Saturday, December 6, 2014

WWII training plane with long Montana history headed for flying museum

Eighty-year-old pilot Chuck Burruss stands near his 1941 Piper J-3 Cub that once belonged to Johnson Flying Service in Missoula, where it was used to train would-be pilots in the Army Air Force College Training Detachment. The flight training was done at the old Hale Field, near where Sentinel High School is now.
KURT WILSON, Missoulian


http://registry.faa.gov/N41300


CORVALLIS – They came from Houston, Texas, and Iron Mountain, Michigan, Jessup, Pennsylvania, and Hollywood, California.

“Forget it,” they’d say, and “Aw, shucks, fellas,” and “He’s a swell egg.””

They arrived in Missoula in the middle of World War II, young men who would be pilots in the little-known Army Air Force College Training Detachment.

From March 1943 until a few weeks after D-Day in 1944 they bunked in Corbin Hall and other dorms on what was then the Montana State University campus in Missoula.

They studied math, physics, geography and physical education. They staged hops and musical extravaganzas, played intramural sports and, over at Hale Field, learned the rudiments of flying from Johnson Flying Service pilots.

Hundreds if not thousands cut their teeth in two-seat “cub yellow” Piper J-3’s, the primary aircraft of the Civilian Pilot Training Program and, later, Army Air Force programs that came to campuses and airfields in Montana and across the country.

For 57 years, Chuck Burruss has owned one of those J-3s – “N” number 41300.

“It’s as easy a plane to fly as you could ever learn in. They’re very good trainers, real forgiving, and they recover from a stall easy,” Burruss said the other day as he pushed open the doors to the hangar at his home northeast of Corvallis.

It won’t be here much longer.

As early as this week, the Piper Cub will join its brethren from the Johnson Flying fleet in the Museum of Mountain Flying at Missoula International Airport. Some of the others are on loan, but the museum, of which Burruss is a member, has long sought the J-3 for its own.

Thanks to generous donations and a grant, the board recently met the asking price of $15,000.

“The whole thing about buying this airplane is it was a Johnson plane. It came from Missoula. It’s historic, sort of an original J-3,” said museum board president Stan Cohen, who doggedly led efforts to obtain the plane.

It fits with the 20-year-old museum’s mission of collecting and displaying historic planes used by Johnson Flying Service since it was launched in 1926.

For now, the J-3 will fit under the wings of the hulking DC-3, the plane that transported smokejumpers to tragic deaths in the 1949 Mann Gulch fire north of Helena.

Cohen said a similar yellow Piper Cub that wasn’t a Johnson training plane will be returned to nearby Minuteman Aviation to make room.

Along with Burruss’ J-3 comes a scattering of log books and records, including the original forms completed when the plane came off the assembly line at the Piper Aircraft Corp. in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.

It’s dated Dec. 4, 1941 – three days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the United States into war.

Burruss had just turned 7 on that day and would soon become infatuated with the doings at the airport in his hometown of Hamilton.

Bernie Wryn was 5, and in only a couple of years would share a similar fascination with what was going on at Hale Field in Missoula, on the eastern edge of the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

“I’d pedal out there with my bicycle and you could see all these J-3s standing on their noses, one stacked right after another in a hangar,” said Wryn.

Also a member of the flying museum, Wryn has long assumed Burruss’ J-3 was one of the planes he saw at Hale Field during and after the war years. He can’t remember how many Piper J-3 Cubs the military used for pilot training there and sold to Bob Johnson for $1 apiece plus “other valuable considerations.”

“I’m going to say I saw certainly a half-dozen and maybe a dozen,” Wryn said.

Where N41300 flew between the time it came out of the factory in late 1941 and when it joined the Army Air Force’s fleet at Hale Field remains a riddle that Dick Komberec aims to solve.

A historian for the flying museum, Komberec said there’s a decent chance it arrived in the wake of tragedy.

In the early Friday morning of Sept. 10, 1943, two J-3s on training runs south of Missoula collided above Buckhouse Bridge. Four men died – instructor pilots Clyde Reynolds and Stanley Hillman of Missoula, and students Robert Schwenter of Detroit and William Richards of Tarrytown, New York.

The students were members of the Army Air Force’s 317th college training detachment. A news account said the accident was the first in the training of students by the Johnson school and the first in the history of Johnson Flying Service.

“They would have needed two replacement airplanes, or at least one,” Komberec pointed out. “They lost two that day and still had the program. I’m just guessing that’s maybe where this one came in.”

He plans on making a request for Federal Aviation Administration records that will detail the history of Burruss’ plane.

The 317th was apparently the first of two college training detachments in Missoula, activated in March of 1943 under the Army Air Force’s Western Training Center. Cohen's collection at Pictorial Histories Publishing includes an invitation to the 317th's Farewell Hop on Feb. 18, 1944.

The detachment was replaced by the 3074th Base Unit, which trained and schooled at the university and at Hale Field until the nationwide program was discontinued at the end of June 1944.

Burruss can trace his plane’s history after the war. Bob Schellinger, a legendary helicopter pilot for Johnson Flying Service and a charter inductee into the Museum of Mountain Flying’s hall of fame in 1995, bought it from Johnson. Then it belonged to Don Dowling, of the Dowling funeral home family in Hamilton.

Burruss figures he was 22 when he bought the plane from Dowling in 1956 or '57.

“It needed fixing, so I bought it, re-covered the wings, and learned to fly in it,” he said. “I didn’t know how to fly when I bought it.”

He courted his future wife, Jeanne Clark of Corvallis, in the Piper Cub.

How do you do something like that? Burruss was asked.

“You meet her up behind C Butte (east of Corvallis) up in the grainfields. She leaves her horse in the corral and she jumps in the plane and goes flying with you,” he said with a grin.

Aside from the initial re-covering of the wings and some chrome work when American Dental was in business in Missoula, Burruss hasn’t altered anything since he got N41300, he said.

He’s added a Cessna 180 to his stable, but until recently he flew the Piper Cub several times a year, taxiing it out of the barn and taking off and landing on his 1,000-foot grass runway that slopes down from the house, at one point at a 9-percent grade.

With all those takeoffs and landings, and all those hours in the air – into the Selway, up to the Flathead, over to Butte and Dillon – he never had an accident or even a close call, Burruss said.

“It’s fun to fly,” he said. “Just the thrill of getting up, the thrill of leaving the ground and climbing into the air, and then the thrill of landing when you get back.”

But now it’s time to get rid of the old plane. Burruss turned 80 in November.

“I’ve been playing around with it for years, but the fabric is old,” he said. “It needs re-covering. It shouldn’t be flown any more because of that, and I’m getting too old to re-cover an airplane again.”

Story and Photos:  http://ravallirepublic.com

Idaho State Police used drone during standoff

COEUR d'ALENE - A drone was used by Idaho State Police officers during their investigation into a multi-agency standoff in Coeur d'Alene that ended with a fugitive dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The warrant obtained by ISP detectives allowed photographic documentation of the home on Quincy Court where John David Crispin, a 37-year-old fugitive armed with a gun, barricaded himself Saturday night. According to ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker, the drone was used to gather aerial photography of the complex.

Baker added that the drone is owned by an ISP detective, who made the aircraft available for use during the investigation.

The standoff was not the first time the state agency has made use of a drone. Baker said an unmanned aircraft was most recently deployed by ISP to document the scene of the August shooting that occurred on Interstate 90 at Post Falls.

Aerial views of a crime scene can serve as an important piece of evidence in the prosecution of criminal cases, she said.

Unlike Kootenai County law enforcement agencies, which have a mutual-aid agreement with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office allowing them to request the use of its helicopter, most police departments in the state don't have access to one. This, according to Baker, makes the use of a drone advantageous because use of the small, unmanned aircraft saves taxpayer money.

"Additionally, the use of an unmanned aircraft is also less intrusive for the neighbors as they are generally small and quiet as opposed to the noise of a helicopter," Baker said. "Their use is also probably safer than a helicopter hovering over a neighborhood."

Baker added that it is unknown whether or not ISP will continue to use the unmanned aircraft in the future.

"But (there) will be a consideration if this type of instrument can help in a particular case to document the evidence on a scene or even for tactical or surveillance purposes," Baker said.


Story and comments:  http://www.cdapress.com

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N7422W

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.

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

Chris Boone, wife of Athens physician Max Boone, was released Friday afternoon from Huntsville Hospital where she and her husband have been following a Nov. 30 plane crash.

The Boones were flown to Huntsville Hospital after their Piper Cherokee 180 crashed just short of a private grass airstrip off New Cut Road.

Earlier in the week, Chris had been listed in good condition in the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit before being moved to a regular room later in the week.

Dr. Max Boone remained at the hospital, but was still listed in good condition in a regular room on Friday, the spokeswoman said.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration have filed an initial report, ruling the crash an accident. According to witnesses, Boone was coming in from the north to land on the strip when he hit at least one power line and crashed nose-first near the strip. The owner of the airstrip, who declined to be identified, told investigators he believed gusty winds played a factor in the crash. He told The News Courier that Boone kept the plane at the hangar on his property.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a statement saying it will not be sending its own investigators to the scene, but will use information complied by the FAA.


Source: http://www.enewscourier.com


Daily Missoulian story on 1943 fatal air collision above Missoula

The Daily Missoulian

Saturday, September 10, 1943


FOUR KILLED IN AIR TRAINING ACCIDENT HERE

Four persons – two instructor pilots and two aviation student pilots – were killed Friday morning in a mid-air crash of planes of the Johnson Flying school while on routine flying maneuvers.

The dead:

INSTRUCTOR PILOT CLYDE REYNOLDS of Missoula.

INSTRUCTOR PILOT STANLEY HILLMAN of Missoula.

ARMY AVIATION STUDENT WILLIAM T. RICHARDS of Tarrytown, N.Y.

ARMY AVIATION STUDENT ROBERT N. SCHWENTER of Detroit.

Both of the instructors have lived here for years. The student pilots were members of the 317th college training detachment of the Army air forces stationed at Montana State University. The accident was the first in the training of students by the Johnson school, and the first in the history of the Johnson Flying service.

Wreckage of the two planes was spotted from the air by Instructor Pilot Warren Ellison, who was making a routine flight, and fixed the time of the collision at about 7:30 o’clock. He had been over the flight course a few moments earlier and had detected no sign of the accident then.

The crash occurred over the old Buckhouse ranch, north of the old Bitter Root road. One plane hitting the ground in a weed patch on the Buckhouse ranch and the other crashing across the road into a wheat field on the Dan Maloney ranch. Both planes were badly smashed but no fire resulted.

The bodies of the victims were removed from the ships and those of the students were taken to the Lucy mortuary, that of Mrs. Reynolds to Powell & Johnson and that of Mr. Hillman to Stucky’s.

CAA officials would make no official statement as to the cause of the crash, or give details in regard to the flight, stating merely that an investigation would be made and a report given when it was completed.

Major George E. Heikes, commanding officer of the Army air force college training detachment at the State University, had little comment to make, stating that it was a military matter and that information would be released as soon as possible.

Stanley Hillman’s father, W.P. Hillman, of the office of operation of the Forest Service at Missoula, was in Kalispell on an inspection trip when notified of his son’s death. He left immediately for home, in company with J.E. Ryan, assistant regional forester, and arrived here shortly after noon.

Stanley Hillman

Stanley Hillman was born in Spokane September 29, 1921, and would have been 22 years old had he lived three weeks more. He resided with his parents at Sandpoint, Missoula, St. Maries, Idaho, and again at Missoula, his father being an official of the Forest Service. He attended grade schools here for a part of his elementary education and also attended Missoula county high school, from which he was graduated in June, 1939.

After receiving his high school diploma, he entered the Anderson Trade school at Los Angeles, and from there went to work in the Douglas Aircraft plant at Los Angeles. Then he went into the glider service of the United States army air corps and continued in that work at various fields, including Albuquerque, until this branch was curtailed, when he was given an honorable discharge. He became an instructor at the Missoula airfield last April. He remained in the Air Corps Reserves, after being discharged as a sergeant.

He is survived by his parents, a brother, Robert, who is in California, and a sister, Mary, at the family home, 230 Brooks street.

Clyde Reynolds

Clyde Reynolds, a veteran of the First World war, had been a flying instructor since early spring, when he gave up his duties at The New Mint, where he had been employed by Orin Dishman for almost twenty years, the latter said. Reynolds had worked the night shift at that business establishment while perfecting himself in flying during the daytime.

Born in 1900 in Oklahoma, Reynolds came to the Bitter Root with his parents, who still maintain the family home at Darby. He served in both the Navy and the Army, and was severely wounded in an explosion during the First World war. Afterward he was a patient at a veterans’ hospital for an extended period while his injuries were healing. For a long time he was required to wear knee braces. After recovering, he came to Missoula to work for the Hart Refinery for a while, then went to The New Mint.

He was married, residing with his wife on Sussex avenue. Besides his parents there are two brothers, Raymond of Missoula and Claude of Enumclaw, Wash., and three sisters, Mrs. Chris Boding and Mrs. John Barthlu of Missoula and Mrs. Campbell of Bremerton.

Student Records

Student Pilot Richards was born in 1923 at Tarrytown, N.Y., where his mother, Mrs. Margaret Richards now resides. He has two brothers in military service, one in the Army and one in the Navy. Officers at the training center state that he was an excellent soldier and had but one desire, that of becoming a top pursuit pilot.

Student Pilot Schwenter was born in 1916 at Detroit, Mich., and is married to SPAR Leora Jane Schwenter, who is stationed at New London, Conn. Like Richards, Schwenter was considered a top soldier and his great desire was to become a bomber pilot. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Schwenter, reside in Detroit.
 

- Source:  http://missoulian.com

Aero-Flite: Forest fire-fighting aerospace company sets up headquarters in Spokane



Workers at Aero-Flite Inc., one of the nation's largest operators of forest fire-fighting aircraft, are setting up their new facility in Spokane, after moving from Arizona.

The expansion reflects a the rapid growth of aerospace companies in the Spokane area, which now collectively employ about 8,000 people.

Aero-Flite has moved its corporate offices and maintenance base into a 55,000-square-foot facility at Spokane International Airport, and is moving in aircraft, said Todd Woodard, spokesman for the airport. It had been located in Kingman, Ariz.

By February the company will employ 65 people in Spokane.

"It means job opportunities for local residents," he said of the move. "They have a high need for mechanics and technicians, and that's a strength of our region."

The company operates three land-based air tankers, an amphibious plane, and a passenger aircraft that flies people and equipment to forest fires.

The company generally operates between April and December, and will be doing offseason maintenance of its aircraft now, he said.

Another Spokane aerospace company, Associated Painters Inc., has been expanding its aircraft painting facilities there.

"We are extremely excited to welcome Aero-Flite to Spokane," said Spokane Mayor David Condon in a statement. "We have made significant investments over the years in aerospace business development, and this hangar in particular, to make Spokane's already-thriving aerospace industry stronger."


Source:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Runway closed due to an oil spill from an aircraft



The runway of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) has been closed.

According to the information received by Vnews, the runway was closed due to an oil spill from an A330 Airbus of Etihad Airways during landing at around 3:45 P.M. Saturday evening.

Following a similar accident, the runway was closed even before, but services resumed soon after the spill was cleaned.

- Source:  http://www.vnews.mv

Biplane over Canberra


This morning we sighted a red biplane progressing across the Canberra sky and even managed to get a photograph which considering the distance we’re pretty happy with. 

 Any plane nerds want to hazard an identification?

Photo and Comments:  http://test.the-riotact.com

Inside the arms-laden, Chad-bound aircraft detained in Nigeria

The Russian airplane intercepted by Nigerian authorities Saturday on its way to neighboring Chad, was transporting a large cache of AK47s and bullet proof vests, and even a helicopter, images of the contents of the aircraft obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, have shown.

The Russian jet, labelled AH-124-100, is a heavy military transport aircraft. Air cargo experts describe it as one of the biggest serial and strategic heavy lifters in the world. It is intended for the transportation of heavy and oversize cargo and various special-purpose vehicles.

There is a helicopter inside the aircraft grounded in Kano. It also contains various military hardware Nigerian officials suspect to be arms, ammunition and special equipment.

Story, comments and photo gallery:  http://www.premiumtimesng.com



 




Khamraj Lall’s arrest is only the tip of the iceberg

Dear Editor,

After being banished into exile since a tape recording revealed that he was soliciting sex from a 14 year old boy, Kwame McKoy has finally resurfaced but once again for all the wrong reasons. Following the seizure of US$620,000 from Pilot Khamaraj Lall’s Lear Jet in Puerto Rico last week, information has surfaced that both Jagdeo and Ramotar have used the jet on many occasions and that Lall was given special permission to build a private hangar at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Timehri so that he and his passengers could leave the country without security checks on their baggage.


In defense of his bosses’ use of the Lear Jet, Kwame McKoy has stated that “anybody can use a plane, it should not be taken to mean anything.” This is the most unsound, irrational and unwise statement, but coming from a someone who was caught on a tape soliciting sex from a fourteen year old boy but denied it was his voice, one should not be surprised. Although there was overwhelming evidence that the voice was his, yet he was not fired by the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime, which goes to show how corrupt and deceitful the PPP regime is. But no one should expect anything better from this regime and this individual.

Maybe not for him but for the public, this story does have much meaning and we shall explain the facts to the people.

Fact 1 – This Lear Jet facility has been used not once, not twice but several times by the Leadership of the PPP at the taxpayer’s expense, to ferry their executives out of Guyana by totally bypassing the local Customs and Border control checks. No bags are checked and inspected by Customs and therefore this opens the door for all kinds of illegal shipment of items– be it stolen taxpayer’s money, drugs and even katahar out of Guyana with no checks in place. The relevant questions are how long was this secretive arrangement in operation? And why was Pilot Khemraj Lall given special permission to build a private hangar? Why the Minister Works and Hydraulics and the CEO of the Airport who acknowledged that they knew about this secret deal did not make it public? Are they not culpable and just as deceitful as the rest in the PPP cabal?

Fact 2 – The US Government has been watching a number of senior PPP functionaries since Roger Khan was convicted in the US for activities involving money laundering and narco-trafficking. The US has a certain KING KONG who lives in the $600 million beach front property in Pradoville under surveillance.  The arrest of Pilot Khemraj Lall was just a shot across the bow to remind him that he is being watched constantly and it is only a matter of time before he is arrested. We were reliably informed that the US$620,000 that was seized from Lall’s Lear Jet was stolen from the Treasury and placed into an overseas bank account by a corrupt PPP official and was now being repatriated to Guyana for the PPP elections campaign.

Fact 3 – Like Roger Khan, Edul Ahmad, and Sonny Ramdeo, former owner of E-Z Jet who were pressured by the US government for information on the crooks at Freedom House, they will also apply pressure on the incarcerated Khemraj Lall for more information about the US$620.000 as they set up for the final move against the narco-traffickers and money launderers.  Once the PPP lose the upcoming elections, it will be open season for them.  The only advantage the PPP leadership currently has is that they have diplomatic passports, which are sheltering them from prosecution. But with a new Government, the unrighteous and evil Pradoville crew of drug traffickers and money launderers will fall like a pack of cards as they banished from civilized society and into new homes in Otisville Federal Correctional Facilities. The game plan is set; it is not what will happen but when it will happen. Khamraj Lall’s arrest is only the tip of the iceberg.

These bandits who think that they are invincible should listen to Gandhi who said, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it—always.”

Asquith Rose and Harish Singh

http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com


Cash jet pilot confined to home as condition for bail

As part of the surety for the US$100,000 bail he was granted on Monday, Chief Executive Officer of the Exec Jet Club Khamraj Lall has had to submit his pilot’s licenses and has been confined to his New Jersey home with the only travel allowed being to Puerto Rico for his court hearing.

This may be the reason why one day after the court hearing it was announced that Lall—who was two weeks ago caught with US$620,000 stashed aboard his private jet at a Puerto Rican airport...

http://www.stabroeknews.com

Cub Crafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS, N471LS: Accident occurred December 06, 2014 in Middleton, Wisconsin

CUB CRAFTERS INC:  hhttp://registry.faa.gov/N471LS 

NTSB Identification: CEN15CA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 06, 2014 in Middleton, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/10/2015
Aircraft: CUBCRAFTERS INC CC11-160, registration: N471LS
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

The pilot reported that the tail wheel equipped airplane nosed over during landing rollout on the grass runway. He informed a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that the runway surface varied with both wet and dry areas, which caused a variable braking action. The pilot noted that the accident might have been prevented with more careful brake application. He stated that there were no failures or malfunctions with the airplane before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while braking during landing rollout.



Two people were injured in a plane crash Saturday on the grass landing field at Morey Airport in Middleton, police said.  

Middleton police said a preliminary investigation shows that a Cub Crafters Carbon Cub SS piloted by a 70-year-old Monona man flipped onto its top as it attempted to land on the grass landing field at the airport at 8300 Airport Road just before 3:15 p.m.

It was apparently the pilot's second attempt to land after having had to abort his first attempt for unknown reasons, police said.

The pilot suffered a head injury and was walking when emergency workers arrived. His 66-year-old wife suffered more severe injuries.

Both were taken to a local hospital.

The FAA and NTSB were notified and will investigate the cause of the crash.

Morey Airport was closed for a period of time due to the crash.

Source: http://host.madison.com


 MIDDLETON, Wis. -  A Monona couple was injured after a small aircraft flipped Saturday afternoon at the Middleton Municipal Airport.

Middleton police Sgt. Don Mueller said the department responded to a report of an airplane crash at the airport, 8300 Airport Road, at 3:14 p.m.

Mueller said the 70-year-old pilot, a Monona man, told police he was practicing landings on the airport's grass field. 


The man made a pass to land but the propeller hit the ground, dug in and caused the aircraft to flip. 

The man and a passenger, his 67-year-old wife, were injured.

The man suffered a head injury and the woman suffered a possible neck injury and broken ribs, Mueller said. 


The injuries were serious but non-life-threatening.

The pilot and passenger were taken to the hospital by ambulance, police said.

Mueller said Middleton PD doesn’t issue citations for airplanes but that the department is in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which are investigating the incident.


- Source:  http://www.channel3000.com

IN PICTURES: Crop Duster Wins At Church Road

See photo gallery by Bob Pelkey: http://swfloridabirder.blogspot.com

New Yale-New Haven Hospital helicopter equipped for critical care in the air

Yale New Haven Hospital's SkyHealth crew, Shawn Bowe, a flight paramedic, pilot Mike Kelley, and Ivonne Recupero, a flight nurse on the helicopter pad at Yale New Haven Hospital Thursday, December 4, 2014.


NEW HAVEN >> Yale-New Haven Hospital can now treat patients on the fly, as it transports them from another hospital.

Its new SkyHealth helicopter, an EC-135 chopper, allows a critical care nurse and paramedic to perform procedures in the air, rather than having to wait until the patient arrives at the hospital.

“When you’re talking about using the helicopter for critical-care patients, people think it’s all about speed,” said Dr. Evie Marcolini, medical director of SkyHealth. But it’s not about getting to the hospital faster. It’s really about being able to provide care during transport from one hospital to another.

“If you take that patient in a ground-transport service … that’s over an hour’s worth of time where a patient doesn’t get that level of critical care,” Marcolini said.

With the copter, “You don’t have out-of-hospital time because the crew in the helicopter can do the same things as the [intensive-care unit] there or the ICU here,” Marcolini said. “When they’re not flying they work in ICU in emergency departments … It’s a higher level of care than our ground transport.”

Ambulance crews are unable to perform many procedures, such as managing ventilations, giving certain high blood pressure medications and transfusions that can be done inside the small but well-equipped helicopter’s cabin.

“We are flying about every other day, give or take,” said Don MacMillan, the coordinator of flight operations since SkyHealth took off in November. “Our main motivation was to provide that critical care that they would get here in the hospital [while] en route to our facilities.”

SkyHealth as an entity is less than two months old. It’s a partnership between the Yale New Haven Health System and North Shore-LIJ Health System on Long Island and transports patients to both Yale-New Haven and Bridgeport hospitals (Bridgeport is in the Yale New Haven Health System). Med-Trans of Lewisville, Texas, maintains the helicopter, provides the pilots and does the billing.

Med-Trans did not respond to a request for costs. A 2013 Stanford University study found that, for a hospital emergency helicopter to be cost-effective, it would have to have a 1.6 percent higher patient-survival rate than ground transport. Stanford’s report said the average cost of transport was about $6,500 in 2010.

“Last Friday, we had a patient with an aortic rupture that we transported,” said paramedic Shawn Bowe, although there was little need for in-flight care on that trip, he said.

Pilot Michael Kelley, an Army veteran, has more than 25 years of flight experience. During a short tour over the city from the top of the 13-story Yale-New Haven Hospital, the ride is smooth and quiet. It’s hard to tell when the helicopter has left the pad or when it’s touched down.

While it’s a tight fit, five people can fly along with a patient, who is brought onto and off the chopper through doors that open in the tail. “It’s built very nicely,” Kelley said. “It’s got redundant systems throughout everything.” It’s also got high-end GPS that “shows us where traffic is, where terrain is, where the weather is. It gives us full 360-degree awareness,” Kelley said.

So far, the helicopter has been used only to transport patients from one hospital, such as Lawrence and Memorial in New London, to Yale-New Haven or Bridgeport hospitals. Flights to the site of an accident or other medical crisis won’t be made for a while, Marcolini and MacMillan said.

“You could put a chest tube in if you went to a scene call,” said Marcolini, but the crew wants to get comfortable at “facility transfers” first.

The copter crew also can use the Y Access Line, so “any physician anywhere can call this hospital or any physician within the system and find a physician who will accept their patient,” MacMillan said.

Story and Photo Gallery:  http://www.nhregister.com


Pinkerton's Shawn Grinnell flies solo for the first time

Col. Kevin Grady, U.S. Air Force (ret.), of the Daedalians presented Pinkerton Academy junior Shawn Grinnell with the traditional solo flight jacket on Tuesday in recognition of her flying alone. (Courtesy)



DERRY — Already the first female commander of Pinkerton Academy’s Junior ROTC program, junior Shawn Grinnell achieved another personal milestone recently when she flew solo in a single-engine plane.

On Tuesday, the Daedalians flying club presented Grinnell with a solo jacket for her accomplishment.

Grinnell said the solo flight from Boire field in Nashua was definitely an exhilarating experience.

“I’m only 16, so to be able to actually go up and fly that thing myself was pretty amazing I’d say,” she said of the flight in the Cessna 172.

She credited her father, Allen Grinnell, who is a private pilot, with influencing her to pursue flying.

“My dad is a pilot so it’s kind of like carrying on the family legacy per se,” she said.

Lt. Col Howie Steadman, JROTC adviser, said a Pinkerton student might solo every two or three years, so it’s a major achievement

“It’s a great accomplishment for anybody to take a plane up and just go flying around all by yourself,” Steadman said. “So it’s a super accomplishment on her part; we are really proud of her.”

Grinnell grew up in Derry and knew at an early age that she wanted to become a pilot. The family is related to Derry native, astronaut Alan Shepard Jr., the first American in space.

She became the first female commander of JROTC in Pinkerton’s 14 year history of the program. Grinnell had an active summer and spent a week at the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy. She also went on a mission trip to Ecuador during the summer break.

She tried to work on her flying over the summer but understandably fell behind because of all of her other activities. But after classes resumed in the fall, she was able to find some time to concentrate more on flying and complete her solo flight, she said.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Grinnell plans to pursue her private pilot’s license.

She recently submitted her application and is waiting to hear back from the Air Force Academy.

Aiming even higher, she hopes to one day become an astronaut.

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

Tourists fly in straight from Thailand for Hornbill festival

 
From left to Right: Ababe Ezung, Tom PotTist (Thailand) and Mike Wilson (US), Eduardo Angelo Loigorri (UK), Harleet Wilson (US) and Mhonchan Humtsoe



Kohima, December 6 (MExN): A group of pilot friends made it to Nagaland as the first tourist (non-VIP) to fly in straight from Thailand for the hornbill festival. They flew in with their Piper PA46-350P aircraft.

According to a press release, Eduadro Loi Gorri (UK) and Mike Wilson (US) Tom PotTist (Thailand) all are license pilots from their respective countries.

A few years back Ababe Ezung and late Neil Nawaporn (Thailand) made plans for the first hornbill fly in where 8 small aircraft had register but could not happen as Neil died in a plane crash in Thailand that year but we are happy that one could make it this year , we hope more plane will join next year.

Asked how they came to know the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, Eduardro quipped “when this year in February there was an air show in Singapore, I met Ababe Ezung, who told me that there use to be Hornbill festival in December every year in Nagaland. Therefore, I got in touch with Ababe over the phone and internet. Now I am here for the festival”. He also thanked Ababe Ezung for all the necessary logistic help to reach Kohima, Nagaland.

Tom Pottist is a professionally photographer and was one of the judge in the Hipfest Photo competition, 2104.

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

Marines seek realistic training in downtown Los Angeles


DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Marines are bringing their training to the downtown Los Angeles area. Officials say residents shouldn't be alarmed if they see or hear military aircraft overhead. 

Eyewitness News viewer Haily Shae saw an Osprey over the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks Nov. 14.

Days later on Nov. 18, two V-22 Ospreys were seen flying over the 134 Freeway in Burbank.

The Osprey can fly as both an airplane and a helicopter. The U.S. Marine Corps says we'll be seeing more of them over Los Angeles next week.

A Marine Corps spokesman told Eyewitness News that the Marines are taking a break from their regular training at Camp Pendleton.

"We do a lot of training on Camp Pendleton. It's very easy for us to sort of become familiar with all the training locations. So, mixing it up and going to some place like L.A., it's brand new terrain, it's unfamiliar, it forces you to think a little more," said Capt. Brian Block.

This does not mean you'll see Camp Pendleton-style tanks roaming through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. But you will see helicopters and other aircraft flying to remote, secret training locations here in Southern California.

"We are going to do everything we can to minimize the noise impact on the local communities. We understand people have lives, but it's also important for us to get that realistic training," Block said.

Many Southlanders say they're looking forward to it.

"They should probably put signs up so we don't think we're under attack or something like that, but I think it'd be cool. I'd be down to see it," said David Noble of La Mirada.

Most of the training exercises are slated to happen in the late afternoon and early evening hours. The training will run through Dec. 16.

- Source:  http://abc7.com

Malaysia ready for air crash lawsuits

The Malaysian government says it is preparing to face lawsuits arising from the twin tragedies that struck its national carrier Malaysia Airlines this year.

'Malaysia is ready to face any charges in court,' Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Saturday, amid reports some relatives of Australian passengers of flight MH17, which crashed in Ukraine in July, were planning legal action against Malaysia, Ukraine and Russia.

Liow said he had not yet received any information about the planned action.

MH17 is suspected to have been shot down by Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels.

The flight, with 298 people aboard, was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when struck by a missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

On October 31, two Malaysians filed a negligence case against Malaysia Airlines and the government over the disappearance of another commercial aircraft, MH370, which disappeared in March.

The Beijing-bound flight, with 239 people aboard, disappeared without trace an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in March.

- Source: http://www.skynews.com.au

Market value sought: Good deal for feds at Coeur d'Alene Airport (KCOE) not so good for county

COEUR d'ALENE - The Kootenai County commissioners want to see the Coeur d'Alene Airport be as financially self-sustaining as possible.

So when the airport is in a position to make some money, the commissioners would like to see it happen.

Now that the U.S. Department of Defense is leaving an Army Reserve training facility on the Coeur d'Alene Airport grounds - leased for years for just a $1 a year - the U.S. Forest Service wants both the facility and the lease.

The facility is located just west and south of the Wyoming Avenue and Ramsey Road intersection. The land is owned by the county, and the building, which has been vacant for two or three years, is owned by the federal government.

On Friday, the commissioners ordered staff to inform the Forest Service in writing that the federal agency has to get a new lease and pay the market value, which would be more like $27,000 per year.

"Every new lease needs to be at market rate," said Commissioner Todd Tondee.

"I'd hate to walk away from $27,000 a year," Phil Cummings, interim airport manager, told the commissioners.

While the Forest Service says it's entitled to the old lease and its attractive terms, another federal agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, says the county is right and a new lease is needed.

Tondee said the negotiations will continue.


Source:  http://www.cdapress.com

Whidbey Island: Class-action lawsuit taking aim at real estate companies

A class-action suit filed against two Whidbey Island real estate companies claims they did not disclose to buyers the dangers of jet noise.

The lawsuit was filed against Windermere Real Estate and RE/MAX Acorn Properties.

Filed Nov. 18 in Island County Superior Court, the lawsuit alleges that the real estate agents’ “deceptive acts or practices have occurred in their trade or businesses and were and are capable of deceiving a substantial portion of the public.”

Only two plaintiffs are identified by name, but the class action suit asks for injunctive relief for anyone who purchased real estate located in the county’s Airport Environs Mapped Impacted Areas on or after May 11, 1992.

The plaintiffs named in the suit are Jonathan Deegan, who said in court documents he purchased his Coupeville home through RE/MAX in 2006, and Alice O’Grady, who said she purchased her Coupeville home through Windermere in 2011.

Neither could be reached for comment by press time.

“I have not seen the complaint yet, so I cannot comment on the specifics of this case, but I am aware that some off-island and out-of-state attorneys have been urging homeowners to sue Realtors, claiming they were not told about aircraft noise when they bought their homes,” said Eric Mitten, spokesman for Windermere in Oak Harbor and Coupeville, in an emailed statement Friday.

“In our company, we make sure prospective buyers are aware of the airplane noise. We talk about the airplane noise. We also use standard written disclosure forms printed by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which provides us with the forms most Realtors use in residential real estate transactions in the state.

“I’m astonished that anyone who has spent any time on Whidbey Island would say they were not aware of the noise,” Mitten said.

Terri Neilon, owner of RE/MAX Acorn Properties, said she is afraid “the litigation could be divisive and help fuel efforts by those who want NAS Whidbey severely cut back or closed.”

“We care about our clients and certainly make sure they are aware of the noise,” Neilon said. “We also tell clients to do their own due diligence — check it out, talk to others and go to the property and listen to the planes flying overhead. Planes from NAS Whidbey are very effective at making people aware of their presence.”

Island County Realtors updated their version of Form 22W in January through the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

A long-used, one-paragraph noise disclosure was deemed incomplete by Island County Planning Director David Wechner, who issued a memo that spurred the change.

In their lawsuit, both Deegan and Grady said they received only the “inadequate Form 22W” at the time they purchased their homes.

The lawsuit was filed by the Seattle firm of Terrell, Marshall, Daudt & Willie, which sent a letter in May seeking possible plaintiffs.

While only two people are named, the suit states that the class will be “in the hundreds or thousands.”

A contention of the litigation is that, even though the noise disclosure was updated to mirror Island County code, Realtors are allegedly still not providing buyers with the county’s map of the impacted areas.

The county’s Airport and Aircraft Operations Noise Disclosure Ordinance, which contains the required language, also states that the impacted areas are identified on the “attached map.”

In a rough drawing, the county’s map shows all of Whidbey Island north of Lake Hancock as the “impacted areas.” It also includes areas surrounding the Camano and South Whidbey air parks.

Failure to include both the map and the language “about the magnitude and timing of military flight operations as part of pre-sale notices” in real estate transactions is “unfair” and “offends public policy,” the attorneys said in their lawsuit.

The lawyers are asking a judge to approve their class action status, damages, a modification of the disclosure forms, attorneys fees and any other relief deemed proper.

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

13 people fall ill on US Airways flight from Tel Aviv, make emergency landing in Rome

Eleven crew members and two passengers fell ill on a US Airways flight from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia on Saturday, causing it to make an emergency landing in Rome, AFP reported, quoting Italian media.

According to the report, the crew members and passengers were suffering from red eyes and vomiting.

A malfunction in the ventilation system of the plane could be to blame but no further information was available. 


- Source:  http://www.jpost.com

F-22: You're too fast, you're under arrest

By Marlene Gantt

(Editor’s note: Ms. Gantt’s son, Brad Gantt, airfield maintenance supervisor for the Quad City International Airport, contributed significantly to this column)

 

A stealthy fighter with an ominous presence flew over the airshow crowds at the Davenport Municipal airport last summer.  With a price tag more than $150 million, its aerial abilities are mind boggling.

The demonstration amazed those of us who didn’t know that a vectored thrust jet could do what we thought was impossible.

The F-22 was the main feature of the show and the topic of last week’s column. This week, however, is about one piece of equipment deployed by a team behind the scenes to provide safety measures for this incredible aircraft -- the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System or “MAAS.”

On Jan. 18, 1911, Eugene Ely, flying his Curtiss Model D biplane performed the first aircraft landing aboard a ship. The ship was the USS Pennsylvania, an armored cruiser.

Early aircraft were not usually designed with brakes and the Curtiss was no exception  Ely attached hooks to his biplane. He then used the first known version of an aircraft arresting system and landed on a 119 foot wooden platform with 22 ropes across it and secured by sandbags, according to the book, “Chronicle of Aviation,” published by Jacques Legrand.

This was just eight years after the Wright Brother’s historic first powered flight. Today’s aircraft arresting systems are a little more advanced.

Weeks before the anticipated arrival of a pair of Raptors coming to our air show, a team of engineers was onsite to determine a suitable location for a MAAS. It would be used by the F-22 pilot in the event of an emergency or problems with the aircraft.

Of course the F-22 is fast and sleek but is equipped with brakes unlike early aircraft designs. Early aircraft were slow and usually had large fields to land in. They also often had spoke wheels reminiscent of bicycles. I wonder how much that was influenced by Orville and Wilbur Wright’s background as bicycle makers?

This didn’t create much need early on for brakes or systems to stop quickly.

Today, safety is always a top priority and in-flight system failures can result in emergency landings.  Stopping quickly with an arresting system protects the pilot and aircraft.

All of us have seen footage of planes landing on aircraft carriers where a cable or net is raised above the ship deck. Aircraft drop a tail hook down to catch it and stop quickly, often in just a few hundred feet. Many people may not realize that land airports throughout the world have permanently installed systems that do the same thing as those on these massive aircraft carriers. These permanent installations are called BAK 12/14 systems. Even Eugene Ely’s feat of landing with ropes and sandbags on a ship was first tested on shore.

The BAK 12/14 is comprised of a pair of arresting engines, one on each side of the runway in below ground vaults, and a “pendant” (thick braided steel cable) stretched across the runway. Slotted rubber arms are used to raise and lower the cable into a track installed in the pavement. The slots allow the cable to be pulled free by the landing aircraft.

The arresting engines then allow an approximately 10 wide “tape” to spool out while providing braking force capable of stopping a fighter jet traveling at 150 mph in under 1,200 feet. Obviously this is no ordinary tape, and yes it is even stronger than duct tape.

No airports in our area have need for a permanently installed arresting system. Enter the MAAS or Mobile Aircraft Arresting System. Like the permanent system, a MAAS uses a cable and tapes attached to arresting engines on each side of the runway. Unlike the BAK 12/14, it is temporarily installed above ground wherever and whenever the mission requires it.  For our airshow, the mission required one nearby.  Since the Davenport airport runways are too short for normal fighter jet operations, each year Air Force fighter teams use the Quad City International Airport in Moline as their operating base for our air show.

The two MAAS arresting engines weigh over 20,000 pounds. each. Each engine is secured along the runway edges with a minimum of 19 anchors similar to tent stakes in shape. But these are no ordinary stakes. These are 4-inch diameter aluminum and over four feet long. Each takes as much as 10,000 pounds of force to drive into the ground and are interlinked with a series of brackets to form a matrix of stakes on one side. If the cable is to be used bi-directionally then 31 stakes are used, each precisely driven at an angle to safely stop a 40,000-pound aircraft traveling at 150 mph. How many sandbags would it take to do that?

Installing a MAAS is no small task. The FAA must approve any MAAS installation at commercial service airports. The Air Force 201st Red Horse Squadron team arrived a week before the show and spent several days installing the unit on the only runway available at the time.

Unfortunately, after reviewing the installation the Air Force rejected this location and advised they needed a longer runway for the MAAS or the aircraft could not perform at the show. The preferred runway was still occupied by construction workers completing an airport project.


Marlene Gantt of Port Byron is a retired Rock Island school teacher.
 
Source: http://www.qconline.com/editorials

Oh, deer!

A new National Transportation Safety Board report on an airplane crash in Hazlehurst points out the dangers of deer, which can be worse when encountered in groups in a small airplane. 

The report said as a Beech A36 touched down at the Hazlehurst airport in April, a pilot saw a “flash of brown” and felt three different bumps. The airplane’s front landing gear collapsed not long after.

None of the three people in the plane was injured, but “several fatally injured deer were subsequently found on the runway.”

As a result of the investigation, the Georgia Department of Transportation accelerated the planning as well as the funding of a wildlife mitigation fence around the airport, the report said.

Source: http://www.macon.com


NTSB Identification: ERA14CA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 27, 2014 in Hazlehurst, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2014
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N6330K
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The pilot approached his home airport on a long, straight-in, visual approach to land on a clear night with no wind. As the airplane touched down on the main landing gear, the pilot detected a "flash of brown" from his left and felt 3 rapid and distinct impacts before lowering the nose landing gear to the runway, which subsequently collapsed. The three occupants of the airplane egressed uninjured, and noted that the airplane had been substantially damaged. Several fatally injured deer were subsequently found on the runway. As a result of this investigation, the state department of transportation accelerated the planning and funding of a wildlife mitigation fence around the airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
An inadvertent collision with wildlife while landing.


ZTJ AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6330K

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cirrus SR20 G2, Leading Edge Flight Training, N407ND: Accident occurred December 05, 2014 at Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport (KFNL), Fort Collins/Loveland, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 05, 2014 in Fort Collins, CO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N407ND
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 December 5, 2014, about 1435 central standard time, a Cirrus SR20 airplane, N407ND, impacted terrain during approach at the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport (FNL), near Fort Collins, Colorado. The solo student pilot was seriously injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Cirrus LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan. 

The student pilot stated that he entered the traffic pattern at FNL for a full stop landing on Runway 33. He observed a Sikorsky UH-60 helicopter on downwind and delayed his turn to base until the helicopter was on final, abeam his position. While on final, the student pilot adjusted his aim point to land long, as he was concerned with wake turbulence and wanted to land beyond the helicopter's touchdown point. Just prior to landing, he encountered turbulent air and attempted to go around. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain and cartwheeled, which resulted in damage to the fuselage and wings. 

An airport surveillance camera at FNL captured the accident airplane approaching the runway about 30 seconds in trail of the UH-60 helicopter. 

At 1435 the weather observation station at FNL reported the following conditions: wind 110 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear sky, temperature 14 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 4 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.22 inches of mercury.


Highest Injury: Minor

Damage: Substantial

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING SUSTAINED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE, FORT COLLINS LOVELAND AIRPORT, LOVELAND, CO

Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03

http://www.leflighttraining.com

CIRRUS LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N407ND



A pilot was injured Friday afternoon when the small plane he was flying smashed into the ground at the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport.

Emergency crews were called about 2:30 p.m. Friday on a report of a small aircraft that had crashed near the main runway of the airport, 4900 Earhart Road in Loveland, said Battalion Chief Michael Cerovski with Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority.

Fire, police and medical crews rushed to the airstrip and located a plane that was splintered in pieces, the tail almost completely gone. There was no active fire when crews arrived, but there was smoke. There is a fire station across the street from the airport’s main hub.

The male pilot was treated and transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, the City of Loveland said via Twitter. Cerovski said the man was awake and talking when he was taken away by ambulance.

It was not immediately known whether the plane crashed on take-off or landing, nor was it known how long the investigation would take or how serious the pilot’s injuries were. His identity was not publicly released Friday.

The Federal Aviation Administration was en route Friday to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

Winds were light and temperatures were in the mid-50’s at the time of the crash.

Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport is owned by both cities and serves corporate and general aviation needs as well as unscheduled commercial flights. More than 200 aircraft are based at the facility, and helicopters buzzed throughout the landing areas Friday while investigators worked down the runway.


















Plans for autocross to be resubmitted to Federal Aviation Administration for evaluation: Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (KCBE), Maryland

WILEY FORD, W.Va. — The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority voted unanimously on Thursday to resubmit the autocross event description and safety plan to the Federal Aviation Administration for their formal evaluation as it relates to federal grant assurance funding. The authority also voted to work jointly with National Road Autosport to submit the proper form to the FAA.

Authority Chairman Gregg Wolff recommended not moving forward with a specific autocross schedule for 2015 until receiving the green light from the FAA.

“Regardless of the outcome, (National Road Autosport) is welcome to come forward with a mind open to new possibilities to work together with the PHAA to develop a long-range relocation plan for mutual benefit to the airport and the autocross as the construction phase of the AIP (Airport Improvement Plan) looms on the horizon,” said Wolff.

The motion to submit the form to the FAA was made in order to determine a feasible, sustainable solution to the autocross issue, said Wolff.

John Felten, president of National Road Autosport, thanked the authority for agreeing to submit the required forms to the FAA.

“... The reason we have persisted at asking for consideration here isn’t that we make a penny on what happens here but we see it’s been beneficial in our community and that the community is actually the benefactor of us working together,” said Felten. “I appreciate this board’s confidence in asking us to come to the table with you guys. I understand that there is no guarantees but we’ll all be adult enough to accept the decision of the FAA.”

The authority voted in June to deny access to the airport’s operational grounds for autocross racing in 2014 and said that the reasoning behind their decision was because it could affect FAA funding.

“Airports are facilities dedicated to aviation-related activity first and foremost. The PHAA’s first priority is safe and efficient operation of this facility as an airport,” said Wolff. “Our fundamental goal, the instrument that has driven decision making for the last 14 years is to complete our airport improvement plan and this board remains absolutely committed to it. This cannot happen without federal grant assurance funding.”

The FAA is committed to ensuring safe and efficient aeronautical activity at the airport and the federal funding must meet certain guidelines. The authority was able to secure a grant assurance of $2.3 million and the process was streamlined because there wasn’t a 2014 autocross to consider, according to Wolff.

Source:  http://www.times-news.com

Airline officials: It was a bird strike, not a maintenance issue

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. —Airline officials say upon further investigation, a plane's windshield was cracked as a result of a bird strike and not a maintenance issue as reported earlier Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, United Airlines flight 4331 departed Burlington International Airport on its way to Washington Dulles International Airport.

"We want to make sure that everybody is safe first and that goes all the way up to the FAA and back down to the ground here," said Nic Long, of the Burlington International Airport. "Really it's a coordination of everybody trying to get that plane on the ground first and then continuing normal operations afterwards."

ExpressJet, which operated the flight, says that based on crew interviews and completion of maintenance inspection it was in fact a bird strike that caused the damage.

At the time of the incident, the plane was carrying 52 people. The plane was able to land safely at BTV.

- Story and photos: http://www.wptz.com


Expressjet Embraer ERJ-145, N13958, Flight EV-4331, UA-4331

Midair near-misses show need for tighter drone controls

The surge in reports of near-misses between drones and aircraft suggests it may only be a matter of time before one of the remote-controlled devices causes a tragedy in the nation’s skies.

That would be unfortunate on a number of levels. Not only could it be a human disaster, but it could also damage a budding industry that shows important potential for uses in public safety, news gathering and remote delivery.

Under pressure by news organizations to release records, the Federal Aviation Administration says commercial airlines, private pilots and air-traffic controllers have reported more than 25 midair incidents in the past six months in which drones came disturbingly close to aircraft. In some cases, the drones were mere seconds or feet from impact with the aircraft.

Although most of the drones were the smaller camera-equipped models used by hobbyists and photographers, they could potentially bring down a plane by striking a propeller, penetrating a windshield or being sucked into an engine. Helicopters – such as those used by medical emergency and rescue teams – would be especially vulnerable to crashing if a drone struck a rotor.

Lawmakers and drone manufacturers want the FAA to develop regulations so that commercial use of the devices can expand. But that could be endangered by hobbyists’ negligence that has led to the near-misses. Even if rules are drawn up, the FAA doesn’t have the staff to enforce them, police airports and track down offenders.

Hobbyists are required to keep their drones under 400 feet and five miles away from airports. But some of the reports involved drones flying at thousands of feet, including one in which a Republic Airlines Flight almost hit a drone flying at 4,000 feet Sept. 30 near New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Drones also aren’t supposed to be operated within five miles of an airport, yet many of the reports were of incidents near major airports in New York and Washington, D.C. Let a drone hit a plane carrying some members of Congress and see what happens to the drone industry. Even more disturbing than an accidental collision would be a deliberate one, which could have serious implications for the airline industry.

The challenge seems to be to get greater control over the private use of drones, especially since prices have dropped to the point that they’re more widely affordable. Perhaps requiring that they be outfitted with identification/tracking devices would help deter misbehavior.

Source:  http://www.thenewstribune.com

Naples Airport Authority pays $1 million for Health Management Associates hangar

NAPLES, Fla. - The Naples Airport Authority has purchased a more than $1 million hangar from Health Management Associates, adding space for up to seven more planes.

It’s the second sale of HMA property this year, since Tennessee-based Community Health Systems purchased Naples’ only Fortune 500 company in January, leaving its local office space and hangar vacant.

“Having two of these big corporate hangars really is a good thing for us,” said Ted Soliday, the airport’s executive director, adding that they’d hoped since 1995 to add more space. “We had intended at that time to build an office and a hangar, but couldn’t afford it.”

County deeds show the Naples Airport Authority paid HMA $1.012 million in October for the 9,600-square-foot hangar, which is attached to the office building the airport built in 1995. The roughly 760-square-foot HMA office, in the airport office building, was accessible through its hangar and the authority will be leasing that space to another tenant. The airport has another large hangar, about twice the size, that it’s owned and leased out since the early 1980s.

When the airport building was built, Soliday said, enough offices were built to lease to tenants, including HMA, European American Flight and the Pilot Shop. HMA then built a hangar for three aircraft the company used to fly corporate executives to its hospitals nationwide.

HMA operated dozens of hospitals nationwide, including two Physicians Regional hospitals in Collier County, with 1,400 employees, and a hospital in Lehigh Acres in Lee County — all now operated by Community Health.

On Sept. 30, deeds show, HMA sold its high-profile office center, a three-building, 190,000-square foot office complex off U.S. 41 near the Waterside Shops. Chicago-based real estate investor Steelbridge Capital LLC paid $33.65 million for the complex.

“They were having a hard time considering how to sell (the hangar),” Soliday said. “We knew they were leaving and that’s when we approached the new company and asked what their plans were for the hangar — and then we made an offer.”

Four aircraft now occupy the hangar, which is leased to Nicewonder Aviation LLC, Fly Away Home LLC, Lake Marketing and a businessman, Soliday said, adding that it can accommodate up to seven planes “very carefully.”

The air-carrier airport is home to flight schools, charter operators, car rental agencies, corporate and nonaviation businesses and community services, including fire and rescue, mosquito control and the County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit. There were 95,120 takeoffs and landings last fiscal year.

The hangar is among 300 there, most of them smaller buildings used by individual pilots. The numerous hangars enabled the Naples Airport Authority to submit a request for proposals to Hertz, which is building its headquarters in Estero.

“The advantage we had is our hangar was already available,” Soliday said, adding that Hertz has leased that space for about two years.

The additional hangar space also will help during hurricane season, when pilots need to secure aircraft, Soliday said, adding that they can fit many planes inside due to varying sizes and wing heights.


- Source:  http://www.naplesnews.com

Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking, N6629V: Accident occurred November 30, 2014 near Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (KVER), Boonville, Missouri

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

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA060
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Boonville, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2017
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.

The commercial pilot was on a cross-country flight when the airplane encountered deteriorating weather conditions. A surviving passenger reported that the pilot decided to divert to a nearby airport. The airplane experienced a loss of engine power in the airport traffic pattern shortly after the pilot extended the landing gear during the base-to-final turn. The pilot was able to restore engine power briefly by advancing the throttle, but the engine quickly experienced a total loss of power. The passenger stated that the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall about 250 ft above the ground. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a near-level attitude. The pilot likely failed to maintain adequate airspeed following the loss of engine power, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall at a low altitude.

A postaccident examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal engine operation; however, the right main fuel tank was void of any usable fuel, and the left main fuel tank contained about 1.5 gallons of usable fuel. Additionally, no fuel was recovered from the supply line connected to the fuel manifold valve, and only trace amounts of fuel were recovered from the engine-driven fuel pump outflow line. A first responder reported that the main fuel selector was positioned to draw fuel from the auxiliary fuel tanks. Although placarded for use during level flight only, both auxiliary fuel tanks contained sufficient fuel to maintain coverage over their respective outlet ports during maneuvering flight, and would have provided fuel to the engine. As such, it is likely that the main fuel selector was positioned to draw fuel from the right main fuel tank when the airplane initially experienced a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. The pilot then likely switched to the right auxiliary fuel tank while attempting to restore engine power; however, there was likely insufficient time and altitude to re-establish fuel flow to the engine.

Although the airplane had experienced an alternator malfunction during the previous flight, a possible charging system failure would not have affected engine operation during the accident flight. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack, and an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper fuel management.

Charles K. Sojka is seen here in front of a Piper Cherokee in an old photo of the Woodward Airport. He was a Woodward native and a 1969 graduate of Woodward High School. He was a life-long pilot, flight instructor and Director of Maintenance for the Aviation Department at Kansas State University, Salina. Sojka was killed on November 30th, 2014 in a Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking plane crash in Boonville, Missouri.




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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / 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. The condition of a Salina physician who was injured in a plane crash Sunday in Missouri has been upgraded, a Columbia, Mo., hospital spokeswoman said.

Dr. Brenda Schewe, 56, an internal medicine hospitalist at Salina Regional Health Center, was in fair condition Friday at the University of Missouri Hospital.

Her daughter, Kathryn Taylor, 25, of Wichita, was being released from the hospital Friday, and her son, Jacob Taylor, 23, of Kansas City, already has been released, the hospital spokeswoman said.

Schewe's husband, Charles Sojka, a Salina flight instructor and certified aircraft mechanic, was killed when his small airplane crashed Sunday morning about half a mile from the Boonville, Mo., airport.