smoke would allow them, Scott said.

“People were trying to get them out,” she said. “I don’t think they died from the crash. They were still moving. ... It killed me to see that man shaking.”

Scott said she saw the plane flying “abnormally low” and saw it strike and spin on a utility pole before hitting the ground. Sounds of the fire sizzling and sparks from what Scott believed was a power line bounced on the ground near the crash as rescuers attempted to save the victims.

“The whole side of that plane burned up,” she said. “It bothers me the most that we couldn’t get them out.”

Family members and friends rushed to the scene of the crash Saturday, which was blocked off by police tape. Wives, parents and siblings wept as they consoled each other after the sudden loss.

Horry Electric workers were on scene trying to restore power to the nearby homes. It was unknown late Saturday how many homes were impacted, though power was restored to some homes by Saturday afternoon. A call to Penelope Hinson, spokesperson for Horry Electric, was not returned early Saturday evening.

Lt. Selena Small of the Conway Police Department said police were securing the scene and waiting for the National Transportation Safety Board to arrive from Washington, D.C., and officials with the Federal Aviation Administration to arrive from Columbia. The Conway Fire Department, the Horry County Coroner’s Office and Horry County airport officials are assisting in the investigation. The American Red Cross was on scene providing water and was in preliminary stages of setting up temporary shelter at a nearby church late Saturday.

Brad Reinhart, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, said the weather at 12:55 p.m. Saturday showed there was a south wind at 5 mph and scattered clouds at about 4,500 to 5,000 feet.

FAA regulations require the FAA be notified of utility pole height that extends outward and upward of 100 to 1 for distances of about three miles to the landing strip of Horry County’s size, according the FAA’s website. Horry County’s main runway measures more than 4,400 feet, according to its website. It is unclear how tall the utility pole was or if it was required to have a light on top of it, as is common with tall structures around airports.

A call to Kirk Lovell, marketing director for Horry County Airports was not returned Saturday evening.

Scott, the witness, sat on her vehicle and often stared at the wreckage of the plane for hours after the crash.

“I’ve never seen anybody die,” she said.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com


Mooney M29F Executive 21, N2926M: Accident occurred August 02, 2013 in Helena, Montana


http://registry.faa.gov/N2926M

NTSB Identification: WPR13CA355  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 02, 2013 in Helena, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/2013
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N2926M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The  flight instructor reported that the purpose of the flight was for the pilot-undergoing instruction  to perform touch-and-go practice takeoffs and landings. During the approach, the airplane was slightly fast and touched down about halfway down the runway. The instructor thought the pilot could still successfully complete a takeoff and monitored him as he retracted the flaps. As the airplane continued down the runway, the instructor decided that the airplane’s climb performance would not be sufficient to clear obstacles at the end of the runway and he opted to abort the takeoff. The instructor retarded the throttle lever to the closed position and told the pilot to apply maximum braking pressure. The airplane subsequently went off the end of runway into a grass field and continued about 100 feet before impacting a chain-link fence. During the accident sequence, the wing spar was substantially damaged.

The airplane’s brake pedals were only accessible to the left-seated person, which is where the pilot was positioned. The instructor reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He additionally stated that this accident could have been prevented by making a timely decision to go-around when it was apparent that the airplane was going to touchdown further down the runway.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight instructor's  delayed decision to instruct the pilot to abort the landing which resulted in  a runway excursion and collision with a fence.  













A single-engine airplane practicing landings and takeoffs on Friday at Helena Regional Airport aborted a takeoff and rolled into a fence.

No one was injured in the accident that damaged the perimeter fence around the airport and the airplane, an  Mooney M20. The four passenger airplane was placed on a trailer and removed from the accident scene.

Harold Dramstad, of Vetter Aviation who was the instructor on the flight, took responsibility for the accident. He said he was the pilot in charge, and it was his decision that the pilot not attempt a takeoff after having landed.

“It was a judgment call,” Dramstad said, adding there were no mechanical difficulties with the airplane.

The airplane will be repaired and returned to service, he added.

Pilots will practice landings and takeoffs by bringing an airplane down for a landing so the wheels touch the runway and then powering the airplane for a takeoff.

Dramstad did not identify the pilot but said the pilot was in the process of transitioning to a more sophisticated aircraft, the Mooney, which has retractable landing gear.

The incident, which happened shortly before 11 a.m., is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, which is standard procedure.

The landing was too deep into the 2,980-foot runway, which prompted his decision that the pilot not try to takeoff, Dramstad explained.

The airplane rolled about 500 feet from the end of the runway to where it came to rest in the chain-link fencing, said Jeff Wadekamper, the Helena Regional Airport assistant director, who responded to the accident scene along with the airport’s emergency responders.

Responding to incidents such as this are among the activities that airport personnel train for, he said.

Wadekamper and the airport’s fire departments were alerted to the accident by staff in the airport’s control tower that has a phone line dedicated for reporting emergencies.

There are three runways at the airport and the longest of the three is used for commercial traffic, which was not closed or affected by emergency crews responding to the accident, Wadekamper said.

“Nothing was affected,” he added.

Weather at the time of the accident was good and there was a light breeze, he said.


Source:   http://helenair.com





HELENA - A small plane ran off the end of a runway at the Helena Regional Airport on Friday, crashing into a fence.  
Airport officials report the pilot didn't lift off and ran down a short grassy field at the end of a runway and into the fence.

The pilot was reportedly performing "touch and go" maneuvers at the time.

No one was hurt in the accident.

However, the wing of the plane was dented.

The FAA and the NTSB will be conducting an investigation into the cause.

Jeff Wadekamper, the assistant airport director, said, "The FAA office is located in Helena here for Montana and Idaho. It was a quick response by them to come out here and start the investigation and so once they came out and got an initial look at it and got the information they needed, then they released it to us to start moving the aircraft."

No flights were delayed because the accident occurred on a secondary runway.

Clayton Gerald H, Glastar GS-1: Accident occurred July 25, 2013 in Columbus, Indiana

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA433 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 25, 2013 in Columbus, IN
Aircraft: CLAYTON GERALD H GLASTAR GS-1, registration: N513GC
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 25, 2013, about 0932 eastern daylight time, N513GC, a Clayton Gerald H, Glastar GS-1 single engine airplane, was destroyed after impacting terrain and an occupied residence near Columbus Municipal Airport (BAK), Columbus, Indiana. The pilot was fatally injured and a pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. No ground injuries were reported. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane had departed BAK at 0929 for a local flight.

The airplane was on downwind leg for a touch-and-go landing. The passenger reported the engine was still running at high rpm, and the pilot was “working frantically on a switch for the propeller”, but the airplane was still descending. The airplane descended, and struck obstructions and terrain coming to rest upright inside a residence. The impact resulted in a significant fuel leak and the two pilots exited the airplane as it was engulfed in an explosion and fire. The one adult inside the residence was able to safely exit.


Pilot Gerald Clayton dies in hospital 


 
Gerald Clayton 



INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Officials say the pilot of a plane that crashed into a Columbus home on Thursday, July 25 died overnight at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.

A spokesperson for Wishard Hospital says Gerald Clayton, 81, died sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning at the hospital.


Clayton, along with another person, were traveling in a single-engine private plane and were taken to the hospital after the plane crashed into a house in Columbus. Clayton and his passenger suffered burn injuries.

The plane is one that took him nine years to build himself, finishing it about seven years ago.

The plane had mechanical issues in the past. Clayton thought he had those issues fixed, which was the reason for his test flight the day of the crash.

Clayton worked was a volunteer guide at the Atterbury-Balakar Air Museum in Columbus. Clayton is a former member of the Air Force. His picture from 1951 hangs in the museum.

Clayton leaves behind five children.


Source:   http://www.wane.com

Cirrus SR22, 225CD LLC, N225CD: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2013 in Chesterfield, Missouri

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

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

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Data Summary:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


NTSB Identification: CEN13FA456
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Chesterfield, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N225CD
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The instrument-rated pilot departed with a reported cloud ceiling of 400 feet above ground level and 3 miles visibility. A witness, who was about 0.3 nautical mile (nm) west of the departure end of the runway, observed seeing the accident airplane’s navigation lights for about 3 to 5 seconds as it traveled west. The airplane appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed and in a descent. He saw a fireball as the accident airplane impacted the trees and terrain. He reported that the weather conditions were “very foggy” and that he could only see the accident airplane’s navigation lights due to the fog and dark light conditions. Approach control radar data indicated that the airplane did not climb more than 200 feet above ground level before impacting the trees. The examination of the wreckage debris field indicated that the airplane was in a shallow descent at impact. The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to establish and maintain a positive climb rate during the initial climb in night instrument meteorological conditions.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 3, 2013, at 0456 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N225CD, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain about 0.6 nautical miles (nm) west of the Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS), Chesterfield, Missouri. The wreckage was fragmented and a post impact ground fire consumed a majority of the airplane. The airplane was departing from SUS and was en route to the Dalhart Municipal Airport (DHT), Dalhart, Texas. The private pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to 225CD LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a Part 91 personal flight. Night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight plan was filed.

At 0321, the pilot contacted the Fort Worth Automated Flight Service Station (FSS) to receive a standard weather briefing. The FSS briefer provided information about the instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions that prevailed at SUS and would be in effect for much of the morning. IFR and low IFR conditions prevailed throughout central Missouri and Kansas. The pilot decided to file an IFR flight plan that would proceed from SUS to St. Joseph, Missouri, and then proceed to the southwest to land at DHT for fuel. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed between DHT and the pilot's final destination, the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport (INW), Winslow, Arizona.

At 0451, the pilot contacted the St. Louis Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (TRACON) to obtain a departure clearance, since the control tower at SUS was not open. The pilot was cleared to DHT as filed in his flight plan. He was cleared to climb to 3,000 feet above mean sea level (msl), and to expect 10,000 feet msl 10 minutes after departure. At 0452, the TRACON controller told the pilot he was released for departure, and when able, to proceed on course. He requested that the pilot call him if his departure was delayed more than five minutes. The pilot responded, "Will call you back if, ah, more than five minutes, Five Charlie Delta. Cleared for departure." There were no further communications from the pilot.

Approach control radar data indicated that the airplane became airborne about 0456. The first four radar returns indicated that the airplane climbed to 600 feet msl +/- 50 feet. The fifth radar return indicated the airplane was at 500 feet msl +/- 50 feet. The last radar return was about 0.3 nm from the departure end of runway 26R. The elevation at SUS is 463 feet.

A witness reported that he was driving south on N. Eatherton Road, which runs perpendicular to runway 26R about 0.3 nm west of the departure end of runway 26R, and observed seeing the accident airplane's navigation lights for about 3 to 5 seconds as it traveled to the west. The airplane appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed and in about a 20 degree descent. He saw a fireball as the accident airplane impacted the trees and terrain. He reported that the weather conditions were "very foggy," and it was the worst fog conditions that he had observed for the year. He reported that he could only see the accident airplane's navigation lights due to the fog and light conditions.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 41-year-old private pilot held a single-engine land and airplane instrument ratings. He received his airplane instrument rating on February 14, 2013, and he used the accident airplane for his instrument training and instrument check ride. He held a third class medical certificate. The pilot's logbook was not retrieved; however, aircraft flight logs and insurance records indicated that the pilot had about 475 total flight hours with about 154 hours in accident airplane. He flew about 24 hours within the last 30 days. The pilot's total number of instrument hours flown is unknown. He pilot purchased a 1/3 ownership in the accident airplane about 1.5 years before the accident.

The pilot's instrument instructor reported that he provided about 20 hours of training in preparation for the pilot's instrument rating. He stated the accident pilot was quick to engage the autopilot and was overly trusting of the autopilot system at the beginning of their training. He worked with the pilot to hand fly the airplane to increase his skill level in instrument conditions. He never flew with the accident pilot in actual IMC, but they flew several flights at night.

The designated pilot examiner who gave the instrument check ride to the pilot reported that the pilot failed his first check ride in January 2013. The pilot reportedly had deviated off course while on an instrument landing system (ILS) and GPS instrument approaches during the first check ride attempt. He stated that the accident pilot met all the standards of the practical test during the second check ride, and was issued his instrument rating in February 2013.

The pilot's wife reported that he had been on vacation since Wednesday, July 31, 2013. He had normal sleep cycles on account that he did not have to go to work. The pilot did not have any sleep deprivation problems, was healthy, and typically exercised every day. He loaded the airplane on Friday night in order to get an early departure on Saturday morning. The pilot's wife was uncertain how much sleep he had on Friday night.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a single-engine Cirrus SR22, serial number 0031. The engine was a Continental 310-horsepower IO-550N engine. The airplane seated four and had a maximum gross weight of 3,400 pounds. The last annual maintenance inspection was conducted on September 11, 2012, with a total time of 1800.8 hours on the airframe and engine. The last oil change was completed on July 21, 2013, with an engine time of 2,067.4 hours. An engine oil analysis indicated normal values at the last inspection.

On July 18, 2013, an Avidyne EX5000 Multifunction Display (MFD), part number 700-00004-006, serial number 2055, was installed on the airplane. The original ARNAV MFD was providing erroneous information and required replacement. The total airframe time was 2,058.1 hours.

On July 31, 2013, the pilot altimeter, static pressure system, transponder, and altitude encoder were tested and certified. The total airframe time at the time of the inspection was 2,074.8 hours.

One of the partners who owned the airplane reported that he flew the airplane to Joplin, Missouri, and back to SUS on the day before the accident. He encountered some IMC conditions during the flight and used the autopilot for the entire flight, except for the takeoffs and landings. He stated that all the instruments were working properly for the flight, and for the 4 to 5 flights he had flown during the last 10 days. He stated that he had flown the airplane a dozen times since the MFD was replaced and it operated properly during those flights.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The SUS weather surface observation at 0454 was: wind 010 at 4 knots; visibility 3 miles in mist; overcast ceiling at 400 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 22 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 21 degrees C; altimeter 29.95.

The SUS special weather surface observation at 0512 was: wind 020 at 7 knots; visibility 1 3/4 miles in mist; overcast ceiling at 400 feet agl, temperature 22 degrees C; dew point 21 degrees C; altimeter 29.95; ceilings variable from 200 to 600 feet.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The examination of the accident site revealed that the accident airplane impacted the woods located west of SUS on a 250 degree magnetic heading from the departure end of runway 26R. The wreckage path was about 350 feet in length, also on about a 250 degree magnetic heading, from where the initial impact occurred at the edge of the woods to the nose landing gear, which was the part of the accident airplane found furthest from the initial impact point.

A piece of the right wingtip was observed embedded in the trunk of a 70 to 80 foot tall tree located near the edge of the woods. The piece was embedded about 30 feet up from the base of the tree. Another tree about 96 feet from the initial impact point also was struck. The tree was about 32 inches in diameter at the base of the tree. The impact occurred near the tree's mid-span and the impact toppled the top of the tree in the direction of travel. A piece of the tree trunk was found at the base of the tree that had a 13 inch by 18 inch diagonal slash with gray paint transfer, which was consistent with a propeller slash mark. The left wing and the wing spar were located about 150 feet from the initial impact point and had extensive fire damage. The aft cabin and cargo compartment were found near the left wing. The Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System (CAPS) rocket motor had fired. The parachute was found deployed, although the parachute canopy had not opened and was found in a packed condition and still in the deployment bag. The airplane's empennage was found about 200 feet from the initial impact point. The elevator and rudder control cables remained attached to the control surfaces and exhibited continuity. The aileron cables to the left wing remained attached to the left aileron actuation pulley, and the left wing aileron control cable continuity was confirmed. The right wing received extensive damage and control cable continuity to the right aileron could not be confirmed. The flap actuator was found in the flaps up position. The instrument panel and avionics were separated from the cockpit and located at various locations in the debris field. The pilot-side attitude gyro remained attached to the instrument panel, but the other instruments were dislodged from the panel. The pilot-side attitude gyro displayed about a 4 degrees nose down with a 3 degrees right wing down attitude.

The on-site examination of the engine revealed that the crankcase had impact damage and the forward top portion of the crankcase was found separated in the debris field. The crankshaft was fractured in the area of the nose seal, and the crankshaft propeller flange separated with the propeller hub. The fracture features were consistent with the application of combined torsion and bending. The fracture surface of the crankshaft exhibited 45-degree cracks to both the internal and external surfaces, which were consistent with torsional loading. The cylinders exhibited impact and thermal damage. The cylinders were examined with a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers were a light color. The top and bottom spark plugs exhibited "worn out–normal" operating signatures when compared to a manufacturer's wear diagram.

The thee-bladed, variable-pitch propeller had separated from the engine and exhibited impact damage. The propeller blade marked "A" was loose in the hub and had multiple bends. Mid-span of blade A leading edge nicks and gouges were observed as well as chord wise scratches to the chambered face. Blade B was bent forward at mid-span. Blade C exhibited a gradual bend aft from the hub to the tip.

The airplane's directional gyro and horizon reference indicator were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Materials laboratory for examination. A Go-Pro video camera, a Drift Innovation video camera, and the accident airplane's MFD's memory card were sent the NTSB Vehicle Recorder's laboratory for examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was performed at Saint Louis County Health in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 4, 2013. The "Cause of Death" was listed as craniocerebral blunt trauma. A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. No carbon monoxide was detected in the blood (cavity). The test for cyanide was not performed. The following substances were identified in the toxicology report: 39 mg/dL ethanol detected in blood (cavity), 38 mg/dL ethanol detected in muscle, 38 mg/dL ethanol detected in kidney, ephedrine detected in liver, ephedrine detected in blood (cavity), pseudoephedrine detected in liver, pseudoephedrine detected in blood (cavity), trimethoprim detected in liver, and trimethoprim detected in blood (cavity).

Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies, and hay fever. It is also used to temporarily relieve sinus congestion and pressure. Trimethoprim may be used for cold symptoms as well. The ethanol levels found in this case were consistent with putrefaction, since the recovery of the body was delayed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The NTSB Vehicle Recorders laboratory examined the MFD memory card. The examination revealed that the memory chip was cracked and no data was recovered. The examination of the GoPro Hero 3 and the Drift HD camera/recorder memory cards revealed that the files contained on the memory cards were not pertinent to the accident flight.

The NTSB Materials laboratory disassembled the gyro assembly of the directional gyro to look for indications of rotation on the gyro housing and rotor. The examination of the inner surface of the housing revealed circumferentially oriented scratches where the housing material had been exposed. The surface of the rotor exhibited circumferentially oriented areas where the surface finish had been disturbed to reveal the underlying metal.

The NTSB Materials laboratory examination of the horizon reference indicator (attitude gyro) revealed that the interior surface of the gyro assembly had dark, circumferentially oriented marks and circumferentially oriented scratches where the housing materials had been exposed. The gyro's rotor also had circumferentially oriented marks on its surface.


 http://registry.faa.gov/N225CD

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA456
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Chesterfield, MO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N225CD
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 August 3, 2013, at 0510 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N225CD, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain about 0.6 nautical miles (nm) west of the Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS), Chesterfield, Missouri. The wreckage was fragmented and a post impact ground fire consumed much of the airplane’s wings. The airplane was departing from SUS and was en route to Dalhart, Texas. The private pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to 225CD LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a Part 91 personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight plan was filed.

A witness reported that he was driving south on N. Eatherton Road, which runs perpendicular to runway 26R about 0.3 nm west of the departure end of runway 26R, and observed seeing the accident airplane’s navigation lights for about 3 to 5 seconds as it traveled to the west. The airplane appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed and in about a 20 degree descent. He saw a fireball as the accident airplane impacted the trees and terrain. He reported that the weather conditions were “very foggy.” He reported that he could only see the accident airplane’s navigation lights due to the fog and light conditions.

The examination of the accident site indicated that the accident airplane impacted the woods located west of SUS on about a 250 degree magnetic heading from the departure end of runway 26R. The wreckage path was about 350 feet in length, also on about a 250 degree magnetic heading, from where the initial impact occurred at the edge of the woods to the nose landing gear, which was the part of the accident airplane found furthest from the initial impact point.

A piece of the right wingtip was observed embedded in the trunk of a 70 to 80 foot tall tree located near the edge of the woods. The piece was embedded about 30 feet up from the base of the tree. Another tree about 96 feet from the initial impact point was struck. The tree was about 32 inches in diameter at the base of the tree. The impact occurred near the tree’s mid-span and the impact toppled the top of the tree over in the direction of travel. A piece of the tree trunk was found at the base of the tree that had a 13 inch by 18 inch diagonal slash with gray paint transfer, which was consistent with a propeller slash. The left wing and the wing spar were located about 150 feet from the initial impact point and had extensive fire damage. The aft cabin and cargo compartment were found near the left wing. The parachute rocket motor had fired. The parachute was found deployed, although the parachute canopy had not opened and was found in a packed condition and still in the “D-bag.” The accident airplane’s empennage was found about 200 feet from the initial impact point. The elevator and rudder control cables were attached to the control surfaces and exhibited continuity. The aileron cables to the left wing remained attached to the left aileron actuation pulley. The right wing received extensive damage and control continuity to the right wing could not be confirmed. The flap actuator was found in the flaps up position.

The 41-year-old private pilot held a single-engine land and airplane instrument ratings. He received his airplane instrument rating on February 14, 2013, and he had used the accident airplane for his instrument training and instrument check ride. He held a third class medical certificate. The pilot’s logbook was not retrieved; however, aircraft flight logs and insurance records indicated that the pilot had about 475 total flight hours with about 154 hours in the SR22. He flew about 24 hours within the last 30 days, but the number of instrument hours flown is unknown.

The SUS weather surface observation at 0454 was: wind 010 at 4 knots; visibility 3 miles in mist; overcast ceiling at 400 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 22 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 21 degrees C; altimeter 29.95.

The SUS special weather surface observation at 0512 was: wind 020 at 7 knots; visibility 1 3/4 miles in mist; overcast ceiling at 400 feet agl, temperature 22 degrees C; dew point 21 degrees C; altimeter 29.95; ceilings variable from 200 to 600 feet.

The accident airplane’s directional gyro and horizon reference indicator were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Materials laboratory for examination. A Go-Pro video camera, a Drift Innovation video camera, and the accident airplane’s multifunction display’s memory card were sent the NTSB Vehicle Recorder’s laboratory for examination.



 Shiv Patil, Chesterfield Doctor, Daughter Sonia, 7, Remembered 



 
 Shiv Patil



 
Cirrus SR22, N225CD:  Plane crash site 


A planned trip to Arizona turned into an unimaginable nightmare for one Chesterfield family this week. 

Very early morning on Saturday, a small airplane flying out of the Spirit of St. Louis Airport came crashing down in Wildwood, claiming the lives of Shiv Patil, 41, and Sonia, his 7-year-old daughter. Federal officials are still investigating what exactly went wrong, but in the meantime, family and friends are coming to terms with the tragic deaths, mourning the loss of a beloved doctor and his young girl. They leave behind Shiv's wife Pooja and their second, older daughter, Rhea.

"From the moment Shiv and Pooja moved into the neighborhood, we knew we would be friends with them," Patil's next door neighbor Matt Paese tells Daily RFT. "They were warm and open, and he was always wanting to know how he could help and making sure he was being a good neighbor."


"I think that translated well outside of how he was as a neighbor. That's the way he was as a doctor. That's the way he was as a man. He always had time for other people and always made room for other people before himself," Paese continues. "He was always smiling and pleasant and just a truly wonderful gentleman to know and be friends with."
 
"That made it all the harder to find out such a horrible tragedy happened at such a young age," he says. "And little Sonia was a spark of energy and beauty."

Daily RFT got a chance this week to speak with Paese and his partner, Ellen McGirt, a Chesterfield couple that share a yard with the Patil family and have known them for about five years since the Patils moved in next door.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be performing independent investigations of the crash, which police say happened at around 4:50 a.m. shortly after the Cirrus SR22 took off. The two were headed to Texas and then onward to Arizona, where they were apparently going to visit the Grand Canyon. Pooja, McGirt tells us, likely stayed behind for work.


(A director with the Spirit of St. Louis Airport tells Daily RFT that the airport isn't closely involved with the investigation since it happened outside of its jurisdiction, but notes that it did complete runway inspections and fuel quality control checks and found no issues there.) 

Shiv and Pooja are both from India and came here to work as doctors, McGirt says. 

"They were building a life here," she says, explaining that the two were running a practice together.
"The whole family has this beautiful spirit," she says. 

McGirt, a journalist originally from New York City, says she bonded with Shiv over the foreignness of Chesterfield.

"Whether you're from India or you're from New York City, Chesterfield is equally exotic to you," she says. "We would sort of take on the idea of living here and blending in here with the same level of enthusiasm." 

She says, "It was just a wonderful gift. We shared a common view, literally out of our windows and a common view of the world. That was really a joy. I so looked forward to so many years with them and watching their children grow up."

She adds, "When you have a nice neighbor, you have pearls, these wonderful moments.... We had so many with Shiv and his kids. It's just hard to imagine a more loving, gentle person."

McGirt and Paese, whose own children sometimes play with the Patil girls, say they have many positive memories to share.

McGirt recalls Shiv building a swing set for his family -- and it collapsing after a big storm. "I will rebuild it!" she recalls him saying.

McGirt also remembers him running down the hill with tandoori chickens in his hands for their grill -- with the two girls and their dog, Timmy, running behind.

Shiv, she says, would cheer her on when she was trying to save their shared trees from heavy snow. 


Paese has a memory of Shiv recently chasing an ice cream truck down the street -- on his bike -- to make sure he got some for his girls. 

"He was pedaling as fast as he could," Paese says, noting that he was finally able to catch up with the truck and bring it back so his daughters could get ice cream.

And he and his wife are very well-respected doctors, he adds. "They've really built a group of clients and patients who love them. My sense is...people love Shiv and Pooja, because they always have time. They really treat patients like family. And that's the way they treat their neighbors."

McGirt says Sonia was often shy, but fondly recalls one time when the young girl decided she wanted to dance in front of them.

"One moment, she got up her nerve...and was ready to perform her dance," McGirt remembers. "She just brought the house down.... It was just so cute and so gutsy. She just wanted to dance with everybody."

Paese adds of Sonia, "She was only seven.... But she was as beautiful and as perfect as they come."


Source:   http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com





















 A doctor who loved to fly and his 7-year-old daughter died when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Spirit of St. Louis Airport early Saturday morning.

Dr. Shiv K. Patil, 41, and his daughter, Sonia, of Chesterfield, were killed when the Cirrus SR22 plane went down just west of the airport about 5 a.m., said St. Louis County Police spokesman Randy Vaughn. The single-engine plane crashed in a heavily wooded area on Howell Island.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Heavy fog was reported at the time of the crash, but it is unknown whether that played a role, Vaughn said.

Flying was Patil’s passion, said a friend, Dr. Alok Katyal of Chesterfield.

Patil and his daughter took off from the airport in Chesterfield and were headed to the Grand Canyon in Arizona with a stop in Texas, said his cousin Dr. Virender S. Saini.

Patil’s wife, Puja, 36, who is also a doctor, was to join them but worked late Friday, Saini said. The couple’s other daughter, 9, stayed behind to camp with friends.

“Everyone is in shock,” Saini said.

“I haven’t met a better person than him,” Saini said softly as tears filled his eyes. “His door is always open for anybody, everybody. He was a good friend.”

Saini said Patil was a well-trained pilot who flew regularly.

He said Patil was adventurous and a good sportsman. He was a swimmer and enjoyed skydiving and had jumped at least 50 times.

“He was a daredevil,” he said.

Sonia enjoyed ice skating and was adventurous too, Saini said.

“She wanted to fly planes like her dad,” he said.

She also liked reading Winnie the Pooh, Saini said. Authorities said several of the books were found scattered in the crash debris.

Saini said Patil was a devoted doctor and father.

“He always spent time with his kids and family. He flew to Niagara Falls with his family and cruised to Alaska.”

Patil was an internal medicine physician who practiced throughout the St. Louis area, including at offices in Wentzville and Warrenton.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

==========================

St. Louis County Police and the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board are investigating the fatal crash that claimed the life of a father and his daughter early today.  
 
The Cirrus SR22 plane crashed about 5:10 a.m. west of Spirit of St. Louis Airport and went down along the wood lines of Howell Island between the levee, according to St. Louis County spokesman Randy Vaughn.

On board the plane was
Dr. Shiv K. Patil, 41, and his 7-year-old daughter, Sonia Patil. Vaughn said Patil left Spirit at 4:50 a.m. and the plane went down shortly thereafter. Patil was traveling to Texas where he was supposed to fuel up then head to Arizona, Vaughn said. The location of where the plane crashed is not visible to the runway and is between the levee and the river, he said.

Patil's wife and another daughter, 9, met with authorities during the notification, he said. Vaughn expressed sadness for the little girl. He said there were many Winnie the Pooh books in the large field of debris.

Heavy fog was reported in the air earlier before the crash and it was dark, he said. He said now an investigation is underway to determine how and why the crash occurred.

=============


WILDWOOD (KTVI )-Two people are dead after a small plane crashed early Saturday morning in the Chesterfield Valley. 

 St. Louis County Police say it was just before 5am when the single engine aircraft, a Cirrus SR-22, crashed into the tree line just after takeoff.  Police and Monarch Fire officials describe a large “debris field” in the woods on Howell Island, which sits in the Missouri River.

Police say the victims are from St. Louis county. The pilot was a 41 year old man.  His passenger was a seven year old girl.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation into the crash.  It will likely be some time before an official cause is given, however police point out there was some fairly thick fog in the area at the time of the takeoff.

Officers say the flight plan listed the aircraft as bound for Texas, likely for a fuel stop, before continuing on to Arizona.

It lifted off from Spirit of St. Louis airport about 4:50am.  The tree line which it hit is roughly half a mile from the end of the runway.

Joe Duever lives in the area along Eatherton Road North.  He was doing farm work when he says he heard the loud explosion.

“I went inside and asked my wife, ‘Did you hear that?’” He said.  “‘She said, I sure did.  It shook the whole house’”

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WILDWOOD (KMOV) St. Louis County Police say a small plane crashed in West St. Louis County killing the two people onboard. The victims are an adult male and female child, according to St. Louis County Police, Captain Randy Vaughn. The exact ages are unknown at this time.


According to the flight log, the Cirrus SR22 was scheduled to leave from the Spirit of St. Louis Airport at 4:50 a.m Saturday morning. A distress call was sent from the aircraft around 5:10 a.m.

Initial reports show the aircraft didn't clear the tree line near the levee and crashed near North Eatherton and Wings Corporate Drive.

Emergency crews report the Cirrus SR22 was heavily damaged and there was a large debris field.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in to further investigate the cause of the crash.

A nearby resident said the crash shook his entire house. "It was like 200 pounds of TNT. It was one sharp concussion," said Joe Duever.