Thursday, July 10, 2014

8News Investigates: How Safe is Food at the Richmond International Airport (KRIC)?


The summer travel season is well underway and many people in our area will be grabbing a bite at the airport before boarding flights out of town. But how safe is the food that they're ordering? What has been revealed during an 8News investigation may have you deciding to go hungry.

According to our investigation, food safety at the Richmond International Airport is spotty. About 70 percent of the restaurants there had critical violations during their last inspections.

With busy travel schedules and fewer airlines serving food on planes, travelers may be forced to buy a bite at the airport. But eat at your own risk.

Of the 7 restaurants at Richmond International Airport, 7 of them were slammed with critical violations during their most recent food inspections.

All of those violations stemmed from not storing food at the proper temperature. 

Two of the airport's three Caribou Coffee shops (Atrium and Caribou B) were cited just last month for yogurt stored at elevated temperatures: 44 and 52 degrees.

Applebee's had problems keeping dairy cool, too: we found violations for jack cheese at 48 degrees.

Director of Food and Environmental Health Services with the Virginia Department of Health Julie Henderson explains why it's so crucial to keep these types of foods at a chilly temperature:

"When you hold them above 41 degrees bacteria can grow."

Henderson says the Virginia Department of Health conducts annual inspections of the restaurants at the airport. She told 8New Investigative Reporter Kerri O'Brien that not storing food at the proper temperature is considered a critical violation,  since it can significantly increase the risk of a food-borne illness.

According to the CDC, 3,000 Americans die of a food-borne illness every year.  
"If there is a enough bacteria in it and allowed to grow, then yes it could make someone sick," Henderson told us.

Perhaps what is most nauseating: at the airport, we discovered some repeat offenders. 

Club Level Grill was hit with two critical violations in May: blue cheese, soup and steak all stored at elevated temperatures. 

And just a few months earlier, this same restaurant was cited for similar issues: eggs at 50 degrees and Thai noodles at a steamy 65 degrees.

At Vito's Market, in January health inspectors found ham stored at 54 degrees. Vito's was slammed for deli meat problems the year before, as well, specifically, turkey and ham not refrigerated properly.

Henderson says that by law, the Health Department can't fine a restaurant, but if corrective action isn't taken during the inspection, inspectors will revisit the restaurant in 10 days. Persist ant problems can lead to a hearing or a permit suspension.

"We hopefully get them to correct it on if it is a temperature violation, we want them to fix it right then by discarding."

Delaware North Companies, which manages all the restaurants at Richmond International Airport, declined to go on camera with us but issued a statement telling 8News, in part,  "Food safety is a top priority and we have made corrections to the requests made by the Virginia Department of Health, including removing a faulty cooler."

We should note: inspectors did give one chain at RIC Airport a clean bill of health: Cheeburger Cheeburger, with zero violations.

For more information on the Richmond International Airport restaurants' food safety inspections, please visit the Virginia Department of Health's website here.  

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8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

School starts program to train crop dusters

With the average age of crop dusters at about 60 – which is even higher than that of farmers – and the number of those pilots dwindling, two instructors at Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, S.D., figured they might be able to improve the situation.

Thus, a program called the ag aviation option has been added to the institute’s agriculture and aviation departments.

Aviation department supervisor Greg Klein, whose program is found at the Watertown Regional Airport, and ag department instructor and farm manager Brian Olson came up with the idea, and it was approved this past winter by the state Board of Education.

So far, there’s only one student in the program, but the school is hoping to add more.

The option is fairly simple as a student in either department can take two semesters of agronomy classes in the ag department on the main campus and then also complete the flight courses at the airport classroom to obtain a private pilot’s license.

Graduates will be trained as aerial application pilots, aerial application technicians or aerial application owners or operators.

It’s one of a very few educational programs in the nation where the two departments are melded to offer a crop dusting option, Klein and Olson said. There is one program fairly close at the University of Minnesota at Crookston. Another – perhaps the only other one – is in Florida.

“There is a need,” said longtime ag department supervisor Jim Clendenin. “We have to have a career at the end of the day for these kids. With the demand out there, we have a career if they are successful in completeing the program.”

The demand for crop aviation is definitely on the rise. For example, with wet fields in many areas this year, aerial application was in some cases the only option for spraying weeds.

A former LATI student recently has been hired to apply fertilizer by plane, Klein said.

Seeding also can be done by plane, with alfalfa or cover crops as prime examples.

One of the shortfalls in the pipeline for crop dusters, however, is that some who might be interested don’t have an agriculture background. Through this new option, they can learn the agronomic issues through the ag department.

Klein said that from the aviation standpoint, besides the flight instruction, they want to teach the students about the GPS guidance system used in crop dusting that tells pilots whether they have gaps or overlaps of spraying. They also can learn about proper entry, exits and turns when spraying fields.

“Otherwise, it involves pushing the button and applying the spray,” Klein said.

A two-seat Citabria Aurora plane made by American Champion Aircraft Corp. of Rochester, Wis., with a SatLoc GPS system will be used in the training. It’s one of five planes to which the program has access at its airport and hangar site.

In the coming few years, the ag option course might have some company as drone technology could be incorporated into the effort.

“Drones will be part of the ag program in some way, form or shape not too far down the road,” Clendenin said. He said drones also could fit into the institute’s precision agriculture option, another continually developing program at the school.

Klein and Olson already have begun studying ag drone technology and took a look at one company’s product during a recent Aberdeen field day. They said they were pretty impressed that, by using a laptop and an small unmanned aircraft, the company made a count of every plant in a field.

Currently, aviation rules call for drones to be within sight and not more than 400 feet in the air, Klein said. Clendenin said his understanding is that drones aren’t approved yet for full-blown agricultural use.

However, it’s a gray area as far as rules, with the Federal Aviation Adminstration planning to release regulations next year.

The aviation program at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is one of the centers in the U.S. currently studying drone technology. In a recent survey of 650 participants in northeastern North Dakota conducted by UND researchers, strong support was found for use of unmanned aircraft in agriculture, search and rescue missions, border patrolling, military uses and climate monitoring.

Commercial deliveries, such as those proposed by Amazon to deliver packages, was seen much less favorably.

Study research team member Juntunen Heitkamp said people had the most concern about observations of daily life with the drones and some uses by law enforcement. It was the first comprehensive survey of its kind in the U.S., he said.

Olson said they certainly need to consider drones because the technology can gather amazing amounts of data, but the concern currently is being able to interpret what’s gathered and put it to good agronomic use.

For now, however, the focus is on crop dusting in the new program.

Though that effort is in its infancy and Clendenin said “we have a lot to learn,” the aviation and ag programs have a long history at the school.

The ag program, with its many options for specializing in various fields, last year moved into a new addition.

The aviation mechanics program, which Klein admits isn’t well known around the state, is the only one in the three-state region that includes North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Started in 1965, its main mission over the years has been to train aircraft maintenance technicians. Flight instruction, offered by chief instructor Jim Behnken, started about two years ago. The program averages about 25 students a year, mostly from a 200-mile radius, although there always are a few from distant states.

Students have found jobs around the world, including working for private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One recent graduate is working as a technician for Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company in California that is building spaceships and waiting for certification to take people into space.

Meanwhile, back in the rural area of South Dakota, officials hope gradates will boost the crop dusting field.

Clendenin said he recently met one pilot who was 83 years old and still spraying crops. The goal is to get more people in their 20s flying above the fields.

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Plane crash drill at Sea-Tac mirrors San Francisco crash

SEATAC, Wash. — 

Quick Facts:
  • 175 emergency vehicles, 300 people playing victims 
  • Drill required every 3 years by FAA
  • Plane fuselage will be used in simulation
At Sea-Tac Airport Thursday, emergency responders prepared for the worst.  They used lessons learned from the Asiana crash in San Francisco last year.

 The division chief from the San Francisco airport was on hand observing and offering insight from the crash last summer that killed two people.

Three-hundred volunteers acted as plane crash victims to give emergency responders a realistic scenario of a crash similar to the San Francisco crash last summer.  Each victim had a different injury and story as they littered the runway.

"Normally, the FAA only requires to rescue 100," said Perry Cooper, SeaTac Airport spokesman.  "We are trying to push that number up to 300 to show the reality of a large jet accident."

 And for the first time regional helicopters from the Coast Guard, Army and Navy joined.

 From San Francisco, emergency crews learned it would be good to take some patients out of the region.

 "We will actually move our moderately injured to outlying hospitals," said Randy Krause, Port of Seattle Fire Chief. "We can take care of the most critical folks in King County."

 The responders are actually instructed to show restraint in such a large scale incident so they don't get worn out.  The first firefighters on the scene walked to the victims and back and forth to the command post.

 "One of the things we learned from San Francisco is that it's not just our agency doing the bulk of the work," said Krause. "But that it's a collective approach."

 In the San Francisco crash, one girl was run over by an emergency vehicle.

 The Sea-Tac trucks have two operators each so one can be a spotter.

 Chief Krause told KIRO 7 he thought his team did very well in the drill.

Story, Photo and Video:


Amazon Seeks Federal Aviation Administration Permission to Test its Drones Outdoors Inc., which wants to deliver packages by drone once U.S. law allows, asked aviation regulators for permission to expand testing of prototypes outside its research laboratory.

“We are rapidly experimenting and iterating on Prime Air inside our next generation research and development lab in Seattle,” the company said in a letter posted on a government website today. Amazon is based in the city.

The company wants to deliver packages weighing less than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) with unmanned aircraft capable of reaching speeds of more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) an hour, it said.

Amazon says 86 percent of its deliveries are light enough to be made by its proposed drones, allowing for faster service to customers. The Federal Aviation Administration, which has banned most commercial drone operations until it crafts rules for them, at least initially doesn’t plan to allow the kind of automated flight paths envisioned by Amazon, according to a plan it unveiled last year.

So far, Amazon has been able to test its aircraft only inside its lab or in other countries, it said.

“Of course, Amazon would prefer to keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States by conducting private research and development operations outdoors near Seattle,” it said in the letter signed by Paul Misener, vice president for global public policy.

Drone Photography

The letter was sent in response to a June 25 request by the FAA for comments on whether it should grant exemptions allowing commercial drone flights before it completes regulations allowing them. The notice was prompted by requests from seven photo and video production companies, according to the FAA.

The FAA was given authority to grant exemptions under a 2012 law that also required the agency to begin integrating unmanned aircraft into U.S. airways by next year.

Amazon said its team of “world-renowned roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut” have created eighth- and ninth-generation versions of delivery drones.

Allowing the flights are in the public interest because it will advance drone capabilities, the company said. It also plans to use one or more of the six test sites that the FAA has approved for unmanned flight and to seek a more formal “airworthiness certificate” for its aircraft, it said.

‘Stronger Safety’

“Further, granting this request will do nothing more than allow Amazon to do what thousands of hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day, and we will abide by much stronger safety measures than currently required for these groups by FAA policies and regulations,” it said.

The FAA has struggled to police drone flights as small aircraft become available for less than $1,000. They have been flown by real estate agents, TV production crews and a beer company.

The agency issued a notice June 23 clarifying what it considers to be legal flights by drone hobbyists, which are permitted under current rules. Hobby flights should be away from crowds and kept within sight of the pilot on the ground, the agency said.

The FAA’s first attempt to fine a drone pilot was overturned March 6 by a judge who said the agency didn’t have authority over small unmanned aircraft. The FAA appealed the decision.

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Nigerian aviation audit result ready September -Federal Aviation Administration

The United States, Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) has disclosed that the result of the mandatory audit of Nigerian aviation industry towards retaining its Category 1 status ,which it carried out between March 31 and April 4, this year would be made known to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in September.

FAA is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, which has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation.

Nigeria first achieved FAA category 1 status in 2010, which allowed Arik Air, the only Nigeria carrier designated for the US routes to fly directly to the United States.

According to the General Manger, Public Affairs,Mr Fan Ndubuoke, this was  disclosed by the FAA team leader, Andre  Lamarre at the NCAA’s conference facility, at the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos yesterday.

Nnubuoke said, releasing the outcome in September is to allow the regulatory authority sufficient time to file with the FAA the evidence of training of some of its Safety Inspectors, who had been slated for exercise in Europe between now and August.

Lamarre,who led a three-man team comprising Michael Jennisin and James Plasman said the most important thing to FAA at this juncture was the sustenance of a robust oversight of the industry and strict enforcement of compliance of safety regulation by NCAA.

The team arrived at the NCAA’s, headquarters at MMA,Lagos ostensibly to conclude the final phase of the Category 1 recertification which began in March, this year.

Lamarre said his job here is to verify all corrective actions, the dates, the plans, the completion of trainings.

According to him, “We will thereafter make our recommendations based on the verification of items corrected that we have found here. We will look at what is opened and what is closed and communicate back to Washington on the category”

Welcoming the team, the Acting Director General of NCAA, Engr. Benedict Adeyileka, said the regulatory authority has closed all the findings from the March audit.

He stated that the only area left was the recurrent training and that it can be regarded as a closure since the authority had signed contract for recurrences with various simulators organizations.

Adeyileka said that simulator training has commenced in earnest, adding that NCAA has a spreadsheet of confirmed dates.

Adeyileka  who commended the FAA and its representatives for the meticulous approach during the exercise, praised the NCAA team for their dedication and hard work, adding that he was absolutely confident of a positive outcome in September.

Source Article:

Archery deer hunts scheduled within Bemidji city limits: Bemidji Regional Airport (KBJI), Minnesota

BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji is now accepting permit applications to participate in two special white-tailed deer archery hunts within the city.  

Both hunts will follow the regular Minnesota deer archery season, which runs Sept. 13 through Dec. 31. The Bemidji Regional Airport hunt will take place on airport property, outside the fenced area. Hunting will be allowed by city permit and only 25 permits will be issued.

Depending on the number of applications received, a lottery drawing may be held to determine which applicants will receive a permit.

The Northeast Lake Bemidji hunt will take place in designated areas situated in the northeast section of Bemidji on private and public property. A lottery also may be held depending on the number of applications.

Because they are special hunts, the state will allow participants to harvest up to five deer.

Special hunt regulations, applications, maps and additional information may be obtained at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW or on the city's website at All applications and fees must be received at City Hall by 4 p.m. Aug. 8. All applicants are required to pay a $5 non-refundable application fee with each application submitted. For more information, contact Teresa at 759-3562 or

Source Article:

Sponsor of Earhart search wants suit to continue

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man who paid $1 million to sponsor a search for Amelia Earhart's missing airplane is asking a federal judge not to dismiss his fraud lawsuit against expedition organizers.

Tim Mellon maintains that the Pennsylvania-based The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) and its executive director actually found Earhart's plane in 2010. Mellon, son of the late philanthropist Paul Mellon, says the group kept the discovery secret so it could keep seeking funds.

TIGHAR denies Mellon's claims. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper is set to consider next week requests from the group and its executive director, Ric E. Gillespie, to dismiss Mellon's lawsuit.

Earhart was trying to become the first woman aviator to circle the globe when she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared in the South Pacific in 1937.

TIGHAR has staged repeated expeditions to search the waters around the Kiribati atoll of Nikumaroro, about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii.

Gillespie said Thursday that the group is raising money for another expedition planned for this fall that would use two submarines from the University of Hawaii to search the reef they believe holds the plane's wreckage.

Gillespie's group is concentrating its search on a reef abutting the atoll, then known as Gardner Island. They say the plane might have been washed off the reef by high tides shortly after the landing and that the wreckage may be found in the deep waters nearby.

The group is concentrating now on analyzing a piece of aircraft aluminum, about the size of a dinner tray, discovered on the island in the 1990s, Gillespie said. While the rivet pattern on the piece didn't match the Lockheed Electra, he said they're now focusing on whether it could be conclusively identified as a patch that was placed on Earhart's plane before it disappeared.

"It's always so ironic to be working on this stuff, and then at the same time fighting a lawsuit that says, 'Ah, you found the thing years ago,' " Gillespie said.

The U.S. State Department in 2012 lent its expertise to the search, analyzing a 1937 photo of the shoreline that shows a blurry object sticking out of the water that some experts say is consistent with the strut and wheel of a Lockheed Electra's landing gear.

Expert witnesses for Mellon filed statements in court earlier this year in which they superimposed drawings of objects such as the landing gear of a Lockheed Electra over shapes on video from TIGHAR's exploration of the sea floor in the area.

"The objects we have identified in the 2010 video footage are consistent with parts of the Earhart Lockheed Electra Model 10 and, in the absence of an alternative explanation for the source of those objects, we conclude that they are likely to have originated from Earhart's Electra," wrote Rhode Island engineer John D. Jarrell, one of the experts who reviewed the video for Mellon.

In opposing TIGHAR's request to dismiss the lawsuit, lawyers for Mellon argue that factors influencing the group's decision to keep the discovery secret included the lack of any agreement with the government of Kiribati about rights to the wreckage and an exclusive publicity agreement with Discovery Communications, which was filming the expedition.

Tim Stubson, a Casper lawyer representing Mellon, said Thursday, "We wouldn't have brought this action and pursued it as far as we have unless we were sure that the plane is there and the plane has been identified and TIGHAR knew the plane was there."

Gillespie said that if TIGHAR ever is successful in finding Earhart's airplane, there won't be any doubt what it is.

"If we end up with video of that moment, when the wreckage of the Earhart aircraft comes into view, and if it does, it will be clearly that," Gillespie said. "It won't be something like Mellon talks about with some vague shape of encrusted coral. If that airplane's down there, it's going to be obvious to anybody. It's just a matter of hitting the right spot, and we haven't yet."

Source article:

Just Aircraft Highlander, C-IPYK: Incident occurred July 10, 2014 at Oak Hills Flying Club, Stirling Airport, Ontario - Canada

A pilot of an ultralight plane is lucky after having difficulty landing a light plane this evening at the Stirling airport on Airport Road.

Initial reports indicated a small plane was seen going end over end.

The pilot, who was the only one on board, made it out and to the clubhouse where a nurse treated scrapes to his head.

He was in his early 70s and from Combermere, a village in Madawaska Valley Township.

The incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m.

Quinte West fire, OPP, and ambulance responded.

One week ago a pilot from Stirling, who was flying an ultralight aircraft, was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after having problems landing at the same airport.

Piper PA-28R-200, N9469N: Accident occurred July 10, 2014 in Mt. Vernon, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA350
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 10, 2014 in Mt. Vernon, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-200, registration: N9469N
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 10, 2014, about 0750 central daylight time, a Piper PA28R-200 airplane, N9469N, made a forced landing into a field following a loss of engine power near Mt. Vernon, Texas. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, received serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to East Texas Pilots Association Flying Club Inc., and was operated by a private individual under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Franklin County Airport (F53), Mt. Vernon, Texas, about 0740 and was destined for the Winnsboro Municipal Airport (F51), Winnsboro, Texas.

Information obtained by the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revelaed that witnesses heard the engine "sputter" as the airplane was flying low to the ground. The airplane's engine experienced a loss of power and the pilot made an emergency landing into a field. During the descent, the airplane collided with trees and the left wing separated from the fuselage. The right wing remained partially attached and was twisted aft. The airplane continued into the field and came to rest upright. A postaccident examination revealed no evidence of fuel in the fuel tanks or on the ground near the airplane.

At 0755, an automated weather report for the Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (KOSA), Mount Pleasant, Texas, which was located 15 miles east of the accident site, reported: calm wind, visibility 7 miles, clear sky, temperature 73 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 72 degrees F, altimeter setting 30.06 inches of mercury.

The airplane has been retained for further examination.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Dallas FSDO-05 


Farm workers run to aid man who crashed plane in East Texas field 

FRANKLIN COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A 79-year-old man was airlifted to a Tyler hospital on Thursday after his single-engine plane lost power and crashed south of Mt. Vernon shortly after takeoff. 

Department of Public Safety Trooper Sylvia Jennings says Bobby Kenneth Terry, a Mt. Vernon resident, lost power in his plane around 7:50 on Thursday morning. The plane hit pine trees near Farm to Market 900 and Highway 37, going down nose-first and tearing off its wings before it crashed into an open field. Terry was the only person on board.

"You could hear it making a funny noise. Heard the motor quit. It was popping and then it quit and he turned, turned again, and ended up here," says crash witness Gene Keener.

Terry's engine had failed and he was looking for a clearing to set down in, but simply didn't have enough altitude to clear the trees. The impact sheared off one wing. The trees may have slowed Terry's descent.

Gene Keener and a fellow farm worker, seeing the plane go down, rushed to see if they could help.

"He was slumped down in the side of the plane asked him if he was alright , and he lifted his head up and said yes," Keener says.

They say Terry was bleeding badly when they got to him.

"We had paper towels, tried to stop the bleeding," says Kenner.

Within a few minutes, emergency crews arrived.

"Asking him what his name was, was anyone else with him, stuff like that to keep him awake," Keener says.

Terry was flown to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. He is in serious condition, but his injuries are non-life-threatening. His family tells us he is in ICU with a broken leg, broken wrist, and head injuries.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said Terry was flying from Mt. Vernon to Winnsboro to have annual maintenance done on the plane, a 1969 Piper PA-28R fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft. The FAA is investigating the crash.

Story and Photos:

Mt. Vernon, Texas — At approximately 8:02 a.m., Texas DPS Trooper Damon Williams responded to plane crash call in an open field near HW-37 8 miles south of Mt. Vernon. 

The pilot, Bobby Kenneth Perry, 79, of Mt. Vernon, had left Mt. Vernon airport and was in route to Winnsboro when his aircraft, a Piper (a fixed-wing single engine plane – tail # N9469N) lost power.

The plane struck several pine trees tearing off both of the plane’s wings. Bobby Perry was able to make an emergency landing in an open field, property of Garth Perrett. No other persons were on board.

Perry was airlifted to ETMC in Tyler with serious, incapacitating injuries.

Corporal Brandon Stribling and Trooper Dwayne Smith assisted with the plane crash investigation. 

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Challenger, N31686: Incident occurred July 10, 2014 near Spadaro Airport (1N2), East Moriches, New York


Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Sunrise Highway Median In East Moriches  

 EAST MORICHES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – No one was hurt when a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on the grassy median of a Long Island highway Thursday.

The ultralight Challenger plane experienced engine trouble about a minute after taking off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport in East Moriches around 1:30 p.m., police said.

Pilot Frank Fierro realized the plane wouldn’t make it back to the airport and decided to land it on the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Sunrise Highway near exit 61, police said.

The bright yellow plane was not damaged and was towed to nearby Spadaro Airport.

“No time were any motorists in danger,” Suffolk County Police Sgt. George Hodge told reporters, including WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “The pilot was never over actually a travel lane of Sunrise Highway.”

Police told Hall the pilot, who is in his mid 70s, has been licensed since 1956 and his wealth of experience likely helped him land safely.

Authorities said that because of a quick response, there were only limited traffic delays on the highway.

Story, video and photo:

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. (WABC) --   A small plane made an emergency landing on the median of the Sunrise Highway near Exit 61 Thursday afternoon.

The single-engine ultralight Challenger plane took off from Lufker/Spadaro Airport around 1:30 p.m. One minute later, it had engine trouble, according to Suffolk County Police.

Frank Fierro, the pilot, attempted to return to the airport but could not so he landed on the median. No one was injured in the plane and no one was injured on the ground. The plane was not damaged.

It has been removed from the roadway and trucked over to Lufker Airfield in East Moriches. It is unclear where the aircraft originated from and who was on board.

Brian Forsyth, of Merrick, witnessed the landing. He said the plane landed in the grassy median facing east and that the pilot got out of the plane without help. Forsyth said the pilot appeared to be alone in the plane.

Lou Lurker, the owner of Lufker Airfield, said Fierro who he describes as a friend is a seasoned pilot who worked as a flight instructor for 45 years. Lurker said shortly after takeoff, the engine on Fierro's plane failed.

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Pilot suspended after DUI

NAPLES, Fla. - An American Airlines pilot, who was arrested Sunday near Mercato on a DUI charge, has been removed from duty, according to an airline spokesman.

Jimmy Carrillo, 35, of Daytona Beach, was driving a 2014 gray Buick rental car at 2:11 a.m. south on Strada Place when he failed to stop at the flashing red signal, pulling out in front of a deputy and another driver, according to the arrest report.

Carrillo told the deputy he just left Blue Martini, according to the report.

When asked how many drinks he had, Carrillo held up four fingers and said two drinks, reports said. He later said he had two martinis.

Carrillo, who is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a captain with PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, and has been a pilot with the airline since April 2007American Airlines spokesman Andrew Christie said.

“He has been removed from duty pending an internal investigation as a result of the DUI,” he said.

According to the report, Carrillo told the officer that he could call someone else to come drive or take a cab because he “has too much to lose.”

Carrillo told deputies that he “wouldn’t fly an airplane for the next 12 hours,” but felt he was capable of driving a car, reports said. His blood alchol level was 0.095. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.

According to Federal Aviation Administration regulations, a pilot can’t fly within eight hours of alcohol consumption or while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater.

The deputy also issued Carrillo two written warnings for violation of a traffic control device and for improperly stopping in a crosswalk.

Story, photo and comments: 

US Airways pilot arrested for DUI 

 COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- He's been a US Airways pilot for seven years.  But now, the company tells WINK News, Jimmy Carrillo is suspended while they investigate the 35 year old's arrest late Sunday in North Naples.

Deputies said they pulled him over when he didn't stop at a stop bar near the Mercato on US 41. He told them he had just left the entertainment complex after drinking at the Blue Martini. When asked how much he'd consumed, Carrillo allegedly "held up four fingers and said 'two drinks.'"

He also told Deputies it was his second time in Fort Myers and "he wouldn't fly an airplane for the next twelve hours, but for some reason felt he was still capable of driving a car."

WINK News did some research, the Federal Aviation Administration said pilots can't fly within 8 hours of drinking alcohol. WINK News spoke with a pilot at the Naples Municipal Airport, who has his commercial license. He said Carrillo could have put passengers at risk.

"I would say yes, in my opinion flying a very complex high performance air craft within 12 hours of consuming alcohol is very poor judgement."

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Penn State Expected to Spend Millions on University Park Airport (KUNV) and Lasch Football Building

The Penn State Board of Trustees finance committee has recommended the full board approve $5.6 million in upgrades to University Park Airport and $2 million in renovations to the Lasch Football Building.

The upgrades include replacing roughly 378 lights along with wiring, cabling and circuitry along the airport's taxiways.

The university says the existing lights have reached the end of their lifespan and the circuitry requires increasing maintenance. The new lights will feature energy efficient LED technology.

The university also intends to replace some asphalt and demolish some hangars and hangar foundations. The project includes installation of a new general aviation apron, three parking lots, storm water management facilities, lighting, an access road, general grading, erosion and sediment controls, and signing and marking elements.

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Flight attendant's body found in trunk

Decarol Deloney-Cain 
(Credit: Facebook) 

(CBS) – Police in Gary, Indiana, were conducting a murder investigation, after the body of a flight attendant from Crown Point was found in the trunk of a car abandoned in a wooded area on Monday.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the Lake County Coroner’s office has determined 54-year-old Decarol Deloney-Cain had suffered multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head.

Her body was found Monday in the trunk of her own car car, which had been left in a wooded area near 22nd Place and Missouri Street in Gary.

Deloney-Cain, a mother of three, was a flight attendant for United Airlines for about 25 years. Her son said the airline contacted him on Sunday, saying she had missed work.

The family learned of her murder when her body was found Monday, although she was not publicly identified until Wednesday.

Police have searched her Crown Point home, searching for clues, and trying to piece together her final movements.

Her family last saw her just before the July 4th holiday.

Investigators have not said if they believe Deloney-Cain was a random victim, or if she might have known her killer. 

Source Article:

Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow, N3723T: Fatal accident occurred July 06, 2014 in Lake Elsinore, California

Separate memorial services will be held over the next week for three family members who died in a plane crash near Lake Elsinore on July 6. 

 Doug Symiczek, 49, of Menifee; Kyle Parton, 29, of Menifee; and Jacob Giffiths, 32, of Costa Mesa died when the small plane piloted by Symiczek crashed in the 31900 block of Ortega Highway as a result of engine failure.

Symiczek and his wife Kim are 25-year residents of Menifee who were preparing to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Parton and Griffiths were their sons-in-law.

Symiczek's daughter Breanna and her husband Kyle Parton have lived in Menifee for four years. Their second child, a daughter named Trulee, was born one week after the accident, on July 13. Breanna's sister Amanda Griffiths, expecting her first child in January, also lost her husband and her father in the crash. The Griffiths own a home in Costa Mesa.

Separate memorial services will be held over the next week for three family members who died in a plane crash near Lake Elsinore on July 6.

Doug Symiczek, 49, of Menifee; Kyle Parton, 29, of Menifee; and Jacob Giffiths, 32, of Costa Mesa died when the small plane piloted by Symiczek crashed in the 31900 block of Ortega Highway as a result of engine failure.

Symiczek and his wife Kim are 25-year residents of Menifee who were preparing to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Parton and Griffiths were their sons-in-law.

Symiczek's daughter Breanna and her husband Kyle Parton have lived in Menifee for four years. Their second child, a daughter named Trulee, was born one week after the accident, on July 13. Breanna's sister Amanda Griffiths, expecting her first child in January, also lost her husband and her father in the crash. The Griffiths own a home in Costa Mesa.

Kyle Lawrence Parton (right) was born Oct. 1, 1984 and grew up in Yucaipa. A 2002 graduate of Yucaipa High School, he was employed by Burnham Energy and worked as a solar panel instructor.

Parton was described by his sister as someone who was "fun loving and an adventurous spirit who enjoyed golfing, hunting, dirt biking, and any other outdoor activity among the company of family friends. He will also be looked up to as a loving and caring father, husband, son, uncle and brother. He will be remember for his easygoing personality, sense of humor, and loving and compassionate ways."

Parton is survived by his wife Breanna; son Ryder, age 3; daughter Trulee, born July 13; parents Mark and Barbara Parton of Yucaipa; and sister Jen Parton of Yucaipa.

Following is information on the memorial services:

Service for Jacob Timothy Griffiths
Friday, July 18, 2 p.m.
Mariners Worship Center
5001 Newport Coast Drive
Irvine, CA
Reception on the lawn immediately following the service.

Service for Douglas John Symiczek
Saturday, July 19, 2 p.m.
Hans Christensen Middle School
27625 Sherman Road
Menifee, CA
Reception to follow

Service for Kyle Lawrence Parton
Wednesday, July 23, 11 a.m.
Redlands Calvary Chapel Packing House
9700 Alabama St.
Redlands, CA
Reception to follow

Kim Symiczek's wishes are that the July 19 memorial service for her husband in Menifee also be a celebration of the life of all three men.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at the nearest Chase Bank or bank-to-bank online to the Symiczek, Griffiths and Parton Memorial Fund. Account number is 3025577627.

Donations may also be made through this gofundme account online.

Douglas John Symiczek  

Kyle Lawrence Parton 

Breanna Parton and her daughter Trulee, born on July 13. 
(Photo courtesy of Jen Parton)

 Family members say Kyle Parton, second from left, Doug Symiczek, center, and Jacob Griffiths, second from right, were killed in a plane crash Sunday in Lake Elsinore. Parton and Symiczek were from Menifee. 

Costa Mesa man remembered after plane crash 
 Jacob Griffiths, 32, was expecting a baby with his wife when he died with three others in accident. 

 Donations can be made at

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 06, 2014 in Lake Elsinore, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-180, registration: N3723T
Injuries: 3 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 July 6, 2014, about 0920 Pacific daylight time, a Piper 28R-180, N3723T, collided with mountainous terrain near Lake Elsinore, California. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta, California about 0815.

Witnesses reported that they observed the airplane flying in a northerly direction about 200 feet above the ground. The airplane made a steep, climbing turn to the left, barely clearing nearby powerlines. The wings leveled and the airplane flew in a southwesterly direction towards rising terrain. The airplane flew out of view, and about five seconds later they observed a plume of smoke.

Initial review of the accident site revealed the airplane had impacted two trees before coming to rest at the base of a ravine. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft crashed into a hill and caught fire under unknown circumstances.

Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Riverside FSDO-21


In honor of Doug, Jacob and Kyle

On Sunday July 6th 2014, Doug Symiczek, Jacob Griffiths and Kyle Parton passed away in a tragic plane accident.

Doug Symiczek, 49, left behind his wife Kim, and two daughters, Amanda and Breanna.

Jacob Griffiths, 32, left behind his wife Amanda and their unborn child.

Kyle Parton, 29, left behind his wife Breanna, their 3 year old son, Ryder and their unborn baby girl.

All donations will be given directly to the spouses of Doug, Jacob and Kyle for any funeral costs or extra expenses as well as supporting the new babies.

We appreciate your donations and ask that you continue to pray for the family and friends affected by this great tragedy.

Please continue to share this link with everyone you know. 

The family needs as much support as they can! 

God bless you.


It was supposed to be a quick Sunday morning flight from French Valley to Corona Airport for breakfast at Doug Symiczek’s favorite cafe. Then he and his two sons-in-law were to return to southwest Riverside County and get a boat from Symiczek’s Menifee home, family members said. 

“He had just put a new motor in his boat and they were going to take it out to Lake Elsinore,” said Bob Dennison, Symiczek’s brother-in-law.

But Symiczek, 49, the pilot, and passengers Kyle Parton, 29, of Menifee, and Jacob Griffiths, 32, of Costa Mesa, never made it back to French Valley Airport.

Witnesses said that the 1967 Piper PA28 they were in abruptly made a sharp turn, clipped some trees and crashed into the mountains above Lake Elsinore in a fiery explosion shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday.

Beckie Dennison, Symiczek’s sister-in-law, said initial reports suggest the plane’s sputtering single engine was failing.

“(Doug) knew what was going on, and that he needed to land right away,” she said an interview Monday in Menifee. “If he hadn’t hit the tree, they would have landed safely. It’s such a freak accident.”

The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator to the crash site Monday to investigate.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said the agency was “trying to get a sense of the history of the flight” in the hopes of determining what went wrong.

“They’re racing against the daylight hours to gather as much data as they can,” Weiss said by telephone.

Weiss said a preliminary report will be released in a week to 10 days, but it likely will be a year before the cause is determined.

Bob and Beckie Dennison, who live in La Quinta, said Symiczek had hired a firm to rebuild the engine and the plane was recently cleared for flight. They said he had been flying since 1990 and had owned the plane since 1991, and that many times they had flown with him.

Beckie Dennison said the accident couldn’t have come at a worse time. Kyle Parton and his wife Breanna Parton were expecting a baby girl. Sunday was Breanna’s due date. It also came in the month that Doug and Kim Symiczek were to mark their 30th wedding anniversary. There was talk of celebrating in Hawaii.

“They were the most amazing men – all of them,” said Doug’s wife, Kim. “My husband was the best pilot ever.”

Kyle Parton leaves behind not only his pregnant wife but also a 3-year-old son, Ryder. Meanwhile, Jacob Griffiths’ wife, Amanda, is three months along with her first child.

Jacob Griffiths grew up in Orange County, graduating from Garden Grove High School. He later moved to Irvine where his father and stepmother – Scott and Susan Griffiths – live, and most recently lived in Costa Mesa.

The Griffiths family frequented Mariners Church in Irvine long before pastor Eric Heard arrived 15 years ago.

“He was a young man of noble character,” Heard said of Jacob, who was involved in the church’s outreach ministry.

“These are just good people,” he said.

Source Article:

New signage helping keep visitors safer: Hannibal Regional Airport (KHAE), Missouri

Hannibal is a community known for rolling out the “welcome mat” for visitors. But until recently, some “guests” to city property were putting life and limb at risk by wandering into unauthorized areas.

In recent months, Hannibal Regional Airport had been experiencing a growing problem with people and their vehicles venturing onto the tarmac, an area typically reserved for planes to either park or taxi to the runway.

At the June meeting of the Airport Advisory Board, Greg Baugher shared a story of how his father, Vance Baugher, was taxiing his plane when he had to stop quickly because a vehicle, driven by an airport visitor, pulled in front of him.

“He had to shut down his plane, get out and ask them to move,” said Greg Baugher, adding that his father was told by the vehicle’s driver that he thought the area was a parking lot.

Robin Carroll, the airport’s fixed base operator, has reported that unauthorized vehicles were frequently seen driving on the tarmac.

“We always assume that planes will avoid them (non-aviation traffic), but when you’re in a plane you may not see them,” she said. “It’s generally people just gawking, wanting to see what’s going on.”

George Walley, chairman of the airport board, shared of encountering a woman seated on a couch inside the terminal one day. The female, who had driven across the tarmac and parked her car in an area typically used by planes, told Walley she had come out on a whim just to “see the airport.”

Carroll stressed that while visitors are welcome at the airport, the safety of visitors and pilots alike are of primary concern.

“We want people to come see the airport and park and watch the airplanes, but not unattended,” she said. “We don’t want them hitting a plane or causing a problem for pilots.”

Part of the problem is that the airport’s south gate, located adjacent to County Road 425, isn’t being closed like it should be.

“We know some pilots are leaving the gate open,” said Carroll last month, adding that many pilots she’s talked to favor a motorized gate system that would require a special card to open and would automatically close once a vehicle has entered or exited airport property.

Dick Rupp, a member of the airport board, is not surprised the south gate is the access point for so many of the airport’s unauthorized vehicles.

“For many years that was the entrance to the airport,” he said. “But that’s been so many years ago that those people would be gone.”

An assortment of options have been kicked around to curb the problem, ranging from having police issue tickets to all unauthorized motorists caught driving on the tarmac, to painting a warning on the edge of the concrete tarmac advising unauthorized drivers not to proceed.

Ultimately, new signs were made and installed which feature a stop sign and an advisory message to not proceed unless authorized. The signs, created by the Street Department, are hung next to gates so they will be more readily seen by motorists.

During Wednesday’s Airport Advisory Board meeting, Carroll reported the new signs have “really helped with people driving out on the apron.”

Carroll said the new signs were noted during last month’s visit by inspectors from the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Story and Photo:

Airlines to pay for return of phones surrendered

The UK’S two major trans-atlantic carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will foot the bill for sending on any uncharged mobiles or laptops as air security is ramped up amid fears of a terror attack.

Passengers using British airports have been told that all electronic devices must be charged to meet strict new anti-terror guidance issued by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The DfT has refused to say which flights in and out of the UK are subject to the new security checks – “for obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on the routes affected”.

Travellers now face the choice of either missing their flight or having their gadgets confiscated before boarding if they fail to switch them on and prove they are not packed with explosives.

The new guidelines have been set out in response to the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision this week to not allow mobile phones – especially the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy – on to planes bound for America if the devices are not charged.

Initially, Virgin said passengers deciding to fly without their uncharged devices would have to pay for the cost of sending the devices to a chosen address. But later it reviewed its policy and the airline has confirmed that it will return devices to customers without levying a fee.

Royal Mail has stated it “will deliver all packages that meet the correct posting and packaging requirements” but that devices with lithium batteries are subject to restrictions and batteries “must be contained” within a device.

The two airline carriers are advising passengers of a range of options if they are not able to comply, when requested, with the new regulations.

BA said: “Customers can ask to be rebooked on a later service. If you wish to carry on the item as part of your hand luggage, you will need to ensure the device can be charged ahead of your rebooked flight. Alternatively, customers can leave the device behind … the item can be collected on your return or forwarded to an address.”

Virgin Atlantic said it “fully complies with all government aviation security requirements and we have a robust process that is under constant review and can be adapted should there be a need to do so”.

It is understood the move follows intelligence that al-Qaeda members in Syria and Yemen may have developed bombs that can be hidden in mobile phones, with a view to bringing down US-bound planes.

Ryanair said it did not expect the new regulations to “have any effect on short-haul flights within Europe”.

Asked how the new measures were affecting Edinburgh Airport, a spokeswoman said: “We are operating as normal. Security staff continue to maintain high levels of vigilance and ensure current security measures are implemented fully and conscientiously. These include screening and checking electronic ­devices.”

Experts have predicted the introduction of airport anti-terror checks on electronic devices could mean a gadget-free future for air passengers.

Professor Mike Jackson, an expert in computer science at Birmingham City University’s Business School, said: “The new airport rules could put an end to the ingenuity of the terrorist.

“However, we should be prepared for terrorists to learn of new ways of hiding explosives in electronic devices in such a way that they continue to work.

“If this proves to be the case, air passengers in the future will have to travel without their gadgets.”

Three years ago, a bomb sent from al-Qaeda in Yemen was found on a plane at East Midlands airport, disguised inside a printer.

In the airline security business, they call such explosives Artfully Concealed Devices – sophisticated bombs, mostly non-metallic with a hard-to- detect, “low-vapour explosive” inside ordinary, harmless items.

Story and Comments:

The crash that started the Federal Aviation Administration: Grand Canyon site designated historic landmark

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. – The National Park Service created a national landmark Tuesday to commemorate a 1956 collision between two airliners over the Grand Canyon, a disaster that helped lead to major changes in aviation safety and creation of what is now the Federal Aviation Administration.

The crash killed all 128 people aboard the two planes in the deadliest aviation disaster in U.S. history at the time. A nation already struggling with increasingly busy skies pressured Congress for major changes to improve air-traffic control and radar systems in response to the tragedy.

About 200 people gathered Tuesday for a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. Park rangers set up binoculars, so people could get a closer look at the buttes where the planes came crashing down. Some of the wreckage still remains in the canyon but is not visible from the overlook.

Mike Nelson, a nephew of one of the passengers, hoped the landmark would help bring new awareness about the crash to the tens of thousands of Grand Canyon visitors. He said most people he meets have never heard of the disaster.

“We are here to care about the victims again, to picture them walking the ground and to tell them how sorry we are,” he said.

The park also unveiled a small marker at the overlook that reads: “This tragic site represents a watershed moment in the modernization of America’s airways, leading to the establishment of the Federal Aviation Administration and national standards for aviation safety.”

Some of the victim’s remains never were identified, and most of those who were have been buried together en masse at cemeteries at the Grand Canyon and the northern Arizona city of Flagstaff.

The United Airlines Douglas DC-7 and a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation both left California on June 30, 1956, eventually cruising at the same altitude – 21,000 feet – after the TWA pilot requested to fly above the clouds. Shortly before 10 a.m., both pilots reported to different communications stations that they would be crossing over the canyon at the same position at 10:31 a.m.

The Salt Lake City controller who had that information was not obligated to tell either of the pilots they could be on a crash course. It was the sole responsibility of the pilots to avoid other aircraft in uncontrolled airspace.

The investigative agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board, determined simply the pilots did not see one another. The agency speculated the pilots were treating passengers to views of the Grand Canyon while flying through scattered cloud buildup.

Meanwhile, pressure mounted on Congress to move faster to make air travel safer. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Airways Modernization Act, and airliners were required to have flight data recorders. What’s now known as the FAA began operating late that year.

“It really did underscore for the general public, for the first time, that much of the air space in America was uncontrolled at that time,” said Peter Goelz, former managing director for the National Transportation Safety Board. “Once you got up to 20,000 feet and beyond the terminal radars, it was see and be seen.”

Story and Photos:

Aviation workshop to address future of Gnoss Field Airport (KDVO): Input sought on current operations, future improvements

The future of Marin County’s only public airport will be the focus of the Gnoss Field Vision Workshop on July 17 in Novato.

Gnoss Field, located just north of downtown Novato on the eastern side of Highway 101, is the site of about 97,000 flight operations per year and is a popular destination for both business and pleasure pilots.

The Marin County Aviation Commission will host the workshop to present background information, discuss opportunities and solicit input about the airport. Attendees will learn more about current operations and future plans and have the opportunity to provide suggestions or comments on potential improvements.

Public comments and ideas presented at the workshop will be captured in a summary report to be presented to the Marin County Board of Supervisors through the Aviation Commission later this fall.

Although the workshop report will be used to inform the Board and County staff, no actions will be taken at the workshop nor is it associated with the environmental review of a runway extension project.

The Board of Supervisors will be acting on the runway extension environmental review separately, also to occur this fall.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the council chambers of Novato City Hall, 901 Sherman Ave.

Source Article:

SEACOR Island Lines' Sea Express II: Vessel was in the right place at the right time - Cessna 337G Super Skymaster, N924LA

SEACOR Ship Rescues Three From Plane Crash

Written by The Maritime Executive

SEACOR Island Lines' Sea Express II cargo ship rescued three plane crash survivors on Monday morning.

A few minutes after takeoff, it appeared fuel had stopped flowing to both of the aircraft’s engines about 25 miles off the coast of Bimini. 

The Cessna 337’s pilot spotted the Sea Express II, and made a soft landing a few miles from the vessel hoping that they had also been spotted.

All three passengers exited the aircraft safely with only minor injuries, just before it sank to the ocean floor. 

The crew of the Sea Express II did spot the plane flying low and acted immediately, arriving on scene 20 minutes after the crash to pluck the survivors from the ocean.

The rescued three were openly appreciative of the ship’s crew and their hospitality; they were fed and hydrated aboard the vessel.

After their arrival in Port Everglades, the survivors were medically evaluated and were taken to the Port Everglades Fire Station.

Mike LaFleur, SEACOR Island Lines' CEO, said: “We are proud of our crew and grateful that the vessel was in the right place at the right time.”

Original article, photo and video:


Flight Standards District Office:


Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N4421M: Fatal accident occurred May 28, 2022; Incidents occurred September 19, 2021 and July 04, 2014

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. 

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina
Lycoming; Atlanta, Georgia 

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22FA243
Date and Time: May 28, 2022, 14:14 Local
Registration: N4421M
Aircraft: Piper PA-12
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Banner tow

On May 28, 2022, at 1414 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N4421M, was sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 banner tow flight.

Witnesses standing on the flight line at Grand Strand Airport (CRE), North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, stated that airplane approached to pick up a banner, pitched up and maintained a steep angle of attack until the airplane stalled. The left wing dropped down, and airplane made a near vertical descent and impact.

The accident site was located 126 ft to the right side of runway 23, midfield, and about 300 ft away from the banner pick up zone. Both wings exhibited accordion style crushing. The propeller separated at the engine shaft and was buried about 2 ft in the ground. One propeller blade exhibited chordwise paint abrasion, “S” bending and longitudinal twisting toward the blade face. The other propeller blade exhibited chordwise paint abrasion. Both fuel tanks were breached. Flight control continuity was established to all flight controls. The instrument panel was located under the engine and all instruments were damaged with no useful information able to be attained.

The engine was disassembled, and it was noted that there were no accessory drive splines installed in the engine accessory case, so the engine crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. The right-side cylinders No. 1 and No. 3 were removed to provide visual access to the engine internal components. Continuity of the crankshaft, camshaft and valve train were confirmed by visual observation. The interiors of all four cylinders were examined with no anomalies noted.

The company president stated that the pilot was a long-term employee with the company and had over 15,000 hours flying this type of banner tow airplanes.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4421M
Model/Series: PA-12
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCRE,33 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Destination: North Myrtle Beach, SC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.811535,-78.725278

Aircraft returned to drop off banner and climbed out, then nosed over backwards into the ground. 

Date: 28-MAY-22
Time: 18:15:00Z
Regis#: N4421M
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA12
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Activity: BANNER TOW
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

May 28, 2022:  NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (WBTW) — A pilot was killed Saturday after his banner plane crashed at Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden.

David Flading, 56, died of traumatic injuries from the crash, McSpadden said. Flading was originally from Pennsylvania but had been living in Myrtle Beach for more than 20 years.

Flading was the only person onboard.

North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, the North Myrtle Beach Police Department and Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the crash just after 2 p.m., according to city officials.

In a statement to News13, the FAA said the plane was a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser. Video from a News13 crew on scene shows a yellow plane that crashed into the ground nose-first.

News13 also reached out to the NTSB for more information, which confirmed it is investigating. An NTSB investigator is headed to the scene. The preliminary report will not be available for a couple weeks.

Bob Dorsey, who lives nearby, said he went outside when he heard sirens and saw the plane sitting in the ground with its nose down and tail up in the air.

“It’s very sad to see that,” he said. “We watch those planes every day when they come in and pick the banners up off the runway. They’re the planes that fly the banners over the beach every day.”

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

September 19, 2021:   Aircraft made an emergency landing on the beach - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

Date: 19-SEP-21
Time: 17:40:00Z
Regis#: N4421M
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA12
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: BANNER TOW
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina

July 04, 2014:  Aircraft during banner tow operation, banner struck the top of a parasail with two (2) parasail riggers. No injuries. Damage minor to the parasail.  Aircraft and parasail landed without incident.  North Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina. 

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

North Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) - The sign from a banner plane ripped through parasailers' parachute causing them to make an emergency landing. The report and statements have been published.

The pair parasailing were brothers, visiting from Virginia for the Fourth of July. Their fun took a turn for the worst. One of the boys said they saw the plane coming straight towards them.

The two boys went out with the North Myrtle Beach Parasailing crew. As they were up in the air, they noticed the plane flying very close to them. The older of the two, Riley, said he knew something wasn't right.

"It looked really close to the parasail, and I was really scared it was going to hit the actual parachute" Riley Jorgenson described.

Riley, 14, and his brother, 12, were first to see the plane.

Statements were collected the two boys, the driver of the boat, the manager of North Myrtle Beach Parasailing, and the captain of the banner plane.

WMBF News looked into proper regulations for parasailing.

"The FAA limits all the folks in Myrtle Beach to 300 feet and that's because of the banner planes that fly the beach with us - they have to fly at 500 feet" David Sage explained. Sage owns Ocean Watersports in Myrtle Beach.

In addition to FAA rules, the City of North Myrtle Beach has articles regulating parasailing operations and training of their crews.

Sage explained all parasailing companies in the area have a meeting with banner plane pilots every spring to talk about safety.

"We hash it all out and talk about what we could do better. We've never had any close calls and I've been going to those meetings for 16 or 17 years," he said.

Although no one was hurt, the family said one of the boys is still very shaken up.

In his statement, he said:

"We were settled and I saw the plane coming at us. I got kind of worried and I panicked. After that, the ride continued. I was very scared on the way down, and then we landed on the boat. I would not recommend this ride to anyone."

His older brother, says he was trying to comfort his brother and remain calm but knew the plane could have done a lot of damage.

"I was really scared the plane would take the parachute and both of them would go down. The plane wouldn't be flying right and the parachute wouldn't be flying right, so we would go into the water. I was really scared about that," Riley said.

The father of the boys was on the beach when he heard of the accident. He didn't know at the time it was during his sons' turn. The family says they are happy to be okay, but realize this could have been much worse.