Friday, August 9, 2013

Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander, Meridian (Rgd. Ellumax Leasing LLC), N13622: Accident occurred August 09, 2013 in New Haven, Connecticut

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in East Haven, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2014
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 9, 2013, about 1121 eastern daylight time, a Rockwell International 690B, N13622, was destroyed after impacting two homes while maneuvering for landing in East Haven, Connecticut. The airplane was registered to Ellumax, LLC, and was operated by a private individual. The commercial pilot, one passenger, and two people on the ground were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1049 and was destined for Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut.

Review of data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 1104, the pilot was advised by a New York Approach controller to expect an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 2, with a circle to land runway 20 at HVN, which he acknowledged. At 1115, the flight was cleared for that approach and the pilot was instructed to contact the HVN tower, which he did. At 1116, the pilot reported to the tower controller that the airplane was 7.5 miles from the final approach fix and the controller instructed the pilot to report a left downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 20. The pilot then asked if anybody had landed straight in and the controller replied no, the winds were 190 degrees at 17 knots, which the pilot acknowledged. At 1119 the pilot reported that the airplane was on a left downwind and the controller cleared the flight to land. 

At 1120:42, the controller stated, "November one two two are you going to be able to maintain visual contact with the airport?" The pilot replied "are you talking to six two two" and the controller replied "six two two affirmative." At 1520:51, the pilot replied, "six two two is in visual contact now." No further communications were received from the accident airplane. The last recorded radar target was at 1120:53, about .7 miles north of the runway 20 threshold indicating an altitude of 800 feet mean seal level. 

After the accident, the HVN tower controller stated that he observed the airplane on a midfield left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 20 and it was "skimming" the cloud bases. He asked the pilot if he could maintain visual contact with the runway and the pilot replied yes. The controller then lost visual contact with the airplane and about 2 to 3 seconds later, it re-appeared nose-down, rotating counter-clockwise and descending from the clouds to the ground. Several other witnesses near the accident site reported seeing the airplane descend in an unusual attitude and/or the sound of loud engine noise just before impact. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 13, 2011. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,952 hours. 

Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 2,067 hours; of which, about 1,407 hours were in multiengine airplanes and 574 hours of that were in turbine aircraft. The pilot had flown about 394 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions. Additionally, the pilot completed a flight review and instrument proficiency check on March 2 and March 18, 2013, respectively. The last entry in the pilot's logbook was dated March 19, 2013. There was no record of flight time between that date and the accident. A determination could not be made of how many circling approaches the pilot had performed in actual conditions. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 11-seat, high wing, retractable gear airplane, serial number 11469, was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by two Honeywell TPE331 engines, serial numbers P79297C, and P79001C respectively. According to FAA records, the airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on March 8, 1982. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records revealed an annual inspection was completed February 13, 2013 at a recorded tachometer reading of 1250.1 hours, airframe total time of 8827.1 hours, and engine time since major overhaul of 1249.5 hours. The tachometer and the Hobbs hour-meter were not located at the accident site. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at HVN, at 1126, was: wind from 170 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots; visibility 9 miles in light rain, overcast ceiling at 900 feet; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 23 degrees C; altimeter 29.88 inches Hg. Remarks: Rain began at 18 minutes after the hour, and the ceiling height was variable between 600 feet and 1,100 feet. 

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot contacted flight service and received an abbreviated weather briefing for the accident flight. For more information, see Meteorology Factual Report in the public docket. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was located inverted, with about one-half of the cockpit and fuselage inside a house and basement. The wreckage came to rest on a magnetic heading about 185 degrees. The total circumference of the wreckage debris field was approximately 90 feet. The distance and direction from the wreckage to the approach end of runway 20 at HVN was 180 degrees magnetic and about .6 mile.

The cockpit section rearward to the crew entrance door was separated from the fuselage, crushed, thermally damaged, and located inside the basement of the house. The instrument panel exhibited crushing and thermal damage. The cockpit windscreens were fragmented. The nose landing gear remained attached and in the down and locked position and corresponded with the landing gear selection handle on the instrument panel.

The right wing impacted an adjacent house and separated from the fuselage. The wing was destroyed by thermal damage, and came to rest against the adjacent house. The right main landing gear separated from the attachment point to the wing. The left wing impacted the ground and was separated from the fuselage. There was thermal damage the entire length of the wing. The wing was lying inverted in the back of the main wreckage. The left aileron was present and attached to two connecting rods. The flap had separated and the preimpact flap setting could not be determined. The left main landing gear remained attached to the wing, was thermal damaged, and in the extended position.

The left engine was detached from the wing and lying in the basement of the primary house. The engine exhibited crushing and thermal damage. The right engine was detached from the wing and lying in a 12-inch crater between both houses. The engine exhibited crushing and thermal damage. A teardown examination of both engines was performed at the manufacturer facility under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. 

The left propeller remained connected to the gearbox and exhibited thermal damage and chordwise scratching of all three propeller blades. The right propeller remained also connected to its gearbox. All three propeller blades exhibited s-bending and chordwise scratching. A detailed examination of both propellers did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations.

About 12 feet of fuselage was resting on the ground in between both houses, connected to the empennage section, and exhibited thermal damage. The vertical and horizontal surfaces remained connected to their respective connecting rods, and also exhibited thermal damage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the elevator and rudder to the cockpit area. Due to impact and thermal damage, aileron control cable continuity could not be confirmed. 

An enhanced ground proximity warning system and cockpit display were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C.; however, due to thermal and impact damage, data could not be recovered from either unit.
NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in East Haven, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2014
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 10, 2013, by the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut. Review of the autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was "blunt impact injuries of head, trunk, and extremities." 

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Review of the toxicology report revealed: 

"0.029 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Liver
0.008 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Blood"

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Review of an approach chart for the instrument landing system approach to runway 2, circle to land runway 20, revealed that the minimum descent altitude was 720 feet.

Further review of radar data by an NTSB performance engineer revealed that during the circling approach, the airplane flew as close as 1,800 feet east of the approach end of runway 20 (abeam the numbers) on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would require an approximate 180-degree turn within a radius of 900 feet to align with the runway. At the last airspeed approximation from the radar trajectory of 100 knots, the airplane would have had to bank about 45 degrees to complete the turn (assuming a consistent bank throughout the turn and not accounting for the tailwind); however, the airplane's stall speed at that bank would increase to 88 knots in the landing configuration or 94 knots with flaps retracted. The stall speed would increase beyond 100 knots as the bank increased beyond 45 degrees. 

Additionally, at that time, the airplane was at 600 feet and the controller queried the pilot if he could maintain visual contact with the runway. The airplane then climbed to 800 feet into the clouds, before reappearing in a nose-down descent. 

For more information, see Aircraft Performance Study in the public docket.

http://registry.faa.gov/N13622
 

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in New Haven, CT
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 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 9, 2013, about 1121 eastern daylight time, a Rockwell International 690B, N13622, was destroyed after impacting two homes while maneuvering for landing in East Haven, Connecticut. The airplane was registered to Ellumax, LLC, and was operated by a private individual. The commercial pilot, one passenger, and two people on the ground were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1049 and was destined for Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut.

Review of preliminary data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that at 1115:10, the flight was cleared for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 2, circle to land runway 20 at HVN by New York Approach Control (N90). At 1115:43 the pilot contacted HVN tower and reported 7 and one half miles from SALLT intersection. The HVN local controller instructed the pilot to enter a left downwind for runway 20. At 1119:26 the pilot reported to HVN air traffic control (ATC) that he was entering a left downwind for runway 20. HVN ATC cleared the pilot to land on runway 20. While circling to runway 20, the HVN tower controller asked the pilot if he would be able to maintain visual contact with the airport. The pilot replied "622 is in visual contact now". At 1120:55 the HVN air traffic controller made a truncated transmission with the call sign “622”. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. The last recorded radar target was at 1120:53, about .7 miles north of the runway 20 threshold indicating an altitude of 800 feet mean seal level.

According to a student pilot witness, who was traveling on interstate 95 (I-95) at exit 51; he looked to his right while traveling east bound and saw the airplane at the end of a right roll. The airplane was inverted and traveling at a high rate of speed, nose first, towards the ground in the vicinity of where HVN was located. He stated that he stopped at a local business and found out that the airplane had crashed.

According to another witness, who lives two houses from the impact point of the airplane, he was in his living room when he saw the airplane descending about 90 degrees right side down into the homes.

The airplane was located inverted, with the forward half of the airplane inside the basement of the primary home on a heading of 192 degrees magnetic. The cockpit, left engine and forward two-thirds of the fuselage were located inside the basement. The left wing was located on the back porch of the primary home. The right wing impacted a secondary adjacent house on the north side of the primary home. The right engine and propeller impacted the ground in between both homes. A postaccident fire ensued and consumed a majority of the wreckage.

The recorded weather at HVN, at 1126, included wind from 170 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots, visibility 9 miles, and overcast ceiling at 900 feet.

Abduction of Turkish pilots linked to Shiite hostages in Syria

 
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar (R) and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, after 3 a.m. and taken away by six gunmen


 
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar (R), kidnapped on August 9, 2013 in Beirut, is seen in an undated file picture obtained from the Turkish Ihlas news agency posing with a woman. 
(The Daily Star)




BEIRUT: Gunmen kidnapped early Friday two Turkish Airlines pilots headed to a Beirut hotel shortly after they arrived in the country, security sources told The Daily Star, in a move apparently linked to the lingering case of Lebanese hostages being held in Syria. 

Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, after 3 a.m. and taken away by six gunmen, the sources, who spoke on condition, said.

The sources said the gunmen drove off in a silver BMW X3 and a black KIA Picanto after kidnapping the two from the shuttle, which serves the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Ain al-Mreisseh.

The driver of the bus, 72-year-old Maher Mohammad Zeaiter, told police he was unable to prevent the gunmen from taking the Turks, saying he feared his 12-year-old son, who was in the vehicle at the time, could have been harmed.

Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the bus driver was being interrogated as part of the investigation into the incident.

Zeaiter denied any role in the abduction, telling The Daily Star he has “been a trusted employee at the hotel for 13 years.”

According to local media, a group calling itself Zuwwar al-Imam Ali al-Reda, claimed responsibility for the abduction of the two Turks and demanded the release of nine Shiite pilgrims being held by Syrian rebels.

The nine pilgrims were among 11 Lebanese kidnapped by the Syrian opposition in May 2012 in the Azaz district of Aleppo. Only two of the kidnapped Lebanese have been released.

“[The Turkish nationals] are our guests until the hostages in Azaz are released,” the group said in a statement carried by local media.

“The return of the visitors [the Lebanese hostages] will be met with the return of the pilots,” the statement said, holding Ankara directly responsible for the abduction of the Lebanese Shiites.

The group had previously threatened to target Turkish and Syrian nationals in Lebanon.

Turkish interests in Lebanon have been under threat over the case of the Lebanese hostages. Families of the kidnapped have held several protests outside the offices of Turkish Airlines in Beirut and the Turkish Embassy, arguing that Ankara bears responsibility for the abduction given its backing of the rebels.

The relatives denied Friday any involvement in the kidnapping of Akpinar and Agca.

"We have nothing to do with it and we were surprised and heard about it from the news just like everybody else,” Daniel Shoeb, a spokesperson for the relatives, told local media.

“Our steps are known and we were preparing a protest outside the Turkish Embassy and we reject kidnappings,” he added.

Sheikh Abbas Zogheib, tasked by the Higher Shiite Council to follow up on the case of the Lebanese in Syria, said the families played no role in the incident.

“The relatives have nothing to do with it ... but every Lebanese that has dignity and love for his country should do anything to end the case of the Lebanese,” Zogheib told The Daily Star.

“The only condemnation here should be toward Turkey because it is the one that made the situation reach this point and harm Turkey-Lebanon relations,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu contacted Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri over the incident, Anadolu News Agency quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

Mikati and Berri expressed their grief, saying such an incident should not affect ties with Ankara, the state-run agency said.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Inan Ozyildiz contacted Charbel seeking clarifications on the abduction, reported Lebanon’s National News Agency.

Charbel also informed President Michel Sleiman of the information security forces have been able to gather thus far the agency said.

Sources at Turkish Airlines told The Daily Star that the Airbus 321 pilots had disembarked at Terminal 16 of the Beirut airport after arriving from Istanbul.

The security sources said the shuttle bus included other crew members of flight TK828 who were headed back to their hotel.

Radisson Hotel in Beirut would not comment when contacted by The Daily Star.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com

Park Ridge's mayor is worried about the potential liability from city officers participating in a Plane Pull event for Special Olympics

It’s a test of strength and endurance along the lines of a traditional game of tug-of-war — except the challenger is a plane weighing over 90 tons. 

For the last five years, the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s Plane Pull at O’Hare Airport has been raising money for Special Olympics Illinois as teams of 20 compete to pull an aircraft 12 feet in as short amount of time as possible.

But as the Park Ridge Police Department prepares for this September’s event, Mayor David Schmidt is raising concerns.

During an Aug. 5 meeting of the Park Ridge City Council, Schmidt announced that he had asked city staff to research whether the city could be “exposed to any potential liability on a workers compensation claim” if police officers participate in the Plane Pull and sustain an injury.

Schmidt acknowledged that though he was aware the department had promoted and taken part in the Plane Pull in past years, he “hadn’t given any thought to the workers compensation issue” until the city was required to pay a claim recently for an officer injured “while moving furniture” inside the police station. Schmidt said the claim was approximately $100,000.

“Why would we willingly put our workers in a position where they could injure themselves in something that has nothing to do with their job and have the taxpayers get socked again?” Schmidt asked.

Police Chief Frank Kaminski, one of the founders of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program, said the last two times the department coordinated its own plane pull, no police officers or other employees took part in actually pulling the rope.

“We’ve been using other people in the community to partner with us and help the cause,” Kaminski said.

The police chief added that no injuries have occurred among the Park Ridge teams.

In 2010 and 2011 the police department, with help from Maine South football coach David Inserra, recruited a team of football players to do the pulling. Each year, the team raised about $1,000 for Special Olympics Illinois, Kaminski said.

The department did not participate in last year’s Plane Pull.

Kaminski said those who compete are required to sign a waiver that is provided by Special Olympics. The same is true for other law enforcement events benefitting Special Olympics that Park Ridge Police actively participate in, according to Community Strategies Officer Julie Genualdi. These events include the Polar Plunge, where members of the department volunteer to take a dip in icy Lake Michigan in the winter, and the Torch Run itself, where officers run and carry a torch in support of Special Olympics.

Kaminski said officers participate in these fundraisers on their own time and it is his belief that they would not be able to file a claim against the city in this case.

City Manager Shawn Hamilton said he would provide an answer to Schmidt’s question regarding potential liability at the City Council’s Aug. 12 meeting. Mike Suppan, manager of Human Resources for the city, was not immediately available for comment.

If there is a liability issue, Schmidt said he does not believe he has the authority to do anything to put a stop to the event, but he did say he would raise an objection and hoped aldermen would as well.

“I’d like to see (the police department) do the plane pull if they can do it and the city’s taxpayers are protected,” Schmidt added. “My job is not to worry about the police officer’s extra-curricular activities or worry about the Special Olympics. My job is to worry about the taxpayers’ money.”

This year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Plane Pull will take place Sept. 21 and involve a UPS-branded Airbus A300 plane. The police department is again reaching out to the Maine South football team, but Kaminski would also like Hawk wrestlers to possibly take part as well. Additionally, employees from Park Ridge-based Million Dollar Round Table have been invited, as Kaminski said the company was looking for a service project.


Source:   http://parkridge.suntimes.com

Love of aviation continues for Mars: Madison, Mississippi

 
David Mars poses with his 1929 Travel Air bi-plane at the Madison Airport.
~



For David Mars, aviation enthusiast and licensed pilot, the roar of an airplane engine brings back many memories. Sights and sounds are nothing compared to the pure rush of adrenaline that comes while soaring through the air in his 1929 vintage Curtiss-Wright Travel Air biplane. 

"The high altitude, corporate flying is really nice, but the vintage planes are my passion," said Mars. Every other summer, he joins fellow pilots as they travel the country barnstorming, a tradition that has its roots in the Golden Age of Aviation. What started out as a hobby is quickly becoming a profession for local Madison Countian.

"It's really show business," Mars explained. The travelers dress in authentic 1920s clothing and don the personas of disreputable barnstormers of old. For a fee, anyone who enjoys their shows can take a ride in one of the licensed aircraft.

In 2010, Mars took his passion to the big screen when he became a member on the set of 2010 movie Pearl, the true story of a spirited Chickasaw daredevil whose life in 1928 rural Oklahoma suddenly changed when a ride through the clouds ignited her love for flying.

"So I've been a bush pilot, a transcontinental ferry pilot, and a barnstormer," said Mars. "I also did the flying for that movie and I provided two planes for it."

He regularly sells rides at the Madison Airport. Recently, he has begun flying corporate jets on demand. Last year, he and a friend delivered a plane to a taxi service in Africa. The pilots refueled in Greenland, Iceland, Crete, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and quite a few other countries before finally reaching their destination in South Africa.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, Mars owns seven planes of his own. "I actually live in a hangar," he laughed. A private grass airstrip dubbed "Slobovia" stretches across the yards of Mars and a dozen others.

"I would say I've flown at least 200-250 days a year for the last 40 years," Mars admitted.

He enjoys continuing the family tradition. "My father was a bombardier on a B-17 in World War II," he explained. The father of his fiancé, Ann Rowles, was also a fighter pilot. The tradition of aviation continues with Mars's son and three grandsons.

In the future, he plans to retire his collection of vintage planes at an aviation museum.


Story, Photo and Comments/Reaction:   http://onlinemadison.com

Report Urges New Anticollision Measures for Small Planes: Investigators' Findings Challenge Long-Standing Safety Procedures

August 9, 2013, 5:07 a.m. ET

By ANDY PASZTOR

The Wall Street Journal


A Canadian investigation into a 2012 midair collision between two small U.S. planes is challenging long-standing safety procedures relied on by generations of private pilots.

After two private planes flown by federal aviation officials collided over northern Virginia last year, the U.S. government called in Canadian experts to conduct an impartial investigation. Canada's Transportation Safety Board released its findings on Thursday, which could have broad implications because the report concludes air-traffic controllers may have to assume a greater role in protecting flights of small planes flying under visual flight rules in busy airspace.

The fatal May 2012 accident involved a Beechcraft Bonanza, piloted by an employee of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which collided with a Piper PA-28 flown by a Federal Aviation Administration employee. Occurring in good weather at 1,800 feet, the Beechcraft broke up in flight and both people aboard died. The other pilot managed to land in a pasture near a Warrenton, Va., airport and survived.

Both planes were operating under visual flight rules, which make pilots responsible for avoiding midair collisions by requiring them to look out for nearby planes. "This accident shows once again," according to the Canadian experts, "that the see-and-avoid principle is inadequate for preventing collisions between aircraft flying under visual flight rules." The report suggests that relying entirely on such safeguards may be particularly problematic in crowded urban or suburban airspace near airports.

Investigators concluded that "meaningful improvement" to traditional see-and-avoid rules may require installation of new onboard safety technology or increased intervention by air-traffic controllers.

Currently, small private planes referred to as general aviation aircraft aren't obligated to carry automated airborne collision-avoidance technology mandated for all airliners. At the same time, pilots of such private planes flying under visual flight rules frequently aren't required to be in contact with any controllers on the ground.

In the Warrenton accident, the probe found that both planes were operating in accordance with applicable federal safety rules. But investigators couldn't determine precisely why the pilots failed to spot each other, or whether they were on the same air-traffic control radio frequency. Warrenton is a Washington, D.C., suburb that has traffic overhead from Dulles International Airport and other, smaller fields.

The Piper's pilot was in radio contact with a controller, whose screen showed an alert about a potential conflict between the flight paths of the two aircraft. At that point, according to the report, the planes were still nearly a mile apart and separated by the required minimum of 500 feet vertically.

The controller "assessed there was no conflict" or imminent collision threat, according to the report, and returned to ensuring separation of other aircraft flying under instrument flight rules that were deemed to be a higher priority. Controllers have primary responsibility to keep planes apart under instrument flight rules.

About 45 seconds after the alert sounded, the controller refocused attention on the potential conflict between the two small planes and warned the Piper's pilot about nearby traffic, according to the report. But by then, the planes already had collided.

The report emphasizes that the "see-and-avoid concept misleads pilots and controllers by encouraging overconfidence in visual scanning." It also concludes that "a number of viable and economical (onboard) alerting systems exist or are under development" to reduce the risk of midair collisions.

In addition to the option of installing new onboard technology, Canadian experts said enhanced safety initiatives include requiring controllers to begin issuing warnings or alerts to pilots "in all conflict situations."


Source:   http://online.wsj.com 

NTSB Identification: ERA12RA367A 
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Sumerduck, VA
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N6658R
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.


NTSB Identification: ERA12RA367B
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Sumerduck, VA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N23SC
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On May 28, 2012, about 1604 eastern daylight time, a Beech V35B, N6658R, and a Piper PA-28-140, N23SC, collided in flight in the vicinity of Sumerduck, Virginia. The Beech was destroyed, and the pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured; the Piper was substantially damaged, and the pilot was seriously injured. Neither of the local flights was operating on a flight plan, and both were being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The Beech departed Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, Warrenton, Virginia, on a flight review for the private pilot, and the Piper departed Culpeper Regional Airport, Culpeper, Virginia, on a personal flight.

The pilot/owner of the Beech was an employee of the NTSB, and the pilot/owner of the Piper was an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Under the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and by mutual agreement, the United States delegated the accident investigation to the government of Canada. The NTSB designated an accredited representative to the investigation on behalf of the United States, and the FAA designated an advisor to the accredited representative.

The investigation is being conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada under its statutes. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Tel: 1 (800) 387-3557
Fax: 1 (819) 997-2239
Email: airops@tsb.gc.ca
Web: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

Occurrence Number: A12H0001

This report is for informational purposes only, and only contains information released by or provided to the government of Canada.