Monday, June 9, 2014

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, Phoenix East Aviation, N5524LF Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA283
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 09, 2014 in Daytona Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/12/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N5524L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The flight instructor and a private pilot receiving instruction were conducting a night proficiency flight and had completed two touch-and-go landings. A witness reported that, during the initial climb after the second touch-and-go landing, the airplane experienced a series of engine "backfires," followed by an audible loss of rpm. The airplane struggled to gain altitude and airspeed as it continued on an easterly heading. He then observed the airplane's right wing dip, followed by a right turn back toward the airport, after which the airplane stalled and then entered a nose-down descent. After the airplane impacted the ground, it was destroyed by a postcrash fire.

Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation; however, the postaccident condition of the wreckage precluded a functional check of the engine and its accessories. 

There was no evidence that medical issues, medications, or toxic substances impaired the flight instructor or contributed to the accident. Toxicology testing on the pilot receiving instruction detected concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active component in marijuana, in cavity blood but not in the brain. In addition, and THC's primary metabolite was detected in cavity blood and urine but not in the brain. Given that no THC was detected in the pilot's brain, it is likely that some of the THC detected in the cavity blood resulted from postmortem redistribution. However, the investigation found no operational evidence of impairment for the pilot. Therefore, although the pilot had used marijuana at some time before the flight, there was no evidence that he was impaired by it at the time of the accident. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A partial loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff for reasons that could not be determined due to the postaccident condition of the wreckage. Contributing to the accident was the pilots' decision to turn back to the airport, which led to the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall while maneuvering. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 9, 2014, about 2158 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5524L, experienced a partial loss of engine power and impacted the ground during the initial climb after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport, Daytona Beach (DAB), Florida. The flight instructor and the private pilot receiving instruction were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Bravo Leasing LLC and operated by Phoenix East Aviation, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an instructional flight. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and no flight plan was filed.

The airplane was operated by Phoenix East Aviation flight school and based at DAB. The flight instructor was conducting a night proficiency flight for the private pilot, who was training for his commercial pilot certificate. A review of the pilots training logs revealed that this was the third instructional flight with the flight instructor.

A review of the air traffic control voice transcription revealed that the call sign for the accident airplane was Phoenix 35 (PX35). At 2145, PX35 was cleared for a full stop or touch-and-go landing on runway 7L, at the pilot's discretion. One of the pilots then replied that they would perform a touch-and-go landing. The airplane was subsequently instructed to follow another airplane in the traffic pattern and cleared for a second full stop or touch-and-go landing, about 2153. PX35 acknowledged the air traffic control request and approximately 3 minutes later requested to return to land. This was the last transmission made by PX35.

A DAB airport employee observed the accident from a vehicle on the taxiway. He stated that the airplane performed a touch-and-go landing, and then experienced a series of engine "backfires," followed by an audible loss of rpm during the subsequent initial climb. The airplane struggled to gain altitude and speed as it continued on an easterly heading, and reached a maximum altitude of 250 to 300 feet above the ground. He then observed the airplane's right wing dip, followed by a left turn, and an immediate stall. The airplane entered a nose-down descent and disappeared behind a tree line. He drove in the direction of the airplane and located it off of the airport property engulfed in flames.

Another witness reported that she observed the airplane fly over the tree line. It looked as if the pilot was turning back towards the airport, when the airplane entered an "aerodynamic stall," and then impacted the ground.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The certificated flight instructor (CFI), age 22, held a CFI certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane issued on December 10, 2013. She reported that her flight experience included 960 total hours, and 320 hours in last six months, at the time of her most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical examination, which was performed on January 28, 2014. Pages of the CFI's logbook were discovered within the cockpit and were destroyed by the postcrash fire. A review of flight school records revealed that the CFI had accumulated about 1,170 total flight hours, of which 101 hours were flown at night.

The pilot receiving instruction, age 22, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. A review of his flight training records revealed that he had 139 total flight hours, 63 hours as pilot-in-command, and 14 hours within the 90 days that preceded the accident. It was also noted that he had logged approximately 12 hours of night flight experience. The pilot receiving instruction held an FAA first-class medical certificate, which was issued on October 11, 2012. His logbook was discovered within the cockpit and was destroyed by the postcrash fire.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing airplane, serial number 172S11378, was manufactured in 2014. It was powered by a Lycoming model IO-360-L2A, 180-horsepower engine equipped with McCauley 1A170E propeller. A review of maintenance logbook records showed a 100-hour inspection was completed on June 4, 2014, about 5 hours prior to the accident. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had been operated for about 100 total hours since new.

Another company flight instructor reported that the airplane experienced a rough running engine and a loss of 400 rpm on climb out while conducting a touch-and-go landing on June 6, 2014. The airplane was taken out of service and inspected. The spark plugs were removed, and no defects were noted. An engine run-up was conducted and a normal rpm drop was noted. A magneto check was conducted and was reported as "good." After the inspection was completed, the airplane was returned to service. It was subsequently flown on an instructional flight during the morning of the accident, without any discrepancies noted.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at DAB, elevation of 34 feet, included wind from 160 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 4,500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 27 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 22 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The accident site was located about 220 feet south of the runway 7R centerline in an open field. The airplane came to rest in a flat, upright attitude, on a heading of about 060 degrees magnetic. The cockpit, cabin, instrument panel and instruments were consumed by fire.

Examination of the left wing revealed that the outboard section was buckled, and the wing was shifted forward. Examination of the flap revealed that it was in the retracted position. The aileron remained attached at one of the two attachment points and was buckled. Flight control cable continuity was established to the cockpit flight controls. The fuel tank was fire-damaged and the fuel cap was secure.

Examination of the right wing revealed that the outboard section of the wing was buckled and fire-damaged. The flap was in the retracted position and fire-damaged. The aileron remained attached and was fire-damaged. Flight control cable continuity was established to the cockpit flight controls. The fuel tank was fire-damaged and fuel cap was secure.

The empennage aft of the rear window was buckled. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers remained attached to empennage. The right horizontal stabilizer was buckled. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and the control cables were traced to the cockpit. The elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizers and control cable continuity was confirmed to the cockpit flight controls.

Examination of the engine revealed that it was heavily fire-damaged. The oil sump was breached and fire-damaged. The rear mounted accessories were destroyed by fire. The engine was partially dissembled to facilitate further examination. The connecting rods rotated freely on the crankshaft rod journals. No damage was noted to the camshaft or lifters. The rear main bearing exhibited fire damage, but no rotational scoring or wiping. The cylinders were removed and no damage was noted on the valves or in the valve guides. When the valves were compressed they moved freely in the valve guides. No damage was noted within the cylinders.

Examination of the fuel injector servo revealed that it was impact-separated from the engine and fire-damaged. The servo rubber diaphragms were fire-damaged. No debris was noted within the fuel inlet screen. The flow divider remained attached to the engine. The rubber diaphragm was melted and air passed freely through the fuel injector lines. Examination of the fuel injector nozzles noted that they were unobstructed. No fuel was observed in the engine fuel lines or its components. Examination of the spark plugs revealed that when compared to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart, they displayed normal signatures. The magnetos and ignition harnesses were destroyed by fire.

The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft flange. The crankshaft flange was impact-separated from the crankshaft. The propeller and flange were located in front of the engine, and both blades displayed chordwise scoring.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the CFI by the Office of the Medical Examiner, Daytona Beach, Florida.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the CFI, by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated that no carbon monoxide was detected in blood (cavity), no ethanol was detected in vitreous, and no drugs were detected in the urine.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot receiving instruction by the Office of the Medical Examiner, Daytona Beach, Florida.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot receiving instruction, by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated that no carbon monoxide was detected in the blood cavity and no ethanol was detected in vitreous.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (marihuana) in concentrations of 0.00136 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the blood cavity. Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (marihuana) in concentrations of 0.0484 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the urine. Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (marihuana) in concentrations of 0.0021 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in the blood cavity.

http://registry.faa.gov/N5524L

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA283
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 09, 2014 in Daytona Beach, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N5524L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On June 9, 2014, about 2158 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5524L, impacted terrain when control was lost shortly after takeoff from Daytona International Airport, Daytona Beach, Florida. The flight instructor and private rated student were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to Bravo Leasing LLC and operated by Phoenix East Aviation, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an instructional flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the flight school, the purpose of the flight was to train the private pilot for his commercial pilot certificate.

Preliminary information obtained from air traffic control personnel indicated that the airplane was on its second touch-and-go landing on runway 7R and was on the initial climb after takeoff.

An airport employee, who was in his vehicle on the taxiway, stated that as the airplane climbed out he heard what sounded like a "backfire" coming from the direction of the airplane. He stopped his truck and turned towards the airplane and stated that the airplane descend below the tree line. They headed in the direction of the airplane and located it off of the airport property. When he arrived the airplane was engulfed in flames.

Another witness reported that the airplane came over the tree line and it looked as if the pilot was turning back towards the airport. They said that the engine was running but it appeared as if the airplane had entered an aerodynamic stall before impacting the ground.

The aircraft wreckage was located in an open field located about 220 feet south of the runway 7R centerline in an open field. The airplane came to rest in a flat attitude, on a course of about 060 degrees magnetic. The cockpit, cabin instrument panel and instruments were totally consumed by post-impact fire. All components of the airplane to include flight control surfaces were accounted for at the crash site.


 Gabriel De Souza Marinho Falcao, Marlene Mork 




 Marlene Mork


Gabriel De Souza Marinho Falcao, Marlene Mork 


 Marlene Mork



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —    Investigators believe a single-engine plane that crashed at the Daytona Beach International Airport Monday night might have suffered engine failure.

Flight instructor Marlene Mork, 22, and pilot under instruction Gabriel De Souza Marinho Falcao, 22, were killed in the crash at the airport off Clyde Morris Boulevard about 10 p.m.

"There was a ball of flame upon the impact," said Dave Byron of Daytona Beach International Airport.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board spent Tuesday at the crash site investigating.

Early indications are the Cessna 172 may have lost power to its engine, which ultimately caused it to crash.

According to the FAA, the student and instructor were practicing taking off and landing in the aircraft. Both were from Phoenix East Aviation School, one of two flight schools based at the airport.

A man who spoke to Channel 9 said he was Mork's roommate.

"She was the nicest person I've ever met. She was amazing. She's just too young," he said.

The man said the instructor had been with the school for at least two years and had a love for flying.

The single-engine aircraft was brand new and only had about 100 hours of flying logged, officials said.


http://www.wftv.com

June 9, 2014 
Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer

FATAL PLANE CRASH UNDER INVESTIGATION

Two people died when a single-engine plane crashed on property just east of Daytona Beach International Airport Monday night and burst into flames. The plane took off from the general aviation runway at the airport just before 10 p.m. Monday night and crashed off airport property shortly after take-off, landing on the west side of South Clyde Morris Boulevard at its intersection with Bellevue Avenue and erupting in flames.

 Units with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the Daytona Beach Police Department, Volusia County Fire Services and the Daytona Beach Fire Department rushed to the scene after the first report of the crash came in at 9:57 p.m. County and city firefighters extinguished the flames. It’s believed that there were two occupants onboard the Cessna 172 that was registered to Phoenix East Aviation. There were no survivors.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the cause of the crash. The Sheriff’s Office’s Major Case Unit also is investigating to confirm the cause of the deaths. The incident didn’t affect operations at the Airport, which remains open for business.

Update: 4:15 p.m.

The victims from last night’s plane crash have been tentatively identified as:

    22-year-old flight instructor Marlene Mork

    22-year-old student Gabriel De Souza Marinho Falcao



http://www.volusiasheriff.org/press/140084.htm












A student pilot and flight instructor died when a Cessna 172S Skyhawk crashed at Daytona Beach International Airport on Monday night. 


DAYTONA BEACH — Two people were killed Monday night when a small, single-engine plane crashed after taking off from Daytona Beach International Airport, officials said.  

The plane, a Cessna from Phoenix East Aviation, crashed and burst into flames about 10 p.m. in a field on airport property near Clyde Morris Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue, Police Chief Mike Chitwood said.

According to a witness at the airport, it sounded like the plane’s engine failed shortly after it took off about 9:55 p.m.

The plane crashed as it turned to make it back to the runway, Chitwood said, relaying the witness account.

The two people killed were the only ones on board, Chitwood said.

Fire crews and emergency medical responders were dispatched to the scene. The Medical Examiner’s Office was called to pick up the bodies.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to begin an investigation Tuesday morning.

The crash was the second involving fatalities Monday night in Central Florida.

Brevard County Fire Rescue officials said two people were killed when a small plane crashed near homes on Merritt Island about 8:30 p.m.

Both of the fatalities were persons on the airplane. No one on the ground was injured, officials said.


http://www.news-journalonline.com



Christopher Stewart: Benton, Illinois grad fulfills dream of becoming pilot

Benton native Christopher Stewart (center) received his Pilot Wings on May 16, and is pictured with his family, from left, brother-in-law John Howard, sister Sarah and their daughter Madi of Belleville, his father Alan, mother Terri and sister Amy Hill, all of Benton. Following his training, Stewart received awards including Class 14-09 SFlight Top Stick Award (T-6), Class 14-09 Flying Training Award (T-1), Class 14-09 Distinguished Graduate (T-1), Class 14-09 AETC Commander's Trophy (T-1). 


Christopher Stewart's dream of becoming a pilot came to fruition with his service in the United States Air Force.

The 2nd lieutenant stationed at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., is a 2007 graduate of Benton Consolidated High School and a 2012 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering.

 "My dream of being a pilot began when I was 8- or 9-years-old and Ronny Hubbard, a family friend from church, took me flying in his small airplane out of the Benton Municipal Airport," Stewart said. "It was a short flight, only about an hour, but I was hooked from that day forward. Seeing Southern Illinois from the air sparked the fire that drove me to learn all I could about airplanes, what made them work, and how I could one day fly them myself."

 Discussing the educational requirements to become a pilot in the Air Force, Stewart said a person must be a commissioned officer.

 "There are a few ways to become an officer: Officer Training School, attending the Air Force Academy, or by participation in a Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which was the route I chose," Stewart said. "I went to Purdue University ... to major in Aeronautical Engineering and also enrolled in the ROTC department there, which allowed me to receive a world class education and participate in military training at the same time."

 Not only is Purdue where 23 astronauts received their degrees, but it also home to one of the best ROTC departments in the country, Stewart said. 

 "In addition to attending regular classes towards my degree, the ROTC program required three physical training sessions, a leadership training laboratory, and classes each week on the history and traditions of the Air Force," he said. "Upon completion of the program and graduation from Purdue, I was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Air Force."

 Stewart said the medical qualifications needed to become a pilot is one of the most difficult parts.

 "Fewer than six out of every 1,000 people are able to pass the required medical examinations required to even begin pilot training," he said. "The first exam I underwent was a simple physical during my freshman year at Purdue that would determine only if I was 'Potentially Pilot Qualified.' It was a rather routine exam, but never had I been so nervous to visit the doctor."

 "During my senior year at Purdue, the time finally came to formally submit my 'dream sheet' for what career field I would be moving into after graduation and commissioning as an officer in the Air Force," Stewart said. "Pilot was my number one by a long shot, and in February of 2011 I learned that I had been selected to attend pilot training pending addition medical examination. That examination took place over a period of three days at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, and was much more involved than the previous exam I had during my freshman year. It included more than 10 tests for my eyes alone, as well as a dental exam, hand-eye coordination, and measurements of all kinds to include sitting height to make sure I could actually fit inside Air Force aircraft."

 He said one popular rumor is that 20/20 vision is a requirement to be a pilot, but it isn’t true.

 "A person’s vision must only be correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contacts," Stewart said.

 When asked how he wound up in Oklahoma for pilot training, he said, "the needs of the Air Force are what drive virtually all career assignments and locations. However, they do their best to accommodate each person as well. Much like with learning what career field I would be assigned to, once I learned that I would be attending pilot training I filled out a 'dream sheet.' "

 "Basically, I ranked my choice of assignment locations from those that were available," Stewart said. "My preference was to come to Vance in Oklahoma, and I was fortunate that the Air Force agreed to send me here."

 He said the formal Undergraduate Pilot Training course is 54 weeks.

 "However, since I did not have any prior flying experience, my pilot training experience started with Initial Flight Screening (IFS) in Pueblo, Colo.," Stewart said. "IFS provides ground and flight training to USAF students in preparation for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, in addition to other aviation career fields. It is a three week course with the primary objectives of providing the Air Force an opportunity to screen aviation candidates prior to pilot training attendance and to begin the development of the student’s aviation skills in order to enhance their ability to succeed in pilot training. Doss IFS, the civilian contractor that runs the flight screen course, is known as ‘The Gateway To USAF Aviation.’ If a person already holds a civilian pilot’s license, they are not required to attend IFS."

 "While at IFS, I went through academic courses covering the basics of flying procedures and techniques and flew an aircraft solo for the first time in my life after less than 15 hours of flight time with an instructor pilot," he said. "After my solo, I had one more flight before my first Air Force 'checkride.' During a checkride, the student pilot flies with an evaluator who grades the student on all of the maneuvers they have been taught during the course up to that point to see if they are ready to proceed on to the next phase of training. In this case, the next course of training was the JSUPT program back at Vance, and, according my check pilot, I was ready."

 Stewart said once back at Vance, he went through one last medical checkup just prior to starting the UPT course in April of 2013.

 "The UPT course is broken down into three phases of training," he said. "The first phase entails approximately six weeks of academics learning all the details of flying the T-6A Texan II, the aircraft used during phase two of training, and the basic procedures used to fly it at Vance. This was done through classroom sessions, computer based training lessons, and aircraft simulators. The classroom sessions were taught almost exclusively by retired military pilots with various backgrounds, and they were also our instructors in the aircraft simulators."

 "The simulators used range from simple cockpit mock-ups to those with 180 degrees field of vision," Stewart said. "My class started by learning in the cockpit trainers about what and where everything was located and how they controlled all of the various systems. We very quickly graduated to the more advanced sims where the instructors would train us on actually learning the basics of flying the real aircraft. Some of the most important simulator training sessions were used to cover emergency procedures in the aircraft, when something would go wrong and we had to know how to safely react to the situation."
     
He said after the six weeks of ground training, "my classmates and I finally got the chance to start flying in June of 2013. Over the next four plus months, we flew the T-6 during the five stages of phase two. We started out learning the basic procedures of how to handle flying the aircraft using visual references before moving on to controlling the plane through advanced aerobatic maneuvering. After a checkride to assess our learning through the first stages, we moved on to instrument and formation flying."

 "In instrument flying, the only references that are used are those that are located inside the aircraft itself," Stewart said. "No outside visual cues are available to determine position or movement. When flying in formation, two aircraft are flown to within 10 feet of each other during all phases of flight, to include taking off, landing, and aerobatic maneuvering. Finally, we finished phase two of UPT with a couple of 'Low-Level' flights. During these flights, the aircraft is flown as low as 500 feet above the ground and maneuvered in such a way to arrive over a specified area, or target, at a specific time. 

 "October of 2013 brought my class to the end of phase two in UPT," he said. "Before we started phase three, we would 'track select' to see which aircraft we would be moving on to next, the T-38 Talon, T-1 Jayhawk, or TH-1 Helicopter. The T-38 track most often leads to a fighter or bomber type follow-on assignment after completion of pilot training, while the T-1 leads to a tanker or cargo airlift assignment. For those students who track to the TH-1 Helicopter, they move to Fort Rucker, Ala., for their final phase of training before on operational helicopter assignment with the Air Force."

 Stewart said once again, track select brought a “dream sheet” that was filled out by each student, and then, based on the needs of the Air Force, each student receives his or her phase three assignment. "Another determining factor used is ranking done by leadership that oversaw our training during phase two," Stewart said. "Every flight accomplished, to include daily flights and checkrides, are graded by an instructor pilot. Based on those grades, as well as academic scores and our commander’s evaluation, each student is ranked from first to last. Then, on the number of each type of phase three aircraft available, the students are assigned to their next plane (or helicopter). I was assigned to fly the T-1 Jayhawk during phase three, which was my preference. During the track select ceremony, I also learned that I had finished at the top of my class for Phase Two, and was awarded the 'Top Stick' award."

 He said phase three began with another six weeks of ground training to learn about the aircraft we would be flying over the next several months, as well as more simulator time.

 He said, "After ground training was complete, we moved on to fly our phase three aircraft from November 2013 until May 2014. On the 2nd of May, my classmates and I learned what aircraft we would be flying and where we would be based for our first follow-on assignment after graduation from pilot training. We were given a list of all the possible assignments and locations, which we then ranked based on our preferences. The same literature is distributed to the other pilot training bases, and all of the student pilots are ranked together. I was fortunate in that I received my top choice of assignments, which was to fly the C-21 Learjet while being based at Scott AFB in Belleville."

 "The culmination of 54-plus weeks of pilot training for my class came when we received our Pilot Wings and graduated from UPT in a ceremony on May 16th," Stewart said. "Family and friends of my classmates and I were in attendance in addition to several leaders from Vance AFB and our instructors. A retired four star general participated and delivered an address at the ceremony as well. During the ceremony, there were three awards handed out for performance during training, and I was honored to receive all three of them for my class."

 Stewart said he will be moving to Scott AFB to start his three year assignment flying the C-21 in July.

"The C-21 is used for executive transport and aeromedical evacuation," he said. "It is also unique in that it is considered a special duty assignment, or 'white-jet' tour, thus after my three years flying it are complete, I will move on to another aircraft for a more extensive time period."

"Upon receiving my wings as a pilot, I began a 10 year service commitment with the Air Force," Stewart said. "Ideally, I will be able to serve until I am eligible for retirement, and then continue flying once my time with the Air Force is up. I hope to continue living the dream of being a pilot for as long as possible.

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

Book about U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Crash

It’s not uncommon to see U.S. Coast Guard helicopters flying over Mobile every day. The largest aviation engineering division within the Coast Guard is in the Port City. Petty Officer Third Class Andrew Knight, Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge, Lieutenant Junior Grade Thomas Cameron and Lieutenant Commander Dale Taylor were in a tragic helicopter crash the night of February 28, 2012 in Mobile Bay. None of them survived. Lieutenant Commander Taylor’s wife, Teresa, says she feels like some of us may still have questions about what happened that night, so she wrote a book to answer those questions, and to help us get to know the man she calls the bravest man she’s ever known. 

“These are all flights Dale did with the Coast Guard from flight school all the way up and hen recorded each flight, the hours, what aircraft he flew in, who he flew with, and his signature’s at the bottom,” said Teresa Taylor.

One of her most cherished possessions is her late husband’s flight log book. She says she’s looking forward to showing it to her sons when they get older. Evan was seven, and Emmett was four when their father was killed. She says flying was Lieutenant Commander Taylor’s pride and joy, and he looked forward to sharing that with his sons every chance he got.

In her book, Teresa recalls being in her kitchen making spaghetti when her husband told her he had a night flight February 28, 2012.

She says, “I went to bed early that night so everything was quiet and dark and I got a knock at the door and I got up and I knew deep within my soul that it was bad news.”

Her husband had taken his final night flight. He and three other heroic men died in that crash.

“I’m still learning to accept things I don’t like. I loved Dale very much and I still wish he was here. However through my faith in God and friends who have supported me, my kids and I still find days full of joy and we have a legacy to look back on and guide us.”

The next time you look up and see a military helicopter, remember even training can be difficult and dangerous, and that the men and women inside those helicopters are putting their lives on the line every day, all for you and me.


Story and video:   http://fox10tv.com

Liberty XL-2, Spatial Inc., N516XL: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2014 near Merritt Island Airport (KCOI), Brevard County, Florida

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

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

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

SPATIAL INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N516XL 

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 09, 2014 in Merritt Island, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/2015
Aircraft: LIBERTY AEROSPACE INCORPORATED XL-2, registration: N516XL
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

According to a friend of the airplane’s owner, the purpose of the flight was for the owner to check out another pilot in the airplane. It could not be determined which pilot was flying the airplane at the time of the accident. Review of uncorrelated radar data indicated that the flight departed and maneuvered in the local area for about 26 minutes before the accident occurred. One witness stated that the airplane was about 200 ft above ground level when it entered a turn, and then its nose dropped and it descended to the ground. Two other witnesses reported seeing the airplane descending in a nose-down attitude. The witnesses provided conflicting information as to whether or not the airplane’s engine was producing power. Examination of the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted in a steep descent. The witness observations and the impact geometry are consistent with the pilots failing to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, resulting in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. The propeller blade signatures were consistent with the engine not producing power at impact. Engine parameter data downloaded from the full authority digital engine control’s (FADEC) data recording device revealed normal rpm, cylinder head temperature, and fuel pressure readings from takeoff to the end of the recorded data, and no FADEC fault codes were recorded. However, the recorded data ended before the loss of control occurred. Postaccident examination of the engine powertrain, fuel distribution block, and fuel injectors revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Both of the engine’s electronic control units sustained impact damage that precluded operational testing. Although the auxiliary fuel pump was determined to have been inoperative for a long period of time before the flight due to separation of one electrical wire near the pump, the engine-driven fuel pump was operational and capable of providing adequate fuel to the engine to sustain engine power. The investigation could not determine the reason the engine was not producing power at impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the pilots to maintain airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the loss of engine power for a reason that could not be determined by the postaccident examination, which was limited due to impact damage. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 9, 2014, about 2036 eastern daylight time, a Liberty Aerospace, Incorporated XL-2, N516XL, crashed in a residential area approximately 1.5 nautical miles north-northwest of Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. Both occupants were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Spatial, Inc., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from COI.

The purpose of the flight was a checkout of an individual by the airplane owner seated in the right seat. The owner's girlfriend provided a timeline indicating the last text message she received from him was at 1808, indicating he was on his way to the checkride. About 2 minutes later, or at 1810, the left seat occupant left a voice mail message indicating that he was at the end of his driveway waiting for the right seat occupant to drive past. At 1930, a friend reported seeing the airplane on a taxiway at COI with the doors open and no-one nearby. The girlfriend further reported that she had a commitment with her boyfriend at 2000 hours that day.

One witness reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector-in-charge seeing the airplane flying about 200 feet above ground level, then bank to the east. He observed the nose drop and the airplane went straight down. He reported the engine popped then became quiet and popped again. The witnesses estimated he was approximately ½ mile from the accident site. The same witness provided a sworn taped interview to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Agent indicating hearing the engine rev up while descending followed by hearing the sound of the crash.

Another witness reported to the FAA-IIC observing the airplane flying about 300-400 feet above the ground with the aircraft spinning nose down. He then lost sight of the airplane.

Still another witness reported to the FAA-IIC hearing a swooshing sound and realized it was an aircraft. He noted that the engine was not running and the airplane was a couple hundred feet in the air as he saw it go straight down like from 12 to 6 o'clock. He called 911 to report the accident. The same witness also provided a sworn taped interview to the agent of Brevard County Sheriff's Office indicating that he did not hear the engine running during flight.

The homeowner reported to NTSB that on the date and time of the accident, he was inside his house in his kitchen. He reported it was still light out, and he heard a loud sound that shook his house. He reported prior to the impact he did not hear an engine sound. It took him about 1 minute to find his phone, and he called 911 at 2036. He went outside and spotted the wreckage. While near the wreckage there was no sound from it and no "obvious smell of fuel." He estimated that law enforcement was on-scene within 2 minutes and fire rescue responded shortly thereafter. He was the only person present in his home at the time.

FAA personnel reported there was no record of any ATC contact, no flight plan, and no contact with LM Automated Flight Service Station.

Radar data from Orlando Approach Control, that utilizes Space Coast Regional Radar Sensor was examined by NTSB for uncorrelated and primary radar returns using the accident site location (latitude and longitude) and accident time as a starting point and working backwards. That review revealed at 2010:14, an uncorrelated radar target at 200 feet mean sea level (msl) was located about 0.4 nautical mile and 95 degrees from the departure end of runway 11 at COI. The target remained in left traffic pattern for COI, then departed flying north of the airport where changes in direction occurred. While remaining north of the airport between 2035:05 and 2035:19, the flight proceeded in a northwesterly direction while flying between 1,400 and 1,300 feet msl. At 2035:24, a primary radar return with no altitude available was located nearly due west and about 270 feet of the previous radar target. The next uncorrelated radar target at 2035:29, at 500 feet msl was located about 417 feet and 348 degrees from the primary radar return. Excluding the primary radar return, between 2035:19 and 2035:29, the airplane descended 800 feet, resulting in a calculated average rate of descent of about 4,800 feet per minute. The accident site was located about 130 feet and 142 degrees from the last uncorrelated radar return. Plots of the uncorrelated radar targets and raw radar data utilized for the plots are contained in the NTSB public docket.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The left seat occupant, age 65, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land ratings issued August 29, 2013, and held a third class medical certificate with a limitation, "must have available glasses for near vision" issued on July 2, 2012. On the application for his last medical certificate he listed a total time of 30 hours. There were no records of enforcement action. His wife reported he was in "very good health" and did not take any medication, and just had a physical 6 months earlier.

The right seat occupant, age 47, held an airline transport pilot certificate with multi-engine land rating issued April 3, 2014. He also held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land, instrument airplane ratings, issued January 30, 2013. He held a first class medical certificate with limitation to wear corrective lenses issued on December 2, 2013. On the application for his last medical certificate he listed a total time of 2,140 hours. There were no records of enforcement. His son indicated he was in excellent health, and his girlfriend indicated he was not taking any prescription medication, but would take Ibuprofen as needed for a sore back.

A review of the right seat occupant's pilot logbook that was found in a bag in the wreckage revealed it contained entries between June 20, 2010, and April 6, 2014. He logged time in the following aircraft: Cessna 150, Cessna 172, Piper PA-28R, Piper PA-23-250, Fairchild SA-227, Casa 212, and the accident airplane. Between these dates he logged a total time of approximately 863 hours, of which approximately 41 were as pilot-in-command in the accident airplane. His first logged flight in the accident airplane occurred on January 11, 2013, and his last logged flight in the accident airplane occurred on April 6, 2014.

Correlation of the right seat occupant's flight time in the accident airplane after his last logged flight was performed using the "Aircraft Flight Log." Between his last logged flight and June 2, 2014, he accrued 3.2 hours in the accident airplane, resulting in a total of 43.7 hours make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 2006 by Liberty Aerospace, Inc., as model XL-2, and was designated serial number 0011. It was powered by a 125 horsepower Continental Motors, Inc., IOF-240-B engine controlled by Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system which includes two Electronic Control Units (ECUs), Health Status Annunciator (HSA), FADEC Sensor Set, and low voltage wiring harness. The airplane was also equipped with a Sensenich W69EK7-63G fixed pitch wood/fiberglass propeller.

Following manufacturing, on June 26, 2007, Service Instruction Letter (SIL) 06-006 was complied with which installed an Aerosance engine data interface (EDI) model EDI-200. On July 16, 2007, the EDI-200 was removed and a new EDI was installed.

A review of the 'Aircraft" logbook that contained entries from January 19, 2006, to the last entry dated September 15, 2013, revealed no entry related to removal or repair of the auxiliary fuel pump. The airplane was last inspected in accordance with an annual inspection on September 15, 2013; the airplane total time at that time was recorded to be 615.6 hours. There were no further entries in the airframe or engine logbooks after the annual inspection was signed off as being completed. Further review of the aircraft maintenance records revealed an entry dated May 23, 2008, indicating the aircraft total time was 570.8 hours, while an entry dated January 7, 2013, indicates the total time was 568.9 hours, consistent with record keeping errors and the airplane not being operated for over 4 years 7 months. According to the FAA Registration Application dated January 11, 2013, the right seat occupant listed himself as the president under the name, "Spatial, Inc." The next entry in the airframe maintenance after the right seat occupant purchased the airplane was dated August 2, 2013, which indicates the airplane total time was 613.4 hours. Excerpts of the Airframe and Engine logbooks are contained in the NTSB public docket.

A spiral bound "Aircraft Flight Log" book which documents flights, flight date, time out, time in, flight duration, fuel information, and discrepancies was found in the wreckage. The book documented flights between February 2, 2013, and June 2, 2014. Further review of it revealed that after the annual inspection was signed off, an entry dated December 19, 2013, indicates, "Fadec caution [intermittent] rough engine." Another entry the same day indicates, "intermittent 20 [degrees] flap", likely referring to the flap position indicator light. An entry dated December 20-21, 2013, indicates, "Fadec panel flickered for about 5 [minutes]", while an entry on December 23, 2013, indicates, "20 degrees flap [indicator] intermittent." An entry dated January 17, 2014, indicates, "Fadec caution flash." There were no entries related to the FADEC between January 19, 2014, and the last entry dated June 2, 2014. Further review of the entry for June 2, 2014, indicates no discrepancies, 14 gallons of fuel were added, and the ending time was 667.0 hours. Excerpts from the "Aircraft Flight Log" are contained in the NTSB public docket.

Service Instruction Letter (SIL) RKI-SIL-08-001 had not been complied with; therefore, the gross weight was 1,653 pounds.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The terminal area forecast (TAF) for COF issued on June 9, 2014, at 1800 UTC, valid until June 10, 2014, until 2400 UTC, indicates the wind was forecast to be from 100 degrees at 12 knots, the visibility was forecast to be greater than 6 miles, and scattered clouds at 3,000 and 10,000 feet were forecast. Temporarily between 1900 UTC to 2300 UTC, broken clouds were forecast at 3,000 feet, overcast clouds at 5,000 feet, and from 2300 UTC to 2400 UTC, the wind was forecast to be from 140 degrees at 9 knots, the visibility was greater than 6 knots, few clouds at 3,000 feet and scattered clouds at 5,000 feet. From 0500 UTC on June 10, 2014 to 0600 UTC, the wind was forecast to be from 210 degrees at 6 knots, the visibility greater than 6 miles, few clouds at 3,000 feet.

A surface observation weather report taken at Patrick Air Force Base (COF), Cocoa, Florida, at 2058, or approximately 22 minutes after the accident indicates the wind was from 120 degrees at 6 knots, the visibility was 10 statute miles, and clear skies existed. The temperature and dew point 27 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively, and the altimeter setting was 29.97 inches of Mercury. The accident site was located about 9 nautical miles and 334 degrees from COF.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, sunset occurred at 2019, and the end of civil twilight occurred at 2046. Excerpts of Weather Reports and Records are contained in the NTSB public docket.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Merritt Island Airport is a publically owned uncontrolled field with a published common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF)/UNICOM of 122.975. The frequency is not recorded.

A fixed base operator (FBO) at COI has a VHF transceiver; however, they closed at 1900 hours that day, and the CTAF/UNICOM frequency is not recorded.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The airplane was equipped with an Engine Date Interface (EDI), TCM P/N 657230 Rev A, P/N 14049 B, S/N 0643005. The EDI was retained by NTSB for read-out by the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division, located in Washington, D.C.

According to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division Report concerning the EDI, the file structure on the card was found to be corrupted due to the rapid removal of electrical power as a result of the accident. The file structure was rebuilt using data recovery software and the recorded data was extracted normally. The last file recorded identified as "edi0036.dal" contained what appeared to be three flights. The 1st flight recorded from takeoff to landing was approximately 3426 seconds, or 57.2 minutes long. The 2nd flight in the file was about 2126 seconds, or 35.4 minutes long and the 3rd flight was approximately 98 seconds long. Without having the date and time accurately recorded in the data files no positive determination could be made as to what flight segment was the accident flight.

There were no engine or engine controller faults recorded during the last recorded data file (edi0036.dal) which included the accident flight.

Correlation of the engine data from elapsed time to the event local time, EDT, was performed with an offset to the time of the accident. The recorded data in approximately 1 second increments associated with the last file revealed engine start occurred about 2017:04, and the data continues without interruption until 2036:00, resulting in approximately 19 minutes of recorded data.

The report also indicates correlation of data associated with engine start, taxi, and run-up. For about 1 minute 3 seconds after takeoff, or to the end of the recorded data, the rpm was noted to be between approximately 2,500 and 2,600, the fuel pressure increased from 39 psi to about 56 psi (within normal green arc range), and all readings for cylinder head temperature were above the minimum reported values. A copy of the report and downloaded data as an attachment are contained in the NTSB public docket.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane crashed in the side yard of a residence located in a high density residential area; the wreckage was located at 28 degrees 22.083 minutes North Latitude and 080 degrees 41.252 minutes West longitude, or on the east side of a residence. The airplane was upright and all parts necessary to sustain flight remained connected or were in close proximity to the main wreckage.

Further inspection of the accident site revealed the airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of 266 degrees, with the empennage resting against an approximate 6 foot tall fence that was oriented on a north/south direction. Power-lines located about 20 feet above ground level and above the fence were not damaged, and there was minimal damage to the western edge of the house located approximately 13 feet west of the fence. Furniture located in the side yard sustained impact damage. The tip of one propeller blade was noted extending from the impact crater associated with the engine and propeller; the impact crate was about 12 inches deep. The nose landing gear was structurally separated.

Inspection of the wreckage revealed no evidence of fire on any observed component; the fuel tank was breached on the bottom portion. First responder personnel cut the aft spar attach of the left wing during the recovery efforts. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector-in-charge, there was very little fuel smell when he arrived on scene a few hours after the accident. As part of the recovery, the insurance company contracted with a company to take soil samples for determining the extent of fuel leakage. Preliminary results found several "hot spots" which correlated with the area beneath the ruptured fuel tank. Testing revealed fuel was detected 5 feet below the surface, which correlated with the water table level.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further inspection. Inspection of the airframe following recovery revealed the empennage was separated, but both wings remained attached to the fuselage. All primary and secondary flight control surfaces remained attached. The flap drive cross tube was separated from the airplane; reportedly removed by rescue personnel. The flap rod end fitting remained attached to the flap drive, which was broken at the top, but remained attached to the fuselage. The actuator was extended 31/32 inch as measured from the end of the rod to the housing which equates to flaps retracted position; the roll pin was present.

Inspection of the right side of the rudder revealed an impact mark consistent with that being made by the right stabilator inboard edge. Positioning of the two control surfaces matching the impact on the right side of the rudder correlated to the rudder trailing edge right and the right anti-servo tab trailing edge down. A gouge on the left side of the rudder was also consistent with contact by the inboard side of the left stabilator. The rudder push/pull tube was fractured at the aft pushrod attachment. The left and right stabilators were interconnected, and the forward fin spar was not attached to the underside of the fuselage. The pitch trim actuator was inspected and found to be extended 11/16 inch as measured from the end of the housing to the bottom of the washer, or 1 5/8 inches from the housing to the center of the rod end, which equates to trim tab trailing edge up; the roll pin was present. No separations were noted of the trim drive system attach points. Inspection of the trim drive control mechanism revealed continuity from the drive to the control surface.

Inspection of the left wing revealed the aft spar was cut, and the main spar upper and lower pins were in the "home" position. The flap and aileron flight control surfaces remained attached at all hinges, and the aileron balance weights were attached. The stall strip remained attached on the leading edge, and the stall warning vane remained attached but exhibited impact damage. The stall warning vane remained electrically connected and full movement of the vane could not be performed due to the impact damage; however, slight movement of the vane resulted in changes in the resistance readings taken at the wire attach terminals on the stall warning vane. The pitot mast remained installed but dirt was inside the hole in the leading edge while the drain hole appeared clear. The leading edge was crushed aft along its span.

Inspection of the right wing revealed the aft pin was in the "home" position or engaged, and the forward upper and lower pins were also in the "home" or engaged positions. The flap and aileron flight control surfaces remained attached at all hinges, and the aileron balance weights were attached. The stall strip remained attached on the leading edge. The leading edge of the wing was rotated up varying degrees along the wingspan, from about 80 degrees at the wing root to 60 degrees at the wingtip. The leading edge of the right wing exhibited an impact about 34 inches wide beginning about 12 inches inboard from the end rib. The impact was consistent with damage to a patio table that exhibited rivet spacing gouges about 0.75 inch on center. The rivet spacing was consistent with the leading edge.

Inspection of the aileron flight control system revealed that control continuity was confirmed for the left wing from the control surface to the wing root where the pushrod exhibited bending overload. The left aileron pushrod remained connected to the aileron quick connect fitting, and the bellcrank was fractured below the torque tube which was displaced aft approximately 8 inches. No separations were noted at any of the aileron flight control system attach points. Control continuity was also confirmed for the right wing from the control surface through to the aileron quick connect to the center line. No separations were noted at any of the aileron flight control system attach points.

Inspection of the rudder flight control system revealed the rudder aft pushrod was bent and fractured at the rod end near the control surface and bent but remained connected at the aft bellcrank. The intermediate pushrod was bent and fractured at the aft and center bellcranks. The forward pushrod was bent and fractured at the center and forward bellcranks, and the rudder input pushrod remained connected at both ends. The attach for the rudder forward bellcrank was bent and fractured near the attach, and also near the forward rudder pushrod attach. The rudder pedals remained attached to the torque tube. No separations were noted at any of the rudder flight control system attach points.

Inspection of the stabilator flight control system revealed the aft pushrod was fractured in 2 pieces. The rod end near the rear bellcrank was bent and fractured, and the rod end at the mid fuselage pitch control idler plate was also bent and fractured. The forward pitch control pushrod rod end was bent at fractured at the mid fuselage pitch control idler plate, and was bent and fractured at the yoke assembly. No separations were noted at any of the stabilator flight control system attach points.

Inspection of the cockpit revealed it was extensively damaged and fragmented. A plastic covered checklist with several pages was found in the wreckage positioned to the "Engine Runup" page which contained 35 items. The bottom of the page was dated October 2006. The key remained in the ignition switch which was in the both position; the key was bent to the right. The FADEC Power A switch was in the off position and was bent down and to the left. A bronze color material was noted on the handle of the switch consistent with contact by the adjacent ignition switch key. The left side of the tooth was under the left detent. The FADEC Power B switch was also in the off position but there was no apparent damage. The left and right seat shoulder harness restraints were cut, as were both seat inboard and outboard restraints. One four-point restraint was identified and was observed to be latched; no determination was made as to what seat the observed restraint was from. The fuel boost pump switch was in the "Auto" position. Further information concerning the cockpit instruments can be found in the Excerpts of NTSB Field Notes which are contained in the NTSB public docket.

Inspection of the electrical system revealed the aircraft's main battery positive and negative cables were cut during the recovery process. The main battery voltage tested 12.68 volts, while the FADEC standby battery tested 12.56 volts. The two-part "split" master switch was separated from the instrument panel but remained electrically connected. By tracing of the wire numbers, the battery switch was in the up, or on position and the alternator switch was in the down, or off position.

Inspection of the aircraft's fuel system revealed the fuel tank was breached. The outlet line remained connected to the fitting of the tank and also at the inlet fitting at the fuel strainer, but the tank was impact damaged in the area of the fitting. No obstructions were noted of the fuel supply from the tank to the fuel strainer, which was drained and found to contain about 1 ounce of blue fuel consistent with 100 low lead; no water was detected when testing using water finding paste. The strainer bowl and filter were removed and some shavings were noted in the bowl and on the filter element. The fuel supply lines from the fuel tank to the fuel strainer, to the auxiliary fuel pump, to the fuel selector, and forward to the firewall fitting were inspected and with the exception of areas that were crushed associated with impact, no obstructions were noted. The auxiliary fuel pump which remained secured to the structure and electrically connected was attempted to be powered using a portable power supply connected at the pump's electrical connection. Because no fuel was available, water was placed in the inlet hose to prevent the pump from operating dry. During that attempt, a sound was thought to be heard briefly, but the water was not pumped from the outlet fitting. The auxiliary fuel pump was removed, drained of material from the inlet hose, and retained for further inspection at the manufacturer's facility. The fuel selector knob was separated from the fuel selector, which was removed to verify its position. The fuel selector valve was free of obstructions and wide open, consistent with it being on. The check valve associated with the fuel return was inspected and found to be installed in the proper orientation.

The engine which remained partially attached to the airframe through cables, wires, fuel lines and one engine mount was removed for further inspection, which revealed it sustained damage consistent with impact damage concentrated to the forward right portion of the engine. Both electronic control units (ECU's) remained attached to the engine firewall and were impact damaged. The connector for ECU1 had broken free from the rest of the ECU, while the connector for ECU2 remained attached to the ECU; both were retained for further inspection. Crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity was confirmed to all cylinders. Suction and compression was noted in cylinder Nos. 1, 2, and 4, and weak suction was noted at the No. 3 cylinder during crankshaft rotation due to the No. 3 cylinder intake rocker arm that separated from the cylinder due to impact damage. Borescope inspection of the cylinders revealed normal operating signatures for all cylinders. The internal engine timing was correct and the crankshaft was slightly bent. The starter had broken free from the engine; all of the other accessories remained attached to the engine. Inspection of the lubricating system components of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The low voltage wiring harness was torn and severed in several areas.

Inspection of the engine-driven fuel pump revealed it remained secured to the engine and a small amount of fuel was noted in the outlet line; no fuel was noted in any other fuel lines. The engine-driven fuel pump drive shaft was intact and with hand rotation, a small amount of residual fuel was noted coming from the outlet. The engine-driven fuel pump was retained for bench testing. Inspection of the fuel distribution block revealed it remained secured to its attach point and sustained minor impact damage; one of the electrical connectors had broken free from the distribution block. Disassembly inspection of the distribution block revealed normal operating signatures; no contaminates were noted in the fuel screen. A small amount of residual fuel was noted within the distribution block; no fuel recovered from any of the fuel lines for the distribution block. All fuel injector nozzles remained installed in their respective cylinders and were undamaged. The fuel injectors were removed and no obvious damage was noted to the nozzles or coils. All fuel injector nozzles and associated coils were retained for further inspection. Inspection of the bypass fuel filter assembly revealed it remained secured to its attach point and was undamaged. Disassembly inspection of the fuel filter assembly revealed no contaminants were noted within the fuel screen. No fuel was recovered from the bypass filter assembly or the attached fuel lines.

Inspection of the air induction and exhaust system components revealed impact damage to varying degrees, but there was no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Inspection of the Speed Sensor Assembly revealed it sustained a significant amount of damage consistent with impact. The signal conditioner portion of the sensor assembly was destroyed, while the position sensor array remained installed in its respective installation point and was undamaged. The position sensor array was retained for further examination.

Inspection of the throttle body revealed it remained attached to its respective installation point and was undamaged. The throttle arm was secure; the throttle cable rod end was removed and it was noted that the throttle valve was capable of moving through its entire travel. The throttle position micro-switch remained attached to the throttle body and was undamaged. The throttle was moved to the full throttle positions and it was noted that the micro-switch arm contacted the throttle cam; however, the micro-switch did not activate. The throttle body was retained for further examination.

The two bladed, fixed-pitch propeller which remained attached to the propeller flange exhibited one blade that was full span, and the other blade was fractured at the hub. The fractured blade was broken apart into several pieces, and exhibited chordwise scratches on the cambered side of the blade, while the full span blade was cracked and displayed minor chordwise scratches near the hub.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Postmortem examinations of both occupants were performed by Dr. Podkaski, of the District Eighteen Medical Examiner's Office, Rockledge, Florida. The cause of death for both was listed as, "multiple blunt force injuries."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from both occupants by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory (FAA CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Forensic toxicology was also performed on specimens from both occupants by Wuesthoff Reference Laboratory (Wuesthoff).

The report for the left seat occupant by FAA CAMI indicated the results were negative for carbon monoxide, volatiles, and tested drugs; testing for cyanide was not performed. The report by Wuesthoff indicates the results were negative for volatiles and the blood immunoassay screen, while caffeine and caffeine metabolite were detected in the chest fluid.

The report for the right seat occupant by FAA CAMI indicated the results were negative for carbon monoxide, volatiles, and tested drugs; testing for cyanide was not performed. The report by Wuesthoff indicates the results were negative for volatiles and the blood immunoassay screen, while caffeine and caffeine metabolite were detected in the chest fluid.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Correlation of the permanent maintenance records with the hand written entries made in an "Aircraft Flight Log" pertaining to the FADEC entries indicates there was no maintenance record entries regarding any troubleshooting that was performed. It was also noted there were several entries in the "Aircraft Flight Log" which indicate there were no FADEC annunciations. Excerpts from the airframe and engine permanent maintenance records as well as the "Aircraft Flight Log" are contained in the NTSB public docket.

Examination of the auxiliary fuel pump was performed at the manufacturer's facility with FAA oversight which revealed the electrical wires and non-Weldon supplied connector were protected by heat-shrink tubing. No damage to the connector, heat shrink, or wiring was noted. The pump was then electrically connected but the device exhibited results consistent with an open electrical circuit (it did not draw current when energized). Continuity testing between the positive and negative terminal of the electrical connection of the pump-motor revealed an infinite resistance consistent with an open electrical circuit. Hand movement of the wires with the meter connected did not result in any resistance reading. Both electrical wires of the pump-motor were then cut along their length, and power was applied to the pump/motor but a dead short electrical circuit/locked rotor condition was noted. The motor was unbolted from the pump assembly, and there was "alarmingly little evidence of normal operational wear in the motor to drive interface", and there was no evidence of the drive cavity having been exposed to anything out of the ordinary. Electrical power was then applied to only the motor assembly via the cut wires and the unit was found to operate normally. The pump was then attempted to be rotated using a hand tool and was unable. Disassembly inspection of the pump revealed internal contamination consistent with long-term inactivity of the pump. As part of the inspection the shrink wrap was carefully cut parallel to the wires to expose the lead wires. As the shrink wrap was moved away, the negative (black colored wire) fell freely away. Cursory inspection of the negative lead wire revealed no evidence of any heat damage consistent with the high current degrading the termination. Following the inspection of the pump, it was subsequently returned to the storage facility, and then sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for examination. A report from the manufacturer and concurring statement from the FAA inspector are contained in the NTSB public docket.

According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report concerning the inspection of the broken conductor strands of the black wire of the auxiliary fuel pump, the ends of wire strands were still visible inside the connector. The insulation around the wire had evidence of material flow, and ridges were observed on one side of the wire. The side of the wire diametrically opposite the ridges was thinned due to the material flow. Smearing covered portions of the fracture surfaces on the strands, and the fracture surfaces on a few strands were completely obscured by damage. The undamaged areas of the strand fracture surfaces had ductile dimples consistent with overstress separations resulting from tension; the ductile dimples were elongated in one direction on several fracture surfaces consistent with overstress in shear. No melting was noted on any of the strand ends. The terminals for the black (negative) and orange (positive) colored wires were removed from the connector for further examination using a Liberty Aerospace technical document for reference. The terminal for the black wire was determined to have the crimp too far forward and an oversize bellmouth, while the terminal for the orange also had an oversize bellmouth and a Banana crimp, or bending of the terminal. Additionally a pinched strand was observed in the terminal for the orange colored wire. The NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report is contained in the NTSB public docket.

Examination and bench testing of the engine-driven fuel pump was performed at the manufacturer's facility with NTSB oversight. The testing was performed to the standards for a new production fuel pump, and did not take into account adjustments for the airframes fuel system. Following inspection which documented the damage, the pump was placed on a test bench and a small leak (approximately 2 drops every 3 seconds) was noted originating near the diaphragm. Less than specified discharge fuel pressure was noted at Test Points, 3, 4, and 5. The fuel discharge pressure at Test Point 4 which equates to full RPM of the pump was 7.33 psi less than the minimum specified; however, according to personnel of the engine manufacturer, the out of tolerance condition is adjustable and likely would have no effect. A copy of the inspection and bench test results are contained in the NTSB public docket.

Correlation of the "Engine Runup" plastic covered checklist that was found in the wreckage with the version from the FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual (FAA Approved AFM) revealed omitted items, incorrect sequences, abbreviations, and incorrect information. For example, item 5 of the checklist found in the wreckage indicates the "Fuel Boost Pump Mode Switch" be turned "ON", while the FAA Approved AFM indicates for step 6 that the "Fuel Boost Pump Mode Switch" be turned off. Both checklists then indicate to verify that the "HSA Fuel PMP Annunciator" to "CHECK ON." A search of the internet produced an exact copy of the "Engine Runup" checklist that was found in the wreckage. Copies of the impact damaged checklist found in the wreckage, the identical "Engine Runup" checklist that was found on the internet, and the "Engine Run-up" checklist from the FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual are contained in the NTSB public docket.

Review of the "Starting Engine" checklist of the FAA Approved AFM revealed a step to listen for operation of the boost pump after turning it on position.

Following the results of the NTSB Material Laboratory inspection of the terminals of the auxiliary fuel pump, the airframe manufacturer representative was asked to inspect the terminals of auxiliary fuel pumps in stock for similar conditions. According to the manufacturer representative, those inspections determined that some additional crimps were found that do not meet the required specification of the technical document; those pumps are being corrected. The airframe manufacturer subsequently developed Service Bulletin (SB) 15-001 to inspect the terminals of auxiliary fuel pumps in service for evidence of improper terminal installation. The SB was published on August 19, 2015, and is contained in the NTSB public docket.

Components consisting of both ECU's, speed sensor, fuel distribution block, fuel nozzles and coils, and throttle body were examined and/or tested at the manufacturer's facility with FAA oversight. While impact damage to both ECU's and speed sensor precluded operational testing, visual examination of them revealed no anomalies. The fuel distribution block was disassembled and no anomalies were noted with the internal components; no contaminants were noted at the fuel filter. Operational testing of the fuel nozzles and coils revealed all operated normally with no anomalies noted. Examination of the throttle body revealed the switch operated normally during throttle movement; no anomalies were noted. Although the engine-driven fuel pump was previously operationally tested with NTSB oversight, it was tested again. The results are listed in the manufacturer's report along with the FAA concurring statement which is contained in the NTSB public docket.

Based on the separated condition of the black wire at the terminal of the auxiliary fuel pump which rendered it inoperative, the airplane manufacturer representative was asked to perform testing on an exemplar airplane to determine what annunciations would be present in the cockpit and whether the engine could be started without the auxiliary fuel pump. According to the manufacturer representative, it was possible to start a cold or hot engine without the auxiliary fuel pump, but during starting of a cold engine it took "4 labored starts." After engine start the engine ran normally. The representative pointed out that the FAA Approved AFM indicates as part of the starting engine checklist to listen to the sound of the operation of the auxiliary fuel pump. With respect to annunciations comparing an operative vs. inoperative pump, the testing determined that the annunciations from the Health Status Annunciator (HSA) are the same, although with an inoperative pump no audible sound would be heard with the fuel pump switch in the on or auto positions when commanded by the FADEC at approximately 1,200 rpm and below.  

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation  

Accident occurred Monday, June 09, 2014 in Merritt Island, FL
Aircraft: LIBERTY AEROSPACE INCORPORATED XL-2, registration: N516XL
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On June 9, 2014, about 2036 eastern daylight time, a Liberty Aerospace, Incorporated XL-2, N516XL, crashed in a residential area approximately 1.5 nautical miles north-northwest of Merritt Island Airport, Merritt Island, Florida. The private-rated passenger seated in the left seat and commercial-rated pilot seated in the right seat were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Spatial, Inc., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The time of departure from Merritt Island Airport has not been determined.

A friend of the pilot reported seeing the airplane at the departure airport at 1930; though the time of departure was not determined.

The owner seated in the right seat was checking out the left seat occupant who intended on renting the airplane for personal use.

The direction of flight after takeoff was not determined. One witness reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector-in-charge observing the airplane flying 200 feet above ground, then bank to the east. The nose then pitched down, and during the nose-low descent, the witness reported hearing a popping sound from the engine which became quiet and then popped again.

Another witness, reported to the FAA-IIC observing the airplane flying about 300-400 feet above the ground with the aircraft spinning in a nose down attitude. He then lost sight of the airplane.

Still another witness reported to the FAA-IIC hearing a swooshing sound and realized it was an aircraft. He noted that the engine was not running and the airplane was a couple hundred feet in the air as he saw it go straight down like from 12 to 6 o'clock. He called 911 to report the accident.

The homeowner adjacent to where the airplane crashed reported to NTSB that on the date and time of the accident, he was inside his house in his kitchen. He reported it was still light out, and he heard a loud sound that shook his house. He reported prior to the impact he did not hear an engine sound. It took him about 1 minute to find his phone, and he called 911 at 2036.

FAA personnel reported there was no record of any ATC contact, no flight plan, and no contact with Lockheed Martin Automated Flight Service Station, or either Direct User Access Terminal (DUAT) vendor.



 John Kish (left), 47, and Kenneth Allen Marks (right), 64, were killed when a Liberty XL-2 plane crashed on June 9, 2014 into the backyard of a Merritt Island home. 


Federal investigators looking into the airplane crash that killed two men on Merritt Island in 2014 have determined that the single-engine craft plummeted from the sky at a steep angle after experiencing an engine problem and aerodynamic stall.

The June 9 crash killed Kenneth Allen Marks, 64, who intended to rent the aircraft, and John Brian Kish, 47, the plane's owner. No one on the ground was hurt.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in a probable cause report released in late November, reported the engine on the Liberty XL-2 was not running at the time of impact, based on witness statements and examination of damage done to the propeller.

Though major systems of the engine appeared normal in post-crash inspection, a pair of electronic components could not be tested because of damage.

The NTSB also said the airplane’s auxiliary fuel pump was determined to be out of order for a “long period of time before the flight,’’ but the primary fuel pump was capable of sustaining engine power, the NTSB reported.

An electronic data device recorded normal engine operation during the flight, but the data ended before the plane lost altitude and crashed, the report said.

The flight originated at Merritt Island Airport, though no flight plan was filed and no contact with air controllers was made, which is not out of the ordinary. According to radar data, the plane maneuvered around Merritt Island about 25 minutes before crashing around 8:30 p.m. in an east Merritt Island neighborhood along Paula Drive.

The site was roughly a mile north of the airfield.


Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.floridatoday.com



















 


MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. —  Two men were killed when a plane crashed in a Merritt Island neighborhood Monday evening, officials said.

The falling Liberty XL-2 missed dozens of homes and landed in someone's backyard along Paula Avenue around 8 p.m.

"It could have been us, it could have been us," neighbor Rebecca Vannoy said.

Residents in the neighborhood are grateful more people weren't injured or killed in the crash, which claimed the lives of 47-year-old Jon Kish and 65-year-old Kenneth Marks.

"All of a sudden I heard a boom, crash. The house shook. Immediately thought was it a lightning strike," homeowner Kurt Smith said.

Smith went around to the side of his home, saw what had happened and ran over to help.

"I tried to communicate with them and no response. I didn't see any movement. By then, my other neighbor was there," Smith said.

The sheriff's office said the plane took off from the Merritt Island airport for a test flight. Marks was interested in purchasing the single-engine plane from Kish.

Now investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will inspect the plane's wreckage. The agency will also determine if there were any medical issues.

"Witnesses describe the airplane flying to 400 feet above the ground in an easterly direction and heard differing accounts. One heard no engine sound," NTSB investigator Tim Monville said.

"God must have been looking out for the neighborhood, I guess. That's all I can say," neighbor Al Kee said.

Both of the victims are licensed pilots. Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

Channel 9's Steve Barrett spent Tuesday at the Melbourne factory that built the Liberty XL-2, where he learned the aircraft has technology that could help investigators figure out why the plane crashed.

 Liberty XL-2 built at Melbourne facility

The small aircraft that crashed and killed two in Merritt Island was built just eight years ago in the Melbourne factory.

The plane is considered a high-tech plane that's easy to fly with plenty of safety features. Only about 150 have been built, each costing just under $200,000.

Liberty builds their aircraft in a nondescript warehouse, but no one in management was available to speak with Channel 9 on Tuesday, likely because company officials are working with the National Transportation Safety Board at the crash site.

Industry publications gave the Liberty XL-2 high marks when it debuted in 2006, the year the crashed plane was built.

Experts called the aircraft one of the safest and easiest piloting planes in the air. It also is one of the most fuel-efficient, experts said.

At this time, there's no word on whether lack of fuel contributed to the crash, but officials will investigate all possibilities.

The engine may have recorded data that helps pinpoint the cause.

NTSB officials were unable to give Channel 9 records about the safety of the XL-2.


http://www.wftv.com


 John Kish (left), 47, and Kenneth Allen Marks (right), 64, were killed when a Liberty XL-2 plane crashed Monday, June 9, 2014 into the backyard of a Merritt Island home. 
(PHOTOS/Brevard Co. Sheriff's Office) 


Crews place wreckage from the Liberty XL-2 onto a wrecker to haul away. 






A blue tarp covers the wreckage of a Liberty XL-2 that crashed into a Merritt Island backyard, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. 




Brevard County deputies continue to block off Paula Avenue after a plane crashed into a home's backyard, killing two on board, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. 


The Liberty XL-2 plane went down behind the white backyard fence of this Paula Avenue home, Monday, June 9, 2014.



NTSB investigators have been on the scene of a deadly small plane crash in a Merritt Island neighborhood all day today -- and this afternoon pieces of the wreckage were removed for examination.

Two local men were killed when the plane went down around 8:30 Monday night.
After removing part of the fence which enclosed this home's backyard, a crew begins taking out pieces of the single engine 2006, Liberty XL-2 plane.

The most recognizable -- the fuselage. Then the tail section. And one of the seats. All put on the back of a truck to be hauled away as part of the investigation.

Killed in the crash was Kenneth Marks, 64, and John Kish, 47, both of Merritt Island.
BCSO said Marks was interested in buying the plane from Kish.

Witnesses said the plane was only 200 to 400 feet off the ground when it spun down towards the ground just a mile or so from the Merritt Island Airport.

Kurt Smith just got back in his house after walking his dogs.

"A boom, and the house shook. Not in a million years would I have thought a small plane has crashed in my yard," said Smith.

The plane landed just feet away from his home. Smith went to help but there was nothing he could do.

Meantime investigators will pour over the wreckage looking into whether a medical problem, or even a mechanical issue contributed to the crash.

They say the plane was equipped with a digital device which could provide them with lots of data. But we don't know yet who was at the controls.

"First we will look at who was where, and then we will look into their experience," said NTSB investigator Tim Monville, who was on the scene all day.

The homeowners spent the night at a hotel but are now back home.

About 90 minutes after the crash, a student pilot and instructor were killed in a crash at Daytona Beach International Airport.


http://www.mynews13.com




 Two people were killed Monday night when their single-engine airplane crashed into an east Merritt Island residential neighborhood.

No one on the ground was hurt, and little damage was done to homes on Paula Avenue. The airplane came down between two homes, narrowly missing a porch and a portion of fence. A power line was damaged, causing a blackout.

According to a Brevard County Fire Rescue and Sheriff's Office spokeswomen, both people aboard the Liberty XL-2 were dead at the scene. A small fuel leak was reported, and power was still out in the neighborhood more than two hours after the crash.

The names of the victims and the owner of the plane were not released late Monday. FAA registration records indicate the airplane was built in 2006 and was registered to a Brevard County address.

Resident Colton Primeaux, 11, said he saw the small, white plane after it crashed.

He also said he saw an occupant of the airplane after the crash.

"All I could see was the guy," Primeaux said. "It didn't look good at all. He was hurt bad."

Resident Al Kee said he was out front working on his lawn when the plane came down. "It was a real loud explosion-type crash," he said in describing what he heard.

Weather in the vicinity was calm at the time of the 8:30 p.m. incident.

Merritt Island Airport is not far from the crash site, but there was no indication where the flight originated or its destination.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation database, Monday's crash would be the XL-2's second fatal accident since 2008.

In that incident, in Australia, the pilot was killed when the plane crashed into a field. A detailed analysis of the cause was not listed.

A total of eight accidents involving the XL-2 are listed by the NTSB. Most, including one in Melbourne in 2007, took place during the approach and landing phase

The Liberty XL-2 is designed and built by Liberty Aerospace at Melbourne International Airport.

The company in 2012 announced a deal with the Chinese city of Wuhan to sell 200 fixed-wing XL-2s and 200 helicopters.

Source:   http://www.floridatoday.com










Update, 10:45 p.m.:

The two who died were on board the plane, according to Brevard County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Maria Fernez. 

Nobody on the ground was injured after the plane crashed between two houses.

The first call came in around 8:30 p.m. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

Update, 10:29 p.m.:

According to the National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation database, Monday's crash would be the XL-2's second fatal accident since 2008.

In that incident, in Australia, the pilot was killed when the plane crashed into a field. A detailed analysis of the cause was not listed. A total of eight accidents involving the XL-2 are listed by the NTSB. Most, including one in Melbourne in 2007, took place during the approach and landing phase

The Liberty XL-2 is designed and built by Liberty Aerospace at Melbourne International Airport. The company in 2012 announced a deal with the Chinese city of Wuhan to sell 200 fixed-wing XL-2s and 200 helicopters.

Update, 10:08 p.m.:  

Two people have died following a plane crash on Paula Avenue on Merritt Island, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue Spokeswoman Lee Nessel.

She said paramedics did not treat anyone on the scene. The plane created a small fuel spill and damaged a power line.

Neighbors described hearing an explosion. Paul Negron said he saw the wings of the crashed plane folded upward. Colton Primeaux, 11, said he saw one man badly injured.

Update, 10:07 p.m.

The airplane appears to be a single-engine sport plane.

Update, 9:51 p.m.:

Resident Colton Primeaux, 11, said he saw a small, white plane after it crashed into a fence in the Merritt Island neighborhood.

He also said he saw an occupant of the airplane after the crash.

"All I could see was the guy, he was laying out his head like sideways," said Primeaux. "It didn't look good at all. He was hurt bad."

Update 9:40 p.m.:


A large piece of the aircraft tail can be seen in a residential yard at the crash scene. It appears to be a tail section. A witness said the plane came down between two houses.

Resident Al Kee said he was out front working on his lawn when the plane came down. "It was a real loud explosion type crash,'' he said in describing what he heard.

Update, 9:12 p.m.:
Brevard County Sheriff's Deputies have closed Paula Avenue near Margaret Street on Merritt Island.

Original report:

A small aircraft has crashed on Merritt Island, north of State Road 520 on the east side of the island. It's not immediately clear what kind of plane was involved or where it departed from.

The scene is near Needle Boulevard, which is east of Courtenay Parkway.

Two people were initially reported killed.

Local authorities are notifying the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.



2 people killed after plane crashes on Merritt Island, in Brevard County.

Plane crash near Daytona Beach International Airport. Crews on scene.

The plane struck a power line before crashing, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Two people are dead after a single-engine plane crashed in a residential area of Merritt Island.

No homes were damaged, and there are no injuries on the ground, according to Maria Fernez, public information officer for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Two people were on board the plane when it crashed around 8:35 p.m. Monday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The crash happened around 8:35 p.m. Monday.

The plane struck a power line, Fernez said. There was no fire as a result of the crash, but there are two homes without power.

The names of the victims haven't been released.

The crash happened on the 500 block of Paula Avenue, near Margaret Street.