Sunday, June 01, 2014

Van's RV-10, N62DN: Fatal accident occurred May 31, 2014 in Toledo, Oregon

http://registry.faa.gov/N62DN

NTSB Docket and docket items: http://dms.ntsb.gov

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA218
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Toledo, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/2015
Aircraft: NEBERT VANS RV-10, registration: N62DN
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

The pilot, who was also the builder of the experimental kit airplane, departed for a cross-country flight from his home airport. The passenger reported that, following a normal departure, the airplane continued the takeoff climb through some cloud wisps and ascended above a lower cloud cover with an overcast layer above. Suddenly, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward the closest airport, but, when he realized that the airplane would not be able to glide to the airport, he attempted to make an off-airport landing. The airplane stalled and then collided with terrain in an open area of a paper mill. Ground scar analysis and wreckage fragmentation revealed that the airplane descended in a steep, near-vertical, nose-down, left-wing-down attitude before it impacted terrain. The pilot installed a fuel flow transducer about 2 to 3 weeks before the accident and used heavy applications of room temperature vulcanization (RTV) silicone to seal the fuel lines. A friend of the pilot, who was also a mechanic, reported that he had observed the pilot about a year earlier using heavy applications of RTV silicone to seal parts during a condition inspection and that he had mentioned to the pilot that this was an improper practice. A bead of RTV silicone was found in the fuel line, and it is likely that it blocked the inlet of the transducer and starved the engine of fuel. Additionally, subsequent to the loss of engine power, the pilot failed to maintain sufficient airspeed while maneuvering to locate a suitable off-airport landing site and flew the airplane beyond its critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in a stall and loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation because of a blocked fuel line that resulted from the pilot’s improper maintenance practices and the pilot’s subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed while attempting a forced landing, which led to the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 31, 2014, about 1620 Pacific daylight time, a single-engine experimental Nebert Vans RV-10, N62DN, experienced a loss of power and departed controlled flight while the pilot was maneuvering for a forced landing in Toledo, Oregon. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot and four-year old passenger were fatally injured; the adult passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and being operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal cross-country flight departed Newport Municipal Airport, Newport, Oregon, with a planned destination of Seattle, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

Numerous witnesses located in Toledo reported observing the airplane flying at a low altitude from the north. The witnesses reported hearing no sound from the airplane's engine and saw it progressively descend in altitude. The airplane approached the Georgia Pacific paper mill and made a steep turn to the left. The airplane subsequently made a rapid descent and impacted terrain in a nose-low, near-vertical attitude.

The surviving passenger recalled the flight, although was heavily medicated during the recounting of the events that transpired. She stated that she was in the aft right seat and her daughter was buckled in a car seat positioned in the aft left seat. Luggage was strapped in the front right seat in an effort to compensate for the aft weight. The departure seemed normal and the pilot commented that the engine sounded better than it had in awhile. The airplane continued the takeoff climb through some cloud wisps and ascended above a lower cloud cover, with an overcast layer above.

The passenger further stated that suddenly the engine experienced a total loss of power, which she described as the airplane stopping forward motion, and there was no engine sound. An alarm sounded, and shortly thereafter all of the airplane's electrical system failed. She recalled observing the screen in front of the pilot flickered and then went blank. The pilot was busy pressing buttons and maneuvering levers, and indicated that they were going to land at the closest airport [which was the Toledo State Airport]. The airplane descended through clouds heading toward the airport. The pilot stated that they were going to make it to the airport, and that he was looking for a place to land. The airplane made an alert sound, which she thought indicated the airplane was moving too slow. The pilot made a left turn and tried to pull up, but the airplane spiraled down harder to the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of the airmen records maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) disclosed that the pilot, age 51, held a private pilot certificate with airplane rating for single-engine land, which was issued in March 2008. He additionally held a Repairman Experimental Aircraft certificate. His most recent third-class medical was issued on January 04, 2013, with no limitations.

According to the pilot's flight logbook he had about 785 hours of total flight experience, of which about 375 was amassed in the accident airplane. Based on the airport identifiers listed in the logbook for flight origin and destination points, the pilot accumulated the majority of his flying hours around Newport, his home airport and where the airplane was based. The pilot recorded having flown 6.4 hours in the preceding 30 days, which was accumulated over 6 different flights.

The pilot was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) since August 1991, and had numerous EAA technical counselor visits during the building process.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Vans RV-10 is an amateur-built experimental airplane that is sold as a kit. The low-wing airplane was equipped with four seats, fixed tricycle landing gear, and traditional flight control surfaces. The accident airplane, serial number (s/n) 40546, received a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category for the purpose of being operated as an amateur-built aircraft in August 2010; the pilot purchased the kit in October 2009. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-540-B4B5 engine, s/n L-7862-40C, and, according to the manufacturer, is rated at 235 shaft horse power (SHP). The powerplant contained a data tag labeling it as a Lycoming O-540-B1AB, which contained the vibropeened identification next to the stamp of "B4B5."

The airplane's test flight hours were completed in September 2010. Thereafter, the logbooks indicated that the pilot estimated that the airplane's stalling speed in the landing configuration (Vso), at a weight of 1,858 lbs and a CG of 108.5 inches aft of datum, was 58 knots.

Fuel System Design

The airplane's fuel system was a gravity-fed design where fuel flowed from the metal tanks in the inboard section of each wing, through a selector valve, and continued to a fuel filter. From the filter, the fuel was routed to an electric fuel pump and then to a transducer where it was plumbed through the firewall to the gascolator. Thereafter, the fuel was directed to the engine-driven fuel pump, and finally enter into the carburetor.

The Van's Aircraft build manual states in section 37, Fuel System, "When installing fluid fittings with pipe threads do not use Teflon tape. Use instead, fuel lube or equivalent pipe thread sealing paste."

Maintenance

According to the aircraft maintenance records and the recording tachometer in the cockpit, the airplane had accumulated a total time in service of 375.4 hours. The most recent condition inspection was recorded as completed by the pilot on October 4, 2013, 71.5 hours prior to the accident. Examination of the logbook revealed that the last maintenance that had occurred was an oil change and the tightening of the left magneto on February 09, 2014 at a total time of 354.2 hours.

From the pilot's photographs on his website blog, the original build, the pilot did not install the fuel transducer.

A friend of the pilot, who was also a FAA certified mechanic, stated that about two to three weeks prior to the accident, the pilot had installed the fuel transducer. The pilot commented to him that he had not installed the unit previously because it needed a certain amount of space (needed to be about seven to nine inches from the filter) and he would have to bend some of the fuel lines to make it fit. The pilot borrowed a flaring tool from him to complete the installation. The friend noted that earlier in the year, when the pilot was performing a condition inspection and the airplane's cowling was removed, he observed that the pilot had used heavy applications of red/orange RTV(room temperature vulcanization) silicone to seal everything, including the area around the airbox (oval-shaped) where it attaches to the carburetor (square-box-shaped). He mentioned to the pilot that this was an improper practice.

Another friend of the pilot stated that the pilot had installed a fuel transducer about one to two weeks prior to the accident flight, and noted at the time that the unit did not have a bypass. The friend also observed that the pilot had not connected the electrical wires for the transducer to be operational, but had installed the unit.

Lycoming Manual

According to the engine's maintenance manual, the rated horsepower was 235 at 2,575 rpm. To obtain the maximum recommended service life of the engine, the manual recommends that the cylinder head temperature be maintained below 435 degrees Fahrenheit (F) during high-performance cruise operation, with a maximum temperature of 500 degrees F. The Lycoming manual additionally stated that the fuel pressure requirements were a minimum pressure of .5 psi and a maximum of 8 psi.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A routine aviation weather report (METAR) generated by an Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) in Newport reported that at 1635 there was an overcast cloud layer at 1,900 feet above ground level (agl) with 5 miles visibility. It recorded the temperature at 52 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

COMMUNICATIONS

No record exists of the pilot, or a pilot using the airplane's registration number, contacting any Air Traffic Control tower, or Common Traffic Advisory Frequency, during the duration of the flight.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT

The accident site was located in the paper mill adjacent to the Yaquina River in Toledo, Oregon, with the debris confined to the immediate area near the main wreckage. The Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates for the main wreckage were approximately 44 degrees 36 minutes 53 seconds north latitude and 123 degrees 56 minutes and 14 seconds west longitude, at an elevation about 10 feet mean sea level (msl). A complete pictorial of the wreckage location and surrounding terrain is contained in the public docket for this accident.

The closest airport to the accident was in Toledo, Oregon and was located 0.7 nm from the accident site on a heading of 192 degrees. The wreckage came to rest in a flat area, which was a portion of dirt road on the perimeter of the mill. Surrounding the site were 20 foot (ft) high stacked bales of crushed cardboard boxes, and a railroad track with parked train cars. Additionally, a northwest-southeast oriented 12 ft-diameter tubular conveyer was observed near the accident site that was about 70 feet high and 1,625 feet long. The airplane departed from Newport, Oregon which was located 5.6 nautical miles (nm) from the main wreckage on a heading of 248 degrees.

The main wreckage, which consisted of nearly the entire airplane, came to rest on a heading of 310 degrees. The initial point of impact consisted of a ground scar and disrupted dirt located about 25 feet and on the heading of 220 degrees from the cockpit section of the main wreckage. Embedded in the dirt were fragments of red lens and shards of paint and fiberglass, consistent with the left wing impacting first.

From the red lens fragments there was disrupted dirt and ground scars up to blue paint rub marks on an adjacent woodpile. On an exposed yellow pipe embedded in the ground were numerous blue paint transfer marks, which at 16 feet from the red lens, was consistent with being a signature of the undercarriage contacting it (the airplane's wingspan was about 32 feet). In a ditch just below the pipe was a 7-ft section of the inboard left wing from the leading edge at to about the spar. From the pipe, on a heading of about 020 degrees, was engine casing debris and lower engine pieces, including the oil drain plug.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Lincoln County Medical Examiner completed an autopsy of the pilot and passenger. The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicological screenings on the pilot. According to CAMI's report (#201400089001) the toxicological findings were negative for carbon monoxide and tested drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A detailed examination report with accompanying pictures is contained in the public docket for this accident.

Airframe

The main wreckage cockpit area was open, with the engine and firewall twisted toward the right wing. Most of the upper cabin area had broken free from the airframe; the section that remained attached consisted of fiberglass on the aft right side about four feet forward of the bulkhead.
The throttle, propeller, and mixture control levers were bent in their respective control quadrant, which was consistent with them being in the full-forward position at the time of impact.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage at all attach points, and the flap and aileron control surfaces remained attached to their respective hinges. The right wingtip aft section and fragments of a blue/green lens were located just below the right wing adjacent to a concrete divider. Around the divider was evidence of blithe, and numerous areas of vegetation had been crushed, which was consistent with fuel exposure. The right wing sustained major skin deformation crushing from the aft outboard tip to about three feet inboard; this was consistent with the size and orientation of the concrete divider that was located immediately below it. The wing sustained aft crush deformation, with the bottom leading edge skin folded into itself, giving it an accordion-type appearance. The crush was nearly uniform through the entire length of the wing. The leading edge displayed characteristics consistent with hydrodynamic deformation. Control continuity was confirmed in the right wing up to the crush deformation in the cockpit area.

The left wing was attached to the fuselage at all attach points, and the flap and aileron control services remained attached to their respective hinges. The left flap was attached to the two inboard respective hinges and creased at the center hinge in an upward crush. The left aileron was found wedged underneath the main wreckage cockpit area. The leading edge displayed characteristics consistent with hydrodynamic deformation. Control continuity was confirmed in the left wing up to the crush deformation in the cockpit area.

The right and left horizontal stabilizers and elevator remained intact with creasing noted on some of the surfaces; continuity to the cockpit was established. The vertical stabilizer and rudder remained intact with a slight crease on the rudder control surface about six inches from the top and consisted of a four inch bend. The rudder was attached to its control cables and continuous to the rudder pedals and secured. The elevator was attached to the push-pull tube, which was continuous up to the cockpit area. Both control sticks were attached and safetied.

Powerplant

The engine mount support tubes were severed by investigators between the engine and firewall, which essentially separated the engine from the airframe. An external visual examination of the engine revealed that it had sustained crush damage to the bottom of the crankcase, with the majority of damage to the left side. There were dark stains to the left of the upper spark plug holes, which was consistent with oil staining.

The spark plugs were removed and no mechanical damage was noted; the electrodes and posts exhibited a light ash white coloration, which according to the Lycoming representative was consistent with a very lean operation(s). The ignition harnesses were attached from both magnetos to their respective spark plugs. The right magneto was secured to its respective mounting pad. Upon rotation, investigators observed spark produced at all posts. The left magneto sustained varying degrees of damage that rendered the unit inoperative and therefore, could not be functionally tested.

The crankshaft was rotated by hand utilizing the propeller. The crankshaft was free and easy to rotate in both directions. "Thumb" compression was observed in proper order on all six cylinders. The complete valve train was observed to operate in proper order, and appeared to be free of any pre-mishap mechanical malfunction. Normal in uniform "lift action" was observed at each rocker assembly. Clean, uncontaminated oil was observed at all six rockerbox areas. Mechanical continuity was established throughout the rotating group, valve train and accessory section during hand rotation of the crankshaft.

The cylinders' combustion chambers were examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion. The valves were intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of valve to piston face contact. The chambers and valve faces all displayed little combustion signatures and there was a whitish light ash coloration; the exhaust valve faces were slightly darker, exhibiting a white-orange-coloration. This white residue/soot was additionally seen throughout the remainder of the exhaust system.

The Hartzell propeller, model HC-C2YK-1BF, serial number 40546, remained attached to the engine crankshaft. All propeller mounting bolts remained in the hub and exhibited no signatures consistent with shear stress. The propeller blades remained attached at the hub. The spinner was displaced from the propeller hub. The propeller blades were straight and did not show any evidence of rotational forces applied at the crankshaft at the time of impact. Removal of the propeller governor disclosed that the screen was free of contaminants.

Fuel System

The fuel selector was found with the handle pointing to the "LEFT" tank position. Later, it was confirmed by a friend of the pilot that the handle was installed with the handle giving a reverse indication, which meant that the fuel would be selected in the "OFF" position. The position of the fuel selector valve, manufactured by Andair, LTD, was off with both lines shut off. The selector was found in several pieces: the handle (which was still attached to the airframe), the extender (which was located loosely in the wreckage adjacent to the pilot seat), the upper coupling (which had broken free from its remaining core and was found loosely in the wreckage), the valve (which was found loosely in the wreckage near the firewall). There was no evidence that the extender had been safetied to either couplings.

The fuel filter, manufactured by Airflow Performance, was disassembled and the screen was found to be clean. Investigators located a Facet automotive electric fuel pump within the wreckage and upon supplying power source the pump was found to activate. The transducer, a FloScan 201 A-6 flow sensor (s/n 179922), was found in the wreckage. The fuel line from the electric fuel-pump to the transducer was separated at the pump's B-nut fitting as a result of post impact forces. An approximate one-inch portion of the line remained attached on the inlet side of the transducer and the end was crimped tightly together and bent. Investigators pried open the crimped section and found an oval bead of red/orange RTV that measured about 0.25 inches in length. According to the manufacture, the inlet hole (metering orifice) is reamed to approximately 0.114 to 0.116 inches. Removal of both the inlet and outlet fittings revealed that RTV was in the threads of both the nipples and the surrounding casing.

The upper cap section and mounts of the gascolator remained attached to the firewall; the metal bowl was located under the right wing and there was no evidence it had been secured/safetied to its attachment arm/ thumb-tightening screw; the screen was additionally found loose under the right wing and was clean. The engine-driven fuel pump was displaced from the engine. Disassembly of the fuel pump revealed that is was free of internal mechanical malfunction and obstruction to flow; the diaphragm was intact. Liquid contained in the body was collected and tested for water; there is no indication water was present.

The carburetor was not attached at its forward mounts; it had remained attached to the aft mounts, coming to rest bent aft with the body flush against the case, and partially embedded in the oil sump casing. The casing of the carburetor had been broken apart and the plastic floats were in pieces.

Seats

All occupants appeared to have had both their lap and shoulder belts secured during the accident sequence. The child passenger was seated in Graco booster seat, model 1781044 (s/n 0784129). According to the manufacture, the seat is designed to sustain g-loading as specified in Federal Safety Standard 213. This includes a space envelope of 32 inches for the head and 36 inches for the knees. The seat's manual specifically prohibits usages in aircraft, which states is due to the limitation of no shoulder harnesses available.

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA218
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Toldeo, OR
Aircraft: NEBERT VANS RV-10, registration: N62DN
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 May 31, 2014, about 1620 Pacific daylight time, a single-engine experimental Nebert Vans RV-10, N62DN, experienced a loss of power and departed control flight while the pilot was maneuvering for a forced landing in Toledo, Oregon. The private pilot and four-year old passenger were fatally injured; the adult passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and being operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight departed Newport Municipal Airport, Newport, Oregon with a planned destination of Seattle, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

Numerous witnesses located in Toledo reported observing the airplane flying at a low altitude from the north. The witnesses reported hearing no sound from the airplane's engine and saw it progressively descend in altitude. The airplane approached the Georgia Pacific paper mill and made a steep turn to the left. The airplane subsequently made a rapid descent and impacted terrain in a nose-low near-vertical attitude.

The surviving passenger recalled the flight although was heavily medicated during the recounting of the events that transpired. She stated that she was in the aft right seat and her daughter was buckled in a car seat positioned in the aft left seat. Luggage was strapped in the front right seat in an effort to compensate for the aft weight. The departure seemed normal and the pilot commented that the engine sounded the best ever had prior. The airplane continued the takeoff climb through some cloud wisps and ascended above a lower cloud cover, with an overcast layer above.

The passenger further stated that suddenly the engine experienced a total loss of power, which she described as the airplane stopping forward motion and there was no engine sound. An alarm sounded and shortly thereafter, all of the airplane electric system failed. She recalled observing the screen in front of the pilot flickered and then went blank. The pilot was busy pressing buttons and maneuvering levers and indicated that they were going to land at the closest airport [which was Toledo]. The airplane descended through clouds heading toward the airport. The pilot stated that they were going to make it to the airport and he was looking for a place to land. The airplane made an alert sound, which she thought indicated the airplane was moving too slow. The pilot made a left turn and tried to pull up but the airplane spiraled down harder to the ground.

The accident site was located in the paper mill adjacent to the Yaquina River in Toledo, Oregon, with the debris confined to the immediate area near the main wreckage. The closest airport to the accident was in Toledo, Oregon and was located 0.7 nm for the accident site on a heading of 192-degrees. The wreckage came to rest in a flat area which was a portion of dirt road on the perimeter of the mill. Surrounding the site were 20 ft high stacked bales of crushed cardboard boxes and a railroad track with parked train cars. Additionally, a northwest-southeast oriented 12 ft-diameter tubular conveyer was near the accident site that was about 70 feet high and 1,625 ft long.

The main wreckage, which consisted of nearly the entire airplane, was on a heading of 310 degrees. The initial point of impact consisted of a ground scar and disrupted dirt located about 25 feet and on the bearing of 220 degree from the cockpit section of the main wreckage. Embedded in the dirt were fragments of red lens and shards of paint and fiberglass, consistent with the left wing impacting first.

Read the lawsuit.





by Mike Danko

Experimental amateur-built aircraft crash more often than those assembled in a factory. 


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau found that, when compared to factory-built aircraft used in similar flight operations, amateur-built aircraft crash three times as often. 


Our own National Transportation Safety Board studied the amateur-built accident rates and made similar findings.


One might expect that, because they are built by an amateur, an experimental aircraft’s wings would tend to fall off more often than those of a factory-built aircraft. 


But that doesn’t seem to be the case.


Most experimental aircraft are structurally sound. 


Rather, according to NTSB data, the biggest issue is engine failure, often because of fuel flow problems.


And that’s exactly what brought down an experimental Van’s RV-10 aircraft in Toledo, Oregon, in June 2014. 


The aircraft lost power on takeoff, killing the pilot and his 4 year-old passenger. 


The NTSB concluded the engine failed because it wasn’t getting fuel. 


Investigators found broken fragments of sealant in the aircraft’s fuel line where, of course, it wasn’t supposed to be.   


There are no statistics on how often the companies who sell kits get sued, but it’s hardly ever.  


After all, who is responsible for the defect in the aircraft’s manufacture or design that caused the crash? 


The company who sold the kit? 


Or the guy who spent several years putting the kit together in his garage? 


While some builders follow the kit maker’s directions to the letter, many do not, taking it upon themselves to modify at least some portion of the aircraft. 


That's allowed by regulations and seems to be part of the fun of building the aircraft. 


For example, John Denver was killed years ago when the amateur-built aircraft he was piloting crashed off the California coast.  


The amateur who put the kit together thought he had a better way of doing it and installed the aircraft fuel valve in a place other than as recommended by the kit's seller.  


The NTSB ultimately determined that it was that modification that led to the crash. 


But even if the victim’s lawyer proves it was the kit maker, and not the builder, who was responsible for the defect, few kit makers carry insurance. 


That means a verdict against the aircraft company may be impossible to collect.


Despite the hurdles, the family of the girl killed in the Toledo crash has filed suit against Van’s Aircraft Inc., blaming it for exploiting FAA “loopholes” that allow it to sell aircraft  that have not been properly tested and are thus unproven and unsafe.  


The suit goes on to allege that not only are Van’s aircraft designs untested and unsafe, but its assembly instructions are also inadequate and unsafe.


The suit goes on to allege that the fuel flow transducer that Van's supplied with the kit was dangerous because it was not capable of dealing with a blockage, as would be required of on a fuel flow transducer mounted on a factory-built aircraft.


We can expect Van’s to argue that their experimental aircraft are just that – experimental. 


They are not intended to have all the safety features included with factory-built aircraft.  


That is why the word “experimental” is required by law to be prominently displayed inside each one.  


- Original article can be found here: http://www.aviationlawmonitor.com


The family of a 4-year-old girl who died when the single-engine experimental Nebert Vans RV-10, N62DN airplane she was flying in crashed in a parking lot along the Oregon coast has filed a $35 million lawsuit against the company that sold the kit used to make the plane.

The suit seeks damages from Van's Aircraft of Aurora for the death of Zoey Wahl, as well as for injuries to the girl's mother, April Gleason. Gleason suffered a broken back, sternum and rib cage in the May 31, 2014, crash. Despite those injuries, she gave CPR to her daughter until emergency responders arrived.

The suit was filed last week in Marion County Circuit Court. A representative from Van's Aircraft declined comment Friday, citing the pending litigation.

The suit contends that homebuilt airplanes pose a danger to the general public because they don't have to pass vigorous safety standards and that kit manufacturers -- including Van's Aircraft -- recklessly sell the kits to drive up profits.

The girl was flying with her mother and step-grandfather from Newport to her home in Seattle when they crashed into the grounds of the Georgia-Pacific paper mill just a few miles from takeoff.

The girl and her step-grandfather -- Douglas Nebert, 51, of Newport -- were pronounced dead at the scene. Nebert had been piloting the plane.

A blockage cut off fuel to the engine, the suit says.

Nebert built the RV-10, a four-seat, single-engine propeller plane, from a kit made by Van's Aircraft, according to the suit. It sells for about $45,000.

The suit claims that Van's Aircraft exploited a Federal Aviation Administration loophole for "experimental" planes -- also known as "homebuilt" or "amateur-built" planes. The FAA doesn't require the same rigorous testing for homebuilt planes as it does for professionally built planes, the suit states.

"Van's recklessly sells its aircraft kits to ordinary consumers by ensuring them that even though those consumers are deemed the 'builder' of the aircraft, they do not need any experience or special knowledge to safely assemble the aircraft, but can safely assemble the aircraft by following Van's detailed assembly plans and utilizing Van's support," the suit states.

Van's Aircraft is one of the largest kit manufacturers in the U.S. The company is located at the Aurora State Airport, a 30-minute drive south of Portland.

Ten percent of U.S. aircraft -- about 33,000 -- are homebuilt, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. They account for 21 percent of fatal accidents, the board said.

Matthew Clarke, the Portland attorney representing Gleason and the girl's estate, told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Monday that the more lenient safety standards allow Van's Aircraft to sell its kits at a cheaper price than professionally built aircraft. That has allowed the company to gain a leg up on competitors that don't sell kits.

Clarke said the loosened FAA standards for homebuilt planes were meant to foster "the spirit of invention" and innovation among individual Americans who know what they're doing.

In addition to Van's Aircraft, the suit lists the FloScan Instrument Co. of Seattle as a defendant. The suit claims that FloScan sold a defective fuel flow transducer that Nebert installed shortly before the fatal flight. 

A representative from FloScan didn't return a call for comment Monday.

 
Douglas Nebert is pictured hugging his step-granddaughter, Zoey Wahl.



April Gleason gave her daughter, Zoey Wahl, 4, CPR despite Gleason's extensive injuries in the May 2014 plane crash. Gleason suffered a broken back, sternum and rib cage. Emergency responders pronounced the girl dead at the scene.



 Zoey Wahl
~


ZOEY MOONBEAM WAHL (Age 4)

Of Seattle, WA and Woodbridge, VA died on May 31, 2014. Zoey was born on January 25, 2010 in Virginia. She is survived by her mother, April, Joe Gleason and her father Mark Wahl. She is also survived by her grandparents, as well as great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins. Zoey touched the lives of all that knew her through her contagious smile and loving spirit. She always found a way to surprise us, as in her own first sentence "Oh sh.. Marshmallows!"

A barbeque and celebration of Zoey's life will be held in Woodbridge, VA at her Dad's house at a later date. An online memorial has been initiated for Zoey by Daddy Joe, found at ZoeyMoonbeam.com. Please continue to visit the website, as it will be developed and curated on an ongoing basis. Friends and family are encouraged to share their stories of Zoey on the website.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: Teddy Bears for Kids at 516.921.6319


 
 Douglas D. Nebert


Douglas D. Nebert, 51, of Newport, died in a private plane crash on May 31, 2014, in Toledo. His granddaughter, Zoey Wahl, 4, also did not survive the crash that seriously injured her mother, April Gleason, of Seattle.

Doug was born August 15, 1962, in Portland to Myrna and Daniel Nebert. He received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Evergreen State College and a Master of Science Degree in Geography from Portland State University.

While still a student, Doug’s future career was influenced by his internship with the U.S. Geological Survey. His subsequent employment with USGS continued for the rest of his life. During his 30-year career, Doug grew into what has been described as the “Geospatial Pioneer” for his foundational work in modern geospatial information systems. In that capacity, he was involved with numerous international organizations, such as the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), dealing with spatial data interoperability and international cooperation in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Acknowledged not only as an expert in this area, but also as an excellent communicator of highly technical information, his vision and commitment to make this information available around the world has been highly praised. He was described by colleagues “a one-man interoperability show case,” and “an incredible force behind many of the things we take for granted in modern geospatial information systems.” He was a brilliant, versatile and dedicated public servant. Among many examples of the great esteem the scientific community had for his work, he received the highest Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) honor, the Kenneth D. Gardel’s Award for his personal and professional contributions and leadership.

Doug’s life was enriched by his knowledge and love of many things, including geology, the mysteries of weather, music (he played the piano) and languages. He was fluent in Spanish and conversant in several other languages, even some Japanese. A major hobby was the airplane he built himself and flew for many years before the tragic accident. Those who knew him prized the friendship of a generous, sensitive, witty man of many talents.

Doug married his high school sweetheart, the former Dee Kirkpatrick, in 1989 in Reston, Virginia. In 2011, they moved to Newport, to own and operate a bed and breakfast, the Tyee Lodge. While maintaining his full-time job with USGS and his many activities with organizations around the world, Doug also assisted the B & B chef (Dee) and made beds when necessary. He was active in local organizations, secretary to the Newport Airport Committee, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc. (AAOP) and the local Experimental Aircraft Assoc. (EAA) chapter.

Doug is survived by his sons, Corey Nebert and John Gross, as well as his daughter, April Gleason, and granddaughter, Charlie Gross, age 4 months. He is also survived by his mom, Myrna Bernstein, his dad, Daniel Nebert, his stepparents Robert Bernstein, Kitty Dixon and Lucia Nebert, as well as his loving in-laws, Don and Dee Kirkpatrick. He will be missed by his brother Dietrich Nebert and half- and step-siblings Rosie, Becky, Lucas, David, Bobbi, and Sharon.

Memorial services will be held for Doug on both the East and West Coasts. The West Coast memorial will be held on July 5th, at 5:00 p.m. at the Pacific Maritime and Heritage Center (http://www.oregoncoast.history.museum/maritimecenter.html). The service on the East Coast will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston (Virginia) (http://www.uureston.org/) on August 16th.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Doug’s name be made to The Young Eagles Project (https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/contribute-to-eaa) and in memory of Zoey Wahl to Teddy Bears for Kids (http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/site/c.elKSIdOWIiJ8H/b.8090883/k.6F4B/Teddy_Bears_for_Kids.htm).


 
Douglas Nebert is pictured hugging his step-granddaughter, Zoey Wahl. Both died Saturday when the plane Nebert was piloting crashed in Toledo. 
(Photo courtesy of Dee Nebert)  



"There are pictures below that you can share and time stamps of each photo taken. I looked out of my window and saw a plane that seemed to be on fire below and behind us. It seemed to be flying in our same path and was very steady. The pictures do not even come close to what I saw. I wasn't able to take them as it got closer. We were in the air about thirty minutes from Seattle-Tacoma Airport on our way to Southern California when I spotted the plane from my window seat. I didn't see flames but the plane was definitely on fire due to all the smoke I was able to see and your story matches the closest compared to what I could find searching the web. My prayers go out to the family of this tragic accident. I hope this helps and photo credit would be appreciated."

 VR,

Amanda Lorei



Photo Credit/Courtesy:   Amanda Lorei 



 
Time stamp
Photo Credit/Courtesy:   Amanda Lorei




Photo Credit/Courtesy:  Amanda Lorei 

 

 Time stamp
Photo Credit/Courtesy:   Amanda Lorei




Doug Nebert flying his Van's RV-10, (N62DN) plane. 
Facebook picture





TOLEDO, Ore. – Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a plane to crash into a parking lot at a paper mill in Toledo this weekend, killing a man and his 4-year-old granddaughter.

Toledo Police say 51-year-old Douglas Nebert of Newport was flying his stepdaughter and her daughter to Seattle Saturday afternoon, when the plane lost altitude, banked a turn, and nose-dived into an empty parking lot at the Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill.

“When the officers and the fire department first got there, the mother of the child was doing CPR on the child,” said Toledo Police Chief David Enyeart.

Enyeart says both Nebert and his granddaughter, Zoey Wahl, died at the scene. Relatives say Zoey’s mother, 34-year-old April Gleason of Seattle, is in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“The EMTs came in and tried to resuscitate her (Wahl), but she was pronounced dead at the scene, and so was the pilot,” Enyeart said.

Investigators are still trying to reconstruct the crash, and on Monday afternoon will start removing the plane from the parking lot.

Toledo residents KEZI 9 News spoke with on Monday say though they did not know the victims, the Newport-Toledo community is small, and their hearts go out to the family.

“It’s just tragic,” said resident Tera Reid. “Horrible. It affects everybody. It’s a small community. Everybody works with everybody and it affects everybody.”

“It does affect everybody,” said Janice Miner, who lives in Newport but works in Toledo. “It touches home. We wish the mother good luck and hopefully they are able to heal.”

Valerie Carkhuff owns the Smoke N Shop across the street from the mill. Though she says she was not at the store at the time of the crash, she also says it hits close to home.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “It’s devastating for it to happen in such a small town. And I’m devastated for the loss of her (Gleason’s) daughter.”

Nebert owned the Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Newport with his wife Dee – an area she says he loved. She also says he loved to fly, and had built the plane the family was flying in on Saturday.

“It was his passion to fly,” she said. “Despite the tragedy, I’m certain he did everything he could in that situation. He knew that plane very well. He loved to fly.”

Family members of Nebert and Wahl say they are coping the best they can: remembering Doug, who they say was extremely kind and generous, and Zoey, who could light up a room with her energy and her determination.

Relatives say if anyone would like to make a contribution, they would rather have donations sent to two different charities in their honor.

Donations can be made in Zoey’s name to the Teddy Bears for Kids program by clicking here. In Doug’s name, donations can be made to the Young Eagles program by clicking here.

Memorial dates have yet to be determined.

From Toledo Police:

On Saturday, at approximately 4:20pm, the Toledo Police Department, Toledo Fire Department, and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Toledo to investigate a plane crash. A small light plane took off from the Newport Airport with three passengers traveling east towards Toledo, at which time they lost altitude and crashed in the parking lot of the mill. One passenger was taken by Life Flight to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.

Further investigation revealed that the three were traveling to Seattle Washington and left the Newport Oregon airport at 4:00pm. A witness said that they saw the plane flying low and then it started banking into a turn. The plane’s nose was witnessed to have dropped toward the earth and then went straight down.

The pilot that was killed in the plane crash was identified as 51 year old Douglas Nebert of Newport Oregon. Also killed in the crash was Nebert’s 4 year old granddaughter Zoey Wahl of Seattle Washington. The surviving passenger is 34 year old April Gleason of Seattle, Washington the mother of Zoey and step-daughter of Douglas.

This is an ongoing investigation with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration and this Agency.

Other information indicates that Nebert was the owner of a bed and breakfast in Agate Beach and was flying a Van's RV-10 experimental aircraft and was reportedly flying his step-daughter and granddaughter home to Seattle. Nebert worked as a Senior Advisor for Geospatial Technology for the U.S. Geological Survey and formerly for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Nebert also served on the Newport Airport Advisory Committee. He also owned the Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast at Agate Beach.



Doug Nebert
Sad News about Doug Nebert
by Mark Reichardt on Tue, 2014-06-03 

Dear OGC members and readers of our blog,

We lost a member of our OGC family over this past weekend.  Doug Nebert, an active member of the OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee since 1994, died in a private plane crash in Oregon last weekend.  Our hearts go out to Doug's family at this time of terrible tragedy.

Involved  actively in the OGC from the beginning, Doug was a familiar face, a brilliant mind, and a gracious individual.  Doug chaired several working groups, contributed to countless OGC documents, and worked tirelessly to advance the vital components of Spatial Data Infrastructure at all levels of government - not only in the USA on behalf of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee, but around the world.    He was a recognized expert on all things geospatial, and was well known for his expertise in metadata and catalogs.  Doug was also a member of a small group of insightful OGC members who in the late 1990's helped establish what has become today's OGC Interoperability Program.

In 2005, Doug received OGC's highest award, the Kenneth D. Gardels Award, for his significant personal and professional contributions to advancing the OGC community, and for his leadership in advancing geospatial interoperability and open standards globally.


Read more here:  http://www.opengeospatial.org


TOLEDO — The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating a deadly plane crash over the weekend, but the loss of engine power is suspected to be the cause. 

 “The initial indications led us to really focus on that area,” said Zoe Keliher, air safety investigator with the NTSB. Toledo Police Chief David Enyeart said there was no sound reported when the airplane fell from the sky.

But Keliher added that officials are looking into other possibilities along with what could have caused the engine to fail, if that’s the case.

Douglas Nebert, 51, of Newport, was taking his stepdaughter and her 4-year-old daughter home to Seattle when his plane crashed on the site of the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Toledo, killing him and his step-granddaughter, Zoey Wahl. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, Enyeart said.

Zoey’s mother, April Gleason, 34, was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis via Life Flight helicopter and later taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment, where she was listed in fair condition Monday, according to spokeswoman Amber Shoebridge.

For the complete article see the 06-04-2014 issue.


TOLEDO — A 51-year-old Newport man and 4-year-old girl were identified Sunday as the two people killed in a Toledo plane crash this weekend.

The pilot, Douglas Nebert, of Newport, and his step-granddaughter, Zoey Wahl were killed in the crash.

Zoey's mother, April Gleason, 34, of Seattle, is recovering at a Portland area hospital. Her condition is unknown at this time, the Toledo Police Department said.

According to witness reports, the small plane was flying low when it banked, and then nosedived straight down onto Georgia-Pacific paper mill property Saturday afternoon.

Authorities believe the engine stopped working as there was no sound when the plane dropped.


(TOLEDO, Ore. ) - Two people are dead, and another injured after the plane they were in crashed onto the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill property in Toledo along the Oregon Coast. Toledo Police say the plane crashed shortly after take-off from the Newport Airport, and was headed east when it lost altitude and slammed into the mill’s parking lot just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The only survivor was taken by air ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. The names of those involved in the crash have not yet been named. The FAA says the plane was a homebuilt RV-10. 
 


TOLEDO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Two people were pronounced dead on scene after a plane carrying three passengers crashed in Toledo, Ore. at 4:19 p.m. Saturday.  The third passenger was taken via Life Flight to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, Ore. in critical condition.

Toledo Police said the plane crashed inside the Georgia Pacific Mill property.  Waitress Josalyn Smith was taking an order outside when she heard her customer gasp.   “I turned and saw the plane nosediving and heard a crash shortly thereafter,” she said.   “It just was going straight down towards the ground, no sounds, the engine must have cut out,” she said.

Toledo Police Chief David Enyeart said in a statement the small light plane left from Newport Airport, but the plane lost altitude near Toledo.  He said Toledo Police, Fire and the  Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.  The National Transportation Safety Board, Toledo Police and the Federal Aviation Administration continue to investigate. Names will be released once next of kin are notified.



TOLEDO, OR (KPTV) -  Two people were killed and a third was injured after the plane they were in crashed in Toledo on Saturday afternoon.

The Toledo Police Department says the plane crashed into the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill property around 4:20 p.m. Saturday.

Officials say the plane took off from the Newport Airport and was traveling east towards Toledo when it lost altitude and crashed into the parking lot of the mill. The surviving passenger was taken by Life Flight to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis.

The names of the passengers will be released once their family has been notified.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration continue to investigate.

Along with Toledo Police, the Toledo Fire Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash.


Story and photos:  http://www.kptv.com

TOLEDO—Two people died Saturday when their plane crashed into a parking lot at the Georgia-Pacific paper mill just west of Pig Feathers restaurant.

Emergency personnel from the Toledo Police Department, Toledo Fire Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene about 4:20 p.m. on May 31.

According to officials the small plane took off from the Newport airport with three people on board traveling east. The plane lost altitude and crashed into the mill parking lot a short time later.

One passenger was taken by Life Flight to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Names of the passengers will be released pending notification of next of kin.

This is an ongoing investigation with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration and Toledo Police Department are continuing the investigation into the cause of the accident.


Story and photo:  http://www.lincolncountydispatch.com 

The single engine private aircraft was flying northeast across the river when it lost power and, according to an eyewitness, nosed down and disappeared behind buildings within the GP paper mill. The witness said the crash was very loud even 500 yards away.

There was one survivor who was transported to the Toledo Airport. Moments later a Lifeflight medical chopper landed, loaded the patient aboard and departed for a Portland trauma center.

Two other passengers aboard the plane perished, according to Toledo Police.

The plane had earlier taken off from the Newport Airport and was flying eastward over Toledo when it apparently suffered engine problems, and plunged to the ground. Witnesses say the plane was flying one minute then quietly plunging to the ground the next.

2 comments:

  1. Do you ever get the feeling that there are certain entities out there just looking for cases to try and lawsuits to create?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Case closed. As it should be. Don't put your child in a car seat not approved for aircraft use in the front seat of an amateur-built airplane where the builder was clearly negligent in assembly of fuel system components that led directly to the crash. No $35 million for you, lady.

    11/25/2016 Judgment

    Judicial Officer
    Pellegrini, Cheryl A

    Judgment Type
    Judgment - General Dismissal

    Comment

    Comment (Dismissed as to all Defendants with prejudice and without attorney fees, costs, or disbrusements to any party.)

    ReplyDelete

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