Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stolp SA-900 V-Star, N3243S: Incident occurred April 20, 2014 at Columbus Municipal Airport (KBAK), Indiana


COLUMBUS, Ind. (The Republic) – A plane was involved in a minor crash at the Columbus Municipal Airport on Sunday.

24-Hour News 8′s news partners at The Republic report the crash happened when the plane’s landing gear collapsed during landing shortly before 5:30 p.m.

Columbus fire officials say the plane did not catch fire and there were no injuries. Officials say the pilot was attempting to land his 1992 Stolt V-Star when the landing arm collapsed on touchdown, causing the plane to spin down the runway.

When firefighters arrived, the pilot–the only person on the plane–was exiting the aircraft.

Officials say the plane suffered significant damage.


 COLUMBUS, Ind. — An airplane was involved in a minor crash at Columbus Municipal Airport today when its landing gear collapsed during landing, Columbus Fire Department spokesman Lt. Mike Wilson said.

The rough landing happened about 5:24 p.m. The plane did not catch fire and there were no injuries, Wilson said.

Larry Morlock, of the 3400 block of Woodland Place in Columbus, was attempting to land his 1992 Stolt V-Star on Runway 14 when the landing arm collapsed on touchdown, causing the plane to spin down the runway, Wilson said.

Morlock, the plane's only occupant, was exiting the plane as firefighters arrived at the scene, Wilson said.

Wilson said Morlock told firefighters that the plane was valued at $12,000 before the crash. Capt. Mike Sieverding, in charge of Station 2 next to the airport and the first on the scene, said the plane suffered significant damage, Wilson said.

Cessna 210 Centurion, N6543X: Incident occurred April 20, 2014 at McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ), Carlsbad, California


Three people riding a small plane suffered some frightening moments mid-air when their landing gear became stuck.

The Cessna 210 was flying around San Diego's North County Sunday afternoon when the pilot tried to lower the gear. But the wheels wouldn't budge.

Student pilot Max Fitzmaurice was flying at the same time, and he heard the pilot's frantic call into the tower.

According to Fitzmaurice, the distressed plane made a couple fly-bys around the Oceanside airport, hoping the gear would deploy. When it didn't, air traffic controllers gave the pilot the option to land at Montgomery Regional Airport, where there is a larger emergency response.

Instead, he opted to land closer to home: at the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Fitzmaurice landed his plane just minutes before the Cessna started to descend, and the student had his smart phone camera rolling as the pilot went in for a no-wheels, emergency landing.

After a couple of hard bumps and some major skidding, the small aircraft came to a halt around 3 p.m.-- with no injuries to the pilot or two others on board.

"The guy did a great job landing. I mean, spectacular," said Fitzmaurice.

"You really have to keep calm, focus on your priorities and get your plane on the ground -- get your plane on the ground safely," he added.

He said the pilot definitely knew what he was doing.

The airport was forced to close for at least two hours while the plane was towed from the runway.

According to Fitzmaurice, fire crews responded quickly and arrived before the nail-biting landing, just in case anything went wrong.



Concord Municipal Airport (KCON), New Hampshire

A pilot suffered minor injuries when he crashed an ultralight plane on the runway at Concord Municipal Airport yesterday. 

The Concord Fire Department responded to the crash at the public-use airport about noon, Battalion Chief Rick Whitney said.

“The pilot of the ultralight aircraft was making an approach when he was impacted by a crosswind, flipping him upside down,” Whitney said.

The crash caused serious damage to the small aircraft, Whitney said, but the pilot, who was not identified, was able to get out of the plane.

“He was out, awaiting our arrival when we got there,” Whitney said.

The pilot had some minor injuries but refused transport to Concord Hospital.

No one from the airport was available for comment. In a March article in the Monitor, General Manager David Rolla estimated the airport averages about 100 total takeoffs and landings per day. Most of the planes that fly in and out of Concord are privately owned and used for recreation.

Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified of the crash, Whitney said. According to its online database, the NTSB has only investigated four incidents at the Concord airport in the last decade, with only one resulting in a serious injury.

The fire department does on occasion respond to “in-flight” emergencies, like a rough-running engine or suspicious odor from the plane, Whitney said.

“Actual crashes of aircraft at (Concord Municipal Airport) are rare,” Whitney said.

Plane flips on runway in Concord: Pilot escapes with minor injuries 

CONCORD, N.H. —The pilot of an Ultralight aircraft escaped with minor injuries after the plane flipped at the end of a runway at Concord Municipal Airport Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Conditions for flying appeared perfect with sun and just a few clouds.

"He made an approach from the southerly section of the airport and was caught by a short crosswind, which flipped him upside down and trapped him in that position for a short period of time until he was able to self-extricate. There was considerable damage to the unit. There was a minor fuel leak," said Concord Battalion Chief Rick Witney.

The pilot was able to get himself out of the wrecked plane before emergency vehicles arrived. He refused to be taken to a hospital.

Ultralight aircraft are designed to carry a pilot and one passenger. Officials said the pilot had been flying solo without incident.


Skydive Pennsylvania at Grove City Airport (29D), Mercer, Pennsylvania

TOWNSHIP, Pa (WKBN) – A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital after a skydiving accident Saturday evening, just outside Grove City.  

It happened a little after 7 p.m. in Springfield Township, near the Grove City Airport.

The owner of Skydive Pennsylvania Skydiving Center said that the man was jumping alone, not in tandem. His parachute did open, weather and equipment appear to have nothing to do with the accident.

The man missed his designated landing zone, and hit the ground hard in a field off Old Ash Road.

His injuries are believed to be non life-threatening.


Freefall Adventures at Cross Keys Airport (17N), Williamstown, Monroe Township, New Jersey

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the death of a skydiver. 

 Arkady Shenker, 49, of Brooklyn, died Sunday afternoon skydiving from a plane that had taken off from Freefall Adventures, located at Cross Keys Airport. Washington Township police first responded to a call of an injured skydiver at 2:12 p.m. 

Shenker was pronounced dead at Kennedy Hospital in Washington Township about 3:30 p.m.

Although initial reports suggested that Shenker’s parachute had malfunctioned, it was still not clear Monday what had caused the accident. 

Shenker was also using a “wing suit,” a special jumpsuit designed with extra fabric to help skydivers maneuver as they parachute to the ground. 

Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Bernie Wisenfeld said that an autopsy on Shenker was still pending, and that his equipment was being handed over to the FAA for further inspection. 
Jim Peters, a spokesman from the FAA, could not confirm whether the parachute had properly deployed, but said local authorities had reported it had not opened.

Skydiving experts said that Shenker’s experience — at least 350 jumps in all — would have made him a “very qualified” jumper. The United States Parachuting Association, among other groups, sets a minimum guideline of 200 jumps before a skydiver can even begin using a wing suit. 

The suits first rose to popularity in 1999 and are also commonly used in base jumping.
Ed Scott, executive director of the USPA, said the wing suits come with their own rules.

“Even for an experienced jumper, the wing suit requires some training and some jumps to get used to the differences,” he said. “There is a different procedure for deploying the parachute to make sure you get a clean jump.”

Scott added that although medical emergencies that would prevent a diver from successfully completing a jump are not unheard of, they are extremely rare.

Freefall Adventures did not return requests for comment on Monday. According to the skydiving forum and advocacy website, the most recent fatality at Freefall occurred in 2012.
Skydiving accident rates are fairly low, given the intimidating nature of the hobby. 

According to the USPA, there were 19 fatalities nationwide in 2012 out of an estimated 3.1 million jumps.

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

MONROE TWP., N.J. - A 49-year-old man from Brooklyn, New York, died on Sunday afternoon while skydiving at Freefall Adventures in Monroe Township, New Jersey.  Police say Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute known as a "wing suit," which allows a skydiver to move forward while descending. It is unclear whether the suit opened properly, according to authorities.  Federal authorities will investigate the functionality of the suit.

Shenker landed behind a yard in the 100 block of Tuckahoe Road in Monroe Township.

He jumped from an airplane at about 2 p.m. and was pronounced dead at 3:38 p.m. at Kennedy Hospital, Washington Township, New Jersey.

Shenker was described as an experienced skydiver with 350 jumps and was a frequent visitor to Freefall Adventures. The airplane he boarded today along with 15 others was the fourth load of skydivers of the day that flew from Cross Keys Airport, where Freefall is located. Authorities say Shenker came to Freefall Adventures alone.

The Federal Aviation Administration will further investigate.

Skydiver Arkady Shenker falls into backyard, dies in accident in Monroe Township

MONROE TOWNSHIP - Authorities say a 49-year-old man who landed in the backyard of a home after a skydiving accident in southern New Jersey has died.
The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office says it's unclear whether the specialized parachute that Arkady Shenker, of Brooklyn, was wearing during the jump around 2 p.m. Sunday opened properly.
Officials say Shenker was an experienced skydiver with more than 350 jumps. He was wearing a "wing suit," which allows a skydiver to move forward while descending. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office says that federal authorities will investigate.
Shenker was skydiving in a plane operated by Freefall Adventures in Monroe along with 15 others. 


Man Dies After Parachute Fails During Skydiving Jump

A man died after his parachute failed during a South Jersey skydiving jump Sunday afternoon. He landed in a Sewell backyard in the 100 block of Tuckahoe Road.

 Arkady Shenker, 49, wore a specialized parachute known as a "wing suit," which allows a skydiver to move forward while descending. It is unclear whether the suit opened properly, according to the Gloucester County prosecutor's office. Its functionality will be investigated by federal authorities.

"We seen him coming down. He was going around and around and the chute was here and he was here," said witness Lamont Dye. "As soon as I seen that I knew he was in trouble."

The Brooklyn native was parachuting with Freefall Adventures in Monroe Township. He was an experienced skydiver with 350 jumps and a frequent visitor of Freefall Adventures. His last jump from an airplane occured at about 2 p.m. There were 15 others onboard the plane that took off from Cross Keys Airport.

As Shenker drew closer to the ground, his parachute did not open. Witnesses said he was spiraling as he was coming down fast. Emergency Medical Services transported him via helicopter to Kennedy Hospital in Washington Township where he was pronounced dead at 3:38 p.m.

While at the scene, NBC10 reporter Na'eem Douglas saw more skydivers parachuting from the sky hours after the Shenker's accident.

Rutledge Mayor C. Scott Shields died March 25, 2011 in a Freefall Advenutures skydiving accident.

Freefall Adventures describes their skydiving experience on their website: "Taking skydiving from the eXtreme to the mainstream, our skydives are made from 13,500 feet, 35% higher than our competition. Utilizing the latest technology, combined with our specialized skydiving instruction, we can have you in the air making your first skydive within minutes of your arrival."

NBC10 reached out to Freefall Adventures. The company replied they had no comment. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.

Story, video and comments/reaction:

November 27, 2012:

The skydiver who was found dead in a field in Monroe Township, Gloucester County last week still had his parachute packed and never pulled the primary or emergency cords, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.

 Gloucester County Trial Chief Mary Pyffer said the man was identified as Donald Lawrence Morozin, 62, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa. He was a certified diver and a regular at Freefall Adventures, based out of the Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

"The man had hypertension and other medical issues that caused him to pass out," Pyffer said, explaining why he never pulled the cords.

Morozin was reported missing after an afternoon jump on Nov. 21. A New Jersey State Police helicopter located his body around 5 p.m. that day, in a field off Pitman-Downer Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene to investigate the incident, according to Pyffer. The FAA examined the parachute and "determined it to be packed correctly," according to Pyffer.

"The primary and emergency cords were never pulled," Pyffer added.

An autopsy conducted on Nov. 23 determined the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries and the manner of death was accidental, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

 The victim of a fatal skydiving accident last week in Monroe Township was identified by authorities today as Donald Lawrence Morozin of Bala Cynwyd. He was 62. 

 Morozin's death on Wednesday has been ruled accidental, the result of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. His body was found 300 feet from the parachute landing zone at the Freefall Adventures skydiving school, based in Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown, officials said.

Accident investigators found that the certified skydiver, who had performed more than 3,500 jumps, had not pulled the parachute's primary or emergency chords, said Mary Pyffer, trial chief with the Prosecutor's Office.

Morozin was "known to have hypertension and other medical issues that could cause him to pass out," Pyffer said.

The Federal Aviation Administration examined the parachute and determined that it had been packed correctly and was operational, she said.

The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Attempts to reach family members have been unsuccessful.

Story, video and reaction/comments:

Officials investigate the scene where the body of a skydiver was found in a field off of Glassboro Cross Keys Road, near Appletree Lane, in Monroe Township. Photo by Lori M. Nichols/South Jersey Times

MONROE TWP. — Police are reporting that the body of a skydiver was found 300 feet off of Glassboro-Cross Keys Road near Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown.  The airport is located on Dahlia Avenue in Williamstown, part of Monroe Township in Gloucester County. The body was discovered by a N.J. State Police helicopter around 5 p.m., according to authorities. Initial reports said the incident occurred around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the skydiver — who has not been identified by authorities — was jumping at Freefall Adventures, which is based at Cross Keys Airport. The skydiver then went missing.
Monroe Township Police Chief Joe Smart confirmed the body of the skydiver had been found. A member of Freefall Adventures said shortly after 6 p.m. that the person was a licensed skydiver but was not associated with their group.

Smart said the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office and Federal Aviation Administration were investigating.

A representative from the FAA did not have information about the incident when reached for comment, but said that they typically will investigate whether the parachute was packed correctly.

The Prosecutor's Office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Two parachutists at Freefall Adventures died in 2011, according to previous reports. The mayor of Rutledge, a Pennsylvania town in Delaware County died in March when his parachute failed to open. In March 2012, a Philadelphia man was rescued from a tree near the airport after his parachute became entangled.

In 2010, the United States Parachute Association recorded 21 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. — a decrease from the 1970s when the average was reported to be 42.5 fatalities per year, according to the association's website.

 Previous skydiving incidents at Freefall Adventures

May 2011 -- Williamstown parachutist dies after mid-air collision in Monroe Township

March 2011 -- Pennsylvania mayor dies when his main parachute was not deployed and his reserve failed to full inflate

September 2006 -- A tandem parachute instructor and his 28-year-old student were killed when their main and reserve parachutes failed to properly deploy

July 2005 -- Two experienced skydivers were killed when their parachutes collided as they were practicing a high-performance synchronized landing

September 2004 -- An experienced skydiver was killed when he lost track of altitude and failed to deploy his parachute before striking the ground

 A man was killed in a skydiving accident late Wednesday afternoon in Gloucester County, authorities said.

The accident occurred at Freefall Adventures, which provides skydiving lessons and activities at the Cross Keys Airport in Williamstown. The man's name was not released.

His body was found about 300 feet from the parachute landing zone, authorities said. The accident is under investigation by the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The former mayor of Rutledge Borough, Delaware County, died in 2011 during a skydiving accident at Freefall Adventures.

March 25, 2011
Skydiver Dies in South Jersey. Attorney C. Scott Shields, an experienced skydiver, often jumped at Cross Keys Airport (17N), Cross Keys, New Jersey

Scott Shields
March 25, 2011, Shields made his last leap from 13,000 feet at Freefall Adventures in Gloucester County, New Jersey

Scott Shields was passionate about his politics, his legal practice, his borough and his daughters. When outside the courtroom and council chambers, the mayor of Rutledge was also fanatical about his hobbies. Whether zipping around in his Porsche or aboard his Ducati motorcycle, lacing up his hockey skates or rooting for his Florida Gators, friends of Shields said he only had one gear. “Scott was very energetic and always on the go,” said Greg Lebold, president of Rutledge Borough Council. “Whatever Scott got involved with, he went at it full bore.” That certainly was the case with Shields’ most beloved hobby of late, skydiving.

An experienced skydiver died during a jump Friday afternoon after his main parachute failed to open in Williamstown, N.J., according to authorities.

Medical officials responded to Cross Keys Airport after the jumper's main chute never deployed.

Delaware County attorney C. Scott Shields died in the incident, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.

Shields was a graduate of the University of Florida and Widener School of Law who specialized in personal injury defense, according to his website.

Shields' backup chute never fully inflated...

The 45-year-old father of three was jumping with a group of skydivers.

For unknown reasons Shields never deployed his main chute and his emergency chute, which opens automatically, never fully inflated, witnesses told prosecutors.

"Apparently something occurred from the time he left the plane to the time he landed on the ground," said Williamstown Police Captain Joe Smart.

Officials say Shields landed in the trees near the airport around 4:25 p.m. A red parachute could be seen dangling in the nearby woods.

Shields was pronounced dead on arrival at Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, N.J.

Besides being an attorney he also served as the two-term mayor of Rutledge, Pa. and ran for judge back in 2007.

"I was completely shocked," said Rutledge Council President Greg Lebold. "Had so much to live for, enjoyed life, really did."

Shields’ grief-stricken friends and family turned to Facebook to remember Scott -- many of the posters wishing him "blue skies."

Freefall Adventures Inc. operates out of the airport on Dahlia Avenue. Shields had jumped with them before.

Despite the death, the company continued jumps Friday afternoon.

"The business has been there for numerous years," said Smart. "it’s been an extremely safe business and these things rarely happen for the amount of jumpers that do go there."

FAA officials will meet with prosecutors Saturday to inspect Shields parachute and rig, officials said. There was no immediate official cause for Shields death.

An experienced skydiver died during a jump Friday afternoon in Williamstown, N.J., Monroe Township Police have confirmed.
   Medical officials were called to Cross Keys Airport to respond to a skydiving accident involving a male jumper.
The single jumper landed in the trees near the airport and died in the parachute accident, police said.
   It was unclear if the unidentified victim crashed because of mechanical problems or a health issue, cops said.    A red parachute could be seen dangling in the trees near the airport.    The name of the jumper will be released after family is notified, authorities said.    Freefall Adventures Inc. operates out of the airport on Dahlia Avenue.


MONROE TWP. — A man died this afternoon following a skydiving accident at Cross Keys Airport, Monroe Township police Det. Lt. Joe Smart said.

He declined to identify the victim pending notification of family but said the man was skydiving at Freefall Adventures Inc., located at the airport on Dahlia Avenue.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the exact cause of what Smart said has been deemed an accident.

“At this point in time, we don’t know the cause,” he said. “It could have been a health issue, it could have been mechanical failure, it could have been human error.”

Smart added that authorities don’t believe the victim was a novice jumper. A first-time skydiver, or “tandem jumper,” would have to jump with an experienced mentor.

“From what we’ve gathered, we think he was an experienced jumper,” he said.

Spring Creek, Madison County, Tennessee

Ultralight crashes into tree in Spring Creek

An ultralight airplane crashed into a tree in Spring Creek on Saturday evening, but no injuries were reported.

Lt. Jerry Elston of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said the ultralight hit a gust of wind that knocked it into a tree on Pillow Road in Spring Creek.

The pilot was not injured, Elston said. There was no property damage.

The plane is not the type that must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, but Elston said the Federal Aviation Administration would probably be called about the accident as a courtesy.


Aerocomp Comp Air 8 Turbine, OH-XDZ, Suomen Urheiluilmailijat ry: Accident occurred April 20, 2014 near Jämijärvi airfield (EFJM), Satakunta, Finland

Investigators identify one cause of Jämijärvi plane crash 

 A faulty wing helped cause a light aircraft crash in April, according to a report from the Safety Investigation Authority. Eight people died in the crash in Jämijärvi, Ostrobothnia.

Accident investigators think they have found the fault that caused a deadly plane crash that killed eight skydivers in Jämijärvi, Ostrobothnia, last April.

In a report published on Wednesday, the Safety Investigation Authority says that the pillar supporting the plane’s right wing broke during the flight, causing the aircraft to fall out of the sky. Investigators are also looking at other causes of the accident, but analysis of those factors is not yet complete.

The Comp Air plane’s aluminium wing support was broken long before the fateful flight, according to the report, but the fault wasn’t picked up during regular maintenance checks. The plane’s left wing was destroyed in the fire following the crash, preventing any analysis of its possible role in the accident.

Eight people from the Tampere skydiving club died in the crash on Easter Sunday, 20 April. There were 11 passengers on the plane, but three managed to jump out in time, using their parachutes to avoid serious injury.

Ismo Aaltonen is head investigator at Finland’s Accident Investigation Board

Investigators no closer to pinning down cause of Jämijärvi plane crash 

 Finland’s Safety Investigation Authority announced completion of a preliminary probe into the Jämijärvi plane crash which occured Easter Sunday. After five days of poring over the remains of the mangled and charred aircraft, the investigators say they have not been able to determine why the plane went down.

Investigators looking into the cause of last Sunday’s fatal airplane crash have wrapped up a preliminary probe into the accident, without finding any clear ondication of the cause of the incident. Another group will now commence a more detailed examination to uncover the cause of the crash.

The amateur-built Comp Air 8 light aircraft crashed in Jämijärvi during a skydiving excursion on Easter Sunday, killing eight people.

A great deal of information about the sequence of events

Investigators determined that the plane’s right wing broke in mid-air and turned upside down. However it’s not yet clear whether or not the broken wing prevented sky jumpers inside the plane from exiting through the jump door.

The plane took about one minute to plummet from 4,000 metres to the ground. All three survivors made the jump to safety from the cockpit door, two of them narrowly escaped with the plane less than 1,000 metres off the ground.

All plane parts accounted for

Investigators were able to account for all parts of the plane on the ground. The shell of the aircraft has been moved to the Niinisalo garrison in the Satakunta region of western Finland. Some parts have been sent for forensic examinations to determine the durability of the metal used and other structural details.

Many recordings of the incident

The Safety Investigation Board has been able to gather many recordings of the incident, however all images and video recordings were obtained from the ground when the plane was already in its deadly descent.

Investigators also got their hands on several in-flight recordings. Some were badly damaged but efforts are being made to extract any available data.

Team members also interviewed all of the survivors, however questioning is expected to continue.

 Head of the aviation investigation team Ismo Aaltonen works at the crash site near the Jamijarvi airport.

A parachute hangs from a tree close to the wreckage of experimental aircraft next to Jamijarvi Airfield, southwest Finland on April 21.

 Investigators will return to the site of Sunday’s fatal light airplane crash in Jämijärvi, western Finland to sift through the wreckage as they work to determine the cause of the accident. The crash site investigators say finding answers will be a slow and difficult process.  

 According to accident investigators from the Safety Investigation Authority Otkes, Monday’s search of the site of the light airplane crash revealed that no major parts of the plane were missing from the wreckage. Lead investigator Ismo Aaltonen said that both wings and the craft’s rudders were all at the crash site. So far speculation and initial reports indicate that the pilot had difficulty steering the plane.

Investigators will return to the site Tuesday looking for new clues, but the cause of the incident remains unclear.

The officials will be perusing technical drawings of the Comp Air 8 plane since the wreckage was so badly burned when the plane crashed to the ground.

According to Aaltonen, investigators will continue their search and examination of the crash site Wednesday if need be. He added that working with the aircraft shell is slow and perilous work because of the presence of unhealthy carbon fibre particles.

Once the crash site has been fully combed officials will move the shell to an indoor space for further investigations.

Cause of crash still unknown

So far officials have determined that the plane nose-dived to the ground from a height of about 4,000 metres.

“We’re at least looking at the aileron or altitude control. The plane’s nose suddenly went down, giving rise to negative g-forces and centrifugal forces. What caused this is still wide open,” Aaltonen said, adding that at this stage it’s not possible to draw far-reaching conclusions.

“In reality we don’t yet have any information as to why these steering control problems arose. Our investigation will focus heavily on what we can find out from the plane's shell, whether there were mechanical malfunctions or what the problem was,” he added.

Aaltonen said it would take some time before investigators are able to determine what caused the steering problems. Investigators interviewed eyewitnesses and survivors of the accident Monday, and Aaltonen said questioning could continue Tuesday. Officials will also review images and video material recorded by onlookers.

“We will carefully put together different perspectives to arrive at the most comprehensive picture possible of how events developed,” the lead investigator commented.

Eight people died in the accident Sunday.

Expert: Jämijärvi plane did not fall from very low 

Searching for answers in plane wreckage
Minister: Risks of aviation sports need re-examining

Skydiver crash victim: technical failure was to blame

Jämijärvi eyewitnesses: Plane made noises and lost parts before fall

At least three dead and five missing in light aircraft crash in Jämijärvi 

One of the first experts to investigate the remains of the Jämijärvi air accident, aviation mechanic Markku Väisänen, says that the craft’s structural integrity may have been compromised, either by overloading or a structural defect in the aircraft. 

Aviation expert Markku Väisänen says that a wing breaking mid-flight was the most likely cause of the plane crash which killed eight people on Easter Sunday. However, at this early stage of the investigation, it is still difficult to assess how and why the wing structure failed. More details are expected to unfold as the investigation continues.

According to the aviation mechanic, such a structural failure could be due to either overloading or a preexisting fault. An overload could have been caused by excessive speed or overly drastic adjustment of the plane’s movement.

However, in Väisänen’s view, it would be extraordinary if overload was indeed the reason for the plane’s disintegration and subsequent crash.

“At that stage of the flight, these kinds of movements should not be made at all, so it’s completely incomprehensible how that could have occurred,” he says.

Väisänen thinks that engine failure is unlikely to have led to the tragedy. He also discounts the theory that the structure of the aircraft may have deteriorated or become brittle, as it was a relatively new aircraft.

Earlier on, the Accident Investigation Board's head investigator, Ismo Aaltonen, told Yle that premature opening of a parachute did not cause the accident. Aaltonen publicly stated that information gleaned from the investigations will be announced after meeting with relatives of the victims.

The aircraft involved in the crash was the only Comp Air 8-type machine in Finland.

Little remains of the Comp Air 8 airplane.
 Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva 

Press release 

Ministry of Transport and Communications

21.4.2014 14.11

Minister of Transport and Local Government Henna Virkkunen wishes to express her own sadness, as well as that of the entire Finnish Government, following the light aircraft incident near Jmijrvi in Satakunta on Sunday. The Minister offers her sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to all others affected by this tragic incident.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications and Trafi – the Finnish Transport Safety Agency expect a full report on the incident to be conducted by the Finnish Safety Investigation Authority. Following the investigation, the aviation authorities will assess whether the aviation regulations need to be re-examined. There have been several fatalities as a result of civil aviation accidents in recent years.

Further information
Ms Laura Rissanen, Special Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Local Government, tel. +358 41 540 4505
Mr Pekka Henttu, Director General for the Aviation Sector, Finnish Transport Safety Agency, tel. +358 40 351 1931

 Accident Happened Over Popular Skydiving Site About 150 Miles by Road From Helsinki 

The Wall Street Journal 
By Juhana Rossi 
Updated April 20, 2014 3:13 p.m. ET 

HELSINKI—Police and investigators said eight skydivers died when a light utility aircraft suddenly fell from the sky over a popular skydiving site Sunday in Jamijarvi, a small town in Western Finland some 150 miles by road from Helsinki.
Three people, the pilot among them, managed to bail out with their parachutes from the aircraft and survived with only minor injuries.

"By Finnish standards, this is the most serious flight accident in decades," said Ismo Aaltonen, an investigator with Finland's Safety Investigation Authority.

Mr. Aaltonen was speaking in a joint news conference held by police and rescue services at the site of accident. The news conference was broadcast online.

According to information gathered by the police, the aircraft was traveling at a relatively high altitude of more than 10,000 feet before it plunged toward the ground.

Eyewitnesses "saw three parachutes detach from the plane which then came down in a steep angle," said Pentti Lehtimaki, an inspector with the local police service. The authorities gave no tentative theory for the cause of the accident. It was also unknown if the pilot had communicated the plane's distress before its fatal dive.

Investigators are now looking into eyewitness reports that claim some objects or aircraft parts fell away from the plane in its final moments on the sky.

The aircraft involved in the accident was an American-made Comp Air 8. Comp Air 8s are so-called homebuilt aircraft that are typically assembled from kits by people active in general aviation.

The rescue authorities said the wreckage was severely damaged because it burned after it had impacted with the ground. The police haven't identified the individual crash victims, but according to tentative information they are experienced sky divers from the city of Tampere, some 50 miles east from the accident site.

According to media reports and its Facebook site, a Tampere-based skydiving club was holding its annual "Easter Boogie" sky diving event at Jämijärvi over the Easter holiday weekend, which in Finland extends until Monday.


Aerocomp Comp Air 8 Turbine, OH-XDZ, Suomen Urheiluilmailijat

Moottorivika neljän kilometrin korkeudessa: Kahdeksan kuoli koneen maahansyöksyssä

Jämijärvellä Satakunnassa on sattunut lento-onnettomuus, jossa on kuollut kahdeksan ihmistä.

Tutkintaa johtava ylikomisario Petri Kangas vahvistaa Iltalehden paikalla olevalle toimittajalle, että kuolleita on yhteensä kahdeksan. He kaikki löytyivät palaneesta koneesta. 

Tutkinnanjohtaja sanoi aiemmin Iltalehdelle, että kuolleiden joukossa olisi myös koneen lentäjä. Asiasta liikkuu kuitenkin ristiriitaista tietoa.

Tutkinnanjohtajan mukaan kaikki uhrit ovat kotoisin Pirkanmaalta. Heitä ei ole vielä poliisin mukaan tunnistettu.

Kolme henkilöä löytyi hengissä maastosta. He pääsivät pelastautumaan laskuvarjolla hyppäämällä eivätkä loukkaantuneet vakavasti. He ovat kuitenkin sairaalahoidossa.

Potkuriturbiinikone syöksyi maahan noin kahden kilometrin päähän Jämijärven lentokentästä. Se sai moottorivian noin neljän kilometrin korkeudessa. Pelastuslaitos sai hälytyksen paikalle kello 15.40 sunnuntaina.

Pienkone syttyi tuleen osuessaan maahan. Koneessa oli lentäjä ja kymmenen matkustajaa, eli kaikkiaan 11 ihmistä. Kaikilla koneessa olleilla matkustajilla oli laskuvarjot, sillä heidän oli tarkoitus hypätä koneesta.  


A helicopter flies over the area near the Jämijärvi Airfield to search the victims. 
Photo Lehtikuva. 

People watch the rescue operation at the Jämijärvi Airfield. 
Photo Lehtikuv

A helicopter and an ambulance are seen at the Jämijärvi Airfield, southwest Finland, on Sunday after a light aircraft crashed.
 Photo Lehtikuva.

Jämijärvi eyewitnesses say plane made abnormal noises and lost parts before it fell

Three people were killed on Sunday in a light aircraft disaster in Jämijärvi, 70 kilometres from Pori. Several others remain missing. Eyewitnesses to the incident reported hearing strange sounds from the plane’s engine.

One caller says he was sunbathing with friends in the yard of his Jämijärvi cabin when he heard a strange noise. 

“Suddenly I heard an abnormal airplane engine sound and then we saw a smoking plane spiraling downwards behind the nearby forest.”

He says the next thing he heard was the sound of emergency rescue vehicles.

A second witness wrote that she was out jogging when she heard a small plane engine from the airfield's direction.

“Out of the blue, the engine’s roar stopped and I noticed it because it sounded so strange.”

She says it is possible that the engine noise came from the crashed aircraft.

Yet another witness says a piece fell from the plane before the crash.

An Yle reporter at the Jämi holiday resort next to the airfield reported a rescue helicopter and ambulance at the airfield at 6 pm.

New information indicates the Comp Air 8 turboprop-powered light aircraft contained ten parachutists, in addition to the pilot. Three of the ten have been found alive.

Read also:
At least three dead and five missing in light aircraft crash in Jämijärvi