Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cessna 170B, N3292A: Fatal accident occurred November 28, 2014 in Alzada, Montana

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

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA049
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 28, 2014 in Alzada, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N3292A
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.

The private pilot departed for a local area flight. When he did not return, a search was initiated, and the wreckage was located in a saddle between two mountain peaks. There were no identified witnesses to the accident. Onsite documentation revealed that the airplane collided with the terrain in a vertical nose-down attitude. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

According to a friend of the pilot, the pilot was very comfortable flying in the local area at altitudes of 150 ft above ground level or less. Given the pilot's preference for low altitude flight, it is likely that he was maneuvering around the mountainous terrain, lost control of the airplane, and did not have sufficient altitude to recover before ground impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering, which resulted in a collision with mountainous terrain. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 28, 2014, at an undetermined time, a Cessna 170B, N3292A, impacted terrain near Alzada, Montana. The co-owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The local personal flight departed Spearfish, South Dakota, about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot became the subject of a family concern alert notice (ALNOT) on November 29, 2014, after the pilot failed to arrive at work. The accident site was located by the Civil Air Patrol on November 30, 2014, at about 1130 MST.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 50-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land.

The pilot held a third-class medical certificate that was issued on May 27, 2014. It had no limitations or waivers.

An examination of the pilot's logbook indicated a total flight time of 1,580 hours. He logged 14 hours in the last 90 days, and 5 hours in the last 30 days. About 200 hours had been accumulated in the make and model airplane involved in the accident. A biennial flight review was accomplished on October 10, 2013.

A close friend of the accident pilot reported that the pilot was very conscious and that he had learned to fly from a former crop duster. He was very comfortable flying low level in the local area and anything above 150 feet was too high for him to be happy.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Cessna 170B, serial number 25936. The engine was a Continental Motors Model C-145, serial number 7515-D-2-2.

The airframe logbook(s) were not located. Examination of the only recovered maintenance records (Engine Logbook) indicated that the last annual/100-hour inspection had been complied with on September 2, 2013. Total time recorded on the engine at this time was unknown, and time since major overhaul was 1,727.9 hours.

No records were recovered which would indicate that the airplane had an annual inspection after the September 2013 date. 

Fueling records at Westjet Air Center, Rapid City, SD established that the airplane was last fueled on November 9, 2014, with the addition of 20 gallons of 100 Low Lead-octane aviation fuel.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Investigators examined the wreckage at the accident scene on December 2, 2014.

There were no identified witnesses to the accident, or the flight of the accident airplane.

The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was the ground crater with the main wreckage. The 50-foot debris path was along a magnetic heading of 130-degrees. The orientation of the fuselage was also 130-degrees. The wings were oriented 040/220-degrees.

The wreckage was located on the southeast side of a saddle between two peaks. The airplane was positioned in a near vertical nose down attitude with the tail section standing vertical. The aft fuselage exhibited no indications of rotation. The aft fuselage, from the aft doorpost to the empennage was observed accordion towards the nose of the airplane. The damage to both wings was consistent with the contour of the terrain. The right wing was observed accordion aft from the leading edge to just aft of the main spar and the wing root and from the leading edge to the aileron at the tip. The left wing was observed accordion aft from the leading edge to aft of the main spar at the wing root and from the leading edge to the aileron at the wing tip. The engine was only partly visible under the cockpit area. One propeller tip was observed under the engine. There was no fire. There was an odor of fuel near the left fuel tank.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The closest aviation weather observation station was Baker Municipal Airport, Baker, Montana (KBHK), which was 69 nautical miles north of the accident site. The elevation of the weather observation station was 2,980 feet mean sea level (msl). An aviation routine weather report (METAR) for KBHK was recorded at 1451 MST. It reported: wind from 230 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 10 degrees C; dew point -1 degrees C; altimeter 29.49 inches of mercury.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

No autopsy was performed on the pilot. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.

Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Investigators examined the wreckage at Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on March 9, 2015. 

Examination of the engine revealed no abnormalities which would have precluded normal operation of the engine. The engine displayed impact damage consistent with the engine operating at the time of impact. 

Examination of the recovered airframe revealed no abnormalities which would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. The airframe sustained impact damage from a vertical descent with no rotational signatures. All control surfaces were accounted for and control continuity was established for the flight controls. 

The complete engine and airframe examination reports are attached to the docket for this accident.

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N3292A

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA049 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 28, 2014 in Alzada, MT
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N3292A
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 November 28, 2014, at an unknown time, a single-engine Cessna 170B airplane, N3292A, impacted mountainous terrain near Alzada, Montana. The owner/private pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed from Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field (SPF), Spearfish, South Dakota about 1200 MST.

A family concerned Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on November 29, when the pilot did not show up for work. The airplane was found by the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol on November 30, 2014, at about 1130 MST, and the accident site was accessed by personnel from the Carter County Sheriff's Department on November 30.

The airplane came to rest on the east side of a saddle located between two peaks in a near vertical nose down attitude on a magnetic heading of 130 degrees. The accident site was located about 25 miles north of Alzada, at an elevation of about 4,000 feet. The entire airplane came to rest at the accident site, and flight control continuity was established on site.

The airplane was recovered on December 4, 2014, for further examination.


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



Peter Kovarik is shown here flying above the Black Hills. Kovarik, the priest at the Lead and Deadwood Catholic churches died Friday when the plane he was piloting crashed north of Alzada, Mont.



LEAD — Vibrant, passionate, energetic, caring. That is how friends and parishioners remember Peter Kovarik who died Friday when the plane he was piloting crashed in the Finger Buttes area north of Alzada, Mont. 

 Better known as Father Pete, Kovarik was the priest at the Lead and Deadwood Catholic churches. In the 11 months that he served as the spiritual leader in the church, parishioners said he has turned the church around, reinvigorating the members, bringing back younger parishioners and rekindling the spark of faith to many.

Steve Biegler, the pastor at Our Lady of the Black Hills in Piedmont and the vicar general of the Rapid City Catholicdiocese has known Kovarik for nearly 30 years.

The two men went to seminary together at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn.

“He had a lot of energy in life in general, but he had a lot of energy for the faith and the ministry that’s for sure,” Biegler said. “We were good friends. We hiked together. We played practical jokes on each other and together. What was most important to me was that he was a good brother priest.”

Kovarik came to the Lead and Deadwood parish on Jan. 3 after serving in Custer for nearly a decade.

Shortly before coming to the Black Hills Kovarik received his pilot’s license in Timber Lake.

He enjoyed sharing his love of flying with members of the church and took many parishioners for flights in his plane. Several members of the congregation, including fellow pilots, said he was a cautious pilot and did not take risks.

But that didn’t mean problems in flight did not find Kovarik.

“One encounter he told us about, he flew into Rapid City and saw sparks coming from under the plane,” said Darlene J. Burns, a volunteer office administrator at the parish. “ He thought he better get off the concrete, so he went over to the grass but then said ‘this isn’t a very good idea either’ because it was pretty dry. It ended up breaking the landing gear.”

When the he took Burns for a flight later she asked him with a chuckle, “now you did get that fixed, right?’

They flew low over Lead and Deadwood and then to the Southern Hills where he surprised them by touching down on a grass landing strip.

“He enjoyed flying and he wanted people to experience what he felt,” Burns said. “I’m looking at it to help me cope, he died doing what he loved.”

Mary DeMarcus, who was working with Kovarik to develop a lifelong faith program said he was ardent about so many things in life.

“He was passionate about flying, about music – he had a beautiful voice. He also played the guitar and piano. He was also very spiritual. You could see that he loved God. He was also very joyful,” DeMarcus said.

She said Kovarik caused people to become better versions of themselves.

“He was so vibrant and so full of energy,” she said. “We called him the Energizer Bunny around the office because he had so much energy.”

Lisa Fahey, a parishioner, agreed that Kovarik helped revive the church.

“He was real,” she said. “He didn’t say he had it all together, and he didn’t expect us to have it all together. He walked with us and we walked with him.

“His life was beautiful. He makes us all communal,” she added. “I will miss him as a friend and as my pastor.”

Burns too added Kovarik breathed new life into the church.

“He challenged us to go deeper in our faith,” she said. “Some of the young people who have come back, a lot of single parents, it’s just astronomical to see these young people and their children in the church.”

But it wasn’t just the church that he impacted.

“He has done so much for so many people in such a short time for the whole community,” she said. “He will be really hard to replace with as outgoing he was with the whole community, not just us Catholics, but the entire community.”

Fellow pilot and parishioner Les Wolff said the two men often talked about flying.

“Father Pete loved to fly. His first thought of the day, if he saw the sun, was a flight out in the country,” Wolff said.

Kovarik’s last flight began around 11 a.m., Friday from the Spearfish Airport/Clyde Ice Field. He was the only passenger aboard the single-engine Cessna 170B private airplane of which he was the registered owner. A flight plan was not filed, nor was one required.

Ted Miller, the business manager with Black Hills Aero, located at the Spearfish Airport talked to Kovarik that morning, minutes before he took flight for the last time.

“He drove up, got out of his car and said he was going flying,” Miller said.

Miller himself went on a flight just hours later and unknowingly flew within 20 miles of the crash site. He reported good weather with high clouds at the time of his flight.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is assisting.

“If weather got him I’d say it was one of those situations a lot of pilots get pitched into and have to make a decision on how to get out of it,” Wolff said. “Some of us make the right choice and some don’t. You don’t have but seconds for that to happen.”

Wolff feels he saw a sign from above when he was returning to Spearfish on Sunday in his airplane.

“As we traveled from Billings to Spearfish, all we knew was prayers were in order,” Wolff said. “We had no idea what the outcome would be. Somewhere west of Broadus, Mont., this bald eagle swooped down out of the sky and flared to our right and then lifted out. We were pretty much at peace when we saw that.”

Services for Kovarik will be at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in Rapid City. A wake and vigil will be at 7 p.m. Thursday and the funeral is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

It was not known at press time if there would be an additional community service in Lead and Deadwood at a later date.
 

- Source:  http://www.bhpioneer.com


The Catholic community in the Black Hills is mourning the loss of a well-known parish leader.  

 Father Peter Kovarik died after his plane crashed this weekend near the Montana town of Alzada.

Bishop Robert Gruss with the Diocese of Rapid City says that Father Kovarik was loved everywhere he went.

Kovarik served as a pastor at numerous parishes throughout Black Hills communities.

Bishop Gruss says Father Kovarik was in love with his priesthood and he will be dearly missed by his parishioners.

Bishop Gruss says, "I think he'll be remembered as someone who was deeply loved by his parishioners. He also had a passion for all he did; he had a passion for flying, a passion for priesthood, a passion for the outdoors. I think every part of his life he was passionate about and I think he'll be remembered in that way as well, as someone who really embraced life as best he could in ministry and he was serious but he had a lot of fun."

Father Kovarik's wake is set for Thursday at 7pm and the funeral is scheduled for Friday at 6:30pm, both will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City.


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



ALZADA, Mont — A single engine plane crash in Montana has claimed the life of Peter Kovarik, the priest at the Lead and Deadwood Catholic Churches.  

 On Friday, Kovarik took off shortly after 11 a.m. from the Spearfish Airport/Clyde Ice Field for a recreational flight around the Spearfish area. When he did not show up for 4 p.m. mass Saturday at St. Patrick’s Church in Lead, he was reported missing.

His airplane was discovered Sunday morning by members of the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol. He was the only occupant in the single-engine Cessna 170B private airplane of which he was the registered owner.

A flight plan was not filed, nor was one required.

Due to poor weather conditions Saturday evening, members of the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol did not launch an immediate search. A ground team deployed early Sunday morning in the Colony, Wyo., area as a cell phone ping indicated that the plane was in the vicinity Friday. At approximately 9:30 a.m. Sunday, two Civil Air Patrol planes from South Dakota and another from Wyoming launched and joined the ground search, said Bruce Kip with the South Dakota branch.

The Wyoming search plane, equipped with sensors to locate radio signals from emergency beacons in aircraft, located the crash site north of Alzada at approximately 11 a.m. and gave coordinates to redirect the ground search that included members of the Carter County, Mont., Sheriff’s Office.

Dale Diede, the deputy corner for Carter County, Mont., said the plane crashed hard approximately 30 miles north of Alzada in very steep and rugged terrain called the Finger Buttes.

Ted Miller, the business manager with Black Hills Aero, located at the Spearfish Airport talked to Kovarik Friday morning.

“He drove up, got out of his car and said he was going flying,” Miller said. “He was a wonderful man, really kind.”

Miller himself went on a flight just hours later and unknowingly flew within 20 miles of the crash site. Miller reported good weather with high clouds at the time of his flight.

Miller said he was unsure of how many hours Kovarik had logged, but said he was an experienced pilot and had been flying for quite a few years and has owned several planes throughout his life.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is assisting.


- Source:   http://www.bhpioneer.com

Civil Air Patrol/South Dakota Wing news release concerning a joint South Dakota Wing/Wyoming Wing search for and location of a crashed small aircraft. 

Civil Air Patrol Search For/Location of Crashed Small Aircraft 


Late in the evening of 29 November the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall AFB, Florida notified the South Dakota Wing and the Wyoming Wing of the Civil Air Patrol that an aircraft was overdue to return to Spearfish, SD. Poor weather conditions prevented the launch of an immediate search that night. Around 6:00am on Sunday a ground search team was dispatched from CAP’s Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron 9Spearfish) to Colony, WY which cell phone forensics indicated as a possible search site. Later that morning three aircraft; two from South Dakota Wing and one from Wyoming Wing, were launched to conduct an aerial search for the missing aircraft’s emergency beacon (ELT). Using special onboard sensors the CAP aircraft began picking up the ELT signal and worked to refine the location. About one hour later, using aerial triangulation, a Wyoming Wing aircraft sighted the missing aircraft on the ground in high desert area near the tiny town of Alzada, MT. The ground search team was re-directed from Colony to Alzada where they linked up with officers from the Carter County Sheriff’s Office. While the ground team was en route, Wyoming Wing and South Dakota Wing aircraft took turns orbiting the crash site to direct the ground team to the location. Once Carter County Sheriff Office personnel were at the crash site the South Dakota Wing ground team and both wing’s aircraft returned to their bases. 

Bruce Kipp, Major, CAP 
Public Affairs Officer 
SD Wing Civil Air Patrol

Air Tractor 502B, Tri-Rotor Spray and Chemical Inc., N946TR: Accident occurred November 30, 2014 in Somerton, Arizona

http://registry.faa.gov/N946TR

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA048 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Somerton, AZ
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N946TR
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 30, 2014, about 0120 mountain standard time, a single-engine Air Tractor, Inc., AT-502B, N946TR, impacted an open field near Somerton, Arizona. Tri Rotor Spray and Chemical, Inc., operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as a local aerial application flight. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed in the postcrash fire. The airplane departed from a private airstrip about 0100. Visual night meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight.

According to a company representative, prior to the accident the pilot had landed the airplane and placed 100 gallons of water onboard the airplane. The intent was to do a water calibration flight to end his day. After the field had been sprayed with water, the pilot was returning to land. The company representative reported that no communications between the pilot and company pilots flying in the area were made prior to the accident.

A witness reported that he observed a fire in a nearby field, which was later identified as the accident airplane.


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

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:     FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07 



The pilot killed Sunday near Somerton in a crop duster crash has been identified as 55-year-old Michael Alan Kratz, of North Dakota. Yuma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Alfonzo Zavala said he believes Kratz had been coming to the Yuma area the past three to four years.  
 
Zavala said it appears Katz was making his final approach to land when he crashed. The runway is about three quarters of a mile west of where Kratz’s plane went down.

“(Katz) had been spraying out in Dome Valley,” Zavala said. “He had come in once already and picked up water for a rinse load to cleanse his spraying system.”

At approximately 1:20 a.m., the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of County 18 ½ Street and Avenue D ½ in reference to a downed aircraft. Upon arrival, deputies located the aircraft in an open field and fully engulfed in flames.

The aircraft, an Air Tractor 502 crop duster, is owned by Tri Rotor and operated out of Somerton.

The aircraft had no chemicals on board at the time of the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were contacted and are investigating this incident.


- Source:  http://www.yumasun.com


 


The pilot of a crop duster died Sunday in an early-morning crash near Somerton. 

At about 1:20 a.m., the Yuma County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of a downed airplane, a YCSO news release stated. 

The Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department responded to an area near County 18¾ and Avenue E, about 1:43 a.m., according to a news release from that agency.

YCSO noted that the aircraft was in an open field and fully engulfed in flames when it arrived. 


SCFD firefighters quickly worked to extinguish the burning plane.

According to YCSO, initial information indicated that there was one deceased person inside the aircraft. 


The identity of the pilot is being withheld pending positive identification.

The aircraft was described as an Air Tractor 502 crop duster owned by Tri Rotor and operated out of Somerton.


YCSO added that it no chemicals on board at the time of the crash.

The incident remains under investigation by YCSO as well as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The fire department at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma took over for SCFD while they were handling the call in Somerton.


- Sources:

http://www.yumasun.com

http://www.kpho.com

http://www.abc15.com

 Two Somerton/Cocopah firemen work on extinguishing a crashed crop duster at County 18th 3/4 Street and about Avenue E, early Sunday morning. The pilot was deceased.

Rutan Long EZ, N7015T: Accident occurred November 30, 2014 near McGregor Executive Airport (KPWG), Waco, Texas

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Aviation Accident Data Summary:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA063
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in McGregor, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/03/2016
Aircraft: SIEGEL GERALD LONG EZ, registration: N7015T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The noncertificated pilot was taking off from the airport. A witness reported that, immediately after the airplane became airborne, it began flying erratically and that he then heard the pilot make a radio call, during which the pilot stated that he was aborting the takeoff because the cockpit canopy had opened. The airplane descended and struck a vehicle on a highway near the south end of the airport. The airplane then impacted trees and terrain and came to rest inverted. Emergency responders reported that the pilot told them that he had climbed the airplane to a maximum of 100 to 200 ft when the engine lost power. 
An on-scene examination revealed that the airplane was extensively fragmented; all of the airplane’s major components were located at the accident site. Both fuel tanks were breached, which resulted in a fuel spill but no postimpact fire. The cockpit canopy frame was observed mostly intact and partially impact-separated. The inside canopy latch was observed latched and locked. Both propeller blades were separated near the propeller hub and did not exhibit evidence of significant power at impact. An engine examination revealed that there was excessive debris in the gascolator bowl and corrosion on the gasket mating surface; the gascolator housing exhibited excessive wear and had a rusty, rough surface. The excessive debris in the fuel system likely restricted the fuel flow to the engine and resulted in the subsequent total loss of engine power during takeoff. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power during takeoff due to excessive debris in the fuel system. 

On November 30, 2014, about 1248 central standard time, an experimental – amateur built Seigel, Long EZ, single-engine airplane, N7015T, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain following a loss of engine power during takeoff at McGregor Executive Airport (PWG), McGregor, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. At the time of the accident the airplane was departing PWG and was destined for Teague Municipal Airport (68F), Teague, Texas. 

A witness at the airport reported that he saw the airplane climb to about 20 to 25 feet above ground level (agl) when it began flying erratically immediately after becoming airborne. He then heard a radio call from the pilot saying that he was aborting his take off because his cockpit canopy had opened. 

The southbound airplane descended and struck and damaged a vehicle traveling eastbound on the highway. The airplane then impacted trees and terrain and came to rest inverted. The occupants of the vehicle struck by the airplane were not injured. Several witnesses called 9-1-1 emergency and went to the wreckage location to provide aid to the injured pilot. 

Emergency responders reported that the pilot told them that he had climbed to a maximum of 100 to 200 feet when the engine lost power. The pilot added that he had a heavy right wing with more fuel in the right side than the left side. 

An on-scene examination of the wreckage showed all major components of the airplane were observed at the accident location, with all pieces of the fragmented wreckage located within a radius of about 50 feet. The right wing was completely separated and the right rudder and right aileron remained attached to the separated right wing. The left wing was partially separated at mid-span. The left side of the fuselage, forward of the instrument panel, including the left rudder pedal was completely separated. The entire nose gear assembly and nose gear attach fitting were separated. 

The fuel tanks in both wings were breached by impact damage, which resulted in a fuel spill at the accident scene, but there was no postimpact fire. Both propeller blades were impact separated near the propeller hub and did not show evidence of significant power at impact. The cockpit canopy frame was observed mostly intact and partially impact separated. The inside canopy latch was observed latched and locked. The Plexiglas in the canopy was impact fragmented and was almost completely missing from the cockpit canopy frame. 

The fuel pump circuit breaker was observed in the OFF position. The fuel tank selector was observed in the RIGHT position. An examination of the engine compartment showed more than one teaspoon of small debris was observed in gascolator bowl. An in-line fuel filter was not observed and an internal gascolator filter was not observed. The non-transparent metal gascolator bowl showed corrosion on the gasket mating surface and the gascolator housing gasket showed excessive wear and a rusty rough surface. 

Aircraft maintenance logbooks and evidence at the scene showed that the airplane had been operated for about 34 hours since 2011, which included a total of 4.9 hours of operation in the previous year. 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show that the pilot had never held an FAA pilot certificate or an FAA aviation medical certificate. 

At 1255 the automated weather observing system at PWG, located about 1 mile north from the accident location, reported wind from 190 degrees at 21 knots gusting to 27 knots, visibility of 10 miles, scattered clouds at 3,900 feet, scattered clouds at 4,900 feet, temperature 26 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 16 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.00 inches of Mercury.

http://registry.faa.gov/N7015T

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA063 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in McGregor, TX
Aircraft: SIEGEL GERALD LONG EZ, registration: N7015T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On November 30, 2014, about 1248 central standard time, an experimental, amateur-built Seigel Long EZ, single-engine airplane, N7015T, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power during takeoff from the McGregor Executive Airport (PWG), McGregor, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan.

Emergency responders reported that the pilot told them that the airplane had climbed to about 100 ft above ground level when he lost engine power. The airplane traveling south descended and struck and damaged a vehicle traveling east on the highway. The airplane then impacted trees and terrain coming to rest inverted. At least one fuel tank was breached and there was a smell of fuel at the scene; however, there was no postimpact fire. Several witnesses called 9-1-1 emergency and went to the airplane wreckage location to provide aid to the injured pilot. The occupants of the vehicle struck by the airplane were not injured.

At 1255 the automated weather observing system at PWG, located about 1 mile north from the accident location, reported wind from 190 degrees at 21 knots gusting to 27 knots, visibility of 10 miles, scattered clouds at 3,900 ft, scattered clouds at 4,900 ft, temperature 26 degrees C, dew point 16 degrees C, and altimeter setting of 30.00 inches of mercury.


Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fort Worth AFW FSDO-19












MCGREGOR - A local man is hospitalized after crashing his small plane into a car in McGregor Sunday afternoon.

The pilot, 65 year-old Eugene Herr lost control of his plane then hit a car on the highway before crashing to the ground. The plane finally came to stop just feet from a law office building which could have been much worse. The pilot was hurt but fortunately no one else was injured in the crash.

The plane went down shortly after taking off from the McGregor Executive Airport.

Officials say the plane lost altitude after taking off and started going down on highway 84. As the plane came crashing down it hit a car that was traveling along the highway sending the plane tumbling into a traffic sign before finally landing in some trees.

DPS Troopers, McGregor Police and firefighters responded.

The pilot suffered a couple broken bones and some cuts and bruises and was taken to Hillcrest hospital. The driver and the passenger in that car weren't injured in the crash.

Authorities believe the high winds could have played a role but the cause of the crash is still under investigation.


- Source: http://www.kxxv.com

WACO (November 30, 2014) A pilot was taken to a local hospital after his small plane crashed Sunday during takeoff near the McGregor Airport. 

 The plane crash was first reported just after 1:00pm Sunday off Highway 84 and Harris Creek.

According to initial reports from the scene, the pilot of a small plane was taking off on the runway at the McGregor Executive Airport when one of the planes wings hit a black SUV due to strong winds in the area.

The winds then started pushing and twirling the plane, causing the it to slide onto Highway 84 and crash upside down in front of a law office.

The pilot was the only person onboard the plane.

He was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco with a broken leg and possible concussion.

His injuries are not considered life threatening.

No one else was hurt.

Roads in the area were closed for a brief period but have since reopened.

The McGregor Fire Department, City of Waco Fire Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Crawford Police Department all responded to the scene of the accident.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N7422W: Accident occurred November 30, 2014 in Athens, Limestone County, Alabama

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N7422W

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Birmingham FSDO-09


NTSB Identification: ERA15CA064 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Athens, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N7422W
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

The airplane was on final approach to land on runway 18, a 2,500-foot-long, turf runway, at a private airstrip. A witness stated that winds were gusting from the south and when the airplane was on short final it began to sink. The airplane's right main landing gear tire struck the top wire of power lines that were located across a road from the airstrip and were perpendicular to the runway. The airplane pitched down and impacted on the runway, about 120 feet to the south, which resulted in substantial damage to the forward portion of the fuselage. The pilot reported he added engine power when he realized that the airplane was descending and that the engine hesitated. He further stated that he did not experience any malfunctions or failures of the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Winds reported at an airport that was located about 11 miles south-southeast of the accident site, around the time of the accident, were from 190 degrees at 21 knots, gusting 26 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude while landing in gusty wind conditions, which resulted in a collision with power lines while on final approach.




LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Two people were transported to the hospital following a small plane crash in Limestone County.  

 It happened around 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Bill Black Road and New Cut Road.

Officials said two people were on board when the plane went down on approach for landing, hitting power lines in the process. The owner of the air strip where the landing was attempted said the plane caught wind.

According to Federal Aviation Administration documentation, the plane, a fixed-wing, single-engine Piper Cherokee, and built in 1963.

The plane is registered to Max Boone, a doctor from Athens, who was confirmed as the pilot in Sunday's crash. Boone has three years' experience flying, but had only flown with the Piper for three months.

Boone and his wife were transported from the scene and taken by helicopter to Huntsville Hospital.

The extent of their injuries is unknown, however officials said they were both talking when they were airlifted and are expected to be okay.

The FAA will conduct an investigation into the crash.

- Source:  http://www.myfoxal.com



LIMESTONE COUNTY, Alabama - The two occupants of a single-engine plane are in critical after it crashed Sunday afternoon.

The Piper Cherokee 180 clipped a power line as it was approaching a landing in the airfield near New Cut Road, about four west of Athens, Owens Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Blakely told AL.com.

Owens Volunteer Fire Department responded to the crash that occurred around 1:20.

The four-seater plane hit the ground nose first. The front end was smashed and the propeller was embedded in the ground. The rest of the plane appeared mostly intact. It did not catch on fire.

The plane was piloted by its owner, Dr. Max Boone, a family practice physician in Athens. His wife was the only passenger. Both were transported by separate helicopters to Huntsville Hospital. They were talking with Owens firefighters before taken away, Blakely said.

Huntsville Hospital has not returned a call for their condition, but The Athens News Courier reported a Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman said both are in critical condition.

Boone kept his plane at the airfield where the crash occurred. The airfield does not have a name and uses an open grass field as a runway.

Parts of New Cut Road have been closed as utility crews work to re-attach the power lines cut by the crash.

As an odd coincidence, 18-year-old, Nick Loggins was killed in a Limestone County plane crash one year ago today. The 2013 crash occurred at 1:19 p.m. near Elkmont.


- Source:  http://www.al.com

























An Athens couple has been flown to Huntsville by MedEvac and MedFlight after the small plane they were flying in crashed at the end of a private grass airstrip Sunday afternoon. 

 Both are in critical condition, according to a Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman.

An official at the scene said the passengers in the plane  are Dr. Max Boone and his wife, Chris, of Athens. Boone keeps his plane in a hangar at the strip.

A firefighter at the scene, Capt. Dennis Blakely of Owens Volunteer Fire Department, told The News Courier Boone was bringing his Piper Cherokee 180 in for a landing to a private grass landing strip to the south of New Cut Road, just west of S and J Lane, when he struck a power line. The plane struck the ground nose first just short of the landing strip. Witnesses at the scene said there was no fire as a result of the crash. The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m.

Blakely said the Federal Aviation Administration was en route to investigate.

Traffic on New Cut Road, in the area of New Cut and Blackburn roads, is shut down as crews work to replace power lines that were damaged as a result of the crash, according to scanner traffic. 

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, N6629V: Fatal accident occurred November 30, 2014 in Boonville, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration - Kansas City Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri 
Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N6629V

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA060 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Boonville, MO
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6629V
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Serious.

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 November 30, 2014, about 0857 central standard time (CST), a Bellanca model 17-30A single-engine airplane, N6629V, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during landing approach to runway 36 at Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER), Boonville, Missouri. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and his three passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS), Chesterfield, Missouri, about 0740, and was originally destined for Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), Kansas City, Missouri.

The day preceding the accident, the pilot had flown from MKC to SUS. After landing, about 1207, the pilot told a fixed-base operator (FBO) line technician that he had a depleted battery because of an unspecified charging system malfunction. The pilot, who also was an aviation mechanic, removed the battery from the airplane to have it charged. About 1800, the pilot returned to the FBO with the recharged battery. After reinstalling the battery, the pilot started and ran the engine for about 5 to 7 minutes. Following the engine run, the pilot removed the cowling and began adjusting a subcomponent of the alternator control unit (ACU). After adjusting the ACU, the pilot performed another engine test run that lasted about 10 minutes. Following the second engine test run, the pilot told the FBO line technician that the airplane's ammeter was still showing a slight discharge while the engine was running, and that he was uncomfortable departing at night with a charging system issue. The pilot asked if he and his passengers could stay the night in the pilot's lounge so they could depart early the following morning. The pilot also asked for the airplane to be towed to the self-serve fuel pumps because he did not want to deplete the battery further with another engine start.

The pilot prepaid for 20 gallons of fuel at the self-serve fuel pump. According to the line technician, the pilot nearly topped-off the right inboard fuel tank with 13 gallons before switching over to the left inboard tank. Upon a visual inspection of the left inboard tank, the pilot told the line technician that it contained less fuel than he had expected. The pilot proceeded to add the remaining 7 gallons of the prepaid 20 gallons to the left inboard fuel tank. The line technician noted that after fueling the left inboard fuel tank, the fluid level was about 2 inches from the top of the tank. The pilot did not purchase any additional fuel and told the line technician that both outboard "auxiliary" fuel tanks were nearly full. The line technician then towed the airplane back to the ramp for the evening. The line technician reported that the airplane departed FBO ramp the following morning.

According to air traffic control (ATC) data, the first radar return for the accident flight was shortly after the airplane departed from runway 26L at 0740:50 (hhmm:ss). The airplane initially transmitted a visual flight rules (VFR) beacon code (1200) during accident flight. The plotted radar track revealed the airplane flew west-northwest from SUS toward the planned destination. At 0751:03, the airplane stopped transmitting a 1200 beacon code and continued as a primary-only radar target. The location of the final 1200 code was about 21.5 miles west-northwest of SUS at 2,400 ft mean sea level (msl). The lack of a reinforced beacon return was consistent with the pilot turning the airplane transponder off. The primary-only radar track continued west-northwest at an unknown altitude. (The airplane's transponder transmits altitude data to the radar facility; a primary-only radar return does not include altitude data) At 0832:04, the airplane was still traveling west-northwest and was about 5 miles south of Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER). At 0836:21, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 11 miles west-southwest of VER. There was no radar coverage with the airplane for about 19 minutes. At 0855:30, the radar facility began tracking a VFR reinforced beacon return (1200) about 2.3 miles north of VER descending through 1,500 feet msl. The time and location of the radar returns are consistent with the accident flight maneuvering to land at VER. The airplane entered a left downwind for runway 36 at 1,200 feet msl. At 0856:49, the last recorded radar return was about 0.9 mile southwest of the runway 36 threshold at 1,100 feet msl (about 400 feet above the ground).

According to one of the surviving passengers, while enroute at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 ft msl, the airplane encountered a line of "dense clouds" near Sedalia, Missouri. The pilot attempted to navigate beneath the clouds, at an altitude of about 1,500 ft msl, before deciding to make a course reversal and divert to a nearby airport. The pilot told the passenger, who was seated in the forward-right seat, to be on the lookout for towers and obstructions because of their low proximity to the ground. The passenger reported that after flying east for a few minutes the pilot identified VER on his Apple iPad Mini. The flight approached the airport traffic pattern from the west and made a left base-to-final turn toward runway 36. The passenger reported that the landing gear extended normally. However, when the pilot reduced engine power, in attempt to reduce airspeed, the engine experienced a loss of power. The pilot was able to restore engine power briefly by advancing the throttle, but the engine quickly lost total power. The passenger reported that the pilot then began making rapid changes to the engine throttle and mixture control without any noticeable effect to engine operation. The passenger stated that as the pilot prepared for a forced landing the airplane encountered an aerodynamic stall about 250 ft above the ground. The passenger did not recall the airplane impacting the ground.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the 63-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine land, single engine sea, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot's last aviation medical examination was on April 11, 2014, when he was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. The pilot completed a flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, on November 12, 2014, in a single-engine Cessna model 180 airplane.

The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using his pilot logbook and a computer spreadsheet. The last flight entry in the pilot logbook was dated January 8, 2012. The computer spreadsheet was last updated on November 16, 2014, at which time he had accumulated 3,036 hours total flight time, of which 2,955 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. He had accumulated 2,428 hours in single engine airplanes and 608 hours in multi-engine airplanes. Additionally, he had logged 43 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 175 hours in simulated instrument meteorological conditions, and 233 hours at night.

According to available logbook documentation, the pilot had flown 19 hours during the previous 6 months, 10 hours during prior 90 days, and 3 hours in the month before the accident flight. According to a flight-monitoring website, FlightAware.com, the pilot had flown 1.3 hours during the 24-hour period preceding the accident flight.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1970 Bellanca model 17-30A, Super Viking, serial number 30312. The Super Viking is a single-engine, low wing monoplane with an all-wood wing construction and a fabric covered steel-tube fuselage. A 300-horsepower Continental Motors model IO-520-K reciprocating engine, serial number 209048-70K, powered the airplane through a constant speed, three blade, Hartzell model HC-C3YF-1RF propeller. The airplane had a retractable tricycle landing gear, was capable of seating the pilot and three passengers, and had a maximum gross weight of 3,325 pounds. The FAA issued the accident airplane a standard airworthiness certificate on October 23, 1970. The pilot purchased the airplane on July 5, 2014.

The airplane's recording tachometer meter indicated 621.4 hours at the accident site. The airframe and engine had accumulated a total service time of 2,858.7 hours. The engine had accumulated 1,429.7 hours since the last major overhaul completed on December 10, 1976. The engine had accumulated 206.1 hours since a top overhaul that was completed on December 8, 2007. The last annual inspection of the airplane was completed on November 1, 2014, at 2,853.5 total airframe hours. The airplane had accumulated 5.2 hours since the last annual inspection. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 0900 CST depicted a strong cold front immediately east of the accident site. The front stretched across Missouri between the departure airport and the planned destination. The cold front was associated with a defined wind shift and low stratiform clouds behind the front. There were several weather stations located near the accident site that had surface visibility restrictions in fog and mist. Weather radar imagery did not depict any significant weather echoes in the area of the accident site; however, the weather radar did detect a fine line of very light intensity echoes associated with the cold front. Satellite imagery depicted a band of low stratiform clouds extending over the accident site westward through the Kansas City area. The cloud band was located along and behind the cold front. The NWS 12-hour Surface Prognostic Chart depicted a cold front along the planned route of flight, a strong pressure gradient behind the front supporting strong north-northwest winds, and an extensive portion of Missouri that had marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) weather conditions.

At 0855 CST, an automated surface weather observation station located at Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER), Boonville, Missouri, reported: wind 310 degrees at 13 knots, gusting 16 knots; broken cloud ceilings at 2,600 ft above ground level (agl) and 3,400 ft agl, overcast ceiling at 4,100 ft agl; 10 mile surface visibility; temperature 11 degrees Celsius; dew point 7 degrees Celsius; and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury.

At 0853 CST, the weather conditions at Sedalia Memorial Airport (DMO), located near where a passenger reported the accident flight had encountered a line of "dense clouds", included a broken ceiling at 1,700 ft agl, another broken ceiling at 2,400 ft agl, and an overcast ceiling at 3,000 feet agl.

At 0854 CST, a surface observation made at the planned destination (MKC), included instrument flight rules (IFR) weather conditions, including an 800 ft agl cloud ceiling and 4 miles surface visibility with mist.

A review of weather briefing requests made to Automated Flight Service Stations (AFSS) and Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS) vendors established that the pilot did not receive a formal weather briefing before departure.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER), located about 3 miles southeast of Boonville, Missouri, was served by a single runway: 18/36 (4,000 ft by 75 ft, asphalt). The airport elevation was 715 ft msl.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

A postaccident examination revealed that the airplane impacted a harvested soybean field on a 305-degree magnetic heading. The initial point-of-impact consisted of three parallel depressions in the field that were consistent with the spacing of the airplane's three landing gear. The main wreckage was located about 24 ft from the initial point-of-impact in an upright position. The accident site was located along the extended runway centerline about 0.4 miles south of the runway 36 threshold. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to the individual flight control surfaces. The wing flaps were about 1/2 of their full deflection. The landing gear selector switch was in the DOWN position; however, all three landing gear assemblies had collapsed during the impact sequence. The main fuel selector was in the OFF position; however, a first responder had moved the fuel selector from the AUX position to OFF during rescue efforts. Additionally, the first responder turned the engine magneto/ignition key to OFF and disconnected the battery terminals after hearing the sound of an electric motor located under the floorboards. (The sound of an electric motor was later identified to be the electrohydraulic motor for the landing gear extension/retraction system.) The auxiliary fuel tank selector was in the RIGHT position. The electrical master switch was in the ON position. The digital transponder was in the ON/Altitude Encoding position. The electric fuel pump switch was in the OFF position. There were no anomalies identified during functional tests of the electric fuel pump and the aerodynamic stall warning system. The postaccident airframe examination revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane was equipped with two inboard main fuel tanks and two outboard auxiliary fuel tanks. The reported capacity of each main fuel tank was 19 gallons, of which 15.5 gallons were usable per tank. The reported capacity of each outboard auxiliary fuel tank was 17 gallons; however, according to a cockpit placard, the auxiliary tanks were for use during level flight only. A visual examination of the four fuel tanks revealed no damage or evidence of a fuel leak. The left main tank contained about 5 gallons of fuel. The right main tank contained 3-1/2 pints of fuel. The left auxiliary tank was near its 17-gallon capacity. The right auxiliary tank contained about 11 gallons of fuel. There was no fuel recovered from the supply line connected to the inlet port of the engine-driven fuel pump; however, the gascolator drain had fractured during impact and there was evidence of a small fuel spill underneath the gascolator assembly at the accident site. There was a trace amount of fuel recovered from the engine-driven fuel pump outflow line. There was no fuel recovered from the fuel supply line connected to the fuel manifold valve.

The engine remained partially attached to the firewall by its engine mounts and control cables. Mechanical continuity was confirmed from the engine components to their respective cockpit engine controls. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos provided spark on all leads when rotated. There were no obstructions between the air filter housing and the fuel control unit. The three blade propeller and crankshaft flange had separated from the engine. The propeller blades exhibited minor burnishing of the blade face and back. One blade appeared straight. Another blade exhibited a shallow S-shape bend along its span. The remaining blade was bent aft about midspan. The postaccident examination revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal engine operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On December 1, 2014, at the request of the Cooper County Coroner, the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner's Office located in Columbia, Missouri, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The toxicological test results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and all drugs and medications.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Four personal electronic devices were recovered at the accident site and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington D.C. for potential non-volatile memory (NVM) data recovery.

An examination of the pilot's Apple iPad Mini revealed it had the ForeFlight application installed. The application's map page displayed route information for a flight from SUS to MKC. The specifics of the flight included a calculated distance of 186 nautical miles between SUS and MKC, a calculated course of 281 degrees magnetic, an estimated time enroute of 1 hour 10 minutes (calculated using 160 knots true airspeed without the effect of winds aloft), and an calculated fuel consumption of 17.4 gallons. There was no track history for the accident flight; the option to record a track history was not selected for the accident flight. The most recent track history was for a flight completed on August 24, 2014. Further examination of the device established that the text messages, photos, and internet browser history did not contain any information pertinent information to the investigation. According to a passenger, the pilot had used the iPad Mini to navigate during the accident flight.

An examination of a passenger's Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone revealed that there were four photos taken during the accident flight between 0826:47 and 0831:51. During the five-minute period of recovered photos, the observed cloud cover near the airplane increased from clear skies to low-level, overcast stratocumulus clouds. Further examination of the device established that the text messages did not contain any information pertinent information to the investigation.

The remaining two devices, a Motorola Droid Smartphone and an Apple iPod Touch, did not contain any data pertinent to the accident investigation.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

According to available air traffic control data, the accident flight was at least 1 hour 17 minutes in duration. According to the airplane's owner manual, the expected fuel consumption rate at 2,500 ft msl and 77-percent power was 16.1 gallons per hour. At 77-percent engine power, the accident airplane would have used at least 20.7 gallons of fuel; however, engine operation above 77-percent power and/or insufficient leaning would have consumed additional fuel.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA060 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Boonville, MO
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6629V
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 November 30, 2014, about 0900 central standard time, a Bellanca model 17-30A airplane, N6629V, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during landing approach to runway 36 at Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (VER), Boonville, Missouri. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and his 3 passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS), Chesterfield, Missouri, about 0738, and was originally destined for Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), Kansas City, Missouri.

The day before the accident, the pilot had flown from MKC to SUS. After landing, about 1207, the pilot told a fixed-base operator (FBO) line technician that he had a depleted battery because of an unspecified charging system malfunction. The pilot, who also was an aviation mechanic, removed the battery from the airplane to have it charged. About 1800, the pilot returned to the FBO with the recharged battery. After reinstalling the battery, the pilot started and ran the engine for about 5 to 7 minutes. Following the engine run, the pilot removed the cowling and began adjusting a subcomponent of the alternator control unit (ACU). After adjusting the ACU, the pilot performed another engine test run that lasted about 10 minutes. Following the second engine test run, the pilot told the FBO line technician that the airplane's ammeter was still showing a slight discharge while the engine was running, and that he was uncomfortable departing at night with a charging system issue. The pilot asked if he and his passengers could stay the night in the pilot's lounge so they could depart early the following morning. The pilot also asked for the airplane to be towed to the self-serve fuel pumps because he didn't want to further deplete the battery with another engine start.

The pilot prepaid for 20 gallons of fuel at the self-serve fuel pump. According to the line technician, the pilot nearly topped-off the right inboard fuel tank with 13 gallons before switching over to the left inboard tank. Upon a visual inspection of the left inboard tank, the pilot told the line technician that it contained less fuel than he had expected. The pilot proceeded to add the remaining 7 gallons of the prepaid 20 gallons to the left inboard fuel tank. The line technician noted that after fueling the left inboard fuel tank, the fluid level was about 2 inches from the top of the tank. The pilot did not purchase any additional fuel and told the line technician that both outboard "auxiliary" fuel tanks were nearly full. The line technician then towed the airplane back to the ramp for the evening. The line technician reported that the airplane departed FBO ramp the following morning.

According to one of the surviving passengers, while enroute at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 feet mean sea level, the flight encountered a line of "dense clouds" near Sedalia, Missouri. The pilot attempted to navigate beneath the clouds, at an altitude of about 1,500 feet msl, before deciding to make a course reversal and locate a nearby airport to divert to. The pilot told the passenger, who was seated in the forward-right seat, to be on the lookout for towers and obstructions because of their low proximity to the ground. The passenger reported that after flying east for a few minutes the pilot identified VER on his tablet computer. The flight approached the airport traffic pattern from the west and made a left base-to-final turn toward runway 36. The passenger reported that the pilot extended the landing gear without any difficulties. However, when the pilot reduced engine power, in attempt to reduce airspeed, the engine experienced a loss of power. The pilot was able to briefly restore engine power by advancing the throttle, but the engine quickly lost total power. The passenger reported that the pilot then began making rapid changes to the engine throttle and mixture control without any noticeable effect to engine operation. The passenger stated that the airplane eventually "stalled completely", about 250 feet above the ground, as the pilot prepared for a forced landing; however, the passenger did not recall the airplane impacting terrain.

A postaccident examination revealed that the airplane impacted a harvested soybean field on a 305 degree magnetic heading. The initial point of impact consisted of three parallel depressions in the field that were consistent with the spacing of the accident airplane landing gear. The main wreckage was located about 24 feet from the initial point of impact in an upright position. The accident site was situated along the extended runway 36 centerline, about 0.4 miles south of the runway approach threshold. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to the individual flight control surfaces. The electric master switch was found in the "on" position. The wing flaps were observed to be positioned about 1/2 of their full deflection. The landing gear selector switch was in the "down" position; however, all three landing gear assemblies had collapsed during the accident. The main fuel selector was found in the "off" position; however, a first responder had moved the fuel selector from the "auxiliary" position to the "off" position during rescue efforts. The first responder also turned the engine magneto/ignition key to "off" and disconnected the battery terminals after hearing the sound of an electric motor located under the floorboards. (The sound of an electric motor was later identified to be the electrohydraulic motor for the landing gear extension/retraction system.) The auxiliary fuel tank selector was found positioned to the "right" auxiliary wing tank. (The auxiliary fuel tank selector had two positions, "right auxiliary" or "left auxiliary.") The electric fuel pump switch was found in the "off" position. There were no anomalies identified during functional tests of the electric fuel pump and the aerodynamic stall warning system.

The airplane was equipped with two inboard "main" fuel tanks and two outboard "auxiliary" fuel tanks. The reported capacity of each inboard fuel tank was 19 gallons, of which 15.5 gallons were useable per tank. The left inboard tank contained about 5 gallons of fuel. The right inboard tank contained 3-1/2 pints of fuel. The inboard fuel tanks appeared to be undamaged and there was no evidence of a fuel leak from either tank. The reported capacity of each outboard "auxiliary" fuel tank was 17 gallons; however, those tanks were placarded for level flight only. The outboard fuel tanks also appeared to be undamaged and there was no evidence of a fuel leak from either tank. A visual inspection of the left outboard tank confirmed that it was filled near its capacity. The right outboard tank contained about 11 gallons of fuel. No fuel was recovered from the fuel supply line connected to the engine-driven fuel pump inlet port; however, the fuel gascolator drain had fractured during the accident and there was evidence of a small fuel spill underneath the gascolator assembly at the accident site. Only trace amounts of fuel were recovered from the engine-driven fuel pump outflow fuel line. No fuel was recovered from the fuel supply line connected to the flow-divider assembly.

The engine remained partially attached to the firewall by its engine mounts and control cables. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos provided spark on all leads when rotated. There were no obstructions between the air filter housing and the fuel control unit. Mechanical continuity was confirmed from the engine components to their respective cockpit engine controls. The postaccident examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal engine operation.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control data, the accident flight departed SUS around 0738. According to local law enforcement, the initial 911-emergency call was received at 0901. As such, the accident flight, from takeoff to the accident, was at least 1 hour 22 minutes in duration. According to the airplane's owner manual, the expected fuel consumption rate at 2,500 feet msl and 77-percent power was 16.1 gallons per hour. At 77-percent engine power, the accident flight would have consumed at least 22 gallons of fuel; however, engine operation above 77-percent power and/or insufficient leaning would have consumed additional fuel.

At 0855, the VER automated surface observing system reported: wind 310 degrees at 13 knots, gusting 16 knots; broken cloud ceilings at 2,600 feet above ground level (agl) and 3,400 feet agl, overcast ceiling at 4,100 feet agl; 10 mile surface visibility; temperature 11 degrees Celsius; dew point 7 degrees Celsius; and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury.


SALINA, KAN. --- Monday afternoon, FAA investigators were out at the site of a fatal plane crash in central Missouri. The plane went down Sunday morning, killing the pilot, Charlie Sojka, and injuring his three passengers.

 Sojka worked at K-State Salina for 11 years. During the majority of that time, he taught students how to maintain aircrafts. He was also a flight instructor out of the Salina Airport through his company Sojka Aviation.

"Charlie was a great guy. He leaves a great hole here at K-State Salina," Kurt Barnhart said. "He was very competent. He had a lot of FAA certifications, a lot of experience, loved aviation, was just passionate about it."

Barnhart--the associate dean of research at K-State--is Sojka's former boss. He says he's still trying to make sense of his colleague and friend's passing.

"Right now everyone is in shock," Barnhart said. "We just never expect to lose anyone, least of all one of your most experienced people."

Those close to the family say his wife, 56-year-old Brenda Schewe and his two stepchildren, 25-year-old Kathryn Taylor of Wichita and 23-year-old Jacob Taylor of Kansas City, were also in the plane when it went down Sunday morning. They were taken to University Hospital in Columbia, MO for their injuries. Brenda is reportedly in serious condition, Kathryn is in fair condition, and Jacob is in good condition.

"It's just one of those freak things that really makes us all pause and be thankful for life," Barnhart said. "And really pray for the family."

K-State says it will also be planning a memorial service on campus for Sojka. No date yet has been set.
______________________________________

A pilot from Salina, Kansas died after his small plane crashed Sunday morning in central Missouri. A Wichita woman is among three people who were injured.

The crash happened around 9 a.m. near the Jessie Vertel Memorial Airport in Boonville. That's about 100 miles east of Kansas City.

KMIZ reports the pilot, Charles Sojka, and three passengers were on the plane when it went down shortly after taking off from the airport.

According to KMIZ, the three passengers were taken to University Hospital in Columbia. The extent of their injuries is still not known.

They have been identified as 56-year-old Brenda Schewe of Salina, 25-year-old Kathryn Taylor of Wichita and 23-year-old Jacob Taylor of Kansas City.

The FAA was expected to be at the scene Sunday afternoon to investigate. The cause of the crash has not been determined.

According to Tim Rogers of the Salina Airport Authority, Sojka was a flight instructor at a company called Sojka Aviation. Rogers said that the plane is based in Salina. It left last week and was on it's way back from Boonville when it crashed.

Kansas State University's website says Sojka worked in aviation maintenance at the school's Salina Campus.

- Source:   http://www.kake.com








 









 COLUMBIA — The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into Sunday's plane crash in Boonville that left one dead and three injured, officials said. 

Pilot Charles Sojka, 63, of Salina, Kansas, died at the scene, and the plane's three passengers — Sojka's wife and two children — were taken to University Hospital.

As of Monday afternoon, Brenda Schewe, 56, of Salina, was listed in serious condition; Kathryn Taylor, 25, of Wichita, Kansas, was listed in fair condition; and Jacob Taylor, 23, of Kansas City, was listed in good condition.

They were being treated for internal injuries, according to previous Missourian reporting.

The small plane's flight plan showed it was en route to Kansas City from St. Louis on Sunday morning when it crashed near Highway 87 and Nancy Potter Road, just south of Interstate 70 and about a mile south of the Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport, said Sgt. Paul Reinsch, spokesman for Missouri Highway Patrol Troop F.

Reinsch said he was unsure whether Sojka's plane had taken off from the Boonville airport. No one from the airport could be reached for comment.

Sojka worked as an aviation instructor for Kansas State University's Salina campus and served in the Army for two years. He earned a bachelor's in industrial arts education with teaching certification, as well as a bachelor's in business administration from Oklahoma State University, according to a 2009 Kansas State news release.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Monday morning began its investigation, which is expected to take several weeks or several months, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said Monday.

Updates on the investigation will be posted on the safety board's website. The investigators had already moved the plane to a separate location by late Monday morning, Reinsch said.


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


COOPER COUNTY, MO -- A small plane crashed just south of the Jesse P. Viertel Memorial Airport around 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning. 

Four people were on board the plane when it crashed.

The pilot, Charles Sojcka of Salina, Kansas, was killed and three others were injured. Two of those victims were taken by ambulance and one was taken by the Staff for Life helicopter to University Hospital.

Captain Simmons of the Cooper County Fire Protection District said the three taken to the hospital were in serious, but stable condition. All were speaking and alert after the crash.

Emergency crews left the scene around 11:30 a.m.


The Missouri State Highway Patrol has secured the crash site until federal investigators arrive.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, however, it did occur as the pilot was attempting to land at the airport. 


The location of crash was off of Nancy Potter Road which is just south of I-70 and the airport

 The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board  are expected to be on the scene by tomorrow morning.


http://www.connectmidmissouri.com

http://www.komu.com

Boonville, Mo. - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed this afternoon the pilot of a small plane died after a crash near the Boonville airport just after 9:00 Sunday morning. 

 The pilot, Charles Sojka of Salina, Kan., and three passengers were on the plane when it went down shortly after taking off from the Jessie Viertel Memorial Airport in Boonville.

The three passengers in the plane were 56-year-old Brenda Schewe of Salina, 25-year-old Kathryn Taylor of Wichita and 23-year-old Jacob Taylor of Kansas City. The passengers were taken to University Hospital for their injuries, but the extent of those injuries were unknown as of Sunday evening.

The FAA was expected to be at the scene this afternoon.  The crash site is near MO Highway 87 and Nancy Potter Rd., just south of I-70 and is about 1/2-to-one mile south of the airport.

According to Tim Rogers of the Salina Airport Authority, Sojka was a flight instructor at a company called Sojka Aviation.

Rogers said the plane is based in Salina. He said it left earlier in the week and was on its way back from Boonville, Missouri.


According to the Kansas State University website, he worked in aviation maintenance for the college in Salina.

- Source: http://www.abc17news.com