Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bell 407, Med-Trans Corporation, N445MT: Accident occurred January 02, 2013 in Clear Lake, Iowa

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA122
14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 02, 2013 in Clear Lake, IA
Aircraft: Bell Helicopter 407, registration: N445MT
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On January 2, 2013, about 2057 central standard time, a Bell Helicopter model 407, N445MT, impacted terrain near Clear Lake, Iowa. The pilot and two medical crew members sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to Suntrust Equipment Leasing & Finance Corporation and operated by Med-Trans Corporation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a positioning flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on a company flight plan. A flight plan was not filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. The flight originated from the Mercy Medical Center, Mason City, Iowa, about 2049, with an intended destination of the Palo Alto County Hospital, (IA76), Emmetsburg, Iowa.

A witness located about 1 mile south of the accident site, reported observing the helicopter as it approached from the east. He noted that it appeared to slow and then turn to the north. When he looked again, the helicopter appeared to descend straight down. He subsequently went back into his house and called 911. He described the weather conditions as “misty,” with a light wind.

A second witness reported that he was working in his garage when he heard the helicopter. He stated that the sound of the helicopter changed as if it was turning, followed by what he described as a “thump” and then everything was quiet. He subsequently responded to the accident with the Ventura Fire Department. He reported that there was a coating of ice on his truck windshield that the wipers would not clear. He decided to drive another car to the fire station because it had been parked in the garage. While responding to the accident site with the fire department, as the fire truck he was on was waiting to cross Highway 18, they observed a Clear Lake police car, also responding to the accident, slide through the intersection. They informed dispatch to advise following units to expect slick road conditions. He noted that there was a haze in the air, which was evident when looking toward a street light; however, he did not recall any precipitation at the time.

A pilot located at the Mason City airport reported that he saw the helicopter fly overhead and estimated its altitude as 300 feet above ground level (agl). He was leaving the airport at that time and noted there was a glaze of ice on his car. He added that the roads were icy as he drove out of the airport and onto Highway 18. He commented that he had flown into Mason City about 1830 and encountered some light rime ice at that time.

Satellite tracking data depicted the helicopter becoming airborne at the medical center about 2049. According to the data, between 2050 and 2055, the helicopter proceeded westbound along Highway 18 about 1,800 feet mean sea level (msl). The final tracking data point was recorded about 2056 and was located approximately 1 mile north of Highway 18, along Balsam Avenue. The altitude associated with that data point was 2,648 feet msl. The accident site was located about one-quarter mile west of the final data point.

The helicopter impacted a harvested agricultural field. The debris path was about 100 feet long and oriented toward the west-southwest. The helicopter was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin areas were compromised. The main wreckage consisted of the main rotor blades, transmission, engine, portions of the fuselage, and the tail boom. The tail rotor had separated from the tail boom and was located about 80 feet east-northeast of the main wreckage. The landing skids had separated from the fuselage. The left skid was located at the initial impact point; the right skid was located about 35 feet west of the main wreckage.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with helicopter and single-engine airplane ratings. His airplane rating was limited to private pilot privileges. He was issued a second class airman medical certificate on April 17, 2012, with a limitation for corrective lenses. His most recent regulatory checkride was completed on September 29, 2012, about the time of his initial employment with the operator. At that time, he reported having accumulated a total flight time of 2,808 hours, with 2,720 hours in helicopters.

Weather conditions recorded at the Mason City Municipal Airport, located about 7 miles east of the accident site, at 2053, were: wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots; 8 miles visibility; broken clouds at 1,700 feet agl, overcast clouds at 3,300 feet agl, temperature -3 degrees Celsius, dew point -5 degrees Celsius, altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury. At 2117, the recorded conditions included broken clouds at 1,300 feet agl and overcast clouds at 1,800 feet agl.



 
Researchers Give Pilots Sight in Storms 

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Last January, a medical helicopter flying from Mason City to Emmettsburg crashed in a field, killing all three of the people on board; the pilot reported encountering ice and snow just before that crash. 

 Now, researchers at the University of Iowa and engineers at Rockwell Collins are working on new technology to keep pilots and crew safe in those kinds of low visibility situations. 

"Flight in degraded visual environments is dangerous. It's dangerous when you do it close to the ground, and the technologies that are available now from fusing different sensor sources together really makes that much safer," said associate professor of Industrial Engineering Thomas "Mach" Schnell.

Schnell runs the Operator Performance Lab at the Iowa City Municipal Airport, where he and his team have built a lab around the idea of avoiding obstacles, because in a helicopter, one wire or target can be deadly. 

"Every river has a wire, every valley has a wire," Schnell said. 

Those wires are hard enough to see from the sky, but a pilot might as well be blind when the conditions get rough, like dense fog, thick smoke, or heavy rain. Schnell's goal is to give pilots back their sight. 

The lab is combining different kinds of laser and infrared scanners that can shoot through snow or dust and feed back to the pilot something better than what the human eye, or even a single sensor, can see. "And so by fusing the data together, the hope is that we can produce a product that can allow the pilot to observe his environment much better and avoid any obstacles," Schnell said. 

Those extra eyes are especially important for military pilots who might have to land in a cloud of dust to rescue someone. Those kinds of crashes cost the United States Military $100 million every year. "If something goes wrong and the helicopter loses visibility to the ground, flipping, crashing -- maybe the occupants walk away from it -- but now, you have to start bringing in additional assets. 

Pretty soon, you have an escalation of the problem, drawing more attention to the problem," Schnell said. "Those accidents are happening every year," said Rockwell Collins senior director of Rotary Wing Solutions Boe Svatek. "And will continue to happen until solutions like this are brought to bear." Rockwell Collins will eventually create the product that the U.S. Army plans to start using in 2017.

 "The fact that we're going to save lives and prevent injury is certainly really compelling to be a part of these projects," Svatek said.

Svatek has spent more than a decade building on the research that has led up to this point. While the project has the chance to save the federal government billions of dollars in prevented crashes, there is no price tag for the human lives that will be saved, he said. 

 "I have a very vested interest in keeping my friends and relatives safe by using these technologies," Svatek said. And those technologies have the chance to keep everyone's friends and families safe, too. Schnell said EMS pilots could feasibly start using the sensors at the same time the military does. 

"If you take the concept of having to rescue someone, at night, in bad weather, you can see how landing a helicopter in an unknown, austere environment can be a hazardous thing," Schnell said. 

 And as long as their blades keep spinning, these scientists will keep figuring out how the make the world safer. "Any time you lose a vehicle with someone who was supposed to get rescued, nurses and doctors on board, it's a tragic loss and we need to avoid it," Schnell said.

Source: http://www.cbs2iowa.com


Cessna 152, N555UF, United Flight Systems: Fatal accident occurred November 17, 2013 in Spring, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA057 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Spring, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N555UF
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The purpose of the night instructional flight was to in remain in the airport traffic pattern and practice touch-and-go landings. According to air traffic control data, during the initial climb following the second touch-and-go landing, the flight instructor told the tower controller that the airplane was experiencing “engine problems” and requested to make an immediate 180-degree turn back to the airport for landing. Based on available radar data, the airplane was likely less than 250 ft above the ground when the flight instructor reported the engine problem. A witness reported that, while the airplane was on the downwind leg for the first landing, the engine sounded abnormal and that the engine continued to run roughly while the airplane was on initial climb following the second landing. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane in a steep left turn before it entered a near-vertical descent into terrain. A postaccident airframe examination did not reveal any malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The carburetor heat control was found in the “off” position. Control cable continuity was confirmed between the carburetor heat box and the cockpit control; however, impact damage to the carburetor air box precluded a determination of whether the carburetor heat was activated at the time of the accident. Although the weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the formation of carburetor ice at reduced engine power settings, the investigation was unable to determine to what extent carburetor ice might have formed during the accident flight. 

Additionally, disassembly of the carburetor revealed that one of its two hollow polymer floats was flooded with fuel, which would reduce the buoyancy of the float and could result in poor idle power performance and/or possible flooding of the carburetor. During the 5 years preceding the accident, the carburetor manufacturer issued multiple service bulletins (SB) that acknowledged that the hollow polymer float design had known issues with fuel leaking into the float through a welded seam. The carburetor manufacturer specified that all affected carburetors should be inspected within 30 days and then at 30-day intervals until the affected floats were replaced with an updated solid-epoxy float design that was impervious to flooding. Owner/operator compliance with the service bulletins was considered optional under FAA regulations. According to maintenance documentation, the accident carburetor had not been inspected as specified by the SBs.

Ultimately, the root cause for the partial loss of engine power could not be identified because the investigation was unable to determine to what extent carburetor icing, the flooded float, or a combination of the two conditions could have contributed to the loss of engine power. Following the partial loss of engine power, it is likely that the flight instructor failed to maintain airspeed during the turn back to the airport, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor's failure to maintain airspeed following a partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examination, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent loss of airplane control.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 17, 2013, at 1915 central standard time, a Cessna model 152 airplane, N555UF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH), Spring, Texas. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to WBR Interests LLC and operated by United Flight Systems, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area training flight that had departed DWH at 1900.

According to air traffic control (ATC) data, the purpose of the instructional flight was to remain in the airport traffic pattern to practice night takeoffs and landings. At 1900:22, the tower controller cleared the accident flight for takeoff and to remain in a left traffic pattern for touch-and-go landings on runway 17R (7,009 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). The accident airplane was first observed on radar about 150 feet above ground level (agl) while on the upwind leg. The airplane continued to make left traffic for runway 17R before being cleared for the first touch-and-go landing at 1904:42. At 1906:48, the airplane descended below available radar coverage while on a 1/4 mile final for runway 17R. The airplane reemerged on radar at 1908:15, about 1/4 mile south of the runway departure threshold at about 250 feet agl. The airplane continued to make left traffic for runway 17R before being cleared for the second touch-and-go landing at 1911:08. At 1913:48, the last radar return was recorded for the accident flight about 1/3 mile north of the runway approach threshold at about 150 feet agl. At 1914:41, the flight instructor told the tower controller that they were having "engine problems" and requested to make a 180-degree turn back to the airport for a landing. At 1914:47, the tower controller cleared the flight for the 180-degree turn back landing. Based on available information, the airplane had completed the second touch-and-go landing and was on initial climb when the flight instructor reported the loss of engine power. At 1914:51, there was an open-microphone transmission from the accident airplane that comprised of "No, No, My." No additional transmissions were received from the accident flight.

The tower controller reported that after he cleared the flight for the 180-degree turn back landing, he saw the airplane enter a steep left bank and descend nose-down into the terrain located on the east side of the airport.

Another witness reported hearing the accident airplane while it was on a left downwind leg for runway 17R and remarked that the sound of the engine was abnormal. The same witness reported that the engine continued to run rough while the airplane was on initial climb following the second touch-and-go landing. Several witnesses to the accident reported seeing the accident airplane in a steep left turn before it entered a near vertical descent into terrain. Two of these witnesses reported seeing the wingtip navigation and strobe lights in a near vertical line, indicating a near 90-degree bank angle, before the airplane banked past 90-degrees and descended nose-down into the terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

--- Flight Instructor ---

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the flight instructor, age 22, 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 engine airplane and instrument airplane ratings. His last aviation medical examination was completed on May 23, 2013, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with no limitations or restrictions. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. His last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed upon the reissuance of his flight instructor certificate dated September 6, 2013.

The flight instructor's flight history was reconstructed using pilot logbook information and employment documentation. He had been employed by the airplane operator, United Flight Systems, since October 11, 2013. His most recent pilot logbook entry was dated November 15, 2013, at which time he had accumulated 332.4 hours total flight time, of which 247.9 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. He had accumulated 290.6 hours and 40.6 hours in single engine airplanes and multi-engine airplanes, respectively. He had logged 166 hours of flight time in Cessna 152 airplanes. He had logged 2.1 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and 58.6 hours as simulated IMC. He had provided 63.5 hours of flight instruction since receiving his initial flight instructor certificate on August 6, 2013. He had flown 13.2 hours during night conditions. According to the logbook, there was only one logged night flight during the 12 month period before the accident flight. The night flight was completed on November 15, 2013, and included 3 landings.

According to the flight instructor's logbook, he had flown 119.3 hours during the prior 12 months, 97.3 hours in the previous 6 months, 71.1 hours during prior 90 days, 65.7 hours in the previous 60 days, and 62.3 hours in the 30 day period before the accident flight. The flight instructor's logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24 hour period before the accident flight; however, according to operator records, he had completed two earlier flights, totaling 2.5 hours, on the day of the accident.

--- Student Pilot ---

According FAA records, the student pilot, age 23, held a student pilot certificate. His last aviation medical examination was completed on July 1, 2013, when he was issued a first-class medical certificate with no limitations or restrictions. A search of FAA records showed no accident, incident, enforcement, or disciplinary actions.

The student pilot was a foreign-national who was receiving flight instruction toward a pilot certificate. According to available logbook information, between February 4, 2008, and September 18, 2008, the student pilot had received basic flight instruction in the Republic of India. During this period of flight instruction, the student pilot received 21.4 hours of dual flight instruction and flew 19.6 hours solo. After September 18, 2008, there were no logged flights until the student pilot completed his first instructional flight in the United States on October 18, 2013. The student pilot received an additional 12.5 hours of dual instruction and flew 0.3 hours solo while receiving flight instruction in the United States. The student pilot's combined flight experience totaled 53.8 hours, of which 19.9 hours were logged as solo flight. All of the student pilot's flight experience had been accumulated in Cessna 152 airplanes. According to available information, the student did not have any night flight experience before the accident flight. The student pilot's logbook contained a flight instructor endorsement for solo flight in a Cessna 152 that was dated November 9, 2013.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1981 Cessna model 152 single-engine airplane, serial number 15284692. A 110-horsepower Lycoming model O-235-L2C reciprocating engine, serial number L-17634-15, powered the airplane through a fixed-pitch, two blade, McCauley model 1A103/TCM6958 propeller. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear, was capable of seating two individuals, and had a certified maximum gross weight of 1,675 pounds. The accident airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on October 27, 1980. The current owner-of-record, WBR Interests LLC, purchased the airplane on February 20, 2007; however, the airplane had been operated by United Flight Systems since March 15, 1993.

The recording tachometer indicated 5,699.4 hours at the accident site. The airframe had accumulated a total service time of 15,699.4 hours at the time of the accident. The engine had accumulated a total service time of 5,610.4 hours at the time of the accident and 3,674.3 hours since a field overhaul that was completed on November 4, 2004. The last annual inspection of the airplane was completed on July 25, 2013, at 15,622.4 total airframe hours. On September 5, 2013, at 15,676.1 total airframe hours, the carburetor heat control cable was replaced. The last recorded maintenance was the replacement of the airplane's transponder on November 4, 2013. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues.

The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 26 gallons (24.5 gallons useable), which was distributed evenly between two 13-gallon wing fuel tanks. A review of fueling records established that the airplane fuel tanks were topped-off before the accident flight. Following the accident, a fuel sample was collected from the truck that was used to fuel the accident airplane. The fuel sample was blue in color, consistent with 100 low-lead aviation fuel. Additionally, the collected fuel sample did not contain any particulate or water contamination.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1853, the DWH automated surface observing system reported: calm wind, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 21 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.89 inches-of-mercury. The United States Naval Observatory reported that the sunset and end of civil twilight at DWH was at 1725 and 1751, respectively. The moonrise was at 1742 for the full-phase moon.

The carburetor icing probability chart included in Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin No. CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention, indicated that the accident flight was likely operating in atmospheric conditions that were associated with a serious risk of carburetor ice accumulation while operating at reduced engine power settings.

COMMUNICATIONS

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 David Wayne Hooks Air Traffic Control Tower are included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH) is a privately owned airport that is open to the public. The airport is located approximately 17 miles northwest of Houston, Texas. The airport field elevation was 152 feet msl. The airport is serviced by an air traffic control tower and ground control. The airport has three parallel runways: runway 17R/35L (7,009 feet by 100 feet, asphalt); runway 17L/35R (3,987 feet by 35 feet, asphalt); and a water runway 17W/35W (2,530 feet by 100 feet).

Runway 17R incorporated a displaced threshold measuring 1,007 feet, a 4-light precision approach path indicator, runway end identifier lights, and high intensity runway edge lighting. According to air traffic control documentation, all runway lighting was functional at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

A postaccident investigation confirmed that all airframe structural components and flight controls were located at the accident site. The wreckage was located on the east side of the airport, north of taxiway hotel and east of taxiway mike. The initial impact point was determined to be where the right wing collided with the northwest corner of a hangar structure. The outboard 9 feet of the right wing separated during the initial impact and was found about 90 feet northwest of the initial impact point on taxiway mike. The main wreckage, located about 29 feet north of the initial impact, consisted of the left wing, fuselage, empennage, engine, and propeller. The forward fuselage, including the cockpit, exhibited impact damage that significantly reduced the cabin volume. The left wing remained partially attached to the fuselage. The left wing had impacted a structural post and a spiral staircase that was associated with a residential hangar. The aircraft wreckage was orientated on a 035 degree magnetic heading. The fuselage was found resting on its lower surface. There was no evidence of an inflight or postimpact fire. The first responders reported that there was a substantial fuel odor at the accident site.

Flight control cable continuity could not be established due to multiple separations; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress fractures. Both flaps had separated from their respective wings; however, a flap actuator measurement was consistent with the flaps being extended between 0 degrees and 10 degrees. The measured extension of the elevator trim actuator was consistent with a nose-level attitude. The ignition/magneto switch was found selected to the left magneto. The throttle was found extended about 1-inch from a full power position. The mixture control was found in the full-rich position. The carburetor heat control was found full forward in the OFF position. The carburetor air box had been crushed during the impact sequence, which precluded a determination if the carburetor heat had been activated at the time of the accident. Control cable continuity was confirmed between the carburetor heat box and the cockpit control. The cockpit fuel shutoff handle was found in the ON position and the firewall fuel strainer contained fuel. A fuel sample obtained from the fuel strainer exhibited no indication of water contamination when exposed to water detection paste. The fuel primer was found full forward and secured. The stall warning horn sounded when a vacuum was applied to the leading edge inlet.

The engine remained attached to the firewall by its mounts and control cables. Mechanical continuity was confirmed from the engine components to their respective cockpit controls. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos provided spark on all leads when rotated by hand. All four engine cylinders were removed and no anomalies were noted with the cylinders, valves, pistons, connecting rods, or crankshaft. There were no obstructions between the air filter housing and the carburetor. The carburetor fuel bowl contained a liquid that was consistent with the color and odor of 100 low-lead aviation fuel. The fuel sample obtained from the carburetor bowl did not exhibit any water or particulate contamination. The Precision Airmotive model MA-3A carburetor, p/n 10-5199, s/n CR15409, was equipped with white, hollow, polymer floats (p/n 30-804). One of the two floats was found flooded with a blue fluid that was consistent with 100 low-lead aviation fuel. The second float was void of any fuel.

The propeller remained partially attached to the engine crankshaft flange. Both propeller blades exhibited minor leading edge damage. One propeller blade exhibited chordwise scratches. Neither blade exhibited appreciable spanwise bends or blade twist.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On November 18, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the flight instructor by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, located in Houston, Texas. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries that were sustained during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Atropine was detected in liver and blood samples. Atropine, often used in emergency resuscitation efforts, is a prescription anticholinergic agent and muscarinic antagonist.

On November 19, 2013, an autopsy was performed on the student pilot by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries that were sustained during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

On January 30, 2008, Precision Airmotive LLC, the manufacturer of the MA-3A carburetor, issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. MSA-13 that required the replacement of brass and polymer hollow floats with a new solid-epoxy float design. According to the service bulletin, the installation of the new solid-epoxy float design would eliminate the known issues of hollow floats becoming flooded with fuel. Additionally, the service bulletin acknowledged that the polymer float design had known issues with fuel leaking into the hollow portion of the float through the welded seam. The service bulletin stated that a flooded float would reduce the buoyancy of the float, which could result in poor idle power performance and/or possible flooding of the carburetor. The service bulletin stipulated that affected carburetors be inspected within 30 days and then at 30 day intervals until the new solid-epoxy float was installed. The service bulletin stated that if the carburetor exhibited any signs of flooding, the float should be replaced immediately. Additionally, the service bulletin stipulated that all carburetors affected by the bulletin be overhauled every 10 years or at the specified engine time between overhaul (TBO), whichever occurred first.

On July 18, 2008, Lycoming Engines issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 582 that required all Lycoming engines that were equipped with Marvel-Schebler, Facet, Precision Airmotive, or Volare carburetors to be in compliance with Precision Airmotive Mandatory Service Bulletin No. MSA-13. The Lycoming service bulletin stipulated that affected carburetors be inspected within the next 30 days and then at 30 day intervals until the new solid-epoxy float was installed.

On February 1, 2009, Volare Carburetors LLC, who had acquired the Precision Airmotive carburetor line, issued Service Bulletin No. SB-2, which reiterated that hollow floats needed to be replaced with the newer solid-epoxy float design. The service bulletin stated that deteriorated, leaking, or broken floats can negatively affect engine performance. In conformance with the previously issued service bulletins, it stipulated that all affected carburetors be inspected within 30 days and then at 30 day intervals until the affected floats were replaced with the newer solid-epoxy float design.

On April 2, 2009, Volare Carburetors LLC issued Service Bulletin No. SB-5, which superseded the older Mandatory Service Bulletin No. MSA-13. The updated service bulletin clarified that the new float design was made of a solid, blue epoxy material. Previous service bulletins had mistakenly identified the new float design as being made from foam. Service Bulletin No. SB-5 stipulated that affected carburetor floats should be inspected per the guidance contained in Service Bulletin No. SB-2.

A review of maintenance records established that the carburetor was rebuilt and tested by Precision Airmotive on August 11, 2004, before being installed on the accident engine during a field overhaul completed on November 4, 2004. The engine overhaul documentation specified that the accident engine had a 2,400 hour TBO. At the time of the accident, the accident engine had accumulated 3,674.3 hours since its last overhaul. A review of available maintenance paperwork did not reveal any maintenance, repair, inspection, or overhaul of the carburetor since the last engine field overhaul. Additionally, the reviewed maintenance information did not contain any documentation that Service Bulletin Nos. MSA-13, 582, SB-2, or SB-5 had been complied with.

WBR INTERESTS LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N555UF

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA057 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Spring, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N555UF
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On November 17, 2013, at 1915 central standard time, a Cessna model 152 airplane, N555UF, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH), Spring, Texas. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to WBR Interests LLC and operated by United Flight Systems, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area training flight that had departed DWH at 1900.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data, the purpose of the instructional flight was to remain in the local traffic pattern to practice nighttime takeoffs and landings. At 1900:24, the tower controller cleared the accident flight for takeoff and to remain in a left traffic pattern for touch-and-go landings on runway 17R (7,009 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). The accident airplane was first observed on radar about 150 feet above ground level (agl) while on the upwind leg. The airplane continued to make left traffic for runway 17R before being cleared for the first touch-and-go landing at 1904:40. At 1906:48, the airplane descended below available radar coverage while on a 1/4 mile final for runway 17R. The airplane reemerged on radar at 1908:15, about 1/4 mile south of the runway departure threshold at about 250 feet agl. The airplane continued to make left traffic for runway 17R before being cleared for the second touch-and-go landing at 1911:10. At 1913:48, the last radar return was recorded for the accident flight about 1/3 mile north of the runway approach threshold at about 150 feet agl. At 1914:42, the flight instructor told the tower controller that they were having "engine problems" and requested to make a 180-degree turn back to the airport for a landing. (The airplane had completed the touch-and-go landing and was on initial climb when the flight instructor reported the loss of engine power.)

A witness reported hearing the accident airplane while it was on a left downwind leg for runway 17R and remarked that the sound of the engine was abnormal. The same witness reported that the engine continued to run rough while the airplane was on initial climb following a touch-and-go landing. Several witnesses to the accident reported seeing the accident airplane in a steep left turn before it entered a near vertical descent into terrain. Two of these witnesses reported seeing the wingtip navigation and strobe lights in a near vertical line (indicating a near 90-degree bank angle) before the airplane banked past 90-degrees and descended nose-low into the terrain.

At 1853, the DWH automated surface observing system reported: calm wind, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point 21 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.89 inches-of-mercury. The United States Naval Observatory reported that the sunset and end of civil twilight at DWH was at 1725 and 1751, respectively. The moonrise was at 1742 for the full-phase moon.



Officials with the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office have released the names of the two victims killed in Sunday evening’s fatal plane crash at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport.

Twenty-two year-old instructor Pedro Coronado, of Spring, and 23-year-old pilot Kartheek Balija were both killed in the accident, according to officials. According to HCN news partner KTRK-TV, investigators say the pilot reported engine trouble moments before the crash but the cause is currently unknown.

Federal Aviation Administration representative Lynn Lunsford said that the pilot was attempting to return to the runway when the plane crashed into the hangar at about 7:15 p.m, according to KTRK-TV’s report. Initial reports from the scene indicated that the plane crashed into a hanger and was fully engulfed in flames. Due to the heavy amount of fuel and fire, responders were unable to approach the wreckage.

Officials confirmed the plane, a single-engine Cessna 152, only had two occupants on board. One victim died at the scene and one was transported by ground to Memorial Hermann Hospital. According to KTRK-TV, medical examiners identified the two on board as a student and an instructor.

Representatives from the airport and nearby flight school could not be reached for comment.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently leading the investigation, Lunsford said.


 

 Credit: Loyd Overcash



 
 Credit: Lloyd Overcash












 
 

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A plane crashed Sunday night at an airport in Spring, killing two people aboard, and experts want to know what went wrong. 

Dozens of firefighters rushed to David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport on Boudreaux Road in northwest Harris County as alerts about the plane crash rang out around 7:15pm.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot of the single-engine Cessna 152 had been in the traffic pattern performing touch-and-go landings when engine problems were reported.

We're told the pilot was returning to the runway when the plane clipped one hangar, then crashed into another hangar.

Harris County Sheriff's Office authorities said the it took a moment before emergency crews could safely approach the wreckage due to the large amount of fuel that spilled.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane out of control just before the crash happened.

Rob Patterson, who works near the airport, said, "It was towards the end of the day. They said the plane was going straight up and it started going straight up in the air. And it looked like it got inverted and then it came down. Turn around to land and then came straight down on the side of the runway."

One person in the plane died at the scene. Another was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition, but later died. The crash victims have not yet been identified.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now responsible for this investigation. So far we have only been told an investigator will be assessing the wreckage and determining what potentially caused the engine to fail.


Source:  http://abclocal.go.com

 HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A plane crashed Sunday night at an airport in Spring, killing two people aboard, and experts want to know what went wrong.

Investigators say the pilot of that plane reported engine trouble moments before the crash. They're still, however, trying to figure out why.

As National Transportation Safety Board investigators work to determine what caused the crash, we were able to get a closer look at the wreckage in the daylight. According to the FAA, the single engine Cessna 152 came down Sunday at about 7:15pm. FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford says the pilot was trying to return to the runway when the plane crashed into the hangar.

Rob Patterson, who spoke with eyewitnesses, said, "It started going straight up in the air. It looked like it got inverted and then came down."

Patterson knows people who witnessed the aircraft's final moments. He says they couldn't believe what they were seeing.

"It turned around, it looked like to land and it just came straight down," he said.

The tail number on that plane N55UF matches that on the website of nearby United Flight Systems. They run a flight school at Hooks Airport. The medical examiner identifies the two on board that plane as a pilot and an instructor.

At United on Monday we found a sign on the door reading "closed until further notice." No one from the flight school returned our repeated calls.

Authorities have not yet publicly identified the two who died in the crash.

http://abclocal.go.com

HARRIS COUNTY – A flight instructor and a student pilot  were killed after their small plane crashed into a building at Hooks Airport Sunday evening in northwest Harris County, officials confirmed. 

 It happened at the airport located at 8830 Boudreaux Road around 7:15 p.m.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the two were performing touch and go maneuvers in the Cessna 152 when the pilot called the tower to report engine trouble. The plane then slammed into a hangar and burst into flames.

First responders were not able to get close to the wreckage because of the blaze. Once they were able to get to the victims, the injuries were too severe.

The student was pronounced dead at the scene and the instructor was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital, but also died.

The plane is registered to an insurance company in New Castle, Delaware.


Source:   http://www.khou.com

 HARRIS COUNTY – A flight instructor and a student pilot  were killed after their small plane crashed into a building at Hooks Airport Sunday evening in northwest Harris County, officials confirmed. 

 It happened at the airport located at 8830 Boudreaux Road around 7:15 p.m.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the two were performing touch and go maneuvers in the Cessna 152 when the pilot called the tower to report engine trouble. The plane then slammed into a hangar and burst into flames.

First responders were not able to get close to the wreckage because of the blaze. Once they were able to get to the victims, the injuries were too severe.

The student was pronounced dead at the scene and the instructor was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital, but also died.

The plane is registered to an insurance company in New Castle, Delaware.

Avid Flyer, N1445P: Accident occurred November 17, 2013 in Lakeside, Oregon

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/N1445P

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA055
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Lakeside, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/05/2015
Aircraft: RICHARD S DUNCAN AVID FLYER, registration: N1445P
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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

The pilot had owned the experimental amateur-built airplane for about 1 month and had flown it about 3 hours. Shortly after departure on a personal flight, as the airplane was climbing through an altitude of about 1,800 feet above ground level, the engine lost total power. The pilot set up for a forced landing to the top of a sand dune; however, the airplane collided with the upsloping face of the dune. Examination of the engine revealed that the plastic drive gear for the engine lubricating oil pump had fractured into multiple fragments, which resulted in cessation of oil pump rotation, loss of oil pressure and circulation, and complete loss of engine power. Only a few traces of dried lubricant were found on the fractured plastic gears; no other lubrication was found, indicating that a long period of time had passed since any maintenance had been performed on the oil pump. Review of the maintenance records indicated that, although the engine manufacturer recommended that the engine be overhauled every 5 calendar years, the engine was most recently overhauled about 12 years before the accident. Further, the most recent maintenance entry in the engine records was dated about 3 weeks after the overhaul.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot/owner’s failure to comply with the engine manufacturer’s maintenance guidance, which resulted in the total loss of engine power due to the fracture failure of the plastic drive gear for the engine lubricating oil pump.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 17, 2013, about 1400 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Flyer, N1445P, was substantially damaged in a forced off-airport landing shortly after takeoff from Lakeside State Airport (9S3), Lakeside, Oregon. The pilot/owner received minor injuries, and the pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he had purchased the airplane about 1 month prior to the flight. At the time of the purchase, the airplane was in need of some unspecified maintenance. The maintenance was accomplished, the pilot had put about 3 hours on the airplane, and the pilot then indicated that he was planning to sell the airplane. The passenger, who was a friend of the pilot, indicated that he was interested in purchasing it. The passenger held an FAA mechanic certificate with airframe, powerplant and inspection authorization ratings, as well as a flight instructor certificate. The pilot stated that the passenger was his mechanic for the airplane.

According to the pilot, the flight was primarily a pleasure flight, with the added intention of serving as part of the passenger's exposure to, and experience with, the airplane in flight. The pilot was in the left seat, and the passenger was in the right seat. They took off to the south, and "circled around to the north" in order to gain altitude while remaining over the airport "in case anything happened." When the airplane was climbing through an altitude of about 1,800 feet, the engine experienced a complete loss of power. The pilot attempted at least one restart, but then recognized that he was not going to be able to return to the airport. He set up for a forced landing to the west of the airport; that terrain consisted of a mix of sand dunes and wooded areas bordering the Pacific Ocean. The pilot intended to land on the top of one of the dunes. However, the airplane was unable to reach the pilot's intended touchdown point, and struck the upsloping face of the dune, which resulted in crush damage to the fuselage and cockpit area. The pilot was able to exit the airplane, but the passenger had to be freed by first responders.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the pilot, he held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating and a tailwheel endorsement. He reported that he had a total flight experience of about 679 hours, including about 80 hours in Avid Flyer "A" model airplanes, and about 3 hours in the accident airplane, which was a "C" model. The pilot's FAA third-class medical certificate had expired a few months prior to the accident. The pilot did not renew that certificate, nor was he required to, because he only flew light sport aircraft, which only require a valid driver's license as medical certification.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records the airplane was manufactured in 1989, and was issued its initial operating limitations in 1993. The airplane was serial number 375. The pilot purchased the airplane in October 2013, and was the sixth registered owner of the airplane.

The airplane was equipped with wings that folded aft for transport/trailering. Each wing held a 13-gallon fuel tank. Each tank fuel line was equipped with an ON-OFF valve, and flexible transparent tubing was used to route fuel serially from the tanks to the header tank, fuel selector valve, and engine. The fuel pump was vacuum-driven.

The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 582 engine, which was a two-cylinder, two-stroke cycle, dual carburetor design. A crankshaft-driven cross shaft drove the oil pump, which was mounted just below the carburetors. A rotary valve, also driven by the cross shaft, routed oil to the cylinders and to the engine internal components.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1355 automated weather observation at an airport located about 10 miles south of the accident site included winds from 200 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, a broken cloud layer at 3,200 feet, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The pilot hangared the airplane at, and departed on the accident flight from, 9S3. The airport was equipped with a single turf runway, which measured 2,150 by 100 feet, and was situated at an elevation of about 20 feet above mean sea level. 9S3 was located about 2 1/4 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the eastern slope of a large sand dune which was part of mix of a series of dunes and woodlands that bordered the beach to the west of the departure airport. The airplane struck the dune face in the upslope direction, and the evidence was consistent with a rapid stop over a short distance.

The airplane came to rest upright and essentially intact. Both main landing gear were displaced up and aft. One of the blades of the three-blade wood propeller was fracture-separated at the site, and the lower engine cowl was crushed in the up and aft direction. Each of the wing flaps had partially separated from its respective wing.

The initial examination revealed that the right tank was found to be about half full, and the left tank empty. The pilot reported that that was known to him prior to departure. Both tank valves, and the cockpit main fuel valve, were all found to be in their respective "ON" positions, and fuel was observed in the transparent lines that ran from the tanks to the main valve. No testing was done to ensure fuel could flow through the lines or the valves in their as-found positions.

A detailed examination of the wreckage was conducted several months subsequent to the initial examination. Aside from impact-related damage, the only exterior anomaly observed with the engine was the cracked and/or embrittled condition of some of the rubber-like components, including the engine mounts and carburetor mounting sockets (cylindrical gaskets). That condition was consistent with aging effects on those previously-flexible components.

Partial disassembly of the engine revealed a fracture failure, into multiple fragments, of the plastic drive gear for the engine oil pump. The investigation was unable to determine the age of the gear, and the underlying nature and cause of the fracture was not determined. The only observed lubrication of that fractured gear or its metal drive gear were a few traces of dried grease, which was consistent with aging and lack of maintenance. At least one piston had scoring consistent with oil starvation. The scoring damage was sufficiently severe that it captured and immobilized the piston ring by deformation and smearing of the piston parent material.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Service History and Maintenance Information

The pilot reported that the airframe had about 150 hours total time in service at the time of the accident. Review of the available maintenance records indicated that a "zero time" Rotax 582 engine was installed in the airplane in September 2001. No details of what that overhaul included or excluded were available. The records indicated that the engine had accumulated a total time in service of about 10 hours since it was installed in the airplane. The most recent engine maintenance record entry was dated 3 weeks after the 2001 engine installation.

According to the Rotax maintenance guidance, the engine was supposed to be subjected to a "general overhaul" every 5 calendar years, or 300 hours in service, whichever occurred first.

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA055 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 17, 2013 in Lakeside, OR
Aircraft: RICHARD S DUNCAN AVID FLYER, registration: N1445P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

On November 17, 2013, about 1400 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Flyer, N1445P, was substantially damaged in a forced off-airport landing shortly after takeoff from Lakeside State Airport (9S3) Lakeside, Oregon. The pilot/owner received minor injuries, and the pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no FAA flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he had purchased the airplane about 1 month prior to the flight. At the time of the purchase, the airplane was in need of some unspecified maintenance. The maintenance was accomplished, the pilot had put about 2 hours on the airplane, and the pilot then indicated that he was planning to sell the airplane. The passenger, who was a friend of the pilot, indicated that he was interested in purchasing it. The passenger held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mechanic certificate with airframe, powerplant, and inspection authorization ratings, as well as a flight instructor certificate. The pilot stated that the passenger was "his mechanic" for the airplane.

The pilot based the airplane at 9S3. The flight was primarily a pleasure flight, with the added intention of serving as part of the passenger's exposure to, and experience with, the airplane in flight. The pilot was in the left seat, and the passenger was in the right seat. They took off to the south, and "circled around to the north" in order to gain altitude while remaining over the airport "in case anything happened." When the airplane was climbing through an altitude of about 1,800 feet, the engine experienced a complete power loss. The pilot attempted at least one restart, and recognized that the airplane was not going to be able to return to the airport. He set up for a forced landing on terrain to the west of the airport. However, the airplane was unable to reach the pilot's intended touchdown point, and struck a sand dune face, which resulted in crush damage to the fuselage and cockpit area. The pilot was able to exit the airplane, but the passenger had to be freed by first responders. The wreckage was retained by NTSB for subsequent examination.

According to the pilot, he held a private pilot certificate, with an airplane single-engine land rating and a tailwheel endorsement. He reported that he had a total flight experience of about 750 hours, including about 80 hours in Avid Flyer "A" model airplanes. The accident airplane was a "C" model. The pilot's FAA third-class medical certificate had expired a few months prior to the accident, and the pilot did not renew it because he only flew light sport aircraft.

The pilot estimated that the airframe had about 150 hours total time in service. He reported that the engine, a Rotax 582 Series, had been recently "overhauled," and had accumulated about 5 hours since.

The 1355 automated weather observation at an airport located about 10 miles south of the accident site included winds from 200 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 10 miles, a broken cloud layer at 3,200 feet; temperature 14 degrees C; dew point 8 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury.



 A two-seater airplane lies wrecked in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area near Winchester Bay Sunday afternoon following a crash that injured both occupants. 




WINCHESTER BAY — A small blue airplane with two people on board crashed just south of Winchester Bay in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Multiple emergency agencies were dispatched to the scene and arrived at about 2:40 p.m., said Chris Anderson, captain of the Winchester Bay Fire and Rescue Department.

She also said the two people likely were taken to Bay Area Hospital by Emergency Airlift of North Bend. Their injuries were unknown.

"Airlift from North Bend transported them from the scene," Anderson said.

Emergency crews formed a staging area at the dunes day-use area near Winchester Bay.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane's registered owner is Raymond T. Hebert of Florence. It is a home-built plane and was certified as airworthy by the FAA in June 1989.

Emergency personnel included Hauser, Lakeside and Winchester Bay fire crews, sheriff's deputies from Coos and Douglas counties and Lower Umpqua Emergency Medical Services.

Passenger in DeLand Publix plane tells of horrific aftermath: Seawind 3000 (built by Larry E. Sapp), N514KT, Accident occurred April 02, 2012 in Deland, Florida

The passenger aboard an airplane that crashed into a Publix in DeLand last year described in court papers how he and the pilot managed to walk away from the wreckage amid fire and explosions, then stood outside looking at how badly they were burned.  

The plane’s pilot Kim Presbrey, 60, an Illinois attorney, died nearly two months after the crash due to complications from third-degree burns. His passenger, Thomas Rhoades, suffered serious injuries. Three shoppers were also injured and Publix says the store sustained nearly $1 million in damages.

“I’m on the floor of the grocery store,” Rhoades said in the deposition. “We’re laying in broken glass. Smoke, fire. Reports. Concussion, were explosions, loud noises. I recall rolling — might have been, because I was on fire. I got up and could see an open door, and I headed toward that open door and then stopped and turned around and looked for Kim. Kim was behind me on the ground, on the ground of the grocery store. And I remember the fire suppression systems had been triggered so there was water running.”

Rhoades said the two walked out the back of the store, from which video footage showed a black column of smoke billowing from its roof.

“We were standing back there watching our skin melt off of our arms and legs,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades was questioned in the deposition as part of a lawsuit Publix filed against him and Presbrey’s estate. Presbrey and Rhoades were negligent by failing to properly maintain and operate the kit-built aircraft which Presbrey had bought six weeks before the crash, and neither man had received sufficient training or enough experience to fly it, the Publix lawsuit states.

Rhoades filed his own lawsuit recently against Zephyr Aircraft Engines in Zephyrhills, accusing it of negligence by botching the overhaul of the airplane’s Lycoming engine, which failed and caused the crash, the complaint states. The six-cylinder engine was powering a Piper aircraft in California in 1993 when it lost partial power during takeoff in a crash that killed two people, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The lawsuit states that Zephyr Aircraft overhauled the engine in 2001 but it did not install approved cylinders and did not comply with industry standards. The suit includes Thomas Rhoades’s wife, Lisa, as a plaintiff, saying she has lost her husband’s companionship, support and affection.

Rhoades’ attorney, Joshua Woolsey, said in a phone interview that it was a mistake to rebuild the engine.

“Zephyr decided to resurrect that engine which failed and killed two people, which we feel was irresponsible at best,” Woolsey said. “And they use that engine and they don’t resurrect it properly.”

The NTSB has not yet reached any conclusion on what caused the crash but a preliminary report said two cylinders were not approved by the manufacturer for that model engine.

Zephyr Aircraft Engines president Charles Melot denied in an interview that the company did anything wrong when it overhauled the engine and pointed to another passage in the NTSB report which said an examination of the engine after the crash “did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions.”

Melot said the cylinders may have had the wrong part numbers but they worked fine.

“The cylinders conformed to the appropriate specifications for that engine,” Melot said. “So while they bore a part number that was incorrect as noted in what you’ve read, physically, mechanically they were identical to the other four.”

Melot said it will likely turn out to be pilot error, a stall in which the plane’s wings lose lift.

“Whatever was going on, the guy failed to fly the airplane,” Melot said. “He stalled the airplane aerodynamically.”

While Rhoades’ lawsuit against Zephyr discusses mechanical topics like cylinders, Rhoades’ deposition in the Publix lawsuit against him provides insight into what happened, particularly after the plane plummeted through the roof of the supermarket about 7:20 p.m. on April 2, 2012, destroying a part of the supermarket and shutting it down for several months.

Rhoades, who was 52 at the time of the crash, said he is a commercial pilot and flies for CSA Air, an express cargo carrier in the Upper Midwest. He described Presbrey as his best friend and that they both enjoyed flying, diving and hunting. Rhoades said he had never seen Presbrey do anything unsafe while flying. He described Presbrey as a “qualified pilot.”

 Presbrey had purchased his experimental, amateur built seaplane, a Seawind 3000, about six weeks earlier. They were flying from Illinois to Sanford to get some training on water landings.

Presbrey and Rhoades flew to Tennessee where they refueled. They landed at the DeLand airport after a malfunction with the plane’s transponder, which transmits a signal identifying the aircraft to air traffic controllers.

After doing some training, Rhoades and Presbrey got in the Seawind and took off with plans to fly to Daytona to repair the transponder. Trouble came soon after takeoff, Rhoades said.

“It turned crosswind. Engine stopped,” Rhoades said in the deposition.

The Publix attorney, Guy Haggard, asked him what happened next.

“My next recollection is rolling on the floor of the grocery store,” Rhoades said.

“So from the engine stopping to being inside the grocery store, you don’t remember anything in between?” Haggard said.

“No,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades said he did not remember the engine running rough, and said everything had seemed fine.

After the crash, he said he saw Presbrey on the floor.

“And I saw him rolling. And I urged him to get up and get out of there, waited until he did and the two of us exited the Publix grocery store through a rear entrance,” Rhoades said. “We were standing back there watching our skin melt off of our arms and legs, talking to one another. And it didn’t seem so bad. And then I remember turning away and my focus started narrowing down. I suspect that’s shock.”

Rhoades said a first responder arrived and put a blanket on him.

He said he and Presbrey were flown by helicopters to a hospital. Rhoades said he was sedated at the hospital and did not regain consciousness until the middle of May. He said he was never able to talk again to Presbrey, who died on May 26, 2012.

Haggard asked Rhoades what he and Presbrey were talking about as they waited for rescuers.

“Just how crispy we looked,” Rhoades said. “We were discussing our physical appearance. It wasn’t a very pretty sight.”

Haggard asked if they talked about what had just happened.

“I don’t recall any discussion regarding the accident or the airplane. It was just, wow, we’re standing here and we don’t look too good,” Rhoades said.


Source:  http://www.news-journalonline.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N514KT

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA265
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 02, 2012 in Deland, FL
Aircraft: SAPP LARRY E SEAWIND 3000, registration: N514KT
Injuries: 3 Serious,2 Minor.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 2, 2012, about 1920 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built amphibious Seawind 3000, N514KT, owned and operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted a building shortly after takeoff from the Deland Municipal Airport (DED), Deland, Florida. The private pilot owner and a commercial pilot passenger were seriously injured (The private pilot owner succumbed to his injuries on May 26, 2012). One person inside the building was seriously injured, and two other individuals inside the building sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that was destined for the Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona Beach, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses and information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot/owner and pilot-rated passenger flew from the Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois, to DED on April 1, 2012, with a refueling stop in Tennessee, to begin training for a seaplane rating on the morning of the accident. The training was to be conducted on a lake in Altamonte Springs, Florida, utilizing a float equipped Maule M-7-235. The owner originally intended to land in Sanford, Florida; however, he elected to land at DED after the airplane's transponder malfunctioned while en route. The purpose of the accident flight was to fly to DAB to have the transponder replaced at a maintenance facility.


Full Narrative:  http://www.ntsb.gov

Dubai Air Show Day 1: Swanky Private Jets, Machine Guns, And A Sandstorm [PHOTOS]

The Dubai Air Show 2013 has opened on Sunday to a barrage of orders from local airlines for hundreds of Boeing and Airbus jets, setting a record for the most orders at an airshow, with $192.3 billion. And that was just at the end of the first day, according to the show's organizers.

Among the many orders announced, the Boeing Co. reaped the biggest single order ever in its history, a monster 150-airplane deal from hometown Emirates Airline that may be worth as much as $45 billion. Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company NV also took home hundreds of commitments including an order for 50 A380s, also from Emirates, giving a much-needed boost to the largest passenger airplane ever made.

The A380 was also expected in the skies over the Dubai World Central Airport, but was forced to remain on the ground like all other planes on display at the show, when authorities decided to cancel the day's flight program after a single exhibition (by the Emirati Air Force aerobatic team, Al Fursan). Strong winds gusting at more than 50 mph picked up sand from the surrounding desert, creating a near-sandstorm that was deemed too unsafe to fly in.

Journalists and photographers who had assembled next to the runway to see, among others, the cream of U.S. warplanes including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter and the Rockwell B-1 Lancer bomber were forced instead to go for a tour of the stationary aircraft. The flight program may resume tomorrow, weather permitting; the event runs until Thursday.

Here is a sample of what was on exhibition Sunday afternoon at the Dubai Air Show, beginning with one of the stars....

Read more and photo gallery: 
http://www.ibtimes.com

Boeing Makes Headlines in Dubai, But Airbus Hasn't Ceded Field: WSJ

 

The Wall Street Journal 

By  Daniel Michaels

Updated Nov. 17, 2013 2:56 p.m. ET

The Dubai Airshow is shaping up to be an order extravaganza for Boeing Co.  But that doesn't mean rival Airbus has ceded the field.

The unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. Sunday posted orders for its A380 superjumbo jet and new long-rang e A350 that at any other time would have grabbed the spotlight. Hometown carrier Emirates Airline ordered another 50 A380s, bringing its total order book for the world's largest passenger plane to 140 units—or almost half of all A380s on order.

Abu Dhabi-based rival Etihad Airlines said Sunday it placed a firm order for 87 Airbus aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 30. Including the related engines, the order was worth $26.9 billion at list prices, it said at the air show, and includes 50 Airbus A350s, 36 A320neo and one A330-200F freighter.

In other words, respectable numbers for Airbus, too. Officials at the European plane maker knew Boeing was planning to announce big deals for its 777X at the show. And Airbus has been on a roll. Through October, it booked 1,215 net orders after cancellations, up 14% from the year earlier. Boeing booked 957 net orders through October. Airbus last month landed a $9.75 billion order from Japan Airlines Co., breaking into territory long held exclusively by Boeing when JAL ordered 31 A350 jetliners.

But while the orders may let Airbus take some wind out of Boeing's sales, they raise other issues. That's particularly the case with the Emirates A380 order.

Placing so much reliance on one customer increases risks for both Airbus and Emirates. A problem in the Gulf that prompts Emirates to cut back could leave factories in Toulouse and Hamburg floundering.

Boeing officials are quietly highlighting Airbus's reliance on Emirates for A380 orders, saying it shows what they said all along: Demand is insufficient for the two-deck plane.

Airbus marketers, meanwhile, are hoping that Emirates's A380 machine will put so much pressure on rivals that they, too, will be forced to buy the plane. "Emirates is one of the best-placed airlines in the world to capture growth," said Chistopher Emerson, Airbus senior vice president marketing.


Source:   http://online.wsj.com

Wheeling’s Civil Air Patrol Soars Miles Above the Rest: Organization Named Outstanding Squadron Of the Year in West Virginia

 
Photo by Art Limann
 From left Cadet Sgt. Garrett McCroskey, Squadron Leadership and Aerospace Education Officer Capt. Jeff Wheeler, Cadet Lt. Luke Knollinger, former Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Paul McCroskey, and acting Squadron Commander Todd Sherman stand with the Wheeling Composite Squadron of the West Virginia Wing of the Civil Air Patrol’s new Cessna 1882T.


WHEELING - Wheeling's Civil Air Patrol is flying a bit higher these days after earning a lofty award.

The Wheeling Composite Squadron of the West Virginia Wing of the Civil Air Patrol recently received the 2013 Outstanding Squadron of the Year Award during the wings' annual conference in Charleston.

The designation means the unit is the best of the12 squadrons in the state, according to state Civil Air Patrol leadership which conducted the evaluation.

According to Lt. Col. Paul McCroskey, who until last Saturday was Squadron Commander, "The designation was the result of all the activities we were able to take part in during this last year. Emergency services was one of the big pieces of what helped us garner the award. We also have an active cadet program."

McCroskey was named Vice-Wing Commander of the West Virginia Wing, following the local squadron's designation, making him second in command in the state.

He explained, "We have three main missions, emergency services being one of them. That's where we go out and do search and rescue. We also help in disaster relief efforts, and we have an active counter drug mission here. So, we have a lot of things we were able to do flying the airplane and ground team efforts.

"We also have ground team members who are specially trained to go into the field and help search and find a missing person or airplane or whatever the mission requires us to do," McCroskey continued.

He noted the local unit has been active for 52 years and currently has 24 active senior members and five cadet members. Capt. Tom Sherman has been tapped as the new acting commander of the squadron.

Two local cadets also earned individual honors at the convention. Cadet Lt. Luke Knollinger was the recipient of the prestigious Billy Mitchell Award which is considered a major milestone for cadets. It is believed Knollinger is the first cadet from the local squadron to receive the honor. Cadet Sgt. Garrett McCroskey was named as Outstanding Non-Commission Officer of the Year.

The Civil Air Patrol is an official auxiliary arm of the U.S. Air Force but also functions as a non-profit organization. The Air Force, this year, provided the local squadron with a new Cessna 182T Skylane single engine plane. It is a four-seat aircraft with an advanced G-1000 glass panel cockpit for training and search and rescue missions. In addition the Air Force has provided the unit with new communications equipment.

According to McCroskey, "We get funding from the Air Force to do a lot of our mission for search and rescue, but they also provide uniforms for cadets and other things."

The cadet program, McCroskey explained, is for boys and girls between 12 and 18 years old. It is for those who want to learn about aerospace education, search and rescue techniques and aviation. It also teaches leadership skills. Cadets get a chance to fly in the squadron's plane, fly in gliders, as well as attend special events and activities.

He stressed the squadron is always looking for new members, especially cadets. Pilots are also always needed but volunteers who do not wish to fly can get training in ground team operations which works in conjunction with the aircraft. The ground team uses direction-finding equipment to locate downed aircraft and missing persons while conducting search and rescue operations.

The Wheeling CAP Squadron meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport at their Squadron Headquarters on the west end of the airfield. Anyone wanting additional information is invited to attend a meeting or call 304-277-4227 and leave a message.

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