Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cessna 170B, N3558C (and) ICP MXP-740 Savannah, N991TP: Fatal accident occurred October 12, 2014 in Yerington, Nevada

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA010A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Yerington, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/02/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N3558C
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.

A Cessna 170B and a Pettit Savannah collided in midair shortly after both took off from the same airstrip. The airplanes were the second and third airplanes in a group of three airplanes whose pilots planned to depart from a fly-in at the airstrip, form up together in the traffic pattern, and then depart the area. The first airplane took off and turned left 180 degrees onto the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, and it was followed by the Cessna. Subsequently, the Savannah took off on a heading about 45 degrees to the left of the airstrip's heading and entered a climbing left turn. Witnesses reported that when the airplanes collided, the Cessna was flying level on a westerly heading on the downwind leg, and the Savannah was on about a north heading in a climbing left turn. The witnesses observed the airplanes collide at nearly a perpendicular angle. 

Postaccident examination of the airplanes' wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of either airplane. A collision angle calculated from paint transfer and scratches on the Savannah's right wing indicated that the airplanes collided at an angle of about 90 degrees, consistent with the witness reports. 

The evidence indicated that the Savannah pilot attempted a join-up maneuver without maintaining adequate awareness of the Cessna's position. Before the collision occurred, the Savannah was in a climbing left turn and likely could not see the Cessna. The Savannah's pilot should have executed a clearing procedure during climb out to verify the position of the Cessna before attempting the join up. Also, had the Cessna's pilot executed a clearing procedure while on downwind, he might have been able to observe the Savannah as it was departing. 

The Savannah pilot's toxicology testing identified diphenhydramine, tramadol, mefloquine, and trazodone in the muscle and liver. Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its inactive metabolite tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid were detected in the lung, liver, and brain. The investigation was unable to determine why the pilot was using mefloquine or if he had any adverse effects from the medication. The combined effects of diphenhydramine, tramadol, trazodone, and THC, all of which cause sedation, likely impaired the Savannah pilot's decision-making. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the Savannah pilot to maintain awareness of the position of the Cessna while attempting a join up maneuver. Contributing to the accident was the impaired decision-making of the Savannah's pilot due to the combined effects of licit and illicit medications. Also contributing to the accident was the failure of the Cessna pilot to maintain awareness of the position of the Savannah as it was departing. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 12, 2014 about 0812 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N3558C, and an experimental amateur built Pettit Savannah, N991TP, collided in midair about 12 miles north of Yerington, Nevada. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the Cessna, and the private pilot, sole occupant of the Savannah, were fatally injured. Both the Cessna and Savannah impacted terrain and were destroyed. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The Cessna departed from a nearby dry lake bed about 0809 and the Savannah about 0811. Both airplanes had a planned destination of Carson City, Nevada.

Witnesses, who were participating in a fly in, located at the dry lake bed, reported that they observed the experimental Savannah take off about 45 degrees to the left of the outlined airstrip runway heading and then turn immediately left towards the Cessna and another airplane on the downwind leg. The Cessna was heading west while flying on downwind and the Savannah was climbing out to the north and turning left while attempting to join up with the Cessna. The witnesses observed the airplanes impact at nearly a perpendicular angle to each other.

According to the pilot in the first airplane that just departed the airstrip, the Cessna and Savannah airplane were to join up with his airplane and then depart the local area, flying as three airplanes together in a loose formation. His airplane was the lead airplane on downwind and the Cessna was the second airplane established on downwind. The Savannah was the third and last airplane in the group, and planned to join with the other two airplanes on the traffic pattern downwind.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 48, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane multi engine land, single-engine land, single engine sea, and instrument ratings. He was also a Certified Flight Instructor in airplane single engine and a ground instructor. The most recent medical was a third-class airman medical certificate on June 06, 2014, with no limitations stated. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application; that he had accumulated 2,500 total flight hours and 300 hours in the last six months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 26602, was manufactured in 1954. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360A1A, 180-hp engine. Review of the maintenance logbook records showed that the most recent inspection was an annual inspection completed on November 29, 2013, at a total airframe time of 12,022.9 hours. The most recent engine inspection was an annual inspection on November 29, 2013, at a total operating time of 2,754.8 hours. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 0755 Carson Airport (CXP), Carson City, Nevada, recorded data from the automated weather observation station, located about 27 miles east of the accident site, revealed conditions were wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 7 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. 

COMMUNICATIONS

The accident airplanes were not in contact with Air Traffic Control and the remote, mountainous area where the dry lake bed was located provided no radar coverage. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The make-shift, temporary, airstrip was located on a dry lake bed with a reported field elevation of about 4,706 feet. The airstrip was equipped with an outlined dirt runway; runway 090/270 (about 1,400 feet long). An information bulletin on the airstrip, provided by the fly-in sponsor, listed the eastern runway as the primary landing direction and the traffic pattern called for left turns for both runways. 

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge revealed the Cessna wreckage came to rest about 1,700 feet North of the dry lake bed where the dirt strip used for takeoff was located. Two wreckage locations were identified and all major structural components of both airplanes were located within the wreckage debris area. A post-crash fire ensued at the Cessna wreckage site. The accident site was located on hilly desert terrain.

The Cessna's wings, fuselage were located within the wreckage site and were thermally damaged. The Savannah's vertical stabilizer and fuselage parts were located embedded in the Cessna wreckage. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) with the ground was about 20 feet upslope from the wreckage. The debris path was about 580 feet in length and about 460 feet in width. The direction of the wreckage debris path was oriented on a heading of about 60 degrees magnetic from the FIPC. Various small pieces of the airplane were located throughout the debris area, including paint chips. 

Flight control cable continuity was confirmed on the Cessna. The left wing of the Cessna exhibited a flattened portion on its leading edge, inboard of the landing lights. Both airplane beacons were located near the Cessna wreckage. The Cessna's engine was thermally damaged but no other anomalies were noted. One propeller blade tip was observed to be bent and the other blade was bent back about 180 degrees, about mid-span.

The examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on October 14, 2014, by the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office, Reno, Nevada. The stated cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on the specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and the listed drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Several personal electronic devices were sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division for potential data download. Some of devices had recoverable data. However, of the devices that had data, no information pertinent to the investigation was present.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations [14 CFR 91.113(b)] required that each person operating an aircraft maintain vigilance so as to "see and avoid other aircraft." When aircraft of the same certification category are converging, "the aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way." However, the FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B) noted that even if entitled to the right-of-way, a pilot should yield if another aircraft seemed too close. The handbook also stated that high-wing and low-wing aircraft have their respective blind spots. The pilot of a high-wing aircraft should momentarily raise the wing in the direction of the intended turn and look for traffic prior to commencing the turn. The handbook further states that in order to assist with collision avoidance, pilots should execute clearing procedures periodically during sustained periods of straight-and-level flight. During climbs and descents, pilots should execute gentle banks left and right to permit visual scanning of the airspace. Vigilance should also be maintained during training operations and clearing turns should be made prior to a practice maneuver being performed.

The manufacturer provided information related to the field of view from the high-wing, Cessna airplane. An individual seated in the left pilot's seat, has a view from approximately 51 degrees up and 10 degrees down out the front windshield. When looking out the left side window, the view is approximately from level to 66 degrees down. When looking out the cabin on the opposite side window, the field of view is restricted to 0 degrees up and about 26 degrees down. Additionally, the aft view is about 28 degrees to the right and 63 degrees to the right.

A rejoin is used to expedite forming up together with another airplane and is frequently used in military formation flying. The maneuver is complex, since closure rate, airspeed, altitude, and alignment with the airplane that one is forming up to must be continuously monitored. According to Air Force's Primary Flying Manual for their T-6 primary trainer airplane, the following factors contribute significantly to the potential for a midair collision: Failure of the lead airplane to properly clear or visually monitor the number 2 airplane during a critical phase of flight, such as a rejoin. Failure of the number 2 airplane to recognize excessive overtake and the failure of the number 2 airplane to maintain lateral or vertical separation during rejoins. 

Further examination of the airframe and engine was accomplished by the NTSB investigator-in charge (IIC), an additional NTSB investigator, and an investigator from Textron Aviation. The flattened portion of the Cessna's wing leading edge corresponded to the width and shape of the damaged portion of the Savannah's vertical stabilizer and rudder.

A collision angle was calculated utilizing the paint transfer and scratches on the Savannah's right wing. The two airplanes collided about on a 90 degrees converging angle. 

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA010B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Yerington, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/02/2016
Aircraft: PETTIT SAVANNAH, registration: N991TP
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.

A Cessna 170B and a Pettit Savannah collided in midair shortly after both took off from the same airstrip. The airplanes were the second and third airplanes in a group of three airplanes whose pilots planned to depart from a fly-in at the airstrip, form up together in the traffic pattern, and then depart the area. The first airplane took off and turned left 180 degrees onto the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, and it was followed by the Cessna. Subsequently, the Savannah took off on a heading about 45 degrees to the left of the airstrip's heading and entered a climbing left turn. Witnesses reported that when the airplanes collided, the Cessna was flying level on a westerly heading on the downwind leg, and the Savannah was on about a north heading in a climbing left turn. The witnesses observed the airplanes collide at nearly a perpendicular angle. 

Postaccident examination of the airplanes' wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of either airplane. A collision angle calculated from paint transfer and scratches on the Savannah's right wing indicated that the airplanes collided at an angle of about 90 degrees, consistent with the witness reports.

The evidence indicated that the Savannah pilot attempted a join-up maneuver without maintaining adequate awareness of the Cessna's position. Before the collision occurred, the Savannah was in a climbing left turn and likely could not see the Cessna. The Savannah's pilot should have executed a clearing procedure during climb out to verify the position of the Cessna before attempting the join up. Also, had the Cessna's pilot executed a clearing procedure while on downwind, he might have been able to observe the Savannah as it was departing. 

The Savannah pilot's toxicology testing identified diphenhydramine, tramadol, mefloquine, and trazodone in the muscle and liver. Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its inactive metabolite tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid were detected in the lung, liver, and brain. The investigation was unable to determine why the pilot was using mefloquine or if he had any adverse effects from the medication. The combined effects of diphenhydramine, tramadol, trazodone, and THC, all of which cause sedation, likely impaired the Savannah pilot's decision-making. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the Savannah pilot to maintain awareness of the position of the Cessna while attempting a join up maneuver. Contributing to the accident was the impaired decision-making of the Savannah's pilot due to the combined effects of licit and illicit medications. Also contributing to the accident was the failure of the Cessna pilot to maintain awareness of the position of the Savannah as it was departing. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 12, 2014 about 0812 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N3558C, and an experimental amateur built Pettit Savannah, N991TP, collided in midair about 12 miles north of Yerington, Nevada. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the Cessna, and the private pilot, sole occupant of the Savannah, were fatally injured. Both the Cessna and Savannah impacted terrain and were destroyed. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either flight. The Cessna departed from a nearby dry lake bed about 0809 and the Savannah about 0811. Both airplanes had a planned destination of Carson City, Nevada.

Witnesses, who were participating in a fly in, located at the dry lake bed, reported that they observed the experimental Savannah take off about 45 degrees to the left of the outlined airstrip runway heading and then turn immediately left towards the Cessna and another airplane on the downwind leg. The Cessna was heading west while flying on downwind and the Savannah was climbing out to the north and turning left while attempting to join up with the Cessna. The witnesses observed the airplanes impact at nearly a perpendicular angle to each other.

According to the pilot in the first airplane that just departed the airstrip, the Cessna and Savannah airplane were to join up with his airplane and then depart the local area, flying as three airplanes together in a loose formation. His airplane was the lead airplane on downwind and the Cessna was the second airplane established on downwind. The Savannah was the third and last airplane in the group, and planned to join with the other two airplanes on the traffic pattern downwind.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 28, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. The most recent medical that could be determined was a third-class airman medical certificate on August 30, 2011, with no limitations stated. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application; that he had accumulated 10.9 total flight hours and 10.9 hours in the last six months. In addition, the pilot had logged several hours in the accident airplane, that he purchased the previous month.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, amateur built experimental fixed-gear airplane, serial number 04-06-51-297, was manufactured in 2004. It was powered by a Rotax experimental O-360-A4M, 100-hp engine. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not located during the investigation. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 0755 Carson Airport (CXP), Carson City, Nevada, recorded data from the automated weather observation station, located about 27 miles east of the accident site, revealed conditions were wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 7 degrees Celsius, dew point 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury. 

COMMUNICATIONS

The accident airplanes were not in contact with Air Traffic Control and the remote, mountainous area where the dry lake bed was located provided no radar coverage. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The make-shift, temporary, airstrip was located on a dry lake bed with a reported field elevation of about 4,706 feet. The airstrip was equipped with an outlined dirt runway; runway 090/270 (about 1,400 feet long). An information bulletin on the airstrip, provided by the fly-in sponsor, listed the eastern runway as the primary landing direction and the traffic pattern called for left turns for both runways. 

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge revealed the Savannah wreckage came to rest about 1,700 feet North of the dry lake bed where the dirt strip used for takeoff was located. Two wreckage locations were identified and all major structural components of both airplanes were located within the wreckage debris area. A post-crash fire ensued at the Cessna wreckage site. The accident site was located on hilly desert terrain.

The Savannah's vertical stabilizer and fuselage parts were located embedded in the Cessna wreckage. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) with the ground was about 20 feet upslope from the wreckage. The debris path was about 580 feet in length and about 460 feet in width. The direction of the wreckage debris path was oriented on a heading of about 60 degrees magnetic from the FIPC. 

The majority of the parts in the debris field were from the experimental Savannah airplane. The first, was a nose landing gear strut and wheel assembly about 230 feet from the Cessna wreckage. The Savannah's engine, wings, and instrument panel contacted the ground first and then the remainder of the airplane continued forward for about 425 feet beyond where the engine impacted terrain. Various small pieces of the airplane were located throughout the debris area, including paint chips. On the Savannah's right wing struts several propeller strikes were observed that separated them into several sections near the fuselage mount point. Further, the right wing upper surface had 45-degree markings near the tip.

The examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on October 14, 2014, by the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office, Reno, Nevada. The stated cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. Further, the autopsy report documented that the pilot was using Novolog and Lautus insulin, Tramadol, Lisinopril, and Medical Marijuana. 

The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on the specimens from the pilot with positive results for Diphenhydramine, Mefloquine, Tramadol, Trazodone, and Tetrahydrocannabinol.

The pilot of the Savannah reported no medical conditions or medical medications to the FAA on his last medical. While specific drugs and medications are not addressed individually by name; the prohibition of use of marijuana, medical marijuana, or any other impairing substance in general aviation operations is covered by Title 14 CFR part 91.17(a)(3) which states "No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft…while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety…"

NovoLog is the brand name of a fast-acting type of prescription injectable insulin and Lantus is the brand name of a long-acting type of prescription injectable insulin used for high blood sugar resulting from diabetes. Tramadol is a prescription opioid medication that is also a Schedule IV controlled substance. It is commonly sold with the name Ultram. Tramadol carries the warning, "May impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." Lisinopril is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure marketed under various names including Prinivil.

Diphenhydramine is an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine used to treat allergic conditions and as a sleep aid. It is available over the counter under the trade names Benadryl and Unisom. Diphenhydramine carries the following FDA warning: "may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." Mefloquine is a prescription medication used to treat malaria. It carries the warning: may cause neuropsychiatric adverse reactions in adults and children. Psychiatric symptoms range from anxiety, paranoia, and depression to hallucinations and psychotic behavior and neurologic symptoms include dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus, and loss of balance. Trazodone is a prescription antidepressant marketed as Desyrel and sometimes used as a sleep aid. Trazodone carries the warning "may cause somnolence or sedation and may impair the mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks. Tramadol is an opiate analgesic used to relieve moderate to moderately sever pain. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. THC has mood-altering effects including euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, sense of well-being, disorientation, image distortion, and psychosis. The ability to concentrate and maintain attention are decreased during marijuana use, and impairment of hand-eye coordination is dose-related over a wide range of dosages. Significant performance impairments are usually observed for at least one to two hours following marijuana use, and residual effects have been reported up to 24 hours.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Several personal electronic devices were sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division for potential data download. Some of devices had recoverable data. However, of the devices that had data, no information pertinent to the investigation was present.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations [14 CFR 91.113(b)] required that each person operating an aircraft maintain vigilance so as to "see and avoid other aircraft." When aircraft of the same certification category are converging, "the aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way." However, the FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B) noted that even if entitled to the right-of-way, a pilot should yield if another aircraft seemed too close. The handbook also stated that high-wing and low-wing aircraft have their respective blind spots. The pilot of a high-wing aircraft should momentarily raise the wing in the direction of the intended turn and look for traffic prior to commencing the turn. The handbook further states that in order to assist with collision avoidance, pilots should execute clearing procedures periodically during sustained periods of straight-and-level flight. During climbs and descents, pilots should execute gentle banks left and right to permit visual scanning of the airspace. Vigilance should also be maintained during training operations and clearing turns should be made prior to a practice maneuver being performed.

A rejoin is used to expedite forming up together with another airplane and is frequently used in military formation flying. The maneuver is complex, since closure rate, airspeed, altitude, and alignment with the airplane that one is forming up to must be continuously monitored. According to Air Force's Primary Flying Manual for their T-6 primary trainer airplane, the following factors contribute significantly to the potential for a midair collision: Failure of the lead airplane to properly clear or visually monitor the number 2 airplane during a critical phase of flight, such as a rejoin. Failure of the number 2 airplane to recognize excessive overtake and the failure of the number 2 airplane to maintain lateral or vertical separation during rejoins. 

Further examination of the airframe and engine was accomplished by the NTSB investigator-in charge (IIC), and an additional NTSB investigator. The damaged portion of the Savannah's vertical stabilizer and rudder, corresponded to the width and shape of the flattened portion of the Cessna's wing leading edge. 

A collision angle was calculated utilizing the paint transfer and scratches on the Savannah's right wing. The two airplanes collided on about a 90 degrees converging angle. 

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA010A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Yerington, NV
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N3558C
Injuries: 2 Fatal.


NTSB Identification: WPR15FA010B 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Yerington, NV
Aircraft: PETTIT SAVANNAH, registration: N991TP
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 October 12, 2014 about 0812 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N3558C, registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight, and an experimental amateur built Pettit Savannah, N991TP, registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided in midair about 12 miles north of Yerington, Nevada. Both the Cessna and Savannah were destroyed. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the Cessna, and the private pilot, sole occupant of the Savannah, were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either of the flights. Both flights departed from a nearby dry lake bed at an unknown time with a planned destination of Carson City, Nevada.

Witnesses, who were participating in a fly-in, located at the dry lake bed, reported that they observed the experimental Savannah take off and immediately turn left towards the airplane on downwind, for the outlined landing area. The Cessna was flying on a heading of about 260 degrees while on downwind and the Savannah was climbing out on a heading of about 350 degrees. The witnesses observed the airplanes impact at nearly a perpendicular angle to each other.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge revealed that both wreckages came to rest about 425 feet from each other and about 1,700 feet from the outlined runway area. All major structural components of both airplanes were located within the wreckage debris area. A postcrash fire ensued at the Cessna wreckage.

The airplanes were recovered to a secure location for further examination.


Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

N3558C CESSNA 170 AND N991TP EXPERIMENTAL SAVANNAH AIRCRAFT COLLIDED IN MIDAIR, THE ONE PERSON ON BOARD N3558C AND THE ONE PERSON ON BOARD N991TP WERE FATALLY INJURED, 11 MILES FROM YERINGTON, NV 

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11 

REGISTRATION PENDING: http://registry.faa.gov/N991TP

THOMAS R. WEISS: http://registry.faa.gov/N3558C 

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Friends and family are remembering a Corvallis pilot after a mid-air plane collision in Nevada killed two Oregon pilots this weekend. 


Law enforcement officials in Nevada say the two pilots in the crash, 28-year-old Tyler Adams of Corvallis and Captain Thomas Weiss of Roseburg both died after their two planes collided.

“He brought laughter with him everywhere he went,” said Timothy Frink of Adams, who had been friends since high school. “He did what he loved.”

When Frink received a text message on Monday from a friend with the news of the crash, he could not believe it.

“It was literally unreal to me,” he said. “I just couldn’t fathom it. The last couple of days have been a lot of tears and a lot of conversations with old friends about memories that we had with Ty.”

Ginny and Paul Adams, Tyler’s parents, released a statement on behalf of  the family on Wednesday, saying their son was the shining light in their lives.

His friends are sharing a similar message.

“It is just really hard for me to believe that somebody who was that excited about life is no longer with us,” Frink said. “It’s like a star burned out.”

In their statement, the Adams say: “We take some small comfort in knowing that he was doing what he loves most in the world. Flying.”

Meanwhile, family and friends say Adams, or Ty as they called him, will continue to be a star that will never leave their hearts.

“He was super enthusiastic, super pumped about life, and just a really awesome, fun person to be around,” Frink said. “He will be missed by many. He had a lot of friends all over the world.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing to investigate the crash.




 


WINSTON, Ore. -- A 22-year veteran of the Winston-Dillard Fire Department is dead after his plane was involved in a crash northwest of Yerington, Nevada.

 Fire Captain Thomas R. Weiss was piloting a private plane in Nevada when authorities received calls of a crash involving two planes Sunday morning. Both pilots were killed, according to authorities. One caller said it occurred near Wabuska, Nevada.

Weiss had served the past 12 years at the rank of Captain/Paramedic with WDFD.  Department officials say he had a passion for flying and had been flying aircraft for more than 34 years. During his off-duty time, he flew a spotter plane for the Douglas Forest Protection Association (DFPA) for the past three fire seasons.

“This is a tragic loss to the entire central Douglas County Fire Service,” said Fire Chief Greg Marlar.  “Tom was a professional that gave 110% of himself to his profession and the community he served. I have some sense of comfort knowing that Tom was doing one of the things he loved most.”

Winston Fire district personnel are assisting the family with services, which are planned for Sunday, October 19th.  In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to the Tom Weiss Memorial Scholarship fund at the Winston Dillard Fire District.

According to department officials, the FAA and NTSB responded and will be conducting an accident investigation, which is ongoing.


- Story and Comments:  http://www.kpic.com

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.








5:55 p.m. update

Two aircraft collided Sunday in the skies near a dry lake bed in Northern Nevada's Lyon County, killing both pilots.

The mid-air collision between the single-engine Cessna 170 and the unidentified experimental aircraft occurred around 8 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The names of the pilots were not immediately available. They were pronounced dead at the scene, the Lyon County Sheriff's Office said.

Each pilot was flying alone. No injuries were reported to anyone on the ground.

The circumstances of the midair collision were not immediately known, Gregor said in an emailed statement.

The site is about 10 miles north-northwest of Yerington, the FAA's  Gregor said, near Adrian Valley.

"Deputies met with witnesses on scene who stated that two airplanes collided north of the dry lake bed and crashed into the side of a hill," sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Powell said in a statement.

The wreckage of both planes was entangled where they came to a rest.

The collision occurred during an informal weekend fly-in at the dry lake bed, the sheriff's office said.

Those still in the area after the crash said that when the collision occurred, they were gathered around a large campfire while breakfast was being prepared by a caterer.

They heard what several described as a "pop." They looked toward the sound, saw debris falling and then smoke from an area just over the hill near the lake bed.

At that point, people began either running or driving to the site in vehicles or ATVs.

Jack Lyons, an owner with Men Wielding Fire restaurant, said he was cooking eggs when he heard the pop, looked and saw the debris falling and people taking off toward that area to see if they could help. "Everyone was in shock," he said.

Kevin Quinn of Truckee said the pilots have a runway marked with orange cones and rocks, and they have one radio frequency used so they have radio contact.

Quinn, a pilot, said he was just behind the cooking trailer when the collision occurred. He said he took a few steps upon hearing the sound and saw the debris falling.

The investigation is continuing.

Several airplanes were flying in and out of the dry lake bed over the weekend, the sheriff's office said in its statement.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, Gregor said.

The sheriff's office took the initial call about the collision.

"We're working hand-in-hand with the FAA," sheriff's Lt. Abel Ortiz said earlier Sunday.

Lyon County Search and Rescue personnel responded to the scene to help with putting up tape to mark off the accident site. Others walked, looking for debris from the aircraft until the FAA investigator arrived.

Autopsies are planned by the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office, the sheriff's office said in the statement.

The pilots' identities will be released pending further investigation and notification of next of kin, the statement said.

11:05 a.m. update:

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the aircraft involved in the crash around 8 a.m. were a single-engine Cessna 170 and an unidentified experimental aircraft.

The collision was about 10 miles north-northwest of Yerington, Gregor said. That puts it near Adrian Valley.

The circumstances of the midair collision above a dry lakebed are not immediately known, Gregor said in an emailed statement.

The FAA has an investigator en route and the FAA and the National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate, Gregor said.

_________________________

Lyon County Sheriff's Office dispatch is confirming two fatalities in the crash of two airplanes near Yerington this morning.

Other details were not immediately available.

- Source:  http://www.rgj.com

YERINGTON, NV - A single-engine Cessna 170 and an unidentified experimental aircraft collided under unknown circumstances in midair above a dry lake bed approximately 10 miles north-northwest of Yerington.

On Sunday at approximately 8:00am the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call of a plane crash 11 miles north west of Yerington Nevada. Another caller stated they witnessed the accident and advised that it was near Wabuska, Nevada.

Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Personnel from the Mason Valley Fire Protection District responded and located an informal “fly-in” which was a located at a remote dry lake bed, north west of Wabuska.

According to authorities, several airplanes were flying in and out of the dry lake bed over the weekend. Deputies met with witnesses on scene who stated that two airplanes collided north of the dry lake bed and crashed into the side of a hill.

Deputies located the crash site and discovered two airplanes which were badly damaged. Both pilots were pronounced dead at the scene.

Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue responded and assisted in the investigation by cordoning off the scene and locating debris from the accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene and subsequently conducted the accident investigation. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office conducted the death investigation.

Autopsies will be performed on both subjects on Monday by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office. The NTSB is also responding and will be conducting an accident investigation. The investigation process is ongoing.

The identities of the pilots will be released at a later date, pending further investigation and notification of next of kin.


Story and Comments:  http://www.kolotv.com



UPDATE 5:00 P.M.-

- According to an FAA spokesperson, a single-engine Cessna 170 and an unidentified experimental aircraft collided midair under unknown circumstances above a dry lakebed approximately 10 miles north-northwest of Yerington and near Wabuska, Nev. around 8 a.m. 

Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Personnel from the Mason Valley Fire Protection District responded and located an informal “fly-in” which was a located at a remote dry lake bed, north west of Wabuska. Several airplanes were flying in and out of the dry lake bed over the weekend. Deputies met with witnesses on scene who stated that two airplanes collided north of the dry lake bed and crashed into the side of a hill.

Deputies located the crash site and discovered two airplanes which were badly damaged. Soon after the Yerington Police Department confirmed that two people were dead, one was piloting the Cessna 170 and the other the experimental aircraft.

Autopsies will be performed on both pilots on Monday by the Washoe County Medical Examiner's office.

Officials report that the investigation is ongoing.

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