Thursday, August 22, 2013

Preview to Wings Over Waukesha Airshow: Waukesha County Airport (KUES), Wisconsin

WAUKESHA--- The Wings Over Waukesha Airshow opens to the public on Saturday, August 24th at 10:00am. Adult admission is $10 and child admission is $5.

For an additional cost, you can ride a B-17 bomber plane from World War II or a Ford TriMotor. Airshow guests can also talk to pilots, watch flight demonstrations, and listen to live music.

CBS58's Laura Rodriguez went for a ride inside the B-17 with two World War II veterans. They say today's flight was a trip down memory lane.

"Today was wonderful. I looked out at those propellers and all 4 of them were running," said Harvin Abrahamson.

"The hips are arthritic today, I could not lift myself up as I used to in the front there. And the cockpit is quite small, it seemed so easy when I was young, but it was difficult today," said Kenneth Rawling.

Organizers say there are plenty of activities for kids too.

"Our goal is to honor the veterans that kept us safe, but we also want to get the kids involved. It's always a good day when you hear a kid leaving say mom I wanna be a pilot when I grow up," said Kurt Stanich, President of Wings Over Waukesha.

Fundraiser flies into Fremont this weekend: Fremont Municipal Airport (KFET), Nebraska

 Patrons of the Fremont Rotary Club Fly-in Breakfast had the opportunity to view a variety of aircraft and have a pancake breakfast during a previous event at Fremont Municipal Airport.


An annual Rotary Club event, geared toward raising money for community youth activities, returns for another year this weekend. 

The Fremont Rotary Club will host the 2013 Fly-In Breakfast and Airport Open House from 7:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday at Fremont Municipal Airport.

Breakfast will feature The Pancake Man and pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee will be served. Tickets may be purchased from any Rotarian for $5 in advance or by calling 402-721-7910; tickets are $6 the day of the event. Admission for pilots is free.

Sherry Leriger, Fremont Rotary Club president, said pilots will be flying into Fremont throughout the morning, many of them coming from as far as South Dakota, Missouri and Kansas. Leriger said pilot activity during the event is usually more concentrated in the morning, but the pilots stick around to show their planes to children and provide a photo opportunity.

Leriger said the event is one of the two big fundraisers the club has each year, and money raised is used when the Rotary Club gets donation requests from various organizations.

“It’s a huge piece of our money that we raise to turn around and try to give back,” Leriger said. “I think Fremont Rotary is becoming more recognized and branded in Fremont, so more people are coming to us for help.”

“We want to help as much as we can,” she added. “We want that recognition and we want people to come to us for help so that we can give back. That’s our whole thing — service.”

Leriger said the club hopes to attract about 600 to 700 people to the event.

Airshow will be first ever in Hillsdale: Hillsdale Municipal Airport (KJYM), Michigan

Pilots will display their airplanes Saturday prior to the airshow at 1 p.m.
 COURTESY PHOTO


HILLSDALE — Acrobatics, close formation flying, barrel rolls and the roar of heavy engines will tear through the air above Hillsdale Aero Saturday.

 Hillsdale County’s first ever airshow will be a fundraising opportunity for Crossroads Farm at the Hillsdale Municipal Airport off State Road.

“Crossroads Farm is always searching for new ways to share our crucial ministry while encouraging participation,” Director Doug Routledge said.

The event begins with a 10 a.m. brunch and a program filled with comedy, music and a chance for families to understand the ministry that has impacted thousands of teenagers. Registration for the brunch begins at 9:30 a.m. with the opportunity to peruse the parked planes and visit with pilots. The airshow, named Defying Gravity, will begin at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to last an hour, featuring World War II bombers and other planes performing a variety of maneuvers.

The cost of the brunch and airshow is $20 with children 5 and under entering free. There are only 350 spots available for the reservation only brunch and with families being invited, Routledge said these are going fast, but are still available by calling the office at 517- 283-2982. Since the event will be catered, a count will need to be turned in as soon as possible, he said.

The purpose of this morning meal is to laugh, engage and hope for the possibilities of Crossroads Farm, Routledge said.

“Over the last 15 years, Crossroads Farm has defied gravity of sorts by providing social, spiritual, relational and intellectual opportunities to students living in rural America,” he said.

The host for the morning’s program is nationally recognized host of “Celebrate Your Marriage,” Jay Laffoon.

“He has been a friend of Crossroads Farm for all of its 15 years,” Routledge said, noting people will leave breakfast being entertained, well-fed and encouraged by the ministry.”

For those unable to come to the brunch, gates to the public open at 10:30 a.m. Ticket cost is $5 per person. Due to FAA regulations, the airport entry road will close before the airshow begins, so Routledge suggests coming early.

Airport Manager James Scheibner said traffic will be diverted to another entrance once the road is closed and ample parking will be available in several of the mown grass fields near the terminal building. Food vendors will be on site for lunch during the show as well. Preparations for fencing began Monday morning with crews setting up safety areas in compliance with FAA requirements.

Scheibner said the show is significant in that it’s the first area show since the late 1970s, when a few maneuvers were done during normal fly-ins.

“We’re very fortunate that Crossroads brought this to the community,” Scheibner said. “These are not amateurs - in normal venues it would cost a fortune, but they are doing it for Crossroads and the community.”

Routledge said the family event is destined to make history with several nationally recognized names in stunt flying circles, from shows like Wings Over Houston and Thunder Over Michigan.

“This opportunity came from knowing one of the pilots, Al Schiffer, who knows about the ministry and it’s mission, thus facilitating a show with other pilots whose busy schedules were made available to make this happen,” Routledge said.

Like many rural areas, Routledge said Hillsdale County has many unique challenges for teens and these challenges are something Al Shiffer and his wife, Kathy, have on their hearts.

Schiffer said the ministry is indeed an important one to the kids and people of Hillsdale County and he is looking forward to the event with the forecast calling for great weather.

“We’ll have about a dozen pilots there with everybody volunteering their time, airplanes, fuel and talents,” Schiffer said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Organizers anticipate attracting thousands to the airport. Though the event has had hurdles to overcome, Routledge said that’s the case with any new event with new ground to cover.

“We hope many will plan on joining us as we make Hillsdale County history while making a difference in the lives of rural students,” Routledge said. “It will be a fantastic event and an opportunity for the community to get to know Crossroads.”

Source:  http://www.hillsdale.net

Vero Beach Air Show looking for volunteers: Vero Beach Municipal Airport (KVRB), Florida


VERO BEACH — It’s been a long time since Vero Beach has hosted an air show, but that will all change on Oct. 5-6 when the sky over Vero Beach Municipal Airport will be alive with high flying aerobatics, daredevil stunt pilots, pyrotechnics and more.

The Vero Beach, Indian River and Treasure Coast Exchange Club Chapters, along with the Veterans Council of IRC have collaborated for the past two years to revive the air show and bring it back to Vero Beach. Proceeds will benefit the Exchange Clubs' fight in the prevention of child abuse and provide assistance to local veterans.

For a more up close and intimate experience join the team and become a volunteer. On-line applications can be found on the Volunteer tab at www.veroairshow.com. A volunteer meeting will be held Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport at 3400 Cherokee Drive.


Source:   http://www.tcpalm.com

Aberdeen Air Show planned: Aberdeen Regional Airport (KABR), South Dakota

 
Four T-6 Navy training planes will visit Aberdeen. 
(Courtesy photo / August 21, 2013)



Four T-6 Navy training planes, the Vanguard Squadron of Tea and Wisconsin aerobatic flyer Darrel Massman will fill the skies over Aberdeen Sunday.

The Aberdeen Air Show takes place at Aberdeen Regional Airport. Admission is free.

The T-6 planes are part of the T-6 Thunder organization in Minneapolis. One of the planes is owned by Dr. John Bormes of Aberdeen.

The Vanguard Squadron will bring three to five planes to Aberdeen. The ethanol-powered aircraft are sponsored by POET.

Massman, who lives in Ogdensburg, Wis., is one of four aerial performers in his troupe.

The day begins with a pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. The gates open at 9 a.m., with the show starting at 10 a.m. It will conclude in the mid-afternoon.

 In addition to the aerial attractions, static displays on the ground include Avera St. Luke's CareFlight helicopter and Sanford’s fixed wing air ambulance. Other aircraft and food vendors will be on hand.

Source:   http://www.aberdeennews.com

Coles County airshow nears: Coles County Memorial Airport (KMTO), Mattoon/Charleston, Illinois


File Photo/The Daily Eastern News
Photo:   Susan Dacy, of Harvard, Ill., looks back at the crowd as she makes her way down the runway before performing with her biplane, Big Red, during the first performance of the 2012 Coles County County Air Show at the Coles County Memorial Airport.



Organizers for the Coles County Air Show are set to race a 300 mph school bus against a Stearman aircraft during the show Saturday.

Andrew Fearn, manager for the Coles County Memorial Airport, said the school bus is equipped with a jet engine, which allows it to achieve the speed it does.

He said the race will serve as the show’s grand finale and will be saved as the last spectacle. The show will start at noon and go to 3 p.m. with gates opening at 11 a.m.


Admission for the show is free, and will include performances by professional pilots such as Clyde Zellers in a Navy SNJ, Vlado Lenoch in a P-51 Mustang, Cliff Robison with a Stearman and Paul Stender with a 300 MPH Jet School Bus. Fearn said there will also be a jet-powered version of Snoopy’s doghouse.

He said the performances will be spaced out throughout the day.

“We can’t fly them altogether at one time,” Fearn said. “That’s a little chaotic.”

Attendees at the show will also get the chance to ride in some of the aircraft including a B-25 Mitchell Bomber, a Navy SNJ and a helicopter.

Other attractions include food vendors, monster truck rides and a mechanical bull. Fearn said there will also be a children’s area with a bounce house and toy airplanes.

The show will also have several aircraft on display, including a T-6 Texan, a Douglas Skyraider, a TBM Avenger and a C45 Expeditor.

Source:    http://www.dennews.com

Erie Aviation Gala features planes, cars this weekend: Erie International Airport/Tom Ridge Field (KERI), Pennsylvania

Who needs Heidi Klum?

Erie International Airport will celebrate the end of its project runway this weekend with a free Aviation Gala Open House. The two-day event, presented by Erie Promotions and Expos Inc., will feature more than 25 planes, an antique car show, a hot-air ballon demonstration, a marketplace pavilion and "Rise Above," a traveling exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen.

Children can also hang out at a Kid's Hangar with activities and mascots from Erie sports teams.

Don't think of this weekend's event as an air show; planes won't buzz overhead and perform spectacular stunts. But visitors can check out all sorts of vintage planes -- including military ones -- on the ground.

"The airport contacted (us) quite a few months ago and said we want to celebrate the reopening of Erie's runway," said Mark Concilla of Erie Promotions. "(They) wanted a community event that gives families and everyone a chance to come out and experience the airport."

They wanted a free event, too. Numerous sponsors came on board to help the event take off.

The centerpiece attraction: Wings Over Wheels, a combo plane and car show.

"We reached out to regional pilots from around the area to come and spend a day with their planes and have them on display. We got a great response of unique planes," Concilla said.

Three of the event's featured planes are from Michigan's Yankee Air Museum -- a B-17 Fortress, a C-47 Skytrain and a B-25 Mitchell. All three war birds were used extensively in military service.

A C-123, dubbed Thunder Pig for its sheer size, will be on display. It was the only aircraft to serve the U.S. Air Force as a glider, prop and turboprop craft, according to Air Heritage Inc., which saved the plane from scrap and restored it.

A Corsair, which could land on aircraft carriers and fold its wings, is coming, along with several Titans. Visitors can tour the planes, and operators will offer merchandise.

"These aircrafts are all owned by historical organizations and their ultimate goal is to keep these planes flying. And the only way is to offer rides or sell products to support that," Concilla said.

At press time, just three seats remained available to ride in the B-17; the cost is $425.

Visitors can also check out the "Rise Above" exhibit, which tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen -- a squadron of black pilots who fought during World War II. George Lucas' film "Red Tail" told that story in 2012. A Tuskegee P-51C Mustang will also be at the airport.

Concilla expects nearly 70 cars for the "wheels" part of the weekend; they'll compete for plaques and prizes in four categories. The oldest is a 1935 Chevy Street Rod.

Tad Bowen will visit with Muttley Crew -- dogs that catch Frisbee discs in midair, not dogs that listen to Vince Neil. The Kid's Hangar will feature activities organized by the Erie Otters, SeaWolves, BayHawks and Explosion. A National Guard rock wall will also be on site, along with a hot-air balloon and radio-controlled aircraft.

While airline food can be sketchy, Savor the Flavor should be different, with an array of choices that includes roasted almonds, jams, jellies, ice cream, kettle corn and more.

A ribbon-cutting and runway dedication ceremony with assorted dignitaries is Sunday at 2 p.m. The full runway opened July 3; just some repaving on the old runway remains of the $82 million project. Airport officials hope the extended runway, at 8,420 feet long, will attract new airlines and flight destinations.

Cologne, Germany, anyone? That's where Klum is from.

SEE IT


The Erie Airport Gala is scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Erie International Airport. Free. For parking, enter at West 14th Street and Shenk Avenue. For info, visit www.erieairportgala.org.

EVENT SCHEDULE


Ongoing activities: Static airplane viewing; car show; Kids Bounce House; Kids' Hangar activities; Tuskegee Experience.

Muttley Crew Frisbee Dog Show: Saturday, 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

Hot-air balloon seminars: Saturday, noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m., noon.

Lowes Kids Build & Grow: Saturday, noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m.

Thermal G Demonstrations: Saturday, noon, 2 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

Helicopter arrivals and departures: Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Ribbon-cutting, runway dedication ceremony: Sunday, 2 p.m.

Car and plane award ceremony: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

20,000 attend annual Greenwood Lake Air Show: Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, New Jersey

Enthusiasm about the Fifth Annual Air Show at Greenwood Lake Airport was never more obvious than a couple hours before the final show was to end on Sunday. When things were expected to be winding down, people were still arriving at the gate to see the hour or so of the show that still remained.

The performers didn’t seem to be ready to end the show either. Iron Eagles pilots Bill Gordon and Billy Segalla continued to respond to the enthusiasm being shown by show patrons. They continued their flight aerobatics late into the afternoon.

Over 20,000 people attended during the three days of the show, according to Greenwood Lake Airport Manager Tim Wagner. He said perfect weather and outstanding performers helped to bring in the large crowd.

Although there are always new acts and attractions, the show regulars – such as Gary Ward – have developed a following who attend the annual show to not only see performances but to speak with them when they are mingling with the crowd and signing autographs.

Ward, in his 70’s, enjoys meeting kids new to the show and readily spends time listening to them and answering their questions. He developed an interest in airplanes early in life and soloed at age 16 in a Piper J-3 Cub. After high school and a tour with the USAF as a jet engine mechanic he later graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

"You are our favorite performer," said an enthusiastic father as his wife and children reached the end of the line to get autographs for the younger children who had not been along on previous trips to see Ward perform. "We are so glad to see you back at the Greenwood Lake Show!"

Ward told AIM West Milford that he loves coming to West Milford to do the show. The Georgia resident said it is a beautiful place. He left Greenwood Lake headed for New Brunswick, Canada where he’s performing in the Atlantic Canada International Air Show Aug. 23 to 25.

Tuskegee Airman Eugene Richardson, now 88, was pleased with the interest many at the show gave to the Red Tails trailer with historic information and a film about the Tuskegee Airmen’s service to the country in World War II. The flier of a Red Tail P-51C Mustang received his pilot’s wings and officer’s commission in March, 1945.

Wagner said show fans can keep up with their favorite performers by going on the internet and checking latest news about them while waiting for their return to the sixth annual Greenwood Lake Air Show in August 2014.

Source:  http://www.northjersey.com

Council wants 'zero cost' Clacton Air Show

Visitors to a free air show in Essex are being asked to make donations so the council can avoid footing the bill.

Clacton has the only air show in Essex after Southend Borough Council axed this year's event due to budget cuts.

About 140,000 people are expected to attend the festival on Thursday and Friday.

Alan Goggin, from Tendring District Council, said: "We're about £20,000 short and hope to get that back over the next two days."

The council said 90% of the cost of the event, now in its 22nd year, had been received through business sponsorship and selling concessions to traders.

It hopes visitors will contribute by buying £4 souvenir programmes and donating at least a £1 to bucket collections along the seafront and beach.

'Zero cost'
 
Mr Goggin, portfolio holder for tourism, said: "The show is estimated to bring in £4m of extra revenue to the district during the week before and the week after the bank holiday and we genuinely think it is a cost worth bearing. 

"But we are hoping to produce the whole event at zero cost.

"It has been brought home to us that Southend has cancelled, Felixstowe has cancelled and there have been several others around the country where the local council has said it cannot justify the money."
The council, which is yet to give a cost for this year's event, said the 2012 show cost about £80,000 - £20,000 of which was funded by tax payers.

Displays by a Vulcan bomber, the Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Trig Aerobatic are due to appear above the resort.

A non-profit making private company has been set up to revive Southend Air Show next year.

Source:  http://www.bbc.co.uk

Hiring policy focus of talk: Debate ensues over new airport staff - Delta County (KESC), Escanaba, Michigan

ESCANABA - Concerns over hiring policies and procedures for county employees were big topics of discussion at Tuesday's meeting of the Delta County Board of Commissioners.

When reviewing the administrator's report, Delta County Administrator Nora Viau noted that nine candidates had been interviewed for the assistant airport manager position following a recent resignation of assistant airport manager Becka Holm. A new assistant airport manager has since been hired.

Commissioner Dave Rivard questioned the procedure as no board meeting was held to hire her replacement.

"We don't sit here when we have a retiree that could have been here for 10 or 20 years and then assume that that is the OK to hire a replacement...," he said. "I think it's incumbent upon us at this point, as this board, to find out whether we want to maintain those positions, what the costs are, or any other thing about it. We were not given that opportunity."

Rivard said the board is elected to make these decisions and that did not happen.

"Unfortunately this has been happening regularly and it's got to come to an end. It will come to an end," he said.

Rivard asked whether the decision was made between Viau and Board Chairman Tom Elegeert, and said as administrator, Viau should have notified the board of the vacancy and the chairman should have placed the item on the agenda.

According to Viau, the board recommended approval of hiring an assistant airport manager as a committee of the whole on May 2, with full board approval on May 7.

"We did not name an individual and it was filling a position within the board guidelines that were set," explained Viau, of the process. "We have done that and without the board giving direction that I was not supposed to do that. I will continue to do whatever the board had authorized until I receive something from the county board that says I cannot."

Commissioner Dave Moyle said he did not want to get involved in micromanaging of how the airport is run, but suggested reviewing the hiring procedures moving forward.

"If something's going to be brought up and the integrity of process or the integrity of an individual is questioned, I think we need to follow through with that," said Moyle.

The board agreed to have Rivard and Elegeert meet with the county's attorney to review the hiring process.

Following the meeting, Viau said the name of the new assistant airport manager is not being made public at this time as the employee may need to give their two weeks' notice at a current job. She indicated the urgency in filling the position was to get the new employee certified and hired so the county abides by Federal Aviation Administration regulations and does not face any fines.

The board also heard a presentation by Bay College President Laura Coleman regarding the college's services and importance to the community. On Nov. 5, Delta County residents will vote on a millage renewal for the college.

If approved, the millage rate of 1 mill (or $1 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) will be renewed for 20 years, 2015 to 2034, inclusive, to be used for capital improvements and for paying the principal and interest on outstanding indebtedness of the community college district.

"I cannot begin to say how important this renewal millage is," said Coleman. "It's not going to cost anybody any more money than they're already spending. This has been on the books for 20 years and we really, really need this to continue...The people in this county support us in a very big way."

The county millage currently makes up 19 percent of Bay College's budget, up from 15 percent in 2000-2001 as funding sources continue to shift.

"This is pennies per day that people pay so that we are able to deliver a really good, quality education at Bay," she said.

In other business, the board:

approved a finance committee recommendation to allow the sheriff's department to utilize increased hours for part-time employees as long as the costs do not exceed the current budget. The approval is for the following sheriff's department divisions: road patrol, marine, and front desk personnel.

In July, the county approved temporarily allowing part-time corrections officers to work more than the 29 hours per week maximum set for part-time employees in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act.

approved a committee of the whole recommendation to allocate $100,000 to Michigan State University Extension ($55,000 of which would be used for rent, and the remainder a $45,000 allocation). Rivard noted the allocation is contingent upon whether the funds are available.

approved Prein&Newhof of Grand Rapids as engineering consultant at the Delta County Airport for the next five years, regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration's current requirement for the airport to enter into a selection process on a regular five-year basis.

approved a request for an unpaid leave of absence for an airport operations employee.

approved sending a secondary road patrol grant application for grant money, routine action approved at this time of year.

adopted a resolution at the request of Huron County in support of Michigan Senate Bill 395 to clarify certain requirements of Public Act 152 of 2011.

The bill would amend the Publicly Funded Insurance Contribution Act.

Some of the proposed amendments would: clarify that payments in lieu of insurance benefits are excluded from the dollar and percentage limits on a public employer's total contributions, clarify that contributions into a fund solely for health care benefits are also excluded, and set realistic hard caps for individual-and-spouse coverage.

Story and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.dailypress.net

Rockwell Sabreliner 65, N6GV: Nantucket Memorial Airport (KACK), Massachusetts

Firefighters extinguished a small electrical fire in a private jet at Nantucket Memorial Airport Wednesday



(Aug. 21, 2013) A small electrical fire in the bathroom of a private jet that parked on the tarmac at Nantucket Memorial Airport Wednesday afternoon was quickly extinguished by island firefighters. 

 No injuries were reported, according to fire chief Mark McDougall, who said the airport’s firefighting personnel were first on the scene and had the fire out quickly.

Smoke was spotted coming out of the aircraft, a fixed-wing multi-engine jet, around 3:30 p.m. The aircraft was parked near the airport’s fuel farm, just west of the new general aviation and administration building that is under construction.

“It looks like an interior electrical fire that started and it’s out now,” McDougall said around 4 p.m.. “They were able to take sections of the interior wall out. It looks like it started in the bathroom area of the jet.”

The plane is owned by AG Atlantic Investment Inc., which is based in Ocean City, Md., according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The plane took off from the Salisbury Regional Airport in Maryland just before 2 p.m. Wednesday, and arrived on Nantucket at 2:55 p.m.



http://registry.faa.gov/N6GV

Delta 767 from New York and a private Gulfstream jet landed safely at Dublin Airport after declaring emergencies, in separate incidents

There have been two incidents of aircraft using Dublin Airport declaring emergencies since this morning. In both cases, the planes landed safely.

A Dublin-bound Delta jet flying from JFK in New York made an emergency landing at the facility at 9.20am.

It’s believed the Boeing 767-300 was experiencing problems with one of its engines.

A spokesperson for the Dublin Airport Authority said the the airport’s fire service attended the scene, which is “standard procedure” for such events. She added:  

"All passengers were taxied to the terminal as normal. There were no injuries on board.

At 2.30 this afternoon a private Gulfstream jet declared an emegency. The fire service again responded and the emergency was stood down at 3pm.

“The plane landed safely,” according to the DAA.

Earlier this month, a Delta 767 had to make an emergency landing at Shannon. The plane was en route from Milan to Atlanta when it was diverted to the Irish airport after a problem arose.

Story and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.thejournal.ie

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, Tulip City Air Services, N8405E: Accident occurred January 17, 2010 in Holland, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN10FA101 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 17, 2010 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N8405E
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 pilot rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to friends and had fueled it to capacity. He told a lineman that he planned to takeoff and, if necessary, would file an instrument-flight-rules flight plan and return to the airport. Witnesses saw the airplane take off and disappear into the overcast. Shortly thereafter, they heard an airplane make four passes over the airport. The sound became progressively louder but they could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, the airplane was seen approximately 50 feet above the ground and it barely cleared a stand of trees. Recorded ATC transscripts revealed that the pilot contacted approach control and told the controller that he was caught in heavy fog and wanted vectors back to the airport. The airplane crashed shortly thereafter in a snow-covered field. 

An examination of the airplane showed impact damage consistent with having descended to the ground in an uncontrolled spin. An examination of the airplane's systems showed no anomalies. 

Although the pilot was instrument rated, he had not flown with instruments since receiving his rating 2 years ago. He had logged 1.8 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 50.8 in simulated IMC, and 6.7 hours in a flight simulator. Ceiling and visibility at the time of the accident was below landing minimums and was recorded as 200 feet overcast and 3/4-mile in mist. The RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart was found on the pilot’s lap. Although the airplane was IFR certified, it was not RNAV or GPS equipped. Toxicology results indicated the presence of propoxyphene, a prescription narcotic medication. The concentration present was consistent with use at a time outside of 24 hours prior to the accident and would not have caused impairment. Cellular telephone records showed that the pilot had engaged in calls and text message conversations with the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M. the night before the accident, the pilot received or made calls or text messages every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. In one conversation, the passenger told the pilot that he would be in good flying shape for the next day, and the pilot replied that he needed to get 4 hours of rest before he flew. The final outgoing call to the passenger was placed at 7:59 A.M. on the day of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to take off in known instrument meteorological conditions without instrument currency or recent instrument experience, which led to spatial disorientation resulting in an inadvertent spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of adequate rest prior to the flight.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 17, 2010, at 1004 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N8405E, registered to and operated by Tulip Air Service and piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed when it impacted snow-covered terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Holland, Michigan. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot and passenger on board the airplane were fatally injured. The local flight originated from the Tulip City Airport, Holland, Michigan, approximately 0945.

According to the operator, the pilot had rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to his friends. He and his first passenger arrived at the airport approximately 0800. After checking his file, the front office worker gave the pilot the airplane’s keys. Due to the poor weather conditions, the pilot postponed the flight. While he gave his passenger a tour of the facilities, he had the airplane fueled to capacity. As the lineman fueled the airplane, the pilot told him that he planned to take off and, if necessary, he would file an IFR flight plan with Muskegon Approach Control and return to the airport. He then preflighted the airplane.

Approximately 0945, the lineman and the front office worker saw the airplane take off on runway 08 and disappear into the overcast. The front office worker said he was “very concerned” that they took off without filing an instrument flight plan or receiving an instrument clearance. Shortly thereafter, the lineman heard an airplane make five passes over the airport. The first two passes were in a north-south direction and the sound got progressively louder, but he could not see the airplane. On the third pass, he could not determine the direction of flight. The fourth pass was in an east-west direction and he still could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, he saw the airplane flying from east to west approximately 50 feet above the ground and it “barely cleared the trees.” He then heard the pilot call Muskegon Approach Control.

According to the transcript of radio communications, the pilot contacted Muskegon Approach Control at 1000:22 and told the controller that he was “caught in some fog” and wanted “vectors to runway 8 for Tulip City.” When the controller asked the pilot if he was IFR, the pilot replied that he wanted to “file a quick IFR into Tulip City.” Believing the pilot was on the ground there followed a discussion on what frequencies to contact FSS. At 1003:43, when the controller asked the pilot if he wanted to file a flight plan, the pilot replied, “Caught in some heavy fog and would just like vectors to Tulip City Airport.” Asked if he was VFR, the pilot replied that he “was VFR, and now have to go in for an emergency.” The controller assigned him a transponder code of 0-4-3-0, but the pilot never acknowledged, and there were no further communications. The last radar contact position for the airplane placed it 4 miles south of Tulip City at 1,500 feet agl (above ground level). Shortly thereafter, and ELT (emergency locater transmitter) beacon was detected. Authorities were notified and the wreckage was located approximately 1130.

PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION

The pilot was a 23-year-old foreign exchange student from Nairobi, Kenya, and was a sophomore at nearby Hope College in Holland. He held a U. S. commercial pilot certificate, dated November 13, 2007. In addition to his airplane single engine land rating, he also held an airplane multi engine land rating, dated December 6, 2007, and an instrument airplane rating, dated August 23, 2007. His second class airman medical, dated October 24, 2006, contained no restrictions or limitations.
His logbook contained entries from October 26, 2006, to December 22, 2009. As of the last entry in the logbook, the pilot had accumulated the following flight times (in hours):

Total time: 321.5
Single engine: 306.1
Multi engine: 15.3
Pilot-in-command: 273.1
Dual instruction: 151.1
Solo: 97.3
Cross-country: 135.1
Actual instrument: 1.8
Simulated instrument: 50.8
Night: 16.7

The pilot’s flight time was accrued in the following airplane types (in hours):

Cessna 172: 189.4
Cessna 172RG: 24.9
Cessna 152: 83.9
Cessna 152TW: 7.2
Cessna 205: 1.2
Cessna 550: 8.0
Beech A36: 1.5
Piper PA-20: 1.7
Piper PA-23: 7.3
ATC610 Simulator: 6.7

The last entry in his logbook was dated December 22, 2009, when he took his flight review. It was for one hour and was done in the accident airplane. The last time he logged an instrument flight was on April 8, 2008. It was for 1.0 hours and was done in actual IMC.

The passenger was a 20-year old junior and political science major at Hope College.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, a Cessna Aircraft Corporation model 172N, serial number 17272195, was manufactured in 1979. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine (serial number RL-3557-76T), rated at 160 horsepower, driving a McCauley all-metal 2 bladed, fixed-pitch propeller (model number 1C160/DTM7557), serial number 235928).

According to the maintenance records, the last annual inspection of the airframe and engine was done on November 6, 2009, at a tachometer time of 805.7 hours. At that time, the airframe and engine had accumulated 7,337.4 total hours. The engine was last overhauled on December 8, 2008, at a tachometer time of 471.7 hours. At the time of the last inspection, the engine had accrued 334 hours since major overhaul. The ELT battery was replaced on January 26, 2009. The altimeter, encoder, and pitot-static system were certified for IFR on March 31, 2008.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The following Automated Surface Observing Station (ASOS) observations were recorded at Tulip City Airport (KBIV) approximately the time of takeoff and the time of the accident:

Takeoff: Wind calm; visibility 1/2 statute mile, freezing fog; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees Centigrade (C); dew point -5 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Accident: Wind calm; visibility 3/4 statute mile, mist; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees C; dew point – 4 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Weather conditions remained below VMC and landing minimums for the various instrument approach procedures available from early morning to early afternoon (see “Weather Reports and Records,” EXHIBITS). 

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

There were no known difficulties with navigational aids.

COMMUNICATIONS

There were no communications difficulties.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Tulip City Airport (KBIV), situated at an elevation of 687 feet msl, is located 2 miles south of Holland, Michigan at N42-44.59 and W086-06.30. An ASOS is located on the field, and Tulip City Air Service, Incorporated, the sole fixed base operator, offers computerized weather services. The nearest Flight Service Station is in Lansing, Michigan, and Muskegon Approach Control handles all IFR arrivals and departures.

The airport has a rotating beacon and is served by a single runway, 08-26 (6,001 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). There are four published instrument approaches to the airport. The runway is equipped with high intensity runway lights (HIRL), and both runway ends have runway end identification lights (REIL). Only runway 26 is equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system (MALSR) with runway alignment indicator lights.

According to Tulip City Airport officials, all landing approach aids and lights were functioning at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The on-scene investigation was conducted on January 18, 2010. The accident site was located in a corn and soybean field, located one mile northwest of the intersection formed by 58th Street and 136th Avenue in Manlius Township, and about 4 miles south of the Tulip City Airport. The geographic coordinates were N42-40.541 and W086-07.536, and the accident site elevation was 745 feet msl.

Ground scars were consistent with the airplane impacting the ground in a right wing down, nose low attitude. The initial impact point contained red lens fragments, identified as being the right position light. The first scar led to a large ground depression. The wreckage path curved slightly to the right on an average magnetic heading of 250 degrees, and was 225 feet in length. Strewn along the path were the propeller, the nose and right main landing gear, engine oil filter, firewall fuel strainer bowl, and various wing, fuselage and engine cowling fragments. 

All major airframe components were located and identified. Both wings were torn off and the fuel tanks were compromised. The distorted primary flight control surfaces remained attached to the structure. Flight control continuity was established. Flap position was not determined although the control handle was in the UP position. The elevator trim jackscrew measures 1.5-inches extension which, according to the airframe manufacturer equated to a 10-degree tab UP setting. The altimeter was set to 29.98 inches of Mercury, but the needles were missing. The transponder code was set to 1200. The vertical speed indicator showed a 1,850 feet-per-minute climb, and the tachometer indication was just below 3,000 RPM. The hour recorder read 846.8. The Hobbs meter was not located. The throttle, mixture control, and carburetor heat controls were full forward, and the magneto switch was on.

The left cabin door and baggage door remained partially attached to the bent structure. Only the right cabin door separated from the airplane. The front seats and seat rails were broken out and fragmented. According to rescue personnel, both occupants were wearing their seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The restraint systems, with exception of the pilot’s shoulder harness, had been cut by rescue personnel to extract the occupants.

Power train drive continuity was established at the scene. The crankshaft was hand rotated and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. The fuel strainer screen was screen. The propeller was broken off torsionally at the mounting flange. The cambered surfaces were polished and the blades were bent in an S-shape.

First responders reported observing no ice on the airframe when they arrived on scene.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on the pilot and passenger by the Sparrow Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Lansing, Michigan. Both deaths were attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicology screens were performed by Sparrow and FAA’s Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to the CAMI report, no cyanide, carbon monoxide, or ethanol were detected in either the pilot or passenger. Norpropoxyphene (0.101 ug/ml, ug) was detected in the pilot’s urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The handling of the accident airplane by air traffic control prompted a special investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Operational Factors Division (AS-30). Their report is attached as an exhibit to this report.

Radar data was examined by the NTSB AS-30. They reported that although two radar “hits” were made by an unidentified airplane, the data was inconclusive and revealed nothing of significance.

During the on-scene investigation, a cellular telephone was heard ringing from within the wreckage. It was located and sent to the service provider, Verizon Incorporated. They reported that the telephone had not been in use at the time of the accident. An examination of the call records indicated that the pilot had sent text messages to the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M., the night prior, the pilot received or made calls or sent text messages, every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. on the day of the accident. In his communications, the pilot told the passenger about some friends that were going out that evening. The passenger responded back, expressing concern that the pilot be in good flying shape for the next day. The pilot replied that he needed to get four hours of rest before he flew, otherwise he’d be grumpy. The passenger said she wouldn’t want that. The final outgoing call was placed by the pilot to the passenger, on the day of the accident, at 7:59 A.M.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) arrived at the scene on the afternoon following the accident. They reported finding a KBIV RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart on the pilot’s lap. The airplane was not RNAV (area navigation) or GPS (Global Positioning System) equipped and only had VOR/ILS (Very high Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range/Instrument landing system) and ADF (automatic Direction Finder) equipment installed. Also on the pilot’s lap was a sheet of paper containing the notations 126.25, 123.05, 128.5, and 310.

According to the FAA inspectors, when the pilot took his flight review on December 22, 2009, he told the instructor that he was not current. The FAA inspectors also determined that at the time of the accident, the pilot was not instrument current as required by Title 14 CFR Part 61.57, and had not been current for the previous two years.


NTSB Identification: CEN10FA101
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 17, 2010 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N8405E
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 pilot rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to friends and had fueled it to capacity. He told a lineman that he planned to takeoff and, if necessary, would file an instrument-flight-rules flight plan and return to the airport. Witnesses saw the airplane take off and disappear into the overcast. Shortly thereafter, they heard an airplane make four passes over the airport. The sound became progressively louder but they could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, the airplane was seen approximately 50 feet above the ground and it barely cleared a stand of trees. Recorded ATC transscripts revealed that the pilot contacted approach control and told the controller that he was caught in heavy fog and wanted vectors back to the airport. The airplane crashed shortly thereafter in a snow-covered field.

An examination of the airplane showed impact damage consistent with having descended to the ground in an uncontrolled spin. An examination of the airplane's systems showed no anomalies.

Although the pilot was instrument rated, he had not flown with instruments since receiving his rating 2 years ago. He had logged 1.8 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 50.8 in simulated IMC, and 6.7 hours in a flight simulator. Ceiling and visibility at the time of the accident was below landing minimums and was recorded as 200 feet overcast and 3/4-mile in mist. The RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart was found on the pilot’s lap. Although the airplane was IFR certified, it was not RNAV or GPS equipped. Toxicology results indicated the presence of propoxyphene, a prescription narcotic medication. The concentration present was consistent with use at a time outside of 24 hours prior to the accident and would not have caused impairment. Cellular telephone records showed that the pilot had engaged in calls and text message conversations with the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M. the night before the accident, the pilot received or made calls or text messages every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. In one conversation, the passenger told the pilot that he would be in good flying shape for the next day, and the pilot replied that he needed to get 4 hours of rest before he flew. The final outgoing call to the passenger was placed at 7:59 A.M. on the day of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's decision to take off in known instrument meteorological conditions without instrument currency or recent instrument experience, which led to spatial disorientation resulting in an inadvertent spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of adequate rest prior to the flight.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

 On January 17, 2010, at 1004 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N8405E, registered to and operated by Tulip Air Service and piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed when it impacted snow-covered terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Holland, Michigan. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot and passenger on board the airplane were fatally injured. The local flight originated from the Tulip City Airport, Holland, Michigan, approximately 0945.

According to the operator, the pilot had rented the airplane for most of the day to give rides to his friends. He and his first passenger arrived at the airport approximately 0800. After checking his file, the front office worker gave the pilot the airplane’s keys. Due to the poor weather conditions, the pilot postponed the flight. While he gave his passenger a tour of the facilities, he had the airplane fueled to capacity. As the lineman fueled the airplane, the pilot told him that he planned to take off and, if necessary, he would file an IFR flight plan with Muskegon Approach Control and return to the airport. He then preflighted the airplane.

Approximately 0945, the lineman and the front office worker saw the airplane take off on runway 08 and disappear into the overcast. The front office worker said he was “very concerned” that they took off without filing an instrument flight plan or receiving an instrument clearance. Shortly thereafter, the lineman heard an airplane make five passes over the airport. The first two passes were in a north-south direction and the sound got progressively louder, but he could not see the airplane. On the third pass, he could not determine the direction of flight. The fourth pass was in an east-west direction and he still could not see the airplane. On the fifth pass, he saw the airplane flying from east to west approximately 50 feet above the ground and it “barely cleared the trees.” He then heard the pilot call Muskegon Approach Control.

According to the transcript of radio communications, the pilot contacted Muskegon Approach Control at 1000:22 and told the controller that he was “caught in some fog” and wanted “vectors to runway 8 for Tulip City.” When the controller asked the pilot if he was IFR, the pilot replied that he wanted to “file a quick IFR into Tulip City.” Believing the pilot was on the ground there followed a discussion on what frequencies to contact FSS. At 1003:43, when the controller asked the pilot if he wanted to file a flight plan, the pilot replied, “Caught in some heavy fog and would just like vectors to Tulip City Airport.” Asked if he was VFR, the pilot replied that he “was VFR, and now have to go in for an emergency.” The controller assigned him a transponder code of 0-4-3-0, but the pilot never acknowledged, and there were no further communications. The last radar contact position for the airplane placed it 4 miles south of Tulip City at 1,500 feet agl (above ground level). Shortly thereafter, and ELT (emergency locater transmitter) beacon was detected. Authorities were notified and the wreckage was located approximately 1130.

PERSONNEL (CREW) INFORMATION

The pilot was a 23-year-old foreign exchange student from Nairobi, Kenya, and was a sophomore at nearby Hope College in Holland. He held a U. S. commercial pilot certificate, dated November 13, 2007. In addition to his airplane single engine land rating, he also held an airplane multi engine land rating, dated December 6, 2007, and an instrument airplane rating, dated August 23, 2007. His second class airman medical, dated October 24, 2006, contained no restrictions or limitations.
His logbook contained entries from October 26, 2006, to December 22, 2009. As of the last entry in the logbook, the pilot had accumulated the following flight times (in hours):

Total time: 321.5
Single engine: 306.1
Multi engine: 15.3
Pilot-in-command: 273.1
Dual instruction: 151.1
Solo: 97.3
Cross-country: 135.1
Actual instrument: 1.8
Simulated instrument: 50.8
Night: 16.7

The pilot’s flight time was accrued in the following airplane types (in hours):

Cessna 172: 189.4
Cessna 172RG: 24.9
Cessna 152: 83.9
Cessna 152TW: 7.2
Cessna 205: 1.2
Cessna 550: 8.0
Beech A36: 1.5
Piper PA-20: 1.7
Piper PA-23: 7.3
ATC610 Simulator: 6.7

The last entry in his logbook was dated December 22, 2009, when he took his flight review. It was for one hour and was done in the accident airplane. The last time he logged an instrument flight was on April 8, 2008. It was for 1.0 hours and was done in actual IMC.

The passenger was a 20-year old junior and political science major at Hope College.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, a Cessna Aircraft Corporation model 172N, serial number 17272195, was manufactured in 1979. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine (serial number RL-3557-76T), rated at 160 horsepower, driving a McCauley all-metal 2 bladed, fixed-pitch propeller (model number 1C160/DTM7557), serial number 235928).

According to the maintenance records, the last annual inspection of the airframe and engine was done on November 6, 2009, at a tachometer time of 805.7 hours. At that time, the airframe and engine had accumulated 7,337.4 total hours. The engine was last overhauled on December 8, 2008, at a tachometer time of 471.7 hours. At the time of the last inspection, the engine had accrued 334 hours since major overhaul. The ELT battery was replaced on January 26, 2009. The altimeter, encoder, and pitot-static system were certified for IFR on March 31, 2008.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The following Automated Surface Observing Station (ASOS) observations were recorded at Tulip City Airport (KBIV) approximately the time of takeoff and the time of the accident:

Takeoff: Wind calm; visibility 1/2 statute mile, freezing fog; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees Centigrade (C); dew point -5 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Accident: Wind calm; visibility 3/4 statute mile, mist; ceiling 200 feet overcast; temperature -3 degrees C; dew point – 4 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of Mercury.

Weather conditions remained below VMC and landing minimums for the various instrument approach procedures available from early morning to early afternoon (see “Weather Reports and Records,” EXHIBITS).

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

There were no known difficulties with navigational aids.

COMMUNICATIONS

There were no communications difficulties.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Tulip City Airport (KBIV), situated at an elevation of 687 feet msl, is located 2 miles south of Holland, Michigan at N42-44.59 and W086-06.30. An ASOS is located on the field, and Tulip City Air Service, Incorporated, the sole fixed base operator, offers computerized weather services. The nearest Flight Service Station is in Lansing, Michigan, and Muskegon Approach Control handles all IFR arrivals and departures.

The airport has a rotating beacon and is served by a single runway, 08-26 (6,001 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). There are four published instrument approaches to the airport. The runway is equipped with high intensity runway lights (HIRL), and both runway ends have runway end identification lights (REIL). Only runway 26 is equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system (MALSR) with runway alignment indicator lights.

According to Tulip City Airport officials, all landing approach aids and lights were functioning at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The on-scene investigation was conducted on January 18, 2010. The accident site was located in a corn and soybean field, located one mile northwest of the intersection formed by 58th Street and 136th Avenue in Manlius Township, and about 4 miles south of the Tulip City Airport. The geographic coordinates were N42-40.541 and W086-07.536, and the accident site elevation was 745 feet msl.

Ground scars were consistent with the airplane impacting the ground in a right wing down, nose low attitude. The initial impact point contained red lens fragments, identified as being the right position light. The first scar led to a large ground depression. The wreckage path curved slightly to the right on an average magnetic heading of 250 degrees, and was 225 feet in length. Strewn along the path were the propeller, the nose and right main landing gear, engine oil filter, firewall fuel strainer bowl, and various wing, fuselage and engine cowling fragments.

All major airframe components were located and identified. Both wings were torn off and the fuel tanks were compromised. The distorted primary flight control surfaces remained attached to the structure. Flight control continuity was established. Flap position was not determined although the control handle was in the UP position. The elevator trim jackscrew measures 1.5-inches extension which, according to the airframe manufacturer equated to a 10-degree tab UP setting. The altimeter was set to 29.98 inches of Mercury, but the needles were missing. The transponder code was set to 1200. The vertical speed indicator showed a 1,850 feet-per-minute climb, and the tachometer indication was just below 3,000 RPM. The hour recorder read 846.8. The Hobbs meter was not located. The throttle, mixture control, and carburetor heat controls were full forward, and the magneto switch was on.

The left cabin door and baggage door remained partially attached to the bent structure. Only the right cabin door separated from the airplane. The front seats and seat rails were broken out and fragmented. According to rescue personnel, both occupants were wearing their seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The restraint systems, with exception of the pilot’s shoulder harness, had been cut by rescue personnel to extract the occupants.

Power train drive continuity was established at the scene. The crankshaft was hand rotated and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. The fuel strainer screen was screen. The propeller was broken off torsionally at the mounting flange. The cambered surfaces were polished and the blades were bent in an S-shape.

First responders reported observing no ice on the airframe when they arrived on scene.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on the pilot and passenger by the Sparrow Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Lansing, Michigan. Both deaths were attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicology screens were performed by Sparrow and FAA’s Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to the CAMI report, no cyanide, carbon monoxide, or ethanol were detected in either the pilot or passenger. Norpropoxyphene (0.101 ug/ml, ug) was detected in the pilot’s urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The handling of the accident airplane by air traffic control prompted a special investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Operational Factors Division (AS-30). Their report is attached as an exhibit to this report.

Radar data was examined by the NTSB AS-30. They reported that although two radar “hits” were made by an unidentified airplane, the data was inconclusive and revealed nothing of significance.

During the on-scene investigation, a cellular telephone was heard ringing from within the wreckage. It was located and sent to the service provider, Verizon Incorporated. They reported that the telephone had not been in use at the time of the accident. An examination of the call records indicated that the pilot had sent text messages to the passenger the night before the accident. Starting at 6:00 P.M., the night prior, the pilot received or made calls or sent text messages, every hour, through midnight, until 3:12 A.M. on the day of the accident. In his communications, the pilot told the passenger about some friends that were going out that evening. The passenger responded back, expressing concern that the pilot be in good flying shape for the next day. The pilot replied that he needed to get four hours of rest before he flew, otherwise he’d be grumpy. The passenger said she wouldn’t want that. The final outgoing call was placed by the pilot to the passenger, on the day of the accident, at 7:59 A.M.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) arrived at the scene on the afternoon following the accident. They reported finding a KBIV RNAV (GPS) RWY 8 approach chart on the pilot’s lap. The airplane was not RNAV (area navigation) or GPS (Global Positioning System) equipped and only had VOR/ILS (Very high Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range/Instrument landing system) and ADF (automatic Direction Finder) equipment installed. Also on the pilot’s lap was a sheet of paper containing the notations 126.25, 123.05, 128.5, and 310.

According to the FAA inspectors, when the pilot took his flight review on December 22, 2009, he told the instructor that he was not current. The FAA inspectors also determined that at the time of the accident, the pilot was not instrument current as required by Title 14 CFR Part 61.57, and had not been current for the previous two years.


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A federal judge approved a $750,000  settlement for the family of a Hope college student killed in a plane crash.

David Otai of Kenya, 23, and his passenger Emma Biagioni, 20, were killed in the crash near the Tulip City Airport on January 17th, 2010.

Biagioni's family filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration blaming air traffic controllers for failing to help the pilot after he radioed he was having trouble in heavy fog.

Third person pleads guilty in Foothills Regional Airport (KMRN) embezzlement scheme

ASHEVILLE, NC — Former Foothills Regional Airport Board Chairman and member Randy Hullette pleaded guilty to embezzlement and witness tampering Wednesday.

He was released on a $25,000 bond and ordered to have no contact, including e-mails or sending a message by someone else, with former airport manager Alex Nelson, as well as a former employee of Hullette’s referred to as “Mr. F” in the federal government’s bill of information.

Hullette also has to give a DNA sample, turn over his passport if he has one, get or keep a job and only travel in western North Carolina, Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell said. Hullette also can’t have guns, alcohol or controlled substances and has to submit to a drug test if requested. If he violates any of the conditions of his release, Hullette would have an additional year tacked onto any sentence he may receive, the judge told him. He also faces a forfeiture fine, the judge said.

Hullette was not sentenced on Wednesday. Federal officials say federal probation agents have to do their own investigation before sentencing would occur.

The embezzlement charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and up to a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for the second charge is 20 years and up to a $250,000 fine.

During the proceedings Wednesday, Hullette, dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt, was accompanied by his attorney Sean Devereux and said little except to answer the judge with “yes sir” or “no sir.”

Hullette refused to answer questions from the Record on Wednesday.

According to a bill of information in the case, the US Attorney says Hullette carried out a scheme to embezzle and steal from the airport from May 2010 to September 2012.

The document says Hullette used his access and public authority to steal and embezzle tens of thousands of dollars in various ways from the airport. It says Hullette got Nelson to write him checks from the airport to his business, Burkemont Service Center, for invoices that were either grossly inflated, for work that was never done or for work that was completed and paid for years earlier, the bill of information says.

The bill of information says Hullette got cash from bogus airport payments for a “shell” company. It says Hullette caused an employee of his service center, who is only named with an initial in the document, to open a bank account in the name of Mobile Fleet Service. Hullette then got Nelson to write checks from the airport to the account for service it supposedly provided to the airport, the document says.

The order of acceptance of guilty plea says, “Foothills Regional Airport Authority received benefits in excess of $10,000 during the one year period beginning January 1, 2011, pursuant to a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee or insurance or some other form of Federal assistance; Or that you did aid and abet others in the commission of such an offense; and that you did all such acts knowingly, intentionally, unlawfully and willfully.”

After FBI agents raided the airport on June 5, 2012, the bill of information in Hullette’s case says he started to scheme to cover up his crime. Hullette, it says, tried to persuade his employee to keep information from the FBI or give false information.

The bill of information says Hullette also gave false testimony to a federal grand jury on Sept. 20 about financial transactions, whether he received any money or tried to influence anyone’s testimony.

Nelson and former operations manager Brad Adkins pleaded guilty last September to conspiracy and embezzling, and Nelson also pleaded guilty to money laundering. The two have yet to be sentenced.

Even with the pleas of Hullette, Nelson and Adkins, what happened to two fuel trucks the airport owned but were sold has not been addressed. Airport officials say money from the sale never made it into the airport coffers. Questions surrounding timber cutting on airport property also haven’t been addressed in the plea deals.

The FBI investigation began in June 2012, when it seized records of airport customers and vendors, computer hard drives, electronic media, all bank accounts, checks, credit card bills, account information and other financial records.

The warrants obtained any logs, registry entries, saved user names, passwords and even browser history to be turned over. In addition to Hullette and his businesses, Jeffrey Rose, Grady Rose Tree Service, Jimmy “Ron” Gilbert, Gilbert Grading and Construction, Simon Roofing and Parton Lumber also were named in the initial search warrant of the airport.

Source:   http://www.hickoryrecord.com

Fired airport manager elects to retire: Sikorsky Memorial (KBDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut

BRIDGEPORT -- Fired over the $400,000 driveway controversy, Sikorsky Memorial Airport manager John Ricci has chosen instead to retire and immediately collect his benefits.

The city's labor relations department confirmed the rumors Tuesday.

The decision means Ricci cannot pursue a union grievance filed after Mayor Bill Finch terminated him Aug. 1, which is good news for an administration weary of the summer-long scandal.

But lawyer Justin Falco of Shelton, Ricci's private attorney, said his client is weighing other legal avenues and does not intend to go away without a fight.

"Mr. Ricci has already commented publicly regarding his disappointment the city chose to blame him for decisions made by others. That disappointment is magnified by the fact he gave almost 40 years of loyal service to the city," Falco said. "It is likely that the litigation process will reveal where and by whom mistakes regarding the project were actually made."

Finch terminated Ricci for failing to disclose a business relationship with millionaire developer Manuel "Manny" Moutinho, the administration said.

Hearst Connecticut Newspapers in June reported that the city -- aided by Ricci, the city attorney's office and the city's purchasing office -- had quietly hired Moutinho to build a $400,000 no-bid driveway across Sikorsky land to his waterfront mansion in Stratford. The driveway can also be used by three neighboring property owners.

Moutinho had already secured construction permits from Stratford last summer, intending to shoulder the costs of the project.

The mayor's office has maintained it was necessary for the city to assume those permits and hire Moutinho in order to finally move forward with a long-anticipated runway safety project at Sikorsky.

But after Hearst reported on Ricci's longtime friendship and prior real estate transactions with Moutinho, Finch suspended Ricci with pay pending an internal investigation. Ricci earned $94,000 annually and, having served the city in other capacities previously, ran Sikorsky for more than two decades.

Labor Relations Director Larry Osbourne Tuesday said Ricci decided on his own last week to retire.

"Mr. Ricci was terminated by the city on Aug. 1. He did not choose to retire prior to termination," Osbourne said. "Subsequent to his termination, he filed retirement papers -- not in concert with the city. In either case, he is able to collect his pension benefits per Connecticut state statutes and collective bargaining agreements."

Edward Gavin, the attorney for Ricci's supervisors union, said he was unaware of Ricci's retirement.

"If he retired, he's extinguished his rights under the collective bargaining agreement and he doesn't have a viable grievance," Gavin said. "What he gets is immediate benefits -- your medical benefits and what you're entitled to under the pension."

Gavin said speaking generally, it can be difficult for fired employees to fight City Hall without a steady income.

"Life doesn't stop," Gavin said. "It's really a very, very personal decision ... Do I think the guy got the short end of the stick? Absolutely. Do I think the city made a mistake? Absolutely."

At the time of Ricci's firing, John Bohannon, an attorney for the city involved in the matter, said, "I can tell you (Ricci) was actively continuing to do business with Mr. Moutinho, and Mr. Moutinho held mortgages on one of the properties for Mr. Ricci. So they were actively doing business at the time" of the driveway deal.

Moutinho is a controversial figure.

He has donated to the Finch administration and fought it in court. Moutinho is also part of an FBI probe into a botched sewer project in Trumbull. And sources have said federal authorities are eyeing the driveway controversy to ensure none of the federal grants intended for the Sikorsky runway work were used.

Ricci, in a statement released after his firing to the Only in Bridgeport news blog, made it clear he felt he had been thrown under the bus by an embarrassed administration.

Ricci wrote that he had recused himself by revealing a "long history" with Moutinho to "everyone involved."

Ricci also said the city attorney's office asked him to approach Moutinho about assuming the permits for the driveway because Ricci had "direct access" to the developer.

"During the entire process of getting the access road constructed I made no assumptions or decisions regarding method of procurement, final choice of contractor or award of contract for construction," Ricci wrote.

Story, Photos and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.ctpost.com

Cessna 172B Skyhawk, N8141X: Accident occurred August 18, 2013 in Sisters, Oregon

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

Investigation Docket -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


 http://registry.faa.gov/N8141X

 

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 18, 2013 in Sisters, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 172B, registration: N8141X
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

The pilot was flying over a heavily wooded, remote area when the engine lost power. He restarted the engine several times, and each time the engine ran for a shorter period of time. Eventually unable to restart the engine, the pilot chose to ditch the airplane in a lake rather than descend into trees. The airplane sank in about 8 feet of water and came to rest at the bottom of the lake. The airplane was eventually recovered from the lake, but the engine was not properly preserved to prevent corrosion. The pilot reported no preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because the engine was not properly preserved to prevent corrosion after the wreckage was recovered from the lake.

On August 18, 2013, about 1000 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172B airplane, N8141X, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power during cruise flight, and ditching in a remote mountain lake, about 18 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a personal local flight, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and the three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed the Lebanon State Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, (S30) about 0745.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 22, the pilot said that he and his passengers had flown to the remote area to scout potential camp sites for an upcoming trip to the area.

During the return flight to the airport, the engine abruptly lost power. He was able to restart the engine, and suspecting the possibility of carburetor ice, he used carburetor heat. The engine ran for about 5 minutes, and abruptly lost power again. He again was able to restart the engine, which ran for 2-3 minutes before losing power for the third time. He restarted the engine, but it ran for less than one minute. He was unable to restart the engine.

The pilot was flying over heavily wooded, rugged terrain, and elected to ditch the airplane in a Lake. He prepared the airplane and passengers for the ditching. After the airplane came to rest in the water near a shoreline, the pilot and passengers exited the airplane as the cabin filled with water. After a short rest, while holding on to the wings of the still floating airplane, all the occupants of the airplane successfully swam to shore.

The airplane sank in about 8 feet of water, coming to rest on the bottom of the lake, with its tail sticking above the surface.

According to the pilot, the airplane is owned by another family member, and they have been flying it for the past 3 to 4 years. He said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The airplane was eventually recovered from the lake, but its engine was not preserved to prevent corrosion. Despite repeated requests, the operator/pilot did not submit the NTSB Form 6120.1 PILOT/OPERATOR AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT/INCIDENT REPORT.


 

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA378 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 18, 2013 in Sisters, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 172B, registration: N8141X
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

On August 18, 2013, about 1000 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172B airplane, N8141X, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power during cruise flight, and ditched into a remote mountain lake, about 18 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a personal local flight, under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and the three passengers were not injured. The flight departed the Lebanon Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, (S30) about 0745.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 22, the pilot said that he and his passengers had flown to the remote area to scout potential camp sites for an upcoming trip to the area.

During the return flight to the airport, the engine abruptly quit. He was able to restart the engine, and suspecting the possibility of carburetor ice, he used carburetor heat. The engine ran for about 5 minutes, and abruptly quit again. He was able to restart the engine, which ran for 2-3 minutes before quitting for the third time. He restarted the engine, but it ran for less than one minute. He was unable to restart the engine.

The pilot had been flying over heavily wooded, rugged terrain, when he elected to ditch the airplane in a lake. He prepared the airplane and passengers for the ditching. After the airplane came to rest in the water near a shoreline, the pilot and passengers exited the airplane as the cabin filled with water and swam to shore.

The airplane sank in about 8 feet of water, coming to rest on the bottom of the lake, with its tail protruding above the surface.

According to the pilot, the airplane is owned by a family member, and they have been flying it for the past 3-4 years. He said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The airplane has not been recovered from the lake.



LINN COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A plane that made an emergency landing in a Linn County lake was pulled out of the water Wednesday. A helicopter lifted the single-engine Cessna plane that went down Aug. 18 at Marion Lake in the Willamette National Forest. Air 12 was there as the plane was towed in the air to dry land. Deputies said the airplane flew out of Lebanon Municipal Airport that morning to look for elk hunting areas. 

The plane began experiencing problems and then had total engine failure. The pilot, Trevor Schultz, 28, of Lebanon, spotted Marion Lake and was able to glide down and safely land on the water, according to investigators. Three passengers were on board, including two children ages 12 and 13, along with a 47-year-old man. They were not harmed and deputies said they were all in good spirits after the emergency landing. A Boy Scout troop hiking in the area witnessed the emergency landing and the scout leader helped guide the pilot to the lake's trail head. The Federal Aviation Investigation is investigating the situation.

MARION FORKS — There’s a good chance a 1961 Cessna 172 sitting at the bottom of Marion Lake may fly again some day, according to Larry Lewis, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pilot Travor Schultz, 28, of Lebanon glided the plane into the lake after its engine stalled four times a little after 10 a.m. Sunday. Schultz and his three passengers escaped the plane uninjured before it sank. Boy Scouts from Salem who were camping near the lake assisted the four and guided them to a nearby trailhead to meet Linn County deputies.

“It’s in fresh water, not salt water,” Lewis said. “There probably wasn’t a lot of damage to the plane itself, or the four passengers probably would not have been able to get out without injury.”

But extrication will be a little more difficult than similar crashes because Marion Lake is in the Jefferson Wildness Area of the Willamette National Forest, where motorized vehicles and equipment are not allowed.

Lewis spent 13 years with the NTSB in Alaska and has investigated numerous plane crashes involving water landings.

“The process is that we’ve been dealing with the owners’ insurance company,” Lewis said. “They’ve gotten in touch with a salvage company from the Oregon coast, and they’re developing a plan to raise the plane.”

Lewis said he has not visited the lake, but will examine the plane once it is on dry land. He works out of a home office north of Spokane.

“Typically, a helicopter will pluck the plane out of the water and airlift it to a nearby landing, where the wings will be taken off and the body put on a truck to be moved to an airport,” Lewis said.

Lewis said that in most cases like this, large float bags will be attached to the plane. They will be filled with air and the plane floated to the surface.

“I don’t know what the shoreline is like, but usually, they tow the plane to a beach and let the water drain out of it,” Lewis said.

Marion Lake encompasses about 300 acres in the far northeast corner of Linn County.


After all the occupants of the plane that made a watery crash landing Sunday were determined safe, there was still one question left unanswered.

How do you get a single-engine Cessna 172B removed from a lake in the middle of the Willamette National Forest?

Solving that riddle are officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Transportation Safety Board, who have to work with insurance companies to determine the best way to extract the plane.

The lake in question is Marion Lake, about four miles southeast of Marion Forks on Highway 22 in Linn County. It can be accessed by hiking about two miles from the end of Marion Creek Road.

The inaccessibility of the lake by road, how far into the water the plane is and the integrity of the surrounding forest all are factors that will shape the extraction process.

“They’re going to use what will have the least impact on the wilderness,” said Judith McHugh, public affairs officer with the Willamette National Forest. “You have to think about the duration of the impact and the potential for any hazards it could create. I don’t want to say it’s complicated, but it has a lot of different facets.”

Larry Lewis is an air safety investigator with the NTSB who is looking into this particular incident. Although he said no concrete plan has been determined, it’s likely a helicopter will lift the plane out of the lake.

“We’ve done this quite a bit,” he said, referring to his years of experience doing similar extractions in Alaska. “Depending on the airplane, they’ll probably float that one to the surface with float bags. It shouldn’t be a big issue to lift it out of there with a helicopter.”

Lewis said he hasn’t seen the lake or the exact situation yet, so he can’t speak to specifics.

“It can depend on how remote the location is,” he said. “This one isn’t that far away. It all depends on your experience — my experience is in Alaska, so this is not a remote recovery.”

The whole process of floating the plane to the surface, hooking it up and air-lifting it out can be done in a single day.

In the meantime, officials are keeping an eye on the plane to make sure it doesn’t start leaking fluids and contaminating the water. McHugh said they’ve been lucky in that, for now, the lake remains clean.

“That plane has a relatively small gas tank and had already been flying for a good number of hours so it had used up some good proportion of its fuel,” she said. “Very small engine with very little oil sealed in there. It’s just incredibly good news.”
http://registry.faa.gov/N8141X

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA378 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 18, 2013 in Sisters, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 172B, registration: N8141X
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

On August 18, 2013, about 1000 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172B airplane, N8141X, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power during cruise flight, and ditched into a remote mountain lake, about 18 miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a personal local flight, under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The pilot and the three passengers were not injured. The flight departed the Lebanon Airport, Lebanon, Oregon, (S30) about 0745.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 22, the pilot said that he and his passengers had flown to the remote area to scout potential camp sites for an upcoming trip to the area.

During the return flight to the airport, the engine abruptly quit. He was able to restart the engine, and suspecting the possibility of carburetor ice, he used carburetor heat. The engine ran for about 5 minutes, and abruptly quit again. He was able to restart the engine, which ran for 2-3 minutes before quitting for the third time. He restarted the engine, but it ran for less than one minute. He was unable to restart the engine.

The pilot had been flying over heavily wooded, rugged terrain, when he elected to ditch the airplane in a lake. He prepared the airplane and passengers for the ditching. After the airplane came to rest in the water near a shoreline, the pilot and passengers exited the airplane as the cabin filled with water and swam to shore.

The airplane sank in about 8 feet of water, coming to rest on the bottom of the lake, with its tail protruding above the surface.

According to the pilot, the airplane is owned by a family member, and they have been flying it for the past 3-4 years. He said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The airplane has not been recovered from the lake.


 



LINN COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A plane that made an emergency landing in a Linn County lake was pulled out of the water Wednesday. A helicopter lifted the single-engine Cessna plane that went down Aug. 18 at Marion Lake in the Willamette National Forest. Air 12 was there as the plane was towed in the air to dry land. Deputies said the airplane flew out of Lebanon Municipal Airport that morning to look for elk hunting areas. 

The plane began experiencing problems and then had total engine failure. The pilot, Trevor Schultz, 28, of Lebanon, spotted Marion Lake and was able to glide down and safely land on the water, according to investigators. Three passengers were on board, including two children ages 12 and 13, along with a 47-year-old man. They were not harmed and deputies said they were all in good spirits after the emergency landing. A Boy Scout troop hiking in the area witnessed the emergency landing and the scout leader helped guide the pilot to the lake's trail head. The Federal Aviation Investigation is investigating the situation.

MARION FORKS — There’s a good chance a 1961 Cessna 172 sitting at the bottom of Marion Lake may fly again some day, according to Larry Lewis, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pilot Travor Schultz, 28, of Lebanon glided the plane into the lake after its engine stalled four times a little after 10 a.m. Sunday. Schultz and his three passengers escaped the plane uninjured before it sank. Boy Scouts from Salem who were camping near the lake assisted the four and guided them to a nearby trailhead to meet Linn County deputies.

“It’s in fresh water, not salt water,” Lewis said. “There probably wasn’t a lot of damage to the plane itself, or the four passengers probably would not have been able to get out without injury.”

But extrication will be a little more difficult than similar crashes because Marion Lake is in the Jefferson Wildness Area of the Willamette National Forest, where motorized vehicles and equipment are not allowed.

Lewis spent 13 years with the NTSB in Alaska and has investigated numerous plane crashes involving water landings.

“The process is that we’ve been dealing with the owners’ insurance company,” Lewis said. “They’ve gotten in touch with a salvage company from the Oregon coast, and they’re developing a plan to raise the plane.”

Lewis said he has not visited the lake, but will examine the plane once it is on dry land. He works out of a home office north of Spokane.

“Typically, a helicopter will pluck the plane out of the water and airlift it to a nearby landing, where the wings will be taken off and the body put on a truck to be moved to an airport,” Lewis said.

Lewis said that in most cases like this, large float bags will be attached to the plane. They will be filled with air and the plane floated to the surface.

“I don’t know what the shoreline is like, but usually, they tow the plane to a beach and let the water drain out of it,” Lewis said.

Marion Lake encompasses about 300 acres in the far northeast corner of Linn County.






After all the occupants of the plane that made a watery crash landing Sunday were determined safe, there was still one question left unanswered.

How do you get a single-engine Cessna 172B removed from a lake in the middle of the Willamette National Forest?

Solving that riddle are officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Transportation Safety Board, who have to work with insurance companies to determine the best way to extract the plane.

The lake in question is Marion Lake, about four miles southeast of Marion Forks on Highway 22 in Linn County. It can be accessed by hiking about two miles from the end of Marion Creek Road.

The inaccessibility of the lake by road, how far into the water the plane is and the integrity of the surrounding forest all are factors that will shape the extraction process.

“They’re going to use what will have the least impact on the wilderness,” said Judith McHugh, public affairs officer with the Willamette National Forest. “You have to think about the duration of the impact and the potential for any hazards it could create. I don’t want to say it’s complicated, but it has a lot of different facets.”

Larry Lewis is an air safety investigator with the NTSB who is looking into this particular incident. Although he said no concrete plan has been determined, it’s likely a helicopter will lift the plane out of the lake.

“We’ve done this quite a bit,” he said, referring to his years of experience doing similar extractions in Alaska. “Depending on the airplane, they’ll probably float that one to the surface with float bags. It shouldn’t be a big issue to lift it out of there with a helicopter.”

Lewis said he hasn’t seen the lake or the exact situation yet, so he can’t speak to specifics.

“It can depend on how remote the location is,” he said. “This one isn’t that far away. It all depends on your experience — my experience is in Alaska, so this is not a remote recovery.”

The whole process of floating the plane to the surface, hooking it up and air-lifting it out can be done in a single day.

In the meantime, officials are keeping an eye on the plane to make sure it doesn’t start leaking fluids and contaminating the water. McHugh said they’ve been lucky in that, for now, the lake remains clean.

“That plane has a relatively small gas tank and had already been flying for a good number of hours so it had used up some good proportion of its fuel,” she said. “Very small engine with very little oil sealed in there. It’s just incredibly good news.”