Friday, November 8, 2013

Central Washington University seeks new flight contractor to continue aviation program

Central Washington University has issued a request for information from flight school contractors about providing flight instruction for the school’s aviation program.

CWU faculty, through the aviation program, teach in the classroom, but contractor Midstate Aviation has provided the flight training at Bowers Field for many years.

Midstate chose not to renew its contract, and Central cited issues surrounding university control over curriculum and flight instructors as the stumbling block during negotiations. The contract expires in August.

Midstate owner Ron Mitchell previously declined to comment on negotiations, and wished the program continued success in a written statement.

Messages left Thursday for Mitchell were not immediately returned.

FAA rules

New Federal Aviation Administration rules require pilots to have more flight time to fly passenger and cargo airlines — 1,500 hours — but allow 1,000 hours for graduates of accredited four-year aviation programs, according to the release.

Before the FAA passed the rule, CWU’s aviation program had not been accredited, and the request for information requires a new contractor be an FAA-approved flight school and provide certified flight instructors who hold bachelor’s degrees.

Traditional pilot training doesn’t require instructors have academic degrees, but accreditation for a four-year degree granting program does.

Contractors also must ensure curriculum is approved by CWU. Both elements — requirements for instructors and curriculum control — are necessary to meet the requirements of CWU’s accrediting agency.

After fielding information from contractors, CWU will put out a request for proposals, soliciting offers for the contract, CWU Public Affairs Director Linda Schactler said.The request for information cites a preference for instruction to occur at Bowers Field to keep it convenient for students and to keep Bowers Field active.

Central said the program’s 95 students fly nearly 6,800 hours per year, and account for about 80 percent of the takeoffs and landings at the airport.

“Bowers Field is an important asset to the economic profile of Kittitas County in general, and Ellensburg in particular,” CWU President James Gaudino said in the release.

He said Central already has been contacted for more information by regional flight training providers.

“We will continue to provide excellent flight training for our students, and I do hope it can be at Bowers Field. But there are many facilities and contractors in the state that can provide this service,” he said.

Demand for pilots is expected to increase, with half a million more commercial pilot jobs over the next 20 years, said Amy Hoover, the chairwoman of the Department of Aviation, in the release.

The new flight hour requirements are six times what they had been, she said, which will add to the time and money it takes to become a pilot, and other new rules for pilot rest schedules will require some airlines to increase their pilot workforce by 5 percent.

Central has direct hire agreements with Horizon Air, American Eagle, and Pinnacle Airlines, Hoover said.


Source:  http://www.dailyrecordnews.com

County sues to evict Oxford Aviation

PARIS — Oxford County is attempting to evict Oxford Aviation from Oxford County Regional Airport, accusing the company of violating multiple terms of its lease.

In a complaint filed in 11th District Court on Oct. 29, the county claims Oxford Aviation breached its lease obligations and demands judgment for possession of the property, which is off Number Six Road in Oxford.

According to the county, Oxford Aviation violated 11 terms of the lease it signed with county commissioners less than a year ago, following a three-year negotiation. The lease expires in 2027.

The company, which refurbishes and repaints aircraft, rents the 40,000-square-foot property, including hangars, shop, pilot lounge, classroom and offices. It was founded April 1, 1989, by owner and President James L. Horowitz and has a staff of 60, according to its website. It has always operated at the airport.

According to the lease, Oxford Aviation does not pay rent to the county but is responsible for the cost for maintaining the facilities it leases at the airport and for submitting quarterly maintenance records to the county commissioners.

In an answer to the complaint filed in the court Wednesday, Oxford Aviation denied it breached the terms of the agreement.

A hearing is scheduled in 11th District Court on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

An attempt to reach Horowitz on Thursday was unsuccessful.

On Sept. 23, sheriff's deputies served Oxford Aviation with a letter from County Administrator Scott Cole listing seven separate lease violations by the company and giving notice that the county intended to begin eviction proceedings.

The letter claims Oxford Aviation did not inform the county when its repair license was suspended by the Federal Aviation Administration in June, failed to conduct airport maintenance in accordance with FAA standards, did not provide quarterly maintenance reports from April to July 2013, and failed to give the county proof of insurance, among other violations of the lease.

According to the complaint, Oxford Aviation failed to respond to the initial notice, which was followed with another notice on Oct. 11, listing more alleged lease violations.

The October letter alleges the company failed to submit fees, maintain prices for parts, fuel and other services, failed and refused to advertise the availability of flight training and instruction and did not appropriately promote the county's airport facilities.

Reached on Thursday, Cole said the lease gives the company 90 days to correct any violations, but in this case it may be considered an "incurable" default.

"You can't unring the bell," Cole said.

This is the third lawsuit filed against Oxford Aviation in recent months. An Ohio couple is seeking more than $674,000 in damages in a case filed in August in which the company failed to properly reattach part of the tail of their plane, causing them to crash-land in Colorado in May.

In September, Community Concepts Finance Corp. sued the company for allegedly defaulting on a $62,500 loan made in 1996. CCFC is asking to take possession of collateral the company put up for the loan. A discovery deadline in that case is set for January.

Source:    http://www.sunjournal.com

Left Seat West closes its doors at Glendale Municipal Airport (KGEU), Arizona



 Photo courtesy Glendale Municipal Airport 

No more seating:   Left Seat West closed its doors Oct. 31.


For the tenth time since the late 1980s, the Left Seat West restaurant at the Glendale Municipal Airport is empty after the husband and wife team running it closed the doors Oct. 31.

The restaurant was most recently run by Ron and Karen Zamenski, who decided to close after weeks of slow business.

“The main reason (for the closure) was the lack of patronization,” said Glendale Airport Administrator Walt Fix. “It all boiled down to there weren’t enough customers and the costs were out pacing the income.”

The airport, located off Glendale Avenue on Glen Harbor Boulevard, is in an industrial park west of Loop 101. It sits eight miles from Westgate and was hurt by the lack of businesses in the business park.

“The restaurant is located almost a mile off Glendale Ave., and airport restaurants rely on tenant and pilots, but in a bigger sense the general public and customers that come in,” Fix said. “We don’t have a lot of business around us and it is tough for people to stop in for their lunch hour or before work.”

The Zamenskis opened the restaurant in January 2012, after closing their restaurant that was at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for seven years after a lease dispute.

They were told of the slow traffic at the airport, but were eager to try and make it work.

“It is just tough because of the location and the fact that the traffic at the airport is not what it was at (PIX),” Fix said. “It is tough to get regular customers on a daily basis to serve regular restaurant food at a price to make it go.”

Fix said the future of the restaurant location will depend on a few aspects that will be determined over some time.

“It was built for a restaurant and that infrastructure was built with city equipment,” he said. “The layout is for a restaurant, but we are going to take a breather and take a look at maybe, with more expertise, trying to get a more lasting prospect for that site.”

Fix said there have been inquiries, mostly from people wondering what happened to the restaurant, but no possible replacements. He also said that one possible replacement for the restaurant could be turning it into offices, but the airport will wait before making any decisions.

Source:   http://www.glendalestar.com

Pilot and Passenger that crashed plane sentenced to 2 years in federal prison: Yoakum County Airport (F98), Plains, Texas

Provided by The United States Attorney's Office

A pilot and his passenger, who belly landed their Beechcraft plane at the Yoakum County Airport on April 30, 2013, and subsequently admitted possessing with the intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, were sentenced this morning in federal court in Lubbock, Texas. Pilot Gregory Thomas, 50, of Sacramento, California, and his passenger, Dorothea Cangelosi, 66, of Waller, Texas, were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 24 months in federal prison. Today's announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. SaldaƱa of the Northern District of Texas.

According to plea documents filed in the case, on April 30, 2013, deputies with the Yoakum County Sheriff's Department (YCSD) responded to a plane crash at the Yoakum County Airport, in Plains, Texas. When they arrived, they observed a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 plane that had belly landed in a field approximately 50 yards past the end of the runway.

On April 29, 2013, the day before the crash, Cangelosi flew a commercial airline from Houston, Texas, to Sacramento, California, where she met up with Thomas, a charter pilot, who was paid approximately $5,000 cash to fly her from Sacramento back to Houston. They left Sacramento during the early morning hours of April 30, 2013, and in route to Houston, landed in Plains to refuel. After fueling, the plane encountered engine problems when attempting to take off and crashed.

The YCSD received a 911 call from an individual who reported seeing a female with bags by a road that runs parallel to the airport. Later, deputies located four large canvas duffel bags that were hidden next to a bush more than 100 yards from the crash site. A YCSD drug-detector dog alerted on the bags for the presence of drugs and deputies discovered 151 individual packages of marijuana, with a total weight of 72.8 kilograms or 160 pounds. The drug-detector dog also alerted to the presence of drugs inside the plane.

Thomas admits that after the plane crashed, he and Cangelosi retrieved the duffel bags from the plane's passenger compartment and hid them more than 100 yards away, across two barbed-wire fences and a road, from the plane. Cangelosi admitted that Thomas carried most of the bags and threw some of them over the fence. They both admitted that they had intended to distribute the marijuana to other individuals in Houston.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the YCSD and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Cunningham prosecuted.


Source:   http://www.kcbd.com

Eurocopter EC 130 (AS 350 B4), Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, N11QV: Accident occurred November 10, 2011 in Pukoo, Hawaii

NTSB Identification: WPR12MA034
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2011 in Pukoo, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2014
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N11QV
Injuries: 5 Fatal.
NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

***This report was modified on July 25, 2014. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.***

The helicopter impacted terrain during a sightseeing flight scheduled to fly from the island of Maui to the island of Molokai and return. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the departure airport; however, scattered rain showers and low clouds were forecast and reported along the helicopter's route of flight. When the accident occurred, the helicopter was flying over mountainous terrain and likely traversing down one of several ridges leading from Molokai's central peaks toward the lower terrain near the shoreline in marginal weather conditions. 

Several witnesses reported that the accident occurred between rain squalls, and one witness reported that it occurred during a heavy rain squall. All of the witnesses reported that heavy localized rain showers with strong gusting wind conditions existed around the time of the accident. Two witnesses reported that their attention was drawn to the helicopter when they heard a "whoop whooping" sound. One of these witnesses observed the helicopter descending from the ridgeline, and the other witness, who was closest to, and had the clearest view of, the accident helicopter, reported that the helicopter went "straight down" and impacted the ground.

The debris field leading up to the main wreckage was about 1,330 feet long and consisted mostly of pieces from the fenestron, which is a shrouded tail rotor, indicating that the fenestron separated from the helicopter before the main wreckage impacted the ground. The remainder of the helicopter was accounted for at the main wreckage site except for the outboard portion of the right horizontal stabilizer, which was not identified in any of the recovered wreckage. 

A detailed examination of the wreckage indicated that the accident sequence of events likely began when the pilot failed to maintain sufficient terrain clearance, and the horizontal stabilizer and lower forward portion of the fenestron impacted vegetation and/or terrain. The upward and aft loading at the horizontal stabilizer, more pronounced on the right side, sheared the right attachment fittings, which allowed the right side of the stabilizer to travel aft. The combined loading from the horizontal stabilizer and the fenestron's impact with vegetation and/or terrain caused the stress in the forward flange of the junction frame to exceed its ultimate design strength. The forward flange of the junction frame fractured, which allowed the fenestron to separate from the tailboom. The torque input from the tail rotor drive shaft caused the separated fenestron to rotate counter-clockwise, which drove the lower portion of the fenestron into the main rotor disc, where it was impacted at least three times on the left side. After the fenestron separated from the tailboom, the helicopter lost yaw control, and its center of gravity shifted forward, which caused it to become uncontrollable and, subsequently, descend to the ground.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain while operating in marginal weather conditions, which resulted in the impact of the horizontal stabilizer and lower forward portion of the fenestron with ground and/or vegetation and led to the separation of the fenestron and the pilot's subsequent inability to maintain control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate into an area surrounded by rising terrain, low and possibly descending cloud bases, rain showers, and high wind.


***This report was modified on July 25, 2014. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.***

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On November 10, 2011, about 1214 Hawaiian standard time, a Eurocopter EC130 B4 helicopter, N11QV, collided with mountainous terrain near Pukoo, Hawaii, on the island of Molokai. The commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to Nevada Helicopters Leasing, Henderson, Nevada, and operated by Helicopter Consultants of Maui, Inc., dba Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. The flight was operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) sightseeing flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of departure, and company flight-following procedures were in effect. The flight originated from the Kahului Airport, Kahului, Hawaii, on the island of Maui, about 1144.

The flight departed with four passengers aboard for a scheduled 1 hour and 10 minute roundtrip sightseeing flight. The planned route of flight was to fly north-northwest from the Kahului Airport to the northern tip of Maui before proceeding northwesterly across the waterway between Maui and Molokai. The flight was to proceed to the northeastern shore of Molokai to view the Halawa Valley Waterfall, before continuing westbound along the sea cliffs on the northern shore to view Papalaua Falls. If the weather permitted, the flight was to continue into the Wailau Valley and climb up and over the valley wall to the southern side of Molokai. If weather conditions would not allow the pilot to use the Wailau Valley route, an alternate route was to reverse course and fly back eastbound along the northern shoreline, and then proceed around the eastern tip of the island to the south side. 

Pilots of other air tour helicopters in the vicinity of Molokai during the timeframe of the accident reported that overall weather conditions would not have allowed the accident pilot to fly through Wailau Valley. Additionally, they reported seeing the accident helicopter and/or talking with the accident pilot at various times and locations throughout the flight. These locations were near the Papalaua Waterfalls, the Halawa Valley Waterfall, and along the southern side of Molokai. 

The last pilot to observe the accident helicopter reported seeing it flying westbound above the mountainous terrain on the southern side of Molokai, just below the cloud ceiling, which he reported was about 2,000 feet mean sea level (msl). He stated that the accident helicopter appeared to be in straight and level flight and did not appear to be in any form of distress. For information about the weather conditions reported by this pilot, see the Meteorological Conditions section of this report.

Ground witnesses reported that their attention was drawn to the helicopter when they heard some form of "woop wooping" sound. One witness observed the helicopter descending from the island's central ridgeline; he reported that he observed pieces falling from the helicopter as it descended. Another witness, who was closest and had the clearest view of the accident helicopter, reported that the helicopter went "straight down" and impacted the ground sideways. Other witnesses reported that they observed a large "fire ball" when the helicopter impacted the ground.

The ground witnesses reported rain showers in the area during the timeframe of the accident. Several witnesses reported that the accident occurred between rain "squalls," and one reported that it occurred during a heavy rain "squall." Most witnesses interviewed described the weather conditions at the time of the accident as "poor." 

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 30, held a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft helicopter rating and a helicopter instrument rating. He also held a certified flight instructor certificate with a rotorcraft helicopter rating. In addition, he held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and multi-engine land ratings. His most recent second-class medical certificate was issued on March 14, 2011, with the limitation that he must possess corrective lenses for near and intermediate vision. 

Company personnel reported that the pilot's previous helicopter flight experience was gained as a pilot flying Bell 407 and 206B series helicopters for Bristow International Helicopters in the Gulf of Mexico. During his employment with Bristow International, he accrued about 3,300 flight hours; his last flight with Bristow International occurred on June 22, 2011.

The pilot was hired by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters on July 1, 2011; at that time, the pilot had no flight time in an EC130 B4 helicopter and a total helicopter flight time of about 4,500 hours. 

On July 10, 2011, the pilot completed initial company training, which included EC130 B4 pilot ground and flight training, and he was subsequently assigned to fly EC130 B4 helicopters at the company's base on Maui. While employed with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, the pilot accrued about 306 flight hours in EC130 B4 helicopters. On November 9 (the day before the accident), he completed a 14 CFR Part 135.293/299 airman competency check ride, which was administered by the FAA's principal operations inspector (POI) for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. The check ride included instrument navigation and communications procedures, inadvertent IMC procedures, and unusual attitude recovery. According to the POI, the accident pilot was capable and current in all of his required pilot tasks and training.

The pilot was off duty on November 7 and 8. On November 9, his duty day started at 0700 and ended at 1700, and the only flight time accrued that day was 1.2 hours on the Part 135 check ride.

On the day of the accident, the pilot arrived at the company office about 0730, which was indicated by other company pilots as his typical arrival time. After checking the weather, he completed a preflight inspection on the assigned helicopter and then waited for his first passengers of the day to arrive. The pilot subsequently completed two sightseeing flights without incident. 

The accident flight was the pilot's third flight of the day. 

Additional pilot/operational information can be found in the Operations/Witness Factual Report located in the public docket for this accident case file. 

HELICOPTER INFORMATION

The Eurocopter EC130 B4 is an 8-place single-engine helicopter powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turboshaft engine, rated to 730 shaft horsepower and equipped with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) unit. The helicopter has a three-bladed main rotor and a shrouded tail rotor, which is called a Fenestron. The Fenestron is a composite shell structure with the tail rotor mounted in the inner duct.

The accident helicopter, S/N 4909, was manufactured in France in 2010. According to the FAA registry, the aircraft received an FAA certificate of airworthiness on March 2, 2010. It was registered as N11QV on April 16, 2010. 

The helicopter was equipped with a Garmin G500H electronic flight display system. The G500H is an electronic flight information system that utilizes the primary flight display (PFD), multi-function display (MFD), air data computer (ADC) and attitude heading reference system (AHRS). The G500H system installed on N11QV included the optional Garmin Terrain - Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology (HSVT) system. HSVT is primarily comprised of a computer generated, forward looking, attitude aligned view of the topography immediately in front of the aircraft from the pilot's perspective. The HSVT is shown on the pilot's PFD and offers a 3-dimensional view of terrain and obstacles with visual and audio alerts for terrain or obstacles supplied to the pilot. The system provides the pilot with real-time 3-dimensional moving-map graphics, terrain features, chart data, navigation aids, and flight plan routings; the system has the capability to identify threats, such as towers and terrain features. The PFD also depicted, in part, attitude, airspeed, vertical speed, climb rate, and course/heading information.

The helicopter was maintained in accordance with an FAA Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP). The most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on November 8, 2011, at 2431.4 hours total time since new (TTSN). During this 100-hour inspection, Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin # 53A019 (Check of the tail boom / Fenestron junction frame for cracks) was complied with, and no defects were noted.

At the time the helicopter departed for the accident flight, it had accrued 2,439.6 hours TTSN. Based on an estimated time of 0.5 hours accrued during the accident flight, the aircraft TTSN at the time of the accident was about 2,440.1. 

The helicopter did not have, and was not required to have, a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder.

The helicopter was equipped with a multi-camera digital video and audio recording system that was installed by the operator under an FAA field approval. The system incorporated three externally mounted color cameras and one internally mounted "lipstick" camera that recorded to onboard digital optic disc recorders. Camera selection was controlled by the pilot via a 4-way switch located on the cyclic. The recordings were provided to passengers for entertainment purposes after flightseeing tours. In addition, the recordings were reviewed by the operator for the purpose of operational quality control. The camera recording system were not hardened or designed to be crash resistant. The video data captured by this system was consumed by post-crash fire and therefore not available to the investigation team. 

The helicopter was configured with seven passenger seats and one pilot seat (eight total) arranged in two rows of four; the pilot always occupied the left outboard front seat. According to the Blue Hawaiian Helicopters pre-departure load manifest, the two front seat passengers occupied the right inboard and outboard seats, and the two aft seat passengers occupied the two outboard (window) seats. The load manifest indicated that the helicopter's fuel load at takeoff was 435 pounds (64 gallons), and the helicopter was loaded within weight and balance limits.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The last pilot to see the accident helicopter reported that throughout the morning, the weather conditions were continually deteriorating with a strong northeasterly wind and fast moving rain squalls. The pilot stated that when he had flown in the accident area earlier that day, he had experienced many updrafts, downdrafts, and microbursts, to the point that it scared him. He further reported that the visibility was "great" below the clouds and out of the heavy rain. The pilot reported that he departed Maui about 1130-1135 and was conducting a sightseeing flight around Molokai at the time of the accident. He estimated that during the flight, the cloud bases around the island were about 2,000 to 2,100 feet msl. His route of flight was southbound along the eastern side of the island and then westbound along the southern shore, where he experienced a "little bit of a bumpy ride." As noted previously, while flying along the south side of the island, he briefly observed the accident helicopter flying westbound along the south side of the island's central mountain ridges just below the clouds. 

Kapalua Airport (PHJH) in Lahaina, Hawaii, was located about 11 miles to the southeast of the accident site at an elevation of 256 feet, and was equipped with an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS). The following observations were recorded on November 10, 2011:

At 1150, PHJH reported wind from 070 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 20 knots, visibility of 7 miles, light rain showers, scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, ceiling broken at 4,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius(C), dew point temperature 19 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.00 inches of mercury. Remarks: visibility lower to the north.

At 1250, PHJH reported wind from 050 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 23 knots, visibility of 12 miles, showers in the vicinity, few clouds at 1,200 feet, scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, ceiling broken at 4,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees C, dew point temperature 19 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.04 inches of mercury. Remarks: showers in the vicinity to the north, southeast and west.

Molokai Airport (PHMK) in Kaunakakai, Hawaii, was located about 15 miles to the west-northwest of the accident site at an elevation of 454 feet, and was equipped with an Automated Surface Observing Station (ASOS). The following observations were recorded on November 10, 2011:

At 1154, PHMK reported wind from 040 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 27 knots, visibility of 8 miles, scattered clouds at 2,600 feet, scattered clouds at 3,100 feet, ceiling broken at 4,500 feet, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point temperature 19 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.08 inches of mercury.

At 1232, PHMK reported wind from 030 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 24 knots, visibility of 4 miles with haze, scattered clouds at 2,400 feet, ceiling broken at 2,900 feet, broken clouds at 5,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees C, dew point temperature 20 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.07 inches of mercury. 

An Area Forecast that included the Molokai area was issued at 0535 and was valid until 1800. It advised of a surface wind from the east-northeast with a magnitude of 25-30 knots over mountain ridges and through valleys. In addition, for the north through east sections of mountainous areas, as well as the waters adjacent to Molokai, the following conditions were forecasted: scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, ceiling broken at 4,500 feet, cloud tops to 9,000 feet; temporary conditions: ceiling broken at 2,000 feet and visibility 3 to 5 miles with rain showers and mist; isolated conditions: ceiling broken at 1,500 feet with cloud tops to 12,000 feet, visibility at or below 3 miles, heavy rain showers and mist.

An updated Area Forecast that included the Molokai area was issued at 1140 and was valid until 0000 on November 11, 2011. It advised of a surface wind from the east-northeast with a magnitude of 25-30 knots over mountain ridges and through valleys. In addition, for the north through east sections of mountainous areas, as well as the waters adjacent to Molokai, the following conditions were forecasted: scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, ceiling broken at 4,500 feet, cloud tops to 9,000 feet; temporary conditions of ceiling broken at 2,000 feet and visibility 3 to 5 miles with rain showers and mist; isolated conditions of ceiling broken at 1,500 feet with cloud tops to 12,000 feet, visibility at or below 3 miles, heavy rain showers and mist.

An AIRMET TANGO for temporary moderate turbulence below 10,000 feet was issued at 0530 for areas over and immediately south through west of mountains on all Hawaiian Islands. An updated AIRMET TANGO for temporary moderate turbulence below 10,000 feet was issued at 1145 for areas over and immediately south through west of mountains on all Hawaiian Islands. 

At 0736, a weather briefing was provided to the pilot by Lockheed Martin Flight Service. The weather briefing included the 0530 AIRMET TANGO and the 0535 Area Forecast. 

Additional weather information can be found in the Meteorology Factual Report located in the public docket. 

COMMUNICATIONS

The pilot was not in radio contact with air traffic control, and no distress calls were heard by other pilots during the timeframe of the accident. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The helicopter impacted mountainous terrain about 5 miles west of Pukoo, Hawaii. It came to rest on the apex of a north-south oriented ridgeline bordered by heavy vegetation that primarily consisted of thorny trees. The ridgeline was one of several in the area that led from the higher elevations of Molokai's central peaks south toward lower elevations near the shore. The elevation at the main wreckage was about 530 feet msl, and the terrain angle varied between 25-30 degrees.

The overall wreckage debris field measured approximately 1,330 feet in length. The lower main wreckage debris field (from upper Fenestron to burn area) encompassed an area approximately 400 feet in length (northwest to southeast). The main wreckage came to rest inverted on a heading of about 260 degrees and was located in the confines of a large burn area. A majority of the wreckage was located in the immediate area of the main wreckage and was mostly consumed by postimpact fire. (Fire extinguishing efforts were attempted; however, fire personnel were unable to immediately access the accident site with fire equipment due to the steep mountainous terrain.) 

A number of aircraft components including pieces of the Fenestron, a main rotor blade trim tab, Fenestron rotor and gearbox, and the aft vertical flanges of the aft junction frame were located outside the area of the main wreckage. A detailed wreckage diagram is located in the public docket for this case file.

Cockpit/Cabin and Flight Controls

The cockpit/cabin and instrument panel came to rest inverted and were consumed by post impact fire. The pilot's collective and cyclic controls were identified in the main wreckage; however, flight control continuity could not be confirmed due to fire and impact damage. The swashplate, control servos, mixing unit, control torque tubes and associated bell cranks were located in the wreckage but had sustained extensive impact and thermal damage. 

Main Gearbox (MGB)

The MGB assembly sustained extensive impact and thermal related damage. The main rotor shaft remained coupled to the MGB and the main rotor assembly. The magnesium MGB casing was consumed by postimpact fire. All MGB transmission gears appeared to be in place, and no preimpact anomalies were noted. The engine side coupling flange remained attached to the engine output flange. Small fragments of the forward flex coupling were found near the main rotor hub. The flange ear bolt holes exhibited some elongation in the drive direction. The input pinion, rotor brake, and input flange separated and were found adjacent to the MGB assembly. 

Main Rotor System

The main rotor hub exhibited impact and thermal damage. All three main rotor blades remained attached to the hub. The main rotor blades and respective components were not identifiable by color coding due to the thermal damage; therefore, the blades and corresponding components were labeled as "A", "B", and "C". The main rotor blades exhibited overall thermal damage (with less thermal damage observed on blade C). All blades exhibited leading edge impact damage, especially toward the outboard tips of the blades. 

Tail Boom and Horizontal Stabilizer 

The tail boom was located in the confines of the main burn area with the main wreckage. The aft section of the tail boom was mostly intact, but damaged from the aft end of the battery door to the aft junction frame. The aft section of the tail boom was displaced to the right, and the horizontal stabilizer as a whole was rotated counter-clockwise (as viewed looking down). The spar and spar strap on the left side of the horizontal stabilizer were deformed aft and up, and the trailing edge exhibited compression buckling. The left side of the horizontal stabilizer appeared to have been essentially intact before the postcrash fire. The inboard portion of the left side of the stabilizer was deformed up, but there was no obvious evidence of impact to any of the remaining portion on the left side. The outboard section on the right side of the horizontal stabilizer was separated. The remaining portion on the right side, including the main spar carry-through, the inboard leading edge, and a small amount of inboard trailing edge structure, was still attached to the tail boom assembly. The leading edge on the right side was deformed up and aft and crushed around the spar; the right outboard end of the spar was deformed aft and twisted leading edge down. The spar and upper spar strap on the right side were buckled just outboard of the attach point, and the inboard trailing edge was buckled.

Junction Frame

The forward flange of the aft junction frame was fractured circumferentially and remained attached to the tail boom. (For a detailed description of this fracture surface see the Metallurgical Examination section of this report and the Materials Laboratory report in the public docket.) The aft portion of the fractured junction frame including the vertical and aft flanges, with a small section of Fenestron structure attached to it, was recovered about 482 feet northwest of the main wreckage.

Fenestron

Sections of the Fenestron were found in multiple locations northwest of the main wreckage. The Fenestron gearbox was located about 80 feet north of the main wreckage. A large section of the upper Fenestron structure (approximately 10 o'clock to 4 o'clock when viewed from the left) was located about 398 feet northwest of the main wreckage. Two pieces of the lower Fenestron structure were recovered northwest of the main wreckage; one included the aft portion of the ventral fin and the other included the forward portion of the ventral fin. The piece that included the forward portion of the ventral fin had green plant debris and twigs lodged between the skin and the flange of the ventral fin in the area above the stinger attach point. The tail stinger was located in line with the debris path about 537 feet northwest of the main wreckage; the stinger attach bracket was located about 864 feet northwest of the main wreckage. 

Tail Rotor Drive System 

Pieces of the center tail rotor shaft with hanger bearings were found within the main wreckage burn area. The forward and aft tail rotor drive shafts were broken into several pieces, but were identified in the general area of the main wreckage.

Landing Gear

The landing gear came to rest inverted on top of the main wreckage. The aft cross tube was compressed near the aft attach point. The right aft skid extension was bent in a downward direction.

Hydraulic System

The hydraulic system was severely damaged by the postimpact fire. The belt-driven hydraulic pump assembly and transmission driven pump assembly were found separated near the main transmission. One main rotor servo was still attached at the upper and lower attachment points, and the other two servos were separated at one or more attach points. 

Fuel System

The fuel system was consumed by the postimpact fire.

Engine 

The engine was found resting in a forward-down orientation with the forward section of the axial compressor in the dirt. The axial compressor blade tips were curled. The power turbine was only partially visible, and no blade shedding had occurred on the visible portion. The power turbine could not be rotated by hand. The hydro mechanical unit (HMU) was broken away from the accessory gearbox, but remained attached by the fuel heating transfer tubes. The HMU short shaft was broken off flush with the associated mounting flange. The gas generator turbine casing was dented and deformed. 

A majority of the engine accessories and the digital engine control unit (DECU) were consumed by the postimpact fire.

The reduction gearbox was removed and continuity through the gear train was confirmed. The input pinion slippage mark was misaligned approximately 2 millimeters in the tightening direction, consistent with a blade strike with power condition. The freewheel shaft was partially removed and showed twist in the clockwise direction, consistent with sudden tail rotor stoppage with power. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on November 14, 2011, by Pan Pacific Pathologists, Wailuku, Hawaii. 

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for drugs of abuse and alcohol. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine

The Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turboshaft engine (serial no. 23067) was removed from the helicopter and shipped to Turbomeca's Grand Prairie, Texas, facility for disassembly and examination. 

The disassembly and examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Additional information can be found in the engine examination report located in the public docket for this accident case file.

Fenestron, Tail Boom, and Horizontal Stabilizer

Pieces of the Fenestron, tail boom, and horizontal stabilizer were shipped to NTSB facilities in Ashburn, Virginia, and Washington, DC, for additional examination.

The tail boom is a simple stiffened tubular (semi-monocoque) structure that is attached to the fuselage. A drawing of the aft end of the tail boom is shown in Figure A, which is located in the public docket for this accident case file. The fasteners and horizontal stabilizer have been omitted for clarity. The Fenestron is attached to the aft end of the tail boom by a junction frame (shown in green on the right side of Figure A) that is riveted to the aluminum tail boom structure and to the composite Fenestron structure. The junction frame has three flanges: the forward flange, aft flange and vertical flange. There is a ring frame installed forward of the horizontal stabilizer (shown in green on the left side of Figure A). There are four longerons (shown in purple in Figure A), two on each side, installed between the forward ring frame and the aft junction frame. The horizontal stabilizer is a single piece unit that is installed through the tail boom and attached to the tail boom by two vertical attachment bolts (shown in red in Figure A). The upper and lower horizontal stabilizer attach fittings (shown in orange in Figure A) are attached to the longerons on each side of the tail boom. A shim plate is installed on each stabilizer fitting with two countersunk screws (shown in blue in Figure A). The horizontal stabilizer attachment bolts pass through the shim plates and the horizontal stabilizer spar attaching the horizontal stabilizer to the tail boom. Forward of the ring frame, the tail boom is of typical skin/frame/stringer construction with six internal stringers spaced unevenly around the circumference between the ring frame and the battery door cutout.

The helicopter's tail boom transmits the Fenestron and horizontal stabilizer loads and moments to the fuselage. The loads and moments generated by the Fenestron are transmitted into the tail boom through the aft junction frame. The loads and moments generated by the horizontal stabilizer are transmitted to the tail boom through the attachment hardware (bolts, shim plates, shim screws, and attach fittings) to the four longerons installed between the forward ring frame and the aft junction frame. The four longerons together act to distribute the various stresses from the Fenestron and horizontal stabilizer to the tail boom structure, forward of the ring frame.

The examination of the Fenestron wreckage revealed that several areas exhibited angled cuts and/or deformation of the composite and aluminum structure, rotor blades, stators, and the tail rotor drive shaft. All of the fractures and damage were mapped on an exemplar helicopter using colored adhesive tape. This procedure revealed that there were three distinct cuts through the lower portion of the Fenestron. One cut was located just aft of the junction frame, one was located at the midpoint of the tail guard, and one was located near the aft edge of the duct. The location, spacing, and deformation of the cuts in the composite and aluminum structure, rotor blades, stators, and the tail rotor drive shaft were consistent with the main rotor blades striking the lower Fenestron three times on the left side (rotor blades rotate clockwise as viewed from above).

The aft portion of the tail boom with attached remnants of the horizontal stabilizer was cut from the wreckage for further examination. The upper portion of the tail boom exhibited buckling damage to the structure just forward of the ring frame. The location was immediately forward of where the four longerons attach to the ring frame and extended clockwise from about 10 o'clock to about 2 o'clock as viewed looking forward. There was also buckling damage from about 2 o'clock to about 6 o'clock as viewed looking forward that corresponded to the location where the right horizontal stabilizer was displaced forward. 

The two horizontal stabilizer attach bolts were disassembled and removed, and the stabilizer was extracted from the tail boom; the upper steel spar straps remained fastened to the spar on both the left and right sides. On the left side, the spar and skin structure was deformed aft and exhibited moderate to heavy fire damage. On the right side, the spar was intact from the attach point out to the production end about 20 inches outboard of the attach point, and there was soil and wood debris embedded in the space between the spar and the spar strap on the aft side. The right side spar strap was buckled away from the spar; the outboard end of the right side spar was deformed aft and twisted leading edge down. The right side of the horizontal stabilizer leading edge structure remained attached to the spar from the attach point to about 15 inches outboard. It was deformed up and aft between about 6 inches and 11 inches outboard of the attach point and was crushed against the spar between about 11 inches and 15 inches outboard of the attach point. There were some small pieces of the upper and lower trailing edge skins attached to the inboard 14 inches of spar. The remaining trailing edge of the stabilizer on the right side exhibited buckling damage from the centerline outboard to the attach point. 

On the left side, the horizontal stabilizer attach fittings, attach bolt, shim, and shim screws were generally intact. On the right side, the screws in the upper and lower parts of the attach fitting were fractured in shear overstress. The direction of shear showed that the right side of the horizontal stabilizer had been moving aft when the screws fractured. The attach fitting had impressions consistent with multiple impacts from the right horizontal stabilizer attach bolt.

Metallurgical Examination

The circumferential fracture of the forward flange of the junction frame was examined in the NTSB Materials Laboratory. In general, the fracture surface showed relatively rough fracture features that were light gray in color. Multiple features including step patterns, branching patterns, and ridge patterns were used to determine fracture directions around the circumference of the fracture. 

The examination revealed that the fracture in the flange initiated near the 5 o'clock position (lower, right side looking forward) and progressed counter-clockwise up the right side and clockwise around the left side of the flange towards the top (12 o'clock) of the flange. The fracture features on the junction frame all exhibited ductile overstress signatures in tension, compression or shear. There were no indications of any pre-existing cracks that would reduce the strength of the fractured junction frame flange.

ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters is a 14 CFR Part 135 air carrier and holds on-demand operations specifications. The company headquarters is located at the Kahului Airport, Kahului, with additional bases located in Hilo, Waikoloa, Honolulu, and Lihue, Hawaii. The chief executive officer, president, director of operations, and director of maintenance all reside in Kahului. The chief pilot and director of safety reside in Honolulu.

On April 17, 1987 (later revised on August 30, 1995), the FAA's Honolulu Flight Standards District Office issued Helicopter Consultants of Maui, Inc., dba Blue Hawaiian Helicopters of Kahului, air carrier certificate number HCMA601E, which permitted the operator to conduct on-demand air carrier operations in the United States. Pursuant to the certificate, the operator was authorized to carry passengers in Eurocopter AS350 and EC130 B4 series helicopters under day/night visual flight rules (VFR). Operations under instrument flight rules (IFR) were prohibited.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Based on the design of the EC130 B4 tail boom and Fenestron, and various accident or incident load cases, Eurocopter identified three critical areas of the tail boom that have experienced failures: 

Location 1, at the forward ring frame where the tail boom attaches to the fuselage, becomes critical under hard landing conditions. 

Location 2, at the battery door cutout, becomes critical for hard landings and tail skid impact conditions. 

Location 3, at the junction frame, becomes critical for horizontal stabilizer impact conditions.

Eurocopter provided NTSB investigators with numerous examples of failures at the forward ring frame (location 1) and battery door cutout (location 2) that occurred due to hard/crash landings well in excess of the certification load levels. 

According to Eurocopter, in addition to this accident, there have been four other accidents where the Fenestron separated from the tail boom at the junction frame during the accident sequence. Three of these cases involved a failure at the forward flange of the junction frame similar to the accident junction frame failure, and the fourth involved a failure at the aft flange of the junction frame. One case occurred during an in-flight collision with electrical power lines in the area of the horizontal stabilizer. The second case occurred during an uncontrolled crash landing in which the right horizontal stabilizer impacted a vehicle prior to ground impact. The third case occurred during controlled flight into terrain in which there was significant impact damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. The fourth case (failure of the aft flange) occurred during a hard landing with a significant tail skid impact. 

As a result of these cases, Eurocopter performed finite element stress analyses of the tail boom when subjected to loading at the ends of the horizontal stabilizer. The results indicated that loads can be applied at the end of one of the horizontal stabilizers that are below the stabilizer failure loads that cause stresses in the junction frame high enough to result in fracture of the forward flange as observed in the accident.

 
A tag from the Eurocopter EC130 B4 that crashed near Kilohana Elementary School.


HONOLULU (AP) — The widow of a pilot killed in a helicopter crash on Molokai in 2011 is suing the aircraft's manufacturer, saying defective design caused the crash that killed all five people aboard.

Violeta Escobar filed a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii this week against manufacturer European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. and the owner of the helicopter, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday (http://bit.ly/17S9xyl ). The suit comes a few days before the statute of limitations expires on making a claim.

Escobar's husband, Nathan Cline, was the pilot for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters who died in the crash. The crash also killed four tourists: newlyweds Michael Abel and Nicole Abel of Pennsylvania, and Stuart Robertson and Eva Birgitta Wannersjo of Toronto.

Escobar claims in the lawsuit that that the companies should have known of manufacturing defects that could cause the structure and components of the Eurocopter EC-130 to fail without warning. But the lawsuit doesn't specify what was defective about the helicopter or the way it was built.

The Associated Press left messages for the manufacturer seeking comment.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not identified the cause of the crash or issued a final report. NTSB investigators have said a witness told them he saw "something black fall off" just before the helicopter crashed. He said the "tail fell."

Federal investigators have focused on the tail section, where a metal ring was fractured.

The NTSB has also said witnesses reported windy, rainy conditions with low, dark clouds.
___

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com
  NTSB Identification: WPR12MA034 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2011 in Pukoo, HI
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N11QV
Injuries: 5 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 10, 2011, about 1214 Hawaiian standard time, a Eurocopter EC 130 B4, N11QV, collided with mountainous terrain near Pukoo (Island of Molokai), Hawaii. The commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to Nevada Helicopters Leasing, Henderson, Nevada, and operated by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Maui, Hawaii. The flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the local air tour flight. The flight originated from the Kahului Airport (PHOG), Kahului, Hawaii, about 1144.

Witnesses reported that their attention was drawn to the helicopter when they heard some form of “woop wooping” sound. One witness observed the helicopter descending from the ridgeline; he reported that he observed pieces falling from the helicopter as it descended. Another witness, who was closest and had the clearest view of the accident helicopter, reported that the helicopter went “straight down” and impacted the ground sideways.

All witnesses reported rain showers in the area during the time frame of the accident. Several witnesses reported that the accident occurred between rain “squalls” and one reported that it occurred during a heavy rain “squall.”

Cessna 182P, C-GIMQ: Police identify missing pilot after plane debris found in Georgian Bay area

Police are searching the Georgian Bay shoreline for a male pilot whose small plane went down on a flight from Cornwall to Owen Sound.

Ontario Provincial Police have identified the pilot as 64-year-old Wilfred Oscar Burnside of Owen Sound.

Police are searching an area in Tiny Township where some debris of the Cessna 182 were found late Friday night.

Police hope to continue the search on Sunday with the help of a helicopter if weather permits.

The flight left Cornwall late Thursday afternoon but didn't arrive as expected in Owen Sound.

Tehachapi, California: 'Downed plane' report deemed likely unfounded

 
A trail of smoke in the sky above the mountains south of the City of Tehachapi was seen by several people Friday morning, Nov. 8. Officials are searching the area for an aircraft. 
Photo by Tina Larson


 
Kern County Fire Department helicopter 408 lands for refueling at a staging area at Curry Street and Highline Road before resuming its search for a possible downed aircraft in the mountains south of Tehachapi Friday, Nov. 8. After an extensive search and further witness reports, it is now believed that the aircraft in question was a sport plane practicing aerobatics.
 Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News



After searching for more than two hours through the mountains to the south of the City of Tehachapi, emergency crews determined based on a witness account that the previous report of a possible downed plane was likely a misconception. 

Multiple witnesses reported to officials that they had seen a plane spewing smoke as it headed down behind the ridge line, then never saw the plane re-appear.

"We saw the smoke and it just spiraled straight down," said Tehachapi resident Tina Larson. She spotted the plane and snapped a photo while walking with her daughter near the end of Tucker Road just before 10 a.m. Friday.

Around noon, local resident Tom Lynch arrived at the command post at the corner of Highline Road and Curry Street and reported what he saw to authorities.

"He was having a...good time," Lynch said.

While headed to Stallion Springs, Lynch said he spotted what appeared to be a stunt plane. He has worked with aircraft for 37 years, he said. Lynch said he saw the plane continue along the ridge line, still purposely spewing smoke, do one more loop, turn off the smoke, and head southwest.

"I was wishing I could have been up there with him," he said.

Authorities on scene included Kern County Fire Department, Kern County Sheriff's Department, Tehachapi Police Department, and Hall Ambulance. Rescuers were searching by air using a helicopter based out of Keene. Heidi Dinkler lead the chopper team.

The area being searched was roughly west of the Tehachapi Mountain Valley Airport and east of Tehachapi Mountain Park.

Kern County Fire Capt. Wayne Griffith reported that the 911 call came in about 9:45 a.m. and crews responded immediately with ground and air crews. While the helicopter searched the ridge line, two TPD four-by-four vehicles combed the rough fire roads in the same mountainous area, according to TPD Officer Scott Ketcham.

David Goodell, incident commander for Kern Fire at the site, said he was "92 percent" certain there was no crash, but in the interest of "due diligence," he and other officials were remaining on scene, as of noon.

Authorities were also contacting area airports, trying to confirm whether any aircraft were missing or if a pilot was out conducting stunts. They received no reports of missing planes from any area airports, including Tehachapi Municipal Airport.


Source:   http://www.tehachapinews.com


TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Emergency crews stopped their search around 12:30 p.m. Friday for what some believed was a downed airplane.

A 911 call was placed in the morning by people who reported seeing a plane take a nosedive into a mountain. 

No wreckage was located, and crews said no local airports reported a missing plane. 

Source:  http://www.bakersfieldnow.com




TEHACHAPI, Calif. - 23ABC received reports of a possible plane crash in the hills above Tehachapi.

Kern County Sheriff's Department and Kern County fire crews are standing by at the incident command post on Highline Road and South Curry Street.

Officials said a witness saw a small white plane circling in an area south of Tucker Road, when they lost sight of the plane.

Fire crews have sent helicopter 408 into the area along the Ridgeline south of Tehachapi to search for any wreckage.


Source:   http://www.turnto23.com

Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster, registered to Federal Express Corp. and operated by Baron Aviation Services Inc., N793FE: Fatal accident occurred November 06, 2012 in Wichita, Kansas

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA049 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2012 in Wichita, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration: N793FE
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.

According to air traffic control records, the pilot reported that the airplane had experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise climb about 4.5 minutes after the cargo flight’s departure. After the loss of engine power, the pilot reported that his forward visibility was restricted by engine oil on the airplane's windshield. The pilot completed a forced landing to an open field, but the airplane impacted a hedgerow during the landing roll.

A postaccident engine disassembly revealed a failure of the gas generator due to a compressor turbine blade separation. The fractured compressor turbine blade released into the engine gas flow path and subsequently impacted adjacent compressor turbine blades and downstream components, which caused the loss of engine power. A metallurgical examination established that the blade had failed in high-cycle fatigue that originated from the blade trailing edge. However, the root cause of the fatigue could not be determined due to secondary damage sustained to the fracture surface. All other mechanical damage to the engine was consistent with collateral damage sustained subsequent to the release of the compressor turbine blade. Engine oil was observed on the downstream side of the power turbine disk; any engine oil that entered the gas flow path at that location would have been discharged through the exhaust ducts and into the outside airstream, and this was likely the source of the engine oil observed on the exterior of the airframe. Recovered engine parameter data indicated normal engine operation until the sudden loss of power. Additional data analysis did not reveal any abnormal engine parameter trends.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power as a result of a fractured compressor turbine blade due to high-cycle fatigue.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 6, 2012, about 0745 central standard time, a Cessna model 208B airplane, N793FE, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hedgerow during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The loss of engine power occurred about 4-1/2 minutes after departing Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Federal Express Corporation and operated by Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cargo flight that had the intended destination of Garden City Regional Airport (GCK), Garden City, Kansas.

According to air traffic control transmissions, at 0734:35 (hhmm:ss), the pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from ICT to GCK. Radar track data indicated that the airplane departed runway 19R approximately 0737:45. At 0738:18, the tower controller told the pilot to change to the departure control frequency. The departure controller then cleared the flight to proceed direct to GCK and to climb to 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued to climb on a westerly heading until 0742:02, at which time the airplane began a left 180-degree turn back toward the departure airport. According to radar data, the airplane had reached 4,700 ft msl when it began the left turn.

At 0742:13, the pilot transmitted that his airplane had experienced a loss of engine power and that he was attempting to return to the departure airport. At 0742:31, the pilot asked if there were any nearby airports because he was unable to reach ICT. The departure controller provided vectors toward an airstrip that was approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the airplane's position. At 0743:46, the pilot advised that he could not see the airstrip because the airplane's windshield was contaminated with oil. At 0744:57, the pilot's final transmission was that he was landing in a grass field. The airplane was located about 2.2 miles south of ICT at 1,600 feet msl, about 300 feet above ground level (agl) at the time of the last transmission. The radar data continued northeast another 1/2 mile before radar contact was lost at 0745:15.

A witness to the accident reported that he was outside his residence when he observed the accident airplane overfly his position. He recalled that the airplane's propeller was not rotating and that he did not hear the sound of the engine operating. He stated that the airplane landed in a nearby agricultural field on a northeast heading. He reported that during the landing rollout the airplane impacted a hedgerow located at the northern edge of the field. The witness indicated that the pilot was unresponsive when he arrived at the accident site and that there was a small grass fire located 8 to 10 feet in front of the main wreckage.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 52, held a commercial pilot certificate with single and multi-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. His last aviation medical examination was completed on April 2, 2012, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses.

The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using information provided by the operator. The pilot had been employed by the operator, Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, since September 2005. On April 11, 2012, the pilot reported having over 15,000 hours total flight experience, of which about 3,900 hours were accumulated in single engine airplanes and 11,000 hours in multi-engine airplanes. Company flight records indicated that he had flown 361.3 hours during the past year, 198.8 hours during the prior 6 months, 117.3 hours in the previous 3 months, and 30.8 hours in the last 30 days. The pilot had not flown during the 24 hour period before the accident.

According to training records, from August 20, 2012, through August 22, 2012, the pilot attended recurrent training for the Cessna model 208 airplane at FlightSafety International, located in Wichita, Kansas. The recurrent training consisted of 15 hours of ground instruction, 4 hours of simulator training, and 2 hours of flight briefing/debriefing. The pilot's most recent FAA Part 135 Proficiency/Qualification Check for the Cessna model 208B airplane was satisfactorily completed on August 22, 2012, following the recurrent training.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1991 Cessna model 208B airplane, serial number (s/n) 208B0291. The cargo airplane had a maximum takeoff weight of 8,750 pounds and was equipped for operation under instrument flight rules and in known icing conditions.

The accident airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on November 27, 1991. The current FAA registration certificate was issued on January 8, 1992. The airplane was maintained under the provisions of a FAA-approved manufacturer inspection program. The last phase inspection was completed on September 28, 2012, at 10,790.6 hours total airframe time. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane hour meter indicated 10,852.2 hours at the accident site.

The airplane was powered by one Pratt & Whitney model PT6A-114A, s/n PCE-17282, 675 shaft horsepower engine with a three bladed constant-speed McCauley propeller. The gas generator featured a three-stage axial, single-stage centrifugal compressor, a reverse annular-type combustion chamber, and a single stage compressor turbine. A single-stage power turbine drives a reduction gear assembly and power output drive flange.

Maintenance service records established that the engine had accumulated 13,466.6 hours since new (TSN) and 12,499 cycles since new (CSN). The last overhaul was completed by the Pratt & Whitney service facility located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, on April 12, 2001. The engine had accumulated 5,516.1 hours and 4,793 cycles since the last overhaul. The compressor turbine disk and blades were inspected by Pratt & Whitney Engine Services on April 13, 2006, at 4,999 TSN and 5,747 CSN. The last borescope inspection was completed on September 28, 2012, with no defects observed. At the time of the accident, the compressor turbine blades had accumulated 7,880 hours and 8,473 cycles since new.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest weather observing station was located at the departure airport, about 2 miles north of the accident site. At 0753, the ICT automated surface observing system reported the following: wind 200 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 6,500 feet above ground level (agl) and scattered clouds at 11,000 and 20,000 feet agl, temperature 4 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

The accident flight was on an activated instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. A review of available ATC information indicated that the accident flight had received normal air traffic control services and handling. A transcript of the voice communications recorded between the accident flight and air traffic control are included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An on-scene investigation was completed by representatives with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the operator Baron Aviation Services Incorporated. The airplane landed in a recently planted field of winter wheat. The dry agricultural field contained depressions consistent with the spacing of the airplane landing gear. These tire tracks began about 518 feet from the hedgerow located on the northern border of the field. The airplane was found entangled with a large tree that was part of the hedgerow. The right side of the forward fuselage, including the right side of the cockpit, had collided with the trunk of the tree. Both wings were found partially separated from the fuselage. There was engine oil observed on the airframe, including the cockpit windshield, from the nose bowl aft to the empennage surfaces. The observed oil contamination was primarily located on the left side of the airframe. The pilot-side storm window was found open. The wing flaps were fully extended according to a measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew. Flight control cable continuity could not be established for the aileron cable circuit due to damage; however, all observed cable separations were consistent with overstress or were cut to facilitate wreckage recovery. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed to the rudder and elevator cable circuits. The emergency engine power lever was found stowed, the propeller lever was in the feathered position, and the both fuel control valves were in the OFF position. The propeller was found separated from the engine and all three blades were in a feathered position.

The engine remained attached to the airplane by one mount, cabling, and tubing. The engine did not exhibit any signatures of an in-flight fire or uncontained engine failure. Engine control continuity could not be established due to damage; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress. The propeller governor control linkage was in the feathered position. The engine was retained for a teardown examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On November 6, 2012, an autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, located in Wichita, Kansas. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries to the head and torso. The autopsy did not reveal any shoulder or chest abrasions that could be attributed to the pilot wearing shoulder restraints during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The postaccident examination revealed that the cabin volume, on the pilot's side of the cockpit, was not reduced and that there was limited structural displacement. The right side of the cabin had been reduced about 5-inches from the firewall aft to the rear door post and right wing root. The cockpit seats were equipped with four-point restraints. The pilot was located in the left cockpit seat and was found secured by the lap belt only (the available shoulder restraints did not appear to have been used during the accident). The lap belt had been cut by first responders.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A disassembly of the engine revealed a failure of the gas generator due to a compressor turbine blade separation. The remaining compressor turbine blades exhibited features that were consistent with secondary damage following the initial blade separation. The power turbine exhibited significant asymmetrical damage with scoring noted on the No. 3 bearing air seal. The power turbine shaft housing was fractured adjacent to the reduction gearbox mating flange. Engine oil was observed on the downstream side of the power turbine disk. As such, any engine oil that entered the gas flow path at that location would have been discharged through the exhaust ducts. The airframe manufacturer was unable to determine another source for the engine oil that was observed on the exterior of the airframe.

A metallurgical examination of the separated compressor turbine blade revealed fracture features that were consistent with a fatigue failure. The fatigue initiated from the blade trailing edge and progressed along the blade chord-line to approximately mid-chord. The remainder of the blade fracture was consistent with tensile overload. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination revealed oxidation of the fracture surface from exposure to hot gases. Additionally, the fracture surface exhibited striations that further established that the fatigue initiated from the blade trailing edge. The observed damage to the blade trailing edge was consistent with secondary impact damage and was similar to damage observed on several other compressor turbine blades. A 0.060-inch section of the blade trailing edge, which included the fatigue initiation point, was missing due to the secondary impact damage. As such, the root cause of the fatigue initiation could not be determined. However, additional analysis established that the fracture was the result of high-cycle fatigue. Metallographic examination of the trailing edge revealed no material anomalies or defects. There was no evidence of hot corrosion on the compressor turbine blades or disk serrations. Energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analysis confirmed that the chemical composition of the separated blade met the manufacturer's design specifications. Additionally, the airfoil thickness, measured at the beginning of the fracture surface, was within the manufacturer's drawing requirements. An examination of the compressor turbine disk revealed no evidence of damage that would have contributed to a fatigue fracture of the blade.

The accident airplane was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Data Acquisition System Plus (ADAS+) engine monitoring system. The engine monitor, model number EMU-A-010-3, serial number 1766, was shipped to the manufacturer for a non-volatile memory download. The recovered engine parameter data indicated normal engine operation until the sudden loss of power. Additional data analysis did not reveal any abnormal engine parameter trends.
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N793FE

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA049
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2012 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: Cessna 208B, registration: N793FE
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 November 6, 2012, about 0745 central standard time, a Cessna model 208B airplane, N793FE, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hedgerow during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The loss of engine power occurred about 4-1/2 minutes after departing Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (KICT), Wichita, Kansas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the Federal Express Corporation and operated by Baron Aviation Services Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 while on an instrument flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cargo flight that had the intended destination of Garden City Regional Airport (KGCK), Garden City, Kansas.

According to air traffic control transmissions, the pilot requested an instrument flight rules clearance from KICT to KGCK at 0734:35. Radar track data indicated that the airplane departed runway 19R approximately 0737:45. At 0738:18, the tower controller told the pilot to change to the departure control frequency. The departure controller cleared the flight to proceed direct to KGCK and to climb to 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The airplane continued to climb on a westerly heading until 0742:02, at which time the airplane began a left 180-degree turn back toward the departure airport. At 0742:13, the pilot transmitted that his airplane had experienced a loss of engine power and that he was attempting to return to the departure airport. At 0742:30, the pilot asked if there were any nearby airports because he was unable to reach KICT. The departure controller provided vectors toward an airstrip that was approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the airplane’s position. At 0743:46, the pilot advised that he could not see the airstrip because the airplane’s windshield was contaminated with oil. At 0744:57, the pilot transmitted that he was landing in a grass field. During the pilot’s last voice transmission, the airplane was located about 2.2 miles south of KICT at 1,600 feet msl, about 300 feet above ground level (agl). The radar data continued northeast another 1/2 mile before radar contact was lost at 0745:16.

A witness to the accident reported that he outside his residence when he observed the accident airplane overfly his position. He recalled that the airplane’s propeller was not rotating and that there was no engine noise. He stated that the airplane landed in a nearby agricultural field on a northeast heading. He reported that during the landing rollout the airplane impacted a hedgerow located at the northern edge of the field. The witness indicated that the pilot was unresponsive when he arrived at the accident site and that there was a small grass fire located 8 to 10 feet in front of the main wreckage.

The closest weather observing station was located at the departure airport, about 2 miles north of the accident site. At 0753, the KICT automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 200 degrees magnetic at 5 knots, visibility 7 miles, few clouds at 6,500 feet above ground level (agl) and scattered clouds at 11,000 and 20,000 feet agl, temperature 04 degrees Celsius, dew point 02 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 30.08 inches of mercury.

An on-scene investigation was completed by representatives with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and the operator Baron Aviation Services Incorporated. The airplane landed in a recently planted field of winter wheat. The dry agricultural field contained depressions consistent with the tire width of the accident airplane. These tire tracks began about 518 feet from the hedgerow located on the field’s northern border. The airplane was found comingled with a large tree that was part of the hedgerow. The right side of the forward fuselage, including the cockpit, had collided with the trunk of the tree. Both wings were found partially separated from the fuselage. There was engine oil observed on the airframe, including the cockpit windshield, from the nose bowl aft to the empennage surfaces. The observed oil contamination was primarily located on the left side of the airframe. The pilot-side storm window was found open. The wing flaps were fully extended according to a measurement of the flap actuator jackscrew. Flight control cable continuity could not be established for the aileron cable circuit due to damage; however, all observed cable separations were consistent with overload or were cut to facilitate wreckage recovery. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed to the rudder and elevator cable circuits. The emergency engine power lever was found stowed, the propeller lever was in the feathered position, and the both fuel control valves were in the OFF position. The engine was removed from the airframe for a teardown examination. The engine examination revealed a failure of the engine gas generator initiating from a compressor turbine blade separation. The compressor turbine wheel, power turbine shaft housing, and oil-cooler/heat-exchanger were retained for additional metallurgical examination. The engine monitoring system device was retained for a non-volatile memory download.


 
  

Brian Paul Quinn
Obituary

 Funeral services for Brian Paul Quinn, 52, Lawrence, will be 9:30 am. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City, KS. Mr. Quinn died Tuesday in Wichita.

Brian was born Feb. 3, 1960 in Livonia, Michigan, the son of Donald L. and Leigh Anne Stonestreet Quinn.

Brian graduated Shawnee Mission Northwest High in 1978 and the University of Kansas in 1982. He enlisted and served in the US Army in the 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky from 1982 to 1984 and nine years in the Army Reserves. He received Masters in Aviation Safety from CMSU. Brian was a commercial pilot for Baron Aviation Services, who is contracted with Federal Express.

He married Gay Ann Holladay August 6, 1994. She survives of the home.

He is also survived by his father and step-mother, Donald Lee and Patricia Quinn of Overland Park, brother-in-law, Tony Holladay, niece, Noel Holladay, father-in-law, John E. Holladay, all of Lawrence, his Uncle Robert Quinn, his cousins Dennis Quinn, Pattie Quinn and Michael Quinn, all of Seattle, Washington.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

Friends may call Friday from noon to 8 pm. at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Cottonwood Inc. or Health Care Access in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS 66044.


http://obituaries.ljworld.com







WICHITA, Kansas - The family of a Kansas man who died in plane crash last November has filed a lawsuit.

Brian Quinn, of Lawrence, was flying a Fedex Cessna Caravan when he took off from Mid-Continent Airport last November.

He was headed to Garden City when he reported engine trouble.

The plane crashed in a wheat field near 47th Street South and Tyler Road.

Quinn died at the scene.

His family filed the lawsuit against more than 30 companies and is asking for $15 million dollars.

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