Tuesday, June 30, 2015

U.S.C.G. Air Station Traverse City makes medical rescue on Beaver Island



TRAVERSE CITY -- Guardsmen with Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City made a lifesaving rescue Tuesday on Beaver Island.

An 86-year-old woman who was on the island needed immediate medical attention and so the Coast Guard came in to save her.

The cloudy weather conditions made it nearly impossible for a plane to get into the airport and a boat would have taken too long to get the woman to the main land, so the Coast Guard used a helicopter to rescue her.

“Things went smoothly, we worked as a good crew,” said aviation survival technician, Derek Johnson.

Around 2 p.m. a full crew of two pilots, a rescue swimmer and a flight mechanic rescued an 86-year-old woman who needed immediate medical attention on Beaver Island.

“These are the kinds of situations that helicopter pilots think about with the low ceilings, how are you going to fly the aircraft, how are you going to keep the aircrew safe and the aircraft safe,” said Air Station Traverse City public affairs officer Pablo Smith. “So you have to plan it out and know how to handle the aircraft in different situations.”

Medical evacuations aren't common for guardsmen in Traverse City. Within the last year they've only had about five, but cloudy weather conditions made it difficult for anyone else to get onto the island.

“In this particular situation the weather at Beaver Island and the nature of the stress of the patient prevented them from being taken by boat to mainland and it was difficult for an aircraft to get into the island to extract the patient to the hospital so we used our low level flying route to get into the airport at Beaver Island,” said Smith.

“The ceiling started coming down so it was pretty challenging weather to get into Beaver Island,” said Johnson.

They said it's important they train for these situations because it can make the difference between life and death.     

“If the situation is where we're the only ones that can get in there we need to know how to do it safely so we train for it and we got it done to make sure we know how to do it right,” said Smith.

The woman was taken to Munson Medical Center but her condition at this time is unknown.

Source:  http://www.upnorthlive.com

Lawyers for Families of Germanwings’ Victims Say Compensation Offer Too Low: Lawyers say they will contest Lufthansa’s Offer

The Wall Street Journal 
By ULRIKE DAUER And  NATASCHA DIVAC
June 30, 2015 1:28 p.m. ET



FRANKFURT—Lawyers representing some of the families of those killed in the Germanwings crash on Tuesday criticized Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s offer of compensation, calling it far below an appropriate level.

Lufthansa has offered the families of German victims €25,000 per passenger ($27,880), plus €10,000 for each immediate next of kin, to cover immaterial damage. That brings the total minimum compensation per victim to €85,000, including the €50,000 Lufthansa offered each family to cover material costs immediately after the crash.

The airline also put aside larger sums in the form of trusts for the future needs of victims’ families.

The March crash killed 150 people, including Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who prosecutors say deliberately crashed the plane in the French Alps. The plane was en route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona, with predominantly German and Spanish passengers on board.

Lawyers for the victims’ families criticized the compensation as inadequate. Elmar Giemulla, a Berlin-based lawyer who represents 34 German families, said he would contest it.

“Lufthansa has made a completely unacceptable offer,” he said. “The €10,000 should be a six-digit figure.”

Christof Wellens, who represents another 31 German and non-German families, also called the offer insufficient. He also plans to challenge it and will look into legal possibilities if Lufthansa declines to negotiate. There were people of various nationalities on board, including U.K. and U.S., opening the possibility of pursuing cases outside Germany, he said.

Lufthansa stressed that the €25,000 and €10,000 sums cover only immaterial damages, such as pain and suffering. It would settle material needs individually, possibly on top of the €50,000 paid after the crash, and in compliance with the German victims compensation act.

Lufthansa’s offer may also apply to non-German victims whose claims will be settled according to German law. Claims by Spanish victims will be settled based on Spanish law, Lufthansa said. It is still unclear how victims with other nationalities will be treated.

“It is still open whether for U.K. or U.S. victims their national legislation applies,” said Michael Niggemann, chief lawyer of Lufthansa.

Compensation for families following airplane crashes fluctuate widely, depending on the country and circumstances. In the U.S., settlements are generally higher than in Europe.

Lufthansa said it would set up a €7.8 million fund to support the education of the children of victims. A further €6 million is available for individual needs, with payments to be determined by a board of trustees. In addition, Lufthansa will set up memorial sites in four locations.

Lufthansa in April set aside around $300 million in connection with the crash. It said that amount was based on preliminary assessments and can be adjusted. It includes compensation payments to passengers’ relatives, the hull insurance value of the aircraft, accident support and investigation service at the crash site, and legal support and assistance.

The payment for the destroyed aircraft will be handled by a separate consortium of insurers.

Lufthansa defined next of kin as parents, biological and adopted children, spouses or significant others with a shared address. However, it wouldn’t rule out that brothers or sisters of victims could be entitled to damage payments.

—Sarah Sloat contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.wsj.com

SIU Aviation Wins Its First All-Women's Air Race

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Jessica Reed, left, and Stephanie Armstrong, right, with their trophies and the plane the two used to win the All Women’s Cross Country 2015 Air Race Classic, June 22-25.



SIU-Carbondale's nationally recognized aviation program achieved another milestone this weekend.

For the first time in program history, an SIU team won the All Women's Cross Country 2015 Air Race Classic.

Senior Jessica Reed and assistant instructor Stephanie Armstrong won both the collegiate and overall title in the 39th annual event.

After the Flying Salukis won the national collegiate championship in May, Armstrong told us it's wonderful that females have a chance to succeed in a male-dominated industry.

The Air Race Classic covered nearly 2,200 nautical miles with nine legs. Scores are based on a plane's projected versus actual timed performance. The event continues a tradition started with the 1929 Women's Air Derby, where famed aviator Amelia Earhart and 19 other female pilots flew from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio.

Reed flew about 85 percent of the event; Armstrong handled navigation and communications.

Fifty-four teams competed for the overall title, including 17 collegiate teams.

A second SIU team made up of Sarah Demkovich, a graduate assistant from Algonquin, and Emily Frasca, a May 2015 graduate in aviation management from Champaign, was 24th overall and seventh in the collegiate division.

Source:  http://news.wsiu.org

Frederick, Maryland: Woman places third in airplane race

Robin Hadfield, left and Lin Caywood departed the Frederick Municipal Airport June 19. The women piloted Caywood's plane and finished in third place in the 39th Annual Air Race Classic, a 2,529 mile airplane race.



After 2,530 miles and stops in almost every state east of the Mississippi River, a Frederick woman took home third place in the 39th annual Air Race Classic.

Lin Caywood flew her plane across the finish line just before noon on June 24, only 2 1/2 days into the four-day race.

“We think we made some good decisions,” Caywood said of her team, reflecting on their journey.

Caywood and co-pilot Robin Hadfield, of Canada, were worried that bad weather would cause trouble during the race, but it was all smooth sailing despite a tornado warning after they landed in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

After long stretches of flying in a stifling aircraft, the team was most impressed by the enthusiastic and supportive hospitality from the people at every stop they made.

“They really went over the top to make us welcome,” said Caywood, a member or the Sugarloaf Chapter of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots.

In Hickory, North Carolina, they were greeted by cheering crowds and mascots from local sport teams, and Union City, Tennessee, won the prize for best stop during the race as they offered manicures and pedicures, shirts and flip-flops, and barbecue for the teams. Caywood and her co-pilot decided not to linger at this stop and flew to the next, which was a good decision considering the bad weather that plagued some of the teams behind them.

Although Hadfield started flying planes in 1979, this was her first time in the Air Race Classic. She said she has wanted to do it for years.

“It's the type of thing where you really have to go with your knowledge,” Hadfield said of flying in the race. “Try not to second-guess yourself and be confident in your own decision-making.”

Hadfield said she enjoyed the race and the camaraderie among the women competing from different chapters of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots.

“You learn a lot from it,” Hadfield said. “There's a lot of young girls bonding with older women, 18-year-olds and 70-year-olds. It's a lot of fun.”

Hadfield said she plans to recruit more women for the race when she lands back in Canada.

Source: http://www.fredericknewspost.com

Cary, Algonquin women among pilots who flew in 2015 Air Race Classic

Krystal Felderman (left) of Cary and teammate Casie Schaffer are seen in Fairhope, Alabama, after participating in the Air Race Classic, an annual transcontinental air race for female pilots.



Two local women began their summers by traveling to various parts of the country, and as young pilots who participated in this year’s Air Race Classic, they flew themselves.

A nonprofit organization, Air Race Classic Inc., coordinates an annual transcontinental air race for female pilots.

This year’s collegiate section included two McHenry County natives, 20-year-old Krystal Felderman of Cary and 21-year-old Sarah Demkovich of Algonquin. The two, from different schools and separate teams, recently finished the race and are headed home this week.

Felderman, who grew up listening to stories about her great uncle who was a fighter pilot during World War II, said her interest in aviation led her to Quincy University, where she just finished her sophomore year. She said this was the first time her school sent a team to the Air Race Classic.

“We placed 32 out of 56 teams, so we didn’t place as high as we thought,” Felderman said. “But I still loved it. In the classroom, you never get the experience to go cross-country and experience different terrains and different weather.”

The route – about 2,400 miles in length, according to the organization’s website – had teams start in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and end in Fairhope, Alabama, with stops in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and other states in between.

For Felderman, flying over the Appalachian Mountains was the best part of the multi-day trip.

“That was amazing to see,” she said.

Demkovich, a graduate student and flight instructor at Southern Illinois University, described the various factors pilots had to consider while racing.

For one, the teams were not racing against each other, but, essentially, against the best speed of their own plane.

“[At the beginning], a timer measures the best performance of our plane, when we’re at full throttle,” Demkovich said. “Then [the rest of the race], you’re basically racing against your own plane.”

While flying from one take-off location to the next destination, teams should think about things such as where the weight of their luggage should be to optimize gravitational energy, Felderman said.

Being able to evaluate weather conditions obviously is an extremely important factor, too, Demkovich added.

“On our last leg to Fairhope, Alabama, we hit some significant storm weather,” the SIU grad student said. “We know how storms grow very quickly. ... We had to deviate our flight path around a pretty large cell.”

Demkovich and her teammate placed 24th out of the 56 teams. While it was more “middle of the run” than what they were hoping to achieve their first time participating, she appreciated the race as a rare learning experience nonetheless.

“Doing cross-country racing is a challenge in itself,” she said. “You learn more about the weather and more about different terrains, so whether you came in first or last, you still learn something new.”

Source:  http://www.nwherald.com

Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG, N739WW: Accident occurred June 30, 2015 at Rio Vista Municipal Airport (O88), California

DUANE A. ALLEN: http://registry.faa.gov/N739WW


NTSB Identification: GAA15CA150
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 30, 2015 in Rio Vista, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA TR182, registration: N739WW
Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that during the landing touch down the airplane porpoised, and he elected to abort the landing. The flight instructor stated that the pilot raised the flaps, retracted the landing gear, and pulled back the power at the same time. The airplane descended and impacted the runway. The airplane then veered off the runway to the left and slid until the airplane impacted a canal, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.




A plane with three people on board crashed into a ravine near a Solano County airport Tuesday morning, officials said.

Everyone on aboard the single-engine Cessna 182 was able to walk away, but the plane sustained heavy damage, Rio Vista Public Works Department director David Melilli said.

The crash happened around 11 a.m. and the Rio Vista Municipal Airport.

Solano County sheriff's Sgt. Jackson Harris said a student and flying instructor were on board.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Lynn Lunsford said the plane went down under unknown circumstances and ended up in a canal. 

One of three people on board suffered a minor injury, Lunsford said.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Source: http://www.nbcbayarea.com

RIO VISTA, Calif. (KCRA) —A plane with three people on board crashed Tuesday into a ravine near the Rio Vista airport, officials said.

The single-engine Cessna 182 went down about 11 a.m. and was found in a canal near the Rio Vista Municipal Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Agency.

Two of the three people were not hurt. The third person suffered a scrape from the crash, but was doing fine, emergency officials said.

The plane went down under unknown circumstances, and an investigation into the crash is ongoing.

No one on the ground was hurt.

Source:  http://www.kcra.com

RIO VISTA (CBS13) – A plane has reportedly crashed at the Rio Vista Airport.

Around 11 a.m., for unknown reasons, the single-engine Cessna 182 with tail number N739WW went into a canal near Rio Vista Airport, according to a statement from FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor.

None of the three people who were in the plane at the time were injured.

Women pilots adding 'girl power' to Aerosim Flight Academy

Fresh off their participation in the Air Race Classic, Lauren Thompson (left) and Kelsey Brown (far right) let us into their world at Aerosim Flight Academy in Sanford.
~



SANFORD -- 

"When I started flying, I started hating to drive!"

And with that, we got a pretty good idea that pilot Lauren Thompson is hooked on aviation. For the third year, she competed in the Air Race Classic - a 10-state, 4-day race considered the pinnacle of women's air racing. Her co-pilot is Kelsey Brown, who made her race debut.

The women didn't place as well as they wanted to, but they still get to look forward to a congratulations reception for the ground team and sponsors in mid-July.

The duo met in ground school, where they both became flight instructors.

Before that, Brown majored in French Literature, of all things. But she always knew she didn't want a 9-to-5.

"I kept saying that," she said, "and my folks kept saying, 'Well, you know what has all of those options?' And I kept saying, 'No no, no no,'" thinking she'd probably never fly as a career.

But all it took was one, 1-hour introductory flight. Her passion and obsession built up even more after completing her first solo flight.

"I remember everything being quiet and then all of a sudden, I hear this kind of singing," she recalled. "And then I realized I was the one singing. And it was this realization of, Oh, you are actually doing this right now. And I just thought that was the coolest thing ever."

The women led us through a pre-flight safety check during a recent visit to Aerosim Flight Academy, the only flight school originally owned and operated by airlines Comair Airlines and Delta Air Lines. In its 26 years of operation, the academy has issued more than 20,000 licenses and certificates.

"It's not a car," Brown said, showing me how to check for the purity of the fuel by removing a sample from inside the wing. "If you have a problem, you can't pull over on the side of the road and get assistance."

"It's just awesome, just to be flying," Thompson added. "You look down and just realize, Wow. The views you have, the sunsets, the sunrises are incredible. Just getting to see that and a different perspective, I couldn't ask for a better job."

Meanwhile, up next for the public is a "Be a Pilot" open house and career expo. That's happening at Aerosim Flight Academy in October. For information, contact Aerosim at (407) 330-7020.

Aerosim Flight Academy:  https://www.afa.edu

Source:  http://www.mynews13.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Incident occurred June 29, 2015 at San Francisco International Airport (KSFO), California

A Coast Guard helicopter landed on it is side after it crashed on an airfield at the San Francisco International Airport, Monday, June 29, 2015



SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Calif. (KGO) -- A Coast Guard helicopter conducting a test flight crashed on an airfield at the San Francisco International Airport, according to Coast Guard officials. Two pilots suffered minor injuries.

The rescue helicopter, a MH-65 Dolphin, made a hard landing around 2:50 p.m. Monday as a pilot and a co-pilot were engaged in a maintenance test flight, officials said. The helicopter crashed when pilots lost control as they went to hover to land. The helicopter landed on its side.

The pilot and co-pilot were being treated for minor injuries.

The incident accident occurred on a tarmac at a Coast Guard facility at the north end of the airport, said SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

The incident is not affecting commercial operations at the airport.

Source:  http://abc7news.com

Zodiac 601 XL, N253DG: Incident occurred June 29, 2015 near Mesquite Metro Airport (KHQZ), Texas

A small plane made an emergency crash landing in a field not far from Interstate 20 on E. Malloy Bridge Road, NBC 5 has learned.

The pilot contacted Metro Mesquite Airport at about 11:30 a.m. and requested emergency clearance due to unspecified trouble with the aircraft.

The pilot didn't make it to the airport and came down in a field roughly 3.6 miles south of the airfield.

The plane, a single-engine Zodiac 601XL that seats two, was spotted by Chopper 5 nose down in a field a little more than a mile south of I-20.

The pilot was the only person on board and he was not injured.

The specific nature of the emergency has not been confirmed.

Story and video:  http://www.nbcdfw.com

DON W. GUICE:   http://registry.faa.gov/N253DG

Federal Aviation Administration Launches Investigation after Someone Accidentally Turns On Air Show Helicopter: Minnesota Air Spectacular at Mankato Regional Airport (KMKT)



There are four specific switches that need to be hit in a certain sequence before pilot Ken Melchior can start the Chopper 5 engine.


However, not all choppers are that tricky to operate.

Cell phone video recorded during Mankato's Minnesota Air Spectacular captured the aftermath of someone accidentally turning on the Mayo One helicopter while it was on display.

Two people suffered minor injuries when a sun shade toppled over in the wind generated by the moving blades.

The FAA confirmed it is investigating what happened but added these investigations can take weeks to complete, so 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS went to our own aircraft expert to learn more. 

Chopper 5 pilot Ken Melchior, knows the type of helicopter involved well and explained how this can happen accidentally.

"There's two required switches that turned that helicopter on," he said.

That's the power switch and the engine 1 switch.

"The levers are typically marked pretty well. They'll say 'power' right on it."

Meanwhile, Mayo One is now out of commission until the investigation ends. Mayo Clinic does have a second helicopter in the Mankato area so medical lifts will continue.

Mayo Clinic’s released the following statement Monday:

"Saturday, June 27, 2015, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a Mayo One helicopter was inadvertently powered up by a member of the public while the aircraft was parked on static display at the Minnesota Air Spectacular in Mankato.

The Mayo One team quickly initiated shutdown procedures. Two individuals suffered minor injuries when a nearby sun shade tipped over. The Mayo One aircraft involved in the incident has been removed from service for inspection and maintenance, which is standard procedure.

The safety of our patients, our team members and the general public is Mayo Clinic's highest priority. Mayo Clinic is conducting a thorough review and has proactively reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration."

Source:  http://kstp.com

This Mayo Clinic medical helicopter was inadvertently started by a child Saturday at an air show in Mankato. This is a file photo.



A boy about 6 years old climbed into an unoccupied Mayo Clinic helicopter at an air show near Mankato and fired up the engine, setting off a tense scene on the tarmac until a worker removed the child and shut off the chopper, a witness said Monday.

The incident occurred early Saturday afternoon on the first day of the Minnesota Air Spectacular at the Mankato Regional Airport.

The whirring rotor blades knocked over a large sun shield on the tarmac, and two people were hit and slightly injured by the fabric-like screen, according to a statement released by Mayo.

The helicopter is operated by Mayo Clinic Medical Transport and is based at the Mankato airport for emergency runs in a 150-mile radius.

A member of Mayo’s aviation team shut down the helicopter, according to a statement issued by the clinic.

Agro Gushwa, a ticket taker at the show, said, “This kid started it up, and the propeller started spinning,” Gushwa, 15, immediately began video-recording the scene with his cellphone.

“The door was open … and he just walked in,” he said.

Gushwa said the Mayo staff member “ran over and got [the boy] out” after about a minute. It took another 90 seconds or so for the staff member to shut down the helicopter, Gushwa added.

Once out of the chopper, the boy “ran to his father, who gave him a hug and told him it was OK. It was fine.”

Gushwa, who estimated the boy’s age as about 6, said the child “was crying really bad.”

Another show attendee, Terry Thompson, of Waconia, said he was walking by the helicopter as the rotors on the top and on the tail were spinning.

“I kind of froze for a second and thought, ‘Now, do I run up in there?’ ” he said.

Air show Director Mark Knoff said the “unfortunate incident” was reported to an on-site Federal Aviation Administration official.

Knoff, himself a helicopter pilot, said choppers are started in various ways and he’s unaware of how the boy got the engine cranked up.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said agency “investigators attend all air shows in order to oversee the event and were on scene at the time.”

The investigation into the incident is now being led by the National Transportation Safety Board, Isham Cory said. However, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said this “doesn’t appear to be something that [the agency] would investigate” because there was no crash and no injuries onboard.

In the meantime, the aircraft has been removed from service for inspection and maintenance, which is routine, Mayo’s statement said. Mayo said it is conducting its own investigation.

A spokesman for Mayo Clinic Medical Transport declined to field questions Monday about the circumstances surrounding how the boy started the Eurocopter EC145, a twin-engine light utility helicopter that can be configured to carry up to nine passengers and two crew members.

Along with basing a helicopter at the Mankato airport, Mayo Clinic also has emergency helicopters at its headquarters in Rochester and at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in Eau Claire, Wis.

Source: http://www.startribune.com

Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, Perimeter Aviation, C-GFWX: Accident occurred December 22, 2012 at Sanikiluaq Airport, Canada

Plane in deadly Nunavut crash 'came in too high, too steep, too fast,' report finds

Nine people were on board plane from Winnipeg to Nunavut when it overran runway in Sanikiluaq



Six-month-old Isaac Appaqaq died in the December 22, 2012 crash. 






Inclement weather, poor visibility, fatigue and a departure from established protocols all played factors in the crash-landing death of a six-month-old boy during a Perimeter Aviation flight 2½ years ago, investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) say.

At a news conference in Winnipeg Monday afternoon, TSB chair Kathy Fox explained the twin-engine turbo prop "came in too high, too steep, too fast" in its flight from Winnipeg to Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, three days before Christmas in 2012.

It was carrying seven passengers — plus a pilot and co-pilot — when it overran the runway in Sanikiluaq on its second landing attempt.

"The flight took off only for the flight crew to realize that they had forgotten the instrument procedure charts for approach and landing. Rather than return to the airport and extend the flight time even more, the captain instead radioed the company to obtain most of the required information," said Gayle Conners, who was in charge of the TSB investigation.

"By the time the captain tried to reject the landing, it was too late."

The plane came down hard, stopping about 200 metres past the end of the runway.

The child, Isaac Appaqaq, was thrown from his mother's lap and died of multiple injuries, Nunavut's chief coroner Padma Suramala stated a few days after the crash.

'Pressure to land'

Conners said the investigation revealed that stress and other issues affected decisions involved in making the landing.

"The crew began feeling a growing pressure to land. Crew communications started to break down. Stress, workload, frustration and fatigue combined to narrow their attention, and they shifted away from well-practised procedures," Conners said.

The eight other people on board suffered various injuries but none were life-threatening.

The TSB released two recommendations aimed at ensuring the safety of children and infants flying on commercial airliners.

"One: that commercial air carriers start routinely tracking and reporting data on the number of infants and children travelling," said Fox.

"And two, for the development and mandatory use of child-restraint systems so that infants and young children travelling on commercial aircraft will receive the same level of safety as adults."

Fox added that having more reliable information about the frequency and number of kids aboard flights will help inform efforts to make flying safer.

"What's needed is better data to conduct research to assess risks and to outline emerging trends related to the carriage of infants and children," said Fox.

She added Transport Canada and airlines are already aware of the risks and encourage families with kids or infants to travel using "an approved child-restraint system during flights."

"In the case of severe turbulence, a sudden deceleration or a crash such as this one, adults are not strong enough to adequately restrain an infant just by holding on," Fox said.

Following the release of the report, Canada's Transport Minister Lisa Raitt responded saying she expects the federal government will take a close look at the TSB's recommendations.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victim's family," said Raitt. "We expect Transport Canada [will] review these recommendations on an expedited basis.

Sanikiluaq is an Inuit community of 850 residents, situated on the Belcher Islands in southeastern Hudson Bay.

Read more here:  http://www.cbc.ca

Final Report: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

Low-energy rejected landing and collision with terrain 
Perimeter Aviation LP 
Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III, 
C-GFWX 
Sanikiluaq, Nunavut 
22 December 2012

 

Lawsuit still smoking over guns at air show

A man who wants to carry a gun into the Wings Over North Georgia air show has appealed a Floyd County judge’s dismissal of his case, sending the issue to the state Supreme Court.

No date has been set for arguments before the high court in the case of GeorgiaCarry.org and Dan Haithcock v. Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell and Floyd County.

“There will probably be oral arguments,” said attorney John Monroe, who represents Haithcock.

Superior Court Judge Walter Matthews last October denied GeorgiaCarry.org and Dan Haithcock’s attempt to carry a firearm into the annual air show at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.

Matthews’ decision, however, only stopped the attempt for the 2014 show. The lawsuit kept moving through the court system, until the judge dismissed the entire complaint in April.

This year’s air show is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4.

“The case shouldn’t have been dismissed,” Monroe said. “It was still going on.”

Monroe has said that a private property owner can restrict guns from his or her property. That same restriction doesn’t exist on public property such as an airport.

Matthews, however, ruled that someone who rents public property can impose a weapon prohibition.

“That’s illegal under state law,” Monroe said.

Haithcock, who is from Cumming, told Matthews he regularly carries a firearm for protection.

County Attorney Wade Hoyt III isn’t representing the county in the case, though he’s monitoring its movement through the courts.

“This is still a sticky question,” Hoyt said. “It’s still up in the air whether local governments can preclude people from carrying weapons at local gatherings.”

Source: http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com

New Jersey a wet blanket for seaplanes

 
Seaplane owners John Link, left, and Steve Kent becoming acquainted at Moosehead Marina in West Milford.



On a sunny morning last week, Steve Kent sneaked into New Jersey in a seaplane. This required some planning, since his Cessna is very loud and not particularly sneaky. Taking off from a little airport in Warwick, N.Y., Kent popped over the treetops of Bellvale Mountain, descended into a deep glacial valley and dipped his plane’s pontoons into Greenwood Lake, a skinny body of water that wears the state line between New York and New Jersey like a belt on its hips.

Landing a few hundred feet short of the line, just inside New York State, Kent taxied into Passaic County at 26 knots.

“We call this ‘skip taxiing,’ ” he said. “It’s just like skipping a rock across the water.”

Kent executed this complicated (and entirely legal) maneuver because on most lakes and rivers in New Jersey, seaplanes are allowed to operate only as boats. They may float on the water, but they may not take off or land. Due partly to that quirk in state law, and factors including an aging pilot population and the rising cost of seaplane ownership, Bergen County has changed from a national hub for seaplanes to a virtual no-go zone in just one generation.

“They were very active here. It was common to see a seaplane in the sky,” said Steve Riethof, vice president of the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey, next to Teterboro Airport. “In this area it’s become a rarity.”

In the decade after World War II, the Hackensack and Passaic rivers were home to 50 seaplanes stationed at six different bases, according to H.V. Pat Reilly, author of “From the Balloon to the Moon,” a 1992 book about New Jersey’s aviation history.

The decline of North Jersey’s seaplane culture reflects shrinking interest nationwide in general aviation involving small private planes, local pilots say. There are now 174,883 active airplane pilots with private flying certificates in the United States, a 7 percent drop from 2012, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Steve Hedges, spokesman for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said much of that decline can be attributed to the aging out of pilots who were trained during World War II and the Korean War.

Modern seaplane pilots face economic hurdles. For instance, the pontoons on Kent’s plane weigh 470 pounds, which means his little four-seat Cessna burns more fuel and carries less cargo. His pontoons have wheels that can be extended for landing on ground and retracted for landing on water, which creates its own risks, Kent said, since habit and training teach most pilots to always keep wheels down for landing.

“You pay a lot more insurance, a lot more gas, a lot more maintenance,” said Kent, 51, the New York field director for the Seaplane Pilots Association. “Insurance companies have an issue with things that can sink.”

State law also discourages people from landing seaplanes in New Jersey, pilots said. In most states, including New York, seaplanes can land on nearly any body of water the pilot can see from the air, said Steve McCaughey, executive director of the Seaplane Pilots Association. But New Jersey law requires pilots to land only at state-licensed airports, and the law applies to both land and water, said Steve Schapiro, a spokesman for the state Transportation Department. Licenses must be renewed every year.

“The assumption about New Jersey is it’s just not open,” said McCaughey, whose organization was founded in Little Ferry in 1972 and now is headquartered in Florida. “It’s just generally not seen as a seaplane-friendly state.”

Hardy fraternity

Bergen County was home to a thriving culture of seaplane pilots and enthusiasts starting just before World War II. For many it was a both community and a way of life that peaked in the 1970s, began to wane in the 1980s, and today is nearly extinct.

The places where the community gathered had names nearly as lovely and magnetic as the planes themselves. There was Sky Harbor Seaplane Base and Dawn Patrol Flight School. Pilots called the Meadowlands “Edo Meadow,” after a prominent manufacturer of seaplane pontoons. The biggest hub was Tracey’s Nine Mile House, a restaurant by the Hackensack River in Little Ferry.

Shea Oakley, executive director of the aviation hall of fame, and David Baldwin, New Jersey field director for the Seaplane Pilots Association, both remember their parents bringing them when they were children to Tracey’s to eat lunch and marvel at the planes.

“I used to go there with my dad every few months for a special dinner,” said Baldwin. “I don’t remember the restaurant or the food, but I remember the seaplanes.”

The international Seaplane Pilots Association was founded nearby, at a card table in the hangar of the Little Ferry Seaplane Base, before it moved to its current home in Florida.

Flying seaplanes in Bergen County required guts and a steady hand. During the cold winter of 1940, flight instructors at the Mellor-Howard Seaplane Base in Ridgefield Park managed to keep the school open by sending students onto frozen Overpeck Creek wearing ice skates. When seaplanes landed on the ice, the volunteers grabbed hold of the wing struts and dragged their skates across the ice to slow the planes and prevent the pilots from ramming the shore, Reilly wrote.

Just upstream, the Little Ferry Seaplane Base and Lambros Seaplane Base in Ridgefield Park faced each other across the Hackensack River, sharing one runway. In the skies above, seaplane pilots were jostled by faster and bigger planes bound for Teterboro and Newark. The seaplane pilots had to avoid all the other traffic, and coordinate the takeoffs and landings of two different seaplane bases, without radar. Most of the planes didn’t even have radios, Riethof said.

Southbound planes taxied on the Hackensack under the Route 46 bridge between Little Ferry and Ridgefield Park to begin their takeoffs; planes landing from the north buzzed low over the bridge deck, “and I’m sure the motorists were quite frightened,” Riethof said.

Nor were the conditions especially inviting. The seaplanes landed on brackish water, but most pilots worried more about pollution than salt.

“The water probably has more oil in it than salt,” said Bruce Dunham, who owned the Little Ferry Seaplane Base until the early 1990s, when he sold it.

Despite the surroundings, seaplanes were a glamorous way to travel. On Fridays in the summer, Dunham regularly carried 200 people daily between lower Manhattan and weekend houses in the Hamptons and Fire Island, he said. Come weekdays, Dunham would fly in the opposite direction, picking up celebrities including Billy Joel, Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne at their waterfront homes on Long Island. He’d take them into Manhattan in the morning and back home at night.

 “Those are the people I dealt with on a daily basis,” said Dunham, now an FAA flight examiner in Florida. “Some of those people were good friends.”

Moving on

One by one, Bergen County’s seaplane bases closed. The Mellor-Howard base lost its runway to a new bridge that carried the New Jersey Turnpike across Overpeck Creek, Reilly wrote. After World War II, the GI Bill paid for thousands of returning soldiers to attend flight school, Reilly said, but as the federal money dried up, seaplane base owners retired or switched careers.

For a while, Dunham’s operation in Little Ferry was the last seaplane base in North Jersey with regular flights. Demand for charters was high, he said, but the rising costs gradually drove him out.

“Airplanes that I was able to buy in 1970 for $35,000 are now $500,000. Insurance went up, regulations go up,” he said. “I moved on to different things.”

Today few reminders of the region’s long seaplane history remain, and they are hard to find. Tracey’s is abandoned, but a small hangar with a chipped green roof stands out back. By the water, a faded yellow sign with the outline of an airplane encourages visitors to report security hazards. The old corrugated concrete ramp, which pilots used to drive their seaplanes from the river onto land, is littered with tree branches and empty Pepsi bottles.

“Most of these seaplane bases are going away,” said Frank Reiss, a seaplane flight instructor on the Wallkill River in New York who used to fly out of Little Ferry. “It’s sad to see.”

Source:  http://www.northjersey.com


Steve Kent taxiing his seaplane on Greenwood Lake in West Milford last week because he is not allowed to land or take off on the New Jersey side of the lake, which sits on the New York border.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beech A36 Bonanza, N5626D, Island Airways Inc: Fatal accident occurred June 28, 2015 in Plainville, Massachusetts

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

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA254
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2015 in Plainville, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/2017
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N5626D
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

The commercial pilot was conducting a cross-country personal flight. About 15 miles from the destination airport, while in instrument meteorological conditions at 3,300 ft mean sea level, the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control, stating that the airplane was experiencing an "engine problem." The pilot asked the controller about the nearest airport, and the controller provided him with radar vectors to that airport. The pilot then attempted to glide the airplane to the airport, but he reported that he was unable to maintain altitude. The controller then advised that there was a highway right of the airplane's position and about 2.5 miles away, and the pilot responded, "we have no engine we're [in instrument meteorological conditions] I need help." The airplane impacted a house before reaching the highway. It is likely that low cloud ceilings prevented the pilot from locating and navigating to a suitable forced landing site.

An examination of the engine revealed that the alternator drive coupling had failed, which resulted in damage to other internal engine components and ultimately resulted in a catastrophic engine failure due to a lack of oil lubrication. The investigation identified two possible conditions that could result in the coupling failure; but was unable to determine which was more likely. First, it is possible for components of the coupling to progressively move out of tolerance due to repeated "slip testing," which is a procedure the engine manufacturer prescribed to be performed anytime the coupling was removed and installed on an alternator shaft. The purpose of the test is to ensure that the coupling's elastomer section, which was designed to slip in the event of an alternator shaft seizure, will not slip under normal conditions. However, it is possible for certain components within the coupling to shift slightly during this test. If they shift far enough, the coupling will not be properly seated when installed on the alternator shaft. This condition is not readily detectable by direct observation. There are currently no published procedures to inspect or measure the coupling for this out-of-tolerance condition. One engine overhaul facility found two new couplings as received from the manufacturer that were out of tolerance.

The coupling could also have failed due to one or more of the following: insufficient torque applied to the alternator shaft nut, loosening of the nut to align the cotter pin holes, or failure to lubricate the threads before assembly on the shaft. Either an out-of-tolerance coupling or an improperly installed one can result in insufficient clamping force holding the coupling against the alternator. If there is insufficient clamping force, the coupling can rotate on the shaft and cause unusual wear and the ultimate failure of the coupling, which can lead to catastrophic engine failure. Sets of instructions for the installation of the coupling were available from several sources, including alternator manufacturers, the engine manufacturer, and repair and overhaul facilities. Although the sets of instructions were similar, the steps and details varied among them, and some of the instructions omitted critical guidance. The set of instructions provided by the engine manufacturer was the most complete; however, some steps were generalized and located in separate locations within the maintenance manual. None of the instructions advised that the assembly torque procedure was the designed means to prevent the coupling from rotating on the shaft, not the woodruff key. This may be counterintuitive because of how a woodruff key is generally used, and installers or part suppliers may not realize the importance of each step in the engine maintenance manual. Further, none of the instructions advised that a loose or improperly tightened coupling may lead to a catastrophic engine failure.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power due to the failure of the alternator drive coupling. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inability to locate and navigate to a suitable forced landing site due to low cloud ceilings.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama
Ram Aircraft; Waco, Texas

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

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

Island Airways Inc: http://registry.faa.govN5626D 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA254 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2015 in Plainville, MA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N5626D
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 28, 2015, at 1745 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, N5626D, impacted a residence and terrain following a total loss of engine power near Plainville, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was consumed by postcrash fire. The airplane was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at Lancaster Airport, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about 1612, and was destined for Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD), Norwood, Massachusetts.

Review of radar and voice communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the pilot was preparing to conduct an instrument approach procedure for landing at OWD. The flight was about 15 miles from OWD at an altitude of 3,300 ft mean sea level (msl) when the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control, stating that the airplane was experiencing an "engine problem." The pilot asked the controller about the nearest airport, and the controller provided him with radar vectors to an alternate airport. About 30 seconds later, the pilot advised that he was unable to maintain altitude, and he subsequently stated, "we got a real bad vibration we're losing engine." The controller advised that there was a highway right of the airplane's position and about 2.5 miles away, and the pilot responded, "we have no engine we're [in instrument meteorological conditions] I need help." The controller provided vectors toward the highway, which the pilot acknowledged. Shortly thereafter, the pilot stated, "we're gliding." At this time, radar data showed the airplane about 1,450 ft msl and 2 miles south of the highway. The last recorded radar return, about 40 seconds later, showed the airplane in a right turn about 700 ft msl and at a groundspeed of 66 knots about 0.1 mile from the accident site.

Several witnesses reported hearing an airplane engine making noise and then stopping or going silent. They could not see the airplane due to the low cloud ceiling. One witness, who was located across the street from the accident site, described first hearing a "low moan buzzing sound" and then looking up and seeing the airplane over the trees at the rear of his property with its wings "wagging back and forth." He added that, as it passed over his house, it was flying in a straight line and "wobbling." He then lost sight of it, and shortly after, heard a "boom." Another witness, located adjacent to the accident scene, described hearing what sounded like "a broken fan" before the airplane impacted the house. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land (limited to center thrust), and instrument airplane ratings.

The pilot's logbook was damaged by fire and was not legible. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 17, 2014, at which time, he reported 1,500 hours of total flight experience. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1990 and powered by a Continental IO-550-B6A, 300-horspower, six-cylinder engine driving a three-bladed propeller. The airplane's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on June 5, 2015, at which time, the airplane had accumulated 2,143 total hours in service and 2,143 total engine hours, 410 hours of which were accumulated since the engine was overhauled in June 2011. 

The engine maintenance logs noted that the oil filter was examined for metal particles during the most recent inspection as well as during five of the seven oil changes performed since the engine overhaul, and no metal or debris was found. The engine oil was also sampled and analyzed by a test laboratory three times since overhaul with normal results. 

When the engine was overhauled, an overhauled primary alternator and a new parts manufacturer approval (PMA) alternator drive coupling were installed. The alternator was removed and replaced twice in October 2011, at 21 and 23 hours since engine overhaul, respectively. No logbook entries specifically mentioned the alternator drive coupling (a gear assembly installed on the alternator shaft that mates with a gear on the engine crankshaft to turn the alternator). According to a representative from the engine overhaul facility, the serial number of the coupling in service at the time of the accident matched the one that was installed at the time of overhaul. The coupling did not have a specified life limit; however, the instructions for continued airworthiness provided by the coupling manufacturer recommended that it be replaced at engine overhaul. The airplane was also equipped with a standby alternator installed in accordance with a supplemental type certificate. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1735 recorded weather observation at North Central State Airport (SFZ), Pawtucket, Rhode Island, located about 8 miles southwest of the accident site at an elevation of 440 ft msl, included overcast ceiling at 800 ft above ground level, wind from 010° at 9 knots, visibility 9 statute miles, temperature 14°C, dew point 11°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.70 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the corner of the roof and the backyard deck of a residence and came to rest upright, parallel to and about 15 ft from the rear wall of the home, oriented on a magnetic heading of 320°. The airplane and most of the residence were consumed by postcrash fire. 

Flight control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit area; the left rudder cable and the left aileron cable turnbuckle exhibited fractures consistent with overload. The right flap actuator position was consistent with the right wing flap being in the retracted position. The left flap actuator was consumed by fire. The landing gear and actuators were found in the extended position. First responders reported detecting a strong odor of fuel when they arrived on scene.

Examination of the engine revealed that the crankcase was breached over the No. 6 cylinder barrel. Two additional puncture holes were found in line with the No. 1 cylinder connecting rod, located between the left and right magnetos. The oil sump was fractured and partially melted away. Fragments consistent with bearing material, connecting rods, lifters, and crankcase material were found in the oil sump and outside the engine crankcase.

During a follow-up examination of the engine, the alternator drive coupling (also commonly referred to as the alternator clutch, drive hub or clutch gear assembly) was found loose on the alternator shaft with its housing separated into two pieces (see figure 1). The coupling exhibited abnormal wear on the inside of the shaft collar and on the gear teeth. The shaft collar section was separated from the remainder of the housing on the back of the coupling (alternator side), around the circumference of the hole, which also exhibited wear consistent with the coupling rotating on the alternator shaft. Both sides of the thrust washer exhibited abnormal wear. The woodruff key was not found. 

Figure 1. Accident alternator and coupling

The face gear that drove the coupling was separated from its crankshaft flange, and all four of the attachment bolts and remnants of their locking tabs were found in the oil sump. A portion of the crankcase adjacent to the face gear was damaged and worn away, consistent with contact from the back side of the face gear ring. Metal particles; bearing, piston, connecting rod, and crankcase fragments; and orange particles consistent with the alternator drive coupling's elastomer were found throughout the engine. Metal and elastomer particles were also found in the oil filter element. Four of the piston connecting rods were found separated from the crankshaft, three of which exhibited thermal discoloration and mechanical damage consistent with lack of lubrication and overheating. The two connecting rods that remained attached to the crankshaft (Nos. 3 and 4) would not rotate. Upon disassembly, the Nos. 3 and 4 connecting rod bearings were found mostly intact, and displayed discoloration and deformation consistent with thermal distress and lack of lubrication. The oil passages in the crankshaft that supply oil to the connecting rod bearings were absent of debris, however the No. 6 oil passage was partially obstructed by smeared journal surface material. All of the connecting rod journals sustained thermal discoloration, the most significant of which were Nos. 1, 2, and 6. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The manner of death was determined to be "accident."

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing of specimens from the pilot. The testing was negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and drugs of abuse. Ranitidine, an antihistamine used in the treatment of gastric acid secretion, was detected in the urine. This medication does not pose a hazard to flight safety. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A review of maintenance guidance materials and testing in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory revealed two conditions that could result in the alternator drive coupling failure identified during examination.

First, using improper assembly torque values or procedures when tightening the alternator shaft nut will cause the coupling to progressively loosen over time due to abnormal wear. This may occur by not using a calibrated torque wrench, applying improper torque values, or using inadequate maintenance guidance materials. Six different sets of installation instructions for the coupling were found during the investigation: two from the alternator manufacturer, one from an unidentified repair station, one from the engine overhaul facility, and two (the overhaul maintenance manual and a superseding service bulletin) from the engine manufacturer. Although similar, each set of instructions had different steps and different levels of detail. For example, specific steps in the engine manufacturer's set of instructions were omitted in other instructions. Further, some steps were more clearly prescribed in one set of instructions than in another set. For example, the alternator manufacturer's set of instructions advised to torque the nut to within the range of 300 to 450 inch-pounds and install the cotter pin. Both the engine manufacturer's and the overhaul facility's set prescribed to torque the nut to precisely 300 inch-pounds and then to align the cotter pin holes. If the holes did not align at 300 inch-pounds, the instructions advised to continue applying torque until the holes aligned, up to the maximum value of 450 inch-pounds. The engine manufacturer's instructions also specifically stated not to reverse the nut when attempting to align the holes. 

Only the engine manufacturer's set of instructions advised that the shaft/nut threads be lubricated with engine oil. That guidance was available peripherally in the preamble to an appendix in the engine maintenance manual that contained tables of torque values. Lubricated threads will result in a much higher "clamping force" holding the coupling against the alternator and resisting rotation on the shaft for a given torque value. None of the sets of instructions noted that the torque procedure and the resulting clamping force are the primary means of preventing the coupling from rotating on the shaft. Although the design of the coupling includes a woodruff key and channels, which are commonly used in other applications to prevent collars from rotating on shafts, that was not the intended purpose for this coupling. In this case, the woodruff key was intended to aid in the coupling installation process by arresting the alternator shaft during the torqueing procedure. The woodruff key was not designed to resist the loads on the coupling during normal engine operation. 

Figure 2. Exemplar alternator, coupling, and components.

The second condition that could result in a coupling failure like that identified during examination is an out-of-tolerance coupling assembly. Specifically, if the gear section of the assembly is not fully seated in the housing and protrudes above the top of the shaft collar, the thrust washer will contact the gear instead of the shaft collar during installation of the coupling (see figure 2). As the nut is tightened against the washer, some of the applied torque will be consumed as the washer presses the gear back into the housing. As a result, less of the applied torque will be converted into the clamping force holding the coupling against the alternator. If that clamping force is insufficient, the coupling will progressively loosen over time due to abnormal wear. 

This out-of-tolerance condition was observed in the NTSB Materials Laboratory on an exemplar PMA coupling and an exemplar original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coupling that had undergone improper "slip testing," which is a procedure the engine manufacturer prescribed to be performed anytime the coupling was removed and installed on an alternator (slip testing is also performed on all couplings at the manufacturer before delivery). The purpose of the test was to ensure that the coupling's elastomer section, which was designed to slip (allow the gear to rotate independently from the housing) in the event of an alternator shaft seizure, will not slip under normal conditions. The test required that the housing be held fixed and that a specified torque be applied to the gear using a special tool. During this test, if too much torque was applied and the elastomer started to slip, the gear section would slide up and away from the housing a small distance. If this improper testing occurred repeatedly and/or severely, the coupling will become out of tolerance. Currently, there are no published procedures to inspect or measure the coupling for this out of tolerance condition. The engine overhaul facility found two new PMA couplings that were out of tolerance as delivered from the manufacturer; the cause of their condition was not determined. 

Similar Failures

A representative from the engine overhaul facility reported that he had observed several couplings from 2005 to 2015 that exhibited some type of failure or abnormal wear. The damage he observed was consistent with the coupling rotating on the shaft, slipping at the elastomer, or both. Specifically, he observed worn thrust washers, damaged or missing woodruff keys, damage to the key channels on the alternator shaft and the coupling, abnormal wear to the shaft collar section of the housing, separation of the shaft collar section from the housing, and disintegration of the elastomer. He was not aware of any effort to systematically track these failures or estimate the time in service of the damaged couplings; however, he notified the FAA principal maintenance inspector who conducted oversight of the overhaul facility whenever a failure was discovered. He indicated that most of the failures he had observed occurred in engines that were installed in twin-engine airplanes. He noted that the failures were often in the Continental Motors GTSIO series engines, in which the alternator rotated in the reverse direction from the type of engine installed on the accident airplane. He added that the facility only installed PMA couplings during overhaul but that he had observed failures in both the PMA and OEM couplings.

A review of records available in the FAA service difficulty reporting system database revealed 10 entries that may be related to an alternator coupling failure; however, the descriptions of the issue and level of detail available in those records varied widely and did not include any photographs. 

A review of the engine manufacturer's warranty records for the 5 years preceding the accident revealed six claims in which the coupling was described as "failed," "damaged," or as having "come apart." The warranty records did not contain any photographs or sufficient detail to determine if the reported problems were similar to the failure of the accident coupling. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Coupling Inspection and Maintenance Procedures

According to the engine manufacturer's maintenance manual, the coupling and the face gear that drives it should be examined as part of the alternator inspection during the 500-hour engine inspection. The procedure included examining the coupling for damage or missing material and performing the "Alternator Drive Hub Slippage Inspection" or slip test. The OEM coupling may be reused indefinitely if it satisfactorily passes inspection and slip testing. The PMA coupling manufacturer recommended that it be replaced during major engine overhaul.

Alternator Failure Indication System

The airplane was equipped with a warning annunciator light labeled "LOW BUS VOLTS" that was designed to illuminate in the event of an alternator failure. Although the alternator may not fail, a coupling failure may affect or stop the rotation of the alternator, which would result in an indication of alternator failure in the cockpit. There is no method to differentiate a mechanical failure of the coupling, which could lead to catastrophic engine failure, from an electrical failure of the alternator system. 

Alternator Failure Emergency Procedures

According to the Beech A36 pilot's operating handbook, the last step in the emergency procedures for an alternator failure with or without a standby alternator was to "land as soon as practical."

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA254
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2015 in Plainville, MA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N5626D
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On June 28, 2015, at 1745 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, registration N5626D, was destroyed when it impacted a residence and terrain following a total loss of engine power near Plainville, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was consumed by post-crash fire. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated at Lancaster Airport (LNS), Lancaster, Pennsylvania about 1612, and was destined for Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD), Norwood, Massachusetts. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of preliminary radar and voice communication data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the flight was preparing to conduct an instrument approach procedure for landing at OWD. The flight was about 15 miles from OWD at an altitude of 3,300 feet mean sea level when the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control, stating that the airplane was experiencing an "engine problem." The pilot queried the controller about the nearest airport, and was given radar vectors. About 30 seconds later, the pilot advised that he was unable to maintain altitude, and subsequently stated, "we got a real bad vibration we're losing engine." The controller advised that there was a highway to the right of the airplane's position and about 2.5 miles away, to which the pilot responded, "we have no engine we're [in instrument meteorological conditions] I need help." The controller provided vectors toward the highway, which the pilot acknowledged. Shortly thereafter, the pilot stated, "we're gliding." At this time, radar data showed the airplane at an altitude about 1,450 feet. The last recorded radar return, about 40 seconds later, showed the airplane in a right hand turn at an altitude of about 700 feet and groundspeed of 66 knots, about 1/10 mile from the accident site.

Several witnesses reported hearing an airplane engine making noise and then stopping or going silent. They could not see the airplane due to the low cloud ceiling. One witness, who was located across the street from the accident site, described first hearing a "low moan buzzing sound" and when he looked up, observed the airplane over the trees at the rear of his property with its wings wagging back and forth. As it passed over his house, it was "wobbling" in a straight line. He then lost sight of it, and heard a "boom" seconds later. Another witness located adjacent to the accident scene described hearing what sounded like "a broken fan" before the airplane impacted the house.

The airplane impacted the corner of the roof and the backyard deck of a residence, and came to rest upright, parallel to and about 15 feet from the rear wall of the home, oriented on heading of 320 degrees. The airplane and much of the residence were consumed by post-crash fire.
Flight control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit area; the left rudder cable and the left aileron cable turnbuckle exhibited overload fractures. The right flap actuator was consistent with the right wing flap in the retracted position. The left flap actuator was consumed by fire. The landing gear and actuators were found in the extended position. First responders reported detecting a strong odor of fuel when they arrived on scene.

Preliminary examination of the engine revealed that the crankcase was breached over the #6 cylinder barrel. Two additional puncture holes were found in line with the #1 cylinder connecting rod, located between the left and right magnetos. The oil sump was fractured and partially melted away. Fragments consistent with bearing material, connecting rods, lifters and crankcase material were found in the oil sump and outside the engine crankcase. The engine was retained for further examination at a later date.

The 1735 recorded weather observation at KSFZ (8 miles southwest of the accident site) included: wind from 010 degrees at 9 knots; overcast sky at 800 feet above ground level; visibility 10 miles; temperature 14 degrees C; dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.70 inches of mercury.

Firefighters helped Aaron Rice, left, owner of the house at 25 Bridle Path in Plainville, remove some items from the house Monday. The Providence Canteen assisted firefighters at the scene, and they deserve your help, Betsy Shea-Taylor writes. 



After a small plane crashed last Sunday into a Plainville home, setting it afire, first responders included a truck carrying food and water to support fire crews, police and others affected. The Special Signal Fire Association, or Providence Canteen, is a fixture at emergencies in the greater Attleboro area but may be unfamiliar to most residents.

It's always there to help, and can always use help. We'll touch on that later.

The crews of this volunteer corps, a 501(c), tax-exempt nonprofit, work with scant fanfare but the service is invaluable to firefighters and to victims awaiting Red Cross assistance. Dehydration, in particular, is a major concern for firefighters carrying heavy packs into danger and engulfed by heat.

Providence Canteen, which works out of facilities in Providence, has been around for 48 years, its genesis a two-man crew with a station wagon answering about 30 calls a year. The service of ferrying refreshment to fire scenes has grown into three trucks making about 550 runs a year throughout Rhode Island, into Southern Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut.

The canteen has volunteers on alert 24/7 and 365 days a year.

"I was a volunteer fireman at age 16," said Joseph Phillips, operations chief, in an interview just hours before he hit the road to the Plainville air crash that drew dozens of firefighters from several communities. (Three family members on the plane died; everyone in the house escaped.)

"My dedicated service is in my heart," said Phillips. "People sometimes say 'you get nothing out of it.' But you're giving back what you know without any reservation."

Phillips later joined the Providence Police Reserves, and then worked for 18 years as a police dispatcher. His background reflects those of many canteen volunteers; for instance, director is Paul O'Rourke, a Providence Police Department retiree, who has been a volunteer for 40 years.

The Providence Canteen responds not only to fires but also to floods, search and rescue operations, drills, haz-mat incidents and other crises.

It set up at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, and served 2,500 people, said Phillips. It also helped after a Florida hurricane years ago and in Springfield, after tornadoes leveled homes.

The service relies on several retailers for items such as coolers, bread, water, meat and so on. The canteen frequently prepares chili and beef stew on its truck burners, as it did during its response to Plainville last Sunday.

The Providence Canteen has responded to crises in Norfolk and Bristol counties. When supplies run low, volunteers dig into their own pockets.

This is where you come in, as a business or as an individual: To support this important work, make out a check to the Special Signal Fire Association and mail it to SSFA, PO Box 25009, Providence RI 02905

Help those who stand ready to help you and your neighbors.

Source:  http://www.thesunchronicle.com






PLAINVILLE — The engine used in the aircraft that crashed into a Bridle Path house, killing the plane’s three occupants, was part of the same family of engines that suffered a series of crankshaft failures in 1999.

An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board probing the wreckage of Sunday’s crash reported finding a hole in the crankcase of the engine, although the NTSB has yet to assign a cause for the accident.


Dr. Joseph Kalister, the pilot; his wife, Betty; and their daughter, Nicole, were killed when their single-engine Beechcraft lost power and crashed into a house at 25 Bridle Path.


Just before the crash, Kalister radioed air traffic controllers that he was losing power, had a bad vibration and that he finally lost engine power.


Shortly after that, the plane crashed into the house about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, bursting into flames.


Four occupants of the dwelling, Aaron Rice; his wife, Carol; their two sons and family pets managed to escape unharmed.


The Kalister family was from Knoxville, Tenn., and was coming to Massachusetts to visit Northeastern University in Boston, where Nicole was enrolled as a freshman. The plane was bound for Norwood Municipal Airport, about 15 miles from the crash site.


According to FAA registration records, the aircraft was powered by a Continental IO 550 engine, a 280-horsepower, six-cylinder powerplant. The IO 55O is among a family of engines manufactured or rebuilt from 1998 to 2000 that was subject to an FAA emergency airworthiness directive because of metal defects in a connecting rod journal.


“This condition, if not corrected, could result in crankshaft connecting rod journal fracture, which could result in total engine power loss, in-flight engine failure and possible forced landing,” the 2000 FAA directive reads.


The FAA reported finding at least 13 cases of crankshaft failure beginning in late 1999.


The remedy called for by the FAA at the time was to take a core sample from the crankshaft propeller flange to check for defects and to replace any crankshaft that turned out to be unserviceable.


It is not clear when the engine in the Kalister plane was manufactured or whether it was among those subject to the inspection and repair directive.


Representatives of Teledyne Continental, the manufacturer, did not return a phone call from The Sun Chronicle Wednesday.


Local aircraft repair technicians were reluctant to speculate on the cause of the crash.


“There could be a thousand possibilities,” one mechanic said.


Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch of Savvy Aviator Inc. wrote on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s website that crankshafts usually fail because of one of three factors: early failure because of improper materials used in manufacture, failures due to the airplane’s prop striking a foreign object or oil starvation and/or bearing failure.


However, he wrote that catastrophic failures due to prop strikes have declined as the danger from such causes has become more recognized.


NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said it is too soon to speculate on what might have caused the aircraft to lose power, and that the engine will be sent to the manufacturer for inspection. The airplane’s maintenance and inspection records will also be looked at, he said.


“Since the investigation is still in the preliminary stage and the information provided is factual only, we tend not to elaborate on what impact these facts will have on the investigation,” Holloway wrote in an email. “Any additional information at this point from the NTSB would be speculative and we do not speculate but go where the facts lead.” 


Source: http://www.thesunchronicle.com    


Tennessee doctor Joseph Richard Kalister his wife Betty.
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Nicole Kalister
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Betty Kalister (left), Joseph Richard Kalister, and daughter Nicole Kalister (right) were killed in the crash in Plainville.
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 Joseph Richard Kalister his wife Betty. 
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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy updates the media on the current state of the investigation of a Beech A36 Bonanza plane crash into a home on Bridle Path in Plainville Sunday killing all three family members on board.
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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy gives the media an update on the Beech A36 Bonanza plane crash that killed 3 people on board in Plainville, Massachusetts.
 June 30, 2015
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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy gives an update on the crash of a Beech A36 Bonanza into a Plainville, Massachusetts home on June 28, 2015.



A Plainville fire lieutenant looks out of 25 Bridle Path in Plainville where a plane crashed into it Sunday. 
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Aaron Rice talks about the plane crashing into his house in Plainville. 
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Aaron Rice told reporters he and his wife and their two sons were home at the time of the crash.


Aaron Rice, owner of the house at 25 Bridle Path in Plainville, where a plane crashed on Sunday.


Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Plainville Fire Chief Justin Alexander and Massachusetts Fire Marshal Stephen Coan speak during a press conference Sunday night..

Plainville’s fire chief, Justin Alexander, spoke with the media. 


Plainville firefighter Joe Rabuffo holds one of three rescued cats from the house struck by a plane in Plainville Sunday night.