Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tom Fischer: Fatal accident occurred November 11, 2021 and Accident occurred August 25, 2009

Tom Fischer and Glen de Vries
~


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

November 11, 2021:  Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a heavily wooded area.  

Hanuman Aviation LLC

Fischer Aviation 

Date: 11-NOV-21
Time: 17:30:00Z
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172S Skyhawk SP
Registration: N90559
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew 1
Pax 1
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: DESTROYED
City: HAMPTON TOWNSHIP
State: NEW JERSEY

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290. 




Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company -  
 
At approximately 4:15pm yesterday afternoon the Hampton, Stillwater, and Fredon Fire Departments were dispatched to a report of an aircraft down in the woods in Bear Swamp near Walnut St in the Kemah Lake Section of Hampton Township.  

Chief Dave Gunderman and Chief Steven Sugar arrived on scene shortly after and set up a staging area on Walnut Street.  

Chief Gunderman assumed Command of the Incident and Chief Sugar assumed Operation Command and made entry into the woods with a small team of Fire personnel and New Jersey State Police. 

The aircraft was located approximately 1800 feet in the woods by New Jersey State Police Helicopter NorthStar and a civilian aircraft. 

The victims were found deceased in the aircraft and crews began marking out a trail to get more personnel and equipment into the scene to begin extrication. 

UTVs from Stillwater, Fredon, and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service brought in the Jaws of Life and cut a road in with chainsaws to the crash site. 

Once the New Jersey State Police concluded their investigation a lengthy extrication took place to remove the victims and transport them out to the staging area.  

Once the victims were extricated the operation ceased for the night and resumed at 8am this morning.  

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived to conduct their investigation.  

While that took place New Jersey Forest Fire Service cut in another road to bring machinery in to remove the plane.

Once again members of Hampton, Stillwater, and Fredon used extrication tools to assist with removing parts of the plane for the investigation.  

The plane was removed from the woods at approximately 6 p.m. this evening.  

The Sussex County Hazmat team then took over the clean up of the area and all units cleared from the scene. 

We would like to thank Ogdensburg, Frankford, Highland Lakes, and Lafayette Fire Departments along with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management, Sussex County Hazmat Team and New Jersey Forest Fire Service for their assistance during this call.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the pilots during this tragic event.

Stillwater Area Volunteer Fire Company


Tom Fischer, certified flight instructor and owner/operator of Fischer Aviation in Fairfield, New Jersey
~

 Glen de Vries
~


The owner and head instructor of Fischer Aviation, a family-run flight school in Essex County, and a New York City man who joined actor William Shatner on a trip to space last month have been identified as the two people killed in a plane crash in Hampton on Thursday, state police said.

Thomas P. Fischer, 54, of the Jefferson portion of Lake Hopatcong, a second generation flight instructor, was killed along with Glen M. de Vries, 49, of New York City, according to Trooper Brandi Slota, a New Jersey State police spokesperson.

The Federal Aviation Administration alerted public safety authorities around 3 p.m. Thursday that the single-engine Cessna 172 went missing near Kemah Lake. Emergency crews found the wreckage around 4 p.m. 

Police said the aircraft was on its way to Sussex Airport from Essex County Airport in Caldwell.

Maria Njoku, a spokesperson for the FAA, said Friday that a preliminary report on investigators' findings of why the plane may have crashed will be released in about a week. An initial report on the FAA website shows the aircraft was "destroyed" in the crash, which occurred "under unknown circumstances."

The Carnegie Mellon University trustee and founder of Medidata Solutions, a tech company, de Vries traveled into space on October 13 aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft, fulfilling an apparent lifelong dream

"We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries," Blue Origin said in a statement Friday. "He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired."

De Vries began his private pilot training with Fischer in February 2016, according to the Fischer Aviation website. He often posted on his social media about his flights and purchased his own single-engine Diamond aircraft in 2020. In an Instagram post in early October, de Vries displayed an FAA-issued Pilot Proficiency badge while posing with his plane at Essex County Airport. The badge is given to pilots who maintain proficiency in flight basics to help mitigate accidents due to pilot errors, lack of proficiency and faulty knowledge, according to the FAA website.

ischer opened his flight school in March 2012 with his wife, Jodi, and had logged thousands of hours in the sky and obtained several advanced certifications. Author Joshua Ferris wrote a four-part series for the magazine "Popular Mechanics" in 2015, documenting his attempts at learning to fly under the direction of Fischer.

In 2009, Fischer was lauded after he successfully landed a Cessna aircraft in a parking lot at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall with a student pilot aboard, according to several news reports. Authorities found an oil leak caused the engine of the plane to shut down about one mile east of the mall, forcing Fischer to target an open area to land. The plane struck a median and tree before it nose-dived on the asphalt near JCPenney, leaving Fischer and the student pilot with minor injuries. It was not the same plane involved in Thursday's crash.

The unusually quiet Kemah Lake community was an active scene Thursday evening, as local firefighters used UTVs to assist authorities into an illuminated tract of the heavily wooded Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area off Fenner Road.

The aircraft that went down Thursday is believed to have been reported inaccurately on the FAA website, although a spokesperson did not respond to a request for clarification. The track of what is believed to have been the aircraft departed Essex Airport at 10:30 a.m. and was last seen at 10:47 a.m., according to Flightaware.com, a digital aviation company. The flight track shows the last known location in Hampton Township.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


Tom Fischer
~


A pilot who recently accompanied William Shatner on a trip to space was aboard a plane that crashed and killed him and another man in New Jersey, one of his company's employees confirmed.

Glen M. de Vries, 49, of New York, New York, and Thomas P. Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, were both aboard the  Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP that crashed in a wooded area of a state park near Lake Kemah around 4 p.m. Thursday, according to New Jersey State Police spokeswoman Brandi Slota and the Federal Aviation Administration.

de Vries accompanied Shatner on the highly-publicized October 13 mission with Jeff Bezos' company, Blue Origin, online records show. His plane had been reported missing nearly an hour before it went down.

"The world lost a visionary," tweeted Nadia M. Bracken, who worked at Medidata Solutions, co-founded by de Vries. "May his legacy of innovation in the life sciences industry live on."

Medidata has been touted as "the world’s most-used clinical research platform." It was acquired by Dassault Systèmes for $5.8 billion two years ago.

de Vries -- who studied probabilistic algorithms at NYU and has a degree in molecular biology and genetics from Carnegie Mellon -- once described himself as the nerdiest kid at summer camp.

The Manhattan native went on to helped create one of the world's largest software companies, with a staff recently estimated at nearly 700 in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan,

Tarek Sherif, who co-founded the company with him once called de Vries "absolutely brilliant," as well as "open-minded and very gregarious."

Not everyone knew that de Vries was also a ballroom dancer, as well as a marathoner.


August 25, 2009

Tom Fischer
August 2009

August 25, 2009



August 25, 2009  -  The flight instructor who crash-landed his powerless plane in a Rockaway Townsquare mall parking lot on August 25, 2009 is nursing a sore back — but not much else — and plans to return to his job teaching others to fly today.

As his Cessna 172 lost power over Morris County shortly before noon Tuesday, Thomas Fischer thought about the wife and son he wanted to return to on Tuesday night.

But that afternoon, the 42-year-old flight instructor didn't have time to dwell on those thoughts while the small four-seater, enroute to Essex County Airport in Fairfield from Greenwood Park Airport, where he and his student, Akiko Gittens, stopped very briefly before taking off again.

During the training flight, the 30-year-old plane began experiencing engine trouble, leading Fischer to take over control of the aircraft from Gittens, a 39-year-old certified pilot from New York City who is working toward a certificate in flight instruction.

"We realized we were in a situation where we had to land immediately," Fischer said Wednesday, outside his Lyndhurst home during a brief interview. "The area (where the plane could land) was getting smaller and we had to find the path of least resistance."

And he did, but not on an airport runway, but rather a mostly open parking lot in front of the JCPenney department store at the Rockaway Townsquare mall.

During the emergency landing -- one witness called it a "controlled crash" -- the Cessna clipped a tree, leading to plane to spin and eventually come to rest on its nose. The landing damaged to the airplane, which is owned by a Paramus aircraft leasing company, including a clipped right wing and a front tire that snapped off during the touch-down.

Years of training as a flight school student helped him pull off the successful maneuver, resulting in serious injuries to neither Fischer nor his student. Both walked away from the wreckage under their own power.

He also brought the plane safely back to earth without damage to property or injury to people on the ground.

"The first thing to do is to look for the biggest open space possible," he said. He believed the mall's parking lot was large enough and sufficiently unoccupied, making it an ideal makeshift runway.

As he approached the blacktop, Fischer turned off the valves that control the airplane's fuel and electrical mechanisms to minimize fuel leaks and prevent sparks that could ignite a fire.

Fischer, who is tall and strapping, said he had years of training in flight simulators in Georgia, where he lived before moving to a two-family home in Lyndhurst two years ago.

He said he didn't have time to panic and had only one goal: to land safely.

Fischer has been a professional small plane pilot for about six years. Fischer said he has helped 23 students earn certificates in flight instruction, private flying and instrument/commercial knowledge. He has logged 2,700 hours in the cockpit.

Before heading out for a walk Wednesday afternoon, Fischer said he will return today to work at Air Flight Training Systems Inc., a flight instruction school located at Essex County Airport.

He continued to recover Wednesday from back pain — a result of Tuesday's hard landing. He said he was feeling much better that afternoon after taking some muscle relaxers.

"I'm doing a lot better," he said Wednesday.

After the crash landing, Fischer was taken by ambulance to the emergency room of St. Clare's/Dover General Hospital but was released a few hours later. Gittens was transported, too, but refused medical attention.

Fischer's employer, Air Fleet Training Systems Inc., released a statement Wednesday, praising Fischer's skilled landing: "We (school officials) thought he did a great job. It was well thought-out and he did a fine job."

Before making the career switch to professional flying, Fischer worked as a home builder and for a courier service.









Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Rockaway, New Jersey
Accident Number: ERA09LA481
Date and Time: August 25, 2009, 12:15 Local
Registration: N6117R
Aircraft: Cessna 172RG 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and dual/student pilot were practicing maneuvers when the CFI noticed that the left main gear of the airplane was wet. As he looked for the source of the substance he noticed that the airplane’s oil pressure was critically low and immediately headed back to the airplane’s base. On the way, the engine came “to a halt with the propeller stopping” and the CFI elected to land in an empty section of a mall parking lot. The airplane’s nose landing gear contacted a curb and the right wing impacted a tree before coming to a stop. An examination of the wreckage revealed the fluid on the wheel to be oil leaking from the engine, which covered the bottom and empennage section of the airplane. A teardown examination of the engine found the No. 3 and No. 4 pistons with damage consistent with overheating and oil starvation. The lower portion of the No. 3 piston was destroyed. There was no internal or external evidence with the engine to account for the oil leak. The engine oil system was examined and found to be unremarkable. The CFI stated that a quart of oil was added, for a total 6.7 quarts of oil in the engine, prior to the accident flight.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power due to oil starvation for undetermined reasons.

Findings

Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined
Aircraft Oil - Not specified
Aircraft Recip eng oil sys - Not specified

Factual Information

On August 25, 2009, at 1215 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172RG, N6117R, crashed while making a force landing following loss of engine power in Rockaway, New Jersey. The airplane incurred substantial damage and the certified commercial pilot flight instructor (CFI) sustained minor injuries. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was operated by Air Fleet Training Systems, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an instructional flight.

The CFI stated, that during pre-flight inspection of the airplane he added one quart of oil to the engine, which had been at 5.7 quarts. He and the student pilot then departed from the Green Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, New Jersey, and were about an hour into the flight when he noticed the left main wheel was wet. While trouble shooting the situation, he noticed that the engine oil pressure gauge was pointing to the red area, indicating low oil pressure. The CFI took over control of the airplane and retracted the landing gear to improve performance. He turned the airplane directly to their home base at the Essex County Airport (CDW), Caldwell,
New Jersey and contacted the controller at CDW to advise of the situation. Minutes after the communication, the engine came “to a halt with the propeller stopping.” The airplane was about 1 mile east of the Rockaway Towne Center Mall, and the CFI elected to land in an empty section of the mall’s parking lot. The airplane’s nose landing gear made contact with a curb, which separated the gear, and the right wing impacted a tree before coming to a full stop. An examination of the wreckage revealed the fluid on the wheel to be oil leaking from the engine, which covered the bottom and empennage section of the airplane.

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine. The engine had a total time of 3,949 hours and 238 hours since its last overhaul, which occurred on September 28, 2006. A teardown examination of the engine was conducted with National Transportation Safety Board oversight. Several components of the #3 and #4 pistons showed signs of overheating and oil starvation, including the rod arms, bearing rods, and crankshaft attaching points. The #3 cylinder piston rod was found separated from the crankshaft with its crankshaft bearing missing and the lower section of the bearing rod destroyed. The #4 rod bearing showed initial indications of failure due to overheating. There was no internal or external evidence with the engine to account for the oil leak. The engine oil system was examined and found to be unremarkable.

History of Flight

Maneuvering Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail
Enroute Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 42,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 29, 2008
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 10, 2009
Flight Time: 3045 hours (Total, all aircraft), 169 hours (Total, this make and model), 2976 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 283 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 64 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 39,Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 1, 2009
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 28, 2008
Flight Time: 337 hours (Total, all aircraft), 43 hours (Total, this make and model), 206 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N6117R
Model/Series: 172RG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172RG0087
Landing Gear Type:
Tricycle Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 24, 2009 100 hour Certified 
Max Gross Wt.: 2658 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 50 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6146 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-F1A6
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CDW,173 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Milford, NJ (4N1) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Caldwell, NJ (CDW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 11:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None Latitude,
Longitude: 40.875,-74.281112(est)


MYFOXNY.COM -  Flying around New York City has been a way of life for flight instructor Tom Fischer. 


His father gave him his first lesson at the age of 12. 

In the latest installment of, What Do You Do? Good Day NY sat down with the pilot to talk about life high above the Tristate region.

FischerAviation.com/The-School

Source: http://www.myfoxny.com
 
August 25, 2009:    Flight instructor Tom Fischer had been on an instructional flight with a student when he noticed issues with the plane's engine oil pressure.

NTSB Identification: ERA09LA481 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 25, 2009 in Rockaway, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172RG, registration: N6117R
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and dual/student pilot were practicing maneuvers when the CFI noticed that the left main gear of the airplane was wet. As he looked for the source of the substance he noticed that the airplane’s oil pressure was critically low and immediately headed back to the airplane’s base. On the way, the engine came “to a halt with the propeller stopping” and the CFI elected to land in an empty section of a mall parking lot. The airplane’s nose landing gear contacted a curb and the right wing impacted a tree before coming to a stop. An examination of the wreckage revealed the fluid on the wheel to be oil leaking from the engine, which covered the bottom and empennage section of the airplane. A teardown examination of the engine found the No. 3 and No. 4 pistons with damage consistent with overheating and oil starvation. The lower portion of the No. 3 piston was destroyed. There was no internal or external evidence with the engine to account for the oil leak. The engine oil system was examined and found to be unremarkable. The CFI stated that a quart of oil was added, for a total 6.7 quarts of oil in the engine, prior to the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power due to oil starvation for undetermined reasons.

US aviation regulator puts Directorate General of Civil Aviation on notice

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on a 45-day notice after its audit showed that there is lack of coordination in airworthiness and flight operations in the country, which poses risk to the passenger's life.

According to sources, a team of FAA inspectors carried out a five- day inspection this week and found serious flaws in safety preparedness and the manner in which on- job training is imparted to DGCA employees.

If the DGCA fails to put its house in order within 45 days, FAA will downgrade India's air safety rating, sources said. Such a downgrade would eventually lead to Air India and Jet Airways having to go through more rigorous checks at international airports, which could upset flight schedules and inconvenience passengers. It would also pose problems in getting additional flights for domestic carriers to international destinations.

However, a top DGCA official told Mail Today on condition of anonymity on Friday that the FAA representatives " have not observed any major lapse on safety issues". " What they have told us that we need to upgrade our special operations. They have found us lacking in airworthiness and flight operations. We have been put on a 45- day notice. I think there has been some sort of oversight by FAA representatives in this regard. We will soon send them our point of view," the official added.

FAA has pointed out that DGCA lacks adequate skilled manpower for a specific technical work required to monitor air operations, worthiness and safety at DGCA. Instead, it has been upgrading its current staff for this highly technical jobs by giving them training.


Original Article:   http://businesstoday.intoday.in

T.F. Green (KPVD) holds Disaster Preparedness Exercise

WARWICK, R.I. -   Saturday, NBC 10 got a glimpse inside the emergency process at T.F. Green during a Disaster Preparedness Exercise that was put on by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the Rhode Island Emergency Management, and emergency response partners.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires this type of exercise once every three years, and our cameras were allowed in to get a close up view of the proceedings.

NBC 10 spoke with Rebecca Bromberg, Communications Affairs Manager , who emphasized the main purpose of the drill; "that's the whole point of an exercise like this, to find out the glitches with communications, with emergency response, so that we're better prepared if we do have a real accident here at the airport."

Alan Andrade, Vice President of Operations and Maintenance, explained the scenario for this particular exercise, "the initial call was that an aircraft landed and the nose gear collapsed, and then we had a mishap, we had injuries."

In Saturday's scenario, the actual airplane was replaced by a couple of buses, but the emergency responders are very real, and so is the communication among them.

The emergency protocol uses a color-coded bracelet system complete with bar codes so that patients can be tracked through every step of the rescue process.

An emergency triage center is set up on airport grounds to process those with minor injuries, and EMTs are on hand to transport those more seriously injured.

More than 20 agencies and upwards of 250 people took part in a Disaster Preparedness Exercise that was held Saturday morning at T.F. Green Airport.

The exercise was put on by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), the Rhode Island Emergency Management (RIEMA), and the emergency response partners for the purpose of assisting aviation, law agencies, and first responders in incident preparedness.

In a press release RIAC President and CEO Kelly Fredericks described the purpose of the exercise saying "this required exercise tests our responsiveness in the event of an incident or accident. There is a great deal of required communication and cooperation between first responders, city and state agencies and RIAC."

The exercise was conducted as if it were an actual incident, including participation from area hospitals; it lasted several hours and was held primarily on the northeast side of the airfield.


Original Article:   http://www.turnto10.com

Spacek SD-1 TG Minisport, N123SD: Fatal accident occurred September 06, 2013 in Spanish Fork, Utah

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

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N123SD

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA399
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 06, 2013 in Spanish Fork, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/05/2015
Aircraft: TYLER IVES SD-1 TG, registration: N123SD
Injuries: 1 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 owner/builder reported that the accident flight was the fourth test flight for the experimental airplane. One of the three ground crewmembers reported that, for this flight, the pilot wanted to test the airplane’s G limits, perform stalls, and conduct touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. While the pilot was flying the airplane in the traffic pattern, two of the ground crewmembers observed the airplane perform an unscheduled roll. About 1 minute later, they observed the airplane perform a second roll. One of the ground crewmembers reported that, about midway through the second roll, the pilot lost airplane control, and the ballistic parachute subsequently deployed with the airplane traveling at a high rate of speed; almost immediately after deployment, the parachute separated from the airframe. The airplane then spun toward the ground and was destroyed by impact forces. The Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) contained a warning that aerobatics and intentional spins were prohibited. The POH also indicated that the minimum deployment altitude for the parachute was 210 ft and recommended that the parachute be deployed at the lowest airspeed possible and not above 150 mph; the airplane was operating at the airport’s traffic pattern altitude of about 1,000 ft above ground level when the parachute deployed. The airplane’s never-exceed speed was 131 mph; the airplane’s actual speed at the time of the parachute’s deployment could not be determined. Although the airplane was likely traveling within the speed and altitude specified for parachute deployment, the pilot was performing a prohibited roll when it deployed.

All of the parachute system’s hardware was accounted for during the postaccident examination of the system. The examination of the three parachute lines that were attached to the fuselage per the kit specifications revealed that two of the lines had been cut and that the third line exhibited overstress fractures. It is likely that the lines were severed when the parachute was deployed during the roll and that the remaining line then failed due to overload. Due to the severity of the damage and fragmentation of the airframe, it could not be determined if the pilot intentionally deployed the parachute following the loss of control during the roll maneuver or if a malfunction occurred that caused the parachute to deploy unintentionally. Once the parachute separated, the airplane was likely uncontrollable. Although postaccident toxicological tests detected chlorpheniramine, a sedating antihistamine, in the pilot’s cavity, it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control while performing prohibited aerobatic maneuvers and the deployment and separation of the ballistic parachute system from the airframe for reasons that could not be determined due to the severity of impact damage to the system.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 6, 2013, at 0809 mountain daylight time, an Ives SD-1 TG experimental amateur-built airplane, N123SD, departed controlled flight and impacted flat open terrain in a nose-low attitude about 1 mile west of the Spanish Fork Airport-Springville-Woodhouse Field (U77), Spanish Fork, Utah. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a test flight for the owner/builder of the airplane. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed U77 about 0805, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the owner of the airplane, the accident flight was the fourth test flight. Ground crew members reported that the pilot arrived at the airport about 0645, and a preflight inspection was performed, with no discrepancies noted with the airplane. Three GoPro cameras were mounted to the airplane and to the pilot. The ground crew also reported that the pilot was flying the airplane in the traffic pattern at the time of the accident.

One of the ground crew reported that he did not personally witness the accident, but he stated that the other ground crew started shouting about the pilot performing barrel rolls, which he had never performed before. He further reported that the barrel rolls were not scheduled for the day's test flight.

Another one of the ground crew reported that the pilot performed one roll, and midway through the second roll, the ballistic parachute was deployed, almost immediately separating itself from the airframe. He stated that the airplane began to spin at a rapid rate until it impacted the ground.

The last ground crew member reported that the pilot had wanted to test G-limits of the airplane, perform a few stalls, and some touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. He stated that the pilot performed a few stalls to full recovery, and then proceeded to do one successful roll. As the pilot attempted to do a second roll, he lost control of the airplane. The parachute was pulled at a high rate of speed, detaching from the airplane.

Two of the ground crew reported that the pilot was equipped with a radio, but he had not made radio contact with them.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 40, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued a second-class airman medical certificate on May 3, 2013; it had the limitation that the pilot must wear corrective lenses. At the time of his medical examination, the pilot reported a total time of 930 hours with 130 hours accrued in the last 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not located during the investigation. According to the airplane owner, the accident pilot had been their test pilot; the pilot had flown the airplane on each of its three previous test flights, accumulating about 3-4 hours of flight time.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear, experimental amateur built Skycraft Airplane SD-1 Minisport (SD-1-TG), serial number USA00103, was issued a special airworthiness certificate on February 13, 2013. A Hirth F-23 LW engine, serial number 903429, powered the airplane. The airplane's operating limitations were dated February 16, 2013.

A review of the airplane logbook indicated that between August 2013, and September 5, 2013, the airplane and engine had accrued 5.16 hours of flight time. On August 24, following a flight test, which included stall characteristics, the airplane ground looped upon landing. The wing was repaired, and on August 31, the airplane underwent another test flight, which included spin and stall characteristics. The logbook entry indicated that the airplane was spin resistant.

The airplane came equipped with a ballistic parachute, Galaxy Rescue Systems (Galaxy Holding s.r.o.); the retaining cables had three anchoring points on the airplane. Two were located at the firewall/engine structure, and the third was located at the aft bulkhead. The parachute cables were attached per the kit specifications, and the activation handle was located on the right side just forward of the flap control. According to the maintenance manual, depending on the model, the main canopy is open and fully inflated between 50-60 feet, in the direction of firing, which is about 1.5-3.2 seconds after being activated. The owner/builder reported that operation testing for the ballistic parachute system was accomplished via computer modeling and information attained from the manufacturer.

According to the Pilot's Operating Handbook, under the Operating Limitations for the ballistic recovery system, parachute deployment was recommended to be done at the lowest airspeed possible, and not to exceed 150 miles per hour (mph), and it was recommended that the parachute not be deployed if the airplane becomes inadvertently inverted. The minimum deployment altitude was 210 feet. The airplane's never-exceed-speed was 131 mph. In addition, the Operating Limitations contained a warning that aerobatics and intentional spins were prohibited.

The instruction manual for assembly and use of the GRS (Galaxy Rescue System) stated in part that once the system has been activated, once the airplane starts to descend under the canopy to the ground, there may be some aircraft control available, assuming the control surfaces are intact (Part 8. Activation of the system in a hazardous situation page 21 section 8.2 After firing the system). Section 8.5 titled Possible emergency scenarios, identified a "fall into a spin from a low altitude" situation. It stated in part that if the airplane entered into a spin, the pilot should not try to control the spin, but should fire the GRS unit immediately. Another scenario was "pilot disorientation", where the section indicated that in the event of an incapacitation scenario, use of the GRS unit may be the only solution out of the incapacitation event.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination was conducted by the Utah Department of Health, office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of death was reported as total body blunt force injuries. The toxicology was positive for carboxyhemoglobin detected in the abdominal cavity blood (USL) 7.4 percent. Chlorpheniramine detected in cavity blood (FAA) 0.012 mg/L, as well as a positive detection in the liver.

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The toxicology was negative for carbon monoxide, and volatiles. A cyanide screening was not performed. The toxicology was positive for chlorpheniramine which was detected in the liver, and 0.012 (ug/ml, ug/g) chlorpheniramine detected in blood (cavity). Chlorpheniramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy and common cold symptoms. It is available over the counter under various trade names, including Chlor-Trimeton and Chlortabs.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted an open field, with a debris field of about 200 feet. The entire airplane came to rest at the accident site; however, it was destroyed by impact forces.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

According to the Airport/Facility Directory for the Spanish Fork Airport-Springville-Woodhouse Field (U77), Spanish Fork, the traffic pattern altitude is 1,000 feet above ground level (5,500 mean sea level)

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to the rudder, and through identification of the associated hardware; aileron control tubes and associated hardware were identified. The wooden propeller had been destroyed during the accident sequence. Also during the accident sequence, the engine case had been split in two. All major components were accounted for. 

Examination of the parachute system revealed that all hardware was accounted for. However, due to extensive damage to the parachute system, a functional check could not be performed.

Three fiber rope cables from the parachute to include attached fuselage fragments, two pieces of control tube, and a portion of fiberglass fragment, were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Material/s Laboratory for examination. The control tubes exhibited bending overstress fracture features.

According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory specialist, the airplane had been equipped with a Galaxy GRS 6/375 ballistic parachute system. The parachute was located immediately behind the cockpit and the cables were attached to three mounting points on the fuselage. For the purpose of this report, the three parachute cables had been labeled Line A, B, and C.

Examination of parachute line A utilizing 50X to 200X zoom digital microscope revealed that the filaments at the frayed end had fractured in overstress. The Materials Laboratory specialist further noted that a fragment of the fuselage remained connected to line A; it exhibited overstress fractures as well.

Examination of parachute lines B and C revealed that the lines were unremarkable, and that both lines had been cut. The detailed report is attached to the public docket for this accident.

The pilot's Apple iPhone 4 had been recovered and shipped to the NTSB's Vehicle Recorder Division. The recorder specialist reported that two photos were recovered from the day of the accident. One picture, partially blurred the occupant, showed the nose of the airplane pointed toward the ground. The second picture recorded the weather. A detailed report is attached to the public docket for this accident.

Two GoPro's were also located in the wreckage, and shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division. Due to impact damage, the recorder specialist was not able to recover any information.


Jay Lessley, a sergeant with the Utah County Sheriff's Department, was killed in an early morning plane crash near Spanish Fork Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Lessley was off duty at the time of the accident.
























NTSB Identification: WPR13FA399
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 06, 2003 in Spanish Fork, UT
Aircraft: Tyler Ives SD-1 TG, registration: N123SD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 6, 2013, about 0810 mountain daylight time, an Ives SD-1 TG experimental amateur-built airplane, N123SD, departed controlled flight and impacted flat open terrain in a nose-low attitude about 1 mile west of the Spanish Fork Airport-Springville-Woodhouse Field (U77),  Spanish Fork, Utah. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a test flight for the owner/builder of the airplane. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed U77 about 0805, and no flight plan had been filed. 

Federal Aviation Administration complaint: Long Island jet charter company given preferential treatment

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing a complaint that state officials have given preferential treatment to a jet charter and management company that wants to do more business at Republic Airport.

Competitors have also alleged the application process has been expedited for the company, Talon Air, which is owned by Adam Katz, a real estate developer and major donor to the Democratic Party and some of its candidates.

The company applied more than a year ago to become a fixed-based operator, or FBO, at the Farmingdale airport. FBOs provide a range of aviation services and are the only companies allowed to sell fuel there, a potentially lucrative concession at one of the region's busiest general aviation airports.

Officials from the state Department of Transportation, which oversees Republic, said they were still reviewing the application, but had received approval from the state comptroller's office to bypass a formal bidding process because Talon already meets minimum FBO standards and has 25 years left on its airport lease, precluding another company from operating on that property for at least that long.

Talon executives and DOT officials have denied preferential treatment; and a DOT letter to the FAA in June says the allegations are "unsupported and unsubstantiated."

Atlantic Aviation, the company that filed the complaint, is one of Republic's two existing FBOs. It leases space to Talon and has traded lawsuits with the company in contract disputes related to the lease. It could lose market share to Talon if Talon wins status as a third FBO.

Atlantic lawyer Leonard Kirsch alleges that "local, state and federal elected officials" who have received donations from Katz "are actively trying to promote the approval of Talon's FBO application."

The complaint does not name any of those recipients, but records show Katz, his wife and companies he controls donated at least $300,000 since 2006 to the state Democratic Party and to prominent Democrats, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. They donated at least $2,000 to Nassau County Republicans.

Katz said his political contributions were unrelated to his aviation business, and representatives for Cuomo and Rice dismissed suggestions that Katz had bought influence.

The complaint also cites a safety report commissioned by Atlantic that warns that added traffic from Talon's FBO business could bring congestion and "safety issues," and that Talon's proposed fuel farm could create safety problems of its own.

Talon has commissioned its own safety report rebutting Atlantic's allegations, and Talon lawyer Greg Zucker said Atlantic was trying to "stifle competition" with its complaint.

John Wraga, executive director of the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association, said an FBO designation would let Talon compete for retail fuel sales, a major source of revenue for most of the country's 3,200 FBOs. It would also let the company, which now buys fuel from Atlantic Aviation, fuel its own charter aircraft. "They would save a fortune," Wraga said. "Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for charter aircraft."

Other airport business leaders complained the process was well underway when they learned in the spring that Talon had submitted an unsolicited FBO application to the DOT in March 2012.

Frank Nocerino, a Republican who chairs the Republic Airport Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor to advise on airport management, said the DOT's failure to notify his group had been "ill-advised."

Anthony Russo, an owner of Republic-based Northeastern Air Management, said his company had asked airport management about FBO status, but had been told the airport would need to first issue a public request for proposals, something it was not prepared to do.

Announcement of the exemption from bidding for Talon this spring left Russo "appalled and upset," he said. His company has since filed an FBO application of its own, he said.

Beau Duffy, a DOT spokesman, said the department's evaluation of Talon's application was independent and that the company had "absolutely not" gotten any special treatment. Under federal rules meant to encourage competition, the department can only deny the application if it compromises safety or efficiency at the airport, he said.

He also said its evaluation was ongoing, though William Howe, the DOT's contract management bureau director, wrote to the state comptroller's office in February that the department "has approved Talon's request to become a FBO at Republic Airport."

Duffy said that did not mean the department had given final approval, only that it supported bypassing the formal bidding process for Talon.


Original Article:  http://www.newsday.com

A crash course in PR: Rule Number 1 - don't hide: Thai Airways Airbus A330-300, HS-TEF, Flight TG-679, Accident occurred September 08, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand

When the unthinkable happens, it pays to be prepared and not make up crisis handling policy on the hoof that can backfire with disastrous results

THAI Airways International flew into a storm of controversy last week after it decided to paint over its name and corporate logo following the crash of an Airbus 330-300 (flight TG 679) at Suvarnabhumi late last Sunday night which left 14 people injured.

Originally, THAI official Smud Poom-on said that hiding the airline's name and logo was a recommendation from the Star Alliance group known as the ''crisis communication rule'', and was intended to protect the image of both the airline and other members of Star Alliance.

But the airline later issued a statement saying: "THAI generally practices the de-identifying of an aircraft after an incident (or accident), the company also clarifies that it is not a Star Alliance policy or procedure to de-identify aircraft."

Star Alliance is group of 28 airlines around the world, including Lufthansa, United, Air China, Singapore Airlines, ANA and THAI.

Full article and photo:  http://www.bangkokpost.com 

The great airline cover-up 

Flight TG 679 came out of the north and east from southern China last Sunday night, as it did habitually each late evening, homing in on its Suvarnabhumi airport base. At 11.25pm, the Airbus A330-300, its 288 passengers and its 14 crew members kissed the runway.

A few seconds later, the plane shuddered, took a right turn off Runway 19R and drove at speed into the wet grass. Sparks or flames - there is a dispute - came from the starboard engine as it ploughed a furrow in the verge, bending and partly breaking up.

The plane came to a halt. The pilot issued emergency instructions. With the aircraft leaning to the right, evacuation chutes popped out of the left side of the aircraft, and crew and passengers began vacating the scene at speed. Some passengers were hurt in the slide, and in a reasonable time 14 were placed in ambulances and taken to hospital. Two were held overnight, but no one suffered life-threatening injuries.

At that point, less organised and thoughtful people took over. Senior airline executives were quickly notified, among them Sorajak Kasemsuvan, THAI president, who headed immediately for the airport.

The biggest cover-up in Thai Airways history was already under way.

An unidentified manager or airline executive whose name is currently unknown ordered the cover-up. Maintenance crews were quickly assembled.

They grabbed buckets of black paint, long-handled brushes, the keys to a long-armed cherry picker and headed down to TG 679, mired deeply into the soft, rain-soaked earth separating the two Suvarnabhumi runways.

The cherry picker manoeuvred under the imposing tail of the Airbus.

A worker, paint and brushes at the ready, was hoisted 17.2 metres in the air, almost to the top of the tail, where a Thai national flag graced the aircraft.

He began smearing over the flag with the black paint, like a kindergarten finger painter, not at all worried about staying inside the lines.

When he finished covering up the flag, the cherry picker was lowered several metres so he could start painting over the THAI logo. Then he was moved to the lower-left body, just behind the wing, and then to the front, just aft of the cockpit, to paint over other airline identification.

Asked why the airline tried to cover up the national identify, name and logo of Thai Airways International, an airline spokesman said it was "the crisis communication rule of Star Alliance to de-identify" - a great new word - any aircraft in an accident.

Unfortunately, Star Alliance spokesman Markus Ruediger was on international TV within hours denying any such policy.

THAI then had to "clarify", in international view, its claim. It could come up with no reason to scrawl over the stranded plane's markings. But by then, the world was laughing or marvelling at how THAI had manufactured a public relations disaster out of a relatively minor incident.

In a second kerfuffle, passengers from the incident complained they were treated insensitively, herded like cattle. The airline had no crisis room, no crisis staff, no crisis policy. Water, information and general guidance was all as scarce as hen's teeth.

THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon was angry. He appeared to feel the ungrateful passengers aboard TG 679 clearly over-stepped.

"The incident was unavoidable, but the pilots and the attendants made the right decisions to protect the lives and property of their passengers. The crew exceeded their duties and should be appreciated by passengers."

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt was unimpressed by the chairman's demand that uppity passengers should be giving wais and multiple thanks for the privilege of cheating death on his airliner. He ordered THAI to take immediate steps to write proper guidelines on how to handle accidents in the event there is another.

Meanwhile, the cause of the accident is obviously going to be sifted through THAI's high-powered and self-interested corporate machine. The official version, unlikely to be affected by the facts of the upcoming investigations, is that the Airbus has known landing-gear problems and that is what caused the aircraft to skid off the Suvarnabhumi runway.

That story, too, is likely to cause some to wonder about a cover-up.

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

Taobao aircraft auction fails to take off

 

An aircraft auction launched by the nation's leading online shopping platform, Taobao.com, was a crashing failure - at least on the first two days of bidding. 

 As of 4 pm on Thursday, 30 hours after the auction started, only eight people had bid for an Australian-made light sport aircraft. The plane was offered to pay 1.05 million yuan - about $245,170 - by the last bidder, and nobody had even made any bids for four jets that are also being offered.

The auction involves five new small aircraft, as well as a used helicopter. Prices for the other items range from 1.05 million yuan to 16.8 million yuan.

As of 3 pm on Friday, 61 users had shown an interest in the 3.53 million yuan second-hand helicopter, according to Taobao.

Anybody can take part in the auction after providing a deposit of 2,000 yuan for the Australian-made aircraft or 50,000 yuan for the four jets. No deposit is required for the helicopter, which has a fixed price, according to Li Feng'an from communications department of Taobao.

The aircraft auction will end at 10 am on Monday.

Taobao is a subsidiary of China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The central government has promised to gradually open parts of the country's low-altitude airspace (altitudes below 1,000 meters) for private flights to promote the general aviation sector.
 

Original Article:   http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd - Apex Avionics System

 
 Video Published on September 11, 2013 

Based in Stans, Switzerland, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd was established in 1939. Seventy percent of all PC-12s which come off the production line in Stans, Switzerland are finished to customer specifications (interior and exterior livery) in Colorado. The American subsidiary is also responsible for PC-12 marketing, sales and servicing activities in North and South America.

Opinion: Is airport taking a step backward? -- The Eastern Iowa Airport (KCID), Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Updated: 14 September 2013 | 12:01 pm in Letters to the Editor

The Eastern Iowa Airport is undergoing a major change.

In 1964, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department opened a fire station located at the airport. Before that, the specialized equipment was stored in the Iowa Manufacturing Building at the airport. In 1976, Cedar Rapids fire turned the safety back to the airport and it was manned with duel-trained individuals, police and fire. This station always has been manned 24 hour a day. In 1969, the airport had 31 commercial flights per day and in 2000 it hit a record of 1 million passengers through the airport.

After 49 years of 24-hour coverage, they are going to change to 20 hours of coverage per day.

Is the airport going to be locked for these four hours? How many more flights do we have now than we had in 1969? How many more passengers do we have? What happens to the out-of-town person who misses a flight or gets a flight canceled, where does he go for four hours? What happens to an airport closed for the night?

This should be a major concern. With the tensions in the Middle East and after 9/11 and security issues, and other incidents across the nation, why are we reducing our security that is already in place?

Are we not trying to increase our volume of flights, passengers, etc., and have the security for them? This sounds like a step backward.

Cyndy Staton

Cedar Rapids

Original Article: http://thegazette.com