Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lancair Legacy 2000, VH-ICZ

A light plane that crashed in country Victoria killing two men had been forced to land on a previous journey due to engine trouble, a transport safety bureau investigation has found.

Pilot John Pendergast, 59, and a male passenger were killed when the Lancair plane they were in crashed as it was taking off from Shepparton Airport in October.

Witnesses to the crash said the plane appeared to pitch rapidly before it crashed into a fence.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Monday said the aircraft, assembled in South Africa by the previous owner, had experienced engine trouble in 2010.

The ATSB said the plane's engine malfunctioned on a flight in South Africa in September 2010, resulting in a forced landing that caused "substantial damage to the underside of the airframe".

The plane was repaired and then sold and imported into Australia, the ATSB said.

It said it hadn't identified any pre-existing faults with the aircraft after examining the wreckage.

The agency said the investigation into the crash would now focus on the assembly and maintenance of the aircraft in Australia.

It would also examine the history of the repair work after the 2010 incident, as well as the pilot's flying record.


Source:   http://au.news.yahoo.com

Collision with terrain involving Lancair Legacy, VH-ICZ at Shepparton Airport, Victoria on 25 October 2013 

 At about 1415 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT1) on 25 October 2013, an amateur-built Lancair Legacy aircraft, registered VH-ICZ, with the pilot and one passenger on-board, took off from Shepparton Airport, Victoria (Vic), for a flight to Yarrawonga, Vic. Witnesses reported that the take-off and initial climb appeared normal; however, shortly after, the aircraft’s pitch angle increased, followed by a descending right turn that continued until the aircraft collided with terrain alongside the airport boundary. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

http://www.atsb.gov.au

The wreckage at Shepparton Airport. Picture: Daryl Pinder

Only one body intact: Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique - LAM, Embraer ERJ-190AR, C9-EMC, Flight TM470, Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

 

  

Out of the 34 passengers of the doomed flight, TM470, that crashed into the Bwabwata National Park in the Zambezi Region enroute to Angola, only one body has been recovered intact.

The rest were either dismembered or strewn into pieces of flesh. They were recovered by the Namibia Police (Nampol) at the scene of the accident on Saturday.

This was revealed by the deputy director of aircraft accident investigations, Theo Shilongo, who is also leading the investigation.

The body bags arrived yesterday from 11:20 at Eros Airport where a stench of rottenness engulfed the area.

Some of the bags were still dripping blood, which spilt onto the ground as journalists, diplomats and police looked on.

Present at the airport was the Portuguese representative to Namibia. A local journalist vomited as the stench of the decomposing bodies spread across the small airport.

A group of 50 heavily armed Special Field Force members located the plane in the jungles of Bwabwata, at 9am on Saturday, exactly 24 hours after it had departed from Mozambique.

The search teams were armed because of the marauding lions in the national park.

The flight was reported missing on Friday when it took off from Maputo, at 09h26 GMT on Friday and had been due to land in Luanda, Angola at 13h10.

The plane encountered problems mid-air while still in Botswana’s air-space when the pilot notified authorities on the ground.

However, it disappeared while entering the Namibian airspace and it took Mozambican authorities more than three hours to inform Namibian authorities that the plane was off the radar and missing.

“We were only informed around 15H00 that a plane was missing and assumed to be in our airspace,” Shilongo said.

Emergency search helicopter and patrol troops on the ground were dispatched with focus on finding the survivors and saving them from the wild animals, he said.

The initial search and rescue operation was called off on Friday afternoon due to bad weather but was resumed early Saturday morning after villagers near the national park alerted authorities of the plane debris they had woken up to.

The Brazilian made Embraer A190 was said to have been experiencing poor visibility because of the heavy rain in the region and experts believe the pilot could have resorted to flying low.

Preliminary assumptions reveal the weather (lightning) might have damaged the plane before it even landed, hence Botswana and Mozambican air controllers’ delay in searching for it before sounding a code red to Namibia.

“All that will be discovered from the black box, which is now in the hands of the investigators,” The Villager was informed.

The wreckage will be transported to Rundu airport to be quarantined in a hangar for a complete and detailed investigation, while the remains of the deceased will be transport to their countries from Windhoek.


“There is no plane. There are just pieces of metal scattered around,” said director of aircraft accident investigation in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ericson Nengola.

According to Nengola, Brazilian investigators are expected at the sight on Wednesday upon-which the black box will be opened.

In 2011, the European Union (EU) banned the Mozambican airliner, LAM, from flying in its airspace.

Top Angolan artist misses Flight TM470

One of Angola’s most celebrated artists, JD, whose songs are a hit in southern Africa, should have been aboard Flight TM470.

JD travelled to Mozambique accompanying fellow artist and rapper, Action Nigga real name, Jose Pascoal Luvuala, who had gone to shoot a music video.

“Instead of boarding the flight, JD decided to attend the Channel O music awards in South Africa. He cancelled his ticket and re-routed it via Johannesburg,” said Angolan journalist, Pedro Teca.

Luvuala proceeded with the Luanda flight and is among the 34 who perished.

The Mozambican Airline (LAM) yesterday listed the nationalities of 27 passengers as ten Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, one French, one Brazilian and one Chinese.

Among the dead is the Angola Inspector General in the Ministry of Finance, Manuel John Landa, who had travelled to Maputo for an Annual Conference of the General Inspections of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. He was accompanied by two other colleagues from the same ministry.

Embraer A190 questioned


This investigation, which according to Nengola will take months if not years, will open up fresh debates about the A190’s ability to withstand harsh weather.

The Embraer has been known to be economically viable for low income-making air operators but a suspect in turbulence.


Story,  Photo and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.thevillager.com.na

North American TF-51D Mustang, Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, N4151D: Fatal accident occurred October 23, 2013 in Galveston, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA015 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Galveston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P 51D, registration: N4151D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 and passenger departed on the flight in a vintage warbird airplane. After departure, radar tracked the flight along a bay in a southwestern direction. A witness reported that he heard the airplane overhead heading south and that he then saw the airplane slowly turn north and appear to descend at a high rate of speed before it impacted the water. The airplane was largely fragmented upon impact. 


The flight was recorded by an onboard video recording system. A review of the video revealed that, a few minutes into the flight, the pilot asked the passenger if he’d like to fly the airplane. The passenger replied he was not a pilot, but he’d like to try it. The video showed that, with the passenger at the controls, the airplane steeply banked right to about 90 degrees, and the nose dropped; the pilot explained that back pressure was needed on the stick during turns to prevent the loss of lift. The conversation continued as the airplane was rolling to wings level and as the pilot was encouraging the passenger to pull back on the stick. During this time, the video showed the airplane descending toward the water. Neither the pilot nor passenger acknowledged the impending collision. It is likely that the pilot’s focused attention on instructing the passenger contributed to the his lack of recognition of the impending collision. It could not be determined if the water’s smooth surface contributed to the pilot’s loss of situational awareness. The accident is consistent with the pilot’s loss of situational awareness resulting in controlled flight into the water.


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

The pilot's loss of situational awareness while instructing the passenger, which resulted in the controlled flight of the airplane into the water.

On October 23, 2013, about 1130 central daylight time, a North American P-51D airplane, N4151D, impacted the waters of Galveston Bay near Galveston, Texas. The airline transport rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Galveston, Texas, and operated by the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the flight. The flight originated from the Scholes International Airport (KGLS), Galveston, Texas, about 1120.


A review of air traffic control (ATC) communications, revealed routine radio communications between ATC and the pilot. Shortly after takeoff, the KGLS tower controller queried the pilot if he wanted to contact Houston Center after leaving the control tower's airspace or remain on the tower frequency. The pilot reported that they would be airborne for 25-30 minutes and would remain on the tower controller's frequency. There was no further communication between the pilot and ATC.


A witness, who was on a fishing boat, reported that he heard the airplane overhead heading south. The airplane made a slow turn to the north. The witness added that it appeared the airplane was descending and traveling at a high rate of speed. The engine sounded like it was at full throttle and the wings were level before impact with the water.


A review of radar data for the accident flight depicted the airplane departing KGLS and climbing. The airplane's track showed the airplane maneuvering and generally heading southwest, over the water of West Bay. The airplane reached an altitude of 3,500 feet, and then descended to 2,800 feet with airspeed about 200 knots, before the radar data ended.


The accident site was located about 13 miles southwest of KGLS, in shallow water between West Bay and Chocolate Bay. The winds at the time of the accident were reported as light. 


The airplane fragmented upon impact with the water. The engine, propeller, both wings, pieces of the fuselage, and a majority of the empennage were recovered; the remainder of the wreckage was not recovered.


The airplane was equipped with an on-board video recording system. The system records two camera views along with audio. One fish-eye lensed camera is mounted in the vertical stabilizer and captures a view of the airplane and horizon. The fish-eye camera view is looking forward, with the cockpit canopy in the center; images of the surrounding terrain can generally be seen in the background. The second camera is mounted in the cockpit and captures a view of the rear seat occupant. The system records an inset image of the passenger in the lower right portion of the airplane view.With the assistance of the Galveston County Sheriff Office, Marine Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Evidence Response Team, the video recording unit with SD card was located in the wreckage, and recovered from the bay. The unit was shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)'s Vehicle Recorder Laboratory in Washington, DC.


A video file was recovered from the SD card that captured the accident flight. A video group that consisted of representatives from the NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration and the operator was convened in at the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, to view and document the video. The video depicted the airplane's departure and flight over the bay; the video also captures the conversation between the pilot, air traffic control, and the passenger. After leveling off, the pilot demonstrated several turns. After a few minutes, the pilot asked the passenger if he'd like to fly the airplane. The passenger stated he was not a pilot, but he'd like to try it. With the passenger on the controls, the pilot explained left and right turns. The airplane was viewed maneuvering with reference to the conversation between the pilot and passenger [A full detailed transcript of the video and audio is available in the NTSB public docket]. With the passenger still at the controls, the airplane was seen steeply banking to the right to almost 90 degrees, with the nose of the airplane dropping; the pilot explained that back pressure is needed during turns, to prevent the loss of lift. The conversation continued as the airplane was rolling wings level and the pilot was encouraging the passenger to pull back on the stick. During this time, the video depicted the airplane in a descent towards the water. Neither the pilot nor passenger acknowledged the impending collision. The review of the video also noted that the surface of the bay's water appeared smooth, almost glass like. The video did not capture the actual impact with the water, due to a delay in the recording to the SD card and the interruption of power to the unit. 



The P51 Mustang called Galveston Gal crashed into Halls Lake near Chocolate Bay, killing both people on board. 


Keith-Hibbett-Pilot

The director of the Lone Star Flight Museum says the fatal crash of a vintage World War II fighter plane in October is unrelated to delays on a new $7.5 million home.

The nonprofit museum previously announced it would move from Galveston to Houston. The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday ( http://bit.ly/InH6ie) that construction on a new museum at Ellington Airport was originally scheduled to begin this year.

Executive director Larry Gregory declined to discuss why the project is now delayed until fall 2014. But he said it's unrelated to the recent crash of a P-51D Mustang known as "Galveston Gal."

The pilot and passenger aboard the plane died. The crash remains under investigation.

The museum decided to move after absorbing about $18 million in damages from Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Source:   http://www.theeagle.com

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Galveston, TX
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P 51D, registration: N4151D
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 23, 2013 about 1130 central daylight time, a North American P-51D airplane, N4151D, impacted water near Galveston Bay near Galveston, Texas. The airline transport pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Galveston, Texas, and operated by Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. The flight originated from the Scholes International Airport (KGLS), Galveston, Texas, about 1120.

According to preliminary review of air traffic control communications, the radio communications were normal.  Shortly after takeoff, the controller queried the pilot if he wanted to contact Houston Center after leaving the control tower’s airspace or remain on the tower frequency.  The pilot reported that they would be airborne for 15-20 minutes and would remain on the tower controller’s frequency.   There was no further communication with the pilot.

A witness, who was on a fishing boat, reported that he heard the airplane overheard heading south.   The airplane made a slow turn to the north. The witness added that it appeared the airplane was descending and traveling at a high rate of speed.   The engine sounded like it was at full throttle and wings were level before impact with the water.

The accident site was located about 13 miles southwest of KGLS, in shallow water between West Bay and Chocolate Bay.

After initial documentation of the wreckage site, the wreckage will be recovered for further examination. 


HOUSTON The victims on board a World War II era plane that crashed late Wednesday morning have been identified.

The passenger was 66-year-old John Stephen Busby, a United Kingdom resident who was visiting Texas with his wife to celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary. He had paid nearly $2,000 to ride on the plane.

The pilot was51-year-old Keith Hibbett, of Denton.

This is by far one of the most difficult things I ve ever gone through. Our pilot was like a brother to me, said Larry Gregory with the Lone Star Flight Museum, which owned the plane. He s taught me a lot about flying and everything else. And it s just devastating.

Coast Guard crews recovered thevictims'bodiesfromHalls Lake near Chocolate Bay Wednesday afternoon.

The P51 Mustang, a World War II era fighter, took off from Scholes International Airport shortly before crashing.

Witnesses on a charter boat reported seeing the plane go down around 11:40 a.m.near Galveston's West End in Brazoria County.

Jennifer Spaulding was on another boat and she heard the impact.

We saw the water spraying up in the air, but we never saw what it was, Spaulding said. We never saw a plane go down or anything, so we didn't think anything like a plane. We just figured it was a boat.

The pilot was not in contact with the island s air traffic control tower at the time of the crash, FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford told the Galveston County Daily News.

Coast Guard helicopters and boats searched Chocolate Bay for over an hour before locating the debris and victims.

The FAA will investigate the cause of the crash.

The plane was called Galveston Gal and was painted to resemble a plane with the same name that flew missions to support bombers during World War II.A seat was added so that pilots could carry tourists on flights over the bay.

The Galveston Gal was one of dozens vintage planes that entertained crowds at the annual Wings Over Houston Air Show.

My heart and the hearts of the Commemorative Air Force, our air show staff and many others are heavy. We are a brotherhood and sisterhood of people who are passionate about preserving aviation history and honoring our veterans who served our country, said Wings Over Houston Director Bill Roach. And we are united in our desire to share this passion with our others through museums, air shows and other events throughout the United States.

The plane recently returned from an air show in Fort Worth.

PZL-Mielec M-18A Dromader, VH-TZJ

The plane crash that killed an experienced waterbombing pilot on the NSW south coast happened when the left wing broke off due to fatigue cracking in a wing lug, a preliminary investigation has found.

David Black, 43, was killed when his fixed-wing Dromader aircraft crashed in Budawang National Park on the NSW south coast on October 24 while fighting a bushfire.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Monday released its preliminary report on the crash involving the PZL-Mielec M18A aircraft near Ulladulla.

A witness reported seeing one of the plane's wings fall off before the aircraft plunged to the ground.

The report said the pilot was approaching the bushfire target point when the wing separated, causing the aircraft to immediately roll to the left, descend and hit the ground, killing Mr Black.

 "Preliminary examination indicated that the left outboard wing lower attachment lug had fractured through an area of pre-existing fatigue cracking in the lug lower ligament," it said.

Investigators found the fatigue cracking reduced the strength of the fitting to the point where operational loads produced an overstress fracture of the rest of the lug.

Following the crash, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) ordered the grounding of all Dromader M18 aircraft in Australia as a precautionary measure.

The ATSB investigation into the crash is continuing and a final report is expected by October next year.

The investigation will include examination of the wing inspection requirements, inspection methods and a history of the aircraft's operations and maintenance.

Dromaders, manufactured in Poland, are most commonly used for crop dusting and are regularly contracted by fire authorities for waterbombing.

 In April, the ATSB released a report after investigations into three fatal incidents involving Dromader aircraft.

On each occasion the aircraft were carrying increased weight and the ATSB found associated safety risks, despite approval being granted for operation at take-off weights of more than 4200 kilos.

The report outlined operating limitations under higher loads, subsequently recommending increased awareness among pilots.


Source:   http://news.ninemsn.com.au


In-flight breakup involving PZL Mielec M18A Dromader aircraft, VH-TZJ, 37 km west of Ulladulla, NSW on 24 October 2013

The ATSB is investigating the fatal aircraft accident involving a PZL-Mielec M18A Dromader, registered VH-TZJ, that occurred near Ulladulla, NSW at about 1004 on 24 October 2013. The aircraft was being used to conduct firebombing operations and while approaching the target point, the left wing separated. The aircraft immediately rolled left and descended, impacting terrain. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the pilot was fatally injured.

Preliminary examination indicated that the left outboard wing lower attachment lug had fractured through an area of pre-existing fatigue cracking in the lug lower ligament.

The investigation is continuing and a final report is expected by October 2014.


http://www.atsb.gov.au

POLL: Brindabella’s flight of fancy

Brindabella  Airlines' inability to keep up to date with its planes' routine engine inspections suggest the airline was spread too thin, according to industry veteran Max Hazelton.

Brindabella announced the suspension of its Orange/Sydney service on Friday, just a week after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) grounded four of its aircraft when the airline admitted it was behind on routine engine maintenance.

Airline representatives have been unable to say when the Orange service will resume.

But Mr Hazelton said he will be surprised if it ever does.

He believes the airline was operating flights with a load factor of just 6 percent, when a 30-seater plane would need at least 21 passengers to break even.

“You can't run an aircraft below cost and this is what they are doing,” he said.

“They're operating small aircraft and they're not running a reliable service.

“You can't get passengers to use a service if that's what it's going to be.”

Story, photo and poll:  http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au



 

Burj Al Arab Helipad Skydive Landing

 

 Published on December 01, 2013

 H.E. Nasser Al Neyadi of SkydiveDubai becomes the first skydiver to land on Jumeirah's prestigious Burj Al Arab Helipad, part of the world's only 7-Star Hotel just off the beaches of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Ice forces plane landing: Vegans help during unplanned stop

Capt. Cody Brown scrapes ice from a U.S. Air Force Academy plane on Wednesday morning. Brown and his crew were forced to make an emergency landing in Las Vegas Saturday because of the weather.
Photo Courtesy/Credit:  Mercy López/Optic



Several cadets and officers from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs found themselves in a bind Saturday morning.

The nine of them were flying to Tucson when they had to make an emergency landing in Las Vegas due to ice build-up on the aircraft.

Capt. Sarah Towler and Capt. Cody Brown were able to land the aircraft, “Ice Maiden,” on the snow-covered runway right before noon on Saturday. Along with them were seven members of Rings of Blue, the Academy’s performing parachuting team.

“Thanks to the town of Las Vegas for helping us out here,” Towler said.

The ordeal was a scary and frightening one while up in the sky. Brown said they knew there was icing within the clouds and their plan was to stay below the clouds until the last possible chance.

“We expected only light icing,” Brown, a native of Moriarty, said. “For the first half hour headed south there were no issues… but then we were just a few minutes north of here (Las Vegas) it just started building up really fast. It was definitely a higher icing issue at that point.”

The crew continued to fly but soon realized there were  two to three inches of ice build-up on the plane.

“Once it starts building up on itself it expands,” Brown said. “By the time we landed, there were 3 inch pieces that were coming off.”

Brown said the ice build-up could potentially create multiple safety issues.

“You don’t know how much weight it has added. You don’t know where the weight is distributed so it is changing your aerodynamic forces,” Brown said. “It gets in your controls and Sarah was flying when the controls were sluggish for her, which is bad. You don’t know when it is going to lock up your elevator and all of a sudden you stall.”

So, they made the decision to do an emergency landing at the Las Vegas airport, just north of the city.

Towler said, “It was really scary.”

Upon their approach, they found the runway snow-covered with only the outline visible.

“Sarah flew a great landing in and the snow was so thick on the runway it slowed us down. We probably stopped within 400 feet or less. It was amazing,” Brown said.

Upon their landing, they were able to contact Krutick Bhakta, owner of the Best Western Montezuma Inn and Suites, and he went to pick them up from the airport.

“We were breathing pretty heavy once we stopped,” Brown said.

The group of nine had their trip to Tucson for training postponed for a couple of days as their plane remained grounded due to the blistering cold weather.

But their unexpected visit to Las Vegas was filled with good people helping them out. Bhakta shuttled them around town to purchase some necessities at Walmart and took them around town including a stop to JCs New York Pizza in the Plaza Park area.

Brown said others who helped included the city of Las Vegas Fire Department, Best Western Montezuma Inn and Suites, Superior Ambulance, along with several others.

“We were definitely glad that the airport and everyone was here to help,” Brown said.

They were able to de-ice the plane on Wednesday morning, and they headed out to their Thanksgiving training in Tucson, where several members will jump off the plane.



Story and Photo:   http://www.lasvegasoptic.com

Piper PA11, N915BB: Ravenview Road and China Road, Dallas, Texas

MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) - A pilot made an emergency landing Sunday in a small plane just short of a runway in Mesquite. 

The single engine plane he was flying ran out of fuel. It landed about a mile south of Mesquite Metro Airport. Its landing gear had some minor damage as a result of the hard landing.

Witnesses said they were alarmed by the eerie silence as the plane neared the ground.

“I told my wife, ‘that airplane is going down,’ cause sometimes we sit there and I hear motors — you know — so I told my wife, ‘wow I don’t hear noise or nothing and it’s going down,” said Mesquite resident Manuel Marquez.

The plane is registered to an owner in Delaware. The pilot wasn’t injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.


Story and Photo:   http://dfw.cbslocal.com


http://registry.faa.gov/N915BB






















A pilot safely landed his fixed wing, single-engine plane in rural Dallas County after radioing for an emergency landing on Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013. 

According to authorities, the pilot ran out of fuel which caused him to make the emergency landing. 

Manuel Marquez and his wife, who own a 10-acre plot of land next to where the plane landed, witnessed the landing. “I saw the airplane coming down and I started running to try to see that nobody died," said Marquez. 

When Marquez arrived near the airplane, he saw a man exit the airplane who was walking around. “I asked him if he was alright and he said, 'yeah I'll be alright',” said Marquez. In addition to the pilot, it appeared the plane was occupied by at least one other person. No injuries were reported.

According to Marquez, the plane circled low above his home before striking his fence and landing in the field. “He hit the fence,” said Marquez. He believes the pilot struck the fence with his rear tire to slow the landing to avoid running through the field and into a nearby tree line.

“He hit the fence, he hit that little ditch there, bounced up, and landed where he's at now,” said Marquez's son. While the plane was overhead, Marquez said he did not hear the aircraft's engine running. The landing was apparently made without any power to the plane.

The landing occurred just south of Interstate Highway (IH) 20 near the intersection of Ravenview Road and China Lake Drive in Dallas County. The plane is a 2007 American Legend Aircraft fixed wing, single-engine AL11 registered to Daniel C. Bullard of Dallas, Texas.

Mesquite authorities, Dallas Police and Fire/Rescue, and a Dallas Police Department helicopter responded to the incident. Fire and rescue crews were cleared after it became apparent no injuries were sustained during the emergency landing.


- See more at: http://inforney.com

Emergency Landing on Ohio River

This picture shows crews from the Luce Township Fire Department working to recover the partially submerged plane from the Ohio River 

(Darryl Bolen, Luce Township Fire Department) 


 
The plane in the water near County Road 700 and River Road. 
(Source: Randy Houghton)


 Those on scene working to get the plane to land.
 (Source: Randy Houghton)


 (Source: Randy Houghton)


SPENCER CO., IN (WFIE) - Emergency crews in Spencer County rushed to pull an airplane out of the Ohio River on Sunday morning. The plane, they said, was taken on water and was about to sink.

Around 10:30 Sunday morning, Spencer County EMA and Water Rescue, the Luce Township Fire Department, and the Spencer County EMS were sent to an area near County Road 700 and River Road.

When authorities got there, they said they found a small recreational plane in the Ohio River and it looked like it was sinking.

The Luce County Fire Chief, Todd Daming, said the pilot was practicing landing on the water, like he had several times before, and at some point, there was equipment failure.

The problem caused water to flow on board, disabling the plane. Officials say there were no injuries, although the pilot did get wet.

"The pilot basically was just suffering some extreme cold effects and we got him in the back of the ambulance and he was tended to by EMS. He warmed up and he was actually out on the bank talking to us when the mechanics arrived, gave us some of the different points to hookup and get the plane secured onto the bank," Daming said.

The plane was recovered safely to the river bank and then turned over to the owner.


Story, Photo Gallery and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.14news.com

Air India's Dreamliner fleet grounded, to go for software upgrade

Air India's fancied Boeing 787, popularly known as Dreamliners, were grounded from Sunday for software upgrade and other enhancements.

The aircraft, believed to be one of the most fuel-efficient, have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Now, experts have started questioning whether Air India made a hasty decision in buying these aircraft.

Air India has some 10 Dreamliners in its fleet.

Sources say while the latest additions have software upgrades, the earlier ones lack these sophisticated upgrades and need to be attended at the latest.

Sources in Air India management asserted that the Dreamliners are still the best bet of the national carrier and that a few minor upgrades are essential.

A team of experts from Boeing is already here to attend to the Dreamliners.

The grounding will take place in a phased manner and the rectification and upgrade would happen one by one.

So what is ailing the Dreamliners?

Sources say too many warning signals have become a cause of worry for the pilots.

Even though, most often these warning signals turn out to be false alarms yet these signals cannot be ignored.

These on and off happenings have become the biggest cause of worry for Air India management.

These troubles have also meant that on-time performance of the Dreamliners isn't much to boast about.

Sources also say that Air India is facing a shortage of pilots to fly these fancied aircraft.

Additionally, engineers till date are not much at home with the working of these aircraft.
 
DGCA sources said they were aware of the developments and had asked for clarifications from the national carrier.

They said that at no point, passenger safety would be compromised.

This also comes on the back of the directive given by the Federal Aviation Administration that the Dreamliners should avoid cruising around certain type of clouds by at least 50 nautical miles.

Even manufacturer Boeing has said that the engine was seen developing ice crystal formation while flying through the cumulonimbus clouds.

This, experts say, is dangerous for the working of the engine and consequent flight safety.

Source:  http://indiatoday.intoday.in

Ask the Captain: Questions about plane crashes

John Cox , USA TODAY
3 p.m. EST December 1, 2013  

Question: When a commercial plane crashes, what happens to the pilots immediately? Are they detained? Are their licenses suspended?

-- Jon Kopp, Gilbert, Ariz.

Answer: This varies between countries. During the investigation, the pilots are interviewed by the investigative agency (the NTSB in the US). Then the regulatory agency (the FAA in the U.S.) determines if their license(s) should be suspended, or what evaluation is necessary prior to flying again. Additionally, the operator makes a determination of when or if they will fly again. In some countries, pilots are detained by law enforcement authorities; this criminalization of aviation accidents is a detriment to open investigations.


Question: Why are black box recordings not released after a crash?

 -- submitted by Nick Gawronski, Houston

Answer:
Having heard several cockpit voice recordings, I would never support their release. The last minutes of life for the crew are very emotional, they deserve their privacy. Limiting the listening of the recording to the investigators is the only appropriate policy. If they were released, these recordings would be played in the public media and that would be a travesty.


See full article:  http://www.usatoday.com

Pilots Concerned Over Helicopter Safety: The Glasgow pub crash is the third involving police helicopters in the west of Scotland

Aviation safety expert David Learmount tells Sky News the helicopter pilot likely had very little control of the aircraft.

The number of recent helicopter incidents is a "matter for concern" following the Glasgow pub crash, says the British Airline Pilots' Association.

The group extended its sympathy to everyone involved in the crash, which saw a police helicopter smash into the roof of The Clutha Vaults pub on Friday night.

At least eight people died and 14 were seriously injured in the incident, Sky sources say.

Investigators are trying to work out what caused the aircraft to fall from the sky into the crowded bar.

But BALPA warned about speculating on the cause of the incident before the full facts are heard.

"Whilst there will be understandable questions on why this happened, it is our experience that speculation about causes is often wide of the mark," BALPA said.

 "Nevertheless, trends in helicopter safety is a matter of concern after a number of recent incidents including those in the North Sea.

"We hope that ongoing inquiries by the Civil Aviation Authority and the House of Commons Transport Select Committee into helicopter safety will also have the opportunity to look into the circumstances around last night's incident too."

At least one aviation safety expert believes something "dramatic" suddenly occurred to cause the police helicopter crash.

The pilot would have had either little or no control of his aircraft in the final moments of the flight, Flight Global's operations and safety editor David Learmount told Sky News.

But he added that although a witness has described the helicopter as dropping like a stone, there were indications that the pilot might have still had "some ability to fly" before the impact.

He said: "This type of helicopter is sophisticated and robust. It's a very modern aircraft. I think what has happened here is that you have had an aircraft that became either uncontrollable or partially controllable.

"We just don't know how much control the pilot did have in the final seconds of the flight. Something dramatic has probably suddenly occurred - probably some mechanical failure of some kind."

Mr Learmount said he thought that if the helicopter had been completely uncontrollable then the crash could have been "even worse".

 The twin-engined Eurocopter EC135 T2 which came down on the pub is the third involving police helicopters in the west of Scotland.

In 1990, Sergeant Malcolm Herd died when a Bell Jet 206 helicopter crashed in bad weather at Eastwood Toll, Newton Mearns, Glasgow.

The 32-year-old father-of-four was in the former Strathclyde Police force helicopter when it struck the side of a block of pensioner's flats and fell to the ground.

Twelve years later in February 2002 another police helicopter crashed in a field 150 yards from Upper Wellwood Farm, near the village of Muirkirk, East Ayrshire.

The three men on board - Constable Kenneth Irvine, 35, Constable Neil McIntosh, 40, and civilian pilot Alfonso Gasparro, 31 - had what witnesses described as a "miraculous" escape.

 The Eurocopter EC135 T2 is of a family of aircraft that first entered service in 1996. More than 1,000 have so far been manufactured.

The T2 is a replacement for the T1 and went into production in August 2002. They are widely used by police and ambulance services and for executive transport.

In September 2007 a Eurocopter EC135 T2 crashed east of North Weald Airfield in Essex. Although the pilot and his wife were unhurt the aircraft was badly damaged.

An AAIB report into the incident said there had been a disengagement of the autotrim - used to maintain the aircraft's position.

This had led the pilot to think he had suffered a total engine failure. He positioned the helicopter for a power-off landing in a suitable field but part of the tail of the aircraft struck the ground and the aircraft rolled on to its side.

The AAIB recommended Eurocopter review the Stability Augmentation System (SAS) switch system on EC135 helicopters "to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent de-activation of the SAS".

Story, video and comments/reaction:   http://news.sky.com



 
A Police Eurocopter EC135 similar to the one that crashed in Glasgow

Eurocopter EC135 T2+, G-SPAO, Bond Air Services Limited for Police Scotland: Accident occurred November 29, 2013 at The Clutha Pub, Stockwell Street, Glasgow, UK

Official denies plane flew low, damaged house: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Vietnam


An aviation official has denied allegations that a plane flew over an area near Tan Son Nhat international airport at very low altitude and caused damage to a local house on Friday.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has checked all 23 civil flights flying past the area from 8am to 9am on November 29 when the accident allegedly occurred.

The results showed that all of them flew in the right orbit, right altitude, and right speed, according to Dinh Viet Thang, CAAV’s deputy head.

The senior official claimed that all the flights were 150m above ground in accordance with current aviation regulations and it is groundless to say that the plane was just 35-40 meters above the house’s roof as some residents supposed.

Thang added that buildings in the area are not allowed to be higher than 30m.

Previously on Nov. 29 morning, a house on Road 19, Ward 15 in Go Vap district had part of its tiled roof blown away after a plane flew past it.

Many local residents confirmed the incident was caused by the plane, adding that it flew only 35-40 meters above the house’s roof.

Vo Thanh Hung, a local man, said, “I was washing my face when I heard many loud noises from the roof. I rushed out of my house and saw a lot of tiles lying broken up on the ground. At that time, a plane just flew past at a low altitude.”

Other local people said they see a plane fly above the house every 3 or 5 minutes.

Pham Quang Thinh, the house’s owner, recounted that he had left the house before the plane appeared. Otherwise, he could have been injured by the falling tiles.

Thinh said many residents in the area were seized with panic when the plane flew right above his house, adding it caused a strong vortex that blew away many tiles of the roof.

Some tiles fell down to his bedroom while some others were blown to other houses nearby or to the ground, Thinh said.


Story and Photos:   http://tuoitrenews.vn

Sea Tow Delmarva recognized for service following plane crash off Ocean City, Maryland

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA309
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/2014
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
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.

Witness accounts and on-board video recordings of the accident flight revealed that the pilot initiated and performed a series of aerobatic maneuvers with the airplane before initiating a stall, rolling the airplane inverted, and entering a steady-state spin to water contact. The airplane completed 22 revolutions in the spin, with the engine running smoothly, and the stick held fully aft. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Review of the pilot's flight records revealed no evidence of formal aerobatic training. However, the records indicated that he had conducted aerobatic maneuvers, including, on at least one occasion, a flat spin.

The on-board video recordings showed no signs of pilot distress or incapacitation and indicated that the pilot was actively engaged in controlling the airplane and was providing control inputs to maintain the spin to impact. There was no indication of any distracting event or of the pilot attempting to diagnose, troubleshoot, or respond to a perceived in-flight control, system, or engine anomaly. There were multiple cues available to the pilot that the maneuver should be terminated, including an increasing ground presence/perspective from the out-the-window view and the rapidly decreasing altitude indicated on the altimeter in the panel. However, the pilot failed to terminate the maneuver at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Therefore, it is most likely that the pilot lost situational awareness during the aerobatic maneuver/prolonged spin and did not recover from the spin before impact.

Given the fact that this was a sustained aerobatic maneuver, it is possible that the pilot lost situational awareness due to target fixation, a phenomenon that can occur at varying levels ranging from a breakdown in an instrument scan to failing to pull out of an aerial application run. In these cases, the pilot has cues that a response is required and has the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform the response. However, because of the narrowing of attention resulting from the goal-directed activity associated with this phenomenon, a loss of overall situational awareness occurs and the appropriate response is not commanded/input. The circumstances of this accident are consistent with the loss of situational awareness due to target fixation. The pilot appears to have focused on the performance/sustainment of the spin maneuver and therefore misjudged or lost awareness of his exit altitude.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to terminate the intentional aerobatic spin at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's loss of situational awareness due to target fixation during the prolonged aerobatic maneuver.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to local law enforcement, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as "slow," "lazy," and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn't notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he'd never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, "He has never been that low, or that close to the shore." When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down, spiraling descent, and added that the airplane's attitude was nearly flat. The airplane finally "pancaked" into the water with a slapping sound, "like your hand slapping against the water."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. 

Examination of the pilot's flight records revealed that he had recorded his flight experience in two logbooks, and then transitioned his recordkeeping to a computer-based spread sheet. Because of gaps, overlaps, and anecdotal evidence of flights taken after the last logged in the records, his total flight experience could not be reconciled. 

The pilot first logged flights as a student pilot in 1996 and took extended breaks from flying before he was issued his private pilot certificate on October 5, 2007. His log book entries ended on June 30, 2011, however; his spreadsheet entries predate that, and his most recent entry was April 14, 2013 which was 2.5 months prior to the accident.

The pilot logged 859 total hours of flight experience, of which 231 were in the accident airplane make and model. All of the 231 hours in the accident airplane were annotated on the spreadsheet. In the remarks section the pilot annotated Formation and Safety Team (FAST) formation flight training. There were brief or one-word entries such as "practicing rolls," "roll," and on November 11, 2012, "flat spin" , but no dual instruction in aerobatic maneuvering was noted anywhere in the pilot's flight records.

In an email exchange with his insurance agent, the pilot stated that the 10 hours of dual instruction he received in the accident airplane as required by his policy was not performed by flight instructors. The response explained that exceptions were often granted for "warbirds" in order to meet the requirement. In the pilot's logbook, three pilots were noted as having provided "CJ training." Of the three, only one was a flight instructor. All three were interviewed, and each said that they only provided familiarization training to the pilot specific to his Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane. At no time did they provide aerobatic training to the pilot. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental exhibition category. It was a two-place, tandem-seating, basic military trainer. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on April 2, 2013, at 3,485.3 total aircraft hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2013. All major components were recovered with the exception of the left wing, and the vertical stabilizer. 

Examination of the airplane revealed that the engine was still attached to the firewall, but the upper two engine mounts were fractured due to impact. The firewall-mounted oil tank was crushed. The underside of the fuselage was compressed due to impact with water (hydraulic deformation) and the fuselage was fractured between the fore and aft cockpit stations. The left wing was separated due to impact and was not recovered. Recovery personnel cut the right wing. 

The empennage was fractured, torn, and separated from the fuselage due to impact, but remained attached by cables. Recovery personnel cut the cables to affect recovery. The vertical stabilizer was separated due to impact and was not recovered. The rudder, horizontal stabilizer, and the left-side elevator remained attached. The right-side horizontal stabilizer was cut to affect recovery, and the elevator was removed.

Control continuity was established from both cockpits, through cable, tube, and bellcrank cuts and breaks, to the flight control surfaces. 

The engine was separated from the airplane, and was rotated by hand at the propeller. Continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section with one exception. The pushrod for the number 4 cylinder exhaust valve was displaced due to impact, and would not actuate the rocker arm for valve movement.

The examination revealed no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical anomalies of the engine or airframe.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland, performed the autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report indicated that each died as a result of "multiple injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the pilot. The testing was negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

On July 8, 2014, two GoPro Hero self-contained video recorders and one Garmin Aera hand-held global positioning system (GPS) receiver were examined in the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

The GPS receiver was damaged by impact and salt water immersion. Removal and download of the data chip revealed that no track data was recorded on the day of the accident.

The GoPro Hero video recorder was a high quality self-contained battery powered video and audio recorder. One camera was damaged and the flash memory card was wet from salt water immersion. The memory card was dried and data was recovered using the laboratory's file recovery software. The second camera was undamaged, and the memory card was downloaded normally.

The video recovered from the first memory card consisted of the entire accident flight from taxi, takeoff, enroute maneuvering and the start of the accident spin sequence. The portions of the accident flight captured by the second memory card consisted of the events that occurred just prior to the accident spin sequence through water impact. The angle of each video suggested that the first camera was mounted on the aft glareshield facing aft, and the second camera was hand-held by the passenger in the aft seat. 

A Recorder Laboratory Specialist reviewed the video and prepared a transcript of the events from each camera. Video from the first camera revealed that after takeoff the airplane climbed to about 5,000 feet and performed a series of maneuvers that included barrel rolls, banks of 60 degrees, as well as positive and negative pitch angles of 80 degrees or more. The passenger was seen holding a GoPro camera facing forward, and rudder movement was evident throughout the flight.

Beginning about 1604:00, video from the second camera showed the airplane pitched up through 70 degrees, roll through 120 degrees of bank and eventually rolled inverted, before it entered a steady-state, nose-down spin. The video showed the airplane stabilized in a 30-degree nose down attitude, wings level, the inclinometer (trim ball) displaced 1-2 ball widths to the right, and a 600 feet-per-minute rate of descent. As the airplane descended in the spin, the nosed-down pitch attitude decreased to about 20 degrees. The pilot's head was upright and faced forward, the control stick was fully aft, and the pedals moved somewhat, but remained generally neutral. The pilot and the airplane maintained this attitude through 22 complete revolutions before water contact at 1605:00. The pilot never released aft pressure on the control stick, and no evidence of remedial action was observed. The propeller was rotating and the engine sound was smooth and continuous without interruption all the way to water contact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A friend of the pilot provided a written statement as well as video footage of flights he had taken with the accident pilot. The witness was not a pilot, but interested in taking lessons at some point in the future. He said that the accident pilot was not his instructor, but offered him advice with regards to study guides, practice tests, and map reading. During flights, he was given the flight controls, and allowed to practice navigation and steep turns. 

The pilot would assist him in donning a parachute, and go over "bail-out" procedures prior to each flight. The flights would depart to the east over the water, and then turn north and travel between 5 and 30 miles to perform aerobatic flight "as a safety precaution to any one on the ground should something go wrong." He said that during the flights, the pilot would perform loops, rolls, and on one occasion, "went vertical and put the plane into a stall."

A review of the video footage provided by the witness revealed views from a wingtip-mounted camera pointed back towards the fuselage, as well as a rear-facing view from a camera mounted on the aft-cockpit glareshield. The footage showed the airplane operating at low altitude over the ocean, as well as climbs that penetrated clouds. The airplane would be surrounded, and the ground would be completely obscured by clouds, for several seconds. The aerobatic maneuvers were also as the witness described them. The vertical climb, stall, and spin entry captured in the video provided by the witness was consistent with the accident spin entry.

The airframe and powerplant mechanic who maintained the accident airplane was interviewed by telephone and provided a written statement. He held an airline transport pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, and had approximately 14,000 hours of flight experience, with 1,300 hours in the accident airplane make and model. He provided instruction and a "check-out" in the accident airplane to the pilot/owner after it was purchased. The instructor did not provide any aerobatic instruction to the pilot/owner, and said he did not think any formal aerobatic training had been provided to him. When it was explained that there was video evidence of the pilot/owner performing aerobatics in the accident airplane during several flights previous to the accident flight he said, "If I had known that, I would have put a stop to it."

When asked about the stall/spin characteristics of the accident airplane, the instructor said that the airplane had very predictable handling characteristics. The instructor stated, "You have to hold the airplane in a spin. The airplane will recover from a spin by itself. The second you release the stick, it will come out of the spin. The airplane will recover by itself from a fully developed spin in less than one turn. Once it is in the stall and spinning, you must hold the stick fully aft to maintain the spin." The instructor volunteered and stressed that "aerobatics over water is dangerous. It's disorienting." 

Among the Federal Aviation Regulations that address aerobatic flight, 
"…no person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight—
(b) Over an open air assembly of persons;
(e) Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface."
According to U.S. Army Field Manual 3-04.301 (1-301) Aeromedical Training for Flight Personnel:
9-31. Fascination, or fixation, flying can be separated into two categories: task saturation and target fixation. Task saturation may occur during the accomplishment of simple tasks within the cockpit. Crew members may become so engrossed with a problem or task within the cockpit that they fail to properly scan outside the aircraft. Target fixation, commonly referred to as target hypnosis, occurs when an aircrew member ignores orientation cues and focuses his attention on his object or goal; for example, an attack pilot on a gunnery range becomes so intent on hitting the target that he forgets to fly the aircraft, resulting in the aircraft striking the ground, the target, or the shrapnel created by hitting the target.



 
 From left, Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Rear Admiral Lee, Capt. Hank Fulmer, Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III. 
The County Times 


 
Ocean City police officers Tommy Geoghegan (left) and Josh Adickes died June 30 when Geoghegan's Nanchang CJ-6A plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. 



SOUTHOLD, N.Y. — Sea Tow Services International Inc., the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider, honored the Sea Tow Delmarva Dive Team for Efforts Above and Beyond at the Sea Tow Awards Banquet held Nov. 20. The event, which also celebrated Sea Tow’s 30thAnniversary, capped the organization’s 2013 Annual Meeting held in Charlotte, N.C., on November 18-21. 

 The award for Efforts Above and Beyond is presented to members of the Sea Tow network whom, while on or off-duty in the past year, participated in an operational event/incident, including a rescue or community program, that brings great credit to the Sea Tow franchise and network.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral William “Dean” Lee, Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities, joined Sea Tow Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer and Chief Operating Officer Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III in presenting the award to Sea Tow Delmarva Owner Capt. Hank Fulmer on behalf of the dive team.

Late in the afternoon of June 30, 2013, a small plane with two Maryland State Police (MSP) officers on board crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, a quarter mile off the Ocean City, Md. coastline, killing both officers. That evening MSP requested recovery dive standby assistance from Sea Tow Delmarva for the following day to retrieve the bodies.

On the morning of July 1, Sea Tow arrived at the recovery zone as requested. MSP dive teams were actively working to recover the two officers from the wreckage. Coast Guard Ocean City was also on-scene providing weather updates to the team. The weather was forecast to deteriorate later in the day.

By late morning, MSP divers were unable to recover the officers and asked Sea Tow to salvage the plane with the officers still inside. The Sea Tow dive team met and reassessed the situation. Given the risks of retrieving the plane with impending bad weather, the decision was made to send a Sea Tow diver to attempt the recovery. The Sea Tow diver entered the water and resurfaced with the first officer just over 30 minutes later amid strong currents and zero visibility. The officer was transferred to the Coast Guard vessel.

Meanwhile, the winds shifted and sea conditions began to worsen. With an hour’s rest, the diver went back into the water. Twenty minutes later, he resurfaced requesting a tool. Fifteen minutes later he was advised he had five minutes left because sea conditions were pushing the limits of operational risk and safety. Five minutes later, the diver resurfaced with the second officer, who was also transferred to the Coast Guard. Due to the team’s dedication to duty and service, and willingness to go above and beyond, two families were able to put closure to this tragic incident.

“The Sea Tow Delmarva Dive Team is commended for outstanding performance of duty, going above and beyond the call of duty, and bringing great credit to Sea Tow and the marine assistance industry,” said Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer.

Sea Tow Delmarva is owned by Hank Fulmer, and Sea Tow Delmarva serves Sea Tow members and other mariners in the popular boating areas along the coastal and intercoastal waterways of Delaware and Ocean City, MD.

Story:   http://maryland.newszap.com



 
 
Nanchang CJ-6A, Changamajig Corp., N116RL:  http://registry.faa.gov/N116RL

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA309
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
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 June 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a China Nanchang CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to the Ocean City Beach Patrol, the Maryland State Police, and the OCPD, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as “slow” and “lazy” and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn’t notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he’d never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, “He has never been that low, or that close to the shore.” When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, and he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down descent and added that the airplane’s attitude was nearly flat, and that it “pancaked” into the water with a slapping sound, “like your hand slapping against the water.”

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. No pilot logbook was recovered, but on his most recent insurance application, he reported 819 total hours of flight experience, of which 204 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental category. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on September 12, 2012, at 6,576 total aircraft hours.

The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2014 and examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date. Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The left wing was lost during recovery.

A video camera was recovered from the cockpit, and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC, for download.

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.