Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mark Pierce, Attorney and Pilot: Proper precautions would have made fueling error 'very difficult' - Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, N51RX, Elite Medical Air Transport LLC, accident occurred August 27, 2014 near Las Cruces International Airport (LRU), Las Cruces, New Mexico

LAS CRUCES >> Numerous safeguards should have been in place to prevent the type of fueling error that preceded last month's fatal crash of a plane leaving the Las Cruces Airport, an attorney said.

 "If everything was as it should have been, it would have been very difficult," said Mark Pierce, a Texas-based attorney and pilot, talking about the plane receiving the wrong fuel on Aug. 27.

A technician filled the twin-engine, propeller-driven plane with jet fuel instead of the required aviation-grade gasoline about half an hour before the evening crash, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board released last week.

The NTSB's report did not indicate whether that mistake caused the Cessna 421C to crash. But Pierce said engine failure reported by the crew onboard and black smoke seen by witnesses on a nearby interstate are consistent with such a fueling error and subsequent crash.

Investigators smelled jet fuel the next day at the crash scene, the report states.

Aside from being a commercial pilot and certified instructor, Pierce works for a law firm in Austin, Texas that has handled air ambulance crashes similar to last month's incident.

The aircraft that went down was registered to Elite Medical Air Transport out of El Paso and, that night, was transporting a Las Cruces 

The NTSB report doesn't specify what measures the Las Cruces Airport or Southwest Aviation, the company that operates there and the fuel farm, had in place to ensure aircraft receive the correct fuel.

A copy of the fuel farm lease between the city and Southwest Aviation, obtained this week by the Sun-News though a public records request, provides few details about the fuel other than listing the two types — jet fuel and aviation gasoline, known as avgas — stored there.

The lease requires Southwest Aviation to carry insurance and states the city, any elected officials and employees will be held harmless for any liabilities or claims against the facility. Pierce said that type of wording is standard in such arrangements.

Hal Kading, owner of Southwest Aviation, has declined to discuss his company's general policies or practices related to fueling aircraft, saying that the company is part of the ongoing investigation.

Pierce said there should have been numerous safeguards.

First, since 1987, federal rules required all Cessnas like the model that crashed to be modified so that a jet fuel nozzle wouldn't fit into the aircraft's fuel port. The jet fuel nozzles are typically spade shaped, Pierce said.

"It's almost inconsiderable that in 2014 the modification wouldn't have been done," Pierce said.

Federal Aviation Registry data, available via its website, doesn't list the year that specific Cessna 421C was built. But that model was not produced after 1985, records show.

The plane was up to date with its certificate, records show, and was operated by Amigos Aviation of Harlingen, Texas.

Pierce said investigators will also look at the fuel truck, to ensure it had the proper nozzle. Avgas nozzles are smaller than those generally used for jet fuel. He said it's possible that a different nozzle was used to fill a smaller aircraft with jet fuel, then was not replaced to fill the Cessna.

Records show that the pilot, 29-year-old Freddy Martinez of El Paso, was in the cockpit that evening when he ordered 40 gallons of fuel from a line service technician, the NTSB report states.

The NTSB report states that after Martinez ordered the fuel, an unidentified technician drove a fuel truck up to the plane and refueled it, adding 20 gallons near each wing.

Martinez helped the technician replace fuel caps, the report states, then signed the corresponding fuel ticket after they both walked inside.

Onboard with Martinez were three others: Fredrick Green, 59, a Las Cruces man being transported for cancer treatment; flight paramedic Tauren Summers, 27, of El Paso; and flight nurse Monica Chavez, 35, of Las Cruces.

Jet fuel smells and looks different than avgas, Pierce said, but the fueling process likely wouldn't have released enough fumes for those nearby to tell the difference.

A propeller-driven plane won't run on pure jet fuel, Pierce said, but a misfueled plane can because it typically has a mixture of avgas. That eventually leads to unplanned combustion inside the engine and, ultimately, failure, he said.

The complete investigation will take some time, Pierce said, and the FAA takes a "hard look" at operators when air ambulances crash.

City Council discussed improvement to the airport at Tuesday's meeting, but those were part of the airport's long-term plan and unrelated to the crash, City Manager Robert Garza said.

- Source:  http://www.lcsun-news.com

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA462
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Las Cruces, NM
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N51RX
Injuries: 4 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 27, 2014, about 1900 mountain daylight time, a Cessna Airplane Company 421C, multi-engine airplane, N51RX, was destroyed after impacting terrain during initial climb near Las Cruces International Airport (LRU), Las Cruces, New Mexico. The pilot, two medical crewmembers and one patient were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Elite Medical Air Transport, LLC; El Paso, Texas, and was operated by Amigos Aviation, Inc.; Harlingen, Texas. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air ambulance flight. At the time of the accident the airplane was departing LRU for a flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona.

The airplane arrived LRU about 1834 to pickup a patient for a flight to PHX. The pilot was still seated in the cockpit when he gave the line service technician a verbal order for a total of forty gallons of fuel. The line service technician drove the fuel truck to the front of the airplane and refueled the airplane putting 20 gallons in each wing. The pilot then assisted the line service technician with replacing both fuel caps. They both walked into the office and the pilot signed the machine printed fuel ticket.

After departing LRU to the west a medical crewmember onboard the airplane called their medical dispatcher on a satellite telephone and reported they were returning to LRU because of a problem with smoke coming from the right engine. A witness driving westbound on the interstate highway reported the airplane was westbound and about 200 feet above ground level (agl) when he saw smoke begin to appear from the right engine. The airplane then began descending and started a left turn to the east. Another witness, driving eastbound on the interstate highway, reported the airplane was trailing smoke when it passed over him about 100 feet agl. He saw the descending airplane continue its left turn to the east and then lost sight of it. Several witnesses reported seeing the impact or hearing the sound of impact and they then immediately saw smoke or flames.

Evidence at the scene showed the airplane was generally eastbound and upright when it impacted terrain resulting in the separation of the left propeller and the separation of the right aileron. The airplane came to rest inverted about 100 feet from the initial impact point, and there was an immediate postimpact fire which consumed much of the airplane. Investigators who arrived at the scene on the day following the accident reported detecting the smell of jet fuel.

A postaccident review of refueling records and interviews with line service technicians showed that the airplane had been misfuelled with 40 gallons of Jet A fuel instead of the required 100LL aviation gasoline.

At 1855 the automated weather observing system at LRU, located about 3 miles northeast from the accident location, reported wind from 040 degrees at 5 knots, visibility of 10 miles, broken clouds at 6,500 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 16 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of Mercury.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01

ELITE MEDICAL AIR TRANSPORT LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N51RX

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Debris from the medical aircraft crash about half a mile west of the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds was removed from the scene.  
 (Photo by Carlos Javier Sanchez — Las Cruces Sun-News) 
 Randall Jarman, a recovery manager with Air Transport in Phoenix, tightens wire straps to secure debris from the crash site of a medical aircraft. All four people aboard were killed in the crash just west of Las Cruces.  
(Photo by Carlos Javier Sanchez — Las Cruces Sun-News)

A crane removes wreckage from the site of a medical aircraft crash about half a mile west of the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. 

New Mexico State Police Lt. James Frietze leads investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and NSTB to a crash site half-mile southwest of the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. 

Pilots land in Denison for National Aerobatic Championships: North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI)

DENISON -- Some of the most skilled pilots on the planet are arriving in Texoma this week.

They're here for the National Aerobatic Championships which has been held in Denison for decades.

About 100 pilots hope to spin, flip and land a win at the event that begins this week.

"That's what everybody strives for when they first come here," pilot Kelly Adams said.

Adams flew in Tuesday from southeast Texas. He's a pilot for a commercial airline.

"You fly straight and normal for so long. Here it's a lot of precision, quick movements, quick thought process," he said.

North Texas Regional Airport director Mike Shahan says staff are now preparing for the event that's been held in Denison since 1971.

"Since '71, I think there's been three times that they were not here," Shahan said. "They went somewhere else but they've always come back here."

Still Shahan says local businesses benefit from the event.

"You're probably looking at 200 people staying here for a week and they're staying at hotels and so forth and some are in RV's, they're eating out, so there's a lot of benefit there," Shahan said.

While most fly for bragging rights, some are aiming for a spot on a 10 person National Aerobatics Team. The team will compete in the world championship next August in France.

The same event was held in Denison in 2013.

"The greatest aerobatic pilots in the world have set on this bench," NAC technical director Gary Deban said.

Shahan says practice flights begin Thursday.

The competition runs from Sunday through next Friday.

It is free and open to the public.

- Source:  http://www.kten.com

Half-hour delay may have prevented fatal plane crash: Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, VH-MEQ

A fatal plane crash in south-west Queensland may have been avoided if the flight had been delayed 30 minutes, a report has found.

In March last year cattle producer and former world champion bull rider John Quintana and livestock agent Charlie Maher were travelling from Roma to Cloncurry to inspect cattle when their Cessna 210 plane crashed shortly after take-off.

The wreckage was found two kilometres north-west of Roma Airport in south-west Queensland.

A report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) found the plane had taken off before sunrise, but the pilot, Mr Quintana, did not have a Night Visual Flight Rules Rating and possibly lacked the proficiency to control an aircraft relying solely on flight instruments.

During take-off it was believed Mr Quintana became disorientated, lost control and crashed.

The investigation found delaying the flight for half an hour would have meant taking off with sufficient daylight and possibly preventing the accident.




What happened

At about 0518 Eastern Standard Time on 25 March 2013, a Cessna T210N aircraft, registered VH‑MEQ, took off in dark night conditions from runway 36 at Roma Airport on a flight to Cloncurry, Queensland. Following the activation of the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter, a search was commenced for the aircraft by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. It was subsequently located 2 km to the north‑west of the airport, having collided with terrain while heading in a south-westerly direction. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that the departure was conducted in dark night conditions, despite the pilot not holding a night visual flight rules rating and probably not having the proficiency to control the aircraft solely by reference to the flight instruments. During the climb after take-off, the pilot probably became spatially disorientated from a lack of external visual cues, leading to a loss of control and impact with terrain.

No mechanical defect was identified with the aircraft or its systems that may have contributed to the accident.

Safety message

This accident reinforces the need for day visual flight rules pilots to consider the minimum visual conditions for flight, including the relevant weather information and usable daylight. In this case, if the pilot had delayed the departure by 30 minutes, the flight would most likely have progressed safely in daylight conditions.

There are numerous airports in Australia, including Roma, that have an abundance of ground lighting in one take-off direction but not another. This accident highlights the potential benefits of night visual flight rules and instrument-rated pilots considering the location of ground lighting when planning night operations.

Finally, the benefit of crash-activated emergency locator transmitters that include global positioning system-based location information, thereby providing for a timely emergency response in the event of an accident, is emphasized.


 Grazier John Quintana was one of two men killed when a Cessna 210 crashed near Roma in March 2013.
 (Courtesy of Andrew Rankin) 

The scene of the plane crash near Roma. 
Picture: Elvine Peter

Accident occurred September 16, 2014 in Chesapeake, Virginia

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Fire department officials in Chesapeake say a man is fighting for his life after an accident involving an ultralight aircraft Tuesday night.

Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call just before 6 p.m. for the accident in the 700 block of Beaver Dam Road, according to Capt. Scott Saunders with the Chesapeake Fire Department.

Saunders said a man in his 20’s was operating the lightweight aircraft when it hit a power line. He suffered life-threatening injuries and is currently in critical condition.

Virginia State Police may investigate the incident as they would investigate a plane crash, Saunders said.

No further information has been released. 

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this story.

Pennridge Airport (KCKZ) 'benefactor' dies in plane crash: Beechcraft 300LW Super King Air, LV-WLT, accident occurred September 14, 2014 in Nordelta, Argentina

A former owner of Pennridge Airport died Sunday in a plane crash near Buenos Aires, Argentina, international media outlets report.

According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Gustavos Andre Deutsch, 78, and his wife were killed when a small aircraft he was piloting crashed into a home in Nordelta, an upscale suburb of the country’s capital. The airplane struck the roof of one home and smashed into a second, setting fire to both.

Both homes were unoccupied, and it was believed that Deutsch was trying to land the airplane when the crash occurred about 3:30 p.m. local time, the article said. A BBC report says Deutsch was piloting a Beechcraft 300LW Super King, a twin-turboprop airplane that typically has seating for eight passengers.

Reached Tuesday, Jean Curry, manager of Pennridge Airport, confirmed Deutsch’s death and called him a “benefactor,” adding that the airport underwent a period of growth during his ownership from 1982 to 2000.

“He built the hangars. He extended, resurfaced and widened the runway and put in weather stations and fuel pumps,” Curry said. “He basically developed the airport into what it is today.”

Curry says Deutsch stayed on as liaison between the airport and the Swiss company Bilsbury, which purchased Pennridge Airport in 2000. Curry described him as a personal mentor and kind individual, and said she believed it was at Pennridge that Deutsch learned to fly.

“He was a very intelligent and caring person,” Curry said. “Very polite and considerate, and very much a gentleman.”

Deutsch was also the owner of the now-defunct aviation company Private Airlines Argentinas, according to the Daily Mail report.

Curry said Deutsch maintained a residence in the Pennridge area during his ownership of the Pennridge Airport, and would occasionally rent a home on the airport property while acting as a consultant. She believed he originally came to the area because of family connections to his wife, who was not identified in media reports.

She said Deutsch’s death was a tragedy for the airport staff.

“He was always cordial and polite with everyone … and was very good to me, as far as being a mentor and helping me learn the business.”

- Source:   http://www.theintell.com

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, N6648V: Accident occurred September 13, 2014 in Monroe, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA436 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Monroe, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2015
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6648V
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

During the approach at night, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power, and the pilot performed a forced landing into trees. Subsequent examination of the engine revealed that the oil filter adapter was loose and that it was installed incorrectly with two copper crush gaskets rather than with one copper crush gasket and one fiber gasket per the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The fiber gasket would have held the required torque for the fitting; however, the copper crush gasket did not hold the required torque. Because the oil filter adapter was loose, oil leaked from the engine, which led to the failure of the Nos. 4 and 5 connecting rods due to a lack of oil lubrication. The oil filter adapter was not original equipment on the engine. Although it could be installed under a supplemental type certificate, a review of maintenance and aircraft records did not reveal any entry or record pertaining to the installation of the oil filter adapter. The airplane had been operated for about 70 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed about 1 year before the accident. It could not be determined when the oil filter adapter was incorrectly installed. 

Although the pilot stated that he had fueled the airplane with 100 low-lead aviation gasoline, automobile gasoline was recovered from the fuel tanks. The higher-compression ratio engine was not designed or approved to operate on automobile gasoline, and engine examinations revealed that it had been operating at higher temperatures due to the use of automobile gasoline. If the engine had not failed due to oil starvation, it is likely that it would have soon begun to detonate due to the use of the improper fuel.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The improper installation of the oil filter adapter at an unknown time, which resulted in an oil leak and subsequent oil starvation to the engine. 

On September 13, 2014, about 2130 eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N6648V, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing into trees, following a total loss of engine power during approach near Monroe, Georgia. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Dallas Bay Sky Park (1A0), Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 1940. No flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Greene County Airport (3J7), Greensboro, Georgia. 

The pilot reported that prior to the accident flight, he completed a preflight inspection of the airplane, which included adding 100 low-lead aviation gasoline to the left and right wing fuel tanks. He had anticipated fog at his destination airport and planned for a potential diversion to several alternate airports. He subsequently diverted to Monroe-Walton County Airport (D73), Monroe, Georgia. About 3 miles from D73, the pilot heard a "bang" as the engine began to run rough and catch fire. He then pulled the mixture lever back and moved the fuel selector to off. He also dove the airplane until the fire was out. The pilot set up for a forced landing and attempted to glide to D73, but the airplane impacted trees about 1 mile from the airport.

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number 30301, was manufactured in 1970. It was powered by Continental Motors IO-520, 300-horsepower engine with a compression ratio of 8.5 to 1. The engine was equipped with a McCauley three-blade, constant-speed propeller. According to the aircraft logbooks, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on September 21, 2013. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 2,969 total hours of operation. The engine had accumulated 1,798 hours since it was remanufactured in 1974. The airplane had flown about 68 hours from the time of the most recent annual inspection, until the accident. The pilot purchased the airplane on November 20, 2013. 

The engine was equipped with an F&M Enterprises Inc. (model C6LC) oil filter adapter. The oil filter adapter was not original equipment, but could be installed on the engine under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) number DE09356SC; however, review of the engine logbook did not reveal any record of the oil filter adapter installation. Further review of FAA airworthiness records for the accident airplane did not reveal any record of the installation being filed with the FAA. Review of the oil filter adapter manufacturer's installation instructions revealed that one fiber gasket and one copper crush gasket were to be used in the installation. 

Initial examination of the engine revealed a hole near the top front of the case. The wreckage was recovered to a salvage facility for further examination by a representative from the engine manufacturer, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. The examination revealed that the Nos. 4 and 5 connecting rods had separated and exhibited heat damage due to a lack of lubrication. Further examination revealed that the oil filter adapter was loose and had been installed using two copper crush gaskets, rather than one copper crush gasket and one fiber gasket per the installation instructions. 

Additionally, automobile gasoline was recovered from the fuel tanks, which was not approved for that model engine. Examination of the Nos. 1 and 2 cylinders revealed little to no combustion deposits, consistent with higher operating temperatures of automobile gasoline in that engine.

JASON L. BAILEY: http://registry.faa.gov/N6648V 

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA436
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Monroe, GA
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6648V
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

On September 13, 2014, about 2130 eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N6648V, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing into trees, following a total loss of engine power during cruise flight near Monroe, Georgia. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Dallas Bay Sky Park (1A0), Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 1940. No flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Greene County Airport (3J7), Greensboro, Georgia.

The pilot reported that he had anticipated fog at his destination airport and planned for several alternate airports. He subsequently diverted to Monroe-Walton County Airport (D73), Monroe, Georgia. About 6 miles from D73, the pilot heard a "bang" and the engine lost all power. The pilot set up for a forced landing and attempted to glide to D73, but the airplane impacted trees about 1 mile from the airport.

Initial examination of the engine revealed a hole near the top front of the case. The engine was retained for further examination.

 WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather 

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - The pilot of the plane that went down in Walton, Georgia Saturday tells Channel 3 he, his passenger and the two dogs on board are doing okay.

Pilot Jason Bailey suffers from 3 broken ribs, a cracked sternum, punctured lung, broken tailbone, bruised heart and two fractured disks in his lower back on top of multiple contusions and lacerations. He says being able to walk away from the crash site is nothing short of a miracle.

When Jason Bailey left Chattanooga around 7:30 in the evening, he thought it would be an uneventful one-hour flight to Greensboro, Georgia. It was getting dark when Bailey decided to change his route to Monroe Georgia, that airport was closer and radiation fog was making it impossible to see.

"If you have ever been on Lookout Mountain, when it's really foggy up there sometimes you can't even see in front of your face. In the fog it was definitely that thick," said Bailey.

Just 6 miles from the airport with the field beacon and runway lights in sight, there is a loud bang. Bailey told Channel 3 his engine suddenly caught fire filling his cockpit with smoke.

"All of a sudden a very unexpected loud bank and it was obviously from the engine and immediately following was black smoke, the smell of black smoke. It's one of those things where you train for it you've read about it but it's not just you, it's everybody else on board in the cockpit," said Bailey.

In seconds Bailey opened a side window, shut off the fuel and pointed the nose to the ground to put out the flames. He quickly realized he wouldn't make the runway.

"In my mind I was thinking well it's been a good few years I've had here , we might not make it," said Bailey.

The plane hit a couple of trees, went into a spin and landed nearly 100 feet from his destination. Fellow pilots say it is a miracle anyone survived.

"It's truly by the grace of God they're walking out of that. Jason is a good pilot, I've flown with him before... nice and smooth and he is good. He had pretty good skills to get it down like that, " said fellow pilot Frank Davey.

At first Bailey says he didn't feel much pain, he was too worried about his passengers. Luckily his passenger is doing okay, she is reportedly recovering from a few broken ribs and a back injury.

One of the dogs flying with Bailey was ejected from the plane during the crash, that pup survived with multiple fractures and a separated shoulder.

The other dog flying will also be okay, he only has a fractured paw. Bailey says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

He tells Channel 3 he believes missing the fog in Greensboro and hitting the small patch of trees beside the runway, saved their lives.

Source:  http://www.wrcbtv.com

A Chattanooga Pilot's plane goes down in the Georgia woods and lives to tell the tale. 

The Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking had to make an emergency landing in Monroe County Saturday night after the weather took a turn for the worse.

NewsChannel9 spoke to Pilot Jason Bailey by Skype this evening from his hospital room in Monroe County, Georgia. Bailey is pretty banged up but he says that's nothing compared to what could have happened to him and his passenger.

Broken bones, a cracked sternum and a few bumps and bruises. Bailey admits he's seen better days. But he tells us he's thankful to be alive.

"Part of me still can't believe it. I think of the reports I've read, I think of how violent the impact was and it's one of those things where it can't be described and other way than God's grace," said Bailey.

Bailey says he thought the flight to visit family in Georgia would be smooth and brief. Instead, Bailey was forced into a situation where he had to act fast.

"Suddenly out of nowhere I heard a very loud bang.  In addition to that or along with it, came the ominous flames out of the front of the cowling there which covers the engine, the power plant. Smoke started billowing out and also started filing the cabin," said Bailey.

With no time to think, Bailey says he shut the engine off and dove the plane down where it eventually landed in a pile of trees.

"It did run through my mind that you know, we may not make it through this because when we first hit that first tree branch, it was violent beyond anything I've ever personally experienced," said Bailey.

But with the help of adrenaline, Bailey was able to remain alert and call for help.

"It was a very violent impact but I was conscious through the whole ordeal and able to kick the door open when we got there with the endorphins and the adrenaline and we all lived somehow so miraculously," said Bailey.

But don't expect this Private Pilot with more than 500 hours to stay away from the skies anytime soon.

"If friends showed up right now and asked me to go for a ride in an airplane, I'd say, hey doc, I'll be back in a few minutes," said Bailey.

Chattanooga resident Tammy Jarrard was also flying with Bailey when the plane crashed. Bailey says she's in stable condition and suffered a few cracked ribs, bruises and lacerations but she is expected to be okay.

They were also traveling with two dogs who also suffered a few injuries, but they too, are going to be just fine.

- Source:  http://www.newschannel9.com

Pilot Jason Bailey

Pilot Sonny Dupler speaks about incident: Cessna 150F, N8446G, Industry Air Park (38OH), Baltimore, Ohio


BALTIMORE – Former Walnut Township Trustee Sonny Dupler bought his 1967 Cessna 150 F just last week, but he's already done flying it.

Dupler crashed the plane Tuesday while taking off from an airstrip near Ohio 37 and Ohio 256.

"I think I just pulled it off a little quick and stalled it out," he said. "Once you do that, you get all this kind of stuff (shaking his hands) and it's tough to recover."

Dupler, who said he has been flying since he was 9, was not hurt. He said he was traveling around 60 mph when he stalled the plane at 25 feet. The plane then hit the ground nose first, damaging the landing gear and the right wing.

"It didn't hit that hard," Dupler said. "It looks terrible, but it really didn't hit that hard."

Dupler said he just recently got back into flying after a long absence. He said he was not going anywhere, but just planned on flying around. He said it may be cheaper to sell the aircraft off for parts and buy another instead of repairing it.

Despite the scary incident, Dupler was jovial after the crash.

"There's no sense in being upset," he said. "It happens. I've seen others to the same thing."

But Dupler said this was his first crash.

"It's just like a lot of things, you're away from it and you lose your touch," he said. "I just pulled it off the ground, I think, just a little premature and stalled it. Once you stall it and the nose pops up, everything goes to hell in a hand basket."

Dupler said he didn't have time to be scared while he was trying to right the plane before crashing it.

"Never even thought about being scared," he said.

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


Sonny Dupler's plane sits just off the access road next to the air strip he was trying to takeoff from Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, when the engine stalled causing him to crash from about 25 feet in the air. Dupler wasn't hurt in the crash, but wasn't sure if his plane would be worth repairing.
(Photo: Matthew Berry/Eagle-Gazette)

Springfield-Branson National Airport (KSGF) wins Federal Aviation Administration safety award


For the 10th year in a row, Springfield's airport has received a discrepancy-free safety inspection from the Federal Aviation Administration.  On Monday, the FAA recognized the airport by awarding it the “Airport Safety Enhancement Award.”

The award goes to airports that receive discrepancy-free safety inspections three years in a row.  Getting one discrepancy-free inspection is a great accomplishment for any airport.  Doing it 10 years in a row is a rare achievement.

"Every airport employee is, in some way, responsible for the safety of our customers," said Shawn Schroeder, airport director of operations.  "Having their hard work validated by the FAA is much deserved."

The annual FAA safety inspection is a demanding review of everything at the airport that affects aircraft safety.

FAA inspectors review a long list.  It includes runway pavement condition, airfield marking and lighting, the readiness of the airport fire department, snow and ice removal, fencing, the height of grass, and wildlife control.

Wildlife was a hot topic with the public five years ago after a flock of Canada geese brought down a US Airways flight after take-off from New York City (the plane landed in the Hudson River with no loss of life).  Airports, however, have talked about wildlife for years — as in, "how do we control it?"

The airport must show FAA inspectors that it knows what wildlife is on the airport, and that it has a plan to deal with it.

“Runway inspections are one way we track wildlife,” said Troy Morehouse, airfield maintenance worker.  "You look for any remains of an animal hit by an aircraft.  We collect it and record where it was found on the runway.”

Even small birds get attention.

“Smaller birds can be very dense.  So, when a plane hits them, it’s almost the equivalent of getting hit by a baseball," he said.

Dealing with wildlife is just part of the airport's role in keeping planes safe.

When an aircraft is on the ground it depends on airport lights, signs and paint to figure out where to go in a safe manner. The Springfield airport has about 1,400 lights along the edges of the runways and taxiways.  Add to that several hundred signs, along with miles and miles of painted lines.  If you could put all the paint in a six-inch line, it would be 40 miles long.  And all of it — lights, signs, paint — has to be nearly perfect.

After so many years of acing the inspection, is there any way to make things even better? Morehouse says there is.

"We all try to better ourselves every day and improve on what we've done.  That may sound kind of crazy — we've done so well the past 10 years — I mean, what is there left to improve on? There's always something to improve on,"  he said.

- Source:  http://www.ky3.com

Tower Technology Gets Federal Aviation Administration Test At Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO), Virginia

The Leesburg Airport is teaming up with SAAB Sensis Corporation to test a new remote air-traffic control system that could result in approval for a permanent FAA air traffic control tower at the town’s airport.

The Town Council last week approved an agreement allowing the company and the research arm of the Virginia Department of Aviation to test SAAB’s new system at the airport while it seeks FAA safety certification for the new technology. The project is expected to take place starting in June 2015.

For the past year, the town’s Airport Commission has supported the development of an air traffic control tower to better handle increasing flight activity. Leesburg Airport is the second-busiest general aviation airport in Virginia with more than 100,000 takeoffs and landings annually. However, considering it took eight years for a tower to be built at Frederick Airport (MD), Leesburg Airport leaders wanted to find a quicker route.

SAAB’s new product is part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next-Gen campaign to improve flight control nationwide. The remote air traffic control tower system has been certified for use in Europe and tested in Australia but not in the United States. Leesburg will provide that testing ground.

“To get a control tower established is pretty tough, especially with federal sequestration—that makes funding hard,” Airport Manager Scott Coffman said. “So the state put us in touch with SAAB—they were looking for a place to test and get certification of their remote control product in the U.S. They selected Leesburg as a site and will have the FAA people come do their safety and risk analysis of the system to make sure that it’s a safe product that can be used in the United States.”

The decision to test at Leesburg Airport also made sense from SAAB’s standpoint.

“It’s a busy general aviation airport and it doesn’t currently have a air traffic control tower, but it does have a really good mix of different aircraft types flying in and out," SAAB media relations manager Rob Conrad explained. “They have a flight-training operation and it’s in a complex airspace near Dulles, so it’s a good test situation for the project.”

The only cost to the town during the three-month testing period will be two phone lines and electrical power estimated at $2,000. Coffman believes that fee is small considering how much money the town would save using SAAB’s product rather than constructing a traditional traffic tower.

“For us, it’s an interesting product,” Coffman said. “Number one, it’s less expensive than a brick and mortar control tower because this is essentially a camera array that’s on an existing building or tower that looks at the airspace around our airport.

“It’s much simpler to build a camera array, and the remote part of the tower means that the air traffic controller is in a remote location. They don’t have to be looking out a window. Their product is designed so they could be essentially anywhere. It’s kind of cool.”

Coffman thinks that having a permanent air traffic tower would help attract business jet operators as well as improve flight safety and offer more efficient communication to pilots.

Even with increasing air traffic, Leesburg residents shouldn’t be worried about the changes, he said.

“As far as the residents of Leesburg, they’re not going to hear any additional noise or anything like that. In fact, a control tower could help with keeping pilots on certain paths as they come into the airport,” Coffman said.

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

Kolb FireStar: Incident occurred September 16, 2014 in Pompey, New York

POMPEY HILL, N.Y. -- Police have identified the man injured in a plane crash in Pompey Hill as 57-year-old Donald R. Casler of Erieville.

Casler had just taken off around 1:30 p.m. from the Pompey Hill airstrip in a field on the west side of Oran Delphi Road, state police Capt. Jeffrey Raub said. Police described Casler's injuries as not life-threatening.

Witnesses saw Casler's plane, a FireStar ultralight, bank to the left twice before he struck a utility pole and crashed, police said.

Casler took off from the airstrip, which is a few hundred feet away from the wreckage, and headed east. He began banking left, the witnesses told police. He crossed Oran Delphi Road and banked left again, they said.

He was facing the road once again, this time heading west.

That's when he crashed into a utility pole, taking down a wire. One wing of the plane landed in a ditch on the road. The rest of the aircraft landed in the cornfield east of Oran Delphi Road, about 30 feet off the road.

A witness stopped and called 911.

The Pompey Hill and Delphi Falls Fire Departments, CAVAC Ambulance and state police arrived on the scene shortly after.

He was talking, breathing and conscious, but said he was in a lot of pain Raub said. CAVAC Ambulance transported him to Upstate University Hospital to be treated for injuries to his lower extremities, Raub said. The injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

Police said they knew very little about Casler's flying experience. Casler lives on Tainter Road in Erieville, which is in Madison County.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the scene of the crash to investigate the cause, Raub said.

- Source:   http://www.syracuse.com

Pompey (WSYR-TV) – Emergency crews have been called to a report of a downed ultralight aircraft in the town of Pompey on Tuesday afternoon. 
The aircraft is down in a cornfield near the intersection of Oran Delphi Road and Route 20.

One person was transported to a local hospital, according to a fire official at the scene.

The person was conscious following the incident.

The location is near the border separating Onondaga and Madison counties.

State Police are investigating the incident.

New airport hangar building on hold: Norfolk Regional (KOFK), Nebraska

Take-off is being delayed for a proposed $1 million hangar building and taxiway at the Norfolk Regional Airport.

The Norfolk City Council last month passed a resolution acknowledging that a future property tax increase of about $60,000 annually for 10 years would be needed for the project. That’s because rent from aircraft owners wouldn’t cover all of the debt service on the loan.

Since then, the Norfolk Airport Authority has reconsidered its plan.

“We had push-back on this on the tax increase. The decision was made faster than we probably should have done,’’ Dan Geary, airport authority chairman, told the council on Monday.

Questions were asked that didn’t get very good answers, Geary said, so the airport authority last week decided to delay the project for more study.

A bid opening had been planned in the spring for the eight-bay hangar.

Geary said the additional study would take about six months, which is also when a Federal Aviation Administration grant approved for the project is to expire.

“We’ll do an in-depth study of the rent we’re charging,’’ he said, adding later, “We’re not going to build the hangar for a while.’’

The airport authority will further track any vacancy and turnover that occurs, as well as who is inquiring about renting the 35 existing hangars, which are full.

Geary said accounting will be changed so that hangar expenses are separated from the general fund. The hangars generate about $70,000 in income, he said, which is money the airport doesn’t have to get from the city.

City Attorney Clint Schukei said a new resolution, rescinding the language about the future property tax increase, would be brought to the council at its next meeting.

The airport authority learned last month that its application for loans and a Federal Aviation Administration grant had been approved.

The $267,471 grant is to pay for the taxiway. Local share amounts to $29,719.

Also part of the project is a $491,699 no-interest loan from the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics to build the hangar. The local share is $210,842.

- Source:  http://norfolkdailynews.com

Legend Texas Cub, N235EC: Incident occurred September 16, 2014 at Myricks Airport (1M8), Berkley, Massachusetts

MURRAY RANDALL: http://registry.faa.gov/N235EC  

BERKLEY (CBS) – One person was hospitalized after a small plane crash near an airport in Berkley on Tuesday morning. 

At about 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday a plane was reported down near the tree line just off the runway of Myricks Airport in Berkley.

Firefighters were on scene as one person was taken by ambulance following the incident, though no flames or smoke were visible in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday afternoon that an amateur-built plane lost control while landing on a grass strip at Myricks Airport.

According to the FAA registry, Murray Randall of Berkley owns the plane, which was a fixed wing single-engine plane manufactured in 2011.

The injured pilot was the only person on board the plane when it crashed.

Records show this is the third incident at Myricks Airport involving Randall, who owns the airport. In 2004 Randall was forced to land a plane despite problems with his landing gear that caused one wheel to malfunction.

In October 2011 Randall was seriously injured when his plane crashed into some trees. Randall was hospitalized, and investigators said at the time they believed either glare from the sun or tricky winds caused the botched landing.

No details are currently available about the cause of Tuesday’s crash.

- Source:  http://boston.cbslocal.com



NTSB Identification: ERA12CA035
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 17, 2011 in Berkley, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2012
Aircraft: American Champion Aircraft 7AC, registration: N3662E
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported encountering solar glare during landing on runway 27. The airplane impacted a tree on the right edge of the approach end of the runway, then impacted the ground and came to rest inverted about 140 feet from the tree. The airplane sustained damage to the engine firewall, fuselage, and right wing. A postaccident examination of the airplane found no evidence of mechanical malfunction or anomalies. According to U.S. Naval Observatory data for the day of the accident, sunset occurred at 1800, about 45 minutes after the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not maintain clearance from a tree during the final approach in solar glare conditions.

NTSB Identification: NYC04LA109.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, April 19, 2004 in Berkley, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N9862D
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

Several witnesses observed the airplane as it was attempting to land on a turf runway, and recalled that it was higher and faster than normal. The witnesses then observed the airplane strike a tree, and descend to the ground. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck a 50-foot high tree located about 445 feet prior to the runway threshold. According to an FAA Airport Facilities Directory, the runway was a 2,466-foot long, 50-foot wide turf runway, and had a 756 foot displaced threshold, marked with lime. The directory also mentioned trees were located at the approach end of the runway. Examination of the runway revealed large patches of brown grass and tire marks were observed about 10 feet beyond the beginning of the runway surface. No markings were observed identifying a displaced threshold. The pilot was also the owner and manager of the airport. The winds reported at an airport located about 3 miles north of the accident site, about the time of the accident, were from 200 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 19 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's misjudgment of altitude/distance and his failure to maintain adequate clearance from trees while landing. Factors related to the accident were the lack runway displaced threshold markings, the trees located at the end of the runway, and the gusting wind conditions.

Cirrus SR22, N22WX: Accident occurred September 07, 2014 in Langola Township, Minnesota

Private plane with 4 aboard forced to land on central Minnesota road

Mechanical problems forced the pilot of a single-engine airplane to make an emergency landing short of St. Cloud Airport, damaging one of its wings but sparing injury among the four people aboard, authorities said Monday.

The unexpected landing occurred about 1:45 p.m. Sunday northeast of Rice, Minn., on 15th Avenue NE., and ended just short of 160th Street, according to the Benton County ­Sheriff’s Office.

The pilot, Craig Burfeind, 52, of Chanhassen, said he detected trouble with the Cirrus SR22 while flying from Mankato to Breezy Point in central Minnesota.

Hoping to make it to the St. Cloud Airport about 20 miles to the south, Burfeind settled for landing on the road and then veering into a ditch to avoid hitting a vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office added. At some point, a wing hit a utility pole support wire and was slightly damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration will look into the circumstances of the emergency landing.

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

N22WX LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N22WX

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA486
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 07, 2014 in Langola Township, MN
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N22WX
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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 September 7, 2014, about 1330 central daylight time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N22WX, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Langola Township, Minnesota. The commercial pilot and three passengers were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to N22WX LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The flight originated from the Mankato Regional Airport, Mankato, Minnesota, about 1255.

According to the pilot, while at cruise about 4,500 feet mean sea level, the airplane’s airspeed began to decay and the engine’s exhaust gas temperatures began to decrease. The pilot attempted to restore power to the engine without success. About one minute later the engine stopped producing power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a rural road. During the landing roll the pilot maneuvered the airplane to miss an oncoming car and collided with a utility pole guy wire. None of the occupants were injured, however substantial damage was sustained to the airplane’s left wing.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Philippine Airlines: Plane had ‘rough landing,’ not emergency landing, at Hong Kong International Airport

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Airlines plane from Manila made a rough landing at the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday before noon amid the bad weather spawned by Typhoon Kalmaegi (local name: Luis).

The Philippines’ flag carrier had to issue a clarification after celebrity host KC Montero posted in social media details of what was initially believed as an emergency landing.

Montero was on board the PR-300 flight, which departed the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, at 8:08 a.m. on Tuesday.

The PAL plane, a 368-seater Airbus 330-300, was supposed to land at the Hong Kong International Airport at 10:10 a.m.

But PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the flight met a 55-minute delay due to the turbulent weather and air traffic congestion as a powerful typhoon was battering Hong Kong.

“It was a rough landing, but it wasn’t an emergency landing,” Villaluna said over the phone.

In a statement, PAL said the plane, which carried 312 passengers landed safely at the airport at 11:05 a.m.

“Captain Alberto Jimenez and First Officer Ned Clarence Javier commandeered the flight, which experienced rough patches due to proximity of Hong Kong to the typhoon in the area,” it said.

In his post on Twitter, Montero said: “I’ve taken nearly 1000 flights and this by far was the scariest. People screaming, emergency re-landing, people puking everywhere.”

“After circling for awhile we attempted to land again, wind was still severe but we managed to touch down to the trademark Pinoy applause,” he went on.

The celebrity host said that the plane pilots tried to land in Macau to avoid the bad weather and safely land.

“To the pilots of PR300, thank you for setting us down safely. Good job,” he said.

Villaluna said that based on the assessment of the flight deck, there was no need for them to alert aviation authorities for an emergency landing, which would require fire and rescue equipment and personnel nearby upon landing.

“There was no need to seek for assistance. They knew they could land the plane on their own,” she said.

In its statement, PAL boasted of its pilots who are capable of handling such turbulent weather.

“Our highly skilled pilots have the capability to handle the flight amidst rough weather conditions,” it said.

The return flight of PR-300, PR-301 already left Hong Kong at 1:31 p.m. on Tuesday and was scheduled to land Manila shortly past 3 p.m. on the same day.

- Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net