Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Officers begin hostage rescue training at Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY)

GARY | Fourteen officers ran from the wing of the Bowing 737 aircraft through the plane’s emergency doors, sweeping through the narrow aisles, their firearms at the ready.

However this time, the officers were only training for a threat, and not actually facing one.

A total of 27 officers from 11 agencies in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois trained with the Indiana SWAT Officers Association on Wednesday at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

The officers trained for a hostage rescue situation on an airplane, led by retired FBI SWAT team leader Chuck Smith. He said airplanes, trains and buses can be potential magnets for danger.

“Well, they are certainly targets for attack by terrorists or criminals, because it’s a large concentration of people that can be used as hostages or be victims, but it’s a difficult situation for police to handle,” Smith said.

Tony Emanuele, maritime enforcement specialist, organized the event for the Indiana SWAT Officers Association, which is a statewide training organization for officers and military members. On Thursday, they will be going into their second day of training for emergency situations on a South Shore train and a bus in Gary.

Smith guided the officers through entering the emergency doors on the planes, safely sweeping through the aircraft and taking down the person causing the threat. He said that being in such a confined space potentially packed with people is a big challenge for officers.

Joe Ferrantella, Ivy Tech coordinator of emergency response training in Valparaiso, took a group of students to be a part of the training. This was his sixth class he has had in the airplane at the Sage Popovich hanger.

The officers trained on an aircraft donated by the Sage Popovich Group for educational use.

“This plane is exclusive to being used for emergency response training,” Ferrantella said. “It makes for the most realistic experience possible.”

The students observed the training and played as passengers and potential threats on the aircraft.

“At first I was nervous, after sitting through it, it gets your adrenaline running,” said Megan Layton, an Ivy Tech Valparaiso freshman criminal justice major. “To watch them maneuver up and down the aisle, it’s cool how quick they all caught on.”

Illinois Metra Police and special operation officers Ruben Gomez and Danny Zapato said for them, training on actual vehicles are a big plus for them.

“We can never get enough training,” Zapato said. “It’s hands on, we are actually getting in there with our weapons. It’s the best training we can get. We can sit in class and watch videos all we want, but it’s not the same.”

These situations may not be common, but Smith said it’s important to be prepared.

“Even if it’s a rare or unlikely situation, the more exposure the better,” Smith said.

Emanuele, also a Chesterton police officer, said there are more events to come for the Indiana SWAT Officers Association, such as training in active shooter situations in a school.

Emanuele said officers and military members can pay a year’s membership of $10 and then attend training events like these at no cost.

“Honestly I think (the program) is going to get bigger,” Emanuele said. “A big problem for police training is the cost.”

- Source:

  Anna Ortiz, The Times
 A total of 27 officers from Indiana, Illinois and Michigan trained Wednesday with the Indiana SWAT Officers Association on Wednesday at Gary Airport. 

Final city cost for Cleveland Regional Jetport landing at $7.25M

After more than 18 months in operation, financial loose ends remain for the Cleveland Regional Jetport and the board that oversees it, the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority.

Among those loose ends is the handling of the city’s final share of the price tag — $7.25 million.

The original plan was for the city’s portion of the $42.32 million facility to come from the sale of Hardwick Field, but that relied upon receiving a hefty price for the old airport property, which failed to materialize.

The Airport Authority realized $1.03 million from the sale of Hardwick Field, leaving roughly $5 million to be financed on the airport itself. A bond issue for $4.3 million and $700,000 from the city general fund will cover that amount.

The $2.2 million terminal building received only $700,000 in state and federal money. The rest was to be raised from private donations. The needed pledges fell short. Only $281,400 was raised and could be paid over three years by donors. Fundraising costs were more than $50,000. There is no ongoing fundraising campaign for the terminal.

A bond issue for the terminal has $1.35 million remaining on the principal balance, leaving the local total for both the terminal and airport at $6.35 million after deducting the proceeds from the sale of the former airport property.

Airport Authority member Verrill Norwood said the governing body needs to raise $1.5 million to cover the difference in cost between what the terminal project received from grants and what was ultimately spent on the terminal.

“I guess that’s the one thing we are not proud of ... that we didn’t get the $1.5 million,” Norwood said.

The Airport Authority received input for the terminal from its Terminal Design Committee, a consultant and fixed base operator Crystal Air. The committee visited other municipal airports for inspiration. The Airport Authority approved the suggestions of the design committee.

A restaurant area, rental cars and meeting facilities were main elements suggested for inclusion. The restaurant area did not become a reality, but the others did, according to Norwood.

A committee headed by Airport Authority chair Lou Patten was tasked with raising the money for the terminal.

“We haven’t had reports from that group in a long time,” Norwood said. “There was a group to outfit and design the terminal and then there was a group that was put together to raise money.”

That committee has not met for at least a year, according to Patten.

Patten said the committee had focused on having a good design for the terminal and had a list of potential donors.

“The director, part of his job is to market the airport and fund raise,” Norwood said. “I don’t get involved in that.”

Patten said he felt the committee would not meet again. Instead, according to Patten, Mark Fidler, Jetport director of operations, will be spearheading efforts to “bring in some additional funding.”

“We are going to try to refocus on that area,” Patten said.

Initial fundraising came mostly through opportunities to have the donor’s name on an item inside the terminal, such as the waterfall.

“It was a three-year pledge. You could choose to pay over three years,” Norwood said.

Kristi Powers, city public works support services manager, said she has received $179,400 of the $281,400 pledged.

“I have a total of 11 donors,” Powers said. “One donor who had originally pledged $30,000 later withdrew the planned donation. Most of the donors have broken their pledge up into annual payments.”

These annual payments are scheduled through June 1, 2017.

Now, local companies have the opportunity to advertise on digital screens at the Jetport as a way to support reaching the fundraising goal.

The budget for the Cleveland Regional Jetport is part of the city of Cleveland’s general fund.

City finance director Shawn McKay said the interest rate on the $4.3 million borrowed for the Jetport is 2.64 percent on the fixed-rate bond.

The old airfield sold for $1.03 million, rather than the appraised $1.78 million, leaving about $700,000 remaining to cover the Jetport. This money came out of the city’s general fund budget.

McKay said payments on the bond issue will come from the debt service fund.

“There are various places that we fund that (debt service) from depending on what particular project it is, but there is a transfer every year from the general fund to the debt service fund,” McKay said.

In spite of Hardwick Field being operated by the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority, the shortfall in funds from its sale must be offset by the city and not the Airport Authority.

A separate bond issue has been authorized to cover the shortfall in fundraising for the terminal building, which was above the amount covered by a grant. The amount received in pledges covered the $136,000 debt service payment for the first year. McKay said this was a variable rate bond with the interest rate locked in for five years. How the rate changes after that is determined by the market, McKay said. The loan’s maturity date is May 2027.

“The terminal (bond) is at a variable rate based on the SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Municipal) index plus 0.55 basis points. We budget this at 4 percent,” McKay said.

The bond was issued through the Tennessee Municipal Bond fund.

“As operations grow out there (at the Jetport) it’s very likely that they may be able to fund the payments through operations money,” McKay explained. “We are one year under our belt and there is still a lot of demand for hangar space, grounds receipts and things of that nature. Operations continue to grow.”

He added, “They are operating on a balanced budget this year, so incomes match their expenses. I think having that Jetport there is key to having the businesses and industries that we have attracted, and it is going to play a key role in (the future).”

The Jetport’s current approved budget totals $1.07 million.

The majority of the revenue comes from fuel sales that are projected to be $898,000. The remaining revenue is generated from ramp fees, hangar rental, land rental and other service-based income.

- Source:

Airlines scrambling to get passengers out of Cabo

Airlines are scrambling to get stranded passengers home from Cabo San Lucas, a popular Mexican resort destination hit hard by Hurricane Odile earlier this week.

Flights to and from Cabo have been canceled all week and it is not clear when they will resume. US Airways, which offers daily flights from Phoenix, has canceled flights through Saturday, Sept. 20.

On Thursday, US Airways and American Airlines, which merged in December, plan to operate several special rescue flights to bring passengers from Cabo to Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Southwest Airlines operated rescue flights from Cabo today to accommodate customers from Southwest and merger partner AirTran Airways. Neither airline offers non-stop service to Cabo from Phoenix but there are connecting flights via Orange County, Calif.

The Southwest rescue flights went to Los Angeles International Airport, where flights will be arranged to travelers final destination. The airline said it will schedule additional rescue flights if needed.

After Southwest posted the news on Facebook, travelers cheered the  news.

Alaska Airlines operated a rescue flight on Tuesday.

For travelers with tickets to or from Cabo in the near future, airlines are allowing flight changes without penalties. There is fine print, however, including set travel periods for the new flights.

US Airways today extended its travel waiver for Cabo San Lucas passengers for travel through Oct. 15, underscoring the damage and uncertainty in the region.

The initial waiver only covered flights scheduled through Sept. 30. Travelers who bought tickets to Cabo today or earlier can change their travel dates and destination to anytime through Nov. 20 at no charge. Those who want to reschedule their trip between Nov. 21 and Aug. 1 might have to pay any fare difference from the original price of their ticket.
The airline said passengers looking to change their trips should call 800-428-4322 or go to

Southwest's waiver covers travelers holding tickets for travel through Sept. 30. The airline said travelers with questions about their Cabo reservations should call 800-435-9792.

Other airline waivers for travel to Cabo San Lucas:

Alaska Airlines

American Airlines

Delta Airlines

- Source:


Socata TBM700N (TBM900), N900KN: Accident occurred September 05, 2014 in open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica


NTSB Identification: ERA14LA424 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 05, 2014 in Open Water, Jamaica
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N900KN
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 5, 2014, about 1410 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Socata TBM700 (marketed as TBM900), N900KN, impacted open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica. The commercial pilot/owner and his passenger were fatally injured. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight that originated from Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, New York at 0826 and destined for Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after departing ROC the pilot climbed to FL280 and leveled off. About 1000 the pilot contacted ATC to report an "indication that is not correct in the plane" and to request a descent to FL180. The controller issued instructions to the pilot to descend to FL250 and subsequently, due to traffic, instructed him to turn 30 degrees to the left and then descend to FL200. During this sequence the pilot became unresponsive. An Air National Guard intercept that consisted of two fighter jets was dispatched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover, South Carolina and intercepted the airplane at FL250 about 40 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The fighters were relieved by two fighter jets from Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida that followed the airplane to Andros Island, Bahamas, and disengaged prior to entering Cuban airspace. The airplane flew through Cuban airspace, eventually began a descent from FL250 and impacted open water northeast of Port Antonio, Jamaica.

According to a review of preliminary radar data received from the FAA, the airplane entered a high rate of descent from FL250 prior to impacting the water. The last radar target was recorded over open water about 10,000 feet at 18.3547N, -76.44049W.

The Jamaican Defense Authority and United States Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation. Search aircraft observed an oil slick and small pieces of debris scattered over one-quarter mile that were located near the last radar target. Both entities concluded their search on September 7, 2014.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Larry and Jane Glazer

KINGSTON, Jamaica: 

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has sought to clear the air on its decision to delegate investigative responsibility into the crash of the TBM 900 aircraft in Jamaican waters to the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Nari Williams-Singh, Deputy Director General for Regulatory Affairs at the JCAA, said that given the circumstances of the particular accident, the majority of what took place occurred in US airspace.

United States real estate developer, Larry Glazer and his wife Jane perished when the small aircraft crashed in Portland on September 5.

Rescue efforts which were being conducted by Jamaican and United States authorities were discontinued after three days as they were unable to locate any debris related to the aircraft.

Asked about Jamaica’s capacity to carry out investigations of this nature, Williams-Singh suggested that local professionals were more than capable.

“It’s not that we are not capable. I think that the state have demonstrated our capability in investigating accidents as we saw in the American Airlines issue in 2009,” said Williams-Singh. “But the majority of what took place occurred in US airspace,” he added.

“There was communication with US air traffic control, there was visual contact with US military and it was a US domestic operation so we felt that the NTSB was the best to conduct the investigation,” Williams-Singh said.

He stressed that the JCAA is an accredited representative in the investigations.

Information Minister Sandrea Falconer said that after the Jamaica Defence Force and the United States Coast Guard terminated the search for the aircraft official correspondence was dispatched to the NTSB, which accepted the invitation to carry out the investigations.

She noted that the JCAA had named an accredited representative to the investigation team. He is Captain Christopher Kirkaldy, Senior Aviation Safety Inspector with the JCAA.

Chargé d'Affaires at the United States Embassy in Kingston, Elizabeth Martinez commended the Jamaican authorities for their response to the crash.

The aircraft crashed at approximately 1:10 p.m. just off the coast of Port Antonio, Portland after departing Rochester, New York heading south to Naples, Florida with the two people on board.

The aircraft bypassed Florida, flew over Cuba and into Jamaica’s airspace before crashing into the sea apparently after it ran out of fuel. 

- Source:


 Members of the Marine Police leave the Errol Flynn Marina on another search.

 Superintendent Wayne Cameron (right) of the Portland division goes over details with police personnel.

 Rescue workers brave the conditions as they search for debris.

 Marine Police boats docked at the Errol Flynn Marina

 Senior Superintendent of Police Terrence Bent (left) and Lt Commander Judy Neil of the JDF Coast Guard address journalists in Portland.

US personnel (from left) Pauline Kastner, Elizabeth Martinez, chargé d'affaires, and Robert Piehel as they made their way to an emergency press conference on the crashed aircraft at Jamaica House.
 - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer 

A Jamaica Defence Force helicopter flies over the Port Antonio marina pier in Portland, as the Jamaica and US coast guards search for the missing plane that crashed at sea. 

 A JDF helicopter flies over Port Antonio.

An aerial shot of the United States Coast Guard vessel USS Bernard Webber.

Pittsburgh International Airport (KPIT) holds lottery for hunting permits

It's a win-win arrangement for sportsmen and women and for the wildlife management goals at Pittsburgh International Airport.

But it's a bad deal for deer caught in the airport's designated bow-hunting zone.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is holding a lottery to issue free, archery-only season permits for use on land owned by Pittsburgh International Airport.

Last year, the area set aside for the hunting program exceeded 2,300 acres. But this year, because of commercial development on airport property, only about 832 acres will be open to hunters, the airport said in a statement announcing the pilot program's second year.

Despite the decrease, the airport still expects to issue about 100 licenses for the season, which runs from Oct. 4, 2014, to Jan. 10, 2015.

Interested? The application deadline is Sept. 21, with a public lottery to be held Sept. 24.

Pittsburgh International isn't the only airport where bow hunting for deer is allowed on property.

Each year St. Cloud Regional Airport in Minnesota issues seven permits for bow hunters to try to bag whitetail deer on about 200 acres owned by the airport.

Last year, 79 hunters each paid $10 to put their name in the lottery, with the winners paying an additional $5 for their permits. This year, the lottery odds were much better, with fewer than 30 hunters entering the pool.

Lack of publicity may have had something to do with low turnout this year, said airport general manager William Towle, who holds a mandatory meeting each year for the seven permit winners.

"We meet to go over the rules," said Towle, "But I also want the hunters to see each other because that helps make sure everyone gets along out there."

Hunting for deer, with the goal of controlling wildlife, also is permitted at Cecil Airport, a corporate, military and general aviation airport operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority in Florida.

There, a license is granted to an archery hunting club restricted to no more than 20 members. The club pays the airport more than $13,000 a year for bow-hunting access from Sept. 1 through April 30 on more than 1,861 acres.

- Source:

Feds seeking proposals for Essential Air Service for Pierre, South Dakota

The federal government is seeking proposals from airlines to see what it would cost to provide a subsidized Essential Air Service route in and out of Pierre, city commissioners learned Tuesday. 

 Commissioner Jeanne Goodman announced the development at Tuesday’s meeting of the Pierre City Commission, saying it is the result of a yearlong effort by city and airport personnel.

Goodman said the federal Department of Transportation on Monday issued a request for proposals from carriers. The DOT wants proposals from airlines willing to provide Essential Air Service between Pierre and a major air traffic hub such as Minneapolis or Denver.

The deadline for proposals is Oct. 15, Goodman said.

South Dakota already has Essential Air Service to Aberdeen, Huron and Watertown.

The Essential Air Service program, which began in response to the move to de-regulate airlines in the late 1970s, subsidizes airlines willing to provide service to selected communities across the country that otherwise would not receive any regular air service.

As of late 2013, 160 communities received subsidized air service under the program. About one-fourth of those communities are in Alaska.

Great Lakes Airlines currently serves as Pierre’s only provider of commercial air service.

Goodman also reminded commissioners that starting today and running through the fall hunting seasons, Great Lakes Airlines will fly 30-seat Embraer 120 Brasilia aircraft twice a day between Denver and Pierre. More recently the airline has been flying Beechcraft 1900D planes, which seat 19.

However, the airline removed 10 seats from each of its Beechcraft models in 2014 and obtained a special operating license that allows it to fly nine-seat airplanes, which are not subject to the pilot restrictions.

The industry has been dealing with a shortage of pilots because of a change in August 2013 that increased the minimum training hours required for co-pilots from 250 to 1,500.

That shortage has caused a high number of delayed or canceled flights at the Pierre Regional Airport.

- Source:

Feds seek input on air service in Pierre, South Dakota 

PIERRE — The federal government is seeking proposals from airlines to see what it would cost to provide subsidized service in Pierre.

The Transportation Department wants proposals from carriers who could fly between Pierre and a major hub such as Minneapolis or Denver through the Essential Air Service program. The deadline is Oct. 15.

Great Lakes Airlines currently serves Pierre, but the carrier has had to cancel or delay many flights because of a lack of pilots. The airline cites new federal regulations for the pilot shortage.

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Aircraft Interior Firm To Locate Facility In Arkansas, Create 75 Jobs

A French aircraft cabin interior manufacturer says it's spending $2.5 million to locate a new facility in Arkansas that will initially employ 75 people.

Beaudet Aviation announced Wednesday that the new facility located adjacent to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport will supply Dassault Falcon Jet with completion work for its Falcon models. Beaudet Aviation is a subsidiary of JCB Aero.

Dassault Falcon broke ground earlier this month on a $60 million expansion of its private jet finishing plant.

Jean Claude-Beaudet, JCB Aero's chairman, said he hoped to expand the facility to between 150 and 250 jobs within five years.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission said the project is receiving income tax credits based on the payroll of new jobs and sales tax refunds for building equipment and materials.

- Source:

Mooney M20K, N5626C: Incident occurred September 16, 2014 at Chilton County Airport (02A), Clanton, Alabama


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Birmingham FSDO-09


The Clanton Fire Department has confirmed a small plane crashed at the Clanton airport on Tuesday evening.

Chief David Driver said they received report of a plane with engine trouble around 5:20 p.m. He said it landed at the Clanton airport and sustained major damage after coming off the runway.

The only person on board was the pilot and he was not injured.

"It definitely could have been a lot worse. In his flight path it passed over a city park where there were little league football team practicing, there were some little league baseball practicing down. He came right over them with no engine power so it definitely could have been a lot worse," Driver said.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirms they are investigating. They said a Mooney M20K aircraft originated from Austin, Texas and was headed to Fulton County Airport in Atlanta.

 - Source:

Chief David Driver said the crash could have been much worse.

$9.3m Arms Deal Conspiracy: Private jet not registered in Nigeria – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has refused to comment on the registration status of the private jet that was impounded by the South African Government on money laundering charges.

When contacted on Wednesday, a Spokesperson for the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said he didn’t have the details on if the jet was registered.

He said, “I don’t have the details. Those who should know are not on ground.” But he refused to give out names.

When contacted, NCAA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, was indisposed and could not comment on the issue.

However, a top source in the ministry, who did not want to be quoted because he was not permitted to speak on the issue, said that the private jet in question was not registered.

The source said, “I can confirm to you that most private jets in the country are not registered here, they have foreign registrations. The truth is that when these aircraft/jets come into the country, the law does not allow them to land in more than one place until its been fully registered.

“But I can tell you that its not the case here. The owners refuse to register them, because they are trying to avoid paying custom duties on them.

“And so, a lot of these foreign jets come in and fly from place to place here, but that should not be the case, and the Authorities just see them and ignore them.”

He added that the fact that those jets were not registered in the country made it difficult for any sanctions to be put on them.

The Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Security and Safety Consult, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (Retd), told our correspondent that aircraft not registered in the country could not be sanctioned by the government.

He said, “In my opinion, there is nothing much that our country can do with regards to what is going on especially if the jet/planes are foreign registered.

“Again, the money that was seen with them was of foreign currency, and not Nigerian, and we are not sure if the crew is Nigerian, so, we are at the mercy of the foreign country that arrested them, perhaps, if we are in good relationship with South Africa, they may release the funds back to our government.”

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Star Marianas Air to Federal Aviation Administration: Investigate Guam airport authority

From left, attorney Timothy Bellas, Star Marianas Air counsel; SMA president Shaun Christian and chairman and director of flight operations Robert F. Christian in the CPA conference room yesterday. 
 Photo by Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

As it continues to hit roadblocks in its attempt to provide scheduled and charter flights between Guam and Saipan, Star Marianas Air Inc. has brought the issue to the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration regional office and asked that the Guam airport be investigated citing breach of grant assurances.

Yesterday, Robert F. Christian, chairman of the board and director of flight operations, at a press conference held at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, said, “Today, we filed a formal request to the airport regional office in L.A. asking them to look into it and it lays out the efforts that were made by us and the current status [of the application].”

Star Marianas Air questioned the use of the commuter terminal on Guam for non-aeronautical purposes by United Airlines Human Resources division.

This, Star Marianas Air believes, is a violation of the grant assurances and regulations.

“GIAA has leased the commuter terminal designated on the airport layout plan to United Airlines Human Resources and continues to deny SMA the use of the commuter passenger building for its aeronautical use. They are using it for non-aeronautical purposes,” he said.

In a Sept. 16 letter addressed to FAA Western Pacific Region Airports Division manager Mark McClardy, Star Marianas Air’s aviation attorney Richard L. Richards said, “SMA [Star Marianas Air] requests that the FAA immediately investigate and remedy this situation so that the Authority is brought into compliance with federal law and the authority grants SMA access to Guam International Airport’s commuter terminal.”

Richards told McClardy that there has been no proposal or plan to grant SMA access to the Guam International Airport’s commuter terminal.

Richards also said that SMA wants to begin commuter and on demand operations at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport commuter terminal.

“However, the commuter terminal is currently being used by United Airlines Human Resources department. This is obviously problematic in that a human resources department does not require airside access and this use is preventing aeronautical activities at the Guam International Airport,” Richards wrote McClardy.

At the press conference yesterday, Christian said airports are required to follow regulations and regulations clearly differentiate aeronautical property from non-aeronautical property.

“Aeronautical property has to be used for aeronautical purposes,” he said.

As far back as June 25 this year, Richards relayed to the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority Star Marianas Air’s concerns over its breach of the grant assurances.

Richards wrote A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority executive director Charles H. Ada II, that airports must comply with their grant assurances in exchange for federal funds used to improve the airport facilities.

He pointed out three Grant Assurances of concern for Star Marianas: (1) Grant Assurance 22; (2) Grant Assurance 23; and (3) Grant Assurance 24.

Grant Assurance 22 is on economic nondiscrimination.

This requires the airport sponsor to make its airport available for public use “without unjust discrimination to all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activities.”

Grant Assurance 23 pertains to exclusive rights whereby it will permit no exclusive right for the use of the airport by any person providing, or intending to provide, aeronautical services to the public.

Fee and rental structure is covered by Grant Assurance 24. This requires the airport sponsor to assure that it will maintain a fee and rental structure for the facilities and services at the airport which will make the airport as self-sustaining as possible under the circumstances existing at a particular airport.

Richards told Ada in that June 25 letter, “The Authority has violated each of these assurances by in effect preventing SMA, a commuter airline, from having airside access through the Guam International Airport’s commuter terminal.”

He told Ada that FAA enforces compliance with these and other Grant Assurances by applying procedures delineated in the Rules of Practice for Federally Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings.

Richards echoed these concerns in a follow-up letter on July 22.

In a July 31 letter to Calvo Fisher & Jacob, Richards explained further.

It was not discussed whether the firm represents the airport but it appears that it does as the letter talked about SMA agreeing to a meeting with the authority on any of the days on Aug. 19-21.

But Richards told the firm that the airport is also in breach of Grant Assurance 29 or the part that requires the airport owner to keep an airport layout plan—a planning tool to show current and future airport use and should be up to date.

This assurance prohibits the airport from making alterations or changes to the FAA-approved airport layout plan.

“If a change or alteration in the airport of the facilities is made which the Secretary determines adversely affects the safety, utility or efficiency of any federally owned, leased, or funded property or on off the airport and which is not in conformity with the Airport Layout Plan as approved by the Secretary, the owner or operator, will, if requested, by the Secretary (1) eliminate such adverse effect…; (2) bear all costs or relocating such property to a site acceptable to the Secretary and all costs of restoring such property—or replacement—to a level of safety, utility and efficiency and cost of operation existing before the unapproved change in airport of its facilities.”

An FAA-approved airport layout plan is a prerequisite to the grant of Airport Improvement Program funds for airport development.

For Richards, the Guam airport has violated Assurance 29 by altering the airport layout plan.

Before raising this issue with FAA regional office in LA, Richards communicated with the Honolulu Airports District Office Manager Ron V. Simpson and echoed such concerns with violations of the Grant Assurances.

Yesterday, Christian said they were offered by the Guam airport authority an interim location.

He said in an Aug. 28 letter from Ada II, the airport authority had stated it was working diligently to act on SMA’s request and suggested the use of Yellow Cargo Building— “a common-use facility that would cater to the non TSA screened operations with nine passengers or less.”

Ada II told Christian in this letter, “I have a team working diligently on this endeavor, to include planning and renovation work in this area, obtaining CQA [Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency]’s buy-in for staffing this operation, space retrieval from existing tenants, and local permit processing, to name a few. Once we have a proposed layout drawing, we will forward that to you for comment.”

He also said that with an approved layout and space plan, SMA will need to develop a security program for review and approval by TSA and airport police.

Christian argued yesterday that the security plan is not contingent with SMA.

Besides, their aircraft is exempted from TSA screening.

Christian, citing regulation 49 CFR 1542, said airport must comply with security.

Obvious disadvantage

In a Sept. 2 letter, Christian wrote to Ada II, “The use of the cargo building for commuter passenger operations conducted by SMA in its efforts to bring competitive service into Saipan, Guam, and Rota markets, which are currently being served exclusively by United Airlines/Cape Air, places SMA at a distinct and obvious disadvantage.”

Christian noted that the airport authority even leased the commuter terminal to United’s HR department—a non-aeronautical activity—and continues to deny SMA the use of the commuter passenger terminal for its aeronautical use.

“SMA recognizes that UA and GIAA have some form of residual-cost financing in place for financing the A.B. Won Pat International Airport but do not believe that the financing issues outweigh the responsibilities to comply with the sponsor’s assurances,” said Christian.

Christian said yesterday that they have yet to receive a response from the airport authority on Guam.

“We received no communication from them,” he said.

In the two years that Star Marianas has been attempting to provide service to the Saipan-Rota-Guam route currently being served by only Cape Air, the airline has incurred costs.

Tim Bellas, Star Marianas Air’s counsel said, “There’s been a lot of effort and money spent.”

He said SMA secured a special commuter license.

Star Marianas is a regional carrier now.

Christian said they are now a regional carrier, and no longer a demand carrier.

“We have the same authorities as Cape Air’s. We have the same level of authorization as Cape Air’s,” he said.

However, SMA’s aircraft are exempted from Transportation and Security Administration screening.

By regulations, anything under 12,500 lbs., Christian said, does not require security screening.

To date, the traveling public has to contend with only one choice of an airline to take them to Guam or back.

Bellas said any situation when you have one option is obviously not good for the consumer.

“If you only have one, you don’t have choices. You are stuck with that,” he said.

For its Guam-Rota-Saipan flights, Star Marianas Air is planning to use five passenger planes and seven cargo planes.

Christian said they plan to use five nine-passenger aircraft, PA-31-350, Piper Super Chieftain and seven cargo planes.

He said their serving the Guam-Saipan route will afford the traveling public an alternative.

It will also help the Rota economy.

With Rota-Guam flights, Christian said they could offer day tours for Rota.

Even the leadership on Rota supports the Star Marianas’ initiative as it will help improve the local economy by bringing passengers directly to Rota.

Star Marianas operates scheduled daily flights to Rota twice a day.

But it will help further the traveling public in the Northern Marianas if SMA is allowed access at Guam airport.

“We can’t do scheduled flights on Guam if they won’t let us in,” said Christian.

Meanwhile, in an earlier Variety report, Rolenda L. Faasuamalie, Guam airport marketing administrator and the agency’s spokeswoman, disclosed to Variety that GIAA is preparing a temporary area for commuter operations, such as the one being proposed by Star Marianas.

She told Variety that discussions were ongoing between them and SMA on its interest to conduct scheduled commuter and on-demand services serving Guam-NMI route.

“Currently, planning is ongoing to make ready an interim area for a common use facility to conduct “commuter” operations, without impact to current operators and existing tenants.   The proposed area must meet layout requirements to address all safety and security concerns in line with airport operations, and is subject to the building permit process for renovation work,” she told Variety.

She also said that the space will also be available for other interested carriers utilizing specific aircraft types and will become a common use facility.

She also said SMA must meet security requirement mandated by TSA in its operations.   

“Without specifically identifying the proposed area for operations, the facility is right next to the Main Terminal, and has public access and parking facilities to accommodate operations. We will be able to specify area once all approvals, permits and safety/security concerns are addressed,” she told Variety earlier this month.

Yesterday, Variety tried to reach Ada II and Faasuamalie via email. This reported made a phone call to the latter but no response was received as of press time.

Story, Comments and Photo:

Cirrus SR22, N6081K: Accident occurred September 16, 2014 at Longville Municipal Airport (KXVG), Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CEN14CA501 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 16, 2014 in Longville, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N6081K
Injuries: 2 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.

During landing, the main landing gear touched down to the right of the runway centerline. The airplane bounced twice on the runway and began to veer left. The left wing dragged through the grass on the left side of the runway and the airplane continued into a drainage ditch. The airplane came to rest upright after it impacted the ditch; a postimpact fire ensued and consumed most of the fuselage. The wings and empennage sustained some fire damage and were mostly intact. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors and a Cirrus investigator provided on-scene assistance to ensure that the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) rocket motor was safely disarmed. The pilot stated that after the airplane bounced on the runway, he attempted to go around but the airplane did not respond to his aileron control inputs; he then lost control of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control during an attempted go-around following a multiple bounce landing


LONGVILLE — A small airplane crashed at the Longville Municipal Airport Tuesday afternoon, sending both the pilot and passenger, not yet identifed, to a Brainerd hospital. 

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said the crash, which resulted in a fire, happened at approximately 12:53 p.m.and that both the occupants were from Denison, Iowa.

The Longville Police Department, Longville Ambulance, Longville Fire Department and Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene.

The plane crash investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

An airplane crashed at 12:53 p.m. Tuesday at the Longville Municipal Airport, according to the Cass County's Sheriff's Department, resulting in non life-threatening injuries. 

Longville Fire Chief John Welk said the airplane was fully engulfed in fire, but the pilot, his passenger and their dog were already outside of the aircraft when the fire department arrived.

"Both were alert and responsive at the time. The plane was a total loss. The fire department was out there for a pretty long time trying to get it out with the avgas," said Christina Herheim, Longville clerk/treasurer and airport manager.

"The woman had two non life-threatening injuries and the male appeared to be fine and standing up. We proceeded to put out the fire and block off the area and call the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)," Welk said.

An ambulance, housed at the municipal airport, responded quickly and transported them to Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd.

The pilot and passenger, whose names were not released, are from Denison, Iowa. The airport was closed for cleanup and investigation, but was to reopen.

Cass County Sheriff's Office deputies, Longville police, Longville Ambulance and Longville Fire Department responded to the scene. The plane crash investigation was turned over to the FAA.



Air India suspends pilot, ten cabin crew members for indiscipline

NEW DELHI: Taking its crew to task for lack of discipline, Air India on Wednesday suspended a pilot and ten cabin crew members for delaying some recent flights, including an international service, by not reporting for duty on time.

The suspensions were carried out after repeated complaints of various nature, including careless handling of passengers or flight delays caused by delayed arrival of crew members, Air India officials said.

The suspension orders were issued this afternoon after carrying out inquiries into each case of indiscipline, they said here. The national carrier's Newark-Mumbai flight AI-144 had a delayed departure of over two hours on September 14 as the pilot failed to arrive at the airport on time, the officials, requesting anonymity, said.

Without disclosing the total number of flights or passengers affected by such behavior of the crew members, the officials said there were complaints regarding improper behavior of some crew members or improper handling of passenger complaints. Some crew members were also found to be perpetually late while reporting for duty, thus delaying the flights, the officials said, adding disciplinary action was being taken to check any inconvenience to passengers and instill a sense of responsibility amongst the crew. 

- Source:

de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter, Rediske Air, N93PC: Fatal accident occurred July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items  -   National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA121
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/2015
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC-3, registration: N93PC
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Before picking up the nine passengers, the pilot loaded the accident airplane at the operator's base in Nikiski with cargo (food and supplies for the lodge). The operator of the lodge where the passengers were headed estimated the cargo weighed about 300 pounds (lbs) and that the passengers' baggage weighed about 80 lbs. Estimates of the passengers' weights were provided to the lodge operator in preparation for the trip, which totaled 1,350 lbs. The load manifest listed each of these weight estimates for a total weight of 1,730 lbs and did not contain any balance data. The cargo was not weighed, and the pilot did not document any weight and balance calculations nor was he required to do so.

The airplane operator did not keep fueling records for each flight. A witness who was present during the fueling operations at the operator's base reported that he saw the pilot top off the front tank then begin fueling the center tank. The first leg of the trip from the operator's base to pick up the passengers was completed uneventfully.

According to witnesses at Soldotna Airport, after loading the passengers and their baggage, the pilot taxied for departure. There were no witnesses to the accident. The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 feet from the threshold of the departure runway and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. An extensive postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane's cockpit and cabin area, including an unknown quantity of the baggage and cargo. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose- and right-wing-low attitude at impact.

The entire airplane was accounted for at the wreckage site. Disassembly and examination of the engine and propeller revealed that both were operating during impact. Examination of the structure and flight control systems found no preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot was properly certificated and qualified in accordance with applicable federal regulations. Toxicological testing of specimens from the pilot was negative for any carbon monoxide, alcohol, or drugs.

The airplane was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with any type of crash-resistant recorder. A video recovered from a passenger's smartphone showed the accident sequence looking out of the row 4 left seat window; the left wing and flaps are in view for most of the sequence and the flap position does not change. The investigation found that the flaps were set to the full-down (or landing) position during takeoff, contrary to recommended procedures in the airplane flight manual (AFM). 

The recovered video was used to estimate the airplane speed, altitude, and orientation for the portion of the flight where ground references were visible, about 22.5 seconds after the start of the takeoff roll. For the first 12 seconds, the airplane accelerated linearly from the beginning of the takeoff roll through liftoff. The pitch angle decreased slightly in the first 8 seconds as the tail lifted, remained essentially constant for about 4 seconds, and began to slightly increase as the airplane lifted off. Beginning about 14 seconds after the start of the takeoff roll, the speed began decreasing and the pitch angle began increasing. The pitch angle increased at a constant rate (about 2.8 degrees/second), reaching a maximum value of about 30 degrees, and the ground speed decreased from its maximum of about 68 mph to about 44 mph at the end of the analyzed time. The ground references disappeared from the video frame as the airplane experienced a sharp right roll before impacting the ground several seconds later.

The low speed, rapid right roll, and pitch down of the airplane is consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The constant pitch rate before the stall is consistent with an aft center of gravity (CG) condition of sufficient magnitude that the elevator pitch down authority was insufficient to overcome the pitching moment generated by the aft CG. Additionally, the flaps setting at the full-down (or landing) position, contrary to procedures contained in the AFM, would have exacerbated the nose-up pitching moment due to the increased downwash on the tail and aft shift of the center of pressure; the additional aerodynamic drag from the fully extended flaps would have altered the airplane's acceleration. 

Using the data available, the airplane was within weight and balance limitations for the first leg of the trip. However, the cargo loaded was about 2.4 times the weight indicated on the load manifest. Further, the total weight of cargo and baggage in the cargo area, as estimated during the investigation, exceeded the installed cargo net's load limit of 750 lbs by more than 50 lbs. Although the loaded cargo actual weight was higher than indicated on the load manifest, the flight from Nikiski to Soldotna was completed without any concerns noted by the pilot, indicating that even with the higher cargo load, the airplane was within the normal CG range for that leg of the flight. Thus, based on the investigation's best estimate and a calculation of the airplane's weight and balance using the recovered passenger weights, weights and location of the luggage recovered on scene, weight of the cargo recovered on scene, and weights accounting for the liquid cargo destroyed in the postimpact fire, once the passengers were loaded, the airplane weight would have exceeded the maximum gross weight of 8,000 lbs by about 21 lbs and the CG would have been at least 5.5 inches aft of the 152.2-inch limit (a more definitive calculation could not be performed because the exact location of the cargo was not known).

Additionally, the kinematics study of the accident airplane's weight and motion during initial climb and up to the point of stall found that with the pilot applying full pitch-down control input, the CG required to produce the motion observed in the video was likely just past 161 inches. Thus, the only way for the airplane motion to match the motion observed in the video was for the CG to be considerably aft of the 152.2-inch limit, which provides additional support to the results from the weight and balance study. Based on the video study, the weight and balance study constructed from available weight and balance information, and the kinematics study, the airplane exceeded the aft CG limit at takeoff, which resulted in an uncontrollable nose-up pitch leading to an aerodynamic stall. The CG was so far aft of the limit that the airplane likely would have stalled even with the flaps in the correct position.

Neither 14 CFR Part 135 nor the operator's operations specifications (OpSpec) require that the aircraft weight and balance be physically documented for any flights. However, according to Section A096 of the OpSpec, when determining aircraft weight and balance, the operator should use either the actual measured weights for all passengers, baggage, and cargo or the solicited weights for passengers plus 10 lbs and actual measured weights for baggage and cargo. The operator did not comply with federal regulations that require adherence to the weighing requirements or the takeoff weight limitations in the AFM. Additionally, although the inaccurate estimate of 300 lbs for the cargo resulted in a calculated CG that was within limits for both legs of the flight, the actual weight of the cargo was significantly higher. Once loaded in Soldotna, the combination of the passengers, their baggage, and the actual cargo weight and its location resulted in the CG for the accident flight being significantly aft of the limit. With the CG so far aft, even with full nose-down input from the pilot, the nose continued to pitch up until the airplane stalled. 

For each flight in multiengine operations, 14 CFR 135.63(c) requires the preparation of a load manifest that includes, among other items the number of passengers, total weight of the loaded aircraft, the maximum allowable takeoff weight, and the CG location of the loaded aircraft; one copy of the load manifest should be carried in the airplane and the operator is required to keep the records for at least 30 days. Single-engine operations are excluded from this requirement. The NTSB attempted to address this exclusion with the issuance of Safety Recommendations A-89-135 and A-99-61, which asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to amend the record-keeping requirements of 14 [CFR] 135.63(c) to apply to single-engine as well as multiengine aircraft. The FAA did not take the recommended action in either instance, and the NTSB classified Safety Recommendations A-89-135 and A-99-61 "Closed—Unacceptable Action" in 1990 and 2014, respectively.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The operator's failure to determine the actual cargo weight, leading to the loading and operation of the airplane outside of the weight and center of gravity limits contained in the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to require weight and balance documentation for each flight in 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 single-engine operations.


On July 7, 2013, about 1120 Alaska daylight time, a deHavilland DHC-3 Otter airplane, N93PC, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Soldotna Airport, Soldotna, Alaska. The commercial pilot and nine passengers died, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Rediske Family Limited Partnership, Nikiski, Alaska, and was operated by Rediske Air, Nikiski, Alaska, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which was destined to Bear Mountain Lodge, about 90 miles southwest of Soldotna.

On the day of the accident, the pilot was in Nikiski and was scheduled to fly a different trip with the accident airplane, but shortly before the planned departure time, the trip was canceled. The group of nine passengers on board the accident flight had been scheduled to go to the lodge in two of the operator's smaller airplanes; however, the pilot decided to use the Otter after his previous flight was canceled so that the group could fly together on one plane.

The lodge operator, who was in Nikiski before the departure, requested that a load of groceries and lodge supplies be flown with the group and brought the supplies to Rediske Air's base of operations. The lodge operator estimated the cargo weighed about 300 lbs. After the pilot unloaded the cargo from the canceled flight, he and the lodge owner loaded the groceries and lodge supplies on the accident airplane.

Rediske Air did not keep fueling records for each flight. A witness who was present during the fueling operations at Nikiski reported that he saw the pilot top off the forward tank then begin fueling the center tank. The witness later returned to the fuel supply tank to fuel his helicopter and thought he noticed 56 gallons on the fuel reader. He said that he and the accident pilot would have been the only people to use the fuel tank.

The first leg of the trip was a positioning flight from Nikiski to Soldotna, where the passengers were to be picked up. The flight was completed uneventfully.

According to witnesses at Soldotna Airport, after loading the passengers and their baggage, the pilot taxied to runway 25 for departure. There were no witnesses to the accident sequence. The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 ft from the threshold of runway 25 and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose-low, right-wing-low attitude at impact.


The pilot, age 42, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument ratings. His most recent second-class airman medical certificate was issued July 11, 2012, and contained no limitations. On April 24, 2012, the pilot was approved as a check airman in single-engine land airplanes flown by Rediske Air.

A review of Rediske Air's training records showed that the pilot's initial ground training in the Otter was completed on June 28, 2011. The pilot's most recent 14 CFR Part 135 competency check in the Otter was accomplished on June 15, 2012, and his most recent recurrent ground training in the airplane was completed on the same date. The pilot received Part 135 competency and line checks in a Cessna 206 airplane on May 15, 2013.

Personal flight logbooks for the pilot were not located, but his most recent insurance application, dated April 23, 2013, showed a total flight time of 7,765 hours with a total time in DHC-3 airplanes of 105 hours. The insurance form for the previous year indicated a total time in DHC-3 airplanes of 155 hours. His total flying time in the last 12 months was listed as 350 hours.

A review of company flight and duty time records for the pilot found no entries after June 23, 2013. Company personnel attempted to recreate a record of the pilot's flights between that date and the day of the accident but were unable to create a complete log because company flight records did not indicate pilots' names for each flight. According to the records that could be recreated, the pilot flew 1.9 hours the day before the accident and 6.1 hours in the 72 hours before the accident.

The pilot's spouse reported that, 2 days before the accident, the pilot went to work about 0600. She recalled that they took their children to a movie that started at 1920 and that they returned home between 2100 and 2130. She stated that the day before the accident was a normal workday for the pilot and that he left for work by 0830. She stated that he returned home and had dinner about 1830 to 1900. She reported that the pilot fell asleep between 2100 and 2130. On the day of the accident, she did not talk to the pilot before he left for work and did not know the time that he left but recalled that it was light outside.


The accident airplane, serial number 280, was manufactured in 1958 by the deHavilland Aircraft Company of Canada and was a single-engine, propeller-driven, single-pilot, high-wing short takeoff and landing (STOL) airplane. It was modified with a Honeywell TPE 331-10R-511C turboprop engine per a Texas Turbine Conversions, Inc. supplemental type certificate (STC). It was equipped with a Hartzell model HC-B4TN-5NL four-blade propeller. The airplane was also modified with a Baron STOL kit per an STC to improve its performance. The airplane was configured to carry 10 passengers and cargo and had a maximum gross weight of 8,000 lbs.

Airplane maintenance records indicated that STCs for cargo net installation and for installation of shoulder harnesses had been installed. The cargo compartment on the original airplane had a load limit of 650 pounds. The cargo net STC stated that the aft cargo area had a load limit of 750 pounds. Information from the STC holder substantiated the increased load limit in the cargo area due to the increased size of the compartment.

In July 2010, the previous owner sent the airplane to Recon Air Corporation in Geraldton, Ontario, Canada, for a major overhaul and the conversion to a turbine-powered airplane at an airplane total time of 22,536.5 hours. In addition to the Baron STOL kit STC, a pulse light control system STC and an extended range fuel system STC were installed. The STC approval pages for these STCs were contained in the permanent maintenance records and were dated July 12, 2010.

Recon also performed all required inspections and complied with all applicable airworthiness directives (AD) during the overhaul. On July 9, 2010, the airplane was removed from the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register and placed on the US registry as N93PC. At this time, the airplane received an FAA standard airworthiness certificate in the Normal category.

Following the Recon conversion, in August 2010, three additional STCs were incorporated by Peninsula Aero Technology in Kenai, Alaska, to install updated avionics in the airplane at an airplane total time of 22,566.2 hours. 

The Rediske Family Limited Partnership purchased the airplane in October 2010. The airplane was maintained under an Approved Airplane Inspection Program (AAIP) dated February 11, 2011, that was approved by the FAA on March 9, 2011. The AAIP was used for maintaining the accident airplane in lieu of conventional 100-hour and annual inspections. The AAIP divided the maintenance of the airplane into four consecutive phase inspections to be performed every 50 hours of flight time. There was a special note in the AAIP that required accomplishment of all four phase inspections within each 12 months even if the airplane hour requirements were not met. The AAIP had provisions for a 10-hour grace period on all of the phase inspections. All special inspection items, calendar time inspections, ADs, and service bulletins (SB) outside the scope of the phase inspections were to be tracked and complied with under the AAIP. Rediske Air, Inc. documented all of the requirements of the AAIP in the aircraft inspection record maintained at the company headquarters.

On June 17, 2011, an inspection of the airplane in accordance with annual, 800-hour, phases 1-4, and all calendar and special inspection items was completed at an airframe total time of 22,611.8 hours, and the airplane was placed on the AAIP. At this time, the engine and propeller had accumulated 75.3 hours and 26 cycles since the conversion. The records indicated that all applicable ADs were complied with at this time.

The most recent inspection of the airplane incorporated phases 2, 3, and 4 on June 13, 2013, at an airplane total time of 22,831.8 hours and engine and propeller times of 295.3 hours since overhaul and installation on the airplane. Ten discrepancies were recorded during the most recent inspections and all were rectified. None of the discrepancies were notable in terms of major repairs to the airplane.

Weight and Balance

The weight and balance information for the airplane was contained in the aircraft inspection record. As part of the Recon overhaul, the airplane was physically weighed on July 7, 2010, with the cargo net, ELT, turbine engine conversion, STOL kit, extended range fuel system, and pulse light system listed as installed equipment. The empty weight, as weighed, was 4,259.00 lbs with a center of gravity (CG) at 132.66 in. The notes stated that the airplane had residual fuel, full oil, and full hydraulic fluid for this weighing. In August 2010, the weight and balance was recalculated after the installation of the updated avionics. The new empty weight, as calculated, was 4,283.09 lbs with a CG at 132.66 in. 

The NTSB calculated the airplane's weight and balance based on the data from the August 2010 paperwork. The total moment of removed equipment was calculated to be 138 lb-in greater than that in the paperwork. The data for the total installed equipment was also calculated to be different than that in the paperwork. The total installed weight was calculated to be 1.5 lbs greater, the total moment was calculated to be 103.50 lb-in greater, and the arm (CG) was calculated to be 2.11 in less. The resultant total weight was calculated to be 4,284.59 lbs with a CG at 132.60 in. Subsequent to this calculation, the airplane weight and balance was recalculated on September 22, 2010, by Rediske Air to add two flashlights with a total weight of 3.4 lbs at an arm location of 111.0 in. With this equipment added, the airplane empty weight was calculated to be 4,287.99 lbs with a CG at 132.59 in. See the Weight and Balance Study for details of the empty weight recalculations.

Operations Specifications for Weight and Balance

Section A096 of the operator's operations specifications (OpSpecs) only allowed the operator to use actual weights for determining weight and balance. The current section was approved in March 2009. The operator was allowed two options for determining the actual weights: either use measured weights for all passengers and bags or use solicited passenger weights plus 10 lbs and measured weights for all bags. The procedure for cargo weight was not explicitly stated in the OpSpecs. The specifications listed loading schedules for five specific airplanes (a Britten-Norman Islander and four Cessna 206 or 207s), but the DHC-3 airplane was not included; however, it was included in the Aircraft Authorizations section of the OpSpecs.

Determining the airplane's actual weight and balance before flight should be accomplished using the procedures contained in the original DHC-3 Otter Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) published by de Havilland Canada along with the information in the various flight manual supplements for the STCs installed on the airplane. The entire flight manual and all supplements were carried in the airplane during the accident flight. Portions of some of the manuals were recovered in the wreckage with fire and water damage. Copies of the flight manual and all supplements were obtained from the various manufacturers for use by the investigation.

Estimated scenarios of the accident airplane's weight and balance based on the factual information available are presented in the Additional Information section of this report.


An automated weather observing system (AWOS) at Soldotna Airport reported at 1116 wind from 190° at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, temperature of 12° C, dew point temperature of 8°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.58 in of mercury. Visual flight rules conditions prevailed around the accident time. 


No problems with communications equipment were reported.


Soldotna Airport is a public, uncontrolled airport located about 1 mile southeast of Soldotna, Alaska, at a surveyed elevation of 113.4 feet. The airport features two runways: runway 7/25, which is asphalt and 5,000 feet by 130 feet, and runway 7S/25S, which is gravel and 2,312 feet by 50 feet. 

The runway 25 threshold is at an elevation of 112.2 feet, and the runway slopes upward at a 0.4 percent gradient. The listed obstructions to the runway are 50-foot trees located 2,265 feet from the runway and 118 feet left of the centerline that require a 41:1 slope to clear.


The airplane was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with a cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, or cockpit image recorder.


The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 feet from the threshold of runway 25 and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose-low and right-wing-low attitude at impact. An extensive postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane's cockpit and cabin area. The entire airplane was accounted for at the wreckage site.

The engine was found within the main wreckage still contained within the nacelle/firewall engine mount frame and "horse-collar," which had rolled on its right side. The engine exhibited extensive fire damage but none of its cases exhibited evidence of an uncontainment or breach. All four blades of the propeller were present, attached to the propeller hub, and exhibited rotational scoring on the front surfaces, dents on the leading edges, torn tips, and bending along the span.

The flight control cables were all traced and were either intact or had separations with tension overload signatures consistent with the damaged areas of the airplane. The control column was intact but all of the aluminum control quadrant structure below the cockpit was consumed by fire. One of the pitch trim cables had the barrel missing from the turnbuckle but the safety wire was intact. The turnbuckle was found in an area with significant fire damage. The missing barrel on the pitch trim cable was consumed by fire. All of the primary and secondary flight control surfaces remained attached to the airplane with the exception of the outboard half of the right aileron that was located adjacent to the damaged right wing. All were free to move except where there was damage binding them. 


A postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted under the authority of the Alaska State Medical Examiner, Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2013. The examination revealed that the cause of death for the pilot was attributed to blunt force injuries. 

A toxicological examination by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Civil Aeromedical Institute on July 9, 2013, was negative for carbon monoxide and any alcohol or drugs. 


Engine Examination

Disassembly and examination of the engine revealed the following significant characteristics, consistent with rotation during impact: (1) sheared torsion shaft, (2) corresponding rotational scoring of the propeller shaft and sun gear, and (3) rotational scoring throughout the compressor and turbine sections. Metal spray was present throughout the turbine components in the air stream path. 

Propeller Examination

Disassembly and examination of the propeller revealed the following characteristics, consistent with rotation under an amount of torque: (1) rotational scoring on the blade tips, (2) leading edge dents and tears, (3) loss of tips on two blades, and (4) similar twist and bend patterns of all four blades. There was no evidence of impression marks on the propeller hub components that could determine the blade angle prior to impact.

Video Study

A video of the airplane's taxi, takeoff roll, and takeoff, and brief flight was recovered from a passenger's smartphone and analyzed. The goal of the study was to estimate the trajectory and speed of the accident airplane based on information in the video, which recorded the scene south of the runway through the fourth window on the left side of the airplane. The useful segment of the video (about 22.5 seconds long) ended when, shortly after takeoff, the airborne airplane rolled to the right and began losing altitude. After that time, the video no longer showed any ground reference features, rendering an estimation of its location and orientation impossible.

The video study indicated that shortly after takeoff, the airplane's airspeed decreased from about 68 mph to about 44 mph over a period of about 8.5 seconds and continued to decrease; the angle of attack increased from about 5 degrees to about 13.7 degrees over the same period of time and continued to increase. About 11 seconds after takeoff, flight speed and angle of attack reached levels consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The airplane developed a large right-wing-down roll angle and impacted the ground several seconds later. See the Video Study in the public docket for this accident for details of the study.

Flap Setting

The recovered video showed the left wing and flaps for the duration of the flight and revealed that the flap position did not change. In order to determine the flap setting on the accident airplane, investigators examined two similar DHC-3 airplanes and photographed the view from the fourth window on the left side of the airplane at various flap settings. The photographs and a frame from the video were scaled so that representative dimensions could be measured. The example airplanes had the flaps set to the full down or landing position when they matched the setting observed in the video.

Weight and Balance Study

The airplane's maximum gross weight was 8,000 lbs with an established and certificated CG range from 135.8 in to 152.2 in.

Pilot and Passenger Weight and Loading

The accident airplane was configured to carry a pilot and 10 passengers with one passenger able to sit in the right front seat. For the accident flight, the airplane was carrying the pilot and 9 passengers. Photographic evidence was obtained from a cell phone and a digital camera that were recovered in the wreckage. The photos were taken from the exterior as the passengers were loading the airplane and from the interior after all were loaded and the doors were closed. To estimate the airplane occupants' weight, the Alaska State Medical Examiner weighed each victim before autopsy with all clothes removed but noted that all victims sustained thermal damage and degradation. Additionally, an e-mail from the destination lodge contained the passenger weights (1,345 lbs total) reported by one of the adult male passengers in preparation for the trip. 

Based on the photos and the recovery location of each passenger, the seating location of each passenger was determined and matched to the estimated weights determined by the Alaska State Medical Examiner and the e-mail from the lodge. The load manifest provided by Rediske Air listed a total passenger weight of 1,350 lbs, consistent with the e-mail reported weights.

Cargo/Baggage Weight and Loading

During recovery at the accident site, all identifiable baggage and personal effects were separated from the identifiable cargo to be weighed. Eight unique pieces of baggage were recovered. All sustained fire damage and weighed 187 lbs in total. The load manifest obtained from the operator after the accident listed a total passenger baggage weight of 80 lbs; the e-mail provided by the destination lodge indicated that the passengers would consolidate their items into two bags, each weighing 40 lbs.

Examination of the photographic evidence identified the location of several items of baggage carried on by the passengers. The passenger in the right front seat did not carry a bag on the airplane. The passenger in the row 1 left seat had a purse or satchel, and the passenger in the row 1 right seat had a backpack during the loading of the airplane. The passenger in the right seat placed her bag on the floor at her feet; the bag location for the left seat passenger was not visible in the photographs once the airplane was loaded. The row 2 passengers did not carry bags on the airplane. The row 3 passengers each had a backpack on their laps. The row 4 passenger had a backpack during the loading of the airplane but its location was not visible in the photographs once the airplane was loaded. The row 5 passenger had a backpack and a camera bag that were placed on the floor at his feet. A large roller bag was placed in the passenger area forward of the cargo net at the location of the row 5 left seat. Photographs showed this bag in an upright position before takeoff. There was no evidence in the photographs of any restraining devices on the baggage located in the passenger cabin forward of the cargo net. Three of the passenger bags carried in the cabin were not recovered in the wreckage and were likely consumed in the postcrash fire.

Three additional pieces of baggage were recovered in the wreckage that were not shown in any of the photos. These items were included in the total weight of recovered baggage and assumed to be in the cargo compartment consistent with their recovered location.

Almost all of the recovered cargo had some amount of fire damage and an unknown quantity was consumed by the postcrash fire. Only those items that could be conclusively identified as food or supplies were retained and weighed. These items weighed 613 lbs in total. The load manifest listed a total cargo weight of 300 lbs.

The lodge operator was present during the loading of the airplane and stated that the cargo was not weighed before being loaded. He stated that he assisted with the loading by handing all of the cargo to the pilot who loaded it in the airplane. The photographic evidence shows the pilot fastening the cargo net, which was installed at the forward end of the baggage area, before the passengers boarded; no cargo was carried in the passenger area of the airplane. 

Food debris collected in the wreckage was consistent with most of the items on the receipt. The burned remains of some packages of bedding and some metal wall art were recovered in the wreckage. 

Immediately after the accident, the lodge provided a receipt for the purchase of some of the food. Repeated attempts to obtain a complete set of receipts from the lodge were unsuccessful. To determine an estimate of the actual food cargo weight, investigators visited the store where the groceries were purchased and weighed each item on the receipt, accounting for the purchased quantity. The total weight of items from the receipt was calculated to be 386.1 lbs. 

The weight of the liquid items was not accounted for in the cargo weight estimate provided for the accident flight. The remaining eggs and liquid containers recovered were included in the weight of the cargo measured so a factor was applied to each of the actual weights to more accurately represent the amount of weight lost due to the liquid missing from breached containers and broken eggs.

A metal box that contained survival equipment was also recovered at the site (the box was intact with only the paint burned off). Representatives for Rediske Air indicated that this box was installed in the airplane when they purchased it and was normally carried in the baggage area. There was no mention of this box as installed equipment on any of the weight and balance documentation for the airplane and there was no entry in the maintenance records documenting its installation. This box was not included in the weight of the recovered baggage.

Fuel Load

The accident airplane was configured to carry 62 gallons of fuel in the forward tank, 102 gallons of fuel in the center tank, and 87 gallons of fuel in the extended range aft tank. Rediske Air did not keep fueling records for each flight and could not provide information on how much fuel was on board the airplane before the accident. As stated in the History of Flight, a witness who was present during the fueling operations at Nikiski before departure to Soldotna reported seeing the pilot top off (fill) the forward tank then begin filling the center tank. The witness walked away from the airplane at that point and did not witness the remainder of the fueling operation. The witness later returned to the fuel supply tank to fuel his helicopter and thought that he noticed 56 gallons on the fuel meter. The witness stated that he and the accident pilot would have been the only people to use the fuel from the fuel tank.

The Texas Turbines AFM Supplement instructs the operator to burn fuel from the forward tank during takeoff and, after takeoff, from the aft tank forward to leave as much fuel in the forward tank as possible for landing. The minimum amount of fuel for takeoff is 20 gallons in each of the three tanks to prevent introduction of air into the fuel system. Representatives from the operator indicated that the pilot would have carried some amount of fuel in each of the tanks at all times so that none of them would have been empty.

According to Texas Turbines, the engine would typically burn about 72 gallons/hour at a takeoff power setting and, depending on altitude, 50 to 55 gallons/hour at a cruise power setting. The higher burn rate would be for low altitudes and the lower burn rate for higher altitudes, that is, 10,000 feet mean sea level. Soldotna Airport is about 17 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of Nikiski where the Rediske base is located. Bear Mountain Lodge, where the airplane was destined, is about 71 nm southwest of Soldotna Airport. A fuel density of 6.7 lb/gallon was used to calculate the weight of the fuel, resulting in a total fuel weight ranging from 1,233 lbs (at takeoff from Nikiski) to 1,173 lbs (at takeoff from Soldotna).

Estimates of the Airplane's Actual Weight

The actual weight and balance of the airplane during the accident flight can only be estimated with the limited factual data available. Using these data, several possible scenarios can be calculated based on the procedures documented in the DHC-3 AFM and applicable supplements. 

SCENARIO 1. Scenarios 1 and 2 represent the Nikiski-to-Soldotna leg of the flight and provide a baseline for the accident airplane's total weight before passengers were loaded. The recovered weight of the pilot, as provided by the medical examiner, of 200 pounds was used for this scenario. All of the cargo was loaded at this time and assumed to be loaded in the cargo compartment at the aft end of the cabin, consistent with the photographic evidence from Soldotna. The reported cargo weight of 300 pounds was used for this scenario. The forward fuel tank was full with 62 gallons and it was assumed that the center tank was full with 102 gallons of fuel. The aft tank was assumed to contain the minimum required fuel of 20 gallons. The calculation for scenario 1 yields a weight of 6,020.79 lbs with a CG at 141.84 in.

SCENARIO 2. Scenario 2 is identical to scenario 1 except for the recovered cargo weight of 613 lbs was used, plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs). This cargo weight more accurately represents what was on board the airplane for the flight. The calculation for scenario 2 yields a weight of 6,439.37 lbs with a CG at 150.76 in.

For scenarios 3-6, the fuel onboard was calculated as follows: the 17 nm flown between Nikiski and Soldotna equates to a flight time of about 8 minutes, assuming a nominal groundspeed of 125 knots. For the purposes of the calculation, the airplane was assumed to be at takeoff power for 2 minutes and at cruise power for 6 minutes. Using a fuel burn rate of 72 gallons/hour for takeoff and 55 gallons/hour for cruise, the engine would use about 2.4 gallons for takeoff and about 5.5 gallons for cruise. The engine was assumed to use 1 gallon of fuel for start and taxi. Based on the recommended procedures for operating the airplane, the 3.4 gallons of fuel used for taxi and takeoff was subtracted from the forward tank and the 5.5 gallons of fuel used for cruise was subtracted from the aft tank.

SCENARIO 3. This scenario represents the airplane's likely weight and balance based on the reported (asked) weights of each person on board the airplane plus 10 lbs. This procedure was chosen based on the operator's OpSpecs for the operator's Britten-Norman Islander, which was similar in size and gross weight to the accident airplane. The recovered weight of the pilot, as provided by the medical examiner, was used. The total baggage weight of 187 lbs was distributed among the 8 bags recovered at the site based on the available evidence. An additional 5.96 lbs was added to account for items that were removed from one of the bags before weighing. Similar to scenario 2, the weight of the cargo was set to the recovered weight (613 lbs) plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs). The three unrecovered bags carried in the cabin by the passengers in the row 1 left seat, row 3 left seat, and the row 4 left seat were each assumed to weigh 10 lbs. The calculation for scenario 3 yields a weight of 8,037.70 lbs with a CG at 158.15 in.

SCENARIO 4. This calculation represents the airplane's likely weight and balance based on the load manifest. For this scenario, the reported (asked) weight of each passenger (obtained from the e-mail to the lodge) was used. The total of these weights was 1,345 lbs; an extra 5 lbs were added to the total passenger weight on the load manifest. For the purposes of this calculation, the extra 5 lbs were added to the reported weight of the passenger seated in the right, front co-pilot's seat for a total of 1,350 lbs as indicated on the load manifest. The reported pilot weight of 220 lbs and cargo weight of 300 lbs were used for this scenario. The total baggage weight of 80 lbs on the load manifest was divided among the 11 known bags in the cabin and cargo compartment. The calculation for scenario 4 yields a weight of 7,411.16 lbs with a CG at 149.18 in.

SCENARIO 5. This scenario represents a likely minimum weight and balance for the accident flight based only on the known factual information. For this calculation, the actual recovered weights of the pilot and passengers, as provided by the medical examiner, were used. The recovered baggage weight with appropriate locations was used similar to scenario 3. The three unrecovered passenger bags were not included in this scenario. The cargo weight was set to the recovered weight of 613 lbs. The calculation for scenario 5 yields a weight of 7,761.12 lbs with a CG at 155.89 in. 

SCENARIO 6. This scenario more closely approximates the actual weight and balance of the airplane during the accident flight. Since the autopsy weights for each of the victims were without clothes and with some thermal damage and degradation, the reported autopsy weight is less than the actual weight during the flight. As a conservative estimate and based on the calculations above, each victim weight was increased by 5% to account for degradation and 5 lbs was added to each victim to account for clothing and shoes. The baggage weights and locations were left the same as in scenario 3 with all the recovered and unrecovered baggage included. Because all of the recovered bags had portions that were consumed by fire, they would likely be less than the actual weight. However, the clothing items in the baggage retained some water from the firefighting efforts that would likely account for the weight of the missing portions. The weight of the cargo was set to be the recovered weight (613 lbs) plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs), similar to scenario 2. The cargo was subjected to the postcrash fire that consumed an unknown portion, so the total weight used for the calculation is likely less than the actual weight. The calculation for scenario 6 yields a weight of 8,021.40 lbs with a CG at 157.78 in.

Kinematics Study

In addition, a kinematics study was conducted based on the motion of the airplane described in the Video Study to estimate the weight and CG for the accident flight. The kinematics study determined the pitching moment coefficient required to match the airplane's motion determined in the Video Study; which was then compared to a simulation model of the airplane from the type certificate holder of the airplane. The study assumed that the pilot applied full-down pitch control as soon as the tendency to pitch airplane-nose-up was detected after lift off from the runway. The horizontal stabilizer angle was assumed to be 1.91 degrees, which was the position determined from the airplane wreckage. Calculations showed that stick forces at these low speeds would have been well within the pilot's capabilities. 

The required CG to match the recorded motion for both the 7,800 lb and 8050 lb airplane gross weight, with the pilot applying full pitch-down control input and with a 1.91-degree horizontal stabilizer, is 161.1 in, which is aft of the 152.2-inch aft limit for the airplane. For details of the calculations, refer to the Kinematics Study.


Company Overview

Rediske Air is a Part 135 on-demand operator with its main office located in Nikiski, Alaska, and a satellite base at Soldotna Airport. The accident pilot was the owner and director of operations. The company employed five pilots, one of whom was part-time. The company also had a check airman who was a part-time employee.

The company operated six airplanes: three Cessna 207s (one of which was being rebuilt at the time of the accident), one Cessna 206, a Brittan Norman BN-2 Islander, and the accident airplane (DHC-3 Otter).

FAA Oversight

FAA responsibility for Rediske Air's Part 135 operating certificate was maintained at the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). The principle operations inspector (POI) stated that he had worked for the FAA since September 1998 and that he was the POI for Rediske from late 2009 to September 2013. He was also the POI for 37 other Part 135 operators. Regarding surveillance of Rediske Air, he stated that the company was a good operator and "wasn't on the radar." He said that he would visit the facility a couple of times a year and had regular conversations with company personnel on the phone.

The principle maintenance inspector (PMI) stated that he had worked for the FAA since July 2012. Years before working for the FAA, he had worked for Rediske Air as a mechanic and director of maintenance. He stated that he had been the PMI for Rediske Air since February 2013. He said that he was responsible for 28 other operators and 50 mechanics with inspection authority but noted that many of the operators he oversaw were seasonal and that only 10 to 15 had year-round operations. He stated that he would visit Rediske Air's operation once every 3 months and had monthly conversations with company personnel over the phone. He said that he had no issues with the operator's maintenance program and that the company was a good operator. He last visited Rediske's operation on the Wednesday before the accident. During that visit, he performed a fuel facility inspection and a ramp check on the accident airplane. An FAA Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem entry, dated July 8, verified the inspection.

Operations Specifications

Rediske Air had operated as a Basic Part 135 Air Operator (OpSpec A-038) until it added the DHC-3 to its certificate in 2010 (FAA-issued OpSpec are a set of documents that describe the authorizations, limitations, standards, and procedures that are applicable to a specific certificate holder). Basic Part 135 operators are limited in size and scope and, therefore, are allowed some deviations from the requirements of Part 135, such as management personnel, manual requirements, and training programs. Basic Part 135 operators have limitations placed on the number of pilots, aircraft, and types of operations. Once the DHC-3 was added to Rediske's certificate, the size and scope of the operation became such that it could no longer operate under the less-restrictive Basic Operator OpSpec.

Under its current OpSpec, Rediske was authorized to conduct aircraft operations with passenger seating configurations, excluding any pilot seat, of nine seats or fewer. The accident airplane was configured for 10 passenger seats. The DHC-3 is type certificated for 16 seats (1 pilot plus 15 passengers). An STC limiting the airplane to nine seats is available; however, the operator did not have the STC installed on the accident airplane.

Rediske Air's OpSpec Part D (aircraft maintenance) defines the program under which the operator's aircraft will be maintained. Aircraft that are type certificated for nine seats or fewer require a less robust maintenance program per regulation than aircraft that are type certificated for 10 seats or more. According to Ops Specs D-73, "Additional Maintenance Requirements," issued by the Anchorage FSDO on August 9, 2012, the accident airplane was being maintained under a 9-seats-or-fewer maintenance program even though it was type certificated for 16 seats.

Rediske was required to have each aircraft that it operated listed in the company weight and balance program (OpSpec A-096). A review of the company's OpSpec after the accident revealed that the accident airplane was not listed in the weight and balance program. When asked why the airplane had not been added, the POI stated that it was an omission. Rediske personnel were asked to add the accident airplane to the weight and balance program documents after the accident occurred.

Federal Aviation Regulations

The accident flight was operated under the provisions of Part 135 as an on-demand charter and was subject to the part's applicable rules and the requirements set forth in the company's OpSpec. Per Section 135.399, the operator was not allowed to operate the accident airplane without complying with "the takeoff weight limitations in the Approved Flight Manual or equivalent." The requirements of Section 135.87 state, in part, that all cargo and baggage (including carry-on baggage) must be carried by an approved means, must be secured, and must not impose loads on the seats or floor greater than the limits in the design. Additionally, any stowage of baggage under the passenger seats requires some means of restraint to prevent baggage from sliding forward during a crash.

Although neither Part 135 nor Rediske's OpSpec requires the operator to physically document the weight and balance for any flights conducted in the company's single-engine airplanes, 14 CFR 135.63 requires that operators using multiengine aircraft are "responsible for the preparation and accuracy of a load manifest in duplicate containing information concerning the loading of the aircraft." This load manifest must be prepared before each flight and include, among other items, the number of passengers, total weight of the loaded aircraft, the maximum allowable takeoff weight, and the CG location of the loaded aircraft. Further, one copy of the load manifest is to be carried in the airplane, and the operator is required to keep the records for at least 30 days.

Flap Setting for Takeoff

The Normal Procedures section of the AFM states in the TAXI checklist that the flaps should be in the CRUISE position during taxi to improve directional control. The Before Takeoff checklist in the Normal Procedures of the AFM states that wing flaps should be then placed in the TAKEOFF position during takeoff.

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA121
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, AK
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC-3, registration: N93PC
Injuries: 10 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On 7 July 2013, about 1120 Alaska daylight time (ADT), a De Haviland DHC-3 Otter, registration N93PC, impacted the ground off the right side of runway 25 after takeoff from Soldotna Airport (PASX), Soldotna, Alaska. The 9 passengers and 1 commercial pilot were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The aircraft was registered to Rediske Family Limited Partnership, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on demand, non-scheduled flight between PASX, and a lodge located in Chinitna Bay, Alaska, approximately 90 miles southwest of Soldotna. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight.

The Antonakos family
Melet and Kim, and their children, Ana, Mills and Olivia died Sunday, July 7, 2013 in a plane crash during a vacation in Alaska. The Antonakos are shown here in a 2010 Christ Church directory photo.  

The National Transportation Safety Board has not determined what caused an airplane crash that killed two Greenville families in Alaska last year, but on Wednesday released a passel of investigation documents from interviews with witnesses and the forensic review of the engine and propellers.

The engine mount showed three cracks and eight fractures, the documents show. The federal safety agency has not concluded that factored into the crash.

The reports also show there was no unusual activity by the pilot in the 72 hours before the crash and that by all accounts safety was his top concern.

The crash occurred on July 7, 2013, about 11:20 a.m. Alaska daylight time. On board were the pilot and company owner Walter Rediske, Greenville doctor Chris McManus, his wife Stacey and their two children and Melet and Kimberly Antonakos and their three children.

All the passengers died after the plane stalled, the right wing dipped down and the plane hit the ground just beyond the runway in Soldotna, Alaska. The families were on the way to a secluded lodge to see bears at the end of a vacation in Alaska.

Fire engulfed the plane on impact. The NTSB documents show the weather was good with light and variable wind at the time of the takeoff.

Video taken on an iPhone 5 as the plane took off by a passenger on board was used to help determine the how high the plane was when it stalled.

Investigators offered six evaluations of how much weight the plane was carrying between the passengers, luggage and cargo being taken to the lodge. Two were beyond the capabilities of the airplane, a deHavilland DCH-3, known as the Otter, but an aviation expert said the overage could have been easily handled by the plane. One scenario was 21 pounds heavier than the 8,000 pounds the manual calls for, the other 37.

Matthew Lykins, who does forensic evaluations of plane crashes, said it is likely there was some sort of engine failure, based on the plane's actions.

The documents offer a chronology of what happened.

A client had canceled a trip so Rediske, 42, decided to use the Otter to fly the 90 miles to Bear Mountain Lodge instead of two Cessnas. It was a bigger plane and could hold all the passengers and the cargo.

He fueled the plane in Nikiski, Alaska, where his company is headquartered, and loaded about 300 pounds of meat, bread, eggs and other staples for the lodge. Then he flew the eight-minute trip to Soldotna.

His wife reported her husband had maintained his usual routines on the days before, up early, to bed early.

Colleagues reported he usually got to the airport at 6 a.m. and ate breakfast there. They also said he was a stickler for airplane maintenance. One said the fastest way to get fired was to cut corners. An FAA inspector had been to the airport on the Wednesday before the crash on a routine visit.

A woman at a campground near the Soldotna reported hearing a high-pitched sound and then a pop. A man driving on a road next to the airport said he saw black smoke coming from the engine.

The NTSB did not announce when its final report would be issued.

- Source:

Investigators look at the remains of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter that was engulfed in flames on July 07, 2014 at the airport in Soldotna, Alaska.

Investigators look at the remains of a fixed-wing aircraft that was engulfed in flames July 7, 2013 at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska. Authorities say an air taxi has crashed, killing all 10 people on board.

Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter aircraft that was engulfed in flames Sunday July 7, 2013 at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska. No survivors were located and it is unknown how many people were on board.

Cellphone photo captured on Swiftwater Creek near crash site in Soldotna area.