Monday, October 20, 2014

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (KECP) looks to Federal Emergency Management Agency to correct flood affliction

WEST BAY — The stormwater system at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport was designed to sustain 25-year storm events, not 100- or 500-year events as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

At a meeting Monday, the Airport Authority continued discussions on the best way to approach extensive flood damage stemming from a torrential, 100-year rain event earlier this year and better prepare the system for future storms.

Because the airport is considered a “critical facility” by FEMA, a facility where even a slight risk of flooding can present a great threat, Airport Director Parker McClellan said flood management plans must be addressed on a 500-year flood plain.

The April 30 storm dumped between 11 and 16 inches near the terminal building and an estimated 16-plus inches at the north end of the property.

“The challenge that we had was we had so much water that instead of the water going away from the airport, it all came onto the airport,” McClellan said.

Officials from the airport’s consulting engineer firm, ZHA, identified 24 problem areas for flooding during the meeting — 17 of which are on the airport property, with the remaining seven stemming from water flow from areas off the property.

The consultant outlined an estimated project cost of $4.5 million to address 17 of those projects, about half of which also would require mitigation efforts. Funding for projects also will be made available through FEMA,which made an emergency declaration for the area following the storm.

 The declaration freed up federal funds for damage repair projects — 75 percent of which would be covered using federal emergency funds, 12.5 percent by state emergency funds and the remainder by the local agency.

During the meeting, the Airport Authority approved a $77,700 task order for ZHA to conduct the first phase of an investigative stormwater study to determine potential solutions for controlling the water flow. The task order will be forwarded to FEMA for approval under its “Alternative Procedures Program,” for which the airport anticipates an 87.5 percent reimbursement, leaving the airport’s balance at about $9,000.

ZHA also proposed a task order to conduct a second stage of the stormwater investigation at a price of $248,500, which the board requested be submitted to FEMA approval, but not yet conducted. A third ZHA task order to prepare construction bid documents for the proposed projects was tabled for further examination.

In other business Monday, the airport:


Approved a Specialized Service Operator Agreement and space use agreement with Edge Aerodynamix Inc., which announced Friday it will locate at the airport to test and develop its new BladeGuard technology, a product that will reduce drag and provide significant fuel savings for all types of aircraft. The company has committed to creating 120 new jobs in the area and will pay the airport $1,500 per month to park an aircraft on the commercial ramp.

Reported a flat month for passenger activity last month, when compared with September 2013. Total passengers were down about 0.1 percent, pushing the airport’s passengers down about 0.8 percent year-to-date.
 
Reported a 22 percent market share for ECP in Northwest Florida. Other airports carrying portions of the market include: Pensacola International Airport with 40 percent, Northwest Florida Regional Airport with 20 percent and Tallahassee Regional Airport with 18 percent.

- Source:  http://www.newsherald.com

Worcester Regional Airport (KORH) director to address Tatnuck Neighborhood Association

WORCESTER — An update on Worcester Regional Airport operations will be the focus of a Tatnuck Neighborhood Association meeting Wednesday.

Airport director Andy Davis will speak at the 7 p.m. meeting at the airport. Mr. Davis will speak about JetBlue operations, other airport projects and capital investments being made by the Massachusetts Port Authority, the airport's owner. The meeting will last about an hour and parking at the airport is free for those attending the meeting.


- Source:   http://www.telegram.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.

http://registry.faa.gov/N194SJ

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.



The three sons of a passenger killed in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport last year are suing the county, as well as the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, alleging a hangar into which the aircraft collided was built too close to the runway.

Charles, Elliot and Jackson Dupont brought the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified compensatory damages in the death of 53-year-old Kyla Dupont, who died along with three other people aboard the aircraft on Sept. 29, 2013.

The suit alleges all three government entities share in the control and operation of Santa Monica Airport.

A representative for the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office could could not be immediately reached.

Killed along with Dupont were the 63-year-old pilot, Mark Benjamin, who was the president of a Santa Monica-based construction company; his son Lucas, 28; and the younger Benjamin's girlfriend, 28-year-old Lauren Winkler.

After the place crashed into the hangar, the structure's roof collapsed onto the aircraft and a fire started, according to the suit, which alleges that the proximity of the hangar to the runway created a foreseeable risk of the kind of accident that occurred.

Last November, the Dupont sons sued Benjamin's estate, alleging he 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.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that all of the tires were inflated and there was no debris on the runway when the Cessna 525A Citation slammed into the hangar around 6:20 p.m. upon arrival from Hailey, Idaho.

Story and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.smmirror.com


Southern Air: Airline's $2.1m Loan Expansion 'Milestone'

A Bahamian airline believes it has achieved “a major milestone” by obtaining a $2.1 million loan from an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) affiliate, which will enable its fleet to more-than-double in size.

Anthony Hamilton, Southern Air’s director of administration, told Tribune Business it hoped its financing arrangement with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) would “break the door open” for other Bahamian-owned airlines to obtain much-needed capital.

Mr Hamilton said Southern Air, which has been operating since late 1998, would use the funding to purchase around three new aircraft and expand its fleet’s size to five - a more than-100 percent increase.

He told Tribune Business that these planes, once purchased, would give an “immediate improvement in the quality of service” on Southern’s existing scheduled routes to Eleuthera and Ling Island, plus the numerous charters it operates throughout this nation and the rest of the Caribbean.

And, apart from allowing the carrier to exploit expansion opportunities as they arose, Mr Hamilton said the financing might also allow Southern to re-hire some of the staff it recently released.

He also called for Bahamas-based financial institutions to “reform” their attitude towards the aviation industry and local businesses, saying Southern had been “slapped in the face” trying to obtain local debt financing.

Emphasizing that the airline would use the IIC’s financing to expand its operations, with a focus on airlift to the Family Islands, Mr Hamilton said “the timing is appropriate despite all the challenges facing the domestic operators” - and with Value-Added Tax (VAT) looming on the horizon.

“We kind of bit the bullet to finance this,” he told Tribune Business. “We’re a leader in domestic aviation, and this [the IIC financing] is a major milestone.

“Hopefully, this will break the doors open for others to find the same kind of favour. I think this is a major accomplishment, and this is the first for a Bahamian. It sets the stage for some other things we want to accomplish.”

Mr Hamilton, in common with many Bahamian-owned businesses, criticised local financial institutions and established capital sources for their tendency to shy away from providing funds to event established businesses.

“Overall, we need reform with regard to financial policies as far as the country is concerned,” he said.

“This should make a statement, as we’ve really been hitting a brick wall locally for financing..... Oftentimes, we get slapped in the face. They say: ‘It’s a risk’, but every business is a risk. Local financial institutions seem afraid of the aviation industry.”

Mr Hamilton described the financing from the IIC as “basically a done deal”, with some “tidying up” work still being completed.

Indicating that the loan was in the first phase of a three-phase strategy developed by Southern Air, he added that the airline was currently “shopping around” to see what type of planes it could source using its financing.

It was aiming to acquire two-three new aircraft, bringing its existing two-strong fleet to around five, and “other things on the drawing board” may give the carrier access to other planes and funding sources. Beech 1900s will be the main aircraft type sought.

“It speaks to improving the quality of service we provide to the current routes,” Mr Hamilton said of the IIC loan.

“Certainly, as opportunities present themselves, this puts us in position to allow us some flexibility to expand.”

Southern Air currently employs 52 persons, and Mr Hamilton said the new financing might allow it to “reinstate” staff recently let go, depending on how the Bahamian economy performed.

He added that those released did not make up “a large percentage” of the workforce, with the airline previously having to make “some serious sacrifices”.

“We were talking to them from some time last year, and working through the process,” Mr Hamilton told Tribune Business of the IIC.

“We really had to cover some good ground in getting ourselves in position for consideration. It was not too much of a rough ride. Once in the door, we worked extensively to move this along.

“We always wanted to make sure we were doing ourselves proud, both us as an airline and the Bahamian nation at large, and this is a major plank in that regard.”

Mr Hamilton said Southern Air decided to move forward despite knowing it will soon “stare VAT in the face”, and continuing questions over arbitrary government policy decisions that impact the domestic aviation sector specifically.

Referring to VAT, he added that “new information” seemed to appear at every turn, adding of the airline’s plans: “We know it’s a risk, but have been working at it for a long time.”

The IIC, in its own statement, confirmed it had approved the $2.1 million loan “to partially finance the growth of its fleet, in order to increase its operations and to meet the growing demand for flights”.

“This IIC loan supports the growth of a company from the air transport sector in order to improve inter-island connectivity in the Bahamas, which is key for the economic development of these islands,” said Rodrigo J. Navas Oreamuno, IIC’s lead investment officer in charge of the operation.

Southern Air operates from the Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, offering scheduled flights to a number of Family Island destinations, and charter flights to national and international destinations.


- Source:  http://www.tribune242.com

Romania’s Tarom cancels four flights due to flight attendants’ protest

Romanian state owned airline Tarom cancelled four flights last weekend, after flight attendants said they were unfit to fly. These protests followed similar flight attendants and pilots’ such protests in September this year.

“Tarom is facing a lack of suitable flight crew”, read a statement posted yesterday, October 19, on the company’s website. Passengers of the cancelled flights went on board of other flights to their destination.

In mid-September this year, several Tarom flights were cancelled or had serious delays because of spontaneous protests initiated by some of the company’s pilots and flight attendants.

- Source:  http://www.romania-insider.com

Several of Romania’s Tarom internal flights get cancelled due to employee protests.

Four Tarom flights canceled on Tuesday as employee protests reach third consecutive day.

Beechcraft Baron: Incident occurred October 20, 2014 at St. George Municipal Airport (KSGU), Utah

 

ST. GEORGE – Airport and other emergency crews responded to assist the pilot of an airborne plane who was having difficulty getting the landing gear on his Beechcraft Baron down so that he could land safely at St. George Municipal Airport Monday morning.

This is the fifth emergency landing Bill Williams, of Sky Ranch in Hurricane, has had to make in his 50 years of flying.

Williams said he took off this morning and was on his way to Page, Arizona, with his wife, son and a neighbor, but when the group got ready to land in Page, the landing gear would not come down.

“There’s emergency procedures that you follow,” Williams said, “and I practice them all the time, but  I got the book out and made sure they read it to me slow so we could try all the procedures.”

Williams said he made a couple low passes at the Page airport and had people out looking and watching, but the landing gear never looked like it was coming down.

At that point, with plenty of fuel, Williams said he decided to come back to St. George because of the larger airport and better facilities.

“So we came here and pulled around about 30-45 minutes,” Williams said, “and went and let the commercial airplanes out so we don’t slow all that down – and we weren’t in an emergency problem other than the minute we touched down, so it was no big hurry other than at the same time you’re burning off gas.”

With his son in the back of the plane, Williams said, the group tried all the procedures in the book numerous times all the way from Page back to St. George and tried utilizing a chemical way you can crank the landing gear down, but nothing worked.

After trying many different things, Williams said, airport crew members decided to have him land from the north instead of the south.

“So I went up there and they had me do a couple low approaches to check again,” he said. “After one of the low approaches I decided to go through one of the procedures again and that time the landing gear came down.”

Williams said they will find out what went wrong with the landing gear when they take it apart.

“Usually, he said, “you’ll have something burn out or something and then it won’t work, and so that’s why you crank it down, but we couldn’t crank it down so that means that something must be jammed in there which as situations like this occur, it’s usually not a standard thing that happens or they’d have emergency procedures to take care of it, to solve the issue.”

The group all landed safely, to which Williams said: “Any landing is a good landing if you walk away from it.”

Williams said he was grateful for the crews at the St. George Airport who assisted him.

“The guys here were very professional,” Williams said, “and we very much appreciate the Fire Department and the airport people – they took hold right away and started taking things in and dong the proper procedures so I was very pleased with them, very glad we had ‘em.”


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

 Pilot Bill Williams gives a thumbs up after landing safely following complications with the plane's landing gear, St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Oct. 20, 2014 | 
Photo by John Teas, St. George News


 Pilot Bill Williams examines plane after landing safely after dealing with landing gear that for a time would not engage on his Beechcraft Baron, St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Oct. 20, 2014
Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News




Bill Williams’ plane landed safely, after he dealt with landing gear that for a time would not engage on his Beechcraft Baron, St. George Municipal Airport, St. George, Utah, Oct. 20, 2014 
Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News


A passenger plane made an emergency landing at the St. George Municipal Airport on Monday morning after the pilot found he was unable to deploy the aircraft's landing gear.

Airport Operations Supervisor Brad Kitchen said that at sometime around 9:45 a.m., airport officials were alerted that the twin-engine 1966 Beechcraft Baron carrying four passengers had been diverted to St. George from an airport in Page, Ariz. to attempt an emergency landing because the aircraft's landing gear would not deploy.

The pilot, Bill Williams of Hurricane, had traveled to Page with his wife, his son, and a neighbor. As they made their approach to land, Williams said they noticed something was wrong.

"When the gear comes down, it slows you down normally," Williams said. "That's how I could tell it hadn't come down, is because it usually comes out and drags on the air and makes it slow down."

Williams, who said he has been flying planes for more than 45 years, feared that they would have to attempt a dangerous "belly landing," where the fuselage or body of the plane itself lands directly onto the tarmac without the wheeled landing gear beneath.

"We decided to come back here [because of the] bigger airport and better medical facilities," Williams said.

When Williams arrived in St. George, they were still unable to get the landing gear to function. Williams held in a holding pattern, Kitchen said, while the St. George Fire Department and emergency medical crews stood by near the tarmac, prepared for the worst.

Williams made two aborted landing attempts before, while preparing a third approach, they finally managed to get the gear to drop and the plane landed safely.

"He landed not knowing whether the gear was locked or not," Kitchen said. "Fortunately, it was locked and he landed without incident, as you saw."

The airport, which opened in 2011, has seen two accidents over the past three years it has been in operation. In May 2012, four people were killed during a failed takeoff in which alcohol played a factor. In July of the same year, another fatal accident occurred when a SkyWest employee broke onto airport grounds and stole an aircraft, crashing it in a suspected suicide. 

United States drone crashes at Niger airport

NIAMEY: A US drone crash-landed at Niger's main airport for unknown reasons on Monday, the US army said, forcing the closure of the runway for several hours.

The "hard landing" of the unarmed MQ-9 Reaper aircraft damaged the runway at Diori Hamani International airport in the Niger capital Niamey, but no injuries were reported, according to a statement from the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa public affairs directorate.

"The US government is working closely with the government of Niger to secure the scene and mitigate inconveniences caused by the incident," the statement sent to AFP added.

"The cause of the incident is currently under investigation."

The United States started drone surveillance flights out of Niger in early 2013 to support French forces fighting Islamist militants in northern Mali.

"The aircraft nosed down" around 03:40 am (0240 GMT), a Nigerien airport source told AFP, adding that the drone was originally thought to be French.

The airport stayed closed until 12:30 pm to repair the damage to the runway, the source said.

A plane carrying pilgrims on their way back from Mecca had to be diverted to Ouagadougou, airport authorities in Burkina Faso said.

Planes could be seen landing at Niamey airport again in the afternoon, a security source said.

Despite its porous borders, Niger is seen as haven of stability in the region, with neighboring Mali, Libya and Nigeria all battling Islamist insurgents.

Last month, the US military announced it would shift its drone flights from Niamey to a base about 500 miles (800 kilometres) further north in Niger, allowing Washington to better track Islamist fighters in the region.

The northern location will give the unmanned, robotic aircraft easier access to a desert route linking southern Libya and northern Mali, which is used to move arms and Islamist fighters.

The French military also flies drones out of Niamey.

- Source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb

Abyssinia Flight Spreads Wings as Three New Aircraft Join Fleet ... The company, which was founded back in 1999, provides pilot training and chartered flights

The three new aircraft were supposed to reach Addis Abeba International Airport on Friday October 17. Now the program was postponed to be on Monday after the aircraft reach to Bahirdar on Sunday.



Abyssinia Flight Services PLC (AFS) is expecting the arrival of three new aircraft at Bahir Dar International Airport on Sunday, October 19, 2014, from where they will continue to Addis Abeba International Airport on Monday. They purchased the planes from Europe and America.

One is a twin-engine aircraft bought from the Austrian, Diamond Aircraft Company, while two are single engine aircraft from the American, Cessna Aircraft Company. These three were supposed to be delivered to the Addis Abeba International Airport on Friday, October 17, 2014, but were postponed until Sunday and Monday, respectively, for reasons that Abyssinia’s deputy managing director, (cap.) Amare Gebrehana, declined to mention.

With the three new additions, the Company will have a total of eight training aircraft, including five single engine Cessna 172s, one Diamond DA40 and two DA42NGs, according to a press release from the Company.

The AFS was established in 1999 to train pilots and provide chartered flights with the 13 aircraft it has. Four of these aircraft are for the chartered flight services. The trainings the company now gives are the Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, Instrument Rating, Multi-Engine Rating and Instructor Ratings. The Company also has one Flight Simulation Training Device.

One of the aircraft was bought using a loan from the Bank of Abyssinia and the other two are financed by the Company itself, according to Solomon Gizaw, (cap.) the Company’s managing director. The aviation school has more demand than it can accommodate, even if it added 10 more aircraft, he says.

The Company, which now has 30 international students, bought the two single engine aircraft  for 325,000 dollars each and the twin-engine aircraft for 650,000 dollars.

“The aircraft cannot directly fly from their source countries to Ethiopia, as their fuel capacity and speed are limited,” says Amare.

Their arrival to Ethiopia was scheduled with refueling stopovers in Egypt and Sudan.

The Cessna were transported from the US to Hamburg, Germany, in containers, with their wings detached. They were reassembled in Hamburg for their flight home. The fuel capacity of the Diamond DA42 aircraft is 289lt and that of the Cessna 172 is 212lt, with speeds of 363 km/h and 239 km/h, respectively.

The Company, established in 1999, now has a capital of 200 million Br and has so far graduated more than 100 pilots.

These aircraft will be used to strengthen the aviation training the school offers to the students enrolled from various countries, Abyssinia says.

- Source:  http://addisfortune.net

Thalassemic boy disallowed by SpiceJet to travel on flight

Ahmedabad: A 12-year-old boy, suffering from thalassemia, a blood disorder, was not allowed to travel on SpiceJet flight from Ahmedabad to Chennai on the ground that he was unfit to fly, his father alleged on Saturday.

However, an official of the private airline said it had only followed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms in this regard.

"Jignesh, my 12-year-old son, was not allowed to travel on SpiceJet flight on October 16, as the airline officials denied us the boarding pass saying that my son is not fit enough to travel," said Kalu Antroliya, a resident of Kadegi village in Kutiyana tehsil of Porbandar district.

He said he was taking his son, who suffers from thalassemia major, to a hospital in Vellore in Tamil Nadu for treatment, but the airline did not allow them to board.

According to Antroliya, the SpiceJet officials first asked for a medical certificate, which he obtained from a local physician.

"However, when I e-mailed the certificate, they refused to accept it saying it doesn't mention that Jignesh is fit to fly," he added.

SpiceJet did not refund the ticket price of Rs 30,000 too, he alleged.

However, the airline official here defended the action saying it was only implementing the norms laid down by DGCA.

"The boy was not carrying 'fit to fly' certificate....If he was not fit to fly as per the DGCA norms, how can we allow him to travel," he said.


- Source:  http://www.firstpost.com

Construction complete on new $1.9 million Hammond Northshore Regional Airport (KHDC) control tower

HAMMOND, Louisiana — Construction is completed at the new $1.9 million Hammond Northshore Regional Airport Control tower, after a year of building and nearly a decade of planning.

The Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/1ptucy3 ) it could start operations as early as mid-December.

The tower will provide the airport with increased safety for pilots flying in and out and open the airport to larger planes currently restricted to airports with that safety measure in place. It will be operated by air traffic controllers from the Louisiana Army National Guard's air operations center at the airport. The National Guard will be providing the equipment and operating staff.

Guardsmen will scale 95 stairs daily to work from the seven-story tower, which at present has no elevator because of a lack of money in the original budget.

Two to four guardsmen will work each shift in the 25-square foot box, and there will be two shifts daily. The tower will only monitor daylight traffic in and out of the airport, except in the case of an emergency, where they may be called in full time.

"Right now we're just waiting on the generators to be installed," said Jason Ball, airport director. "A part on the generator was not the right one... after that it will be ready to go on our end. The guards selected a firm to do the equipment install. They will be here to do that on Dec. 1. After the equipment is installed, they'll turn it all on and we'll be up and running."

Information from: The Daily Star, http://www.hammondstar.com

Sonex, N91922: Fatal accident occurred October 20, 2014 in Fawnskin, California

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

Additional Participating Entities: Federal Aviation Administration  Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

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: WPR15FA016
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 20, 2014 in Fawnskin, CA
Aircraft: SONEX SONEX TRIGEAR, registration: N91922
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 October 20, 2014, about 1045 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Sonex Tri-gear, N91922, collided with terrain near Fawnskin, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence. The cross-country personal flight departed Big Bear City Airport, Big Bear, California, about 1035 with a planned destination of Mesa, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot departed from runway 26; the airport was located about 1 mile east of Big Bear Lake. Witnesses observed the airplane about 200 feet above ground level over Big Bear Lake, but noted that this was below the level of surrounding terrain. As the airplane approached a cove, it banked left to almost 90 degrees. The nose dropped to a nearly vertical attitude until ground impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 60-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued on March 8, 2005, with the limitation that he must have glasses available for near vision. The accident airplane was a light sport model, which does not require a medical certificate to operate. The pilot also held a light sport repairman certificate.

No personal flight records were located for the pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) obtained the aeronautical experience listed in this report from a review of the FAA airmen medical records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The pilot reported on his most recent medical application that he had a total time of 500 hours with 6 hours logged in the previous 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The pilot purchased the airplane 2 days prior to the accident.

The airplane was a low wing, experimental amateur-built Sonex Tri-gear, serial number 811; the cowling was fiberglass; the remainder of the airplane was metal. A review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that it was manufactured in 2007. It had a total airframe time of 98.6 hours at the most recent conditional inspection on July 27, 2014. A logbook entry dated October 8, 2007, noted the following speeds during Phase 1 testing: Vso 40 mph, Vx 80 mph, and Vy 94 mph at a gross weight of 1,100 pounds and center-of-gravity location at 68 inches aft of datum.

According to the engine logbook, the engine was a Volkswagon 2180 Aerovee, serial number 270, rated at 80 horsepower. The last maintenance recorded was an oil change on October 18, 2014, at a total time of 11.2 hours.

Examination of the maintenance and flight department records revealed no unresolved maintenance discrepancies against the airplane prior to departure.

Fueling records at Big Bear Airport established that the airplane was last fueled prior to the accident with the addition of 9.1 gallons of 100-octane low lead aviation fuel.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

An automated surface weather observation at Big Bear (KL35) (elevation 6,752 feet msl, 6 miles northeast of accident site) was issued 10 minutes prior to the accident. It indicated wind from 290 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles or greater, temperature at 16 degrees C, dew point 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting at 30.18 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The IIC and inspectors from the FAA examined the wreckage on site the day of the accident. A complete report is part of the public docket for this accident. The airplane came to rest in a dry lakebed on a northeasterly heading. All components of the airplane remained with the main wreckage, and in position; a few pieces of plexiglass surrounded the main wreckage. There were no ground scars leading to the wreckage. The principle impact crater was under the propeller and fuselage.

The nose of the airplane and the wing's leading edges exhibited up and aft crush damage. The engine partially separated, but maintained its position on the airframe. One of the wooden propeller's blades splintered near the hub, and the pieces were buried in the ground; the other blade splintered about half way to the tip. All flight controls remained in place and connected.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination was conducted by the San Bernardino County Medical Examiner. The cause of death was reported as the effect of blunt force injuries.

The NTSB's medical officer reviewed the pilot's certified medical records on file with the FAA, the toxicology report, the autopsy report, the accident report, and interviewed the FAA medical case review physician. The medical officer prepared a factual report, which is part of the public docket for this accident.

According to the FAA medical case review, the pilot reported on his 2005 airman medical application that he had sleep apnea that was treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, and he had carpal tunnel surgery the prior year. He reported no medication use, and the examining physician did not identify any abnormal findings. The sleep apnea was first diagnosed and treated with CPAP in February 2003, and the pilot provided the FAA medical certification division with diagnostic and treatment records that demonstrated successful treatment. The records did not identify any additional chronic medical issues, and the pilot was issued a third-class medical special issuance certificate that was not valid for operations requiring a medical certificate after March 31. 2007. The IIC interviewed a family member who stated that the pilot regularly used the CPAP machine, and said that it greatly enhanced his well-being.

The autopsy did not identify any significant natural disease. The medical examiner's investigation identified a black bag containing a possible sleep apnea machine.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot. Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for carbon monoxide or volatiles. They did not perform tests for cyanide.

The report contained the following findings for tested drugs: Citalopram detected in liver; Citalopram detected in blood (cavity), N-desmethylcitalopram detected in liver; N-desmethylcitalopram detected in blood (cavity). The San Diego County Forensic Toxicology Laboratory provided a toxicology report to San Bernardino County that identified 0.43 mg/l citalopram in cavity blood.

Citalopram is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions including depression and panic disorder that is marketed as Celexa. The therapeutic level of citalopram in blood ranges from 0.030 to 0.400 mg/l. The FAA will consider a special issuance of a medical certificate for depression after 6 months of treatment if the applicant is clinically stable on one of four approved medications (citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, and sertraline).

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The NTSB IIC examined the wreckage at Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on October 26, 2014. A full report of the examination is contained within the public docket for this accident.

Airframe

The IIC established control continuity for all flight controls.

The airframe was examined with no mechanical anomalies identified.

Engine

The engine had partially separated, but maintained its position on the airframe. There were no holes on the top of the crankcase or cylinders. No liquid streaks were observed on the airframe.

The engine was left in place on the airframe. The crankshaft was manually rotated with the propeller. The crankshaft rotated freely, and the valves moved approximately the same amount of lift. The gears in the accessory case turned freely. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders.

The spark plugs were removed; the gaps were similar, and the electrodes had no mechanical deformation. All electrodes were gray and clean except the top and bottom plugs for cylinder number two; both of those plugs contained heavy, black soot as did the inside of the combustion chamber. Gray color corresponded to normal operation according to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug AV-27 Chart; heavy, black soot was an indication of being carbon fouled.

GPS

A Garmin GPSMAP 296 was recovered at the accident site, and the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division extracted data for 71 track logs including the accident flight. A detailed report is part of the public docket for this accident.

The data indicated one aborted takeoff from runway 26 prior to the accident takeoff. During the aborted takeoff, the maximum derived groundspeed was 41 knots. The accident departure was about 3 minutes after the aborted takeoff. The data recorded about 4 minutes of flight; the last data point was at a GPS altitude of 7,011 feet (the highest recorded) and a ground speed of 59 knots (73 was the highest recorded). Due to buffering, the data recording may have ended before the accident event.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Using the ambient weather conditions, the computed density altitude was 8,222 feet.

Sonex provided owners with a flight manual that contained areas for recording items such as climb performance data, and indicated that this information should be recorded in Section 6 of the manual. No manual was recovered for this airplane, and the data was not available.

The flight manual noted that slight engine roughness in flight could be caused by one or more spark plugs becoming fouled by carbon or lead deposits. A Sonex technical representative reported that the engine should have been developing about 60 horsepower under the conditions encountered. The representative opined that the heavy, black soot was an indication of a rich fuel mixture. Since it was confined to one cylinder, a reasonable cause would be valve adjustment/operation for that cylinder. The representative noted that the airplane should have been able to stay airborne if the airplane was properly built, tuned, faired and piloted; this airplane did not have wheel pants or fairings on any wheel. Sonex conducted flight testing on an airframe without wheel pants and fairings on just the main gear. With wheel pants and gear fairings installed; speed was 140 mph at 2,600 feet, and wide open throttle at 3,400 rpm; the speed was 127 mph at 2,600 feet at a cruise power of 3,100 rpm. Lack of wheel pants resulted in a 3 mph loss of cruise speed, and lack of wheel fairings resulted in a loss of an additional 10 mph. They indicated that no pant or fairing on the nose wheel could result in additional loss of performance.

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA016
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 20, 2014 in Fawnskin, CA
Aircraft: SONEX SONEX TRIGEAR, registration: N91922
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 October 20, 2014, about 1045 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Sonex Tri-gear, N91922, collided with terrain near Fawnskin, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence. The cross-country personal flight departed Big Bear, about 1035, with a planned destination of Mesa, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses observed the airplane about 200 above ground level over Big Bear Lake, but noted that this was below the level of surrounding terrain. As the airplane approached a cove, it banked left to almost 90 degrees. The nose dropped to a nearly vertical attitude until ground impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) and inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the wreckage on site. The nose of the airplane and the wing's leading edges exhibited up and aft crush damage. The engine partially separated, but maintained its position on the airframe. One of the wooden propeller's blades splintered near the hub, and the pieces were buried in the ground; the other blade splintered about halfway to the tip. All flight control remained in place.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.


STEVE M.  MORRIS:  http://registry.faa.gov/N91922

The pilot of a small airplane died in a crash Monday morning north of Big Bear Lake near the community of Fawnskin, officials reported.

The plane, a Sonex single-engine fixed-wing, is registered to Steve M. Morris, whose address is listed as a PO box in Bayside in Humboldt County, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

Whether Morris was flying the plane Monday was unknown. All that authorities have been able to confirm is that the aircraft had a single occupant, a male adult.

The plane took off from Big Bear City Airport heading west about 10:40 a.m., said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA. He did not release information about the plane's destination.

Emergency dispatchers received the first report at 10:46 a.m. that the plane had gone down near the Grout Bay campground, said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

This is the second plane crash in less than a week in the Big Bear area. Three people were injured when a small plane went down Thursday south of Highway 18 in the Arctic Circle area.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.






 
San Bernardino County sheriff's officials examine the wreckage of a small plane that crashed along the north shore of Big Bear Lake on Monday, Oct. 20, killing the pilot.







The pilot of a small plane was killed Monday morning after it crashed in a picnic area on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, fire officials said.

 The San Bernardino County Fire Department reported the pilot, who was the plane's only occupant, was dead by the time they arrived.

The crash was reported about 10:50 a.m. near Fawnskin, said John Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service in San Bernardino.

The plane crashed into the Grout Bay campground, a picnic area along the lake.

The model of aircraft and circumstances of the incident were not immediately known, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The crash is the second plane to go down near Big Bear in less than a week.

On Thursday, three people were injured when their small aircraft went down 12 miles west of Big Bear Airport at Highway 18 near Arctic Circle and Glory Ridge Road, authorities said.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board planned to investigate the crash.


- Source:   http://www.latimes.com


BIG BEAR LAKE— One person is dead following a small plane crash near Grout Bay Campground around 10:50 a.m., San Bernardino County Fire Department officials confirm.  

Scanner traffic reported a small plane down just before 10:50 a.m. Scanner traffic reported a broken wing on the plane. Authorities discovered the plane’s solo occupant dead minutes later, per scanner traffic. County Fire officials later confirmed the fatality.

Grout Bay Campground is located in northern Big Bear Lake, near Fawnskin.

This is the second plane crash in the Big Bear area in a five-day span. A small plane crashed Thursday, injuring three people.

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

 
The pilot of an unidentified plane was killed in a crash near a Big Bear campsite Monday.

The report of an aircraft down was made around 10:45 a.m. in the Fawnskin area of the Grout Bay campground, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
 

Emergency personnel found the solo occupant of the plane dead on arrival, according to a tweet from the fire department. No fire was reported in the crash.

Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration said it was unclear what led to the crash. The FAA was investigating.

The campground is located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, according to the United States Forest Service.