Monday, October 13, 2014

Jet Airways' endless troubles: Three pilots found holding expired line check certificates

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways' troubles with documentation of pilot records and licenses doesn't seem to be ending. The airline has now found that some pilots have been flying without valid annual line check certificates.

An internal check by Jet Airways has discovered that three pilots' certificates had expired, prompting airline officials to raise the alarm. "This is not just a safety issue and the fear is that there may be many more such pilots flying with the airline," said a Jet Airways executive with knowledge of the matter.

Line check certification is a process by which a pilot's flying is monitored by a trainer sitting in the cockpit through a flight to ensure that all defined norms are followed in letter and spirit. During the flight, pilots are expected to use their best judgment, even under unusual circumstances, and have to convince the trainer of their abilities. A mistake by the pilot would warrant further training.

Failure to renew line check certificates of pilots could attract punishment as stringent as grounding of the airline, which experts say could be held responsible for the lapse. An e-mail sent to Jet Airways last Friday and a reminder sent on Monday did not elicit any response at the time of going to print. Jet Airways, controlled by founder and Chairman Naresh Goyal, has about 1,100 pilots. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways owns a 24% stake in Jet.

"This is an airline's fault much more than the pilots'. In such cases, the airline could be grounded, according to the rules," said Mohan Ranganathan, a former member of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's safety committee.

Of the three pilots with expired annual line check certificates, two had done their line check flights with pilots who were not trainers. The validity of the third pilot's certificate had been wrongly entered, violating line check norms.

"It cannot be termed a mistake if such problems are recurring. It is a lapse on the part of the operational management team of the airline. All the details of training and check of pilots are computerized and it is highly unlikely that someone can miss it. So, either it was fed into the computers incorrectly or it was overlooked," said Shakti Lumba, a former vice-president with Air India and IndiGo.

During a recent training audit on Jet Airways, the DGCA found 131 pilots flying with lapsed proficiency check certificates, which are to be renewed twice a year. The audit was ordered after a Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 ER (Extended Range) operating between Mumbai and Brussels plunged 5,000 feet from an altitude of 34,000 feet.

The audit report had said the airline faces a severe shortage of trainers across its ATR and Boeing fleets.

- Source:

American Airlines Jet Makes Emergency Landing At San Francisco International Airport (KSFO) After Losing Cabin Pressure

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBS SF) — An American Airlines which departed San Francisco International Airport Monday had to turn around and make an emergency landing at SFO after losing cabin pressure, according to airport authorities.

American flight 2293 bound for Dallas-Fort Worth returned to SFO at 2:22 p.m. Monday after departing at 1:16 p.m., according to FlightAware. Oxygen masks aboard the Boeing 757-200 did not deploy, the airport duty manager said.

The caption on an image posted on Twitter claims the plane’s interior walls began buckling after takeoff.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told Bay City News Service the agency would work with the airline to determine the problem before the plane flies again.

There were no reports of injuries.

Story,  Comments and Photo:

Lawsuit against Evergreen Helicopters over deadly Peruvian crash will play out in Oregon

A lawsuit brought against Evergreen Helicopters Inc. by survivors of eight Peruvians killed in a 2008 helicopter crash will play out in Oregon courts rather than in Peru, where the crash occurred. 

Last week's decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals is a loss for Evergreen — now a subsidiary of Portland-based Erickson Inc. — after winning an earlier lower-court victory when Multnomah Circuit Court granted its motions to dismiss the suit saying Peru was the more convenient forum to litigate the case.

The estates of the eight Peruvian victims appealed, calling Oregon the proper venue. Plaintiffs allege the company at the time failed to properly maintain the helicopter, train and supervise flight crews, navigate the aircraft in a safe and competent manner and failed to take all emergency measures.

Evergreen acquired the helicopter through a sublease and in turn leased it to the Canadian subsidiary of Helinka, a Peruvian company, which then subleased it for use in Peru. As part of the legal agreement, Evergreen provided pilots and maintenance personnel to work in Peru. The lead pilot on the day of the crash was an Evergreen employee.

The crash killed 10 people, including the eight Peruvians and two crew members.

The appeals court said the lower court erred and remanded the case back.

At the time of the crash, Evergreen Helicopters was a division of McMinnville-based Evergreen International Aviation, which went bankrupt last year. The Evergreen helicopter business was sold in March 2013 to Erickson, a Portland-based helicopter services company, in a $250 million deal.

Plaintiffs in the case are represented by Richard S. Yugler, Robert B. Hopkins, Matthew K. Clarke, and Landye Bennett of Blumstein LLP, who served as co-counsel with Slack & Davis on this case.

The case is Espinoza et. al. v. Evergreen Helicopters Inc.

- Source:
NTSB Identification: NYC08WA131
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 11, 2008 in Santa Cruz, Peru
Aircraft: Bell 412EP, registration: N417EV
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On March 3, 2008, about 1120 Peruvian local time, a Bell 412EP, N417EV, owned by Evergreen Helicopters, Incorporated, and operated by Helinka S.A.C., was destroyed when it impacted remote, mountainous terrain about 10 nautical miles west of Santa Cruz, Cajamarca, Peru. The United States certificated airline transport pilot, the Peruvian provisional co-pilot, and 10 passengers were fatally injured. Meteorological conditions at the time of the accident were unknown. The helicopter was operating on a company visual flight rules flight plan under Peruvian flight regulations.

According to information released by the Peruvian government, the helicopter was transporting eight miners from the Rio Tinto mine to Chiclayo. The helicopter impacted a mountainside about 3,500 feet above sea level, and was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The accident occurred in the vicinity of 6 degrees, 38 minutes south latitude, 79 degrees, 10.5 minutes west longitude.

The investigation is under the direction of the Republic of Peru.

For further information, contact:

Comision de Investigacion de Accidentes de Aviacion (CIAA)
Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil
Avenida Jiron Zorritos 1203 / Lima 1 Peru Central: 6157800

Tel: ( 511 ) 315 - 7800

This report is for informational purposes only, and only contains information that was released by or obtained from the Republic of Peru.

Mooney M20F Executive, N3529X: Incident occurred October 13, 2014 at Marina Municipal Airport (KOAR), California

A plane crash-landed at the Marina Municipal Airport this morning after its landing gear malfunctioned.

Just after 9am, officials from Marina Police and Fire Departments arrived at the airport along with American Medical Response to a report of a crashed plane. Emergency personnel found a Mooney M20F Executive aircraft on the runway without its landing gear properly working and the plane’s belly touching the ground.

According to a press release from the Marina Fire Department, the pilot was out of the plane when emergency responders arrived, and was not injured. He told officials that the landing gear collapsed while on the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and the plane was brought off the runway.

- Source:


American Legend AL3, N167J LLC, N167J: Accident occurred October 11, 2014 at Mulino State Airport (4S9), Mulino, Oregon

N167J LLC: 

 NTSB Identification: WPR15CA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 2014 in Mulino, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2014
Aircraft: AMERICAN LEGEND AIRCRAFT CO AL3, registration: N167J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot stated that he was giving airplane rides to some of his son's teenage friends. He departed the airport with the passenger in the back seat and he allowed the passenger to control the airplane off and on in flight before returning to the airport. The pilot allowed the passenger to fly the airplane around the pattern; the pilot would then take control and accomplish a touch-and-go. They did this three times. During the last approach the pilot took control and put in a left slip to establish the glide slope. As he approached 30 feet above ground level, he attempted to level the wings and neutralize the rudder, however, he could not take out the right rudder input and the airplane continued into a right bank. The pilot added power and continued in a right-hand bank, but could not neutralize the controls. As the airplane came around 360 degrees he reduced the power, and decided to attempt a landing while over the runway. During the landing the right wing tip dragged, then the right balloon tire touched down, and the airplane translated sideways, collapsing the landing gear and nosing over. The wings and vertical stabilizer were substantially damaged. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no control abnormalities that would have precluded the normal control and operation of the airplane. The passenger does not recall being in a position where he could have interfered with the controls.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of aircraft control during approach for landing for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.


MULINO – A small plane flipped onto its top during while landing at Mulino State Airport Saturday, but the pilot and his passenger walked away, uninjured.

The crash landing is under investigation by the National Traffic Safety Board.

Lt. Mike Everhart of the Molalla Fire District said the pilot told firefighters he was in the process of landing his American Legend AL3, executing a forward slip to drop altitude, around 4 p.m., when the controls froze. The pilot then was unable to straighten out the plane. The right wing and landing gear hit the ground first, flipping the plane onto its top.

Everhart said the pilot, John P. Takacs of Southeast Portland, and his passenger were uninjured.

Everhart said firefighters made sure the plane posed no danger, then secured the scene for federal investigators.

Story, Comments and Photo:

Battery Fires on Planes Spur New Proposals • Experts Recommend Inserting Cooling Agents Between Power Packs, Lowering Electrical-Charge Levels

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

Oct. 13, 2014 2:55 p.m. ET

An international team of aviation-safety experts has called for sweeping changes in packaging and other safeguards to limit the fire hazard posed by bulk shipments of lithium batteries on commercial planes.

The safety recommendations—urging wide-ranging revisions of existing practices—were approved last month by an advisory panel to the International Civil Aviation Organization, in the latest sign of growing industry worries about such dangers to aircraft. ICAO, as the body is known, is an arm of the United Nations.

The proposals, which haven’t been reported before, set the stage for major battles pitting pilot unions and other advocates of change against battery makers—a fast-growing global industry that annually churns out billions of cells and generates an estimated $12 billion in revenue from rechargeable batteries alone.

Going further than previous international efforts, the move was spurred partly by new research in the U.S. showing that various types of lithium batteries, once they catch fire in the bellies of jetliners, can be more hazardous than previously thought as the blaze jumps from one package to the next in a chain reaction. Batteries can catch fire due to internal short-circuit, puncture or some other type of damage.

Seeking to prevent potentially rapid spread of heat and flames in bulk shipments of lithium batteries carried by cargo and passenger airliners world-wide, the ICAO panel called for inserting gels or other types of cooling agents between batteries or power packs. If adopted, the changes would lead to higher costs and extra weight for shippers.

The recommendations also urge further reductions in the level of electrical charge inside lithium-ion batteries slated for airborne shipments—one more way to reduce flammability and possible explosions. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are widely used to power cellphones, laptops, personal electronic devices, power tools and other digital gadgets.

The proposals are slated to be considered later this month by a decision-making group of ICAO. The focus is on bulk shipments of batteries or power packs, not batteries carried by individual passengers. A final decision and implementation could take years.

In June, ICAO prohibited all passenger planes from carrying lithium-metal batteries, which aren’t rechargeable and are often used in toys and cameras. They are considered the most fire-prone type of lithium batteries. The ban takes effect in January.

But details of the latest recommendations are likely to spark more controversy. “They are new, they’re broad and very comprehensive,” according to George Kerchner, executive director of the Rechargeable Battery Association. In an interview Sunday, he said ICAO “is setting the table for the next two to four years” of intense discussion with industry.

Mr. Kerchner said it was too early to comment on specifics, adding that his members look forward to working with ICAO and outside experts.

In the past, battery manufacturers and their trade groups have said existing packaging and labeling requirements—combined with ICAO-mandated quality controls at the factory—provide adequate protections. Some of the same officials also have said that across-the-board requirements to ship lithium-ion batteries with no more than 30% of their maximum charge—as the panel of experts recommended—could damage some power packs by reducing their ultimate useful life, and may be inappropriate for certain medical and military applications in which there isn’t time to fully recharge.

Lithium batteries have been implicated in intense, quickly spreading fires that brought down two jumbo freighters—and ravaged another big cargo jet on the ground—during the past eight years. Investigators from the United Arab Emirates determined that a United Parcel Service Inc. Boeing 747 crashed in Dubai in 2010, killing both pilots, after a fire started in a section of the main deck containing lithium batteries and other combustible materials. Less than three minutes after the initial warning to the crew, flight controls were severely damaged. The cockpit quickly filled with so much smoke that the pilots couldn’t monitor their instruments, change radio frequencies or see anything inside or outside.

In the U.S., makers of batteries, electronic devices and joined forces years ago to scuttle proposals by the Federal Aviation Administration to limit the total number of lithium batteries carried by planes. The concerted opposition, including retail organizations, likewise beat back plans for tough new restrictions on where batteries could be placed on cargo aircraft. FAA rules already ban all lithium-metal battery shipments on passenger jets, though they are allowed in other parts of the world.

But now, ICAO officials appear to be pursuing what appears to be a more ambitious agenda covering rechargeable lithium-ion versions, as well. Experts are considering everything from potential changes in cargo compartment liners to revised fire-suppression techniques. A blaze involving “significant quantities of lithium batteries…could lead to a catastrophic failure of the airframe,” according to a summary of the September meeting.

To avoid so-called “thermal runaway” conditions that can mean temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the experts want aviation regulators to broadly reassess design standards for aircraft when it comes to transporting batteries and various types of hazardous goods.

Documents reviewed by the expert panel before making its recommendations last month highlight that issue. European plane maker Airbus Group NV submitted a position paper concluding that current packaging requirements fail to reflect airplane limitations and “current aircraft certification standards do not address changing industry market needs.” The situation “has shown a clear need for improvements,” according to Airbus. A company spokesman didn’t have any immediate comment.

A spokesman for Boeing Co., which also participated in last month’s deliberations, declined to comment.

During the summer, Nancy Graham, ICAO’s top safety official, signaled the impending debate by saying lithium-battery safety was “a big issue” and the industry needed to help regulators understand and quantify the risks. The agenda for ICAO’s next meeting on the subject, starting Oct. 20 in Rio de Janeiro, indicates that ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel also will consider recommendations from U.A.E. accident investigators. Their final report on the UPS crash, among other things, urged enhanced fire-suppression systems for cargo jets, reclassification of lithium batteries into a different category of hazardous materials and mandatory limits on the number of batteries that can be transported by a single aircraft.

The UPS Boeing 747 had more than 80,000 batteries onboard. Ground tests with a substantially smaller load of lithium-metal batteries showed conventional firefighting chemicals can’t control such a blaze. Separate tests with a similar quantity of lithium-ion batteries resulted in an explosion that spewed burning remnants some 150 feet.

During an industry conference in August, Gus Sarkos, manager of the FAA’s fire-safety branch, showed videos of attempts to put out battery fires in test conditions, and told attendees “the more testing we do, the more concerned we are about these dangers.”

- Story  ►

Beech 35, N2923C: Incident occurred October 13, 2014 at New Bedford Regional Airport (KEWB), Massachusetts

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an issue with a small plane in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  

No one was injured in the incident, fire officials told NECN. The FAA confirmed that the pilot was the only person on board.

The fixed-wing, single-engine plane is registered to Alexander Paiva of Bristol, Rhode Island.

Officials could not confirm the nature of the incident, but New Bedford Fire said that reports indicate that it was minor.

- Source:


Two Air France pilots asleep before crash which killed 228 as one woke to say '**** we're dead'

Horrific final details of the final minutes of the doomed jumbo were revealed before it plunged into the sea off Brazil

Two out of three Air France pilots were sleeping minutes before one shouted 'F***: we're dead!' and their plane plunged into the sea with the loss of all 228 people on board.

Horrific details of the last moments of Flight 447, which claimed the lives of five Britons and three Irish doctors, have emerged in a disturbing new investigation into the 2009 disaster involving an Airbus 330.

Published in the October edition of Vanity Fair magazine, it raises terrifying questions about safety aboard civilian passenger jets, and the 'culture' of the Air France pilots on board.

Excerpts from recorded conversations between 37-year-old David Robert, Pierre-Cedric Bonin, 32, and Marc Dubois, the 58-year-old captain of the plane, reveal that two of them were asleep when the plane got into difficulty in a tropical storm.

Referring to Bonin, a 'Company Baby' on the Rio de Janeiro-Paris flight, the piece reads: 'With most of the weather still lying ahead and an anxious junior pilot at the controls, Dubois decided it was time to get some sleep.'

Chief investigator Alain Bouillard is quoted as saying: 'If the captain had stayed in position through the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone, it would have delayed his sleep by no more than 15 minutes, and because of his experience, maybe the story would have ended differently.

Read more here:

NTSB Identification: DCA09RA052 
Accident occurred Monday, June 01, 2009 in Atlantic, France
Aircraft: AIRBUS A330, registration:
Injuries: 228 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

At approximately 0220 UTC Air France flight 447, an Airbus A330, registration F-GZCP, en route from Rio de Janerio, Brazil to Paris, France lost contact with ATC over the Atlantic Ocean. Automatic maintenance messages were recieved, and some wreckage has been recovered. Strong convective weather was in the vicinity. The investigation is being led by the French Bureau d’EnquĂȘtes et d’Analyses (BEA) The US NTSB is participating as the State of Manufacture of the General Electric engines.

For information see

Woolpert helps in search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham

Woolpert Inc. has joined in efforts to search for a missing Virginia student.

The Beavercreek firm volunteered to assist in the search for University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, 18, who disappeared Sept. 13.

Last weekend, Woolpert flew a small aircraft over rural areas of Virginia to aid law enforcement in the search.

Last weekend, the surveying and geospatial analysis company flew a small aircraft over rural areas of Virginia to aid law enforcement in the search. Woolpert has several branch offices in Virginia.

“To assist the ongoing Search and Rescue (SAR) team attempting to locate Hannah Graham, Woolpert Inc. ... has donated the use of its high-tech planes and cameras used for mapping and surveying to capture the latest and most up-to-date, high definition imagery for the search,” the company said in a statement.

The Associated Press reports that BAE Systems donated employees to examine the aerial images this week.

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. has been charged with abduction with intent to defile in relation to the case, AP reports.

Woolpert has more than 600 total employees, including 235 in the Dayton region.

- Source:

Thomas Cook flight forced to make emergency landing at Manchester Airport after plane began 'creaking like mad' due to technical fault

Holidaymakers went through some tense moments on Monday morning when a Thomas Cook plane made an emergency landing after passengers say it began ‘creaking like mad’ due to a technical fault.

The pilot was forced to abort the four-hour journey to Dalaman, Turkey, and return to Manchester Airport shortly after the Boeing 767 took off around 7.15am.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said the plane, carrying 278 passengers, turned around as a precaution because it suffered an unexpected hydraulic fault on one of three systems on board.

One of the passengers, who tweets for the account for J Smith Joinery, a home improvement and maintenance firm in Bolton, wrote: ‘New this plane was FOOKED!! Took off, plane creaking like mad, got near London and the pilot announced "we need to turn around and return to Manchester DUE TO A TECHNICAL FAULT!" [sic]

The person then tweeted: ‘JESUS CHRIST!!! Just made emergency landing!!!’

Passenger Matthew Brierley tweeted: 'Slightly worried when fire brigade is waiting on runway for your plane to arrive!'

Flight data reveal that the plane, which reportedly had a hydraulic problem, turned around in the skies near Northampton and circled over Peak District National Park, southeast of Manchester, to burn off fuel.

The plane landed safely around 8.15am and was towed off the runway. The Thomas Cook spokesperson said that is normal procedure for such a fault.

The spokesperson added: ‘We can confirm that flight TCX2534 from Manchester to Dalaman landed normally after a priority landing was requested by the captain.

‘We'd like to apologize to our customers for the delay to their flight today. Returning the aircraft to Manchester allowed our engineers to inspect the aircraft quickly and we've now been able to ensure our customers can start their holiday as soon as possible on a replacement aircraft.’ 

Story, Comments and Photos:

Federal Aviation Administration Restores Air-Traffic Control Operations at Center Near Chicago • Aurora Center Had Been Knocked Out of Action September 26 by Fire

The Wall Street Journal

By Susan Carey

October 13, 2014 8:09 a.m. ET

CHICAGO—The Federal Aviation Administration said it has restored full air-traffic operations at the high-altitude facility in suburban Aurora, Ill., that was knocked out of action on Sept. 26 by a fire allegedly set by an FAA contractor who now is in federal custody.

FAA teams finished restoring all of the critical systems and equipment at the center Sunday night, after more than two weeks of work, and a full shift of controllers returned to the facility and resumed their normal positions, the agency said. Nearly 200 workers from the Aurora site had been temporarily stationed in other air-traffic control centers nearby, divvying up the airspace responsibilities the Chicago En Route Center normally handled. They will return from those locations on Monday, the FAA said.

The outage of the center, which handles high-altitude air traffic heading to and from Chicago or traveling through the airspace covering parts of seven states in the Midwest, initially led to a high number of airline cancellations and delays as the FAA moved to spread the work out to other facilities. But in the days that followed the incident, the agency said it was able to recover, with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the nation’s second busiest, handling more flights than any other airport in the country on 11 days during the past 14. Midway Airport flight activities also returned to near-normal levels.

The FAA had to restore and test more than 20 racks of equipment, 835 telecommunications circuits and more than 10 miles of cable at the Aurora facility. FAA test pilots helped air-traffic controllers test more than 100 radio frequencies they use to communicate with pilots. The FAA said technical teams will remain at Aurora Monday to monitor system performance and ensure a smooth transition. The weather forecast for the Chicago area Monday calls for rain and possible thunderstorms.

The agency also said it is conducting a 30-day review of contingency plans and security protocols at its major facilities because of the event. According to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Sept. 26, Brian Howard, who worked at the Aurora center for eight years for FAA contractor Harris Corp., went to the facility about 5 a.m., used his access card to enter, set fire to telecommunications cables and attempted to take his life with a knife. The Naperville, Ill., resident, age 36, has recovered from his injuries and is in detention. He is charged with one felony count of destruction of aircraft facilities, and, if convicted, faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

At a brief court hearing on Sept. 29, Mr. Howard’s lawyer, Ronald Safer, said his client is “deeply troubled” and made “a tragic mistake.”

 - Source ►

Gulfstream to Unveil New Secret Jet • Little Is Known About New Plane, Code-Named ‘P42,’ Whose Mere Existence Hasn’t Been Confirmed

The Wall Street Journal
By Jon Ostrower

Oct. 12, 2014 8:06 p.m. ET

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will unveil a new business jet on Tuesday that has been developed with the kind of secrecy typically reserved for a military spy plane or the latest smartphone.

The cloak around the project even led one Wall Street analyst to scrutinize satellite photos of Gulfstream’s Savannah, Ga. production facility for clues, highlighting the financial importance to parent General Dynamics Corp. of the project, code-named P42.

Gulfstream has become a master of building high-end business jets in secret, unveiling its flagship G650 and the smaller G280 well after it started manufacturing the first planes. The approach has helped it become the global market leader by revenue.

Keeping secrets in the civil aerospace business is a considerable challenge. Cutting-edge engineering can create complex supply chains, and the industry attracts intense regulatory oversight. Social networks and ubiquitous digital media have made keeping P42’s secret more challenging than for previous projects.

Historically, Gulfstream has kept a tight circle of suppliers that have worked on each new program and kept the flow of information scarce. Analysts believe that much of the technology inside P42 was pioneered on the G650, which was introduced in 2012 and can fly up to 18 passengers or travel 7,000 nautical miles—the longest range for any business jet currently in service.

Gulfstream hasn’t acknowledged it will unveil its latest jet this week, let alone the project’s existence with a nondescript invitation for media and analysts to its Tuesday announcement, but several people familiar with the project confirmed it would involve the new plane.

New large-cabin jets that can span oceans and fly thousands of miles are the new sweet spot of a business-jet market that is still in recovery mode after the financial crisis. Annual sales nearly halved from their 2008 peak in 2012, and they only slightly rebounded last year.

Gulfstream’s new jet has been developed from scratch to eventually replace its best-selling G550 model and later the smaller G450, said multiple people familiar with its plans.

The new family of jets will be powered by a new engine made by Pratt & Whitney Canada, said the people. The unit of United Technologies Corp. beat out incumbent supplier Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, they said.

One semiofficial acknowledgment of the jet’s development was found in a 2012 European Commission decision document on the merger between United Technologies Corp. and Goodrich Corp. that detailed the companies’ active projects, including the P42.

There have been other clues. LinkedIn profiles of those working at suppliers have listed the P42 project in their professional histories and a Pratt & Whitney-owned Boeing 747 test airplane was flown with a mysterious business jet-sized engine during the summer of 2013.

While the project has been known as the “worst-kept secret in aerospace,” wrote one analyst, few details about the new jet are known outside of Gulfstream, and exactly what the jet will be called remains unknown. The company has trademarked dozens of possible “G” permutations.

The P42 moniker is expected to be shed at an unveiling at its Savannah plant which quietly expanded its manufacturing footprint by an estimated 2 million square feet to prepare for the project, according to Jefferies & Co. analyst Howard Rubel, who wrote that satellite photos of the Georgia factory indicated the new jets were on the horizon.

General Dynamics, which bought Gulfstream in 1999 for $4.8 billion, has never acknowledged any specific development effort, previously saying that it would only announce a project when it was significantly close to being ready to fly. Analysts anticipate deliveries to begin as early as late 2015, but Gulfstream’s two most-recent models only started delivering nearly three years after first flying, because of the intensive certification effort and meticulous completion of the bespoke buyer interiors.

A Gulfstream spokesman declined to comment.

So-called Super Large and Long Range business jets have evolved into highflying hotel suites and Gulfstream is one of a trio of manufacturers designing purpose-built jets to fight for the attention of corporate flight departments and the globe-hopping ultrawealthy. Convertible sleeping berths, kitchens, onboard showers, satellite Wi-Fi Internet and the ability to fly nonstop for up to 15 hours, have lead the modest revival for products whose sales were decimated during the global recession.

These largest new and updated models from Gulfstream, Bombardier Inc. and Dassault Aviation SA have helped push these three manufacturers’ deliveries for the biggest and longest-range aircraft up 30% since 2012, largely led by Gulfstream.

The P42 jets will aim right for this Super Large-cabin jet market, but for customers who may not need the endurance of Gulfstream’s new $66.5 million G650ER, which can fly 7,500 nautical miles—connecting Hong Kong to New York nonstop—and enters service next year.

Analysts anticipate the P42 will fly around 5,000 nautical miles, but Gulfstream has historically under-promoted the performance of its jets as range has been the must-have feature for new buyers. The G650, certified in 2012, was able to fly 6,000 nautical miles cruising at nine-tenths the speed of sound, 1,000 nautical miles farther than first advertised when the project was unveiled in 2008. The pair of aircraft P42 will replace—the G550 and G450—have ranges of 6,750 and 4,350 nautical miles, respectively.

General Dynamics, which reports third quarter earnings on Oct. 22, has been the best-performing aerospace and defense stock this year, up 27% to date versus a 6% rise for defense stocks and a 5% decline for commercial aerospace companies, which analysts largely attribute to Gulfstream’s growth and rising profits from the G650 jet.

Tuesday’s planned jet launch and increased G650 production are moving the company closer to a tipping point where more than half its profits are generated from commercial markets—a first for the world’s fifth-largest defense contractor by revenue.

—Doug Cameron contributed to this article.

- Source ►

Beechcraft 58 Baron, N31EW, ARC Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred October 12, 2014 in Palos Hills, Illinois  

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Palos Hills, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/02/2016
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY 58, registration: N31EW
Injuries: 3 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 and two passengers departed in the multiengine airplane from a controlled airport under night, marginal visual flight rules conditions for a personal flight. Radar data showed the airplane climb to about 2,200 ft mean sea level (msl). At this altitude and when the airplane was about 3 nautical miles (nm) from the airport, it began a descending left turn, followed by a right turn, losing about 700 ft of altitude during this time. The airplane then began a climbing left turn. The left turn continued while its radius decreased until the end of the recorded data. During the final left turn, the airplane initially climbed about 400 ft, descended about 400 ft, and then climbed again about 1,300 ft before reaching its peak altitude of 2,800 ft msl. The final recorded radar point was 0.1 nm from the accident site, and the calculated descent rate between the final two radar points was more than 5,000 ft per minute. Postaccident examinations of the airframe, engines, and propellers, revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane’s avionics and instruments could not be functionally tested due to the extent of the impact damage.

The recorded weather conditions at the destination airport, located about 6 miles from the accident site, at the time of the accident included a broken ceiling at 1,000 ft above ground level (agl), an overcast ceiling at 1,700 ft agl, and visibility of 6 miles with mist. The radar data indicated that the airplane penetrated the cloud layers during the accident flight. The pilot held the appropriate certificates and ratings for operation of the multiengine airplane in instrument conditions, but no clearance had been issued for operation in instrument meteorological conditions. The weather and light conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the development of spatial disorientation. Further, the flightpath, which was not consistent with the intended course; the airplane’s repeated climbs and descents; and the loss of airplane control and high-speed impact were consistent with the known effects of spatial disorientation. Based on this evidence, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation after the airplane entered the clouds at night, which led to his failure to maintain airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation while operating in night, instrument meteorological conditions.


On October 12, 2014, about 2240 central daylight time, a Beechcraft model 58 airplane, N31EW, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain in Palos Hills, Illinois. The private rated pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to ARC Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Marginal night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated about 2235 from the Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois, and was en route to the Lawrence Municipal Airport, Lawrence, Kansas.

Radar track data showed that the airplane departed runway 22L at MDW and began climbing on runway heading (220 degrees). At 2238:01, the airplane had accelerated to a computed groundspeed of about 130 knots and climbed to an altitude of about 2,200 ft above mean sea level (msl). After reaching this altitude, when the airplane was about 3 nautical miles (nm) from MDW, the airplane then began accelerating and descending as it turned about 20 degrees to the left to a heading of 200 degrees, which was followed immediately by a turn to the right. By 2238:38, when the airplane was about 4.8 nm from MDW, the airplane had descended about 700 ft to an altitude of 1,500 ft msl. The airplane then began climbing. As the climb was initiated, a left turn was also initiated. The left turn continued while the radius of the turn decreased until the end of the radar data. During the final left turn, the airplane initially climbed about 400 ft, descended about 400 ft, and then climbed again about 1,300 ft before reaching a peak altitude of 2,800 ft msl at 2239:24. At this time the airplane was about 5.9 nm from MDW and about 0.1 nm from the accident site. The final radar data point was at 2239:29 at a recorded altitude of 2,400 ft. The final radar data point was located within 0.1 miles of the accident site, and about 6 nm southwest of MDW. The calculated rate of descent between the final two radar points exceeded 5,000 ft per minute.


The pilot, age 33, held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a third class airman medical certificate that was issued on January 31, 2012. The medical certificate listed no limitations.

Pilot logbook information recovered during the investigation revealed that the pilot received his multiengine rating on February 2, 2014. The records indicated that the pilot had accumulated 417.6 hours of total flight experience, including 114.4 hours of multiengine experience. Review of the records indicated that the multiengine experience included 11.5 hours of training, 7.9 hours of simulated instrument experience, 21.1 hours of actual instrument experience, and 25 hours of night flight experience.


The accident airplane was a Beechcraft model 58 airplane, serial number TH-1939. It was a six-seat twin-engine monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was powered by two 300 horsepower Continental IO-550-C six cylinder, reciprocating engines.

According to maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was performed on May 12, 2014 and both engines had been overhauled during the annual inspection. At the time of the annual inspection the airframe had accumulated 1778.2 hours total time in service. The most recent maintenance action was performed on October 8, 2014, and the airplane had accumulated 1869.1 hours total time in service as of that date. 


Weather conditions recorded by the MDW Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located about 6 miles northeast of the accident site, at 2153, were: wind from 160 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds at 1,700 ft above ground level (agl), temperature 16 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.

At 2238, the MDW weather was: wind from 170 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 6 miles with mist, broken clouds at 1,000 ft agl, overcast clouds at 1,700 ft agl, temperature 15 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.89 inches of mercury.

The Aeronautical Information Manual defines marginal VFR weather conditions as ceilings from 1,000 to 3,000 ft agl and/or visibility 3 to 5 miles inclusive.


At 2228, the pilot contacted MDW controllers to obtain an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance. The controller was not able to access the flight plan information and requested that the pilot provide him the information by radio transmission. The pilot queried the controller asking if it would be easier to take off under visual flight rules (VFR). The controller informed the pilot that if departing under VFR, he would only need the aircraft type information and the desired direction of flight. The pilot elected to provide the information and received a VFR clearance to depart MDW. Controllers then issued taxi instructions to the pilot.

At 2234:35, the pilot contacted the MDW control tower and stated that he was holding short of runway 22L and requested a VFR departure. At 2234:44, the tower controller issued the current wind condition and cleared the airplane for takeoff. Over the next 4 minutes there were several routine communications between the accident pilot and the MDW tower controller. During these communications, the pilot did not inform the controller of any airplane difficulties. At 2240:21, the tower controller attempted to call the accident airplane due to a loss of radar contact but there was no response. Several more attempts were made but no further communications were received from the accident airplane.

During communications between the pilot and controllers, no clearance for flight in instrument conditions was authorized.


The Midway International Airport, located in Chicago, Illinois, had five runways and an operating control tower. Three of the runways, 31L/13R, 31C/13C, 31R/13L, were oriented in a northwest/southeast direction. The remaining two runways, 4L/22R, 4R/22L, were oriented in a northeast/southwest direction. The accident airplane used runway 22L which was a 6,445 ft long hard surfaced runway.

The airport had multiple radio frequencies in use at the time of the accident. During the final portion of the flight, the MDW tower was in communication with the accident airplane. The airport elevation was 620 ft msl.


The airplane impacted trees and terrain in a residential area 6 nm southwest of MDW. Several tree branches exhibited clean cuts consistent with propeller impact and engine power production. Some of the cut branches were about 4 inches in diameter. The initial impact point was about 20 ft north of a house on the neighboring lot. The house and a sport utility vehicle parked in the driveway sustained damage from flying debris. The entire airplane was crushed and fragmented. All of the major airframe pieces were contained within the wreckage distribution path that extended to the southeast, across the street and into the front yards of the houses on the opposite side of the street. Most of the wreckage was located at the initial impact point with smaller pieces of debris scattered along the wreckage path. The proximity of the initial impact point with the surrounding trees was consistent with a near vertical impact. The entire fuselage was crushed and almost unrecognizable. The right engine propeller was about 1 ft below ground level and the engine crankshaft had fractured at the propeller hub. The engine was lying on the ground. The left engine was buried in the ground and the propeller was about 2 to 2-1/2 ft below ground level. The propeller was still attached to the engine. A cage for an air operated gyroscopic instrument was found among the wreckage debris. The circular bore of the cage contained rotational scoring that was consistent with operation at the time of impact. The wreckage was recovered and relocated to a storage facility for further examination.

A partial layout of the main airframe pieces was accomplished. All of the major airframe parts and flight controls were confirmed to be present during the layout. The main landing gear was retracted in the wheel wells. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the aft fuselage. The rudder had separated with the mid and upper hinges and the rudder trim tab remained attached to the rudder. The rudder balance weight had separated. The right horizontal stabilizer remained attached to aft fuselage with the right elevator still attached. The right elevator trim tab remained attached and the right elevator balance weight remained partially attached. The right elevator torque arm remained attached with the control rod still attached. The left horizontal stabilizer remained partially attached to the aft fuselage. The outboard horizontal stabilizer had separated. The left elevator had separated and was torn into two main pieces. The left elevator trim tab remained attached and the left elevator balance weight had separated. The left elevator torque arm remained attached with the aft portion of the control rod still attached. The right wing had fragmented in multiple locations and the right flap had separated into two main pieces which remained attached. The right aileron had fragmented and a portion remained attached to the wing. The right wing tip had separated and was impact damaged with the fuel cap still attached. The left wing was impact damaged with the left outer wing and tip separated at mid aileron. The left inboard aileron remained attached with the aileron trim tab still attached. The cockpit exhibited substantial crushing damage.

The airplane's flight control cable system was examined and control cable continuity was verified from all control surfaces to the cabin area of the airplane. Due to the amount of damage to the cockpit, verification of yoke and rudder pedal continuity was not possible. All of the identified breaks in the airplane control system were consistent with impact damage or recovery efforts. 

The left engine was impact damaged with one magneto separated. The propeller hub remained attached and all three propeller blades had separated near the blade roots. One blade tip had separated. The right engine was impact damaged and the right propeller had separated with the propeller flange. One propeller blade separated and was not observed. The on-scene engine examination consisted of removal of cowling and airframe components to enable shipping for further examination at the manufacturer's facility, and a borescope examination of the cylinders. The borescope examination did not reveal any anomalies.

Functional testing of the airplane's flight instruments, avionics, and autopilot system was not possible due to the extent of the damage incurred during the impact.

During a subsequent examination, the left propeller was disassembled and no evidence of preimpact malfunction or failure was detected. It was not possible to determine the impact blade angle from impact witness marks. The right propeller was not disassembled. The propeller assembly contained a large high compression spring and the mechanism for safe removal of the spring was damaged, preventing safe disassembly. No external evidence of preimpact malfunction or failure was detected.

A teardown examination of both engines was conducted at the manufacturer's facility under the direct supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge. 

The right engine was heavily damaged from impact forces. The engine crankcase was fractured and the propeller flange was separated from the front of the crankshaft. The internal examination of the engine revealed no abnormal operational signatures. The magnetos, fuel system components, vacuum pump, oil cooler, oil pump were examined and exhibited impact damage. No abnormal operating signatures were noted. No preimpact anomalies were detected that would have prevented normal engine operation.

The left engine exhibited impact damage concentrated on the front lower half of the crankcase. The crankcase was fractured in the nose section. The crankshaft flange was impact damaged and remained attached to the crankshaft. The forward cylinders, Nos. 5 and 6, were impact damaged. The remaining cylinders exhibited varying degrees of impact damage and exhibited normal operating signatures. The internal examination of the engine revealed no abnormal operational signatures. The magnetos, fuel system components, vacuum pump, oil cooler, oil pump were examined and exhibited impact damage. No abnormal operating signatures were noted. No preimpact anomalies were detected that would have prevented normal engine operation.

Postaccident examinations of the airframe, control system, engines, and propellers did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.


An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Cook County Coroner's Office, Chicago, Illinois, on October 14, 2014. The pilot's death was attributed to injuries received in the accident.

Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. Testing results indicated 17 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Kidney. All remaining tests were negative for substances in the screening profile.


Fueling records indicated that the accident airplane had been serviced with 20 gallons of 100LL aviation gasoline. A sample of fuel from the truck used to service the airplane was obtained and laboratory testing was performed. The results of the testing confirmed that the water content, particulate content and existent gum content were within acceptable limits for 100LL fuel. The boiling range of the fuel indicated that the sample was moderately weathered but not sufficiently to suggest significant contamination.

The airplane was equipped with a Honeywell Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) that was capable of recording several flight parameters. The unit was recovered from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for evaluation. Upon evaluation of the unit it was discovered that the electronic chip that was used to store recorded data had received impact damage and no data could be retrieved.


NTSB Identification: CEN15FA009 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Palos Hills, IL
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY 58, registration: N31EW
Injuries: 3 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 October 12, 2014, about 2240 central daylight time, a Beechcraft model 58 airplane, N31EW, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain in Palos Hills, Illinois. The pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was registered to ARC Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated about 2235 from the Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois, and was en route to the Lawrence Municipal Airport, Lawrence, Kansas.

Preliminary radar track information showed that the airplane departed runway 22L at MDW and began climbing on runway heading (220 degrees). When the airplane had reached an altitude of about 2,200 feet above mean sea level (msl), it turned about 30 degrees to the left to a heading of about 190 degrees and began descending. During the descent, the airplane then turned to the right to a heading of about 260 degrees. During the right turn the airplane descended to about 1500 feet msl and then started to climb. During this period, the airplane entered a left turn which continued for about 360 degrees before radar contact was lost. The final recorded altitude was about 2,000 feet msl.

At 2238, the weather conditions at MDW were: wind 170 degrees at 9 knots; 6 statute miles visibility; mist; a broken ceiling at 1,000 feet above ground level (agl); an overcast ceiling at 1,400 feet agl; temperature 15 degrees Celsius; dew point 13 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 29.89 inches of mercury. The field elevation at MDW was 620 feet msl.

The accident location was in a residential area about 6 nautical miles southwest of MDW. The initial impact point was within a group of trees. Broken limbs and the condition of the wreckage was consistent with a near vertical attitude at impact. The majority of the wreckage remained at the initial impact point while smaller pieces of wreckage were spread in a fan shaped pattern to the southeast. All major airframe components were located and identified within the wreckage debris path. The entire airplane exhibited severe crushing and fragmentation of all components. The wreckage was removed from the accident site for further examination.

CHICAGO, N.Y. -- Two of the three doctors killed in a plane crash late Sunday in a Chicago suburb had studied at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. 

Dr. Ali A. Kanchwala, a pulmonologist, and his wife, Dr. Maria Javaid, an interventional cardiologist, were aboard a Beechraft 58 Baron when it crashed in a field in a dense residential area in Palos Hills. The pilot, Dr. Tausif Rehman, a neurosurgeon at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, Kan., also was killed in the plane crash.

Kanchwala, a 36-year-old pulmonologist and medical intensivist at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, completed his residency in internal medicine in 2007 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. 

Javaid, a 37-year-old interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, completed her internal medicine residency in 2004 and a cardiology fellowship in 2007 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, according to U.S. News & World Report Health website.

The couple met in medical school at DOW University of Health Sciences in Pakistan, and studied at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Maria Javaid's brother, Bilal Javaid, told the Chicago Tribune. The couple married in 2011.

The newspaper reported the couple was aboard the plane with Rehman, a 34-year-old neurosurgeon, who had flown to Chicago to visit a friend. They had just taken off from Chicago's Midway's International Airport at about 10:40 p.m. Sunday when "the plane simply dropped off the radar," John Brannen, senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Tribune. 

The plane was near vertical when it crashed in a small field, the newspaper reported. No homes were damaged, but Palos Hills Police Chief Paul Madigan told news reporters that a family who lived nearby was evacuated as a safety precaution and there was minor damage to a vehicle parked in the driveway.

NTSB officials told the Associated Press there were no obvious reasons why the Beechcraft 58 Baron plane crashed. The Tribune also reported there was no distress call was sent from the plane. 

Rehman had a private license and was trained on single and multi-engine planes, the NTSB told The Tribune.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was heading to Lawrence, Kan., the AP reported.

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Stormont-Vail Hospital officials confirmed late Monday afternoon that two of those killed in a small plane crash outside Chicago Sunday night were medical staff at the hospital. 

The Hospital says Tausif Rehman, MD a Cotton-O’Neil neurosurgeon and Ali A. Kanchwala, MD also a Cotton-O’Neil pulmonologist were killed in the crash, along with Dr. Kanchwala’s wife Maria Javaid, MD. Javaid was an interventional cardiologist at Providence medical Center in Kansas city.

“Dr. Rehman and Dr. Kanchwala were extremely valued, highly skilled and beloved members of our staff,” said Randy Peterson, president and CEO of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “These physicians were deeply committed to their patients and to bringing the best of care to our community.”

The plane was on its way to Lawrence, Kansas on Sunday night when it crashed in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hills around 10:40 p.m. According to the FAA registry the plane’s owner is Arc Aviation LLC of Lawrence. The registered owner of that business is listed as Tausif Rehman of Lawrence, according to information on file with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.

Nancy Burkhardt, a spokeswoman for Stormont-Vail,  says Rehman joined Stormont-Vail in February 2013 specializing in neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico before joining the staff and after getting his medical degree from Aga Khan University in Pakistan in 2002.

Kanshwala joined the Stormont-Vail healthcare staff in August, 2010. He received his medical degree from DOW Universityof Health Sciences in Karachi, Pakistan and completed a fellowship in 2010 at East Carolina University.

No distress call was sent from a small plane before it crashed in a field near homes in Palos Hill, killing all three people on board, according the National Transportation Safety Board. 

"The plane simply dropped off the radar," said John Brannen, senior air safety investigator for the NTSB.

The Beechcraft 58 Baron  took off from Midway Airport headed to Lawrence, Kan., when it crashed around 10:40 p.m. Sunday in a small field in the 10100 block of South 86th Court, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The names of the dead have not been released, but a friend said all three were physicians who had flown up to Chicago for the day. The plane was registered to a company in Lawrence, according to FAA records.

The plane went down near a residential area but did not damage any homes, according to Palos Hills Deputy police Chief James Boie. "It’s very fortunate it didn’t hit any houses and no wires,” Boie said, adding there was also no fire.

Brannen said the plane had fueled up at Midway and investigators planned to check the truck and take samples of the fuel.  He said the investigation was still preliminary and nothing was being ruled out, including the overcast skies and the pilot's experience.

The pilot had a private license and was trained on single and multi-engine planes, Brannen said.

Palos Hills resident Michael D’Alessio, who lives with his family a few blocks away from the crash site, said he woke up after hearing the sound of the plane going down and called 911 immediately.

“It was very loud,” D’Alessio said. “I heard a loud pop. ... Planes fly over our area all the time. But this was different.”

When D’Alessio went outside, he said there was an airplane seat on the ground near the crash scene.

His daughter, Amanda D’Alessio, 16, said she was putting away her math homework, getting ready for school in the morning.

“All of the sudden you hear a big crash and feel the house shake,” Amanda said, adding that she first thought it was a car accident. “All of the sudden all the neighbors are out."

Billy Williams, 64, said he was coming home from work a little after 10:30 p.m. when he heard what at first sounded like a plane circling too close to the ground.

"I thought it was someone playing, flying low," he said Monday morning.

Dan Jurevis, 35, who lives around the corner from where the plane crashed, said he was at home in bed when he heard sounds of a plane in distress, "like the pilot was trying to give it more power," he said.

Jurevis and Williams said they immediately ran out to see if they could help, arriving around the same time as police.

"An officer shined a light in the cabin and said, 'You're not going to want to see this,' " Jurevis said.

 He said he could smell airplane fuel and saw debris from the plane strewn 50 yards from the cabin, which stopped very near a house, he said.

"I had trouble sleeping, I kept hearing that noise over and over," he said.

"It's surreal, if I was in my backyard I could throw a baseball and hit it. I feel terrible for the people in the plane, but also lucky no one was hurt down here," Jurevis said.

Another neighbor said the plane was flying close to houses before it hit an empty lot.

"I heard an airplane right above our home," Agni Drossos told reporters. "It got pretty loud. It sounded like it was going to crash behind our yard. It sounded like metal landed behind us."

A physician at a Topeka hospital is feared dead after a small, private plane crashed Sunday night in a Chicago suburb.

All three people aboard the aircraft were reported killed in the crash, which occurred shortly after the plane took off from Chicago Midway International Airport. The three were all identified as being Kansas residents.

Nancy Burkhardt, spokeswoman for Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, said the hospital had received reports that the plane was owned by neurosurgeon Tausif-Ur Rehman. Burkhardt said Rehman joined the Stormont-Vail staff in 2013.

“We’ve not been able to reach him today,” Burkhardt said Monday afternoon. “Based on the information we have, we fear the worst.”

Rehman was known to own a plane and was a pilot, Burkhardt said. The numbers on the plane Rehman owned and that of the plane that crashed matched.

According to U.S. News Health, Rehman received his medical degree in 2002 from Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and has been in practice for 12 years.

Prior to coming to Topeka, he did a residency in neurosurgery from 2006 to 2011 at the University of New Mexico; a residency in general surgery from 2005 to 2006 at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Campus; and a transitional year internship from 2004 to 2005 at Brown University.

Burkhardt said additional information might be released later Monday, after positive identification of the victims had been made.

Authorities said the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft, which was headed to Lawrence, crashed around 10:40 p.m. Sunday in the 10100 block of S. 86th Court in Palos Hills, a suburb on the southwest side of Chicago. The plane went down in the only vacant lot in a neighborhood of single-family homes.

The location of where the plane crashed was about 12 miles south and west of Midway airport.

Those on the scene said the pilot may have desperately looked for a spot to crash where it would not injure anyone on the ground.

Palos Hills Deputy Police Chief James Boie said that given the spot where the plane crashed and statements by neighbors who told authorities it appeared the plane was circling before it crashed makes it a real possibility that the pilot tried to save the lives of people in all the homes in the neighborhood.

“I’d like to think that,” he said. “That is the only vacant lot for (four) blocks.”

One resident across the street from the vacant lot said that when she saw the crash site she was convinced that the pilot was trying to save lives. “It looks like he aimed for the one vacant spot,” said Barbara Janusz, who lives with her daughter’s family in a house where she said the plane’s wings came to rest. “I’m sure he sacrificed his own life for everybody else’s, bless his soul.”

Janusz said about 50 to 60 people live on the block and a couple hundred more in apartments a block away. “It would have been a total disaster, too awful to think about.”

Boie said that the plane hit some trees, adding that the wreckage was in a rather compact area.

“Some of the residents said they heard an airplane. It sounded like it was kind of sputtering and then it came down right away,” Boie said. “It did come close to one of the houses.”

He said he had no immediate identification of the victims, adding a medical examiner was at the site Monday morning. About two blocks all around had been cordoned off by authorities. But he said there was no fire at the time of the crash and no evacuation ordered, though some people were kept away from their homes after the crash.

Lunsford said in an earlier email that the FAA had sent a team to investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.

Boie said planes from Midway often fly overhead, but he recalled no incident in recent memory of a small plane crash in the community about 20 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

- Source:

(PALOS HILLS) Three people were killed when a plane destined for Lawrence, Kansas, crashed in southwest suburban Palos Hills Sunday night, officials said.  

 The plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, had three people aboard when it crashed about 10:40 p.m. in the 10100 block of South 86th Court shortly after it departed from Midway Airport, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

Police found no survivors, Palos Hills Deputy Chief James Boie said. A spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed its investigators were dispatched to that location but did not have details on the identities of the crash victims.

The plane is registered to Arc Aviation, LLC, which is based in Lawrence, according to the FAA’s website.

The plane crashed in a small field in a heavy residential area but did not hit any homes, Boie said. No one on the ground was hurt.

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators were scheduled to start a full crash site examination Monday morning, officials said.

Agni Drossos told reporters at the scene that she was in her kitchen when she heard the plane fly over her home.

The plane “sounded like it was dying,” Drossos said. “I thought it was going to land in my backyard, but it [crashed] a block behind my house.

“It just came to a dead halt,” she added. “No flames, no nothing.”

Mike Bronzell, a locksmith from Hickory Hills, said around 10:30 p.m. he was outside Prime Time Restaurant, about two miles northeast of the crash site, when a low-flying plane roared 200-feet above him.

“The engine was just booming so loud you couldn’t hear a thing,” Bronzell said. The plane was heading southwest, he said.

Three people died when a plane crashed in a residential street in a Chicago suburb, authorities said. Deputy Chief James Boie said the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron narrowly missed homes when it came down in Palos Hills, Illinois, at 10:40 p.m. local time Sunday (11:40 p.m. ET). It had just departed from Chicago Midway International Airport and was flying to Lawrence, Kansas, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The FAA said early Monday all three people on board were confirmed dead. Dimitri Drossos was among those who took to social media after hearing the crash. "It got real tonight," he wrote. "A small airplane flew incredibly low over my parents' house. Sounded as if it was running out of/ran out of fuel and ultimately crashes one block from their house. Thoughts and prayers to the families of the people inside the plane." College student Russ Ventimiglia, 20, who lives less than a mile from the crash site told NBC News it "sounded exactly like a plane going down in a cartoon." He added: "I didn't hear the impact so I thought it was nothing until I heard the news.” 

Three people are believed dead after a small plane crashed into a suburban Chicago neighborhood Sunday, police told ABC News.

The crash happened at 10:40 local time in a residential area in Palos Hills, Ill., said James Boie, deputy chief of the Palos Hills Police Department.

The plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, came down in a field next to a home and did not crash into any homes, authorities said.

The plane took off from Chicago Midway International Airport and was headed for Lawrence, Kansas, officials with the FAA’s Great Lakes region said in a statement.

FAA investigators are headed to the crash site, and National Transportation Safety Board officials were notified, authorities said.

Palos Hills is located southwest of Chicago.