Monday, September 29, 2014

Concern raised over plane crashes

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) has expressed concern at the recent spate of accidents involving small aircraft occurring in the country.

“While the number of accidents has been declining over the years, we as the Sacaa and the aviation community cannot take solace in statistics, as one life lost is just one too many,” director of civil aviation Poppy Khoza said.

According to a report, despite a spike of 92 lives lost in 2008, there had been a steady decrease from 176 in 2006 to 22 in 2013, culminating in a 7% average annual decline in accidents. In the latest incident 20-year-old pilot Jean-Marc du Plessis, was forced to make an emergency landing after his Cessna plane ran out of fuel en route from Cape Town to Wonderboom Airport.

On average, there are about 20 fatal aircraft accidents a year, resulting in an average of 40 fatalities per annum, the aviation authority said.

September has been a harrowing month for light aircraft accidents. There was a fatal accident on Thursday, when a Matrix vehicle tracking helicopter crashed near Rand Airport, killing a man and a woman.

Travellers on the N12 in Kimberley were shocked to see the plane, piloted by Du Plessis, landing on the highway on Sunday afternoon. Matrix managing director Brenda Horan said they took incidents of this nature very seriously.

This follows an accident in which two Sudanese men were killed when their plane crashed into a small stream in Glencalder outside Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal the previous week.


- Source:   http://www.thenewage.co.za

Accidents at record low for private planes



BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Talk to almost any pilot and they’ll tell you the same thing: private planes are incredibly safe.

Data from the Air Safety Institute shows a downward trend for accidents involving private planes to 948 accidents in 2013. That’s the lowest level in decades, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

News 4 aviation analyst Bob Miller says mid-air collisions are even rarer.

“It doesn’t happen very often. The data nationally says there’s less than 10 of these nationally a year. It’s a very rare form of accident. General aviation is extremely safe,” he said.

Last year, 238 people died in private plane crashes. That’s also down from previous years.

George Perry, Senior Vice President for AOPA, said, “What’s important to keep in mind here is that each year there are about 1.7 million general aviation flights. General aviation accidents have declined significantly since the 1970s and 80s. In fact, they’re down about 75 percent, and just this past year general aviation set a new record for safety. Very low accident numbers and very low fatalities.”

He says pilots take safety more seriously than in the past, and the internet has helped to improve information sharing and training for private plane pilots.


- Source:   http://wivb.com

We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Larry Ellison, the billionaire and until very recently CEO of Oracle, is famous for his outlandish pursuits. He delights in shooting hoops aboard his yacht The Rising Sun (reportedly the world's 10th-largest) and owns 97 percent of the Hawaiian island Lanai. In a recent profile otherwise devoted to that significant geographic purchase, the New York Times notes another oddity: "There's a rumor—the truth of which remains murky—that Ellison once flew a fighter jet under the Golden Gate Bridge."

Read more here:  http://www.slate.com

PEOPLExpress launch costs taxpayers $1.65M

 

NEWPORT NEWS -- Passengers are still fuming after PEOPLExpress airlines announced on Friday it is grounding all flights until October 16 because of maintenance issues. 

On Monday, the company reactivated its customer service line and live chat. Both were left unanswered since Friday, adding fuel to an already hot situation.

A growing number of people are even more upset about millions in taxpayer dollars that were used to help fund the airline's launch.

"As a taxpaying citizen, I'm very upset," January Serda said.

PEOPLExpress officials told 13News Now that $1.65 million in taxpayer dollars were pumped into the launch of the low-fare airline at Newport News Williamsburg International Airport. Three months later, all flights are grounded for three weeks. Passengers are now scrambling to make new plans. People say, that's money down the drain.

"Sadly, that's what happens to a lot of our taxpayer dollars -- they go to a lot of things they shouldn't be going to," Marguerite Montgomery said.

The money came in the form of federal and regional grants to service flights from Newport News to Newark and Boston for a full year. If PEOPLExpress can't figure out a way to restart its service, there are consequences.

"If they default from that, we will make sure that we recover any money. We believe we will be successful in working with other airlines to provide that service," Newport News city manager and chairman of the Peninsula Airport Commission Jim Bourey said.

Passengers like January Serda are now turning to other airports for more reliable service.

"I actually stopped going to Newport News airport and tend to take the drive to Richmond and fly out of Richmond," she said.

City officials say PEOPLExpress is going to have a big challenge to regain the trust of its customers, but notes that since the airline launched, there's been a 25 percent increase in passenger service at the airport.

"It showed that there is definitely a market for air service from Newport News to those other sites," Bourey said.

Since its launch, PEOPLExpress has serviced 55,000 customers on 817 flights.

The airline announced on its Facebook page today, that it will begin accepting reservations for flights starting October 16, very soon. Effective today, its call center will reopen daily from 8 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. to take calls at 844-435-9739, and live chat will be available on its website at www.FlyPEX.com.


- Source:  http://www.13newsnow.com

Federal Aviation Administration: City of Charlotte needs to ask for change in airport control

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter last week that it hasn’t considered the issue of who should control Charlotte Douglas International Airport because the city of Charlotte hasn’t made a formal request – something the City Council has said it has no interest in doing.

The FAA’s Sept. 18 letter was in response to a request by U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte Republican. He has asked the federal government to make a decision as to who should control Charlotte Douglas.

The FAA said it hasn’t reviewed the application to transfer control because “the current airport sponsor (the city of Charlotte) has not requested that FAA transfer sponsorship.”

The fight over Charlotte Douglas started last year when the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed a bill transferring control of the airport to a new, 13-member regional Airport Commission. The Democratic-controlled City Council has bitterly opposed that move and won a temporary injunction blocking the commission from running Charlotte Douglas.

The FAA’s latest position upset Pittenger, who accused former Charlotte Mayor and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, of “moving the goal posts.” The U.S. DOT oversees the FAA. Foxx, when he was mayor, adamantly opposed removing the airport from city control.

“Now he wants the city (to ask),” Pittenger said. “There is always some next reason why he can’t make a decision..”

An FAA representative didn’t return a request for comment Monday.

Despite more than a year of debate and legal wrangling, the battle for the airport is locked in a tug-of-war that shows no signs of being resolved.

Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin said last year that he wouldn’t make a ruling as to who should run the airport, saying the FAA should first decide who should control the airport. Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann told the Observer on Monday that a court hearing on the city’s case before Ervin has been scheduled for Oct. 10.

The FAA has previously said it wouldn’t rule on who holds the operating certificate until the lawsuit is resolved.

In an interview with the Observer earlier this month, Foxx said, “I think it behooves everybody to have the community decide.”

Asked whether a ruling from the FAA might come soon, Foxx said, “They are doing their work and when it’s done we’ll know about it.”

But the Sept. 18 letter from Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez suggests that there is little work being done to decide the airport issue.

“Moreover, even if the city were to make such a request of the FAA, FAA will refrain from evaluating the request, where, as here, the ownership and control of the airport remains the subject of an ongoing legal dispute,” Mendez wrote.

The federal government’s position suggests the controversy over control of Charlotte’s airport might not be settled by the FAA until after the Obama administration ends in January 2017, if then.

It’s possible a Republican presidential administration could be more sympathetic to the GOP-led General Assembly’s wishes for a commission in control. That couldn’t happen until after the next presidential election.


Last week the commission met, but couldn’t decide how to proceed in its lawsuit.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/29/5209015/faa-city-needs-to-ask-for-airport.html#storylink=cpy
 

One faction of commissioners offered a motion to direct the group’s lawyer, Martin Brackett of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, to file a brief stating that they are the legal airport commission. That failed in a tie.

The other group, led by city of Charlotte appointees, supported a motion to direct Brackett to tell the judge that the commission wasn’t taking any stance on the legal issues. That also failed in a tie.

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

Behind the scenes: At the Kirksville Regional Airport (KIRK), Missouri

 

KIRKSVILLE, MO. -- Have you ever wondered what the day to day operations are like at the Kirksville Regional Airport? KTVO has those details. 

It might be a small airport with only 24 employees, but it is a mighty airport, servicing over 10,000 passengers per year.

To be employed at the Kirksville Regional Airport, you must be flexible, because no day is ever quite the same.

"As a department head with the city, you have to be flexible and adaptive at all times, you think you have your day planned and something always changes," said Glenn Balliew, Kirksville Regional Airport Director.

The Kirksville Regional Airport is a Part 139 Airport, one of seven in the state. That means that the airport is held to the same federal standards as larger airports such as Kansas City and St. Louis.

"The City of Kirksville supplies law enforcement support for the airport, if we fail to provide that, a lot of people don't realize that we can be held with civil penalties of up to $11,000 per incident for not covering those flights," added Balliew.

Kirksville Regional Airport Director, Glenn Balliew says the airport runs more like that of a small business.

"We are more like a small business here, we have 24 jobs and only 4 city employees," said Balliew.

Daily tasks for those employees include re-fueling jets, servicing the runways and aprons, removing snow in the wintertime and even mowing the grass surrounding the runways.

"A lot of people just can't comprehend that we actually mow like you mow your yard, over 300 acres," added Balliew.

The airport has also recently entered into a five-year contract with a new fuel provider. The new contract with AvFuel Corporation has brought more jets to the airport to re-fuel, therefore giving the airport an economic boost.

The airport could also be seeing a new sign at the entrance in the near future. The current sign was damaged when severe storms and heavy wind passed through the area in June. The airport director is currently receiving bids for those interested in constructing the sign.

Source:  http://www.heartlandconnection.com


Fort Benning air training to include low-flying aircraft, simulated bomb droppings

COLUMBUS, Ga. -   The United States Air Force will be conducting air training over Fort Benning in October that will feature low-flying aircraft and simulated bomb droppings in the northeast corner of the post.

Community members may hear loud noise and see low-flying aircraft between October 1 and 3 - and again between October 20 and 25. Additionally, bright flashes may be seen coming from post while simulated bomb droppings are conducted.

The 500-pound bombs are training munitions that sound similar to the artillery fire that typically occurs on post, according to Fort Benning community relations spokesperson Nate Snook explained. Flares - which will produce a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion - will be signaling, illumination or defensive countermeasures.

"We will strive to limit late night noise, however, weather and operational conditions can sometimes unexpectedly delay training," Snook said. "The weapons and platforms used to deliver these munitions will produce loud noise, which can carry for several miles depending on how high or low the cloud cover is. Some noise may sound closer if the weather is overcast."

Earlier this month, a military aircraft flying over Columbus made a loud boom after it broke the sound barrier and began traveling at sonic speeds. Although that incident was not related to scheduled Fort Benning training, many area residents became concerned after the boom shock much of the Chattahoochee River valley area.


- Source:   http://www.wrbl.com

Air travel taxed to max by Wynne

By Candice Malcolm
Monday, September 29, 2014

When the Kathleen Wynne government introduced its 2014 budget, many were surprised by the number of new taxes introduced without any prior notice.

Usually when governments impose new taxes, they take the time to study the issue, calculate how much money the tax will raise, and decide whether it will have a negative impact on the economy.

But the 2014 Ontario budget seemed to have forgone these steps, and the results are starting to show.

For instance, look at Premier Wynne’s decision to increase jet fuel taxes by 148%.

It is clear the government didn’t realize flying is already one of the most heavily taxed activities in Canada.

When you book an airline ticket, the amount charged by the airline is only a portion of the total cost.

You also pay airport improvement fees, security fees, federal taxes, provincial taxes, HST, and any international fees and taxes that apply, depending on where you are going.

There are also additional charges and taxes that inflate the ticket price, such as airport rent taxes, navigation fees and fuel taxes for the planes.

Even before the new tax hike by the Wynne government, Toronto’s Pearson airport was the most expensive airport in the world to land a plane — this according to a 2012 report by the Senate of Canada.

It is already difficult for Canadian airlines to complete with competitors south of the border.

An estimated five million Canadians fly from the U.S. each year rather than from their local Canadian airport.

The majority come from Ontario.

You can imagine all the lost business opportunities that go along with those five million Canadians.

Everything from airport restaurants and hotels, to manufacturers and maintenance shops lose business to their U.S. counterparts. This is not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars in airline tickets purchased in places like Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota and Syracuse, rather than Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Thunder Bay.

And it isn’t just travelers that are fleeing high taxes in Ontario.

Sunwing Airlines, a Canadian-owned airline specializing in vacations to tropical destinations, recently announced it would be operating select flights out of Buffalo instead of Toronto Pearson this winter.

If Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa had done their research, they would have realized this. Clearly, they didn’t.

At first, the Wynne government claimed Ontario’s tax hike was modest compared to other big airports.

Sousa claimed Ontario’s jet fuel tax was “significantly lower” than other big cities such as London, Paris, New York and Chicago.

The truth is commercial airlines pay zero jet fuel taxes in those cities.

When it was pointed out that Sousa had his facts wrong, the government shifted its message.

They are now blaming the federal government.

But it wasn’t the Stephen Harper government that delivered this devastating new travel tax.

It was Wynne. This is one of her many new “revenue tools” to fund her latest pet project — building subways in Toronto.

In fact, other big cities in Canada like Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary do not pay these jet fuel taxes either.

B.C. recently removed its tax. Within a year, 22 new international direct flights were added to the Vancouver International Airport.

That’s 22 additional jets, each filled with hundreds of passengers arriving in Vancouver, thanks to good policy and lower taxes.

The opposite is happening here in Ontario, where high taxes and an aloof government are chasing flyers away.

— Malcolm is Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, www.Taxpayer.com​

- Source:  http://www.torontosun.com

Liberals' aviation fuel tax hike will hurt Ontarians: Critics


By Christina Blizzard, QMI Agency
September 16, 2014

TORONTO - Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s 148% hike in the tax on aviation fuel has been largely flying under the radar since his May budget and the June election.

It was a sneak attack on an industry that’s vital to this province. It’s a punitive tax that will slap every airline passenger with higher costs.

At least one airline — Sunwing — has said it will operate two of its flights out of Buffalo largely to avoid the increased costs.

Sunwing is one of the top five carriers in Ontario. Its president, Mark Williams, says once it’s fully implemented, the tax hike will cost the company $3 million a year. In a competitive business environment, that makes a big difference, Williams says.

“It’s a big deal when we’re a large contributor to the economy in Canada and in Ontario,” he said in a phone interview.

“When the government views an industry as a cash cow rather than a commercial asset, it leads to various decisions such as the recent one to offer two flights out of Buffalo,” he said.

“If you can’t beat them — join them.”

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the higher tax will cost the airline $48 million when fully implemented. That’s going to make it harder for the airline to expand in this province and will cost the average traveller more to fly.

“At the same time, it will drive even more Canadians to U.S. border airports, taking with them money that could instead revive the Ontario economy and create jobs at home,” Fitzpatrick said. The airline industry is moving to global hubs and Toronto is well placed to excel in that regard, he said.

What’s holding us back? High operating costs — especially taxes.

“This tax increase is just one more cost that further inhibits us and certainly makes us think twice before adding new services,” Fitzpatrick said.

“We remain hopeful reason will prevail and this tax will be reduced or even eliminated as it has in other provinces,” he said.

Tory critic Michael Harris said other provinces, such as B.C., New Brunswick, Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan, have eliminated the fuel tax.

“Ontario is going in the opposite direction,” Harris said.

“They’re estimating another 400,000 people will move south of the border for cheaper flights.”

Harris said the Tories are asking the government to do an economic impact study before they implement the hike.

Sousie Heath, a spokesman for Sousa, said the province has a “competitive and thriving” airline industry, pointing to figures showing international and domestic flights have increased both at Billy Bishop airport and at Toronto Pearson.

“At 2.7 cents per litre, the taxation rate of aviation fuel has remained unchanged since 1992. This modest change in rate will allow us to invest in infrastructure with minimal impact on consumers, with analysis showing that the impact on airlines, per passenger, would be as little as a few dollars,” said Heath.

Meanwhile, a study by Fred Lazar, of the Schulich School of Business at York University, found the proposed increase will directly cost the province between 1,991 and 2,907 full-time jobs.

The National Airlines Council of Canada estimates the tax increase will drive away 292,700-407,800 flyers.

About three million Ontario travellers already drive across the border to fly from U.S. airports every year. Ontarians make up almost 40% of passengers at Buffalo Airport and up to 70% of passengers at the Niagara Falls Airport.

So, think of Sousa and Premier Kathleen Wynne next time the airline dings you for those extra charges.

To your government, you’re just so much excess baggage.

Smile and remember — you voted for this budget and this tax hike.

- Source:   http://www.torontosun.com

German Ebola Aid Plane Grounded • Aircraft's Technical Problems Highlight Germany's Lack of Military Readiness

The Wall Street Journal
By Anton Troianovski

Updated Sept. 29, 2014 12:14 p.m. ET



BERLIN—A German military transport plane delivering medical aid to Ebola-stricken regions spent the weekend grounded by technical problems in the Canary Islands, further highlighting the country's poor state of military readiness.

Coming less than a week after a leaked government report to lawmakers showed that some of the German military's oldest hardware is falling into disrepair, the incident is piling pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to fix the country's defenses.

One of two aging Transall C-160 transport planes scheduled to arrive in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday couldn't take off from an airport on the Atlantic island of Gran Canaria because of a mechanical defect, a spokesman for the German Air Force said. A substitute airplane en route from Germany Monday afternoon was expected to drop off spare parts for the stricken plane and bring its medical payload to Dakar in the evening, two days behind schedule.

The problem came days after equipment problems delayed German weapons and trainers being sent to Kurds fighting Islamist militants in Iraq. According to last week's leaked defense ministry report, seen by The Wall Street Journal, no more than seven of the Navy's 43 helicopters, one of four submarines and 70 of the Army's 180 Boxer armored vehicles are operational—largely because of a lack of spare parts and other problems, the report said.

Opposition parties have seized on the string of mishaps to criticize Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who is the first woman to hold the post and a close ally of Ms. Merkel.

"Problems that have piled up over the years will of course not be solved in one fell swoop," Ms. von der Leyen told German public radio Monday. "This is truly a large building site."

Ms. von der Leyen suggested in an interview published in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday that the military may need budget increases in the medium term. But despite the revelations, leading politicians in all major parties have shown little appetite to spend more money on defense. The government's focus on delivering a balanced budget and voters' longtime aversion to the use of force mean German leaders have little incentive to increase to military spending.

Instead of emphasizing a need for more money, officials have shifted some blame on the defense industry while acknowledging a need for better management.

Germany's 1960s-era Transall C-160 planes, tactical transport aircraft that are operating the Ebola Airlift, are slated to be replaced by Airbus A400Ms. Delivery of the aircraft has been delayed repeatedly because of years of technical glitches and worries about funding.

"We've been waiting for the large A400M airplane for four years," Ms. von der Leyen said in Monday's radio interview. "We have helicopters that have been delayed for five or six years."

On Monday Airbus announced that the four engines of an A400M ordered by the German Air Force had been successfully run simultaneously for the first time. An Airbus spokeswoman didn't immediately return a request for comment on Ms. von der Leyen's criticism.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff on Monday described the operability of certain equipment and weapons systems as being in a "very critical" situation.

"There are responsibilities which Germany can't withdraw from, specifically Ebola or the fight against Islamic State in Iraq," Mr. Flosdorff said.

Mr. Flosdorff said Germany was able to fulfill its short-term commitments to its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies despite the equipment problems. But he acknowledged the military is lagging on medium-term targets for operational reaction capabilities.

Commitments for Eurofighter combat jets and certain weapons systems are two planned goals that "perhaps were judged too optimistically last year," Mr. Flosdorff told reporters. "The alliance and defense capabilities aren't in question."

An Air Force spokesman acknowledged that equipment problems have increased lately, "which is really due to the age of the airplanes and the rather high burden on air transport."

Germany's C-160 planes are also supporting international forces in Afghanistan and ferrying aid to war-torn northern Iraq. With the Ebola airlift, the spokesman said, "the full capacity of air transport with the C-160 has been reached."

— Harriet Torry contributed to this article.

- Source:   http://online.wsj.com

Cessna P337 Skymaster, Inline Aviation Ltd, N37E: Fatal accident occurred September 28, 2014 in Plano, Kendall County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office DuPage; West Chicago, Illinois 
Textron Aviation (Cessna); Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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




NTSB Identification: CEN14FA522 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 28, 2014 in Plano, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA T337G, registration: N37E
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 28, 2014, about 2002 central daylight time, a Cessna model T337G airplane, N37E, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during cruise-descent near Plano, Illinois. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Inline Aviation LTD under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight. The flight departed Litchfield Municipal Airport (3LF), Litchfield, Illinois, about 1855 and was en route to Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Sugar Grove, Illinois.

According to air traffic control data, after departing 3LF, the flight proceeded on a direct course toward ARR and climbed to a cruise altitude of 7,500 ft mean sea level (msl). At 1951:52 (hhmm:ss), the pilot established radio contact with the Aurora tower controller and reported being about 15 minutes to the south of the airport and asked if the tower closed at 2100. The tower controller answered "affirmative" and the pilot replied that he would be landing in a few minutes.

At 1954:54, the airplane entered a cruise-descent that continued until the end of available radar data at 2001:59. At 1959:41, the pilot reported being 10 miles to the south inbound for landing with Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) information Delta. The tower controller told the pilot to enter a left base for runway 27 and to report being 2 miles from the airport. At 2000:01, the pilot acknowledged the clearance to make a left base for runway 27.

At 2000:11, the pilot asked if runway 9 was available. The tower controller replied that runway 9 was unavailable because runway 27 was the airport's designated calm-wind runway. At 2000:28, the pilot replied that he would "overfly the airport then and do a left base for... no, no, I'll do a left base for [runway] 27." The tower controller confirmed that from the southeast it would be a left base for runway 27.

At 2000:43, the pilot stated "I'm spotting some other traffic on here, I assume you are tracking them also?" The tower controller asked the pilot to ident his airplane's transponder. At 2001:05, the tower controller confirmed that he observed the accident flight's transponder ident at 1,800 ft msl and that the only observed traffic was ahead of and to the east of the flight's position was at 5,000 ft msl or higher. At 2001:16, the pilot replied "37 echo." No additional radio communications were received from the accident flight. A postaccident review of radar track data confirmed that there was no traffic that would have conflicted with the accident flight.

The final radar return was recorded at 2001:59, about 0.4 miles southwest of the accident site, at 900 ft msl (about 250 ft above ground level). According to radar data, the airplane maintained a ground speed of about 150 knots and an average descent rate of 1,050 ft/min during the final two minutes of the flight. Additionally, the available radar data established that the pilot did not attempt to slow the airplane's descent before impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the 80-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land and multiengine airplane ratings. The multiengine rating was limited to airplanes equipped with centerline thrust. The pilot did not have an instrument rating. The pilot's last aviation medical examination was completed on October 3, 2012, when he was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. His last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed on October 10, 2012, in the accident airplane. The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using his pilot logbook and an airplane utilization logbook that was recovered from the wreckage. The pilot's most recent flight was completed on September 8, 2014, at which time he had accumulated 1,654.8 hours total flight time, of which 1,525.8 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. He had accumulated 195.0 hours in single engine airplanes and 1,407.2 hours in multi-engine airplanes. Additionally, he had logged 7.6 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 88.2 hours in simulated instrument meteorological conditions, and 478.4 hours at night. According to available logbook information, the pilot had completed three flights, totaling 6.8 hours, during the previous 12 months. The three flights were completed in the accident airplane on July 20, 2014, August 14, 2014, and September 8, 2014. The pilot accumulated a total of 2.5 hours of night experience during the July 20th and August 14th flights.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1973 Cessna model T337G, serial number (s/n) P3370127. Two 225-horsepower Continental model TSIO-360 reciprocating engines powered the airplane through controllable-pitch, full feathering, two blade, McCauley propellers. The pressurized airplane had a retractable tricycle landing gear and a certified maximum gross weight of 4,700 pounds. The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on July 23, 1973.

The last annual inspection of the airplane was completed on May 20, 2014, at 5,389.3 total airframe hours. The hour meter indicated 3,372.0 hours at the annual inspection. According to an airplane utilization logbook, the airplane's hour meter indicated 3,389.6 hours before the previous flight leg (ARR to 3LF), which was completed earlier on the day of the accident. The airplane's hour meter was not located at the accident site. Based on utilization records, the airplane had accrued 17.6 hours since the annual inspection. The static system, altimeter system, automatic pressure altitude reporting system, and transponder were last tested on May 7, 2012.

The front engine, a Continental model TSIO-360-DCC, s/n 50R420, was installed on the accident airplane on June 29, 1992, following a field overhaul. At the last annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 1,393 hours since overhaul. The front propeller was a McCauley model D2AF34C303-A, s/n 733999. At the last annual inspection, the propeller had accumulated 772 hours since the last overhaul completed on April 11, 1997.

The rear engine, a Continental model TSIO-360-CB6B, s/n 236274-R, was installed on the accident airplane on April 1, 2000, after being rebuilt by the manufacturer. At the last annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 616.6 hours since being rebuilt by the manufacturer. The rear propeller was a McCauley model D2AF34C305-A, s/n 783238. At the last annual inspection, the propeller had accumulated 772 hours since the last overhaul completed on April 11, 1997.

A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues.

The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 125 gallons (123 gallons usable) distributed between two wing fuel tanks. The cockpit fuel flow indicator showed that there was 67 gallons of fuel remaining at the time of the accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1952, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) located at Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), about 10 miles north-northeast of the accident site, reported: calm wind, clear sky, 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 18 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.

The United States Naval Observatory data indicated that the sunset and end of civil twilight at the accident site were at 1841 and 1909, respectively. Moon transit, the time at which the moon is highest in the sky, occurred at 1615 and the moonset was at 2121. The moon was in a waxing crescent phase, with 19-percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. Additionally, the accident site was located in a sparsely populated area with minimal illumination from ground light sources. As such, dark nighttime conditions likely existed at the time of the accident.

COMMUNICATIONS

A review of available air traffic control (ATC) information indicated that the accident flight had received normal services and handling. A summary of the voice communications recorded between the accident pilot and the Aurora tower controller is included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), located about 1 mile northwest of Sugar Grove, Illinois, was served by three runways: 9/27 (6,501 ft by 100 ft, concrete); 15/33 (5,503 ft by 100 ft, concrete); and 18/36 (3,198 ft by 75 ft, asphalt). The airport elevation was 712 ft mean sea level msl.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane collided with several 30-foot tall trees located along a ridgeline at 645 ft msl. All airframe structural components and flight control surfaces were located along the wreckage debris path. Both wings and tailbooms separated from the fuselage during the collision with the trees. The right wing had a large semicircular crush region, located about midspan, which was consistent with the average tree diameter near the initial point of impact. The fuselage was located 475 ft northeast of the ridgeline in a cornfield. All observed structural component failures were consistent with overstress separation and there was no evidence of an inflight or postimpact fire. Flight control continuity could not be established due to the extent of the damage; however, all observed flight control system discontinuities were consistent with overstress. The elevator trim position could not be determined due to impact damage. The wing flaps were fully retracted. The nose and main landing gear were fully retracted. The fuel control valves and their control lever positions were compromised during the impact sequence. Both electric fuel pump switches were in the OFF position. The altimeter's Kollsman window was centered on 30.06 inches of mercury. The altimeter sustained impact-related damage during the accident and could not be bench tested. The postaccident airframe examination revealed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

The front engine separated from the fuselage and was located about 90 ft northeast of the main wreckage. The engine sustained significant impact-related damage that resulted in the fracture of the crankcase, crankshaft, and the No. 5 cylinder head, as well as the separation of the turbocharger, fuel pump, and both magnetos. One of the magnetos and the mechanical fuel pump were not located during the on-scene investigation. The impact damage sustained during the accident precluded a functional test of the engine. The crankshaft fractured in an area that coincided with the No. 4 main bearing oil galley. The crankshaft fracture displayed 45-degree shear lips and a cupped appearance. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the aft end of the engine to the crankshaft fracture area and to each of the connecting rods. Camshaft continuity was confirmed from the aft end of the engine, to the bevel gear. A borescope inspection revealed no preimpact anomalies with the cylinders, valves, or pistons. The oil pickup screen was intact and covered in oil with no obstructions observed. The oil filter element was free of visible metal contaminants. The recovered magneto provided spark from each ignition tower when the drive shaft was rotated by hand. The spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Fuel was observed in the lines leading from the fuel metering unit to the fuel manifold valve. Disassembly of the vacuum pump showed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The turbocharger flange around the impeller was distorted. The impeller was impinged against one side of the impeller shroud and circumferential scoring was observed on the shroud. No pre-accident anomalies were noted that would have prevented normal operation of the front engine or its ability to produce rated power.

The rear engine remained partially attached within the nacelle of the airframe. The engine exhibited impact-related damage that precluded a functional test of the engine. The crankshaft was fractured where it entered the crankcase at the prop seal. The fracture surfaces displayed 45-degree shear lips. The crankshaft was continuous from the fracture face aft to the accessory section as noted during crankshaft rotation. The crankshaft remained attached to each connecting rod. Camshaft continuity was confirmed in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. A borescope inspection revealed no preimpact anomalies with the cylinders, valves, or pistons. Both magnetos provided spark from each ignition tower when their respective drive shaft was rotated by hand. The spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. The oil pickup screen was intact and covered in oil with no obstructions observed. The oil filter element was free of visible metal contaminants. The fuel pump exhibited impact-related damage that precluded a functional test. The fuel pump drive coupling was intact. Fuel was observed in the lines leading from the fuel metering unit to the manifold. Disassembly of the vacuum pump showed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The turbocharger remained attached to the rear engine and the exhaust system. The impeller shroud contained vegetation and other organic material. The impeller would rotate by hand with a corresponding rotation of the turbine. No pre-accident anomalies were noted that would have prevented normal operation of the rear engine or its ability to produce rated power.

The front propeller remained attached to the crankshaft's propeller flange; however, the hub had fractured and one of the two blades was separated from the hub. The separated blade was curled forward more than 180 degrees and the outboard six inches had separated from the blade. The other blade remained with the propeller flange and exhibited a forward bend about mid-span. Both blades exhibited leading edge damage and chordwise scratches.

The rear propeller hub remained secured to the crankshaft prop flange. Both blades remained with the hub, but they had rotated 180 degrees in the hub. One blade displayed a large leading edge gouge at the tip and the blade was bent forward along its span. The other blade sustained minor leading edge gouging, slight chordwise scratches, and was twisted slightly toward low pitch.

The postaccident wreckage examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane during the accident flight.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On September 30, 2014, the Kendall County Coroner Office, located in Yorkville, Illinois, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident. The autopsy also indicated that caffeine and diphenhydramine (.076 ug/ml) were identified in cavity blood. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. The testing identified atenolol and diphenhydramine in urine and cavity blood, and salicylate in urine. The test results indicated 0.136 ug/ml of diphenhydramine was identified in blood. Cavity blood levels may vary widely from dilution by other fluids or because of post mortem redistribution where drug may leech out from storage sites (like liver) into adjacent pooled blood.

Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. Blood levels between 0.0250 and 0.1120 ug/ml are considered therapeutic. Diphenhydramine carries the following Food and Drug Administration warning: May impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). Compared to other antihistamines, diphenhydramine also causes marked sedation, and as a central nervous system depressant, is often used a sleep aid. Altered mood and impaired cognitive and psychomotor performance may also be observed in conjunction with the use of diphenhydramine.

Atenolol is prescription medication that lowers blood pressure and decreases the likelihood of a recurrent heart attack. Salicylate is a metabolite of aspirin, which is commonly used by patients with coronary artery disease to prevent a heart attack.

The 80-year-old pilot had a history of coronary artery disease that required angioplasty and stenting of the left anterior descending artery in 2007, along with hypertension. He was on a number of medications to control his blood pressure and limit the progression of his coronary artery disease. However, the autopsy identified moderate to severe new stenosis in the portion of the left anterior descending coronary artery distal to the stent, and evidence of hypertensive cardiovascular disease in his heart and kidneys.

In addition, the pilot had longstanding open angle glaucoma (since 1985) which had required a series of medical and surgical treatment over the years, and cataracts in both eyes. The cataract in the left eye had been removed in 2008 but the one in the right eye was increasing in size before the accident. An ophthalmology evaluation in the weeks before the accident noted a significant increase in the size of a central scotoma (blind spot) related to longstanding glaucoma in the left eye and declining corrected distant visual acuity bilaterally, although the pilot met the FAA standard of 20/40 vision.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The airplane's Insight Avionics GEMINI 1200 graphic engine monitor, s/n 1535, was downloaded at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington D.C. The accident flight included 806 lines of data for both engines. The engine parameter data was recorded once every six seconds. The engine monitor recorded exhaust gas temperature, cylinder head temperature, and turbine inlet temperature. A review of the recovered engine parameter data revealed consistent readings throughout the accident flight and no anomalies with engine operation. The data stopped recording abruptly after 1 hour 20 minutes 30 seconds, consistent with a loss of electrical power during the impact sequence.

The Shadin electronic fuel flow indicator, s/n 8430, was examined at the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory. All fuel readings were based on fuel flow to the engine. The fuel flow indicator contained non-volatile memory for fuel remaining and the amount of fuel used since the device was last reset. The device was powered-up and indicated that 55.9 gallons of fuel had been used and that there was 67 gallons of fuel remaining.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B), "Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree in controlling the airplane." The handbook further states, "Distance may be deceptive at night due to limited lighting conditions. A lack of intervening references on the ground and the inability to compare the size and location of different ground objects cause this. This also applies to the estimation of altitude and speed. Consequently, more dependence must be placed on flight instruments, particularly the altimeter and the airspeed indicator."

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA522 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 28, 2014 in Plano, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA T337G, registration: N37E
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On September 28, 2014, about 2001 central daylight time, a Cessna model T337G airplane, N37E, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during cruise flight near Plano, Illinois. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Inline Aviation, LTD, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Litchfield Municipal Airport (3LF), Litchfield, Illinois, about 1855 and was destined for Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Sugar Grove, Illinois.

According to preliminary air traffic control data, after departing 3LF, the flight proceeded on a direct course toward ARR and climbed to a cruise altitude of 7,500 feet mean sea level (msl). At 1954, the flight began a cruise-descent that continued until the end of available radar data at 2001. The pilot established radio communication with the Aurora Air Traffic Control Tower at 1951. The pilot was told to enter a left base for runway 27 and to report when the airplane was 2 miles from the airport. At 1959, the pilot reported being 10 miles from the airport and the tower controller asked the pilot to ident his transponder. The airplane was subsequently identified on radar at 1,800 feet msl. Available radar data indicated that the final radar return was recorded at 2001:59, about 0.4 miles southwest of the accident site, at 900 feet msl (about 250 feet above ground level).

The airplane impacted several 30-foot tall trees located on a ridgeline measuring 645 feet msl. All airframe structural components and flight control surfaces were located along the wreckage debris path. Both wings and tailbooms separated from the fuselage during the collision with the trees. The fuselage was located 475 feet northeast of the ridgeline in a cornfield. All observed structural component failures were consistent with overstress separation and there was no evidence of an inflight or postimpact fire. Flight control continuity could not be established due to the extent of the damage; however, all observed flight control system discontinuities were consistent with overstress. The flaps and landing gear were found in a fully retracted position. The forward engine had separated from the fuselage and was located 90 feet northeast of the main wreckage. The rear engine remained partially attached to its firewall. Both propellers had separated from their respective engine crankshafts and exhibited S-shape spanwise bending, blade twisting, and leading edge damage.

At 1952, the ARR automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported: calm wind, clear sky, 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 18 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.08 inches of mercury.


ELGIN — The Elgin community will get their chance to say goodbye to attorney/political activist/Christian churchman John Juergensmeyer in a memorial service Saturday. But the airplane crash that killed him remains a mystery for now. 

 Juergensmeyer, 80, was killed when the private plane he was flying crashed into a cornfield near Plano at about 8:01 p.m. on Sept. 28. He was returning from a Sunday visit with his brother, who lives in a nursing home in downstate Carlinville.

Betty Juergensmeyer, his widow, said his body has been cremated but a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at Wesley United Methodist Church, at 1070 South St. in Elgin.

She said Rick Jakle, the owner of Elgin Broadcasting Co. and a longtime friend of John, will deliver the eulogy.

“We’re going to celebrate his life — all parts of his life, including a military tribute to the time when he was in the Air Force,” Betty said.

Crash report


Meanwhile, no conclusion has been reached as the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board try to figure out what caused the crash.

Juergensmeyer had been the only occupant of a Cessna Skymaster plane built with an unusual design somewhat similar to the Lightning fighter planes and Flying Boxcar cargo planes of the 1940s: It had two booms connecting the podlike cockpit with a wide tail. And it had two engines laid out in a push-pull configuration, with one right in front of the cockpit and one right behind.

A staffer at the Kendall County Coroner’s Office said she doesn’t believe an autopsy on Juergensmeyer’s body discovered anything unusual besides injuries caused by the crash.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the investigation is now in the hands of the NTSB. He said that agency’s investigators can take a few months to issue the next step, a “Factual Report” on the incident, and up to a year officially to determine a “Probable Cause.”

A preliminary report by the NTSB states that Juergensmeyer was flying toward Aurora Municipal Airport. He was at an altitude of 7,500 feet when he radioed the Aurora control tower at 7:51 p.m. — 10 minutes before the crash — to say he was planning to land there soon. Aurora Airport then had a clear sky, no wind and a surface visibility of 10 miles.

According to the NTSB report, radar shows that his plane began to descend at 7:54 p.m. At 7:59, an estimated two minutes before the crash, Juergensmeyer told the tower he was 10 miles from the airport and radar showed he was about 950 feet high.

The report says the plane apparently struck a line of trees 30 feet high, which apparently sheared off both wings and both tail booms before the fuselage with the cockpit and engines crashed into a cornfield. The plane’s wing flaps and landing gear were found fully retracted, apparently not yet lowered for a landing.

The report does not mention any radio message from Juergensmeyer about suffering from a medical problem.

Betty Juergensmeyer said her husband often flew back from his nursing home visits in the dark. She said he felt it was actually easier to locate landmarks and airports that way.


http://couriernews.suntimes.com


 
John E. Juergensmeyer was killed in a plane crash Sunday evening near Plano in Kendall County, Illinois. 
Juergensmeyer & Associates, P.C.



A prominent attorney who championed socially conservative causes in the Elgin area has been identified as the pilot who died after crashing his plane near Plano in Kendall County Sunday evening. 

Authorities identified the man as John Juergensmeyer, 80, and said he was the only person on board the plane at the time of the crash.

Juergensmeyer was found about 10 feet from the wreckage of the twin-engine Cessna and was pronounced dead at the scene around 10 p.m. Sunday, according to Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy. According to Illinois State Police officials the exact address was 15900 Griswold Springs Rd. in Kendall County.

His daughter, Margaret Juergensmeyer, 45, of Bolingbrook said her father had flown to Collinsville to visit his brother, who is in a nursing home. He made similar trips about once a month. He had planned to land at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove, she said.

Juergensmeyer had been flying for more than 20 years, she said. The plane that crashed was his second. The first was destroyed in a tornado, Margaret said.

“He was just a passionate guy,” she said. “There were a lot of things he loved to do. He was just everywhere and did everything.”

He enjoyed scuba diving in the Florida Keys and had a pool in Elgin that included aquatic plants.

Juergensmeyer was also chairman of The Life Center, a religious nonprofit and anti-abortion group that was involved in a dispute with the city of Elgin over a mobile RV that its members parked around town to provide ultrasounds, among other services.

Juergensmeyer had a long, distinguished career which included working as an assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois as well as serving on the local government committees for the Illinois and Chicago Bar Associations.

Presently, the 80-year-old headed his own Elgin-based law firm, Juergensmeyer and Associates, which released a statement Monday morning.

“We are devastated at the passing of our beloved boss,” the statement read. “All of his staff members have been with him for many, many years and words cannot begin to express the grief that we are feeling today. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Juergensmeyer family.”

Juergensmeyer was also active in a number of local political and civic organizations, including the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army, United Methodist Church and Judson College. Juergensmeyer taught constitutional law and political science at Judson and in the past had taught at the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and the University of Hawaii, according to his law firm.

Juergensmeyer received his law degree from the University of Illinois as well as a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University.

Witnesses on the scene of the crash told authorities that Juergensmeyer was flying low over a wooded area and struck some trees and crashed into a corn field in the 15600 block of Griswold Springs Road in unincorporated Plano, about 60 miles west of Chicago, according to Toftoy and the Kendall County sheriff’s office.

"It took the wings off when he hit the tops of the trees," Toftoy said.

Emergency crews had a difficult time reaching the crash site, he said.  "The corn was really tall and there was no fire," he said.

The wreckage was scattered around 50 yards, he said. It was not known where Juergensmeyer was headed at the time of the crash.

The flight was coming from Collinsville and destined for an airport in the Chicago area, said Elizabeth Cory, a spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration. Cory confirmed Juergensmeyer was the only person on the plane.

Juergensmeyer leaves behind a wife, Dr. Elizabeth Juergensmeyer, and two children, Margaret Ann and Frances Elizabeth, according to his law firm.
 

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

Catalina air show going all out under new organizers

Souped-up airplanes will perform jaw-dropping daredevil moves over the water at Catalina Island on Saturday when a fledgling air show returns under new management and to help other island fliers.

The Scheyden Catalina Air Show will take place at the picturesque Avalon Bay with high-flying excitement coming from a group of skilled pilots in agile planes performing aerobatic maneuvers like rolls, spins, loops and close-formation flying at speeds that will reach hundreds of miles per hour.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the Catalina Island Conservancy’s efforts to maintain the island’s Airport in the Sky and nesting grounds for bald eagles.

The air show lineup includes aviators like the 11-member Tiger Squadron formation flying team, and Capt. Adam “Manik” Runge, a member of the 409 “Nighthawks” Tactical Fighter Squadron, who will be flying a CF-18 Hornet.

Also set to fly that day is retired Lt. Cmdr. Doug Matthews, who pilots a P-51 Mustang; freestyle pilot Jon Melby spinning through the air in a modified biplane and Dave Mathieson, who is known as “Super Dave.”

Mathieson will start the flying action in a customized MX2, an advanced aerobatic plane capable of high-speed dizzying rolls and extremely tight turns and loops.

“The MX2 is the highest performance aircraft ever known to man. It’s incredibly lightweight, he’ll do inverted flat spins and stuff that you can’t even believe,” said Jeff Herold, founder of Scheyden Precision Eyewear, which makes and distributes lenses and frames for aviation, among other activities.

Herold first attended the Catalina air show a couple of years ago as a spectator and stepped in last year as a main sponsor when the show was facing financial difficulties and an unsure future.

This year, he’s taken over the show with hopes of securing a long-term future on the island.

“I thought this was the coolest little air show in the world and I couldn’t watch it die,” he said.

 Since the action will be up in the air and visible to anyone on the island, Herold, who is also a pilot, will be trying to raise money for the Conservancy by selling tax-deductible VIP tickets. The tickets will give people a spot in a waterside viewing area that will include hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine tasting and a concert by Jim Morrison impersonator Dave Crock and actual Doors guitarist Robby Krieger.

“Many of the local sponsors have been wonderful and everyone has been pitching in but it’s still coming up quite a bit short, it’s not inexpensive to put on an air show,” Herold said.

“It’ll be the best, closest place to watch the air show. It’ll be like a private party out there,” he said, referring to the ticketed area.

Before the planes zip across the air a skydiver carrying an American flag will land on a platform to signify the start of the air show. Then, Mathieson will fly out for a “teaser” show where he’ll pull off a few moves before landing and returning to the air later.

Mathieson’s starting flight will be followed by other pilots like Melby.

“I’m going to put the hammer down and fly it like it’s stolen,” said Melby, who will be flying his 1997 Pitts S-1-11B biplane.

Melby will start his routine by climbing high in the sky in a straight vertical rise to about 2,500 feet before letting gravity take the controls and quickly falling back down in a dizzying spin.

Melby later will join Mathieson in a sky dance that will have them performing maneuvers in the air together while talking to each other over their headsets. The conversation will be public since their on-air verbal antics will be heard on the ground through speakers.

“We’ll be flying in formation, joking with each other like ‘Hey, don’t hit me,’ it’s pretty funny,” Melby said.

Also flying in formation, real close formation, will be the members of the Tiger Squadron.

“We’ll be displaying the skills of flying in a very, very close formation,” said Gil Lipaz, administrative coordinator and one of the lead pilots of the Tiger Squadron. “It’s just a lot of fun to show these skills to the crowd.”

The show will finish with Runge’s CF-18 Hornet, a Canadian military fighter aircraft.

“He will do a full demo, which will mean you are going to see full aerobatics in an F-18. You will see him come almost to the surface of the water in an F-18, it’s something no one has seen in the history of Catalina Island,” Herold said.

“He might get down to 100 feet (above the water). He might even go upside down at 100 feet, that’s the ways these guys are.”

Scheyden Catalina Air Show 

When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday for air show; concert and other activities throughout the day until 9:30 p.m. 

 Where: Avalon Bay on Catalina Island. 

Admission: Free; VIP ticket packages $149-$1,995.

Information: catalinaairshow.com. 

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

Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2, CREX-MML LLC, N194SJ: Fatal accident occurred September 29, 2013 in Santa Monica, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA430
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 29, 2013 in Santa Monica, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/14/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 525A, registration: N194SJ
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

The private pilot was returning to his home airport; the approach was normal, and the airplane landed within the runway touchdown zone markings and on the runway centerline. About midfield, the airplane started to drift to the right side of the runway, and during the landing roll, the nose pitched up suddenly and dropped back down. The airplane veered off the runway and impacted the 1,000-ft runway distance remaining sign and continued to travel in a right-hand turn until it impacted a hangar. The airplane came to rest inside the hangar, and the damage to the structure caused the roof to collapse onto the airplane. A postaccident fire quickly ensued. The subsequent wreckage examination did not reveal any mechanical anomalies with the airplane's engines, flight controls, steering, or braking system. 

A video study was conducted using security surveillance video from a fixed-base operator located midfield, and the study established that the airplane was not decelerating as it passed through midfield. Deceleration was detected after the airplane had veered off the runway and onto the parking apron in front of the rows of hangars it eventually impacted. Additionally, video images could not definitively establish that the flaps were deployed during the landing roll. However, the flaps were deployed as the airplane veered off the runway and into the hangar, but it could not be determined to what degree. To obtain maximum braking performance, the flaps should be placed in the ”ground flap” position immediately after touchdown. The wreckage examination determined that the flaps were in the ”ground flap” position at the time the airplane impacted the hangar. 

Numerous personal electronic devices that had been onboard the airplane provided images of the passengers and unrestrained pets, including a large dog, with access to the cockpit during the accident flight. Although the unrestrained animals had the potential to create a distraction during the landing roll, there was insufficient information to determine their role in the accident sequence or what caused the delay in the pilot’s application of the brakes.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to adequately decrease the airplane’s ground speed or maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion and collision with an airport sign and structure and a subsequent postcrash fire.

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On September 29, 2013, at 1820 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 525A Citation, N194SJ, veered off the right side of runway 21 and collided with a hangar at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), Santa Monica, California. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to CREX-MML LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from Hailey, Idaho, about 1614.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane make a normal approach and landing, on centerline and within the runway touchdown zone markings. The airplane started to drift to the right side of the runway during the roll out, the nose pitched up suddenly and dropped back down, then the airplane veered off the runway, and impacted the 1,000-foot runway distance remaining sign. It continued to travel in a right-hand turn, and impacted a hangar structural post with the right wing. The airplane came to rest inside the hangar, and the damage to the hangar structure caused the roof to collapse onto the airplane. A post-accident fire quickly ensued.

On-scene examination of the wreckage and runway revealed that there was no airplane debris on the runway. The three landing gear tires were inflated and exhibited no unusual wear patterns. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) control tower local controller reported that the pilot did not express over the radio any problems prior to or during the landing.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 63, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single & multiengine land, and instrument airplane, issued March 27, 2004, and a third-class medical certificate issued May 21, 2012, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. The pilot's current logbook was not located. An examination of copies from the pilot's previous logbook showed the last entry was dated June 5-7, 2009, and totaled his flight time as 3,463.1 hours, with 1,236.2 hours in the Cessna 525A. On the pilot's May 21, 2012, application for his FAA medical certificate he reported 3,500 hours total time, and 125 hours within the previous 6 months. The pilot had logbook endorsements from Flight Safety International, Orlando, Florida, for flight reviews and proficiency checks dated January 19, 2002, November 2, 2002, November, 15, 2003, June 4, 2004, March 2, 2005, March 22, 2006, March 21, 2007, and March 31, 2008. Training records provided by Flight Safety showed that he had completed the Citation Jet (CE525) 61.58 Recurrent PIC training on February, 27, 2013.

The person occupying the right seat in the cockpit was a non-pilot rated passenger.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The low wing, six-seat, retractable landing gear, business jet, serial number 525A0194, was manufactured in 2003, and was based at the Santa Monica Airport. It was powered by two Williams International FJ44-2C engines, each capable of producing 2,400 pounds of static thrust at sea level. A review of the maintenance records revealed that the most recent maintenance was performed on September 7, 2013, and included hydrostatic test of the fire extinguisher bottles, battery functional check, pitot-static system check, transponder calibration check, visual corrosion inspections on the landing gear and horizontal/vertical stabilizer spars, and a generator control unit wire bundle service bulletin. The records showed that as of September 7, the total airframe hours were 1,932.8. Total time on the number one engine (SN 126257) was 1,932.8 hours with 1,561 cycles, and the total time on the number two engine (SN 126256) was 1,932.8 hours with 1,561 cycles. Total landings were 1,561. The aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder.


Flap Position & Speed Brakes

The flap system description from the Cessna 525 Operating Manual states: "The trailing edge flaps are electrically controlled and hydraulically actuated by the main hydraulic system. Normal flap travel is from 0 to 35 degrees and any intermediate position can be selected. A mechanical detent is installed at the takeoff and approach (15 degrees) position of the flap lever. The full flap position (35 degrees) is reached by pushing down on the flap lever when passing through the takeoff and approach detent."

"The flaps have an additional position called GROUND FLAPS (60 degrees) which provides additional drag during the landing roll."

The speed brake system description from the Operating Manual states: "The speed brakes are installed on the upper and lower surfaces of each wing to permit rapid rates of descent, rapid deceleration, and to spoil lift during landing roll. The speed brakes are electrically controlled and hydraulically actuated by a switch located on the throttle quadrant and may be selected to the fully extended or fully retracted positions. When the speed brakes are fully extended a white SPD BRK EXTEND annunciator will illuminate to remind the pilot of the deployed status of the speed brakes. The angular travel for the upper speed brake panels is 49 degrees, +2 or -2 degrees and the lower panels travel 68 degrees, +2 or -2 degrees. The lower speed brake panels close with the upper panel. The speed brakes will also automatically deploy when GROUND FLAPS position or selected on the flap handle."

Brake System

The brake system description from the Operating Manual states: "An independent power brake and anti-skid system is used for wheel braking. The closed center hydraulic system is comprised of an independent power pack assembly (pump, electric motor, and filter), accumulator and reservoir which provides pressurized hydraulic fluid to the brake metering valve and anti-skid valve. A hand-controllable pneumatic emergency brake valve is provided in the event of a power brake failure. Pneumatic pressure is transmitted to the brakes though a shuttle valve integral to each brake assembly."

"The brake metering valve regulated a maximum of 1,000 psi +50/-20 psi to the brakes based upon pilot/copilot input to the left and right rudder pedals. RPM transducers at each wheel sense the onset of a skid and transmit information to the anti-skid control box. The anti-skid control box reduces brake pressure by sending electronic inputs to the anti-skid valve. Pressure to the brake metering valve is controlled by mechanical input through a bellcrank and push-rod system from either the pilot or the copilot's rudder pedals. A manually operated parking brake valve allows the pilot to increase the brake pressure while the brake is set, and provide thermal relief at 1,200 psi. After thermal relief, pressure will drop to no less than 600 psi, and the pilot or copilot must restore full brake pressure prior to advancing both engines to take-off power."

"Pneumatic pressure from the emergency air bottle is available as a backup to the normal system."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Recorded weather data from the Santa Monica Airport automated surface observation system (ASOS elevation 177 feet) at 1824 showed the wind was from 240 degrees at 4 knots, visibility was 10 statute miles with clear sky, temperature was 21 degrees C and dew point 12 degrees C, and the altimeter was 29.97 inHg.

Sun position was calculated using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) solar position calculator. The Los Angeles location of 34 degrees, 3 minutes, 0 seconds latitude, and 118 degrees, 13 minutes, 59 seconds longitude was used for the solar position calculation on September 29, 2013, at 1820 PDT. The solar azimuth was calculated to be 264.33 degrees, and solar elevation was 3.59 degrees above the horizon. This position placed the Sun near horizon level, about 54 degrees to the right of the centerline of runway 21.

AERODROME INFORMATION

The Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO), is at an elevation of 177 feet msl. The airport consists of a single 4,973 by 150-foot asphalt/grooved runway oriented southwest to northeast (03/21), with a downhill gradient to the west of 1.2%. There are no overrun areas for either runway, and the departure end of runway 21 terminates in an approximately 50-foot drop off into residential housing to the west and south (residential homes are located approximately 220 feet from the departure end of both runways). Along the last 3rd of the northern side of runway 21 are privately-owned hangars with an approximately 30-foot rising embankment behind the hangars. The runway physical condition was good with no evidence of broken asphalt, debris, pot holes, or water on the runway at the time of the accident.

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

Visible tire track marks from the right main landing gear tire on the runway started at 2,840 feet from the threshold of runway 21; the airplane veered right, colliding with the 1,000-foot runway remaining sign, crossing over the tarmac between taxiway A2 and A1, and finally colliding with the last row of hangars on the northwest corner of the airport. The tire marks on the runway consisted of light scuff marks from the right main landing gear tire and became dark black transfer marks of all three landing gear tires after the airplane had veered off the runway and impacted the 1,000-foot remaining sign. The collision with the hangar resulted in the hangar collapsing over the airplane. A post-accident fire erupted, damaging adjacent hangars.

The collapsed hangar structure was lifted using cranes and shored up using wood timbers. The wreckage was removed by attaching chains to the airframe structure and pulling it out of the hangar with a forklift loader. The fuselage had separated from the wing structure in scissor fashion. The fuselage had rotated counter clockwise about 60 degrees around the longitudinal axis so that the cabin door was pointed towards the ground. The pilot was located in the left front seat, an adult female passenger was in the right front seat, an adult female was located with her back against the cabin door, and an adult male was sitting in a right-hand seat mid cabin. The remains of two cats and a dog were also located within the cabin. The tail section aft of the pressure bulkhead was exposed to extreme heat/fire. The nose landing gear was extended with the wheel and tire attached to the mount. The continuity between the nose wheel steering linkage up to the cockpit rudder pedals was verified. The tire was inflated and exhibited no usual wear.

The right wing had separated from the fuselage at the attach points. The wing spar had broken outboard of the wheel well rib, and a semicircular leading edge indentation was evident at the fuel filler cap location. Aileron and flaps were attached to the wing, and the speed brake/spoiler was deployed. The aileron control cable was attached to the aileron bell crank and the cables were traced to the center fuselage. The right main landing gear was extended with the wheel and tire attached. The tire was inflated and did not exhibit any unusual bald or flat spots.

The tail section aft of the pressure bulkhead separated from the airframe due to extreme fire damage, and was the only part of the airplane that remained outside of the collapsed hangar structure. The horizontal stabilizer was present with both elevators attached. The vertical stabilizer was present with the rudder attached. Both engines remained attached to their respective engine mounts. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT), manufactured by ACR Electronics, was located in the tail section, exhibited minor heat damage and was transmitting during the time immediately following the accident.

The left wing exhibited extreme fire damage at the wing root, and the wing extending outboard of the root was discolored gray/black. There was slight denting along the leading edge of the wing. The flap and aileron were attached to the wing, and the speed brake/spoiler was deployed. The aileron control cables were traced from the aileron bell crank to the center fuselage section.

The fuel control cables were attached to both engines fuel control units; both engine's bleed valves were movable. The left engine N1 section had seized and the visible fan blades were free of dirt or soot. The right engine N1 section could be rotated by hand, and the intake fan blades were evenly coated with black soot. Borescope examination of the high pressure compressor of both engines showed soot and small particulate matter within the compressor section, consistent with the engines operating while ingesting smoke, soot, and ash.


MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on October 3, 2013, by the Los Angeles County Coroner. The cause of death was ascribed to the combined effects of inhalation of combustion products and thermal burns.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicology on specimen from the pilot with negative results for ethanol, and positive results for 10 ug acetaminophen detected in urine, and Rosuvastatin detected in urine.

An autopsy was performed on the passenger, who was in the cockpit's right seat, on October 3, 2013, by the Los Angeles County Coroner. The cause of death was ascribed to the combined effects of inhalation of combustion products and thermal burns.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed toxicology on specimen from the passenger with negative results for ethanol, and positive results for 0.077 ug/ml diazepam detected in liver, 0.042 ug/ml diazepam detected in blood, 0.524 ug/ml dihydrocodeine detected in liver, 0.109 ug/ml dihydrocodenine detected in blood, 0.659 ug/ml hydrocodone detected in liver, 0.258 ug/ml hydrocodone detected in blood, 0.132 ug/ml nordiazepam detected liver, and 0.064 ug/ml nordiazepam detected in blood.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Brake System Examinations

The following airplane brake system components were removed from the wreckage; skid control unit fault display, left and right wheel transducers, brake control valve assembly, and the skid control box. The components were examined at Crane Aerospace, Burbank, California, on January 22, 2014, under the oversight of the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC). Each component was examined and tested per Crane Aerospace acceptance testing procedures. No discrepancies or anomalies were identified that would have precluded normal operation of the components. The complete examination report is available in the public docket of this investigation.

Both the left and right main brake assemblies were examined at UTC Aerospace Systems, Troy, Ohio, under the oversight of the NTSB IIC, on February 11, 2014. A hydraulic fitting was placed on the primary port of the shuttle valve and pressurized to 100 psi. No leakage was observed, piston movement was observed on all 5 pistons, and the rotors could not be moved by hand. Hydraulic pressure was released and adjuster assemblies were observed to return to their normal position. The system was pressurized to 850 psi, no leaks were observed and the rotors could not be moved by hand. The wear pins extensions indicated about 2/3 wear on both brake assemblies. The system held pressure at 850 psi for 5 minutes. The system was depressurized to 9 psi. The pistons retracted and a feeler gauge measured a gap between rotor and stator disks. The hydraulic fitting was removed from the primary port and placed on the pneumatic port (emergency system). When pressurized to 100 psi the shuttle valve could be heard to move from primary to emergency, indicating the last actuation was via the normal (primary) brake system. The system was pressurized to 850 psi, no leaks were observed, and piston movement was evident. The complete examination factual report is available in the public docket of this investigation.

The parking brake valve assembly had been exposed to extreme thermal heat and was deformed in such a way that disassembly by normal means was impossible. To determine the parking brake internal configuration and condition, the parking brake valve was subjected to x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning. The scanning was conducted from April 29-30, 2014. The scans were performed by Varian Medical Systems, Inc., under the direction of the NTSB using the Varian Actis 500/225 microfocus CT system CT system. The components were scanned using a total of 1,522 slices. The images were examined for any signs of missing or damaged parts, contamination, or any other anomalies. Nothing was identified in the scan images that would have precluded normal operation of the parking brake. The complete examination factual report is available in the public docket of this investigation.

Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) Data

The EGPWS was removed from the airplane and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for further examination. The accident flight was identified as flight leg 1592. Only warning data pertaining to the event flight The data in the warning file for flight leg 1592 began recording at operational time 2614:08:08. The event that triggered this recording was an excessive bank angle warning that occurred at 2614:08:28 operational time, when the aircraft was at about 15,000 feet about 3 minutes after takeoff. There were no other warnings on the accident flight. The landing time was recorded as 2616:08:04. The complete examination factual report is available in the official docket of this investigation.

The complete EGPWS Factual Report is available in the public docket of this investigation.

Airplane Performance Study

Available information for the accident flight included the radar track, ground marks from the aircraft's tires, and airport security camera footage.

Radar data was used to describe the accident airplane's ground track, altitude, speed, and estimated attitude on approach to the airport. Radar data was obtained from the Los Angeles, California, LAXA ASR-9 (airport surveillance radar), and sampled at 4.5-second intervals. The radar is approximately 5.5 nautical miles (NM) from the aircraft's final location. The aircraft approached Santa Monica from the northeast. The last radar return was recorded at 18:20:26 PDT, about 1,500 ft before the airport threshold. The aircraft's groundspeed final groundspeed was about 115 kts. Wind was 4 kts from 240°, which would have added a slight headwind when landing on runway 21. The approach speed (VAPP) for the 525A for 15° of flaps is between 98 kts indicated airspeed (for 8,000 lbs landing weight) and 122 kts (for 12,375 lbs landing weight). The aircraft's glide slope during the approach was 3.9°. Runway 21 at Santa Monica has a four light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) for a 4.00° glide slope.

The rubber tire marks left by the aircraft on the runway and other paved surfaces were photographed and their locations recorded. The first tire mark was found about 2,800 ft from the threshold of runway 21 and 35 ft right of the centerline. The aircraft's path was determined by connecting the recorded tire marks. Aircraft braking causes rubber from the tires to be deposited onto the runway. The tire marks consist of light scuff while on the runway, but become heavy and dark once the airplane departs the runway veering off to the right.

Six security cameras at the airport recorded the accident sequence. The airplane was first recorded on the ground and approximately 2,000 ft from the runway 21 approach threshold. Additional configuration information, such as flap or spoiler settings or thrust reverser deployment could not be determined from the video due to low resolution. However, the average speed of the aircraft was estimated for each camera recording. The calculated speeds do not uniformly decrease between camera views partially due to the uncertainty of estimating the speed from video. The calculated ground speeds as the airplane passed through mid field varied between 82 knots and 68 knots, with a calculated average of 75 knots. The details of the speed calculations can be found in the NTSB Video Study.

Cessna Aircraft Company provided data from two exemplar landings and ground rolls for a Citation 525A. The data included distance along the runway, calibrated airspeed, GPS speed, left and right brake pressures, brake pedal inputs, and flaps. To compare the exemplar and the accident aircraft landings and ground rolls, it was assumed that all aircraft touched down at the 1,000 ft mark. Assuming a 1,000 ft touchdown point, the first speed estimate is about 10 kts faster than the exemplar ground rolls at the same location. This may indicate that during the first 1,000 ft of the ground roll, the accident aircraft was decelerating near as expected. The exemplar aircraft slowed to a stop more than 1,700 ft before the accident aircraft impacted the hanger.

The aircraft's flight path, altitude, and calculated speeds during the approach were consistent with the standard approach for a Citation 525A into SMO. The aircraft's ground roll was longer and faster than exemplar landings. Tire marks indicate braking occurred late in the ground roll. The aircraft's flap and spoiler settings and thrust reverser deployment are unknown. A reason for the lack of normal deceleration could not be determined using the available data.

The complete Aircraft Performance Factual Report is available in the public docket of this investigation.

Personal Electronic Devices (PED)

Five PED's were recovered from the airplane and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination. The laboratory was unable to recover data from three of the devices, however, data was recovered from the remaining two devices.

An Apple iPhone 4 contained text messages and photo activity just before and during the accident flight. A text message "Leaving the Valley" and a photo showing a woman in the right cockpit seat of the airplane before departure. A video captured the takeoff from Hailey, Idaho. The phone contained 14 in-flight photos. A photo of the instrument panel showed a climb through 37,300 feet, airspeed was 251 knots, and the anti-skid switch was in the up (ON) position. One photo was oriented aft into the cabin. In the foreground was a large, red/brown-haired dog in the aisle with its head towards the camera and torso forward of the rearward-facing seats; and in the background were two people seated (each with a cat in their lap) in the forward-facing seats. Another photo showed the dog further forward and both cats were now on the lap of one of the occupants. None of the animals were restrained or caged. Most of the remaining photos were pointed outside the airplane.

None of the content on the iPad 2 was from the accident flight, however, it did contain pertinent photos and video related to N194SJ. The iPad contained a low resolution, 52-second, video of the airplane taking off from the Santa Monica Airport on an undetermined date. The video was taken from a position consistent with the right cockpit seat and began as the airplane started its takeoff roll. About 10 seconds into the video, the camera panned left showing the interior of the cockpit. A red/brown-haired dog (same as was seen in the iPhone 4's images), was positioned facing forward with its nose about 18 inches aft of the throttle quadrant. As the airplane rotated, 19 seconds into the video, a person in the cockpit said "…you want to be up front too, huh?" The video then panned outside to show a row of hangers on the right, then the ocean, and generally clear skies. The video ended with Santa Monica Tower directing N194SJ to contact "SoCal departure."

The full PED Factual Report is available in the official docket of this investigation.

Surveillance Video

The NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division's Image Laboratory received two files containing images from 9 unique security camera feeds from a Bosch DIVAR 700 Series recorder. The recording contained six camera streams and captured the accident sequence and subsequent Airport Rescue Firefighting (ARFF). The six camera streams contained images from cameras 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 17, each of which captured the accident aircraft at some portion during its landing roll and subsequent impact with the hangar structure. The recording provided was 1 hour 40 minutes and 5 seconds in length. The beginning portion of the recording showed the landing roll and impact and the remainder of the recordings showed subsequent ARFF activities related to the accident The video file was provided by a local Fixed Base Operator (FBO) and the majority of the cameras (3, 4, 7, 8, and 9) were recorded from a cluster of locations near the FBO ramp entrance area. Camera 17 was mounted remotely on a different area of the airport property.

Images from the collection of cameras in this feed showed view of portions of runway 03/21 and the ramp area of the fixed base operator. Cameras 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 were oriented toward the southeast and showed the ramp area and the center portion of runway 03/21. Camera 17 faced southwest toward an aircraft parking area and a distant group of hangar structures on the boundary of the airport's property. The camera locations were evaluated in chronological order of the aircraft's appearance in each camera's field of view. The aircraft was first captured by camera 7 as it moved toward the departure end of runway 21, and last captured in camera 17 as it impacted the hangar structure. The aircraft was assumed to be on the centerline of runway 03/21 until it is out of view of camera 4.

Camera 7 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left corner of the frame as the cockpit area of the fuselage is shown behind an open hangar structure. Calculated average speed of the airplane was 82.5 knots.

Camera 8 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left corner of the frame as the cockpit area of the fuselage is shown in front of an open hangar door on the far side of runway 03/21. Calculated average groundspeed was 75.2 knots.

Camera 3 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left corner of the frame as the cockpit area of the fuselage is shown in front of the corner of a large hangar structure on the far side of runway 03/21. Calculated average groundspeed was 68.1 knots.

Camera 4 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left corner of the frame as the cockpit area of the fuselage is shown in front of the three chimney structure on the far side of runway 03/21. Calculated average groundspeed was 70.7 knots.

Camera 9 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left-hand corner of the recording as the fuselage is shown traveling down runway 03/21. Calculated average groundspeed was 79.0 knots.

Camera 17 - The aircraft first appears in the upper left-hand corner of the recording as the nose of the aircraft is shown veering towards a tarmac area between runway 03/21 and the intersection of Taxiway A1 and Taxiway A. A trajectory was estimated using photographs from the on-scene portion of the investigation which showed witness marks from the aircraft's tires as it moved toward the impact location. This trajectory was used to calculate the overall distance the aircraft traveled through the measurable segment. Calculated average groundspeed was 50.5 knots.

The accident aircraft's speed can be averaged throughout a portion of runway 03/21 that is not covered by security camera footage. An image from camera 9 in which the aircraft is shown passing behind a hangar structure near the FBO's ramp area at a recorded common timestamp and the nose of the accident aircraft appears 9.75 seconds later on camera 17. The calculated distance the airplane traveled was approximately 1,040 feet, providing an estimated average groundspeed of 63.2 knots.

The calculated average groundspeed for the airplane as it passed through the field of view of each camera in sequential order is summarized in the following table.

Camera 7 82.5 kts
Camera 8 75.2 kts
Camera 3 68.1 kts
Camera 4 70.7 kts
Camera 9 79.0 kts
Between 9 – 17 63.2 kts
Camera 17 50.5 kts



Exported still images from each camera position were examined to attempt to make a determination of the accident aircraft's flap position. The still images selected were the best examples of potential flap position recognition. Still images from cameras 7, 8, 3, 4, and 9, provided inconclusive results as to flap position. Camera 17 provided an image that showed the flaps deployed, however, the extent of flap deployment could not be quantified.

The complete Video Study Factual Report is available in the official docket of this investigation.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA430
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 29, 2013 in Santa Monica, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 525A, registration: N194SJ
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On September 29, 2013, at 1820 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 525A Citation, N194SJ, veered off the right side of runway 21 and collided with a hangar at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport, Santa Monica, California.  The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to CREX-MML LLC, and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated at Hailey, Idaho, about 1614. 
  
Witnesses reported observing the airplane make a normal approach and landing.  The airplane traveled down the right side of the runway, eventually veered off the runway, impacted the 1,000-foot runway distance remaining sign, continued to travel in a right-hand turn, and impacted a hangar structural post with the right wing.  The airplane came to rest inside the hangar and the damage to the hangar structure caused the roof to collapse onto the airplane. A post-accident fire quickly ensued. 
  
On-scene examination of the wreckage and runway revealed that there was no airplane debris on the runway. The three landing gear tires were inflated and exhibited no unusual wear patterns. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) control tower local controller reported that the pilot did not express over the radio any problems prior to or during the landing.

CREX-MML LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N194SJ


The parents of a young woman killed in the crash of a Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2 plane at Santa Monica Airport a year ago today are suing the heirs of the pilot of the aircraft, the aircraft’s manufacturer and three government entities.

Gary and Carole Winkler of Irvine, the father and mother of Lauren Winkler, filed the wrongful death suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the estate of Mark Benjamin, the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and Cessna Aircraft Co, maker of the 525A CitationJet CJ2 that crashed.

The suit seeks unspecified damages. Robert Given, the personal representative of the Benjamin estate, could not be immediately reached.

Killed in the crash that occurred about 6:20 p.m. Sept. 29, 2013, were Benjamin, 63, the president of a Santa Monica-based construction company; his son Lucas, 28; the 28-year-old Winkler, who was Lucas Benjamin’s girlfriend; and Kyla Dupont, 53.

According to the lawsuit, Benjamin negligently landed the aircraft in a “dangerous, unsafe and reckless manner” that caused it to veer right from the runway and hit a hangar. The suit also alleges Benjamin was “physically, mentally and emotionally unfit to operate” the plane.

The plane had possible problems, including its braking system, landing gears and thrust attenuators, all of which may have caused Benjamin to be unable to control the aircraft, the suit states.

The two cities and the county were jointly responsible for the runway being in a dangerous condition, which included the presence of rocks and other materials on the pavement, the suit states. There also was insufficient space for Benjamin to steer the aircraft until he regained control, the suit states.

The hangar struck by the plane was built too close to the runway to be safe, the complaint further alleges.

A report released last year by the National Transportation Safety Board found that all of the tires were inflated and there was no debris on the runway when the plane slammed into the hangar and burst into flames. The hangar collapsed onto the plane, which had taken off from Hailey, Idaho.

On Friday, the city of Santa Monica sued the Benjamin estate to recover more than $54,000 in cleanup costs associated with the crash. Last Nov. 4, three sons of Dupont also sued the Benjamin estate. Charles Dupont, Elliot Dupont and Jackson Dupont allege Benjamin failed to maintain proper control over the plane, did not act “reasonably in the ownership of the plane,” did not undertake the necessary actions to accomplish a safe flight, did not act reasonably in landing the plane and failed to keep it in good repair.


- Source:  http://westsidetoday.com

Pilot and three passengers were killed in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport on Sept. 29, 2013: Lauren Winkler, 28, top left; Mark Benjamin, 63, top right; Luke Benjamin, bottom left; Kyla Dupont, 53, bottom right.


September 26, 2014: Santa Monica City Files Lawsuit Against Crash-Pilot’s Heirs

The city of Santa Monica has filed a negligence suit against the heirs of the pilot of a small plane that crashed into the local airport and killed four people on  September 29, 2013.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the estate of Mark Benjamin as well as the Cessna 525A Citation’s owner, CREX-MML LLC. 

The suit seeks more than $54,000 in cleanup costs stemming from the crash.

According to the lawsuit, the city’s expenses related to the accident included removing plane debris from the runway, securing the site until the Santa Monica Fire Department finished its investigation and the conducting of testing to see whether hydrocarbons from the plane and chemicals from the fire suppressant foam seeped into the soil.

The suit alleges Benjamin negligently landed the aircraft by veering to the right side of the runway and striking some objects before hitting a hangar.

The complaint further alleges that the estate did not respond to a creditor’s claim filed April 17.

Robert Given, the personal representative of the Benjamin estate, could not be immediately reached.

Killed in the Sept. 29, 2013, crash were Benjamin, 63, the president of a Santa Monica-based construction company; his son Lucas, 28; Lucas Benjamin’s girlfriend, 28-year-old Lauren Winkler; and Kyla Dupont, 53.

A report released last year by the National Transportation Safety Board found that all of the tires were inflated and there was no debris on the runway when the plane slammed into the hangar and burst into flames. 


The hangar collapsed onto the plane, which had taken off from Hailey, Idaho.

Last Nov. 4, three sons of Dupont also sued the Benjamin estate. Charles Dupont, Elliot Dupont and Jackson Dupont allege Benjamin failed to maintain  proper control over the plane, did not act “reasonably in the ownership of the plane,” did not undertake the necessary actions to accomplish a safe flight, did not act reasonably in landing the plane and failed to keep it in good repair.


- Source:   http://westsidetoday.com


November 2013:  Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Filed In Santa Monica Plane Crash
 
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Three sons who lost their mother in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Tuesday against the estate of the aircraft’s pilot, alleging negligence.

Kyla Dupont, 53, was killed aboard a Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2 aircraft that went off the runway Sept. 29 before colliding with a runway sign and crashing into a hangar. The hangar collapsed on the plane, which then caught on fire. Authorities said the blaze, which spread to two nearby hangars, burned at unusually high temperatures due to jet fuel.

Kyla Dupont’s sons Charles Dupont, Elliot Dupont and Jackson Dupont brought the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the pilot failed to maintain proper control over the plane, did not undertake the necessary actions to achieve a safe flight, acted unreasonably in the landing of the plane and failed to maintain the aircraft with proper repairs.

Mark Benjamin, the 63-year-old president of Santa Monica-based construction company Morley Builders, was believed to be at the controls at the time of the crash. The passengers were returning from a trip to Hailey, Idaho.

Benjamin’s 28-year-old son Lucas and 28-year-old Lauren Winkler, Lucas’ girlfriend,  were also killed in the crash.

The suit seeks unspecified damages from the estate of Mark Benjamin and Malibu-based MML Investments LLC, a real estate and aircraft management company. A representative for the Benjamin estate could not be reached for comment.

The cause of the crash remains unclear. A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation found no debris on the runway at the time of the crash and said all four of the aircraft’s tires were inflated upon landing.

At the time of the crash, NTSB officials said the pilot never contacted authorities stating there was a problem.

Source:   http://losangeles.cbslocal.com



 


 


Engines and wings are part of two loads of damaged aircraft hauled away from Santa Monica Airport.  Santa Monica Airport Operations Administrator Stelios Makrides said the trucks contained the Cessna jet that crashed Sunday and a prop plane that was burned when the jet hit a storage hangar at the airport.