Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Columbia LC41-550FG, N610MH, Self-Wing Company: Accident occurred on June 17, 2014 in East Patchogue, New York

 NTSB Identification: ERA14FA292
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in East Patchogue, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/09/2015
Aircraft: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT MFG LC41 550FG, registration: N610MH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The noninstrument-rated pilot contacted flight service to inquire whether the conditions for his 15-nm flight, planned for about 1 hour later, would be suitable for visual flight rules (VFR) operations. The pilot received an abbreviated briefing that included only the current conditions at both his departure and destination airports, both of which reported VFR conditions; he subsequently departed on the accident flight about 3 hours later. About 10 minutes after takeoff, after entering the controlled airspace of the destination airport, the pilot contacted air traffic control (ATC) and stated, "I need your help, sir." The controller queried the pilot as to his location, heading, and destination, and the pilot replied with his destination, stating, "I just don't have visibility." The controller asked the pilot whether he was declaring an emergency and advised that the destination airport was under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC); the pilot did not respond. The pilot then stated that he would return to his departure airport and was advised by the controller to "squawk VFR." The pilot acknowledged, and no further communications were received from the accident airplane.

Radar data showed that the airplane, about the time of the last radio transmission, entered a descending right turn that continued until ground contact. Such a a flight track is consistent with a somatogyral illusion known as the "graveyard spiral." Given the reported weather conditions in the area about the time of the accident, the pilot's statement that he was experiencing reduced visibility, the fact that the pilot did not hold an instrument rating, and the radar flight track of the airplane, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and a subsequent loss of control as a result of his continued VFR flight into IMC. The extent to which the pilot may have used the airplane's automation, including the autopilot system, could not be determined.

Recorded weather data and statements from pilots flying in the area about the time of the accident indicated that, although the departure airport was experiencing visual meteorological conditions, IMC prevailed for much of the area surrounding the destination airport. These conditions had not been forecast until just before the airplane's departure. Had the pilot received the forecast from flight service when he received the current weather, he would only have been informed of low-level scattered clouds at his destination. Despite the discrepancy between the forecast and actual conditions present on the day of the accident, it should have been apparent to the pilot upon takeoff that the cloud ceilings and visibilities were below VFR minimums as the flight progressed. Additionally, the pilot could have obtained the automated weather report at the destination airport via radio shortly after departure, which would have informed him that the airport was experiencing IMC. However, the pilot's communication with ATC suggested that he was not aware of the weather conditions at his destination.

If the pilot had declared an emergency and stated that he was not capable of instrument flight rules flight, he would have been provided priority handling and greater assistance from ATC. Although he did indicate that he was experiencing reduced visibility conditions, he did not declare an emergency and did not provide any specific information about the conditions he was experiencing or his limitations as a noninstrument-rated pilot. In the absence of this information, the controller likely assumed that the pilot was able to maintain VFR flight and return to the departure airport as stated without any further assistance.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The noninstrument-rated pilot's encounter with instrument meteorological conditions and his decision to continue visual flight rules flight in instrument conditions, which resulted in a loss of control due to spatial disorientation. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 17, 2014, at 0903 eastern daylight time, a Columbia LC-41-550FG, N610MH, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in a residential area, and was subsequently consumed by postcrash fire, while maneuvering near East Patchogue, New York. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Farmingdale Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York, at 0850, and was destined for Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP), Islip, New York. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

COMMUNICATIONS

Information provided by Lockheed Martin Flight Service revealed that the pilot placed a phone call to the flight service station at 0630 the morning of the accident and received an abbreviated briefing. The pilot indicated that he would be departing FRG for ISP at 0730, and inquired whether the conditions were "good VFR [visual flight rules]." The briefer advised the pilot of a presidential temporary flight restriction for the area that would be effective later that day, and asked when the pilot would be returning to FRG. The pilot replied that he would return to FRG by 0900. The briefer then provided local notice to airmen (NOTAM) information and advised the pilot of the current cloud ceilings and visibilities at FRG and ISP, which included 9 miles visibility and few clouds at 7,000 feet, and 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 6,500 feet, scattered clouds at 9,000 feet, and an overcast ceiling at 26,000 feet, respectively. The briefer did not provide, nor did the pilot request, forecast conditions for either airport.

Official recordings of air traffic control communications provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot contacted FRG ground control at 0840, and was cleared for takeoff from runway 14 at 0850. At 0854, the pilot requested a frequency change and subsequently contacted the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility, who provided him with another frequency for the appropriate TRACON controller based on his position and route of flight. The pilot contacted the second controller at 0859. When the controller asked the pilot to state his position, the pilot replied that he had departed FRG and stated, "I need your help sir." About 0901, the controller queried the pilot as to his location, heading, and destination, and the pilot replied he was, "heading to Islip I just don't have visibility."

The controller asked the pilot, "Are you declaring an emergency because Islip's IFR [instrument flight rules]," to which the pilot did not respond. When the controller called the accident airplane again about 1 minute later, the pilot stated, "I will go back to FRG." The controller instructed the pilot to "squawk VFR" and approved a frequency change, which the pilot subsequently acknowledged about 0902.

Review of FAA radar information showed a VFR target correlated to be the accident airplane depart from FRG at 0851. The target tracked eastbound at altitudes averaging between 1,000-1,300 feet mean sea level (msl) before beginning a left turn toward the north around 0858, about 5 miles south of ISP. About this time, as the airplane tracked north, it penetrated and continued through the Class C airspace surrounding ISP prior to establishing contact with air traffic control. The pilot contacted the second controller about 0859, and during the ensuing conversation with ATC, the airplane tracked north before turning northeast at an altitude about 1,200-1,300 feet, passing within 3 miles of ISP. At 0901:45, about the time the pilot indicated to ATC that he would be returning to FRG, the airplane climbed about 100 feet and began a slight turn to the left before initiating a descending, 540-degree right turn that continued to ground contact. The last four radar targets, at 0902:31, 0902:36, 0902:40, and 0902:45, identified the airplane at altitudes of 900, 700, 700, and 500 feet msl, respectively (See figure 1).

A witness located near the accident site observed the accident airplane approach from the east and circle his home twice at a "very low" altitude. The witness described the airplane "flying on its side" in a right-wing-low attitude as it passed over his home the second time, and shortly thereafter, he heard a "loud boom" and observed black smoke.



WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane's initial impact point was identified as a tree about 25 feet in height that displayed numerous broken and angularly-cut branches. The wreckage path extended about 185 feet from the tree on a magnetic heading of approximately 223 degrees. The propeller, various engine components, and pieces associated with both left and right wings were located along the wreckage path. The main wreckage, comprised of the engine, cabin area, and empennage, came to rest in the backyard of a residence, and was completely consumed by post-impact fire. The extensive thermal damage precluded examination of the cockpit instruments, flight control surfaces, and control tubes.

The three-bladed propeller, along with the crankshaft propeller flange, was separated from the engine and located along the wreckage path. One blade was fractured near the propeller hub; the other two blades exhibited s-bending, leading edge gouging, and chordwise scratching.

The engine exhibited significant thermal damage, and several of its accessories were separated during the impact sequence. Removal and inspection of one spark plug from each cylinder revealed thermal damage and light-colored combustion deposits. The crankshaft was seized, consistent with the observed thermal damage, and could not be rotated by hand. Borescope examination of the cylinders revealed no anomalies. Only one magneto was recovered, and exhibited significant thermal and impact damage.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. The pilot did not hold an instrument rating. His most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued April 22, 2013. The pilot's logbooks were not recovered and no determination could be made of his flight experience in the accident airplane make and model; however, he reported a total flight experience of 1,200 hours on his most recent medical certificate application. The pilot's most recent flight review was conducted on August 26, 2013. According to the flight instructor who conducted the review, the pilot had never received any formal training on the airplane's Garmin G1000 avionics system.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner, Hauppauge, New York. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries. Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Rosuvastatin, used to treat high cholesterol and related conditions, was detected in liver and blood. Ethanol was detected in blood in a concentration of 59 mg/dL. The ethanol detected was most likely from sources other than ingestion.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The low-wing, single engine, carbon fiber construction airplane was manufactured in 2006, and registered to the pilot in October 2008. It was equipped with a Continental Motors TSIO-550C, 310 hp turbocharged, reciprocating engine and a Hartzell 3-bladed, constant-speed propeller. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 5, 2013, at a total aircraft time of 321.8 hours. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not recovered, and complete maintenance history for the airplane could not be determined.

According to manufacturer and FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was equipped with a Garmin G1000 system, which was comprised of dual LCD primary and multifunction flight displays that provided information about the airplane's altitude, airspeed, attitude, engine parameters, and navigation and communication systems status, as well as a moving map display. The airplane was equipped with a backup altimeter, attitude indicator, and airspeed indicator instruments. The G1000 also included an integrated automatic flight control, or autopilot, system that had the capability to control the airplane in the roll, pitch, and yaw axes.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 0753 weather observation at FRG included wind from 200 degrees at 4 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies.

The 0853 weather observation at FRG included wind from 210 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and broken clouds at 10,000 feet.

The 0807 weather observation at ISP, located about 6 nautical miles (nm) west of the accident site, included wind from 190 degrees at 8 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, broken cloud layers at 700 feet and 11,000 feet, and an overcast ceiling at 13,000 feet.

The 0856 weather observation at ISP included wind from 220 at 8 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, and overcast clouds at 700 feet.

The 0756 weather observation at Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Brookhaven, New York, located about 5 nm east of the accident site, included wind from 190 degrees at 8 knots, 6 statute miles visibility, mist, and an overcast cloud layer at 700 feet.

The 0856 weather observation at HWV included 6 statute miles visibility, mist, and overcast clouds at 500 feet.

A terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) for ISP, issued at 0741, forecast conditions at 0800 with visibility better than 6 statute miles, scattered clouds at 700 feet and 13,000 feet, and a broken cloud layer at 25,000 feet. An amended TAF for ISP, issued at 0854, forecast visibility greater than 6 statute miles, with broken cloud layers at 700 feet, 13,000 feet, and 25,000 feet.

A rawinsonde (weather balloon) launched from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Upton, New York (KOKX), located about 6.5 miles northeast of the accident site, about 0800 EDT, indicated that the relative humidity decreased from 95% to 75% between about 1,050 feet and about 1,330 feet above ground level (agl). This suggested a visible cloud boundary between these altitudes at the rawinsonde's location at that time.

The pilot of a multi-engine airplane departed FRG for New Jersey about 20 minutes prior to the accident airplane's departure. He stated that after departure, he climbed to an altitude about 1,000 feet and flew south towards the Long Island shoreline. As he neared the shoreline, the weather began to deteriorate "rapidly" and he began to lose visibility. He elected to return to FRG and land due to the weather conditions.

The pilot of a single-engine airplane reported that he and a student conducted a flight from Bridgeport, Connecticut (BDR), to ISP on the morning of the accident, and conducted an instrument approach at ISP about 0920. He stated that the weather conditions between BDR and ISP were consistent, with ceilings about 700 feet above ground level and cloud tops around 1,500 feet. He further stated that they experienced visual meteorological conditions at their cruise altitude of 2,000 feet after climbing through the cloud layer. He remarked that the weather conditions predicted in that morning's TAF were better than the actual conditions experienced in the area on the day of the accident.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Air Traffic Control

The FAA Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 5, "Air Traffic Procedures," Section 5; Pilot/Controller Roles and Responsibilities, stated in part:

b. The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the safe operation of that aircraft. In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot-in-command may deviate from any rule in the General Subpart A and Flight Rules Subpart B in accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.3.

c. The air traffic controller is responsible to give first priority to the separation of aircraft and to the issuance of radar safety alerts, second priority to services that are required, but do not involve separation of aircraft and third priority to additional services to the extent possible.

d. In order to maintain a safe and efficient air traffic system, it is necessary that each party fulfill their responsibilities to the fullest.

Chapter 6, "Emergency Procedures," Section 2, Emergency Services Available to Pilots, stated in part:

If continued flight in VFR conditions is not possible, the noninstrument rated pilot should so advise the controller indicating the lack of an instrument rating, declare a distress condition…

Section 3, Distress and Urgency Procedures, stated in part:

a. A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain assistance simply by contacting the air traffic facility or other agency in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating, stating the nature of the difficulty, pilot's intentions and assistance desired.

d. Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word MAYDAY commands radio silence on the frequency in use.

FAA Order 7110.65 (Air Traffic Control) provided guidance and instruction to controllers for determining emergencies and obtaining information for handling an emergency. Paragraph 10-2-8 stated in part:

10-2-8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY

a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

b. If the pilot states he/she is qualified for and capable of IFR flight, request him/her to file an IFR flight plan and then issue clearance to destination airport, as appropriate.

c. If the pilot states he/she is not qualified for or not capable of conducting IFR flight, or if he/she refuses to file an IFR flight plan, take whichever of the following actions is appropriate:

1. Inform the pilot of airports where VFR conditions are reported, provide other available pertinent weather information, and ask if he/she will elect to conduct VFR flight to such an airport.

2. If the action in subpara 1 above is not feasible or the pilot declines to conduct VFR flight to another airport, provide radar assistance if the pilot:

(a) Declares an emergency.

(b) Refuses to declare an emergency and you have determined the exact nature of the radar services the pilot desires.

3. If the aircraft has already encountered IFR conditions, inform the pilot of the appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude. If the aircraft is below appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude and sufficiently accurate position information has been received or radar identification is established, furnish a heading or radial on which to climb to reach appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude.

Spatial Disorientation

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) stated, "…the VFR pilot is, in effect, in IMC anytime he or she is inadvertently, or intentionally for an indeterminate period of time, unable to navigate or establish geographical position by visual reference to landmarks on the surface. These situations must be accepted by the pilot involved as a genuine emergency, requiring appropriate action…If the natural horizon were to suddenly disappear, the untrained instrument pilot would be subject to vertigo, spatial disorientation, and inevitable control loss."

The FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, chapter 16, "Aeromedical Factors," stated, "Under normal flight conditions, when there is a visual reference to the horizon and ground, the sensory system in the inner ear helps to identify the pitch, roll, and yaw movements of the aircraft. When visual contact with the horizon is lost, the vestibular system becomes unreliable. Without visual references outside the aircraft, there are many situations in which normal motions and forces create convincing illusions that are difficult to overcome…Unless a pilot has many hours of training in instrument flight, flight should be avoided in reduced visibility or at night when the horizon is not visible. A pilot can reduce susceptibility to disorienting illusions through training and awareness, and learning to rely totally on flight instruments."


The FAA publication Medical Facts for Pilots (AM-400-03/1), described several vestibular illusions associated with the operation of aircraft in low visibility conditions. Somatogyral illusions, those involving the semicircular canals of the vestibular system, were generally placed into one of four categories, one of which was the "graveyard spiral." According to the text, the graveyard spiral, "…is associated with a return to level flight following an intentional or unintentional prolonged bank turn. For example, a pilot who enters a banking turn to the left will initially have a sensation of a turn in the same direction. If the left turn continues (~20 seconds or more), the pilot will experience the sensation that the airplane is no longer turning to the left. At this point, if the pilot attempts to level the wings this action will produce a sensation that the airplane is turning and banking in the opposite direction (to the right). If the pilot believes the illusion of a right turn (which can be very compelling), he/she will reenter the original left turn in an attempt to counteract the sensation of a right turn. Unfortunately, while this is happening, the airplane is still turning to the left and losing altitude. Pulling the control yoke/stick and applying power while turning would not be a good idea–because it would only make the left turn tighter. If the pilot fails to recognize the illusion and does not level the wings, the airplane will continue turning left and losing altitude until it impacts the ground."

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA292
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in East Patchogue, NY
Aircraft: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT MFG LC41 550FG, registration: N610MH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On June 17, 2014, at 0903 eastern daylight time, a Columbia LC-41-550FG, N610MH, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain in a residential area while maneuvering near East Patchogue, New York. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Farmingdale Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York at 0850, and was destined for Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP), Islip, New York. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Preliminary air traffic control radar and voice communication information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that after departing FRG, the airplane tracked east-southeast before turning north into the class C airspace at ISP. After entering the airspace, the pilot contacted air traffic control (ATC) and stated, "I need your help sir." ATC queried the pilot as to the airplane's location, heading, and destination, and the pilot replied that he was going to ISP, but "[did not] have visibility." When asked if he was declaring an emergency, the pilot replied, "no." Shortly thereafter, the pilot indicated that he intended to return to FRG. ATC acknowledged the transmission, and radar contact was lost shortly thereafter.

A witness located near the accident site observed the accident airplane approach from the east and circle his home twice at a "very low" altitude. The witness described the airplane "flying on its side" in a right-wing-low attitude as it passed over his home the second time, and shortly thereafter, he heard a "loud boom" and observed black smoke.

The airplane's initial impact point was identified as a tree about 25 feet in height that displayed numerous broken and angularly-cut branches. The wreckage path extended about 185 feet from the tree on a magnetic heading of approximately 223 degrees. The propeller, various engine components, and pieces associated with both left and right wings were located along the wreckage path. The main wreckage, comprised of the engine, cabin area, and empennage, came to rest in the backyard of a residence, and was completely consumed by post-impact fire.

Several pilots flying in the vicinity of ISP around the time of the accident reported instrument meteorological conditions, with cloud tops between 1,200 feet and 1,500 feet.

The 0856 weather observation at ISP, located about 6 nautical miles (nm) west of the accident site, included wind from 220 at 8 knots, 7 statute miles visibility, and overcast clouds at 700 feet.

The 0856 weather observation at Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Brookhaven, New York, located about 5 nm east of the accident site, included 6 statute miles visibility, mist, and overcast clouds at 500 feet.


 AIRCRAFT COLUMBIA LC41 CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, PATCHOGUE, NY 

FAA Farmingdale FSDO-11
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N610MH

Hanan Shoshani and his wife, Jordana. Just before he crashed and died in an East Patchogue backyard Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Hanan was on the radio asking for help, according to a website that records air traffic communications. 


National Transportation Safety Board investigators inspect the crash scene in East Patchogue on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, a day after a single-engine plane crashed behind a house, killing the pilot, Hanan Shoshani, 53, of Jamaica, Queens. 


National Transportation Safety Board investigators scour the scene in East Patchogue on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, a day after a single-engine plane crashed behind a house, killing the pilot, Hanan Shoshani, 53, of Jamaica, Queens. 


National Transportation Safety Board investigators comb a backyard in East Patchogue on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, a day after a single-engine plane crashed behind a house, killing the pilot, Hanan Shoshani, 53, of Queens. 


Aerial view of the scene at 51 Camille Lane in East Patchogue, where a single-engine plane crashed Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Pilot Hanan Shoshani was killed in the accident. 


Police and firefighters are responding to the scene of a plane crash into the yard of a house in East Patchogue on Tuesday morning, June 17, 2014, a Suffolk County fire official said.

A small plane crashed into the backyard of a home in East Patchogue on Tuesday morning, June 17, 2014, killing the pilot, officials said. Police and firefighters responded to the scene. 


Police and firefighters respond to the scene of a plane crash into the yard of a house in East Patchogue on Tuesday morning, June 17, 2014, a Suffolk County fire official said.


Police and firefighters respond to the scene of a fatal plane crash into the yard of a house in East Patchogue on Tuesday morning, June 17, 2014.


Police and firefighters responded to the scene of a plane crash into the yard of a home on Camille Lane in East Patchogue on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, a Suffolk County fire official said. 

 

The single-engine plane crashed into the backyard of a home in East Patchogue Tuesday morning, June 17, 2014, killing the pilot but somehow missing houses in the neighborhood, officials said. At least two people -- including a 1-year-old child -- were in the house on the property, but uninjured, where the plane crashed.


 The pilot of the small plane that crashed into the backyard of an East Patchogue home on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, was pronounced dead at the scene. No one on the ground was injured, police said. 


The pilot of single-engine plane who died when the aircraft crashed in an East Patchogue neighborhood two weeks ago circled the area twice at low altitude before the four-seater dipped to the right and slammed into a backyard, according to a preliminary report.

Pilot Hanan Shoshani, 53, of Jamaica, Queens, was on his way back to Republic Airport in East Farmingdale after reporting visibility problems on the morning of June 17 when his Columbia LC-41 crashed, officials said afterward.

Monday's report from the National Transportation Safety Board did not provide a cause for the crash. It emphasized the poor visibility conditions that morning and detailed the account of a witness who told investigators that after seeing the plane circle low above his home, he saw it "flying on its side" in a right-wing-low attitude before it struck a 25-foot tree and crashed.

It slammed into the backyard of a home on Camille Lane, officials said. No one else was injured in the crash.

The report says the plane's wreckage extended about 185 feet from the tree. The propeller, engine parts, and pieces of both wings were found on the path. But the main wreckage came to rest in the backyard and was completely consumed by fire.

The report also says Shoshani was flying without a flight plan and in conditions where the use of instrument panels would be recommended.

NTSB investigators said at the time it was unclear if Shoshani was certified to fly using only visual flight rules or if he was certified with instruments. The report does not indicate whether Shoshani was instrument-rated.

"Several pilots flying in the vicinity of [Long Island MacArthur Airport] around the time of the accident reported instrument meteorological conditions, with cloud tops between 1,200 feet and 1,500 feet," the report says.

The report also details the brief conversation Shoshani had with air traffic control before the crash. After flying out of East Farmingdale at 8:50 a.m., Shoshani's plane tracked east-southeast before turning north into the airspace above the Ronkonkoma airport.

Shoshani contacted air traffic control and said, "I need your help, sir." The report said he indicated he was heading to MacArthur but didn't have visibility. When asked if he was declaring an emergency, Shoshani said no.

According to the report, "ATC acknowledged the transmission, and radar contact was lost shortly thereafter."

Story, videos, photo gallery and comments:   http://www.newsday.com


Israeli businessman and recreational pilot Hanan Shoshany was killed in a plane crash in Long Island, NY, on Tuesday.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by New York aviation and safety authorities. Israel's Foreign Ministry released a statement saying it was in contact with Shoshany's family and was arranging the transfer of his body to Israel.

Shoshany, 53, lived in New York. For reasons still unknown, Shoshany's light aircraft crashed in the backyard of a Long Island home Tuesday morning, yards from a house with a mother and baby inside. The impact from the crash shattered one of the house's windows, and fragments landed near the sleeping infant's crib. The child was not harmed.

"It's a miracle that no one in the house or neighbors were hurt," a neighbor told local media outlets. Witnesses said it appeared Shoshany was trying to land in the backyard so as to not crash into nearby houses.

Efforts are being made to transfer Shoshany's body for burial in Israel. Shoshany, who owned a clothing store in Queens, was a father of five and grandfather of two.


BDE: Orthodox Jewish Man Killed In Small Plane Crash 
 
An Orthodox Jewish man from Queens was tragically killed today when the small, single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into the backyard of a home in East Patchogue, Long Island.

Officials reporting the accident stated that the aircraft did not hit any houses in the quiet residential neighborhood before it went down, and miraculously did not cause any injuries to bystanders on the ground. The pilot was 53-year-old Chanan Shoshny Z”L, a Sefardic Jew who was a resident of Jamaica Estates in Queens.

“It was very, very fortunate that he traveled in the path he did,” Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer commented, noting that the plane traveled between houses less than 30 yards apart. “Because of that no one (on the ground) was hurt.”

The Columbia LC41-550FG plane, which took off from Republic Airport in East Farmingdale at 8:50 a.m, heading to MacArthur Airport in Islip, plummeted into the backyard at 51 Camille Lane at approximately 9:05 a.m. The crash resulted in a fire that caused damage to the adjacent house. A two-block radius around the crash site was evacuated as a precaution.

According to first responder Gregory C. Miglino Jr., Chief of South Country Ambulance, it appeared the pilot “skillfully” managed to avoid hitting any of the homes in his path as he descended. “This would only have been divine intervention or a guy who knew what he was doing and didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” Miglino speculated. “The houses are close together, the parcels are small, there isn’t a lot of room . . . It appears that this guy skillfully put this plane between two houses; that he put it down in a way where he wouldn’t hit anything.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation to determine the specific cause of the tragic crash. Chesed Shel Emes is currently working at the scene with the National Transportation Safety Board to ensure proper Kavod HaNiftar. The body will be taken to Shomrei Hadas Chapel in Boro Park, where the levaya will be held tomorrow morning.


Source:  http://jpupdates.com


Hanan Shoshani, pilot of small plane that crashed in East Patchogue, asked for help minutes beforehand, recording shows 

 A single-engine plane that took off from Farmingdale mysteriously veered miles off course and crashed into an East Patchogue backyard Tuesday, killing a pilot who narrowly missed hitting homes.

Shortly before the impact, the doomed pilot, Hanan Shoshani, 53, was heard saying, "I need your help, sir" to an Islip air traffic controller, according to a transmission on LiveATC.net, a website that posts air traffic communications.

Identifying himself with his craft's 610MH tail number, Shoshani said to the controller, "Heading to Islip. I don't have visibility" in a brief and sometimes muffled exchange at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"Are you declaring an emergency?" the controller asked. The pilot said he would return to Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, with the controller acknowledging it was a "good plan."

Seconds later, his Columbia LC-41 slammed into the backyard of 51 Camille Lane, where a mother and a sleeping 1-year-old baby were inside the home, authorities said.

Shoshani, of Jamaica, Queens, the sole occupant of the four-seater airplane, was declared dead at the scene, where his aircraft had disintegrated.

"It was very, very fortunate that he traveled in the path he did," homicide Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said, noting the plane's trajectory took it between houses spaced less than 30 yards apart. "Because of that, no one was hurt" on the ground.

Linda Villalobos, who lives on nearby Denise Drive, said, "When we heard it, we thought it was a car crashing into the backyard. There were large flames, all black smoke, that were at least three stories high."

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched an investigator to begin a probe Wednesday morning, and meet with manufacturers of the plane and engine. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the cause of the crash.

Beyrer said the flight departed Republic at about 8:50 a.m.

The FAA said indications were that the plane was headed to Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, though Beyrer said it was traveling southwest when it crashed.

First responder Gregory C. Miglino Jr., chief of South Country Ambulance, said it appeared the pilot "skillfully" managed to avoid hitting homes.

"This would only have been divine intervention or a guy who knew what he was doing and didn't want anyone to get hurt," Miglino said. "The houses are close together, the parcels are small, there isn't a lot of room."

Craig Cooper, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, said the woman inside the house near where the plane landed was treated for shock after the plane came down.

"She immediately ran into the baby's room, grabbed the baby out of the bed, and brought him outside," Cooper said, speaking on the family's behalf. "The baby slept through the impact."

Marcus Wilson, who identified himself as the property owner, said he was taking his daughter to school when he got a panicked call from his wife, Kerri.

He said he had assumed the fire was partially extinguished by water from his above-ground pool, which was demolished, as was a trampoline and shed.

"The pool saved us," Wilson said.

Outside Shoshani's home Tuesday afternoon, scores of friends and family went in and out, many telling reporters that the father of five was a charitable, religious man. He operated jeans and sneakers stores in Queens, friends said.

Word had already spread there of how the pilot had not hit any house.

"Even before he died he did everything to save others," said Abraham Hayim of Jamaica. "You don't have to ask to know what kind of man he was when you see all of these people here for him. . . . When the mayor dies he may not have as many who loved him."

FAA records show the plane was registered to the Self-Wing Co. in Jamaica, Queens.

It was built in 2006 by Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing, which was later bought by Cessna. Its registration was last updated in May 2013 and was to expire in July 2015, FAA records show.

Shoshani was a "down to earth guy, family guy," said family friend Adam Malls of Jamaica. "He really enjoyed flying. It was his hobby. He wanted to do it."


Source:  http://www.newsday.com
  
 
Pilot Killed In Long Island Plane Crash Was From Man From Queens

A small, single-engine plane crashed into the backyard of a home in East Patchogue Tuesday morning, killing the pilot but missing houses in the tranquil residential neighborhood, officials said.

The pilot was R”L pronounced dead at the scene. Miraculously, no one on the ground was injured. Sources tell YWN that the pilot was Hanan Shoshanyi Z”L, a resident of Jamaica Estates in Queens, NY. He was 54 years old. Misaskim is working with the family to ensure proper Kavod HaNiftar.

“It was very, very fortunate that he traveled in the path he did,” Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said, noting the doomed plane’s trajectory took it between houses less than 30 yards apart. “Because of that no one was hurt,” on the ground.

A private single-engine plane, which left Republic Airport in East Farmingdale at 8:50 a.m., crashed into a backyard at 51 Camille Lane at approximately 9:05 a.m.

First responder Gregory C. Miglino Jr., chief of South Country Ambulance, said it appeared the pilot “skillfully” managed to avoid hitting homes.

“This would only have been divine intervention or a guy who knew what he was doing and didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” Miglino said. “The houses are close together, the parcels are small, there isn’t a lot of room . . . It appears that this guy skillfully put this plane between two houses; that he put it down in a way where he wouldn’t hit anything.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will continue the investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

- See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com


 A small plane bound for MacArthur Airport crashed in the yard of a Long Island home Tuesday, killing the pilot and nearly smashing into a room where a mother was caring for her baby, authorities said.

The pilot, Hanan Shoshany, 53, of Jamaica, Queens, somehow steered the plane between two houses, narrowly missing them both and an exterior heating oil tank before crashing in the yard of a home on Camille Lane in Suffolk County's East Patchogue.

A mother and infant were in the room nearest to where the plane crashed shortly after 9 a.m. The infant slept through the explosion and her mother carried the child away to a neighbor's house.   The impact caused damage to the infant's room and left shattered glass on the floor, but both mother and child were unharmed.

Neighbors are searching for the family's white pitbull, Jezebel, who bolted from the house as the mom scrambled away with the child.

Photos and video from the scene showed pulverized wreckage scattered next to a backyard play set. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No one on the ground was hurt.

Witnesses said they were startled by the roar of a plane flying so low, followed by a boom upon impact and another explosion that followed. They said the plane obliterated trees as it fell.

"All of a sudden I heard what sounded like a plane coming down," said Chad Widman, who lives nearby. "It was really, really loud and then there was a pause and then there was a loud boom and then another loud boom."

The fire damaged the house but was quickly put out, authorities said. A two-block radius was evacuated as a precaution.

The FAA said the aircraft was a single-engine Lancair Columbia. It was flying from Republic Airport in East Farmingdale to MacArthur Airport in Islip, the agency said.  The plane crashed just 15 minutes after takeoff.

On Friday, a small plane narrowly missed a house when it crashed north of the city, in Purchase, New York, after taking off from the Westchester County Airport. Richard Rockefeller, the great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, was killed.


Source:   http://www.nbcnewyork.com

EAST PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The pilot of a small plane was killed Tuesday morning when it crashed into the yard of a home on Long Island, authorities said.

The plane went down around 9 a.m. near the side of a house on Camille Lane in East Patchogue and burst into flames, authorities said.

Town of Brookhaven spokesman Kevin Molloy said the plane landed between two houses. Photos from the scene posted on social media showed flames and smoke from the wreckage billowing next to a backyard play set.

Neighbors described a horrific scene.

“You could see the whole lawn engulfed with the fuel burning,” said neighbor John Scileppi, who rushed outside when he heard the crash. “The tail-end of the plane was totally engulfed.”

“I looked around and I saw the black smoke come up and then another explosion,” neighbor Bill Hughes told WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs. “Then we all ran out the front doors, all our neighbors and tried to help out if we could, but the backyard was an inferno.”

“I looked behind me and I saw flames shooting up,” another witness told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.

Marcus Wilson owns the home where the plane crashed and said his wife and infant child were inside when the plane came down. He said his wife was in the shower when she heard an explosion. She then grabbed the baby and ran outside.

“She didn’t know what happened at all and then once she came outside, she seen what happened. She called me and said, ‘a plane crashed into the house, a plane crashed into the house,’” he told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera. “Everybody is happy to be alive.”

Molloy said there was shattered glass in the baby’s room and the exterior of the house was damaged by the fire, but said no one on the ground was hurt. A two-block radius was evacuated as a precaution, officials said.

Many said it looked like the pilot was trying to avoid hitting the houses. Witnesses said the plane clipped some trees before passing between the homes.

“Luckily it went between both houses,” said Hughes. “The plane actually came through. You can see where it sheared the trees.”

“I don’t know how he missed the houses,” another resident said. “The guy made a last-ditch effort to avoid the houses.”

“It’s very, very fortunate that he traveled in the path that he did,” Suffolk County Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer said. “Because of that no one was hurt in any of the houses.”

The plane hit an above ground pool, which may have also helped in keeping the flames contained, McLogan reported.

The plane was headed to MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma and had taken off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, the agency said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating. The FAA is also on scene.

This is the second small plane crash in less than a week.

Last Friday, Richard Rockefeller, the great-grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, was killed in a crash near Westchester County Airport.

The plane, en route to Portland, Maine, was in heavy fog when it apparently clipped trees just after take-off and crashed at a stable about a half-mile away in Purchase, narrowly missing a home.


Source:  http://newyork.cbslocal.com  An eagle-eye view of the wreckage of a small plane crash in East Patchogue, New York, was captured by the drone. A growing number of photographers are using drones to capture images of everything from real estate to weddings from high in the sky.

The aerial cameras have now gone mainstream. Anyone can buy one online for as little as a few hundred bucks. And you'll need one if you want to be part of the latest trend on social media: the Dronie, demonstrated by Sir Patrick Stewart in a Vine video produced by twitter.

But the use of these unmanned aerial cameras is not without controversy. Last month a fight broke out on a Connecticut beach after a woman tackled a teen taking pictures with a drone.

Former FBI Agent Jonathan Gilliam says there are serious safety and privacy issues.

While the use of recreational drones may concern some, attorney Brendan Schulman, who runs the unmanned aircraft systems group at Kramer Levin, says it's not illegal.

"Even the FAA would say that operating a model aircraft, or what we now call a drone, is legal to do by hobbyists or for recreational use, including the taking of photographs," he says. "It's when you operate for commercial purposes that the agency has said as a matter of policy that you shouldn't do it."

The FAA says authorization is needed to fly a commercial drone.

But in March, in a case argued by Schulman on behalf of drone pilot Raphael Pirker, an NTSB judge ruled the FAA has no legal authority over small aircraft. The FAA has appealed.

Emergency landing in Tamworth for plane QantasLink after tire blowout

A QantasLink plane made a "textbook emergency landing" at Tamworth Regional Airport last night after blowing a tire on take-off.

The Q300 Dash-8 aircraft, carrying 44 passengers and four crew members, blew a tire as it left Sydney bound for Armidale Airport about 7pm.

Shortly after take-off passengers alerted the crew that one of the tires on the right side of the landing gear had suffered a failure.

A decision was made to divert the plane to Tamworth due to the additional maintenance capabilities QantasLink has located there.

Emergency services, including six Fire and Rescue NSW units, four Rural Fire Service tankers, a Hazmat unit, four police vehicles and five ambulances, were dispatched to the airport.

The plane circled the airport for close to an hour to burn fuel - standard practice in emergency situations - before landing on the remaining tires.

Tamworth Regional Airport manager Julie Stewart said flight QF2034 touched down safely just after 9pm.

"It was a textbook emergency landing," she said. "Fortunately no one on board required any medical attention and there was no debris found on the runway afterwards, or any damage to the tarmac," she said.

Firefighters examined the plane for any fuel or fire threats before passengers were released and put on a waiting bus to continue their journey to Armidale.

Maintenance crews inspected the aircraft, replaced the blown tire and cleared it to return to service this morning.


Story and photo gallery:  http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au

Sentimental Journey Fly-In: Piper Memorial Airport (KLHV), Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Lock Haven, Clinton County- Hundreds of people are taking a sentimental journey this week in Clinton County.

 Planes are beginning to arrive for the annual Sentimental Journey Fly In.


Cub planes of all shapes and sizes are filling this field near the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.


The event draws people from across the country...especially this year, as it's the 75th birthday of the Piper J-4.


Piper Cubs have a special meaning for people in Lock Haven.
 

They have been built at a city facility for generations.
 

The fly in continues through Saturday

Piper Museum- Fly In Info

http://pipermuseum.com


Source:  http://www.pahomepage.com

Grumman G-21A Goose, N888GG: Fatal accident occurred June 17, 2014 in Sula, Ravalli County, Montana

Michael Blume



The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration/Flight Standards District Office
FSDO-05; Helena, MT

Aviation Accident Factual Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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

Paul C. Ehlen: http://registry.faa.gov/N888GG 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Sula, MT
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G 21A, registration: N888GG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 17, 2014 about 1700 mountain daylight time, a Grumman G-21A airplane, N888GG, was destroyed by impact with terrain and a postcrash fire in the parking lot of the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Area, about 13 miles south of Sula, Montana. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country positioning flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IFR) were reported in the area at the time of the accident, and the solo pilot received fatal injuries. The airplane departed Lemhi County Airport (KSMN), Salmon, Idaho, bound for Ravalli County Airport, Hamilton, Montana, about 1640.

During an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on June 18, the owner of the airplane said that the airplane was being repositioned to the Ravalli County Airport for the summer. The airplane arrived at the Dillon Airport (KDLN), Dillon Montana on Monday, June 16, but was unable to continue to Hamilton due to weather. The owner said the pilot was told to remain in Dillon until the weather cleared. The pilot told the owner that he might fly to Salmon the following morning and check the weather along the highway to Hamilton. The owner asked the pilot to telephone him before he departed. The owner said he did not receive a telephone call from the pilot.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on June 18, a witness at the Dillon Airport said he had spoken with the pilot after he arrived. They talked about weather and routes. The witness said the following morning the airplane departed about 0830, but returned a short time later due to weather. He said the airplane remained in Dillon the rest of the day, and about 1630 the pilot said he'd probably be back in 30 minutes, and departed. The witness did not see the airplane again. 

A Ravalli County Sheriff's representative told the IIC that he had spoken to a witness at the Lemhi County Airport who told him the airplane had stopped there, before departing northbound along highway 93 toward Hamilton. 

A witness living along highway 93, about the 4,000 foot elevation, said he had seen the airplane northbound headed toward the mountain pass in the direction of Hamilton. The witness is a pilot and said he had flown the route many times. He said although the airplane was in VFR conditions under an overcast, and appeared to be at an altitude of about 6,500 feet when he saw it; the pass is higher, and appeared to be obscured. He further stated he could see what he thought was a thunderstorm developing to the west and moving east toward the pass.

The highway 93 mountain pass is just over 7,000 feet in elevation. Located at the summit are a visitor center and the base of operations for a ski area; including a lodge and parking lot. 

An employee at the visitor center told the Sheriff's representative, and later the NTSB IIC, that the airplane arrived over her position at a very low altitude, just above the trees, and that it was snowing, and the visibility was about ¼ mile at the time. She said she saw the airplane "spin around" 6 to 7 times descending vertically before it impacted the ground in the parking lot of the ski area. 

Upon impact, the airplane burst into flames, initial responders were not able to approach the wreckage due to the intense heat and flame.

On June 18, the NTSB IIC, accompanied by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air safety inspector, examined the airplane at the accident site. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot age 62, held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for Airplane Single Engine Land and Sea, Airplane Multi-Engine Land and Sea, Glider, Rotorcraft; Helicopter, Flight Instructor; Airplane Single-Engine and Multi-Engine, Instrument Airplane, and Ground Instructor; Advanced and Instrument.

The pilot received a First Class Medical Certificate on January 7, 2014, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. 

No personal flight records were discovered for the pilot, and the aeronautical experience listed was obtained from a review of the airman's FAA records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center in Oklahoma City. On the pilot's last application for medical certificate, dated January 7, 2014, he indicated that his total aeronautical experience consisted of about 9,800 hours, of which he listed 150 hours had been accrued in the previous 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Grumman G21-A, N888GG, manufactured in 1944 and equipped with two Pratt and Whitney R-985-AN-14B engines.

No airframe or engine logbooks were discovered for examination, and were believed to have been onboard for the ferry flight, and consumed during the post-crash fire. The owner provided copies of maintenance records obtained from the maintenance facility that performed the last maintenance on the airplane. 

According to maintenance facility records, both newly remanufactured engines had been installed on June 6, 2013 at an airframe total time of 6,323.8 hours. On March 6, 2014 with an airframe total time of 6,394.7 hours, the airplane underwent an extensive annual inspection. No major deficiencies were noted. The last known maintenance consisted of an oil change and minor adjustments and repairs completed on May 2, 2014, at a total airframe time of 6,434.4 hours. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The accident site was located about 36 miles north of the departure airport and about 39 miles south of the destination airport at an elevation of about 7,000 feet. 

Weather observations taken at the departure airport about the time of departure reported; visibility 10 miles, wind calm. Cloud heights were reported as Few at 4,200 feet, Broken at 6,500 feet, and overcast at 7,500 feet. 

A pilot witness who was on the ground along the route of flight, observed the airplane northbound along the highway headed toward the highway summit, which he described as obscured from his vantage point. He further reported a thunderstorm to the east of his position moving toward the highway summit pass. 

Witnesses at the accident location described the weather throughout the day as overcast with ragged ceilings. Visibility variable from better than one mile to obscured at the surface and snowing. 

A witness photograph taken shortly after the impact, showed visibility less than one-quarter mile in snow and an indefinite ceiling. 

No weather observations were available at the destination airport; however, the trend was reported as partly sunny in the morning becoming mostly cloudy in the afternoon.

There is no record of the pilot having received an "official" weather briefing.

COMMUNICATIONS

After departure from the uncontrolled airport, no communications were heard from the accident airplane, and no air traffic control services were requested.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted on the south end of a snow ski area, parking lot, about 7,000 feet in elevation. The ski area parking lot is adjacent to an interstate highway summit, highway rest area, and a visitor center, and the surrounding mountain peaks exceed 8,000 feet in height. Witnesses observed the airplane exit the base of the overcast clouds in what was described as a flat spinning, vertical descent. Upon impact, the airplane was consumed by a postcrash fire. 

On June 18, 2014, the NTSB IIC accompanied by an FAA Air Safety Inspector examined the wreckage. Although burned by the postcrash fire, the nose, tail, and wingtips were readily identifiable. 

The airplane appeared to have impacted in a level attitude. There was no evidence of forward, rearward, or sideways movement, after impact. Witnesses stated that wreckage parts and pieces scattered about the parking lot had been projectiles from several small explosions subsequent to the impact and postcrash fire. 

All of the airplane's control surfaces (rudder, ailerons, etc.) were present and control continuity was established to the cockpit area. Continuity to the individual cockpit controls was not established due to the extensive fire damage. 

Externally, the wing leading edge appeared straight from wingtip to wingtip, and perpendicular to the centerline of the fuselage. The lower portion of the fuselage frames showed upward crushing.

The two radial engines were appropriately located within the wreckage. Five of the six propeller blades (three per engine) had broken off at their respective propeller hub. One blade remained attached to the propeller hub on the right engine. All of the propeller blades examined showed extreme torsional twisting, tip curl, and S-bending. The exhaust manifolds of both the right and left engines were examined, and both showed plastic, hot metal, folding and bending. There was no further examination of the engines. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination of the pilot was completed under the authority of the Forensic Science Division, Department of Justice, State of Montana, Missoula, Montana, on June 19, 2014. The examination revealed that the cause of death was attributed to blunt force injuries. 

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, completed a toxicological examination on August 1, 2014. No toxicological anomalies were found.

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in Sula, MT
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G 21A, registration: N888GG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On June 17, 2014 about 1700 mountain daylight time, a Grumman G-21A airplane, N888GG, was destroyed by impact with terrain and a postcrash fire in the parking lot of the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Area, about 13 miles south of Sula, Montana. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country positioning flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IFR) were reported in the area at the time of the accident, and the solo pilot received fatal injuries. The airplane departed Lemhi County Airport (KSMN), Salmon, Idaho, bound for Ravalli County Airport, Hamilton, Montana, about 1640.

During an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on June 18, the owner of the airplane said that the airplane was being repositioned to the Ravalli County Airport for the summer. The airplane arrived at the Dillon Airport (KDLN), Dillon Montana on Monday, June 16, but was unable to continue to Hamilton due to weather. The owner said the pilot was told to remain in Dillon until the weather cleared. The pilot told the owner that he might fly to Salmon the following morning and check the weather along the highway to Hamilton. The owner asked the pilot to telephone him before he departed. The owner said he did not receive a telephone call from the pilot.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on June 18, a witness at the Dillon Airport said he had spoken with the pilot after he arrived in Dillon. They talked about weather and routes. The witness said the following morning the airplane departed about 0830, but returned a short time later due to weather. He said the airplane remained in Dillon the rest of the day, and about 1630 the pilot said he'd probably be back in 30 minutes, and departed. The witness did not see the airplane again.

A Ravalli County Sheriff's representative told the IIC that he had spoken to a witness at the Lemhi County Airport who told him the airplane had stopped there, before departing northbound along highway 93 toward Hamilton.

A witness living along highway 93, about the 4,000 foot elevation level, said he had seen the airplane northbound headed toward the mountain pass in the direction of Hamilton. The witness is a pilot and said he had flown the route many times. He said although the airplane was in VFR conditions, and appeared to be at an altitude of about 6,500 feet when he saw it; the pass is higher, and appeared to be obscured. He further stated he could see what he thought was a thunderstorm developing to the west and moving east toward the pass.

The highway 93 mountain pass is just over 7,000 feet in elevation. Located at the summit are a visitor center and the base of operations for a ski area; including a lodge and parking lot.

An employee at the visitor center told the Sheriff's representative that the airplane arrived over her position at a very low altitude, just above the trees, and that it was snowing, and the visibility was about ¼ mile at the time. She said she saw the airplane "spin around" 6 to 7 times descending vertically before it impacted the ground in the parking lot of the ski area.

Upon impact, the airplane burst into flames, initial responders were not able to approach the wreckage due to the intense heat and flame.

On June 18, the airplane was examined at the accident site by the NTSB IIC, accompanied by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air safety inspector. The investigation is continuing.



Ravalli County Airport manager Page Gough listens into a discussion between National Transportation Safety Board investigator Larry Lewis and Federal Aviation Administration investigator Jeffrey Simmons at the scene of a fatal airplane crash in the Lost Trail Ski Area's parking lot. The fiery crash claimed the life of the pilot of the antique Grumman G-21 Goose airplane.



LOST TRAIL PASS – Scott and Sadie Grasser will never forget the sound an airplane makes when it crashes. Read more
Twin-engine plane crashes, burns at Lost Trail Pass

Michael Blume, 62, of Burnsville, Minn., was killed when the Grumman Goose aircraft he was piloting crashed into the parking lot of Lost Trail Power Mountain late Tuesday afternoon.

Blume was the only occupant of the aircraft. No one else was injured in the incident.

Blume was piloting the aircraft to the Ravalli County Airport in Hamilton. The aircraft left Dillon and had landed in Salmon, Idaho, prior to the accident.

NTSB and FAA officials are investigating the cause of the crash.


Source: http://missoulian.com

http://grummangoosecentral.homestead.com

http://www.ipernity.com









 
LOST TRAIL PASS – Scott and Sadie Grasser will never forget the sound an airplane makes when it crashes.

“It’s a very distinct noise,” Scott Grasser said Wednesday. “When you hear an airplane crash, you know exactly what’s happened.”

The couple had just finished hosting a woody biomass workshop at the lodge at Lost Trail Ski Area late Tuesday afternoon when they heard the sound of airplane coming in way too close to their building.

“And then there was this big crash and vibration,” Grasser said.

The couple ran outside and met one of their longtime employees running the opposite direction.

Aaron Hoffman of Salmon, Idaho, was in his car and just getting ready to pull out of the parking lot when 50 feet away the antique Grumman G-21 Goose amphibious aircraft literally fell from the sky and burst into flames when it hit the ground.

“It fell out of the sky right next to his car,” Grasser said. “By the time we got outside, there was literally nothing we could do. It was a huge ball of flame.”

Another witness told Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton the plane barely cleared the trees right behind the shop.

“When she first saw the plane, it was coming from the south,” Holton said. “It cleared the trees by just a few feet. She said it was spinning.”

As bad as the accident was, Grasser said it could have been much worse.

There were 60 people at the workshop through the Idaho governor’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Northwest.

Hoffman was the last to leave.

“I believe there were cars parked right in the spot where the plane crashed,” Grasser said. “People had only left 15 minutes to a half hour earlier. We were just very fortunate.”

“We believe that pilot did everything he could,” Grasser said. “I’m sure he knew he was in a horrible spot. He did what every honorable pilot would do and tried to save as many people as he could.”

“We are obviously very shook up over this,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the pilot’s family.”

*****

Seattle tourists Rick McGee and Julie Gomez had just reached the intersection of Highways 43 and 93 at Lost Trail Pass when the plane crashed.

“It had started to snow very hard when we saw the rest area,” McGee said. “We pulled in at the rest area and the lady at the info center was coming out. We could hear the plane, and she was pointing and circling her arm – she said, ‘It’s spinning, it’s spinning!’ ”

McGee and Gomez didn’t see the plane fall, but they did see the fireball as it exploded on impact behind the information building. There were several smaller explosions and pops after the initial blast.

“I’ve seen planes crash before, but I’ve never seen a plane go up so fast – so quick,” Gomez said. “It was continuous flames for four or five minutes.”

After learning that law enforcement and fire crews were on the way, McGee and Gomez resumed their road trip toward Missoula. They said the weather had been switching from rain to heavy snow to blue sky most of the day.

*****

The aircraft started its journey in Florida. Holton said the pilot took over in Minnesota and was shuttling it to Montana when the crash occurred.

Holton said the man’s wallet and identification were found in the burned wreckage.

The pilot’s name is being withheld pending confirmation of his identification and notification of the family.

The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department was scheduled to arrive on scene Wednesday afternoon to gather the remains.

National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Larry Lewis and Jeffrey Simmons, an investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration, were on site early Wednesday afternoon to begin determining the cause of the crash.

The burned-out structure was still emitting puffs of smoke as the men started to look over the scene.

Lewis said the airplane appeared to come straight down into the ground and there was no evidence that the pilot planned to land.

The landing gear was not deployed and the flaps were up.

“The aircraft wasn’t in landing configuration,” Lewis said.

Over the next few days, Lewis said he will talk with witnesses of the crash, look at maintenance records and the pilot’s background, and interview people at airports the pilot used to search for clues on the probable cause of the accident.

Lewis expected it would take between six months and a year before the final accident report was complete.

Lewis said the aircraft was an antique.

“It’s old school,” he said. “It was probably built in the late 1930s or early 40s. There’s not a lot of them left.“


Source:  http://missoulian.com


DARBY, Mont. -   The Ravalli County Sheriff's Department has tentatively identified the pilot and aircraft he was flying when it crashed at the Lost Trail Ski Area parking lot late Tuesday afternoon.

The man's name has not been released.

But he was reportedly the only occupant of the twin engine plane.

Debris from the crash was still strewn across the ski area's parking lot Wednesday morning, hours after it crashed.

"We believe now he was an out of state pilot and was bringing the plane to the Hamilton Airport," said Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton.

The Sheriff's Department, the Hamilton Airport manager, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, arrived about noon Wednesday to begin the detailed job of documenting the crash.

The wreckage is in pieces.

NTSB  air safety investigator Larry Lewis came from Washington to start his preliminary investigation.

"We're going to take a quick look around at the topography," said Lewis."We're going to talk to anybody we can find here when the accident occurred," he said. "We're going to survey the scene and photograph all the pieces and parts."

Investigators will see if all the major air frame components are still at the site.

Witnesses said they first saw the plane coming in from Idaho to the south, before it touched down in the parking lot.

They said "it was rotating in the air before it touched down," said Holton.

One witness said the plane dropped hard and flat, right out of the sky.

They said it looked like flames engulfed it immediately.

People were at Lost Trail for a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

"That had cleared about 30 minutes prior to the crash," said Holton, "and from what we understood the parking lot was full of cars at that point, but most of those had cleared out by the time the incident happened."

A pilot who owns a lodge about 12 air miles from Lost Trail said "atmospheric weather conditions Tuesday may not have been suitable for visual flying."

Tex Irwin owns Westfork Lodge, which has an airstrip.

Irwin was waiting for guests coming by plane on Tuesday.

He said one group coming south from the Plains and Thompson Falls area, were delayed because of weather.

Another group coming from the Challis, Salmon, Idaho area," said Irwin, reported bad weather.

"We were talking by telephone back and forth what their position down south was," said Irwin," and what ours was at the lodge. And they finally, which I think was wise, cancelled and diverted and went elsewhere.

Irwin said the weather was in flux Tuesday.

It was sunny, rainy, snowy, cloudy and overcast, he said. "Mountain weather,"he called it.

Weather is certainly a factor investigators will be looking at, but  this investigation is just beginning.

http://www.nbcmontana.com




LOST TRAIL PASS — Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton announced on Wednesday morning that investigators have tentatively identified the aircraft and the pilot who perished in the airplane crash at Lost Trail Ski Area on Tuesday evening. 

 The pilot is believed to have been the only occupant of the twin-engine aircraft.

Holton, who is also the county’s chief deputy coroner, did not identify the aircraft and said that the pilot’s name is being withheld pending notification of the family.

Holton said that the aircraft burned very badly after it crashed just north of the ski lodge at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and that the only thing recognizable was the wing tips.

Holton said that two people witnessed the crash, and that nobody left after it hit the ground. One witness told authorities the airplane appeared to be spinning in the air before it came down flat in the parking lot.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. Investigators arrived at the scene at noon Wednesday.

Seattle tourists Rick McGee and Julie Gomez had just reached the intersection of Highways 43 and 93 at Lost Trail Pass when the plane crashed.

“It had started to snow very hard when we saw the rest area,” McGee said. “We pulled in at the rest area and the lady at the info center was coming out. We could hear the plane, and she was pointing and circling her arm – she said, ‘It’s spinning, it’s spinning!' ”

McGee and Gomez didn’t see the plane fall, but they did see the fireball as it exploded on impact behind the information building. There were several smaller explosions and pops after the initial blast.

“I’ve seen planes crash before, but I’ve never seen a plane go up so fast – so quick,” Gomez said. “It was continuous flames for four or five minutes.”

After learning that law enforcement and fire crews were on the way, McGee and Gomez resumed their road trip toward Missoula. They said the weather had been switching from rain to heavy snow to blue sky most of the day.

“I hope it was just a pilot inside,” McGee said. “With a twin-engine plane like that, there could have been four or six people. Nobody could have survived that crash.”

Source:    http://billingsgazette.com


The crashed plane at Lost Trail Pass is seen burning moments after hitting the ground in this photograph provided by Rick McGee, a traveler from Seattle, Washington who was in the area when the crash occurred.


This is the scene Wednesday morning of the site of Tuesday's plane crash in the parking lot at Lost Trail Pass.


(LOST TRAIL PASS)- Authorities say a twin engine float plane crashed and burned at the summit of Lost Trail Pass Tuesday evening. But the plane is so destroyed Ravalli County Sheriff's deputies aren't able to immediately identify the exact type of aircraft or how many people may have been on board.

Emergency crews were called to the pass on the Idaho-Montana border around 5:30 p.m. with report that a plane had crashed in the parking lot at the summit. But when they arrived on scene they found the plane had completely burned.

Ravalli County Undersheriff Steve Holton tells MTN the plane was so damaged by the fire they've been unable to read the identifying registration numbers on the tail and say it appears to have been an amphibious aircraft. They've also been unable to tell how many victims may have died in the crash.

Holton says the Sheriff's Office is working with the FAA to try and identify the aircraft and where it may have been flying from and what its destination was. He expects FAA inspectors to arrive in the morning and start gathering initial data to determine the cause of the crash.

The wreckage is in the rest area parking lot so traffic on Highway 93 isn't effected.


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