Saturday, April 5, 2014

Low flying planes taking pictures for Indiana University of Pennsylvania

 You may be seeing some low-flying planes in and around the IUP campus over the next three weeks.  That is because IUP is doing an aerial survey of the campus.

Those low-flying planes will be taking snapshots of the IUP Campus to develop a new campus base map.  This project includes the air work, called a Photogrammetric survey, and work on the ground, which is currently in progress.

As the aerial work is dependant on weather conditions and cloud cover, the exact timing of the flights cannot be predicted.  It will get underway starting next Monday.


Source:    http://www.1160wccs.com

RIVERSIDE: Air show ‘an adrenaline rush’

The aerial acrobatics left Angel Garcia with his mouth open and his heart racing.

“This is crazy,” said the Riverside resident, shaking his head as two planes nearly collided in mid-air. “You can’t pay me enough to even think about trying anything like that, not even a video game.”

The 23-year-old was among the estimated 88,000 spectators who enjoyed the 22nd Annual Riverside Air Show Saturday, April 5, at Riverside Municipal Airport.

“It’s an adrenaline rush and I’m not even flying,” added Allison Taylor, Garcia’s 19-year-old girlfriend. “It makes me want to get in the plane. I’ll be a passenger.”

Crowds packed the blacktop next to the runaway to watch stunts and nifty maneuvers in the sky and on the ground.

“I never knew an airplane could go up and free fall,” Garcia said. “It’s wicked. I’ve only been here 20 minutes. I can only imagine what the rest of the day has in store.”

The air show was started in 1992 to generate good will between the airport and the community, said Tom Miller, air show coordinator.

“The great thing about the air show is the community gets to be up close and personal with its airport,” Miller said.

Besides skydivers and aerobatic demonstrations, the free event featured a classic car show, rare military aircraft displays, a kids’ carnival, climbing walls, food stands and aviation vendors.

“It’s a wonderful day for Riverside,” Miller said.

Will and Yvonne Palencia, of Riverside, pointed to the sky as they held their two grandkids during one of the acts.

“Look how close,” Yvonne said to 5-year-old Tiffany. “It’s doing a loop. Isn’t that cool?”

Yvonne said her grandkids told her they were excited about going to the show.

“It’s awesome family fun,” Yvonne said. “Maybe one day they could become pilots themselves.”

A few feet away, Sonnie Anderson, 7, was enthralled with the roar of the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, which produced 20-foot flames, billowing smoke and mini sonic booms.

“That’s making the ground move,” the Riverside resident said as he watched a race between the jet car and a plane. “That car’s mean.”

Charlise Anderson, his 10-year-old sister, said she loved watching a plane known as a Taylorcraft perform loops and rolls with its engine off.

“It’s nice to see the different planes and different aerobatics they can do in planes that you don’t see normally,” said Vinnie Anderson, 36, their father.

Ken Hollenbeck, of Riverside, was captivated by the maneuvers of a high-performance aerobatic airplane called an Extra 300 with his daughter and niece.

“Watch, it’s going to fall backwards,” said Hollenbeck, 43. “It’s amazing what they can do with airplanes. Amazing.”

Story and photos:  http://www.pe.com

GE Aviation workers handcraft latest technology

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina won the bragging rights to “First in Flight” after the Wright Brothers flew a simple plane made mostly of wood, canvas and wire at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

More than a century later in Western North Carolina, workers at Asheville’s GE Aviation plant are the first in the world, handcrafting jet engine parts with new materials called Ceramic Matrix Composite that will revolutionize flight in years ahead.

Asheville won the ground-breaking technology in an intense competition among seven states and cities vying for GE Aviation’s new facility, thanks mostly to the highly skilled 290 workers working at GE Aviation’s existing plant in the Sweeten Creek Industrial Park.

“This workforce is the most technically skilled hourly employees in our area,” boasted Michael Meguiar, the Asheville plant manager. “Their skill level and machining experience are the biggest reason this new production line is in Asheville. We needed their skills.”

Keith Duncan, a 10-year veteran, was shocked at the heft of the new material when he first handled it, a third of the weight of the nickel-super-alloys he was used to. “That just blew me away. I didn’t think it would stand up.”

Duncan is a second-generation worker at GE. His father, John Duncan, worked for the plant for 45 years, with 29 job titles as the aviation parts and production changed over the years, but his dad never dealt with anything like CMC.

“This is new, it’s different process,” Duncan said.

Ceramic Matrix Composites

The aluminum alloy and cast iron that went into the Wright Brothers’ simple engine would dissolve instantly inside the mighty combustion of a modern jet engine built now out of exotic metals or super-alloys.

Engineers have been working for decades to find lighter, stronger, more heat resistant materials that would work inside the hot sections of an engine.

GE is taking a technological leap with a material called Ceramic Matrix Composites, working with carbon fibers, silicon and secretive processes to create parts for its new LEAP engines that will go on new Airbus and Boeing jetliners starting in 2016.

Making more efficient planes should be good for the planet.

Industry experts estimate that a single jet plane will be able to save $1 million in fuel costs. Less fuel burned also means fewer greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere — a primary culprit in the global climate change that threatens more wildfires, drought, flooding and superstorms.

Instead of relying on forges to deliver exotic metals that local workers can machine and mill into precision parts, the Asheville plant will in effect be creating its own raw material.

The noisy production floor of an advanced manufacturing plant will give way to mobile clean room environments that control for humidity and temperature. Inside workers cut and lay out various films that will be layered and formed into the parts. Later, the parts are put through autoclaves and then ground with special equipment. Finally, the parts will be treated with special coatings that GE engineers have invented and perfected.

Handcrafting precision parts

Key stages of the process depend on the skill of human hands rather than the automated robot arms found in most advanced manufacturing plants.

“There are things that the human hand can do that the most sophisticated automated machines still can’t,” explained Ted Limbo, the CMC Technology Leader.

Part of the revolution will be in the new plant going paperless, keeping track of each piece through each stage of the process through computer records. “It’s womb to tomb,” Meguiar said.

Officials will be able to trace a specific part of a jet back to the day it was made on the floor at the GE Aviation plant.

The local plant is ahead of schedule with its pilot line, which has been in operation since December. And more workers are getting up to speed with the space-age components.

Meanwhile, construction is proceeding next door on the new 170,000-square feet building with the best environmentally green practices. Full-scale production is scheduled to start in January. GE has plans to hire 52 new workers as well as keep training current staff.

The existing plant and workers will continue to make super-alloy parts for several years as the aviation industry slowly shifts into the new CMC components.

“To be a part of something that is so cutting-edge not only in the technology but in our industry, our first wave of people are very excited about it,” Meguiar said.

GE Aviation workers are already accustomed to that hands-on process and pride in craftsmanship.

Rhonda Harris, a 13-year veteran, will spend up to five hours making sure that all the grooves and surfaces of a freshly machined ring are free of burrs. She will sand and grind her way through about two components a day. But she’s also looking forward to trying her hand at the ceramic material. “I would love it.”

That kind of pride and care counts in aviation when passengers depend on thousands of precision parts in sophisticated planes to safely carry them airborne. Whenever she seeing a jet pass overhead, Harris says, “it makes you feel good, knowing that you’re making something that is so important.”

Source:  http://www.citizen-times.com

Rusk County (KRFI), Henderson, Texas: Airport to bring back air show

Rusk County has not had an air show in about 35 years, Rusk County Airport Manager Ron Franks told the Rusk County Commissioner’s Court in a special meeting Thursday morning. But it will on June 7 after commissioners gave Franks permission to solicit sponsors, enlist air show performers and to go ahead with other aspects of the event.

Franks told commissioners he attended an air show in Jasper a couple of weeks ago and got a lot of good ideas and a lot of good information from that trip. He said he will piggyback their efforts to try to bring an equally good show to Rusk County.

Source:    http://www.hendersondailynews.com

MH370 Tragedy: Rolls-Royce & Boeing should be more involved

SHAH ALAM: Rolls-Royce and Boeing should be more involved in handling the case of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 instead of letting MAS alone to face the media and grieving family members, said Advanced Air Traffic System (AAT) Sdn Bhd.

Its chairman Datuk Zolkipli Abdul said Rolls-Royce as the engine maker and Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer are both liable to answer for the incident as the investigations have not ruled out their involvement with the incident yet.

"We have been seeing MAS handling the press conferences alone and answering on behalf of Boeing and Rolls-Royce all these while and it seems like they are trying to put the burden of proof on MAS alone.

"Even when we were told that the two agencies have cooperated with the United States aviation security investigation team, as the manufacturer for Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing should have the technical capacities to significantly contribute to MH370's search and rescue operation (SAR).

"It is not acceptable for Rolls-Royce being the engine maker of an engine that costs more than RM500 million to not have the technology to track the engine from the plane.

"We can use the same analogy as buying a luxury car, every engine will be installed with a tracker that allows the maker to track the engine in case of theft or loss.

"MAS spend a great deal of money to secure the best services from both Boeing and Rolls-Royce but when this incident happened, both of them seemed to have clammed up," he said at the Fun Walk event and doa recital for MH370 in conjunction with AAT 20th anniversary, today.

It is believed that MAS owns 15 Boeing 777-200ER plane and Boeing, through an official release from the United States government had expressed its dissatisfaction with the late exchange of information between them and the Malaysian government.

It was said that Boeing was only informed of the plane's dissapearance by MAS three hours after it went off the radar at 2:40am (Malaysian time) on March 8 and the delay in information exchanged was dubbed 'unusual'.

On speculations made by some quarters that the country's radar system was unequipped to efficiently detect the airplane on the day that it went missing, Zolkipli said that the current radar system called Marconi is capable of detecting any airplane coming from the West and East direction heading towards the West Coast, as well as airplanes coming from the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

"However the radar's accuracy also depends on the airplane's transponder that was supposed to send complete information on the plane, especially identifying whether it is a commercial or military flight, and the speed that it is going. When the transponder is switched off, such information would not be available but the radar will still be able to detect the airplane in the form of 'bleeps'," he said.

On Friday, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took his crave for attention amid the incident to another level when he appeared in UK daily, The Telegraph's article, condemning the government's handling of the incident.

He was quoted as saying that the lack of leads in the investigation conducted by the Malaysian government is 'baffling'.

He also said that the Marconi's radar system was purchased by the government when he was the then Deputy defense minister. 


Source:   http://www.nst.com.my

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, N8259R: Fatal accident occurred April 05, 2014 in Albany, Ohio

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: CEN14FA185
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 05, 2014 in Albany, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2014
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N8259R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot was using flight following services from air traffic control during the return leg of the cross-country flight, and, about 12 miles from the destination, the pilot reported to the approach controller that he had the airport in sight. Two witnesses reported seeing the airplane traveling toward the airport and then “nose dive” to a nearby quarry’s property. One of the witnesses indicated that the back of the airplane hit a tree and that the airplane subsequently impacted the ground. The other witness said that the airplane engine was making a “buzzing” noise after the airplane crashed but that he did not hear anything before the crash. The main airplane wreckage came to rest inverted near a tree line about 2,300 feet northwest of the runway’s displaced threshold. Trees in the tree line exhibited broken and cut branches along about a 300-foot-long path, and the airplane was found fragmented and signs of a ground fire were observed along the path. The crankshaft propeller flange had separated from the crankshaft.
A family member who flew with the pilot during an earlier leg of the cross-country flight reported that the airplane’s engine seemed harder to start than usual and that, during cruise, a distinct engine vibration occurred when the fuel mixture was leaned. However, examinations revealed no preimpact airframe or engine anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Further, during an engine test run conducted after engine items that had sustained impact damage were replaced and a centering pilot shaft and the propeller flange were welded to the engine’s crankshaft separation point, the engine ran normally, and no preimpact engine anomalies were detected. On the basis of the evidence, it is likely that the pilot lost control of the airplane during the approach to landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s loss of airplane control during the approach to landing.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 5, 2014, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A airplane, N8259R, impacted trees and terrain while on approach to runway 7 at the Ohio University Airport-Snyder Field (UNI), near Albany, Ohio. The airline transport rated pilot was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial wing and fuselage damage. The flight was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), near Blountville, Tennessee about 1715, and was destined for UNI.

The pilot was flying the airplane to its based location following a cross-country flight. Fueling service receipts showed and witnesses at TRI reported that about 1500 the airplane was serviced with 36 gallons of aviation gasoline (avgas), which complied with the pilot's request to "top all tanks." A witness said that the pilot observed the fuel service and rechecked the securing of the airplane's filler neck caps.

Flight service had no record of a pilot representing N8259R requesting a weather briefing or filing a flight plan in reference to the flight. The pilot used VFR flight following services from air traffic control (ATC) during the flight to UNI. According to information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), about 12 miles from UNI, the pilot reported to the Huntington, West Virginia, ATC approach controller that he had UNI in sight. The ATC controller subsequently terminated flight following services and advised the pilot to switch to the advisory frequency for UNI.

A witness, who lived across and south of US Highway 50 by the Diamond Stone Quarries, heard and saw the airplane fly by at the end of her driveway. She said that the airplane's left wing was low and the right wing was high. She stated that the airplane hit a neighbor's tree at the end of her driveway. The engine was running "normal" and had a constant pitch sound. The airplane was described as flying up and down sideways. She subsequently contacted 9-1-1.

According to witness statements given to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a group of witness who were in a vehicle traveling on US Highway 50 near the stone quarries reported that the airplane was traveling in the direction towards the airport. The weather was sunny with "some clouds." They saw the airplane "nose dive" onto the quarry property. The airplane's altitude was "low" and the back of the airplane hit a tree. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground. A witness in the vehicle said that the left side of the airplane made contact with the ground and that the airplane was "angled pretty hard" when it impacted the ground. Another witness in the car said that the airplane engine was making a "buzzing" noise after the "crash" and he did not hear anything before it crashed.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a FAA airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multi engine land rating. He held commercial pilot privileges for single-engine land airplanes. The most recent medical certificate issued to the pilot was a third-class medical certificate issued on October 28, 2013, with limitations for wearing corrective lenses. On the application for this medical certificate, he reported a history of diabetes requiring oral medication and this medical certificate was issued as a time-limited special issuance certificate. The pilot reported that he had accumulated 25,075 hours of total flight time and 20 hours of flight time in the six months prior to the application. A logbook endorsement showed the pilot completed a flight review on June 11, 2013.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N8259R was a 1972 model Bellanca 17-30A airplane with serial number 30475. The airplane was a single-engine, low wing monoplane with an all-wood wing construction and a fabric covered steel-tube fuselage. The four-seat airplane was equipped with retractable landing gear and a constant speed three-bladed propeller. The FAA issued a Standard Airworthiness Certificate for the airplane on August 25, 1972.

According to a copy of an airplane logbook excerpt, the airplane's last annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2013. An endorsement indicated the airplane's airframe accumulated a total time of 3,867.69 hours on that date.

According to its data plate, the engine was a fuel-injected, six cylinder, Continental IO-520-DCK model marked with serial number 158316-6-D. It was rated at 300-horsepower for takeoff and 285-horsepower for maximum continuous operations. The engine had accumulated 3,746.54 hours of total time and had accumulated 676.18 hours since overhaul.

The engine drove a three-bladed Hartzell HC-C3YF-1RF propeller with serial number EC75. According to a copy of an airplane logbook excerpt, the propeller had accumulated an unknown total time and had accumulated 688.94 hours since its last overhaul.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1835, the recorded weather at UNI was: Wind 340 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered clouds at 5,000 feet; temperature 9 degrees C; dew point -3 degrees C; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.


AIRPORT INFORMATION

UNI was a public, non-towered airport, which was owned by Ohio University. The airport had a surveyed elevation of 766 feet above mean sea level. The airport's runway 7/25 was a 5,600 feet by 100 feet runway with an asphalt surface. The airport listed 123.075 megahertz as its common traffic advisory frequency. Runway 7 had a four-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) on located on the left side of the runway and that PAPI provided a 3.00-degree glide path. Runway 7 obstruction remarks listed 89-foot trees, located 1,560 feet from the runway, and 618 feet left of centerline, which indicated a 15:1 slope to clear that obstruction. It further indicated that runway 7's threshold was displaced due to the 89-foot trees.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The main airplane wreckage came to rest inverted, next to a tree line that bounded the quarry property north of US Highway 50. This was about 1,970 feet northwest of the start of runway 7's prepared surface and about 2,300 feet northwest of runway 7's displaced threshold. Trees on the quarry property exhibited broken and cut branches along a path about 300 feet long. The color of the separation surfaces of these broken and cut branches was consistent with fresh separations. Along this path of separated branches were debris items to include red broken glass fragments, the left outboard wing tip, colored flakes consistent with paint chips, wood fragments, and clear plastic fragments. Also on this path, a ground scar was observed that paralleled Highway 50. A depression and displaced tree roots and trunks were observed east of the ground scar. The propeller was found mostly below the surface of the depression with one blade tip exposed. Charred tree trunks were visible on the east side of the depression. The three propeller blades remained attached to their hub. The crankshaft propeller flange separated from its crankshaft. The distance and direction from the start of the ground scar to the propeller was about 35 feet and was 080 degrees respectively. Tree branches in the area of the ground scar were cut on a diagonal and one cut surface had a color transfer consistent with the black color from the flat face of a propeller blade. The inverted main wreckage was found about 20 feet east of the depression. The right wingtip was found in the area of the main wreckage. The engine was displaced rearward onto its firewall and the firewall was deformed rearward into cabin space. The left outboard fuel tank was separated from its wing. Fuel smell was present at the accident site. Fuel was observed exiting from the covers over the filler necks caps. The amount of fuel on-scene could not be determined due to the fuel leaking from the covers. The battery was subsequently disconnected. The emergency locator transmitter's switch was found in its off position.

The tree at the end of the witnesses' driveway was examined. Tree branches were found to be broken and the dark color of their separations was not consistent with recent separations. Additionally no airplane debris was found under the separated branches at this location on the south side of Highway 50. The Fire Chief was asked where his first responders found separated debris from the airplane and he indicated that the debris was found on quarry property, which was north of Highway 50.

The airplane wreckage was relocated to a hangar for examination. Flight control cable continuity was traced from the empennage flight control surfaces up to the cockpit area under the control yokes. Both aileron control cables' continuity was traced to their respective bellcranks and their cables moved when the yoke tube was rotated by hand. Push pull tubes, attached to the bellcranks, moved when their aileron cables were pulled. The left wing tube separated from its out board section in overload. No preimpact anomalies were detected that would have precluded flight control. Engine control cables from the cockpit controls to the engine were traced and no preimpact anomalies were detected that would have prevented engine control. The fuel selectors were found in thier detents and a liquid consistent with avgas exited the fuel hose to the engine driven fuel pump when air pressure was applied to the left inboard fuel tank filler neck. The electric fuel pump pumped a liquid consistent with avgas from the same fuel hose when electric power was applied to the pump. The airplane's tachometer read 3,891.10 and the altimeter's Kollsman window indicated 30.14 inches of mercury.

The propeller was disassembled by a manufacturer's safety investigator under supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator in charge and the examination revealed no preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal propeller operation.

The engine was subsequently separated from the airframe for a field examination. A manufacturer's safety investigator and the NTSB investigator in charge examined the engine. All six cylinders remained attached and intact except for impact damage to the cooling fins on the front section of the number six cylinder. The ignition harness was undamaged and all ignition leads remained attached to their respective sparkplugs. Top sparkplugs were removed and inspected. Each sparkplug exhibited "normal" combustion discoloring and a "worn out, normal condition" when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. All cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope. Valves and piston faces exhibited normal combustion deposits. Valve train continuity was confirmed when each cylinder produced a thumb compression as the engine was rotated by hand. Both right and left magnetos remained intact and attached at their respective mounts. When the engine was rotated by hand, the impulse couplings could be heard to release and spark was produced to all upper sparkplug leads. The muffler and its heat shield were deformed and compromised. The heat shield was removed and examined. The heat shield exhibited no signs of an exhaust leak. The fuel manifold remained intact and connected to each cylinders fuel injector through metal fuel lines. The fuel manifold data plate was missing. The fuel manifold top cover was removed and a liquid consistent with avgas was present. Sar-Gel paste was used to test the residual fuel and no water was detected. The fuel-metering unit was intact. The fuel strainer was found to be free of debris when it was removed from the fuel-metering unit. The engine driven fuel pump remained attached and intact. The fuel pump was removed and its drive link was found intact. The pump was free to rotate by hand without binding. A small amount of residual liquid consistent with avgas was found in the fuel hose connecting the engine driven fuel pump and the fuel manifold. A sample of this fuel was captured and tested for water using Sar-Gel paste. No water was detected. The front mounted oil cooler appears to have been pushed rearward. The propeller governor remained intact and attached to its mount. The induction system was compromised and sections of it remained attached to the engine.


MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Athens County Coroner's Office. The cause of death was listed as multiple trauma injuries.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Accident Report. The report showed:

12 (mg/dl ) Glucose detected in Urine
6.1 (%) Hemoglobin A1C detected in Blood


TESTS AND RESEARCH

A Garmin GPS 295 found in the wreckage was shipped to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory. A recorder specialist examined the GPS unit and it did not contain any data in reference to the accident flight.

The engine was shipped to its manufacturer for a detailed examination under the supervision of the NTSB investigator in charge. The engine had sustained impact damage and items were replaced, to include the induction Y-pipe, intake risers, engine mounts, and the starter adapter. The engine driven fuel pump's relief valve cover assembly was crushed and was replaced. The separated propeller flange and a centering pilot shaft were welded to the engine's crankshaft separation point. The engine was test run and it ran up to and at full throttle. The engine's throttle was advanced multiple times, from idle to full throttle, and the engine accelerated without hesitation. No engine pre-impact anomalies were detected during the engine run.


ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

A member of the pilot's family supplied a 72-hour history summary. According to the summary, the pilot was in bed by 2300 and was up in time to catch the 0800 bus to "Sun 'n Fun." On the night of April 4, 2014, the pilot stayed up until 0030 completing flight planning for the return trip to UNI. He took off from Sun 'n Fun at 1005 and landed at Dublin, Georgia, about 1210 to refuel and take a break. The pilot had meals during the prior days and he had a diet coke and two packs of snack crackers while at Dublin. He departed for TRI at 1350 and arrived at TRI about 1520. While at TRI, he had two cups of coffee and a pack of crackers while relaxing and visiting with family.

The family member indicated that he had flown in this accident airplane many times, knew its nuances, and any unusual tendencies it had. While flying with the pilot during this trip, he noticed that it seemed harder to start the engine than usual. At Dublin, it required the boost pump to be "left running" for the engine to start. During cruise to and from Sun 'n Fun, he observed that if the engine was leaned below 14 gallons per hour there was a distinct engine vibration.

When starting the engine at TRI, he observed fuel coming from under the cowling and dripping down on the tarmac. He attributed it to the fuel boost primer and opted not to interrupt the pilot as he prepped for departure in the cockpit. After engine start, the leak stopped and the engine ran normally all the way through runup and magneto check. He stated that there were no other engine or airframe issues. No oil was added throughout this trip and the airplane's fuel tanks were topped off at every stop. The 72-hour history is appended to the docket associated with this case.


http://registry.faa.gov/N8259R

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA185
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 05, 2014 in Albany, OH
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17 30A, registration: N8259R
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 aircraft accident report.

On April 5, 2014, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A airplane, N8259R, impacted trees and terrain while on approach to runway 7 at the Ohio University Airport-Snyder Field (UNI), near Albany, Ohio. The airline transport rated pilot was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial wing and fuselage damage. The flight was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Day visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), near Blountville, Tennessee about 1715, and was destined for UNI.

The pilot was flying the airplane to its based location following a cross-country flight. Fueling service receipts showed and witnesses at TRI reported that about 1500 the airplane was serviced with 36 gallons of aviation gasoline (avgas), which complied with the pilot's request to "top all tanks." The pilot observed the fuel service and rechecked the securing of the airplane's filler neck caps.

Flight service had no record of a pilot representing N8259R requesting a weather briefing or filing a flight plan in reference to the flight. The pilot used VFR flight following services from air traffic control (ATC) during the flight to UNI. According to initial information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), about 12 miles from UNI, the pilot reported to the Huntington, West Virginia, ATC approach controller that he had UNI in sight. The ATC controller subsequently terminated the flight following services and advised the pilot to switch to the advisory frequency for UNI.

A witness heard and saw the airplane at the end of her driveway. The airplane's left wing was low and the right wing was high. She said that the airplane hit a neighbor's tree. The engine was running normal and had a constant pitch sound. The airplane was described as flying up and down sideways. She subsequently contacted 9-1-1.

According to witness statements given to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a group of witness who were in a vehicle traveling on US Highway 50 near the Diamond Stone Quarries reported that the airplane was traveling in a direction towards the airport. The weather was sunny with some clouds. They saw the airplane "nose dive" on the quarry property. The airplane's altitude was "low" and the back of the airplane hit a tree. The airplane subsequently flew downward at an angle and hit the ground. A witness in the vehicle said that the left side of the airplane made contact with the ground and that the airplane was "angled pretty hard." Another witness in the car said that the airplane engine was making a "buzzing" noise after the crash and he did not hear anything before it crashed.

The pilot held a FAA airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multi engine land rating. He held commercial pilot privileges for single-engine land airplanes. The most recent medical certificate issued to the pilot was a third-class medical certificate issued on October 28, 2013, with limitations for wearing corrective lenses. On the application for this medical certificate, he reported a history of diabetes requiring oral medication and this medical certificate was issued as a time-limited special issuance certificate. The pilot reported that he had accumulated 25,075 hours of total flight time and 20 hours of flight time in the six months prior to the application. A logbook endorsement showed the pilot completed a flight review on June 11, 2013.

N8259R was a 1972 model Bellanca 17-30A airplane with serial number 30475. The airplane was a single-engine, low wing monoplane with an all-wood wing construction and a fabric covered steel-tube fuselage. The four-seat airplane was equipped with retractable landing gear and a constant speed three-bladed propeller. The FAA issued a Standard Airworthiness Certificate for the airplane on August 25, 1972.

According to a copy of a work order, the airplane's last annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2013. An endorsement indicated the airplane's airframe accumulated a total time of 3,867.69 hours on that date.

According to its data plate, the engine was a fuel-injected, six cylinder, Continental IO-520-DCK model marked with serial number 158316-6-D. It was rated at 300-horsepower for takeoff and 285-horsepower for maximum continuous operations. According to the work order, the engine had accumulated 3,746.54 hours of total time and had accumulated 676.18 hours since overhaul.

The engine drove a three-bladed Hartzell HC-C3YF-1RF propeller with serial number EC75. According to the work order, the propeller had accumulated an unknown total time and had accumulated 688.94 hours since its last overhaul.

At 1835, the recorded weather at UNI was: Wind 340 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered clouds at 5,000 feet; temperature 9 degrees C; dew point -3 degrees C; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.

UNI was a public, non-towered airport, which was owned by Ohio University. The airport had a surveyed elevation of 766 feet above mean sea level. The airport's runway 7/25 was a 5,600 feet by 100 feet runway with an asphalt surface. The airport listed 123.075 megahertz as its common traffic advisory frequency. Runway 7 had a four-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) on located on the left side of the runway and that PAPI provided a 3.00-degree glide path. Runway 7 obstruction remarks listed 89-foot trees, located 1,560 feet from the runway, and 618 feet left of centerline, which indicated a 15:1 slope to clear that obstruction. It further indicated that runway 7's displaced threshold was due to the 89-foot trees.

The main airplane wreckage came to rest inverted by a tree line that bounded the quarry property north of US Highway 50. This was about 1,970 feet northwest of the start of runway 7's prepared surface and about 2,300 feet northwest of runway 7's displaced threshold. Trees on the quarry property exhibited broken and cut branches along a path about 300 feet long. The color of the separation surfaces of these broken and cut branches was consistent with fresh separations. Along this path of separated branches were debris items to include red broken glass fragments, the left outboard wing tip, colored flakes consistent with paint chips, wood fragments, and clear plastic fragments, which were found on the ground. Also on this path, a ground scar was observed that paralleled Highway 50. A depression and displaced tree roots and trunks were observed east of the ground scar. The propeller was found mostly below the surface of the depression with one blade tip exposed. Charred tree trunks were visible on the east side of the depression. The three propeller blades remained attached to their hub. The crankshaft propeller flange separated from its crankshaft. The distance and direction from the start of the ground scar to the propeller was about 35 feet and was 080 degrees respectively. Tree branches in the area of the ground scar were cut on a diagonal and one cut surface had a color transfer consistent with the black color from the flat face of a propeller blade. The inverted main wreckage was found about 20 feet east of the depression. The right wingtip was found in the area of the main wreckage. The engine was displaced rearward onto its firewall and the firewall was deformed rearward into cabin space. The left outboard fuel tank was separated from its wing. Fuel smell was present at the accident site. Fuel was observed exiting from the covers over the filler necks caps. The amount of fuel on-scene could not be determined due to the fuel leaking from the covers. The battery was subsequently disconnected. The emergency locator transmitter's switch was found in its off position.

The neighbor's tree at the end of the driveway was examined. Tree branches were found to be broken and the dark color of their separations was not consistent with recent separations. Additionally no airplane debris was found under the separated branches at this location on the south side of Highway 50. The Fire Chief was asked where his first responders found separated debris from the airplane and he indicated that the debris was found on quarry property, which was north of Highway 50.

The airplane wreckage was relocated to a hangar for examination. Flight control cable continuity was traced from the empennage flight control surfaces up to the cockpit area under the yokes. Both aileron control cables' continuity was traced to their respective bellcranks and their cables moved when the yoke tube was rotated by hand. Push pull tubes, attached to the bellcranks, moved when their aileron cables were pulled. The left wing tube separated from its out board section in overload. No anomalies were detected that would have precluded flight control. Engine control cables from the cockpit controls to the engine were traced and no anomalies were detected that would have prevented engine control. The fuel selectors were in detents and a liquid consistent with avgas exited the fuel hose to the engine driven fuel pump when a container with shop air supplied air pressure to the left inboard fuel tank filler neck. The electric fuel pump pumped a liquid consistent with avgas from the same fuel hose when electric power was applied. The airplane's tachometer read 3,891.10 and the altimeter's Kollsman window indicated 30.14 inches of mercury.

The propeller was disassembled by a manufacturer's safety investigator under supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator in charge and the examination revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal propeller operation.

The engine was subsequently separated from the airframe. A manufacturer's safety investigator and the NTSB investigator in charge examined the engine. All six cylinders remained attached and intact except for impact damage to the cooling fins on the front section of the number six cylinder. The ignition harness was undamaged and all ignition leads remained attached to their respective sparkplugs. Top sparkplugs were removed and inspected. Each sparkplug exhibited normal combustion discoloring and a worn out, normal condition when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. All cylinders were inspected using a lighted borescope. Valves and piston faces exhibited normal combustion deposits. Valve train continuity was confirmed when each cylinder produced a thumb compression as the engine was rotated by hand. Both right and left magnetos remained intact and attached at their respective mounts. When the engine was rotated by hand, the impulse couplings could be heard to release and spark was produced to all upper sparkplug leads. The muffler and its heat shield were deformed and compromised. The heat shield was removed and examined. The heat shield exhibited no signs of an exhaust leak. The fuel manifold remained intact and connected to each cylinders fuel injector through metal fuel lines. The fuel manifold data plate was missing. The fuel manifold top cover was removed and a liquid consistent with avgas was present. Sar-Gel paste was used to test the residual fuel and no water was detected. The fuel-metering unit was intact. The fuel strainer was found to be free of debris when it was removed from the fuel-metering unit. The engine driven fuel pump remained attached and intact. The fuel pump was removed and its drive link was found intact. The pump was free to rotate by hand without binding. A small amount of residual liquid consistent with avgas was found in the fuel hose connecting the engine driven fuel pump and the fuel manifold. A sample of this fuel was captured and tested for water using Sar-Gel paste. No water was detected. The front mounted oil cooler appears to have been pushed rearward. The propeller governor remained intact and attached to its mount. The induction system was compromised and sections of it remained attached to the engine.

The NTSB investigator in charge requested, from a family member, the pilot's 72-hour history prior to the accident.

An autopsy to include toxicological testing was requested.

The engine will be shipped to its manufacturer for additional testing under NTSB supervision.


AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, 1 MILE FROM ATHENS, OH


 http://www.asias.faa.gov



Kevin Wagner, left, and his father, Charles, attended last week’s Sun ’n Fun air show in Florida. Behind them is the 1972 Bellanca that Charles was flying home to Ohio when he crashed Saturday.



A double-sided picture frame in Kevin Wagner’s Atlanta home says all that needs to be said about his father. 


On the left side is a photo of Kevin, standing on the back of his dad’s orange tractor, a John Deere cap on his head and his hand on the wheel.

On the right side is a photo of Charles Wagner with his hand on the yoke of a Boeing 727 airliner.

“He was equally comfortable in a field shearing 200 sheep, which he just did just a couple of months ago, as flying a 747,” Kevin said. “He’s the greatest man I’ve ever known.”

Charles Wagner died Saturday evening when his single-engine plane crashed near a quarry only a few hundred yards from the runway at the Ohio University airport near his home in Glouster.

In 73 years, Wagner lived a life of high-flying adventure, including taking ground fire as a Navy pilot in Vietnam and once thwarting a hijacking attempt while he was a commercial pilot.

Barely an hour before the crash, the elder Wagner had dropped off his son at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville, Tenn., hugged his two granddaughters, and headed home to his 400-acre family farm, about 15 miles north of Athens.

Kevin and his dad had spent the previous five days at the Sun ’n Fun air show in Lakeland, Fla.

After growing up on the family farm in Glouster, Charles Wagner took his first solo flight from an airstrip in Athens that since has been replaced by a Walmart.

He attended Ohio University before rising to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy while fighting in Vietnam, piloting a P-3 Orion over the South China Sea to drop sonar buoys searching for enemy subs.

Wagner then became a commercial airline pilot for 31 years, first with National Airlines in Miami, which was taken over by Pan American in 1980, and then with Delta. He retired in 2000 and moved back to the farm.

In the 1970s, Kevin said, a man with a Mason jar full of acid demanded that Wagner fly a National jet to Cuba.

“Dad put the plane into a steep bank. The high g(-force) load threw the hijacker down. He was subdued, and Dad landed in Alabama. Dad said some Buford Pusser-like sheriff got on the plane, pistol-whipped the guy once and carried him away.”

In retirement, he owned two classic planes: a 1972 Bellanca Super Viking 17-30A and a 1946 Aeronca 7AC.

The Bellanca, which Wagner was piloting when he crashed, is a sleek four-seater, said Robert Szego, president of the Bellanca-Champion Club. It’s “very powerful, very fast, very pretty and really fun to fly.”

The Aeronca is an older, slower twin-seater.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said it likely will be six months to a year before a final report is issued on the cause of Wagner’s crash.

Kevin Wagner doesn’t need to wait. He visited the crash site, saw his dad’s beige and red Bellanca upside down on the ground, its spruce and mahogany wings sheared off.

“The landing gear was down. He was on his final approach. He’d already flown 31/2 hours, and now he was five minutes from home.”

He thinks his father had some sort of engine trouble. “There were a couple of houses there, mobile homes. He saw the quarry there and was trying desperately to make it. He clipped a tree."

A woman at one of the mobile homes witnessed the crash.

“She told me that he veered up — those were her words — to avoid hitting the trailer, and clipped the other set of trees and nose-dived into the quarry,” said Kevin, who is also a pilot.

“The cockpit and the fuselage were completely intact. It didn’t crush. What killed him was the force of hitting the ground. It simply broke his neck. The yoke broke off in his hands. He was fighting it to the last second.”


Story and comments/reaction:    http://www.dispatch.com



 


 ALBANY — A 73-year-old Glouster man has died in an airplane crash that occurred Saturday evening near the intersection of Routes 32 and 50, close to Ohio University's Gordon K. Bush Airport.  

Charles Wagner was piloting a 1972 Bellanca Super Viking four-seat plane from Bristol, Tenn. in what was scheduled to be a flight of about one hour and 18 minutes when the crash happened. Wagner was the only occupant of the plane.

According to the Athens County Public Information Officer Network, Athens County 911 received a call at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday reporting the crash.

The Albany Area Volunteer Fire Department and Athens County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene. First responders found the small four-person, single engine aircraft with its top to the ground. Wagner was pronounced dead at the scene.

The last recorded data on the flight plan showed the plane was traveling at 160 mph at an altitude of 4,500 feet at 6:26 p.m. Data related to the aircraft shows that Wagner registered the plane in June of 2006 and was last in action in August of 2013.

Several emergency response agencies were on scene including Albany Fire Department, Ohio University Police Department, Athens County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. 

=========

A small plane crashed near Albany early Saturday evening, killing the pilot, according to official reports. He apparently was alone in the plane. 

In a preliminary report issued Saturday night, the Ohio State Highway Patrol identified the pilot as Charles W. Wagner, 73, of Athens County. He crashed the single-engine 1972 Bellanca Super Viking that he was flying en route to the nearby OU Airport, the report said.

Photos of the crash site – southwest of Albany near where U.S. Rt. 50 veers west toward McArthur from Ohio Rt. 32 – show a badly damaged small plane upside-down on the ground, with first responders on the scene.

A report released at 8:45 p.m. by the Athens County Public Information Officer Network said the county 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center "received a 9-1-1 call at 6:35 p.m. reporting a plane crash near 3315 U.S. Rt. 50, near Ohio University's Gordon K Bush airport."

The Albany Area Volunteer Fire Department and Athens County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene, the report said, adding: "First responders found a small four-person, single-engine aircraft. The aircraft had a single occupant who was the pilot and was declared dead at the scene."

The report said the Ohio State Highway Patrol was on scene performing an initial aircraft crash investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had been notified, and a FFA crash investigation "go team" dispatched to the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board also will be involved in the investigation.



UPDATE: From Athens PIO Network: 8:46 PM 

 The Athens County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call at 6:35 PM reporting a plane crash near 3315 US Route 50, near Ohio University’s Gordon K Bush airport.

The Albany Area Volunteer Fire Department and Athens County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene.

First responders found a small 4 person, single engine aircraft.

The aircraft had a single occupant who was the pilot and was declared dead at the scene.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is on scene performing an aircraft crash investigation.

The name of the pilot is unavailable at this time as official try to notify the pilot’s family.

The Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) has been notified and a FAA crash investigation,  NTSB Go Team has been dispatched to the scene.

Unconfirmed reports stated the plane had originated in Tennessee.

Emergency crews are on the scene of a small plane crash near the intersection of US Route 50 and State Route 32 near Albany.

WOUB's Allen Henry reports emergency crews from Athens, Albany, Ohio University and the State Highway Patrol are on the scene.

According to Albany Area Fire Department Fire Chief Warren Keirns, one person died at the scene.

=======


ALBANY — One person has died as the result of a plane crash near the intersection of Routes 32 and 50, according to Albany Area Fire Department Chief Warren Kierns. 
 
According to the Athens County Public Information Officer Network, Athens County 911 received a call at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday reporting a plane crash near 3315 Route 50 near Ohio University's Gordon K. Bush Airport.

The Albany Area Volunteer Fire Department and Athens County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the scene. First responders found a small four-person, single engine aircraft. The aircraft had a single occupant who was the pilot and was declared dead at the scene.

The name of the pilot is unavailable at this time as officials try to notify the pilot’s family. A four-seater plane that departed from Bristol, Tenn. was scheduled to arrive at the OU Airport around the time of the accident.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is on scene performing an aircraft crash investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and NTSB Go Tteam has been dispatched to the scene.

Suspicious package found at Middle Georgia Regional Airport (KMCN), Macon, Georgia

A suspicious package was reported at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, according to a news release from the Bibb Sheriff's Office. A Hertz Rental Car employee first noticed the unattended suitcase and notified the Bibb Sheriff's Office. It was left near the main entrance of the airport.

Another employee, for Avis Car Rental, saw the unattended suitcase and called the police.

No one saw anyone leave the case behind.

A Bibb deputy did a sweep of the building and alerted airport employees and people inside.

The Bibb Sheriff's bomb squad examined the case and found no identification. They took the suitcase to a safe place and detonated it.

They found no explosive device in the suitcase.


Source:   http://www.13wmaz.com

Team Tango Tango II, N599WT: Accident occurred April 04, 2014 in Ocala, Florida

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: ERA14LA180
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 04, 2014 in Ocala, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/2015
Aircraft: HELPLING HELEN C TANGO 2, registration: N599WT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

Witnesses reported that the engine sounded smooth and continuous at “full” power throughout the takeoff. After the airplane climbed to about 20 ft above the runway, the left canopy suddenly “popped open” and began “flapping up and down.” The pilot reported that, in response, she reduced the engine power. The airplane then began “porpoising” before it entered a steep left bank and subsequently impacted grass on the left side of the runway in a left-wing-low attitude. The pilot egressed and then crawled away from the airplane and awaited assistance. The airplane was consumed by a postcrash fire. 
The left canopy was found separated from the airplane outside the fire area. The handle was found in the “open” position. The pilot reported no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. She stated that, although she had used a checklist during her preflight and pretakeoff activities, which included a checklist item to ensure the security of the canopy, she “could never know” if she had failed to secure the canopy latch or if the latch had somehow malfunctioned. Fire damage to the canopy frame and latch point in the fuselage precluded a determination of what caused the left canopy to open in flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control after the left cockpit canopy opened during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined due to fire damage.

On April 4, 2014, about 1620 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Helpling Tango 2, N599WT, was destroyed during collision with terrain and a subsequent post-crash fire after takeoff from Ocala International Airport (OCF), Ocala, Florida. The private pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

Several witnesses provided statements to the police, and their statements were consistent throughout. Some said that their attention was drawn to the sound of the airplane's engine during its pre-takeoff run-up due to a "popping" sound; but reported that the engine sound was smooth and continuous at "full" power throughout the takeoff.

After takeoff, the airplane climbed about 20 feet above the runway when the left canopy opened "suddenly" and began "flapping up and down." The airplane began "porpoising" before it entered a steep left bank and subsequently impacted the ground in a left-wing-low attitude and a postcrash fire ensued. 

The pilot's fiancé did not witness the accident, but responded immediately to the accident site where the pilot was found some distance from the airplane. He reported to both police and an NTSB investigator that the pilot stated the canopy opened unexpectedly.

Approximately three weeks after the accident, and while still recovering from her injuries, the pilot prepared a statement with the assistance of a friend. She reported that the canopy "popped open" at low altitude and she responded by reducing engine power. The airplane then impacted the grass on the left side of the runway and caught fire. The pilot egressed the airplane, crawled some distance away, and awaited assistance. She reported there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Examination of photographs taken by the Ocala Police Department (OPD) revealed that the airplane came to rest upright. The engine compartment, instrument panel, cockpit, cabin area, and both wings were consumed by fire. The empennage appeared largely intact.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land. Her most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on September 27, 2012. The pilot reported 675 total hours of flight experience, of which 22 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane's airworthiness certificate was issued February 15, 2013. The airplane had accrued 12.5 total aircraft hours at the time of the accident. 

According to the chief test pilot for the airplane kit manufacturer, incidents of the left canopy opening in flight had been reported to the company on three occasions, and all were on takeoff. None of the three events resulted in an accident. On one occasion, the canopy completely separated from the airplane. The pilot continued the takeoff, completed a traffic pattern, and subsequently landed without incident. The airplane was described as "easily controllable throughout the flight and landing." In the other two events, the takeoffs were aborted. According to the reports, in two of the events, the canopy was left unlatched prior to takeoff, and on the other occasion, the canopy was latched "improperly."

In a telephone interview, the manufacturer's vice president was asked if the company published a checklist for the Tango 2 airplane. He explained that the company offered a template, or outline checklist, but that it was impossible to produce a checklist appropriate to all individual airplanes, due to the variations in equipment selected by each owner/builder. 

FAA Advisory Circular 90-89A, Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, Section 9: Paperwork; stated, 
"Checklists: In addition to the assembly/airworthiness checklist previously discussed in section 7, the builder should prepare the following checklists: preflight; take-off/cruise; before starting; descent/before landing; starting the engine; after landing; before takeoff; securing the aircraft; and emergency procedures. A checklist to cover the above procedures may seem a tedious task, but it will only be the size of a 5x8 card -- similar to a checklist for a Cessna 150 or a Piper PA-28-140. NOTE: The amateur-builder should anticipate several revisions to the checklists."

In a telephone interview, the pilot/owner/builder explained that she did develop a checklist for the airplane, had it with her, and consulted it prior to the accident flight. She stated that one item on the checklist was to ensure the security of the canopy, but stated she "could never know" if she had neglected to secure the canopy, or if the latch had somehow malfunctioned.


During the accident the left canopy separated from the airplane and was found outside the fire area. The handle was found in the open position. The canopy frame and latch point in the fuselage were fire damaged.


http://registry.faa.gov/N599WT

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA180
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 04, 2014 in Ocala, FL
Aircraft: HELPLING HELEN C TANGO 2, registration: N599WT
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 4, 2014, about 1620 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Helpling Tango 2, N599WT, was destroyed during collision with terrain and a subsequent post-crash fire after takeoff from Ocala International Airport (OCF), Ocala, Florida. The private pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot was not immediately available for interview, as she was being treated for her injuries. Several witnesses provided statements to the police, and their statements were consistent throughout. Some said that their attention was drawn to the sound of the airplane's engine during its pre-takeoff run-up due to a "popping" sound; but reported that the engine sound was smooth and continuous at "full" power throughout the takeoff.

After takeoff, the airplane climbed about 20 feet above the runway when the left canopy opened "suddenly" and began "flapping up and down." The airplane began "porpoising" before it entered a steep left bank and subsequently impacted the ground in a left-wing-low attitude and a postcrash fire ensued.

The pilot's fiancé did not witness the accident, but responded immediately to the accident site where the pilot was found some distance from the airplane. He reported to both police and an NTSB investigator that the pilot stated the canopy opened unexpectedly.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land. Her most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate was issued on September 27, 2012. The pilot's total flight experience could not be immediately determined.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2013. Its maintenance records were not recovered, and neither its maintenance history nor its total time could be determined.

Examination of photographs taken by the Ocala Police Department revealed that the airplane came to rest upright. The engine compartment, instrument panel, cockpit, cabin area, and both wings were consumed by fire. The empennage appeared largely intact.



 Helen Helpling with her Maule MT-7-235
June 2013


It appears the canopy covering the cockpit on an experimental aircraft opened without warning, which may have caused it to crash and injure a 59-year-old Ocala woman who was piloting the aircraft on Friday.

According to a police report written by Detective Lenny Uptagraft of the Ocala Police Department, Helen Helpling, the pilot of the red Tango 2 single-engine plane, told her boyfriend Dennis Liebrecht that the plane’s canopy had opened unexpectedly on takeoff.

Helpling, who suffered burns to her hands and feet, was flown to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville for treatment. On Saturday, a hospital spokesperson said Helpling was resting comfortably and recovering.

Reached by phone, Liebrecht would only say that his girlfriend had burns to her hands and feet.

The report noted that after the crash, Helpling exited the plane on her own.

Liebrecht, in his interview with Uptagraft, said Helpling had flown the plane to the Ocala International Airport on Thursday to have the radio repaired by Quest Avionics, which is located at the airport. The next day, Helpling and Liebrecht returned to the airport, where she was told the repairs had been completed.

The plane was filled up with fuel, and Helpling was preparing to fly to Shady Airport in Ocala. Liebrecht said Helpling’s plane was on runway 8-26, getting ready to depart, while he was driving away. He said he heard the plane “doing a run-up” before taking off, but by then, the plane was not visible to him.

Then, he said, an employee from Quest stopped him and told him that Helpling’s plane had crashed. Liebrecht said he left his vehicle and ran to the crash site. By then, Liebrecht said, his girlfriend was about 50 yards from the plane. He said he stayed with her until medical personnel arrived on scene.

While waiting for paramedics, he said Helpling told him that the “plane’s canopy had opened unexpectedly on takeoff,” according to the report.

Uptagraft then spoke to three witnesses — two of whom are mechanics and were working on a plane. They were in a hanger when the crash happened. The men told the detective that the aircraft engine was making an “unusual sound” at the time it was on the runway. One of the men said it made a “popping” noise; another said it sounded “like it had a bad magneto.”

Because of the funny noise coming from the engine, the men said they watched the plane. The men said the plane took off and went approximately 20 feet in the air when the left canopy suddenly opened. One of the men said the plane immediately began “porpoising,” or oscillating between upward and downward directions, before making a hard left turn with a steep bank, with the open canopy “flapping up and down.”

The plane, the report noted, continued in a “hard left bank” until it struck the ground, with its left wing tip in a grassy area.

Matt Grow, director of the airport, said the plane crashed about 1,500 feet south of the runway.

The men said they rushed to the crash site. They told Uptagraft that, despite their earlier observations about the plane’s engine sound, the aircraft appeared “under full power at the time of the crash.” They told the detective that they don’t think that engine failure played a role in the crash.

Some of the men’s statements matched what Danny Wilson, who was at the airport sitting in his car with his 2½-year-old grandson, said about the crash. Wilson and his grandson, who visit the airport to watch takeoffs and landings because the toddler is fascinated with planes, told the Star-Banner that the plane, which had a silver propeller, had taxied downed the runway past them, then turned and soared into the air. He said it was not more than 50 feet in the air when the wings turned vertically and the plane nose-dived into the ground.

Wilson said at first there was a lot of dust, then he heard an explosion and saw a ball of fire.

At 10:55 a.m. Saturday, Grow, airport officials and an official from the Federal Aviation Administration went to the crash area. There, the FAA official inspected the plane’s wreckage and debris thrown not far from the crash site. The FAA official took pictures and measurements, leaving the area at 11:15 a.m. without making a comment. He planned on visiting the OPD and fire officials to review their documents.

Grow said the plane will be moved sometime this week and it will be stored at the airport while FAA officials continue their investigation.

Records show the Tango 2 single-engine aircraft is considered an experimental aircraft and that this particular Tango 2 was registered under Helpling’s name.

Helpling is a data modeling specialist for an Orlando firm and received her pilot’s license in 2000. In an interview with a Star-Banner correspondent last year, Helpling said at the time that she had about 480 hours of flying experience and once owned two Cessnas.

Last summer, Helpling and co-pilot Sarah Morris placed eighth overall in the 2013 Air Race Classic in Pasco, Wash. The competition covered more than 2,000 miles in four days and ended in Fayetteville, Ark.

The competition was open only to female pilots, and at the time Helpling flew her Maule plane, a Classic Racer 24.


Source:   http://www.ocala.com
















The prop and debris from an aircraft are shown scattered across a field on airport property and west of the main runway after a plane crash at Ocala International Airport in Ocala, Fla. on Friday, April 4, 2014.











Thunderbirds entertain the crowd and set off car alarms

COLUMBUS, Mississippi--The clouds rolled in but that didn't stop the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds for entertaining a large crowd at the "Wings Over Columbus" Open House and Air Show at Columbus Air Force Base.

The pilots flew six F-16C "Fighting Falcon" jets through a series of precise maneuvers often with their wingtips nearly overlapping. The solo pilots flew several head-on passes at a closing speed of nearly 1,200 mph. They also managed to sneak up on the crowd a couple of times with the noise of their jet engines causing people to gasp and car alarms to go off.

Earlier, civilian pilots flew various vintage aircraft including a rare P-38 "Lightning." Others flew aerobatic routines leaving smoky trails across the sky. Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys from Ashville made the crowd laugh with a comedy flight routine that ended with Koontz landing a Piper J3C "Cub" on the back of a moving truck.

The entire show will be repeated Sunday if the weather cooperates.

See this early story U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform near Alabama this weekend for more details on the event.

Story and photo gallery:   http://blog.al.com

Riverside Air Show to feature wing walkers, aerobatic stunts

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Parachute jumps, wing-walking stunts and range of aerobatics displays are planned today for the Riverside Municipal Airport’s 22nd annual Air Show.

More than 90,000 people are expected to turn out for the event, which gets under way at 9:30 a.m. and goes into late afternoon.

The Menifee-based “Just In Time Skydivers” will welcome spectators with a parachute jump from the back of a transport plane, deploying an American flag on their way down.

Thirty minutes later, stunt pilot Frank Donnelly will wow the crowd with “Dr. D’s Old-Time Aerobatics” in his single-engine 1946 Taylorcraft.

At 11 a.m., John Collver will steer his T-6 Texan trainer through a number of high-speed maneuvers, all of which will be repeated during an afternoon encore, according to organizers.

Famed aerobatics pilot Jon Melby is also slated to power up his Pitts muscle biplane for two performances, during which he’ll demonstrate snap rolls, loops and dives.

Aviatrix and skydiver Melissa Pemberton will be on hand with her husband, Rex Pemberton, for a wing-walking exhibition, followed by a Riverside Police Department chase simulation on the airport tarmac using the agency’s Air 1 helicopter, a K9 team and several patrol units.

Aerobatics performer Doug Jardine will be running his experimental Sbach 342 Thunderbolt through a series of low-altitude maneuvers, after which the annual “Smoke-n-Thunder” contest is planned, pitting a “jet car” against Collver’s T-6 in a race down the runway, with Collver flying a couple hundred feet above the car.

A series of flybys are scheduled, with P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Skytrains and other classic planes expected to participate, organizers said.

A car show, aircraft static displays and military vehicles will be available for visitors to see up close.

No active-duty military pilots will be taking part as a result of cuts in Department of Defense spending.

The air show is free to the public. Parking will be available at the airport and in surrounding lots owned by local businesses. 

Source:    http://www.sbsun.com

Bailed would-be pilot risks career freefall

A would-be pilot who was facing a burglary charge has been warned a high-flying future could be grounded – after he landed himself in the dock for a second breach of bail.

Bradley McKenna was granted bail ahead of his trial next month with the condition he does not enter the scene of the alleged crime – Ellison Hall in Hebburn.

But the 20-year-old was found sleeping in a bed in the building on Thursday morning by his mother, who lives there.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard yesterday that this was the second breach of his conditions in the space of a week for the same offence.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “At 10.20am he was found asleep in bed wearing his pyjama bottoms by his mum.

“She told him to leave and then reported the matter to police.”

McKenna’s mother lives in one half of the building, while the other half is used as hotel apartments.

It is in the apartment complex that the burglary is alleged to have taken place.

McKenna, of Parklands Way, Wardley, Gateshead, has entered a not guilty plea to a charge of burglary at Ellison Hall and will stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on May 12.

Jeff Taylor, defending, said: “About £80,000 has been spent on a aviation pilot course for Bradley. It could be a very fruitful career for him.

“I am not allowed to slap clients on the head but, if I could figuratively, I would do. What he did was stupid. He could scupper things for himself.

“If he breaches his bail again, this kind of mitigation might not fly in the future.

“I have also told him Durham Prison is not a very pleasant place to be.”

Pauline Barratt, chairwoman of the magistrates, said: “You have been really fortunate. We are going to rebail you to the same conditions.

“I can’t stress this enough. This is the last time you will be rebailed if you breach your conditions.

“We are being very lenient.

“The next time you fancy going to bed, go to the house you are bailed to.” 


Source:   http://www.shieldsgazette.com