Sunday, August 24, 2014

Keith Murray: Fatal accident occurred August 23, 2014 at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Florida

Keith Murray 

ZEPHYRHILLS, FL (WFLA) - A Tampa man died in a skydiving accident at Skydive City Saturday. 

Skydive City officials said Keith Murray, 50, was performing a team practice jump with three other team members and a videographer at the time of the accident.

He deployed his parachute normally and his flight down was uneventful until the landing.

Skydive City officials say it appeared Murray initiated a turn too low to the ground and crashed into a pond at a high rate of speed.

Several local skydivers, who are trained paramedics, performed CPR and first aid until Pasco County EMS paramedics arrived.

Murray was taken to Florida Medical Hospital in Zephyrhills, but he could not be revived.

Murray was a well-known local skydiver, Skydive City President David Hayes said in a statement. He started in the sport in 2009 and had accumulated about 900 jumps at Skydive City alone.

He was training to compete at the USPA National Championships of Skydiving in Illinois in September.

Skydive City does 75,000 skydives each year.

“Accidents do happen, but our safety record is good and the safety record of the industry as a whole continues to improve over time with better equipment, training, procedures, etc,” Hayes said.

The Zephyrhills Police Department is investigating the incident.


Sparks Fly on Privatizing Air-Traffic Control: Movement Gains Steam as Means to Modernize System, but Critics Raise Specter of New Fees

The Wall Street Journal

By Susan Carey and Andy Pasztor

Aug. 24, 2014 7:04 p.m. ET

As the U.S. air-traffic control system grows creaky with age and struggles with budgetary constraints that limit modernization, debate is mounting in Washington over whether the system would function more efficiently as a commercial entity.

Advocates of full privatization or a hybrid public-private corporation believe a new structure would bring more reliable funding than the current mix of unstable congressional appropriations and a hodgepodge of taxes that go into a fund that supports air navigation as well as airport infrastructure and other functions.

Critics say such a move would incur costly new fees on airlines and private pilots alike.

Other nations, including Australia, the U.K., Germany and Canada, have made the transition in the past two decades, giving them access to capital markets and the ability to sell bonds based on the user fees they charge airspace users.

Now, nearly 20 years after the last major push for the concept in the U.S. was spurned, experts and aviation trade groups again are revving up efforts to uncouple air-traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration. Rising impatience with the agency's fiscal situation and slow, troubled rollout of modernization initiatives have sparked the latest activity, much it focused on analyzing the Canadian system.

"Many have asked whether it makes sense to privatize" air-traffic control, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said this year, noting that supporters believe such a move would provide "a funding structure that is more stable."

Mr. Huerta on Thursday said the agency is sounding out the aviation community to "fully understand what problems need to be solved before any decisions are made about possible structural and governance changes."

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx this year said there is "a lot of frustration that the political underpinnings for our aviation system may be frayed, and folks are looking for some alternatives." He said the government would want the industry "to be as united as possible" on the approach.

To that end, corporate groups such as the Business Roundtable, the nonpartisan Eno Center for Transportation and airline trade group Airlines for America are evaluating the options. Some hope they can reach a consensus before the FAA's next reauthorization bill goes before Congress in September of next year, although others concede it is bound to take longer.

Bill Shuster (R., Pa.), chairman of the House transportation committee, and Frank LoBiondo (R., N.J.), chairman of the subcommittee on aviation, a year ago asked the Transportation Department's inspector general to examine how the FAA's structure and funding compare with other nations' air-traffic systems and what overhauls, if any, would be beneficial.

The system, run by the FAA since 1958, has an annual budget of more than $11.5 billion. It handles about 75,000 daily airline, military and general aviation flights, according to, a tracking service. The FAA's air-traffic operation derives the bulk of its funding from taxes on passenger tickets, cargo, aviation fuel and use of airport facilities. Such collections vary widely from year to year, and the trend is pointed down because the FAA doesn't collect fees for airline add-ons such as checked luggage and better seats. Moreover, partisan fights on Capitol Hill also can produce roller-coaster appropriations.

"I believe the status quo won't continue to serve us," said Craig Fuller, a former lobbyist for private pilots who now serves as vice chairman of the FAA's Management Advisory Council, a group of outsiders who provide guidance to the agency.

The departing council in January issued recommendations to the current members, saying that the FAA should separate its air-traffic organization, quit taking financial support from the general fund and replace the complex system of air-traffic taxes and fees with a simpler user-fee structure.

Such ideas underscore the altered political dynamic, brought on by years of battles in Congress over FAA funding that made it difficult for the agency to plan and temporarily shut down some FAA offices in 2011. Two years later, overall federal spending cuts—known as the sequester—led to furloughs of air-traffic controllers, causing flight delays that infuriated travelers and members of Congress.

"We'd like to see a model that enables the FAA to make decisions more like a business," said Sharon Pinkerton, vice president of legislative and regulatory policy for Airlines for America.

Unlike in previous debates, some boosters of private planes, known as general aviation, are joining with labor leaders, including those representing the country's 14,000 civilian FAA controllers, to show they are at least willing to consider proposals for dramatic changes.

"I am certainly open for the discussion," Paul Rinaldi, the controllers' union president said this summer. "I do not support privatization," he said through a spokesman on Thursday. He said, however, that there is broad agreement "something needs to change" and "there is real urgency, and that is encouraging."

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which represents 350,000 general-aviation pilots, "is open to all ideas…that would lower the cost of flying for general-aviation users and bring efficiencies to the FAA bureaucracy," association President Mark Baker said in a written statement.

Their support is far from assured, however. The association and the National Business Aviation Association, representing 10,000 companies that use private aircraft for business, both prefer the existing system, in which members pay taxes on fuel to defray the cost of controllers' services. Some of the union's members are skeptical and not all airlines are entirely persuaded that privatization would be an improvement.

"That they're willing to talk is a huge step forward," said James Burnley, a former Transportation Secretary who informally broached privatization in the 1980s. "If you want stable, long-term funding, you can't do it if you're locked into a federal agency."In the past 15 years, nations including France, the Netherlands and New Zealand have formed separate government corporations or public-private partnerships to handle air-navigation functions. Canada has gone the furthest, in 1996 creating a private, nonprofit corporation that takes no funding from the government. Any profit at Nav Canada, as the company is called, is used to pay down debt, finance capital expenditures or reduce user fees.

The transition was made after Canada suffered many of the same problems now plaguing the FAA: air-traffic control infrastructure in need of renewal, major projects falling behind schedule and going over budget, shortages of controllers and costs increasing at a faster rate than revenue from ticket taxes.

Some critics in the U.S. say Nav Canada isn't applicable because the U.S. has much busier, more complex airspace. estimates that more than 9,000 flights a day operate in Canada.

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In Pictures: Flood affected villagers with cattle take shelter on Patna runway

 Image: Flood affected villagers on the runway of Patna Airport.
 Picture credit: Girdhari Mandal. 

Patna/Bhagalpur: The angry flood affected villagers in Bhagalpur district of Patna broke off the Patna Airport wall near zero mile. Nearly 500 people have started living on the airport runway now. They have tied their cattle including buffaloes on the runway.

The villagers hailing from Shehzadpur area near block headquarters have also started fixing up hand pumps for water on the runway. They have been living at the block headquarters from past 10 days but they were not provided with any flood relief supplies. Thereafter,  they reached the restricted area of the airport along with their cattle.

Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi along with Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar conducted an air survey on Friday. Other than Saharsa division , he inspected many other flood affected regions along with senior officials. Total 14 districts are suffering from crisis after the flood.

CM Manjhi have ordered to increase the relief operations. He has also directed the officials to provide one quintal rice and cash to families affected due to flood. After flood affected people complained about not receiving any relief supplies, Manjhi have ordered investigation into the matter.

Manjhi told that administration has been trying to get in touch with Home Minister Rajnath Singh but could not get through. he said all the reports are ready and have witnessed the situation in the region himself. He told that he will try again to talk to Union Minister.

The water level of Ganga and other prominent rivers is still rising at constant speed. River Ghaghra might even break its previous report. The level of Bagmati and Adhwara rivers also remained constant on Friday.

- Source:

Zoning Board approves ultralight trike business in Marpi

Permit applicant Stephen J. Nutting explains to the Zoning Board the trike business and its benefits to the tourism industry. 
Photo by Junhan B. Todino 

The Zoning Board on Thursday approved the conditional-use application of Songbird Aviation LLC to operate the ultralight trike, also known as flex-wing trikes or weight-shift-control aircraft, in Marpi.

The approval came despite concerns about the environment, noise pollution and the potential impact on historical landmarks.

But board chairman Diego Blanco said two major tour operators, Pacific Development Inc. and Tasi Tours, have expressed strong support for the proposed new business.

Gia Park of Mode Tour testified the trikes will attract more tourists, saying that memorial sites are no longer as popular as they used to be..

Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Alex Sablan, who testified as a private citizen, said there’s an indications that tourists, especially young tourists, want more activities on island.

Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Perry Tenorio, for his part, asked the board to “table” the application, saying he wants to hear from other travel agencies.

But he said MVA is not against the new business.

Long-time educator Elizabeth Rechebei is concerned about the noise that will emanate from the aircraft.

“Our island is small and to allow this is asking for disaster,” she told the board, as she noted that low-flying aircraft are already constantly hovering over her residence in San Antonio.

But applicant and local lawyer Stepher J. Nutting explained that their trikes will emit a low level of sound, at 71 decibels which is lower than the sound of a blender, which is 90 decibels.

“When flying about 400 feet above the ground the sound level is roughly like a conversation without a microphone,” he said, adding that they have to fly at levels as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Guam-based National Park Service superintendent Jim Richardson objected to the granting of the conditional-use permit, saying that the proposal will harm the character and intent of the designation of Marpi Point as a National Historic Landmark.

“NPS owns no land [there],” he told the board. “I don’t have a vote, only a voice. It is up to the people of the CNMI to decide to retain the somber and reverent character of this area that has served as an important focal point for many persons, some of whom come to Saipan just to pay their respects to the sacrifice made by so many, now 70 years ago.”

He said while operating ultra-light aircraft is not inherently bad, any noisy activities in Marpi are “completely out of character with somber and commemorative contemplation.”

He said their “objection is not with the activity itself or their profit motive. Our objection is simply this location that is important for remembering those that died here.”

Shelly Kremer of the U.S. Division of Fish and Wildlife shared Richardson sentiments.

Zoning Administrator Therese Ogumoro said the trike operation is classified as amusement, outdoor and is permitted in the district as conditional use.

The proposed location of the new business is southeast of Banzai Cliff between the veterans cemetery and the former Cowtown which is zoned as rural, she added.

The zoning staff recommended the approval of the application that will require Songbird Aviation to comply with FAA regulations and the requirements of CNMI regulatory agencies.

Blanco asked Nutting to work with MVA whenever there’s a scheduled memorial service in the Marpi area.

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2 Colorado colleges assist new pilots

DENVER (AP) — Two Colorado colleges on opposite sides of the Rocky Mountains have formed a partnership to help soften the blow of the Federal Aviation Administration’s increased flight-hour requirements for aspiring pilots.

The aviation curricula at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado Northwestern Community College now mirror one another so that students can transfer fluidly between the two institutions, gaining flight training at a reduced cost.

Standing at the intersection of aviation safety, national politics and the rising costs of higher education, this program is designed to get students up in the sky more quickly in order to accumulate the flight hours required to become a commercial pilot.

“The sooner you can gain experience, the sooner your career is started and you can make your way into a mainline carrier where you can finally pay off student loans,” said Kevin Kuhlmann, a Metro professor specializing in FAA standards.

Congress and the FAA — in response to the 2009 Colgan Air plane crash near Buffalo, New York, that killed 50 people — increased certification requirements last year to 1,500 hours from 250 for first officers of U.S. passenger and cargo airplanes.

“That was a big change that happened through political pressure,” said Michael McCasky, an airline captain. “What that’s done for us in industry is create a huge barrier to entry for new pilots.”

The new agreement between the schools reduces the required flight hours for its students to 1,250, a reduction that has FAA approval.

The typical student graduates with about 250 commercial flight hours. Compare that to 1990, when McCasky says the minimum number of flight hours to be a pilot with a major U.S. carrier was 350.

“Now that number is 1,500,” he said. “With a kid now getting out of school, how do they close that gap?”

The graduates build up those hours on their own time — and their own dime — by flying corporate jets, taking jobs as flight instructors or just paying to climb into the cockpit and take to the sky.

Through the agreement, Metro students can now spend semesters or even just summers at Rangely Airport in northwest Colorado taking flight training with CNCC. The students can bunk in on-campus housing at a discounted rate and receive training that is 10 to 15 percent cheaper than a typical flight school.

Chase Peters, a first-year aviation student at Metro, got a jump-start by taking advantage of this new partnership this summer at Rangely Airport.

“I wanted to get it done faster,” Peters said. “Fly in the morning, fish in the afternoon, fly in the evening. It’s a pretty good deal.”

This issue touches on the often-debated concern over an impending pilot shortage.

Kuhlmann said “the airlines are hiring again and they are poaching from the regional jet carriers who now can’t backfill” because of a shortage of hours-qualified pilots.

No one knows exactly how these new policies will play out, but McCasky said several changes in the industry are the ripple effect of the new regulation.

“We have this gap of people who come out of school but can’t get hired, but our appetite for transportation isn’t going away,” McCasky said. “So what you will continue to see is a trend toward bigger planes with more people, not smaller planes flying with high frequency.”

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$300,000 grant invigorates airport project: Detroit Lakes Airport-Wething Field (KDTL), Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Randal Mack, a pilot with Mead & Hunt engineering firm, fills his plane with fuel at the Detroit Lakes Airport Friday morning. 

Things are starting to ramp up again on airport extension plans at the Detroit Lakes-Wething Field Airport.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the $337,075 for infrastructure improvements at the airport.

“I often use the Detroit Lakes-Wething Field Airport when flying across the district, so I understand the positive impact a runway extension could have,” Peterson said. “This grant is the next step in allowing the project to move forward.”

The $337,075 will fund an environmental study to evaluate any potential environmental impacts related to a proposal to extend the airport’s runway.

“We have some issues with the runway out there” explained City Administrator Bob Louiseau. “We have to do a fairly complicated and extensive environmental review.”

The review will update a lengthy environmental analysis of the proposed runway extension project that was done about 10 years ago, he said.

“Under state and federal rules we need to update all that,” he said. “This grant will enable us to do that.”

The city will need to kick in about $18,000 as its share of the matching grant, he said.

“The airport is busy enough to far exceed the minimum air travel levels needed to justify the runway extension,” he added.

“We’re looking at alternatives – either an extension, or if we can’t do that, then moving it (the runway). We’re at the point of looking at what are the realistic alternatives.”

This is “kind of the first step in the process,” he said. It involves the city detailing the need for an extension, and gathering input from potential users, who are not now using the airport but would if the runway were long enough to meet the demands of their aircraft.

Louiseau expects the entire process to take 18-24 months.

“Eventually, even if we don’t extend the runway, we’ll have to do something to move it away from Highway 10, according to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” he said.

“Airports are critically important to communities across Minnesota,” said Franken. “This grant is part of the effort to ensure that the Detroit Lakes airport remains an important part of the community’s transportation system.”

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Rans S17: Fatal accident occurred August 24, 2014 in Lowell, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA454 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Lowell, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/29/2016
Aircraft: RANS S17, registration: None
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot had just purchased the unregistered amateur-built experimental airplane and was conducting a local personal flight around an airport. Witnesses, one of whom was the airplane’s previous owner, reported observing the pilot “erratically” taxiing the airplane up and down the runway. After watching the pilot practicing on the runway, including a takeoff and landing, the previous owner expressed concern to the pilot about his handling of the airplane and offered to reverse the airplane sale; however, the new owner replied that he felt confident in his ability to master the new airplane based on “hundreds of hours” in a weight-shift trike and his experience in a tailwheel-equipped aircraft. 

The witnesses reported that the pilot subsequently took off and then flew the airplane for 5 minutes around the airfield. During landing, the airplane appeared to stall about 3 ft above the ground, bounce, ground loop, exit the runway, and then come to rest. A witness and the previous owner then inspected the airplane and talked to the new owner. The new owner expressed his intention to resume practice. He then taxied down the runway, at one point exiting it to complete a 180-degree turnaround. During the subsequent takeoff, the airplane turned abruptly right about 45 degrees. The airplane lifted off at the runway edge, and it continued to turn to a heading almost perpendicular to the runway. As the airplane began to climb, it rolled right with a nose-high pitch attitude. The airplane passed behind trees out of the witnesses’ view. About 4 seconds later, the witnesses heard a loud crash. The previous owner reported that he could hear the engine under full power until the airplane impacted terrain. A cell phone video of the accident flight was consistent with the witnesses’ statements. A postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact anomalies.

Toxicology testing identified drugs in the pilot’s blood and urine consistent with the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a cold or upper respiratory infection. However, depression does not generally cause the inappropriate overconfidence exhibited by the pilot regarding his ability to fly an airplane in which he had limited experience and in which the flight characteristics were quite different from the weight-control-trike that he did have experience flying. Further, the psychoactive and sedating effects of the combination of the medications did not likely directly lead to the pilot’s observed behavior. Thus, there is no evidence that the pilot’s medical and psychiatric conditions or the medications he was using to treat them contributed to his decision to continue flight in the airplane in which he had little skill or experience. Given the witnesses’ statements, it is likely that the pilot’s overconfidence led him to continue flying the recently purchased airplane without acquiring additional training after nearly stalling it during a previous landing. The pilot’s lack of training also likely led to his erratic handling of the airplane and his subsequent loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s overconfidence, which led to his improper decision to continue flight in the recently purchased, unregistered airplane without acquiring training and to his continued erratic handling of the airplane and subsequent loss of airplane control.


On August 24, 2014, about 1130 eastern daylight time, an unregistered Rans S17 airplane, impacted trees and terrain during a takeoff at the Lowell City Airport (24C), near Lowell, Michigan. The private pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The unregistered airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight was originating from 24C at the time of the accident.

A witness who lived adjacent to 24C saw a small tailwheel airplane taxiing somewhat "erratically" up and down runway 6. The witness also saw a local pilot at 24C. That local pilot told the witness that the airplane had been his and that the pilot in the airplane had just purchased it. The local pilot expressed concern to the witness in reference with what he had seen of the pilot's handling of the airplane and conveyed that he offered to reverse the airplane sale. The new owner replied that he felt confident in his ability to master the new airplane based on "hundreds of hours" in a weight-shift trike and limited experience in a registered tailwheel airplane.

The witness observed the new owner apply full power and take off. According to the witness, the conditions were not ideal for a test flight; winds were relatively light but varying in speed and direction. The new owner flew the airplane for about five minutes around the airfield about 500 feet above ground level (AGL). The witness reported that the pilot's control of the airplane seemed acceptable; the observed turns were smooth and that the pilot appeared to maintain coordination. As the airplane lined up to land the witness observed that the airplane's approach speed seemed high and its descent rate was "rather steep." However, the airplane reached an appropriate airspeed about 10 feet AGL and about 1,000 feet down the runway. The airplane leveled off and nearly stalled before descending further at a very high angle of attack. The airplane appeared to stall about three feet AGL, bounce, ground loop, exit the runway, and came to rest contacting "shrubbery."

The witness and local pilot inspected the airplane and talked to the new owner. The new owner expressed his intention to resume practice. He started the engine and proceeded to taxi down the runway, at one point leaving the runway in what appeared to be an attempt to position the airplane for a 180-degree turn-around within the runway boundaries. He was able to get the airplane turned around, back on the runway and approximately aligned with the runway heading. The new owner subsequently applied what sounded to be full engine power and the airplane turned abruptly to the right at an angle about 45 degrees to the runway heading. The airplane broke ground at the runway edge and it continued to turn to a heading almost perpendicular to the runway. As the airplane began to climb, it rolled to the right with a nose-high pitch and appeared to have a "critically high angle of attack." The airplane passed behind trees where the witness lost sight of it. About four seconds later, he heard a loud crash. He ran in the direction of that sound and saw the airplane laying about 100 yards south of the departure runway.

Another witness, who was the local pilot, indicated that the engine could be heard under full power until the airplane impacted terrain.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector viewed a video of the accident flight taken with a cell phone belonging to a witness. The inspector's report of that the video was consistent with the witnesses' statements.


The 67-year-old pilot held an FAA private pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a sport pilot endorsement for weight-shift-control land airplane. The pilot held an FAA third class medical certificate, dated June 24, 1996. The medical certificate was issued with no limitations. The pilot reported on the application for that medical certificate that he had accumulated 600 hours of total flight time and 15 hours of flight time in the six months prior to that medical certificate. At that time, he reported no medical conditions and taking no medications to the FAA.


The accident airplane was a single-seat, high-wing, fabric covered, aluminum tube design Rans S17 airplane. A two-cylinder engine drove a three-blade pusher propeller. According to build paperwork given to an FAA inspector, the airplane's fuel tank was a nine-gallon tank.


At 1053, the recorded weather at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, near Grand Rapids, Michigan, was: Wind 080 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 5 statute miles, present weather mist: sky condition overcast clouds at 1,100 feet; temperature 22 degrees C; dew point 20 degrees C; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.


C24 was a public, non-towered airport, which was owned by the city of Lowell, Michigan. The airport had a surveyed elevation of 681 feet above mean sea level. The airport had three runways: runway 12/30 (2,394 feet by 48 feet asphalt), runway 6/24 (2,700 feet by 100 feet turf), and runway 15/33 (1,940 feet by 100 feet turf).

Runway 6/24 had displaced thresholds, which were marked with three-foot tall yellow cones. Runway 6 obstruction remarks listed 40-foot trees, located 7 feet from the runway, and 78 feet right of centerline. The threshold for runway 6 was displaced based on a 54-foot tree, located 50 feet right, and 1,350 feet from the displaced threshold, which resulted in an approach ratio of 24:1. Runway 24 obstruction remarks listed 48-foot trees, located 27 feet from the runway. Airport remarks listed an 80-foot tree, located 110 feet north of the end of runway 24.


An FAA inspector examined the wreckage on-scene. The airplane came to rest approximately 170 degrees from the takeoff runway heading. There were no ground witness marks consistent with a wheel lock up during the takeoff. No pre-impact anomalies in reference to flight controls were detected. The landing gear wheels spun freely when rotated by hand and the tailwheel also moved left and right without binding.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office. The autopsy indicated that multiple blunt force injuries were the cause of death and the manner of death was accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Accident Report. The report indicated:

7-Amino-clonazepam detected in Urine
7-Amino-clonazepam detected in Blood
Citalopram detected in Blood
Citalopram detected in Urine
Flufenamic acid detected in Blood
Guaifenesin detected in Urine
Guaifenesin detected in Blood
N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Urine
N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Blood
Oxymetazoline detected in Urine
Oxymetazoline NOT detected in Blood
0.016 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Blood
0.008 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Urine

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of 7-amino Clonazepam, in part, indicated it was the predominant metabolite of the antidepressant Klonopin. Klonopin is a sedating benzodiazepine commonly used to treat anxiety.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of Citalopram, in part, indicated it was an atypical antidepressant, CELEXA, with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) action. It is biotransformed to the active metabolite, desmethylcitalopram.

According to medical references, Flufenamic acid is an analgesic available in other countries. Flufenamic acid is not sold for humans use in the United States and is not considered sedating.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of Guaifenesin, in part, indicated it was an expectorant.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of N-Desmethylcitalopram, in part, indicated it was a metabolite of citalopram, CELEXA an SSRI used in the treatment of depression.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of Oxymetazoline, in part, indicated it was a decongestant used in the treatment of nasal congestion. Oxymetazoline is marketed with the name Afrin.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology's WebDrugs website description of Zolpidem, in part, indicated it was Ambien used in the short-term treatment of insomnia.

Klonopin. Citalopram, and Zolpidem carry warnings about sedation and/or psychoactive effects that may affect the ability to safely operate machinery or motor vehicles.


An Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) article titled, "Time Is Up For E-LSA Registration," advised that the FAA hard deadline for owners of two-place or "fat" ultralights to submit their aircraft registration (N number) application for converting their aircraft to an experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) was January 31, 2008. The article further, in part, stated:

With the passing of Thursday's deadline, EAA warns its members to be on the lookout for what may appear to be a "really good deal" in the used two-place or "fat" ultralight/light aircraft market. If you're offered a great price on such an aircraft, make certain it has an N-number and an airworthiness certificate. Always understand what you are buying, and be aware that as the buyer, you would be "under the gun" to get it certificated.

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA45414
CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Lowell, MI
Aircraft: RANS S17, registration: None
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 24, 2014, about 1130 eastern daylight time, an unregistered Rans S17 airplane, impacted trees and terrain during a takeoff at the Lowell City Airport (24C), near Lowell, Michigan. The private pilot, the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The unregistered airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight was originating from 24C at the time of the accident.

At 1053, the recorded weather at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, near Grand Rapids, Michigan, was: Wind 080 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 5 statute miles, present weather mist: sky condition overcast clouds at 1,100 feet; temperature 22 degrees C; dew point 20 degrees C; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

  EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico man who died in a plane crash Sunday in Michigan was a well-known veterinarian.  

Bryan Bowker, 67, was from Edgewood where he had his own practice.

Deputies in western Michigan say Bowker was test flying an ultralight aircraft that was for sale.

Kent County sheriff’s say Bowker took off successfully once, but crashed while trying a second takeoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Story, Video and Comments:

LOWELL, Mich.– A 67 year old man from New Mexico was killed after a plane crash at Lowell Airport on Sunday. 

According to a release from Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Bryan Bowker died after the ultralight aircraft he was flying in crashed. Officials were called at the scene at 11:37 a.m.

Bowker traveled from Edgewood, NM to purchase the plane. Officials say he successfully flew and landed the aircraft the first time, but after attempting a second take off he lost control and crashed roughly 350 feet south of the runway.

Jeff Ostrander, who runs the flight school at the airport said he was there as the plane came crashing to the ground. Ostrander said during that second take off is when he and another co-worker noticed something wasn’t right.

“He had been doing some practicing with the aircraft, taxiing up and down the runway to become familiar with the ground handling characteristics,” Ostrander said. “I think what probably happened is a aerodynamic stall where in the wing is held at such angle to the wind that no longer provides normal lift and airplanes do not fly in that condition.

Bowker was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the crash.

Ostrander said the victim’s wife was in town with him but that she was not there during the incident. She placed a candle for her husband where the crash happened.

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the crash, according to a release.


LOWELL, MI — An out-of-state man died in an ultralight plane crash this weekend in Lowell, authorities said.

Kent County Sgt. Russ Larson said attempts to resuscitate pilot Bryan Bowker, 67, of Edgewood, New Mexico, were unsuccessful after the 11:35 a.m. crash at Lowell City Airport, 730 Lincoln Lake Road.

Larson said Bowker, a veterinarian, drove-in with his wife from New Mexico in an RV to test fly the aircraft on Sunday, Aug. 24. A local owner was selling the blue and green ultralight craft. Bowker was the only person involved in the crash.

Witnesses at the airport said the pilot managed one successful flight before attempting to takeoff and land again. Bowker crashed on the south side of the city-owned airfield after losing control on the second takeoff.

Emergency responders included Rockford Ambulance, Kent County Sheriff's Dept. and Lowell Fire and Rescue. A victims' services unit was assisting Bowker's wife, who witnessed the crash. Neighbors said she might stay with them until her family arrives.

Larson said the Federal Aviation Administration does not investigate crashes involving ultralights because many of them are custom-built.

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LOWELL, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A man dies after crashing an ultralight aircraft at a Kent County airport. 

 Deputies say the pilot, 67-year-old Bryan Bowker of Edgewood, N.M., crashed at Lowell City Airport just after 11:30 a.m. Sunday. They say the Bowker had traveled to Michigan to buy the craft. He was the only person onboard.

Witnesses told deputies Bowker took off and landed once successfully. When he took off a second time, they say a crosswind hit the craft, causing Bowker to crash.

A witness who lives near the airport tells Newschannel 3 the impact of the crash made his house rumble.

Deputies say that while the Federal Aviation Administration does not regulate ultralight aircraft, it has been made aware of the crash.

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LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has died after crashing an ultralight aircraft during a test flight at the Lowell City Airport.

Bryan Bowker, 67, drove up from Edgewood, New Mexico, to test the aircraft before he purchased it. His first takeoff was successful, but the second time he took off, the aircraft went to the right and crashed, according to authorities on scene.

The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Lowell City Airport located at 730 Lincoln Lake Avenue, about a mile north from the city of Lowell.

Bowker’s wife was watching from the ground when he crashed, along with the couple who were selling the aircraft.

His family in New Mexico has been notified.

The ultralight aircraft was not regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.

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Pilots, volunteers pull off another successful air show: Thunder in the Valley II at Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO) Iowa


WATERLOO | Thousands of spectators poured through entrances early Sunday ahead of Thunder in the Valley II. After a thrilling, hot day, fans raved about what they witnessed. 

 "Loved it," Sue McFarland of Waterloo said. "I thought it was great. I would come back."

Air show performers, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, took off under a blue sky painted with a few thin clouds.

McFarland liked the four-plane Aeroshell Acrobatic Team, in particular, and the Thunderbirds.

"Everybody likes the Thunderbirds," her 12-year-old son, Jonah, concluded.

Matt and Tara Meyers of Cedar Falls took their daughters, Ava, 8, and Rachel, 14, to see the aircraft and maneuvers. Midway through the day, they also got some autographs from the Golden Knights.

"It's been an excellent air show. It's great for the Cedar Valley," Matt Meyers said.

Tim Newton, a pilot and owner of Livingston Aviation, took his crop duster up during the show. He was also a member of the volunteer committee that organized Thunder in the Valley II.

"It was a huge amount of work and a huge number of people were involved," Newton said.

But worth the effort.

"It's a great show," Newton said.

He'll probably keep his day jobs, though, and forego the full-time show circuit after a limited number of engagements.

"Two -- well, four if you count both days," Newton said.

Marty Hoel, a director with Chapter 227 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, was looking forward to another exciting day as the gates opened. His group has a number of aircraft on display and on Saturday greeted hundreds of people.

"The air show is more than just airplanes flying around in the air -- although we have a lot of that," Hoel said.

Dodge had a number of new models on the airfield and offered test drives, and John Deere had several of its biggest machines nearby.

Besides a handful of F-16 fighter jets, the Air Force also brought its SuperCar. The machine started as a 2009 Ford Mustang, but Air Force personnel turned the shell into a 500-horse beast, according to Zach Herrmann, a civilian contractor traveling with the exhibit.

"They stripped the interior and made it look like the cockpit of an F-16," Herrmann said.

The driver sits in the center in an actual ejection seat, but there's no steering wheel. That was replaced by an F-16 flight stick.

"The intent is to show what a career in the Air Force can lead to," Herrmann said.

Hoel views the air show as an important promotional tool for the aviation industry and for the military branches involved. Young people can learn a lot about various careers during a short stroll around the airport.

"It's a good opportunity for youth," Hoel said.

Jerry Durham, chancellor of Allen College in Waterloo, reminded spectators to prepare for sunny conditions. Nurses staffed an air-conditioned mobile medical van loaned by Des Moines University.

The airport, by design, has no trees and little shade.

Lt. Col. Tim Eich and other members of the Iowa Army National Guard were on the airfield as well. The unit, which is based at the airport, had UH-60 and UH-72 helicopters on display. Guests could even climb aboard the UH-60, which was set up for medical evacuations.

The goal, Eich said, is to give folks an idea what the Guard does.

"It shows the taxpayers where all their money goes. We can explain the mission and why we do what we do," Eich added.

The Iowa Army National Guard representatives are also talking to potential members.

"We're always looking for good people," Eich said.

Given the air show's track record, Hoel expects another is in the Cedar Valley's future.

"Yes, you bet," he said. "I would guess it will be an event every couple of years, although we don't have it nailed down yet."

The reason is the show's success so far.

"It is well-received," Hoel said. "I think the community is hungry for it."

Newton also hopes the Thunder returns.

"I'm optimistic. I think we should have another one," he said. "It's great for the community."

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Spectators swarm over the TBM Avenger, a World War II aircraft, on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at the Waterloo Regional Airport.

Aviation Awareness Day Helps Love of Flying Take Off at University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Pennsylvania

Michael Martin Garrett/
 Though the WW2 B-17 bomber was a big draw for the event, a collection of smaller planes - some privately owned and brought in for the event by aviation enthusiasts - was also popular. 

The propellers of a vintage B-17 bomber roared to life at the University Park Airport on Saturday morning, filling the runway with the sounds of rushing air and burning fuel.

“Look, Mommy, it’s taking off!” shouted Kyle Rotthoff, 2, from his parent’s arms.

Jessica Rotthoff, Kyle’s mother, says the precious toddler has a love for all vehicles – but flying machines hold a special place of interest for him. Because of this, she was excited to be able to bring him to the annual Aviation Awareness Day at the airport.

In addition to the World War 2 bomber, families enjoyed a pancake breakfast, working model planes and collection of planes that were smaller than the massive war machine beside them.

“Having something like this really gets people engaged,” Kyle’s father, Eric Rotthoff, says. “It lets people come and see the things that they’re interested in up close.”

Though Shannon Steele, 15, was still getting over getting up early on a Saturday, she seemed excited for the chance to see so many planes up close.

“It’s really cool to be able to go inside and look at all these different planes,” she says. “It’s a really unique opportunity.”

While eating breakfast in a hangar at the end of the runway, Laura Steele – Shannon’s mother – says she was reminded of a family tradition before they moved from Illinois. They used to go to eat breakfast at the nearby airport to watch the planes taking off while they ate. She says she’s glad that they’re able to continue that in some way now that they’ve moved to State College.

Beth Lerew, a customer service representative with the airport, says she’s glad for the chance to help inspire a love of aviation in a younger generation.

“Once you get the bug and fall in love with airplanes and all that goes along with that, it becomes a lifelong passion,” she says. “If we can share that with people, then that feels really good.”

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Man says helicopters flew close to his Ocean Beach home

SAN DIEGO - A local man sent 10News video of two military helicopters flying very close to his home along the cliffs of Ocean Beach.

"And I was just standing there with my palms up and my hands out like this asking them, 'What are you doing?!' And they flew by," said Jim Baird.

The video shows the helicopters turning at what appears to be the last second and heading south.

"They were scary close," said Baird. "I mean, you could feel the pulsation of the blades on your body."

Baird sent in the video after watching a 10News report on Monday about a low-flying helicopter in La Jolla Shores.

Public affairs officers for the Navy and Army Reserve told 10News the helicopters belong to the Air Force.

10News showed the video to a military aircraft expert who said it was hard to tell exactly how close the aircraft came to shore. Rich Martindell said aircraft have to stay a minimum of 500 feet away from the beach.

Baird estimated the helicopters came within 200 feet of his window. He said lawn furniture was knocked over and the noise was deafening.

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Federal Aviation Administration looks into low-flying helicopter at La Jolla Beach, San Diego, California

SAN DIEGO - Visitors to a La Jolla beach got a scare last Friday when a helicopter hovered precariously low above the waves.

A 10News viewer sent photos that show a small black helicopter flying just a few feet above the water with dozens of beachgoers nearby.

Clairemont resident Danny Pendlebury, who took photos of the helicopter, told 10News, "And I'm standing there with my camera taking some pictures and I hear this helicopter noise … at first I thought it was a police helicopter because it was black."

He quickly realized he was wrong when the helicopter, with two men inside, got way too close.

"… And hovered, and dropped down real low, I mean, like to where the skids were almost in the water," Pendlebury said.

Pendlebury added, "I went, 'Is this craft going to go in to the water? Is he in trouble?' And then people are running in to get their kids out of the water and the craft, the pilot's ignoring them and just hovering there."

San Diego lifeguards say they tried yelling through their loudspeakers at the pilots to fly away, but the helicopter hovered for about two minutes.

Pendlebury said, "Now the lifeguards are in the tower. They're going nuts and they're trying to order him out of the water."

A San Diego Lifeguards sergeant said lifeguards do not have a procedure for helicopters buzzing swimmers.

"I mean, if that thing had gone into the water and those blades went through the water, I mean, it wouldn't have been nice," Pendlebury said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is aware of the incident and investigating.

Pendlebury said the pilot "just looked like he was smiling, looking at the people in the water. I've never seen a pilot that reckless and that callous in my book."

10News learned the helicopter is owned by a businesswoman from the Bay Area city of Hayward. 10News tried to contact her but did not receive a response.


Incident occurred August 24, 2014 in Hanover Park, Illinois

Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing on Suburban Football Field Minutes Before Game  

The Hanover Park Hurricanes were set to host the Hurricane Bowl Saturday afternoon

A helicopter made an emergency landing in a football field in suburban Hanover Park Saturday just minutes before several players were set to take the field.

The helicopter landed around 11 a.m. Saturday in a field near Barrington Road and Route 19.

“As the helicopter was coming down they had no control over it and they were trying to land on a grassy area,” said witness and director of public relations for the Hanover Park Hurricanes Veronica Soto.

Chris Bachman, the owner of the company confirmed the helicopter made an emergency landing and no injuries were reported. He said the landing was “pretty basic.”

A village official said a pilot and one passenger were on the helicopter, described as a Hughes 269. The passenger had purchased a coupon for the ride, according to Deputy Mayor Rick Roberts.

Roberts said it appeared the aircraft had a busted oil seal, which forced the emergency landing.

Witnesses said fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene and the area was blocked off.

Some fear the incident could have been much worse.

“It was coming down regardless of anybody being on the field he would have hit,” Soto said. “Had it been 20 minutes later our 73-pound team would be on the field so we’re talking 6-year-olds.”

Ricky Bell, vice president of the Hanover Hurricanes, said he was on the field at the time and described the landing as “pretty crazy.”

“We saw it coming. We knew it was going to land on the field,” Bell said. “It was loud and it was coming quick. It literally bounced when it came down.”

Bell commended the pilot for landing as far away from people as possible.

The Hanover Park Hurricanes were set to host the Hurricane Bowl Saturday afternoon, a friendly match-up between several suburban teams.

The event was set to begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day.

Bell said the organization had to cancel the first two games of the event due to the helicopter landing and rain.

“We’re hoping that we can get [the helicopter] off [the field] and maintain our 2:30 and 4 p.m. games for today,” he said.

Bell said a mechanical crew was expected to come and remove the rotors from the helicopter so it could be towed, but officials later said the tow truck became stuck due to rainy conditions on the field.

Soto said the process has caused major damage to the field.

"This is going to ruin our season," she said. "We are very disappointed."