Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cessna 210E Centurion, State of Arkansas Forestry Commission, N4957U: Accident occurred January 31, 2014 in Oden, Arkansas

http://registry.faa.govN4957U

NTSB Identification: CEN14GA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 31, 2014 in Oden, AR
Aircraft: CESSNA 210E, registration: N4957U
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On January 31, 2014, about 1317 central standard time, a Cessna 210E, N4957U, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during a fire detection flight near Glenwood, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Arkansas Forestry Commission as a public-use aircraft. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area near the accident site at the time of the accident. The pilot filed a company visual flight rules flight plan. The airplane departed from the Malvern Municipal Airport (M78), Malvern, Arkansas, at 1240, on a local fire detection flight.

The pilot originally scheduled for the flight needed to cancel due to sickness. The accident pilot was contacted on the morning of the accident and was asked if he wanted to take the flight. He agreed to take the flight, and he arrived at the airport at 1200 to check weather and preflight the airplane.

There is no aviation weather reporting station located at M78. The closest weather reporting station is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, located 19 nautical miles (nm) to the northwest of M78. At 1153, the Hot Springs surface weather observation was reporting a ceiling of 1,500 feet above ground level (agl). At 1153, the Mount Ida surface weather observation was reporting a ceiling of 1,100 feet agl. The 1155 surface weather observation at Mena, Arkansas, was reporting a ceiling of 500 feet agl.

The pilot departed M78 at 1240 to conduct a fire detection flight of Fire District 2 (D-2) using a predetermined flight route. The pilot reported his flight progress to the dispatch center which provided flight following. The pilot reported entering the eastern boundary of the forest district at 1253. At 1258, he reported checkpoint 2, which is located at Mt. Ida, Arkansas. The pilot turned north toward checkpoint 1, located 32 nm to the north at Danville, Arkansas. At 1303, the pilot reported to the dispatch center that he was 20 nm from checkpoint one and he was turning back due to low ceilings. At 1311, the pilot reported that he was 3 nm west of Oden, Arkansas, which is about 16 nm southwest of his last reported position on a magnetic bearing of 244 degrees. There were no further radio transmissions from the pilot. The accident site was located about 13 nm from the last reported position near Oden, Arkansas, on a magnetic bearing of 171 degrees.

The airplane impacted trees on a ridgeline, which had an elevation of 1,473 feet. The outboard section of the left wing was found on top of the ridge line. The main wreckage was located 0.3 mile south of the ridgeline at an elevation of 686 feet on a 175 degree magnetic bearing.

There were no witnesses to the accident. When the pilot did not check in with the dispatch center after 30 minutes from his last communication, the dispatch center attempted to contact the pilot. At 1431, the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Service Station was contacted about the overdue airplane and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center was notified. Ground and aerial searches were made for the missing airplane, but weather conditions over the next 11 days hampered the search effort. The airplane wreckage was located on February 11, 2014.

The 1153 surface weather observation at the Hot Springs Memorial Field Airport (HOT), Hot Springs, Arkansas, located 35 nm miles on a 082 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind 150 degrees at 4 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,500 feet; temperature 10 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 5 degrees C; altimeter 29.97 inches of mercury.

The 1253 surface weather observation at HOT was wind 180 degrees at 3 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,700 feet; temperature 12 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.93 inches of mercury.

The 1153 surface weather observation at the Bearce Airport (7M3), Mount Ida, Arkansas, located 15 nm on a 041 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind variable at 3 knots; 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,100 feet; temperature 9 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.

The 1253 surface weather observation at 7M3 was 10 miles visibility; overcast 1,200 feet; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point 7 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.

The 1155 surface weather observation at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (MEZ), Mena, Arkansas, located 22 nm on a 292 degrees magnetic bearing from the accident site, was wind light and variable; 7 miles visibility; overcast 500 feet; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 10 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.

The 1315 surface weather observation at MEZ was wind 170 degrees at 3 knots; 7 miles visibility; overcast 700 feet; temperature 12 degrees C; dew point 11 degrees C; altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.


Obituary for Jacob Thomas Harrell 

Jacob Thomas Harrell, 33, of North Little Rock, AR met his Savior Friday, January 31, 2014. He was born November 25, 1980 to Rick and Pam Harrell. He was a graduate of Sylvan Hills High School and Henderson University. Jake served in the 188th Air National Guard out of Fort Smith, Arkansas for 14 years as a crew chief, serving three tours in Operation Freedom. He also was a police officer of North Little Rock, AR. He was a licensed commercial pilot with multiple ratings. He flew fire detection for the Arkansas Forestry Commission. He was also a life long member of First Assembly North Little Rock, where he served God and people faithfully including the Deaf Community of Central Arkansas.

Besides his parents, Jake is survived by his wife Rev. Jaime Fish Harrell; a son, Brayden Harrell; sister Rev. Ashley Duff and her husband Rev. Ben Duff; grandmothers: Doris Wingo and Ola Mae Harrell; father-in-law and mother-in-law Gary and Penny Fish; brother-in-law Matthew Fish and wife Tiffany; nieces, Samantha and Alex; nephew, Lukas; grandfathers-in-law, Thomas Fish and Perry Hensley; and numerous extended family members and friends.

Memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at First Assembly of God NLR officiated by Rev. Rod Loy, 4501 Burrow Drive, North Little Rock. The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the church.

In lieu of flowers memorials in honor of Jake can be made to First Assembly of God Live Dead Challenge. The Arkansas Forestry Commission has also set up a Scholarship Fund for his son. Donations can be made to the Brayden Harrell Scholarship Fund at any Simmons First or Metropolitan National Bank location.

Arrangements by North Little Rock Funeral Home a Smith family funeral home. Online obituary and guest registry at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.




Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot Jake Harrell 




(Photo: Family) 



 (Photo: Family)


AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, SUBJECT OF AN ALERT NOTICE ISSUED 1/31/2014, WRECKAGE LOCATED IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN NEAR GLENWOOD, 70 MILES FROM HOT SPRINGS, AR 


 NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (February 12, 2014) - The following is a statement from the wife and family of AFC pilot, Jake Harrell: 

Our hearts are heavy as we process the loss of Jake. Jake was a gentle, caring husband and father with a servant's heart and a desire to serve others. Even as we grieve, we are comforted with the knowledge Jake is in the presence of His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Over the course of the last 12 days, we have witnessed the best of Arkansas. The love and support we have received has been overwhelming. We are thankful for our church family at First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, and the many other agencies who helped find Jake. It is difficult to find words to express the depth of our gratitude to the hundreds of dedicated heroes who searched for Jake.

A Memorial Service will be held at First Assembly of God, 4501 Burrow Drive, North Little Rock on Saturday, February 15th at 10 a.m.

According to the AFC Facebook, a scholarship fund for Jake's son is being set up. Official information will be made available when the fund is open for donations, which will be in a matter of days.


Arkansas Forestry Commission:  https://www.facebook.com/ArkansasForestryCommission

Ouachita National Forest: http://www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita

Arkansas Forestry:   https://twitter.com/ARForestryComm

Arkansas Forestry Commission:   http://www.arkfireinfo.org




[PHOTO COURTESY OF ARKANSAS FORESTRY COMMISSION] 
Incident Command Crew works with the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center via live chat - cross-referencing maps and search routes. 


Slopes like this comprise most of the search area. 

Photo & Video courtesy: Arkansas Forestry Commission via Facebook. 






Scott County law enforcement joins the Incident Command Post in Mena Feb. 5 as search efforts by land and air expanded west.  Photo courtesy: Arkansas Forestry Commission via Facebook. 



Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Forestry Commission.


Mena Incident Command 

 
 Flight plane: Wickes to Oden




Pastor Rod Loy






The 12-day search for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot and his plane ended Tuesday, with the commission confirming that both the plane and the pilot have been located. 

 The plane was found by a Civil Air Patrol plane in Montgomery County north of Glenwood at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, and Arkansas State Police confirmed the plane is that of the missing pilot, according to a statement from the commission. After dispatching ground crews to investigate the crash site, the commission confirmed in a tweet that the pilot, 34-year-old Jake Harrell of North Little Rock, did not survive.

"It has been confirmed that missing AFC Pilot, Jake Harrell, did not survive. Details to come. Our hearts are with his wife and son," the commission tweeted.

Harrell disappeared Jan. 31 after last checking in with air dispatchers in Malvern. He was last known to be flying near Oden on a routine route for forest-fire detection.

Harrell had been a pilot for the Arkansas Forestry Commission since 2005, according to the news release.

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MENA, Ark. (AP) — Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft again took part in the continuing search for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot who vanished during a flight last week. 

 No sign of pilot Jake Harrell turned up during Friday's efforts.

Helicopters and planes from the National Guard, State Police, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Forestry Commission, and Civil Air Patrol took part in the hunt on Friday. The Forestry Commission says the same fleet is to be in the air on Saturday.

Organizers also want to increase the number of ground searchers on Saturday.

The search is taking place over a wide area in western Arkansas that includes about 950,000 acres.



NEAR ODEN, AR - On the seventh day of the search for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot, we're getting a look at why the effort is a particularly tough task for crews dedicated to bringing Jake Harrell home. This is how the AFC describes the search area  on its Facebook page today:  Mountainous terrain encompasses most of the search area; with slopes, heavy brush, thick ice in some areas, bluffs, and remaining ice storm damage.

Searchers must be equipped with heavy equipment, cold weather gear, and an in depth understanding of the surrounding trail system. The AFC says slopes like the ones pictured comprise most of the search area. Planes and helicopters search and re-search these locations. Satellite imagery is also being used to help teams focus in on these areas.


MENA, Ark. (AP) — Aggressive search efforts in the air and on land Thursday produced no leads in the search for missing AFC pilot Jake Harrell. Harrell disappeared on Jan. 31 as he flew from Oden to Wickes searching for wildfires.

Five helicopters flew over mountains Thursday along Jake's flight route. Helicopters are checking and re-checking areas from different directions to ensure that all slopes and angles are covered.

Ground crews also traveled to locations connected to tips provided by local residents of possible plane sightings or aircraft sounds from a week earlier.

Friday's weather includes a chance for precipitation or snow. More aircraft are scheduled to participate in the search, as are ground crews.




ODEN, AR - More than 200 people were involved today by land and air in trying to bring home missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot Jake Harrell, who disappeared on Jan. 31 while looking for wildfires.


Fifteen aircraft were committed to the search, nine of them from the Civil Air Patrol, four AFC planes, a State Police Helicopter, and two National Guard helicopters.

Some 75 hours alone were flown by aircraft on Monday, not including hours flown by the National Guard.

At a staging area in Oden, a crew was on standby Wednesday afternoon waiting for searchers up in the air to spot something they would then locate from the ground.

The search got a break from the snow and ice coming down and that's good news for the search efforts in mountainous Western Arkansas terrain. It's the site of day 5 of the search for Harrell, 34.

As planes and helicopters look from above, teams from the Montgomery and Polk County Sheriff's Offices join the ground search.

Wednesday -- the search area expanded to 800 acres south and west of the Oden where Harrell called in a radio check last Friday.

"This hits home for everybody that's involved," says Troy Hogue, chair of Henderson State University's School of Aviation, where Harrell had been a student and instructor. "We're constantly praying,"

Hogue describes Harrell as a great guy and experienced pilot.

A husband and father, Harrell was flying a wildfire scouting mission in a single engine Cessna when weather began to deteriorate. Searchers assume he went down unexpectedly.

"It could be a mechanical issue," says Hogue.

But fellow pilots say there's no telling what happened until Harrell is found.

"It could be a birdstrike. Who knows what's caused this to occur," he says.


Icy roads and freezing rain presented challenges to search efforts for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot on Tuesday (Feb. 4). 

 Jake Harrell, 34, has been missing since Friday afternoon (Jan. 31).

Clear skies allowed the Arkansas Forestry Commission to resume searching for Harrell on Monday (Feb. 3), after winter weather had halted part of the search.

On Tuesday, however, winter weather presented challenges once more, and the Incident Command Post in Mena worked to gather land and air resources to continue their search during a possible winter weather break.

According to a recent news release from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, more than 1,200 miles were covered by air Monday (Feb. 3), and 7,200 acres were traveled by foot.

The release also states that the search area began as a possible 100 square-mile space that eventually grew to a 756 square-mile space as patterns were studied more closely about the missing pilot’s last possible location.

Search parties continued to grow as officials re-grouped on strategy.

“As weather allows, sub-divisions of Incident Command will be set up by law enforcement in Montgomery and Polk County, forestry officials with the AFC and US Forest Service, and SAR-trained search parties. By breaking search teams into these divisions, more people can be involved in searching, with a continued tight accountability system in place to ensure everyone’s safety in such high-risk terrain,” the release stated.

At this point, the following partners are involved in search efforts: statewide Arkansas Forestry Commission crews, U.S. Forest Service, Polk and Montgomery Law Enforcement, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas State Police, Emergency Management crews from Polk and Montgomery County, local volunteer fire departments, the National Weather Service, and the North Little Rock Police Department.

Harrell’s wildfire detection plane was last heard from at 1:11 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 31) near Oden in Montgomery County, said Adriane Barnes of the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
 

Source:   http://5newsonline.com


(KATV) Crews have been searching non-stop for the missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot, since communication was lost Friday afternoon. Monday was the first day of clear skies, making it possible to keep planes in the air to look for Jake Harrell. 

People want to know why it is taking so long to find the plane. The blue line on the map [Pictured below] was his flight path. He has taken the route many times. But pilots don't fly straight; they fly in the radius looking for forest fires. On top of that, it is some of the roughest terrain in the state.

Pastor Rod Loy says, "We are all experiencing this not just as a church family. We are experiencing this as family."

Jake Harrell is a lifelong member of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock. His wife is a pastor. His mom is the membership service director. 

Pastor Loy has been in touch with crews at the command center in Mena on the hour. He has hundreds of people on standby, ready to join the search efforts, but they are only taking experts. "It is a large area with high ridges and steep drop offs. This is an area that was devastated in the ice storms so it is very difficult to get through."

By the day's end, the area of focus grew to some 756 square miles between Polk, Montgomery and Scott counties. It is slow going; crews are using chainsaw to make room for dozers.

Pastor Loy adds, "Jake has survival training. This is a guy who has been deployed twice, he has flown for years. He knows how to take care of himself. We trust and believe that he was able to put that plane down and he is waiting it out and waiting for searchers to find him."

There are more than 200 people from 10 agencies helping, including Jake's co-workers at the North Little Rock Police Department and the National Guard.
Jake has a 2 year old son. The family is asking for prayers.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission is keeping Twitter followers updated.
  

Arkansas Forestry Commission Press Release:


Mena, Ark. – The day has been dedicated in full force to bringing home missing AFC Pilot, Jake Harrell, in the Ouachita region just south of Oden. Searchers have worked along strategically designed routes with chainsaws and four-wheelers to access narrow passages throughout the area. By air, thirteen aircraft have combed grid patterns, rigorously searching for any sign of Jake and his plane.

No call has gone unanswered amid the many hopeful news tips provided by local residents, describing details about plane sightings on Friday afternoon. That information, paired with carefully studied points generated by the last signal obtained from Jake's cell phone and radio helped to narrow the search area. Jake's small plane takes up only 360 feet – a tiny dot in the massive forested space of National Forest Service land affected by remaining ice storm damage and limited accessibility.

Ground crews consisted of trained, equipped teams from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the National Guard. Air crews included the National Guard, State Police, Civil Air Patrol, and AFC planes. Every resource available, and every effort possible – within a tight accountability system for ultimate safety of all involved – is being utilized.

"We are looking at an area that is 400,000 acres in size, for something very small in comparison. We are doing absolutely everything we can to cover this land by foot and by air. This team of so many all want the same thing – to get Jake home," said Montgomery County Sherriff, David White.

"This is a very complex search because it includes pieces of three different counties and so many different agencies. Every person here wants Jake home, right now. We are going to every effort to get this pilot back where he belongs," said Polk County Sherriff, Mike Godfrey.

The search continues into tonight and tomorrow. Incident Command is carefully monitoring tomorrow's weather situation with a contingency plan in place, should routes need to be re-considered around possible icy conditions.  

The Incident Command structure in Mena continues as a Unified Command effort with the following partners involved: statewide Arkansas Forestry Commission crews, U.S. Forest Service, Polk and Montgomery Law Enforcement, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas State Police, Emergency Management crews from Polk and Montgomery County, local volunteer fire departments, the National Weather Service, and the North Little Rock Police Department.

Story:   http://www.katv.com

MENA, Ark. (Arkansas Forestry Commission) - Following morning briefings, crews and equipment are engaging a lengthy, thorough search of segments of the Ouachita National Forest in the area south of Oden. Meetings included an overview of carefully designed search routes by land and air and a detailed weather forecast. Officials are hopeful that with improved weather conditions and clear visibility, the day will be productive in locating missing AFC pilot, Jake Harrell.

Crews include equipped teams, familiar with the challenging terrain consistent throughout the Ouachitas, from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and law enforcement from Montgomery and Polk County. At this point, crews do not need assistance from volunteers, but appreciate deeply the support and concern of so many. A very tight accountability system is in place to ensure the safety of search crews amid thick forested land, steep hills, and heavy underbrush. Much of the region is still also affected by ice storm damage, which has created many roads that are impassable for vehicles altogether.

The Incident Command structure in Mena continues as a Unified Command effort with the following partners involved: statewide Arkansas Forestry Commission crews, U.S. Forest Service, Polk and Montgomery Law Enforcement, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas State Police, Emergency Management crews from Polk and Montgomery County, local volunteer fire departments, the National Weather Service, and the North Little Rock Police Department.


MENA, AR -- The search is continuing for a missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot. 

Pilot Jake Harrell is also a full time employee with the North Little Rock Police Department.

Harrell failed to check-in with AFC Central Dispatch yesterday after 1:11 p.m. Jake was flying a regularly scheduled detection flight from Malvern to points throughout west Arkansas.

His last known location was Oden, with supposed intent of traveling toward Wickes.

Harell is 34-years-old and has flown for the Arkansas Forestry Commission since 2005.

He had flown many times in the area.

He currently flies as a part-time pilot with the AFC and works full time with the North Little Rock Police Department.

He also serves with the Arkansas Air National Guard 188th Fighter Wing.

Ground crews include two and three-person teams searching gridded locations in Montgomery and Polk Counties.

Crews are searching by foot and four-wheelers.

Chainsaw crews and dozers are on standby.

Two Civil Air Patrol planes and a National Guard helicopter are assisting with search efforts from the air.


Source:   http://www.arkansasmatters.com


Story, videos and photos:   http://www.thv11.com