Saturday, August 23, 2014

Florence Regional Airport (KFLO) gives flying lessons amid looming pilot shortage

WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

FLORENCE, S.C. - South Carolina Aviation appreciation week wrapped up on Saturday and in honor of it, the Florence Regional Airport hosted "Learn to Fly Day" for future pilots. 

 For many, they could easily describe the feeling of flying as a car without a road.

From take off, you enter a highway of open sky with of glimpse of the world around, and below.

"Since a little child, I always wanted to fly.  Dreamed about flying and when I heard about this I took the first opportunity,” said first time flier Ginger Lawrimore.

"Very seldom does anybody go, that wasn't fun.  Most people say I want more,” mentioned Bob Young, private pilot with Windsock Aviation who assisted with the program.

Could you blame him?  From personal experience it's hard to beat the aerial view.

"Being in the first time in a small plane...it was still great to be able to see and fly,” said Lawrimore.

However, as the nostalgia of flying grows the looming pilot shortage is also there.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor expects 800 fewer airline and commercial pilots in the sky come 2022.

The industry, right now only supports about 104,000 jobs.

"There are a lot of pilots coming up on the age 60 rule where they have to retire,” said John Ferguson, Deputy Director for the airport.

"The FAA has made the rules to be a commercial pilot tighter than they use to be and it require a lot more training and hours,” explained Young.

So to keep the industry from being ground, the Florence Aviation and Regional Airport wanted to take a day to teach a new crop of pilots either as a profession or in Lawrimore's case, a hobby.

“I always wanted to get my pilots license,” she said.

"We want to get the word out that we have an airport here and that we have some value to the community,” added Ferguson.

Overall, the Florence Regional Airport has a $48.5 million dollar impact on the local economy.

- Story and Video:  http://www.wbtw.com

Private jet owners avoid leasing aircraft - Nigeria

Owners of private jets in Nigeria have become cautious about leasing out their aircraft following the outbreak of Ebola.

Although, aviation officials had been strictly mandated not to speak on issues concerning the virus, one of our correspondents gathered that most private jet owners had cut down the number of times they leased out their jets.

A senior official with one of the key agencies in the sector told our correspondent many countries had stopped their carriers from flying into Nigeria, thereby heightening the panic among private jet owners in the country.

“Many foreign carriers hardly fly into Nigeria and most of them have officially announced the suspension of flights to countries like Liberia and Guinea where the Ebola virus disease is very pronounced. This is causing panic among owners of private jets and some of them are not giving out their jets to friends and even family members,” the official who pleaded anonymity said.

Another senior aviation official at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport also told our correspondent that airlines like Cameroon Air had suspended their flights into Nigeria.

Pleading anonymity, he said, “We have suspended only Gambia Airline. Others that don’t come into Nigeria are the ones who suspended themselves. For instance, Cameroon Air said they were not coming here and they did that on their own.”

Asked if major international carriers, like British Airways, Kenya Airlines and Emirates, had cancelled flights into Nigeria, the official said, “They are still coming. There is no official communication telling us they have suspended their flights. At least, as at yesterday (Thursday) they were still flying into Nigeria.

“However, we do know that many countries are taking all the necessary precautions and many airlines, on their own, are suspending operations into Ebola-hit countries, especially nations like Guinea and Liberia.”

Early this month, British Airways announced the suspension of flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone following concerns about the spread of Ebola.

Dubai’s Emirates Airline also stated that it was suspending flights to Guinea. Pan-African airline Aruj and ASKY suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone following the death of a Liberian passenger at the end of July in Lagos.

Officials stated that Chad had also suspended all flights from Nigeria, adding that Nigeria had stopped the Gambian national carrier, Gambia Bird Airlines, from flying into the country.

This, according to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, was due to “unsatisfactory” measures by the airline to contain the spread of Ebola.

Similarly, on August 11, Cote d’Ivoire announced the ban of all flights from countries hit by Ebola as part of steps to prevent the deadly virus from reaching the West African nation.

The country’s government said in a statement it had forbidden all “carriers from transporting passengers” from these countries. It also said it had decided “on the suspension until further notice” flights by its national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire, to and from these locations.

At the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, an official of the Port Health Authority, who chose to speak on the condition of anonymity, also told our correspondent that VIPs and private jet owners from other countries were usually not screened.

The source said, “VIPs and private jet owners flying in from other countries are usually not screened. Right now, we are only screening people that come in from West African countries, especially the troubled countries for now.

“One of the reasons for this is because we do not have enough facilities to screen everybody at once, we have to start from the troubled countries first and then move on to others.”

The Minister for Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka, had in his maiden briefing with stakeholders and journalists said the screening of passengers into the country was being done in stages.

He said, “It is not possible at this stage to screen all the passengers that come into the country because this is still a new problem in our country and we have to start from the known to the unknown.”


- Source:  http://www.punchng.com

de Havilland Tiger Moth, C-GMFT, Canadian Museum of Flight: Accident occurred August 23, 2014 at Delta Heritage Air Park (CAK3), Delta, BC

Some spectators saw some unexpected action Saturday afternoon at the first ever Warbird Fly-in at the Delta Heritage Airpark when one of the vintage planes crashed.

Tsawwassen resident Christine Thompson was at the show with one of her sons and her daughter. She said they checked out many of the planes on display before making their way over to the airfield where some of the aircraft were taking off.

"We were very, very close," she said. "It was really cool."

Thompson said they were just about to leave at round 3:30 p.m. when they noticed another plane, a Second World War-era Tiger Moth biplane, about to take off.

"They went by us and we waved ... it was all so happy," she said.

Thompson said the plane sped up as it made its way down the runway and was a couple hundred metres away when it began taking off. However, things quickly went wrong. She said the plane had just taken off and was only about 50 metres off the ground when it started banking to the left and then it suddenly started banking sharply to the right.

"The right wing tip dropped way down," Thompson said, adding that it looked like the wing hit a bush and the plane went down into the trees.

"The guy sitting beside us went sprinting over," she said.

Others followed and emergency responders were called. Thompson said there were soon about 10 to 15 emergency vehicles at the airpark.

"It was pretty dramatic," she said.

The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries, said Delta police Sgt. Sarah Swallow. The pair was treated in hospital and later released.

The Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation.



This Second World War-era Tiger Moth biplane was one of many on display at the first ever Warbird Fly-in at Delta Heritage Airpark Saturday, Aug. 23. The plane crashed shortly after taking off from the event Saturday afternoon.


Two people were lucky to sustain only minor injuries after a WWII-style plane crashed in Delta Heritage Air Park during take-off. 

 First responders closed the airspace around the park as they investigated the scene.

According to police, the vintage plane may have lost control during take-off and crashed into some nearby trees.

Both passengers walked away from the crash with minor injuries and the crash only damaged some surrounding trees and shrubs.

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Police said there wasn’t any danger to the public.


- Story and Video:   http://bc.ctvnews.ca  


DELTA, B.C. – Two people walked away from a small plane crash in Delta, B.C.

Delta police say a Second-World-War-era plane crashed while trying to take off at the city’s heritage air park.

Sgt. Brad Cooper says the single-propeller, two-seater craft appeared to lose control and ran into a treeline.

Cooper says both passengers suffered minor injuries and save for a few trees and shrubs, no property was damaged.

He says weather conditions were clear and the grass runway appeared to be dry.

Cooper says there were no explosions and no fire, and the Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation.

- Source:  http://globalnews.ca



Beechcraft S35 Bonanza, N334DF: Fatal accident occurred August 23, 2014 in Laurel Hill, Florida

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA403
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Laurel Hill, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/02/2016
Aircraft: BEECH S35, registration: N334DF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

A friend of the commercial pilot reported that the purpose of the personal flight was to relocate the airplane to an airport about 19 miles northeast of the departure airport, where it could be stored in a hangar while the pilot was on an extended trip overseas. He added that the pilot attempted to complete the flight the day before the accident but that he was unable to start the airplane because the battery required servicing; the battery was serviced the morning of the accident. 

A lineman reported that, before the airplane departed on the day of the accident, he observed the pilot perform an extended engine run-up. He stated that typically the pilot would just “hop in and go.” Radar data showed the airplane just after departure on a northerly heading climbing to about 1,600 ft mean sea level (msl). About 2 minutes after departure, the airplane turned west and descended to about 900 ft msl as it turned 360 degrees near the pilot’s home. The airplane then resumed a northeasterly course and climbed to 2,400 ft msl, presumably toward the destination airport. About 9 minutes after departure, the airplane entered a descending right turn. The final radar targets showed the airplane about 1.25 nautical miles southeast of the accident site about 1,400 ft msl and on an approximate magnetic heading of 285 degrees. Postaccident examination of the airframe and flight controls revealed no anomalies. 

The propeller displayed signatures consistent with lack of engine power at the time of impact. Initial examination of the engine case revealed that it was breached in two locations, near the Nos. 2 and 4 cylinders, and that the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 connecting rods were fractured. Further examination of the engine revealed signatures consistent with preignition and/or detonation in the No. 6 cylinder, which had eroded the No. 6 cylinder piston face and subsequently allowed combustion gases to pressurize the engine crankcase. This likely caused the expulsion of oil from the engine via the breather tube and resulted in a lack of lubrication throughout the engine, consistent with the extreme thermal discoloration and mechanical damage observed in the engine’s internal components. The cause of the preignition and/or detonation could not be determined. 

During the approximate 10-minute flight before the engine lost power, the pilot should have received several indications of an engine anomaly, including, but not limited to, a drop in oil pressure, a rise in oil temperature, a rise in cylinder head temperature, and engine roughness. However, the airplane’s flight track after takeoff, including the low-level circling of the pilot’s home and its continuation to the destination airport rather than returning to the departure airport, suggests that the pilot either did not observe these signs nor recognize them to be indicative of a serious engine problem or that he thought he would be able to complete the remaining short flight to the destination airport. Although it is uncertain when the anomalous engine indications might have begun, given the pilot’s extended engine run-up, it is possible that they were observable as early as before takeoff. The fact that the pilot had attempted to complete the flight the previous day and had been unable to do so would likely have increased the pilot’s desire to reach the destination airport and contributed to his unwillingness to cancel the flight, return to the departure airport, or conduct a precautionary off-airport landing before the engine failed.

Although toxicological testing of the pilot’s specimens detected pheniramine, diphenhydramine, and zolpidem, all of which can be sedating, the detected drug levels were well below therapeutic levels; therefore, it is unlikely that any of the medications or the combination of the medications impaired the pilot’s ability to safely operate the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to detonation/preignition damage of the No. 6 cylinder. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to continue flight after receiving an indication of an impending engine failure.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT


On August 23, 2014,
at 1500 central daylight time, a Beech S35, N334DF, was destroyed during impact with terrain and a subsequent post-impact fire near Laurel Hill, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Bob Sikes Airport (CEW), Crestview, Florida, about 1450, and was destined for Florala Municipal Airport (0J4), Florala, Alabama. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

A friend of the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to relocate the airplane to 0J4, located about 19 miles northeast of CEW, where it could be stored in a hangar while the pilot traveled overseas. The pilot attempted to complete the flight the day prior to the accident, but upon arrival at the airport, he found that the airplane would not start. Attempts to jump-start the airplane were unsuccessful, and the pilot requested that a mechanic at the fixed-base operator troubleshoot and repair the airplane so that the flight could be completed the next day. The morning of the accident, the mechanic serviced the airplane's battery with fluid, placed it on a charger, and reinstalled it in the airplane. The mechanic then successfully started the engine and performed a run-up check. 

A lineman reported that the pilot arrived at CEW between 1400 and 1430 on the day of the accident. He observed as the pilot boarded the airplane, started the engine, and taxied the airplane to the runway for takeoff. He heard the pilot perform a pre-takeoff engine run-up, which he described as unusually long, and stated that typically, the pilot would "hop in and go."

There was no record of the pilot having contacted air traffic control at any time during the accident flight. However, radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration showed a target correlated to be the accident airplane, depart CEW to the north about 1450 and climb to an altitude about 1,600 feet mean sea level. About 1451, the airplane began a left turn to the west and descended to an altitude of 900 feet as it conducted a 360-degree turn in the vicinity of his home. About 1454, the airplane resumed its northeasterly track and climbed to an altitude about 1,400 feet. About 1 minute later, the airplane turned to an easterly heading as it continued to climb, and about 1457, resumed its northeasterly heading and climbed to an altitude about 2,400 feet. About 1459, the airplane began a descending right turn. The last four radar targets, at 1459:45, 14:59:49, 14:59:59, and 15:00:04, placed the airplane about 1.25 nautical miles southeast of the accident site at an altitude about 1,400 feet, and on an approximate magnetic heading of 285 degrees. 

A witness located near the accident site observed the airplane circling over his home and stated that the engine sounded as though it was revving up and down. As the airplane descended and flew towards a nearby field, he heard the engine "popping" and saw it trailing smoke. After watching the airplane descend into trees and impact the ground, he drove to the accident site to render assistance. He observed a pillar of black smoke rising from the wreckage and noted that the cockpit was filled with smoke. As he approached the airplane, he stated that it "exploded," and subsequently exploded a second time before first responders arrived. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1453 automated weather observation at CEW included winds from 300 degrees at 5 knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 7,000 feet and 8,500 feet, temperature 37 degrees C, dew point 22 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1964, and was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-520-BA6B, 285 hp reciprocating engine. The airplane was registered to the pilot in April 1998. No maintenance records were located, however, several work orders dating to September 2011 were provided by local maintenance facilities. In March 2012, an annual inspection was performed at a total aircraft time of 5,047.50 hours. During this inspection, the #3 cylinder was removed and repaired due to a failed compression test and burnt valve. The cylinder was reinstalled and the airplane was returned to service in May 2012. In September 2013, an annual inspection was performed at a total aircraft time of 5,048.02 hours. The mechanic who serviced the battery prior to the accident flight stated that, at the conclusion of the engine run up he performed, the airplane's tachometer read 5,049.08.

Review of work orders from the March 2012 annual inspection revealed a discrepancy stating, "Engine monitor has 2 cylinders that have no CHT reading." This discrepancy was marked as "deferred" and no corrective action was taken. Review of FAA airworthiness records did not indicate any supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of an aftermarket engine monitor. The airplane was originally equipped with an engine cylinder head temperature (CHT) gauge, which was removed and replaced in November 2013. This gauge displayed CHT information from one cylinder only. 

The investigation was not able to determine when or where the airplane was last serviced with fuel, as review of records from the fuel provider at CEW indicated that the pilot had not obtained fuel there since September 2012. 

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in March 2014, at which time he reported 3,300 total hours of flight experience, with 0 hours in the previous 6 months. No personal flight logs were recovered, and no determination could be made as to the pilot's recent flight experience or his experience in the accident airplane. An autopsy was conducted by the Office of the Medical Examiner, District I, Florida. The cause of death was listed as inhalation of products of combustion. Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Testing was positive for carbon monoxide in blood; diphenhydramine in blood, urine, and tissue (0.021 ug/ml); pheniramine in urine and blood; and zolpidem in urine and blood. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. Pheniramine is a sedating antihistamine used in cold and allergy products. Zolpidem is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien. All detected drugs were below therapeutic levels. 

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The initial impact point (IIP) was identified as a tree about 80 feet in height, located at 30 degrees, 55.542 minutes north latitude, 86 degrees, 26.103 minutes west longitude, about halfway between CEW and 0J4. The wreckage path extended on a heading of about 310 degrees, with the outboard portion of the right wing located in a tree about 90 feet past the initial impact point. The outboard portion of the left wing came to rest near the base of the tree. A ground scar containing the propeller, which had separated from the engine at the propeller flange, was located about 110 feet beyond the IIP. The main wreckage came to rest upright on a heading of about 145 degrees about 125 feet past the IIP, and consisted of the fuselage, empennage, and the inboard portions of the wings. The fuselage was completely consumed by post-impact fire. Control continuity was established from the ruddervators and trim tabs to the cabin area, and aileron control cable continuity was established from the cabin area to the left and right bellcranks. 

The engine came to rest upright and displayed significant thermal damage. The three-bladed propeller was separated from the engine at the flange and located about 5 feet forward of the engine. The propeller blades exhibited no leading edge gouging, chordwise scratching, or s-bending. The crankshaft displayed multiple cracks aft of the propeller flange. Two breaches of the engine case were observed near the #2 and #4 cylinders. Visual examination revealed that the #2 and #4 connecting rods were fractured. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A detailed examination of the engine was conducted at the manufacturer's facility on August 26, 2014. The left magneto was separated from its mount, but remained attached to the engine by its ignition harness. Due to thermal damage to the distributor gear, the magneto drive shaft could not be rotated. The right magneto was destroyed. The sparkplugs were removed and displayed normal wear and sooting consistent with the post-crash fire. The #6 bottom spark plug was covered in oil and re-solidified splattered metal. 

The oil pump drive was intact. The oil pump cavity and gear teeth exhibited normal operating signatures. The oil pressure relief valve displayed corrosion, and the seat was covered with corrosion and debris. The oil cooler remained attached to the engine and exhibited no anomalies. The oil filter remained safety-wired in place on the oil filter adapter. No anomalies were observed. The oil sump drain plug was safety-wired. The aft right end of the oil sump was thermally damaged, exposing the inside of the sump. The sump was removed from the engine and thick, dark residual oil remained, along with fragments of connecting rod bolts, bearing metal, piston material, piston ring segments, and debris. The oil pick-up tube was undamaged, and the oil suction screen was free of obstruction. 

The cylinders were disassembled and examined. The #1, #3, and #5 cylinders, pistons, and intake and exhaust valve heads revealed signatures of normal wear. The #2 cylinder combustion chamber was coated with oil and debris. The valve heads exhibited normal operating signatures. The piston face displayed normal combustion deposits that were covered with oil, as well as two semi-circular impressions consistent with valve strikes. The piston skirt was fractured. The #4 cylinder combustion chamber contained oil and debris. The valve heads exhibited normal operating signatures, and the piston face exhibited no anomalies. The piston skirt was fractured and mechanically damaged. The #6 cylinder combustion chamber contained oil and debris. The cylinder head displayed re-solidified, splattered metal around the sparkplug holes, valves, and valve seats; a feature consistent with pre-ignition and/or detonation. The splattering was more prevalent on the bottom side of the cylinder. The top side of the piston face was also covered in the splattered metal, and the bottom side displayed deep pitting and erosion of the face. The piston skirt displayed signatures of thermal expansion, scoring, and material transfer. 

The crankshaft and counterweight assembly exhibited lubrication distress, thermal damage, and mechanical damage concentrated at the #2, #3, and #4 connecting rod journals. The crankshaft cluster gear was intact and exhibited normal operating signatures. The gear bolts were secure, and the gear teeth were undamaged. The crankshaft main bearing journals were intact and exhibited normal operating signatures. Both rear and forward sets of counterweight assemblies were intact and free to move on the hanger blades. All of the connecting rod journals exhibited thermal distress and scoring consistent with a lack of lubrication; the most damaged being the #2, #3, and #4 journals. The oil transfer collar was intact and undamaged, and the oil transfer plug was secure. 

The connecting rods exhibited significant thermal and mechanical damage, and the #2, #3, and #4 connecting rods were fractured at the journal end. Fragments of connecting rod cap exhibited thermal and mechanical damage. Fragments of connecting rod bolts and nuts exhibited mechanical damage and overload signatures. Fragments of the #2, #3, and #4 connecting rods displayed signatures consistent with lack of lubrication and thermal distress, and were found throughout the engine and in the oil sump. The remaining three intact connecting rod bearings exhibited signatures of lubrication distress and thermal smearing of the surface babbit, exposing the copper layer. The camshaft was thermally damaged, but otherwise displayed no anomalies. 

The crankcase displayed extensive thermal damage. The left side displayed holes above the #2 and #4 cylinder mounting pads. The crankcase interior displayed thermal damage toward the rear of the engine, with dark black sooting noted in the front of the engine. Mechanical damage was noted around the #3 and #5 cylinder bays. None of the main bearing support mating surfaces displayed any signs of fretting or bearing lock tab elongation. Soot, ash, and fractured engine components were found throughout the crankcase. 

On January 26, 2016, additional examination of the #6 cylinder was performed. The cylinder head was cut from the barrel, and re-solidified material was removed from the bottom spark plug hole to facilitate inspection of the spark plug helicoil. The helicoil did not display any anomalies. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A), states, "Detonation is an uncontrolled, explosive ignition of the fuel/air mixture within the cylinder's combustion chamber. It causes excessive temperatures and pressures which, if not corrected, can quickly lead to a failure of the piston, cylinder, or valves. In less severe cases, detonation causes engine overheating, roughness, or loss of power." The handbook also states, "Preignition occurs when the fuel/air mixture ignites prior to the engine's normal ignition event. Premature burning is usually caused by a residual hot spot in the combustion chamber, often created by a small carbon deposit on a spark plug, a cracked spark plug insulator, or other damage to the cylinder that causes a part to heat sufficiently to ignite the fuel/air charge." 

The same publication, in Chapter 17, "Aeronautical Decision Making," describes several operational pitfalls or behavioral tendencies that pilots may encounter as they develop flight experience. One of these tendencies is "Get-there-it is;" defined as a disposition that "impairs pilot judgment through a fixation on the original goal or destination, combined with a disregard for any alternative course of action."

COLEMAN JOHN E JR: http://registry.faa.gov/N334DF

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA403
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Laurel Hill, FL
Aircraft: BEECH S35, registration: N334DF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On August 23, 2014, about 1500 central daylight time, a Beech S35, N334DF, was destroyed during impact with trees and terrain and a subsequent post-impact fire near Laurel Hill, Florida, following a total loss of engine power. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Bob Sikes Airport (CEW), Crestview, Florida, about 1450, and was destined for Florala Municipal Airport (0J4), Florala, Alabama. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The purpose of the flight was to relocate the airplane from CEW to 0J4, where it could be stored in a hangar while the pilot traveled overseas. When the pilot attempted to complete the flight the day prior to the accident, he found that the airplane would not start. Attempts to jump-start the airplane were unsuccessful, the pilot requested that a mechanic at the fixed-base operator troubleshoot and repair the airplane so that the flight could be completed. The morning of the accident, the mechanic serviced the airplane's battery with fluid, placed it on a charger, and reinstalled it in the airplane. He then successfully started the engine and performed a run-up check.

A lineman reported that the pilot arrived at CEW between 1400 and 1430 on the day of the accident. He observed as the pilot boarded the airplane, started the engine, and taxied the airplane to the runway for takeoff. He described the pilot's pre-takeoff engine run-up as unusually long, and stated that the pilot would typically "hop in and go."

A witness located near the accident site observed the airplane circling over his home, and stated that the engine sounded as though it was revving up and down. As the airplane descended and flew towards a nearby field, he heard the engine "popping" and saw it trailing smoke. After watching the airplane descend into trees and impact the ground, he drove to the accident site to render assistance.

The initial impact point (IIP) was identified as a tree about 80 feet in height, located at 30 degrees, 55.542 minutes north latitude, 86 degrees, 26.103 minutes west longitude. The wreckage path extended on a heading of about 310 degrees, with the outboard portion of the right wing located in a tree about 90 feet past the initial impact point. The outboard portion of the left wing came to rest near the base of the tree. A ground scar containing the propeller, which had separated from the engine at the propeller flange, was buried in the ground, was located about 110 feet beyond the IIP. The main wreckage came to rest upright on a heading of about 145 degrees about 125 feet past the IIP, and consisted of the fuselage, empennage, and the inboard portions of the wings. The fuselage was completely consumed by post-impact fire. Control continuity was established from the ruddervators and trim tabs to the cabin area, and aileron control cable continuity was established from the cabin area to the left and right bell cranks.

Two breaches of the engine case were observed near the #2 and #4 cylinders.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Birmingham FSDO-09



In Loving Memory of John Edward Coleman 

September 14, 1949 - August 23, 2014

Obituary


John Edward Coleman Jr., age 64, of Laurel Hill, Fla. passed away Saturday, Aug. 23. He was born in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sept. 14, 1949, he moved to the area in 1975. 

Mr. Coleman owned and operated Coleman's Aviaries since 1977; he was a veteran of U.S. Army, serviced in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne. He was an avid musician and singer, a member of the 327th Infantry Regimental Association, a pilot, an expert at salsa dance and he loved to travel.

John was preceded in death by two sons, John Jason Coleman, Jordan David Coleman; and his father, Edward Coleman.

He is survived by his mother, Betty Jo Tilley; one brother, Stephen Travis Coleman; one sister, Shirley Coleman Rayburn; two grandchildren, John Nathan Coleman and Starr Renee Coleman; one great-grandchild, Bentley McGuire; Aunt Bobbie Mickler; nephew and nieces, Erik Rayburn, Nicole Rayburn and Chelsie Coleman; four step-siblings and many cousins.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 30, at 3:30 p.m. from the chapel of Brackney Funeral Service with Mr. Mike Smith officiating. The family will receive friends Saturday at 3 p.m. at Brackney Funeral Service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the 327th Infantry Regimental Association, Dale Hansen, 3171 CR 3815, Athens, TX 75752.


You may leave your condolences at http://www.brackneyfuneralservice.com .

Services provided by Brackney Funeral Service, Crestview, Fla.



The identification of the pilot who died in a plane crash Saturday afternoon is still unknown officially, but friends of a Laurel Hill man are concerned that they know who the person might be.

Monday, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office sent a press release that stated positive identification of the pilot was pending a forensic autopsy.

Already, friends and neighbors are mourning the loss of John Coleman, who has been missing since the crash.

Coleman, who lives in Laurel Hill and owns Coleman’s Aviaries is known around the area for his sense of adventure and willingness to help.

"He’s the most interesting man," said neighbor Becke Barr. "He’s a hero, a Vietnam vet, a pilot, he loved to travel — all of us are shocked by the news."

Linda Preston has lived next door to Coleman since 1988. Over the past 20-plus years, she and her husband developed a close relationship with him.

"We were best friends," she said. "He was like a brother to me."

Saturday, Coleman was gearing up for a plane ride from Bob Sikes airport to move his plane to a hangar in Florala, Alabama, said Matt Havard who works with Coleman.

"One of his employees was going to pick him up from the hangar," explained Preston. "He told her he’d be there in a few minutes, but she sat there for three hours."

As the employee went looking for Coleman, she ended up at Preston’s house.

"She couldn’t reach him by cell phone, but I decided to call," Preston said. "All I got was his voicemail."

Preston heard about the crash and reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration, who told her there was no survivor. She reached out to Coleman’s sister and his girlfriend, who lives in Thailand.

Coleman was supposed to be leaving to visit his girlfriend Monday.

Joey Okkema has known Coleman for more than 10 years since he started working at Coleman’s Aviaries as a teenager.

"He was an all around good guy," he said.

Okkema had even flown with Coleman several times.

"In a plane is the last place you would’ve guessed . . . he knew what he was doing," Okkema said.

When getting together with friends and family, Coleman was always eager to get up and dance. In fact, he taught salsa dancing locally, Preston said.

And above all, he was quick to help others.

"He would do anything for anybody, he was a really good guy," Preston added.

Preston said she will miss Coleman’s positive attitude and listening to him sing and play the guitar, but most of all she’ll miss the weekly dinners she shared with him and her husband Dave at La Rumba in Crestview.

"John always ordered the same thing — salmon with refried beans and no cheese on top," she recalled. "It’s going to be really hard to go back there."


http://www.nwfdailynews.com


 
LAUREL HILL — The pilot of a small airplane was killed in a crash Saturday afternoon in north Okaloosa County, according to authorities.

The single-engine Beech BE-35 crashed about 2:30 p.m. near Laurel Hill, according to Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in College Park, Ga.

Preliminary information indicated that the pilot was the only person aboard, according to Bergen.

The plane crashed east of Steel Mill Creek Road in an area “that contains swampland between the site of the crash and the road,” according to a news release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The pilot’s identity had not been released as of Saturday evening.

Mack Wilkins, chairman of the Almarante Volunteer Fire Department board, said he lives only about a mile from the crash site. By the time he got halfway there, “I could see the smoke,” he said.

He said the crash site was just off Steel Mill Creek Road on the east side of Horsehead Creek near the Walton County line.

He said rescuers found only one person at the scene.

“If he’d have made it just a little bit further, he’d have had a pasture to land in,” Wilkins said.


A small, single engine plane has crashed in North Okaloosa County.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and firefighters have responded.

A 911 call came around 3:00 pm on Saturday, saying that the plane had gone down on the east end of Steel Mill Road near Laurel Hill.

The area contains swampland between the crash site and the road.

The FAA NTSB have been notified, and will be in charge of the investigation.

OCSO has set up and will maintain a security perimeter.

First responders, including the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and firefighters, have responded to a report of a downed small, single engine plane in North Okaloosa County.

A 9-1-1 call came in shortly after 3 p.m. this afternoon reporting that a plane had gone down on the east side of Steel Mill Road in an area near Laurel Hill that contains swampland between the site of the crash and the road.

The crash has been confirmed and the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

American Champion 7GCBC, N254AC, Full Circle Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred August 23, 2014 in in Lago Vista, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA448
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
b>Accident occurred Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Lago Vista, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2015
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 7GCBC, registration: N254AC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

A witnesses in the area reported seeing an airplane matching the description of the accident airplane flying near the accident site at a low altitude over water. A camera mounted to the airplane captured the accident flight. The video footage depicted the airplane flying low near terrain up until the collision with a power line. The video did not depict any abrupt maneuvers before the accident, thus, the pilot likely did not see the wires. The airplane impacted the ground and a postimpact fire ensued. An examination of the airframe, engine, and related systems revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to fly at a low altitude and his subsequent failure to see and avoid the power lines.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 23, 2014, at 0709 central daylight time, an American Champion Aircraft 7GCBC, N254AC, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 5.5 miles northwest of Lago Vista, Texas. A postimpact fire ensued. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from Breakaway Park Airport (40XS), Cedar Park, Texas, approximately 0630.

A family member of the pilot reported that he routinely departed early on Saturday morning to fly to the west of 40XS. Between 0700 and 0715, a witness located near Lake Travis observed an airplane, matching the description of the accident airplane, flying 25 feet above the water of Lake Travis. The airplane continued approximately 1.5 miles before it pitched up into a climb and banked 30 degrees to the right. During the pitch up, the witness noted an audible decrease in engine RPM and lost sight of the airplane as it continued to the west.

Approximately 0730, the North Travis fire department responded to a grass fire northwest of Lake Travis. During the aerial aspect of the fire suppression effort, personnel identified the wreckage of the airplane.

A GoPro video camera was mounted to the airplane and was recording the accident flight. The recording captured the takeoff and the entire accident flight. The last portion of the video showed the airplane flying low over water for several minutes followed by a left turn over a field. At 0708:13 the airplane pitched up and began to increase altitude. At 0709:21 the airplane began to pitch down into low altitude flight and trees became visible under the airplane. At 0709:34 the airplane initiated a shallow bank to the right and at 0709:36 the camera was deflected downward and the impact sequence started immediately thereafter. A set of powerlines is visible just before the camera was deflected downward.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 24, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate without limitations on August 1, 2011.

According to a family member, the pilot kept his flight log in a digital format application on his smart telephone. The telephone was destroyed in the accident. The family provided a log for the accident airplane with dates ranging between February 1, 2014, and July 12, 2014. During this time the pilot had logged no less than 38.5 hours in the accident airplane. On August 15, 2014, the pilot submitted his total time of 248 hours, 95 in the make and model, to the insurance company.

In addition, copies of endorsements were provided. The pilot received an endorsement for high performance airplanes on May 11, 2012, and endorsements for complex and tailwheel airplanes on July 1, 2012. He successfully completed the requirements of a flight review on November 29, 2013.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane, an American Champion 7GCBC (serial number 1319-2001), red and white with blue pinstripes, was manufactured in 2001. It was registered with the FAA on a standard airworthiness certificate for normal and aerobatic operations. A Lycoming engine rated at 160 horsepower at 2,700 rpm powered the airplane. The engine was equipped with a 2-blade, Sensenich propeller.

The airplane was maintained under an annual inspection program. A review of the maintenance records indicated that an annual inspection had been completed on November 5, 2013, at an airframe total time of 527.6 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station was Rusty Allen Airport (KRYW), Lago Vista, TX, located 5 nautical miles (nm) east of the accident site. The elevation of the weather observation station was 1,230 feet msl. The routine aviation weather report (METAR) for KRYW, issued at 0715, reported wind 180 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky condition scattered clouds at 900 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature 22 degrees C, altimeter 30.05 inches.

According to the United States Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department Sun and Moon Data, the sunrise was recorded at 0703. The sun's approximate position at the time of the accident was between 70 and 72 degrees azimuth and -1 and 2 degrees altitude. The video recording depicted the airplane flying towards the sun just prior to the impact. The sun was just barely coming over the horizon.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

A GoPro Hero3+ was recovered from the accident site was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Lab in Washington D.C. for download. An internal micro SD card contained the accident flight over 5 files. According to a family member, the camera was mounted on the outside of the airplane, on the top of the right wing strut, just below the bottom of the wing. The field of view of the recording did not include any part of the airplane. Airplane sounds such as the engine and exhaust are audible for the duration of the video. The departure time for the accident flight was supplied by a family member as 0630 and the time stamps associated with the recording are calculated from that time.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

An impact point was identified at the top of a live oak. Fresh broken branches at the top of the oak tree exhibited red paint transfer and cuts or damage consistent with contact with propeller blades. Branches were scattered directly below the tree and forward of the tree, in the direction of impact, within the debris field. High tension powerlines were located just prior to the tree. Small red paint chips were located between the powerlines and the tree.

Red paint chips, red lens fragments, broken plexiglass, broken tree branches, and fabric were located within the debris field. The debris field extended from the top of the tree, on an approximate bearing of 073 degrees, approximately 200 feet to the start of a ground scar. Plexiglass, inspection panels, and fabric were located within the debris field that continued from the start of the ground scar, 90 feet, to the main wreckage. Green lens fragments were located to the west/left of the start of the ground scar.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, empennage, both wings, and the engine and propeller assembly. The airplane came to rest inverted, with the nose of the airplane oriented to the northeast. The entire airframe was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire.

The fuselage included the forward and aft seat frames, the flight controls, the instrument panel, and the engine and propeller assembly. The skin on the entire fuselage was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire and the tubular structure remained. The engine had separated partially from the airframe and was crushed aft into the lower forward portion of the cabin. The instrument panel was destroyed by fire.

The right wing included the burnt remains of the fuel tank, the right aileron, and the right wing flap. The majority of the skin on the right wing was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. The entire leading edge of the right wing exhibited impact damage. The outboard wing tip remained with its red and white skin and exhibited exposure to heat and fire. The right fuel tank was impact and fire damaged. The flight controls for the right aileron were continuous from the aileron, inboard to the flight controls in the fuselage.

The left wing included the burnt remains of the fuel tank, the left aileron, and the left wing flap. The majority of the skin on the left wing was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. The entire leading edge of the left wing exhibited impact damage. The outboard wing tip remained with its red and white skin and exhibited exposure to heat and fire. The left fuel tank was impact and fire damaged. The flight controls for the left aileron were continuous from the aileron, inboard to the flight controls in the fuselage.

The empennage included the vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, rudder, elevator, and tail wheel assembly. The skin on the entire empennage was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire and the tubular structure of the empennage remained. The top portion of the rudder and vertical stabilizer was bent. The remaining portion of the rudder and vertical stabilizer were unremarkable. The elevator and horizontal stabilizer were unremarkable. The tailwheel was canted to the left but was otherwise unremarkable. The control cables for the elevator, rudder, and elevator trim tab were continuous and correct from the control surface, forward to the flight controls in the fuselage.

The engine remained partially attached to the forward fuselage. The engine cowling and engine baffles were charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire. The carburetor, airbox, and oil filter were impact and fire damaged. The propeller separated from the engine at the propeller flange and came to rest, directly adjacent the engine assembly. The propeller blades were labeled "A" and "B" for identification purposes. Blade A was twisted and bent. The blade exhibited leading edge polishing, scoring, and scratches long the face of the blade. Blade B was bowed aft and twisted. The blade exhibited leading edge polishing, scoring, and scratches along the face of the blade.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Travis County Office of the Medical Examiner performed the autopsy on the pilot on August 24, 2014. The autopsy concluded that the cause of death was "blunt force injuries" and the report listed the specific injuries.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy (CAMI Reference #201400189001). Results were negative for all tests conducted.




Obituary for John Henry "Hank" Sasser  

John Henry "Hank" Sasser, age 24, of Austin passed away on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

He was born in Austin, Texas on May 28, 1990, to Keven and Linda Sasser. 


Hank moved to Edmond, Oklahoma, with his family in 2004, where he graduated from Deer Creek High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The University of Oklahoma.

Upon graduating in 2012, he moved back to Austin.

Hank is a member of the Oklahoma Alpha chapter of Phi Delta Theta at the University of Oklahoma.

Hank had a passion for flying and enjoyed sharing this passion with others.

Hank is survived by his parents, Keven and Linda Sasser, and his sisters, Jeri Sasser and Katherine McCarthy.

He is also survived by his grandparents and many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at one o'clock in the afternoon.

The Sasser family has set up a memorial account with Challenge Air, an organization very close to Hank's heart. Please donate directly to Challenge Air at www.challengeair.com.


-Source:  http://www.legacy.com

 

 

FULL CIRCLE AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N254AC

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA448
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Lago Vista, TX
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 7GCBC, registration: N254AC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On August 23, 2014, about 0715 central daylight time, an American Champion Aircraft 7GCBC, N254AC, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 5.5 miles northwest of Lago Vista, Texas. A postimpact fire ensued. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from Breakaway Park Airport (40XS), Cedar Park, Texas, approximately 0630.

An acquaintance of the pilot reported that he routinely departed early on Saturday morning to fly to the west of 40XS. Between 0700 and 0715, a witness located near Lake Travis observed an airplane, matching the description of the accident airplane, flying 25 feet above the water of Lake Travis. The airplane continued approximately 1.5 miles before it pitched up to climb and banked 30 degrees to the right. During the pitch up, the witness noted an audible decrease in engine RPM and lost sight of the airplane as it continued to the west.

Approximately 0730, the North Travis fire department responded to a grass fire to the northwest of Lake Travis. During the aerial aspect of the fire suppression effort, personnel identified the wreckage of the airplane. The airplane came to rest inverted in up-sloping terrain. Both wings exhibited leading edge damage and the entire airframe exhibited damage associated with exposure to heat and fire.

AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRUMSTANCES AND BURNED, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, WRECKAGE LOCATED 5 MILES FROM LAGO VISTA, TX

Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Antonio FSDO-17

NW TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A 24-year-old man was found dead following a single engine plane crash west of Lago Vista. 

Firefighters received reports of smoke near the 9600 block of Singleton Bend Road at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Crews located a fire and requested aerial assistance. STARFlight responded to the scene, and the crew on-board discovered there was a plane in the middle of the fire, according to Assistant Chief Dan McCalister with Travis County ESD 1.

The pilot was identified as John Henry Sasser from Cedar Park.

The fire burned five to six acres before it was contained Saturday afternoon. It did not threaten any structures. Fire officials say hot spots, brush piles and large trees could burn for several days. Medics transported two firefighters to the hospital with heat related injuries, according to Austin – Travis County EMS officials.

“Very warm, steep terrain. Luckily we’re able to drive around 90 percent of the fire line,” said McCalister, “but the temperatures are taking a toll on firefighters.”

Firefighters stayed throughout the night to keep an eye on the fire, utilizing water, foam and hand tools. McCalister anticipates the region seeing more fires for weeks to come, until mother nature provides some relief.

Officials have not confirmed whether or not the plane crash caused the brush fire.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has secured the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been notified of the crash. The NTSB will lead the investigation.

Story and Video:  http://kxan.com


The plane that crashed in Northwest Travis County on Saturday was a single-engine, two-seat aircraft registered to a company in Wilmington, Del. 

Company representatives could not be reached Sunday for comment about the crash, which ignited a brush fire that spread to at least 7 acres before firefighters contained the blaze.

The pilot, who died in the crash, was flying an American Champion 7-GCBC, a fixed-gear plane built in 2001 that was issued a new flight certificate in January.

An investigator for the National Transportation Security Board should arrive Sunday at the crash site, board spokesman Keith Holloway said.

“The aircraft was severely burned by brush fire, so the investigators will really have to comb through the wreckage to identify parts, but that’s part of what we do,” Holloway said.

The investigator should have a preliminary report within five to 10 days, though a complete report takes between 12 and 18 months, he said.


AUSTIN — One person was killed in a fiery plane crash in northwest Travis County.

 It happened at 9:30 Saturday morning about two miles south of Singleton Bend Drive west of Lago Vista.

Firefighters first got the call as a brush fire. It wasn't until helicopters flew in to assess the size of the blaze that they discovered a single-engine plane had crashed, with one person dead inside.

Two helicopters rushed water to the fire until late Saturday afternoon. They scooped water from nearby Lake Travis and a pond on the property.

The fire eventually spread to about 30 acres, but endangered no houses or buildings. The land had been cleared for a housing development a few years ago, but the houses were never built.

As piles of debris caught fire and the day heated up, the battle became more difficult.

"It's very, very warm," said Assistant Chief Dan McAlister of the Travis County Emergency District. "The terrain is very very steep. 

Fortunately, we are able to drive around 90 percent of the fire line, but the temperature and stuff is really taking a toll on the firefighters."

EMS took care of the firefighters in the heat. They rotated shifts, so no one got too hot.

The Department of Public Safety said the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation and that the Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted as well.

Very few details have been released about the downed plane and the person who was found dead.

Firefighters said smoke could be seen in the area as they work to extinguish hot spots over the next few days.

The crash site is 25 miles northwest of downtown Austin.



 

NW TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – At least one person is dead following a single engine plane crash west of Lago Vista, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Firefighters received reports of smoke near the 9600 block of Singleton Bend Road at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Crews located a fire and requested aerial assistance. STARFlight responded to the scene, and the crew on-board discovered there was a plane in the middle of the fire, according to Assistant Chief Dan McCalister with Travis County ESD 1.

The fire burned five to six acres before it was contained Saturday afternoon. It did not threaten any structures. Fire officials say hot spots, brush piles and large trees could burn for several days. Medics transported two firefighters to the hospital with heat related injuries, according to Austin – Travis County EMS officials.

“Very warm, steep terrain. Luckily we’re able to drive around 90 percent of the fire line,” said McCalister, “but the temperatures are taking a toll on firefighters.”

Boots will remain on the ground throughout the night, utilizing water, foam and hand tools. McCalister anticipates the region seeing more fires for weeks to come, until mother nature provides some relief.

Officials have not confirmed whether or not the plane crash caused the brush fire.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has secured the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been notified of the crash. The NTSB will lead the investigation.


STARFlight drops water on a grass fire believed to have been started by a plane crash

Pitcairn PA 7S, N13158: Incident occurred August 23, 2014 at Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD) Rockland, Maine

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING NOSED-OVER, ROCKLAND, ME

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-65

OWLS HEAD TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM:   http://registry.faa.gov/N13158


This image shows damage the plane received to its nacelle, the housing for the engine at the front. 
(Courtesy of: Lieutenant Kirk Guerrette,    Knox County Sheriff's Office) 


Owls Head — A 1930 biplane from Owls Head Transportation Museum was damaged in a hard landing Saturday evening, Aug. 23 around 6:40 p.m. No one was injured in the crash, according to Knox County Regional Airport Manager Jeffrey Northgraves.

The plane was piloted by Tom Rudder, a museum volunteer. It was doing a fly-by during a weekend showing when the pilot encountered some problems.

The plane, a Pitcairn, landed hard, damaging the landing gear and tipping forward onto its nose, damaging the front of the aircraft. The damage was minor, according to Northgraves.

Volunteers towed the plane back to the museum. Following the incident, several biplanes could be seen flying over Owls Head, so it appeared the museum event was able to continue.


- Source:  http://knox.villagesoup.com

Courtesy of: Lieutenant Kirk Guerrette,   Knox County Sheriff's Office 
This 1930 Pitcairn biplane received minor damage in a hard landing Aug. 23 in Owls Head. The pilot, Tom Rudder, was not injured. 

(Photo by: Lieutenant Kirk Guerrette,  Knox County Sheriff's Office)

Iranian aircraft crashes expose weaknesses in 'self-sufficiency'

The crash of a passenger plane constructed jointly by Iran and Ukraine last week near Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran shows that not only do the sanctions against the Iranian aviation industry continue to threaten the lives of the Iranian passengers, but also that Iran's attempts to gain independence in aviation have been equally life-threatening.

On Aug. 10 at 9:20 a.m., a Sepahan Airlines plane, headed from Tehran to Tabas, lost one of its engines on the runway of the Mehrabad airport and crashed on the northern side of the Tehran-Karaj highway. According to a report published by the director of Iran's Airports Co., aside from the crew, there were 34 adults, three toddlers and three children under the age of 12 aboard this aircraft. Only eight passengers survived the crash.

The Iran-based airline's plane was an IrAn-140 aircraft. The Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, also known as "HESA," which belongs to the Ministry of Defense, had assembled the Ukrainian-made aircraft.

There is a short description for this type of turboprop aircraft on the company's website that reads: "A regional passenger plane, a small aircraft suitable for carrying 35 to 100 passengers between two locations, designed to have the utmost sufficiency."

Six years ago, in the last year of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's first term as president, his minister of roads and transportation, Hamid Behbahani, defended the administration's policies regarding "self-sufficiency" and "independence from trade with Western powers," and told the Principlist website KhabarOnline: "I have flown with this plane a few times already and I am willing to sign a written statement that IrAn-140 is much better than Fokker. This plane is both new and self efficient. If we gradually continue building these types of aircraft, in the future, we can compete with the foreigners."

Only two months after Behbahani made these comments, in February 2009, an IrAn-140 passenger plane crashed near Shahin Shahr Airport in Isfahan province, killing all five passengers onboard. The five passengers included one supervisor pilot and four other pilots who were being trained to work with these types of two-engine airplanes to join the company.

According to the moderate website Asriran, during Ahmadinejad’s second term as president, HESA, which assembles these aircraft, realized that no airline was willing to buy these aircraft it manufactured. Therefore, HESA decided to found a new airline itself named "Sepahan Airlines" and started using its own manufactured planes for that airline.

At the time of this accident, Hamed Saidi, one of the members of the board of directors of the Iranian Aviation and Space Industry, wrote in an editorial published in the Reformist newspaper Shargh: "The recently crashed airplane was called IrAn-140 and was manufactured by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, HESA. After the incident, however, its name changed to 'Antonov' and became a Ukrainian-manufactured aircraft. When awards are given, everything is national and the result of self-sufficiency, but as soon as something goes wrong, it is 'Antonov' that has crashed."

The Antonov-140 aircraft, and its Iranian-made version IrAn-140, have had five major accidents, three of which have occurred in Iran. The list of incidents, excluding the crash that happened last week and the one in 2009, is as follows: On Dec. 23, 2002, 44 Russian and Ukrainian officials were killed when Antonov crashed in Isfahan. In 2005, the airplane deviated from the runway in Arak but there were no casualties. On Dec. 9, 2005, 18 people were killed when the airplane belonging to Azerbaijan Airlines crashed. In 2008, an Antonov plane developed technical problems while landing, but there were no casualties.

It is notable that after the recent incident, the public as well as the media are focusing on how the previous administration has acted "irresponsibly" in importing this type of aircraft to Iran, and how President Hassan Rouhani's administration is equally at fault for not grounding these planes. This is an important development, since prior to this, people blamed the West's sanctions against the Iranian aviation industry for these types of incidents. Now, however, it appears that the situation has become more complex, and the critics no longer believe that the sanctions are the sole reason behind the demise of the passengers of the IrAn-140 aircraft. For example, the Reformist newspaper Arman has published a report regarding the latest plane crash and has quoted Mohammad Khatami's minister of roads and transportation, Ahmad Khorram, saying, "The airlines have been notified that they are not to use these aircraft. So why was it that this plane flew? The question is, how come those in charge allowed this airplane to not only fly, but be used as a passenger plane?"

Isa Saharkhiz, a senior journalist in Tehran who is one of the founding members of the Association of Iranian Journalists told Al-Monitor, "The funny thing is that Ahmadinejad's administration tried to pretend that this project is a great achievement and a sign of the self-sufficiency of the Iranian aviation industry."

These types of pressures coming from both the media and social networks have resulted in President Hassan Rouhani ordering the remaining IrAn-140 aircraft to be grounded. However, Deputy Transport Minister Ahmad Majidi has told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) that there were no more IrAn-140 aircraft left to be used. According to Majidi, prior to the latest accident, there were five Antonov-140 aircraft in Iran and four of them were incapable of flying due to technical problems and the absence of necessary parts.

According to the International Flight Safety Foundation, Iranian airlines have had a total of 56 fatal incidents and 1870 fatalities starting with the first ever incident that took place on Sept. 6, 1929, leaving three people dead, and the most recent incident on Aug. 10, 2014. Until the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979, the number of fatalities was only 189 and since then, during the past 36 years, 1,672 people have lost their lives in airplane-related disasters.

A flight engineer working at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran told Al-Monitor, “There are two issues that can help us be less surprised by these numbers. The first one is that in Iran, with the expansion of urban life and the growth in areas such as industry, education and economy, and especially after the Iran-Iraq war ended, there has been an increase in the number of flights. Based on the numbers that I have, each year, there are 100,000 flights from Mehrabad International Airport alone. More than 10 million passengers have traveled from this airport.”

He added, “Of course, an increase in the number of flights should not mean an increase in the number of fatal accidents. This is not the case. However, we should remember that Iran used to buy valuable passenger planes from the United States and Europe before the revolution, but this process came to an end after the Islamic Revolution, and eventually when sanctions were imposed on our aviation industry.”

While emphasizing that Iranian officials have acted irresponsibly, Saharkhiz also agreed that these sanctions were an important reason behind these accidents. He believes that the United States must end these sanctions. “Removing these sanctions and allowing Iran to buy passenger airplanes and spare parts is a humanitarian act, and US President Barack Obama could have done it without any preconditions,” he said.

Saharkhiz believes that such an act could be an important turning point and would help in building trust between Tehran and Washington, adding, “This might be wishful thinking, but we should remember that the impossible is not impossible.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com

Crop dusters? Call them ‘crop docs’ of the air

WALLS, Miss. (AP) - Motorists often see the agile, brightly colored planes flying over DeSoto County fields, especially in the county’s rich-soil west Delta region.

But don’t call them “crop dusters.” For one thing, they’re likely spraying, and they’ve elevated their role to that of an airborne crop doc who can respond quickly to an ailing field or help keep healthy growth in the pink, or rather, green.

Across Mississippi, according to state statistics, there are some 230 licensed agricultural aviation pilots and more than 100 “aerial applicator” businesses and 190 registered aircraft. They’re trained on crop care and restricted-use chemicals, and they take on vital tasks ranging from soil preparation and planting to agricultural seeding, protection and spraying.

In North Mississippi, providers include Delta Dusters of Walls; Carson Flying Service and Lesco Aviation, both of Tunica in Tunica County; Cole Flying Service of Batesville in Panola County; and Lyndale Farms of Senatobia in Tate County.

Rex Lester of Southaven, owner-operator of Lesco, says airborne applications are “a pretty good piece” of the farming and aviation puzzle regionally and nationally.

“You might call us unsung heroes,” Lester said. “Many of the reasons that we have such abundance from our agricultural producers, such a good food supply, are because of what we do.”

Aerial applicators can cover dozens of acres in minutes and respond quickly to field emergencies.

Lester pointed to a dramatic incident in 2007 in the Kansas-Nebraska region in which he and some 200 other ag aviators “answered the call” to halt a devastating wheat blight with a fungicide that had just been made available.

“It’s amazing how many planes are in use in the North Mississippi and Delta region,” said association president Joey Daniels of Hollandale, in Washington County in the state’s west-central Delta.

Because of coverage capability, aerial applicators “save our farmers thousands of dollars,” said Daniels. “The farmers don’t have to buy as much equipment when they use us.”

The association has done much to dispel the old “crop duster” public image by cooperating with state agencies such as the Division of Plant Industry and Mississippi State University, which provides extension services, to a point, members say, where the “aerial applicator” is now a respected member of the community.

The association has helped set up testing procedures of aircraft and spray-dispensing equipment, and it was instrumental in passage of the state Agricultural Aviation Board Act of 1966. This panel, made up of four active Mississippi operators plus the head entomologist for the Division of Plant Industry, govern agricultural aviation in Mississippi, the only state to have such a system.

For more than a half-century, the group has promoted safety and for about 12 years has sponsored seminars throughout the state.

“We’re proud of our record over the years,” said Daniels. “Last year, we didn’t have a single fatality.”

All aviation poses risks, and the Mississippi agricultural applicator community mourned the loss of pilot Ronny Leist, of Biloxi and a Clarksdale native, in a July 1 crash in Coahoma County
.

- Source:   http://www.washingtontimes.com