Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Christen Eagle II, N229HP: Accident occurred September 03, 2014 at Vinton Veterans Memorial Airpark (KVTI), Vinton, Iowa

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Ankeny, Iowa

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N229HP 

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA493
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2014 in Vinton, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/11/2015
Aircraft: DAVIS BENNY CHRISTEN EAGLE II, registration: N229HP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot reported that the airplane touched down on the runway just before the intersection with the crossing runway. The airplane subsequently encountered a “significant dip and rise” in the pavement at the intersection, and the airplane became airborne again. The pilot reported that a crown to the pavement on the landing runway also tended to pull the airplane toward the left side of the runway. The left main landing gear wheel subsequently departed the left side of the runway pavement. During the pilot's attempt to return to the runway, the landing gear encountered the edge of the pavement, causing the left landing gear to collapse. The pilot reported that there were no failures or malfunctions with the airplane before the accident. A second pilot reported a runway excursion on landing after encountering the uneven pavement; however, his airplane was not damaged.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of directional control during landing after the airplane encountered uneven pavement at the intersection with a crossing runway.

On September 3, 2014, about 1100 central daylight time, a Davis Benny Christen Eagle II airplane, N229HP, sustained substantial damage after a runway excursion during landing on runway 16 (2,500 feet by 50 feet, asphalt) at the Vinton Veterans Memorial Airpark (VTI), Vinton, Iowa. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Joliet Regional Airport (JOT), Joliet, Illinois, about 0945.

The pilot reported that the airplane touched down on runway 16 just before the intersection with runway 9/27. The runway 9/27 intersection was located about 620 feet from the runway 16 approach threshold. He noted that there was a "significant dip and rise" at the intersection, which caused the airplane to become airborne again. He added that there was also a "pronounced crown" to runway 16 that tended to pull the airplane toward the left side of the runway. The left main landing gear wheel subsequently departed the left side of the runway pavement. Upon the pilot's attempt to return to the runway, the landing gear encountered the edge of the pavement, causing it to collapse. The pilot reported there were no failures or malfunctions with the airplane before the accident.

A witness recalled that the airplane touched down on runway 16, north of the intersection with runway 9/27. Within about one second, the airplane encountered the difference in the pavement height at the runway intersection causing it to become airborne again. The airplane drifted toward the right side of the runway. The pilot attempted to correct, but the airplane subsequently went off the left side of the runway. The witness noted that the airplane did not ground loop during the landing. The airplane came to rest facing west, with the nose on the runway and the tail in the grass. 

The same witness, who was also a local pilot, stated that he normally slows the airplane before the runway intersection or lands past it. He added if a pilot landed near the intersection, they are going to get "hit pretty hard."

A second pilot reported he landed on runway 16 about one hour after the accident. He recalled touching down near the runway threshold; however, his airplane became airborne again due to a one or two foot drop off at the intersection with runway 09/27. Immediately after the runway intersection, the level of the pavement rose again, which caused his airplane to "bounce." His airplane drifted to the left and into the grass adjacent to the runway; however, his airplane was not damaged.

A member of the airport commission reported that there was an asphalt overlay on runway 16/34 in 2001. The pavement is uneven at the intersection with runway 9 -27; however, she did not recall it ever being a problem in the past. She also noted that the asphalt runway has a crown to facilitate drainage.

The pilot reported the wind was from 170 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots, at the time of the accident.
=====

A biplane racer who won a major event at last year's Nationals in Reno, Nevada, saw his hopes for victory again this year dashed after a runway mishap at the Vinton airport Wednesday.

Brett Schuck of Elkhart, Ind., made a fuel stop in Vinton as he attempted to complete the 1,766.33 mile flight from his home town to the race site.

But Schuck's landing gear broke when his wheel touched down, causing the plane to skid along the runway on its nose. The pilot escaped injury, but the plane's wings and propellers, along with the landing gear, were damaged.

The plane, called Fowl Play, is an aerobatic sporting biplane known as the Christen Eagle II. Last year, Schuck won some heat races and the Biplane Bronze First Place Trophy with a red and white biplane he called Warrior's Creed.

Events at the Reno National Air Races begin this weekend, with most races taking place next weekend.

The cause of the mishap is still under investigation, but some local pilots say the condition of the runways at the Vinton airport is either a factor, or perhaps the cause of the incident.

"This runway is not safe," said Shane Ohman, a crop duster who frequently flies out of Vinton, and was there when the incident happened. The runway's defects include a large bump where the two runways intersect. Pointing to another plane, Ohman said that plane's pilot recently hit a bump and ended up in the grass along the runway.

A pilot who agrees is John Stiegelmeyer, a former military and commercial pilot who now flies a plane he built.

"The intersection of 16-34 and 9-27 is one of the worst I have been exposed to," said Stiegelmeyer. "Taking off to the South on 16 hitting the intersection of 9-27 gets me airborne before I wish. I have to fly in ground effect to gain airspeed over stall before I can climb. Some other instructors at other airports do not want their students to land or take off on this runway. I also get a bounce taking off to the West on 27. During first 40 hours of tests on 717JR, I took one of the Commission members to illustrate the hazard. Low performance aircraft do not get the same effect. So nothing was done. Likely the Caravan of the sky divers doesn't have a problem here either."

Former Airport Commissioner Tom Boeckmann, however, said that he has not heard of any problems concerning that portion of the runway.

"It has not been a problem in the past but I'm no longer a commissioner so don't know if they have issues now," said Boeckmann.

However, he adds, the runway needs a lot of work, but there is no money for it. Hangars are grant-funded with the federal and state governments often paying 90 percent of the cost. The local match formula, however, is different for runways, leaving cities to absorb more of the expense.

Another pilot, Rick Hadley, said he has not used the runway for the past three years, but remembers "a bit of a bump there at the intersection."

Yet, said Hadley: "I never had a problem with it, particularly not on landing. Taking off to the south, I'd often start my run to the south of the intersection to avoid it, but that was because I was flying a very light tail-dragger and it was just transitioning the weight from the wheels to the wing right about there. As I say, I personally never found it to be a major problem, but again, I don't know if it's gotten worse in three years or not."

Hadley said his guess is that the pilot "probably lost control due to a gust of wind just as he crossed the intersection."

Wednesday's weather was mostly sunny but windy, with gusts higher than 20 mph.

"It's 18, gusting 23 out there at the moment and that's pretty strong even for an experienced pilot," Hadley said.

Schuck and his companions left the airport to look for a rental car to drive to Reno, leaving the damaged plane locked in a hangar.

Hence, no passenger flights via single engine carrier

KATHMANDU, Nepal–The single-engine airplanes that served to fly passengers after turning down in cargo flights, will no longer be allowed to carry passengers’ flights hence onwards, thanks to the decision of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for banning single-engine planes to carry out passengers’ flight in the country.

CAAN, a sole regulatory body to look into the aviation sectors in the country, has rated Sita Air and Air Kasthamandup—that were carrying passengers’  flight to Himalayan region —to cargo airline.

All the single-engine airplanes, and even double-engine of Sita, now will have to carry only cargo hence onwards.

Sita was bumped to cargo due to lack of aviation safety and failing to submit the progress report beside lacking  required documents despite of double-engine airplanes, multiple sources at CAAN told this portal.

The downgrade came to Sita and Kasthamandup in the wake of the renewal of Air Operators Certificate (AOC). Both the carriers have been also charged of failing to meet the existing safety standard. Notwithstanding, the CAAN has also hinted that it would lift the ban if the company get improved.

Travel and tourism entrepreneurs believe that CAAN’s measure is likely to hit the travel provider service companies whose cargo business has been dropping down in the recent days. Presently, the airline companies are operating cargo flights round the year to mountainous district Humla and Dolpa where road network is yet to connect.

Such flights are also carried out at the times of natural calamities like avalanche, landslides, floods, earthquake etc.

CAAN has been acting tough after the European Union (EU) blacklisted Nepali airline companies forbidding all the Nepali carriers from operating flights in the EU sky since last December.

The EU had issued red signal to Nepali aviation sector on the basis of certificates, flight operation and flight qualification as per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. It was also based on CAAN regulations, working procedures, rules and the latest report prepared by the ICAO on Nepal.

In the meantime, CAAN has renewed Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of Buddha, Yeti, Tara, NAC, Simrik Airlines, Makalu, Shree, Goma, Air Dynasty and Mountain Helicopter.


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

Pilots, flight crews face higher risk of skin cancer

Airline pilots and flight crews may face as much as twice the risk of the type of skin cancer known as melanoma compared with the general population, according to a new analysis of existing research.

However, it's not clear whether exposure to the sun during flight time is responsible for the increased risk.

The lead author of the new analysis, Dr. Susana Ortiz-Urda, co-director of the UCSF Melanoma Center at the University of California, San Francisco, said the findings are "very worrisome." She called on airlines to make their windows more protective against the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. In addition, she said, "more measurements should be performed by the Federal Aviation Administration in regards to cumulative UV exposure for pilots and cabin crew."

But not everyone agrees that UV exposure during flights is to blame for the increased risk. And, due to the design of the study, the researchers were only able to show an association between working on an airliner and an increased risk of melanoma. They were not able to prove that extra flying time caused these cancers.

Eero Pukkala, a Finnish researcher who studies the risks facing people who work in airplanes, said other factors may be the cause. He noted that airline windows provide extensive protection against the sun's skin-damaging rays. Pukkala suggested that more frequent travel to sunny climates and sun-tanning by pilots and cabin crew members could explain the higher risk.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It can often be successfully treated, especially when found early. However, it can also be deadly. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that almost 10,000 people will die of melanoma in 2014, and more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with the illness.

Exposure to the sun's UV rays is a major risk factor for developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer, according to the ACS. And, because of the altitudes planes reach, there's a greater potential for UV exposure if the windows don't offer adequate UV protection, according to background information in the study.

"For every additional 900 meters [2,952 feet] of altitude above sea level, there is a 15 percent increase in intensity of UV radiation. At 9,000 meters [29,527 feet], where most commercial aircraft fly, the UV level is approximately twice that of the ground," the analysis authors wrote.

In the new analysis, Ortiz-Urda and colleagues combined the results of 19 studies that tracked pilots, flight crews or both over various time periods from the 1940s through 2008. Only five studies looked at crews in the United States; most examined European countries, especially those in Scandinavian countries.

The researchers found that pilots and cabin crews were twice as likely to develop melanoma as the general population. It's not clear why the higher risk exists, and it could be a statistical glitch.

Pukkala, who is director for research with the Finnish Cancer Registry at the Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, said, "Aircraft pilots, cabin crew or passengers are virtually unexposed to solar UV radiation because the shielding effect of the windows."

Pukkala did acknowledge that past research has shown an increased risk for skin cancer among Scandinavian airline pilots and flight crews. But, he reiterated that this might be because crews flew to sunny climates and developed sunburns while trying to become tanned.

What should airlines do about the increased melanoma risk? Nothing, Pukkala said. There's "no need to do anything."

But Ortiz-Urda disagreed. She said there is risk in planes with glass windows instead of plastic windows. Glass lets in more of a certain type of UV light -- UV-A -- than plastic does, and UV-A has been implicated in the development of melanoma, according to the study authors.

And, Ortiz-Urda and her co-authors also don't believe the increased risk of melanoma comes from leisure activities, such as sunbathing. The study authors noted that previous research has looked at leisure activities of pilots and flight crews and compared them to the general population, and didn't find significant differences in the number of sunburns, sunscreen use or other tanning behaviors.

The new analysis was published in the Sept. 3 online edition of the journal JAMA Dermatology.

- Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com

Skybolt: Fatal accident occurred September 03, 2014 near Brantford Airport, Ontario, Canada

Ontario Provincial Police walk past the scene of a fatal plane crash at the Brantford airport Wednesday. 
(Jeff Green/CBC) 



An ex-military and commercial pilot with more than 20,000 hours in the air has died after crashing a custom-built biplane near the Brantford, Ont., airport Wednesday morning.

Ray Cameron, a pilot and mechanic at the airport, said the plane "wagged" its tail before crashing into the ground before it stopped next to a machine shop where the wood and fabric covered wings burned, leaving only a steel frame visible.

Neither the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) nor the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) could confirm if the fire began before the plane crashed or as a result of hitting the ground. Neither would release the identity of the only fatality in the crash, the pilot, with the OPP adding they still need a positive identification on the deceased.

Cameron said the pilot was a retired military flight instructor in his late-sixties who trained pilots on the Tutor fighter jet, the same planes used by the Snowbirds.

A TSB news release Wednesday afternoon identified the plane as an amateur built Skybolt biplane. Transportation Safety Board investigator Ewan Tasker said the plane was a kit-built "high-performance acrobatic aircraft."

Tasker said he had heard witness reports that the plane had "wagged" its tail flap before the crash, but that he'd also heard the opposite as well. What is certain is the first impact into pavement beside the airport was "pretty hard."

"There's quite a crater," Tasker said.

While Ontario Provincial Police did not release a name, the TSB did confirm the pilot had "30 to 40" years of experience.

Neither the OPP or TSB offered any speculation on the cause of the crash.

Cameron, who said he had flown in the plane, said it was in good order, and was roughly five years old.

"It was really responsive. It was a good-flying plane," said Cameron, describing the kit-built plane with a nine-cylinder Russian radial engine.

Cameron said the pilot leaves behind a wife and son.

Tasker said the Skybolt is a popular aircraft with acrobatic enthusiasts.

"There's such a variety of amateur-built, kit-built aircraft," Tasker said. "Generally overall, they have a good safety record."

Police were called to the crash site near York Road just east of the airport around 11:19 a.m., OPP Const. Larry Plummer told CBC Hamilton.

"We don't yet know the cause," he said, but added that it was "not a crash landing." There was only one person in the plane.

The plane wound up under several trees and near a mid-sized building. Police cordoned off the area around the downed plane and covered the wreckage with an orange tarp.

Police have closed York Road for the investigation.

This is the second serious plane crash at the Brantford airport in a week. An experimental aircraft crashed near the airport last Friday, sending two men to hospital with serious injuries.


-Source:  http://www.cbc.ca

Lancair IV-P, N541EM, Empire Equipment LLC: Fatal accident occurred September 03, 2014 in Collegedale, Tennessee

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA421 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2014 in Ooltewah, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/2016
Aircraft: KLAAS DEVELOPMENT INC LANCAIR IV P, registration: N541EM
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.

Shortly after departing on a personal cross-country flight and leveling off at the filed cruise altitude, the commercial pilot reported trouble maintaining altitude and descended to a lower altitude. He then reported both engine and instrument problems and requested to divert to a nearby airport. Subsequently, the pilot reported that the engine had lost power, oil was all over the windshield, and that there was no visibility due to the oil. Shortly thereafter, he stated that a forced landing was imminent; the last radar return for the flight was about 2 miles from a nearby airport and in the vicinity of the accident location. 

On-scene examination of the wreckage revealed that the propeller hub and propeller blades were missing and that oil was noted covering the airplane and windshield fragments. The propeller blades and hub were later located about 8 miles from the accident location. Five of the six propeller mounting bolts were found inside their bores. The sixth bolt was not located. Metallurgical examination determined that the remaining five mounting bolts failed due to reverse bending fatigue. The witness marks on the aft face of the propeller hub were consistent with marks from bolts or bolt fragments while the propeller hub was still partially attached. This would likely occur when the bolt or dowel was still intact before total separation of the propeller assembly. The reverse bending failure of the hub mounting bolts were likely indicative of a loose connection between the hub and the crankshaft. Maintenance records revealed that the propeller was overhauled about 35 flight hours before the accident and was inspected about 15 flight hours before the accident; however, the records did not note, nor were they required to, the torque setting that was achieved. Considering the extensive damage to the propeller flange in conjunction with the limited number of flight hours, it is likely that at least one of the propeller mounting bolts was not torqued sufficiently at the time of installation and gradually loosened during the subsequent flights.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The inadequate torque of the propeller mounting bolts and inspection of the propeller, which resulted in the fatigue fracture of the bolts and a subsequent in-flight separation of the propeller assembly.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 3, 201
4, about 1522 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Lancair IV-P, N541EM, was substantially damaged when it impacted an open field within an industrial park near Ooltewah, Tennessee. The airplane had departed from McGhee-Tysons International Airport (TYS), Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1451. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN), Jackson, Mississippi. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The business flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Radar and voice communication data from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) revealed that the pilot reported on the Atlanta ARTCC frequency that he was at 11,000 feet and requested to deviate to the right for weather. The airplane subsequently leveled at its filed cruising altitude of 16,000 feet above mean sea level (msl). Shortly after reaching cruise altitude, the pilot reported that he was "having trouble holding altitude," descended to 15,000 feet msl, reported "engine problems," and then reported "instrument problems." The pilot subsequently requested to divert to Chattanooga-Lovell Field (CHA), Chattanooga, Tennessee. At 1513, the pilot reported that the airplane "lost engine power" and the corresponding radar return was approximately 7 miles north of Collegedale Municipal Airport (FGU), Collegedale, Tennessee and indicated an altitude of 6,000 feet msl. Then the pilot reported "oil all over the windshield" and that he "could not see a thing." Subsequently the pilot reported "I cannot see it. I cannot make it. I am just looking for anything at this point" and that "a forced landing was imminent." The last recorded radar transponder return for the flight was about 2 nautical miles north of FGU, and in the vicinity of the accident location.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and helicopter, with ratings for instrument airplane and helicopter. His most recent second class medical certificate was issued on July 1, 2014. According to the pilot's flight logbook the most recent entry was dated August 21, 2014, and the pilot had 2,811.5 total hours of flight experience. His most recent flight review was conducted on April 28, 2014. According to a representative of the operator, the pilot had 577.1 total hours of flight experience in the accident airplane make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued and special airworthiness certificate on March 13, 2000, and was registered to Empire Equipment LLC on July 02, 2007. It was equipped with a Continental Motors TSIO-550 E3B engine serial number 803094. The engine as equipped with a MTV propeller model14-D/4 Blade. Review of the maintenance logbook records revealed an annual inspection was completed on the airframe and engine, on August 13, 2014, at a reported tachometer time of 1741.6 hours. Review of the aircraft maintenance logbook records revealed that on June 17, 2014, the propeller was removed, overhauled, and reinstalled; however, an entry in the propeller maintenance records shows that the propeller was overhauled on June 13, 2014. The propeller maintenance record further revealed that the propeller was inspected on August 13, 2014 and was considered to be in an airworthy condition.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1527 recorded weather observation at Chattanooga-Lovell Field (CHA), Chattanooga, Tennessee, located about 9 miles to the west of the accident location, included wind from 040 degrees at7 knots, visibility 10 miles with thunderstorms, few cumulonimbus clouds at 3,200 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 4,000 feet agl, broken clouds at 18,000 feet agl and 25,000 feet agl, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 21 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.03 inches of mercury. The remark section included thunderstorms began at 1527 with occasional lightning in the clouds to the south and southwest of the airport and a thunderstorm south, southwest of the airport moving to the northeast.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was located in a grassy area of an industrial park. The airplane came to rest on its belly and the landing gear was retracted. The initial impact point was denoted as a ground scar created by the left wing of the airplane and the main wreckage came to rest 108 feet 8 inches from the initial impact ground scar. The nose of the airplane impacted the ground 16 feet 4 inches from the initial impact point and began with a ground scar similar in shape and dimension as the propeller flange. The debris field was on a 202 degree heading from the initial ground scar and the airplane came to rest on a 015 heading. Subsequent examination of the surrounding area revealed a composite piece of the tail was located about 510 feet and on a magnetic heading of 036 degrees from the initial impact sight.

Examination of security video, obtained from a nearby facility, revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a left wing down, slightly inverted attitude. Subsequently, the nose of the airplane impacted the ground, followed by the right wing. The security video further revealed a mist emanating from the wreckage similar in appearance to fuel spray from the breeched right fuel tank.

The airplane exhibited various degrees of impact and crush damage; the empennage, aft of the most aft bulkhead, was separated, but remained in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage. Both wings exhibited impact damage on the outboard approximate one-half of each wing. Rudder cable continuity was confirmed from both sets of rudder pedals to the rudder horn located in the tail through the cable cut that was made to facilitate recovery. However, the rudder was separated from the vertical stabilizer at the attach points during the accident sequence, and was located in the immediate vicinity of the stabilizer. Elevator push/pull tube continuity was confirmed from both side mounted control columns in the cockpit to the base of the vertical stabilizer mounting surface on the aft bulkhead. The elevator operated smoothly on the separated vertical stabilizer. Left aileron continuity was confirmed from the side mounted control columns in the cockpit to the left wing's fracture point on the outboard section of the wing; however, the aileron was impact separated but was in the vicinity of the wreckage. Right aileron continuity was confirmed from the side mounted control columns to the push/pull tube fracture point at the fuselage wall and from that fracture point to the aileron.

The instrument panel remained attached via cables and wires only. The ignition switch was in the "BOTH" position; however, the key was broken off flush with the switch body. All instrumentation remained attached and the turn and bank indicator indicated a left bank turn. The fuel selector valve indicator was on the right fuel tank. The throttle, mixture, and propeller levers were in the full forward position. An oxygen bottle was located securely mounted on the floor of the cockpit and the valve indicated it was still in the green band. The landing gear lever was in the "UP" position and the gear switch was bent to the right. The flap handle was in the full forward position, and the flaps also appeared to be in the "UP" or retracted flap position.

On-scene examination of the engine revealed that the propeller flange remained in place; however, the propeller was unable to be located. The propeller flange bolt holes were devoid of any bolts or bolt shanks and the holes were packed with soil from the nose impact point. Approximately 4 weeks after the accident, the propeller was located about 8 miles to the north of the accident location in a pasture. The propeller blades and hub were examined at the recovery facility. Examination revealed both dowel pins remained inside their respective holes and five of the six bolts remained inside their respective bores. The bore that was devoid of any bolt remnants was examined and elongated. The hub assembly aft face also indicated score marks and impression around the radius of the hub and were generally equal in distance from the center of the hub. The propeller assembly was sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington DC for further examination. For more detailed information on the propeller examination, reference the "Propeller Examination Report" located in the docket associated with this accident.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on September 4, 2014, by the Office of Hamilton County Medical Examiner. The cause of death was "Multiple blunt force injuries due to aircraft crash," the report went on to list the specific injuries.

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens form the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol was detected in Vitreous, no carbon monoxide was detected in the blood, and no drugs of abuse were detected in the urine.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The propeller was examined at the NTSB Materials Laboratory. During the examination it was noted that the aft side of the propeller hub had separated from the forward side of the crankshaft due to the failure of six hub-mounting bolts; however, one bolt or bolt fragment was absent and unable to be located. The aft surface of the propeller hub exhibited crescent and circular witness marks around the periphery of the aft hub face. The marks were oriented as pairs of hemispherical-shaped wear marks at each bolt eye and were consistent with impact from whole or fragmented attachment bolts or dowels. The fracture surfaces of all the located bolt fragments exhibited two thumbnail-shaped crack features, which exhibited crack arrest marks emanating from the surface of the bolts. The fracture characteristics were consistent with failure from reverse bending fatigue and were consistent with fatigue striations an overstress failure. The bolt hardness, when tested averaged 41 HRC [Hardness Rating Conversion], which was above the minimum required hardness of 38 HRC. For more detailed information about the examination of the propeller hub reference the "NTSB Materials Laboratory Report" in the docket associated with this accident.

Several electronic devices were sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington DC. Some of the devices, such as the Traffic Collision Alerting Device (TCAD) 9900B and Flightcom DVR, either did not have the ability to record data or the external battery was impact separated and any recorded data was subsequently lost. The Electronics International R-1 Tachometer, oil pressure, and manifold gauge were able to record various sampling rates, about once for every 4 minutes, and captured the accident flight. The last recorded data for the tachometer indicated 0 rpm and the last record oil pressure and temperature, recorded 75 seconds prior to the tachometer data, indicated 11 psi and 145 degrees F respectively. The second to last manifold pressure record indicated a reading of 9.1 inches of mercury (inHg) and the subsequent recording, 218 seconds later, recorded 28.7 inHg. In the previous 6 recordings indicated a range of 36.1 to 37.4 inHg. Otherwise the recorded data was unremarkable. For more detailed information reference the "NTSB Electronics Device Factual Report" located in the docket associated with this accident.

The propeller governor was sent to the manufacturer for examination. The examination revealed damage which prevented operational testing of the governor. The governor was disassembled and the internal components were visually examined. The damage to the governor was consistent with impact damage. The examination revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities prior to the impact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Engine Examination

The engine was shipped to the manufacturers facility for disassembly and detailed examination. The engine exhibited crush damage to the oil pan and rotation was only able to be accomplished through approximately 60 degrees of arc, as noted on the accident scene. The engine driven fuel pump exhibited impact damage around the aneroid casing. Both magnetos exhibited impact damage to the case and the right magneto drive gear.

Borescope examination of the cylinders revealed minimal damage to all cylinders except Cylinder No. 5. Examination of Cylinder No. 5 revealed the connecting rod and bearing were damaged. Examination of the connecting rod and crankshaft area associated with Cylinder No. 5 exhibited signs similar to overheating from oil starvation.

The crankshaft gear was observed through the aft and right front side of the engine case. Several gear teeth associated with the front gear were missing and exhibited heat signatures similar to oil distress. Heat stress was noted throughout the crankshaft and was similar to stress from oil starvation. No other abnormalities were noted that would have precluded normal operation. For more detailed information on the engine examination reference the "Engine Examination Report" located in the docket associated with this accident.

Operator Aircraft Usage Log

According to the operator's "Aircraft Usage" log, the airplane flew 35.2 hours since the propeller was overhauled and 15.3 hours since the most recent inspection, which did not include the accident flight. Of those 15.3 hours the pilot flew 3.7 hours.

MT-Propeller Installation Guidance

According to the MT-Propeller installation manual and considering the engine horsepower, the required torque value range for the 1/2 inch 20 UNF bolts would be between 90 and 100 foot-pounds of torque.

The torque wrench that was reported to be utilized during the torqueing of the mounting bolts, was tested by an FAA inspector at a nearby facility. The wrench was examined and utilized settings for only foot pounds. The wrench was tested and found to be within tolerance and no abnormalities were noted with the wrench.

EMPIRE EQUIPMENT LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N541EM

Investigators work the scene of a Lancair IV-P plane crash in a field near Ooltewah Industrial Road. 


NTSB Identification: ERA14FA421 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2014 in Collegedale, TN
Aircraft: KLAAS DEVELOPMENT INC LANCAIR IV P, registration: N541EM
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 September 3, 2014, about 1522 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Lancair IV-P, N541EM, was substantially damaged when it impacted an open field within an industrial park near Collegedale Municipal Airport (FGU), Collegedale, Tennessee. The airplane had departed from McGhee-Tysons International Airport (TYS), Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1451. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN), Jackson, Mississippi. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The business flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Preliminary information from Federal Aviation Administration Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) revealed that the pilot reported on the Atlanta ARTCC frequency that he was at 11,000 feet and requested to deviate to the right for weather. The aircraft subsequently leveled at its filed cruising altitude of 16,000 feet above mean sea level (msl). Shortly after reaching cruise altitude the pilot reported that he was "having trouble holding altitude," descended to 15,000 feet msl, reported "engine problems," and then reported "instrument problems." The pilot subsequently requested to divert to Chattanooga-Lovell Field (CHA), Chattanooga, Tennessee. At 1513, the pilot reported that the airplane "lost engine power" and the corresponding radar return was approximately 7 miles north of FGU and indicated an altitude of 6,000 feet msl. Then the pilot reported "oil all over the windshield" and that he "could not see a thing." Subsequently the pilot reported "I cannot see it. I cannot make it. I am just looking for anything at this point" and that a forced landing was imminent." The last recorded radar transponder return for the flight was about 2 nautical miles north of FGU and in the vicinity of the accident location.

The airplane was located in a grassy area of an industrial park. The airplane came to rest on its belly and the landing gear was retracted. The initial impact point was denoted as a ground scar created by the left wing of the airplane and the main wreckage came to rest 108 feet 8 inches from the initial impact ground scar. The nose of the airplane impacted the ground 16 feet 4 inches from the initial impact point and began with a ground scar similar in shape and dimension as the propeller flange. The debris field was on a 202 degree heading from the initial ground scar and the airplane came to rest on a 015 heading. Subsequent examination of the surrounding area revealed a composite piece of the tail was located about 510 feet and on a magnetic heading of 036 degrees from the initial impact sight.

Examination of security video, obtained from a nearby facility, revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a left wing down, slightly inverted attitude. Subsequently, the nose of the airplane impacted the ground, followed by the right wing. The security video further revealed a mist emanating from the wreckage similar in appearance to fuel spray from the breeched right fuel tank.

The airplane exhibited various degrees of impact and crush damage and the empennage, aft of the most aft bulkhead, was separated, but remained in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage. Both wings exhibited impact damage on the outboard approximate one-half of each wing. Rudder cable continuity was confirmed from both sets of rudder pedals to the rudder horn located in the tail through the cable cut that was made to facilitate recovery. However, the rudder was separated from the vertical stabilizer at the attach points during the accident sequence, and was located in the immediate vicinity of the stabilizer. Elevator push/pull tube continuity was confirmed from both side mounted control columns in the cockpit to the base of the vertical stabilizer mounting surface on the aft bulkhead. The elevator operated smoothly on the separated vertical stabilizer. Left aileron continuity was confirmed from the side mounted control columns in the cockpit to the left wing's fracture point on the outboard section of the wing; however, the aileron was impact separated but was in the vicinity of the wreckage. Right aileron continuity was confirmed from the side mounted control columns to the push/pull tube fracture point at the fuselage wall and from that fracture point to the aileron. Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller flange remained in place; however, the propeller had not been not located at the time of this writing. The propeller flange bolt holes were devoid of any bolts or bolt shanks and the holes were packed with soil from the nose impact point.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Nashville FSDO-19  


Don Edens 


Obituary for Don Rutledge Edens II  
BORN: October 12, 1969
DIED: September 3, 2014
LOCATION: Rocky Top, Tennessee

Don Rutledge Edens II, age 44, born October 12, 1969, passed away September 3, 2014. 


He graduated from Christian Academy of Knoxville in 1988 and then graduated from The Citadel in 1992. 

Don served in the Marine Corp for 13 years as a pilot and worked for Empire Corporation. 

His desire in life was to be remembered as a follower of Christ, devoted husband and father.

Preceded in death by grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tarvin and Mr. and Mrs. Don R. Edens.


Survivors:


Wife: Kimberly Van Gorder Edens
Daughters: Sarah Ann Edens
Hannah Grace Edens

Sons: David Edens II
Jonathan Edens

Parents: David and Ann Edens

Sister and brother in-law: Ginger and Chris Eppling

Nephews and Niece: Caleb, Daniel and Charis Eppling

Father in-law and mother in-law: Jim and Sally Van Gorder

Brothers in-law and sisters in-law: Jim and Beverly Van Gorder
J.P. and Sally Reuer

Several other nieces and nephews

The family will receive friends Sunday, September 7th from 2-4 PM at First Baptist Church Powell. 


Funeral service will begin at 4 o'clock with Pastor Phil Jones officiating. 

Interment will follow at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Clinton with full military honors at graveside.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to First Baptist Church Powell, 7706 Ewing Road, Powell, TN 37849, Kenya Mission Fund or the Ukraine Mission Fund. (Please designate which fund.) 


Holley-Gamble Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. www.holleygamblefh.com

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

 
A lack of flight experience was not the cause of the plane crash that killed pilot Don Edens on Wednesday afternoon near the Collegedale Airport, a co-worker said.  

Edens, 44, was a project manager at Empire Equipment LLC and also had a commercial pilot's license, said Owen Ragland, an administrator at the Knoxville-based construction company where Edens had worked since 2007.

"Edens was an excellent pilot," Ragland said. He had piloted the company's Lancair IV-P four-seater since he began working for the company, flying regularly from Knoxville to one of his projects in Jackson, Miss.

That familiar route was his planned itinerary Wednesday before the plane crashed in the 9500 block of Ooltewah Industrial Drive.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board visited the site Thursday. Lead investigator Shawn Etcher said that "equipment problems and difficulty maintaining altitude" are believed to be the causes of the crash.

According to radio recordings of Edens' last conversation with Chattanooga air traffic control, he lost visibility from the cockpit.

"I've got oil all over my windshield and am going to need some help for line-up," Edens said as he requested an emergency landing.

The controller gave Edens directions to the Chattanooga airport, and after Edens said he couldn't make it that far, redirected him to the Collegedale Airport about three miles from his location.

The aircraft hit hard in a grassy field short of the airport, demolishing the front end and leaving the pilot, the sole occupant, dead.

"Obviously he had catastrophic engine problems to crash like this," said David Smith, president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 150, whose members are based at the Collegedale Airport.

But questions have been raised about that particular plane, a carbon-fiber, home-built craft categorized by the Federal Aviation Administration as an experimental aircraft, meaning it is not subject to the same certification standards as a factory-built plane.

On March 9, 2010, the FAA notified Lancair owners and operators that the IV model had "revealed a large and disproportionate number of fatal accidents for their fleet size."

The plane has been out of production since 2012.

The FAA said the high crash rate was "mainly due to the pilot's lack of awareness of the slow-flight and stall characteristics of these type of high performance aircraft."

Smith agreed that the Lancair IV-P required a special touch.

"The pilot of this particular type of airplane has to be experienced," he said. "This is a high-performance aircraft ... designed to be so fast. As a pilot of this plane, you have to plan plenty ahead on any of your actions."

Ragland said Edens' plane had been "highly maintained, and had all of its maintenance. It was in really good working order."

He said Edens got his pilot's license while attending The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.

Edens lived in Lake City, now known as Rocky Top, Tenn., with his wife and four children.

"We are in shock that this accident happened," Ragland said. "Don Edens was a guy with a lot of experience, strong character, and a family man with strong morals."


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

Don Edens, 44, of Lake City, Tn., was the pilot who died in a Lancair IV-P plane crash at Collegedale on Wednesday afternoon.  

Before he went down, he radioed the Chattanooga Airport that he was having mechanical trouble and having difficulty seeing out his windshield, Collegedale Police said.

He said he had oil all over his windshield and was not going to make it to the Chattanooga Airport.

The pilot was then directed toward the Collegedale Airport and was headed straight for it. He was told he was only three miles away.

The pilot said, "I'm not going to make it."

He was flying on a route from Knoxville to Jackson, Miss.

Collegedale Police said there were no other occupants.

Hamilton County emergency responders were called to 9534 Ooltewah Industrial Dr. after the plane went down in a grassy field at 3:20 p.m.

The location is about a quarter mile from the junction of Lee Highway and Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. It is off the old Ooltewah Main Street.

Several people saw the plane flying low and then go down, including some at nearby fast food restaurants.

The Lancair IV-P plane is owned by Empire Equipment of Knoxville.

The crash site has now been cleaned up and the wreckage removed.

Mr. Edens had been in the construction business since 2001 and was with Empire Equipment for seven and a half years.

Inspectors said the plane was an experimental one built from a kit.

He leaves behind a wife and four children.


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




The pilot of a small plane radioed an air traffic controller for help minutes before his plane crashed Wednesday afternoon.

 “I’ve got oil all over my windshield and am going to need some help for line-up,” the pilot said matter-of-factly as he asked Chattanooga Approach Control for an emergency landing.

At 3:14:41 p.m., air traffic control gave directions to a runway at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

A minute later, the pilot said in a rushed voice, “We’re not going to make it.”

ATC immediately redirected the pilot to the Collegedale Airport, which they said was just three miles from the plane’s location.

At 3:16:14 p.m. the pilot responded, “I can’t see that. I can’t see that either, sir.”

“It appears you’re tracking directly towards Collegedale [Airport],” ATC responded.

“Looks like we’re not going to make it,” the pilot said in a steady voice.

That was the last thing he said before the single-engine Lancair IV-P dived into a field in the 9500 block of Ooltewah Industrial Drive, around two miles from the Collegedale Airport.

At 3:17:27 p.m., ATC asked another pilot flying nearby if he could see any additional plane traffic.

“I’m looking and I don’t see anything. I see a lot of clouds. A scattered layer. I don’t see any traffic,” the other pilot said.

By this time, the Lancair was down in a grassy field surrounded by industrial buildings and trees.

The plane crashed on the back third of the baseball-field sized tract and skidded a little after contact with the ground. The plane’s nose and the front part of the fuselage were smashed, almost non-existent. The pilot died in the crash. His name had not been released by late Wednesday night.

Emergency responders quickly blocked the field off with yellow police tape.

The pilot was the only person aboard the blue-and-white four-seater, said David Myrick, public information officer for the Collegedale Police Department.

The aircraft was registered to Empire Equipment LLC, a Knoxville-based construction company. According to online flight records, the plane left Knoxville and was headed to Jackson, Miss.

Contacted Wednesday evening, Empire President Rick Cheverton said he hadn’t been notified about the crash.

David Smith is president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 150, whose members are based at the Collegedale Airport.

“Accidents like this are just a shame,” Smith said.

He had seen a picture online from the crash scene and said that the plane made “impact at a severe, sharp angle, and it appears from this that the engine was not operating correctly.”

“Looking at the plane’s record, this is a top-shape plane,” Smith said. “Not a plane known for engine failure.”

According to online records, the plane was built in 2000 and Empire bought it in 2007. Since then, the Lancair had logged more than 1,300 hours, including about 200 in the last year. The plane had a total flight time of 2,378 hours.

The plane was listed for sale at www.controller.com for $219,000 at the time of the crash. Empire Equipment claimed to have “very detailed maintenance records,” and that the plane had “some damage history.”

Myrick said the Federal Aviation Administration was sending a team to the crash site but they had not arrived by late Wednesday night.

Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for Hamilton County Emergency Services, said the team was caught in heavy traffic.


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

A single engine plane plane crash outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee has taken the life of the pilot, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

The flight plan shows the plane was scheduled to land at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport at 2:23 p.m. The plane left Knoxville at 2:51 eastern and was in the air for 32 minutes.

The plane crashed in Collegedale, Tennessee. The plane had taken off from McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tenn., according to flight records.

Gene Moore, a spokesman for the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, which operates Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers and Hawkins Field, said he didn't immediately have any information on the flight. Officials at McGhee Tyson couldn't be reached for comment.

Bill Cota, a pilot at Empire Equipment, did not immediately return a call for comment but a woman who answered the phone at his home said he was not the pilot involved in Wednesday's accident.

The FAA registry shows the plane is registered to Empire Equipment, which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Empire Equipment does business in Mississippi and is listed with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.


UPDATE: A single-engine plane crash took the life of the pilot, according to David Myrick with the Collegedale Police Department. 

 The plane crashed in a field at the 9500 block of Ooltewah Industrial Drive.

Police would not say anything about the aircraft except that it did not take off from the Collegedale airport.

Police also said investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are on the way to the crash site.

Stay with the Times Free Press for updates as they become available.

Earlier story:

A plane crash has been reported at 9534 Ooltewah Industrial Drive in Collegedale,Tenn.

The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department is on scene and EMS is en route.

Cessna 150M, N66241, Hanger Aviation Inc: Fatal accident occurred August 14, 2014 at Mount Pleasant Regional Airport (KLRO), Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N66241

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina
Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA387
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 14, 2014 in Mount Pleasant, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/22/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N66241
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The commercial pilot indicated to the flight school that hired him that he was a flight instructor; however, he did not hold a flight instructor certificate. He had been providing flight instruction to flight school students for about 1 month at the time of the accident. On the day of the accident flight, the commercial pilot and the student pilot were flying their third instructional flight together. After completing a preflight inspection, the commercial pilot and student pilot taxied to the runway and began the takeoff roll. Witnesses reported that the airplane departed the runway about midfield and immediately looked unstable. Multiple observers stated that the airplane stalled about 100 ft above ground level and subsequently entered a nose-down dive before it impacted the ground seconds later. 

Examination of the wreckage revealed a fractured flap switch return spring, which prevented the switch from returning to the OFF position. A subsequent laboratory examination confirmed electrical continuity for the flap switch contacts but could not determine when the spring fractured. Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that the flap actuator jackscrew was consistent with the flaps in the retracted position. No other evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that could have precluded normal operation was found. A witness stated that he observed the airplane begin its ground roll with the flaps fully extended. However, there were no previously reported issues with the flap system and the postaccident wreckage examination showed that the flaps were in the retracted position at impact; thus, it is possible that the flaps were extended during takeoff and were subsequently retracted before impact.

Review of the commercial pilot’s logbook showed that he had accumulated more than 350 total hours of flight experience but had not flown an airplane of similar make and model to the accident airplane in at least 7 years. His lack of experience as a flight instructor and in make and model suggests that he may not have possessed the skills to quickly recognize and remediate a stall at a low altitude. Additionally, the student pilot would not have likely been proficient in recognizing and recovering from a stall at his training level. The student pilot had not had any formal training experience before his two previous lessons with the commercial pilot. At this stage in his flight training, the student pilot would have been learning basic flying skills, which suggests that the commercial pilot was likely demonstrating the takeoff or should have been ready to retain control of the airplane if the student pilot was operating the flight controls. While the commercial pilot told the flight school owner that he was a certificated flight instructor, a check of his logbook would have revealed that he did not hold a flight instructor certificate.

Toxicological testing detected the presence of hydrocodone and its metabolites in the commercial pilot’s urine; however, it was not detected in the blood so would not have been impairing. An inactive metabolite of cyclobenzaprine was detected in his blood and urine but would not have impaired the pilot. Although the commercial pilot’s toxicology testing detected Tramadol, an opioid pain medication, in his heart blood at 20 times the normal level, such levels are indicative of chronic use. Further, the flight school owner did not observe any abnormal behaviors with the commercial pilot on the day of the accident. Thus, it is likely that the commercial pilot was not impaired from the sedating effects of the medication at the time of the accident. Tramadol, particularly at high doses, is associated with an increased risk of seizure; however, the investigation was unable to determine if the commercial pilot’s chronic pain condition or a seizure due to extremely high levels of tramadol impaired him and contributed to the accident.

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

The commercial pilot’s exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with terrain. Contributing to the commercial pilot’s failure to recognize and remediate the stall were his lack of experience as a flight instructor and lack of recent experience in the accident airplane make and model.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 14, 2014, about 1125 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N66241, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Mount Pleasant Regional Airport-Faison Field (LRO), Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The commercial pilot and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Hanger Aviation, Inc., and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was operated by the student pilot's father, who in July 2014 employed Coastal Aviation, Inc., a flight school at LRO, to provide flight instruction to his son in the airplane. The owner of the flight school assigned the commercial pilot, who was recently hired as a flight instructor, to instruct the student. According to the student pilot's father, his son was attending college near LRO, and the commercial pilot helped him reposition the airplane to LRO for his son's convenience in the weeks that preceded the accident.

The commercial pilot and student pilot had previously completed approximately two 1-hour long instructional flights together. On the day of the accident, a witness observed the commercial pilot and the student pilot inspect the fuel for contaminants and check the flight controls during their preflight inspection. According to another witness, the airplane began its takeoff roll on runway 35, a 3,700-foot-long, asphalt runway, with the flaps fully extended. Several people reported that the airplane lifted off the ground about midfield and immediately looked unstable, which they described as the wings banking to the right and left. When the airplane reached an altitude of approximately 100 feet above ground level, it entered a steep left turn. Two pilots reported that the airplane then lost forward momentum and appeared to stall. It immediately entered a nose down attitude followed by a right wing low attitude and was in a "straight downward dive" when it impacted the ground. One of the witnesses who attempted to help the occupants reported a strong odor of fuel at the accident site. The witnesses did not report hearing any interruptions in engine power.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The commercial pilot, age 33, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He did not hold a flight instructor certificate, but had received a logbook endorsement from a flight instructor to take the practical test for his airplane single-engine flight instructor certificate. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on May 25, 2011, at which time he reported 275 total flight hours. The last entry in the commercial pilot's logbook was dated June 9, 2014, which showed a total of approximately 350 flight hours. A review of his logbook entries from August 2007 to June 2014 indicated that he had not accumulated any time in the accident airplane make and model.

The student pilot, age 22, was seated in the left seat, and did not possess a medical certificate or student pilot certificate. His logbook was not recovered. According to the student pilot's father, his son had some experience as a passenger, but had not accumulated any formal training as a student pilot.

According to the owner of the flight school, the commercial pilot indicated that he was a certified flight instructor seeking employment. He was hired by Coastal Aviation, Inc. as a flight instructor in July 2014 and began providing instruction to the student pilot in early August 2014.

A flight schedule from Coastal Aviation was cross-referenced with logbooks provided by some of the commercial pilot's students to approximate how long the commercial pilot had been providing instruction. The logbooks included multiple entries that were signed off by the commercial pilot and included a "CFI" number. The review showed that the commercial pilot had provided about 8.5 hours of flight instruction in the 30 days that preceded the accident.

According to the owner of Coastal Aviation, Inc., the airplane was solely used as a training airplane for the student pilot. The commercial pilot and the student pilot were the only people who flew the airplane between the repositioning flight and the accident flight. He stated that the commercial pilot appeared alert on the morning of the accident and did not exhibit any signs of impairment.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1974 and powered by a Continental Motors O-200-A84, 100-horsepower engine. A review of the airplane's maintenance history revealed that its most recent 100 hour inspection that was completed on January 13, 2014, at which time it had accumulated approximately 3,507 total hours in service. In addition, the engine had accrued about 1,690 total hours since major overhaul. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated an additional 16 hours since the inspection.

The wing flap system was electrically operated by a flap motor located in the right wing. The flap position was controlled by a switch and mechanically indicated by a pointer housed in the left front doorpost. During deployment, the flap switch lever is depressed and held in the DOWN position until the desired degree of extension is reached. When the operator releases the switch, the lever will return to the center position automatically through a spring in the switch case. The operator places the flap switch in the UP position to retract the flaps; however, the switch is designed to remain in the UP position without manual intervention. Once the flaps reach their maximum extension or retraction, limit switches will automatically shut off the flap motor. The flaps take approximately 9 seconds to fully deploy and about 6 seconds to completely retract.

According to the owner of the flight school, the commercial pilot did not report any issues with the wing flap system in the accident airplane prior to the accident flight. The father of the student pilot stated that he did not experience any issues when he operated the wing flaps during the previous repositioning flight.

The airplane was serviced with 10 gallons of 100-low-lead aviation grade gasoline the day before accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at LRO, at 1115, included calm wind, visibility 8 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 27 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 19 degrees C; and a barometric altimeter of 30.04 inches of mercury.

Given the reported atmospheric conditions, the density altitude at the time of the accident was calculated as approximately 1,559 feet.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in a near vertical, nose-down, position orientated on a 310-degree magnetic heading in a field of sparse vegetation about 1,100 feet beyond the departure end of runway 35. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. No debris path was observed with the exception of a few pieces of Plexiglas that came to rest a few feet forward of the airplane.

The propeller blades and hub remained attached to the propeller flange, which exhibited multiple axial cracks. One propeller blade was bent aft at the inboard end and both propeller blades displayed chordwise scratches and polishing on their cambered sides.

Both wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited leading edge crush damage that spanned the entire length of each wing. Both ailerons were in the neutral position and each wing flap exhibited some upward bending. The flap actuator jackscrew displayed no threads, consistent with a flaps retracted position, and the flap switch was also in the neutral position. The flap motor was tested using a 12 volt battery and electrical continuity was confirmed for both the upward and downward movement of the flap mechanism. The wing fuel tanks were deformed, but not breached and were estimated to contain a combined total of approximately 15 gallons of fuel.

The aft fuselage and empennage were buckled and canted to the right; however, no damage was observed on the elevator and rudder control surfaces. Measurement of the elevator pitch trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate neutral position.

Elevator, rudder, and aileron control continuity were traced from their respective flight control surfaces to the flight controls at the cockpit.

The fuel selector valve was in the OPEN position and no obstructions were observed when compressed air was circulated through the valve. The fuel bowl was intact and the fuel strainer screen was void of contaminants.

One primary ignition lead was severed from the right magneto and another lead separated from the No. 1 cylinder top spark plug. Both magnetos were removed from the engine accessory section and tested. Each magneto produced spark on all four posts and the impulse coupling engagements could be heard when rotated by hand.

The top spark plugs were removed and the bottom plugs were examined with a borescope. All spark plugs appeared gray in color and displayed signatures consistent with normal operation.

The carburetor was impact damaged and the mixture control cable was separated a few inches from the mixture control arm. Both the carburetor floats and needle valve operated normally. The fuel inlet line and fuel inlet screen were free of debris or contaminants.

A handtool was used to rotate the crankshaft, which confirmed continuity through the powertrain and attached accessories. The cylinders displayed normal operating signatures and all valves appeared to be seated properly when examined with a borescope.

The wing flap switch lever moved freely in the UP or DOWN positions when manipulated by hand; however, the switch did not automatically return from the down to the neutral (center) position as designed. Further examination of the wing flap switch lever at the NTSB material's laboratory in Washington, DC, confirmed electrical continuity of the switch contacts at all three switch positions: UP, DOWN, and OFF. A radiograph examination showed that the center position return spring was fractured, which prevented the switch from automatically returning to the OFF position.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the commercial pilot by the Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Charleston, South Carolina. The autopsy report listed the pilot's cause of death as "blunt head trauma."

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens of the commercial pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which detected 10.76 ug/ml of tramadol in the pilot's heart blood, 11.571 ug/ml in the vitreous, 13.794 ug/g in the muscle, 18.424 ug/g in the brain, 38.93 ug/g in the liver, and 0.593 ug/ml in the urine. The therapeutic range of tramadol was considered 0.05 ug/ml to 0.50 ug/ml. The drug's active metabolite was detected in the pilot's blood and urine. Additionally, norcyclobenzaprine was detected in the heart blood and urine and testing also identified the presence of hydrocodone and its metabolites in the urine, but not in the blood.

Tramadol was a schedule IV controlled substance and prescription opioid medication commonly used to treat pain. Hydrocodone was a narcotic analgesic marketed under many names including Vicodin. Norcyclobenzaprine was a metabolite of cyclobenzaprine, a prescription muscle relaxant marketed under various names including Flexeril. All three medications contain warnings related to impairment of mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g. driving, operating heavy machinery).


The pilot's personal medical records showed multiple visits in 2010 for symptomatic kidney stones. In May 2010, the pilot was evaluated for two gastrointestinal problems and placed on tramadol and prednisone, a steroid used to treat the inflammatory process and reduce the body's immune response. According a medical record entry made by the pilot's gastroenterologist on May 19, 2011, the pilot's Crohn's disease was in remission.

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA387
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 14, 2014 in Mount Pleasant, SC
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N66241
Injuries: 2 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 14, 2014, about 1125 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M, N66241, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Mount Pleasant Regional Airport-Faison Field (LRO), Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The commercial rated pilot and non-pilot rated student were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Hanger Aviation, Inc. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a witness, the airplane began its takeoff roll on runway 35 with "40 degrees of flaps." Multiple witnesses stated that the airplane lifted off the ground about midfield and that it "immediately looked unstable." A witness added that the wings were banking to the right and left. When the airplane reached an altitude about 100 feet above ground level, it entered a continuous left turn and subsequently rolled wings level on a westerly heading. The airplane then entered a nose down attitude followed by a right wing low attitude and was in a "straight downward dive" when it impacted the ground.

The airplane impacted a field of sparse vegetation about 1100 feet northwest of the departure end of runway 35. The airplane came to rest in a near vertical, nose-down, position and was orientated on a 310 degree heading. All major components of the aircraft were accounted for at the accident site. The initial impact point was about 3 feet forward of the main wreckage. The wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited leading edge crush damage that spanned the entire length of each wing. Flight control continuity was confirmed for all control surfaces from the cockpit. The wing flaps remained attached to their respective wings and the flap actuator jack screw position was consistent with a flaps retracted setting. The ailerons remained attached to their respective wing attach points and exhibited some compression wrinkling and denting. No damage was noted on the elevator and rudder control surfaces. The elevator trim tab was found in the neutral position. Both propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub and displayed some chordwise scratching along the span of both blades.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating for single and multi-engine land. The pilot held a first-class medical certificate which was issued on May 25, 2011 at which time he reported 275 total flight hours. A review of FAA records revealed that the pilot did not hold a flight instructor certificate.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA West Columbia FSDO-13

  
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The parents of a 20-year-old Johns Island man who died last year in a plane crash during a flight lesson in Mt. Pleasant have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the training school. 

Cole and Anita Gaither, representing the estate of Matthew Cole Gaither,  filed the lawsuit against Coastal Aviation, Inc. and William G. Pearson on January 26.

According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a single-engine Cessna 150 crashed during a training flight into a marsh about 200 yards from the Mt. Pleasant Regional Airport on August 14, killing Matthew Gaither and his flight instructor, 33-year-old Graham Borland of North Charleston.

The suit states Cole and Matthew Gaither contacted Pearson, owner of Coastal Aviation, Inc., to arrange flight instruction for Matthew. Pearson set Matthew up with Borland, who was allegedly portrayed as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certified Flight Instructor. 

According to FAA Records examined during NTSB's investigation into the accident, Borland held a commercial pilot certificate, but did not have a flight instructor certificate from the FAA.  

The suit alleges that because Borland was portrayed as an FAA Certified Flight Instructor, Coastal Aviation, Inc. was hired to provide Matthew Gaither with flight lessons.

On the day of the flight lesson, Borland was in control of the airplane when he took off with the flaps fully extended, causing the airplane to stall and crash, the lawsuit states. 

The suit claims Gaither "would not have participated in flight instruction from Borland had Coastal Aviation, Inc. and Pearson not misrepresented Borland as a FAA certified flight instructor."

"The Estate of Matthew Gaither suffered injury or loss as a consequence of relying upon the misrepresentation," the suit states. 

The parents of Matthew Gaither have requested a jury trial in the case, and are seeking actual and punitive damages due to "pecuniary loss, mental shock and suffering, wounded feelings, grief, sorrow and loss of society and companionship."

http://www.live5news.com

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) – A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board into a plane crash that killed two people in August shows the pilot did not have a flight instructor certificate. 

 According to the NTSB, 33-year-old Graham Borland had a commercial pilot certificate and a first-class medical certificate. He was not a certified instructor, the NTSB reported.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Borland earned a private pilot certificate in May 2007 and added instrument rating a few months later. He earned his commercial pilot certificate and a multi-engine land rating in October 2008, the FAA found. Two months later, he upgraded the airplane single engine rating to the commercial pilot level.

However, there is no record with the FAA that Borland was ever issued a certified flight instructor certificate.

The crash killed Borland and 20-year-old Matt Gaither, who was learning to fly.

The NTSB report shows that many witnesses thought the plane “immediately looked unstable” at the time of liftoff. One witness told the NTSB investigator that the wings were banking left and right.

“When the airplane reached an altitude of about 100 feet above ground level, it entered a continuous left turn and subsequently rolled wings level on a westerly heading,” the preliminary report states.

Then the plane went into a “straight downward dive” and hit the ground, officials said.

The NTSB reports that a flight plan had not been filed for the flight.

The NTSB's full report may take a year to complete, officials said.

Meanwhile, Gaither's family has set up a memorial scholarship fund at Wells Fargo bank.

Cole Gaither, the 20-year-old man's father and co-owner of Hanger Aviation, said his son just started pilot training last week. On Monday, he had started training with Borland in a three-hour session.

"We were just as surprised as everyone else by the deception," Cole Gaither told ABC News 4 after he read the preliminary report.

At the time of the crash, Cole Gaither said he thought Borland was a licensed flight  instructor.


- Source:  http://www.abcnews4.com



Graham Norris Borland passed away unexpectedly in a plane crash near Charleston, S.C. on August 14th, 2014. 

 Graham was born on September 11, 1980, and raised in Conyers, Georgia. As a little tyke he was in constant motion and loved playing soccer, watching Braves games with the family, and running around the neighborhood with friends. Growing up he attended the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Covington where he served as an acolyte. He graduated in 1999 from Salem High School where he was a varsity soccer player and kicker for the football team.

From Conyers, Graham headed to the College of Charleston and graduated with a degree in history in 2004. It was there that he met Alyson Schwartz. They married in a beautiful service in their beloved Charleston on September 24, 2005. Graham pursued his life-long dream to become a pilot after attending the Delta Connection Academy in Florida. His love of flying took him all over the country through Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, and back to his adopted home, Charleston, SC, this summer where he worked as a flight instructor. Alyson was unwavering in her support for Graham and his passion for flying. She was his biggest champion in every aspect of life.

Graham was a world traveler and especially loved Costa Rica, which he visited numerous times. When he wasn’t in the air, he enjoyed spending time on the lake, scuba diving, following the Dave Matthews Band and rooting for Georgia Tech, the Braves and the Falcons. By far the greatest loves of his life were Alyson and their two precious daughters. McClain Blue (Lainey) was born in March 2010, and Celia Grace completed the family in January 2014. The girls share their daddy’s fierce spirit of conviction. Graham found his true calling as a father.

Graham will be greatly missed by his wife Alyson, his daughters Lainey and Celia, his parents Danelle and Jim Borland of Greensboro, GA, his sister, Hilary Bellm of Austin, TX, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.

A celebration of Graham’s life will be held on Saturday, August 23rd. There will be a small church service for family at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Greensboro, GA at 11:00 am. This will be followed by an open reception to share love and memories at the Carriage House at Harbor Club (from I-20, exit #130 south 4 miles), Lake Oconee beginning at 12:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, if you would like to honor Graham, there has been a memorial fund set up for his daughters. Donations can made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch into the account of McClain or Celia Borland.

-Source:  http://lowcountryfuneral.com
 
Matt Gaither Funeral Support: “This page is intended to help the Gaither family reduce some of the financial burdens associated with the funeral of Matt Gaither. Matt was tragically killed during a flight lesson just short of his 21st birthday. Matt was a great guy with a bright future ahead. There is nothing that can really be said in situtations such as this but a small contribution can really help the family remain focused on what is important rather than how to fund an unexpected funeral. The Gaithers are some of the best people I know and this loss has devistated the whole community. Please show your support and donate what you can!”

Read more here:  http://www.gofundme.com/d1wo2o
 
Matthew Gaither

(L-to-R): Matthew Gaither, Graham Borland 


 Matthew Gaither


Graham Borland