Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meet aerobatic pilot Dan Marcotte

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-  

SWANTON, Vt. - It's just another day at the office for Dan Marcotte.

"Some days it's good; some days it's not," he said. "No different than any other office."

The Bakersfield native is an aerobatic pilot, making a living entertaining audiences at air shows. Today, he's letting us tag along.

"Alright, see you in a few minutes," Marcotte said.

And with that, his ultimate biplane is off. Marcotte soars to 1,200 feet at 230mph, flipping, rolling and diving dangerously close to the runway. It's an adrenaline junkie's dream.

"It's just me being a motor head looking for another source of an engine carting me around," he said.

Marcotte's love of motorsports started at 16. His need for speed grew from racing stock and land speed cars to airplanes. In 2003, he gave air show competitions a shot and ignited a new passion.

"The excitement, the speed, the exhilaration of the G-loading, being able to twist and turn-- the freedom of being in an airplane is unlike any other motorsport," Marcotte explained.

Marcotte says his job is to push his plane to its limit to dazzle fans. He performs in about 14 air shows a year.

"It was awesome to see him get out here and do some tricks for us," said Chris Abbott Coch, a spectator.

But earning a living in this industry can be tough.

"When I started flying shows, I was flying anything," Marcotte said. "I'd fly weddings, high school graduations, racetrack intermission events. I mean you name it, I'd put an airshow to it."

For the first five years his paycheck only covered his expenses. Marcotte says better money comes with name recognition. Aerobatic pilots must first prove they can be safe and entertaining.

"Just because you can fly an airplane upside-down or do a loop doesn't mean you're going to be entertaining to a crowd of people," Marcotte said.

For Marcotte it's a labor of love sandwiched between his full-time profession. He's a welder, fabricator and mechanic at the Franklin County State Airport. But on lunch breaks it's all about perfecting tumbles, tail slides and spins. If weather's bad, Marcotte hits the bike and weights. Aerobatic pilots must be in tiptop cardiovascular shape.

"It's one of the most demanding jobs I've ever done," Marcotte said. "You can't be fatigued because you are playing in an arena that's extremely unforgiving."

An arena that pushes his body to the brink, with gravity taking its toll.

"If you push negative 6 Gs, that's 1,200 pounds trying to pull you out of the cockpit... 

Your head is swelling up, your eyes are swelling, sometimes you burst blood vessels in your eyes," Marcotte said. "As a land creature, you're never subjected to those things until you start doing things like aerobatic piloting."

Reporter Jennifer Reading: Do you worry about safety?

Dan Marcotte: I do. Constantly... You have to take every precaution for yourself and for the sake of your family to make sure that you've rehearsed things like egress techniques-- getting out of the airplane.

Something Marcotte knows all too well. In April, he survived a fiery crash. At 3,000 feet his propeller broke, instantly ripping the engine from his plane. Marcotte had no choice but to pull his parachute and jump. He landed in a tree unscathed.

"The fear was where the airplane went," he said. "The worst feeling in the world is not knowing where the airplane went."

Turns out the plane plummeted to Highgate, crashed on the shoulder of Interstate 89 and burst into flames.

"Fortunately it didn't land in the travel; it stayed off to the side," Vt. State Police Lt. Garry Scott said.

Marcotte is picking up the pieces, purchased a new plane and is getting used to his new digs. He even let me test out the tight quarters.

"And that's what your office would look like if you were an air show pilot in an ultimate biplane," he said.

But I won't be taking off anytime soon. I'll leave this odd job to the pros.

I had a blast with Dan Marcotte! Click here for more about Marcotte or his air shows.

Story, photos and video: http://www.wcax.com

A Look At General Aviation Safety (With Audio)

On Saturday morning, a Mooney single engine aircraft crashed three-quarters of a mile from the Lake Placid airport, killing the three people aboard, only the latest small plane crash in a region that has seen several in recent years. In the aftermath of that accident, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley takes a look at general aviation safety.

On the same day of the Lake Placid crash, there were three other fatal general aviation accidents in the country. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating crashes that killed three people in Arizona and Florida and one person in Texas who was using an experimental aircraft.

Preliminary data from the NTSB’s 2009-2010 Transportation Administrator’s Fact Book on general aviation activity show that in 2010, there were 1,435 accidents with 450 fatalities. General aviation ranked fourth, trailing 32,885 highway fatalities, 672 recreational boating deaths, and 813 rail fatalities.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, or AOPA, is the largest general aviation association. AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute President Bruce Landsberg jokes that general aviation is probably the most regulated personal activity on the planet. Landsberg, the industry co-chair of the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee, says there are extremely high standards for the airplanes, pilots and instructors.  “In general aviation roughly 75 to 80 percent of the accidents are caused by the pilot either doing something, or not doing something, that they should have done. I did just a little back-of-the-envelope research here, but over the last five years there have been 22 fatal accidents in the state of New York.  During almost the same time period for automobiles there were nearly 6,000 people killed.”

While there is a risk to flying, Landsberg notes that it is not unreasonable if the pilot is careful and the aircraft is well maintained. And, he says, there is a great emphasis on flight instruction safety.  “We make the point that not only do you have to physically be able to control the airplane and teach your students to physically control the airplane,  but we want people to assess  circumstances and say ‘okay this looks like it has a high risk potential’ and make sure your student understands.”

President and CEO of Professional Flight Training Al Itani is a designated pilot examiner for the FAA’s Albany Flight Standards District Office. Based at the Schenectady County Airport, Itani says all pilots must receive continual training to remain certified.  “Most of the time we spend during training is emergency procedures. You’ve got a single engine airplane, when you lose an engine, how do you manage that situation? We simulate an engine failure and we test them for that. But you know, there’s no way you can figure out how a person will react in a really high pressure scenario. But they are very, very well trained and we don’t get  too many accidents. Not  like cars.”

The AOPA’s Bruce Landsberg has seen preliminary reports on the weekend accident in Lake Placid.  “From what we know at this point, and I will stress that my comments are preliminary, we had two airplanes approaching a non-towered airport from opposite directions. That’s perfectly fine. So they each turned away from the other and then re-entered the traffic pattern. The Mooney pilot,  when he started his go-around, did not retract his flaps. In a go-around you do need to retract them. And when he started to make a turn back towards the airport, or was on final, the aircraft stalled and they lost lift and fell to the ground. Flying is not without risk, but it can be very, very safe.”

An annual inspection of every airplane is an FAA requirement.

Story and Audio:  http://wamc.org

Aviation expert criticizes crash report

Cessna 152 ZK-TOD and Cessna 152 ZK-JGB, Accident occurred July 26, 2010 near Taonui airfield, Feilding (New Zealand)

Captain Gary Parata, accredited air accident investigator at the coroner's hearing into the deaths of Flight Training Manawatu chief instructor Jessica Neeson, 27, and student pilot Patricia Smallman, 64. 



Flight instructor Jess Neeson and a student pilot were killed when two planes collided in Manawatu in July 2010 


PATRICIA SMALLMAN: Died on July 26, 2010. The 64-year-old student pilot died with her flight instructor when their Cessna 152 collided with another plane over Feilding. 


Captain Gary Parata has criticized a report into the mid-air crash at Feilding, saying it has not done enough to help other pilots avoid the same fate. 

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission released a report last year into the crash, citing the possibility all three pilots did not understand each other's radio communications.

The report also said the two planes should have been visible by all three pilots, but they had failed to see each other.

Jessica Neeson's responsibility as the senior person in her plane was singled out.

"The first priority for an instructor, as the pilot-in-command, is to maintain command of their aircraft and ensure its safety before attending to the training needs of the student pilot," the report said.

The report made recommendations, including saying pilots must make "clear, concise, accurate and timely radio transmissions", and that people need to keep a good lookout, watch out for blind spots and be aware of the limitations of the human eye.

But air crash investigator Parata said during the coroner's inquest yesterday that he was disappointed with the report.

There wasn't much about how people could improve their flying.

"It says: ‘See and be seen' and ‘hear and be heard', but we know all this already. We are not learning anything. They need to make suggestions as to how to do that better."

When the report was released, Neeson's mother Lyn Neeson told the Manawatu Standard she was also unimpressed with it.

She said it unfairly singled out her daughter because she was the instructor.

Her daughter would have been "actively listening" to any radio calls. She was also unimpressed at the commission's finding that high-intensity and anti-collision lighting and high-visibility paints could allow aircraft to be detected earlier.

She said it should be mandatory for planes in spaces like Taonui Aerodrome to be brighter.

During the inquest, coroner Tim Scott suggested to multiple witnesses that painting planes bright colors could help make them more visible.

Parata said most planes were white because the airline industry was "conservative", while Flight Training Manawatu chief executive Michael Bryant said certain bright colours could make planes harder to see in certain conditions. 


Source:  http://www.stuff.co.nz

John Travolta Can't Stop Former Pilot's Lawsuit Over Secrets (Exclusive)

A California appeals court allows Douglas Gotterba to challenge the validity of a confidentiality agreement.

Douglas Gotterba, who worked for John Travolta's aircraft company Alto in the 1980s, will get the opportunity to argue in a lawsuit that he holds no confidentiality duties to the actor. On Tuesday, the airline pilot was given the go-ahead sign by a California appeals court.

Gotterba worked for Travolta for six years. According to press interviews he's given, he claims that his relationship with Travolta was more than professional. He stopped working for the actor in 1987, at which point he entered into a written termination agreement with Alto.


Read more here:  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com

Cape freeholders interested in partnership with Lower Township on building at Cape May County Airport (KWWD)

LOWER TOWNSHIP — Cape May County is interested in helping renovate the Public Safety Building at the Cape May Airport and using half of it for a new county central dispatch and emergency management facility.

The plan, however, depends on the township building passing structural analysis tests expected to be done in about one month and even then it may not have the support of Township Council, where three members want to move the police to the Villas section.

Freeholder Director Jerry Thornton said the county has been looking for a building for about one year and has also visited sites in Woodbine and Upper Township. The 55,000-square-foot Public Safety Building houses police, fire safety, municipal court and the local rescue squad. It has the space and is in a good location on high ground for emergency situations, Thornton said.

“It’s too much room for Lower Township. We could take half and they take half. Then I’ll have an emergency management building and they will save millions,” said Thornton.

The township estimates it would cost almost $4 million to construct a new police station in the Villas. Thornton said if the county builds a new building it would cost $4 million to $6 million.

Instead, he argues the two entities could split the cost of renovating the Public Safety Building, including a new roof estimated to cost around $2 million. The building has been criticized for being an energy hog but the two parties would at least split those costs.

“Maybe we can both get away with saving a few million dollars. The county is definitely interested in making a deal,” said Thornton.

The building is owned by the township, but the land under it is owned by the county. The township leased the land in 1995 when the police outgrew their small station in the Villas.

Council is split on the issue with the three independents on council pushing to construct a new police station in the Villas and the two Republicans wanting to wait for the county to make a decision.

The two Republicans, Erik Simonsen and Tom Conrad, on Monday night voted against doing some engineering work for a new police station, including soil tests, and back in May they voted against awarding a $192,000 contract to an architect. They lost both 3-2 votes. They did support some earlier votes, including buying a property in the Villas for parking the new police station would need.

Simonsen wants to wait until the county analysis is completed.

“I don’t know what the haste is if you can save the taxpayers a couple million dollars,” said Simonsen.

Mayor Mike Beck argues the building is not worth renovating. The township has already put $4.1 million into the building and it still has roof and mold problems. Beck projects it will cost another $5.8 million over the next decade.

The mayor also argues a police station should not be located at an airport but should be in a populated area served by public transportation. He also argues it should be connected to other government services. The new station would be next to Township Hall.

“The decision has already been made. We’ve been debating it for 10 years. The worst decision in this town’s history was to move over there,” said Beck.

Simonson is not only worried about the costs. He questions whether there is enough parking at the township complex and worries those waiting for court cases will be next to a school. While the courts would also move to the Villas, Simonsen said there is no plan to house the rescue squad or the fire safety office.

Beck argues the mere presence of a police station in the Villas will make people feel safer. Plans for a new station call for a 12,600-square-foot facility with a 1,700-square-foot garage.


Source:  http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Plane crash survivor drops lawsuit against dead pilot: Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, Keystone Air Service Ltd, C-GOSU

Brian Shead, with his wife Tracey (right), spoke to the reporters on January 26, 2012 about being the sole survivor of the January 10, 2012  plane crash of a Piper Navajo at North Spirit Lake.
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 



WINNIPEG – Two lawsuits against a pilot responsible for a plane crash in northern Ontario that killed him and three others have been dropped after the airline admitted responsibility.

Court documents show the sole survivor of the 2012 crash, Brian Shead, and the family of victim Colette Eisinger are still seeking damages from Keystone Air Service.

A Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that poor weather, ice on the wings and the pilot’s inexperience landing in icy conditions contributed to the deadly crash in North Spirit Lake First Nation. Keystone admitted in its statement of defence that the fatal crash was caused by pilot error, which makes the airline “vicariously liable.”

“Further, the accident was not caused or contributed to by any negligence on the part of the passengers who were wholly innocent,” the statement said.

The airline argues, however, that it is not responsible for damages in either case and it called those claims “exaggerated, excessive, too remote and not recoverable at law.”

“Keystone denies that the plaintiff sustained the injuries or damages as alleged, or at all,” the airline said in its statement of defence in Shead’s lawsuit. It also argued that the accident happened while Shead was employed by a Winnipeg company which provides financial services for First Nations, so he can’t sue according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Shead’s lawsuit alleged that the pilot, Fariborz Abasabady, was incompetent and the airline was negligent in not providing proper training to him.

The family of Eisinger, who was 39, is seeking general and punitive damages and wants to be reimbursed for the cost of her funeral.

Anthony Lafontaine Guerra, Shead’s lawyer, said they decided to drop the suit against the pilot’s family in April once Keystone accepted responsibility in March. Eisinger’s family dropped the suit against the pilot’s estate July 10.

“The only issue that remains is a determination of damages which will likely be resolved by way of settlement out of court,” Guerra said.

Any settlement would probably be covered by a confidentiality agreement, he added.

Neither a lawyer for Keystone, nor a lawyer for Eisinger’s father, Gerry Robson, responded to a request for comment.

The ill-fated plane left from Winnipeg on Jan. 10, 2012 but was forced to circle the runway servicing the North Spirit Lake First Nation for almost half an hour while the strip was plowed. As the plane circled, ice built up on its wings and tail — a buildup that caused the plane to stall and crash when it eventually tried to land.

Although residents of the reserve, about 400 kilometres north of Dryden, Ont., rushed to the site and tried to put out the flames with snow, they couldn’t save those trapped inside.

Abasabady, who was 41, died along with Eisinger, Ben van Hoek, 62 — president of Aboriginal Strategies Inc., where Eisinger worked as an accountant — and Martha Campbell, 38, a band worker for the North Spirit Lake First Nation.

Shead, who also worked at Aboriginal Strategies, was injured but tried to unstrap the other passengers and put out the fire on the plane’s wing. He has said he managed to pull the pilot out of the cockpit window before collapsing in the snow.

In his statement of claim, Shead said the ordeal left him with multiple injuries. He was in hospital for three weeks and required surgery, medication, physiotherapy and stitches, the lawsuit said.

Shead is seeking unspecified damages for “pain and suffering,” as well as “loss of enjoyment of life” and “out-of-pocket expenses.” He is also claiming compensation for belongings that were destroyed in the crash, including a laptop, a pair of jeans, a winter jacket and a mobile phone carrying case.

Source:  http://metronews.ca

Commercial Aviation Back in the Cross Hairs of Regional Violence: Fresh Concerns About Flight Routing and Airports Previously Viewed as Safe for Travellers

The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall, Rory Jones and Jon Ostrower
Updated July 22, 2014 5:04 p.m. ET



Tuesday's rocket attack near Tel Aviv's airport and, days before, the downing of Malaysia Airlines  Flight 17 in Ukraine come as the global commercial aviation industry finds itself increasingly in the cross hairs of regional violence.

The shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine's troubled skies last week has already sparked questions among aviation executives and regulators about the global system for avoiding unsafe airspace.

At the same time, a spate of regional conflicts far from eastern Ukraine are also targeting aircraft—convulsing airports that, while located in tense regions, had until recently been viewed by the aviation industry as relatively safe for travelers.

On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines Inc.,  United Continental Holdings Inc.,  American Airlines Group,  Air Canada and a handful of European carriers suspended service to Israel after a rocket that was fired from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration imposed a temporary flight ban to the airport on U.S. carriers, and its European counterpart was poised to follow suit.

A spokeswoman for Israeli flag carrier El Al confirmed the airline is flying as scheduled.

Israeli forces are locked in a fierce ground war with Hamas, the Islamist political and militant group that the U.S. labels a terrorist organization. Hamas, meanwhile, has showered parts of Israel with increasingly sophisticated rockets that are launched at ground targets, unlike the Buk antiaircraft system allegedly used against Flight 17, but which still can damage planes at the airport.

In addition to serving Jerusalem and Israel's business hub of Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion International Airport has become the gateway for a flood of global tech-industry executives, bankers and venture capitalists flying to and from country's booming technology firms.

The violence hasn't been restricted to Ukraine and Israel. Over the past weekend, four empty Libyan jetliners were set aflame during an insurgent assault against Tripoli's international airport.

Then a week ago, Kabul's international airport came under attack from insurgents using assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Afghan security forces repelled that attack, but in an earlier raid on the facility, Taliban fighters destroyed the helicopter used by Afghanistan's president. Last month, an insurgent raid on Karachi's main airport killed 28 people and damaged one of Emirates Airline's planes.

Tripoli, Kabul and Karachi aren't frequent stops for Western travelers, but all three serve as important regional hubs. And a steady stream of Western aid workers, diplomats, contractors and—in the case of Tripoli—oil executives give them outsize importance as international air-travel destinations.

None of these recent airport attacks appear to be connected. But their sudden confluence has aviation executives worried the events could spook passengers by again painting commercial aviation as easy pickings for insurgents and terrorists. "The airline community is being targeted," said one senior airline executive. "No other industry suffers like this."

Tel Aviv's airport stayed open on Tuesday, and Israeli aviation officials said it remains safe. Decisions about the safety of a route are mostly left up to individual airlines. But executives and regulators have been on the defensive about how they make those decisions ever since the Malaysia Airlines crash last week.

On Thursday, Flight 17 was plying a well-traveled route over eastern Ukraine, which Kiev authorities had deemed safe. U.S. and Ukrainian officials say it was shot down by a sophisticated antiaircraft weapon.

The incident has raised questions about whether commercial aircraft should have been allowed in the region. There also has been a ratcheting up of scrutiny of commercial overflights of other war zones.

Terrorists have long targeted commercial aircraft, for which accidents often result in high death tolls and big headlines. The industry suffered a spate of hijackings in the 1970s. A bomb brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. And terrorists commandeered four jets on Sept. 11, 2001, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington DC. A fourth plane that day crashed in Pennsylvania, as passengers battled the hijackers. The attacks claimed nearly 3,000 victims.

"Aviation has always been a target and it will always be a target," said Philip Baum, managing director of Green Light Ltd., an aviation-security consulting firm in London.

The Malaysia Airlines disaster has some aviation officials and executives calling for a rethink of how aircraft are routed over war-torn territory. On Monday, the Flight Safety Foundation, an internationally recognized aviation-safety advocacy group, said airlines should review their procedures. And executives find themselves on the defensive again.

Shooting down the Malaysia Airlines flight was a terrible crime, said Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, the airline industry's principal trade body said earlier this week. "But flying remains safe."

—Susan Carey in Chicago and Sara Toth Stub in Jerusalem contributed to this article.

Corrections & Amplifications

Israel's main international airport is the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. A previous version of this article misspelled the airport's name. 


Original Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Le Mars Municipal Airport (KLRJ) receives Department of Transportation dollars

LE MARS -- The Le Mars Municipal Airport has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced in a press release Tuesday that the airport was awarded $50,839.

Le Mars was one of four Iowa airports to receive a share of the just over $7 million awarded by the DOT, the press release stated.

The $50,839 awarded to the Le Mars airport are to be used to design the rehabilitation of the existing terminal apron pavement.

Earl Draayer, airport manager, said that rehabilitation includes extending and resurfacing the apron where the airplanes are parked.

He said the apron project is part of the city's Airport Improvement Program.

Harkin said the funding announced Tuesday will help ensure those airports are "well-equipped."

"Ensuring Iowa's airports have the resources they need to update, repair or replace their facilities is important to maintain safety and efficiency of operations," he stated.

Harkin is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee that funds the DOT.

Along with Le Mars, the other three airports and their awards are:

* Cedar Rapids Airport, $6 million to renovate main terminal lobby ticketing, waiting and baggage claim areas.

* Fort Dodge Regional Airport, $450,000 to rehabilitate a runway.

* Shenandoah Municipal Airport, $514,881 to reconstruct a taxiway.

Source:  http://www.lemarssentinel.com

Mooney M20F, N6467Q: Accident occurred July 19, 2014 in North Elba, New York

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA345 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 19, 2014 in North Elba, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/05/2015
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N6467Q
Injuries: 3 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 accident airplane and another airplane approached the single runway from opposite directions. A witness reported hearing the pilot of the accident airplane reporting positions relative to the airport; he did not hear the pilot of the other airplane make any transmissions. Postaccident interviews with the pilot of the other airplane revealed that he was using a portable radio that likely became disabled due to its location and/or configuration in the cockpit; however, due to the type of airspace, neither airplane was required to have radio communications. As both airplanes approached the runway, both pilots saw the other airplane and successfully completed go-arounds to the right. The accident airplane then entered a steep climb, and, as it made a crosswind turn, the nose dropped, and the airplane entered a spin to the ground. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear were down and that the flaps were likely somewhat extended; however, the degree to which they were extended or whether they were in transit could not be determined. Wreckage damage indicated that the airplane was in a left spin at the time of impact. No preexisting mechanical anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed for the airplane’s configuration and flight profile, which resulted in an exceedance of the wing’s critical angle-of-attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall/spin. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 19, 2014, about 1040 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20F, N6467Q, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in North Elba, New York. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane was not operating on flight plan, from Potsdam Municipal Airport (PTD), Potsdam, New York, to Lake Placid Airport (LKP), Lake Placid, New York. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

New York State Police (NYSP) interviews revealed that, on July 17, 2014, the pilot and his girlfriend departed their home airport in Parkersburg, West Virginia, spending the night in Nantucket, Massachusetts. They then arrived at PTD on the afternoon of July 18, 2014, intending to spend the next two nights visiting his daughter who was attending a local university. The pilot and his daughter decided to fly the next day, with the daughter bringing a friend from school. After dinner, the pilot familiarized himself online with the area, and the day of the accident left the hotel about 0900, with his daughter and her friend, expecting to return between 1400 and 1500.

According to a commercial (scenic flight) pilot at LKP, he was outside the administration building when he heard a radio transmission over the loud speaker, with the pilot identifying himself as "Mooney" and the last three identifiers of his airplane. The Mooney pilot was requesting an airport "advisory, which is normal procedure." The commercial pilot went inside and advised the Mooney pilot that "the winds were calm and no other reported traffic." The Mooney pilot responded and said that he was inbound for landing on runway 14.

The commercial pilot went back outside and later overheard the Mooney pilot on the loud speaker saying he was seeing another airplane. The Mooney pilot was trying to talk to the other airplane, which the commercial pilot had not yet seen. Shortly after that, the commercial pilot saw the other airplane, which he knew to be locally-based, approach the airport passing overhead from northwest to southeast, and entering left traffic to land on runway 32. He then saw the Mooney approaching the airport from the northwest.

About 5 minutes later, the commercial pilot heard over the loud speaker, "Lake Placid, Mooney, two mile final or short final runway one four." At the time, the commercial pilot had his back to the runway, but turned around after hearing the Mooney engine go to full power. He then saw the airplane pitching up at a steep angle while banking right at a steep angle, and it appeared as though the right wing may have struck the runway. The commercial pilot continued to watch the Mooney, and "saw that the pilot appeared to have recovered the aircraft. He started a shallow turn to the right and started to climb along the right side of the runway."

As the Mooney continued to climb, the commercial pilot saw the local airplane about 100 to 200 feet over the trees, approaching from the opposite direction to land on runway 32. "They looked as though they saw each other and started to each climb to their right sides of the [runway]." The commercial pilot then heard the Mooney pilot transmit something over the radio; he couldn't recall what it was, but that it sounded angry, followed later by his transmitting in a calmer voice, "I will follow you in."

The commercial pilot continued to watch the Mooney as it flew past the end of the runway. He noticed that the Mooney's landing gear were still down and the airplane was climbing at "a steeper than normal angle at a slow speed." The Mooney then started to make a left turn, and the nose "dropped." The airplane entered a counterclockwise spin toward the ground, descending "so fast it didn't even make a complete turn before it went out of sight."

The commercial pilot subsequently took off in another airplane and flew over the crash site, and noted that the accident airplane was on fire with the entire cabin engulfed in flames.

The commercial pilot did not note hearing any transmissions from the local pilot.

A witness near the impact site did not see the Mooney, but noted that, "almost simultaneously I heard the engine stop followed by a huge thud."

Additional witnesses confirmed that the two airplanes went around after approaching the runway from opposite directions, also confirming the Mooney's hard right turn, possibly dragging a wing, followed by a steep climb and a stall/spin. A golfer who was on a nearby course stated that he saw the belly of the airplane with the right wing up, left wing down, and that the airplane was in a nose dive with the left wing as a pivot point.

In written statement, the local pilot noted that he had departed LKP earlier that morning from runway 32, and that he monitored UNICOM (Universal Communications) frequency 122.8 [MHz], which was the local airport frequency. He switched frequency before stopping at another airport and spending some time there. On his way back to LKP, he switched back to 122.8, but approaching the airport, he "never heard or observed any air traffic in the lake Placid area." The pilot flew over the airport and the wind sock indicated wind slightly favoring runway 32. The pilot flew over the ski jumps, flew a [left] base leg and continued to descend the airplane. He then turned the airplane on to final approach, and initially didn't see any other aircraft. He then saw another airplane that appeared to be departing runway 14, so he turned his airplane to the right, and then flew a left traffic pattern to a landing on runway 14. He further noted, "I never heard any radio transmissions from any plane or UNICOM."

AIRPORT INFORMATION

LKP had a single, southeast-northwest, 4,196-foot by 60-foot runway, designated 14 toward the southeast and 32 toward the northwest. Runway elevation was 1,743 feet, and there was no control tower or ground-based radio-transmission recording devices. The UNICOM frequency was 122.8 MHz.

The airport was located in Class G airspace, which, per FAA regulations, did not require radio communications.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 63, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane, single engine land rating. His latest Federal Aviation Administration third class medical certificate was issued on June 24, 2014. On his application, the pilot indicated 729 hours of flight time.

The pilot's logbook was charred, with remaining pages mostly smeared from fire-fighting water contact. Although the date was destroyed due to burn damage, the pilot's latest flight review was logged one flight prior to his May 2, 2014, instrument proficiency check. The last flight logged was four flights later (date also destroyed) between two North Carolina airports. At the time, the pilot had logged 729 total flight hours with time in make and model unknown.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

Accident Airplane

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine driving a two-bladed aluminum propeller. The aircraft logbook indicated that, as of the latest annual inspection on January 30, 2014, a total airframe time of 3,404 hours, total engine time the same, engine time since major overhaul 806 hours, and propeller time since new of 385 hours.

There were no flight data or cockpit voice recording devices on the airplane.

Other Airplane

According to the local pilot, his 1946 Luscombe 8A did not have an electrical system, "or any installed electrical equipment other than an ELT. The radio that is often used in this airplane is a small, battery operated handheld that rests atop the elevator trim mechanism which is located between the seat cushions in the cramped and noisy cabin. It delivers varying degrees of performance and reliability and encourages 'see-and-be-seen' flying to include use of standard rectangular traffic patterns. The aircraft is based at Lake Placid Airport which is used by radio equipped and non-radio equipped aircraft and there is seasonal glider activity."

In addition, "the handheld radio is sensitive to movement or jarring that may alter volume settings or cause other malfunctions as a result of loosened or disconnected wires that protrude from the top and side of the radio. The radio must be lifted from its normal position to change frequency and adjust squelch. Returning to Lake Placid at an altitude of 3,000 feet the radio was tuned to 122.8 9 [Mhz] and seemed to be operating properly as it was receiving distant transmissions but none pertinent to Lake Placid Airport. After some adjustment, the radio was returned to its normal position for the descent and pattern entry….The radio was again quiet and the traffic pattern was empty….The radio was silent and the only observed activity was an airplane taxiing near the fuel ramp."

After the go-around, the pilot thought he heard a "faint, unreadable transmission, and he radioed that [he] was aborting the approach to 32 and entering the traffic pattern for a landing on 14. The radio was quiet."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather, recorded at an airport 13 nautical miles northwest, at 1051, included clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, wind from 220 degrees true at 3 knots, altimeter setting 30.28 inches Hg.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located mostly on the side of a small levee about 075 degrees, 0.60 nm from the center of LKP, in the vicinity of 44 degrees, 16.03 minutes north latitude, 073 degrees, 56.94 minutes west longitude.

There were two damaged pine trees leading to the impact site, at an estimated 30 feet from the main wreckage. Direction from the pine trees to the wreckage was about 120 degrees magnetic. Damage found about 12 feet above the ground on the left pine tree was consistent with impact damage found near the tip of the airplane's left wing. Damage found about 15 feet above the ground on the right pine tree was consistent with the distance from the airplane's left wing damage to its propeller. Damage between the two pine trees was consistent with about a 25- to 30-degree left-wing-down airplane position at tree impact.

The wreckage came to rest with the left wing and engine at the base of the levee, and with the right wing partially bent over the top of the levee. Ground indentations, paint chips, a small area of surface abrasions, spar damage and wingtip compression were together consistent with the right wing having flexed downward and forward upon initial impact.

The tail section was bent to the right in relation to the rest of the fuselage, consistent with nose-left rotation at impact.

With NTSB concurrence, the occupants were removed from the airplane prior to NTSB arrival. To facilitate removal, part of the airplane's tubular structure had been cut away.

Extensive charring and fusing of materials were noted in the cockpit area as well as a semi-flattening of the instrument panel. There was no evidence of an in-flight fire.

All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident scene, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the control surfaces to entry points of the charred cockpit.

Engine control positions at the time of impact could not be confirmed due to impact forces and the postcrash fire.

The landing gear would have normally been actuated manually via mechanical linkage through a "Johnson bar" located between the front seats. The Johnson bar was found parallel to the semi-flattened instrument panel, consistent with the landing gear being in the down position. In addition, one main landing gear was found partially extended and one fully extended; and both tires exhibited dirt skid marks and staining consistent with their being out of the wheel wells when the airplane impacted the ground. The nose landing gear was destroyed.

Flap positions could not be definitively determined. Flaps, which were normally hydraulically operated and mechanically linked, were observed to be extended or partially extended to various degrees along the wings at the scene. The flap relief valve handle, which normally releases hydraulic pressure at a slow rate to allow springs or air forces to raise the flaps, was found in the "Up" or "Release" position, but was attached to the deformed instrument panel.

The airplane's wings were subsequently removed and the wreckage was transported to a secure NYSP holding yard. There, with additional charred material removed, the mechanical trim and flap indicators were found. The indicators would have normally been mounted vertically in the airplane below the engine controls and forward of the Johnson bar. However, with the fire and crushing, they were found almost horizontal, to the right of the Johnson bar. Indications as found had the trim indicator at the "Takeoff" position, and the flap indicator between "Landing" and "Takeoff."

The propeller was examined both at the scene and at the NYSP holding yard. There was no significant torsional bending, yet there was significant leading edge burnishing and chordwise markings on both propeller blades, consistent with the propeller passing through the sandy river soil mix prevalent at the accident site.

The engine was also examined at the holding yard with no evidence of preexisting mechanical anomalies found. In addition, there was scoring on the starter Bendix housing and grinding on the starter ring gear, consistent with the engine attempting to pull the propeller through the soil.

Subsequent to the accident, a wavy scrape mark was found in the right half of the runway in the vicinity of a taxiway that led to the ramp. NYSP photographs revealed that the mark was continuous with various branches "Y"ing off and rejoining the main scrape. The scrape was 17 feet in length and appeared deepest at its southernmost point. Looking toward the southeast, down runway 14, the scrape veered gradually to the left, which was inconsistent with an airplane seen turning hard to the right. Examination of the airplane's right wing tip revealed a pristine wingtip position light and no structural damage that would have been consistent with the wingtip scraping the runway.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot, performed at the Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake, New York, determined the cause of death to be "blunt force trauma." No significant natural disease, including no coronary atherosclerosis, was identified.

Toxicological testing, performed by the FAA's Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, found metoprolol in urine and in cavity blood (no amounts noted.) According to the FAA Aeromedical Research web site, metoprolol "is a beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist, "beta blocker," used in the treatment of hypertension and certain arrhythmias."


NTSB Identification: ERA14FA345
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 19, 2014 in North Elba, NY
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N6467Q
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 19, 2014, about 1040 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20F, N6467Q, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in North Elba, New York. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane was not operating on flight plan, from Potsdam Municipal Airport (PTD), Potsdam, New York, to Lake Placid Airport (LKP), Lake Placid, New York. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

New York State Police (NYSP) interviews revealed that, on July 17, 2014, the pilot and his girlfriend originally departed their home airport in Parkersburg, West Virginia, spending the night in Nantucket, Massachusetts. They then arrived at PTD on the afternoon of July 18, 2014, intending to spend the next two nights visiting his daughter who was attending a local university. The pilot and his daughter decided to fly the next day, with the daughter bringing a friend from school. After dinner, the pilot familiarized himself online with the area, and the day of the accident left the hotel about 0900, with his daughter and her friend, expecting to return between 1400 and 1500.

LKP had a single, southeast-northwest, 4,196-foot by 60-foot runway, designated 14 to the southeast and 32 to the northwest. Runway elevation was 1,743 feet, and there was no control tower. The UNICOM (Universal Communications) frequency was 122.8 MHz.

According to a charter pilot at LKP, he was outside the administration building when he heard a radio transmission over the loud speaker, with the pilot identifying himself as "Mooney" and the last three identifiers of his airplane. The Mooney pilot was requesting an airport "advisory, which is normal procedure." The charter pilot went inside and advised the Mooney pilot that "the winds were calm and no other reported traffic." The Mooney pilot responded and said that he was inbound for landing on runway 14.

The charter pilot went back outside and later overheard the Mooney pilot on the loud speaker saying he was seeing another airplane. The Mooney pilot was trying to talk to the other airplane, which the charter pilot had not yet seen. Shortly after that, the charter pilot saw the other airplane, which he knew to be locally-based, approach the airport passing overhead from northwest to southeast, and entering left traffic to land on runway 32. He then saw the Mooney approaching the airport from the northwest.

About 5 minutes later, the charter pilot heard over the loud speaker, "Lake Placid, Mooney, two mile final or short final runway one four." At the time, the charter pilot had his back to the runway, but turned around after hearing the Mooney engine go to full power. He then saw the airplane pitching up at a steep angle while banking right at a steep angle, and it appeared as though the right wing may have struck the runway. The charter pilot continued to watch the Mooney, and "saw that the pilot appeared to have recovered the aircraft. He started a shallow turn to the right and started to climb along the right side of the runway."

As the Mooney continued to climb, the charter pilot saw the local airplane about 100 to 200 feet over the trees, approaching from the opposite direction to land on runway 32. "They looked as though they saw each other and started to each climb to their right sides of the [runway]." The charter pilot then heard the Mooney pilot transmit something over the radio; he couldn't recall what it was, but that it sounded angry, followed later by his transmitting in a calmer voice, "I will follow you in."

The charter pilot continued to watch the Mooney as it flew past the end of the runway. He noticed that the Mooney's landing gear were still down and the airplane was climbing at "a steeper than normal angle at a slow speed." The Mooney then started to make a left turn, and the nose "dropped." The airplane entered a counterclockwise spin toward the ground, descending "so fast it didn't even make a complete turn before it went out of sight."

The charter pilot did not note hearing any transmissions from the local pilot.

A witness near the impact site did not see the Mooney, but noted that, "almost simultaneously I heard the engine stop followed by a huge thud."

Additional witnesses confirmed that the two airplanes went around after approaching the runway from opposite directions, also confirming the Mooney's hard right turn followed by a steep climb, possibly dragging a wing, and a stall/spin. A golfer who was on a nearby course stated that he saw the belly of the airplane with the right wing up, left wing down, and that the airplane was in a nose dive with the left wing as a pivot point.

In written statement, the local pilot noted that he had departed LKP earlier that morning from runway 32, and that he monitored UNICOM frequency 122.8, which was the local airport frequency. He switched frequency before stopping at another airport and spending some time there. On his way back to LKP, he switched back to 122.8, but approaching the airport, he "never heard or observed any air traffic in the lake Placid area." The pilot flew over the airport and the wind sock indicated wind slightly favoring runway 32. The pilot flew over the ski jumps, flew a [left] base leg and continued to descend the airplane. He then turned the airplane on to final approach, and initially didn't see any other aircraft. He then saw another airplane that appeared to be departing runway 14, so he turned his airplane to the right, and then flew a left traffic pattern to a landing on runway 14. He further noted, "I never heard any radio transmissions from any plane or UNICOM."

The wreckage was located mostly on the side of a small levee about 075 degrees, 0.60 nm from the center of LKP, in the vicinity of 44 degrees, 16.03 minutes north latitude, 073 degrees, 56.94 minutes west longitude. The wreckage came to rest with the left wing and engine at the base of the levee, and with the right wing partially bent over the top of the levee. Ground indentations, paint chips, a small area of surface abrasions, spar damage and wingtip compression were together consistent with the right wing having flexed downward and forward upon initial impact.

The tail section was bent to the right in relation to the rest of the fuselage, consistent with left rotation at impact.

There were two damaged pine trees leading to the impact site, an estimated 30 feet from the main wreckage. Direction from the pine trees to the wreckage was about 120 degrees magnetic. Damage found about 12 feet above the ground on the left pine tree was consistent with impact damage found near the tip of the airplane's left wing. Damage found about 15 feet above the ground on the right pine tree was consistent with the distance from the airplane's left wing damage to its propeller. Damage between the two pine trees was consistent with about a 25- to 30-degree left-wing-down airplane position at tree impact.

With concurrence, the occupants were removed from the airplane prior to NTSB arrival. To facilitate removal, part of the airplane's tubular structure had been cut away. Upon NTSB arrival, extensive charring and fusing of materials were noted in the cockpit area as well as semi-flattening of the instrument panel. There was no evidence of an in-flight fire.

All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident scene, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the control surfaces to entry points of the charred cockpit.

Engine control positions at the time of impact could not be confirmed due to impact forces and the postcrash fire.

The landing gear would have normally been actuated manually by direct mechanical linkage through a "Johnson bar" located between the front seats. The Johnson bar was found parallel to the semi-flattened instrument panel, consistent with the landing gear being in the down position. In addition, one main landing gear was found partially extended and one fully extended; and both tires exhibited dirt skid marks and staining consistent with their being out of the wheel wells when the airplane impacted the ground. The nose landing gear was destroyed.

Flap positions could not be definitively determined. Flaps, which were normally hydraulically operated and mechanically linked, were observed to be extended or partially extended to various degrees along the wings at the scene. The flap relief valve handle, which normally releases hydraulic pressure at a slow rate to allow springs or air forces to raise the flaps, was found in the "Up" or "Release" position, but was attached to the deformed instrument panel.

The airplane's wings were subsequently removed and the wreckage transported to a secure NYSP holding yard. There, with additional charred material removed, the mechanical trim and flap indicators were found. The indicators would have normally been mounted vertically in the airplane below the engine controls and forward of the Johnson bar. However, with the fire and crushing, they were found almost horizontal, to the right of the Johnson bar. Indications as found had the trim indicator at the "Takeoff" position, and the flap indicator between "Landing" and "Takeoff."

The propeller was examined both at the scene and at the NYSP holding yard. There was no significant torsional bending, yet there was significant leading edge burnishing and chordwise markings on both propeller blades, consistent with the propeller passing through the sandy river soil mix prevalent at the accident site.

The engine was also examined at the holding yard with no evidence of preexisting mechanical anomalies found. In addition, there was scoring on the starter Bendix housing and grinding on the starter ring gear, consistent with the engine attempting to pull the propeller through the soil.

There were no flight data or cockpit voice recording devices on the airplane.

Subsequent to the accident, a wavy scrape mark was found in the right half of the runway in the vicinity of a taxiway that led to the ramp. NYSP photographs revealed that the mark was continuous with various branches "Y"ing off and rejoining the main scrape. The scrape was 17 feet in length and appeared deepest at its southernmost point. Looking toward the southeast, down runway 14, the scrape veered gradually to the left, which was inconsistent with an airplane seen turning hard to the right. Examination of the airplane's right wing tip revealed a pristine wingtip position light and no structural damage that would have been consistent with the wingtip scraping the runway.


AIRCRAFT IMPACTED GROUND .75NM EAST OF AIRPORT.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albany FSDO-01

KAFKA FRED Y:  http://registry.faa.gov/N6467Q 




  Obituary for Reed Robert Phillips

Reed Robert Phillips, 25, of Potsdam, New York, formerly of Midland, died Saturday, July 19, 2014 in North Elba, New York as the result of a single engine airplane accident. He was born October 16, 1988 in Midland, son of Nicholas and Toni (Reed) Phillips.

Reed was a graduate of Bullock Creek High School class of 2007 where he excelled and lettered in football and track. Upon graduation from high school he received his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in Athletic Training. He was currently enrolled at Clarkson University to obtain his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Reed was an outdoorsman and loved being able to enjoy the sights from the top of a mountain. Reed spent most of his time rock climbing, hiking, and spending time with his friends. He was very athletic and enjoyed participating in many sports.

He is survived by his parents Nicholas and Toni Phillips and his sister Paige all of Midland; aunts and uncles: Julie (Michael) Moser, Kevin (Patty) Phillips, Vicki Phillips, Brian Phillips, Sandy Reed, Dotty (Reed) Colegrove, Dory Reed, Tammi (Kirk) Tomlinson, Bobbi (Ken) Kehrer, Donna Reed, Linda Begin, John (Sue) Svercek, Claudia (Albert) Capizzo, David (Sandy) Svercek.

He was preceded in death by grandparents: Robert Reed, Dorothy (Reed) Svercek, John Svercek, and Helen Phillips; aunts and uncles: Garry Reed, Michael Reed and Vaughn Colegrove.

Funeral services for Reed will take place 11 a.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 from Memorial Presbyterian Church with Reverend Dr. Wallace H. Mayton III officiating. Reed’s family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 West Wheeler Street on Friday from 2-8 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of the service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Bullock Creek Track Team, or donate to a charity of your choice in Reed’s name.


Obituary:   http://www.waresmithwoolever.com/ReedPhillips

Midlander who died in plane crash remembered by Bullock Creek officials 

A 25-year-old Midland man is among three who died Saturday when a small plane crashed while attempting to land at an airport in the state of New York.

The loss of Reed Phillips, a Bullock Creek grad who was studying as a graduate student at Clarkson University in northern New York, is being felt by many locally.

Charlie Schwedler, Bullock Creek Schools superintendent, said the entire Bullock Creek community is saddened by Phillips’ death.

“This is a jewel of a kid ... a truly fantastic person,” Schwedler said. “He was the total package. He had a great smile, he was friendly, smart and athletic. And he has a fantastic family.”

Darren Kalina, formerly a Creek football coach and current Creek softball coach, said he found out about Phillips’s death on Sunday while coming home from his daughter’s softball tournament.

“It was not a good day. ... This is my fourth (former) football kid (who has passed away). It’s just unbelievable.”

Schwedler said each loss is tough to take.

“It’s like losing someone who lives in your own house,” he said.

According to the Associated Press, 63-year-old Fred Kafka of Vienna, W.Va., was piloting the Mooney M-20 when it crashed after attempting to land at the Lake Placid Municipal Airport near the town of North Elba. Kafka was thwarted from landing by a plane approaching from the opposite direction. While making another approach, his plane stalled and crashed into a field.

New York State Police troopers were notified of the crash at 10:39 a.m. Saturday, a media release states. The plane burst into flames upon impact, and the Lake Placid Fire Department was called to the scene to extinguish the blaze, according to the release.

Kafka, along with his passengers — daughter, Kathleen Kafka of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Phillips, were killed. Kathleen Kafka also was a graduate student at Clarkson University.

Kalina coached Phillips on the varsity football team in 2005 and again in 2007; Phillips was a running back on offense and a safety on defense.

“Reed was fast. Reed was tough, too. ... He ran really hard, and he was a determined kid and a hard worker. He was just a really good football player. But the really sad part about this whole thing is that Reed was probably the nicest kid (on the team). Without a doubt, he was one of the nicest kids I ever met. He was never negative. He was always positive. He always had a smile on his face. ... I’m not just saying that; it’s the truth — he was the nicest kid.”

Phillips holds special memories for the whole Kalina family. As Darren and his wife were discussing Phillips’s passing, she tearfully remembered how Phillips, who worked at the Midland Community Center, would always greet her with a smile when he saw her.

“Reed was like that. He would go out of his way to say hi to his former coaches and their wives and kids. He always went out of his way to make someone feel good,” Kalina said.

Schwedler echoed that Phillips had an outgoing personality and connected with anyone he met.

“He was the type of person who would do anything for anyone,” Schwedler said.

Kalina saw Phillips at the Community Center fairly regularly and had just spoken with him recently.

“I just talked to him a little while ago, and he was looking forward to finishing (college) and getting started with his life. ... It’s just too bad.”

The cause of the crash remains under investigation and the FAA and NTSB are assisting.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Directors.


Source:  http://www.ourmidland.com

Hughes 369D, N5225C: Accident occurred July 22, 2014 in Oso, Snohomish County, Washington

N5225C HUGHES 369D ROTORCRAFT CRASHED DURING A LOGGING OPERATION, NEAR OSO, WA

 OLYMPIC AIR INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N5225C

LARCH LAKE, Wash. - A helicopter pilot is injured but apparently conscious after crashing in a rural area of Snohomish County, officials said.

Rescuers and medics rushed to the scene, a clear-cut in the forest near Larch Lake, at about noon after receiving reports of an aircraft down.

The chopper was demolished in the crash. But it did not catch fire, and the pilot survived the impact.

Aerial footage shot by KOMO's Air 4 showed that the pilot was able to move his arms as medics placing him on a gurney. He was then airlifted to an Everett hospital.

The aircraft was identified as 1979 Hughes helicopter owned by Olympic Air Inc., based in Shelton.


Story, Photo Gallery, Comments:   http://www.komonews.com

STEVENS PASS — The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is investigating reports of a helicopter crash near Larch Lake. 

Details of the possible crash were sparse at 12 p.m. Tuesday.  

Larch Lake is in the Chiwaukum Range, south of Highway 2 and Lake Wenatchee. It is a considered a high-alpine lake with an elevation around 6,000 feet.

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.



Portland-based aviation camp turns kids into fliers

PORTLAND — When Tim Lesiege took over two years ago as director of Portland's Maine ACE Camp, a week-long summer session for aspiring aviators, he was excited about the opportunity to teach kids about all aspects of the aeronautics industry.

Lesiege, who every summer takes a week away from his job as an aviation engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation to volunteer at the camp, said he enjoys teaching students about opportunities for careers as mechanics, flight attendants, fixed-base operator administrators and more.

Mostly, though, the kids just want to fly.

Another year of Maine ACE Camp (the name stands for aviation career education) kicked off Monday, and over the course of five days, campers will tour an air traffic control tower, go behind the scenes at an airport baggage claim, attend classroom lectures on spatial disorientation, and yes, fly in airplanes.

The camp is based at the Alton E. "Chuck" Cianchette Scout Center in Portland, but students spend most of the week at airports across southern Maine, from the Portland International Jetport, to Brunswick Executive Airport, to the Wiscasset Airport, to the Mast Cove Seaplane Base in Naples.

"I've wanted to fly since I can remember," said Parker Montano, 17, who attended the camp for two years before becoming a councilor. "My parents found this camp, and since then, it's like a switch flipped. I have to go flying now."

A rising senior at Cheverus High School, Montano has applied to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. He said he hopes to someday work as a rescue helicopter pilot.

"It's like an addiction. I love it," Montano said of flying. "The community I identify most with is the aviation community."

On Monday, the program's dozen or so campers – middle- and high-schoolers, mostly shy, entirely male – bused to Brunswick Executive Airport. They toured the facility's newly refurbished terminal and heard a presentation from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, engineering firm Hoyle, Tanner & Associates.

And each student got to fly in a Van's RV-9A, a two-seat, single-engine airplane.

"He let me drive the plane a little bit," 12-year-old Joe Eremita, of Wells, said a little cavalierly. "After we got up in the air, it wasn't that scary. I had fun."

Russell Keith, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, built and piloted the plane. He was one of two pilots donating his time to give joyrides to teenagers on a blue-skied Monday afternoon.

"I'm here to promote aviation interest in kids and give them an idea of what they can do," Russell said.

It's not easy to get a job as a pilot. It's competitive and can be expensive, said Lesiege, the camp director. That's why he encourages his campers to consider all the other careers that support aeronautics, from design to engineering to ground support.

"A lot of people think in order to get into aviation, you have to be a pilot, and make your living as a pilot," Lesiege said. "But pilot is just one of 1,000 different jobs you can do that involve aviation. That's what we want them to understand."

That said, Lesiege isn't discouraging anyone from learning to fly. Even if you don't earn a living flying planes every day, piloting is one heck of a hobby.

"No matter what career you enter, whether it's engineering or chemistry or physics or maintenance," Lesiege said, "you can still be a pilot."


Story and Photos:  http://www.theforecaster.net

Airport hangar deal fails to win Auburn Council support: Auburn/Lewiston Municipal (KLEW), Auburn/Lewiston, Maine

AUBURN — A plan to buy out the 14 years remaining on a hangar lease at the Twin Cities' airport narrowly failed Monday night.

With City Councilors Tizz Crowley and David Young absent from Monday's meeting, councilors needed a four-vote majority to approve Auburn's loan up to $1.1 million to the Auburn Lewiston Municipal Airport.

With councilors Leroy Walker and Belinda Gerry opposing the idea, the loan failed by a vote of three in support and two against.

The airport planned to use the money to purchase the hangar from Nobility, LLC. It's currently home to Lufthansa Technik's efforts to rebuild a historic WWII Constellation aircraft.

Lewiston councilors unanimously agreed to the new plan in June.

Airport backers said the idea is designed to save the airport and the cities $48,000 per year.

Both cities are being asked to loan the airport the money out of their cash reserves. The airport would pay a 2.58 percent interest rate on the money, a much lower rate then the airport could qualify for on its own.

It's also nearly double the rate the cities would get purchasing a certificate of deposit for that amount.

The Auburn Lewiston Municipal Airport currently leases the hangar housing Lufthansa's project from Nobility, LLC., paying $249,750 per year through 2028. The airport then turns around and subleases the hangar to the Lufthansa Technik group for about $240,000 annually.

The airport has the right to purchase hangar for $2 million when the lease ends, but buying the hangar and the remaining lease now would save the airport about $48,000 per year.

Gerry said Monday she feels city finances are too uncertain to spend $1.1 million now.

"We've had hard times and they are just starting to get better, but I just think we are overdoing it," Gerry said.

Walker said he wanted to see a longer-term plan for how the hangar would be used. Lufthansa Technik has a contract though next year, but airport officials expect them to stay longer.

"I wish the plan would be in front of us 100 percent," Walker said. "If we are going to buy it out, what are we going to do with it when (Lufthansa is) no longer using it? I don't think we should be saying 'Maybe they're going to move out in two years, but we'll worry about it then.' I want to worry about it right now."

City Manager Clinton Deschene said he expects the matter will come back before councilors when all seven members are present.

Source:  http://www.sunjournal.com

Court: Federal Aviation Administration can’t drone rules on Texas nonprofit

A federal court has thrown out a case against the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules on drones.

But the court says the reason that it did so is that those rules aren’t legally binding.

In an order rendered Friday evening, a three-judge panel dismissed a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Texas Equusearch, a Houston-based group of search and recovery volunteers that uses unmanned aerial systems to assist in rescue and recovery efforts. The judges ruled the FAA couldn’t enforce warnings an FAA employee had e-mailed to the group to halt all of their drone operations.

“The challenged email communication from a Federal Aviation Administration employee did not represent the consummation of the agency’s decision making process, nor did it give rise to any legal consequences,” the judges wrote.

In a petition, the Texas volunteer group says it has been using remote-controlled unmanned aircraft with attached cameras in search and rescue efforts since 2005, but that it was ordered to halt that by the FAA in February. It then sued to have the ban overturned. 
The FAA has planned to have formal policies in place for drone usage next year, but currently regulates commercial drone use strictly.

In a response, the FAA said it will continue using the tools it’s been using to enforce policies about drone use.

“The court’s decision in favor of the FAA regarding the Texas Equusearch matter has no bearing on the FAA’s authority to regulate UAS,” the FAA said in a statement. “The FAA remains legally responsible for the safety of the national airspace system. This authority is designed to protect users of the airspace as well as people and property on the ground.”

The lawsuit, in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Court, has implications on the use of unmanned aerial systems, which the FAA has banned for commercial uses. FAA has sought to fine entities using drones for commercial purposes, with one such case, Huerta v. Pirker, continuing its way through the legal system.

The decisions will have an impact on the emerging drone industry, where Dayton companies are looking to play a part.

Separately the FAA is appealing a separate case involving a Virginia drone operator, who it attempted to fine $10,000 for flying his craft over the University of Virginia in exchange for compensation. The National Transportation Safety Board also ruled the FAA does not have formal binding policies in place banning the use of drones.

In an article posted on its Web site, Texas Equusearch said it will resume using its drones in search operations.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com

Aerial Banners North pilot arrested: Pilot faces a $500 fine, 30 days in jail

HONOLULU —The pilot working for Aerial Banners North was arrested at Dillingham Airfield Monday afternoon after the company's plane flew an aerial banner over Waikiki, according to attorney Michael McAllister. 

The pilot was arrested just before 1 p.m. The city said the pilot was arrested because the same individual was cited by police earlier this month and now he is a repeat offender.
Matthew Radeck was released after posting $100 bail.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has been in a war of words with Aerial Banners North since the company has been defying the city ordinance banning aerial banners and ignoring citations from the Honolulu Police Department.

Radeck faces a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's story.

The banner that flew over Waikiki Monday morning said, "Advertising isn't just for politicians."

The company has argued that its Federal Aviation Administration certificate of waiver preempts the Honolulu ordinance and allows it to fly aerial banners over Oahu.

However, the FAA says the waiver does not supercede state or city law.  FAA officials say the waiver is authorization for banner towing operations nationwide and if it conflicts with local laws, it is the operator's responsibility to resolve the matter.

Sen. Brian Schatz also reached out to the FAA and received a response that Honolulu's ordinance prohibiting aerial advertising remains valid.

Caldwell has asked the public to call 911 if they see the aerial banner.

The Outdoor Circle is applauding the city for enforcing the ordinance prohibiting aerial advertising over Oahu.
 
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Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) puts focus on business development

A new administration building and an aviation-focused business park both have the potential to generate future business opportunities at Wittman Regional Airport.

Several community partners continue to develop the infrastructure and marketing plans for an 80-acre aviation business park and business accelerator program at the southeast corner of the airport.

Elizabeth Hartman, CEO of Chamco Inc., Oshkosh's industrial development arm, said the project will help expand business opportunities on the airport grounds at a time when the city and Winnebago County have less than 10 acres of development-ready land, much of it non-contiguous, at the airport.

"We really want to put Oshkosh on the map as a place for aviation innovation and as the place to be for aviation businesses," Hartman said.

Several organizations continue to work on behind-the-scenes elements of the project. The city continues to work on extending utilities and infrastructure to the area while Chamco continues to work with consultants hired to conduct marketing and cluster studies that will help give future business recruitment efforts some focus.

Hartman said the business accelerator program would feature general classes for all entrepreneurs as well as ones specifically focused on aviation businesses. She said the accelerator aims to help build entrepreneurial ideas and prepare them for the marketplace.

"By the time you finish, you'll have your product, know that customers will want to buy it and be ready to make your pitch to investors," she said.

At the same time, Winnebago County is considering a project that could open up more development opportunities on the grounds.

Wittman Regional Airport Director Peter Moll said the county is weighing options to demolish the aging, largely unused terminal building and replace it with a smaller administration building. He said the list of repairs at the existing building has grown long and costly while much of the space has gone unused since commercial air service ended in March 2003.

"We're still trying to refine the floor plan and location, but we're still moving forward," Moll said. "There's good support from the (county's) Aviation Committee and from tenants who have offered a lot of solid input on the project."

Moll said the latest plan calls for a smaller building with space for airport administrative offices, Hertz Car Rental and Basler Flight Services, the sole fixed-base operator, or FBO, at Wittman after it purchased Orion Flight Services in early 2014.

"It really makes sense because we no longer have to be worried about FAA concerns that we'd be favoring one FBO over the other," Moll said. "Plus, this consolidation would potentially open up more land for redevelopment in the future."

Wittman Airport owns four of the buildings Basler occupies on the north side of the airport grounds. Moll said consolidating their operations into an administration building could give the airport more opportunities to bring in other businesses to that area of the airport.

Source:  http://www.thenorthwestern.com